Thursday, September 13, 2018

Throwback Thursday Review: Smallville: Titans #1 (2013) Review

Written by: Bryan Q. Miller
Art by: Cat Staggs
Cover Price: $0.99
Release Date: October 4, 2013

Here at Weird Science, I am not the Teen Titans fanboy.  That honor goes to Eric who has spent hours debating on what Beast Boy's true color should be.  However, I am a digital comic fanboy.  I love the weekly release of bite-sized stories that don't have to fall into the New 52 continuity.  I like fun comics and there are a bunch of those titles in the digital-first lineup.  Smallville: Titans is just

Smallville: Titans is a four-part miniseries featuring Jay Garrick (Flash) as he attempts to mentor young heroes Superboy, Speedy, Blue Beetle, Miss Martian, and the Wonder Twins. can anything with the Wonder Twins be anything but fun?

The issue starts with Dr. Phosphorous escaping prison and threatening a San Fransisco amusement pier.  That's when the Titans swoop in.  Each member does what they do best.  Superboy raises his fists and cracks wise, the Wonder twins fist bump and makes me smile, Speedy shoots an arrow, Blue Beetle argues with his scarab armor, and Miss Martian tries to calm the citizens down with telepathy.  Individually they don't pose a threat to Phosphorous, but when they act as a team they send him into the Bay, defeated.

Jay Garrick shows up and like any good mentor, rains on their parade.  As a team, they stink.  He sends them back to the school possibly trying to nurse a headache he will have for the next three issues.  This is when I was waiting for the whole Dr. Phosphorous fight to be revealed as simply a training exercise, but it wasn't  In fact, the last panel reveals who set it up and it is someone with big ties to the Teen Titan Universe.

Bryan Q. Miller has done such a good job here.  The issue was full of excitement, but also enough character moments to make me care about the team.  Their interaction with each other seems natural and the inclusion of Jay Garrick as their teacher is awesome.  Garrick's frustration at the Titans and their hangdog expressions at the end were priceless. 

Cat Stagg's art was really good as well.  The characters looked like their TV counterparts and even though I questioned the gritty style at first, it fit the story and the concept.  I'm used to the Teen Titans as cartoony and bright, but this is the Smallville version.  More realistic equals more sense here.  A special shout-out goes to Stagg's cover.  The Teen Titans and Jay Garrick reflected in his Flash helmet is a great start to this miniseries.

Bits and Pieces:

Smallville: Teen Titans #1 is a great start to the miniseries.  It reads like a lost pilot to a Smallville spin-off television series.  It is fun and action-packed and should be read by Smallville and Teen Titan fans alike.  Highly recommended.


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