Of all the newly-rebirthed series from DC, Titans #1 perhaps has the most to live up to. It’s a team book, but the core success of the Titans over the years has been that the heroes aren’t just teammates or friends but are a family. Likewise, many of these characters don’t have books of their own so there has to be emphasis on telling their personal stories in a more limited amount of pages (or even panels). It’s a tough job. It’s also a job at which Dan Abnett and Brett Booth succeed, and with flying colours.
With the return of the original Wally West, the Titans find themselves facing some large questions, the biggest being what the hell happened to their memories and their timeline in the first place. And because of who they are, they’re the most proactive of DC’s characters in that department. As Lilith tries to probe the mind of Wally West in search of answers, Donna Troi and Arsenal decide to check for leads amongst the criminal underworld.
Their investigation offers some moments of action before the trail leads them in the direction of Psimon. As for Wally, tapping into his memories leads him to once again lament the lack of connection he now has with his wife Linda. Also, it awakens an old foe in one of the most surprising and impressive reveals so far. And while the validity of this enemy’s claims that he’s responsible for everything which has happened seems doubtful, the threat he poses is more than real enough.
In Titans #1, readers are given everything they could possibly want. There’s action, a fair amount of character development and some amusing moments. The connection the characters have seems natural and they do indeed come across as being more of a family than just a group of friends.
The trick here is that this comes across more like an old issue of the Wally West/Flash series, with him being the primary focus. That makes sense, since he’s the one who has triggered the team back into becoming what they originally were. Yet Wally doesn’t dominate the story, rather serving as a catalyst for the other characters to make their mark. And they really do make their mark. Arsenal’s moments of exposition may seem old-hat but they’re also natural and lead to one of the funniest side-jokes in history. Donna Troi looks and acts exactly right.
Titans #1 really does come across as the Titans at their best, not by the characters being larger-than-life superheroes but by being real people. Everything here feels natural and never forced, and the story sets up the next issue in almost mouth-watering style.
Are there any flaws with it? Other than yacht being spelled as yatch, none which I could see!
Sure, Aquaman and Wonder Woman have been leading the way in this new DC universe reboot, but neither of them have managed to trigger that feeling of desperately wanting to read the next issue. Titans #1 has. This is the DC comic book fans have been waiting for, one which gets them genuinely excited to know what happens next.