Despite picking up after 'Death of the Family,' most of the segments surrounding the Teen Titans are lighthearted or even uplifting. They kill an awkward silence in the limo ride with some banter and Bart Allen is easily the most lovable brat on the team. To top it off, Drake welcomes the team to their new base: a massive and extremely luxurious -- seriously, it has a movie room and all --Yacht (does anyone recall when he bought this because I don't?).
Eddy Barrows and Eber Ferreira jump on this issue to help deliver the art and, while I do have my complaints (see below), it certainly does have it's moments. The opening scene is painful to observe and overflowing with darkness -- you'll absolutely feel the child's pain. Furthermore, there's a great and vivid use of coloring during a cutaway scene in a coffee shop.
With "In the Wake of 'Death of the Family' slapped on the cover and such a somber-looking Tim Drake, you can't help but go into this issue expecting some heavy emotions. Unfortunately, this is yet another tie-in that appears to only lessen the wedge created at the conclusion of Scott Snyder's story. Tim's a little down, but aside from some awkward silence in a car ride (which quickly turns into casual chatter), things appear to be pretty much business as usual. The solicit says "The Joker did something to Red Robin... but what did he do?" Well, you don't find out here. In fact, it's not even revealed until the final page and will likely leave you scratching your head. One thing's for sure, though... it'll definitely explain Tim's earlier displays of affection.
I feel like Scott Lobdell & Fabian Nicieza are setting the stage for too many side plots. Aside from the focus on the Teen Titans, there's literally three or four cutaway scenes, all for completely different plots and none take major strides forward (sorry, Raven fans). I can't help but feel like it's cluttered and that lessens the focus on the heroes we care about. Exposition heavy dialogue also takes away from these moments. I understand it's the start of something new and needs to be accessible for new readers, but there's a lot of it and that can really weaken the experience for fans that have been on board since issue #1.
At times the facial expressions can feel a little too plastic or creepy. There were a few smiles from the males on the team that made me feel like they were a life-sized doll with that forceful smile and wide eyes. There's a few moments where the shading is a bit too grainy as well.
Ultimately, this is an okay issue that feels like its primary purpose is to set the stage for (hopefully) more exciting events in next month's chapter. They're juggling a lot of things and it definitely hinders the book's pacing, so I truly hope they have something great in store for us with each of those side plots.