I Gave It a Chance...
...and I'm Pretty Glad I Did!
I recently finished reading "Teen Titans: Earth One" and my first thought upon closing the book was how I felt intrigued in the story, but not fully sated in my curiousity. Now, that is both a positive and negative thing to think. It is positive because it means I enjoyed what I did get to read, but is problematic in that as the first volume in the story it should maybe feel somewhat satisfying in its conclusion--especially considering it may be some time before we get a new entry in the series (these "Earth One" books seem to be suffering from years between entries--we don't even have the 2nd volume of the Batman book anywhere in sight and it took a bit to get the 2nd for Superman).
Perhaps one problem is that because we are dealing with a team, everyone needs some time, "In the spotlight," of the book before coming together as a group, and that results in a big chunk of the book simply being setup and the preamble to our "Teen Titans" actually engaging in any action. It's a good thing that Lemire expertly writes the quiet difficult of being a teenager, from the awkwardness of puberty to feeling disconnected from one's parents, as if that didn't feel interesting half the book would have been an utter slog to get through.
There are allusions to other Titan's stories that exist, such as the appearance of Deathstroke, but this is clearly in its own world (or are the "Earth One" comics all in the same Universe? Have we figured that out for sure yet?) that requires little-to-no knowledge of who the Titans are to enjoy the comic.
As for the artwork that accompanies the story, Terry and Rachel Dodson supply some stellar pencils and inks, giving everything an energetic and edgy style that fits well with tone of coming-of-age yet still having youthfulness. Cyborg's metallic attributes are drawn in a way that make it look effortlessly liquid-yet-slightly-solid and whenever Beast Boy (not actually ever called that in the comic, but yeah) leaps into action the smooth line-style makes him truly look in motion.
Complaints aside about feeling a bit let-down by the ending I quite enjoyed "Teen Titans: Earth One" and would recommend it to anyone looking for a continuity-free way to get to know these characters better--just don't expect another entry in their adventures anytime too soon, if the track-record of other "Earth One" books is any indicator.
4 out of 5 stars.