Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Teen Titans #9 Review and **SPOILERS**

Don't Underestimate Your Dear Old Mom

Teen Titans #9
"Blood of the Manta, Part One"
Script: Benjamin Percy
Layouts: Phil Hester
Pencils: Khoi Pham
Inks: Trevor Scott, Craig Yeung
Colors: Jim Charalampidis
Letters: Corey Breen
Cover Price: $3.99
On Sale Date: June 28, 2017

It's always strange coming off a crossover... especially one that only interrupted our flow for a single month.  It feels like it's been forever since we last discussed a "regular" issue of Teen Titans... though, maybe that's more of an indictment on how much I enjoyed the Lazarus Contract.

Either way, it's good to be back!
How good?  Let's find out.

What Happened?

After the relative hiccup that was The Lazarus Contract, Kid Flash has been excised from our line-up.  Robin has taken to riding newcomer the not-yet Aqualad, Jackson Hyde rather hard, likely in a case of misdirected anger and frustration about how things went down with Wally.  He can't yell at the kid he fired... so, Jackson's the next best thing.

Speaking of ol' Squirt Gun, it turns out his mother noticed him on the news with the Titans following the kerfuffle with King Shark and Chonnie Cung.  It isn't long before she's Frisco-bound to confront her son.  It's during their reconciliation that we learn that Jackson's mother has some aquatic tricks of her own... which is the reason they called a relatively arid environment home for so long.

Even though Wally's been canned, he still receives a fair amount of panel-time here.  He chats with Raven about an offer he received in the latest Previews catalog to join Deathstroke's new Defiance team.  He makes a last ditch effort to seal the deal in starting a romantic relationship with his empathic ex-teammate.  She ain't quite feeling it... because Raven would rather look deep and complicated than have a good time.

We do get a smidge of actual action when Starfire and Beast Boy take out a couple of bank robbers... unfortunately, we had to listen to Gar talk about his social media celebrity status all throughout the scene.  Other than informing us of Gar's pending "Interweb stardom", this scene allowed us to see Jackson show up late for the call.

I'd say I don't want to spoil the ending... but, c'mon... it's a story with Black Manta on the periphery, and the story is called "Blood of the Manta"... it's pretty clear who our threat is.  It feels like every third issue of Aquaman ends with a similar page!

What I Dug?

Jackson's water swords looked really cool... and they also serve a function in helping him hone his powers.  I thought this was a great wrinkle to add to the character, as otherwise, he would've appeared to have wandered out of the New Mexico desert fully prepared to fight crime with his powers.

The reveal that Jackson's powers aren't all a result of his father was an interesting turn of events.  Having Jackson's mother exhibit powers not only provides added intrigue, but also gives us a reason why they were living in New Mexico.  We've mentioned in earlier issues how strange it was for a water-based superhero to live in the desert... now, we know why!

I appreciated the art here more than in earlier issues, despite it still looking like Damian spends his days chasing parked cars.  Looking now, I'm not sure if that has anything to do with Phil Hester's layouts, but something here definitely clicked for me art-wise.

What I Didn't?

Wally's whining.  I dunno, maybe I'm no longer cut out to read a comic about whiny teen-agers.  Things like this never stood out to me while reading older volumes of Teen Titans, or even Marvel's New Mutants and Generation X.  Here though... it's not even angst, it's just whining about the same things over and over.

Perhaps another indictment that I'm getting too old to read about teen-agers (besides my Haney-esque insistence to hyphenate the word, that is), I could really do without Gar talking about his "Interweb" celebrity status.  That kind of talk annoys the hell out of me in real-life, I damn sure don't wanna read it.

Bits & Pieces:

Definitely a step-up from the slog that was The Lazarus Contract, however still feels like it's missing something.  The Jackson Hyde bits are hitting all the right notes, however, the team feels just so soul-less... and the stakes feel lesser with every issue.



  1. This issue deserves a solid 10/10 for many reasons. Fake Wally finally is gone, I couldn't stand his existence. Damian shows his leadership and mentoring skills while calling Disney out, phenomenal! Jackson is absolutely the new gem of the book and I can't wait to see more of him. The writer has found his pacing and the team chemistry, took him a while, which is evident for the first time here. Until now Raven was out of character so maybe she calms down and act sibylline like she used to. There is only one match for Raven and his name is Damian Wayne.

    1. Yes Kaldur'ahm is kindhearted and brave that's why I'm excited to know everything new about him in Rebirth. My objection is his sexuality, kinda hoped he is bi but oh well. Disney has turned Marvel into a joke and DC is killing it with Rebirth but the media lie to favor SJW Marvel.

    2. Jackson Hyde the new Aqualad can be bisexual to correspond to his Young Justice version. If they want gay characters they should create new or bring back retired like Bunker and Anissa Pierce/Thunder.

    3. For one he is not a fake and two Damian is not a good match for Raven so shut the fuck up you stupid ass and kid Flash is not gone

    4. Black kid flash is evil and copy of OG Wally. You think he will come back is a big joke. Aqualad has overshadowed him and Kaldr is not a black token character he is original creation. DamianXRaven4ever

  2. What leadership did Damian show? He is freaking hypocrite who never faced any consequences for his actions and Rebirth is doing a very good jop in making people hate Damian again.

    1. Leadership is Damian kicking out Kanye West who by giving his powers to Deathstroke inflicted a pacer on Wally and almost created another flashpoint paradox. Damian is a pain of arrogance but he has many redeeming qualities like Batman and is a true hero, extreme yet effective. And Damian is a real diversity character like Kaldur'ahm because he is 1/3 Arab and 1/3 Asian, Kanye West is a ripoff of real Wally, back in new 52 he was invented to replace Wally and be son to Rudy. I love Damian because he is not a whiny selfish piece of dreck like black kid flash.

    2. Percy made him whiny in this issue so Damian wouldn't look bad for what he did to him. Wally made a mistake and he was sorry for what he did in the crossover. Damian was the one who deserved to be fired.

      Damian kidnapped his team, tortured them and made risked their lives in the first arc.
      He was willing to let one of his teammates die, stopped big wally's heart and was completely a jerk to everyone in the crossover.

      Did any character called him out on his behavior or a writer made him face consequences for his actions? Nope, but instead you have Percy declaring that Damian is always right.

    3. How is Damien 1/3 Arab and 1/3 Asian when his father is Bruce Wayne that would make him 1/4 Arab and 1/4 Asian.

    4. Bryan, white race is the canvas. If you mix Caucasian with anything else the non white genes will be dominant. You still get some eye color variation but the whiteness is gone. It's not same as math, black>aboriginal>asian>native>indian>arab>caucasian.

      Percy did good with Damian especially in the case of Kanye kid. There is no way you are a Teen Titan and don't know about the identity of Deathstroke, it's elementary stuff. Damian is so obsessed with intel it's impossible not to fill in his new subordinates. I blame Priest's negligence for creating so many plotholes and pushing Damian to hurt Wally's heart which by the way can heal fast using Speed Force. Damian was used like a cheap tool by Priest. Kanye West almost destroyed prime universe like Barry on a whim and sentiment. Power comes with great responsibility and cold logic, that's what Bruce and Damian stand for and why they are the best superheroes. Anon keep hating Damian but black kid flash is dangerous.

    5. The black kid Flash is not dangerous you fucking racist bitch

    6. They don't blame the race of kid flash copycat they hate his evil roots. His father Danny was evil and it runs in black kid flash blood. He will be the next reverse flash or die with dignity.

    7. I must be the only one who likes both OG Wally and Kid Flash Wally.

    8. Did you miss the issue where everyone on the Teen Titans pretty much said that they all have evil family members?

  3. This is fine .... Everything is OK .... Jesus Christ Anoynoumus and Unknown had a ten hall meeting here

  4. Kanye was on the Teen Titans?!