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Comic review: Teen Titans No. 88 

The Deal: DC's most widely known teen superhero group gets — at long last — a steady creative team (writer J.T. Krul and artist Nicola Scott), a new team lineup and a renewed direction.

The Good: It's safe (and incredibly fair) to say that, in the last few years, Teen Titans was one of the industry's worst monthly comic books. In fact, it was the poster child for everything you shouldn't do with a comic book ... if you actually want to sell copies, that is. The book had no consistent roster, and the characters who did appear were boring Z-listers; the title changed creative teams every few issues; and, instead of putting the heroes on some logical story path, every issue was filled with over-the-top occurrences designed merely to shock. Worst of all, for a comic about a bunch of young heroes, it was no fun at all; every issue was drowning in page after page of dread and death. But now it seems like DC finally got a clue and — beginning this issue — is working to fix this troubled series. So, is the book back on track? Not exactly. There is, however, a lot to be happy about. Titan stars like Superboy and Kid Flash are back (replacing losers like Kid Devil) and the assembled heroes seem to be behaving in character. The dialogue is fun and not dripping with heaping helpings of angst. The art is probably the best part: Scott's work is detailed and clean and shows a talent for drawing teens (important for a teen team book) and inanimate objects like buildings, cars and such.

The Bad: While this is definitely the best iteration of Teen Titans I've seen in a long while, I wouldn't go so far as to say it's stunning. Writer Geoff Johns' reboot of the book a few years ago was a breath of fresh air. This new series rights a lot of wrongs, but it still seems to lack a focus. (What exactly is the team's point?) And the main villains in this issue — and maybe for the first story arc — are really lame. Oh, and it still could use a big shot of fun. The cliffhanger on the last page makes me think that some laughs are on the way, but we shall see.

The Verdict: OK, this is a much better version of the Teen Titans, but it's not perfect. I'll keep my eyes on this book.

Reviewed materials provided by Heroes Aren't Hard to Find: www.heroesonline.com.

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