Review: Future State: Teen Titans #2
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Tim Sheridan
Art: Rafa Sandoval and Julio Ferreira
Colors: Alejandro Sanchez
Letters: Rob Leigh
Reviewed by: Matthew B. Lloyd
The TItans face the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse and a hacked H-Dial, the power of Raven and the power of Shazam provide their only hope!
Tim Sheridan keeps the mystery going this issue as the Titans come face to face with the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse, apparently brought to Earth by…themselves???? The flashbacks provide some interesting pieces of the story and are decent teasers. There are a few moments that recall some of the great Teen Titans battles of the past. The Four Horsemen are in a nother league, obviously, but the Titans have taken on supernatural villains Brother Blood and Trigon in the past and this issue evokes a bit of nostalgia for that.
Rafa Sandoval’s art is solid as usual and makes the story worthwhile even if you aren’t invested storywise in what’s going on in Future State: Teen Titans #2. Even though the look of the issue is bleak and depressing for the most part, Alejandro Sanchez’s colors fit perfectly with what’s going on.
There’s a finality to the solution that is interesting in the way it uses the power of Shazam. It takes Billy off the board, but it’s a great use of the character’s abilities, especially for an “end times” situation.
After an intriguing set up last issue, Future State: Teen Titans #2 doesn’t provide a satisfying ending. Part of it may be an inconsistent plan for all the “Future State” titles. This is one of those issues that feels like the “One Year Later” event from 2006 when all DC Comics skipped ahead a year in the story. This feels like that as it’s solicited at the end to pick up Teen Titans Academy #1 to find out how tht Titans ended up here. In this sense it’s almost like a long advertisement or preview for the upcoming series instead of a complete story. Consequently, this story feels like it’s in the near future, just a short time away.
Future State: Swamp Thing, in comparison feels very different. That story feels as if it takes much further in the future. and it has a satisfying resolution. Are all the questions answered? No, but it feels like there’s an ending whereas Teen Titans teases more than it answers. This also contributes to the feeling that these “Future State” issues don’t come from a unified timeline. That may be what DC is going for after the events of Dark Nights: Speed Metal #7, but it’s fairly counter intuitive for a shared universe concept.
Even though the Titans have a plan to win, and they are hopeful that they will, there’s not a great sense of hope in the issue. The infighting and disagreements have taken over the outlook of the team. The reason it doesn’t really work here is that we are still at a loss to understand how they are in this situation. And, I understand that is yet to come, would you really want to read a series that promises to break up the Titans and learn how they become antagonistic towards each other and lose their hopefulness?
The idea of Teen Titans Academy has a lot of promise: the classic Titans training new young heroes. But, if this is how it turns out they aren’t making a great case for the book. The Teen Titans concept has always worked best when it maintains the hopefulness and enthusiasm that comes from youth, and when it explores the “gap” between the olders heroes in the DC Universe. Future State: Teen Titans #2 already suggests that the younger heroes have got it wrong and the older heroes are right. Sheridan makes an attempt to keep things positive with the new features of the H-Dial, but it impact what’s to come in Teen Titans Academy, only what could take place in a third issue of the “Future State” event.
This two-issue series is essentially an advertisement for Teen Titans Academy. Unfortunately, it doesn’t portend what a new Teen Titans series should be about. It doesn’t really fit in this respect. Unfortunately, it also causes Future State: Teen Titans #2 to feel incomplete in its storytelling. Despite some well executed art from Sandoval, Ferreira and Sanchez the book leaves me wanting- wanting it to be something else entirely. It’s an apocalyptic story where the winners still feel like they’ve lost and there is little hope, the new properties of the H-Dial symbolizing that.