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Teen Titans: Earth One Volume 1

Teen Titans: Earth One Vol. 1Written by: Jeff Lemire
Illustrated by: Terry Dodson and Rachel Dodson
Publisher: DC Comics
Format: Hardcover, 6 x 8, 144 pages, Full Color, $22.99
ISBN: 978-1-40124-556-6

Following the success of its continuity-free relaunches of Superman and Batman, DC Comics gives the Earth One treatment to its classic youthful hero team, the Teen Titans. In doing so, they've allowed writer Jeff Lemire and art team Terry and Rachel Dodson to create a superhero coming-of-age tale.

The book begins the crash landing of an alien family on Earth (told from the alien's point of view in a brilliantly sparse sequence), then jumps to introducing Raven, a girl living on a Navajo reservation and who’s seen the alien's experience in a dream. We then meet four teenagers on the first day of the school year, who begin having strange visions, and quickly begin exhibiting stranger powers. Their visions are all the same: alien eyes and a cry for help. Once they're drawn together, the teens discover they’re being hunted by unknown forces, of which their parents are all a part.

Lemire has crafted a solid introduction story in this volume, giving each character enough space to flourish but always keeping the plot moving forward. As the mystery behind the teens' powers is unraveled, even the antagonists are given space to be more than one-note baddies. Overall, the story feels very Spielberg-inspired, comparable to J.J. Abrams' Super 8.

The Dodsons' art is very vibrant and energetic, helping give the book a cinematic feel. They've altered their style for this book, taking their usual realistic look and adding a slight cartoonish exaggeration in places, adding to the youthful vibe of the story.

While there are a few passing references that long-time DC Comics fans will pick up, readers who've never read a Teen Titans book before – or any DC comic for that matter – will have no trouble with the story. Lemire very definitely sets this book up for follow-up volumes, so fans hoping for a complete story may not be completely satisfied. But this volume makes for a solid introduction to this modern version of the classic team.

Teen Titans: Earth One Volume 1 is suggested for Young Adult (13+) readers who enjoy superheroes and coming-of-age action stories.