Teen Titans #6. Will Pfeifer- Script, Scott Hepburn- Art, Dan Brown- Colors.
Teen Titans is one of the books currently published by DC Comics that manages to genuinely feel contemporary and also appeal to a younger audience, not little kids, but definitely teenagers. This is a clear callback to the Wolfman/Perez run on New Teen Titans that began over thirty years ago. Will Pfeifer should definitely be applauded for this effort no matter the execution. As an, ahem, older reader, it is a trip into a different point-of-view. With this issue, there is an idea put forth by the new Power Girl which seems to echo this on a meta-textual level. However, it is even more intriguing as a story point.
The issue opens with Wonder Girl, Red Robin, Bunker and Raven watching the new Power Girl take down a grey-skinned Hulk wanna be. The Titans then do their part in disabling the other monsters on the loose. Raven casts a spell to get them back to Bunker and Gar’s pad. The new PG recounts her origin to the Titans and them shocks them with the accusation that they are doing the whole super-hero thing all wrong. PG’s accusation is clearly motivated by the death of her mother at the hands of Desaad, and Red Robin rightly cautions her, but PG is adamant and perhaps not surprisingly, Wonder Girl comes not only to her defense, but throws in with her and spirits them away to her place. This is the challenge: As super-heroes, you aren’t doing enough- you need to take the fight to the villains in a pro-active manner. What had been a rather pedestrian issue suddenly becomes quite thought provoking and intriguing.
Meanwhile, Beast Boy is undercover at S.T.A.R. Labs as a green mouse. He’s tailing Manchester Black, a S.T.A.R. Labs employee who is trying to partner with Red Robin and the Titans and vice versa. Manchester leaves and Beast Boy gets caught by a janitor. Oddly, Manchester arrives at Wonder Girl’s apartment and explains what’s going on at S.T.A.R. Labs and his desire for Wonder Girl’s help mere moments before S.T.A.R. is engulfed in a mushroom cloud.
The challenge by the new Power Girl is certainly intriguing. It serves as a story point of conflict between Red Robin and Wonder Girl, but it also serves acts as a point of departure in viewpoints between the traditional (Batman sidekick) approach and a contemporary view as espoused by the newest Teen Titan. Hepburn’s art seems to be stylistically similar to what Babs Tarr is doing in Batgirl, and thus connects these youth oriented books, whether intentional or not.
The opening was a bit clichéd as was Power Girl retelling her origin. The outcome of the meeting was definitely a step in the right direction, but Manchester’s arrival just as S.T.A.R. Labs was attacked felt convenient once again.
Overall, this was an uneven issue. There were a few moments of really intriguing stuff, yet it was unfortunately balanced by some very run of the mill super-hero comic filler. For a newer reader this probably won’t bother you.