Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Titans Annual #1 Review and *SPOILERS*

Turn The Key Softly

Written By: Dan Abnett
Art By: Minkyu Jung, Adriano Lucas, Carlos M. Mangual
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: March 29, 2017

*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*

This is a weird Annual just because it takes place after the Superman Reborn arc and includes all of our Justice Leaguers and Titans together and we're left wondering what everyone really knows after Pre-Flashpoint Superman and New 52 Superman merged, making both their histories one and the same...... and apparently people "close to them" too.  Yeah, Reborn was left kind of ambiguous and this issue really doesn't help matters a whole lot, especially since we have Donna Troy and Wonder Woman together and Donna Troy's past has kind of been up in the air about what is still continuity and what isn't from the New 52 because Titans Hunt just kind of rewrote most of it, giving her a life with the other Titans even though she was only just created about the last year of the New 52.  It's all rather odd, but hopefully we can get a decent Annual story out of it.  Let's jump into this issue and see what's what and if we get ourselves anymore big Rebirth clues to what's going on in the Universe.  Let's check it out.

Explain It!:

Our issue begins with Garth calling out to anyone that will hear him and eventually getting everyone featured in this book to come find him which includes, Flash, Wally West, Aquaman, Donna Troy, Wonder Woman, Batman and Nightwing.  Yeah, it's a whole hero and their protege kind of thing going on here and no matter how many times the Flashes run around this strange complex their in, they come up with the fact that it goes on for three miles and there's no doors in site.  On top of that, none of our heroes know how they got to this strange location and there doesn't seem to be anyway of contacting anyone on the outside either.  Once our heroes get together there's a bunch of banter about who's in charge, but once Batman makes his presence known, it's all kind of sorted out immediately and this issue then becomes all about our heroes not trusting one another and if any of them can really believe that the others are real.

While our heroes throw years of trust to the wind, we find out that the person behind all of this is The Key and he plans on using this little exercise as a way to mentally break down our heroes because apparently, there's great power to be had from superhuman minds and the secrets that they keep and the Key plans on using this power as a way to open a door to an outside force that we never get to see.  Throughout this issue I found myself wondering what everyone really knows about what's going on in the Universe now because Aquaman's questioning Wally West about his sudden appearance a couple months ago and if he can really be trusted and I'm still wondering what the heroes actually know about the Titans being a team in the past before they wiped their minds, which we found out in Titans Hunt because besides for the Titans themselves knowing that they were once a team and forming one now because of it, it was always left unclear about whether the rest of the DC heroes knew about their previous time together............ but we won't get any answers about that here, just more confusion because after a replica of Metallo shows up that our heroes have to fight, a squad of Parademons then appear and after their defeat, Batman uses their headgear to scan the area and finds out that Donna Troy isn't human.  Which makes sense since she's made of clay, but that's one of the secrets that's let out that powers Key's doors because Wonder Woman has to explain to Donna about what she really is, but even this comes off odd because it doesn't exactly line up with what we saw in the New 52, not to mention the discrepancies with the timeline of it all.  

In the end, the Titans' friendship calms Donna down, stopping the power to Key's door, that will allow something to enter this Universe, but the emotion that this secret caused allowed Lilith and the rest of the Titans and Justice League to pinpoint their location and Batman used the Parademon's headgear to determine the point of power in the complex so that they could break through a wall and confront Key, just as the rest of the Justice League and Titans boom tube to the location.  Key's not about to fight these two teams though and uses the power he collected to open a door and escape to some unknown location and even though this ordeal seemed to rock the trust of the heroes involved in Key's plot, by the end they all seem to be hunky dory and Donna and Wonder Woman's relationship may have even benefited from it.  Our issue closes on Key stepping into a door in the middle of a void and apologizing for not being able to release this mystery being, but whoever this is doesn't seem like they forgive failure because the door closes behind Key and we're just left with him screaming.

That's it for this Annual of Titans and for the most part this was a pretty enjoyable story.  Yeah, I have some issues with what our heroes know and don't know about each other and what the Superman Reborn story did to affect any of them............ and some of the dialog felt kind of off throughout this issue, but overall this was a fun aside that gave us a chance to see our heroes and their former sidekicks working together and letting off a bit of steam about who's team works better for what reasons.  The Key's plot was a bit convoluted because all we're given is the idea of mental secret energy powering up some unknown device that would open a doorway into this world, but you don't need too much explanation about that because it would just bog down the story, I just wish we were given a little more background about the Key's history to these two teams because all we have is a throwaway line about how he's been defeated by both and that's it.  Another little bit that threw me was the fact that we got classic Pre-Flashpoint Metallo in this issue and while I love that version, it left me wondering about how the world has changed post Reborn and how the whole of the DC continuity has been affected.......... which I need to know because it will just drive me crazy if I don't and if it isn't properly explained, it just gives the writers an open invitation to be lazy.  The art in this book as great though and I hope that we get to see more team-ups like this in the future, which gives the whole of each team something to do.  

Bits and Pieces:

This was a fun Annual overall, but with it being in a post Superman Reborn world, I was left wondering throughout this issue what was in continuity and what wasn't because characters showed up that shouldn't have and characters who have sketchy backstories are just filled in with dialog that seems to want to fix the sketchiness of it all, but even with that.......... it's still a bit unclear.  The art in this Annual was great though and besides for some odd dialog here and there, I liked the majority of what we got......... you know, the parts that didn't leave me scratching my head about what's new in the world post Reborn.  



  1. So I guess wonder womans orirign is that she is the legitimate daughter of Hippolata & Zeus, instead of a clay baby like Donna. Batman would have detected 2 people who where not human. Diana & Aquaman came of as add wholes this issue. Was happy to see Garth be a badass. I agree with your score Eric.

    1. Wonder Woman is being controlled and living a lie since she first was ousted from Themyscira. Everything she has known to be true is proved hoax that's why she is suspicious. Don't ask for culprits, it might be Circe, Derinoe, Hera, Ares who want Diana in pieces for her Olympian blood. Her enemies attack Wonder Woman through her beloved ones and here they force Diana away from her most trusted student and friend Donna. Titans Donna is not the one Derinoe has made out of clay to kill Diana. Yep more doppelgangers to toy with our heroes sanity. Donna is very real and multiversal but her memories have been altered by the same force behind Flashpoint. Wally, Donna and Superman are the echoes of the original DCU that make waves in the fake pond of 52. You are right Donna and Diana are demigods not human and Tempest and Aquaman are of Atlantean lineage, descendants of Poseidon which makes them extra badass. Lilith holds the key to unlock the truth Donna and her have forgotten before the seeds fester on the multiverse.

  2. That was my same thought/question about WW!

  3. So who are the "we" that Wonder Woman says implanted false memories into Donna? I am assuming she means the Amazons. However, in the current WW book, we are told that Diana has never been back to Themyscira and everything was a lie. So how can this be true? It doesn't seem necessary to revise Donna's origin. However, I didn't think it necessary to revise WW's either. I thought she was just fine as the daughter of Zeus and the God of War.