by Rae Hurley
I've never been a keen DC reader, but last month the rather attractive cover of Teen Titans Rebirth #1 caught my eye. I had only a vague knowledge of the principal characters, but that was enough to make me curious what I would find, having already loved other titles from DC's Rebirth line.
In this first one-shot issue, the reader is given a quick introduction to each character in turn. We see Beast Boy partying and questioning himself, Starfire enjoying the sunshine but also fighting to save lives, Raven using her unique abilities to get some peace and quiet, and Kid Flash determined to use his speed to put his troubles behind him. Soon enough they discover someone has greater plans for them all, as each suffers a run in with a mysterious figure who seems to know how to target their weaknesses far too easily.
Writer Ben Percy does a fantastic job of showing off the main characters. The reader is given just enough information to understand each character and their special abilities, which is particularly useful for those who may not already be familiar with them – but you also get insight into their current state of mind, so well-versed fans hopefully don't feel like they're treading over the same territory. You also get a good mix of seeing some of them embracing their personal desire to help others, with others struggling with the idea of just living for themselves. It was the perfect middle ground for me, as I had only passing knowledge of who these people were.
The only downside (for me) was that there are, obviously, references to previous things that have happened in the DC universe. Most of these things are events of which I have no knowledge, so there were occasions where I had to assume it would be explained later and move forward regardless. That said, having read a fair few things which drip feed the story and leave you wondering about events it only describes later, this did not detract from my enjoyment of the comic; it may however make some readers slightly frustrated.
Artist Jonboy Meyers also does a fantastic job in using colour to help the reader identify with particular characters. Beast Boy's pages are full of greens, blues, and hazy reds, lending a strong vibrancy to his story but also hinting at the chaos that is the undertone of his lifestyle. An array of pink and orange hues fill Starfire's scenes in the Caribbean, promoting the idea of an exotic locale. Raven, as you would expect, is shrouded in shadow, while Kid Flash is surrounded by his red lightning. These sharp colour shifts are combined beautifully in the last few pages where the four meet. Clean lines and a wide variety of panel placements also lend a welcome youthful feel to the art, reminding the reader that these characters are just teenagers.
Today sees the release of the first issue of the Teen Titans Rebirth ongoing storyline, and this issue continues immediately after the one-shot leaves off. We finally get some answers about Damian Wayne and his involvement in this entire escapade, as well as a kicker final page that reveals who's got the Teen Titans in their crosshairs - though I still find myself wondering how this "team" is actually going to be able to work together for a common goal, considering the circumstances that put them together in the first place.
The end result? I'm loving this story. I definitely want to know more about where this is going to go, and how the story is going to deal with the consequences of Damian's actions. I want to see more of the fantastic artwork, and more about the past events that are forming this particular scenario. I'm very much looking forward to the next issue.
Rae thinks DC Rebirth, as a whole, might actually be enough to get her reading DC comics regularly!