Do you know what the difference is between a teenager and an atomic bomb? An atomic bomb is a lot less expensive to make. Don’t believe me? Then just ask Adam Glass, Bernard Chang, and DC Comics, but only after you read the following story published in September, 2018. Boom!!!

TO QUOTE Scarlett Pomers: 'Chocolate cake is the bomb!'.

I’m afraid to say that the Teen Titans currently have a pretty difficult situation to deal with. You see, after defeating the diminutive villain named Gizmo, who was once a member of the Fearsome Five, they suddenly discover that he has a bomb attached to his person which will detonate in less than four minutes. A bomb, I hasten to add, that is nuclear in origin and impossible to remove without it going off!

So what do they do next? How can they save everyone nearby without causing too much harm? I mean, should Kid-Flash pick him up and dump Gizmo in the middle of the ocean? Should Crush grab him by his legs and twirl him into the sun? Or should Djinn delve into his mind and figure out another way of stopping him from exploding? Want to know the answer? Then please pick up issue 21 of the Teen Titans today. In the meantime though, here, check this out…

Part One) GOING IN WITH A BANG:   First off, please allow me to begin my review by saying how much I’m enjoying the fresh, new, direction this series is currently taking. It’s bold, it’s daring, but most importantly of them all, it’s surprisingly enjoyable considering we’ve seen this type of re-branding many times before.

Well, let’s face it, how often have we seen a 'new creative team' take over an 'old book' so they can transform it with a mixture of old and new characters? Quite often, that’s for sure, and goes to show the limited time frame some publishers are willing to allow their books to gestate within the marketplace! Take the previous incarnation of this series, for instance, as it was given less than two whole years to build up an audience, define an in-house style, and establish each individual team member, one, by one, by one! I mean, is that really enough time for a team book such as this? No. Of course it’s not. Especially since it has a vast and expansive history that dates back to the Silver Age of comic books!

Still, with all that said, from the looks of it there’s a pretty good chance that this new version will thrive, strive, and survive. After all, Bernard Chang is a classy artist and he can obviously produce clear and crisp visuals which are very expressive on the page. He’s also had many years of experience in drawing team books, previously illustrating such titles as The New Mutants, The X-Men, and The Black Belt Club, to name but a few.

Adam Glass, on the other hand, is probably best known for writing the ‘New 52’ Suicide Squad title, a few issues of Deadpool, and the Luke Cage ongoing series, along with his work on such television shows as Supernatural, Cold Case, and Criminal Minds. More importantly, though, Adam is a nice chap, a really nice chap, and you can tell that he always tries his best at defining characters, establishing plots, and producing down to earth adventures which are fun and enjoyable to follow. Which, coincidently, is a point that brings me quite nicely onto... 

Part Two) LIVE AND LET DIE:   ...issue 21! Well, did I like it? Did I hate it? Or was I neither here nor there? Now, if truth be told, overall I thought this story was a right blast to read, brilliant in fact, because it was fun, suspenseful, and quite captivating from start to finish. What I enjoyed about it the most, though, was how the main problem the team collectively faced was able to smartly define the personalities of each individual character. 

Basically, one part of the plot focused on how each Titan felt towards preserving someone’s life, namely, the life of the super-villain, Gizmo, who was willing to blow everyone up (himself included) for the sake of self-preservation. So what did they do to prevent this from happening?  And how did they work together as a team? These, plus a couple of more questions, were eventually answered throughout the course of this carefully crafted adventure. Questions, I might add, which were generally acknowledged, expanded upon, or squelched in a fairly divisive fashion, simply because half the team resided on the dark side of the spectrum (Red Arrow, Robin, and Crush), whereas the other half resided on the light side of the scale (Kid-Flash, Roundhouse, and Djinn). Know what I mean?

Now, as I'm on the subject of character development, another aspect I would like to talk about would have to be how Adam was given enough wiggle room to flesh out the personalities of two of their newest members: Roundhouse and Djinn. More or less Roundhouse came across as a fairly fun fellow who's kind, caring, and considerate in nature, plus I did enjoy reading his realistic voice-over narration. As for Djinn though, well, she seems very nice too, when needed, and between you and me, I suspect that she has some sort of connection to Johnny Thunder's Thunderbolt.

Well, did you catch the subtle reference about masters and other people being in control? As I’m sure that has a connection to the fifth dimension, Mister Mxyzptlk, and all of that mysterious hocus-pocus stuff. Plus, let’s not forget that she’s wearing a pink costume which is the exact same color as Johnny’s Thunderbolt! So there, there’s that too. How about you, dear reader? What did you think of this issue? Did you like it, hate it, and do you agree with any of my opinions or are you totally against them? Either way, please let me know your thoughts in the comment section below.

For fairly obvious reasons I would like to musically match-up this comic book with the following song sung by Europe, ‘The Final Countdown’. Need I say more? No! I didn’t think so either.

Have you ever played the arcade game, Super Bomberman? If not, then please allow me to tell you a little bit about it. Basically, it’s one of those action-packed maze games where you have to drop bombs, set traps, and blow things up. Similar, in fact, to this very issue of the Teen Titans! Therefore, comparison made.

At the end of this issue, we suddenly see a member of the team flying off into outer-space in order to make the ultimate sacrifice. So, out of the following six options, let’s see if you can guess which member is willing to do this? Could it be... 

  1. Crush: Who’s frustrated with her bra.
  2. Robin: Who’s frustrated with his team-mates.
  3. Red Arrow: Who’s frustrated with her dialogue.
  4. Kid-Flash: Who’s frustrated with his lack of Afro.
  5. Djinn: Who’s frustrated with Disney.
  6. Roundhouse: Who’s frustrated with being frustrated. 
Nuff said. 

TEEN TITANS #21 TEEN TITANS #21 Reviewed by David Andrews on September 04, 2018 Rating: 5

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