In 2003, I was in third grade and playing pretend games with one of my friends who lived a neighborhood over. We would pretend to play Teen Titans. She would be Starfire, so she could be dating Robin while I was relegated to being Raven. We ran around her yard pretending to defeat supervillains. Teen Titans always will hold a special place in my fandom heart. When I heard a Raven young adult graphic novel was being released by Kami Garci and illustrated by Gabriel Picolo, I knew I had to read it. Teen Titans Raven is a gritty, edgy take on Raven’s origin story.
Raven is driving with her foster mom when they are involved in a deadly car accident. Raven lives without her memory while her foster mom is taken to the morgue. Raven is sent to live with her mom’s sister and her younger daughter, Max. Raven is navigating using her powers while being a normal high school teenager.
The best part of this graphic novel is easily the illustration. Picolo does an excellent job at blending black & white with Raven’s purple color. It’s seen in Raven’s hair, lighting within the panels and the writing bubbles. This novel is set in New Orleans which coincides well with Raven struggling to have control over her demons. . . literally.
Additionally, I like Raven’s support group. Max is the best friend I want to have. She gives Raven noise-canceling headphones to cancel out the voice she’s hearing. Max takes Raven to an occult shop to try and research more information about her powers. I could read a story of only Max and Raven living their lives in New Orleans.
My only minor complaint is the story felt predictable and corny at parts. This is a young adult novel, so I believe that’s why I felt this way while reading. The male interest in Raven’s life is the stereotypical jock and nothing is interesting about him. There is a surprise appearance of a well-known villain, but I won’t reveal who this is.
I rated Teen Titans: Raven four out of five stars on Goodreads. The artwork is intricate while the story knocked off a star on a five-star rating. Raven isn’t the only Titan to receive the graphic novel treatment. Garcia and Picolo will be writing/illustrating other books with the other Titans. The Beast Boy graphic novel will be released on September 8th, 2020. Teen Titans: Raven can be purchased at any local bookstore or comic store.