Flashy, but Not Fulfilling – “Titans” #2 (Review)
Written by: Dan Abnett
Art by: Brett Booth & Norm Rapmund
I loved Titans:Rebirth. It was a solid tie in to the overall mythology of the Rebirth and a good gateway to introduce the old Titans to Wally West. In the post- Convergence world of DC comics, the Titans were reformed in the New 52 reboot world that had forgotten they existed as a team. Or said in another way, Convergence was DC’s attempt to grab popular characters that were forgotten about, left out, of the 2011 New 52 reboot. Many of the Titans roster already existed in the New 52 world, but they were scatted to the wind and wrapped up in other teams. Dan Abnett’s Titans Hunt 2015 miniseries during the Convergence story-line addresses the team coming back together. If all of the above paragraph is old news, congrats. If not, Abnett’s new Titans series assumes the reader understands much of the above paragraph.
I’ll say it again, I loved Dan Abnett’s Titans:Rebirth. Unfortunately, the ongoing series is still trying to find it’s footing. Issue #1 brought readers up to speed with Wally West’s return in Rebirth and inched the overall narrative of the missing years of DC history forward. The end of issue #1 ends with the return of a Flash villain who’s not been seen since before the New 52 reboot. This setup is important to know, because issue #2 is one big fight scene. After the interesting character exploration of Titans:Rebirth and issue #1, this issue is a shallow experience. The villain claimed to have made the world forget Wally West at the end of issue #1, but here he appears as a stereotypical villain of the week bent on destroying the heroes. There is little explanation of why, and even less of how he made the world forget Wally West. There is dialog that let’s the reader know he is not the cause of the Rebirth world, and that even the villain is surprised by the inconsistencies in the timeline. This offers clues that there is more that Abnett is trying to do in this story arc, but it does not happen here.
The star of this issue is Brett Booth’s depiction of the action. In an issue all about a fight scene, good artwork makes the difference. Booth was involving with the Teen Titans launch around the New 52. His artwork is often in the stylized, muscularly defined vain of super hero comics. Booth’s style is akin to acclaimed Jim Lee’s artwork. Given their history of working together on Image and Wildstorm titles, the similarities are understandable. Fortunately, this style works well for the action heavy, super powered battle. As exciting as the action is, the action could have been accomplished with any super powered team of the last 20 years. Without more narrative momentum from Abnett, Booth’s art makes a fun but shallow issue.