Wait a minute! Can you hear that? Can you hear that terrible sound? But what could it be? A baby crying? An animal whining? Or worst still, a scream coming from one of the characters featured in the following story? It was created by Dan Abnett, Brett Booth, and published by DC Comics in December, 2017.

TO QUOTE Abraham Lincoln: 'No matter how much cats fight, there always seem to be plenty of kittens'. 

Can they do it? Can the Titans defeat an evil version of Donna Troy from the far distant future? After all, Wally West is still dead; Mal and Gnarrk have been possessed by demonic forces; plus let’s not forget that the evil one herself, Troia, has recruited a number of unscrupulous bad guys to take them down, such as Mister Twister, Psimon, as well as the Key! What’s more, with all of those years of experience behind her belt, she knows exactly what to do in order to defeat every single member of the team, one, by one, by one!  

So what can they do? How can the Titans possibly turn the tide of battle? Prey perhaps? Ask for help? Sacrifice themselves in the line of duty? Or, dare I say it, hope for a loved one to spring back to life, thanks to a psychic connection he has with his younger counterpart!

Yes, that’s correct, I’m talking about Wally West, who does return, after a fashion, bringing along with him the promise of a possible salvation. Want to know more? Then please pick up issue 18 of the Titans today. But before you do that, here, check this out…

Point One) GOING OUT WITH A BANG:   On a conceptual level this issue is an all-action issue, and as such, favors kicking and punching over dialogue and plot. Not that this is a bad thing, mind you, even though it did give me a fairly hollow feeling once I finally finished reading it. 

I’m not entirely sure why, however, because to some extent I can completely understand why Dan Abnett concluded this multi-part story-arc in such an abrupt manner. He wanted to put an end to it, plain and simple, and did so by devising a dynamic action sequence rather than an evolved and complicated finale.

Of course I do mean this with all due respect, as I’m not trying to say that I didn’t enjoy the experience! If anything, I kind of liked it, in part, and was also satisfied to see it end, despite it ending with one simple punch. Maybe Dan remembered how Superman defeated the Anti-Monitor at the end of 'Crisis on Infinite Earths', and thought to himself, hey, why don’t I do a similar thing here? Or maybe he’s got some other ideas up his sleeve which he wants to expand upon?  Either way, at least this series can now move forward without worrying about evil doppelgängers, mysterious traitors, or a shroud of uncertainty looming over the group. After all, this is supposed to be a team book, not a whodunnit, right?

Point Two) WALLY’S BACK... AGAIN:   Something else I was both happy and sad about would have to be the return of Wally West. On the one hand it was really satisfying to see him back in action again (as if there was any doubt), while, on the other, certain details weren’t made quite clear in regards to his resurrection, with Wally saying as such, quite flippantly I might add.

Now up to a point I can understand that Wally's return was partly due to a connection he share's with his younger counterpart. But that said, what is this connection, a part of the 'Speed Force' itself? And if so, why did Kid Flash tap into it and not Barry? Come to think of it, was Wally ever truly dead? Or was he, as he puts it, ‘frozen in the Speed Force’, which quite frankly is a pretty vague expression, and doesn’t negate that something like this could happen again!

Seriously, if someone can explain to me what actually happened in detail -- I repeat, in detail -- keeping in mind that Barry also has ties to the 'Speed Force', by all means please add your thoughts in the comment section below. And while your at it, if you can try to surmise why Dan felt the need to kill him off in the first place, when in essence, his death never really affected the overall story-line, apart from prompting a cameo appearance, add to that too. Honestly, your feedback is always truly appreciated.

Funnily enough, this point now brings me quite nicely onto another point I would like to raise, that being the final fate for the rest of the cast. Obviously the bad guys were defeated and the good guys are now able to dust themselves down and get back to normal. So all in all, yeah, everything is looking good, for sure, and a pleasure to see at the very end. Even so, the question still remains: Will evil Donna return from that other dimension? Will Mal and Gnarrk now join the team? And last, but not least, will Roy’s impassioned pleas affect Evil Donna or the love triangle involving him, good Donna, and Wally?

Questions-Questions-Questions: You’ve got to love them!

Point Three) STAGING A FIGHT:   Something else you’ve got to love would have to be the artwork provided by Brett Booth. This month I admired the way in which he choreographed the main fight between Evil Donna and each member of the team. Not only did this sequence flow very smoothly and very naturally on the page, but in addition to this, it also had some sort of kinetic pacing which synchronized perfectly with its accompanying dialogue. Trust me, this isn’t an easy thing to do, and goes to show how good Brett really is.

I also liked the way he drew the two Wally West’s. Admittedly, some of this is largely due to his previous work on the main Flash title. Yet having said that, you still can’t deny the amount of detail, expression, emotion, and style he has managed to put into his work, which in this case elevated an all-action adventure to appear more than what it conceptually was.

Out of curiosity, which hero do you like Brett drawing the most? As I just said, I like his rendition of the two Wally’s myself, so how about you?

Stylistically this story reminded me of the Garbage song, ‘Bleed Like Me’, simply because of the internal conflict confined within Donna and her evil counterpart.

During the third installment of the Evil Dead film franchise, namely, Army Of Darkness, there’s a sequence where Ash fights an evil version of himself. Here, check this out, and comparison made...

At the end of this issue a caption revealed that the Titans are going to go up against another team next month. So, out of the following eight candidates, let’s see if you can guess who this other group is? Could it be...

  1. The Suicide Squad: They might as well, as they’ve already fought against most of the DCU!
  2. The Teen Titans: What? Too soon?
  3. The Jackson Five: Also too soon? 
  4. The Doom Patrol: Back in the day these two teams had a pretty consistent connection. So yeah, it would be nice to see them together again! 
  5. The Justice Society of America: Now that’s something I’d like to see, especially if it’s the original lineup!
  6. The Spice Girls: See previous answer for more details! 
  7. The Justice League: Yes please! 
  8. The team featured in Detective Comics: No thank you.
Nuff said. 

TITANS #18 TITANS #18 Reviewed by David Andrews on December 28, 2017 Rating: 5

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