Titans #20 cover

Review – Titans #20: Cheshire and Arsenal

Comic Books DC This Week
Titans #20 variant cover
Roy and Chesire..back together? Image via DC Comics

Titans #20 – Dan Abnett, Writer; Paul Pelletier, Penciller; Andrew Hennessy, Inker; Adriano Lucas, Colorist


Ray – 7/10

Corrina: Okay Solo Adventure


Ray: Oddly, it seems like splitting the Titans apart – even if the reason was the dumbest moment of the series – may have been what was needed to make this title compelling for the first time, because, in Titans #20, the majority of the plots are promising enough.

Split up by the Justice League, the team has gone their own way. Mal, Karen, Lilith, and Garth have essentially been written out, with only a cursory mention of their whereabouts, but the rest of the team is dealing with their own dramas, and the focus is Roy Harper. We saw him the last issue chasing down some drug dealers, and it’s led him right back into drama with his former lover Cheshire. She’s seemingly turned over a new leaf – and is viewed as a hero at the Chinese restaurant they visit – so Roy soon finds himself being drawn back into her web. Her reference to how “Things have changed” made me think we might be seeing a return of Lian. Do I hope?

Things aren’t as good for the other Titans, and we see them keep in touch even as they separate. Dick is helping Wally move into his own apartment, and the issue does a decent job with Wally’s anxiety of being a man in a world that’s no longer really his, but these segments have been covered and better in Williamson’s Flash. I do think Abnett has a pretty good handle on Dick and Wally’s friendship overall, but the same can’t be said for Donna Troy – not that I believe anyone could really do a good job with this version of the character. The subplot about her being put under house arrest at the JLA HQ is, quite frankly, stupid. Wonder Woman’s attempts to encourage her and tell her she’s on her side don’t fit with the way she treated her so coldly in previous arcs, and the team has all but abandoned her, save Roy. Roy’s plot with Cheshire is compelling and lands him in a bad spot by the end of the issue. I’m enjoying about 75% of this new arc.

Titans #20 page
Chesire arrives just in time to save Roy. Image via DC Comics

Corrina: To enjoy the new arc, a reader first has to put aside the absolutely ridiculous plot device of the JLA disbanding the Titans because of some future thing that Donna might turn into and ignore the fact that the JLA has just fought some interdimensional war that’s provided them a glimpse of their worst selves. (And we won’t even mention that Batman in Justice League of America is giving second chances to Lobo and Killer Frost but the Batman in this book won’t trust someone who hasn’t hurt anyone yet.)  I don’t insist on continuity across all titles but this is ridiculous. Even more so is that the  Titans seem to have given up on each other. (This just in: Roy is a dumbass.)

Roy’s solo adventures, which quickly becomes an adventure with Chesire, is fine on its own, though you can see Chesire’s inevitable betrayal coming from the moment she steps on the page. Similarly, the talk between Wally and Dick works too, except while they’re talking about staying friends, they’re ignoring two of them: Roy and Donna.

Toss in the out-of-character Wonder Woman and I can’t recommend this series, even if it does have its moments.

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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.

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