Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Teen Titans Annual #1 Review and **SPOILERS**

A Chat in the Family

Writer - Adam Glass
Pencils - Ryan Benjamin & Jose Luis
Inks - Richard Friend & Jordi Tarragona
Colors - Hi-Fi
Letters - Rob Leigh
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: January 30, 2019

Looks like it's Annual Week at ol' DC... well, it is technically a "fifth week", which is kinda wonky this time out with the weird Diamond Distribution Holiday pushing everything back a week.

Let's see what's next for the kids!

So often these days, it feels as though Annuals are simply a repository for "inventory" stories... or things that just plain don't fit into the ongoing narrative.  It's where you'd see stories by untested talent, where, once you're done reading you kinda wince at the fact that you paid five-bucks for it... and never, ever think of it again.

That's not the case here, folks.  This could have (and perhaps should have) just been the next couple of issues of Teen Titans.  Picking up right where we left off after Damian and Company's trip to the Batcave, Robin tracks down Red Hood looking for answers.

What results is an extended fight scene, just dripping with Bat-Family drama.  Ya see, Jason is just as confused by the accusations of his "brother" as I am.  I'm not sure where Damian got his intel... or, what he's basing his suspicions on, outside of a simple "hunch".

Whether this is being done to play up his "hair-trigger" and perhaps his childish immaturity, I really couldn't say.  Damian does taunt Jason with that box he'd retrieved from Wayne Manor, however... which leads me to believe he's done at least a little in the way of fact-finding.

The second half of the issue features the rest of the team as they take on the goofy-as-all-get-out threat of... Joystick!  This freckle-faced ginger made me really scared we were about to meet a new take on Danny Chase!  Thankfully, that doesn't appear to be the case.

It was interesting seeing the Titans in action without Robin directing traffic.  They did exceedingly well under Emiko's watch.  Hell, even usual stick-in-the-mud Wallace West was depicted as affable... which is a definite upgrade!

Joystick uses his convenient powers to take over the mind of Djinn... which, well... it stands to reason when you have an "OP" team member, they're going to be taken out.  It's just kind of what happens in comics.  While the trope might be old, Glass uses it to great effect here.  Joystick manages to learn some of Djinn's darkest secrets... and all but blabs before being taken out.

Something he is able to share, however, is Djinn's feelings... bordering on obsession... for Robin.  Upon learning this Crush appears to be... well, crushed.  Looks like we might be exploring a Bizarre Love Triangle in the coming months.

Art was very strong throughout both parts of this Annual, which is another thing I'm not used to when it comes to these "bonus books".  My only complaint about this would be sort of holding these scenes "hostage" at a $4.99 price point, when they very well could have been the next couple of issues of the main title.  I understand (and appreciate) making Annuals "matter", but it does kinda feel like they're taking advantage of a "captive audience" here.  That doesn't change the fact that I enjoyed this immensely.

Bits and Pieces:

A rare Annual... that matters!  A pair of high-quality stories that would feel completely at-home in the ongoing title... which, might be where they belonged in the first place!


1 comment:

  1. I couldn't agree more Chris, spot on review. I'm happy just to see Damian get his ass handed to him, hopefully this humbles Damian and shows him that just because Jason's last name isn't Wayne doesn't mean he can't beat your ass with ease. And that maybe you should use your big my words and talk to people who at the very least you should consider family.