Tripwire continues its 100 Graphic Novels You Should Read While Stuck Inside with its thirty-ninth choice, New Teen Titans Volume 1 written by Marv Wolfman and drawn by George Perez and Romeo Tanghal, reviewed by Tripwire editor-in-chief Joel Meadows…
New Teen Titans Volume 1
Writer: Marv Wolfman
Artists: George Perez & Romeo Tanghal/ Dick Giordano/ Frank Chiaramonte/ Pablo Marcos, Curt Swan &
Letterer: Todd Klein
Today’s choice is DC’s New Teen Titans Volume One. In 1980 when DC launched this revamp of their teen superhero characters, the company was in the doldrums. Losing to Marvel who had more interesting and dynamic titles, they had poached writer Marv Wolfman and artist George Perez to do something with their second super-team. New Teen Titans debuted in DC Comics Presents, bringing Robin, Kid Flash and Changeling (formerly Beast Boy) with new characters Cyborg and Raven together to fight new threats. Wolfman and Perez were a fantastic team, able to imbue the team with a sense of fun and superhero action that their competitor had done better up to this point at this time in the modern age. The team fights Raven’s evil father Trigon, who has used supervillain puppets the Fearsome Five led by Doctor Light as a catalyst for events. Perez displays his trademark bombastic style ably assisted by inker Romeo Tanghal, showing his deft hand at superhero battles that very few other comic artists can match.
What also helps New Teen Titans is that like its Marvel counterparts, it is set in a real city (New York) rather than a fictional one, which helps to ground it in reality. The early New Teen Titans have the same sort of energy that Marvel’s early Amazing Spidermans possessed and Wolfman has brought together a team which although sometimes feels less than united became the template for modern superheroes for a little while. It was also such a huge commercial success that it led to a team-up with Marvel’s most popular mutants, the X-Men, a few years into its run. It also introduced DC’s vigilante assassin, Deathstroke The Terminator.
New Teen Titans was one of the first American comics I ever read as a kid and, even forty years later, it still has that enthusiasm, invention and passion that explains why it was a best seller for so many years. For quality superheroics, New Teen Titans is still hard to beat.
Here’s links to the other graphic novels reviewed so far