DC has released their New 52 which is a relaunch of their ongoing series. When I heard about this I had to get my hands on the new Teen Titans because I am a huge fan of the “next generation” heroes in the DC Universe. For those of you that are not familiar with things such as the Teen Titans and Young Justice series that have been on Cartoon Network, the next generation DC heroes are made up of younger individuals that are more often than not apprentices of Justice League members. The main reason why I like this group of characters is because they are green. Unlike when we read up on the Justice League, it takes much longer for the group to mature as a unit and we also get to see people grow as heroes because many of them have yet to fully master their powers. Also, I am always a big fan of super hero teams.
Teen Titans starts out with something very common which is a witch hunt. Someone is always trying to hunt down meta, or super powered, individuals for experimentation. Luckily, Tim Drake is using his abilities to try to fight the good fight. Tim decides that it is time to bring the fight to the criminals and strengthen his ranks by tracking down the targeted metahuman teens and requesting their assistance. After traveling the world and calling out to others by blogging warnings to all that are at danger we start to see a team forming.The big issue with this plan, which is something I am a big fan of, is the fact that the general public seems to not want them around. We see the authorities attempt to arrest the kids on many occasions because they are not associated with the Justice League and they cause a lot of damage to various cities. Running from the authorities, trying to help out their fellow metahumans, and building themselves as a team are destined to give a lot of edge to Teen Titans moving forward.
We get to see a lot of characters in this first volume, so there need to be some team introductions. There is Tim Drake who uses the alias Red Robin. Tim is the only member of the team who is not a metahuman and is the person that began assembling people to fight against the abduction and experimentation of metahumans. Tim is very serious and refuses to tell anyone his real name and, even though it may seem at times that Tim disregards emotion when handling certain situations, it is obvious that everything he does is for the sake of others. Cassie Sandsmark is a fiery young woman who fights with stolen Amazonian equipment. Cassie does not work very well with others and, even though her powers resemble those used by Wonder Woman, she gets very upset if someone calls her Wonder Girl. Miguel Jose Barragan is a young Latin boy who can control psionic bricks. Miguel has taken the alias Bunker and was the only member of the team to seek out Red Robin. Bunker read the warnings on Tim’s blog and wanted to help in any way her could. Miguel is a big time team player and is the first gay hero I have actually had appear in a work I have read. Bart Allen is Kid Flash. Bart has super speed and is the team’s resident clown. Bart is becoming more used to being part of a team, but he struggles with odd flashbacks from his lost memory. Kiran Singh is a very religious young lady that is known as Solstice. Aside from her out of this world appearance, the ability to fly, and shoot energy from her body, not much is actually known about the extent of Solstice’s power. Kiran has gone through the horrible experimentation that the enemy organization N.O.W.H.E.R.E. is subjecting young ones to and her experiences have already brought up some interesting moral questions. Celine Marjorie Patterson is known as Skitter. Celine is the member of the team that is in the least control of her powers which transform her into an insectoid with varying control of her actions. Skitter has come to resent her powers due to her lack of control, but we have already begun to see a sort of acceptance of her role as a hero. Finally we have Super Boy. Super Boy appears to have similar powers to superman, but is also equipped with very interesting psychic powers. Super Boy is a clone that was made to be a weapon that hunts down metahumans for N.O.W.H.E.R.E., but comes to question his purpose in life. Super Boy starts to come around when the rest of the team comes to rescue him from sure death.
I am actually very impressed by this new version of Teen Titans. I really enjoy the fact that they are bringing in some new faces without totally disregarding both classic characters and historic situations. The series takes vigilante justice to a new level where the heroes are not only unappreciated, but demonized for their actions which I feel is a very real reaction to a bunch of kids meddling in this that are supposedly bigger than themselves. The new powers are very interesting and I enjoy the high energy level that is being given off by the series.
I would suggest you try out this series if you enjoy the next generation DC heroes the way that I do. I feel that we are going to get a lot of good story and character development going forward and it is a nice new take on super heroes. We get more edge which has been a theme in recent years and I feel it helps appeal to a broader audience in that way. You can pick up volume one of the series at your local comic book store or you can try to track down the back issues which are not that old seeing as how this Teen Titans is part of the New 52. Amazon has nice prices around $11.00 if you are feeling thrifty.