Teen Titans: Year One #1 (March, 2008)
“In the Beginning… Part One”
Writer – Amy Wolfram
Penciller – Karl Kerschl
Inker – Serge LaPointe
Colorist – Steph Peru
Letterer – Nick J. Napolitano
Assistant Editor – Adam Schlagman
Editor – Eddie Berganza
Cover Price: $2.99
Here’s one that’s been lingering in the library for a decade! For whatever reason, I bought… but never read Teen Titans: Year One. It’s not unusual for me to buy something with the intent of reading it “eventually”… but, for me to leave a Titans book lay… that’s kinda odd.
Maybe I was subconsciously trying to rob myself of reading a great story… or, maybe it was out of self-preservation. Guess we’re about to find out which!
We open in the Batcave, where young Dick Grayson is trying to get a hold of all the “teen superheroes” in an online chat room… hmm, that kinda thing might get you investigated, pal. Anyhoo, Batman arrives… and boy howdy, he’s ticked off. He tells Robin that he’s wasting his time… and that they need to go. Just as they do, we see that Kid Flash has responded to the call of duty.
And so, we shift scenes over to Wally’s Blue Valley bedroom, where he’s borrrrrrrred. So bored, that he decides to run to France for some French Fries (get it?).
Meanwhile, unduh-da-sea… Aqualad seems to be scared of just about everything. He also seems kinda sickly… which is likely just artistic license. Anyhoo, Aquaman clops up riding a seahorse… and gives Garth a disappointing look.
Then… to the Big City, where Donna Troy seems to be looking for Wonder Woman. In a neat nod to the past, we see that The Flips will be playing live that weekend. Not paying complete attention to her surroundings, Donna walks smack into the chest of a… I dunno, high school/college student (who appears to be dating his mother). She immediately expresses her love for him… which is, ya know… weird.
Back in Gotham, Batman and Robin have been surveilling an alley for several hours in search of a cat-burglar. Batman is depicted as… well, an ass. No nicer way to put it. Thinking he’s found his baddie, he swoops into action… and beats the holy Hell out of a delivery guy.
The next day, Wally pays Dick a visit at his school… and they talk about how parents just don’t understand. Robin gets a text on his bat-phone (it actually has a bat on it) about some trouble going down at a jewelry store… and he heads that way. He finds Batman getting pretty aggressive with a thief… and, of course… we get a reference to the pearl necklace (we tired of that imagery yet?).
Batman proceeds to pummel the perp… so much so that Robin intervenes to try and pull him back. Batman responds with a backhand to the Boy Wonder, and a warning that their “team” is no more.
We wrap up with the owners of the jewelry store tending to Dick’s bloody lip.
In a strange epilogue piece, the fish around Atlantis are warned (via Morse Code) that they are under attack.
This is a very pretty book! The art is wonderful… really eye-catching and engaging.
Soooo, see ya tomorr– oh, we probably ought to talk about the story, huh?
Uhh… not the best. This really wouldn’t be the book I’d give to a new-to-the-Titans reader. I’m not sure if this is supposed to supplant the Titans original origin, or run alongside it… so, I really can’t get mad at it for mucking with continuity… yet.
Still though, not a fan of some of the characterization here. Let’s start with Batman… I gotta figure there’s some sort of mind-control or a top-secret plan he’s formulating in order for him to act the way he’s acting here. I mean, he’s hyper-violent, not acting very detective-like… and Hell, he backhanded Robin. There’s gotta be something amiss here, right?
Then there’s Wonder Girl. I mean, I get that we’re seeing that she’s never seen “a b-b-b-b-b-boy” growing up on Paradise Island… but her reaction here is a bit much. Here she is, walking through the “Big City”, are we supposed to believe this is the first boy she’s seen? Why isn’t she running up to every fella on the street and pronouncing her love for them too? Just really off-putting… and seemed to only exist to facilitate the joke of the dude nervously telling his girlfriend that he’d never seen this girl before.
So… um, no bueno. The art, as mentioned, is fantastic… a real treat for the eyes. It’s too bad that the story doesn’t really live up to it. To be fair, I’m just one issue in… so, this might all come together beautifully at the end… but, after reading this… I really don’t much care to stick it out til then. If you’re interested, this is available digitally for only a buck!
Be sure to come back tomorrow, when we celebrate TWO-YEARS of DAILY posting at our humble blog-home.