Teen Titans #15
When I heard that Red Hood and the Outlaws was making their first out of book appearance in the pages of Teen Titans, I jumped at the chance to see how Lobdell was going to incorporate both of his books in the crossover known as The Death of the Family. I have only bought Teen Titans #0 and skimmed a bunch of issues from time to time, so I don't know if I will be able to follow everything this team has to offer, though I am ready to see what Joker has planned for Tim Drake, but on to the review.
Not only do the Outlaws make an appearance, but the first page has Batgirl swinging in, expecting to meet Tim but much to her surprise she meets the Titans. Tim has always been a very calculating guy, and one of the great young detectives of his day, and it is interesting to see how well he knows everyone in this situation and what they will do. Just by the attitudes of the Titans, even Babs and Tim think they wont be ready to deal with the Joker. This situation is bigger than they know, and Batgirl is the only one who knows what the Joker is capable of. Tim awakes in his first "Red" Robin suit, and is already speculating what the Joker is planning to do. Joker appears in Tim's glider and expresses his discontent with Tim. Meanwhile, Babs gives the Titans an assignment and some tips on where to start. They run around town, which goes without saying for Bart. But what is probably the most chilling line of the issue is Joker saying that the Titans will die without knowing the truth; Tim's real name.
Now if you have seen some preview art of issue 16, then you will know that Jason and Tim will come and see both their fathers tied and gagged. In the New 52, Tim's last name isnt Drake, and with Tim's father gagged and bound, it is almost certain that we will discover his true name and see the end of Tim's family. This will prove once and for all that Joker knows the Bat-Clan's identities, even though (and i firmly believe this) that Joker won't outright say it but let his plan reveal what he knows.
The Joker continues to have a mental banter with Tim, and is pretty much one step ahead of him. Meanwhile, the Titans have unknowingly caused a Jokerized epidemic and are about to face off against civilians. I'm confused on how Dina and Kurt fit into this, but that is sorta my fault for not doing a proper background check. I believe that Kurt is suppressing the Titans powers, and he has made an appearance before, but I am unsure on how he is tying in with DOTF. The final page is a similar final page to RHTO, with Roy Harper and Starfire meeting up with the Titans, with an undertone that Roy will lead the Titans out of the trouble they are in.
Side note, I believe that having Superboy gone for this is such a smart idea. Having him deal with He'l in the Superman crossover not only fulfills its goals, but makes the situation for the heroes even more dire.
Art wise, I know Brett Booth can draw some similar looking faces, but that doesn't mean he is a bad artist. I find his style enjoyable to look at, as its details and smoothness can light up the page like very few can. Kori haters, guess what, Booth even drew a somewhat new outfit for Kori, and I don't disapprove. So cudos to Booth for making some great work. Hey Brett, us hoodies would like a detailed hand like yourself around RHTO ;D
I didn't find really anything wrong with Batgirl's interactions, besides her trying to make jokes. But the thing that bothered me, and I don't read TT enough to grasp this enough, but is Tim this calculating? I know Tim is the most calculated member next to Bruce, and if anyone were to take on the mantle I believe Tim would be the perfect fit, but I just found it a little annoying for him to literally predict every single thing that they did in that interaction. Same with Joker, I know the guy is the mastermind evil villain, and you shouldn't look into that guy's mind cause you will lose yourself in it, but for him to literally guess everything Tim was thinking was a huge stretch. Joker even said it himself "You have bored me with your perfection". If he is so bored with Tim, how does he know every little thing he is thinking and what he would do. I mean, Joker has such a deeper connection with Jason and Bruce, and even Babs for that matter. He would have a grudge match with Dick, because he was the beginning of Robin and thus the beginning of the Joker's problems. Joker is taking credit for Jason's tenure as Robin, and Joker had taken down Babs (though thinking, at least for then, that she was just Gordon's daughter, but would realize he had crippled a Bat). But unfortunately this leaves Tim in the wind, and that isn't the stories fault but just the way life was dealt. Tim himself is a superb hero and that makes up for his middle child syndrome, but the kid has been all over the place and he has a great understanding of the Joker, and of course Joker has been looking into everyone, but for Joker to have him nailed down so well just bugs me.
My second gripe with this issue, has some blame on me. I don't know these characters, and that's because I haven't read the series, and can't blame Lobdell for that. But I just don't feel any need to like them, I read issue 10, and I liked it, but seeing them interact even with Bart's humor, wasn't very pleasant. It might be their immaturity, and I know that the book is called Teen Titans for a reason, but kids annoy me. That is one of the reasons why I can't stand Damian. But I guess seeing these guys just act like they know what they are doing when facing the Joker, and ultimately are about to be ripped to pieces just goes to show that the book is accomplishing it's main goal. Bringing younger heroes into huge situations, and thus making them grow and mature.
Finally, what is with the BOP cameo?
This isn't my type of book, and my only interest in this issue was the crossover and seeing RHTO. But that is no one faults but my own tastes. That doesn't mean I am gonna grill this series over that, because it was enjoyable. I found that this would be a really good issue to readers who have kept in tabs with this series and have been reading more issue than I have. I adore Booth's work and Norm's colors were perfect, Lobdell has set up Tim in a situation that he won't forget. I have come back and changed the score, because although this was a nice read and enjoyable with great art, the story left something more desired. I hope that next issue will be much more exciting, as there wasn't alot of action, but that is what setting up issues is all about. Keep in touch guys, cause in only three weeks, the tale continues in A DEATH OF THE FAMILY!