Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Teen Titans Academy #5 Review

Going Batty

Written By: Tim Sheridan
Art By: Steve Lieber, Dave Stewart, Rob Leigh
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: July 27, 2021

We continue with the Bat-Pack this issue as they try to figure out the identity of the elusive Red X. From what we saw in the previous issue though, it doesn't look like they'll have to keep hunting down clues or looking for people who know the truth because Red X was waiting for the Bat-Pack when they got back to their dorm room. So with that, let's jump into this issue and see the secret origin of the Bat-Pack as they tell their story to Red X. Let's check it out.

In this issue of Teen Titans Academy, we go back in time with a strangely paneled issue, that shows us the Bat-Pack meeting at an orphanage in Gotham, where this particular orphanage is up to no good and selling students to a Dr. Grusel, who has been trying to perfect Kirk Langstrom's Man-Bat formula. The problem with this is, we only really get to see the origin of Chupacabra from the Bat-Pack getting one dose of the formula but we have no idea about anyone else that was taken before...... and that's the problem with this entire issue ultimately is that the story is so surface level that you don't really get a background on anyone or anything beyond the basic concept of why Diego Perez became Chupacabra and why Nightwing decided to bring them to the Roy Harper Academy for gifted youngsters.  

I really like the idea of the Bat-Pack, with each of the trio embodying an aspect of their hero Batman, with Chupacabra being the detective, Brat-Girl being the brains and Mega-Bat being the muscle but I wanted more out of that here and instead, we just get Diego saying he's now Chupacabra and we get no further backstory into Brat-Girl or Mega-Bat and the story becomes very lackluster overall, especially when we go back to present times and Red X shows them who he is before telling them that he wants them on his team and not the Titans because not only do we still not know who Red X is, but every damn time the character shows up his motivations feel different and his role in this title has become irksome instead of intriguing.

All in all, the Bat-Pack origin tale left a lot to be desired since it really didn't feel all that thought out to begin with and only gave you the bare minimum of these characters right before they joined Teen Titans Academy. There's a strange panel layout decision at the beginning that shows a flashback within a flashback where Diego first encounters the rest of the Bat-Pack and it feels like the story about them becoming a family would have suited this issue more than what we got here. The art was alright in this but Nightwing's inclusion in the flashback segments felt weird and ultimately the story that we got felt pretty subpar.  

Bits and Pieces:

If you want to learn about how Diego Perez became Chupacabra and pretty much nothing else, then maybe this issue is for you but it really felt like we did a disservice to the Bat-Pack by not actually showing how they all became who they became or how they even became a family...... Not to mention the Red X bits in this aren't keeping me nearly as intrigued as I think this book wants me to be. The art is decent but ultimately this Bat-Pack pseudo origin story fell really flat.


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