The Teen Titans run into complications in #40

As the Titans kill themselves to fast-track to hell, we see an issue filled with minor character developments and a bigger twist, as the team must come to terms with what they’ve done.

Glass and team showcase the team killing themselves to save Djinn from Purgatory, alongside a Roundhouse reference to Supernatural.

After their deaths, each teammate must come to terms with their biggest fears before they arrive at the door to Purgatory and the news that they’ve been in Hell too long.

This twist isn’t so much unforeseen as it is shifting the focus to what they plan on doing to resurrect themselves.

Since Djinn is a mage, the most predictable outcome, will be the team stopping Djinn’s brother in heaven to free Djinn, and then Djinn resurrects them. This straightforward approach would progress the story in an unoriginal way, but as this arc continues, the team will need to find some solution to free Djinn and get the Teen Titans back.

Compared to the other series at DC currently, Glass’s Teen titans series continues to have solid characterizations and plot developments. We’re seeing the team work together, and a dynamic that has remained largely the same since the first issue.

What the series does lack however is maintaining the compelling elements of each character. We’ve seen small parts of Damien and Djinn’s relationship, but Glass has yet to commit fully to their interactions, and instead we see a teammate that’s pushing her friends away.

We’ve already had small arcs for Emiko, Crush, Roundhouse and now Djinn, but we’re missing fulfilling growth from all of these characters, due to some arcs still continuing. We saw in this issue that Emiko still feels regret for killing Deathstroke, an action that saw her leave the team.

This lingering regret means her arc isn’t finished yet and she’s not completely moved on, even though she rejoined the team. Damien’s obsession with rescuing Djinn and being the only one to repeatedly talk to her hints that he still has some kind of regret and feelings towards her, past being the team leader.

Amongst all the teammates, Roundhouse appears to be the only character who got a story arc that went full circle, until we saw him hold regrets for his sister’s death. Each hero has some kind of lingering regret, and yet we’ve been given little to fulfill these heroes overcoming these events, as we’re still holding onto the regrets in different ways.

This lack of concluding these threads is one of a few ways the series is holding itself back.

We’re seeing arcs that feel like they aren’t interconnected, since The Other was supposed to be the big bad but was resolved in 2 issues.

Now we’re seeing Djinn getting saved, but the series will continue to go light on finally tying up the first overarching story of The Other, since it’s taken 40 issues and still no conclusion. Eventually, Glass will need to reach the culmination of the arc he began in the first issue, and then find a new story arc to cover, rather than continuing this long running villain arc, with multiple mini arcs within.

This format gets tiring, as we read to see the team beat the villain that had control over a lot of the mini arcs, but now we’re just doing more mini arcs until we eventually return to beating this overarching villain.

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