Dark Nights: Teen Titans #12

Teen Titans 12 coverWith any mega-event these days, there are going to be tie-in issues.  Sometimes those are one-shots or a separate mini-series, and sometimes they are standard issues of other series.  With this event, Dark Nights is the all-encompassing title for the event, and Metal is the title of the main mini-series book.  With that, for summaries and reviews, Metal will receive its own post, and then any tie-ins will be grouped together.  It just so happens that there is only one this week, Teen Titans #12, which is part 1 of the “Gotham Resistance” story line.

If you’re a reader of Teen Titans, then you’ll know that Robin hasn’t been getting along with the rest of the team, and that is brought up here.  It doesn’t really mean anything for the rest of the issue, but it’s there for some background.  The Teen Titans land in Gotham, finding that rings have been set up all around the city.  While the rest of the Teen Titans are trying to help people, Robin goes in search of his father and enters a maze. 

You see, at the beginning of the issue, The Batman Who Laughs presented The Riddler with a metal card, promising him the power to reshape Gotham.  So, Riddler creates a maze, with an “unsolvable” riddle in the center.  You know, a labyrinth.  In his journey to the center, Robin runs into Green Arrow, Harley Quinn, and Killer Croc.  They work together and reach the center of the maze.  There, they find The Riddler inside a giant Minotaur.  He gives them the riddle, but also tries to kill them.  Robin is able to solve it pretty easily and defeats The Riddler.

The Batman Who Laughs is disappointed with The Riddler, in that even with this ultimate power, The Riddler still gave them something they can solve.  So, that evil Batman brings out his son.  Robin, Green Arrow, Harley, and Croc are walking down the oddly snowy streets of Gotham, when out runs Nightwing, being chased by some ice creature.

This is a fine issue, but it suffers from the same fate as most tie-in issues.  The reader is reading this, knowing that the information presented here isn’t important for the main story.  If it was, then it’d be in the main series.  So then, the tie-in issues have to be interesting on their own.  This issue didn’t really keep my interest.

The conflict within the Teen Titans isn’t really progressed, so the only thing gained from the first portion of the book is that we see rings around Gotham, and know that Superman and Wonder Woman are also considered missing.  I also generally like Benjamin Percy writing Damian Wayne, but something about his interactions with Green Arrow just seemed a bit forced.  I wish I knew exactly why, because I hate vague criticisms, but I can’t quite put my finger on it.

Maybe it’s that Green Arrow’s appearance seems really random.  Maybe it’s that I would have rather seen Robin take on The Riddler himself.  Show Robin being the problem solver that he claims to be.  Or show him failing, like his father did in Metal.  Sure, Green Arrow is introduced saving Robin, but it’s not that believable that Robin needed saving at that time.

The other option is that I’m unfairly comparing this issue to Metal #2.  That issue was fantastic, and it’d make anything I read immediately after seem a little dull.

I will say that there are a couple things I am interested in with this.  I think it was wise to make the series tie-ins tell their own story.  Too often you get the “well this is what this team was doing during the mega event” issue, and it doesn’t really have anything to do with what was happening before, or after the event.  It’s forgettable, because it’s a quick one and done deal.  Nothing develops.  Here, a story is being built.  There is a reason to keep going.  The next portion appears in Nightwing #29.  Maybe with that issue, the “Gotham Resistance” story line will grab me.

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