Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Teen Titans #6 Review and **SPOILERS**

Gonna Need a Bigger Boat...

Teen Titans #6
"The Rise of Aqualad, Part One"Story and Words: Benjamin Percy
Pencils: Khoi Pham
Inks: Wade Von Grawbadger
Colors: Jim Charalampidis
Letters: Corey Breen
Cover Price: $2.99
On Sale Date: March 22, 2017

Is that... Aqualad on the cover?  I could've sworn he should have been here by now, like, ya know... seven years ago when he was introduced!

Ya know... in that year-long maxi-series that was supposed to set up the DC Universe for the foreseeable future before they just crumpled it all up for The New-52!.  Not that I'm bitter or anything... ahem.  Anyhoo, hey... Aqualad!  Let's get right down to it!

What Happened...

The Titans settle into their new digs, and after an interesting (and divisive) lunch, give newscaster (hrmm) Bonnie Chung a guided tour of the facilities.  It's not a good day for Ms. Chung, as a lurking undersea threat yanks her into the water and locks her up at the nearby Alcatraz Prison.

We also meet the new Aqualad... who now looks more like the Young Justice animated series version than his pre-Flashpoint counterpart.  He has a somewhat contentious run-in with his mother, who is having a difficult time dealing with all of the changes in the life of her son.  She isn't the only one, Jackson's current would-be boyfriend is also a bit weirded out over his newfound control of all things watery.

Everything comes to a head when the Titans head out to find and rescue the missing reporter... and they run afoul of King Shark!

What I Dug...

The newscaster visiting Titans Tower was an organic way to provide a reader who might have skipped the opening arc great expositional information.

It's nice to (finally) see this version of Aqualad.  Many of us seasoned DC Comics fans have been waiting seven years to see him finally take his place.  Jackson first appeared way back in the Brightest Day maxi-series, and while this version looks resembles his Young Justice look rather than his pre-Flashpoint one, he is still a welcome addition to cast.

Koi Pham's appears to be making these characters his own.  I'm not sure if it was just a matter of hitting his stride, or if he was perhaps just filling in at first, but this issue marks (at least to me) a decent-sized leap in quality, art-wise.

A new rallying call for a new generation of Titans... It looks like "Titans Together!" is now "Titans Go!"  I like it.

What I Didn't...

There were a couple questionable moments here, both of which involved Beast Boy.  First, and most importantly, I don't think he should be revealing that Robin has no superpowers on the evening news.  That just seems like a foolish idea.

My second Beast Boy-centric complaint is more an issue of personal preference.  I hate coming off like a prude, but I do not like seeing "mouth orgasm" in a T-Rated book.  Teen Titans is a book that would be immediately recognizable to all-ages due to their Cartoon Network series.  Unlike The New-52! incarnation, this team actually somewhat resembles their celluloid counterpart.  It's strange to consider that this might be, at least at first blush, DC Comics most new-reader friendly title... and I'd have reservations giving this to a child.

Despite my excitement to finally see Jackson begin his journey toward taking his place as Aqualad, I feel like his scenes were a bit cliche.  Gay characters are still a relative novelty, and I feel like many writers are walking down the same well-trodden path when it comes to their introductions and supporting cast members.  This wasn't offensive, nor was it bad.  It was just kinda "been there, done that".


Very nice opening chapter for our next arc.  This issue offers an easily accessible jumping on point for new readers, while advancing both the story and the characters.  Percy's dialogue is (for the most part) spot-on, while it seems Koi Pham is feeling more at home with this great cast of characters.


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