Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Titans: Burning Rage #1 Review

Written by: Dan Jurgens
Art by: Scot Eaton, Wayne Faucher, Jim Charalampidis, and Tom Napolitano
Cover Price: $4.99

Release Date: August 14, 2019

I was a fan of this story when it was coming out in the Walmart 100 Page Giants so I am glad it's coming out in comic book shops where more people can grab it.  I thought it suited the whole reason for the Walmart books in that it was a fun time that young and old readers could enjoy and did serve to show new readers why the Teen Titans are so cool.  I guess I am burying the lead a bit in this introduction so let's get to the review...

The issue opens with some classic Beast Boy fun...he's returned to Titans Tower with pizzas in tow ready to start a big old pizza party! I'll give it to Dan Jurgens here as he comes out of the gate with something that Teen Titans fans of all types can get into. Sure, the team for his story is kind of basic, to begin with...Robin (Tim Drake), Starfire, Raven, and of course, Beast Boy, but that again allows most readers to have some footing going forward and from what I keep hearing, the hope is these books will get new readers out and buying comics.

Beast Boy doesn't get his party, but instead, Raven zaps in, grabs him and it's off to join the rest of the team to fight the Disruptor. Jurgens again keeps it simple here with the Disruptor explaining his powers which boils down to...disrupting things. Yep, powers, machinery, almost anything really, but he is looking to get a bit of a performance-enhancing boost. No, he is not Mark McGuire or Sammy Sosa under the mask, but he's looking to snatch a power amplifier from STAR LABS to up his game.

While this is going on, Jurgens gives each of the Titans a go at it and it's a good way to give readers a look at their powers and also a little teamwork. By the end, it looks like the good guys won, but this is a six-issue story so of course, there is a tweest ending. The first half ends with some Beast Boy humor, that is a nice bookend to the beginning, but also a reveal of more of the Big Bads that the team is going to have to face.

The issue opens with a cold open with a tweest...while it looks like Tim Drake is trying to infiltrate a bad guy base, he is actually doing some pretty cool Teen Titans training. It's another good way for Dan Jurgens to get the reader up to speed on the team, including there powers. It also is nice to see the team interact with each other throughout this opening. For those of us who suffered through a lot of what the Teen Titans was in the New 52, this is the type of fun that was sorely missing.

Continuing, we see the Director and Disruptor from last issue trying to recruit The Fearsome Five to the HIVE side of things. They give them the typical bad guy speech...follow us and you will be all-powerful, we will take down the Teen Titans...usual stuff that is actually made cooler by the fact that Jurgens is mixing an awesome Teen Titans villain team in with this newer team. Of course, the Furious Five have some ideas of their own on who they will ultimately follow, but join in.

Back with the Titans, they are eating some (disgusting sounding) fast food when Tim gets a hit (he set up a tracker with his cell phone) on where the Disruptor is...but it's all a trap. Yep, the cliffhanger sets up a huge battle and I can't wait for it.

Overall, this was a really fun start and an alternative for readers who want more of a classic Teen Titans book. When this first came out as a Walmart Giant, it was one of my favorites because it really felt like Dan Jurgens was trying to get new readers into the hobby. That is still one of its main selling points, along with Scot Eaton's art and hopefully, it will get in more hands now that it's getting this wider release.

Bits and Pieces:

Dan Jurgens and Scot Eaton give Teen Titans fans a fun and action-packed story that also serves as a really good introduction to new readers. If you're looking for a book that has less doom and gloom and more teamwork and smiles, pick this one up.


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