(Green Theme buddy read. Because Beast Boy is green, of course.)
I was kind of nervous about this one. The Teen Titans are a sentimental favorite for me. It was one of the first books I bought monthly, I loved the cartoon unconditionally, and I have emotional attachments to many of the regular Titans. So yes, I was a little nervous about a reworking of the team, but there was also no way that I could miss it. As it turns out, I’m glad I read it.
Lemire picked a smart roster: Cyborg, Terra, Beast Boy/Changeling, Raven, Jericho, and Starfire. All fairly well known characters whose main claim to fame is being a Titan. There’s no Robin, Red or otherwise, and we don’t really need him. The characters are very similar to the classic version. Yes, there are a few changes here and there, like Raven being Native American and Gar having two dads. But they still feel essentially like the characters I know and love, just freshened up a bit. Which is, as far as I can tell, the whole point of the Earth One line, to give familiar characters a new coat of paint without dramatically altering them.
The best thing about the story is that it gives a cast of very different characters a shared origin. That streamlines things significantly, while leaving in some important details that I would have missed. And I think that, even if this had been an entirely new cast of characters, I would have found this origin story interesting. I can’t deny that seeing Gar made it better, or that I’m eager to see more of this new version of Raven, but I think it would have worked well even with characters I didn’t already love.
Yes, I was nervous about this book, but I’m really glad I ended up reading it. I actually want to read more. I hope Lemire will get another book or two out of this.