Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Teen Titans: Earth One, Volume One


When you've just rebooted your comic-book universe, do you really need to launch a line of graphic novels that reboots your universe and characters yet again...? This is the conundrum that DC poses with their superfluous "Earth One" graphic novel line.
 I loathed the SUPERMAN: EARTH ONE volume that I read, so I've been sitting on BATMAN: EARTH ONE, afraid to read it. But I didn't let that stop me from trying TEEN TITANS: EARTH ONE, VOLUME ONE. I probably should have let it stop me.

 I'll start this review with a qualifier: I have read exactly three things by Jeff Lemire that I have enjoyed to varying degrees. (His two volumes of GREEN ARROW and his LOST DOGS graphic novel.) Everything else of his that I've read, especially his "New 52" output, has left me either underwhelmed or puzzled. Puzzled because he seems to get a lot of critical acclaim that I feel is undeserved. (I assume he stands out because "The New 52" is in such a sorry state that people will grab onto anything that rises above the rest of DC's bleak output.) So: If you're a fan of Lemire already, chances are that you will enjoy this book.

 I did not.

 I won't waste time with a recap...This is a "What if The Teen Titans existed in our world?", so we get a complete rejiggering of everything, and The Titans are now a product of a genetic-tampering conspiracy. There's hints of Marvel's much better RUNAWAYS, and the whole thing plays out like some kind of mid-1980's movie about rebellious kids getting super-powers. Think SPACECAMP/THE GOONIES/THE LEGEND OF BILLIE JEAN/THE BREAKFAST CLUB run through a blender, getting drank down by a comic-book nerd, and shit out in an expensive graphic novel format.

 This is just bad, boring, pointless stuff.....I mean, honestly...If DC wants to exploit these characters, nothing is going to sell like George Perez. Put some marketing money behind the Wolfman/Perez issues...they were certainly better than this. The art, by Terry and Rachel Dodson, is bland and uninspired, a far cry from their usual dynamic work.There was just nothing here to grab, let alone hold, my interest. I found the whole exercise to be pointless. I wonder if these EARTH ONE books are reaching any new readers, and what they might think of them. As a longtime TITANS reader, I wasn't impressed in the least.

 DC Comics provided a review copy.