Review: The New Teen Titans #1

The New Teen Titans #1 cover
Cover by George Pérez and Dick Giordano

The New Teen Titans #1
Published and © by DC, November 1980

Title: “The New Teen Titans”
Synopsis: Raven gathers the new Teen Titans to rescue escaped alien princess Koriand’r from Gordanian slave traders.

Writer: Marv Wolfman
Penciler: George Pérez
Embellisher: Romeo Tanghal

Review: Following a strong debut in DC Comics Presents #26 (see review), the new Teen Titans gather for good in this well-executed first issue. Writer Marv Wolfman packs a lot into this origin tale: back story, foreshadowing, solid action and plenty of characterization – often in the form of parental angst. A former top editor for the competition, Wolfman brings something else essential to the Teen Titan’s mix: an infusion of Marvel style. Joined by fellow Marvel-expat George Pérez – who delivers dynamic-but-still-raw art here – the writer would soon have this series topping DC’s sales chart. Deservedly so.

Grade: B+

Second opinion: “Editor Len Wein and writer Marv Wolfman came up with the team that, while derivative and an attempt parallel Marvel’s X-Men, is also very entertaining.” – Frank Plowright, FantaCo’s Chronicle’s Series Annual #1, 1983

Cool factor: DC finds its answer to Marvel’s X-Men – and the creative team to pull it off.

Notable: Includes a one-page intro essay by Marv Wolfman titled “You Can Come Home Again!”
Collector’s note: According to the Grand Comics Database, there is a 15p British variant of this issue.

Character quotable: “Sure, what have I got to lose – ? – that is, besides my life!” – Changeling, keeping it light
A word from the writer/co-creator: “The Titans’ origins all stemmed from parent/child differences. The theme for the Titans began and remained young verses old. Son and daughter verses father and mother. These universal conflicts, understood by all teens as they grow up and separate from their parents, could be revisited time and time again.” – Marv Wolfman, on the mindset going into the launch of The New Teen Titans, from a “Preface” penned in November 1998 for “The New Teen Titans Archives: Volume 1,” 1999

Editor’s note: This review was originally published by Sequential Reaction (Vol. 1) on Jan. 5, 2016.

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