Teen Titans #88 Review
- Published on Monday, 01 November 2010 04:31
- Written by Kevin
Ever since Geoff Johns left this title, Teen Titans has fallen flat. No writer since Johns' run has been able to make this title something that I want to read. But, now DC seems to have taken some measures to change that by bringing on J.T. Krul to write the book. While I have not liked Krul’s work on Green Arrow he did impress me with the Blackest Night: Titans that he wrote last year. He showed a very good understanding of the Teen Titans. I hope that continues as he starts his run on this title with this issue. Now let’s check out Teen Titans #88.
Writer: J.T. Krul
Artist: Nicola Scott
Inker: Doug Hazlewood
Colorist: Jason Wright
Story Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7.5 Night Girl out of 10
Synopsis: At a local high school, a teacher recruits one of his students telling him he could make him stronger. When they get to the teacher’s lab, the teacher puts on his disguise. After hooking up his student to a machine, ala Frankenstein’s monster, the teacher reveals his true name as Professor Caligan.
Meanwhile, in San Francisco the Teen Titans are fighting some vampire looking people calling themselves the Feral Boys. After taking the Feral Boys down the team goes back to Titans Tower.
At Titans Tower, Beast Boy and Wonder Girl try to get more info on the Feral Boys and discuss having Ravager back on the team. In another part of the Tower, Superboy asks Kid Flash what he is doing and Kid Flash says that he is writing everything he knows from the future down before he loses those memories. In her room, Raven is meditating and is able to sense all of her teammate’s emotions (much like a Black Lantern).
Back in Titans Tower, Wonder Girl tells Superboy how she can not think straight while he is out on the field and that maybe they should take a break. The alarm to the Tower’s security sounds and all of the Titans run towards the meeting room. Once they get there they see Batman and Robin with Batman introducing the team to Damian. End of issue.
The Good: J.T. Krul got his run started off with a very solid issue. Teen Titans #88 felt like a return to form for this title. If this issue is an example of how his run on this title will be than there is no doubt that Teen Titans will go back to being as fun as it was when Geoff Johns was writing the title.
As he showed in his the Blackest Night: Titans mini-series, Krul demonstrated that he has a good understanding of how to write a team book. Krul made a wise choice to go back to a very similar roster that Johns had by having Wonder Girl, Superboy, Kid Flash, Ravager, Beast Boy, and Raven. This is a very good mix of different characters and power sets.
Each character on the team brings something different to the table. Instead of having a bunch of characters that is just meshed together every character has a role to play on the team. Superboy is the powerhouse; Kid Flash is the speedster; Beast Boy is the transformer; Raven is your psychic-type; Ravager is the badass hand-to-hand fighter; and Wonder Girl is the leader. Krul plays up each character's role well except for Wonder Girl, which I’ll get to my problems with her character later.
I am especially happy that Ravager is back on the team. She made a great addition to the team back when during the One Year Later team. She brings a Wolverine-type to a team of teenagers as she is the one character on the team that will do what her teammates will not. Every good team needs that type of character. It was a good move by Krul to use Wonder Girl to say that they needed Ravager considering the tension between Wonder Girl and Ravager in the past.
Also, I liked the short scene between Superboy and Kid Flash. It has been a while since I have seen these characters interact with one another and the scene between the two reminded me how much I liked these two characters. Krul does a nice job highlighting the fact that these two are best friends and it made me wish that Tim was in the scene.
It was interesting to see Kid Flash writing down all of the things he knows from the future down before he forgets it. It will be interesting to see how Krul ties this sub-plot into future issues as it seems like it will be an important part to his run.
The most surprising part of this issue for me was how well Krul wrote Dick Grayson as Batman and Damian as Robin. Krul did a very good job making Dick not sound like Bruce, which is how a lot of the non-Batman writers write him, and showed that he is looking to be a mentor to Damian. I like that Dick quickly identified Damian need to have friends so that he is not consumed by all the dark things he is around like Bruce and Jason Todd allowed themselves to.
With Damian on the team things should be very interesting especially since Tim is still around as Red Robin. I look forward to seeing how Damian interacts with the various members on the team and how Tim will react to the news of Damian is on the Teen Titans.
I was very impressed with Nicola Scott’s artwork in this issue. This is my first exposure to her art and I liked it a lot. What really amazed me the most of Scott’s artwork was how she was actually able to draw the each member like actual teens. To many times in titles with teens in them, especially characters that are 18, artist tend to draw them either too young or look like they are in their mid-twenties. Scott does a nice job showing that these are still teenagers. She also does a solid job with the short action scene she got to draw and look forward to seeing what she can do with some bigger action sequences.
The Bad: While Krul does a great job writing most of the characters on the team the one character he fails with is Wonder Girl. Krul did not do a good job showing her as someone who should be leading a team of superheroes. Instead, she just seemed to be someone that is over her head and is only the leader because the team does not have someone like Dick or Tim or even Cyborg on the team that knows how to be a leader
And ever since One Year Later Wonder Girl has been one of the least likable characters in the DCU with her whole emo attitude. Though it was somewhat understandable why she had that attitude since she lost her boyfriend, but now with Connor back she has not changed. No matter what she seems to be able to find a negative in whatever situation she is in and it is old.
Also, I am not a big fan of the vampire-esque villains that Krul decided to go with for his first story arc with the Feral Boys and Professor Caligan. I am so tired, like many people, of the vampire craze and the vampire villains are just an uncreative way to go with for villains. Also, Caligan’s design was not the greatest with his robe and would have preferred going with another villain or maybe even re-establishing The H.I.V.E as a serious organization.
Overall: Teen Titans #88 was a solid read. Outside of a few minor complaints that keep this issue from being great, Teen Titans #88 was a very good start to a run. I look forward to see what Krul and Scott have in store for the team especially with Damian joining the team as a member and the Robin of the team. He should definitely bring in a cool dynamic to the team. If you are a Teen Titans fan then I recommend picking this issue up, even if you have not read this title in a while. This is a very new reader friendly issue. As someone who has not picked up this title for a few years I am now excited to pick this title up on a regular basis again.