Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Ben Percy
Artists: Jonboy Meyers (‘Visuals’), Jim Charalampidis (Colours)
Released: 28th September 2016
Was it always going to be a tough sell to crowbar in a team as diverse and complex as the Teen Titans into the ‘Rebirth’ introductory issue gimmick that DC have got going on right now? Whilst other super-teams have the luxury of each of their members having their own series to support their individual reintroductions, Teen Titans has to not only get down a cohesive rebirth of the team, but each of its players as well – and that’s a tough gig even without the rather brutal page limit that seems to have been imposed on the issue.
The result is a slickly crafted, but rather thin-on-the-ground issue that, by the end, has only reached a plot point that the Justice League might’ve hit on page five. There’s also the fact that it’s very much divided into parts, the majority of which feature one (and just one! – Say it in a stern German accent, please) of the Titans giving themselves a vague introduction, and whilst each does successfully capture the essence of their subject, part of the fun of any super-being team-up is seeing said beings bounce off of one another – both physically, and perhaps to a greater extent, semiotically. This issue has a grand total of two pages of this happening, and even granting the fact that this is a Rebirth, that’s just not enough for a team-up book.
That being said, despite the slightness of the narrative, Meyer’s art gives the book a much needed jolt of energy – recalling Kenneth Rocafort’s work on Red Hood and the Outlaws, but with less of the needless sexiness, and a healthier dollop of influence from anime. The action, they slight, is pacey and beautifully staged, with Charalampidis’ making the lines burst off the page at you, particularly in Kid Flash’s segment.
I feel I may be being too harsh, in all honesty – on the whole, whilst it borderline disappoints as a single issue, it does bode well for Percy and Meyers being allowed to settle into the actual story that they want to tell going forward, particularly given the way that issue ends, with a seemingly notable absentee finally showing their face. That and the snapshots of their handling of each character provided show they’re at least au fait with what makes them tick, and once they’re allowed to spread their wings a bit, I can see the series being incredibly enjoyable.
But for now, this is all we got, and as such, I’m pretty much obliged to slap this with the ‘fans only’ rating. But do not let that put you off giving Teen Titans #1 a shot when it comes out next month.
The Writer of this piece was: Ross Sweeney
Ross tweets from @Rostopher24