A new character and new storyline propel Nicola Scott’s favorite teen heroes forward as J. T. Krul does his best James Robinson and has multiple characters narrating the flow of this issue for the reader. That’s a great approach for this collection of teens, as it provides a peek into the thoughts of the characters, introducing them to the reader at the same time. Red Robin kicks it all off with a nice bit of exposition on the history of the Teen Titans.
I’m glad to see Nicola Scott back in the artist’s chair on this issue. Her work is lively and detailed, but open and well planned. When it was announced that Scott was going to draw “Teen Titans” I was thrilled. Her work is consistent and clean, and her storytelling is well developed and even playful at times. The scene of Tataka grabbing Beast Boy by the horn while Beast Boy is in the form of a rhinoceros gives way to her grabbing his nose when he reverts to his human form and gives Scott a chance to have some fun with what she draws.
What’s even better is that Nicola Scott actually makes these characters look like teens when she draws them. This is furthered by the dynamic range of emotions her characters display. Each character has his or her own range of emotions; A pensive Kid Flash is different than Red Robin with the same emotions. This is an instance where character and artist are keenly matched. DC should ensure this combination stays in place for a good long time.
Let’s get back to the tale within this issue though. The antagonists introduced – and how they are introduced – add some much needed freshness and a nice pinch of depth to the Titans corner of the DC Universe. I find them to be reminiscent of the Komeriah (introduced in the 2002 “Hawkman” series) and, as such, I’m intrigued to see more and learn more of these characters and their world.
I lost interest in the first story arc under Krul’s pen, but this new arc, beginning this issue, offers a less cliched, more intriguing sophomore effort. Krul gives every character a chance to shine, which makes the book feel balanced and provides a more interesting read. What happens once this team is fractured (no, that’s not really a spoiler) remains to be seen. The main part I’m waiting to see, however, is more of the other-dimensional fracas as rendered by Scott.