Review: Teen Titans #88

So, here it is. The brand spankin’ new chapter in Teen Titans history, with J.T. Krul and Nicola Scott at the reins. This series has been in a rut, to the say the least,  since Geoff Johns left. Will this issue get the Titans fans clamoring for novelty masks based on Nicola Scott’s likeness? Probably not, but it should still make them happy.

J.T. Krul kicks the issue off with a good old fight scene. Unfortunately, the banter is, too, without the “good” part. It ranges from “Here, let me lighten your load” to Beast Boy’s worries of spouting dull banter. The self-awareness is nice, but it doesn’t stop the dialogue from being boring. Krul makes up for it, though, with the rest of the dialogue being actual conversations between the team that hold relevance for Krul’s narrative, like this.

That opening action scene probably wasn’t written for the banter, anyway. It’s all about showing off Nicola Scott, and there, it succeeds ably. Scott’s work here looks tremendous. She renders several double page splashes throughout, all of them beautiful, used to help reinforce the idea that this is indeed a cool book about a team of superheroes. Scott even riffs on some Quitely pages when Krul introduces Dick and Damian. Also, it’s worth noting that Jason Wright’s colors are some of the finest I’ve seen in a DC comic, lately. Sure, he over-renders a few panels of action and there are a couple wonky backgrounds, as you can see in the image at the top of the page, but Wright’s colors are so vibrant and wondrous. They really make Scott’s pages pop.

It’s nice to see Krul spotlighting every member of the team. This issue’s oversized, but I hope he keeps that up. A new villain is also introduced here, which is a nice touch. Dr Caligan, whose name may be a reference to Dr. Caligari, but Scott makes him look like the Grand Dragon from O Brother, Where Art Thou? These movie references aren’t just me, by the way. Beast Boy watches Pride and Prejudice in the issue, which serves as a parallel between Mr. Darcy & Elizabeth Bennet and Conner & Cassie.

So, there you go. Heartfelt conversations tinged with foreshadowing, Jane Austen references, and a lot of gorgeous pages from Nicola Scott. What more can you ask for? A teaser would’ve been nice.

Grade: B+

-Bruce Castle

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