Let’s just start things off with the usual “A day late and a dollar short” banter, yes I know this review is a couple of weeks behind the issues release, and my reviews have been coming out later and later. Hopefully, things will get to a proper schedule when the next issue of Red Robin comes out, cause it’s a new storyline, and chances are, I may enjoy the book again. But this isn’t Red Robin, no, it’s the Teen Titans. Yes, it’s part two of the Teen Titans/Red Robin crossover.
To catch you up to speed the best I can:
Red Robin has been trying to take down Calculator, who is trying to take down Oracle in a different book, but that’s another story for another time, and another reviewer. Either way, that’s not mentioned here. Anyway, Red Robin goes after the Calculator, and decides he has to call in help, after three quite average issues; you can’t blame him for asking for a little help from some friends.
Teen Titans has just recently been revamped with a new creative team of JT Krul, mostly known as the writer of Green Arrow and Blackest Night: Titans mini-series, and artist Nicola Scott, known for her work with Gail Simone on the first few issues of Secret Six, Wonder Woman, and Birds of Prey. However, upon inspection, this crossover got Georges Jeanty as a fill in, Georges is best known for drawing Buffy for Dark Horse, and the worst issue of Return of Bruce Wayne, the cowboy issue, so that’s nice.
The book, from what I’ve read, has been a book of two halves, the half with the actual villains and storyline has been utter garbage, I don’t care about these villains and they mean nothing to me, and Krul is giving me no reason to care. The team on the other hand, has been complete crap, bar Damian Wayne as the team’s new Robin. He brings a new light into the series, and is fun and charming and the scenes with him in the book have been enjoyable. Slight spoiler to now mention that this book ruins the one thing I enjoyed about it, but we’ll get to that later.
Right that was a slightly uninteresting recap of the series, now for my spiel on crossovers:
I love them when done right. I hate them when they are done wrong. You want a good crossover, read the recent issues of Green Lantern where Barry Allen shows up, he is written in character and it is an interesting interaction. You want to see a bad crossover, try Doom Patrol/Secret Six, a book, I reviewed recently, and absolutely hated, as nobody felt like themselves, and I couldn’t care less about either team in the end.
Well, you’ve read all that, time to reward you with your review/recap of the book:
We will start with the bland cover; it’s just the team on the cover looking around as if they are surrounded by something boring. Yes, I know that’s what happened at the end of Red Robin where the team was surrounded by Calculator robots, but this cover feels less like a comic cover, and more like a crappy commission you’d ask a cheap artist to do you at a con. “So who do you want on the cover?” “TEEN TITANS!” “What do you want them doing?” “TEEN TITANS!” “So, just them on the cover. How about hitting a villain?” “TEEN TITANS!” and so on.
We then open to an 8 panel spread contrasting Tim and Damian and there ways of taking the robots down, I feel I should mention the art here and say, it is poor. It is very generic, and the splash page that follows is just too busy for my liking, yes I get all the Titans have to be featured, but it could have been done a lot better.
We follow this up with a weird conversation between Conner and Tim “You’ll always be my Robin” and Tim replying you’ll always be my clone boy. That’s nice, it really adds a lot to the scene and shows that these two are the BFF’s for life. Excuse me while I pretend that to care about this. Nope, not happening, let’s carry on. The team takes care of the calculator robots quite easily, rendering the cliff-hanger from the last issue worthless and they head into the club to kick back and have a few drinks, or stop the Calculator, who is hiding beneath the club, one of the two.
The team then find Calculator, who reveals that he has more robots! Yes! Cause that last fight wasn’t as dull as watching cricket players drink lemonade on their days off. We are then reminded, in case you either forgot, or like me, didn’t want to read the Teen Titans before now, that under Wonder Girl the team has lost quite a few members, including Calculator's son, who was killed by Wonder Dog. Which is around the 60 issue mark for the series, and written by Sean McKeever, and if you can find those issues cheap, then pick them up, and throw them in the trash and just read the synopsis of the Wonder Twins on Wikipedia. Trust me; you’ll thank me later for saving your time.
We next follow this up with several pages of robot fighting, which I know sounds fun and awesome, but here it’s just so bland you won’t want to see another giant robot fight for a while. Robin goes up to Calculator and stabs him through the chest. Instead of this being a tense turn the page moment, it is thrown away at the top of the page and revealed two panels later that Damian knew that this Calculator was a robot, and of course he wouldn’t have killed the real thing. *Wink*
Now that the Calculator robot is defeated the team turns their attention to high-fiving each other as Damian announces “Screw you guys…I’m going home” and about faces it back to Gotham proclaiming “You’ve already got a Robin…” and Tim lets Damian know he should lighten up a little, and Damian shouts back “…I tried” The issue ends with Dick narrating that Damian’s short time with the Titans made him a better Robin, and Damian says “I already have a friend here in Gotham…I don’t need more” What a nice ending to a crappy story.
Where do I start with my annoyances? Ok here:
Art here was bloody awful, I can’t say that enough times, Jeanty was awful on BTROBW #4, and he was bad here too.
Writing was bland, who has a giant robot fight followed up by another giant robot fight, and then ends with a robot fight, and yet somehow makes it all feel dull and lifeless?
My biggest issue was the ending, Damian was the only thing I really liked about this new Titans reboot, and although he sadly wasn’t enough to make me pick up the book regularly, as I still don’t give two about the rest of the team, I felt he was a fresh voice, and made the team feel fun and new. With Tim back on the team, or so it seems, we’re back to the old status quo, and fans who cried “Bring Tim back! Tim will make it better!” get their wish. And to you fans I ask, will having Red Robin on the book provide new interesting storylines, or will the book just remain as bland as it has been since Geoff Johns left a few years ago? Will the artist suddenly bother enough to do the second part of a crossover that they were solicited for? Will the book suddenly be that must buy book that people claim it was under Johns?
If you can answer yes to any of those questions, leave me a comment below.
This book was a chore to read, and the only reason I’d recommend picking it up, or the previous three issues of Red Robin, which have led up to this, would be to give them to someone you really hate, cause I’m being honest, this whole storyline has been bland, and though I may have liked the Unternet issue of Red Robin a lot, this storyline has been bland at best, and awful at worst, so when the time comes for you to go to the comic shop, and pick up some books. Give these issues a miss. You and your wallet will thank me later.
Teen Titans #92:
Reviewed by Suavestar