Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Single Issue Review: Teen Titans #19

This was the beginning of the "hip" new Teen Titans, and in some ways it worked, but in others you can only shake your head in amazement. The story begins with a rather nervous-looking young man approaching the "School of Criminology" with a proposal:

Pretty efficient way of setting the stage, but it also fails to impress us with the major villain for the issue.

Speedy shows up at the Teen Titans' headquarters. There are two cases requiring the attention of the youngsters, and Speedy does the math in his head quickly:

That's pretty cool; Speedy comes off well. Together, he and Wonder Girl head for a school in New England, where prejudice has reared its ugly head, with fights between Jews and (presumably) Christians. They help to break things up:

But are captured by Sepastopol, who taunts them with his snazzy new uniform:

Note to villains: Do not incorporate the color pink into your costume. And for God's sake, don't wear a dunce cap!

In the second part, Robin, Kid Flash and Aqualad arrive just in time to prevent a bunch of farmers from attacking some kids who've created a discotheque in a barn. But once again, it's just a pretext to capture them.

With all the Titans now captured, Punch decides to call the principal of the School of Criminology. Even Speedy senses this is rather foolish:

With the Titans quickly freed, all that remains is for the mop-up:

Damn, that Gil Kane could draw a punch!

Comments: Obviously an exceedingly silly story, this issue nonetheless has plenty of charm. The hip new Speedy goes over well and the storyline flows right from the opening panel. Thanks to writer Mike Friedrich, the teen characters talk like teens of the late 1960s (and not like teens of the 1950s), with the exception of one "Daddio" which did make me cringe. I don't think Sylvester Sepastopol ever returned in the DC universe.