Review: The New Teen Titans #26

The New Teen Titans #26 cover
Cover by George Pérez

The New Teen Titans #26
Published and © by DC, December 1982

Title: “Runaways”
Synopsis: The Titans are recruited to battle a mob plan to use runaways as drug runners; also, Terra debuts.

Writers (plot): Marv Wolfman and George Pérez
Writer (script): Wolfman
Penciler: Pérez
Inker: Romeo Tanghal

Review: First the positive: That’s a stunning George Pérez cover and his interior work – with inker Romeo Tanghal – is also quite good. But Marv Wolfman’s story is overly chockablock with subplots: The Titans return home from space, Robin and Starfire have the relationship talk, Adrian Chase continues his journey toward becoming Vigilante, and Terra debuts. And the main story, dealing with runaways in New York City, feels too much like a public-service announcement (similar in tone to the Titans’s drug-awareness issues). There are strong character moments throughout, but this issue never congeals into a coherent story.

Grade: B+

Second opinion: Recommended by The Slings & Arrows Comic Guide (second edition), 2003.

Cool factor: The New Teen Titans is consistently above average …
Not-so-cool factor: … but has yet to settle into that next-level groove.

Notable: First appearance of Terra.
Collector’s note: According to the Grand Comics Database, there is a 75¢ Canadian variant of this issue. … According to MyComicShop.com, there is also a Mark Jewelers variant.

Character quotable: “Well, well. The kiddie do-gooders squad is here. My day is made.” – District Attorney Adrian Chase, future Vigilante

A word from the writer/co-creator: “I seem to remember Jenette’s asking if we would be interested in working with the National Runaway Association to do a Titans storyline dealing with real runaways. George and I agreed. I went off to research runaway centers and visited several in New York, speaking not only with those in charge, but also with some of the kids themselves. Our story ‘Runaways,’ which features one of the most incredible George Pérez covers ever, was our answer.” – Marv Wolfman, from the “Introduction” to “The New Teen Titans Archives: Volume 4,” May 2008

Editor’s note: This review was written May 6, 2024.

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