“Teen Titans #6 – The Fifth Titan”, “Tales of the New Teen Titans #3 – The Changeling”, “Action Comics #1051 – Head like a Whole, Part One” and “Who’s Who: The Definitive Directory of The DC Universe #4 – Changeling Who’s Who Profile”
Writers: Bob Haney, Marv Wolfman, and Leah Williams
Artists: Bill Molino, George Roussos, George Perez, Gene Day, Marguerite Sauvage and Romeo Tanghal
Color Artist: Adrienne Roy
Letterers: Stan Starkman, John Costanza, and Becca Carey
Review by James Attias
With “Beast World” swiftly approaching, what better way to prepare than to read some fantastic stories centered around everyone’s favorite Changeling, Beast Boy? Titans: Beast World Evolution #1 gives us a look back at some of the most important moments in our little green friend’s life!
Let’s dive in…
The Fifth Titan
We start off with a classic from way back when. With the tagline on the cover, “A Guest star with a Savage Twist – Beast Boy!” This, as well as the beautiful old-style comic art, immediately brings you back to the days of being a kid, reading old-school comics that were a treat. You can almost smell the pages by looking at them… if you know, you know.
This isn’t the first appearance of Beast Boy, for those of you who don’t know he first debuted in the pages of Doom Patrol in the sixties. This story takes us to his first meeting with the Teen Titans, the original four: Robin, Wonder Girl, Kid Flash, and Aqualad.
I feel like this story was included as it showed Garfield feeling isolated, with his original family, The Doom Patrol, as well as showing him interacting with the Teen Titans, long before he joined the team. It’s also very important to note he used to wear a Wolverine-esque mask and, when he shape-shifted into animals, only his head would stay green, the rest of the animal would be normal color. Ah the past, when characters were still finding themselves and creativity was still a thing. This is a super fun read that will definitely give you the core of who Gar was when he first appeared on the scene.
The Changeling – New Teen Titan
The second story in Titans: Beast World Evolution #1 will probably be where most of us were first introduced to Gar; The legendary Tales of The New Teen Titans by Wolfman and Perez. This is definitely a contender for the best Teen Titans Run, creators, and lineup. In fact, if you can think of a better one (I can only think of Geoff Johns that could compete) let me know!
This was the first time the team had felt like a real family in my opinion. They were an almost completely new group, members had aged out, and new people had joined. This felt like late teens, so they had started dressing how they wanted and often had disagreements with adult Bat-shaped mentors, but there was still such a wholesome vibe to the whole thing. As well as some of the most interesting new DC characters of the last 40 years!
This story shows us the team on a camping trip, that’s right, tales around the campfire. With Gar letting the readers (and the team) know how he became the Changeling we all know and love. There are some really fun interactions between the teammates, each poking fun at each other like only best friends can. This for me could be the definitive Beast Boy origin story. So, if you only skim through this book, be sure to read THIS part! (We even get to meet one of Gar’s first loves, Jillian, and an old nemesis Galtry! This is Titans perfection from the two legends of comics. I can’t praise it enough.
Head Like a Whole
Next up we have the most recent of all of our stories, taken from Action Comics #1051. We have Nightwing, Power Girl, and Omen, (PG using her new powers after Lazarus Planet) delving into Gar’s fractured mind (which we also see in this book).
This tale is quite key as it shows us Beast Boy’s connection to The Red. For those who don’t know, if you’ve heard characters like Swamp Thing refer to The Green, it means he’s connected to all plant life on the planet, in time, space, and multiverses. Everything. Beast Boy’s connected to The Red in the same way, but for animal life and the morphogenetic field, where everything’s bound together.
Since the events of Dark Crisis, with Slade shooting Gar in the eye, Beast Boy hasn’t been at 100%. In fact, before that with Titans Academy, when he was temporarily fused to Cyborg. It’s been a rough decade for our favorite green friend. This story shows that he wants help, he needs help, and that his friends will not rest until he’s on the mend. Very heartwarming stuff, with beautiful art.
The Changeling – Who’s Who
Lastly, we have a one-pager with everything you need to know about Beast Boy, including personal info, history, and Powers. I loved these Who’s Who books back in the day, as they were the gold standard for letting us nerds know everything about a character before the new-fangled internet made it so easy! These issues would focus on a handful of heroes and let you know everything about them. So if you want to know The Changeling, this will fill you in fast!
Titans: Beast World Evolution #1 gives readers the building blocks they’ll need to really understand the character before the $#!+ hits the fan in “Beast World“, it’s a great read and if you’re a fan of Garfield Logan, it’s a must buy and a great entrée! Now, are you ready for the main course?!?
Images Courtesy of DC Entertainment