Damian Wayne has always been at his best when he is at his worst; you should expect no less from the son of Talia Al Ghul and Bruce Wayne. Raised and trained to be Ra’s Al Ghul’s heir, no one expects him to be your typical teenage boy.
But what Benjamin Percy’s run is able to accomplish is to take the exact things we love about Damian — his brashness, extreme fighting skills, and take-no-prisoners attitude — and join that with his newfound need to be a hero like his father, the worlds greatest detective.
Benjamin Percy displays Damian’s humanity by highlighting his need for companionship. With a father whose priorities lie more in saving the world than hanging out with his son on his birthday, the absence of purpose in Damian’s life leads to the formation of the new Teen Titans, in slightly underhanded ways, like kidnapping.
This volume, for the most part, is all about coming of age in addition to coming into oneself independent of the teachings from parents or role models.
With Damian turning 13, a milestone naturally, but due to being the progeny of Ra’s Al Ghul, this guarantees an unusual addition to that milestone. The addition being an alternate group of teenagers; the Demons Fist, who have been raised under the tutelage of Ra’s Al Ghul. They’re a mercenary group that includes Damian’s cousin, hellbent on killing him, as well as our remaining group of teenage superheroes.
We get Beast Boy, Starfire, Raven, and Kid Flash joining together with Damian, who now also bears the mantle of Robin. On the surface, it’s easy to see this as just a story of the super kids of D.C, but Benjamin Percy brings to the forefront the problems that come along with that; mainly, the damage they experience due to not only the life they have chosen to live, but the life they exist in due to their guardians.
Beast Boy is dealing with the death his family, Raven and Starfire have PTSD from their respective families, while Kid Flash is still reeling from the death of his newly discovered father. So suffice it to say, even with all the jokes and snarky comments, these kids have real shit to be stressed out about.
No story with the Teen Titans is complete without first-rate action scenes; these kids individually are a force to be reckoned with, but as a team the reader is able to see their impressive fighting skills, especially against the worst father/grandfather of the centuries: Ra’s Al Ghul.
All in all, Teen Titans Volume 1 hits all of the right notes. Its panels are vibrant and the drawings impactful, the story moves along quite well, and I laughed throughout. I also enjoyed many of the earnest scenes and would definitely recommend you pick up this series.