Pacing Problems in “Titans: #6 (Review)
Written by: Dan Abnett
Art by: Brett Booth
Dan Abnett’s Titans #6 presents a challenge for the reader. As a stand alone issue, it is solid. There is character development for Wally West. There is action as the Titans finally defeat Kadabra. Brett Booth’s pencils work well for the muscle bound action sequences and for Wally’s quiet, character moments. As a stand alone issue, Titans #6 is an enjoyable superhero comic. As the concluding chapter to the first story arc, Titans #6 comes months too late.
Abnett’s pacing of this entire arc has left a lot to be desired. Issue #1 picked up where Titans Rebirth left off and found the team getting used to being together again. Issue #2 was a flashy fight scene, but did not move the narrative forward. Issue #3 showed promise only to stall out in the next issue. Issue #5 was beautifully drawn and Booth’s art was a splashy showpiece in which Wally West raced across the country in six seconds to save his friends only to lose himself to the speed force. But those six seconds were the entire issue. Here Abnett wraps up this first story arc and firmly roots Wally West to his friends. Time and the DC universe may have forgotten Wally, but his Titan teammates connect him to his past and future.
This initial story arc brings Wally into a post-New 52 world, where the Rebirth event has shifted the DC landscape. Wally West was front and center of the Rebirth event and Abnett’s series has hinted at this over the past six months. Unfortunately, six months is a long time for a story arc that ultimately serves as the opening act in a reunion series for these former teen titans. Other Rebirth titles are being published twice a month and even the relaunched Teen Titans has moved a lot of plot forward in the first three issues. The narrative of this arc takes at least two months too long. If the release schedule was twice a month, the pacing could be sustained easier. With so many Rebirth titles quickly moving their narratives forward, Titans feels stuck in a pre-Rebirth world.
Abnett and Booth are a talented creative team. This initial story arc will be an enjoyable quick read years from now when the team has seen and survived greater challenges than this slowly paced speedster tale. The cast of Titans holds a lot of potential, but it is up to Abnett and Booth to pick up the pace and deliver the speedy adventure that Wally West and readers deserve. With the first heat finished, Abnett and Booth can spirit into their next, and hopefully more satisfying, story arc.
Titans #6 is a satisfying conclusion to the first story arc. Unfortunately the wait may not be worth it. Readers that stuck around until the end get one of the biggest hints at the Watchmen’s involvement in the Rebirth event yet. Any reader that fell away over the long, slow pace of the first six issues can wait and see what Titans #7 brings.