COMIC REVIEW: Teen Titans #9

With Teen Titans #9, Scott Lobdell (plotter), Tom Defalco (scripter), and Ig Guara (artist) bring the conclusion to the utterly disappointing crossover with Superboy and Legion Lost, called “The Culling”. Although this is the final part (of four), the story is pretty much as hollow and muddled regardless of whether you skipped an issue or started from the beginning.

The story is effectively a poorly handled riff on “The Hunger Games” where the Titans, the Legion and Superboy are forced to participate in a battle royal with other metahuman teens to find the strongest candidates for an élite group called the Ravagers. On paper this seems iffy, in execution this feels like a massive waste of time.

The conclusion feels rushed as the teams involved in the crossover split up for various purposes in what looks like a final showdown with the organisation called N.O.W.H.E.R.E.. The entire setup makes sense but the story feels rushed and extremely cramped as far too many characters are trying to draw your attention. Like a grasshopper, the story jumps around a lot and makes it hard to keep up with what’s going on.

The script in this issue is middling to downright poor, and brings flashbacks to bad comics from the 1990s. One cringeworthy line that felt extremely clunky was when Solstice says: “I was wrong to question your actions earlier, Red Robin. I will follow you to hell and back.” Teen Titans #9 is riddled with such drivel that it disheartens the reader from ever having faith in the title after this story. Regardless of the string of plugs that are thrown about for future issues and spinoffs into Legion Lost and the new Ravagers comic.

The art is the stronger element in a fundamentally weak issue of Teen Titans, but that’s not saying much. Ig Guara has done some stellar work for DC Comics lately but unfortunately with the sheer number of characters crammed into the pages and the overall feeling that his pencils feel as rushed as the scripts, the comic is far from his best work.

Overall “The Culling” comes across as a turning point for the series, but for all the wrong reasons. Acting more as a reason for people to ‘cull’ the book from reading lists, than as a springboard for brighter things.

Rating: 1/5
Reviewer: Dean

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