Titans #22 – Dan Abnett, Writer; Paul Pelletier, Penciller; Andrew Hennessy, Inker; Adriano Lucas, Colorist
Ray – 4/10
WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW
Ray: Titans #22 is technically the final issue of this version of Titans, although the story will conclude in an annual later this month before relaunching with the same writer but a new team and concept. That may be for the best – Abnett’s a capable writer, but this particular title never took off. I put a lot of the blame for that on the fact that it never had a clear mission statement outside of the original Titans Hunt miniseries, instead of feeling more like an odd collection of characters on the longest, most awkward high school reunion ever. This issue doesn’t even really center the Titans, giving as much if not more page time to the Justice League, and villains Monsieur Mallah and the Brain. The Justice League has disbanded the Titans, placed Donna Troy under house arrest, all because…well, I’m still not really sure, but that’s still going on as The Brain downloads more information and evolves, becoming all-powerful as he launches massive weather attacks.
The League is on the case, but it soon becomes clear that the storms are actually intelligent, and seem to be targeting the League directly. As The Brain gets stronger and stronger, Mallah starts to worry that he’s going to be left behind, which leads to a rather awkward couples therapy session in the middle of the crisis. I love when writers treat these two as a real couple, but this scene wasn’t nearly as effective as Orlando’s short with them a few months back. The Titans themselves have nearly nothing to do. Donna Troy continuously tries to get Batman’s attention and gets told “Go back to your room”. Literally. She eventually sneaks out to rescue Roy Harper, who spends the issue getting beat up by Cheshire and her goons. If this sounds uninteresting to you, you’re pretty on the money. There’s little in the way of either effective plot or interesting characterization this issue, and this title is in desperate need of a fresh start.
Corrina: I love the Titans. I’ve read every incarnation. I like all the different televised version too, though my tolerance for Teen Titans Go is a bit iffy.
This is the worst version ever.
Yes, worse than ridiculous Bob Haney stuff of the 1960s-70s. Yes, much worse than the Bob Rozakis/Paul Levitz version in the mid-1970s. That series at least gave us Bumblebee and the concept of Titans West.
This series, after beginning so well in Titans Hunt, made wrong decision after wrong decision. It spent much of the first arc with evil versions of the Titans when we’d barely spent time with the new team. It tossed in Karen’s memory loss. It made things much worse with doubling down on the worst origin story that Donna Troy has ever had. The final blow was the Justice League telling grown adults they couldn’t handle their own lives and the Titans going along with it. We can add character assassination of Batman too but that’s such a minor point in all this that I shrug.
I look at this series and compare it to how Team Defiant was handled in Deathstroke and I shake my head that this series never approached the quality of that arc, especially in how it handled its disparate members.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.