New Teen Titans Archives Vol. 2

June 14, 2004 | Trades


New Teen Titans Archives Vol. 2
Marv Wolfman, George Perez
DC Comics
$76.95/$49.95 US (Hardcover)
*** 1/2 (out of five)

Archive edition comics are one of the greatest inventions in the history of the genre.
They are superlative-quality reprints of some of the best, most revered and most expensive stories ever to see print.
How else could you ever hope to own the first appearance of Superman? Or Batman? Or any of dozens of heroes and teams that have been honoured with an archive over the past few years.
But while those Golden (1940s-50s) and Silver (1960s) Age tales continue to fill shelves full of books, only one Modern (1980s-present) Age series has made the cut: The New Teen Titans.
It’s hard to believe that it’s been over 20 years since the stories in this second collection of Titans were originally published. While all the pop-culture references in what was a cutting-edge title are now severely dated (a line about how tight Brooke Shields’ jeans are stands out like a sore thumb), this book manages to keep fresh because of two stars of the past and present: co-creators Marv Wolfman and George Perez.
The awesome pairing of writer Wolfman and artist Perez were just rounding into form in 1981-82 and were telling stories that nobody else, at DC in particular, was telling. Featuring classic characters like the original Robin, Wonder Girl, Kid Flash and Changeling and adding new creations like the alien Starfire, the mechanized Cyborg and the mysterious Raven, the Titans were young, hip, modern and dynamic, and the stories reflected that. But the creators were sure to include many of the classic elements of illustrated storytelling. The volume even collects a tip-of-the-hat story arc that sees the Titans hunt down the killers of another archived super-team, The Doom Patrol.
With the recent success of the new Teen Titans series, this archive is well-timed, and should be voraciously read by any serious fan of the team. Unfortunately the high quality edition price may be too much for the average fan. Ironically, it might even be cheaper to just track down the original issues. Perhaps DC will take the same route with Titans they have with the classic Neal Adams’ Green Lantern/Green Arrow crossover and release both a beautiful deluxe edition and a more cost-effective paperback.

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