There once was a mysterious jail, which was hidden away like the grail. But then, one night, to everyone’s, delight, it was discovered by the actor, Christian Bale. Want to know more? Then please ignore the following adventure created by Adam Glass, Bernard Chang, and published by DC Comics in June, 2019.

TO QUOTE Richard Lovelace:Stone walls do not a prison make, nor iron bars a cage’.

After the shocking events depicted at the end of ‘The Terminus Agenda’, The Teen Titans now have to figure out what to do with the remaining prisoners locked away underneath their HQ!

So, what should they do? Should they follow Damian’s orders and keep everyone locked up until they can finally find their mysterious boss, The Other! Or alternatively, should they let the authorities deal with them instead? Either way, no matter what anyone has to say, I don’t think Red Arrow, Crush, Djinn, Kid Flash, and Roundhouse, will be able to agree on what to do with these foul fiends, Ka-Pow! Want to know more? Then please pick up issue 30 of The Teen Titans today!  In the meantime though, here, check this out…

Part One) BLACK OR WHITE:   On a conceptual level, I’d say issue 30 of the Teen Titans was a story about ethics. It was a story about what some people are willing to do as opposed to what some people aren’t. After all, is it right for an individual to detain a group of criminals in the name of justice?  Or do you think it’s a better idea to allow the official governing bodies to take care of these crooks on our behalf?  In any event, somebody needs to make a choice, choose a side, and then act accordingly. Otherwise, nothing gets resolved and nothing gets achieved. That is, unless you’re one of the characters featured in this fine, fine comic book, who are either morally right or ethically accurate!

Well, let’s face it, who do you agree with?  ‘Team Robin’? A team who condones murder and incarceration with the intent of saving peoples lives! Or alternatively, would you join forces with ‘Team Roundhouse’? Who in stark contrast, prefers to go through the official channels to avoid breaking the law

I mean, if you think about it, holding a prisoner against their will is a pretty difficult quandary to contemplate, especially for a juvenile team book such as this one. But then again, that’s what makes this storyline so interesting to read, because it subverts expectations, it defies conventions, and it creates a scenario where a cast of characters have to talk about these issues in both a realistic and meaningful way.

Now, to illustrate what I mean, I’d like to draw your attention towards what side of the argument certain members of the group have decided to take. For example, Damian and Emiko have both chosen the ‘lock them up’ option, simply because their upbringing was unorthodox and their lifestyles were very harsh and rigid to endure. Whereas Billy and Djinn, on the other hand, have selected the ‘set them free’ card, mainly because they’ve had a fairly positive childhood prior to things going wrong. And as for Wally and Crush? Well, in their case, these two could go either way, but ultimately they chose their side based on fate rather than foe.  So, what do you think, dear reader? Which side of the argument would you want to stand by? Or would you prefer it, if this book didn’t tackle issues such as these? Either way, please feel free to leave your thoughts in the comment section below. 

Part Two) TEAM DOWN:   Aside from all this talk about ethics, this episode also features a big fight amongst the team so they can finally decide if they should keep these prisoners or not.  Overall, I’d say their battle was very nicely choreographed, as it flowed in incremental stages and, to some degree, kind of made sense where the individual fights were concerned: one-on-one style. Not totally, mind you, because there was the odd occasion where certain characters were able to overpower others for the sake of spicing things up. But even so, everything looked good and everything seemed very exciting, daring, and fun.  So much so, in fact, that I’m now going to give you my opinion on who should have won each battle, rather than critiquing what actually went down. Please enjoy.

Robin versus Crush: To me, personally, the outcome of this skirmish is a no-brainer, because Crush is an alien from the same planet Lobo originated from, Czarnia, whereas Damian is a smart kid from Arab-Land who isn’t powerful enough to stop someone who can take on Superman. Therefore, Robin, slap-slap, while Crush, win-win.

Red Arrow versus Djinn: Okay. So which one of these nice young ladies has the advantage in this kick-ass contest? Could it be the secretive assassin who’s pretty good with a bow and arrow? Or could it be the immortal magical genie that can create anything she wants to? (within reason) Personally, I’d choose the genie, but only because she’s more powerful and has had a lot more experience. 

Kid Flash versus Roundhouse: Unlike the other two fights featured on this list, this one is pretty evenly matched due to both contestants being strongsmart, and quick on their feet. Too quick, some might say, because Wally is fast with the force, whereas Billy is fast with his mind. So, to some extent, who comes out fighting first will probably have the edge over their opponent.

Now, while I’m on the subject of these battles, I best mention that this book looked fantastic, really fantastic, largely due to the magnificent artwork provided by Bernard Chang. Not only because he constructed each stage of the story in a very bold and lively fashion, but in addition to this, he also added a number of artistic flourishes that I don’t think I’ve ever seen before. This includes things like: (1) Highlighting certain characters by making them take up one side of a page; (2) Adding some emotional intensity to a scene with a sequence of nicely paced visuals; and (3) Constructing these cute little circular inserts which spotlight each battle within the larger scheme of things. Seriously, folks, Bernard did us proud this month, and I’m truly thankful for his work on this book, along with Adam Glass’s contribution as well. Amazing job, guys!

So, overall, I would just like to say that I did enjoy reading this issue of the Teen Titans, because the arguments were well-balanced, the artwork looked amazing,  and when all is said and done, the story made so much sense that I realized that I didn’t really need to buy ‘The Terminus Agenda’! Ops! Too late! 

If you want to know why I’m musically matching up this comic book with the theme tune heard at the start of the well-known reality-show, ‘Judge Judy’, then take to the stand, plead the fifth, and check out the following section for more information. Many thanks.

In many ways, this episode reminded me of a court case because each member of the team took their turn to vocalize their side of the argument. Therefore, comparison made, knock-knock, and case dismissed. 

At the end of this issue, somebody comes smashing through a wall and interrupts the team’s current heated debate. So, out of the following eight candidates, let’s see if you can guess who this person actually is? I mean, could it be…

  1. Batman.
  2. Superman.
  3. Green Arrow.
  4. The Flash.
  5. Wonder Woman.
  6. Lobo.
  7. Yoko Ono.
  8. Bono. 

Nuff said.

TEEN TITANS #30 TEEN TITANS #30 Reviewed by David Andrews on June 04, 2019 Rating: 5

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