Kami Garcia and Gabriel Picolo have outdone themselves once again with the latest in their Teen Titans series of graphic novels, finally bringing together Raven and Beast Boy with immensely delightful results. Teen Titans: Beast Boy Loves Raven is the third entry in the series, but all of the humor, inner turmoil, charm, and action from the first two is back in spades for the third go-round, but it's the sweet and evolving romance between these two favorites that puts this story over the top. Teen Titans: Beast Boy Loves Raven delivers a story that is perfect for new and longtime fans alike, and anyone who gives it a chance is going to be pleasantly surprised.
The story picks up right after Teen Titans: Raven and Beast Boy, as our two heroes are on a colliding path thanks to Slade. Things pick up pretty much from the first page, as we quickly see Raven and Beast Boy come together and start generating their delightful chemistry. Their first meeting is refreshingly awkward and goes about as well as any first meeting does, and that willingness to live in the fumble for a bit makes the later parts that much more rewarding while simultaneously creating more empathy for both.
Picolo shines in these early sequences, though to be fair his artwork shines throughout the entire book. The scenes of Raven and Beast Boy walking through the city and just playing off of each other's contrasting personalities and baggage are some of the book's best, and Garcia's dialogue brings an authenticity to their dynamic that further invests you into their given situation and their issues with trust.
Their evolving dynamic and relationship feel organic and relatable because what couple hasn't had conversations just like these? Sure there are the deep questions and revelations of family history and personal history, but when you're getting to know someone, you're more likely to just talk about things you enjoy and find interesting than anything of a deeper nature, like say the Zombie Apocalypse for instance, or favorite food, and everything else under the sun. Also, I agree with Raven, my choice is Chinese Food too.
Their growing friendship is the engine that makes this book run, but Max and Damian (yes Damian!) play an important part as well, offering their unique perspectives on Raven and Beast Boy's predicament and Slade's operations overall. That said, the best part might just be their interactions with each other, as Max had me laughing out loud several times with her unflinching ability to not take one ounce of attitude or assumption from Damian, and his reactions only made these back and forth all the better.
I would also be remiss if I didn't shout out everyone's favorite monkey Kong, who is an absolute delight throughout, and yeah, he totally knows it.
There's one sequence towards the end of the book where all of the seeds planted throughout come to fruition, both from a plot and character perspective, and it is heartwrenching, sure, but it's also extremely rewarding by the end, and all of the payoffs here feel earned. This sequence also showcases Picolo's gorgeous artwork, especially concerning Beast Boy, whose' transformations are just out of this world, though also elicits the emotion the scene requires to carry its needed impact.
Are there negatives? Nope...not a one. Okay, scratch that, I needed more Kong...there's your nitpick. Sure I could've used more Damian or more of...well, everything, but not once throughout did I ever utter the words "I wish this had". Not once.
Teen Titans: Beast Boy Loves Raven takes what the first two volumes did so well and amplifies them in a charming and thrilling way. You'll worry, you'll laugh, and you just might cry by the time all is said and done, and it's an emotional rollercoaster that I couldn't be happier to be a part of. The best part is the adventures are set to continue, so if you've been waiting for something special, Teen Titans; Beast Boy Loves Raven is your golden ticket.
Rating: 5 out of 5
Published By: DC Comics0comments
Written By: Kami Garcia
Drawn By: Gabriel Picolo