Introduced a few months ago in “Worlds’ Finest,” Will Pfeifer and Scott Hepburn follow up from last month’s cliffhanger to add the new Power Girl to the “Teen Titans” line-up. That’s ultimately a good thing because she’s the high point of “Teen Titans” #6 as the S.T.A.R. Labs storyline fails to fully come together.
It’s funny because, if you describe what Power Girl does in this issue, it doesn’t seem like terribly much. As written by Pfeifer, however, Power Girl is a real presence on the page; she takes command of every scene she’s in, offering up a new direction to the Teen Titans and becoming the common link to make them all act like a team. It’s nice to have a new addition to the team this early in the game, and she seems like someone who’s going to shake matters up in a good way.
This is especially important because the ongoing storyline with S.T.A.R. Labs still feels not quite fully developed. It’s a little ironic that “The Flash” television show has turned out a seemingly altruistic yet secretly sinister version of S.T.A.R. Labs that’s much better than “Teen Titans’,” with the source material lagging behind the reimagining. Here, Manchester Black lacks any real menace and, while it’s nice to see Red Robin unwilling to entirely trust them right off the bat, it still feels more than a little lackluster and needs some sort of backbone to give the story some heft. Meanwhile, some of the subplots — especially the one involving Raven’s uberfans — continue to prove intriguing enough that I hope they shift to the foreground before long.
Hepburn continues to draw the series’ second storyline and his loose, cartoonish style is a good match for this less-grim rendition of the title. Power Girl’s stink-eye on the bottom of page 1 is truly a sight to behold thanks to Hepburn; I actually choked back a laugh when I first saw it. He’s really good at expressions, with further evidence just a few panels earlier as Red Robin and Wonder Girl talk to one another. From Red Robin’s quizzical expression to Wonder Girl’s excitement, Hepburn has their emotions radiate out of their panels. When it comes to action, all you need to do is turn the page. When Power Girl hits her foe, look at how his body is drawn in a perfect arc. Hepburn uses the bad guy’s body to mimic the path that he’s flying through the air; it’s hard to not automatically “see” him flying up and then back down thanks to Hepburn.
“Teen Titans” #6 is still a massive improvement over the previous series, but it’s a shame that the main storyline isn’t that interesting. With Power Girl now on board and some of the other solid subplots like Raven’s admirers or the army of Wonder Girls, I have high hopes that the book can kick into high gear before long. Right now, it looks promising.