World’s Finest: Teen Titans has been a great compliment to the main Titans series. Both these series are helping revitalize the Teen Titans brand on the comic book side. With World’s Finest: Teen Titans we have finally gotten a modern retelling of the founding roster rather than a period piece as DC Comics normally has done with this roster. The solicitation for World’s Finest: Teen Titans #4 places a spotlight on Donna Troy and Aqualad’s relationship and as individuals. These characters hardly ever get much attention so there is a lot of untapped potential for this issue. Let’s find out how it goes with World’s Finest: Teen Titans #4.
Writer: Mark Waid
Artist: Emanuela Lupacchino
Colorist: Jordie Bellaire
Letterer: Steve Wands
“BREAKING UP IS SUPER HARD TO DO! America’s sweetest situationship breaks hearts—including Aqualad’s and Wonder Girl’s own! — when Garth realizes a part of him isn’t fully in it with Donna. To heal the wounds, Wally invites Garth and Roy to a sleepover at his folks’ home, where Aqualad opens up about his fluid sexuality. Meanwhile, Mal assists Bumblebee in an unexpected battle, giving him a taste of the Teen Titan he could be…” – DC Comics
What’s made World’s Finest: Teen Titans such an impressive title is the direction it has taken. While it’s positioned as a mini-series there is a one-shot approach to every issue by Mark Waid and Emanuela Lupacchino. In the process they continue to build the larger conflict this series will tackle through a sub-plot done in the shadows. That direction is continued by the excellent World’s Finest: Teen Titans #4 with its spotlight on Garth, Wally West, and Roy Harper.
With World’s Finest: Teen Titans #4 dominated by Garth, Wally West, and Roy Harper sleepover you quickly realize how unique this pairing is. While they have been friends for a long time we’ve never see the three interact in a meaningful way, at least in several decades. Waid fully taps into the rarity of this trio pairing to highlight how different they all are. In the process we get deeper insight into how their lives growing up has led them to be who they are.
What makes the trio work is that Waid keeps it in the updated Teen Titans continuity he has created. World’s Finest: Teen Titans #4 was a chance to see Garth, Wally, and Roy hanging outside of their costumes. This made them spending time together hit on how these guys are all friends. And while they are all different that they all do like one another.
Though that does not mean their friendship is perfect as we see with how things go with Roy and Garth being complete opposites. Roy being his full overcompensating-self continued the sub-plot of how he is using his rich boy façade to hide what is truly going on with him. We see that with how he quickly takes over the hangout and ignores Garth talking about being overwhelmed by loud noises and lights of city life to do just that. It definitely does not make Roy look good at all but, to Waid’s credit, play’s into his narrative with secretly being on the outs with Green Arrow.
With Garth we see get greater insight into how he has not fully adapted to life to surface life like Donna did coming from Themyscira. Garth opening up to this to Wally and Roy was well done to give us his perspective of life since not spending his entire time in Atlantis. Its completely understandable that this life Donna quickly embraced is something he is not into. Waid writes Garth as a very thoughtful individual who also does show he understand Roy in a way Roy wishes he didn’t.
Garth and Roy’s difference help to also spotlight how Wally is the one Teen Titan member who has been raised by both his parents. Wally has had both his parents positive influence to look out for him. Waid did a great job treating Wally’s parents as caring adults looking out for their son and his friends.
While her scene was short Donna’s portrayal continues to standout whenever she is on screen. Her scene in World’s Finest: Teen Titans #4 complimented Garth’s development well. We once again see Donna fully embracing life outside of Themyscira. It works to build anticipation for Donna and Garth to actually talk about their different perspective, which we hopefully get at some point.
The Robin, Bumblebee, and Guardian part of the story does a good job at continuing to build-up the sub-plot of the Terror Titans being built up. We still haven’t seen them but we are getting quality build for them. There is an anticipation for the payoff for what the endgame is.
Ending World’s Finest: Teen Titans with the origin of Guardian was handled well. Skipping the Herald superhero that Mal Duncan started out with was a bit disappointing. Though Waid makes skipping Herald straight to Guardian work as a compliment to the pairing with Bumblebee. Bumblebee being the catalyst further ties them in. Which all helps the natural chemistry they show with one another.
Through all of this Emanuela Lupacchino delivers the best artwork of the series thus far. That is saying a lot as Lupacchino artwork has been impressive in every issue. What helped Lupacchino artwork standout in World’s Finest: Teen Titans #4 was the variety we got. From the suburb setting with the Roy, Wally, and Garth scenes to the action sequence of Bumblebee and Guardian vs Ant, there was a lot here. It really spotlighted how Lupacchino is one of the best comic book artists around right now.
World’s Finest: Teen Titans #4 delivers fantastic character study storytelling with the pairing of Garth, Wally West, and Roy Harper. The rest of the Titans cast is also highlighted well. It all comes together for a can’t miss comic book for any DC Comics fan.
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10