Reading the Teen Titans is making it increasingly clear that Will Pfeifer is attempting to reach a very specific audience through his writing. In this instance, that audience is very young adults. This is to be expected with a book that has the word teen in its title. However, at times the pop culture references and social commentary feel forced upon the reader and subsequently out of place.
This week’s entry into the series opens with a group of young people celebrating the conclusion of a school semester with a handful of experimental drugs. These drugs are unique in that they don’t offer the user a traditional high, rather, they grant super powers. These drugs had been smuggled out of S.T.A.R. labs, the same lab that is trying to recruit the Teen Titans to become an extension of the lab’s endeavors.
In the absence of Wonder Girl, the remaining members of the Teen Titans debate the pros and cons of forming an alliance with S.T.A.R. labs. In response to suspicions of the lab’s intentions, Red Robin sends Beast Boy on a reconnaissance mission to uncover any ulterior motives that Manchester Black may be harboring.
Meanwhile, Wonder Girl is struggling to discuss her current lifestyle choices with her mother. Pfeifer does a great job writing organic dialogue between Wonder Girl and her mother. It is nice to see members of the team experiencing real world growing pains while still bearing the burden of saving the world. In other words, although they are super heroes, the Teen Titans are still humans who are susceptible to the struggles of everyday life. The dialogue soon morphs into action as one of the drug induced super heroes falls from the roof of a building that Wonder Girl happens to be walking under.
After saving one of our newly found heroes from the fall, Wonder Girl quickly learns that not all people want to be saved. The band of drug users have determined that their new found powers will be used not to help others, rather, they intend to become super villains. Realizing that they have a legitimate superhero on their hands, the plan is to video tape the defeat of Wonder Girl and become internet sensations. With the assistance of her Teen Titan counterparts, Wonder Girl and the gang are able to quickly subdue their opponents. In order to avoid complete spoilers, I will leave the last few pages of the book for the reader to explore on their own terms. However, I will say that I am very excited to see where this new plot point will lead the Teen Titans.
We leave this issue with more questions than answers. The art in the book is consistent will all of the previous issues in this series. Although there are a few unnecessary clichés, Will Pfeifer continues to breathe life into each of the story’s primary characters. I have thoroughly enjoyed Raven being used more frequently to drive the story forward and am hopeful that Pfeifer will continue to develop this character in the future. This series is full of potential but only time will tell if the creative team can make it a mainstay in the DC Universe.