Teen Titans #15. Written by Scott Lobdell & Will Pfeifer, Pencilled by Ian Churchill & Miguel Mendonça, Inked by Norm Rapmund & Dexter Vines, Colors by Tony Aviña.
Let’s be clear at the beginning, this is not the next chapter of “Robin War.” It’s a side story that features Tim Drake’s teammates as they get drawn into the action in Gotham as they wait at his Gotham digs waiting or Tim’s call. With that said, this issue is clearly not necessary to understand “Robin War.” However, it doesn’t necessarily feel like a forced tie-in. The Teen Titans get plenty to do in this issue that isn’t linked to “Robin War,” and thus the issue feels quite self-contained.
We open with Gar, Bunker and Power Girl killing time. Gar and Bunker exhibit the silliness that Gar and friend have always been known for in a Teen Titans book. Raven, of course is sensing a mysterious darkness that is unrelated to what’s going on with the “Robin War.” This opening does a nice job of catching up readers as to what’s going on in “Robin War” pretty quickly. Again, it’s handled well so that if feels fairly organic and at the same time doesn’t take up a lot of this issue. As these four set off to find the source of this darkness, the scene switches to another faction of the team- Cassie, Bart, Chimera and Reiser taking some R & R at a swanky mansion in Kane County just outside of Gotham. I’ve got to say, this short scene served little purpose other than to get Cassie into a skimpy bikini, and this is all we see of the group in the issue.
Meanwhile, in the city Tim and Jason Todd are with a group of the We Are Robin kids. They’ve escaped and the boys are trying to keep them that way. They run into a cop and the We Are Robin kids overdo it. It does serve the point that Tim’s been trying to make to Jason- these kids need training!
The foursome led by Raven find the source of the darkness in a theater. They discover numerous people that have been physically altered to look identical. They dig around to find the culprit in the back room just as he is about to drill into another young girl- Professor Pyg! A quick fight ensues and the Professor’s creations get involved overwhelming the team. They wake up strapped to gurneys with Garth hanging above them and his blood being drained, some into buckets and some into the girl who was about to go under Pyg’s knife. This transfusion temporarily gives the girl the power to transform into a green monster. The Titans free themselves and stop the girl from running amok. In the chaos, Pyg and we learn that the only one saved from his machinations was the one girl.
Jason, Tim and their “Robins” have made their way to Gotham Academy, setting up what happens in the forthcoming Robin War #2. Not to be outdone, we get a Titans tease as well. Apparently, all the Titans had their blood drawn and Pyg has delivered it to Brother Blood.
There was an aspect of fun in this issue which really felt right for the Teen Titans. Gar and Bunker have certainly become the Gar and Vic of the post-Flashpoint DCU. Tim is firmly established as the team leader, as any Robin should be on a Titans team. The bits of “Robin War” while not earth-shattering were effective enough to show how this event is affecting the Titans. For the Titans, it was nice to seem them follow Raven’s lead and not sit waiting on the sidelines for Red Robin’s call.
The short scene with Cassie was pointless. Besides showing that she and the other Titans were elsewhere, nothing was accomplished. The overall pace of the issue was good and got to tell a decent one and done did not leave much room for character moments. The individuals clearly remained in character but nothing really important happened.
This is a solid comic. It’s a fun one and done that ties in smoothly with “Robin War.” There’s clearly a lot of potential here and a great tease for the future with the appearance of Brother Blood. This may not re-invent the medium, but it holds it’s own without being overwhelmed by the “Robin War” tie-in. 3 1/2