Adam Glass, writer
Bernard Chang, pencils
Marcelo Maiolo, colors
Rob Leigh, letters
The issue begins, Damian is recovering from a beat down by Red Hood, as seen in Titans Annual #1. Djinn, a fellow member of the Teen Titans with powers to heal, offers to help. Meanwhile, Red Arrow and Crush relate to each other, taking a walk, while acknowledging their rage and how easily it can be triggered in each of them. At the same time, Kid Flash goes with Billy, a.k.a. Roundhouse, to Billy’s home where his mother greets him by his given name: Xiao Boa Bei. Each one of the duos shares a special moment together in their own way as they bond around the things that brought them to be a part of the Teen Titans. The issue ends with a cliffhanger, a long time adversary of the Teen Titans is released from Arkham!
This was an entertaining issue because of the character development moments shared by the team. These character-building moments happen in pairs, which increases the intimacy. For example, Djinn meets with Robin to support him. She shares a story with him about how she was rejected by her family, enslaved by her brother to do evil deeds, and then given her freedom. Like Robin, Djinn has painful regrets from past mistakes that plague her with guilt. Red Arrow counsels Crush who’s pissed by recent events: Robin and Djinn going off alone together. The two relate about ways they can channel their rage and be of use to the team. The dialogue and situations feels like teenager drama but with teeth. These are super-powered individuals who are striving to be a part of a team whose goal is to save the world from villains.
The most entertaining situation is Roundhouse and Kid Flash eating dinner with Roundhouse’s mother. She brings up several difficult subjects showing no shame at all: race, her daughter’s death, and referencing the Teen Titans as “junior heroes” in comparison to the Justice League. However, the uncomfortable situation transitions to a heart-to-heart between the young heroes afterward at which time Roundhouse shares a deep and personal secret he’s been keeping: the event that gave him his superpowers killed his sister.
Overall = 9/10
This is a coming of age story that focuses on the challenging situations in relationships that teenagers face. Each duo tackles a different issue around important issues like identity, managing emotions, overcoming past loss, and trusting each other. I highly recommend this book to fans of this genre of books and for fans of the Teen Titans.