Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Teen Titans #14 Review and **SPOILERS**

Quote the Wally... What a Bore

Teen Titans #14

"The Return of Kid Flash, Finale"
Script: Benjamin Percy
Pencils: Khoi Pham
Inks: Trevor Scott, Vincente Cifuentes & Norm Rapmund
Colors: Jim Charalampidis & Blond
Letters: Corey Breen
Cover Price: #3.99
On Sale Date: November 22, 2017

Wouldja look at that cover!

Could it be... are we going to get some Titans in-fighting?!

Nah, nothing like that ever happens in this book...

The second, and final part of The Return of Kid Flash plays out pretty much like we all expected it to.  There's something to say about predictability... it's not always such a bad thing.

I'm trying to take a new tact when it comes to reviewing this title.  Instead of judging it for everything it's not... I'm just going to take it as it is.  Could it be better?  Sure.  Should it be better?  Definitely.  However, at the end of the day... and the end of this issue, I'm hopeful that maybe... just maybe, we actually have a team in place that can go forward and do some actual adventuring.

Of course, since we're about to hop into yet another crossover next month, we might be holding our breath until the new year...

With all that out of the way, let's jump into the issue.  The two disparate stories from last issue converge in a pretty meaningful way... if we're not paying attention.

Damian is forced to call in his teammates to assist with the Onomatopoeia situation... and I can't help but feel like we already read a scene just like this several months ago... maybe two!  The Titans know Damian means business when he allows himself to show vulnerability... because he never does that, except whenever the plot calls for it.

The team practically begs Wally to come along... and there's this weird appeal to his having been a member.  They ask him to come along "for old time's sake".  This feels so disingenuous and manufactured.  I mean, the team was together for, what... twenty-minutes?  There really are no "old times" to consider.

Gimme a break...
The Titans do show up... and are actually rather effective against the threat.  The fight scene was far better than I imagined it would be.  Suddenly it was as though these kids were the Teen Titans.  No cringy social media-speak, no snark... just a great (and wonderfully rendered) little scene.

The give and take between Damian and Emiko continues to do most of the heavy-lifting.  There's clearly a mutual attraction and respect between them, and I look forward to that being explored further in subsequent chapters.  I've given Ben Percy a fair amount of guff for unnatural sounding dialogue... and horribly forced teen-speak.  Here, however, I kinda dug it.  It was uncomfortable and cute... likely somewhat relatable for much of the reading audience.

This was a definite improvement... perhaps the best issue yet!  That said, there's still something missing.  It's difficult to quantify what "heart" is when it comes to analyzing a story... however, this still feels like it's lacking one.  I feel like there's no passion for the characters or the property here.  This feels like it's just a spot on the publishing schedule... and that's really quite a shame.

I think our man Wally summed it up the best...

Bits and Pieces:

Predictable and pretty underwhelming.  Teen Titans treads water for another storyline, and with a(nother) crossover in the offing... it's unclear whether or not this team will ever break out of "team building" purgatory.  An improvement from previous issues.


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