An old foe reveals himself, and the truth of Wally West’s temporal exile starts to come to light…  Your Major Spoilers review of Titans #3 awaits!

titans3coverTITANS #3
Writer: Dan Abnett
Penciler: Brett Booth
Inker: Norm Rapmund
Colorist: Andrew Dalhouse
Letterer: Carlos M. Mangual
Editor: Alex Antone
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $2.99

Previously in Titans: Thanks to the events of ‘Titans Hunt’, the Titans (Roy “Arsenal” Harper, Dick “Nightwing” Grayson, Donna “Maybe Wonder Girl” Troy, Garth-who-might-be-Aqualad, and Lilith-who-is-now-Omen) have all come face to face with their missing member: Wally West, The Flash!  Unfortunately, their altered memories are only part of the puzzle, as someone threw Wally through the timestream and out of the world.  That someone has revealed himself to the be the future scientific sorcerer Abra Kadabra, who has created his own teen Titan doppelgängers to fight the team…


There’s a lot to like in Abnett’s script for this issue, as each of the Titans has their own specific voice and personality, and seeing the team come together so easily really underscores the idea of their lost history.  The bulk of this issue is dealing with the fallout from the battle with their “younger selves”, as Wally tries to deal with his feelings for Linda Park (who doesn’t yet know him.)  Abra Kadabra, for his part, only picked the doppelgänger fight to analyze the Titans team, which allows the story to organically lay out bits of information about the heroes’ emotional and psychological states.  It’s nicely handled, as is a sequence where Wally finally tells Linda Park that, if she wants, he’ll just leave her alone forever, allowing Linda to take the lead and ask him for an exclusive story.  It’s not 100% clear whether her interest is entirely professional, but it doesn’t matter as Kadabra arrives and steals Ms. Park away…


Aaand, then there’s the art of Brett Booth…

I gotta tell you, it’s not to my liking.  There are a number of artists that I don’t really enjoy whose work I appreciate:  Humberto Ramos, while not my cup of tea, at least has what feels like a solid creative “voice” and a reason for his exaggerated features.  Booth’s work does not have that, with wild proportions that not only don’t feel organic, but are inconsistent from panel to panel.  A couple of shots of Wally’s new Flash costume look phenomenal, but others give him rubbery limbs and a frighteningly frail looking neck.  Nightwing gets a big “leap at the villain” moment that should be a big splash-page moment, but instead turns into a horror show of bloopy muscles and misshapen limbs.  Art is certainly subjective, but Booth’s work here feels very inconsistent and under-developed, while several facial expressions verge on the ridiculous over-the-top comedic, reminding me of the cartoons of the 1930s.


It’s really tough when a title that I want to read, featuring a writer I enjoy and characters that I’m drawn to, has such a disconnect between scripting and art.  Worse still, Booth’s Titans often look to be 14 or 15 years old, thanks to his elongated necks and large heads, which undermines the expectation that they’re young adults trying to rebuild their heroic lives.  In short, Titans #3 is a story that I want to read, presented in a manner that I do not want any part of, leading to a slightly disappointing 3 out of 5 stars overall.  Even though I want to know what happens with these characters, I can’t justify paying for a book where the art is so distasteful to me, so caveat emptor.  Mileage, as always, may vary…



An unfortunate mismatch of art and story, where the visuals undermine the well-written drama.

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Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.

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