Titans #30 – Dan Abnett, Writer; Minkyu Jung, Penciller; John Dell, Scott Hanna, Inkers; Adriano Lucas, Hi-Fi, Colorist
Ray – 7/10
Corrina: Where Have These Characters Been The Last Year?
Ray: Titans has been a very confused title for most of its run, especially since it revamped its team in recent months. This issue, though, has some more promise than we usually see. When we last left off, the Titans were stranded on an alien planet that was leading all of them in a bad direction. Beast Boy had lost control of his powers, turning into a rampaging Hulk-like monster and the ensuing battle caused Miss Martian to reveal her true identity to the team as a White Martian. We saw this story play out in Geoff Johns’ Teen Titans and in the cartoon Young Justice, so it lacks a little punch here. But after the initial fight scene where Beast Boy tries to punch everything in sight and Miss Martian tries to get into his head enough to calm him down, we see some hints of interesting developments. The issue still seems to drop some random details that don’t play out in any important way – Raven suffers a leg injury at one point that isn’t explained and is then seemingly dropped.
Once things calm down, though, it seems like Abnett is getting the hang of writing the team. The absence of Nightwing from the roster has thrown everyone for a loop, and they’re just starting to trust each other again. Miss Martian reveals why she’s been concealing her true species, and Donna points out the various things that the team has been trying to conceal from each other. That includes the death of Roy Harper, although Wally still isn’t mentioned – although does she even know about that herself? This team still feels more like a dysfunctional family than it does like a team book, and I’m not sure it’s sustainable long-term as a title. However, if the characterization takes some cues from Abnett’s work with Silencer and her family, it could continue to improve. There’s still a lot of dangling plot threads here like Raven’s soul self that need to be resolved, and the book will need a team we care about to drive those stories.
Corrina: On the good side, drunken Donna Troy seems to be no more, replaced by classic leader Donna Troy. That’s nice and a welcome surprise. But the past issues certainly didn’t foreshadow this development.
In many ways, this issue feels like a reset. Donna starts behaving like Donna, Miss Martian stops being distant and angry and instead reveals her secret, Gar seems to be back to himself again, finally giving hints of what his transformation has cost him (another aspect that’s never been fully developed until now), and Natasha seems to be more open instead of angry and mean.
About the only discordant note in this issue is that Raven seems to have never been a member of the original team, given that Donna calls herself a link to the Titans past. I know, she’s an original, but what are Raven and Gar, chopped liver? Or has that history of the Wolfman/Perez Titans been erased too? Hard to tell anymore with DC.
It’s a good reset but it still suffers from problems, such as why everyone ignored helping Raven find her soul self for several issues. (And that broken leg that is healed right away, I guess.)
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.