TEEN TITANS #24 by Adam Glass and Bernard Chang
Art
Characterization
Plot
Summary
Though it needs some stronger characterization, TEEN TITANS #24 is a really strong addition to the series. Adam Glass and Bernard Chang managed to craft a story filled with so much tension and drama that you can't help but walk away entertained.
93 %
Incredibly Tense
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Adam Glass’ run on TEEN TITANS has been defined by secrets. Every character on this new team has some part of their past they do not want coming out. In TEEN TITANS #24, though, all of those secrets threaten to claw their way to the surface. In the previous issue, the mysterious mega-villain Other tricked the team into chasing would-be assassin Lady Vic. Trapping them all in an apartment building, they then detonated the entire floor, bringing it down on the team’s head. Now, they must work together to find a way out of the collapsing building. But with distrust running rampant through the team, can they even hope to make it out alive?

Minutes to Live

TEEN TITANS #24
TEEN TITANS #24 page 1. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

TEEN TITANS #24 is a surprisingly action-packed issue. I say surprisingly because not much actually happens. For the most part, the team simply sits still surrounded by the backdrop of destroyed building. It shouldn’t be as intriguing as it is, but Glass manages to infuse the issue with a lot of drama and tension. These teens may just sit around and talk for the issue, but you can still feel the desperation. I actively feared for the fate of this young team. Glass hasn’t been afraid to kill characters off in the past. Yes, Roundhouse eventually got better, but the threat still remains. It was really quite terrifying at the beginning of the issue when the team was doing roll-call. I wholly expected someone not to make it out of that room alive.

Another surprise from TEEN TITANS #24 is the pacing. The story actually flows along at a nice clip. I think a lot of this has to do with the character interactions. The inclusion of secrets livens this story up from the beginning. We wholly understand that this team hasn’t yet built up the level of trust as previous incarnations. They aren’t a family, just a bunch of super-powered kids working together. Glass uses these feelings of distrust to increase the tension. He also uses these emotions to empower the final moments. When the team finally comes together in the end, it feels wholly satisfying. While Glass handily relies on overused tropes in this instance, I give him a pass. It simply works so well.

Time for Action

TEEN TITANS #24
TEEN TITANS #24 pages 2 & 3. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

Coming out of TEEN TITANS #24, I realized something. This is the first issue where the whole team really interacts with each other. In previous issues, Robin and his new team never really did more than simple battlefield banter. Sure, there were instances where two or three members of the team broke off and did their own thing. However, this is the first time where they have been forced to be in a room together. It really is interesting to see how Glass balances them all. Almost all of these characters have huge personalities, and they constantly talk over each other. This feels really interesting, especially alongside other teams like the Justice League or the Titans. These teams have a rapport. The Teen Titans do not. They are a bunch of big egos forced together to do some good, and their quarrels make sense.

With that said, I do wish Adam Glass would have pushed the characterization just a bit further. With all of the talk of secrets and trust, I wanted just one to fully come to light. He gets close, using Djinn’s inner turmoil to push the plot along. However, he never reveals anything about the characters. He does set up some great future storylines, especially considering that next issue will dive into Crush’s backstory. Still, I wanted to see how the team reacted to a big reveal. They are already in this vulnerable position. Throwing down some concrete information would have truly heightened the suspense. It could have forced the team to grapple not only with their imminent demise but with a greater sense of distrust.

A Sense of Dread

TEEN TITANS #24
TEEN TITANS #24 page 4. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

I’ve spoken before about how much I love Bernard Chang‘s style for the TEEN TITANS series. However, he does something really cool and unique in TEEN TITANS #24. Panels are a key element of comic book storytelling, and it is especially interesting when artists play with this device. For the first half of the issue, Chang divides the panels in unusual ways, designing each to look like cracks in stone or falling rocks. He also plays with their page orientation, placing them in seemingly random spots on the page. This really amps up the storytelling, adding a constant reminder of the danger these kids face. It goes to show that you shouldn’t overlook the panels when designing a comic book page. They can really do a lot to amplify the atmosphere you are seeking.

TEEN TITANS #24: Final Thoughts

Despite its seemingly bland premise — six teens sitting in a bombed out building and talking — Adam Glass and Bernard Chang deliver another exciting and intriguing look at these characters. TEEN TITANS #24 is a fantastic read, full of personality and plenty of drama. While some of the characterizations could be stronger, I did thoroughly enjoy the way Glass forced these often distant characters to interact. It’s somewhat sad that it takes a collapsing building to do that, but at least they finally get to talk. With promises of secrets to be revealed, we will all need to keep an eye out for the upcoming fun and intrigue in the TEEN TITANS series.

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