Review: Future State: Teen Titans #1
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Tim Sheridan
Art: Rafa Sandoval & Jordi Terragona
Colors: Alejandro Sanchez
Letters: Rob Leigh
Reviewed by: Matthew B. Lloyd
A disaster has fractured the world and Dick Grayson and Starfire both vie for Titans leadership to save their friends, but they are clearly not on the same page. Heroes have lived, heroes have died, and nothing will ever be the same.
The opening pages indicate this may reflect the same time period seen in Future State: Swamp Thing #1, as page 1 appears to depict a similar dilapidated city scape. More accurately, this may precede the era of the Swamp Thing issue as there are no humans about in New York in that story. Nevertheless, there seems to be some connective tissue between the “Future State” books as the events of Future State: The Flash #1 are mentioned in Future State: Teen Titans #1 as well. This gives the sense that there is something greater at work here as the DC Universe seems to have experienced a great disaster of sorts (perhaps not the Great Disaster as outlined in Jack Kirby’s Kamandi, The Last Boy on Earth, but some sort of traumatic destruction.) This is not simply future events as imagined by individual creators, but a bigger story that has impacted everyone and everything in the DC Universe.
Because everything is unknown to the reader, there’s some real excitement as things are slowly revealed. Sheridan jumps back and forth in Future State: Teen Titans #1 between the present and the past in order to connect events. These “past” events are new to the reader and still in the future of the DC Universe, just not as far ahead as the “present” in the story. These “past” events also appear to tease what comes in March’s DC Comics. In the solicitation for Teen Titans Academy #1, we see Red X. The character is a new addition to the DC Universe in comics, but he first appeared elsewhere. We get a complex introduction of Red X in this issue, and it creates as many questions as it answers. Sheridan, Sandoval and Tarragona are the creative team on Teen Titans Academy, and clearly these “Future State” issues are teasing what’s coming in March with the new series. It’s an interesting introduction to the new book. This indicates the past events seen in Future State: Teen Titans #1, as mentioned above, are still in the future of the DC Universe. This effectively creates some excitement for what’s coming in March after “Future State.”
While it’s easily misconstrued, the death of Wally West is not a positive. However, in the opening sequence, Dick Grayson and Emiko Queen visit a cemetery with graves that have some recognizable names. Donna Troy and Wally are among those names revealed on the grave markers. This is an extremely intriguing development and does a great job of building the mystery of what has transpired in the past to lead up to this event.
Additionally, the merging of Beast Boy and Cyborg into one individual is equally compelling. These two friends existing in a 1/2 and 1/2 body is inventive and engaging. This promises some laughs and drama as these two have very individualized personalities.
Sandoaval and Tarragona’s art is solid and appears a bit smoother than one normally associates with this team. There’s a bit less texture here. However, they do a great job of adjusting appearances in differentiating the two time periods seen in the issue.
With just the tease at the end of the issue, it’s hard to say if Dick Grayson’s choice of mask at the end of the issue is a negative or not. The story has yet to be completed, but it is a bit concerning to see him don this headgear. He teams up with the mysterious Red X to apparently stop Starfire from going through with her plan to save their “missing” friends.
Future State: Teen Titans #1 is a compelling issue. It may not be where we want to see the DC Universe, but as a two-issue event this book is a great read with lots of interesting moments. It works really well as an introduction to the new Teen Titans Academy launching in March. Overall, it also has a bit of an Injustice feel as well. It’s not the DC Universe you know and love, and it may not be a DC Universe you want to learn to love, but it is well executed and captivating. This “Future State” thing might prove to be a winner after all.