Comics Christmas Shopping Suggestions: Day One

Between now and Christmas, every day we’ll highlight a suggestion for gift giving. All of these suggestions will be comics-themed, and every day will see one featured.

For Day One, we visit Earth One.

P00001_1TEEN TITANS: EARTH ONE

Writer: Jeff Lemire
Penciller: Terry Dodson
Inkers: Cam Smith, Rachel Dodson
144 pg, Hardcover, FC, $22.99 US

In this new, original graphic novel, the young heroes of the Teen Titans never felt like normal kids…but they had no idea how right they were. Their seemingly idyllic Oregon upbringing hides a secret – one that will bring killers, shamans, and extraterrestrials down on their heads, and force them into an alliance that could shake the planet to its foundations! The superstar team of writer Jeff Lemire (ANIMAL MAN, GREEN ARROW) and artist Terry Dodson (WONDER WOMAN, HARLEY QUINN) reinvent DC’s youngest heroes, with an all-new mythos in an all-new world!

RECOMMENDATION:

The story, while being a little cliche, is interesting. The thing about Earth One is that the origins exist in a much more realistic world, and so with a group like the Teen Titans, the varied origins and abilities almost have to have a connection to make them plausible in the definitions of the universe. While I am a very harsh critic of this type of storytelling, I must admit that the story got me to forget my criticisms at key moments. The tropes are here, but handled nicely. It is the first part of a larger story which for a hardcover is a little frustrating, but again, the story is enjoyable. The characters are varied in their personalities, and even the villains are complex. I’m disappointed in the paths a couple of characters took, but I’m aware enough that in at least one case, it means that Lemire did a good job developing those characters.

I have been a harsh critic of Terry Dodson’s work in the past. His early work has been very obviously influenced by Adam Hughes, almost to the point of copying. Here, it has evolved enough to stand on its own. The coloring is adequate, but falls into some lazy territory such as the palms of the African-American characters being colored the same brown as the rest of their skin tons. During the final fight scene of the book, Dodson does a great job of choreographing the scene, which is very admirable.

This is not a gift for someone that does not read comics. The cliffhanger ending will be very frustrating when they want to read CHapter Two and have to wait for a volume that hasn’t even been scheduled yet. It’s also not a gift for a comics reader that does not have any interest in the Teen Titans. This is however a perfect gift for a fan of the Teen Titans. It’s different enough to be a “new take,” yet has elements that are familiar enough to lock in the interest of a fan. It’s a good gift for the right person.