The new Titans Tower is finished and the Titans are making themselves comfortable in their new home away from home. All except Wally West, who doesn’t have another home to call home in this universe or anything to occupy his time beyond trying to get a date with Linda Park – the woman who, in another time and place, was Wally’s wife and the mother of his children. Donna Troy is feeling similarly lost, now having time to wonder about the circumstances of her birth and how she came to be put up for adoption.
Elsewhere in Manhattan, former Titan Mal Duncan (a.k.a. Herald) and his wife Karen are trying to get away from the superhero life. Karen has developed metahuman powers of her own and the couple fear that they might endanger their newborn daughter.
Enter Meta Solutions – a company that help the newly empowered gain control of their gifts or remove them completely. Mal is ready to vouch for them, having secretly had his own powers removed so that he could settle down and enjoy a normal life. He still stands ready to support whatever choice Karen makes regarding her own powers… until he spots a familiar looking figure from his past hanging around the water cooler in the Meta Solutions lobby!
Dan Abnett’s writing remains the strongest selling point of the Titans series. There are several great character moments in this issue, showcasing Abnett’s masterful command of the ensemble cast. The characterization goes beyond simple dialogues, with one fine example of this being a scene between Roy Harper and Donna Troy where Donna talks about her love of photography. There is a subtle irony that a woman who has so few memories of her past would be attracted to a hobby that is devoted to capturing memories in a physical way.
I do wish, however, that Abnett would vary the pairings of the cast up a little bit. As enjoyable as it is to see Garth and Lilith bonding over a sparring session, we haven’t seen either of them interact with any of their other teammates outside of a crowd scene in some time. The same is true of all the scenes of Donna and Roy flirting over the past few issues. How about some girl talk between Lilith and Donna? Or Roy trying to teach Wally patience with an archery lesson?
I wish I could praise the artwork with an enthusiasm equal to my feelings for the writing. Brett Booth is a fine artist but there’s little continuity between the panels in this issue and the character’s expressions frequently don’t match the mood suggested by the script. Karen, for instance, seems to be rolling her eyes in half the panels she appears in and she looks exasperated when her dialogue sounds pensive. There are also a number of scenes where the character’s bodies seem awkwardly posed. Norm Rapmund’s inks, however, are finely done and the colors by Andrew Dalhouse are top-notch.
Titans #8 isn’t a bad comic and it’s a good starting point for new readers who are curious about the series. Unfortunately, this issue isn’t Brett Booth’s best outing and Dan Abnett’s character scenes are starting to get a little repetitive for the long-time readers. A little more variety in the conversation and a little more consistency in the artwork would do this series some good.