I'm Jordan Claes and I'm the fastest comic book reviewer alive. Actually, I'm not. My boss can and will probably attest to that fact but I couldn't do a proper review of Titans without poking fun at the most redundant trope in the entire DC Universe could I? Now, all kidding aside, allow me to bring you up to speed: Wally West is back with the Titans. He's managed to jog each member's memory and after giving them the rundown of how he was lost somewhere in between space and time. It's revealed that there is a new "threat" facing the entire DCU, one more powerful and terrifying than they've ever faced before. The team splits up so that they can track down answers and also to give Omen the time she needs to properly comb through Wally's mind. She's after some sort of clue that will reveal where he was and also who put him there in the first place? As she reaches deeper into Wally's mind, she suddenly pulls back: she's found something that shouldn't be there, she's awoken someone else. She receives a vision and frantically the team races to Keystone City unaware of what awaits them, unaware that an old foe with a trick up his sleeve has now returned.
Ok, so if you were anything like me, after reading the DCU Rebirth title you wet your pants. The idea that somehow Dr. Manhattan was going to tie into the whole Rebirth re-launch just blew my mind and I was beyond excited to find out exactly how(*Ok if you didn't know that by now, don't bitch and cry about spoilers). It's why I started reading Titans to begin with; I figured that Wally West would be the first character to have any sort of interaction with the big blue powerhouse and I was eager to see exactly how it would play out. After reading this issue, however, it seems like I may have been wrong…or perhaps more accurately that I (meaning we) have been jerked around. First clue: In Wally West's opening monologue of Titans we get a clear shot of a huge electric blue hand, alluding to the fact once again that it was Dr. Manhattan who set the DCU out of joint. However, the issue concludes (yes spoilers) with classic Flash villain Abra Kadabra terrorizing a child's birthday party, claiming that it was he in fact who made Wally West disappear, ergo not Dr. Manhattan. Umm…really? Abra Kadabra? That's the perhaps the crappiest, crummiest switcheroo ever! I hope Dan Abnett is just messing with us. I can't imagine dangling something so significant, so awesome with no intent of ever following up: that would be blue balls to the max. I'm confident that we'll see Manhattan and the Watchmen come into the fold and I can't wait to find out how/why.
Putting my issues with the plot and story progression aside, I have to say the book is beautifully drawn. It's beyond cool to see the Titans back together and appearing in the same pages; their rendering is near perfection, too. Norm Rapund and Brett Booth have a great chemistry and they do a wonderful job of capturing the raw emotion in the characters (look at the embrace between Barry and Wally and you'll see what I mean). The layout of the book is also quite impressive; it flows seamlessly and without pause making for a very enjoyable and fast-paced read. Unfortunately, the story just wasn't able to keep up.
I've begun to notice a pattern with Rebirth titles lately, and not a good one at that. What began with so much promise, hope, and excitement is starting to trickle down into the mundane and quite honestly, the boring. I know I am holding these first issues to an extremely high standard. By no means am I condemning them to obscurity or wiping them from my pull-list altogether but to say that I am just as excited week after week for each bi-monthly issue would be a falsity. This isn't a problem unique to Titans either; it spans nearly every DC Rebirth title. SOMETHING NEEDS TO HAPPEN. Turn up the heat; kick it into gear - anything to keep me coming back for more! Because soon, reading Titans for no reason other than the fact that it's Titans, will fail to be enough.
[su_box title="Score: 3/5" style="glass" box_color="#8955ab" radius="6"]
Titans #1 Writer: Dan Abnett Artists: Norm Rapund & Brett Booth Publisher: DC Comics Price: $2.99 Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital