Did you ever hear the story about a bee who got married because he finally found his honey? If not, then for the love of pollen, please completely disregard the following story created by Dan Abnett, Brett Booth, and Norm Rapmund. It's October, 2016, and it's time for me to buzz off.

TO QUOTE Arthur C Clarke: 'Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic'.

Now I'm sure most of us can recollect how last months episode of the Titans ended: It ended with Abracadabra unveiling that he was the one who took Wally West and stuck him in the time-stream (directly removing his presence from everybody's minds), before he then blasted Garth to Kingdom Come. No, not the Mark Waid and Alex Ross mini-series, 'Kingdom Come'; the term that implies, 'Ouch! I think the former Aqualad has now bit the biscuit'.

But fear not, dear reader! Garth hasn't bitten any sort of savory snack. He's fine, more or less, and apart from doing a pretty decent impression of a rug, old fish-face has enough energy to make a couple of moaning sounds, proving to us all that last months' cliff hanger was a complete waste of space. After Garth's moaning, Wally's posturing, and Dick's sudden burst into action, Kadabra, as Dick now likes to call him, does a vanishing act by warping to a much more safer location, bringing along with him his psudo-Teen Titan constructs.

Now all of that, dear reader, happens by page five of the book, leaving the rest of it dedicated to a number of sub-plots which, for me, felt like filler. In one scene Donna quizzes Roy about his professed love for her -- Yawn-Yawn-Yawn. What a waste of two pages! Then, in a scene after that, we see Mal and his wife Karen talking about... uuuhhhh... stuff! Stuff like her new superpower, if they should join the Titans again, as well as what their domestic life would be like as opposed to a superhero life -- Yawn the sequel! Sub-plot number two has been initiated, THUNK! Finally, the third and last of these segments slowly brings us back to where we came in, and does so in a very lop-sided manner.

Well, as most of you might have guessed, Kadabra wasn't a big Wally West fan in the Pre-52 Universe, simply because he kept on winning whenever these two fought, (spoil sport). So, what he decided to do was to devise a plan to trap Wally in the time-stream and then make all of his friends forget who he was, including the love of his life, Linda Park. Once this revelation is revealed, again, for the second time in this issue, Wally takes it upon himself to confront Linda and explain to her how they're ultimately connected. But of course, before that can fully play out, Bing!, Kadabra pops up and... no... I've said enough already. I think it best that I continue this plot-point over in my conclusion section, later on.

Quickly moving on, and I'd now like to discuss what I enjoyed the most about this issue, namely, it's humor and it's artwork. Now from my point of view one of the best things about this series is the way in which Brett Booth and Norm Rapmund draw each of the characters. Dick is aerobatic, Wally is dynamic, Garth is sullen, Donna is fierce, Lilith is mysterious, and Roy is a wise-guy. Each and every one of them having at least one specific character trait that I feel defines an aspect of their personalities. In fact, the only drawback with their emotive style is that Kadabra doesn't look menacing enough to be the big bad guy he's supposed to be, and this is also mirrored within the actual story-line too.

You see, as much as I'm enjoying the progressive character development and fun instilled into this first story arc, entitled 'The Return Of Wally West', I'm afraid the three things it's lacking are tone, direction, and suspense. I mean, are we supposed to believe that Kadabra, himself, was the only person behind Wally's abduction as well as the de-aging and mind-wiping of the entire universe? I'm not! Not one little bit! From the way he's depicted, he seems like a cheap villain with some powerful tricks, nothing more, nothing less, and I can't see how he can make constructs when he's never really exhibited this type of power before! Is this Dan's way of leading us up the garden path in the wrong direction? Or better yet, is this just Dan showing us that he's a writer that's willing to try something new for this old team?

Time will tell I suppose, eh? Time will tell.

To be fair, though, this Titans series has so far come across as a pretty hit and miss affair. It's a hit where the art is concerned. It's a miss where the stories are concerned. And as for the character development and the rest of it, hmmm, not bad, but not brilliant either.    

According to Wally West, Abracadabra's magic isn't true magic. If anything, it's a kind of magic! Hmm? You're not thinking what I'm thinking, are you? Queen, it's now over to you, pal. My musical match-up is made.

In a round about way this issue had a cylindrical structure to its composition. It started with a conclusion. It then led onto a series of hollow sub-plots. And then finally it ended where it initially began. So, when I put it in those terms, this tale is a ball, a magic ball, with as much luck at predicting the future as the past.

As I said in my review, at the very end of this issue Kadabra pops up and does something strange to Linda Park. So, for the sake of Mister-E -- Zappp! -- let's see if you can guess what he does to her out of the following eight options.  Could he have...

  1. Cut her in half?
  2. Whisked her away?
  3. Turned her into a Goldfish?
  4. Removed her clothes?
  5. Got her to speak in Dutch?
  6. Transformed her hair into straw?
  7. Made her ass Kardashian sized?  
  8. Pulled a rabbit out of her... errr... I got to be careful how I finish this sentence, eh?
Nuff said.

TITANS #3 TITANS #3 Reviewed by David Andrews on October 12, 2016 Rating: 5

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