Wednesday, 19 October 2016

POP! Television: Teen Titans Go! – Raven as Wonder Woman

Year: 2016

 Teen Titans Go! seems to have gotten a very…mixed reception. Though it’s something of an informal sequel to the very well-received 2003 Teen Titans TV series, it’s very different in tone. I haven’t ever seen an episode of either, so I’ll decline to comment on that controversy – but I did read quite a bit of the 1980s Teen Titans comic series when I was a teen myself.

I had mixed feelings about it. Robin headed up the team, and I’ve always hated Robin, particularly in his pre-pants era. But it had great art, and it was very well-written – all of the characters had distinct personalities, and it introduced the world to Deathstroke the Terminator. In hindsight, it was way better than I ever realised at the time.  

Nonetheless, Raven was always one of the cooler characters among the Titans. In those earlier days her backstory wasn’t quite as fleshed out as it is today; over time, she’s kind of become DC’s answer to Jean Grey. While they’re very distinct in execution, but you can definitely see some common threads – insanely powerful teenage girl, possession by some sort of ridiculously powerful entity, a death and eventual resurrection…I think you can see where this is going.   

Her standard look has remained reasonably consistent through the years; a hood and cloak masking her features. Sometimes she wears a jumpsuit, sometimes a dress and sometimes a leotard, but it’s virtually always some variation on these themes. The new series has kind of turned her into a more traditional goth/crust punk type, but we’ll see how long that lasts. However, originally she was quite strange-looking under the hood, with an oversized forehead and a pronounced widow’s peak. This was a deliberate move by then-artist George Perez to slowly change her features as part of a storyline, but more recent interpretations have tended to keep her a little more conventionally pretty.   

But back to the review – this POP! is apparently based on an episode where the Teen Titans visit the Hall of Justice to use the pool, but end up having to fight Darkseid. Each of the Titans “becomes” a member of the Justice League – Robin becomes Batman, Cyborg becomes Green Lantern, etc. You can see the full “cast” on the pic of the back of the box.

I like the POP design much more than I like the actual animation model, which is quite a rare thing. The blank eyes match Raven’s character quite well, and the proportions are strangely less distorted than the cartoon. Paint is fine; it could be a little tighter in spots, but it’s certainly not bad.    

With Raven’s new solo series just launched back in September, it’s an ideal time to pick up this figure. I don’t plan to pick up any of the other figures in the run, but it’s good to see the Teen Titans back on shelves – the original POPs released a few years ago are all discontinued and go for silly money these days. For myself, I’ve purchased it more out of my Wonder Woman fandom, but it’s definitely a fun variant. Hopefully we get a comic-based POP of Raven (and the rest of the Teen Titans) in the near future. 

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