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TEEN TITANS #34

[ BARGAIN BASH!
There once was a flirtatious genie, who’d get a kick out of wearing a bikini. Until, one day, her bikini, went away, because it was stolen by a dirty old meanie. Want to know more? Then please ignore the following adventure created by Adam Glass, Bernard Chang, and published by DC Comics in October, 2019.

TO QUOTE Douglas Coupland: A ring is a halo for your finger’. 

THE STORY:
From the looks of it, a member of the Teen Titans has mysteriously stolen Djinn’s magic ring, and now it’s up to Robin to try to track down the perpetrator.

But can he do this? Can Robin figure out the real identity of this thief and then bring them to justice? Keeping in mind that Wally is the fastest brat alive, Crush is the angriest lesbian alive, and Roundhouse is the roundest geek alive! Well, to find out, please pick up issue 34 of the Teen Titans today. In the meantime though, here, check this out… 

THE REVIEW:
All in all, I really enjoyed reading this episode of the Teen Titans because the artwork was bold, lively, and easy to follow, whereas the story in itself was a straightforward mystery with some rather drastic ramifications! In fact, this episode ended on such a dramatic note, the only real way for me to review it is by answering the following questions...

1) So how did the overall story play out?  Essentially, a large part of the plot was fairly similar to a police procedural you’d normally see on a primetime television show.  Something like ‘CSI’, for instance, where you’d follow a team of investigators who try to figure out which criminal was behind a crime that was established at the start of the show. In this case, though, the investigators have been replaced by Damian Wayne, a.k.a. Robin, the boy blunder, while the crime has been replaced by a pre-existing dilemma.  A pre-existing dilemma that’s definitely going to shake up the status quo!  Well, without giving too much away, Robin’s quest mainly focused on him speaking to each individual member of the team, one, by one, by one, in order to find out who was behind two interconnected mysteries: Firstly, who stole Djinn’s ring? (which was stolen before the events of this issue) And secondly, who caused the destruction of his secret prison? (which happened near the end of the Terminus Agenda). Eventually, a revelation was finally made, but it wasn’t made by Robin, but rather, somebody else, and even then, we are left with a cliffhanger which I’m sure we will see more of next month. 

2) Can anything be said about this month’s episode without giving the game away? No! Not really, not in terms of the actual plot, although I do think that there are a couple of things well worth mentioning. Like Djinn’s confrontation with Crush, for instance, which to some extent, goes to show who they truly are as people! After all, Djinn does seem like a very mysterious and aloof character (both to us and herself), because she’s been oppressed for her entire life and has never been allowed to find out who she really is. Whereas Crush, on the other hand, is a fairly volatile character, who’s scared, insecure, and in dire need to also explore her true identity!  Well, is she a full-on Czarnian or is she a hybrid of sorts? And even if she's able to figure out what species she is, will that be able to explain some of her more emotional urges?  Ranging from the violent to the compassionate!  In any event, I’m sure that the road ahead is going to be an exploratory one by nature. Or better yet, a therapeutic one for the sake of the team! 

3) Did Damian carry out his investigation to the best of his abilities? Personally, I like to think he did, because in no uncertain terms he made sure that he questioned all of his team-mates in a very forthright fashion. What did surprise me, though, was how each member of the team answered his questions in a rather combative way. For example, during his confrontation with Roundhouse, the blue boffin literally turned the tables on Damian by analyzing his approach to asking questions (which was unexpected, to say the least, considering that he's usually such a fun character). While Wally (who he spoke to last) took a slightly different approach than Roundhouse, a more personal approach, where he either preempted Damian's questions or jovially rebuked them in a very funny way (Seriously, that comment about his Dad being a crook, while Damian's Mum and Grandfather were world-class criminals, really cracked me up, ha!). And as for the other two? Crush and Djinn? Well, in their case, they seemed like their normal selves, for the most part, yet I was surprised when Crush’s eyes suddenly turned red with anger, similar to her Father’s. 

4) Talking about surprises, was I surprised about the true identity of the traitor when it was revealed? Yes, yes I was, even though I did predict the traitor’s real identity during last month’s review. Having said that, though, I’m not entirely sure about their true motivations or why they’re currently behaving like this?  Is it personal, perhaps? Financial? Or worse still, could the traitor actually be the evil mastermind the team has been pursuing since the start of this series? The Other!  Let me know what you think in the comment section below.

THE MUSIC:
For this month’s musical match-up, I’m going to align this adventure with the Johnny Cash classic, ‘Ring of Fire’, because, you know, rings... dangerous rings!




THE COMPARISON: 
Well, because most of the story revolves around a missing ring, I might as well compare it to an actual ring you could purchase on Amazon, ha!

THE CONCLUSION:
At the very end of this episode, it’s finally revealed who stole Djinn’s ring and who is the traitor in the team!  So, out of the following six options, let’s see if you can guess who the traitor is and why? I mean, could it be…

  1. Robin, because he wants to uphold his Grandfather’s legacy.
  2. Red Arrow, because she wants to join forces with her Mother.
  3. Kid Flash, because he wants to follow in his Father’s footsteps.
  4. Djinn, because she wants to bring back her ancient ancestry. 
  5. Crush, because she wants to surpass her Father’s reputation.
  6. Roundhouse, because... well... just because.

Nuff said. 

TEEN TITANS #34 TEEN TITANS #34 Reviewed by David Andrews on October 01, 2019 Rating: 5

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