Wednesday, November 23, 2016
Teen Titans #2 Review and **SPOILERS**
Story & Words: Benjamin Percy
Pencils: Diogenes Neves
Inks: Ruy José & Sean Parsons
Colors: Jim Charalampidis & John Kalisz
Letters: Corey Breen
Cover: Jonboy Meyers
Cover Price: $2.99
On Sale Date: November 23, 2016
**NON SPOILERS AND SCORE AT THE BOTTOM**
Man, people were so amped for that first issue of Teen Titans, you’d think it had been printed money. I think it was shell shock from the previous volumes. “They’re…quipping,” gasped a Teen Titans-starved readership, faces streaked with remnant tears over Tara Markov. The trick, then, is to keep that momentum going for subsequent issues. So how does #2 stack up? Read on to find out!
One rainy evening not too long after his thirteenth birthday, Damian Wayne was perched on a Gotham rooftop, overlooking the city, obviously emulating his Bat-dad. Then, his mother Talia showed up in a soggy green cloak to wish him a happy birthday, and hand him a USB drive containing information about the assassins Damian’s immortal grandfather sent to kill him. This could be the introduction to the most fascinating episode of the Jerry Springer Show ever taped, but nope! It’s a comic book about a bunch of crime-fighting teenagers. Speaking of whom, they’re all hanging around in the Batcave, still pretty peeved at Damian for kidnapping and then taunting them. He further explains that his granddaddy, Ra’s Al Ghul, is sending some recent graduates of the Demon’s Fist, which is the prep school for the League of Assassins. One of them is tasked with killing Damian, and the other four have been matched against each of the Teen Titans based on their skill set. See? It’s just like a Double Dare challenge, except with less pea soup. Probably. Let’s meet the assassins, shall we? There’s Blank, the albino shape-shifter; Stone, a super strong brute with Geo Force type powers; Nightstorm, a young Weather Wizard; Plague, a girl who can infect anything with decay; and Mara, Damian’s old sparring pal from his days in the League, and of course she’s tasked with killing him specifically. This is why you should never make close friends with anyone in your espionage and murder school. Chances are, one of you will have to kill the other later.
No sooner does Damian reveal this insidious plot than the kids from the Demon’s Fist show up, ready to brawl! And brawl they do, except the Teen Titans start by getting their butts kicked because the bad guys are willing to…well, be bad. That’s sort of their “edge.” Even Goliath gets a sock in the lip from Stone, which really ticks me off because Goliath is the best. While the Titans recuperate, Mara lets slip that Damian was part of the very organization trying to kill them! The team is unhappy about this, and register their discontent by chasing him angrily. Mara takes this moment to set off a bunch of previously-planted bombs in the cave, for some reason, so Damian hops on Goliath and scrams while Raven holds a force field about the rest of the squad, to keep the ceiling from caving in on them. Just when they agree that Damian is a rat and are about to ratify the requisite Bill, Damian pops by in his cool flying thingy and rescues everyone from imminent death. Maybe he ain’t such a bad kid after all!
It was a pretty quick read, but I enjoyed this issue. Any extant questions are fairly well answered here, and to be honest I’d be happy if they simply moved on from here and dealth with Ra’s Al Ghul at some point in the future, but of course it is not to be: the next issue’s title is “Fear the Wrath of Ra’s Al Ghul.” Ah well, I’m sure it will be very good wrath. I miss the artwork of Jonboy Meyers, but Diogenes Neves does a good, if more “standard,” job. I felt like there could have been more here, but I suppose this was the appetizer before the meal. So we can expect a League of Assassins version of Mirror Master and Swamp Thing, I’m sure.
Bits and Pieces:
Kind of a quick read that isn't short on the particulars of the situation. There's some great action and some really good team moments that are a pleasure to read. Still, having waited a month for this issue, I was hoping for a little more. On the art side of things, there are no real complaints, but it lacks the visual identity of the first issues. All that being said, if the characterizations continue to be amenable, then I'll be glad to keep on peepin' on.