There is one writer in comics that I literally crave new material from. Jeff Lemire is the creator of some of my favorite titles; Essex County, Descender, Sweet Tooth, and more. DC Comics signing him on was one of the most clever moves they have made this decade. Unfortunately, I have yet to get into most of that content, well just one title. Animal Man his first stab in the universe, was a surprise success, personally I was not surprised in the least, Mr. Lemire could make Howard the Duck an enriching story. When I finally got my hands on a copy of Teen Titans: Earth One, you could bet I was eager to fill my face.
As far as the Teen Titans go (ha), I have always enjoyed the side kick ensemble element. As is the norm in DC, the group has had multiple titles, reboots, reimagining’s, and parallel universes. Whether it be a long running title, or a silly children’s cartoon, there has always been an entertainment value to watching these kids try to make it on their own in a world bursting with legitimate heroes. While they deal with lives as teenagers and the relationships they share, they strive to prove their worth to their mentors and heroes.
Teen Titans: Earth One was released in 2014, as part of an Earth One line up started with Superman in 2010 and later a Batman title. Due to the success of these and the Titans run, the Earth One franchise has since added names such as Wonder Woman, Aqua Man, and Flash. Reinventing stories of the early years of the heroes on a new Earth with modern perspective and fresh continuity.
The title being in the Earth One universe gave Jeff Lemire an opportunity to do something that has never really been done. Reimagine the entire origins of the Teen Titans from the ground up. After a mysterious spaceship crashes on earth, a baby Starfire is discovered, who is hidden and tested on by Star Labs. Years later, a few local teenagers begin to develop new powers, and in the wake they search for answers. A conspiracy begins to be unravelled that shakes the teenagers entire lives.
The important names are there, such as Cyborg, Changeling and Terra, without the big hitter side kicks that are still foreshadowed as being players in the future. The new origins of some of the heroes can be a bit hard to swallow, and many of the characteristics we expect undergo big changes. However, this fresh new group has the dynamics and teenage perspective that has made the team a success in the past. An overhaul of a franchise as big and deep as the Titans can be met with resistance, and Mr. Lemire does a great job of keeping this title different and interesting at the same time.
I will admit that I believe that Teen Titans: Earth One is not Jeff Lemire’s strongest work. The plot can be a bit predictable and there are one too many tropes involved. Overall the book is an entertaining read, and it is fun to see the Titans in a new light, and the artwork is legit, 3.5/5. I will recommend the graphic novel to any fans of the teenage ensemble, cartoon or comics, and I will be excited to read the next installment and other Earth One titles.
Thanks booknerds, time to watch some cartoons.