There's always that particular relative at your family Thanksgiving. You know the one, the one who eats all the good stuffing (since there is always two dishes of it with one clearly being superior), seems incredibly overconfident, and who tries to dissect just why you aren't living up to your true potential.
It's no secret that you loathe that relative, and in fact go out of your way to avoid them when the mingling time happens. That's how the Teen Titans feel about Robin, and with good reason, as he's rather insufferable at times. The thing is, writer Benjamin Percy finally managed to elicit some empathy for the little hellion, a feat that should not go overlooked.
Minor spoilers from here on out, so be forewarned.
The issue starts with a meeting between Damian and his mother, Talia. It's not the longest conversation between the mother and son, but it shows Damian in a more humanizing light. It's his 13th birthday, and when she tells him he's a man now, his response is quite revealing. "No! It's merely another day. I'm not a man. Not unless I do something that forces people to see me differently." It's easy to see him as the spoiled brat who has his pick between two lineages, both longstanding and powerful in their own way.
Conversations like this paint a very different picture, as his father isn't exactly the most present parent and his grandfather sends him dead birds to signify he chose the wrong side. Thanksgiving in Damian's family would be a.w.k.w.a.r.d. to say the least.
Truthfully this is what the book needed, specifically a reason to root for this at times obnoxious kid who is just trying to live up to his future legacy. When someone feels more like a hindrance than a valued member of the family, that's prone to happen. Damian then attempts to get the rest of the Titans together as a team to fight some people from his past, and while they do have to make a hasty retreat, there are some great nuggets of dialogue between the team, including Raven's on point analysis of Damian's internal struggle.
On the art side of things, Diogenes Neves provides some nice pencils, though the coloring in places feels inconsistent. Just a quick sidenote, but Beast Boy really needs to ditch the mutton chops. Seriously, they do him no favors.
The growth from the Rebirth launch issue to now is exemplary, and if it keeps improving at this rate it could be a must add to your pull list. More team development is needed, especially involving characters like Wally West, but in just a few short issues the book has made some excellent strides, and issue #2 provides an immense amount of potential for the future of Teen Titans. You can view a preview of the issue in the gallery.
Rating: 4 Out of 5 Stars
Written By: Benjamin Percy
Pencils By: Diogenes Neves
Inks By: Ruy Jose and Sean Parsons
Colors By: Jim Charalampidis and John Kalisz