Will the Son of the Bat break bad, or can his little spandex-clad friends bring him back from the brink?
In most areas of narrative writing instruction, they often come back to two words: "inevitable" and "surprising." Writers are charged with leading their readers to a conclusion that is both, and this issue of Teen Titans accomplishes one, but has had too much foreshadowing to provide the latter.
Everybody's worried about Robin (Damian Wayne, son of the Bat and grandson of Ra's Al Ghul), who has decided his father's fear based methodologies are half hearted at best and is ready to kick things up a notch. The rest of the team is investigating the murder of villain Brother Blood (there have been, like, seventy Brothers Blood, so it's at best a stall) which seems to have a suspicious amount of evidence, like the Riddler's pathological need to point to his crimes but much less whimsical.
The visual stylings of Jesus Merino, Julio Ferreira, Marcelo Maiolo and Rob Leigh provide a crisp, clear visual tableu here, giving characters great visual definition and even differentiated art cues to characterize them (which ain't easy). Unfortunately, the avalanche of a script from Robbie Williams relentlessly bears down on the cover image to connect the dots and give the Son of the Bat a dark path to follow. This is not, in and of itself, a bad thing but despite the character's relative newness (really popping up in 1987, but canonically current as of 2006) it's a road we've all traveled extensively.
If you like this "struggling with morality" edition of the Titans, this issue will likely fit like a glove. If you're looking for more, say, heroism … well, this might be a direction where you might find the terrain difficult. RATING: MEH.
Teen Titans #43
By: Robbie Thompson, Eduardo Pansica, Bernard Chang, Eber Ferreira
Robin begins a hunt that leads him to the KGBeast, the same assassin who wounded and nearly killed the first Robin, Dick Grayson. Will Damian Wayne cross the line to enact brutal revenge on the Russian villain – or can the Teen Titans temper the current Robin's rage?
Hannibal Tabu is a writer, journalist, DJ, poet and designer living in south Los Angeles with his wife and children. He's a winner of the 2012 Top Cow Talent Hunt, winner of the 2018-2019 Cultural Trailblazer award from the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, his weekly comic book review column THE BUY PILE can be found on iHeartRadio's Nerd-O-Rama podcast, his reviews can be found on BleedingCool.com, and more information can be found at his website, www.hannibaltabu.com.
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