There once was a very mean teen, who was always quite clever and keen. But then, one day, he started, to stray, when he gave himself a dose of morphine. Want to know more? Then please ignore the following adventure created by Adam Glass, Bernard Chang, and published by DC Comics in March, 2019.

TO QUOTE Helen Keller:Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light’. 

Now if you could be a male member of the Teen Titans, which male member would you want to be? I mean, would you want to be Robin, the not-so boy wonder? Even though he’s currently tending to the numerous injuries he's sustained from his fight with the Red Hood! Or alternatively, would you want to be Kid Flash or Roundhouse? Despite them both going out and having dinner together at Wu’s parents' place! 

Huh? What’s that? You’d rather be one of the female members of the group instead? OK. Fair enough! But who? Crush has rage issues, Red Arrow has emotional issues, and Djinn has issues with her brother, Elias, who has forced her to kill men, women, and children throughout the years. Want to know more? Then please check out another issue, issue 27, of the Teen Titans today. In the meantime though, here, have a look at this…

Part One) A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A MEAN TEEN:   If you think you know everything you need to know about the Teen Titans, think again, because this episode manages to tell us a little bit more about everyone’s favorite group of juvenile delinquents. For a start, we find out that Billy’s Mum presumes that all African-Americans are fans of Oprah Winfrey, along with the fact that Damian’s a crap kisser, Crush wants to kill her Dad, and Djinn is a mass-murdering cow who doesn’t get along too well with her own brother! Seriously, folks, this episode appears to have it all, ranging from dutiful details, interesting revelations, and a number of hilarious comedic interludes which were a real pleasure to read.
Structurally, the overall scope of the story was broken down into three main sections, with each section either focused on Roundhouse and Kid-Flash, Red Arrow and Crush, or Robin and Djinn, keeping in mind that the last of 'these partnerships' mainly involved a flashback sequence where Djinn recounted her own origins.  

Now, out of these three, I personally preferred reading those scenes featuring Wallace and Billy the best, as I could genuinely identify with the foreign environment and the colloquial attitude. Particularly his mother's attitude, Mrs. Wu, who seems like the type of person that feels the need to force-feed her siblings, say something culturally insensitive without meaning to, and basically behave in a way where status means more than someone's feelings. I also enjoyed witnessing the blossoming friendship between Wally and Billy, and to be honest, I sincerely hope we get to see a lot more of this in the foreseeable future. 

That said, however, I wasn't quite sure about those scenes featuring Red Arrow and Crush. On the one hand, they were sparse by design and had less depth compared to the other two subplots. Plus to some degree, felt like an obligatory addition for appearance's sake. While, on the other hand, it was nice to know that these two could get along and bond over a fairly common dilemma. Namely, coping with their own personal demons, otherwise known as rage, doing so by looking after a pigeon coop situated on the roof of their HQ. Similar, in fact, to what Marlon Brando's character did during the 1954 classic, ‘On the Waterfront’.

As for Robin’s page-time with Djinn, though, well, that one is a little bit more difficult to explain. In a good way, of course, because there was nothing wrong with their slice of the story, as it comprised a mixture of Robin tending to his injuries while Djinn told him about her own origins. And trust me, folks, she really does tell him an awful lot. More than I initially thought she would, and resulted in us now knowing her real name (Sila), her real age (4000 ish), as well as how she got herself stuck inside a ring (her brother did it). Although, some of the things we didn’t get to find out, mainly revolve around the details in between these revelations, along with her true feelings towards Damian Wayne

Part Two) THIS GANG WANTS TO BANG:   Funnily enough, this last point brings me quite nicely onto something else which was featured in this issue. That being, the topic of sexuality in teenage comic books! I mean, without sounding like a right prude (too late), do we really want to see children aged between 13 and 18 getting frisky with each other for the sake of titivation?  And if so, how much is too much, and how much is too little? Personally, I’d like to think that a kiss and a cuddle would be perfectly acceptable, but I wouldn’t be too keen on seeing too much nudity or too much jiggy-jiggy bang-bang! After all, this is a children’s comic book, and as such, some semblance of morality needs to be maintained for the common decency.

Not that I’m worried, mind you! Not completely, anyway, because this current creative team is truly remarkable due to their taste, their skill, and their attitude towards crafting a well-constructed storyline. Bernard Chang, for instance, has the ability to draw each scene as if it were part of a major movie, highlighted by his smartly composed panels, well-defined expressions, and appropriately atmospheric color palette (provided by Marcelo Maiolo). While Adam Glass, in turn, is a great writer too, who has a real gift for comedy by being able to define each character as if they were a specific archetype, a fully-fledged archetype, with attitudes and behaviors we could all relate to. Robin is obviously the stoic member of the team, whereas Red Arrow is the drill sergeant, Roundhouse is the jovial slacker, Crush is the female James DeanDjinn is the exotic mystic, and Wally is the fresh upstart with the heart of gold. 

So, what did you think of this issue, dear reader? Did you enjoy it as much as I did? Or would you have preferred to have seen a little bit more action?  Also, what did you think about Djinn’s origin?  And could that stone her brother was after be Eclipso’s black-diamond? Either way, please let me know your thoughts in the comment section below.

Can you guess which song popped into my head while I was reading this episode? Why yes, that’s correct, it’s the following song performed by James Taylor, ‘You’ve Got a Friend’, all for fairly obvious reasons.

Actually, while I’m on the topic of friendship, why don’t I compare this comic to another comic? Or to be more specific about it, the legendary comedic double-act, Laurel and Hardy, simply because they’re two friends who spend a lot of time together (similar to how the Titans partnered off into three groups of two during this adventure).

Comparison made. 

At the end of this issue, Damian Wayne attempts to do something rather strange to Djinn. So, out of the following eight options, let’s see if you can guess what he attempts to do? Could it involve…

  • Punching her in the face.
  • Slapping her on the arse.
  • Kissing her on the lips.
  • Touching her on the elbow.
  • Hanging her from a tree.
  • Using her like a dishcloth.
  • Selling her to the highest bidder.
  • Paying her to be very nice to him. 

Nuff said. 

TEEN TITANS #27 TEEN TITANS #27 Reviewed by David Andrews on March 05, 2019 Rating: 5

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