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‘Teen Titans #28’ (review)

Written by Christopher Priest, Adam Glass
Illustrated by Bernard Chang 
Published by DC Comics

“I’ll give you this kid… you’ve got a set on you.”

 

It’s probably fair to say that Damian Wayne has father issues.

Not surprising when your childhood is completely consumed with proving yourself. Against impossible standards. Across literal extremes of the moral spectrum.

No wonder the kid’s messed up.

But no one seems to push Robin’s buttons like Deathstroke. Of course, Slade Wilson has made getting under people’s skin into something of an art form. Something that Damian has had to deal with himself, on more than one occasion now.

Then there’s the fact that Deathstroke’s got his own daddy issues. Or… parenting issues, I should say.

So, the crash collision of these two characters was probably inevitable from the outset. And in retrospect it seems like an irresistible collaboration for Teen Titans author Adam Glass and Deathstroke author Christopher J. Priest.

What’s less clear is just who has orchestrated what here, and just how far back that goes.

Which is fine. The suspense of not knowing is part of the joy. And if we’ve learned anything by now with these titles – we really don’t know.

But even if it turns out that Slade has not been up to his usual machinations – playing three dimensional chess with Damian and his little psycho-obsessive dungeon-master project – even if this is just a story of world’s colliding, and the fallout to ensue – even so, if the storytelling is good, it’ll be worth it.

And with these two, the storytelling is bound to be good.

That’s demonstrated nicely this issue with a dialogue sequence in which Robin makes his pitch to the team for going after Deathstroke – with variously predictable results – followed by a nifty (and very Deathstroke-y) sequence in which they do – with mostly predictable consequences.

As usual, Bernard Chang’s art throughout is a fine blend of action, composition and character detail, that adds fine storytelling depth to the script.

It’s an excellent launch to this crossover, though unsurprisingly we’re left with far more questions by the end, than answers.

There’s no indication, for example, or nothing obvious anyway, whether Deathstroke has compromised the team already – or, if so, to precisely what end.

Neither, is there any further insight into the mysterious identity of the Other, much less whether Slade himself has anything to do with any of that at all.

Certainly, Red Arrow sounds pretty confident that he doesn’t – which is a little odd – to say nothing of how furious she is that Damian’s set his crosshairs on the master assassin without her sign-off.

Not that the team is prepared in any way for Deathstroke. She’s right about that. Something Roundhouse in particular finds out the hard way. And that makes for an interesting development.

Crush is predictably easy to manipulate. But unless Djinn’s been busy playing in people’s dreams again, there’s no indication she might be doing any manipulation of her own. Not entirely ruling that out though.

Actually, the one thing that does seem bankable is how clear Kid Flash seems to be about Deathstroke. Not surprising after Wallace’s recent experiences with the man.

(Mind you that could be the perfect feint. But that’s how paranoia works.)

Still, it’s entirely believable that Wallace would blame Slade for his friend Tanya Spear’s death. Of course, we know that Power Girl isn’t dead at all. Which definitely presents some interesting possibilities for how this may all yet turn out…

In the meantime, it’s fair to say that with all these father issues flying around, that Damian Wayne and Slade Wilson can’t quite tear themselves away from one another.

Not that either of them have any intention of making that easy to do…

Next Issue: Things get messy

 

 

 

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