Teen Titans #9
"Still dealing with the consequences of “The Lazarus Contract,” Kid Flash’s status with the team is challenged by Damian…and the Teen Titans will never be the same."
Creators: Benjamin Percy, Khoi Pham, Phil Hester, Trevor Scott, Jim Charalampidis
Reader Appeal: Teen
Publishing Rating: Teen
I was so determined to find an issue from DC Comics to review this month, that I kept circling that section over and over again. My eyes skimmed across the Teen Titans cover a dozen times, but I didn’t want to grab it. Wanna know why? Because I when see commercials for the Teen Titans cartoon Robin always acts like a grade-A jerk! But, since there’s a ton of popularity around this series I decided to suck-it-up and tackle Teen Titans this month.
Surprisingly, I was very pleased with this comic! I mean, I know I set the bar really low going in, but this comic blew me away. It was a lot more than just superheroes fighting evil; it had a storyline of broken families, friendship drama, and even a little bit of a flirty romance. I was so enthralled in the story from the first panel that I didn’t want it to end, especially because I picked an issue with a huge cliff hanger.
While Kid Flash is dealing with the fallout from “The Lazarus Contract,” Aqualad’s focusing on honing his H2O superpowers. As if training to be a superhero isn’t stressful enough, he’s also desperate to find out who his father is. His mom knows his true lineage but, worried about her son’s safety, is trying to stop him from finding his father. She, however, can’t stop his supervillain dad from finding him first.
You guys--I loved this comic. The storyline was extremely relational, without sacrificing any of the action. But most importantly, the characters are extremely authentic. The strained dynamics of Aqualad’s family isn’t too different from situations that many teenagers find themselves in now-a-days. With broken homes and blended families on the rise, it’s important for teens to see similar family situations as pivotal plot points in media.
The illustrators paid close attention to character detail, especially facial expressions. Their attention to shading and fine lines artfully expressed a full range of emotions that caused me to empathize immediately with the characters. But I do have one complaint to file, and it’s with the cover. While Pham and Charalampidis did a skillful job creating an attention-grabbing scene, I don’t think it’s necessary to illustrate the women Titans wearing tighter versions of their already too-tight outfits. A good rule of thumb is if you can see a nipple through a leather suit, the outfit is too tight.
The only other thing I’d change about this issue was the couple of editor’s notes throughout the comic. It made it difficult to become fully immersed in the story, and I think the two points could have easily been incorporated in the dialogue or maybe even in a “In the Last Issue…” type of paragraph.
Parents--besides the uber-tight outfit on the cover (which for the record, isn’t as tight in the comic itself), there’s not too much concern for letting your teens read this comic. It’s very low on violence, and the worst language is the use of the word “hell”.
Let's Talk About It
Use these questions to spark discussion among family members who are interested in this comic book:
• If you could be one of the Teen Titans, who would you pick?
• Were you surprised by Ms. Hyde’s (Aqualad’s mom) super power? Why or why not?
• What do you think Black Manta is going to do if he finds Aqualad?
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