Published on July 25th, 2018 | by Mark McKechnie
Teen Titans #20 Review
Summary: A great starting point for new readers.
Set it Off Part 1
This is the first issue of a new beginning for the Teen Titans. Damian Wayne is establishing a new team with a new mission.
The issue features three different covers. A standard cover, and two variants. The primary cover features the team on and around a car. Robin, as the leader, is front and center. The team stands out on a stark white background and look very much like a collection of misfits, Roundhouse and Crush sticking out in particular.
The first of the variant covers features the team standing over what is likely the ruins of the old Titans headquarters, the damaged T underfoot. The second variant features concept art for Crush. The character stands front and center on the page with a white background. She appears in additional sketches all around the page in various states of completion.
Bernard Chang handles the interior art duties on this book and has put together a very smooth book. The Titans all look good. Lines are clean, colours are bright yet match the tones of darker scenes, and the art supports the story well. Each character is distinct and clearly distinctive, both in colouring, and how they’re drawn. The backgrounds are very well detailed as well. Descriptions of scenes aren’t necessary as the artwork provides all the visuals plain to the naked eye.
This issue, while action packed, is primarily the story of how Damian Wayne(Robin) built the new Titans team. Each character gets a page introduction showing how they were recruited as well as details of what Robin thinks of them and why he is recruiting them. Save Roundhouse, he seems to hold the team in high esteem and praises their abilities. He has recruited a diverse team: Kid Flash, the Speedster, Red Arrow, the ex-assassin, Crush, the daughter of Lobo, Djinn, the magic user, and Roundhouse, the human wrecking ball and the only member not chosen by Robin.
The issue begins with the team attempting to save a young girl and take down Brother Blood. The battle is fast paced and gives each character a chance to sign. Each character takes a page of focus to coincide with the order they were recruited onto the team. This serves as a great method to showcase the abilities of the team, as well as keeping things moving. Adam Glass pens an issue that grabs you quickly and pulls you along on the ride. The issue hints at Damian being up to something, but with the pacing one doesn’t actually get a chance to think about it until the reveal at the end of the issue.
This new Titans lineup has a lot of potential to have a fun run. Glass has penned a great issue that is hard to put down. It’s a quick read, and not in a bad way. As well, as this is the first issue with the new team, it’s a great jumping on point for someone that doesn’t usually follow this series. The team looks to have an interesting dynamic, with chaotic elements like Crush and Roundhouse contrasting with more orderly figures like Red Arrow and Kid Flash. The issue also doesn’t wait long to reveal what Robin is actually up to, and the payoff of that reveal is a great cliff hanger to ensure that readers will want to come back. It’s going to be really, really interesting to see what happens when the rest of the team finds out what he’s up to.
This issue is a great starting point for new readers and is a fast-paced and fun read. 4 out of 5 stars.