Teen Titans: Raven by Kami Garcia

Kami Garcia puts a fresh twist on the Raven origin story by throwing Raven into Louisiana to mingle with voodoo and spirits.

We are dropped into the life of Raven just as her soon-to-be adopted mother is killed in an accident. Raven is left without any of her memories and goes to live with her adopted aunt and cousin. Here we see her re-entry into high school while she adjusts to her new life, all while trying to remember who she used to be and also discovering who she is now.

This graphic novel does an excellent job of balancing back story and the self-discovery of who Raven is. Raven’s emotions feel authentic of a teen girl even while she is experiencing her powers for the first time again. Raven as a character is compelling in this story and I was interested to find out where her character was headed, it did not wane it was consistently interesting throughout.

While this is a super hero origin, I was impressed by the amount of normal teenage activity that mixed in with her supernatural abilities. We see Raven make friends, fall in love, and attend prom. The mix was very even and it did not feel like a typical young adult graphic novel. I found that it would be interesting to even the older comic book junkie.

My single issue with this graphic novel was how the dialogue was executed. The thought/speech bubbles changed color to indicate if something was verbal or in Raven’s head. This was a little hard to interpret at first because I was having a hard time discerning who was talking/thinking. After the first couple chapters I adjusted but I did find myself having to reread the beginning to understand exactly what was happening.

One thing that really stood out to me was the art style. The illustrations are gorgeous. The illustrator Gabriel Picolo did a fantastic job making the art style really stand out. The characters were gorgeous and so was the setting. You could really see Louisiana in the illustrations.

I give this graphic novel a 4/5. It was entertaining, the plot felt fresh, and the illustrations were beautiful. Aside from the one hiccup mentioned this graphic novel is amazing.

I was lucky to receive and advance copy from DC comic through NetGalley, so a huge thank you to both of them.