Teen Titans #21
?WARNING: This review contains major spoilers!!?
Following a lead to the trail of The Other, the new Teen Titans ambush a fraudulently rehabilitated Gizmo in his Manhattan toy-store warehouse. Initially, the unprepared heroes are out-maneuvered by the crafty techno-villain, but Djinn and Robin ambush Gizmo, putting him out for the count. While Red Arrow chastises the group for being sloppy, Kid Flash picks up Gizmo to move out and triggers an auto-destruct sequence. While half of the team clears customers out of the storefront, the others search in vain for the bomb. Realizing the bomb is Gizmo, Kid Flash refuses to let Robin and Red Arrow sacrifice the villain for the good of the many. Djinn reveals that the ring she wears is the key to commanding her as a master, and that master can ask her to perform magic she cannot do on her own, such as possess another being. She surrenders the ring to Robin and he commands her to possess Gizmo; while in his mind, Djinn finds out that the bomb is nuclear and that he intends to die so his consciousness can be uploaded elsewhere.
Threatening him with total oblivion, Gizmo relents and releases the nuclear canister, but Kid Flash is too exhausted to run it out into the ocean. He gives it to Crush so she can hurl it out of the atmosphere, but Roundhouse explains it doesn’t have enough mass to go that far, but he does. They quickly agree, Crush hurls him into the air, and selfless Roundhouse detonates.
What a great issue! The art throughout is gorgeous and driving, the facial expressions in each panel are perfectly drawn to etch each emotional moment onto paper, can’t say enough! Glass knows how to write teen dialogue. These kids are skilled but they aren’t perfect, and their banter feels natural, sometimes awkward and always engaging. A true writer can take a story with a D-lister like Gizmo and make it physically kinetic and emotionally moving. Glass gave the artists a LOT to work within this issue and it shows. This roster is fantastic with a maturing Damian in the lead, an awkward yet skilled West flashing about and Red Arrow glaring at everything that isn’t arrowed down. Crush is an instant favorite for me, but Djinn is really an unexpected surprise, not just a mere shadow of Raven type (note, we don’t see Damian give Djinn her ring back…). Poor Roundhouse, but I have to admit I felt something baaad was going to happen to him, just not so soon. He seemed a tacked-on technophile that was only on the team to represent the “nowadays kid” to older readers. Turns out he was a real hero after all.
Red may leave the TT over this death, laying it right at Robin’s feet. That would be a real shame, and I really want to know what happens next!
Teen Titans #21: Roundhouse Rule Number one: Expect the Unexpected
Writing - 10/1010/10
Storyline - 9/109/10
Art - 10/1010/10
Color - 10/1010/10
Cover Art - 8/108/10
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