Teen Titans #18 Review

Written by: Greg Pak

Art by: Ian Churchill and Tom Denerick

PublisheR: DC Comics

Teen Titans has had a pretty troubled life in the new 52, between continuity problems and just bad writing it’s been a tough time for the team. Titans Hunt has done a good job at righting the ship and creating a book for Titans fans that have been burned, and it seems DC are hoping to do the same for Teen Titans by placing Greg Pak on the book, one of my personal favourite writers. Unfortunately, it all seems too little too late, as Teen Titans #18 mostly feels boring, confused and plainly not worth your time.

This arc has revolved around Wonder Girl attempting to find out more about her origin and family, while this sounds good on paper given the character’s pretty convoluted history, the fact that she manages to be completely unlikable stopped me from getting at all invested in the story. She ignores her teammates trusting instead someone totally new to her, simply because she feels like she’s a special snowflake meant for something more. The team then get relegated to simply sitting back and doing nothing while the majority of the issue spends time giving exposition on Azzerelo’s Wonder Woman run. On that point, while that is a fantastic run and it momentarily raised my interests, I can’t imagine anyone solely reading this book will care at all, and it’s woven pretty badly into the narrative. We’re simply told what happened and not given any reason to care why, so unless you’ve already read that run it’ll feel pointless (it still might even if you have, since this is nowhere near the quality of that run).

By the end of the issue, I felt the plot had gone nowhere, the issue is made up entirely of some poor exposition, useless characters and a fight scene with a giant snake. At no point did i feel enthused or drawn into what was going on, it felt very by the numbers and pedestrian, a real shame given how Pak is usually a fantastic character writer. There was no heart to this whatsoever, I felt no enthusiasm in the script or any sort of creative spark. There’s nothing overly offensive on display here to make me mad, but then there’s nothing that actually gets me excited or gives me things I want to talk about. It’s offensively inoffensive.

In terms of art, Ian Churchill puts in a decent attempt with some good character models, but so often there’s absolutely nothing in the background making me very confused as to where things were happening and why. Some faces are also a little weirdly done too, with some of the reactions not really matching what’s happening in fight scenes. Again, there’s nothing in the art to make me actively condemn it, but then there’s nothing that would make me want to run out and buy the issue either. What I can say at least is that Tony Avina provides some pleasant to look at colors, lots of bright primary colors that at least give a little bit of shine to the art which are an improvement on the previous runs strict red, black and yellow colors.

I feel like I’ve been harsh towards Teen Titans #18, but the book feels so soulless that I really can’t say anything else. It seems they’ve waited too long to try and fix the seemingly doomed property, and honestly should’ve just waited until Rebirth before putting a new team in place. It’s bland, boring and really not worth your time. Skip it, and either check out Titans Hunt or hope the relaunch can offer something better.