I have a lot of love for the Teen Titans. I followed writer Geoff Johns over from his run on The Flash to the Teen Titans, which is where I really got my DC Comics education. I fell in love with the current team, which led me to explore all the heroes they were connected to. I also looked into all the history and moreover the legacy that came with the Titan name.
The Teen Titans became my favorite team in the entire DC universe, which is a real shame because the series has not been good for quite some time. The books basically became unreadable before the New 52 and the shake up of the DC universe made it even worse until its merciful death a short while ago. However, the Teen Titans name is one of the most well known titles for DC in today’s youth, be they comic enthusiasts or simply casual fans. The soft reboot, which debuted a few weeks ago, was inevitable.
But is it any good?
I’m not going to do an in-depth review or recap of the issue here. There are plenty of places for that, but that isn’t what I’m trying to do. I want to give you my general thoughts on the issue and then leave it up to you if you want to cough up a couple bucks to experience the issue yourself.
I’m also not going dive into the whole controversy (here’s your starting point) that happened upon the release of this cover, except to say that Janelle Asselin’s concerns about how Wonder Girl is drawn carry over into the issue itself. Wonder Girl is drawn in a way that would make pin-up models jealous. Look, I know Cassie Sandsmark is extremely attractive for her age and I know that many young girls (especially those that look anything like Cassie) want to express their new-found sexuality in how they dress. I also know that this is a book trying to bring in young readers in a predominately male market, so featuring a female character so hot she could not only stop traffic but she would cause everyone’s tires to blow out is good for marketing. However, Cassie is her mid-teens at best, so when you vamp her up to the point where her sexiness is, well…
then you’ve kind of crossed over into the creepy category. Hell, they even have the cleavage line in the extremely far away shots, lest we forget Wonder Girl has breasts. Mr. Kenneth Rocafort, your talent as an artist shines through in this issue. No shitty artist could make characters look this expressive and appealing, but this is a 16 year old girl here! I’m not saying turn it off, but how about down? You want to put your talents to work get to fixing whatever nightmare they have Raven wearing these days ’cause them new duds be something dreadful.
Anyway, this is your basic character introduction issue, meaning in a single issue you get a to see who all the characters are, what are their powers, and briefly how they interact with each other. Some terrorist group has grabbed a bunch of kids as hostages and is heading out to S.T.A.R. Labs to stop the people there from doing something they think is bad. It is purposely left vague and will probably be an unfolding mystery as the series progresses. Anyways, our Titans (Red Robin, Wonder Girl, Beast Boy, Bunker, and Raven), not being fans of those who kidnap and endanger children, are on the case to stop the bad guys.
One of the things that I found a little shocking was the somewhat casual disregard for loss of life on the parts of our heroes. None of the characters try to kill anybody, but they don’t seem overly concerned when the kidnappers get seriously hurt or worse. I understand that perhaps given the situation there wasn’t much they could do, but they don’t seem overly affected by things when they go south. Red Robin seems especially out of character in this. Tim Drake is a world class strategist and detective who was trained by and lives by the same code as Batman. No way should he shrug all this off as easily as he does. Also it was weird not to see Tim wield his staff at any point. In a book that is about introducing the characters and what they can do that they skip showing the weapon ever comic fan knows him for.
I was so ready for this issue to suck, but it doesn’t. While I wouldn’t call it good, it does have some great artwork and one a two plot ideas that could be interesting depending on where they decide to take them. It is a fun enough read, but nothing special. The next couple issue will solidify if this book has any shot at being good or if it is destined once again for the crapper. I say wait until word of mouth spreads about the first arc and then pick it up in trade should it sound interesting to you.
So, what do you think of the new Teen Titans? Would you like me to take a look at other comic releases, recent or otherwise? Let us know in the comments below!