Overview: Beast Boy connects with Joran and her Pixie/Neverland technology and helps to influence other teens in accepting Pixie. The Teen Titans try to reason with Gar but end up facing an army of Pixie-controlled teens and Beast Boy.
Synopsis (spoilers ahead): The issue opens with a brief backstory of Garth having a run in with a monkey when he was a child but being saved from his parents. The memory is revealed to be apart of the Neverland dreamscape that Beast Boy is using to relive a pleasant memory. At this time, he is still in the forest with Joran discussing how best to bring the remarkable technology to the bullied and downtrodden in the world.
Back at Titans Tower, Aqualad and Raven’s relationship continues to grow as they rebuild the circuitry in the team’s jet. Robin appears and offers some insight about the implant they recovered from the culprit behind the bus attack. Despite the teen’s history of being bullied as an acceptable motive, Damian hypothesizes that the boy was mind controlled. After a brief search on the Dark Web, Robin finds an invite to Neverland’s release and decides the team will go undercover.
At a theater in town, Gar gets prepped for the show with Joran. Joran begins to take on her “digital” form but Beast Boy convinces her that her true form is the one that will inspire their audience to follow her and utilize her technology. She agrees and rides Beats Boy (now her “show pony”) out onto the stage to address the masses. In the crowd, the shocked Titans are still reeling from Gar’s involvement. While Joran and Gar instruct the willing audience members to inhale the implant, Damian gets into position.
After a brief struggle, Robin is able to get Beast Boy backstage. He accuses him of being a traitor to which Gar only accuses Robin of being a bully. The team attempts to lend their voices but Joran enters and begins to turn all the audience members with implants, including Beast Boy, against the Teen Titans.
Analysis: As part two to this story arc, we get to see Joran reveal her true nature to the Teen Titans. Despite good artwork and on point character dialogue, the issue still felt lacking in the motives behind our main “villain”. We get an idea that these children behind the Neverland technology have been bullied and persecuted for being different but that does not yet explain why they have developed an all-powerful mind control device.
As previously stated, the dialogue between characters feels authentic and true to character. Admittedly unfamiliar with Aqualad and Raven’s past, it felt natural to see these two developing their relationship. At the opposite end is the stern and harsh Damien whose directives to the team are delivered in his pompous and arrogant style.
As the focus is on Beast Boy for this arc, it felt odd that we did not get more insight into why he would be interested in this new dreamscape technology. Understandably he misses his parents but the prime targets for these implants are alienated youth who are just different. Beast Boy is, of course, different in appearance but his popularity and celebrity status in the Rebirth era does not make his choice to implant the device connect with a real motive. It just feels as if he already has a pretty good life as a superhero and social media “influencer” despite some squabbles with his teammates.
Final Thoughts: Overall, I just feel that the motive for the story feels lacking as Beast Boy does not seem to fit the stereotype of a suitable candidate for the Neverland technology. At this point, it feels that the rest of the arc will just be an action piece to release Gar from Joran’s hold and destroy the implants which is a little disappointing but the next issue could still hold a surprise.