Teen Titans #23
Pencils: Miguel Mendonca
Inks: Diana Conesa
Colors: Tony Avina
Letters: Corey Breen
Cover: David Williams & Rod Reis
Assistant Editor: Brittany Holzherr
Editor: Alex Antone
Tony Bedard and creative team brings Teen Titans #23, “Teen Night in the Cresent City.” Following the events in Teen Titans #22, the Titans enjoy a night on the town in New Orleans. Thanks to their teamwork and success against Amanda Waller at Belle Reve, the Titans’ criminal records have been expunged. Their joy doesn’t last long, however, as H.I.V.E. Queen employs her mind-control on the city’s citizens, making them drones to serve her purposes.
Overall, the story in Teen Titans #23 is enjoyable, and the pacing is swift. The heroes confront their foe and work together to defeat her. I quite enjoyed the stand-alone story – with the plot, climax, and resolution happening all in one issue. This is a welcomed change of pace from the other, larger narratives playing out over multiple issues. Here, Teen Titans #23 can be enjoyed for what it is – a good, clear story that shows the young team working together to overcome obstacles.
Describing this issue as a self-contained is not to say Teen Titans #23 is simplistic. Tim Drake uses his intellect to devise a plan that utilizes the powers of the others, but keeps them – and readers – in suspense until the closing panels. There is plenty of smart dialogue indicative of youth. The team is still maturing and perhaps underestimates their abilities. However, this allows the team to not take themselves, or their work, too seriously.
The artwork in the issue is solid with good use of vibrant colors. It is not as sharp as some titles; not as cartoony as others. I did notice a difference between the art in this issue and its previous issue. I did like the way the artists frame the panels with well-defined, white-space margins around many. This easily directs the eye around the page and moves the storyboard effectively.
All told, Teen Titans #23 told a pretty solid, self-contained story. I enjoyed the issue and it moved the Titans arch forward into new territory, as they are no longer fugitives. The team continues to grow and develop, especially Tim’s Red Robin. For me, Tim Drake is being positioned to assume larger responsibilities in the DCU, much like Dick Grayson’s leadership of the Titans did for his character in yesteryear. This is a welcomed move, and I would love to see Tim get more recognition and storylines in other titles.