Mini Review - Teen Titans: Raven
As the latest graphic novel of DC’s new imprint DC Ink, Teen Titans: Raven has been tasked with leading the charge in wooing YA readers over to comic books. But does it live up to the hype?
Maybe? Mostly? Yeah, I think so? Hmm, I guess I need to break it down a little more.
Teen Titans: Raven - written by Kami Garcia, art by Gabriel Picolo
The premise of Raven is a good one. After a tragic accident, Raven finds herself forced to start over with a limited set of memories still intact. As she tries to adjust to her new life in New Orleans, Raven struggles to deal with her budding powers as well as a dark past that she can’t remember.
Story: Garcia writes a solid YA story that can go from engaging one moment to feeling like she’s checking off boxes on a YA trope list the next. The good news is that the interaction between the characters rarely feels forced or disingenuous. Raven and those around her are likable and there are moments in the story that can still manage to draw the reader in even if you can see the twists coming from miles away. It’s an easy read and that’s rarely a bad thing. Garcia has set a very solid foundation on which to build more of Raven’s unique world and experiences.
Art: This is Picolo’s first graphic novel and I feel that it shows a little on the edges. Most of the choices for character design and panels are both straight-forward and attractive. The faces are expressive without crossing over to cartoon-y and as a result the tone remains consistent between the art and the story. I do wish that Picolo has made some different choices it came to coloring. While the choice to use limited colors against more black and white backgrounds, I found the choices of what to color a bit confusing and the watercolor style a little muddy at times. Overall, Picolo’s does great work for a first swing at it, but there is also a lot of room for some more style and risks. If anything, I’m excited to see how Picolo’s art develops over time.
Final Word: Teen Titans: Raven is a solid read and there’s a good chance you’re going to find something you like even if it isn’t quite memorable enough to gain a permanent spot on your bookcase. While be great for someone who is a Teen Titan fan and wants to dip their toe into graphic novels, more experienced graphic novel readers.
Overall - 3.5 out of 5