Teen Titans Review 9

Benjamin Percy wastes no time jumping right into the moments following the climax of “The Lazarus Contract” in TEEN TITANS #9. Damian has fired Wally from the team and the other Teen Titans don’t take it well. Each member mutually agrees that their leader’s decision was rash and unfair, but it doesn’t seem Damian will change his mind.

TEEN TITANS #9
TEEN TITANS #9 page 9. Image courtesy of DC.

The Titans are split up in this issue, as each deals with the loss of Kid Flash in their own way. Raven decides to confront a brooding Wally directly back in Central City, insisting that he return to the team. Wally apparently declines the offer, revealing that he’s considering joining Deathstroke’s new team, Defiance. The conversation soon turns personal when Wally states that he would stay if he had a reason to. Raven rejects his hints at pursuing a relationship together due to her inability to “feel.”

READ: Want more TEEN TITANS? These are the issues we think the Teen Titans should address!

Starfire and Beast Boy play a small, yet fun, role in TEEN TITANS #9 (as the only ones who actually do their jobs as superheroes) by stopping a robbery. Beast Boy seems to be the most upset at Wally’s departure and hints that he may leave as well. He bluntly shows some very out-of-character animosity towards Aqualad, due to him being on the team instead of Wally. Thankfully this awkward moment is quickly swept under the rug.

Aqualad Steals the Show

TEEN TITANS #9
TEEN TITANS #9 page 12. Image courtesy of DC.

Despite the issue revolving around Wally, it’s Aqualad’s part of the story that steals the spotlight. We get a lot of surprises regarding Jackson Hyde‘s backstory and his family ties. We learn that his mother is also a hydrokinetic, and his father is none other than Black Manta! It’s these revelations that appear to be the basis for the next arc.

READ: Need to catch up? Here’s our review of the conclusion to “The Lazarus Contract” arc!

What bothers me most about this issue is the strong attachments to Kid Flash, considering the team hasn’t been together very long. Without much time to really bond with one another, the distress of him leaving seems out of place and very inorganic. It seems that Percy is trying to force a connection between these teens that isn’t really there. Unlike the close relationships you see in TITANS, the Teen Titans don’t have enough history between them to make us care about Wally’s departure. Even as a reader, we aren’t given many reasons to want him around. Even Raven and Kid Flash’s budding romance feels unimportant and appears to have fizzled out before it even began.

The art in this issue by Khoi Pham, however, is simple yet beautiful to look at. The attention to details in some of the background settings is especially noteworthy. My only complaint would be Pham’s facial expressions. Aqualad’s face, in particular, tended to look rushed and lopsided at some points of the story. The action sequences in this issue, however, were very easy to follow and flowed seamlessly.

TEEN TITANS #9 Conclusion

TEEN TITANS #9 sets up the next arc with enough surprises and plot twists to keep you reading. I would have liked to see more interactions between Aqualad and the rest of the team, but this doesn’t ruin the issue. Wally’s departure from the team doesn’t really hit hard, which might actually be a blessing in disguise. With Wally gone, TEEN TITANS has the opportunity to focus more on the characters we actually care about. I hope Percy uses future issues to build more believable relationships between its heroes.

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TEEN TITANS #9 by Benjamin Percy and Khoi Pham
Art
Characterization
Plot
Summary
While TEEN TITANS #9 offered up some promising leads to a good story arc, the issue just couldn't generate enough sympathy for the departure of Kid Flash.
85 %
Wally Who?
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