– or, Iâ€™m writing this comic and Iâ€™ll have as many boob shots as possible!
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 â€˜Crisisâ€™ yet of any credibility simply by association.
But all that â€“ no matter how good Countdown finishes off and no matter how good Final Crisis will be â€“ pales in to insignificance by Titans #1.
And no, I do not believe that is overstating it at all.
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 Westâ€™s Flash has â€“ until recently â€“ been written so well nobody could dislike him; and I love Raven.
So when I heard that the old band was getting back together (Iâ€™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 Nicholsonâ€™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 wonâ€™t say any more about that issue, because if youâ€™ve read it, you agree with me (or are insane), and if you havenâ€™t, I just donâ€™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 â€¦ 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 â€œYou didnâ€™t have to do that. I had him!â€
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 weâ€™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 â€˜Titans/Young Justice: Graduation Dayâ€™ trio of comics, as well as a number of critically acclaimed works â€“ often introducing hot button topics like AIDS and homosexuality â€“ 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, â€˜the boobies.â€™ Now, while I donâ€™t necessarily hold it against him (Iâ€™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, Iâ€™m counting some twice because of different costumes, timeframes, etc) all with extremely well endowed breasts, it â€¦ you begin to wonder whether maybe, just maybe, someone hasnâ€™t grown beyond a B-cup.
This comic is going to stretch the rating systems Iâ€™ve encountered. Thus, I am retroactively changing all previous â€œ5 out of 5â€ 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 donâ€™t think). If you havenâ€™t bought this issue, you are missing out. Whether youâ€™re a DC fan or not; Titans fan or not; this comic is for you!