Written by Dan Abnett
Art by Paul Pelletier
Inks by Andrew Hennessy
Colors by Adriano Lucas
Last issue the Justice League pressured Nightwing into disbanding the Titans and leaving their watchtower as fears grew about the dangers that Donna and Wally may pose to the Earth due to their out of control powers while Roy Harper was stuck in a sticky situation with Intergang while trying to crack a new designer drug ring.
We pick up the story with Roy raiding Intergang with help from his past. Jade aka Cheshire has turned up to help take out Intergang. Roy doesn’t trust her but she claims she’s working for a collective of families who have lost their loved ones to the drug, Bliss.
Later on Roy checks in with Donna at the JL watchtower and he can sense she is on edge. His call was supposed to settle her down but he is only frustrating her and making her situation worse and alludes to the fact that maybe they should take a break from each other. The call does not end well.
The scene shifts to Keystone City where Dick is helping Wally move in to a new place. Wally wonders if the end of the Titans is a permanent thing but Dick’s belief is unshakable and says even if it is the end of the Titans, their friendships will always be there.
Roy and Jade successfully take down another Intergang drug base and get the original sample of Bliss they have been looking for. Back at Roy’s apartment they are sharing a celebratory pizza and Jade lets Roy know that she likes this different side of him she’s seeing. Roy puts it all down to keeping clean, even if his apartment is a pigsty. Jade gives Roy the look and Roy taken aback slightly but they share a silent moment, then one thing leads to another as they begin to steam up the apartment and end up in bed together.
Roy wakes from a dream later feeling wrecked, his hands are shaking and he’s not sure what’s going on. Jade is gone and there are Bliss pills all over his coffee table. It seems Jade was playing him after all.
He deduces that Jade must of drugged him, got him into bed, waited for him to fall asleep, and then took off with the original sample of Bliss. He’s right of course, and we find out that Jade has been working for long-time Doom Patrol nemesis, Brain and his super intelligent gorilla Mallah. Jade is about to get paid but Brain lets her know that he doesn’t like loose ends and wants Roy dead.
STORY AND ART
Dan Abnett’s story is easy enough to follow and dovetails nicely between all the characters in this issue, even making time for Wonder Woman to counsel Donna. This issue focuses heavily on Roy though and his relationships with the two most influential women in his life, Donna and Jade. It seems that Abnett wants to see what it would be like to push Roy down the rabbit hole he’s done so well to keep himself out of for so long and we will see how that will play out in the next couple of issues.
My qualms with the art are the same that I had last issue. While the art is by no means bad, I do not like the broad faces that Pelletier draws on the characters that is especially jarring on close-ups. I’ve said before I don’t like being critical of it because I know how hard it is to draw but I can’t help but wish that Brett Booth was still on Titans – that is now the second review in a row I have said that and I promise to not bring it up a third time.
I do want to say that I love Pelletier’s depiction of Monsieur Mallah, he looks amazing and drawing fierce animals is his forte I think. Hennessy and Lucas do a fine job on inks and colors throughout the issue and in my mind, give the main art a real polish.
If you like internal turmoil and characters teetering over the edge psychologically then the “Titans Apart” arc is definitely for you. I’m on record as being against it, but I am also keen to see where all of this will lead.