“Teen Titans: Year One” [Review]

By all accounts, the Teen Titans have arguably never had as much focus on them as they have in the past few weeks. On the television side of things, DC kicked off the promotion campaign for it’s new streaming service with the trailer for a new live-action Titans series, generating millions of views on YouTube alone. Meanwhile, the Teen Titans Go! animated series started it’s fifth season on Cartoon Network and released their first feature-length movie in theatres to much critical praise. One might assume that fans of the team would be thrilled, and yet based on the chatter online the reaction from fans has been polarizing at best and downright hateful at worst.

Speaking only for myself, I have never been the biggest fan of the Teen Titans, my primary exposure to them being the animated series that ran from 2003 to 2006. I could tell you the names of certain characters and a little bit about their history, but honestly I’ve never felt particularly motivated to check out more of their stories in any medium, comics or otherwise. Still, I thought with all this attention being put on the team and all these different interpretations of the characters, maybe it was time to educate myself. With that in mind, I thought I’d go back to the beginning and take a look at stories that covered the team’s origins, starting with the 2008 comic book miniseries Teen Titans: Year One.

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“Generation Gone” Volume One [Review]

Whether you’re a fan of them or not, it’s impossible to deny that superheroes are just about everywhere these days. These characters, whose colorful adventures once sold for a nickel a piece on newspaper stands and spinner racks, have now exploded into a worldwide pop culture phenomenon that generates billions of dollars and dominates not only comic books but also film, television and far, far too many streaming services. With so many to choose from and only so much time in the day, it’s only natural for audiences to gravitate towards the more established characters and stories, rather than spend their time and money on something they might not even be into.

My own comic-buying experience has been no exception. While I’ve often walked into the bookstore with the intent to try something new, the truth is that nine times out of ten I’ve ended up walking out with something “safe” or “reliable” like Batman or Captain America. It’s only in the last year that I’ve made an effort to force myself outside my comfort zone, avoiding old favorites from Marvel and DC in favor of new titles from publishers like Image, Boom Studios, Dark Horse and Viz Media. Though not every book I’ve picked up has been a winner, there are times when I stumble across a book that gets me genuinely excited. This month, that comic is Generation Gone Volume One.

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