May 27, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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Noteworthy Issues: World’s Finest: Teen Titans #1 (July, 2023)

The World's Finest series has a Teen Titans spin-off now.

So, I really like the current World’s Finest book that Mark Waid and Dan Mora have been doing, setting the series in an unspecified Silver Age time period with all that that implies while keeping the sort of smart, modern-age storytelling that Waid is known for as a writer.

And now there’s a Teen Titans spin-off of that title.

Issue:  World’s Finest: Teen Titans #1, July 2023

Writer:  Mark Waid

Artist:  Emanuela Lupacchino

The Plot:  It’s the early days of the Teen Titans, and they aren’t quite getting along.

Commentary:  True confession:  I’m not much of a Teen Titans fan.  There have been runs I’ve read, but by and large, I can take or leave ’em as a team.  But I do like Mark Waid’s writing, the World’s Finest is a fun series showing the earlier days of Superman, Batman, and their respective allies working together, and Emanuela Lupacchino’s artwork here is really nice.  Why not try doing something with the Teen Titans?  They’ve appeared in a couple issues of the parent series so far, and I like the way Waid’s scripts (with whatever artist he’s working with) combines to create something that is part Silver Age and part modern comics.

As for this, the series is establishing the original Titans were Dick Grayson’s Robin, Aqualad, Wonder Girl, Kid Flash, Speedy, and Bumblebee.  Why Bumblebee?  Why not?  I’ve noticed the there’s a tendency to add a female member to the original Titans team whenever reunions happen these days, to say nothing of putting Speedy on the team despite the fact that he was mostly an occasional guest star in the original team incarnation.

But what’s going on here?  Mostly it’s about how the team formed with a special focus on clashes between Roy and Dick with people-pleaser Wally trying to keep them friendly.  Donna and Garth have a thing, but Garth is kinda shy around, well, everybody.  And Karen, well…OK, she had the least to do, but it is mostly Dick and Roy for this issue.  The conflict is basically Roy wants to show off, like, everywhere while Dick would rather they not do that, combined with Batman’s prohibitions that Dick not share his real name with his new team.  Most of the Titans (even Karen) have a good relationship with their respective mentors, though in a nice touch, Batman’s directives for Robin often contradict what the other mentors are saying.  The final pages are playing with the idea that the team will fall apart before it can do much, but I think it’s safe to say that won’t happen.

Anyway, yeah, I like this Titans team and book.

Grade:  A-