Teen Titans was a great TV show and I definitely enjoyed the animation and action scenes back in the day. It was so good that I still consider it to be better than Young Justice and is the best DC show that wasn’t in the DCAU. Teen Titans Go, the current comedy show is pretty bad, but this comic is about their normal return so it’s still shown seriously and the characters are in their original designs. The stories are fun for the most part and it’s great to see the old characters back, but the art is verry wonky. It feels like the artists are either very bad or some of the illustrations were done on purpose because some of the pictures feel like they must have been on purpose…right!?
There are quite a few stories here and each one is a stand alone, which naturally means that some will be good and some will be bad. One of the decent stories involved Cyborg feeling bad because some kids thought that he was boring. His reaction to this was very overblown though and the plot could have been a side issue instead of the whole issue. It seemed to be a little out of character if you ask me. It was a decent story aside from Cyborg randomly getting a crush on the teacher. That basically wrecked the story and destroyed the moral at the end. Cyborg shouldn’t have needed to be reminded that he’s a cool fighter.
The worst story of the bunch involved Raven getting a zit and having the rest of the Titans tease her about it. That’s something that I would expect from their parody selves in the flash cartoon, not the characters form the real deal. Even Robin and Starfire get in on it at one point and the whole thing is pretty grating. The Trigon appearance comes out of nowhere and even though we did get a little action, there was nothing that could save the story at the end. You could tell that the writers were simply desperate for attention at that point.
The best story was the first one, which is pretty good from the writer’s point of view since it means that you can hook the readers in very quickly even if the stories go downhill from there. The Teen Titans had a blast playing video games, but little did they know that the HIVE was using the intel to see how the heroes were able to fight. It’s pretty ingeniious and computer software can help villains to try and anticipate what the heroes will do next. That being said, the villains have to still be strong enough to do something about this and I feel like Gizmo and his little crew will never be a match for the Teen Titans. Even Slade gets a small appearance here, which was neat. Action and video games make for a deadly combo and that’s really why this story could not be beat.
Another story featured the Gordanians. As I had just seen Justice League Starcrossed, it was neat to see them again. They arrive on Earth looking for the Dodo birds, but as the creature is basically extinct, that will be tough. Beast Boy must get his teammates to trust him so that they can all stop this alien menace. Unfortunately, BB has a tendency to lie for fun and his teammates can’t be sure if he’s telling the truth or not. It wasn’t a bad comic, but Beast Boy was way too mean and there’s no way that Starfire should have brought him a pizza at all since he tricked her in such a mean way. There was some action though and that’s always good.
There was also a Valentines comic where Robin had to take Starfire to an amusement park to show her why the day isn’t celebrated quite as nationally as days like Christmas and Thanksgiving. Unlike Teen Titans Go, this version of Robin isn’t interested in romance and it was a nice contrast to his parody self. He was too busy breaking high scores in DDR to worry about anything else and that’s the Robin that I remember. A fight is squeezed in there somewhere I think, but it was only a decent comic. Not a bad one though since Robin looked quite good and that’s always a big positive.
Finally, Thunder and Lightning returned as they had an argument with each other. It’s pretty nonsensical and they start fighting for no real reason, but the Teen Titans decide to join in and the big brawl starts very quickly. It’s mainly through misunderstandings, but it was good to see Robin charge in to stop the nuisances. Thunder and Lightning made for good villains in the TV show, but as heroes they aren’t very interesting and don’t add anything to the table. They certainly won’t be the next Dynamic Duo.
As for the art….it’s pretty bad. I still feel like it must have been at least partially intentional because of how bad it was. Seriously, I’ve seen fan art and fan comics that were drawn more accurately than some of these issues. The issues have many artists so the style keeps changing, but most of them turn out to be subpar. The anatomies will be seriously out of proportion in some moments and then the characters will have odd facial expressions in another. There is no sense of consistency and this also makes it difficult for any fight scenes to gain a whole lot of traction. The first issue was the best and had the best art, I don’t think that this is a coincidence. The art is clear and easy to read so it automatically beats some other styles like, dare I say, The Dark Knight Returns? Still, it’s way too spacy for me to call it anything other than bad art. It may not take a full star away, but coupled with the fact that the stories don’t knock it out of the park, I can’t give this comic the usual 7. It’s just not fun or good enough to get that kind of praise.
This is much better than the new Teen Titans Go and I’ll look forward to reading future collections of this series, but Teen Titans can do so much better. The series had a rich cast of super villains to choose from and the characters are also interesting enough to hold their own stories so the comics shouldn’t be afraid to give us some epic battles. The art needs to improve though and in this modern age there is no excuse for the art to not be dynamite. Daredevil and Black Widow’s new series may have bad art, but in their case it is completely intentional. For this collection, it’s just hard to say for sure if that is the case.
Overall, I recommend this comic to Teen Titans fans and to people who enjoyed the TV show. It’s nice to see the old characters back and that they are in character. Unfortunately, the stories aren’t the greatest and while some are good, others are downright bad. It’s the problem with stand alone stories since the quality always varies. The next comic that I’m reviewing has a similar format, but it works a lot better since the stories are all decently action packed.