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TEEN TITANS #1

Writer- Will Pfeifer

Artist- Kenneth Rocafort

Colorist- Dan Brown

 

I have to admit, I had a bit of trepidation when I was asked to review Teen Titans # 1.  I’ve never read any Teen Titan comic nor have I seen any incarnation of the cartoons. Aside from Red Robin (who I only know as Robin) I’m completely unfamiliar with the characters.  So to say I was a bit wary of this assignment was an understatement.  Whatever feelings I had when I started the book were gone at the end.  Simply put, I was blown away at this issue.

Coming in with no preset notions about the book felt really good.  Some number one issues don’t work as well as others as far as welcoming new readers.  With this book I was immediately put at ease with the set up and who the characters are.  I wasn’t left wondering who was in charge, who had what power or who was with whom. It was incredibly welcoming.  The plot of the story took me by surprise.  While it seemed like it would be a fairly straight forward “heroes stop the bad guy” story, the ending left me excited for what is to come. What I also found surprising was the hero’s attitude towards death.  Saving innocents is what’s important, not so much saving those threatening said innocents. Cassie doesn’t flinch when having to make a choice here.  It surprised me to see that attitude, but it wasn’t unwelcome and I felt it didn’t have that dark/violent feel that the New 52 is often criticized for.

There’s no way to talk about the art in the book without mentioning the controversy that was surrounding the book when its preview images were revealed a few months back.  The conversation then was about the size of Wonder Girls breasts and whether or not that was appropriate for a teenage girl.   While not getting into that discussion here, I will say that already having knowledge about that issue did bring those images to my attention and I did find it to be distracting. Bluntly put they are enormous and it looks like they could fall out of her shirt at any time.  It was a shame that I found myself distracted by that because the art otherwise was jaw droppingly gorgeous.   The art in this book absolutely stole the show, Rocafort and Brown team up to do some of the best pencil and color work I’ve seen a long time.  The colors pop off the page.  It was truly a treat for my eyes to be absorbing what was in front of me.  It’s my hope that they address the complaints about Wonder Girl because without that, were looking at one of the best art teams of the year.

Verdict

BUY IT.  I came into this issue not knowing anything about this team, its characters or its previous history.  However, I came away wanting the next issue in my hands right away.  Whatever side of the fence you landed with the controversy about Wonder Girl I hope you give the book a chance.

2 Responses

  1. thisjohnd

    I came from the same place reading this book, Justin. I’ve never read anything Teen Titans but I like the idea of a teenage-led book and have always been curious about the team, which is why I picked it up. While I wasn’t as enthusiastic about it as you were, I was similarly caught off-guard and surprised how much I enjoyed it. I thought the team dynamic was laid out well and even though Red Robin’s view on the safety of the terrorists was a little hypocritical (didn’t he say to Wonder Girl, “don’t let anyone get hurt”?), I’m on board for a second issue at least.

    My only qualm about the book at all was Bunker’s sudden outburst at the end. I won’t spoil the moment here, but that felt out of place. Maybe that’s his character–I don’t know since I’ve never read anything with him in it–but it came across as overly violent.

    As an experiment, I showed this issue to my wife to see how she would react to the way Wonder Girl’s breasts are drawn and she didn’t say anything about it. I asked her afterward and she said she noticed it but just kind of expects women in comics to have huge breasts. 🙁

    • Justin Townson

      I can understand the point about Bunker. When I read it I could understand where he was coming from. Having discrimination thrown in your face after a heroic deed would be hard to deal with if you were an adult. I felt the lashing out if not justified, was at least understandable from a teenage perspective.

      I think that as the book goes on were going to see the attitude of how the heroes handle life and death situations differently and I would expect this issue to be addressed by Robin

      Also, my wife eye rolled at the boobs too.

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