New 52 Review: Teen Titans #1

The tight-knit teams you grew up with are gone, as now, it's Tim Drake trying to form a team with Wonder Girl.

Iann Robinsonby Iann Robinson

Teen Titans #1

The final week of the New 52 has delivered onto us the rebooted Teen Titans. The main problem with a rebooted book like this is that it wipes out the years spent building the relationship between these characters. Everything is new here, the entire scope of the book is different. For starters, this is a rebooted world that has no real experience with superheroes and seems to have less tolerance for teen heroes. This is how it all begins for the Teen Titans – the birthplace of the first team of heroes not yet old enough to drive. Does it work? Well, that will largely depend on how much room you give it.

Plot development isn’t central to Teen Titans #1. This is a set-up book, an introduction to the central characters followed by a lead in to what is supposedly a twelve-month story-arc involving Superboy. Kid Flash is the first hero we meet, though he’s shown more as a showboat and attention hog, a dangerous one that ends up turning a small fire into a massive explosion. Cue Tim Drake, former Robin, current Red Robin, and a man on a mission to organize teen heroes before public opinion turns against them. Tim has a run in with some bad guys and escapes to hunt down Cassie Sandsmark aka Wonder Girl. The two meet, have a fight with a massive super and a tense agreement is struck.

Writer Scott Lobdell has been vocal on the desire to move on with Teen Titans and only create new stories, which he has done here. Tim Drake is given a dab of Dick Grayson in his attitude adjustment  as well as a bit of Bruce Wayne in his organization and desire to put a team together (think Outsiders). Kid Flash is a bigger smartass and a bigger jerk. There’s also no indication if this Kid Flash is Bart Allen or Wally West. Cassie is less of an emotional wreck post-reboot but a lot more of a hair trigger anger management type. Its clear Lobdell has decided to make the initial run of the Teen Titans a rough road to hoe. As for the Superboy angle, it looks as if the Superman clone is going to infiltrate the Titans and attempt to destroy them from within.

I do have to point out one detail issue that was shown to me by fellow Crave writer Blair Marnell. When we first meet Tim Drake he looks at a picture of himself as Robin swinging through Gotham with Batman. The problem is the Red Robin outfit, which was a costume Tim wore in honor of the death of Conner Kent, somebody who has never existed in this world. There are two theories here. One is just a straight screw up on DC’s part. The other is that this is some small hiccup in the three time streams that came together during the end of Flashpoint. Hey, if some weird hooded woman can be in every issue, this is a totally reasonable idea.

The art from Brett Booth is well executed. It’s got a bit of an Ed McGuiness feel to it as everybody is a bit bigger than life and super ripped. I like how Booth draws faces and he has a good sense of movement and action. His lines are clean so the detail work comes across nicely. Overall, Teen Titans #1 is an enjoyable book but I don’t know how it will serve DC. I believe it may be too different for longtime Teen Titans fans and as a new reader myself, there’s nothing here that excites me to buy issue #2.