Review: Teen Titans #20

Batman has no idea what he’s doing. Superman? Not a clue. Wonder Woman? Whatever. Damian Wayne is Robin, and he’s done with the bleeding-heart approach favored by the heroes of the senior circuit. New plan of action: recruit a new Teen Titans. Kid Flash, Red Arrow and newbies Roundhouse, D’jinn and…wait, Lobo has a daughter? That’ll end well. And then build something in secret deep beneath the new Teen Titans HQ. Secret from his teammates, secret from even Batman. It’s a secret that will change the way you look at Robin forever!

If there’s one thing that Teen Titans #20 does, it’s set the defining line between what was and what will be. Writer Adam Glass gives us an energetic debut issue that introduces us to new characters and builds a dynamic between them all that’s interesting and fun in a lot of ways.

Damian Wayne has been an interesting character and one I generally didn’t like when introduced. But, he’s the perfect example of a character growing over the years. We’ve seen him change and evolve. He went from the know-it-all brat with little empathy to a character who has shown some heart. He began as a brutal Robin, one you never knew how far he’d go. Today he’s fallen more into the philosophy of Batman as far as violence. That was until this issue which has the character slip back to his old self in some ways. The ending is the twist and takes an issue which has a lot of fun to it and creates a rather dark overtone to it all. Damian… well he’s rather sadistic and playing by his own rules.

The grouping of characters is fantastic with a mix of new and old. Each brings an interesting personality, and power set, that combined creates a buzz and energy about it all that’s fun. There’s solid pacing and Glass does an excellent job of giving us the background on each character while keeping the action paced well.

That’s all helped by Bernard Chang whose art is fantastic as expected. There’s a tinge of horror to the comic considering the villain and the end of the issue emphasizes that. Mixed with the at times saccharine nature of the characters, it’s an interesting shift of tone throughout and somehow makes the comic more interesting. The two aspects work together well and play off of each other in a way.

Teen Titans has been one of Rebirth’s better series though hasn’t always stood out with its own voice. This issue though sets the team, and Damian, apart in many ways and should create an interesting narrative moving forward that is sure to become rather explosive.

Story: Adam Glass Art: Bernard Chang
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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