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Comic Book / Teen Titans: Earth One

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Teen Titans: Earth One is a 2014 graphic novel from DC written by Jeff Lemire and illustrated by Terry Dodson. The fourth installment of DC's Earth One line after two volumes of Superman: Earth One and one volume of Batman: Earth One, it re-imagines The New Teen Titans of the 80’s for a new audience in the present day.

Raven, a young woman living with her grandfather on a Navajo reservation in New Mexico, has had strange visions her entire life. Visions of a mysterious alien girl and four kids she's never met before, but she senses they are all connected.

In the town of Monument, Oregon, Tara Markov, Victor Stone, Joseph Wilson, and Garfield Logan start to learn they're anything but normal when they develop strange and terrifying abilities. The four kids realize they are connected not just because of their powers, but by the visions they've started to have of a mysterious young woman. As the group tries to learn more about who and what they really are, they learn two frightening truths. Not only were their parents secretly expecting these changes to occur, they aren't even their real parents!

Teen Titans: Earth One provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Abled in the Adaptation:
    • Slade Wilson in this continuity has both of his eyes intact.
    • Zig-zagged with Joseph Wilson, who is shown as able to speak without possessing people, but later sticks to staying inside host bodies after his father accidentally slashes his throat.
  • Adaptational Heroism:
    • Tara Markov is depicted as a normal (if slightly angsty) teenager before her powers awaken, compare that with the pre-Flashpoint Tara Markov of the main universe who was a Manipulative Sociopath and contract killer.
    • Slade Wilson, while still working for Elinore Stone and having something of a bloody history, is far less willing to actually hurt any of the kids and is actually less antagonistic than his son Joey.
  • Adaptational Modesty: Starfire in this continuity is more modestly dressed than even her 2003 cartoon incarnation, which may have something to do with her being 16 in this continuity.
  • Adaptational Sexuality: Steve Dayton, married to Rita Farr in regular continuity, has a male partner named Richard.
  • Adaptational Superpower Change: Rather than being a straight cyborg, this continuity's Vic Stone has his body gradually turn into living metal.
  • Adaptational Ugliness:
    • Tempest looks less human and more like a fish-monster.
    • Blackfire is much more hideous in this continuity due to being a misshapen clone of Starfire.
  • Adaptational Upbringing Change: This version of the characters have far different family backgrounds from their mainstream counterparts. In this version, all of them are adopted; Cyborg is raised by domineering single mother Elinore Stone, Terra is the adopted daughter of Rita Farr, Raven was raised by a grandfather on a reservation, Joseph is the adopted, rather than biological, son of Slade Wilson, and while Garfield Logan was adopted by Steve Dayton, as in the normal timeline, in this version, Dayton has a husband. The result is that Raven is much more well-adjusted than her normal counterpart, while Joey is more spoiled and cynical, Vic has a massive chip on his shoulder, and Tara is even more troubled than usual. Gar is more or less the same... until he loses his dad to The Conspiracy.
  • Adaptational Villainy:
    • Niles Caulder, Elinore Stone, and the other Doom Patrol characters to varying extents are a lot shadier than their standard incarnations, having no problems with experimenting on a teenage alien and using her to create a generation of super-powered kids whom they manipulate with lies to serve their own ends.
    • Joey Wilson, usually a hero in the main universe and overall the least morally gray of his family, is The Mole for Elinore Stone and becomes The Dragon for Caulder.
  • Adaptational Wimp: This continuity's interpretations of Rita Farr, Cliff Steele, Steve Dayton, Larry Trainor and Joshua Clay are normal human beings who lack the powers they possess as members of the Doom Patrol.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job:
    • Downplayed. Pre-Beast Boy Garfield was originally depicted with brown hair before it was retconned to blond. Here he is brunet again before his powers activate.
    • In the main universe Rita Farr is a brunette, Rita Markov here has black hair.
    • Cassie/Wonder Girl and Kole were a blonde and a redhead respectively, but both have black hair thanks to their Race Lifts.
  • Adaptation Name Change:
    • Tara Markov’s father’s name was given as Viktor Markov pre-crisis in Batman and the Outsiders, here his name is Will Markov.
    • Rita Farr is now Rita Markov due to being Tara Markov’s mother in this continuity.
    • Wally is Impulse instead of Kid Flash.
  • Adaptation Origin Connection:
    • Starfire is the source of all of the enhanced humans powers except for Raven. In addition, the procedures that created the Titans were supervised by Dr. Niles Caulder.
    • Inverted with Tempest, Wally, and Cassie. They have nothing to do with the Earth One versions of Aquaman, Flash, or Wonder Woman.
  • Adaptation Species Change:
    • Raven is usually half-demon in most continuities, but here she appears to be entirely human albeit with supernatural powers.
    • Garth/Tempest is normally an Atlantean. Here, like most of the Titans, he is a human genetically enhanced with Tamaranian DNA.
    • Cassie/ Wonder Girl is another enhanced human, rather than a demigod.
  • Adapted Out:
    • Dick Grayson and Roy Harper, both founding members of the Titans, are absent from this continuity.
    • Victor Stone's father Silas Stone is left out, with his mother Elinore solely responsible for making her son become Cyborg.
  • Alternate Continuity: Is in its own continuity, separate from the main DC Universe. Confirmed in The Multiversity, to be in the same universe as Superman: Earth One and Batman: Earth One. Although in practice the books don't really tie into each other.
  • Artificial Family Member: the Titans see Caulder as their father
  • The Atoner: Slade becomes this in Volume Two, turning against Caulder to help Joey and the others.
  • Bait-and-Switch: In Volume 1 when Joey possesses Slade, he brings the knife up to Slade's eye, making you think this is the moment where Slade loses his eye to match his iconic appearance from the comics. Instead, Slade manages to force Joey out, slashing his throat to match his iconic feature.
  • Big Bad:
    • Dr. Elinore Stone is the main villain for Volume One.
    • Niles Caulder is the central threat the team face for Volume Two.
  • Child Soldiers/Tyke Bomb: The Titans from the Blackfire Project were given powers and raised to be soldiers to enforce Caulder's will.
  • Clone Degeneration: In this continuity, Blackfire is an imperfect clone of Starfire rather than her sister.
  • Composite Character: In a way: the team's new Meta Origin is reminiscent of Dan Jurgens's completely separate 90s Teen Titans, who were Half-Human Hybrids created by an alien race called the H'San Natall.
    • Wally has Bart Allen's codename, and Cassie is in Donna Troy's role.
  • Continuity Cameo: Several members of the Doom Patrol have bit parts as S.T.A.R. Lab employees: Joshua Clay, Cliff Steele, and Larry Trainor (the latter two only referenced by last name).
  • Covers Always Lie:
    • The cover shows Victor Stone with most of his body converted to metal, making him resemble his mainstream counterpart. His condition never gets that far along in the book.
    • Starfire, as always, is depicted with the usual red-hair in the book, but is shown bald on the cover. She also never wears the purple shawl that is on the cover.
  • Curse Cut Short: One of the members of the Doom Patrol who unintentionally hurts Grandpa and draws the wrath of Starfire gets one.
    Koriand'r: [hands begin to glow] No...hurt...Grandpa...
    Doom Patroller: Oh Sh--
  • Dies Differently in Adaptation: Elinore Stone in the original continuity was killed by an alien creature that also injured her son to the degree that he had to become Cyborg to survive. Here, she is instead vaporized by Starfire.
  • Disabled in the Adaptation: Rita Markov and Joshua Clay wear glasses, when the standard incarnations of Rita Farr and Joshua Clay do not.
  • Evil Cripple: Niles Caulder can't walk without the aid of machines and gave the Teen Titans their powers to force his ways on the world.
  • Evil Matriarch: Dr. Elinore Stone, Victor's mother, is the Big Bad for Volume One.
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief: Cassie (The Big Guy), Kole (her powers are ranged and she's generally passive), Wally (avoids fights when possible, but uses speed when he has to fight)
  • Four Eyes, Zero Soul: Elinore Stone has glasses and is a heartless fiend.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Niles Caulder is this at first, but becomes more active in Volume Two.
  • Holding Hands: Raven and Starfire do this at the end of Volume Two, and Tara and Vic do this throughout Volume 1.
  • The Mole: Jericho was secretly acting on Elinore's orders the whole time.
  • Muggle Foster Parents: All of the parents, to an extent. They know about the experiments on their adopted kids, all worked professionally for a mad science lab, and are badass normals, but don't have superpowers the way their children do. Even the parents who did have superpowers in the regular universe are depowered here.
  • Mythology Gag: Garfield Logan wears a red hoodie with white stripes running down the arms, recalling the outfit his mainstream counterpart wore as Changeling during The New Teen Titans.
  • Nice Mean And In Between: The Titans: Kole is nice, Cassie is mean, and Wally is in between
  • No Infantile Amnesia: Thanks to Raven's powers, Starfire constructs a detailed Pensieve Flashback of the day Tamaran was invaded - which happened when she was a baby.
  • Not Wearing Tights:
    • Due to not being superheroes in this continuity and having only just received their powers, the Titans are only seen wearing regular clothing. And despite what the cover shows Victor Stone never gains a fully cyborg body in Volume One.
    • Averted with Raven, who wears a rough approximation of the outfits she's worn in both the pre-Flashpoint continuity and the cartoon.
    • Averted with Slade Wilson, who whilst he never receives the traditional Deathstroke outfit, he does wear some sort of armoured outfit implied to be a standard S.T.A.R. Labs security uniform.
  • Obviously Not Fine: Cyborg keeps insisting that he's fine, even as it's clear that he's in pain from the cybernetic implants taking over his body. Later, he says he actually is fine... because the implants have taken over so much of his body that he now longer has any pain receptors.
  • Promoted to Love Interest: Victor Stone and Tara Markov are portrayed as a high-school couple here, despite never having been shown to have any interest in each other in other continuities.
  • Race Lift:
    • Raven is white in the main continuity, but is portrayed as a Magical Native American here.
    • Kole goes from white to Asian.
    • Wonder Girl is black instead of white.
  • Related in the Adaptation:
    • Rita Farr (renamed Rita Markov) is now Tara Markov’s mother although they're still not biologically related, but is no longer Garfield Logan’s adopted mother or married to Steve Dayton.
    • Wally/Impulse, Cassie/Wonder Girl, and Kole were raised to think of Niles Caulder as their father.
    • Inverted with both Elinore Stone and Slade Wilson who are no longer biologically related to the children that they each raised, Victor Stone and Joseph Wilson respectively.
  • Secret Project Refugee Family: The Titans effectively become this - except Joey, who's still convinced the project had the right idea as of Volume Two.
  • Sequel Hook: By the end of Volume Two, the team is together and mostly secure - but Joey is still out there with Caulder in tow, and the invaders of Tamaran may be coming for Earth...
  • Ship Tease:
    • Garfield gets this with Kole near the end of Volume Two.
    • Raven and Starfire's interaction in Volume Two is either this or a Pseudo-Romantic Friendship: they're generally touchy-feely and end the book holding hands.
  • Spiritual Successor: As the AV Club has mentioned, this is Teen Titans through the lens of Runaways.
  • Tagline: They were normal kids. Until they weren't.
  • The Voiceless: Tempest never speaks, and it isn't clear whether his silence is by choice or if he's physically unable to talk.