Illustrated by Gabriel Picolo
Gar is struggling during his senior year: he’s short, can’t seem to gain any muscle no matter how much iron he pumps or protein shakes he drinks, and he hasn’t finished any of the things on his bucket list. So on a whim he accepts a dare to eat a Carolina reaper, and the stunt gains him some notoriety and good grace from some of the popular kids. He accepts more ill-conceived dares to ride the wave as long as possible, but some of them don’t turn out so well. Meanwhile, a stranger who knows his parents shows up and sows seeds of doubt in the supplements he's been taking his whole life, but not taking them means strange things start to happen to him.
While Beast Boy isn't directly related to Raven in the sense that you could read them in either order, it's clear that Garcia is setting up a convergence into a Teen Titans title that will combine the rest of the cast. I expect we will see Starfire, Cyborg, and Robin have their own titles before that happens. Gar in this title is fighting a similar battle to Raven in that he is having to discover himself as his powers begin to manifest. The "big bad" in this story is, once again. bullies, which makes this more a story of self-discovery and self-as-enemy (seeing as Gar talks himself into a lot of the outlandish pranks). Gar's two friends are also well-developed and likable characters.
Picolo's art, like in Raven, focuses on a central color to anchor the rest of the palette. While Beast Boy had way more colors overall than Raven, green was still predominantly placed in every page. The illustrations themselves are inviting and beautiful.
While the main characters are all seniors in high school, there is nothing inappropriate about this title that a middle school student couldn't handle. there is one smooch, and obviously some disobeying rules/laws that happens with the pranks.
Sara's Rating: 9/10
Suitability Level: Grades 7-12
Reviews of previous volumes in this series: Teen Titans: Raven
This review was made possible with an advanced reader copy from the publisher through Net Galley. This graphic novel will be on sale September 1, 2020.
Tags: Rating: 9/10, Suitability: Middle School, Suitability: High School, Graphic Literature, Superheroes, School Age
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