Comic book superstars Jeff Lemire and Terry Dodson have the extremely difficult task of re-imagining the origins of the Teen Titans’ most memorable characters in the latest installment of the Earth One series.
As seen in the cover image for Teen Titans: Earth One Volume 1, the main cast consists of Cyborg, Beast Boy (aka Changeling), Terra, Jericho, Starfire, and Raven. In this new origin story, the team is tied together with a single convention to explain their powers and how they know each other. This choice isn’t necessarily bad, as it keeps things simple and easy to follow, and allows the writers to link the heroes and villains together, as well.
The new characterizations for the cast is a little bit of a mixed bag. Perhaps the most jarring example is Cyborg as a slacker punk, which is pretty much the polar opposite of his classic personality. Beast Boy and Raven’s re-inventions, however, are nice and feel appropriate. At no time does Raven being re-imagined as a Native American feel offensive, with the writers thankfully avoiding any negative stereotypes. Sadly most of the villains are much less compelling, feeling like expendable fodder, although Slade’s new rendition has a nice personality showing him to be dangerous but reasonable (although I hate his new costume design). DC took many liberties in this book, such as letting Terra and Cyborg smoke as well as have some “fun time” in a car.
As an origin story the book does its job of introducing the cast, establishing the origin of their abilities, and laying out that they have stumbled into a world of danger that they weren’t ready for. The book isn’t without its flaws, and shows the typical growing pains of rebooting back to day one of a story. But overall, when I finished reading, I asked myself if I wanted to read the next part of the story, and the answer is very much yes.
The writing is amazing, the art is on point. If you can get over the initial price at the comic shop of $22.99 then pick this book up. JQ gives this title a 8.8/10.