“It Ain’t Easy Being Green,” Part 2
Writer – Ben Percy
Artist – Scot Eaton
Teen Titans #18 moves the plot forward and introduces a new villain to the DC Universe, The Puppeteer!
Beast Boy continues living under the influence of the designer drug, “Pixie,” which alters the minds of its users. Images of a “better life” bring intoxicating feelings making reality more difficult to bear. While providing a unique and temporary high, “Pixie” has a far more dubious purpose. And, what’s worse, Beast Boy’s new friend, Joran, has designs on expanding its market. Capitalizing on Beast Boy’s internet popularity, misfits from the community receive an exclusive invite to “Nevrland.” But, only the first hit is free! The crowd’s exposure to “Pixie” presents difficult circumstances for our heroes. Not to mention, their friend is compromised!
As Joran prepares to face the crowds, she transforms her appearance to one more appealing. However, in the most meaningful dialogue in the issue, Garth urges her to be authentically herself. He says, “Let’s go be weird and vulnerable together!” Here, the author connects with the heart cry of current youth culture: authenticity over everything!
The Teen Titans look to help their comrade by blending into the “Nevrland” gathering. This undercover mission gives Ben Percy the perfect opportunity to further develop these characters. Here, the budding romance between Raven and Kid Flash was particularly interesting. These two seem to be at ease with each other and their potential relationship bodes well for future character development.
Panels and pages appear crisp, clean, and well-placed. Teen Titans #18 boasts what may be one of the best non-variant covers of the Titans family in quite some time. Well done, Dan Mora! Additionally, colors help situate the reader and distinguish dialogue when characters are out-of-panel. Particularly, facial expressions are well rendered and emote properly according to the dialogue. The action is scarce in Teen Titans #18 but rather than being off-putting it sets up the potential for good pay-off as the story progresses.
Teen Titans #18 aptly moves the story forward by introducing significant drama and a villain with valid reasons for taking action. Still, the “Puppeteer” has all the makings of a solid baddie who could return time and again to befuddle the Titans. Poignantly, Ben Percy connects with the ethos of today’s youth culture – the sometimes delicate balance between escapism and authenticity. The art is good and the pacing is swift. Overall, this was an enjoyable issue.
Images courtesy of DC Entertainment.