So here I am, reading another graphic novel in this story arc called “Death of the Family” featuring the Joker, who is about as dark, devious and definitely dangerous as he’s ever been. The first two graphic novels I read in this series, Batman, and Batgirl, were pretty good, and each could stand alone as unique books, with independent storylines.
Now comes the Teen Titan‘s turn…. The first 21 pages is a storyline of Batman taking on a new partner, Red Robin. This was interesting, but it didn’t seem to tie in to the larger, Joker, story arc. But as a story, it seemed to work just fine … except it wasn’t really the Teen Titans… it was one precocious teen.
Onward, and suddenly I’m in a story with Batgirl, and some new teen heroes. Then back with what seems to be an established Red Robin, then back with the new teens, and then back to Red Robin, then the new teens, and then some newer teen heroes, and … well… I think you get the picture. This story was all over the place, and the Joker portion of the story arc felt very forced, as if author Scott Lobdell was told to tie this story in with the Batman/Joker story.
But to make matters just a little more confusing, pages 82-112 are lifted directly from the Batman book. I wondered about this when I read the Batgirl graphic novel, but now realize that these 30 pages are likely going to be in each tied-in book.
I have to be honest … this feels really cheap. If we’re going to see the exact same moment in each book, why can’t we see it from someone else’s viewpoint?!
When the common pages are done, we are in another story that made no sense to this reader (perhaps this is why I’m not a big comics reader any more?), skipped to a feel-good section with the teens making a new group home for themselves and finding a little romance. But the last three pages actually captured my interest. Here we seemed to set up a new villian (new to me…new to my reading of this storyline) and this set up actually seemed to rival the Joker’s own badness. It is possibly the only moment of the entire novel that felt good. But it really is only three pages long!
The art was fair. Often a little ‘cartoony’ for such a serious story.
All-in-all, this seemed to be a mish-mash of stories and characters — more confusing than anything.
Looking for a good book? I’d recommend you keep looking,
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Teen Titans, Vol. 3: Death of the Family
author: Scott Lobdell
artist: Brett Booth
publisher: DC Comics
paperback, 160 pages