There once was an alien merc, who was always a bit of a jerk. But then, one day, he knelt down, to pray, so he could slowly rework his sly twerk! Want to know more? Then please ignore the following adventure created by Adam Glass, Sean Chen, and published by DC Comics in September, 2019.

TO QUOTE Ali Krieger:You can control two things: your work ethic and your attitude about anything’. 

Ever since their encounter with Lobo and Deathstroke the Terminator, the Teen Titans seem to be as stable as a herd of wild horses on crack. After all, Red Arrow has left the group, Damian’s prison has been completely destroyed, and to make matters even worse, they now have to face-off against two members of the Fearsome Five, Mammoth and Shimmer, in order to prevent them from smuggling refugees into the country.

So, what do they do next? How do they turn their problems into solutions? I mean, do they give up? Fight back? Or change the error of their ways? Well, to find out, please pick up issue 33 of the Teen Titans today. In the meantime though, here, check this out… 

Before we begin, please allow me to make a couple of things perfectly clear. One: Spoilers lie ahead. Two: I really enjoyed reading this issue. Three: Can you smell cheese? And Four: Numbering things makes my heart go boom! As a matter of fact, I like numbering things so much, I suggest that you stand back, take a deep breath, and get ready for my opinions on this episode, question and answer style

1) Was Sean Chen a suitable replacement for Bernard Chang? I suppose he was, up to a point, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that Sean is a better artist.  If anything, he’s a fairly competent artist, to say the least, and he can definitely hold his own when it comes down to drawing a comic book! But when you compare his work to Bernard’s work? Well, in that case, some of his stuff does seem slightly diluted in comparison. For instance, when Bernard draws action scenes, he normally draws them using a stylized-paneling technique and Art Deco motifs. Whereas Sean, on the other hand, draws his action scenes in a far more conventional fashion, with the use of long, close, and mid-range compositions. I do like his rendition of the Teen Titans, though, as it’s slightly subtler and less cartoonish on the page. Plus to some extent, I have no complaints about his depiction of Mammoth and Shimmer either (Very 80s), along with that sequence showing the villains helping out in Brooklyn (Very Urban Vegan). So, all In all, I’d say Sean’s artwork is very nice indeed because it’s bold, crisp, clean, and very easy to follow! So much so, that if he does get hired to draw more issues further down the line, I’m sure we’d all like to see what else he can come up with.

2) So what was the story all about? Well, depending on your perspective, you could look at this issue in either one of two ways. On the one hand, you could look at it as an update of sorts, an update which lets us know what has happened to the team over the last several months, including their fight with Deathstroke, their battle with Lobo, as well as their problems with Damian’s secret prison and The Other.  Whereas, on the other hand, you could look at it as a road-sign of sorts, a road-sign which points the team in a number of different directions,  some good, some bad, and some damn right ugly. Still, whatever way you want to look at this issue, I for one must congratulate it for doing its best under the circumstances. Well, let’s face it; when a crossover is superimposed onto an ongoing series, sometimes it can come across as a contrived scenario that’s completely out of place. In this instance, however, I’m happy to say that it doesn’t feel contrived -- not totally, anyway -- largely due to Lex’s prior association with Lobo, along with the fact that they’ve both got strong connections to space and all of that jazz.  I also enjoyed reading that sequence featuring Damian and Emiko as well. Although, in this case, my enjoyment came from its blunt and straightforward execution, which basically explored the notion that a member of the team might be a traitor! Not sure which one, though! But personally, I’m banking on it being either Billy or Djinn, as Billy’s father’s identity hasn’t yet been revealed, and Djinn’s origins are still slightly shrouded in mystery. What do you think, folks? Who do you think the traitor might be? That’s if there is one!  Also, did you like seeing more members of the Fearsome Five featured in a Titans comic book? Or as I like to call them, ‘filler’! Ha! 

3) Did I enjoy how this issue ended? Yes, yes I did, although I’m not entirely sure how I felt about Djinn’s mind control shenanigans! One part of me thinks that it’s very oppressive and cruel as it strips people of their own free will. While, another part, isn’t quite sure if the alternative is any better! That being, keeping someone incarcerated inside an unsanctioned prison.  But on second thoughts, maybe I prefer the latter of these two options, simply because warping someone’s mind sounds f#cking nuts. In fact, it sounds so dramatic, deranged, and demented (I like ‘d’s’) that I find it hard to believe that the rest of the team are willing to go along with it! Especially when you take into consideration that Djinn and Damian have spent most of their lives under someone else’s control, while Wally, Billy, and Crush, have at one time or another been tied up and repressed by a villain. I mean, seriously, are they all hypocrites or are they all heroes? Or better yet, is there something else going on here that hasn’t yet been revealed? Something temporary, perhaps? Like a stalemate of sorts, put in place until the team can catch The Other and arrest him for his crimes! In any event, I’m sure that more details will be heading our way in the foreseeable future, so in the meantime, we can only hope that the ends justify the means! 

For this month’s musical match-up, I’m going to align this adventure with the Little Mix song, ‘Power’, because that’s what most of the characters want or crave.

Yes. That’s correct. For fairly obvious reasons, I’m now going to compare this comic book to a gaming controller, any gaming controller, just as long as you can press a button and do something dramatic.

Bing! Bang! Bong! And comparison made. 

At the very end of this issue, we see Djinn doing something rather nasty to two members of the Fearsome Five: Mammoth and Shimmer. So, out of the following eight options, let’s see if you can guess what she does to them? I mean, does she…

  • Beat them.
  • Wash them.
  • Paint them.
  • Verbally abuse them.
  • Decapitate them.
  • Brainwash them. 
  • Stroke them.
  • Comb them. 

Nuff said.

TEEN TITANS #33 TEEN TITANS #33 Reviewed by David Andrews on September 04, 2019 Rating: 5

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