Review: TEEN TITANS ACADEMY #3
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Tim Sheridan
Colours: Alejandro Sanchez
Reviewed By: Derek McNeil
Teen Titans Academy #3: Don’t miss this crossover with Suicide Squad! Hunted by the deadly Task Force X, the new students of Titans Academy will have to grow up fast or risk losing one of their own even faster. Why has the Squad put a target on new speedster Bolt’s back? And why, in its charge on Titans Island, is Amanda Waller’s team of villains being led by the mysterious Red X?!
In Teen Titans Academy #3, the Suicide Squad crosses over from their own title on a mission to capture Bolt. Bolt is a rather interesting character, being a speedster with prosthetic legs. And this issue, we learn her backstory, as she tells her origin story to her roommate.
Interestingly enough, her power comes from Johnny Quick’s speed formula (“3×2(yz)4a”). Apparently, the formula only works for some people, but not others. This raises the question of why it works for her in particular. Is she related to Johnny and Jesse Quick? Or does she have some connection to the Speed Force. Also, the formula gave Johnny the power of flight as well. Does this mean she has the potential for that power as well?
It turns out that Amanda Waller was the benefactor who gave her blades and enrolled her at the Titans Academy “on the condition that the instant she called, I would come running”. But Alinta has not been accepting Waller’s calls, so the Squad has come to fetch her.
The enigmatic Red X assists the Squad in breaking into the tower. It’s been implied that Red X is one of the Academy’s students, but his motives remain a mystery. However, this does imply that his motives are not benign. There is also some interesting discussion between the staff about who might be behind the mask. This is shaping up to be quite the mystery. I have to wonder just how long Tim Sheridan plans on keeping us in suspense.
During this staff discussion, Donna Troy refers to Billy Batson as “Captain Shazam” – well actually, “Captain freaking Shazam”. This may just be a throwaway line, but I think that Captain Shazam, while not as good as returning his name to “Captain Marvel”, would still be a big improvement on just “Shazam”. It certainly would eliminate the confusion of it being both the Wizard’s name and Billy’s hero name.
Superboy is now a member of the Suicide Squad and there’s a brief, but sad moment where he spots a picture of his days with the Teen Titans. He isn’t exactly a willing member of Peacemaker’s team and it must be galling to be sent on a mission against the Titans.
I quite like the concept of this title. The Academy setting allows for multiple incarnations of the team to be featured. The original Titans are present as the staff, while the most recent team are the upperclassmen, and the new additions are freshmen. And there are many students that we haven’t met yet, allowing other characters to be brought in as the story unfolds. And it’s a direction that hasn’t been explored much in the DCU, although it does seem to borrow from Marvel’s X-Men.
This is a bold new direction for the Titans, and as such, is a somewhat risky move. However, I don’t detect any warning signs that Sheridan’s story is going off the rails. I’m enjoying this direction so far.
Teen Titans Academy #3 continues to flesh out the intriguing beginning that Tim Sheridan has presented for DC’s foremost junior team. I look forward to seeing where Sheridan’s new direction leads.