It’s the fifth week of the month, and that means some different comics from DC.
Several annuals were released, and the one that intrigued me the most was Titans, which has a major revelation or two in its pages.
Writer: Dan Abnett
Artist: Minkyu Jung
Cover Artists: Brett Booth, Norm Rapmund
Published by: DC Comics
Cover price: $4.99
SOLICITATION: When Dick, Wally, Donna and Garth awaken in an unfamiliar place, they find themselves face-to-face with their mentors: Batman, The Flash, Wonder Woman and Aquaman! Allied together against a common foe, the mentors and protégés must race against the clock to unlock the secret of their current predicament and save the planet from an alien invasion!
MENTORS AND PROTEGES
Of course, the Titans used to be the Teen Titans, and they were a group of sidekicks who gathered together to fight crime without their mentors beside them. Now that they’re older, they’re Titans, and they each have their own lives and careers. However, how far from their instructors have these characters moved?
Depends on the mentor and/or the protégé.
That comment in the Solicitation about racing “to unlock the secret” is something of a clue to the re-imagined villain behind all this. I won’t spoil it here, but he’s been upgraded from a clunky helmet to something a little more “native” in perspective.
What’s worse is that someone is pulling his strings, and I have a few ideas in mind just who that is. Darkseid? After all, there were Parademons involved. But my money is more on Dr. Manhattan, given the coming Batman/Flash team-up/crossover focusing on the smiley-face button.
Probably the hardest thing a mentor can ever do is let go and set the person under training free from his or her tutelage. If you’ve been guiding that person, possibly for years, to change that relationship is tough, particularly from “above.”
A lot of this annual focuses on that, pointing out that perhaps some of the Justice League may not be all that happy with how the Titans have been doing things on their own. Wonder Woman seems especially unhappy, often not wanting to talk with Donna Troy at all.
The pacing is good, the interactions fascinating. The writing is strong in how it brings into the annual what else has been going on in other titles of Rebirth. For example, Flash is reminded that he didn’t know who Kid Flash was until very recently. He gives a great response, a taut “I do NOW.”
A good rule to follow when bringing a bunch of heroes together: Don’t be anyplace near where they’re going to be. A word to the wise baddie.
THE ART IS CLEAR AND TELLS THE STORY WELL
Annuals are notorious for not having a series’ regular art team on it, and that’s true in this book. The good news is that Brett Booth does deliver a great cover.
I mean, I LIKED the artwork inside, but it wasn’t up to Booth’s usual standards. Things were clearly displayed, such as emotions and actions, but I like my comics art with just a wee bit more “style” to them. It felt somewhat plain to me.
BOTTOM LINE: Revealing Secrets
As I mentioned, a lot of elements from Rebirth were tied together in this annual, and I enjoyed that. It was also a change to see these characters interact with each other, something they don’t often do these days. Batman and Nightwing, because I’m a big fan of both, was my favorite. The Dark Knight is as snarky as ever when he says things like, “First intelligent thing ANYBODY’s said.”
I do love me a team-up, and giving these “big guns” and “new guns” a chance to work together with hints of what’s to come in Rebirth made this an annual worth picking up. Recommended!