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TEEN TITANS #24

[ MEAN BARGAIN
There once was a group of mean-teens, who decided to eat a ton of baked-beans. But then, one night, they got, a right fright, when some queens stole all of their blue-jeans. Want to know more? Then please ignore the following adventure created by Adam Glass, Bernard Chang, and published by DC Comics in December, 2018.

TO QUOTE James Baldwin: 'People are trapped in history and history is trapped in them'.

THE REVIEW:
At the end of last month’s episode, we saw The Other killing Lady Vic before burying the Teen Titans under an entire building. So, during this month's episode, we finally find out if any of them will be able to get out alive! 

Can they do this though? Can they physically dig themselves up from the rubble and climb their way to freedom? After all, Damian refuses to ask Batman for any help, Kid Flash has a metal rod sticking out of his leg, Djinn isn’t able to use her magical powers, and Crush is doing her best to hold up the building, otherwise, it will squash her fellow team-mates as flat as a pancake! 

Now, to find out who lives, who dies, and who has a shower, please pick up issue 24 of the Teen Titans today. In the meantime though, here, check this out…

Part One) SQUASH:   If I had to sum up this story in one single word; that word would have to be claustrophobic. But please note, that I do mean this with all due respect; because on a conceptual level, the overall plot is constructed in a fairly straightforward fashion (i.e. the team needs to escape from a collapsed building without dying), and partly relies on the characters to give it some much-needed depth!

Now, the way in which it goes about doing this, is by, firstly, setting up the prescribed scenario (Ops! Building falls down!); secondly, defining the status of each character (Yes! We’re alive!); and thirdly, allowing them to behave, talk, and react to whatever they’re feeling deep inside (Help! Get me out!). Which, in practical terms, means that Adam Glass gets to show us who he thinks each of the main characters actually are!

Obviously, Robin is the head-honcho, the leader of the group, and he comes across as being a stubborn, proud, and smart brat, who sometimes allows his ego to get the better of him. Kid Flash, on the other hand, seems far more nervous in comparison, scared even, and as his name suggests, occasionally he acts faster than he can think. As for the rest of the team, well, Crush is the stoic-muscle, Roundhouse is the comedic-egghead, and Red Arrow is the dutiful second-in-command, which goes to show that every single one of them has their own foibles and peculiar ticks, yet they still manage to be honest and down-to-earth people.

No. Don’t worry. I haven’t forgotten to mention Djinn. It’s just that I’ll be talking about her in the next section, so I’d rather be talking about something else here. Or should I say, someone else? Most notably, Bernard Chang: The amazing artist who was assigned to draw this book! Trust me, folks, his illustrations are really exquisite to look at (see pictures provided), and I especially liked the way he designed the panels so they could either heighten the level of suspense or add to the degree of danger. While some panels were sporting a jagged motif (to illustrate the mass-devastation), other panels were condensed in stature and confined in tone (which gave the impression of claustrophobia and obvious tension).

I also appreciated seeing those blemishes and scars etched onto the faces and bodies of the numerous characters. This ranged from Robin’s bloodstained lips, the cracked visor shielding Roundhouse’s eyes, as well as the protruding metal stick, sticking out of Kid-Flash’s leg. Seriously, fellow comic book fans, everything Bernard drew throughout this story aided its tone, its design, and its overall construction, making it a pretty decent story considering the plot was basic, simple to follow, and very easy to define (i.e. the team needs to escape from a collapsed building without dying).

Part Two) WHO ARE YOU:   Since the start of this series I’ve often wondered about the true origins of Djinn. Yes, I know that she’s a genie, and yes, I know she has some sort of ancient mystical connection to another dimension. But what else has she got tucked away up her metaphorical sleeve? What other additional paraphernalia is she hiding behind her mysterious and elusive facade?

Now, as I’ve mentioned in my previous reviews, I have a sneaking suspicion that she has a connection to the Golden Age hero, Johnny Thunder, simply because she’s a pink genie (similar to Johnny’s Thunderbolt) who has a wide range of mystical abilities that appear to be from another dimension (quite possibly, the fifth dimension, which is where Johnny got his powers from). But what makes this theory even more enticing to follow, is the fact that Badhnisia (the exotic country where Johnny was first given his powers) has recently been showcased in the pages of The Flash (issues 58 & 59, to be more precise). So, following this train of thought, if Badhnisia has been reintroduced into the DCU, it’s now only a matter of time before Johnny, his Thunderbolt, or maybe something else (hint-hint) will be as well. 

I could be wrong though, completely wrong, and maybe Djinn is connected to another mystical hero! You know, someone like The Spectre (No!), Doctor Fate (Yes!), The Phantom Stranger (Interesting idea!), Brother Power the Geek (Cool beans!), or even Madame Xanadu or a stray member of Justice League Dark (No comment!). Or better yet, maybe she doesn’t have any connection to the mystical heroes in the DCU, but rather, a connection to one of DC’s mystical villains, namely, this Other character Damian always seems to be mentioning! 

Well, let’s face it; wouldn’t that revelation be a very compelling twist? Knowing that Djinn was somehow linked to this Other chap! Plus it would also explain why Robin recruited her in the first place! After all, nobody has mentioned how those two got together, and it does play into his shrewd behavior. So shrewd, in fact, that I have a strange feeling that The Other is also connected to Damian, Batman, and quite possibly, Ra’s al Ghul (keeping in mind that 'Djinn' is an Arabic word, and that Ra's was born on the Arabian Peninsula).

So what do you think, dear reader? Do you think that my theory is a valid one or do you think I’m talking out of my lamp? What’s more, did you enjoy reading this issue (like I did) and agree with how some of the characters were portrayed? More or less, I thought most of them were pretty spot on, even though there was some wiggle room in regards to Damian putting his ego in front of his team-mates. Either way, please let me know your thoughts in the comment section below.

THE MUSIC:
For this month's musical match up I’m going to say nothing, nothing at all, except to tell you to listen to the following song performed by The Animals: ‘We Gotta Get out of This Place’.




THE COMPARISON:
I’m going to compare this month's episode to Homer's Odyssey because it gave us the phrase, 'being stuck between a rock and a hard place'. Wink-wink! Say no more!

Comparison made.

THE CONCLUSION:
At the end of this adventure, we see Djinn scare the living shit out of one of her team-mates. So, out of the following five candidates, let’s see if you can guess who she scares and how? Could it be...

  1. Kid Flash, by rubbing his lamp.
  2. Robin, by giving him a kiss.
  3. Roundhouse, by saying something scary.
  4. Crush, by saying something polite. 
  5. Red Arrow, by acting like a right nutter.

Nuff said. 

TEEN TITANS #24 TEEN TITANS #24 Reviewed by David Andrews on December 18, 2018 Rating: 5

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