Teen Titans #11.5
Let me start out by saying this, there's hardly a thing I didn't love about this issue. That said, I have a deep inherent problem with what it is, and it raises some other weirdly positive concerns.
As always, Ryan Sook delivers a solid cover, way different from the solicited one, but SO MUCH BETTER. Everyone is balanced out nicely, the stretch of road ramp creates a smooth flow, and the gorgeous sky eases you into a nice sense of lightheartedness to enjoy the story.
The first big double edged sword this issue gives me, is that it is basically a spin-off of Teen Titans, and yet it's pretty much absolutely everything I wish Teen Titans was. Unlike Scott Lobdell, Fabian Nicieza consistently delivers quick clever dialogue with a nice flow. There's not a bunch of lines that seem awkward, in fact there's really none. These are teenagers being teenagers and damn are they fun to follow. Kid Flash's quirky nature is captured infinitely better than he ever has been in Teen Titans thus far. And then the three dinosaur people create an excellent dynamic with him, crafting such a neat story with some 'real' emotional content at it's core.
Also, the artwork is so much smoother and sharper. There's an amazing sense of speed, flashy teenage attitude, and general dynamism that Brett Booth really lacks. I'm not a fan of Brett Booth, though I don't think he's a bad artist, but mainly I just don't think he's a good fit on Teen Titans. Jorge Jimenez would be fantastic on Teen Titans.
So yeah, I loved this issue, and I wish it could be Teen Titans consistently instead of being some weird spin-off; and that leads me to my next problem; What IS this? It really ISN'T a one-off tale about Kid Flash, it's part of an arc surgically removed and placed here for no adequately explained reason. DC Universe Presents should be mostly self contained, or at least lead into something planned. But no, I'm behind on Teen Titans, and this issue continues a story from Teen Titans, AND THEN LEADS BACK INTO TEEN TITANS. It's not even, like, a crossover or anything, especially considering that DC Universe Presents lacks the central focus to justify its participation in a crossover this minimal. This would've been the PERFECT time to have a several issue Rotworld arc, with either one character or group, or a few different ones changing each issue. You know, WHILE ROT WORLD IS HAPPENEING. It would be a very smart and not-cheap way to show us more of the expanded world in Rotworld. And I know DC's willing to tie other stuff into Rotworld, Frankenstein's getting a tie-in arc.
In Conclusion: 4/5
I loved this issue, it just has some bizarre problems with the core of what it is. And it makes me really sad because it's rubbing in my face how great Teen Titans COULD be, but isn't. Teen Titans is pretty average, but this was stellar. DC, put Fabian Nicieza and Jorge Jimenez on Teen Titans ongoing NOW.