the_mighty_monarch's Teen Titans #19 - Trigon-Ometry review

Finally Focused

So, the solicit mentions a betrayal..... and the foldout cover has... Beast Boy on the other side alongside Trigon and Raven. Someone who has never been a member of the Teen Titans in the New 52, and doesn't become one before the betrayal.... yeah. To be fair though, I'm glad that the cover doesn't fall into the pitfall of most of the foldouts, and reveals something central to the main issue as opposed to the cliffhanger. And it's still a bit surprising, just not in relation to the solicit.

There's two major things this issue does right, especially after the previous two. First an foremost, there's not an overabundance of plotlines all over the place. This issue is entirely focused on Trigon without any extraneous side scenes, and even the see-through-mind-guy plot ties in here, and we find out that he's the New 52 Psimon. The problem with his connection is that it really has no connection to anything else aside from him happening to be there, and trying to fit the two of them in one place creates a really awkward ending. Why does everything seem to just stop and relax when Psimon and Beast Boy go head to head? When did Superboy learn Raven's name and start talking to her like they've known her all along? And WHAT THE HELL is Raven's allegiance? Last we saw, she was fully brainwashed to follow her father; and yet she doesn't support murder "even in Trigon's name?" HOW THE HELL CAN SOMEONE FOLLOW TRIGON AND NOT CONDONE MURDER!? THAT'S ALL HE DAMN DOES! THAT IS LITERALLY ALL HE'S ABOUT!

The other thing going for this issue is that the fight scene is awesome. Pretty much this entire issue is a big brawl against Trigon, and from the moment it begins, it's epic. The scale is perfectly conveyed with the say Trigon slowly falls back from Wonder Girl's first strike. An almost slow kind of fall as he's slammed into a school bus. I know I'm harping a lot right on the beginning of the fight, but that one panel right after the first blow was truly fantastic, and it set the stage beautifully. The rest of the fight isn't quite as glorious, but it's still pretty damn cool.

And peppered through the fight is some pretty juicy tidbits of information on the new origins of Wonder Girl and Kid Flash. This whole time I've been arguing that Cassie has no reason to be called Wonder Girl, there has never been any context within the series for her to have received that name, and she herself is constantly bemoaning the use of it. I get the history, but it made no sense thus far, but Trigon takes a glimpse at her past, and there's an extremely intriguing connection to Wonder Woman that creates at least SOME context for her to be called Wonder Girl. It's something that will only be caught by people actually reading Wonder Woman, but honestly I say everyone needs to be reading that by general principle, its fantastic. Kid Flash's glimpse is less shocking, but only because it adds little snippets along the same line as the other scraps of info we've already been given about him.

Unfortunately, despite the truly epic battle and the brilliant little reveals, this issue ultimately fails in some key areas. Whatever or whoever is controlling Red Robin is truly an idiot. He's given a chance to create some kind of false pretense, and yet he's made into even more of an unrepentant asshole. The rest of the team manages to talk Cassie out of LITERALLY strangling him, to give him a chance to explain himself, and his response is basically "I don't owe you SQUAT when it comes to explanations. My damn boat, my damn team, it's my way or the highway because without me, you're all useless!" Why would they continue to follow him at all after that? Well, the Trigon attack is a convenient greater threat, but otherwise it's absolutely stupid of him to do that, and really makes me question the motives of whoever messed with Tim. But that's peanuts compared to the gaping plot hole where Tim has absolutely no idea who Trigon is. Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't it Tim who RECOGNIZED THE RUINS CASSIE FOUND HER ARMOR IN AS A SHRINE TO TRIGON!?!? Maybe it's proof that he's being controlled, and his controller has no idea, but when Red Robin has to ask about it, that right there should be undeniable proof to Wonder Girl and Superboy that something's incredibly wrong. "Wait Red Robin, why do YOU need US to tell you that? Aren't YOU the one who told US about Trigon in the first place?!?!!"

In Conclusion: 3/5

While there was some pretty gaping holes of bad, there was probably more good than there has been since this arc began. The fight was definitely awesome, and the issue wasn't in a million places at once, plus the revelations about Cassie especially were intriguing. There was a lot to like, it's just that there was plenty to dislike.

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