Titans #23 – Dan Abnett, Writer; Brandon Peterson, Artist; Ivan Plascencia, Colorist
Ray – 2/10
Ray: A few weeks ago, I gave Titans Special #1 a generally negative review, finding it to be a disappointing waste of a good cast. Then, two weeks ago I called Teen Titans Special #1 one of the worst DC comics I’ve read in years. Well, with Titans #23, it feels like we’re caught in some sort of spiral of the Titans books actively competing to one-up each other in just how bad they can be. Is this issue of Titans as bad as a comic where Damian Wayne shoots a man in cold blood? Probably not, but it gives it the old college try. The current status quo, with a wave of energy from beyond the Source Wall giving countless civilians sudden and unpredictable powers, is oddly reminiscent of a recent Marvel plotline (and not even a good or popular one), but that would be excusable if the team was interesting or likable. And it should be – all of these are good characters. Somehow, though, every single one of them feels like a lesser character in this team.
From the opening pages, this team doesn’t seem to get along and their adventures are coupled with constant hostility. They’re trying to help a town where a bunch of these new metas have emerged, and they can’t seem to agree on how. Donna Troy, when faced with a group of mutated rats, proceeds to butcher them in brutal fashion and then grin evilly with blood on her face. Are they trying to remind us of her terrible reintroduction story in Wonder Woman prior to Rebirth? Raven and Steel have little to do, Beast Boy is caught up in a “This Man, This Monster” storyline that sucks all the fun out of the character, and Nightwing is mostly arguing with Miss Martian. He’s the leader and thinks he’s in charge of her; she was sent by the League and thinks they should follow her advice. This would be fine, if this take on Miss Martian wasn’t a cold, unlikable, and ruthless figure who has no problem letting a villain die for expediency’s sake. There’s a great model for the character of Miss Martian in the Young Justice TV show, and I have no idea why DC refuses to use it. Brandon Peterson’s art is competent, if overly glossy and photorealistic. However, no art could save a story that’s this much of a wasted opportunity.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.