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‘Teen Titans #22’ (review)

Written by Adam Glass
Illustrated by Bernard Chang
Published by DC Comics

 

“I’m the fastest kid alive… but I couldn’t even move. Red Arrow is right. I’ve got blood on my hands.”

 

Poor Kid Flash. Wallace West is having a rough time. Hell, if he has to spend much more time around his team-mates right now, he may just about lose his damn mind.

But what’s he even doing with this crew in the first place?

Sure, he’s got anger he’s been working through. Enough for any kid who wants to hang with the wrong crowd.  But for all that he’s put on a good show of being disaffected, he’s not.

Not really.

And with the events of last issue, it’s looking like that veneer of cool may be about to crumble.

Not like the others.

Talk about cool – the way they’re all handling Roundhouse’s death is all but downright cold. Damian’s only concern is how it reflects on his leadership, Red Arrow has gone full-on Drill Sergeant B, Crush just wants to live in the moment and move on already, and Djinn is eerily, unflappably metaphysical about it all.

It’s all coping mechanism of course (well, except for Djinn maybe), but Wallace isn’t near as able to operate from the kind of emotional damage the rest of these kids are swimming in. For maybe the first time in his young career, Kid Flash finds he can’t keep up.

And maybe he doesn’t want to.

It’s a good thing for him to recognize, and us too. Hopefully going forward it’ll give him something to think about. If there is a forward.

One thing though, a death in the family gives us our young team a damn good excuse for some desperately needed training practice. As Red Arrow is happy to prove by tearing up the court with everyone in a classic don’t underestimate the non-powered team member sequence that serves up another big slice of humble-pie to the menu.

Well, for everyone but Robin anyway. Robin’s busy.

But hey, Crush may yet decide she actually likes this bunch. Good thing Emiko’s got all her professional boundaries in check. Djinn meanwhile may have some lingering effects from her magical subservience to Damian in last issue to deal with. But hey what’s a good team teen book without lots of confusing romantic tension?

All in all, another well-crafted book from Mssrs. Adam Glass and Bernard Chang, complete with two villains, one old, one new, a surprising (and somewhat familiar-looking) appearance of a co-conspirator for Robin, and a bit more about the increasingly Kaiser Souzza-sounding crime lord The Other to whet our appetite.

Oh, and another surprise twist too, one that makes me pleased as punch. What up, indeed…

Must come down.

Next Issue: From Gotham, with love.

 

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