Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Titans #1 Review

     

Written by: Tom Taylor
Art by: Nicola Scott
Colors by: Annette Kwok
Letters by: Wes Abbott
Cover art by: Nicola Scott, Annette Kwok
Cover price: $3.99
Release date: May 16, 2023


Titans #1 finds the Nightwing and his teammates preparing to move into the new Titans tower as the world's protectors since the Justice League has been disbanded. Unfortunately, this day will end badly for one of the Titans.
Is It Good?

Titans #1 picks up from the pages of Nightwing and after the events of Dark Crisis to establish the team as the new premier protectors of Earth. Now that the Justice League has disbanded, a super-team needs to fill the void, and Nightwing has the responsibility of leading the Titans to be that team.

Right off, this title is coming from a deficit. Dark Crisis was an abysmal event that did little to justify disbanding the Justice League, and in a broader context, the members of the Justice League haven't gone anywhere. Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and everyone else are still around doing their thing. So, the fundamental premise of needing a team to replace the Justice League falls short of logic or necessity.

Does that mean that if there's a catastrophe (natural or otherwise) or an alien invasion, Superman won't help? Of course, not. Therefore, Titans #1 is starting from a weird place by asking readers to turn a blind eye to the obvious.

Watch our Titans #1 Video Review
 

As for the story...

The Titans get set for a public moving day into the new Titans Tower, now headquartered in Bl├╝dhaven. Before the team can step through the door, Oracle calls for an assist to stop Titano from destroying a nuclear power plant, which leads to a hostile confrontation with Peacemaker, which brings them back to the Tower to find Wally dead of a gunshot.

True to form for Tom Taylor, things happen. They don't necessarily connect to each other in obvious ways, but things certainly do happen. A fight against a King Kong-sized, cybernetic ape is an interesting sight, even if it ends a little too easily. Gar and Raven share more than one romantic scene to underscore the strength of their relationship. And Peacemaker's hostile appearance foreshadows shenanigans with Amanda Waller on the horizon.

Therefore, if you're looking for plenty of Titans-level events to chew on, this first issue has plenty.

What's not so great? The aforementioned deficit is just tough to ignore. How do you make the Titans THE team to protect Earth when nothing about the JL members has changed? Also true to form for Tom Taylor, there's a lot of validating, back-patting dialog from each team member reminding each other how great they all are. Teams are more interesting when there's disagreement, interpersonal conflict, and stress, but you won't find a drop of team drama here. In other words, things happen, but there's barely any dramatic tension to hook you and keep you hooked.

How's the art? Nicola Scott and Annette Kwok deliver a serviceable job on art duties. The characters look fine, the action involving Titano is decent enough, and the general layout is solid. However, similar to Taylor's writing, the art lacks tension. There isn't a dramatic shadow or scrap of mood lighting to be found. In fact, the lighting is almost monotone throughout the entire issue, which sets an emotionally flat tone. Technically, there's nothing wrong with the art. It just won't grab you.


About The Reviewer: Gabriel Hernandez is the Publisher & EIC of ComicalOpinions.com, a comics review site dedicated to indie, small, and mid-sized publishers.

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Bits and Pieces:

Titans #1 begins a new era for the former sidekicks and B-Team as they move into the new Titans Tower and assume their new role as taking over for the Justice League. The writing execution is technically fine, and things happen, but the basic premise is flawed, and both the writing and art lack drama or emotional weight.

6.5/10

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