TEEN TITANS #1 by Will Pfeifer, art by Kenneth Rocafort and color by Dan Brown is a….surprisingly fun romp?
The bad taste of Lobdell is more or less scrubbed clean in the apparent softboot of the Titans here. We join the Titans in media res as the team intercepts a terrorist controlled bus flying through NYC. Without the weight of the cheesetastic, grimtastic and 90’s tastic Lobdell controlled Titans we finally have something that is actually readable. Everyone seems a bit more classic here and with a deep, content sigh, I’m relieved.
While it’s not the team they immediately had before the reboot; which I thought was a perfectly balanced and awesome team worth keeping forever and ever (Solstice and what they ended up doing with Kiran was such a tragedy), this is a pretty good lineup; Raven, Beast Boy, Wonder Girl, Red Robin and Bunker round out the current roster with I believe some additional members forthcoming. So far it’s promising. It’s teens doing heroics. Beast Boy is green again and looks a bit younger with a moe design from Rocafort, perhaps the best little revamp done by Rocafort for the group. Raven, while her costume is still ridiculously over-designed looks far more “knightish” than usual and while she doesn’t do much, she at the least seems fully good now. Beast Boy delivers most of the entertainment in the issue; with Cassie coming in second. Tim is acting rather Tim Drakish again; he spends most of the issue issuing commands from a remote laptop. Content sigh.
The cover is a bit misleading; Tim Drake is still very much in charge. Switching it up with Cassie taking charge would have been nice.
It’s a bit chatty of an issue and while his art is gorgeous, Rocafort is strangely a bit stiff here. Some pages seem they would have really benefited from some more fluid work. It’s an out of control bus; Cassie is fast. And yet it doesn’t ever quite feel like either is. Sorta. Maybe it’s just personal taste but the “flow” isn’t quite there in some pages, particularly Tim catching the girl after she’s thrown off the bus. On others? Beautiful. The need for consistency is real; there’s talent there but it’s not quite evenly distributed.
A big thing that needs to be addressed and or taken care of is Cassie’s tube-top costume and her boobs. Her costume is pretty close to being pretty sound; if she had some arm straps or her shirt went up into a Donna-like turtleneck and the material was a bit thicker less clingy, we’d be in business but as it stands she really should be falling out of that costume. Her boobs are huge. Massive. And they aren’t even that natural looking either, those are implant style, and especially when on a teenager, that’s a big no-no. I know others have criticized Rocafort for how he draws her and for that cover before so I won’t go on too long. Besides, regardless how big they actually are, you’d think she’d wear a sports bra underneath her costume or a sports bra period in case she does have to suit up. Rocafort is very close to being really good since he understands quite a lot but when he bows to cheesecake choices like that he squanders his talent. Plus; reinforcing practical matters such as that would help the book truly embody what young people are expecting or wanting from a teen title. That’s the kind of stuff that gets people talking; “This looks like real teenagers and twenty-somethings! It’s so refreshing” etc. They’re going to be getting that with Batgirl; they should do that here too.
It’s not perfect, but they’re trying for a younger feel. I see what they’re doing, and if they keep at it I think they have something here. It’s not quite on the money as a Marvel title would be (looking at you Ms. Marvel) but at the least they’re trying. The mysterious terrorist and planned enemy is enigmatic and I’m curious to see what’s to come. I just hope it doesn’t fall prey to the gritty twists that have ruined nearly every Teen Titans creative team and arc for the past seven years. But it’s also not Lobdell. Let’s see where this goes!