I had no faith in Scott Lobdell going into this one. I was prepared for a follow-up to Superboy #1that further removed Conner Kent from the character I knew and loved but it’s seems the old adage is true. The third time is a charm. Teen Titans is Lobdell’s third book of the relaunch and by far the best one. By using a formula similar to Justice League’s debut issue, the writer introduces us to a team that is definitely going to be different from past iterations of the Teen Titans and a story that could lead to the ultimate redemption of Conner Kent.
Teen Titans #1 mostly focuses around Tim Drake a.k.a. Red Robin building the team but we get appearances from all four of the core members (Red Robin, Kid Flash, Wonder Girl and Super Boy) from Geoff Johns 2003 run on the title. As opposed to his previous two New 52 offerings, Lobdell finally balances pacing and plot development without becoming stale or gimmicky. These characters are meeting each other for the first time. Their first meetings are awkward and a little emotionally charged. The writer harnesses those feelings and uses them in conjunction with the ever looming forces of N.O.W.H.E.R.E. to build a world around these new Titans that I actually want to be a part of.
By the end of the issue, we get the Superboy crossover that we were promised but this story is not a continuation of that one. Instead it is a look at events that are happening at the same time. For as long as Superboy remains apart from the Teen Titans actual roster, it will be interesting to see how many Teen Titans and Superboy issues actually run parallel to each other. This could provide unique storytelling opportunities as we’ll be able to see every fight and event from both sides.
Brett Booth unleashes some unstoppable line work on this one. It’s fitting that Kid Flash is in the very first scene because the energy of Booth’s pencils cannot be contained on the page. But when he has to, Booth is able to shift gears without losing the exuberance of the scenes that have come before. he adapts to the different featured characters like Red Robin and Wonder Girl and provides a cohesive artistic experience across the book. And as much as I liked R.B. Silva on Superboy, I’m kind of left wishing that Booth was drawing that book as well.
Bravo, Scott Lobdell. With one comic, you’ve got me on the hook for two. moving forward into the next few months of the relaunch it will be interesting to compare Superboy and Teen Titans. Hopefully, Lobdell can take a little of what he did here (clear, passionate storytelling that doesn’t pander or bore) and apply it to his other books.
WRITING: 4 / ART: 4 / OVERALL: 4