TITANS #17

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[ DEAL WITH DONNA
Oh dear! Has it really come to this? But how? What on earth could possibly turn friend against friend? Is it political perhaps? Is it genetic? Or worst still, could it be something featured in the following comic book created by Dan Abnett, Minkyu Jung, and published by DC in November, 2017. Let’s see, shall we?

TO QUOTE Oscar Wilde: 'It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious'.

THE REVIEW:
The basic crux of this story involves a futuristic version of Donna Troy travelling back in time so she can persuade her younger self to change her heroic ways. Essentially Evil Donna, or Troia, as she prefers to be called, tells her other self that she will waste a good portion of her life by pretending to be human. What she should be doing instead is to embrace the reason why she was created by the Amazons in the first place, namely, to be a living weapon. After all, most of her friends are going to end up dead sooner or later, as Dick will bite the bullet while pretending to be Batman, Roy will drink himself into an early grave, Lilith will commit suicide, and the rest of the team, like Wally West, will pop their clogs one way or another. 

While this is going on, Donna’s team-mates try to fend off Troia’s henchmen -- such as The Key, Psimon, and the possessed Mal Duncan and Gnarrk -- doing so despite everything around them falling apart. So, with that said, we have to ask ourselves: Who lives? Who dies? And who is forced to make the ultimate decision and seal their final fate? To find out the answers to some of these questions, please, pick up issue 17 of the Titans today. But before you do that, by all means check out my opinions on it by reading the following three points.

Point One) A WORLD APART:   Last month I criticized Dan Abnett because he keeps on corrupting each member of the team. Seriously, he’s perverted at least three of them over the last couple of months, doing so by either making them less powerful, seem duplicitous, or in someway appear negative towards the rest of the group.

A good example of this can be seen in this very issue, specifically in the character of Donna Troy. No. Not the good Donna. The bad Donna. As she wants to prevent herself from feeling sad by killing those people she previously cared for.

Yes. That's correct. That's her basic motivation. Does that sound realistic to you? It doesn’t to me, because why would you want to hurt someone you love just so they don’t hurt you when they eventually die? If everyone had that attitude I’m sure children across the world would kill their parents by the time they reached puberty. What’s more, it seems very selfish, very juvenile, and basically too simple for people to connect with and believe in.  Which, in a roundabout way, kind of brings me onto the point I want to make! I can’t believe in Troia’s motives! All in all she appears like a very two dimensional villain, in spite of her psychological approach at corrupting her younger self. 

OK. I know what you’re going to say: How can the average Joe or Janet understand the motives of an immortal weapon with the power of the gods? But then again, that’s precisely my point. Stories are meant to be associative and should connect with their audience regardless of the concepts they’re trying to convey. Logic and emotion are also two factors when it comes down to establishing this bond between the story and the reader, two factors which will hopefully make a tangible link between the tale being told and the person reading it. Know what I mean?

Another point I would like to make involves the amount of different parallel futures DC are currently playing with. Over in Detective Comics we’ve just seen an evil version of Tim Drake come back in time and attack the Batman family. Over in the Justice League we’ve seen a futuristic version of their children do the same thing to their parents. And now, in this very issue of the Titans, well, I’m sure you know what I’m trying to say! So come on DC, stop messing about with the future and concentrate on the present. As much as I like following this type of scientific based adventure, sometimes too much can be too much, plus if you overplay your hand, inadvertently you can also dilute the concept and it will end up becoming rather repetitive and fairly boring.

Point Two) DINNER WITH DONNA:   Now, on a lighter note, I must mention how much I enjoyed the dramatic pacing and staging this episode had in spades. Even though I couldn’t directly connect with the character of Evil Donna, Troia, or whatever she wants to be called (Clive?), that’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy what she was saying and the way she was saying it.

From my point of view the best bit in the entire book was when she spelt out the final fate of her friends. Not only did her dramatic monologue give her motivations a certain amount of justification (only a small bit, mind you), but in addition to this, it was very nice, curious, and pleasing to follow the visual journey that led her to becoming the person she presently is (Pppsst! You’ve got to love those cameos!). Honestly, despite not completely buying into everything she came out with, at the same time I can’t deny that there was also a splattering of truth to it. 

Come to think of it, there was also a splattering of truth with the inclusion of the young Wally West! Well, let’s face it! For him to be featured in this book it must mean that he has some sort of relevance to its final outcome. Maybe that’s why I didn’t completely buy into the death of his slightly older counterpart two months back? Thanks to the advanced listings I already knew that Kid Flash would appear in this adventure, which, to me, kind of insinuates that he will somehow bring his other half back from the dead. Well, he better bring him back, or else Rebirth will seem like a complete waste of paper, and I don’t think DC would want to project that onto their audience, do you? 

Point Three) DRAMATIC ART:   If Brett Booth were ever to leave this book, then I would suggest that DC should replace him with Minkyu Jung. Yeah. No word of a lie! On the whole Minkyu’s artwork was very expressive, dynamic, and easy to follow, plus it was additionally enhanced with a nice balance between two slightly different styles of artwork, those styles being a manga style and a comic book style.

I also liked the way he conveyed emotion through each of his character's actions and faces. Just take a look at our Donna (see picture above) and you can clearly see how her eyes are glazed over with anger and fear. The same thing can also be said about the way he dramatically stages each scene, as he makes sure that the central figure is placed in such a way that it denotes their importance to the overall narrative. His montage sequences were equally well staged, and I must compliment him on the amount of additional characters he had to draw in order to comply with Dan's script. Trust me; this was by no means an easy thing to do, especially since it’s his first time on this title. Bravo.

THE MUSIC:
On a purely aesthetic level this adventure is about an evil woman who wants to corrupt her younger self. Or in other words, she’s a devil woman, just like the one Cliff Richard sings about in the following song. Here, check this out...




THE COMPARISON:
Yes. That’s correct. I am going to compare this adventure to a flashlight, and I’m doing so because there was a scene in this book where Donna told Donna that they are the embodiment of a living weapon people turned to whenever they’re in need. Therefore, whenever I’m in need, a-huh, you guessed it, I turn to a flashlight, especially when the electric goes out.... Fiiizzzzzz!!! Ugh... there it goes again! 

THE CONCLUSION:
At the end of this issue Troia says something to Donna that’s rather surprising. So, out of the following eight options, let’s see if you can guess what she says? Could it be...

  • Come help me buy a new dress.
  • Come help me slaughter a sheep.
  • Come help me eat ten cheeseburgers.
  • Come help me dance the tango.
  • Come help me kill our friends.
  • Come help me wax my legs.
  • Come help me kiss with my tongue.
  • Come help me write a better story. 
Nuff said. 

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