Review: Teen Titans #19

Teen Titans #19

“Who is Wonder Girl,” Part 3

Writer: Greg Pak

Pencils: Ian Churchill and Alvaro Martinez

Inks: Norm Rapmund and Raul Fernandez

Colors: Tony Avina

Letters: Corey Breen

Cover: Ian Churchill, Norm Rapmund and Andrew Dalhouse

 

 

 

John Romita, Jr. Variant Cover

Inks: Danny Miki

Colors: Dean White

Assistant Editor: Brittany Holzherr

Editor: Alex Antone

 

 

 

 

Teen Titans #19 wraps Greg Pak’s “Who is Wonder Girl” storyline. Cassie Sandsmark, a.k.a. Wonder Girl, has embraced her demigoddess heritage. Along with her heritage, she has inherited a new family she never knew. Wonder Woman and Cassandra are her new aunts; both vying for voice in Cassie’s life and newfound power.

Wonder Woman delivers an ominous warning:

There’s always a price to be paid when you steal the power of the gods.

In Teen Titans #19, we learn the true ends of Cassandra’s madness. The Rod of Asclepius was not attained to bring Cassie’s father back to life, but to restore Cassandra’s demigoddess power – the ability to control minds with her voice. Cassie unknowingly hands over the weapon of Apollo to her aunt Cassandra.

The real story is not about Cassie’s new origins and family of demigods, but finding herself. She is forced to make decisions – and difficult ones at that. Cassie chooses to meet a greater threat, at the expense of finding answers for herself. In this moment, Cassie becomes Wonder Girl.

Teen Titans #19 is, perhaps obviously, Cassie-centric. The other Titans are scarcely seen and play only supporting roles in this issue. The story takes an interesting turn with Cassandra’s true colors showing. The plot twist and Cassie’s subsequent choices give some lift to the story. However, the interest builds too little too late. The “traveling head” of Cassie’s father failed to carry the emotion from previous issues and renders Cassie’s ultimate decision less dramatic and less powerful.

The art in the issue is well done. The colors are good and vibrant. The lines, smooth and crisp.

The dialogue still carries a playful quality inherent in Teen Titans, but less so in this more dramatic issue. When the Titans are involved, the dialogue is more lively and fun, indicative of the good relationships they’ve built on the team. This issue simply has less of it than usual. And, rightly so. Greg Pak has tried to create a dramatic tension in and around Cassie Sandsmark as she wrestles with her origin and identity.

However, for this reviewer it fell short of more classic “origin” tales and lacked the feeling of significance. The addition of Wonder Woman added gravitas, but failed to overcome the imbalance of hyena-men, giant serpents, and a less than well known villain.

Nevertheless, Cassie Sandsmark is Wonder Girl…and a good one at that. I had high hopes for the “Who is Wonder Girl?” story, but was disappointed. Here’s hoping we get more stories that play to the strengths of the Teen Titans as they mature as a team in the near future.

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