Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Teen Titans #24 Review and **SPOILERS**

Tim Drake is All That and a Snack Cake

Written By: Tony Bedard
Art By: Ian Churchill, Norm Rapmund, Tony Aviña
Lettered By: Corey Breen
Cover Price: $2.99
On Sale Date: September 14, 2016


One of the most amazing things about comics is that people really do embrace legacy characters. I know this seems like a stupid observation, and it is, but there are entire generations for whom Wally West is “their” Flash, or John Stewart is “their” Green Lantern. In the past, I’ve been unable to fathom new characters catching on, but it is undeniable. So it is with Tim Drake, who came to being during a time I wasn’t reading comics that closely—though I was reading Batman, so I was familiar with him. He just never clicked with me, I was stuck on Dick Grayson as Nightwing and Jason Todd as Robin and never really cottoned to Tim as Batman’s sidekick. And yet I have talked to lots of people for whom Tim Drake is “their” Robin. And when Tim Drake showed up in Geoff Johns’ Teen Titans, I started to like him a bit more. Then the New 52 happened, and Tim Drake was the centerpiece of the worst comic book of that whole publishing initiative. Well, that’s all over now, folks, the Teen Titans are Rebirthing next month and Tim Drake…well, you probably know what happened to him by now. So how is the swan song, the final issue of this volume of Teen Titans? Let’s find out, together!

Explain It!:

So if you’re reading this recap, then Tim Drake is dead. If you’ve read Detective Comics #940, then you might know more about the situation, but for the purposes of this issue of Teen Titans, he’s dead. Kaput. No longer with us. Departed this mortal coil. And now the Titans are in mourning, all dressed in black like a bunch of Sicilian washwomen. The gang decides to reminisce on old Master Drake—good memories only, of course, which makes this ordeal that much harder since a lot of the series has been an absolute slog. Bunker is first, and recalls a time Tim asked him for fashion advice preceding a high school reunion. So Miguel took him downtown and made him wear some ridiculous costumes, then they marched in a Pride parade together. That is a first date worth of a romantic comedy. Next up is Power Girl, who remembers when they hung back after some fight on Governor’s Island, examining the experimental technology of the destroyed S.T.A.R. Labs. Tim points out that they are a couple of tech geeks, which makes Power Girl all warm and fuzzy inside. This takes place not long after she joined the team, and she actually references Karen Starr, the Supergirl of Earth-2 that gave Power Girl her powers via a sequence of events that have never been adequately explained!

Now it’s Raven’s turn to roll a clip from her memory reel, and she goes back to shortly after defeating her evil demon dad Trigon, when she was sulking in her bedroom (which, by the way, she does all the fucking time whether she’s just killed her demonic father or not.) Tim is pushy about being a friend, so she casts a spell that whisks them both to the evil dimension of Azarath, which is supposed to be torturous but looks a lot like the Nevada desert at night. Tim is like “What else ya got?” and gets Raven to open up to him by likening her to Damian Wayne. I’m not sure that’s a compliment. Beast Boy talks about all the Robins at first, debating all their merits, but points out that Tim Drake was Robin for a while, yet not at the cost of his soul. He was already a humorless prick before he met Batman! (j/k) Then it’s time for Wonder Girl to recall a time they went shopping, for groceries, and she tried to make things all awkward by asking about their one kiss that was never repeated. Tim is like, “Uhh…a coal processing plant just blew up! We gotta go!” Then, despite being fugitives, they save a bunch of people from a burning building and never kiss again. Cassie points out, however, that he must have been dating Spoiler. Yeah, you were real close to this guy. You never even met his girlfriend or knew he had one!

After all that, the team wonders “where do we go from here?” and break into an awesome five-part rendition of this song:

Most of them decide that Tim Drake’s death puts kind of a bummer on this whole operation, so Bunker and Gar decide to take off to L.A., Raven magicks off to San Francisco, and Power Girl and Wonder Girl…seem to be ready to team up? Is this going to become a new Worlds’ Finest?? That would be freaking cool! Power/Wonder Girl or something actually clever! Anyway, Damian Wayne shows up on the last page, pondering Tim Drake’s Robin suit (which is kept in a big glass jar, naturally) so he’s going to cause some havoc I’m sure.

Hey, nice way to go out Teen Titans! In the last few issues, they displayed some likeable characteristics and behaved as a team, which was nice to see. And now it’s like they’re a group of people that actually care about each other! Too bad it had to be fomented by a death in the family, but at least we got there. I’ve really never been a big fan of Churchill artwork on this series, but it does look like he pulled out all the stops for the final issue. This is like Patrick Duffy stepping out of the shower, wiping away all the bad stuff that came before. I hope these good vibes continue into the Rebirth.

Bits and Pieces:

The gang reminisces on a fallen member, and it makes for some touching character moments. Yes, touching character moments! From Teen Titans! I know! I was pretty surprised myself. This series did finish strong with a few issues that showed the Teen Titans acting as a team, and not as a bunch of angry brats, so I shouldn't be so shocked. But they were angry brats almost every other time! When we said we wanted Teen Titans, we didn't mean for them to behave like actual teenagers!



  1. The issue to me just kinds highlights why this book should have ended when Will departed, there's just nothing going on here. Just a bunch of people talking about things that never happened when they should have. It would have been fantastic if they had been reminicent about events we had actually seen before instead of taking the same short cuts as before and make up a bunch of new ones. Also the breakup was like walking head first into a wall, 'we should go on' someone says and someone else goes 'nope' and is already out the window... so much for friendship (not that they had bothered building it in the first place but you know...).

    The other thing that really bothers me about this book is those last pages... 'the Teen Titans are nothing without Robin'. Thanks DC thats a very big middle finger you just raised to this team and all the other characters on it.

    So a rather poor ending to a rather middle of the road run.

    1. That's a great point: the fact that they had to manufacture clips for this "clip show" approach highlights how dreary and not fun a lot of this run of Teen Titans was. I think I was just glad to see the team acting nicely to each other, instead of like a bunch of jerks!

  2. Patrick Dempsey is Derek from Grey's Anatomy. Patrick Duffy is Bobby from Dallas who stepped out of the shower.

    1. Whoops! I lingered over that for a moment...and should have double-checked! Thanks!