Tuesday, August 8, 2023

World's Finest: Teen Titans #2 Review


Written by: Mark Waid
Art by: Emanuela Lupacchino
Colors by: Jordie Bellaire
Letters by: Steve Wands
Cover art by: Chris Samnee, Matheus Lopes
Cover price: $3.99
Release date: August 8, 2023

World's Finest: Teen Titans #1 finds the Titans called in to investigate a missing teenager that leads to a spooky house where the most terrifying scares the Titans encounter are the ones inside all of us.
Is It Good?

Some readers will LOVE World's Finest: Teen Titans #1. Some readers are going to be horribly annoyed by World's Finest: Teen Titans #1. You're both right because Mark Waid is telling a very targeted type of story, so it works or doesn't, depending on what you want out of a Teen Titans comic.

When last we left the Titans, Robin was struggling to get the team to act as a team, particularly with Roy's strong ideas about how to increase the team's visibility and social status. Now, the team strikes out to investigate a missing girl, with the guest help of Lilith, aka Omen, and Gnarrk, who ran off screaming to a spooky-looking house. The Titans soon learn that the girl has emergent psychic abilities, causing all the fears and insecurities of teenage life to manifest in monstrous ways, reflecting the worst angst of each Titan back at them.

Why the "you'll either love it or hate it" disclaimer? Mark Waid is writing a very teen-focused, teen-voiced, and teen-relatable comic. This isn't a big, bombastic, superhero action comic as you've come to expect from Waid out of titles such as World's Finest with Batman and Superman. The nature of the conflict is scaled to challenge the Titans where they are as a team and at their level of maturity, so the "hate it" readers may feel like this story reads like a Scooby-Doo mystery. I get that, and you'd not be completely wrong.

However, the difference here is that Mark Waid brings down the maturity and complexity to match the Titans where they are without dumbing down the writing. The emotional beats are strong, each Titan experiences a real sense of danger to create stakes, the girl's out-of-control powers represent a true threat to herself and everyone around her, and the Titans, specifically Donna Troy, come out of the experience changed.

In other words, Waid's plot is a refined, mature plot, but the specifics are adjusted to match a teenager's sensibilities. It's an adult comic that appeals to a YA audience if that makes sense.

How's the art? It's good to very good. Emanuela Lupacchino's lines and figure work are solid, and Jordie Bellaire's coloring is always top-notch. Since this is a World's Finest comic with Waid as the writer, the comparisons to Dan Mora's work are unavoidable, so in fairness, the artwork here isn't comparable to Mora's. That said, Lupacchino's softer, less-sharp style suits the vibe and tone of Waid's YA-but-not-YA story to a tee.

About The Reviewer: Gabriel Hernandez is the Publisher & EIC of ComicalOpinions.com, a comics review site dedicated to indie, small, and mid-sized publishers.

Follow @ComicalOpinions on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

Bits and Pieces:

World's Finest: Teen Titans #2 improves on the first issue by bringing the team together to find a missing girl in a spooky house. Instead of crafting the Titans version of a Scooby Doo adventure, Waid delivers a mature, emotionally resonant plot. Waid is doing something unique with this title, don't sleep on it.



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