Once again, the question has arisen: What is the deal with Donna Troy? This time, though, it’s the Justice League of America asking, and they’re not known for their patience… Your Major Spoilers review of Titans #19 awaits!
Writer: Dan Abnett
Penciler: Paul Pelletier
Inker: Andrew Hennessy
Colorist: Adriano Lucas
Letterer: Josh Reed
Editor: Alex Antone
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Previously in Titans: “Who is Troia?” The Titans attempt to regain their balance after their epic clash with Troia—Donna’s villainous future self—and look toward a brighter tomorrow. But the Justice League wants answers about Donna Troy’s true nature, and they’ll get them — even if it means shutting down the Titans for good!
THE JLA PUTS THEIR COLLECTIVE FOOT DOWN
I have to say, I like this issue’s framing sequence, a phone call between Roy Harper and Donna Troy talking about what Roy has been up to (fighting Intergang-back drug rings in the city) since the events that it’s bracketing occurred. Flashback time ensues, as we see the Titans (Flash, Lilith, Garth, Donna, Nightwing, Bumblebee and Harper himself) after a disastrous mission, being confronted by the members of the Justice League. It’s a remarkably familiar moment as Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and The Flash confront their former sidekicks, telling them that the Titans experiment is over, at least until they suss out what’s up with Donna’s possible future evilitude and Wally’s broken powers. The fact that everyone is draw as the same twenty-something is only a little bit of a problem, which supports Garth’s anger that the League thinks they have any authority over the Titans team. Batman, remarkably, keeps his cool, following Nightwing when he steps away in anger, trying to convince his sorta-son that this is the right thing to do. It works, and Nightwing suspends Titans activities, but that doesn’t keep Roy/Arsenal from his one-man battle against Intergang, leading to the bullet-laden final pages…
NOT A FAN OF THIS ART
Pelletier’s art is the biggest problem of the issue for me, making everyone from Bumblebee to Superman look like an apple-cheeked twenty-two year old, blunting the League’s perceived authority and making it seem like the Titans are just being bullied by their slightly older siblings throughout the issue. While Batman’s point is a strong one that Abnett’s script puts across skillfully, it’s a terribly shopworn moment that we’ve seen again and again in Titans/Teen Titans history, dating back to the team’s very first appearance. Overall, though, this issue works in and of itself, and Nightwing’s decision to do the responsible thing rather than having a silly fight-it-out 80s Marvel moment, and I find myself invested in Roy’s upcoming battle with the forces of Intergang. With any luck, we might even get the JLA admitting that the Titans have their act together?
THE BOTTOM LINE: NOT BAD, BUT VERY FAMILIAR TERRITORY
In short, this a comic book that works, mostly, even if it’s playing a very familiar tune and even though the visuals don’t quite convey the themes that the script intends it to. Titans #19 has a lot going for it, a strong cast, a strong writer, a couple of big mysteries in Wally’s powers and Donna’s future and it builds on years of Titans history in a way that works, but doesn’t quite nail the landing, earning a still better-than-average 3 out of 5 stars overall. This seems to be building to something more than just another fight between mentor and sidekicks, though, so I’m willing to give it the benefit of the doubt…