Review: TITANS #1


Written by Dan Abnett
Art by Brett Booth, Norm Rapmund, Andrew Dalhouse, & Carlos M. Mangual
Published by DC Comics
Release Date: July 27, 2016

Sometimes it all comes back in a Flash.

Wally and his old friends are trying together the strings entwined in the mystery of his return and the missing ten years. While some Titans go after a lead, Lilith works with Wally to better understand the circumstances surrounding them, meanwhile unlocking someone else’s sinister memories about the Speedster.

Titans #1 is a return to the youthful, growing, and hopeful nature of teams who have taken the moniker over the years. Each of the Titans is older and apparently wiser, but they are slowly regaining the familial bonds that have held them together before. There are some truly great moments between the characters that hearken back to a time where things weren’t so dark, even if they were serious. I can see the love between the team, even in the surly Garth, that I think makes them what they are.

Dan Abnett wastes no time in showing the bond between each of the Titans. In a world where a friend can be lost to space and time for ten years, they bounce back quickly and get to work on repairing their relationships. I like each of the Titans’ interactions with each other, particularly the ones with Lilith and Wally and especially Donna and Roy.

Abnett’s inclusion of Roy’s addiction provides a deep context to his life without the Titans, its effect on him, and the reality that addiction is often a reaction to grief. This moment between the two friends is exactly what the series needs and I hope that we see more moments like it in future issues.

Brett Booth’s panels and arrangement tell a story all their own. These panels’ shape and orientation indicate movement and activity, allowing the pages to feel interactive. Booth’s element of movement work through not only the panels, but the characters. The changing perspectives, angles, and poses make each character feel dynamic, though some of them feel off or strange, particularly in the case of Donna and Linda in a couple of scenes.

I like that Norm Rapmund’s inks give the characters a striking and powerful appearance in some pages, while also portraying a softness in the environments. Rapmund’s technique seems heavier in panels portraying intense moments, heightening tension. Andrew Dalhouse on colors gives the Titans a visage that illustrates some gravity, due to many of their costumes being dark, yet while still using bright elements of their appearance to capture hope. Many of the scenes are bright despite what may be occurring around the characters, a touch I feel is important for getting the Titans right in tone and presence.

The first issue of Titans gets a lot right about the team in the story and the art. Their personalities are emergent and believable, and they’re all connected in spite of their differences. I like Wally as the grounding force of the story and the team, and I hope this develops into them becoming more of a family, just as they had before.

This issue shows that brightness and joy can stand next to gravity, capturing serious elements and still offering compassion between characters. If you’re a fan of these legacy characters and want to see their new place in the DCU, I recommend this issue.

The Verdict: 8.5/10



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