Reviewer: John Babos
Story Title: Wednesday
Written by: Geoff Johns
Penciled by: Tom Grummett
Inked by: Nelson and Kevin Conrad
Colored by: Jeromy Cox
Lettered by: Comicraft
Associate Editor: Tom Palmer Jr.
Editor: Eddie Berganza
Publisher: DC Comics
What do teenage superheroes do on the weekends? They hang with the Teen Titans!
That’s the premise for the current ultra-hot incarnation of DC’s storied Teen Titans franchise. However, “It” writer Geoff Johns joins with guest-penciler Tom Grummett, of 1990’s Titans fame, to give readers a taste of what Titans do when they’re not Titans. With the exception of Robin who has his own ongoing title, this issue really gives a sample of the daily “average” lives of Superboy and Kid Flash, who both used to anchor ongoing series, although the latter under the different nom de guerre of Impulse, and fellow Young Justice alumni Wondergirl. In addition, we see the 1980’s Titans alumni and current team mentors, Starfire, Cyborg, and Beast Boy (formerly Changeling), struggle with their lives too.
Superboy, a.k.a. Conner Kent and resident Titans clone, struggles with the slower pace of life in Smallville Kansas as well as grappling with his dueling internal impulses â€” the good of Superman and all the bad of uber-villain Lex Luthor.
Kid Flash, a.k.a. Bart Allen, and his new-found “smarts” causes him some problems at school with teachers assuming that he’s cheating on tests that he’s acing â€” 100% perfect test results. Can you imagine? He has to purposely get questions wrong on exams to try to stay under the radar at school. Rough life!
Robin, a.k.a. Tim Drake, may well be one of the greatest detectives in the DC Universe, but he doesn’t know what he wants to do with his life outside of superheroing in the future. A lawyer? A doctor? A teacher? Something else?
Starfire, a.k.a. Koriand’r, spends her “off-days” cultivating an alien garden outside of Titans tower, while Beast Boy, a.k.a. Gar Logan, spends his time on a budding acting career. So, what does team leader Cyborg, a.k.a. Victor Stone, do during the week when the “kids” are in school or otherwise occupied? He hangs out in Titans Tower. Eh. Not so exciting. Our fearless leader needs a L-I-F-E!
The issue also shows Deathstroke the Terminator, a.k.a. Slade Wilson, and my fave DC character next to Captain Marvel and Green Arrow, grapple with the outcome of the last Titans arc that had him controlled by his thought-to-be-dead son Jericho, a.k.a. Joseph Wilson, and executing his long-time confidante, Major William Randolf Wintergreen. I really will miss Wintergreen. He was a very nice and sobering touch in Deathstroke’s 1990’s ongoing series. He will be remembered fondly.
Tom Grummett’s guest pencils are a welcome part of an issue that also sets up the next major Titans arc that seemingly revolves around another 1980’s Titans alumnus, Raven, and a revamped rogue in Brother Blood â€” as revealed in a recent issue of this book’s sister title, the Outsiders.
This was a nice character-driven story that serves a break in the non-stop action and epic feel of the first half-year’s worth of Teen Titans issues. It’s a “rest issue” that adds layers to the personalities of the core teen-heroes, particularly Superboy, and foreshadows future developments involving Deathstroke and his daughter, Rose Wilson. Well done.