Artist: Kenneth Rocafort
Colorist: Dan Brown
BLINDED BY THE LIGHT PART 1
The Titans are back in the first issue of their rebooted series. When a group of terrorists take a school bus full of children hostage it’s up to the Teen Titans to stop them. What starts out as a hijacking turns into something more sinister when the terrorists threaten to blow up a S.T.A.R. Labs facility in the process.
The Ups: This issue is a great example of how a new series should start. The book starts off immediately with some fairly straight-forward conflict, which allows the characters to quickly get into the action. Will Pfeifer does a good job of giving the reader just enough information to get to know each of the characters. As the issue moves forward you start learning basic information about each member of the team. For example, Red Robin spends most of the issue on a laptop directing his team-mates and gathering information which demonstrates his tactical ability and his status as the leader of the group. Wonder Girl is the first into the fray and demonstrates her aggressiveness as well as her sense of compassion and justice. Every character gets a moment to shine and readers who are unfamiliar with them get a clear concise description of who they are, which is extremely important when introducing a fairly new character like Bunker or introducing readers to the re-imagining of a classic character like Raven. On top of the great writing we have some very colorful and bold artwork from Kenneth Rocafort and Dan Brown. Their art is very rich and intense, yet light-hearted which emulates the tone of a good Teen Titans story.
The Downs: The individual members of the team and how they operate as a team were demonstrated well, but we don’t really have enough information to tell what the rest of the series will be like. There are vague hints at a main villain throughout the issue but nothing substantial enough to indicate what the Titans will face in future issues. We also didn’t get very much information about what the team is like when they’re off duty. A good Teen Titans story has a great villain at its center and drama within the team itself, and we don’t see much of that in this issue. That’s not to say I don’t expect to see that in future issues but those pieces are currently missing from what would have otherwise been a perfect introductory issue.
Overall: If I were to judge this issue as an introduction to any new series, I’d say that it elegantly exposes the reader to all the key characters and does so in an enjoyable way. As an introduction to the new series of a classic team, I hold it to somewhat of a higher standard and have certain expectations of it. Whether or not it’s fair to have certain expectations for this book so soon is debatable, but it’s inevitable to make comparisons between this new series and previous iterations. When compared to previous iterations of Teen Titans, it is missing several key ingredients like a compelling villain to challenge the team and internal conflict within the team. Without these components I don’t feel like this first issue is a complete display of what the book should or will be, but the material we are given in this issue gives me faith in the creative team. Will Pfeifer’s writing is highly character driven and he puts a lot of thought into how the characters interact, which to me indicates that this will evolve into a great team book, which is all I really want out of a Teen Titans series. Based on what we’ve seen in this issue I see no reason why this can’t become a great series that updates and honors the Teen Titans legacy.
Grade: 4 of 5