Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Titans #5 Review


Written by: Tom Taylor
Art by: Nicola Scott
Colors by: Annette Kwok
Letters by: Wes Abbott
Cover art by: Nicola Scott (cover A)
Cover price: $3.99
Release date: November 21, 2023

Titans #5 sends the Titans to Borneo to plant trees with the help of the latest Swamp Thing, Levi Kamei. Meanwhile, Flash's impending murder is foiled.
Is Titans #5 Good?

What a weird, anti-climactic issue. It's unclear if Tom Taylor doesn't have a story idea strong enough to carry an arc, or if mediocre meandering was always the intent, but Titans #5 is the very definition of uninteresting.

When last we left the Titans, Nightwing spirited Wally West to a secret Mars base with his wife Linda as a form of isolated protection to prevent whoever is meant to shoot the fastest man alive in the back with a common gun in just a few hours. Meanwhile, Brother Eternity spreads his mouth alien to Tempest, who in turn spreads the mouth monster to Linda West, presumably to force Linda to kill Wally. Elsewhere, the rest of the Titans express little interest in Wally's impending death, so they decide to head back to South America to plant trees.

Now, Linda's mind-controlled ruse is discovered in time to stop her forced assassination attempt on her husband and extract her alien mouth monster. Beast Boy and the rest of the Titans pay an unsolicited visit to Levi Kamei, hoping his connection to the Green as Swamp Thing will speed up the reforestation process.

If you're curious where the bulk of the issue is spent, it's in Beast Boy's greenery efforts. Wally's assassination problem is dealt with quickly and with barely a modicum of effort.

What's great about Titans #5? Enlisting Swamp Thing as a part-time member of the Titans is a cool concept with plenty of future storytelling potential.

What's not so great about Titans #5? Tom Taylor seems either uninterested or incapable of constructing an engaging story. Beast Boy's greenery mission is about as exciting as watching a nature video in biology class, Flash's murder mystery is solved and dispensed with as much dramatic tension as a cash purchase at a hardware store. And the most important story thread, Brother Eternity's alien infection problem, barely gets a couple of pages of development.

Each thread could rightfully be described as boring, but the lack of engagement is made worse by the lack of explanation. Why does the entire Titans team need to plant trees in South America when Raven could do the work with a single spell? Why are construction workers with military-grade armor and weapons clearing a rainforest? In a different timeline, how was Linda able to shoot Wally in the back with a gun she doesn't possess? Why did an alien-possessed Brother Eternity go to such great lengths for an elaborate plot to kill only Wally?

The more you dig, the more you realize Taylor started multiple plot threads without properly setting them up or prioritizing which thread gets page space based on urgency. This comic is the equivalent of throwing multiple ideas at the wall at random and just going with whichever one sticks at the moment.

How's the art? Nicola Scott is a fine portrait artist, but the cracks in her ability to express facial acting and action energy continue to grow. Everyone's face has the same look of dull boredom, and the scant action feels static and energy deficient.

Further, this issue has possibly the worst-looking Swamp Things I've ever seen. Levi Kamei looks like a man of average build wearing a body suit covered in cheap, plastic vines. Truly, this issue has a terrible-looking Swamp Thing.

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 #5 is a boring, unfocused waste of a comic. Taylor concludes the big murder mystery of Wally's death in the least interestingly and energetic way possible, the lion's share of the issue is taken up with a nature field trip, and the art hits a new low with possibly the laziest attempt at a Swamp Thing I've ever seen.



  1. Absolutely horrible from start to finish (both this arc, this series as a whole and this issue itself!). Also I will go one step even further and say the art is horrendous. I way prefer ugly drawings with some soul and expression to them than this, look I don't have anything against the artist I can see a lot of effort has been put into these but the style simply doesn't suit serialised panels trying to tell a story. Portraits are more appropriate for this style as you said and I don't know who is in charge of shading and coloring but it is arguably objectively bad unlike the art style which might be defended on some grounds at least. The colours are so lifeless and without any depth.The story I feel like doesn't even need explaining, everyone can see for themselves how awful it is regardless of its intentions and the good it's trying to do, the writer's capabilities simply isn'tup to task to effectively pull it off or even semi effectively. Your review outlined the problems very well.

  2. Did I miss something? I thought Wally was killed by a bullet but here he was almost killed by this alien parasite thing? Does that mean his actual assassination is still coming up? 🤔 And if so, shouldn't Nightwing realize this what with his detective skills and all? This resolution made zero sense.

    1. I think we are meant to think Linda pulled a gun or a similar weapon ( not in the station the first time cause that time wally didn't know he was going to die so he didn't get help from the titans and didn't go to the station and Linda killed him in a another place) and killed him by taking him off guard, however I don't see how then without him asking for help from Titans then Linda would have gotten possessed in the tower unless Garth personally came to their doorstep and exchanged the parasite which is weird + does this mean this aliens know their secret identity now that they possessed Garth????. Regardless it doesn't make sense cause if it is as the issue implies, then Nightwing knew or suspected all along about the parasite possessing Garth when they saw the meteorite + Garth's weird behaviour . If so, Linda was alone with Garth after this which makes it veryyy irresponsible or from a different angle cruel of them to let it happen to a civilian.

    2. It could also be that the first time Garth was the one that caught wally off guard. It still doesn't explain the rest of the problem though, which is nightwing putting both Wally and his wife, especially his wife in a very dangerous and traumatic situation when he could have done something about it beforehand. How did they know the parasite would just leap out of Linda? What if it held her hostage? Or fried her brain or did any number of lasting damage not to mention the invasiveness of it all for poor Linda.