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Teen Titans Vol. 1: Damian Knows Best (Rebirth) (Teen Titans (DC Universe Rebirth)) Paperback – 20 Jun 2017
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“Beautiful pages to look at, and makes you genuinely excited about what's coming down the line.”—Nerdist
“Damian assembling his own version of the Titans is a great hook.”—Newsarama
About the Author
Benjamin Percy is the award-winning author of the new novel The Dead Lands, as well as Red Moon, The Wilding and the short-story collections Refresh, Refresh and The Language of Elk. A native of the high desert of Central Oregon, Percy also writes nonfiction that has appeared in Esquire, GQ, Time and more. He is the winner of the Pushcart Prize, a Whiting Award and the Plimpton Prize for fiction. Percy currently writes GREEN ARROW and TEEN TITANS for DC Comics.
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Story: We get a rather interesting origin book. We get some great segments detailing the lives and personalities of the various teens, each of them narrating their own entries in the first person. This was great as it's also a refresher in case you haven't read a Titans book in a while. I didn't read any of the New 52 Teen Titans books (and from what I understand, that's probably a good thing). As we learn about each teen, they all get incapacitated and kidnapped. They're all brought together, put in power nullifiers, and of coarse it's revealed that it was Damian who did all this to them. It's the only thing he knows, using people as pawns, tools, weapons at his disposal. He's such a little bastard at first! Benjamin Percy absolutely takes a stab at Scott Lobdell (the writer of the New 52 Teen Titans) when he writes Damian as saying the the Teen Titans of that era were criminals, losers, a JOKE. lol There is some level of fourth wall breaking there. I love what Percy has done in putting Damian in a situation where he would not only have to ask for help, but also put him in a situation where he can see a mirror image of his group and realize that people aren't just tools for someone's disposal. Damian would be able to see the value of friendship as opposed the the Demon's Fist, lead by his cousin Mara, who views her fellow assassins as nothing more than pawns in her game to best Damian and become the heir to The League of Assassins. By the end of the book, there is a strong sense of friendship vs. selfishness theme going on. I love seeing Ra's al Ghul in pretty much anything, so it was awesome to see him here! When you're reading about a bunch of teen superheroes, two of them sidekicks, one that's new to the whole hero game, go up against one of the most dangerous men to ever live, it really brings out the caliber of villain that Ra's is, but it also elevates the Titans to new levels. There's a wonderful dynamic going on with the Demon's Fist at the end that mirrors the Titans. I have to say that Percy and DC have put together a great team to start of the Rebirth era of Teen Titans. We have a great cast coming from wildly different backgrounds, and one thing that this title has always done in fantastic fashion is putting together a group of diverse people who can come together to be something much more than they are individually. We have Wally West II: a kid who learned that his "uncle" was actually his supervillain father. We have Raven: a daughter of a super demon who's afraid she'll become her father. We have Starfire: an exiled, ex slave who is really the rightful ruler of her planet. Beast Boy: a love addicted kid who acts goofy to cover up the pain of losing his family. Then, there's team leader Damian Wayne: son of Batman, grandson of Ra's al Ghul, torn between two destinies, one supremely good, the other unimaginably evil. Benjamin Percy did a wonderful job of putting together the right cast and making everyone likable, including Damian, which is NOT easy. I'm dying to check out volume 2!
Art: I've never read a comic with art by any of the three artists here. Jonboy Myers is by far the best penciler here. I absolutely love his art and it's probably more appropriate for this title than any other in DC's lineup. Just really fantastic lines, and the inkers interpret the art well. Diogenes Neves does one issue, and that art is fine as well. Khoi Pham does most of the issues in this book, and I have to say, while Pham's art isn't totally terrible (I have seen worse), I'm not a fan at all of this style! Pham draws Damian's head like a baby's. Literally, a baby's head on what's supposed to be a thirteen year old! Seeing that kind of takes one out of the immersion. It's just so blatant and distracting! It gets better as the book goes on, but that first issue by Pham is kind of cringe worthy when you see it for the first time.
Overall: A great start to the Teen Titans of this era. A good examination of friendship. A great cast! With the construction of Titans Tower, it looks like this new super team is ready for their next adventure! I give this four stars only because of Khoi Pham's artwork. If all the issues would have drawn by Jonboy Myers, it'd be five stars.
I'm someone who only watched animated DC shows and movies, so this was nice change of pace and I'm loving it. The only downside of buying these comics is it's like a gateway drug. Buying Titans makes me want to know more about the rest of the DC universe and your wallet tells you that it's not gonna be that easy haha. The one good thing about this comic series, while most teams are affected greatly by the rebirth, Teen Titans goes the route of just starting over fresh with giving a new history rather than being concerned with the rebirth event. Makes it a very easy to pick up comic!
Also, I mentioned loveable characters? Well Damian as most know, is a jerk and the least like robin. However, like the teen Titans movies, I'm learning to understand and appreciate his character more and more through the writer Benjamin Percy's brilliant story telling and character development.
The only minor issue I have is they make every Titans a teen except Starfire and beastboy, who are old enough to drink, which is a characteristic of the other Titans series "Titans"; which has only adult titans. However, story wise it makes sense that beast boy, Starfire, cyborg, kid flash, aqualad, Speedy, and Dick Grayson (original robin) are all the same age. But if they made Raven highschool age, I feel they could've done the same at least for beast boy maybe?
Not a boring moment in these pages. Featuring phenomenal artwork of each of the Titans, loveable characters, and such a great story, this is a must have for any fans of the teen Titans.
Damian Wayne recruits Star Fire, Beast Boy, Kid Flash (II? not sure what his name is, sorry) to form the new group known as "Teen Titans". The reason for this becomes obvious after issue #1. The antagonists in this volume are good in my opinion and although this volume focuses a lot on Damian Wayne, we also get to see a lot of interactions between other members that leave space for future material.
I have read and heard people criticize Damian Wayne's character but I think you will find him an enjoyable protagonist in this book. I recommend buying this volume.