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Frank Quitely’s variant cover for Teen Titans #88

Yesterday saw the release of Teen Titans #88, written by J.T. Krul and drawn by the amazing Nicola Scott.  This new creative team is a welcome addition to the long suffering title and represents a new look and voice for the series.  This is a great jumping on point for new readers and old school fans alike.

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Adam Hughes’ variant cover for Teen Titans #88

The new roster, which consists of Wonder Girl, Superboy, Raven, Beast Boy, Kid Flash and Ravager, does a good job of mixing classic characters with newer ones.  I like that the team is divided equally into males and females and I think six members is the ideal number for the book to delve into character and plot.  There’s a great power mix at work here as well as personality types.  I think there’s an archetype for everyone on this team.  I’m not a fan of Ravager, but Krul takes great pains to explain her membership through Wonder Girl’s thoughts to Superboy.  I love that Wonder Girl is going to keep her leadership position and hope that she and Superboy can maintain their romance (but even that seems at risk).  Oh my goddess, I am in  invested in these characters again!

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Karl Kerschl’s variant cover for Teen Titans #88

Kid Flash’s humor is a welcome addition to the title (every Titans book needs a speedster and they usually are trickster types) and I am enjoying Krul’s subplot involving Bart’s sudden actions towards his knowledge of the future.  No spoilers here, folks!  Read the issue!  Another refreshing aspect of this book is Scott’s realistic but very superheroic renderings of these characters.  They actually look like teenagers!  Scott did a great job bringing the sexy back when she was on Secret Six and she does so here as well.  Fans of Conner Kent will be pleased with Scott’s bulked out Superboy and Cassie (Wonder Girl) looks like a healthy young woman.  Also, I was happy to see Raven’s costume given some modest draping.  Such masterful rendering of fabric hasn’t been seen on this title since George Pérez introduced the character.  Kudos!

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Artwork by Nicola Scott.

Beast Boy takes center stage on this cover, showcasing the main cast in all of their glory.  One interesting addition is the new Robin, Damian Wayne, son of Batman!  This young crimefighter has been giving the original Robin (Dick Grayson, who took over as Batman once Bruce Wayne disappeared) a tough time, but it looks like Dick thinks Damian needs friends and he’s making him play nice with the Titans.  Suddenly I am thinking about how Damian might rub Ravager the wrong way and all kinds of hilarity runs through my mind.  It will definitely be interesting to see how Krul plays Damian against the team.  Off the top of my head I see him challenging Wonder Girl’s leadership, Ravager’s fighting techniques and talking smack to everyone else.  Ought to be a great read.

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Pencils by Nicola Scott.

If you need more reasons to pick up this title, check out the expressions on every character’s faces in this above artwork (and read an interview with Scott about how she does it).  Raven looks distressed, Superboy seems a tad ticked, Kid Flash is concerned, Wonder Girl dismayed, Beast Boy is getting angry (I just love how Scott draws that tooth of his) and Ravager uninterested.  Damian has a maniacal expression which, when taken into account with his hand gestures, looks downright diabolical.  It looks like the Teen Titans will have a lot on their hands!  I hope this iteration of the Titans can find some of the glory from their Wolfman/Pérez days or at least recapture some of the the excitement from the Geoff Johns reboot.  Time will tell.

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Artwork by Rafael Albuquerque.

Superboy fans have another reason to rejoice besides seeing their fave superhero in Teen Titans as the Boy of Steel gets his own series!  Starting in November, the adventures of Conner Kent will be written by Jeff Lemire (Sweet Tooth) with art by Pier Gallo.  Keep rockin’ those jeans, Superboy!

Teen Titans, Go!