Review: Teen Titans #1 by Scott Lobdell and Brett Booth

Teen Titans #1

Written by: Scott Lobdell
Penciled by: Brett Booth
Inked by:Norm Rapmund
Lettering by: Carlos M. Mangual
Colored by: Andrew Dalhouse

Published by: DC
Cover Price: $2.99

Note: This review is for the digital version of the comic available on DC Comics on Comixology.

One thing that immediately jumped out at me was that this book had a very similar structure to Justice League and Birds of Prey. All three books had a cool team shot on the cover, but the first issue basically focuses on only two characters (with some small cameos by other characters). While it kind of annoyed me in Justice League, it actually worked much better in Birds of Prey and Teen Titans.

Right up front, Lobdell introduces up to Bart Allen as Kid Flash.   I am really curious about Bart. Is Bart still from the old universe, and this is where he ended up after Flashpoint? That is definitely the impression I got. I do think this version of Bart is a lot of fun though.  Bart is still as flighty as ever, and ends up botching what should be a simple fire.  What’s real interesting is that the real Flash seems to have no knowledge of this Kid Flash, who appeared a few months ago.

From there, we move on to Tim Drake, who seems to have only gotten a few minor tweaks.  He’s retired from being a superhero, and definitely worked with Bruce Wayne as Robin at one time.  He seems to have some issues with the Red Robin codename (which would become a theme for the issue, Wonder Girl also seems to hate her codename). A group calling themselves Project N.O.W.H.E.R.E. seems to be tracking down young superheroes.  This is the same group that created Superboy in his first issue.

Project N.O.W.H.E.R.E. goes after Tim, but he makes an escape.  Tim decides to try and track down another young hero.  He picks Cassie Sandsmark, a young girl who seems to keep popping up close by to Wonder Girl.  This is a very different version of Cassie.  She seems to be a bit of a common criminal, and has a variety of awesome powers.

Tim and Cassie fight off Project N.O.W.H.E.R.E, who decides to send Superboy after them.

I thought Lobdell did a great job tying the end of this issue into the end of Superboy #1. Unlike DC’s other blatent crossover this month (Superman and Stormwatch), this seemed to be really well put together, and definitely added to both series. In fact, after seeing how Teen Titans tied into Superboy, I ended up re-reading that book and enjoying it much more than I did in my first read through.

Lobdell also really set up all the characters perfectly. I really love the changes to Cassie’s powers, and she seems like a total bad ass. And Tim and Bart seem like they will continue to be favorite characters of mine. Geoff Johns’ poor handling of them in Teen Titans really disappointed me, and that seems to not be a problem here. I was a huge Lobdell fan back in the day, and he seems to be bringing a lot of the same dynamics he did in X-Men.

Project N.O.W.H.E.R.E. definitely has potential to be a major threat in the DC Universe. I would love to see them turn up in some of the other young hero books. I can especially see them as a hassle for Blue Beetle or Static. Actually, that could be the coolest crossover ever!

Along with the great writing on this issue, Brett Booth’s art was perfect. Again, it really reminded me of early 90’s X-Men. Not only did he show off the action scenes with Project N.O.W.H.E.R.E, but I especially liked how he drew Tim out of costume.  I did think is was odd to see Cassie looking a little hot (and yes, I realize how creepy that sounds when describing a teen superhero…), but it actually did seem to work well for this new version of the character.

I was a little sad to see Young Justice seems to have been wiped from continuity, but Tim and Cassie were great in this issue, so that made up for a lot. I just hope that Cassie steps up and becomes a strong leader type character. I loved when Peter David did that in Young Justice. And I can’t wait to see how the team evolves with Superboy, Kid Flash, and the new characters.

Teen Titans was one of the books I was most looking forward to for DC Relaunch, and Lobdell and Booth definitely didn’t disappoint here.  My only gripe is that I think I would have preferred they call the book Young Justice, but I’m a YJ fanboy, so that is just me.  This book does seem to be in the spirit of YJ, and that is more important than the name.   Highly recommended.

Final Score: 8.5 – A real solid first issue. Like Justice League, I would have liked to see more characters get focus time, but still a very good comic.

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