I loved the old Marv Wolfman George Perez new Teen Titans from the eighties when I was a teenager their book in my memory is brighter then the Claremont/Cockrum/Smith Uncanny Xmen so this new interpretation I had to read. Jeff Lemire has a great repututaion and has written some books I have enjoyed including the new 52 title Frankenstien and the Agents of SHADE which was my favorite of any of the initial offerings given the Dodson's did the art my expectations were pretty high. Overall I dug this book which strikes me more as the beginning of something rather then a full ing in and of itself. Jeff sets up three story arcs and hints at several more within the pages of this but only pays off on one of the promises he makes. As an old time fan I have to give Jeff and Terry kudos for making me not notice the characters they chose not to include by getting me fully investing in the handful the do use; Victor Stone, Tarra Markov, Garlfield Logan, Joseph Wilson Raven and the mysterious alien Starfire.
Though I can not say for sure how more recent fans of the Titans might feel about this book I can say that for an old fan the re visioning works pretty well. Jeff has clearly defined personalities for these characters and reveals them clearly over the corse of the story, the rebellious angry young girl, the underachieving son of the successful mom, the precocious smart caring son of a different family, the respectful girl raised by her grandparent, the disaffected loner and the terrifies outsider looking for help. Jeff know his DC and Teen Titans history; you can tell from the Easter eggs throughout the book for long time fans like me.and much like the amazing Guardians of the Galaxy film last summer they were winks to fans more then integral parts of the story. This book stands well on its own I believe having gone back to read it several times. Its a solid teenage hero tale that spins out of the feeling most teens have of disassociation with their parents and finding a place where they belong among people like them seen throught the lens of the superhero origin story. If anything the end comes all too soon leaving what seems to me the most interesting part for the future volumes. Fans of the marvel series Runaways would likely find the book happily familiar both with the characterful writing that keeps you engaged and with the clean and well thought out art choices.
Terry and Rachel Dodson pull from several styles in creating the overall look of this book. I think given one of the entryways into the Teen Titans comes from the animated series's that have been around its no wonder that the style they chose has hints of animation influence; Joseph Wilson's design looks almost pulled from Japanese animation particularly his profile at times and Tara Markov could easily at times have been drawn by Adam Warren who first adapted the Dirty Pair for US comic audiences. The color palet that they cose to work with also has more of the vibrancy that I associate with animation and doesn't go in for lots of the dark and more stark contrasts that I feel are being I used more in the "grittier" and grimmer comics DC seems to put out lately. This book looks more in line with the Batgirl with art by Babs Tarr and Cameron Stewart the it does with sat Batman or Superman right now. Anyone who likes comics that straddle that style line between American comics and Japanese manga and animation should likely enjoy the look of this.
Teen Titans: Earth One may not hit everyone the way it did me. Jeff Lemire really hit it right in my opinion in terms of taking a classic comic story I loved, The Judas Contract by Wolfman and Perez, character that I fondly remember and rich comic history and revisited with a lot of love and respect. He changed things yes, it's not the same story and people looking for that will be missing out on what he did write. I think this will play well for most old fans with open minds and hefully just create some new ones I'd expect people who loved the Runaways from marvel or who are now enjoying coming of age hero tales like Nova and Ms.Marvel are just the right new audience for this.
Is it a five for five shots that is for you to decide but it hit much more then not for me... Worth the money in my opinion. Out today Nov 19th at your local friendly comic stores....
Ps among the best bits in this for me were the seen a new cool take on Raven and getting Cyborg back where he belongs with his friends.