alexdm's Teen Titans #3 - Better to Burn Out... Than to Fade Away review

Introducing Bunker, still picking up speed

After three issues, the Titans are still not together and no closer to bringing down N.O.W.H.E.R.E. -- the primary enemy of all young meta-humans. Teen Titans is enjoyable, but still suffers from a lack of momentum as Red Robin slowly builds the team. He meets Bunker -- an entirely new character -- in #3, and the two of them face a seemingly unrelated foe dropped in their path by the heavy hand of deus ex machina.

Speaking of gods, Miguel "Bunker" Barragan's religion presents a far more interesting aspect of his character than his homosexuality (which Scott Lobdell has talked about outside of the comic, but hasn't explicitly shown in the Teen Titans). He uses exclamations that identify him as Catholic ("Madre de Dios" -- Mother of God), throws crucifix-shaped "psionic bricks", and believes in divine intervention. It should be difficult for Lobdell to avoid exploring how Miguel's church's homophobia could clash with his sexuality, or how his faith in an interventionist god could be tested by the painful life of a superhero.

Unfortunately, Miguel's introduction is heavy with gay and South American stereotypes: he dresses sharply and brightly, is overly touchy (which is funny against Tim Drake's Batman-esque reservedness), and speaks perfect English except for the occasional "amigo" or "chica". His religion, his struggle to control his powers, and inner dialogue that hints at his insecurities build him into more than those stereotypes, but it's disappointing to see that depth clash with lazy, shorthand characterization.

Meanwhile, Cassie spends a single page interrogating one of her enemies from last issue. While that keeps us from forgetting about her, it doesn't help this issue's disjointed pace.

Mean-meanwhile, Kid Flash and Solstice have escaped N.O.W.H.E.R.E. Unfortunately, we spend more time with Kid Flash here than with Solstice -- Kid Flash's hyperactive thoughts and stream-of-consciousness speech are as fun and unique as ever, but Lobdell still hasn't introduced Solstice properly. And a single-panel double-page spread of Kid Flash dashing around a room, with numbered points on a red line to indicate his sequence of movements, is a cool idea, but awkwardly slowed me down when reading, rather than conveying Kid Flash's near-instantaneous speed.

Hopefully, Solstice will get some time in the spotlight when the series' scattered teenagers all meet next issue. More importantly, that issue has to give the series the momentum and sense of purpose it needs to meet its full potential.


Other reviews for Teen Titans #3 - Better to Burn Out... Than to Fade Away

    Titans, Together? 0

    Synopsis: Introducing Bunker! What's Good? As Yakko and Wakko would put it, "Hello Nurse!" I'm really taking a liking to Miguel Barragan, aka. Bunker. Bunker is the Beast Boy of this series: he's fun, eccentric, expressive, and probably the most rational character that Tim has come across so far. His powers of psionic bricks is a nice set of powers that's different from powers I'm used to seeing. Meanwhile, I like the interaction with Kid Flash and Solstice as they try to escape a N.O.W.H.E.R.E ...

    5 out of 5 found this review helpful.

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