Tuesday, November 14, 2023

World's Finest: Teen Titans #5 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: November 14, 2023

World's Finest: Teen Titans #5 finds the simmering collection of interpersonal conflicts coming to a head when the team faces the newly-formed Terror Titans.
Is World's Finest: Teen Titans #5 Good?

Readers are sleeping on this title. They shouldn't, but I get why. World's Finest: Teen Titans #5 comes the closest of any of Mark Waid's previous issues to an in-universe version of Teen Titans or Young Justice cartoons without resorting to wacky humor or talking down to the readers.

When last we left the team, a boy's sleepover with Roy, Wally, and Garth went sideways with a clash of personalities and misunderstandings. Meanwhile, Karen's growing affection for Mal Duncan led her to bequeath a very valuable gift and an offer to join the team. Now, the Titans offer a ride-along to Haywire as a potential recruit. When Haywire's morally corrupt tactics kill his recruitment chances, Haywire returns months later with a super team of his own, determined to humiliate the Titans. Unfortunately, the Titans' lack of trust and lack of teamwork makes Haywire's job a lot easier.

I think I've figured out why readers are resistant to this title. World's Finest: Teen Titans #5 is probably the best representation of a YA comic that still fits in the main continuity (timelines notwithstanding). If YA-targeted content and teen angst aren't your thing, you'll probably find this series doesn't live up to the greatness of the Wolfman/Perez era. That's fair, but different doesn't mean it's wrong or bad. Waid's version of the Titans may be the rare case that could accurately described as "not written for you," but I encourage you to give it a shot.

What's great about World's Finest: Teen Titans #5? Mark Waid continues to impress with real, relatable interpersonal conflict that appropriately matches the age and maturity of the characters while maintaining a solid connection to the main DC Universe. That's a mouthful, so put another way, Waid is impressively writing teenagers who act and sound like teenagers. In the current crop of DC (and Marvel writers), that's no small feat.

What's not so great about World's Finest: Teen Titans #5? Admittedly, the soft art isn't doing Waid's writing justice. Emanuela Lupacchino's style is perfectly fine for a teen drama, but it lacks the edge that should accompany the hard-hitting moments. Likewise, Jordie Bellaire's softened color palette smooths what little edge there is to a smooth velvet.

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

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Bits and Pieces:

World's Finest: Teen Titans #5 is a surprisingly strong example of a well-done, YA-focused comic set in the main universe. The team's lack of maturity and trust bubbles over into a series of engaging dramas, and the superhero aspects fit right in with the best of classic Teen Titans or Young Justice.


1 comment:

  1. I don't have a problem with the teen angst and YA themes. My main issue with the title is that it's a bit too scattered. I wish Waid would focus mostly on one or two characters, only allude to other conflicts in the background then after solving this or at least having an arc with it then move along to others. I am not saying you can't do several conflicts at once, it's just very difficult and something I feel like he either doesn't have enough space to pull off or simply can't very well. I actually like the focus on character writing and the voice for them, but sometimes they get very weird. For example I was invested in the conflict in this issue alot but felt like the resolution at the end was very forced or at least very clunky. I don't hate this issue but I would have liked this issue out of the others which i don't really care for if only that last minute resolution wasn't written that way. HayWire is an interesting villain though. I look forward to his showdown with robin's strategical mind.