Everyone’s favorite adolescents assemble for the Rebirth treatment as Major Spoilers reviews Teen Titans Rebirth #1.
TEEN TITANS REBIRTH #1
Writer: Benjamin Percy and Jonboy Meyers
Artist: Benjamin Percy and Jonboy Meyers
Colorist: Jim Charalampidis
Publisher: DC Comics
COVER PRICE: $2.99
SOLICITATION: The Teen Titans are farther apart than ever before…until Damian Wayne recruits Starfire, Raven, Beast Boy and the new Kid Flash to join him in a fight against his own grandfather, Ra’s al Ghul! But true leadership is more than just calling the shots—is Robin really up to the task? Or will the Teen Titans dismiss this diminutive dictator?
LET’S MEET THE RECRUITS
Teen Titans Rebirth #1 is one of the final one-shots to be released as part of DC’s Rebirth initiative. Like the previous Rebirth issues, Benjamin Percy and Jonboy Meyers use a 20-page story to set up the new status quo for the titular team, the Teen Titans. The pacing of the story was perfect for a set-up issue, and Percy and Meyers make great use of the page count by dedicating four to five pages for each character. As we’re introduced to Beast Boy, Starfire, Raven and Kid Flash, each of their individual arcs conclude with the respective team members being apprehended by a mysterious, cloaked figure. This, of course, turns out to be Robin, AKA Damian Wayne. While his motivations for bringing the heroes together aren’t revealed in this issue, one can assume Damian is aware of a looming threat that would warrant the assembly of such a team.
Having not read much Teen Titans myself, I wasn’t entirely thrilled with Beast Boy’s characterization. His celebrity party-boy persona feels like it would be out of place on a team lead by the 13-year-old Damian Wayne. For that matter, aside from Damian, it isn’t entirely clear just how old any of the characters are. They are presumably all in their teens, given the fact that this is a Teen Titans book, but Starfire and Beast Boy feel much older than the rest. This is even more apparent when you consider Starfire’s past with Dick Grayson, AKA Nightwing, which is referenced on panel. Still, Percy and Meyers do an excellent job establishing and developing each character within the short confines of this single issue. This is especially important given the fact that Kid Flash (Wally West) isn’t the one longtime Teen Titans readers are familiar with. This is the Wally West of the New 52, not the one speeding through the pages of Titans. That missing nostalgia factor shouldn’t be enough to turn off any Teen Titans purists, but a lot of care will need to be put into the character’s individual arc as the series progresses.
A TEAM EFFORT
Percy and Meyers swap out keyboards for pencils to provide the art for Teen Titans Rebirth #1, alongside Colorist Jim Charalampidis. The layouts establish an excellent flow, guiding you effortlessly from panel to panel. The line work is sharp, and each character bears bold facial expressions and striking features. The overall composition feels unique, standing out not just from Titans, but from nearly all other current DC titles. The splash pages are gorgeous, as well. The ferocious look of Beast Boy as a shark emerging from the water and the heroic look of Wally as he speeds off in costume are by far the highlights of the issue for me.
Charalampidis’ colors are a fitting addition to the framework laid out by Percy and Meyers. Multiple palette selections help to set a unique tone for each character’s individual arc. The greens and purples used for Beast Boy evoke the feeling of being in a night club, which is befitting of the character’s portrayal. Then we have the incredible contrast in hue between the vibrant pages of Starfire and the dreary pages of Raven.
BOTTOM LINE: THERE’S A NEW SET OF TITANS IN TOWN
Teen Titans Rebirth #1 is an overall solid book. It does exactly what a set-up issue should by establishing the status quo of the team as they join the rest of the post-Rebirth DC Universe. Percy and Meyers also provide killer visuals, complemented by Charalampidis’ colors. I don’t know where things will go once the series officially kicks off, but I highly recommend picking up Teen Titans Rebirth #1.