Red X stabbing an apple in Teen Titans Academy.

Teen Titans Academy #12 Review

Written by: Tim Sheridan

Art by: Tom Derenick

Coloring by: Alex Sinclair

Lettering by: Rob Leigh

A close up on Red X's mask.
A such a cool costume wasted on such a dumb character.

I’ve been a pretty big fan of this series, especially the yearbook issue. I like the idea of having new heroes actively learning from characters like the Titans. In the beginning, this series had a really strong art style by Rafa Sandoval and an even mix between drama and establishing characters. Some people disagree, but that’s what I think. It’s this new arc of Teen Titans Academy that is pulling the series down for me.

I do love the last arc. Gorilla Greg coming into conflict with his uncle Gorilla Grodd was heartfelt and let these new kids take center stage. This new arc centers neither on what the series has established for these new characters nor the classic Titans. It focuses on random events and reveals it hasn’t built up.

This series was sold on the return and reveal of Red X. The thing is people want to know about the original Red X who stole Robin’s original costume, not a new kid who for some reason suddenly thinks he is Nightwing’s son. While it makes sense to make one of the new kids a new Red X, there’s no surprise in that. This kid could never have been the original Red X, so the reveal in this issue is pointless to fans of Red X.

Nightwing breaks it to Red X that he is not his father.
When… when was this a possibility? Even if Nightwing is acknowledged to be in his 30s, he’s too young to be this kid’s dad?!

To then have the Red X we want to know about show up and act completely out-of-character only makes the issue worse. Suddenly giving us the right Red X means nothing when he acts nothing like the character we know. Here, he comes off as the most generic villain to ever appear in a modern comic book.

He still looks cool, but that’s only skin deep. This issue of Teen Titans Academy is a disappointing conclusion to a reveal that no longer matters and kills any suspense for the reveal that it still has up its sleeve. I just want to read about kids learning how to be superheroes, and this series hasn’t done much of that at all.

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