It’s been tough times for the Teen Titans. Ever since Red Robin (Tim Drake — the third sidekick to the Batman) embarked on a mission to single-handedly bring together a team of metahuman teenagers to fight the good fight! Since then the Teen Titans have repelled abduction from a sinister underground paramilitary agency that was working to weaponize super-powered teens for their own means, fought off a demonic invasion from an extra-dimensional overload, and lost one of their own to a time-warped tribunal.
Since relocating to New York City, the team has found themselves splintered and even infiltrated by the duplicitous Manchester Black who has co-opted three former Titans for his own Elite. So what’s Red Robin to do, what other chose does the hero have but to throw himself out of the nearest window when he finds himself between a rock and a hard place? That’s just the opener of the latest Teen Titans #11 which is continuing the arc set up from the Teen Titans Annual which featured the return of Superboy into the fold.
Though not all is what it seems! It appears that some how Kon is being framed for a series of murders that only a super boy could commit, and it’s up to the remaining members of the Titans including their newest ally, the shape-shifting, power-absorbing alien Chimera to clear Superboy, before the Elite can get to them — except that among the elite Black has recruited former Titans Wonder Girl, Kid Flash — back from the future — and the “new” Power Girl to do some of his dirty work. That these three former-Titans are saddling up to Black is still kind of foggy.
That doesn’t stop Red Robin from leading the remaining team on a mission into “The M.A.W.” — one of Metropolis’ most advanced maximum security prison; inside they hope to get answers hoping to vindicate Superboy from one of the Justice League’s most powerful enemies — Despero! Sounds like a job for you know who, but the Titans are doing this alone…and in the end how are they gonna prevent Kon from unleashing his own brand of justice?
“Teen Titans” scribe Will Pfeifer has faithfully taken on the reigns of this title; Pfeifer has been dedicated to reinvigorating that sense of family that made the Titans one of the benchmark titles of the DC Comics line, but it’s hard to recapture the classic feel, especially in this very contemporary environment. One of the greatest casualties of The New 52 reboot was the practical “erasing” of the original Teen Titans history. In affect, the original sidekicks of the major Justice League members never got together. In the rebooted history the heroes are all mostly early on in their careers.
With the exception of Batman, most have never had sidekicks (really) so it’s difficult to attach so much history and condense it for today’s Titans. Still the adventure has been engaging and it continues to thrill how these characters have been re-imagined for today’s sensibilities. Red Robin has been elevated to new heroic heights and continues to inspire as one of the new DCU’s most colorful characters.