REVIEW: ‘Teen Titans Academy 2021 Yearbook,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Teen Titans Academy Yearbook 2021 #1 - But Why Tho

Ideally, a yearbook should encapsulate the best memories of a graduating class into a convenient collection of photos, quotes, superlatives, and more for students to take home. But what does a yearbook look like if it’s from a superhero academy? We glean insight into that with Teen Titans Academy 2021 Yearbook #1, written by Tim Sheridan, with art by Rafa Sandoval, Bernard Chang, Darko Lafuente,  and Marco Santucci, colors by Michael Atiyeh and Miguel Rodriguez Lopez, inks by Lafuente, Santucci, and Jordi Tarragona, letters by Rob Leigh, and cover by Stephen Backwell.

This is a delightful, heartwarming, and at times intense anthology by the Teen Titans Academy team. Through showcasing different stories by lesser-explored members of the academy, Sheridan gives us excellent insights into these different young heroes’ personalities and by extension, the unique dynamics of Teen Titans Academy. I could see Teen Titans Academy Yearbook as an annual series, with each exploring the dynamics of a new set of academy members. Through the lens of the students Stitch, Matt Price, the potential Red X, and older Titans Raven and Beast Boy in a sweet mini-story about their romance, Sheridan gives us wonderful insights that make us feel more connected to the 2021 class of Teen Titans Academy.

The story that stands out most is that of one magical and magically animated, non-binary student by the name of Stitch, whose relatable insecurities are on full display in their heartwarming story of moving from that insecurity to being warmly embraced by their classmates. Sheridan has a fantastic knack for getting readers into the minds of his characters, and it’s on full display with all the characters here, but especially Stitch who, until now, hadn’t gotten such a deep character exploration and revelations. There’s so much going on with all these characters, and Sheridan continues his mastery at giving all of them, and thus the entire body of Teen Titans Academy, their own focus.

There’s not much I can say about the Red X story without giving away story details, but I will say it’s very intriguing and makes sense for what we’ve seen so far from this mysterious character. It’s not what readers may exactly expect, but it remains very rooted to the beats of the story so far and adds wrinkles to Red X that readers will be able to anticipate going forward. Sheridan has done a great job of building up the mystery around this character, and I can’t wait to see where it goes.

The art by Sandoval, Chang, Lafuente, and Santucci is dynamic, vibrant, and puts readers in the center of the story unfurling on the page. The images are dynamic, there are some great close-ups and splash pages, and you feel engulfed in the story being portrayed.  Virtually every character is drawn with rich and dedicated detail, making the student body of Teen Titans Academy feel even more real to readers, and cementing their place in DC Comics. The colors by Atiyeh and Lopez make copious use of shading and light, adding to the incredibly rich depth of the art on the page. They put to use as many colors as they can in every panel, and make the read all the more engaging.

Leigh’s lettering remains superb in this series, including in the yearbook issue. Continuing to make innovative usage of speech bubbles, he keeps readers invested in the story and action on the page, while never distracting. They bring Sheridan’s rich storytelling in some great ways and will keep you engaged throughout.

Teen Titans Academy 2021 Yearbook #1 is an excellent anthology issue that encapsulates the spirit, joys, and dramatic intrigue of the nascent academy. Through introducing us more to these new characters created by him and Sandoval, Sheridan and his impressive team have created a comic series that virtually any Teen Titans fan can get into. This yearbook issue manages to truly capture the school spirit. I highly recommend you pick it up.

Teen Titans Academy 2021 Yearbook #1 is available now wherever comics are sold.

Teen Titans Academy Yearbook 2021 #1
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TL;DR

Teen Titans Academy 2021 Yearbook #1 is an excellent anthology issue that encapsulates the spirit, joys, and dramatic intrigue of the nascent academy. Through introducing us more to these new characters created by him and Sandoval, Sheridan and his impressive team have created a comic series that virtually any Teen Titans fan can get into. This yearbook issue manages to truly capture the school spirit. I highly recommend you pick it up.