“Then let’s get it all back, Donna. All the good stuff we lost. Make ourselves whole again.”
The Titans are back together again thanks to the work of writer Dan Abnett. His series Titan’s Hunt was one of the critical storylines leading up to Rebirth. Now that Wally West is back he dons a gorgeous new costume and an elevated position by once again declaring himself The Flash. Titans #1 harkens back to the team-up comics of the 80’s and 90’s, with over-the-top humor reminiscent of Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis’ Justice League: International run. Unfortunately, some scenes and sequences end up feeling a little too goofy or dated for a modern day comic. As the Titans reform friendships and the identity of the villain behind the scenes comes to light, the mysterious promises from DC Universe: Rebirth #1 begin to be fulfilled.
With superheroes lounging around in their costumes the entire time, this issue could very well have been plucked from 30-year-old shelves. Spending the bulk of their time in Dick Grayson’s loft the Titans are taking it easy, instead focusing on returning Wally West to the world and back into the memory of his beloved Linda Park. The plot regarding character’s memories is getting a little tired.
There are prologues for every character detailing the same events from both Rebirth #1 and Titans: Rebirth #1 over and over. One begins to wonder when the Titans will go back to actual superheroics. Without any actual threat or danger the villain reveal in the final pages feels insignificant. Though the central point of Rebirth and Titans is to bring the past to the forefront, old gags and retired villains may not be the best way to do so.
Penciller Brett Booth and inker Norm Rapmund have followed Dan Abnett from New 52 Aquaman #50, and their partnership continues to be a series highlight. Wally’s new Flash costume, in particular, is sleek and charming thanks to a stellar design by Booth. While every member of the team is sporting a great look the pages themselves are a little off-putting. The skewed and dutch panels can be jarring especially when used over an entire splash page. This structural choice works for a more active action-oriented page but not for intimate scenes and conversations. While the colors by Andrew Dalhouse breathe life into every character they can’t compensate for relatively bare or uninteresting backgrounds, perhaps a testament to the obstacles facing a bi-monthly schedule.
The true intrigue in Titans #1 revolves around its villain. As a large unseen force shifts space and time by way of a disembodied hand one might think this is another Dr. Manhattan tease relevant to the Rebirth reveal. Instead, a veteran Flash villain is awakened to serve as the nemesis for the first arc. Though his opening sequence is incredibly cheesy the art by Booth does well to make him both modern and menacing. This Infamous magician may not be a DC heavy hitter but he will do well to test the limits of the newly-formed Titans and their dynamic.
Dan Abnett’s Titans #1 marks a return for many elements of the DC Universe. From the returning hero, to returning villain, to a returning comedy style this issue sets itself solely in the past for better or worse. Wally West is rightfully at the forefront here, once again charming and wisecracking his way into the superhero community. Though it’s a warm welcome many other classic comic tropes featured in the comic make it feel antiquated. The humor especially falls into the hit or miss category. The art by Brett Booth also struggles to captivate at times, but succeeds at both action and character. The Titans may not be in top form but it’s a pleasure to see them together again.
- Focus on Wally West
- Classic Titans Dynamic
- Great Character Design
- Underutilized Backgrounds
- Cheesy Jokes