18 Nov

by Orion Tippens

New Teen Titans Games coverThe New Teen Titans: Games

Writer: Marv Wolfman

Artist: George Perez

DC Comics, Sept. 2011, 145 pages

Standalone graphic novel

Thank you DC Comics, Marv Wolman and George Perez for bringing back that old-school awesome. This, being the series that needed no smanchy gimmicks, outrageous pin-up storytelling, annoying variant covers. Just solid characters and stories backed up with fitting art. That was the New Teen Titans, originally put forth 30 years ago by the comics dream team duo of writer Marv Wolfman and artist George Perez. And now they bring it all back, for one final blast in a story that took over 20 years to finish.

New Teen Titans Games art 1Yep, according to the Marv’s intro tale in Games, this story was simply an overdue project that was shelved and unfinished for some time. Which is amusing, considering the time the story was conceived during a time of transition for our classic team, in 1988. Now, the results have come out of suspended animation, with life breathed back, by the original creators who started it all back in 1980.

So, the gang is all here. Doesn’t matter if you knew them through the original comic series, the cartoon, or not at all. You will know them on the fly, as always with Marv’s subtle way of character display as the overall story builds. We have Nightwing, formerly known as Robin, with his OG popped color outfit.  Wonder Girl is back, but in her then new, starry costume and name, Troia; The Changeling (Beast Boy) is cracking lame jokes, but with a goofy mullet. Cyborg is still that caring man of his community. Jericho is also present, but with more hair. Starfire is smokin hot, and untainted by her current situation. Raven remains in her post-Trigon liberated white garb. And finally, our short-lived member, Danny Chase, who nobody cared about. So yes, this whole story takes place near the end of the Titans glory days before all went to hell in the second half of their volume two run.

New Teen Titans Games art 2But, this is far from some silly filler story. This is an epic tale, that can only be told in a graphic novel format, enjoyed from start to finish with no necessary ties to past or current stories. Our Titans are at the top of their game against an a mysterious, somewhat cliched “Gamesmaster,” a threat to some very select targets that are somewhat political or essential to certain communities. Trouble escalates as the Titans involve themselves, while dealing with multiple new challenges – working with the US government, remains of the Cold War, and a bizarre collection of new super villains who push them each to their limits. The start is slow as key players are introduced, discussed and then the suspense and action is kicked into high gear. Within, are plenty of fuck-yeah moments, complex moral dilemmas, and some startling surprises. Best of all, we have that thrill of unity when our Titans come together and kick some serious ass, all to an interesting and thoughtful end.

So yeah, do pick up New Teen Titans: Games. The art of George Perez still shines, with his excellent style of visual transitions of panels rich in deep environment combined with the emotional depth of facial expressions, body definition, emotional expressions. This and the different yet richer colors and hues (from the regular comic back then) also gives this book its own nostalgia and appreciation for these special one-shot graphic novel stories, including my personal favorites X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills, Punisher Kills the Marvel Universe, and Batman: Killing Joke.

Thank you, Marv, George and DC for keeping it all real.

Orion Tippens loves comics, writing, and travel, and hosts his own blog at

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