Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Teen Titans #11 Review and **SPOILERS**

Pomp and Circumsplash

Teen Titans #10

"Blood of the Manta, Finale: Son of the Seven Seas!"

Script: Benjamin Percy
Breakdowns: Phil Hester
Pencils: Khoi Pham
Inks: Trevor Scott
Colors: Jim Charalampidis
Letters: Corey Breen
Cover Price: $3.99
On Sale Date: August 23, 2017

This is a book I attempt to review with somewhat tempered eyes.  I've long been a fan of this franchise... and while I'd never expect any current iteration to recapture the magic of say, the Wolfman/Perez era, or the Geoff Johns era... and would do my best not to judge it using that sort of metric.  That said, however, I do expect it to at least be a fun read.

See, there are books in the DC Universe that I expect to just be a "good time" and "fun".  Books like Super Sons, and yes, books like Teen Titans.  It's unfortunate that thus far only one of those have been fun to read... hell, one of those recently had a pretty fun appearance from the Teen Titans in it...

What Happened?

Black Manta and Son fight off the giant squidtopus they encountered at the end of last issue, and Jackson gets a hint as to his full potential.  He doesn't need to rely on some dinky (but cool-looking) water blades when he has an entire ocean to command!

Meanwhile, above water... the Titans argue... still.  Man, this isn't fun in the slightest.  Starfire's calling the shots, and they're all just sniping at one another.  Robin's calling out Raven's inability to focus on her feelings for Wally... Gar pops up just to stir the stuff and ask how Starfire's leadership is going.  This is just so unfun.

Underwater, Jackson and Manta take out the beastie, and it looks like they're about to have a nice father/son moment when, Daddy dearest goes and uses the apple of his eye as a key to procure the power-granting pearl.  Sick burn, pops!

The ensuing battle heads ashore and eventually involves Jackson's soon-to-be teammates, the Teen Titans.  They all prove to be pretty helpless against the big bad.  That is, until Jackson taps into that potential he'd just learned he had and turns the tables.

We wrap up the issue with a proper coronation... Jackson Hyde is officially dubbed... Squirt Gun!  Oh, wait... I mean, Aqualad... but that's not something any of us didn't already know was going to happen.  The issue officially ends with a cliffhanger promising us a very story most Metal.

What I Dug?

Jackson is finally christened "Aqualad".  While it's a bit underwhelming because... well, we've been calling him Aqualad for like six months now... Hell, the last story arc was called "The Rise of Aqualad" for cryin' out loud!  I'm just happy he's been officially given a name because I'm hopeful that now with the team assembled... we can actually get down to the business of telling fun stories.  Seeing as though we're headed into a Dark Nights: Metal crossover... followed by the return of Kid Flash, I probably shouldn't be holding my breath.  I'll never learn!

I appreciated Black Manta using Jackson for his own purposes.  For a moment, I thought he was starting to feel the warm-tinglies for his son... I was quite pleased to be wrong!

Also, Jackson using the very power his father told him he had in order to win the day... while awfully quick, was pretty cool!

The art was especially strong this issue.  It seems to be getting better each and every time out... though Damien still looks like he's chased one too many parked cars.

What I Didn't?

The interpersonal angst is a bit one-note.  We're still playing with the Titans giving Robin a bit of attitude.  I mean, this has been going on for nearly a year now... and it's played out.  I get that we're dealing with kids here... and maybe I'm just getting too old to read a book like this, but it's not even well done.  It's just sniping back and forth, without any depth.

Gar Logan is still awful.  We get only a few lines from him... and they're all annoying.  First he asks how much better things are with Starfire in charge... then he talks about his e-celeb status.  The worst... I'd almost guess that he's supposed to be unlikable, but I doubt that's the case.

Jackson's mother is present for his official "welcome" to the Teen Titans, and appears to be happy as a clam... but I feel like they still need to talk things out.  I wouldn't have minded a page... or even a panel dedicated to the two of them hashing things out.

Finally, call me a Puritan or whatever, but we get another instance of Gar referring to something food-related with the suffix -gasm.  This isn't necessary for a book that has the cast of a kids cartoon and the potential of having a mainstream and younger audience.  I hate to go all "think about the kids", but it's not something I'd want to have to explain to mine.  This just reeks of trying to sound "with it".

Bits and Pieces:

This issue accomplished what is perhaps the final step in putting this team of Titans together.  I'm hopeful that means we have some actual fun adventures on the horizon.



  1. I hope Phil Hester continues to do the breakdowns because Khoi Pham's art looks a thousand times better since since Hester came on board.

  2. I am curious to know what I will think of this series if/when I read it (which will likely be whenever the library gets a copy of the trade). I liked the art and I like most of the team members (except maybe Damian, but I may enjoy him on the team as well).

    1. It really is coming across as just a generic story to me!