Once upon a time there was a group of teenage sidekicks who wanted to prove to their mentors that they could stand on their own two feet. So what they did; was to get up, off of their asses, and well, stand. Simple as that really! Just like the following comic book created by Dan Abnett, Brett Booth, Norm Rapmund, and published by DC Comics. It's July, 2016, and it's time for the Titans review.

TO QUOTE Laurence J. Peter: ' Originality is the fine art of remembering what you hear but forgetting where you heard it'.

Anyone who reads comic books on a regular basis knows that the first issue has to do a number of things straight off the bat. For a start, the writer and the artist have to establish the characters -- Dick, Roy, Donna, Garth, and Lilith, say 'hello' -- check, all of that seems to be in order. Next, they have to define the tone and the intent of the book -- light and bubbly, and focused on a group of old buddies, banding together again after a long time apart -- double-check, with bells on top. Plus, to make things even sweeter, the creators have to tell an actual story -- errr... check-mate? Maybe?

Now please don't get me wrong. I did enjoy reading this first issue of the Titans and I am pleased that they're back on a book again. But that being said, on the whole I thought the story generally lost focus the more it progressed. It started out with a great scene where Wally turns up at Dick's apartment and has his mind read by Lilith (presumably pre-arranged by Nightwing beforehand), and the reason for him doing this, is so the Titans can find out who stole a big chunk of their lives whilst shoving Wally into the time-stream.

Thankfully, by page 6 Lilith plucks a name out of Wally's head -- his one-time wife, Linda Park -- so quickly we cut to a scene which establishes her as a character plus her involvement with Wally in DC Presents: Rebirth #1. Then, once that's played out, we're back to the Titans again, who decide to split up into two factions, with each faction aiming to achieve a specific goal. On the one hand we see Lilith prodding into Wally's mind a little bit further, where as on the other hand, in another seemingly disposable scene we see Roy and Donna beat up a gang associated with the villain Mammoth. Turns out, Garth comes up with the bright idea that Mammoth could be indirectly connected with this whole fiasco, blaming him via his association with Mister Twister (Want to know what I mean by this? Then read the Titans Hunt mini series for more details). But alas, this seemingly secondary action scene doesn't produce any results, except for the fact that Roy was once a drug addict plus some more team bonding between the crew.

Funnily enough, while I'm talking about bonding, from my point of view one of the best things about this opening issue is that, yes, the team do bond, and they actually come across as old friends. My only problem, however, is that this type of interaction does seem a little bit too soon to seem truly plausible. I personally would have liked for their friendship to grow by the issue, rather than flat out say, 'Yes. We're friends now. Let us hug and make small talk in between scenes'.

Again, don't get me wrong. I did like seeing the team interact with one another, and I'm sure Dan and Brett will get around to re-defining relationships and whatnot. Also, while I'm on the topic of Brett, to me, he is the ideal artist for this brand of book. Not only does he get better at defining body posture and putting expressions on the characters faces, but on top of that, his manga styled artwork does suit this Generation X styled book. It's less traditional and more of a pastiche, know what I mean?    

So overall, Ka-Pow!, I did like this first issue of the Titans. The art was on point and the plot has been put in place, yet the only other thing it needed is a more cohesive story-line and a foundation that isn't so rushed. 

Now one of the main themes running throughout this issue focused on the search for Linda Park. Or in other terms, who's that girl, running around with you, Wally West? Perhaps it's Annie Lennox from Eurythmics?

I'd like to compare this month's adventure to the reality show, Love Island, simply because a part of it is dedicated to Wally wanting to find a woman.

Yes. You may now groan in contempt.

One of the things I deliberately failed to mention in my review -- yes, it was a review -- is the identity of the villain who appeared at the end of the book. Basically in the last few pages we're presented with a scene where we see a magician -- a very rubbish magician -- suddenly manifest his true self due to Lilith prodding within Wally's mind. So, for the sake of a martini -- shaken, not stirred -- let's see if you can guess who it is out of the following eight options! Could it be...

  1. John Constantine -- Ouch! That's just weird.
  2. Criss Angel -- See previous missive for more details.
  3. Paul Daniels -- Isn't he dead?
  4. Zatara -- Again, see previous missive for more details.
  5. David Blaine -- Pull my finger!
  6. Sargon the Sorcerer -- Turban retconned into swimming cap. 
  7. David Copperfield -- Not Cop A Feel. 
  8. Abra Kadabra -- Gesundheit.
Nuff said.

TITANS #1 TITANS #1 Reviewed by David Andrews on August 08, 2016 Rating: 5

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