– or, I’m writing this comic and I’ll have as many boob shots as possible!

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The year 2008 came with the full knowledge that DC would soon see the initiation of its Final Crisis. Countdown to Final Crisis was coming to a close, with week after week of mediocrity robbing what may or may not be the best ‘Crisis’ yet of any credibility simply by association.

But all that – no matter how good Countdown finishes off and no matter how good Final Crisis will be – pales in to insignificance by Titans #1.

And no, I do not believe that is overstating it at all.

titans1.jpgUnder the sublime pen of Judd Winick, the pencils of Ian Churchill and the colors of Norm Rapmund, the new adventures of the original Teen Titans followed up where the Titans East Special left off.

I have been looking forward to this book since the moment I heard it announced. Now granted, I am of the generation that the Teen Titans was written for, and am thus already a massive fan of not only the Teen Titans as a group, but their individual members. Dick Grayson, aka Nightwing, is easily my favorite DC character; Wally West’s Flash has – until recently – been written so well nobody could dislike him; and I love Raven.

So when I heard that the old band was getting back together (I’ll only use that reference once), I was ecstatic.

And I was not let down.

But first we have to step back a few months to the Titans East special, where in a gallery of boobs and hormones, Cyborg attempted to create a new Titans East. That story opened with a flashback that was so well drawn and written that you could not help but be transported back to those times when you first read the Teen Titans.

There are scenes where Dick Grayson, Donna Troy and Wally West are so well drawn by Churchill and Rapmund (they were there too) that you would swear you had never seen them drawn better. And apart from an uncomfortable panel where the Joker looks a touch too much like Jack Nicholson’s version, the entire issue was flawless.

However in short, the issue ended with the new Titans East members being cut down, with one dying and the rest of the team, including Cyborg left in ruins.

I won’t say any more about that issue, because if you’ve read it, you agree with me (or are insane), and if you haven’t, I just don’t want to spoil it (any more).

So with the opening scenes of Titans #1, so perfectly and sublimely drawn again, we continue where we were left off, this time with Dick; Nightwing. A beautiful escape scene later, and we begin to see a pattern emerge. Ex-Titan after ex-Titan are being hunted; Kory, Raven, Red Arrow, Beast Boy, Donna, Wally and finally, the Teen Titans (ie, Robin, Supergirl, etc).

We swing back to Nightwing in full flight, putting his would be attackers down with the ease of … Batman, who naturally, pops up in the next panel. His introduction is done with one of those perfect Batman/Nightwing scenes, where a bad guy disappears behind Nightwing and, without turning around, Dick says “You didn’t have to do that. I had him!”

Naturally this is followed by a full page shot of Bats.

We then return to the location we were left in at the end of Titans East, where the old Titans have gathered together once again. It is no surprise then that the only one not gathered with them, Cyborg, was the one who in Titans East was hoping to bring them all back together.

The end splash page is, without a doubt, one of the most amazing pieces of art I have seen in a very long time. I look forward to one day finding the money to one day buy a copy of this to hang on my wall. However, in the meantime, I will settle for pulling it out and longingly look at those characters for whom my DC love, and in reality my comic love, was created.

The artwork throughout the entire story is phenomenal. Churchill knows who he is drawing so well that you would be hard pressed to even need words. Often it is spoken about writers who can write the character unlike any other; today I think we’ve found someone who can draw the Titans like no other. It is my true hope that Ian Churchill never leaves this comic.

As for Winick, he has come home. Author of the wonderful ‘Titans/Young Justice: Graduation Day’ trio of comics, as well as a number of critically acclaimed works – often introducing hot button topics like AIDS and homosexuality – Winick seems to really understand what these original Titans are about. Already two issues in, he has written superbly both times. However his material is a group of superheroes that will not allow for a moments slip.

In other words, the moment he gets it wrong, the entire DC fanbase is going to jump down his throat and tear him a new one.

Lastly, I want to touch on the fact that it seems that Ian Churchill seems to have a rather obvious attachment towards the female breast; or, as they are more commonly known, ‘the boobies.’ Now, while I don’t necessarily hold it against him (I’ll leave the jokes on that one for another time), surely a more realistic approach is called for when so many women are being employed.

I know that comics these days are all about big-breasted women. This is especially true in DC. However, in reality, that is because they are not necessarily overly abundant in the comics. So when you encounter 12 different female forms (granted, I’m counting some twice because of different costumes, timeframes, etc) all with extremely well endowed breasts, it … you begin to wonder whether maybe, just maybe, someone hasn’t grown beyond a B-cup.

This comic is going to stretch the rating systems I’ve encountered. Thus, I am retroactively changing all previous “5 out of 5” ratings to 4, and so forth for every subsequent variation, and giving this comic 5 out of 5. It also gets 10 out of 10, which none of the others have (I don’t think). If you haven’t bought this issue, you are missing out. Whether you’re a DC fan or not; Titans fan or not; this comic is for you!

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The Author

Joshua Hill

Joshua Hill

I'm an aspiring author who just happens to also work on the web, reporting on the environmental research and science at Planetsave.com that makes sense of the climate change hype, reviewing fantasy books at FantasyBookReview, because I love fantasy books and want to tell you all about it. I also blog over at Life As A Human and at Extralife.

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11 Comments

  1. Cory
    April 13, 2008 at 10:39 am — Reply

    Ian Churchill draws really hot guys too. Wally West is positively smokin this issue. Nightwing is also drawn in a really nice beefcake manner.

    I think I’ll start collecting this series again (The same team of titans as in the past).

  2. April 13, 2008 at 12:11 pm — Reply

    I got to agree, this is a good issue. There is something about these characters that just seem to click better than almost any other group out there. Even when they aren’t being a team, they are.

    It was also nice to get a little closure for the Titans East Special and a status report on Vic.

    Best word balloon of the book…
    KORY TO CLIFF (ANIMAL MAN’S YOUNG SON): Oh. Yes. Sorry. Your Father will say that I “completely greaked out your hormones.” I will go cover up some. But…

    Classic, and really brings back the old Kory from the Wolfman/Perez run!

  3. ~wyntermute~
    April 13, 2008 at 3:10 pm — Reply

    if you ever give another comic 5/5, i’m seriously going to stop reading your reviews…. not just cuz you seem to always 5-star everything, but because you said that this title is now the only 5-snowflaker you think exists. you give another comic 5 stars ever, and you’ll be a published fibber. :)

  4. April 13, 2008 at 3:16 pm — Reply

    if you’ll read it properly, I rescinded all my previous 5 out of 5’s to be 4 out of 5’s, etc. You won’t see another one, I promise… but I’ve told you all, if you want me to review something crap, tell me! Also, see Countdown 4 for my lowest review yet.

  5. Josh R.
    April 13, 2008 at 5:45 pm — Reply

    did we read the same comic? or did i just miss the sarcasm and cutting mockery that is the only other explanation for this five-star review of a decidedly one-star comic book?

  6. nu
    April 13, 2008 at 8:59 pm — Reply

    i didnt read this issue, i flipped through it a my lcs, but i have heard it getting some pretty bad reviews, for instance this one: http://forum.newsarama.com/showthread.php?t=153043

  7. Baal
    April 13, 2008 at 9:50 pm — Reply

    I agree with the review wholeheartedly but I too was afraid it was going to turn out to be sarcasm after the critical drubbing this great issue has received. Newsarama even went so far as posting their negative review in time to stop people buying the issue. I dreaded what this could have been and even factoring in my relief it was actually good I think it’s still ana mazing piece of comic fiction. I don’t think there aren’t comics as good but I doubt there’s many that are better.

  8. April 13, 2008 at 10:01 pm — Reply

    I thought it was just meh. I would have given it 3 Stars. I did like the art, but the story was nothing earth shattering.

  9. April 13, 2008 at 10:09 pm — Reply

    I think that the thing to remember is that review are not in stone or the be all end all, they are a person’s opinion. Joshua S. ,thinks it is a 5, Josh R. thinks it is a 1. Difference of opinion.

    Did I think it was a 5? Personally, no. The full storyline may deserve a 5, but at this point, we don’t have enough to go on. That is the problem with a 5 point scale, a 4 is good and close to perfect, but a 2.5 is middle of the road. On a 1 to 10 I may say this is an 7, and it seems better than saying it is a or 3.5, which makes it seem worse than intended.

    As I said in my previous comment, I thought the issue caught some of the beats from the Perez/Wolfman era and was a fun start. But one story does not a great book make. Let’s see what happens next.

    If you all really want to disagree with each other, why not take it over to the forums and have a polite conversation pointing out where you disagree? You know, kinda a point for point this is what I like and this is what I didn’t. No flaming, just actually discuss it. Just a suggestion. ;-)

  10. April 14, 2008 at 10:33 pm — Reply

    I’m with Stacy… It’s time to make your case with measured and reasonable discourse.

    That said, I would have put it more in the 2 out of 5 range, m’self, simply because of some inconsistencies with the art and a bit too much of the mystery and ultra-violence.

    And nobody has touched on the hard question: Is it pronounced “TRY-GON” or “Triggun?”

  11. Johnp
    June 20, 2008 at 2:58 pm — Reply

    This couldn’t be the same book I read. It can’t be.
    The characters were written so far out of scope from their usual. Their abilities are put in to question, and there is waaaaay too much cheesecake.

    I rewrote this issue. I’m not anyone special, but I also know these characters. I’ll send it to you if you want to read it. I’ll tell you right now, It’s a lot more respectable to the characters than this pile of excrement that was published.

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