Titans #25 – Dan Abnett, Writer; Brandon Peterson, Guillem March, Denis Medri, Artists; Ivan Plascencia, Colorist
Ray – 6/10
Corrina: Not Really the Titans
Ray: The 25th anniversary issue of Titans comes only a few issues into the title’s new direction, which makes it feel like less of an event. It feels more like this just combines the two next issues of the series into one oversized package, and as a result there’s a lot going on here. The team is split into three groups to face differing crises based around the mysterious energy infecting the world, and it doesn’t help that there’s interpersonal conflicts in many of the groups. It starts with a giant robot attacking the city, and Nightwing splits up the team to deal with the threat. Raven, Steel, and Beast Boy take on the giant robot itself, and this turns out to be much more complicated than it looks. For one thing, the robot keeps on regenerating faster than they can stop it. Compounding this, Raven discovers that she’s lost most of her powers as a result of the last issue’s event – it briefly looked like she had been possessed, but it seems that the villain has actually hijacked her soul self, the source of her powers.
Donna Troy gets to fight acolytes of Brother Blood, which is the least interesting part of the plot. She’s just bashing some random goons, making some threats, and questioning what’s going on. That leaves Nightwing and Miss Martian, who investigate a disturbance while trying to work together – and find an old woman yelling at her TV. She proceeds to accidentally suck them inside the TV while looking for “her stories”, and Nightwing and Miss Martian find themselves being sent from one TV show or movie to another. First they’re in Casablanca and forced into a romance, then they’re cowboys, and then they’re in a sci-fi show. The tension between the two of them is finally forced to the surface and they work through it.
The issue is that this conflict is very forced from the start, and is only happening because Batman and Martian Manhunter don’t trust Nightwing, one of their oldest allies. It’s good that it seems like it’s over after this issue, but it’s just not that interesting to read about. The reveal of the new villain, Mother Blood, doesn’t leave too much of an impression either.
Corrina: I wonder if someone at DC has decided that all their heroes must fight big giant things from now on. There were those monster Titan things in Justice League, another giant being in Robinson’s Wonder Woman, and just this week, Hawkman‘s major villains are revealed to be giant beings who destroy planets.
I guess by comparison, a giant robot seems kinda banal, even one that rebuilds itself.
There are bits and pieces of the issue that I like: Nightwing and Miss Martian on a trip through classic Hollywood stories; Donna fighting alone and triumphing; the reveal of the giant robot’s creator as a child. But those are not enough to make the issue enjoyable because all those are overshadowed by the completely unnecessary fighting between Nightwing and Miss Martian. As Ray said, having them even fight in the first place is dumb. Dick would see Miss Martian as a potential ally and do what he does to win her over. That’s if the JL somehow decided the Titans needed overseers in the first place.
And, as much as I liked the trip through classic stories, I thought more could have been done with it. Why isn’t Miss Martian shapechanging? Let’s get some aliens into the classic Western! An alien who takes out Nazis in Casablanca!
But, as it is, I find myself uninterested in this version of the Titans.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.