Every so often, the almighty team book needs to be shaken to its roots. Lynchpins have to go; “new blood” has to be infused. So the story goes for this issue of “Teen Titans”. There’s one major difference — there aren’t a lot of lynchpins left. Since the end of “Infinite Crisis,” this series has been a shadow of how it started. Only Robin and Wonder Girl hold the Titans banner from the first issue and one of them leaves in this issue, setting up the story for future issues of this title.
The main crux of this story focuses on the Titans begging for new members, a ploy that seems out of character for a team with the history the Titans name carries. Rather than have a membership drive that brings heroes to them (or at least a neutral location) McKeever puts the spotlight on Kid Devil as he uses portals (seriously, could they try to make this character any more like DC’s less engaging version of Nightcrawler?) to go appeal to potential new members.
McKeever tries to force Kid Devil into a limelight he shouldn’t have. It equates to sending Red Tornado out to drum up new reserves for the JLA. It seems misplaced, as though McKeever used a formula for this story and Kid Devil was the only character unslotted in a different role. McKeever does, however, write insecure, uncertain, and sometimes boisterous teens well, but the characters are just an interchangeable mass.
Barrows utilizes some fabulous layouts. His line work is strong and distinct, but some of the characters are borderline generic. Luckily, the roster in this book is diverse and distinguishable enough where it doesn’t take much to figure out who the characters are.
For a membership drive issue, nothing really happens here, but McKeever and crew have determined to make this storyline last more than a mere issue, as seems to be the trend in this era of decompressed storytelling. This series currently feels like the Justice League felt after Jurgens, just a hodgepodge of characters who need a home. Maybe McKeever and company will prove me wrong with the conclusion of this storyline. Unfortunately, given that future issues appear to be focused on Kid Devil, a shadow of Blue Beetle, and a cluster of other uninteresting characters, I’m certain the rest of this storyline will need to be reviewed by someone else.