What would you do if your team was forced to split up? Would you go and sit in a corner and cry-cry-cry? Or would you read the following comic book and sigh-sigh-sigh? It was created by Dan Abnett, Paul Pelletier, and published by DC Comics. I know which one I would do. It’s March, 2018, and it’s time for me to cry like a Titan.

TO QUOTE AJ Lee: 'Never trust anyone who doesn't drink coffee'. 

Ever since they were forced to disband by the Justice League, each member of the Titans has decided to take stock of their lives and go their own separate ways. Karen has moved back home to be with her husband and her child; Lilith is having an extended sabbatical with her boyfriend, Garth; Donna is being assessed onboard the League’s Watchtower by Wonder Woman, and Dick is helping Wally move into his brand new apartment. 

As for Roy, on the other hand, well, unlike the others, he’s gone on a one-man war! Or to be more specific about it, a one-man war on drugs, doing so by trying to stop Intergang from developing and distributing a new synthetic narcotic based on Bliss

Surprisingly enough, Cheshire also wants to join Roy in his quest. She’s suddenly seen the error of her ways and wants to do something positive for a change. Or does she? That’s what Roy wants to know, especially after they spend the night together! Want to know more? Then please pick up issue 20 of the Titans today. But before you do that, here, check this out... 

Part One) DONNA BE NICE:   Last month the Justice League forced the Titans to each go their own separate ways, so this month that’s precisely what they ended up doing. They split up. They figured out what they had to do next. And now they’re doing whatever it is they need to do in order to move forward. Well, that’s everyone except for Roy Harper, of course, but I’ll get to him later. As for the rest of the team, more or less most of them seem to have a clear plan in place that either involves them going on holiday or redefining their status in life. In Wally’s case, he gets a new home. In Dick’s case, he helps Wally get a new home. And in Donna’s case, well, the poor cow doesn’t know what the hell is going on!!! 

From the looks of it, she has so much stuff going on inside her head she isn’t quite sure which way to turn. One part of her is obviously conflicted over the feelings she has towards Wally and Roy. Another part is clearly concerned about her status as a superhero and as a member of the team. And yet another part is fearful over her confinement and subsequent assessment by Wonder Woman. Which sound's completely reasonable, particularly when you take into account that this version of Donna Troy seems more fragile and less emotionally stable than previous versions!

What do you think, dear reader? Do you think I’m right with my assessment? And if not, why not? Also, what are your opinions on some of the interpersonal relationships featured in this book? Do they feel too forced or do they feel fairly natural? I think Dick and Roy’s relationship comes across a little bit better than some of the others, closely followed by Garth’s courtship to Lilith. Please let me know what you think in the comment section below.  

Part Two) FOOLING IN LOVE:   Are you a fan of the Roy and Cheshire relationship? I am. I’ve always been a big fan; because I find their bipolar union to be a very perverse one, especially when you take into consideration that it’s based on the notion of a good guy falling in love with a bad girl! 

Well, when I say good and bad, what I mean by this is that these two people are diametrically opposed to each other, spiritually, if not physically. Roy is a good person at heart and he tends to do good things despite his afflictions. Cheshire, on the other hand, is basically a bad person and she tends to do bad things despite her holistic nature. Try to imagine Superman going out with a kryptonite-powered Lois Lane and you might be able to understand what I mean by this. Cheshire is the drug and Roy is the addict, but unfortunately for him, he’s the type of addict who occasionally ignores his common sense and follows his urges. 

So what does he do to turn this all around? He keeps himself busy, that’s what, and he does so by speaking to friends and getting involved with activities — such as giving himself the task of stopping an evil cartel from making and selling drugs. Last month I criticised Roy for being involved in such a venture because I thought it was too close for comfort. But no, I was wrong, very wrong. Roy needs to keep active so he can ignore his loneliness and overcome his addictions. So what better way of doing this than by stopping an organization associated with drugs? He also feels the need to punish himself for wanting to take drugs in the first place. So what better way of doing that than by replacing one drug with another? Namely, a drug named Cheshire, as she’s the type of woman he knows isn’t any good for him, and that is why I find their relationship so, so, fascinating. After all, love can also be a drug! 

Part Three) HAIR TODAY, GONE TO FOLLICLE:   In my most humble opinion, Paul Pelletier draws the best hair in the business. Yeah. Straight up! Just take a look at some of the images provided and you can clearly see how well he defines each of the characters hairstyles. Roy’s haircut is styled similar to Brad Pitt’s, whereas Dick and Wally seem to be sporting longer, wavier, hair, with a side parting that’s either situated on the left or right side of the head. 

Donna’s hair, however, well, how do I define that? ‘Friends’ era Jennifer Aniston with a touch of Taylor Swift? Yeah. That sounds about right. What with the way it looks so silky and so smooth that anyone who comes near her seems rough in comparison! Even Wonder Woman, which is saying something, considering her hair is very frothy, pronounced, and full of life. Along similar lines, I can say exactly the same thing about Cheshire’s hairstyle too! Although, in her case, it’s slightly straighter, wispier, yet still nice to look at!

I also have to congratulate Paul for the tasteful way in which he drew the love scene between Roy and Cheshire. In the hands of many other artists, this scene could have easily come across as being too crude and too revealing by design. But thankfully Paul had the good sense to pace this sequence and construct it so the emotional intensity came through slightly more than the physical repercussions.

His action scenes were equally as enjoyable and I particularly appreciated his 80s vibe. I presume that Paul is a child of that era, like myself, and it kind of shows in his work. His characters are big and bold. His fight scenes are full of explosions. Plus the way in which he reveals certain scenarios are well defined, easily translated, and very fun to follow. Good job. 

If Roy had a radio in his apartment, then I’m sure it would be playing the Marvin Gaye song, ‘Sexual Healing’, during that scene where he and Cheshire got busy in the bedroom. 

In many ways, this adventure is about people adjusting and recalibrating their lives, and as we all know, the best tool you can use when it comes down to recalibrating something is... uhhh... well... some sort of recalibration tool!

At the end of this issue, it’s finally revealed that Cheshire is secretly working on behalf of a mysterious third party. So, out of the following eight candidates, can you guess who this mysterious third party is? Could it be... 

  1. Tim and Eric: Otherwise known as the Dick and the Hick.
  2. The Joker and Harley Quinn: Otherwise known as the Clown and the Frown.
  3. Hope and Crosby: Otherwise known as the Ding and the Sing.
  4. Batman and Robin: Otherwise known as the Cape and the Scrape.
  5. Martin and Lewis: Otherwise known as the Drink and the Sink.
  6. Monsieur Mallah and the Brain: Otherwise known as the Ape and the metal-shape.
  7. Cheech and Chong: Otherwise known as the Dong and the Bong.
  8. Turner and Hooch: Otherwise known as the Slog and the Dog.
Nuff said. 

TITANS #20 TITANS #20 Reviewed by David Andrews on March 06, 2018 Rating: 5

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