Titans #18 – Dan Abnett, Writer; Brett Booth, Penciller; Norm Rapmund, Inker; Andrew Dalhouse, Colorist
Ray – 5/10
WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW
Ray: A conclusion to the big Troia arc delivers a lot of action, but very little substance as Donna Troy goes up against her evil self. The issue opens with Donna facing off against Troia, as the sinister future warlord rants about Donna’s future. However, salvation comes quickly – literally – in the form of Wally West. The last issue had young Wally find older Wally’s body, and it’s no surprise that their mutual link to the Speed Force is able to revive him. However, this ongoing plot thread about Wally’s heart is a drag on the series, and I’m hoping it’s dropped from here – not least because it’s a massive drag on Damian’s character as well, making him responsible for essentially dooming a fellow hero. From there, the issue refocuses on the battle between the Titans and Troia, and to no surprise, this underpowered team doesn’t stand much of a chance.
Here’s the big problem with this story, and this series as a whole – nothing is really earned. We get big emotional moments, like Roy confessing his love of Donna in an attempt to derail Troia’s attack, but we’ve seen so little context for why Roy and Donna would work as a couple that it has no emotional impact. Likewise, Garth defending Lilith and calling her his girlfriend when attacking Psimon.
The biggest problem, though, is Donna herself. Over this full act, we’ve learned next to nothing about her as a person, be it her good version or her evil version. Maybe this is just the character’s nature, having literally been created as an editorial mistake when the original Teen Titans writer didn’t know Wonder Girl was a flashback character. But for this team to gel and this title to become compelling, they’re going to need a better focus for the next arc.
Corrina: Yes, triumphs have to be earned. The creators of this series don’t earn this one. One, there was no foreshadowing about Troia being the main enemy and so her appearance elicited more of a “huh?” than an “Oh! Should have seen that coming!” Other than Donna questioning why she exists and kissing Wally, she’s been a blank slate, and the evil one-note version of her doesn’t help, ranting about being immortal. Wait, aren’t the gods immortal? Isn’t Superman immortal? So she’d have company right, perhaps even her sister. Remember, that Diana person?
Also, Roy’s confession of love for Donna lacks resonance because we’ve barely seen them share an emotional moment.
The only moment that comes close to producing an emotional response in this climax is Mal and Karen. I’m very glad to see that “stolen memories” plot finished. But less glad that it probably means Mal and Karen are gone from the Titans. Most of all, this just feels like yelling and mayhem and that’s disappointing because I love this team.
Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.