Death of the Family Review: Teen Titans #15 by Scott Lobdell, Fabian Nicieza, and Brett Booth

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Death of the Family Review:  Teen Titans #15

“Teen Scream”

Published by DC Comics

Written by Scott Lobdell and Fabian Nicieza

Art by Brett Booth

Coloured by Andrew Dalhouse

The Plot

Batgirl is answering a call made by Wonder Girl, Kid Flash, Bunker, and Solstice who she thinks is made by Red Robin.  She reveals to them that he has been abducted by the Joker and provides with some strategic coordinating in order to locate him.  Meanwhile, Red Robin awakens in his old garb while the Joker is perched high above wearing his glider wings while verbally mocking him.  Kid Flash and Solstice arrive at one of the locations (Wayon apartments) and find that the people there are getting to be restless.  The Joker continues to tell Red Robin that he knows his identity and he’s getting in his head as evidenced by Red Robin’s internal monologue.  The Joker reveals the Teen Titans to be part of his plan, which angers Red Robin.  Wonder Girl and Bunker are getting worried about not hearing from their teammates, but are then alerted by them as they are getting attacked by people affected by the Joker’s toxins.  Their struggle is then joined by some unexpected allies (much to the chagrin of Red Robin).

The Breakdown

I was interested to see other heroes get involved in this storyline, especially ones with actual meta-human powers.  Seeing their interaction with Batgirl was fun, which was accompanied by running commentary by Red Robin.  Bunker’s reaction to Batgirl was also very much in character and despite the heavy atmosphere with the Joker storyline they still maintained their light banter.  Kid Flash stopping a robbery along the way was a quick (no pun intended) and funny.  When I first saw that Kid Flash, etc. were part of Joker’s plans I was honestly ready to put the book down, but I continued on with it.  He’s been planning for so long that I can see him planning for every possible contingency.  He’s crazy…not stupid.  Also, the chalkboard was pretty amusing as well as it was both comprehensive and insane.  Red Robin’s monologue coincided (sometimes unintentionally) with the events transpiring outside of his prison, which was a nice touch.  This issue also provided a little more insight into the Joker’s plans and I actually think that Tim has a better idea of what they may be more than his Bat-peers.  There were some panels that I didn’t care for, but overall I enjoyed seeing Booth’s artwork as there were some very nice pages.  His proportions are very well done in some parts of the book, which helps make some of the pages jump out.  Dalhouse’s colours are very nice to look at as well.  They had a dark, but vibrant tone and this helped the story.  I have to say that I enjoyed the read.

BUT…

If it weren’t for the Death of the Family aspect to this story, I probably wouldn’t have bothered to try it.  I was picking this book up until the storyline when Wonder Girl (Cassie) was struggling with her armour.  I might return to this title in the future, but I still don’t like the reimagining of Cassie’s powers nor do I like how Tim’s backstory has been significantly changed.  These things still irk me and keep me from wanting to come back to buying this title on a monthly basis.  And holy splash pages Batman.  There were like 6 splash pages in this comic and a two page spread.  The actual number of splash pages could be debated, but I’m going on the lack of dialogue in some of them (even though there were additional panels) and how they were possibly constructed more for looking good visually.  That being said, the pages looked very good, but in a 20 page comic it made this book fly by a little too quickly.  I didn’t know that Batgirl’s costume had talons?

Buy It, Borrow It, Shelf Read It, or Ignore It?

Despite my continued reservations about some of effects of the reboot, I have to say Buy It.  It’s the Teen Titans first foray into Gotham City and they are truly much like fish out of water.  Red Robin has been portrayed as very calculating and driven so it was nice to see him thrown off of his game during this issue.  Sometimes I think that the Joker is bluffing and sometimes I think he genuinely knows their identities.  This issue had me leaning in one particular direction once again.  This was a solid issue overall.

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