Teen Titans: Raven – Book Review

  • Written by: Kami Garcia
  • Illustrated by: Gabriel Picolo with Jon Sommariva & Emma Kubert
  • Colourist: David Calderon
  • Letterer: Tom Napolitano

Intro:

A couple years ago I wanted to branch out my reading from the usual Green Arrow, Batman, Superman and Justice League comics that I picked up regularly from stores, and decided I wanted to read something different. After watching Teen Titans animated series and Teen Titans Go! I decided that this team would be a great place to start, and after reading more about there team, I wanted to know more about them individually.

Raven was always an interesting character to me so I wanted to know more about her, and last year (2019) I heard they had released a book all about Raven. So I bought it, but as life tends to be full of uncertainties, I never got round to reading it until now, over a year after it’s release.

When I opened that first page, I couldn’t put the book down and read this book from start to finish. It’s such a great story with so much emotion.

Plot:

Rachel Roth, better known by her friends as Raven, has lost her memory after a car accident. She is taken in by a Mother and Daughter who have known her since she was a child, and are the closest thing to family she has.

Raven attends the local High School, and must deal with the usual struggles of bitchy teenage girls and trying to fit in without wanting to draw any attention to herself, but when you’re gifted with abilities like Raven is, things aren’t so simple.

Constant nightmares of a demonic figure, a shadow bird being cast upon her wall, and voices in her head, make it hard to deal with the days of school, especially since she can’t remember anything about herself, which means she can’t tell if these things happened before the accident or if they are a result of it.

Secrets will turn to hard truths and mysteries will be solved as Raven journeys through high school with her step-sister and her new friends, as well as her new love interest.

Art:

I love the art in this book. The water-colour palette highlights minor details, whilst portraying the emotions of the character. Every panel and page is stunning to look at. It also helps focus on the important details of the panels, as the focus point will draw your attention with it’s colouring more than the shaded or colourless segments of the art.

When Raven is happier, there is more colour on the pages and panels, which is an excellent use, with certain pages standing out for when Raven is at her happiest.

The art by Gabriel Picolo is brilliant, with simple designs that ensure there’s not too much to look at, making this book easy on the eyes for all readers. The design for Raven differs greatly to what we usually see, since there is a more civilised appearance to her than her usual long cloak and shadowed face that we know from comics and television series, but it stills screams Raven and you can never mistake her for one of the possible other Goth girls in the school (assuming they’re there since we have the other stereotypes such as cheerleaders, jocks, mysterious handsome boy and of course Raven portrays the mysterious cute outcast girl etc.)

Overall:

This book is a great place for young readers to start and a nice break from your usual comics for avid readers of the medium. Take away the explosions, fast combat and hurting people with your abilities when they’re out of control, because this book brings Raven into a sense of reality (though not too real of course, she is still a girl with powers after all). It’s also nice to see these characters out of their usual comfort zones so to speak, since there are no other Titans around her to make her feel safe, she must rely on her high school friends and her family for that, as well as herself of course.

An emotional roller coaster for the reader, with excellent pace and a great ending that leaves plenty of room for the future. Kami Garcia’s comic book debut is just the start of an incredible collection I’m sure, as at the end of this book we get a preview of her next book Teen Titans: Beast Boy which, with a continued partnership of illustrations from Gabriel Picolo, will be another step in the right direction for a series of young adult books.

Teen Titans: Raven is available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Teen-Titans-Raven-Kami-Garcia/dp/1401286232/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=teen+titans+raven&qid=1598524586&sr=8-1

Teen Titans: Beast Boy is also available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Teen-Titans-Beast-Kami-Garcia/dp/1401287190/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&qid=1598524655&refinements=p_27%3AKami+Garcia&s=books&sr=1-1&text=Kami+Garcia

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