Review – Titans Special #1: Getting the Band Back Together

Reading Time: 3 minutes
Titans Special #1 cover
No, not that band. The other one. Image via DC Comics

Titans Special #1 – Dan Abnett, Writer; Brian Ching, Nicola Scott, Ben Oliver, Artists; Sergio Davila, Brent Peeples, Max Raynor, Pencillers; Vincente Ciufuentes, Matt Santorelli, Inkers; Luis Guerrero, Marcelo Maiolo, Michael Atiyeh, Jordie Bellaire, Dinei Ribeiro, Romulo Fajardo Jr, Colorists

Ratings:

Ray – 4/10

Corrina: Similar Team, So Hardly a Reboot

WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW

Ray: I was hopeful that the new direction and new team members coming on to the Titans roster would give Titans Special #1 and the entire Titans series a new lease on life. After all, we’re losing most of the “graduates”, Raven and Beast Boy deserve better than being ordered around by Damian, and Miss Martian and Steel 2.0 are very promising additions. I was excited!

Then I read the issue.

There’s a lot of weird plot developments in this issue that come out of nowhere, none more so than the whole setup – which seems oddly ripped off from Marvel’s recent failed Inhumans hard-sell. The collapse of the Source Wall has apparently led to strange energies flooding the world and causing a surge in unpredictable metahuman powers emerging in random citizens. We first see this in a flashback with Nightwing trying to round up a young new meta, but she dies tragically in the process. This leads him to bring his plan to create a team to help future cases to the oddly judgemental League.

I don’t get the hostility the League has had to the Titans in Abnett’s run, but Martian Manhunter gives him the okay, and he’s off on a recruitment drive. This is where the issue really falls apart, as one hero after another is found in strange, out-of-nowhere places. Raven is fine, but Beast Boy has developed a secondary mutation from the Source Wall mists and now finds himself an out-of-control Hulk-like monster. Donna Troy, meanwhile, is a drunk. Basically cribbing from Roy Harper and Carol Danvers’ past stories, she seems to have basically given up on making good life choices. Natasha Irons, meanwhile, is reinvented as a socially maladjusted genius who drives off everyone – including her girlfriend Traci 13 – because of her fixation on scientific conspiracies that turn out to be true. None of these characters feel like themselves, and as such the team feels like a mess from the start. The addition of Miss Martian as the team’s “chaperone” for the League makes the team instantly dislike her, and doesn’t do much for her first impression with the reader either. What a waste. This team of characters should work very well.

Titans Special #1 page 4
Yeah, he doesn’t need your permission…?? Image via DC Comics

Corrina: Why would the Justice League send Ms. Martian as a chaperone for a team led by Nightwing, one of the most respected and trusted heroes in the DCU? Also, why is it a problem that a team is friends, given that’s exactly what the people in the Justice League are, especially the Trinity?

And those questions are emblematic of the many problems in this reboot which is not really a reboot. It’s bogged down with the problems of Abnett’s Titans run: the weirdness of the League shutting down the Titans, keeping Donna Troy’s ridiculous and terrible new origin, and adding in new characters who should be good but then messing them up, like the changes in Natasha Irons. At first, I was excited about her place in this series. Then I read her segment and….:sigh:

If DC is to revive the Titans properly, given his past history with the team, I doubt Abnett is the writer to do it.

To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.

Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.

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