There once was a very bad Dad, who had a pad that looked rather sad. So to make things seem better. He put on a cheap sweater. But he forgot to put away his gonad. Want to know more? Then please ignore the following adventure created by Adam Glass, Bernard Chang, and published by DC Comics in December, 2019.

TO QUOTE Dolly Parton: If I can get my dress on, my weight is under control’.

If you could be any member of the Teen Titans, which member would you prefer to be? Would it be someone like Roundhouse, for instance? Who's currently being detained for betraying his team-mates! Or how about Djinn? Even though she’s still trapped inside her ring and isn’t showing any signs of coming out! Or better yet, why not Crush? Despite the fact that she’s presently being controlled by her father, Lobo, in order to fulfill his nefarious contract with The Other.

Well, whichever member you decide to pick, please remember that they’re all good kids, including Robin, Kid Flash, and Red Arrow, and don’t deserve to be beaten, battered, or bruised by one of their own! Want to know more? Then please pick up issue 36 of the Teen Titans today! In the meantime, though, here, check this out…

On the whole, I’d say that I thoroughly enjoyed reading this episode because Bernard Chang’s artwork was bold, dynamic, and simple to follow, whereas Adam Glass’s storyline was both personal and exciting to read. To some extent, you could easily say that this was a story of two halves, with one half focused on Crush’s predicament with her father, Lobo, while the other half, dealt with the aftermath relating to Billy’s previous actions. Now to elaborate further, let’s ponder over these... 

1) Does Roundhouse deserve to be forgiven? Yes, I like to think he does, up to a point, but only because I believe in redemption and truly feel that his actions were largely based on his warped point of view. After all, Damian did accidentally kill his sister and cause him to transform into the blue-boffin we know and love today! So to some degree, Damian is partly responsible for Billy’s vindictive behavior, even though Billy himself has to take some responsibility as well. In addition to this, we also have to consider that every single member of the Teen Titans has made mistakes in the past. A lot of mistakes, I hasten to add, which includes the death of Deathstroke (Red Arrow), the illegal detention of criminals (Damian), as well as numerous other catastrophes,  brought about by the team (Crush, Djinn, and Wally). So, in retrospect, I’d say that they should at least give Billy the chance to redeem himself, or else they would seem like a bunch of hypocrites with a double standard, one for them and another for him, which I’m sure none of them are, despite their current situation.

2) What do you mean, ‘current situation’? Well, without giving too much away, let me just say that this issue’s main focus largely revolved around Crush being possessed by her father, Lobo, and together, successfully taking down most of her team-mates. Not all of her team-mates, most of them, which in itself makes for a real riveting read because of the intriguing questions it urges us to answer. Questions like:

  • How much mental control does Lobo have over his daughter? A lot. And can she possibly break free from it? Yes, I think she can, but only if she’s able to replace her feelings of anger with feelings of hope and love, spit-spit-spit!
  • Will the team escape from their confinement? Well, I hope they can, otherwise, this series will end very, very soon. 
  • Do Wally and Emiko fancy each other? Yes, but they won’t admit it.
  • Who’s Elias? Djinn’s brother, and someone Robin wants to find so they can save her. 
  • And finally, why does the person who’s captured the Teen Titans want to detain them in the first place? At a rough guess, I’d say that he/she/it doesn’t like kids with a bad attitude and now wants to beat them into being nice

Ha! Seriously though, folks, I’m sure, coff-coff’s, true motivations are purely platonic, wink-wink, and will eventually lead the team to unmask her/his/it’s dastardly plan and blah-blah-blah! What’s more, I wouldn’t be surprised if he/she/it is hiding behind another identity in order to conceal their real one! Well, it has been known to happen in a Titan’s book, plus I have a sneaking suspicion that this person may be a previous member of the team! Personally, I bet it’s Jericho, Slade’s son, as he’s a slippery sod and has a track record for pretending to be someone else. And if it’s not him, then maybe it’s Omen or Terra, who both have a track record for being slippery as well. 

3) Anything else you might want to add? No. Not really. Although I would like to say that I did enjoy reading this episode, especially those more personal moments scattered throughout each scene. Like that scene between Lobo and Crush, for instance, where he told her that he didn’t care about her sexuality (which I thought was very progressive, particularly for a bounty hunter). Or those scenes that featured Billy speaking to Wally and Emiko about his previous attack on them (which, likewise, was also very progressive, therapeutic even)! Apart from that, though, by and large I’d say that this was a fairly fun-filled adventure and I did like how it was seamlessly integrated within this month’s crossover event, ‘Year of the Villain’, without appearing too forced or too contrived. Well done, Bernard and Adam, both for the amazing artwork and the amazing storyline. 

For this month’s musical match-up, I’m going to align this adventure with The Animals’ song, ‘We Gotta Get Out Of This Place’, simply because they’re both about people who want to escape from their confinement.

Still sticking with the theme of someone wanting to break free, and I would now like to compare this comic book to overprotective parents because, well, just because. Say no more, wink-wink! 

At the end of this issue, most of the team finally comes face-to-face with… who? Who do you think they finally come face-to-face with? I mean, could it be…

  • The Mother.
  • The Brother.
  • The Lover.
  • The Mover.
  • The Shaker.
  • The Baker.
  • The Candlestick Maker. 
  • The Other.

Nuff said.

TEEN TITANS #36 TEEN TITANS #36 Reviewed by David Andrews on December 12, 2019 Rating: 5

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