100 Page Comic Giant! Teen Titans #3 // Review
Note: The review copy provided by DC did not contain a table of contents or the reprint content. As such, any said reprint content is taken from recent press releases.
DC’s 100 Page Comic Giant experiment rolls into its third month with the Teen Titans publication, and the editor behind this book really continues to show they’ve got a great sense of what fits with a Teen Titans book
The new content, a 12-page tale, is the third part of six. Titled Dead Reckoning, Dan Jurgens’ run on this multi-part tale of the modern Teen Titans is pretty enjoyable. Scot Eaton pencils in the art, while Wayne Faucher inks in the lines. Jim Charalampidis provides colors, and Tom Napolitano puts the words on the page. Narrated by Starfire, the supervillain team known as the Fearsome Five are back in town and are intent on setting up some strange technology. Backing them are the mysterious cabal known as H.I.V.E, who have mysterious motives that will be revealed in time. Can the Titans take down their strongest foes and stop H.I.V.E?
The middle chapters are often the hardest on a reader, often dragging or turning into confusing messes while the writer tries to get the plot where they want. Luckily, Dan Jurgens has no problems here. By keeping it simple and straightforward with a nice twist at the end, Jurgens avoids the pitfall of an overly convoluted middle. Packing it further with a fight sequence that lasts the entire chapter also solidifies the threat of H.I.V.E. and their hired help, and the pacing of the fight keeps it from dragging the reader into boredom. It’s hard to comment otherwise, as the pages not dedicated to the fight sequence are very obviously setting up the final half of the story.
Eaton flexes his pencil muscles with several splash pages, showcasing some excellent action. The fight between Beast Boy and Mammoth is a particular delight, with the details of their destruction giving their brawl some real gravity. However, a lot of details seem to vanish in the long shots, resulting in backgrounds of speed lines and streets lacking lane lines. It’s bizarrely bipolar in that respect, but the page layout keeps focus on the characters rather than the lack of detail.
The colors are also solid for a quick comic. Charalampidis’ application of colors on the night sky and the bizarre neon colors for city lights actually work great for a dynamic fight background. Faucher’s inks are strong, and work well with the colors to make the comic feel like it takes place at night in the big city, rather than indeterminate daytime with a dark sky.
Moving forward into the collection, the Teen Titans book fittingly reprints issue three of Geoff Johns’ run on the title starting in 2003. A Kids’ Game shows the aftermath of the Titans’ then-recent encounter with Deathstroke the Terminator. The super-speedster Impulse has been shot in the knee by Deathstroke, and the older Titans have their hands full bringing in younger members to the fold like Wonder Girl, the Superboy of this era, and one of Batman’s many Robins. Joining Johns on this title are penciler Mike McKone, inker Mario Alquiza, colorist Jeromy Cox, and Comicraft provides the letters.
The Super Sons also return for the reprint material. Putting in part three of When I Grow Up, Damian Wayne and Jon Kent are forced to fend off the villainous Kid Amazo and his superhero robots while trying to solve the mystery of why Kid Amazo has gone rogue. Peter Tomasi does a fantastic job with the plot and script, while Jorge Jiménez’s art brings that script to life. Rob Leigh puts the words on the page, and Alejandro Sanchez colored in the pages, all of which made for one heck of a good read.
The final piece of this collection goes to Sideways issue three. Titled Test Run, our title character has to somehow escape from the hospital, stop a speedster villain named Killspeed from taking out the hospital staff, and keep his superhero identity a secret from his reasonably protective mother! Dan DiDio and Justin Jordan have found a wonderful story concept here, with a reinvention of Marvel’s Spider-Man that works not just on the page, but also in the entire DC comics world. Kenneth Rocafort’s excellent art only makes a great story better with some dynamic visuals and awesome use of superpowers on the page. Daniel Brown’s colors only help the art, with some spectacular pizzazz on the effects of Sideways’ powerset. Finally, Carlos Mangual provides the letters for this wonderful comic.
If you’re a Teen Titans fan, or if you’re looking for some relatively lighter superhero fare while still being serious, this 100-Page Comic Giant is easily for you. Sideways is one of the best comics DC is putting out this year, and being able to get it with two and a half other comics for the price of a single issue is nothing short of spectacular.