TEEN TITANS #19 by Ben Percy, Scot Eaton, Wayne Faucher and Jim Charalampidis
TEEN TITANS #19 is a very satisfying conclusion to the "It Ain't Easy Bein' Green" arc. With incredible characterization and art, this story only truly suffers from a too sudden end to the overarching conflict.
92 %
Sudden Stop but Satisfying
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In the Rebirth TEEN TITANS comic book series, the team didn’t initially come together by choice. Rather, Robin kidnapped each of its current members, sans Aqualad. Though he did so to save their lives, Ben Percy hasn’t explored this particular plot point since. With that being said, TEEN TITANS #19 and the current arc “It Ain’t Easy Being Green” is the perfect opportunity to delve into this strange origin.

Beast Boy, joined with the technological think tank Nevrland, has finally found a home away from the manipulative Robin. However, in TEEN TITANS #19, Nevrland shows its true colors. After taking control of Beast Boy’s mind, Joran turns the hero on his former allies. Can Robin and the others save their friend in time?

Beast Boy’s Rampage

TEEN TITANS #19 page 1. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

TEEN TITANS #19 might just be one of the strongest issues in the series thus far. The balance of plot and character moments feels pristine. Where other issues in this arc have battled against heavy exposition, the team really gets to stretch their legs here. This is an action sequence through and through, and it is done in a way that only the Teen Titans could allow.

While they fight, their personalities rocket to the surface. More importantly, the story felt incredibly satisfying. Seeing Robin stand up for Beast Boy truly drives this arc home. It turns this solely Beast Boy focused story into a spotlight on the team. This makes TEEN TITANS #19 a really pulse-pounding and heartwarming tale, all at the same time.

The Puppeteer

I think that TEEN TITANS #19 has only one primary problem overall. While I do enjoy the new focus on Joran’s history, I feel her time in the comic doesn’t get utilized nearly enough. She has no powers or any real way to stand up against the team, so when she loses control of Beast Boy, the battle ends quickly.

While this allows for some cool character moments, in the end, the battle doesn’t resolve in any truly satisfying way. It feels good to see a superhero book straying away from the “punch bad guys in the face” motif. However, I wanted just a little more. Joran is such a cool villain, and her backstory is really heart-wrenching. However, it just doesn’t get the time to fully flesh itself out.

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Forgive and Forget

Separating characterization and plot in this issue feels rather difficult. They inform each other in a way that every great story should. Percy manages to tie character into nearly every element of TEEN TITANS #19. I love the new look at Robin’s forced recruitment of the team. It ties up some plot holes from early on the series while simultaneously forcing Damian Wayne to address his own shortcomings.

We see a heartfelt and difficult apology coming from this very emotionally distant character, and it feels very satisfying. This also ties into Beast Boy’s own doubts about the current team of Teen Titans in a way that feels believable. None of this would work, though, without a more grounded look at the entire cast.

TEEN TITANS #19 page 2. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

The hardest part of writing a team book like TEEN TITANS is balancing all of the disparate cast members, even those that don’t play key roles in the plot or themes. TEEN TITANS #19 deftly succeeds at giving each and every hero their moment. I don’t want to give anything away, as there are some huge character beats for the rest of the team.

Still, Starfire, Aqualad, Kid Flash, and Raven manage to feel very human in the midst of their superheroics. This element really plays into the major themes of the TEEN TITANS Rebirth story so far. Even in the midst of all this dangerous superheroing, the team still consists of a bunch of kids. With the exception of the leaders Starfire and Robin, they aren’t hardened warriors, which makes every story that much more harrowing.

Bringing Out the Green

TEEN TITANS #19 page 3. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

None of this story’s impact, though, would be possible without the incredible artistic team. I’ve applauded Scot Eaton’s sharp realism in the past, but his work on TEEN TITANS #19 seems to have an even greater polish than before. The anatomy is crisper. The character expressions feel more dynamic. This issue alone manages to show Eaton’s artistic chops better than all of the preceding ones.

Also, considering that this installment focuses on Beast Boy, the animal artistry would obviously get called into question. Thankfully, Eaton’s take on the creatures in this comic looks incredible. I especially have a major soft spot for Robin’s pet bat-monster Goliath, and Eaton manages to make that creature stand out in the best possible way.

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Inker Wayne Faucher and colorist Jim Charalampidis join Eaton again for this artistic enterprise. This pair amazes me with each and every issue. Together, these artists manage to deftly craft the perfect atmosphere for TEEN TITANS #19. Faucher’s dark inking style sticks with the reader, forcing them to witness the major brawl.

However, Charalampidis manages to balance this serious vibe with a highly saturated color scheme. This works to remind readers that while the events within feel dramatic and action-packed, this is still a teen superhero comic.

Final Thoughts: TEEN TITANS #19

TEEN TITANS #19 is an incredibly satisfying reading experience. As the conclusion of the “It Ain’t Easy Being Green” arc, this issue carries with it just the right amount of emotional weight to balance the fantastic action sequences.

While I feel that the villain, Joran, gets a bit short-changed, the rest of the heroic cast has plenty of moments to relate to the reader. All in all, this issue measures up as one of the best in Percy’s Rebirth run, and I cannot wait to see what the team does in the upcoming NO JUSTICE story.

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