Review: Teen Titans #6 by Scott Lobdell & Brett Booth

Teen Titans #6 
By The Light

Written by: Scott Lobdell
Pencilled by: Brett Booth
Inked by: Norm Rapmund
Colored by: Andrew Dalhouse
Lettering by: Dezi Sienty

Published by: DC
Cover Price: $2.99

Note : This review is for the digital version of the comic available from DC Comics on Comixology.

Warning! This review contains quite a few spoilers!

I try not to do review the same comic for back to back issues. I don’t always hold to that rule…I reviewed the first three issues of Animal Man in a row, but for the most part, I can’t always come up with something new to say, and I don’t want to waste the reader’s time.

Before I read my comics this week, I had only planned to review Aquaman and Archie. But after reading this issue of Teen Titans, I had a lot to say, so had to give it a review.

Summary (contains spoilers): The last issue ended up with the Titans in pretty rough shape after their battle with Superboy. This issue starts with the team almost getting arrested by Detective Lure of the New York Police Department until Skitter shows up as one hell of a distraction:

Before they can use this distraction to set up their escape, Kid Flash’s body seems to be vibrating uncontrollably. Robin decides to bring him to nearby hero he knows of for help, Virgil Hawkins AKA Static, who happens to be interning at S.T.A.R. Labs.  Virgil agrees to help.

Meanwhile, we discover that Detective Lure seems to be from the future and have some kind of connection to Kid Flash, who seems to be some kind of major criminal in the future!

Elsewhere in S.T.A.R. Labs, a powered psycho named Grymm senses the arrival of new powered teens. Skitter has wandered away from the team again, and Grymm possesses her to help him escape. We quickly learn that Grymm is another Project NOWHERE experiment. He seems to have a variety of powers including a paralyzing touch and can use people as puppets. Bunker realizes that  Grymm’s powers only extends to people’s bodies, and his powers come from his mind.  He is able to take Grymm down with a TK-powered sucker punch.

Static finishes building Kid Flash a new suit which will help keep his molecules all in line. With the team at full strength, they all seem eager for a rematch with Superboy.

Review: A few days ago, I posted a spoiler for this issue about Static being in this comic. I know it was mentioned in the solicits, but those come out months ago, and I always forget those things by the time an issue comes out. When I was rereading this comic for review, I realized Static was right on the cover. I must have completely missed that the first time i read the comic. Not much of a spoiler. I am pretty sure this will definitely happen, but I really want to see Static as as full time part of the team!

While I have really enjoyed the first five issues of Teen Titans, I really think it took a huge turn for the better in this issue. The team is finally starting to come together, some great surprises in the story (one of which might have huge implications for the Relaunch universe), and the introduction of a cool new villain, that has the potential to be Teen Titan’s Harm. That said, I did kind of think that Grymm looked a lot like Flash’s villain Murmur…

       

Last week, my colleague Pulse Glazer talked about the return of the 90’s due to guys like Scott Lobdell, Jim Lee, and Greg Capullo having such big roles as part of DC Relaunch. He definitely has a point, but when you see a great book like Teen Titans, I can’t help but think, “That is not a bad thing at all.” Back in the day, Lobdell really helped define what a team book can be to me. I loved his work on Uncanny X-Men, and he showed a tremendous handle on young characters in Generation X. In fact, part of the reason I have run New Mutants RPG’s the past ten years is because of how inspired I was by Generation X.

His work on Teen Titans has been equally as strong and inspiring. One of the biggest weaknesses I’ve seen in Relaunch is that there aren’t a lot of team books that I think really capture the team dynamic all that well. In fact, I kind of thought that was true about the early issues of Teen Titans as well. It seemed very slow to get everyone together as a team. I was enjoying the book all along, but this issue everything seems to be coming together perfectly. I can easily see this book as standing tall next to Generation X. Who knows, maybe it will inspire someone to start their own Teen Titans RPG. If anyone does, shoot me an email, I’d like to check it out.

I especially love the quick little character moments in this series. I actually laughed out loud when Kid Flash had to correct Robin about  the Titans having nothing to do with the battleship exploding in the last issue. And as I said in my spoiler update a few days ago, this is the best that Static has been written in a very long time. Virgil came across as funny, smart, and quirky. I really hope that Lobdell gets to write him more in the future.

My only real complaint with this issue was that we never really got to see Kid Flash’s new costume. That was a really bad pose they choose to show him in:

But, that is a pretty petty complaint. We already got so much in this issue, I guess they had to save something for issue 7.

Brett Booth’s designs for these characters just work so well. The only other DC book that I think is drawn anywhere near this well (not counting Animal Man’s art which is such a great fit) is Jim Lee’s work on Justice League. Not bad company to be in.

As we wrap up our sixth month of DC Relaunch, it’s really starting to shake out which books are reaching their full potential, and Teen Titans definitely deserves to be mentioned in that conversation. Lobdell and Booth are a terrific creative team, and I can’t wait to see what they have in store for us as we move towards a major crossover this summer with the other teen books. Teen Titans truly is getting better with each issue! Highly reccomended!

Final Score: 9.0 Two incredibly strong issues in a row definitely places Teen Titans among the best comics out there. It is probably the best team book DC is putting out right now!

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