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TEEN TITANS #25

[ DON'T CRUSH YOUR CASH
There once was an alien called Crush, who’d get annoyed whenever she’d blush. But then, one day, her blush, went away, when it was replaced with a severe case of Thrush. Want to know more? Then please ignore the following adventure created by Adam Glass, Max Dunbar, Robson Rocha, and published by DC Comics in January, 2019.

TO QUOTE William Shatner: 'We meet aliens every day who have something to give us. They come in the form of people with different opinions'. 

THE REVIEW:
One night, fifteen years ago, two lovebirds from America miraculously found a young, alien child, stranded in the middle of a barren field. Well, to be more specific about it, the child was a baby from the planet Czarnia, named Crush, whereas the two lovebirds were two potheads who smoked dope, named David and Lisa Rojas, and together, the three of them lived a rather wild and happy life until they eventually got killed by a drug dealer

No. Don’t worry. Crush didn’t die. Far from it, in fact, because she survived this ordeal and wanted to get her revenge! So slowly, over time, she found a way of accidentally tracking down the person who killed her foster parents -- please note, I did say accidentally -- with some notable help from Robin: The Boy Wonder, and Djinn: The Girl Plunder. Want to know more? Then please pick up issue 25 of the Teen Titans today. In the meantime though, here, check this out…

Part One) CRASH NOT BURN:   When DC Comics initially announced that they were going to create a young, female version of Lobo, I honestly wasn’t too sure if I was going to like her or not. Well, let's face it, they’ve already tried to de-age Lobo years ago -- the Slobo variant -- and overall, the concept they came up with was so ill-conceived, it was fairly laughable at best. Basically, he was a teenage brat, a brat on legs, who tried to live up to his more illustrious predecessor by being loudobnoxious, and as stubborn as sin. So, with some benefit of hindsight, I'd say he was generally perceived as being a fairly disposable character that in some way hindered Lobo’s legacy. 

On a side note: You might like to know that Slobo: The Clone of Lobo, made his first appearance in the pages of Young Justice #38, circa December, 2001, and was eventually killed off by a swarm of Darkseid's parademons in Young Justice #55, circa May, 2003. 

Anyway, as I was saying, I wasn’t too fond of Crush when I first heard about her joining the group, as I truly thought DC was going to make the same mistakes again. But no! I needn’t have worried, really, because this time around they were able to fix their previous errors by making Crush into a more fully-fledged character that still paid homage to the original. After all, she does tell jokes, but she isn’t too jokey; she does show some attitude, but not too much to put people off; and I like to think she’s fairly likable too, albeit in a more realistic fashion than before. 

Now, to see what I mean, please take a look at issue 25 of the Teen Titans: Where we finally find out about her not-so-secret origins. Overall, it was a pretty decent read, as her back-story cleverly comprised different elements featured in other superhero origins. This included: Superman’s origin (mainly, that part about an alien baby being found and brought up by a loving couple); Batman’s origin (particularly, their parents being killed by a thief); Thor's origin (what with the two of them making friends with a magical weapon), as well as The Wrath’s origin (namely, having drug-addled parents who were constantly on the run from the law). So, more or less, Crush’s origins are a mixture of other people’s origins, but with one special twist: Her's were told from her own point of view, doing so in order to get to know one of her new teammates, Djinn. Which I liked, I liked a lot, as their partnership gave this story and her history a warm and personal touch that seemed very associative by design. As a matter of fact, her story was so great to read, that… 

Part Two) CASH BUT NO:   ... I can’t really criticize it in any way, shape, or form. Seriously, folks, on the whole, this is one of those self-contained adventures that smartly ticked off quite a few boxes in the positive column.  For a start, it’s a personal story (check) about an interesting character (check) who tells us about her own origins (check) before accidentally tracking down an evil person who’s directly involved with it (check). What’s more, the art by Robson Rocha was clean, crisp, and very vibrant on the page (check), and overall, it possessed a lot of fun and interesting ideas that varied in scope, ranging from Crush’s sentient chains (check), to her final end-game dilemma (check), to her funny trip to the diner with Djinn... (check)... and mate.

Although, come to think of it, if there was one thing about this story I wasn’t too keen on, it would have to be the fact that Crush hasn’t confronted Lobo yet. I mean, between you and me, I would’ve thought that she’d at least try to track him down by now, especially since Lobo was previously a member of the Justice League of America, and she could have got to him via Robin’s father, Batman, who was once his leader. Besides, apart from the way she looks, there's no real evidence to say that the two of them are actually related, although it is fairly obvious that they come from the same planet (or are members of KISS, wink!).

Along similar lines, I was also slightly taken back by the notion that people who constantly take drugs can bring up a child without any real reprisals. Well, without trying to sound too judgemental (Heaven forbid), over the years I’ve known quite a few people who’ve ‘Chased the Dragon’, and even though most of them were nice people, warm people, and genuinely pleasant people, who wouldn’t want to cause anyone any real harm, in the same token, I don’t think any of them would trust themselves to look after a child -- properly -- for a prolonged period of time.

But then again, maybe this is just me talking out of my own arse, because, at the end of the day, this story, this creative team, and these characters were fantastic to follow, really fantastic, and all in all, this issue is definitely worth picking up for the price of admission. So, what do you think, dear reader? Did you like this episode? Did you hate it? Or are you a bit like me? Generally in favor, but in retrospect, there are a few notable squabbles along the way. Either way, please let me know your thoughts in the comment section below.

THE MUSIC:
Now the one thing that firmly joins together both of these adventures, both the main-tale and the backup-feature (which I’ll mention below), is the concept of someone wanting to return home. And to me, whenever I hear the word ‘home’, I always think of the John Denver song... 




THE COMPARISON:
If Martha and Jonathan Kent smoked a barn full of pot, then I’m sure they would have turned out to be like Crush’s foster parents, David and Lisa Rojas, although a tad less urban and a tad more hip. So, with that said -- yes, you guessed it -- I'm now going to compare a punk version of the Kent's to this very episode.

Comparison made! Rock on!!!

THE CONCLUSION:
At the end of this book, we’re presented with a backup-feature that tells the tale of how Roundhouse was able to survive his ordeal in outer-space. Overall, it was a pretty decent story for its size, small, as Max Dunbar’s artwork was bold and expressive, Adam Glass’s characterizations were fun and full of pathos, and I did particularly like the way that it felt more like a personal adventure rather than an excuse to fill in the blanks.  More importantly, though, it also explained how Roundhouse felt about...

  1. Fishing.
  2. His hands.
  3. Donald Trump.
  4. His size.
  5. Being blown up by a nuclear warhead.
  6. His dead sister.
  7. Chinese sailors.
  8. His teammates.

So, can you guess which options are true or false? Go on, have a guess, and let me know what you think in the comment section below.

Nuff said.

TEEN TITANS #25 TEEN TITANS #25 Reviewed by David Andrews on January 17, 2019 Rating: 5

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