Tell Me A Story. And Make It Good. – Review Of Teen Titans #1

Call me a pessimist, but after reading Scott Lobdell’s take on Starfire, Red Hood and Roy Harper in Red Hood And The Outlaws, I wasn’t entirely sure that Lobdell could write his own name correctly without the intervention of special education services. I mean, sure he’s been writing comics for over twenty years, but people also buy art made by zoo animals, so the fact that people kept buying his X-Men titles after Chris Claremont left Uncanny X-Men means they call Marvel fans Marvel Zombies for a reason places a, perhaps, suspect light on the buying habits of Joe Q. Public. However, I found myself pleasantly surprised by Teen Titans #1. Still, I’m going to proceed with caution; it’s just the first issue and we haven’t met all the players, yet.

Teen Titans opens at the scene of a fire. A house, nay, a mansion (and one that looks suspiciously like Xavier’s School For Gifted Youngsters at that) is ablaze somewhere in Westchester County:

But, we're not bitter about being replaced by Mark Waid or D.G. Chichester or Grant Morrison or...right, Scott?

Kid Flash shows up to “help”, but just showboats and puts lives in danger. Meanwhile, his actions are being observed by a young Tim Drake, aka “Red Robin”. Drake is…concerned. There’s been a spike in public teenage metahuman activity since his own stint as Robin with Batman. Now, a shadowy organization seems to be targeting these teens – and may have found Drake!

He's a real N.O.W.H.E.R.E man, killing in his N.O.W.H.E.R.E land, making all his N.O.W.H.E.R.E plans for, well, evil.

Cassandra Sandsmark, who likes to steal cars and is very insistent that you do not call her Wonder Girl, is also introduced. She has angst.

Yup, your life is doomed. Now, can I have your magic lasso and gauntlets? I will totally not abuse them at all. As far as you know.

I’ll say this, however you feel about Scott Lobdell’s writing, buy this book for Brett Booth’s pencils and Norm Rapmund’s inks. It’s a gorgeous book. Yes, some of the art has a very Image Comics in the 1990s feel (so pretty! And such big muscles! Oh my!), but sometimes you just want to look at pretty pictures of people who are impossibly chiseled and defined while you’re trying not to think about your own…lack of definition. While eating a pint of Ben and Jerry’s Cherry Garcia. But, I digress.

I’m going to keep reading the book for right now. Since, apparently, at some point, Lobdell is going to make Tim Drake an asexual and Superboy a bisexual, I’m not entirely sure how long I’ll keep reading it. Not because I’m bothered by the idea of that. By all means, make Superboy the Tim Bayliss of Teen Titans. He was grown in a vat in a lab. It’s only natural that he’s going to want to stick his dick in everything explore. Turn Drake into some kind of monk, whatever. I just hope that whatever story choices Lobdell makes regarding the characters’ sexualities come off more convincingly than Red Hood. He already is on record denying that outing Northstar is what got him fired from Alpha Flight. Maybe. But, you know what keeps you employed? Telling a good story. Regardless of what it’s about.