Lobo is not a nice guy. In fact, he's kind of a bastich! And thanks to Lex Luthor, he has the means to mentally control his daughter, Crush - whether she likes it or not!
But the Teen Titans don't know that. All they know - or think they know - is that Crush is raging out of control thanks to Djinn being imprisoned in her ring!
Can Robin, Red Arrow, and Kid Flash discover the truth? Or will they be forced to fight their friend to a standstill?!
Writer Adam Glass is not taking it easy on the Teen Titans. At all. Since taking over this book and overhauling the team, scarcely an issue has gone by where the kids aren’t being beat on, betrayed, or fighting one another in some capacity. Case in point: for the second time in five issues, Lobo is responsible for handing the team an @$$-beating… and Lobo is a guy who can go toe-to-toe with Superman!
Shanghaied for the show is Crush, unwitting puppet of her sadistic father. Glass has somewhat wavered on her allegiances; her fits of anger and propensity toward going it alone have been belied by the fact that she not only has romantic yearnings toward Djinn, but deep down cares about her teammates as well (well, maybe not Damian, but at this point none of his teammates care much about him. Don’t worry, he’s earned their disdain).
This all makes for fun comics-reading, but it’s also exhausting. Glass has done a pretty good job in the last year and a half giving these kids some quiet moments, and it shows – we as readers care about them because Glass has been smart enough to create space for humanity between the outbursts of chaos and devastation. It’s because of this that Teen Titans stands head and shoulders above the pack, and proudly follows in the human-centric super-team traditions of Claremont and Wolfman (the latter so long as no one marries their creepy college professor, but I digress).
The plot isn’t the most wholly original – a hero being secretly controlled by a villain and forced to fight their teammates – but thanks to the care and love put into the personalities of these kids by Glass, that takes a back seat. Rule number one of writing: if the readers don’t care about the characters, they won’t care about the story regardless of how big and amazing it is. Glass is wise enough to know this, especially with his resume as a producer on such strongly-written shows as Supernatural. Fortunately, he has a very willing and capable co-conspirator in artists Bernard Chiang and Marcelo Maiolo. The former is a master of conveying body language and blocking scenes; the former renders mood for days with his coloring prowess. This really is a can’t-miss comic, especially if you’re a fan of human-centric, old-school superhero team comics.
Teen Titans continues to be one of the freshest, best-written comics on the stands when it comes to character-driven superhero drama. This issue is no exception!
Teen Titans #36: All in the Family
Writing - 8.5/108.5/10
Storyline - 7/107/10
Art - 8/108/10
Color - 7/107/10
Cover Art - 8/108/10
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