52 Catch Up: Teen Titans

Teen Titans 152 Catch Up is a series devoted to looking at issues from DC's New 52 and seeing how they're faring now that they're underway, why they're worth reading (or not), and places we hope they will go in time.




A shadowy, global power is tracking down and corrupting, capturing, or killing the world’s metahuman youth, but one young man stands in their way—Red Robin, former partner of Batman.  Throughout the contiguous United States, the batless bird pulls together several young heroes to fight against the organization known only as N.O.W.H.E.R.E.  They may be young, but these heroes are the Teen Titans, and they won’t take it lying down.




Previously on Teen Titans: Covering Issues #1 - #7

Out of the dark of night comes Kid Flash trying to help out a raging fire, but, instead, he causes more destruction by creating a backdraft from his super speed.  A resulting explosion renders him unconscious, allowing for N.O.W.H.E.R.E. to capture him while Red Robin watches the news report in his “perch.”  Moments later, agents of N.O.W.H.E.R.E. storm in to try and convince Red Robin to join them or get out of his way, to which his answer is the blowing up of his headquarters to show how determined he is.  Knowing that they’ll keep coming after him, he sets off to find other young heroes.

His first discovery is Cassie Sandsmark, known as Wonder Girl by the media, a thief who has ended up in the wrong place at the wrong time.  After helping to save her, Red Robin almost convinces her to join him when they encounter another young metahuma, Celine, who transforms unwillingly into an insectivore dubbed Skitter; however, due to curiosity getting the better of her, Cassie attempts to track down N.O.W.H.E.R.E. on her own and ends up in a trap set by Superboy.

Meanwhile, Red Robin has returned to New York City and has brought Skitter with him, finding yet another young hero—Bunker—along the way.  While the three attempt to settle down and figure things out, Kid Flash suddenly arrives at their doorstep with a teenaged girl of unusual properties named Solstice, having just escaped from the main N.O.W.H.E.R.E. facility in Antarctica.  After a little rest, the group of unlikely companions discovers that Wonder Girl is fighting Superboy in Times Square and sets off to lend a hand.

The rag-tag Teen Titans start thrashing it out with Superboy, only to end up defeated at every opportunity.  It is only when Superboy takes himself out of the fight does the team get a breather, but not before trying to be arrested by the NYPD for property damage.  Skitter and Red Robin incapacitates the cops, but then discovers that Kid Flash is having some sort of power crisis.  Knowing that he can’t get in touch with the Justice League, Red Robin takes Kid Flash to see Virgil Hawkins (better known as Static) in order to pick his young genius brain.

While at S.T.A.R. Labs, another metahuman who has been locked away manages to take control of Skitter’s mind and attempts to escape.  Bunker and Wonder Girl are able to subdue him with little effort, while Static tries to help stabilize Kid Flash’s condition.  Solstice shows great concern for Kid Flash, and the little speedster begins to pop up as a mystery when the police detective from earlier looks at a file concerning him in some alien garb.

Convinced that he’s safe and stable, Kid Flash tests his new costume (provided by Static) to reassure Red Robin.  Right then, the two are warned about Superboy’s condition within N.O.W.H.E.R.E., and Red Robin sets off to free the teen from harm despite their past conflict.  Reluctantly, the rest of the team follows, and an engagement within the walls of N.O.W.H.E.R.E. takes place.  The team is able to rescue Superboy, but, before they can leave, a creature that claims to be the real power behind the organization pops up and warns them of their coming doom.

High Points

Fight Sequences: I’m not always about the action, but the fight sequences between Superboy and the Titans were probably some of the best flowing artwork I’ve seen within the New 52 thus far.  The way a punch from one person would flow directly into a kick from another and then transfer easily into a leg sweep just kept me reading at the speed of Kid Flash.  Not only that, but the dialogue between the combatants helped with the fight sequences, especially when they spent so much time trying to convince Superboy about the dubious nature of his benefactors.

Costume Designs: Although Superboy’s new costume has been shown in his solo series, most of the rest of the characters have only made their debuts within this title, and I have to say that the costume designs are fantastic.  I especially enjoy Red Robin’s wings and how his costume seems to be an extension of his former Robin one.  Solstice’s costume—although I’m not sure if it’s really a costume—is likewise artistically beautiful, with its sharp shades of black oozing around like a shadowy extension of her body.  And, to top it all off, a sleek new version of the Kid Flash costume.

Low Points

Bunker: The only real drawback I see in this series is the addition of Bunker.  Right from the beginning, I could tell that he was being created specifically as a gay hero, because, well, there are just a lot of obvious stereotypes involved—his color scheme, his speech inflection, his hair.  I have absolutely no problems with gay heroes—in fact, I think there should be a lot more LGBT characters as a whole within comics—but Bunker seems to come off as being created for no other reason than to add a level of diversity to the comic.

Red Robin’s Lack of Secrecy: It was rather surprising that Tim seemed to not care who saw him with his mask off, though he was very concerned about not giving out his name to anyone.  This really is conflicting, because it’s not as if he can’t be found via a facial recognition search; all anyone has to do is input his facial features into a search algorithm and out spits his past affiliations with Bruce Wayne.  Obviously, N.O.W.H.E.R.E. already knew this much about him, so why haven’t they tried to get to him through Batman or Alfred?  In any regard, his lack of secrecy is going to end up causing him major problems down the road.

Looking Ahead

Kid Flash & Solstice: Solstice probably sees Kid Flash as a knight in fast-moving armor for rescuing her from N.O.W.H.E.R.E., but there also seems to be a genuine connection between the two.  During the time when Kid Flash was trying to keep his atoms from vibrating apart, the two shared a tender moment before being interrupted by Red Robin.  So, will more of this develop, and how will the flashbacks that Bart’s having affect such a possible relationship?

N.O.W.H.E.R.E.: Now that we know there’s more to N.O.W.H.E.R.E. than just being a global clandestine organization with nefarious intentions, just what is going on with the group?  Throughout the series, they’ve been shown as the Big Bad, the evil that Red Robin uses to rally the team against, but what exactly are they, and just how does The Colony fit into all of this?

Justice League Involvement: Thus far, there’s no involvement from anyone in the Justice League (any of them) with the Titans, but surely that won’t last for long.  If for no other reason, the League has to get involved when it concerns the unregistered and uncontrolled powers of Superboy; he’s an unknown equation in the world, and he’s already shown that he can be used for both good and bad intentions.  So, just when will the League step in and make their presence know...and how will the Titans react when the adults start trying to call the shots?





Last modified on Thursday, 27 December 2018 17:30

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