Review: World’s Finest: Teen Titans #4

“Fish Outta Water”
Writer: Mark Waid
Artist: Emanuela Lupacchino
Color Artist: Jordie Bellaire
Letterer: Steve Wands
Review by Bryant Lucas

While the boys kick it at Wally’s for the weekend, Bumblebee tries to recruit a new Titan, in this month’s World’s Finest: Teen Titans #4.

Being a superhero is a challenge and being a teenager is another kind of test, so imagine what it’s like being a teenage superhero? That’s an entirely unique ordeal. So, when the Teen Titans get a rare break, it’s only natural they’d want to unwind.

Seizing a free weekend, Wally decides to host a laid-back gathering with Roy and Garth, filled with video games and candid conversations. However, it soon becomes clear that Wally may not have fully considered his guest choices. Roy, accustomed to luxuries like tennis courts and private pools, is clearly unimpressed by Wally’s more modest home. Tensions rise further when Roy discovers Garth, with his Atlantean quirks, is also attending. As Roy finds Garth’s habits peculiar, Wally and Roy try to downplay Garth’s unusual behavior, especially since Wally’s parents are oblivious to his superhero life. The weekend, intended to be relaxing, quickly becomes a series of awkward encounters.

Meanwhile, Bumblebee meets with Mal Duncan for coffee and attempts to recruit him to the team. Unfortunately, their date turns sour, as the two are interrupted by a car door flying through their window. See what I mean about being a teenager AND a superhero?

A Slice of Life

One of the standout features of this version of the Teen Titans is Waid’s emphasis on character dynamics. This particular issue steps away from the usual superhero escapades and delves deep into the nuances of male bonding.

Through observing the interactions among the three characters, it’s evident that Waid’s exploring different facets of masculinity. Roy comes across as the embodiment of toxicity. His behavior is arrogant, dismissive, and downright disrespectful, belittling both Wally’s humble abode and Garth’s unique personality. Garth, portrayed as the more introspective of the trio, vulnerably shares about his relationship with Donna, only to be met with derisive remarks from Roy.

Meanwhile, Wally, the seemingly balanced individual among them, is caught in the crossfire between these contrasting personalities. The narrative peaks in a riveting conversation involving Wally, Garth, and Wally’s parents, centering on Roy’s disruptive attitude. In this discussion, Garth displays a remarkable depth of understanding, shedding light on Roy’s behavior with commendable emotional acuity.

Dramatic Derby Details

Emanuela Lupacchino’s art in this series is consistently impressive. A particularly striking scene in this issue showcases a moment between Robin and Donna. After Robin concludes a chat with Charley Parker, he’s taken aback to find Donna, seated on a beanbag, clutching a broken steering wheel and smeared with dirt. Her explanation? A stint at a demolition derby.

The brilliance of this scene lies in Lupacchino’s storytelling: Robin’s sheer astonishment contrasts sharply with Donna’s gleeful, somewhat disheveled appearance. The juxtaposition of Robin’s shock and Donna’s euphoria is masterfully conveyed, making the atmosphere taut with emotion, a testament to Lupacchino’s impeccable penciling skills.

Conclusion

As this series progresses, it becomes evident that this isn’t your standard teenage superhero narrative. Waid leans more towards weaving drama and fleshing out character depth than mere action-packed sequences. This edition presents the beloved Titans grappling with contemporary challenges, a dynamic portrayed exceptionally well in World’s Finest: Teen Titans #4.

The series’ trajectory is promising, and I’m eager to follow its unfolding in the subsequent issues.

Final Verdict: This was a comic I never knew I wanted.

Images Courtesy of DC Entertainment


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