Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Benjamin Percy
Artists: Jonby Meyers and Jim Charalampids
Release Date: October 26, 2016
After finishing this first issue, I can happily say that I will be picking up the next issue of Teen Titans. The Rebirth titles have been churning out hit after hit and fortunately this creative team seems to be on the right track.
In this issue, Damian Wayne, having just celebrated his 13th birthday, attempts to convince Starfire, Beast Boy, Raven, and Kid Flash, who he captured last issue, to join him and form a new Teen Titans team. After Starfire breaks them out of their constraints, a quick fight ensues. Following this, Damian is able to appeal to them, saying that while they are weak alone, they can be strong together. They will definitely need to be, because Ra’s Al Ghul, Damian’s grandfather and head of the League of Assassins, is targeting the other members of the Titans along with Damian himself.
As an opening issue, I expected it to be mostly exposition of motives for the series going forward and setting up the current story arc. While this is the case, Benjamin Percy’s writing style keeps the reader interested in the events that transpire. All of the Titans are in character and their interactions with Damian are incredibly entertaining. Percy’s depiction of Damian seems rather close to Patrick Gleason’s interpretation of the character during his run on Robin, Son of Batman, which I thoroughly enjoyed. While I did not read the previous Titans series, Beast Boy, Starfire and Raven all seemed normal, and Kid Flash was in character with his current depiction in the Flash ongoing. The one scene that stood out for me was the birthday party with Alfred. The scene was overall very touching, with Alfred celebrating the occasion with Damian while his father is fighting crime, and Damian’s appreciation for Alfred just being there. While the fight seen between the captured heroes and Robin is short, it is more there for Damian to make a point about how effective they are as a team, but I don’t think Percy wanted a big fight to be the point of the issue. I think the focus was on relationships, both friendly and familial. This comes from Ra’s expectations for Damian as his grandson and heir, Damian’s relationship with his father and Alfred, and perhaps how Damain and the Titans will come together in the future. At the end of the day, the meat of the Teen Titans has not come from fighting super villains, but from the complex relationships between the Titans themselves, and I think Percy captured that perfectly.
The art is also a strong point for this book already. Jonboy Meyers did pencils and inks while Jim Charalampids did the coloring, and I have to say that all of the colors just pop off the page. Meyer’s art also has a very anime-esque esthetique to it, another great appeal about his art for sure. While I was disappointed to see that Meyers will not be on board for providing the interior art for the upcoming issues of the series, I am interested to see what other artists will be brought on. Hopefully they will be able to find a more permanent artist for the book soon, because constantly changing art styles in a comic I feel can make the whole thing feel disjointed.
Overall, this first issue was a great jumping off point for the new series. I am interested to see how the Titans will play off each other in upcoming issues, and how they will come together as a team in the future. While I do have some concerns with the art going forward, Meyers definitely provided some great art for this issue going forward, and I am happy to see that he will still be providing covers for the book. As far as I can tell there is a lot to look forward to in the upcoming story arc of Teen Titans, so stay tuned!
PS: Did anyone else notice that the containment unit being used by Damian look incredibly similar to the one used in The Incredibles, or was it just me?