By: Adam Basciano
“In the aftermath of their battle with Superboy, the Teen Titans make a horrifying discovery: Kid Flash has been knocked out of synch! If they are going to save their teammate, the badly beaten and battered teens need to sneak into the New York branch of S.T.A.R. Labs – which means that this issue guest-stars none other than Virgil Hawkins, a.k.a. Static! But if the team was hoping to use the lab for some downtime, they are going to be disappointed, because now they must battle a new, young supervillain known only as Grymm! All this and the debut of Kid Flash’s new costume!” (DC Comics)
While this issue takes place following the aftermath of the teams fight with Superboy, it is the first issue of this title that truly stands on its own. The issue is all the better for it, as we get a more intimate look at how these characters think and behave. The issue also gives us some new info on Bart Allen a.k.a. Kid Flash. Before I get into some of that, I’ve got to give credit to Scott Lobdell for being one of the only writers to deal with what happens when the police arrive on the scene of a meta-human all out brawl. What happens is, Detective Lure wants to hold them accountable for the mess. All to often (99 times out of 100) this is swept under the rug in comics. It’s quite interesting that there are adverse affects to Kid Flash pushing the limits of his speed. Specifically,cellular degeneration. Thus the creation of a new suit that will keep him aligned, designed by Virgil Hawkins a.k.a. Static. It’s cool that DC manages to find a place for characters whose books have been cancelled, rather than having them disappear to oblivion like in the old days. There’s an exchange between Bunker and Wonder Girl, highlighting her insecurities of being needed. Given that this is a book about teen’s, it’s nice to flesh out these things once in a while in the midst of all the heroics. The only real negative with this story is the villain Grymm. He reeks of being a throw away villain, after being dealt with so easily. Also, is it me or do a good amount of characters in this book have some sort of mental ability, be it psionic or telekinetic?
Brett Booth delivers fantastic art once again. His art reminds me a bit of both Michael Turner and Frank Quitely. I’ve got to give him credit, his teenage characters actually look like teenagers. The man can draw a great splash page. I actually really like Kid Flash’s new duds. The lightning bolts surrounding him make that splash page pop. In addition, Booth draws an amazing cover. It’s very dynamic with Static tending to Kid Flash in the background, while Red Robin and Grymm explode through glass and onto the cover.
A strong self-contained story, character developement, strong art, and the mystery surrounding Kid Flash make this the best issue of the series to this point.
Overall Grade: 8.5/10