Teen Titans #22 | “The Audition”
Writer: Tony Bedard
Pencils: Ian Churchill
Inks: Norm Rapmund
Colors: Tony Avina
Letters: Corey Breen
Cover: Mike McKone & Rod Reis
Assistant Editor: Brittany Holzherr
Editor: Alex Antone
Tony Bedard and team bring us the next installment of his story arch in Teen Titans #22. This issue, titled, “The Audition,” starts with Red Robin missing, taken underground by well trained soldiers. The Titans search frantically for their lost leader. Little do they know, Tim is in Belle Reve, captured by Amanda Waller — and used as bait. Waller auditions the team for her Suicide Squad!
Teen Titans #22 is a straightforward and predictable follow-up to the last issue. However, it stands well on its own. The story is an intriguing way to showcase the team formation of the Teen Titans. The most powerful narrative in the issue is the coming of age of Tanya Spears, a.k.a. Power Girl, who assumes a leadership role in Tim’s absence.
Teen Titans #22 shows the team not only coming together as a team under duress, but also how they outwit the venerable Amanda Waller. The story is well told and the writing is solid. The back-and-forth dialogue is typical Titans, with characters getting comedic one-liners in and playing off each other. The difference in Teen Titans #22 is dialogue occurring between Waller and Tim, which frames the action almost narratively, while the rest of the Titans fight to rescue their leader. Drake’s faith in his team is overt, while Waller tries to cast shadows of doubt. Their interaction is compelling, adds gravitas, and moves the story forward in an intriguing way.
The art in Teen Titans #22 is well rendered. The colors are really nice and the details add depth to the panels. In particular, I noticed the sunsets in many of the panels are simply superb! The colors set the environment and provide the backdrop needed to frame the characters well. The shadowing in this issue was noticeably well done – a fine addition to this issue.
Teen Titans #22 is a pleasantly surprising issue. It fits squarely within the ongoing story arch, but could also be a fine stand alone issue. The premise of the team’s development is a welcomed one. The Titans are beginning to come into their own as a team-using not just their powers, but their wits as well. Seeing Tanya’s character tip-toeing into a new role and seeing the other Titans respond to her bodes well for future stories. The art was beautiful and the pacing was brisk.
I really enjoyed this one.