Illustrated by Gabriel Picolo.
Raven from the Teen Titans fame is a fan-favorite. She was a brooding, mysterious, powerful teen superhero who palled around with Robin, Beast Boy, Starfire, and Cyborg. Now, Kami Garcia has been given the green light to create a series of graphic novels re-imagining these heroes, which must be a nerve-wracking undertaking, but one she does with care and finesse.
In this volume, we get the origin of Raven, a foster youth whose adoptive mother is killed in a car crash, and where Raven herself loses all of her memories. Raven's aunt from New Orleans takes her in and raises her with her own daughter, Max. Together, they try to figure out their senior year, with a take on prom-posals, crushes who wouldn't understand girls with superpowers, and self-righteous bullies. Meanwhile, Raven tries to deal with her superpowers, which include empathy, hearing other people's thoughts, making people do what she wants, hearing supernatural voices, and astral projection. Together, Raven and her family suss out the details and regain her memory, as well as the origin of her power.
I thoroughly enjoyed this new story of a classic character that many people my age grew up loving. I am excited to see this setting expanded to the other Teen Titans, and the ending of this novel really makes me excited for the next. Teen Titans the show wasn't as much about the kids in school, so that is definitely a shift that some readers are going to experience. However, this is an exciting introduction for a new generation of superhero fans. Gabriel Picolo's art is absolutely beautiful, and I loved the coloring used. Most things were muted in grays, or light blues, but Raven was always in full color, and as she noticed or interacted with things or people, they received their full coloring.
This title is part of the DC Ink Imprint, which is geared towards young adults. There isn't anything in here that would make this an inappropriate title for middle school, aside from the high-school-centric themes of prom and first crushes. There are a few panels of demonic characters that may scare the younger readers.
Sara's Rating: 10/10
Suitability Level: Grades 7-12
Tags: Rating: 10/10, Suitability: Middle School, Suitability: High School, Graphic Literature, School Age, Superheroes
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