TITANS #1 [Review]

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TITANS #1/ Written by DAN ABNETT/ Pencils by BRETT BOOTH/ Inks by NORM RAPMUND / Colors by ANDREW DALHOUSE/ Letters by CARLOS M. MANGUAL/ Published by DC COMICS

Once up a time, Wally West was The Fastest Kid Alive. Then he became The Fastest Man Alive. He married the woman of his dreams – reporter Linda Park. He was beloved by the public, respected by his peers and life was good. Then something happened. And things changed.

For what seemed like an eternity, Wally was trapped outside of time and space. He was finally able to break through with the aid of his uncle and mentor, Barry Allen. But the world had no memory of the Teen Titans he was once a part of. More distressingly, the woman he loved didn’t remember him at all because in this new reality he had never existed!

The search for answers brought Wally to his friends in the Titans. At first they didn’t remember him either but time and a touch restored their memories. And that is when Wally learned that his fellow Titans had reunited to confront a villain who had altered their memories of each other.

The search for answers leads the team down two roads. Roy Harper and Donna Troy hit the streets of Gotham to search for clues the old-fashioned way (i.e. beating up random thugs) as Lilith Clay searches Wally’s memories for some clue or connection to their unknown enemy. Little do they know that their answers lie a little closer to home…

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The odd thing about Titans #1 is how it manages to be accessible and inaccessible to new readers simultaneously. The issue’s opening reenacts the events of DC Universe: Rebirth #1 and Titans: Rebirth #1, despite it being unlikely anyone picking up this book wouldn’t have read those comics already. And yet the same consideration is not given to those readers who haven’t read Dan Abnett’s Titans Hunt mini-series and might not be familiar with the cast of characters.

It’s a strange thing because Abnett usually does a great job with introducing characters, yet nobody is given an introduction except for Wally – the one character who doesn’t need it. However, those already familiar with The Titans will enjoy the interaction between the cast – particularly the fantastic moment between Donna and Roy that hints at the relationship they used to have. And the scene involving Linda Park is well-handled, though it might have been wiser to give some of the heroes more development at this time. Nightwing and Tempest come off particularly flat.

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The artwork is adequate but not outstanding in any respect. Brett Booth is a fantastic visual storyteller but has an unfortunate tendency toward expressions that don’t always seem to match the emotions indicated by the dialogue.  Norm Rapmund’s inks are so thin as to be virtually unnoticeable, which, coupled with the bright palettes utilized by Andrew Dalhouse, gives the finished artwork a light look that seems at odds with the mysterious tone of the story.

Titans #1 is a good enough comic but something of a disappointment given how outstanding the lead-in issues were.  Still, there is enough good here to encourage continued reading. With any luck this weak start will build to something bigger and better.

Rating 3

About Matt Morrison

Matt "Starman" Morrison is The Grand Exalted High Macha of Raspur - a non-existent but real-sounding country. He has been writing about comics since before the word "blogging" was coined. He enjoys acting, role-playing, movie-riffing and sarcasm. You can follow his adventures on Twitter, @GeekyGeekyWays.

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