Monday, April 5, 2010

New Teen Titans #1-6 (1980)

I'm reading the New Teen Titans Archive from the library because I'm pretty sure I'm not a full comic nerd until I've read these issues. The problem? I don't love them. Like Marvel Two-In-One, they are a product of their age, but I think Marvel had a better handling on pacing earlier. It takes Trigon 6 issues to fully materialize, and then he spends 2 or 3 issues backing down from challenging anyone in exchange for Raven taking her place at his side. And heck, both of them know she won't stay! Trigon has some fantastically evil dialogue, the bit where he dissolves Psimon into the lightstream because death is too good for him is just wonderful. But I didn't care for the fact that the threat is resolved by Raven's mother sacrificing herself to stop Trigon. It seems like the team kind of got off easily after getting their butts kicked for 6 issues. Heck, they lose to the Fatal Five pretty convincingly. It really seems like the team needed some more effective members like Wonder Girl and Starfire.

As for the actual team members, I'm surprised at a couple things. Kid Flash isn't even sure he wants to be a hero, he just wants a normal life with a wife and kids. This is very different from the Wally West I remember from the 90s. Robin is a strategist, but that's almost all he is, he's basically useless in combat. Raven is as annoying as ever, was she ever popular? Wonder Girl and Starfire are the main powerhouses of the team, I'm not sure they could beat anyone without these two ladies. Cyborg is a lot angrier and less powerful than we see now. I like seeing how far the character has come. Beast Boy had his thing down even in these premiere issues, he's the team doofus.

George Perez is awesome, of course, and I love seeing him lavish time on Starfire's skimpy outfits and Robin's bare legs. He clearly loved drawing this book. Was he the first to draw Deathstroke? I love the guy, but Ravager's costume is actually pretty cool too.



Mickey said...

I remember reading Teen Titans as a kid in the mid-80's and LOVED the book (that's probably where my love for Donna Troy comes from...) Dropped the book during the Wildebeest storyline in the 90's. So, decided to go back and read the whole thing again last year, and it pains me to say that the book just doesn't hold up at all. Agreed that the Perez art is still better than most books today, but the story-telling is just not that great. Odd pacing, poor dialogue at times, and going back to the "Raven turns EVIL!" well WAY too many times. By the end of the series, I was only reading to say I'd finished it and to count how many times Wolfman could fit the phrase "Oh my God!" and its many variants into each book. So, ya, completely understand and agree with your assessment here, although I still do so love me some Donna Troy.

Timbotron said...

It's interesting that you say that about Donna Troy. I've never really liked her except as Kyle Rayner's girlfriend, but she comes off really well here. She's a confident powerhouse, always my favorite type of super-gal. I hope James Robinson keeps writing her that way in JLA!