TEEN TITANS 23: SCOTT LOBDELL AND ROBSON ROCHA
THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS
This issue of Titans is an uninteresting one. Lobdell skimps on the revelation of Bart’s origin. Readers can scoff as the young superheroes ignore their problems and just kiss each other. Really, issue #23 simply continues a lackluster comic run, to no one’s surprise. However, Lobdell does decide to trim the fat on the team, cutting the redundant diversity hire, Bunker.
Let’s face it. Bunker was a character unnecessary to the comic. On the team, there are currently three comic relief personalities; Beast Boy, Kid Flash, and Bunker. Two of these characters’ powers are well-explained and have, at least before the New 52, deep and interesting back-stories and large fan bases. One character gets less page space than Bat-mite, and his name is Bunker.
When he shows up, Bunker attempts to be funny, preferably with some Spanish mixed in, and the comic does its best to recover from that low point. The only character development we receive is that Bunker is an overly positive individual, without any reason behind it. We also learn that he is both homosexual and Mexican, but those labels do nothing but spawn knee-jerk reactions from readers, which is neither interesting nor beneficial for the run. Obviously, any character can be any race or sexual orientation, but Bunker felt included BECAUSE he was gay and Latino, not because he had a good story to tell. His character didn’t reach much further beyond that, and though I’m sad I never learned to like him, cutting him is the second best alternative.
There is some interesting development from Wonder Girl in this issue, where she overcomes stereotypical gender boundaries through admitting her lust for Red Robin. She doesn’t claim to love or depend on anyone’s opinion, she is a person who knows and does what she wants. Lobdell would do well to give her more page space from now on, because it feels like she is the only character he can write consistently well.
The art from Rocha is good, without any surprises. Solid art all around, but here and there, the faces of the characters seem a little off. Rocha gets the job done, however, and it makes for a rather good looking comic.
Over-teasing an interesting future plot development is a large, negative part of comic books. For a while, Lobdell has been teasing the origin of Bart Allen. The issue, on its cover, has Bart being pulled through a portal to what we have to imagine is Bart’s original time. Lobdell actually begins the comic with Bart being pulled through the portal, only for his team to pull him back out, meaning that this comic is writing checks it can’t cash. While this is not something new to this comic, it is something that should not be encouraged. It is boring, bad writing, and it is all for the encouragement to buy future comics that maybe will deliver on their promises.
As is standard fare for Teen Titans, the young characters ignore or put off their problems in order to enjoy the simpler things in life, like kissing each other. Bart starts to talk about some really deep emotions that could lead to development, but is interrupted by a face-hug from Solstice. Wonder Girl just learned about her divine origins and has problems dealing with them. Superboy learned that his squeeze, Wonder Girl, did a little smooching with Red Robin when he was possessed by Trigon. So these two people, both feeling downtrodden, decide to make out. That does kind of solve Superboy’s trouble, though…..
Lobdell makes promises he doesn’t keep, but still shows some good development for Cassie. Also, Bunker is seemingly cut from the team which shouldn’t hurt anyone too bad and should help the comic in the long run. The art is good, but the rest of the writing doesn’t hold up. It’s hard to see so many good characters being utilized so little in this comic, especially after the cancellation of Young Justice.