Teen Titans #18 | “Who is Wonder Girl,” Part 2
Pencillers: Ian Churchill and Tom Derenick
Inkers: Norm Rapmund and Art Thibert
Colorist: Tony Avina
Letterer: Corey Breen
Cover: Ian Churchill and Andrew Dalhouse
Associate Editor: Paul Kaminski
Editor: Mike Cotton
Group Editor: Eddie Berganza
Greg Pak writes “Who is Wonder Girl,” Part 2 in Teen Titans #18.
The action built in the previous issue slows in Teen Titans #18. The cliffhanger introduction of Wonder Woman, teased in issue #17, is relegated to providing backstory in issue #18, as she and Red Robin race toward southern Greece to catch up with rest of the Titans. In a fairly interesting way, Wonder Woman and Cassandra tell the backstory in tandem – Wonder Woman to Red Robin en route to the Titans; while Cassandra picks up the narrative in her conversations with Cassie and the rest of the team in Greece.
But, background story takes up half of the issue.
When the action reconvenes, Cassandra hastily searches for the Rod of Asclepius (Greek god of medicine) – the device one assumes would be used to resurrect Cassie’s father. Its discovery deep within the Temple of Apollo (Greek god of the sun), awakens two giant serpents who protect the ancient ruins. This provides opportunity for Cassie to tap into her power as Wonder Girl and receive encouragement/guidance from Cassandra on using her full power.
Using her powers, Raven declares Cassandra’s mind is disjointed, full of mazes and traps.
And, this issue felt a bit like that in places – disjointed. Perhaps, that is what readers are supposed to experience when reading this story? With a demigod like Cassandra, whose schizophrenic personality darts and dashes without much forethought, readers are bound to feel the herky-jerky pacing of this issue.
The writing here is good, but left me wanting. The impact of Wonder Woman is less than desired, as her role is – essentially – to utilize her Lasso of Truth to affirm Cassandra’s story. Wonder Woman would likely not strain to defeat lower-tier baddies – no qualms there. However, it would be nice to see her wrestle a bit more emotionally, with the familial tale Teen Titans is supposedly weaving with the “Who is Wonder Girl” storyline. Instead, Teen Titans #18 wraps with a rather dissatisfying “Scooby-Doo” ending where all is seemingly well and everyone is a big, happy (though dysfunctional) family.
And, once the Rod of Asclepius was acquired, what about Cassie’s dad? Where did the head go? It felt as if the main point of the storyline dropped suddenly in favor of another direction. While I am sure the storyline will continue in the following issue, the ending along with the not-so-subtle mention of an impending “team-up” did not sit well with this reader.
The art in the issue is good. The colors in Teen Titans #18 help guide readers well in an issue with many characters and back-and-forth dialogue. There are a few panels that stood out for me:
The splash page is brilliant and takes readers through a lot of history in a short space. This is the beauty of comics as a genre – the ability to not use not only prose, but dialogue and art to creatively move readers through large concepts and stories in little time. Wonder Woman is depicted well here. She’s strong and imposing, beautiful and feminine. This panel captures Diana in all her glory and sets her apart from the other cast of characters – just the way she deserves!
In all, I was cool on Teen Titans #18 for a few reasons. It was a slower pace from the cliffhanger of last issue and seemed to drag a bit. Once the action picked up, the story felt jerky and disorienting – particularly the ending.
Teen Titans #18 does features a very beautiful variant cover by Phil Jimenez and Romulo Fajardo, Jr.