Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Titans: Beast World #5 Review


Written by: Tom Taylor
Art by: Ivan Reis, Eduardo Pansica, Danny Miki, Júlio Ferreira
Colors by: Brad Anderson
Letters by: Wes Abbott
Cover art by: Ivan Reis, Danny Miki, Brad Anderson
Cover price: $4.99
Release date: January 23, 2024

Titans: Beast World #5 grapples with the shock of Gar's death when Amanda Waller makes her big push to assume control by killing a million people for the greater good.
Is Titans: Beast World #5 Good?

If there's one thing you can say about Amanda Waller, she doesn't go halfway on anything. In Titans: Beast World #5, Tom Taylor sends Raven into a tailspin of grief while Waller enters the public stage to initiate her endgame, so there should be no doubt after his issue that Amanda Waller has assumed the role of one of DC's most ruthless villains.

When last we left the heroes fighting against Beast World, Waller solicited the help of Lex Luthor and kidnapped Chunk to create a "bomb" to kill Garro. The plan worked, leaving Earth's heroes reeling over Beast Boy's death.

Now, Amanda Waller steps into the spotlight to falsely praise Chunk for his sacrificial act to garner sympathy. In phase two of her nefarious plan, Waller announces the people infected with Garro spores will be quickly rounded up and executed for the sake of restoring order. Of course, the Titans won't sit still for government-sanctioned mass murder, so Raven, Nightwing, and Flash track Waller to her protected base to shut the massacre down before it starts. Waller, however, isn't the compromising type, and she brings in Dr. Hate to even the odds, which is when we learn Dr. Hate's true identity (it's not who you think).

Is the Dr. Hate identity reveal big enough to rock your world? Not really. It's interesting, I suppose, but the person underneath the mask doesn't generate much shock because we haven't seen enough of Dr. Hate to care.

Watch our Titans: Beast World #5 Video Review

Is Garro/Beast Boy really dead? The thing floating in orbit is really dead. The Garro spores are not, so the likelihood that Beast Boy is gone for good is slim to nil.

What's great about Titans: Beast World #5? The best superhero comics are ones that mix action and emotional drama. Tom Taylor gives you plenty of both, which begs the question of why he can't seem to do either in the main Titans comic or Nightwing. Who knows? For all the small and large plot holes in Beast World, this crossover is one of the better events DC has put out in the last few years. It's dumb fun, but at least it's fun.

What's not so great about Titans: Beast World #5? Waller's jump from an unknown force working in the shadows to a despot publicly announcing the execution of a million people is a stretch for how quickly and easily it comes together. Speaking of plot holes, this crossover has yet to resolve how Waller knew of Xand'r's plan involving the NecroStart, Beast Boy's idea to become Garro, or what effect Dr. Hate's mind trick would have on Garro, the Garro spores, and Earth's citizens. There are too many leaps in logic and assumptions to make the setup believable. Again, it's dumb fun, but it's still dumb.

How's the art? The art team is giving their all in this crossover, and it shows. I suspect part of why Nightwing and Titans are so lackluster is due to the artists and the lack of direction they're given. Whatever secret sauce DC found to elevate Taylor's stories through the art, it needs to be replicated in their other titles.

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: Beast World #5 maximizes the penultimate issue in this crossover with escalated stakes, big emotional beats. plenty of action, and fantastic art. Whoever kicked Tom Taylor in the pants to craft this story should continue kicking because this is the most enjoyable superhero comic from Taylor in years. That said, plot holes abound, so don't think too hard about the story or it falls apart.


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