“The Audition” opens with the Titans searching for their missing leader. The team split up over the area of the zoo looking for Tim with no luck. Raven, who is searching below ground sees a psychic echo of a struggle. She sees that Tim was grabbed by men in uniform but she is not able to identify the uniforms of Tim’s attackers and suggests that she teleport the team out of the city before these men come back for them.
The team gather together in the New Jersey Palisades. They debate what their actions should be, should they break Tim out wherever he is or should they just turn themselves in. Cassie suggests contacting Batman for help. Gar scoffs at that idea but when pressed for a better idea, he does not have one. Without Tim they appear to have no answers.
In Belle Reve, Amanda Waller continues to talk to the captive Red Robin. Waller is auditioning the Teen Titans to join her Suicide Squad. Tim tells her that they do not fit her profile, they are better than she thinks. Waller just tells him that the Titans are panicking without their leader. Waller is determined to prove to Tim that the Teen Titans have lost their way and that they belong to the Suicide Squad. She activates Tim’s distress beacon to lure the Titans in to find out what they are made of.
Still in New Jersey, the team starts to remove the camouflage from Tim’s plane and wait for the Red Robin arrest announcement. Tanya starts to examine the equipment in the plane when she finds a blip on the map. The location is Belle Reve Supermax Prison for Metahumans in Louisiana. Tanya remembers the prison because she prototyped some hardware for them when she worked at S.T.A.R. Labs. Raven wants to waste no time and get Tim out and teleports the team to Louisiana.
Once outside the gates of Belle Reve, Tanya reveals that she worked on counter-measures for metahuman power sets. For example, psionic chaff for telepaths, tactical foam for speedsters and quantum scramblers for magic users. The weapons are designed to exploit a specific vulnerability and she wonders if they switch up the targets then what would happen and she starts to formulate a plan of attack.
At the Exercise Yard 3, the guards are there faced with the sudden appearance of the Titans magic user, Raven. They blast her with a weapon to scramble her magic but instead are face to face with a suddenly growing Power Girl. The weapon just gave her a headache and she takes the guards out. All this is being watched by Waller and Tim.
In Level 1: South Wing, four guards are faced with Bunker throwing his psionic bricks. One of the guards fires his psionic counter-measure but the blast is deflected by the sudden appearance of Wonder Girl. When the guards try to engage Cassie, Raven appears behind them and attacks, incapacitating them.
Waller is impressed. Tim insists that there are lines that they will not cross. Waller is sure that the stakes will increase when she gives the order to use deadly force against the Titans.
In the showers, Beast Boy emerges from a toilet. His mission is to find the location of Red Robin. A guard in the cafeteria detects a metahuman and surmises that it is the shape shifter. He orders the others to be ready to swat anything green. Beast Boy calls for help and the other Titans arrive. The guard grabs Gar who is a lizard and he transforms into a crocodile. Raven is blasted by one of the weapons and she collapses looking like she is dead.
Waller says that she will cancel the kill order but she wants to see what they will do without Red Robin. Beast Boy goes after the guard with the discharged weapon, destroying the weapon and turning on the guard. The guard says that the Heisenberg Canon is a highly unstable probability splitter and they need to contain the breach. Tanya asks Bunker to use his psionic bricks to contain the breach, which works. Beast Boy finds that Raven is alright. The leader, Captain Blair orders all units to stand down. The Titans are innocent.
Waller threatens to charge the men with insubordination. Tim suggests that she transfer them to better paying jobs instead. He stands up showing that he is out of the handcuffs as the Titans arrive. Waller tells them to stay out of trouble and Tim responds that trouble is always looking for them. Next issue “Kicking the Hive”.
This issue was one of the best issues of this series. It shows the team acting as a team and using their intelligence as well as their power to find Red Robin.
I believe that Tim is shown in a good light here as well. He is confident and capable. He was able to free himself and I did not see the emo Tim that I have reading lately. The team themselves behaved admirably without Tim actually getting Amanda Waller to be impressed as well as realizing that they do not belong with her Suicide Squad.
My only concern is that I just wish it didn’t take this long to get a better Tim Drake.