A Bang-up Start to the Newest Teen Titans!
Teen Titans Vol. 1: Blinded by the Light
by Will Pfeifer
Series: Teen Titans (Volume 1)
Publication Date: August 11, 2015
Publisher: DC Comics
Red Robin, Wonder Girl, Beast Boy, Raven, and Bunker – the Teen Titans are out to make a name for themselves in New York City. Stepping out from the long shadows of their adult superhero mentors, the team is enjoying newfound fame. From Internet stardom to underground concerts thrown in their honor, the Titans are the talk of the town.
But not all the attention is positive. A new threat named Algorithm, an unstoppable woman with impossible technological enhancements, is testing the team with attacks across the city. Connecting each incident is one common thread: S.T.A.R. Labs. Someone at the scientific research company is hiding something, and this mysterious techno-villain is determined to bring it to light – even if it means tearing every one of their New York facilities down to the ground.
So what do the Teen Titans have to do with S.T.A.R. Labs? Nothing yet, but they just might once the puppet master pulling Algorithm’s strings is revealed. And then everything will change…
Collects TEEN TITANS issues #1-7.
Like most titles in the DC Comics Universe, Teen Titans has had a long and varied history. Originating in 1964, but not really taking off until the 80s, the Titans have become more than just a proving ground for sidekicks, and over the years, many young heroes have come and gone in the lineup. In 2014, Will Pfeifer was tasked with rebooting the series yet again. The current team consists of their leader, Red Robin, Wonder Girl, Beast Boy, Raven, and Bunker. Joining them in the second half of the book is Tanya Spears, the newest incarnation of — but no spoilers!
Pfeifer has written for numerous titles, most notably a long run with Catwoman from 2005 to 2008. He tells a good, exciting story, giving each member of the large group his or her own moments to take the stage. Dialogue is crisp and believable, and the stakes, as usual in superhero comics, are extremely high — in this case, no less than millions of lives. The first arc of stories, Blinded by the Light, ably sets up the second, Human Resources, which smoothly leads into the third, One Brief, Shining Moment: Part I. Surprises abound in each, as not everything about the bad guys (and bad girls) is straight-forward, and there’s plenty of action to hold the reader’s interest. But the characters are so likeable and interesting that more quiet moments with casual interactions between team members would be a pleasure.
Quality writing is only part of the requirement for a good comic, and oftentimes, its success or failure depends on its artwork. Poorly drawn panels can bring down even a great story. Fortunately, Pfeifer’s tale is accompanied by consistently excellent illustrations from artists Kenneth Rocafort and Scott Hepburn, and colorist Dan Brown. Almost without fail, they perfectly capture a character’s emotions and a situation’s drama. Rocafort’s attractive cover does a terrific job of introducing the entire main team, including their superhero names, without appearing too cluttered. The title concludes with a generous 16 page gallery of variant covers and Rocafort’s concept designs.
— Jennifer Michelle
4.5 of 5 Hearts. A Bang-up Start to the Newest Teen Titans!
One expects excitement from a superhero comic, a certain larger-than-life flair from its heroes and heroines, and a nastiness to its villains. Teen Titans Vol. 1: Blinded by the Light delivers all three. With solid writing that lets the reader quickly get a handle on each character’s personality, a good story told well, action galore, and varied panel layouts filled with quality illustrations, it should please most comic book fans and have them impatiently looking forward to volume two.
*Disclosure of Material Connection: I would like to thank DC Entertainment, DC Comics, and NetGalley for providing me a copy of this title. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”