World's Finest Teen Titans 1 Featured Reviews 

Wrapping Wednesday: Micro Reviews for the Week of 7/12/23

By | July 17th, 2023
Posted in Reviews | % Comments

There’s a lot to cover on Wednesdays. We should know, as collectively, we read an insane amount of comics. Even with a large review staff, it’s hard to get to everything. With that in mind, we’re back with Wrapping Wednesday, where we look at some of the books we missed in what was another great week of comics.

Let’s get this party started.

Web of Carnage #1
Written by Ram V and Christos Gage
Illustrated by Francesco Manna and Zé Carlos
Colored by Erick Arciniega
Lettered by Joe Sabino
Reviewed by Gregory Ellner

Following a brief time away during the ‘Carnage Reigns’ arc, Ram V returns to the goings on of the Dark Carnage symbiote itself, aided in this endeavor by the prolific Christos N. Gage (who, despite his large list of writing credits has not written for a Carnage book before). While it is perhaps a little hard to discern one writer’s influence from another in the instance of the “Web of Carnage” #1 one-shot, the overall result is intriguing. Carnage itself is hostile but not completely homicidal to everyone, instead relatively goal-oriented. Meanwhile, its unwilling host Jon Shayde gets his own time to shine, determining his own identity and how he fits into the symbiote problems at work. As a whole, their rapport and that with the denizens of a parallel universe that they visit is overall very entertaining, essentially showing the possibly flexible morals of both good and evil in this instance.

As with Ram V and Christos Gage, the artwork of Francesco Manna and that of Zé Carlos are not deliberately distinguished, and so may be hard to tell apart, but as with the case, Manna’s influence has been on a host (pardon the pun) of “Carnage” issues in this most recent run, particularly those written by Ram V. Their art style is highly stylized in a way that makes the result out to be rather disturbing, well-handled regarding the alien monstrosities at play. The perspective shots help home in on the emotions of Shayde and the various people he comes across. Especially those from alternate universes or, in the case of the character featured on the cover, the feral behavior as a rather pathetic fall from grace.

Erick Arciniega’s colors bring the entire piece into focus. Dark, bloody reds fit the Bleeding King quite well, while the darkness of the night sky is able to make for a more ominous story overall. The pale complexions, the dark outfits, all of it makes the story that much more monstrous, but not falling too far into parody or being too serious. In all, the colors help it all work as a kind of coda on at least part of Jon Shayde’s story in particular, though the final page alludes to a coming run we have not had deliberately confirmed elsewhere yet that may have some use for him.

Final Verdict: 7.0 – A fun one-shot closes a piece of the story of an emergent god butcher before the upcoming ‘Death of the Venomverse.’

World’s Finest: Teen Titans #1
Written by Mark Waid
Illustrated by Emanuela Lupacchino
Colored by Jordie Bellaire
Lettered by Steve Wands
Reviewed by Quinn Tassin

“World’s Finest: Teen Titans” #1 has a simple mission: deliver some classic superhero fun and thank goodness it’s a successful one. This is a true throwback story, focusing more on the relationships between the Teen Titans and the volatility of teen life more than any big battles. The opening action set piece and its fallout is a perfect microcosm of this book. We get fun, well-executed action, followed by an argument about whether its reasonable to try becoming an influencer while doing superhero work. As far as core conflicts of teen superhero comics go, this is one of the easiest to imagine going poorly. But Waid handles the story well, taking a concept that’s true to the life of Gen-Z teens but not trying too hard to write in the voice of teenagers. Because the whole cast is made up of characters that feel dynamic and full, that their relationships feel real is much more important than whether the team speaks like real teenagers speak. Moreover, the deeper conflicts here – the ones about the differing priorities and home lives of the Teen Titans – are really interesting.

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The artwork here is largely great. The throwback influences are clear, particularly in the character design but the artwork still has a wholly contemporary feeling; that balance seems simple but it’s hard to pull off with the level of grace that the team does here. The coloring is particularly helpful here, complimenting the more retro clean lines and simple layouts with more modern hues. The big moments work great and really sell the issue well, particularly when the Titans go on their second mission and arrive surfing dolphins. The opening action sequence is also executed perfectly. So much of “World’s Finest: Teen Titans” #1 is contingent on the opening feeling fluid and communicating the relationship between the teammates well. That’s achieved through great pacing and quick moments that really give the cast moments to shine. But there are some moments where the penciling falters. Throughout the issue, faces can see a bit haphazardly illustrated, with fine details left out or rendered in a way that makes characters appear emotionless. There are also moments that feel nearly static; while that’s easy enough to ignore when two people are just standing and talking, it’s more disappointing when you’re watching more fantastical things Flash and Kid-Flash fight the Trickster or Aquaman and Aqualad ride through Atlantis.

So “World’s Finest: Teen Titans” #1 is a great piece of character-focused writing with strong art. Frankly, the cliffhanger is a bit underwhelming; it’s tough to care about some evil, more powerful version of the team forming given that the actual team is so much more interesting to think about. That being said, this comic seems to have the right priorities and if all goes well, the “better” Titans should just further our understanding of the classic team. Here’s to hoping.

Final Verdict: 8.0- Turns out simple fun is a real treat!

//TAGS | Wrapping Wednesday

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