Titans #23 Review

Written by Dan Abnett
Art by Brandon Peterson
Colors by Ivan Plascencia

If you did not grab the Titans special that came out last month, then quickly catch up all that you missed out on was that Dick formed a new Titans team, with the Justice League’s blessing, to specifically take on and neutralise all new Metal related threats due to the Challenger Mountain fallout.

In this issue, Dan Abnett makes the focus of the story a young man named Tyler who has gained the ability to generate lightning from his hands that can be used like Palpatine from Star Wars. The problem is he has no real control over it, and he is quite dangerous because of that lack of control.

Abnett chooses to make Beast Boy the one who can get through to him best as he is experiencing similar things to Tyler, and his shape shifting abilities are no longer under his full control. This theme was also explored in the Titans special, and how Beast Boy is having a really tough time adapting and had actually cut ties with his friends for a while because he was afraid of hurting the ones he loved.

In terms of team dynamics, Abnett is still pushing the “Titans apart” angle he used before the title went on a small hiatus. With this team and issue he teases the future problems that Dick and Meghan will have with each other as they deal differently with a death in the field of duty. Meghan is very blasé, and Dick is outraged.

Abnett also continued to portray Donna Troy as a troubled woman who can’t seem to pull herself out from the dark cloud that is hovering over her since the Troia incident and her breakup with Roy. This dark path is a little reminiscent of Faith the vampire slayer from the Buffy TV series, where one bad night changed her life trajectory and outlook permanently for the worse. It’s unclear how far Abnett will take this character arc, but it is intriguing to say the least, and one to look forward to.

What is clear is that Abnett is not letting sleeping dogs lie and is referencing all the recent story lines and character developments that have come before this issue. That is really nice to see as a reward to those readers that have stayed loyal to the title and bought each issue.

The art in this issue is able performed by Brandon Peterson as he handles pencils, inks and a cover all in one issue. There are some panels where you might see a few inconsistencies in how the faces of our heroes are portrayed, but overall it is not something that will be distracting enough to take you out of the story. The colors by Ivan Plascencia are very good and set a great tone visually for the issue as he conveys a subtle grittiness to the work the Titans are currently performing.

The return of Titans to a regular schedule did not excite all that much, and this is mainly due to Metal fatigue. Do readers still want to explore the effects of a post Metal war each and every month in a comic like Titans? Or do they want Titans to stand on its own two feet and go back to what Titans is all about, namely family, friendship, drama, and inappropriate humour – all whilst saving the day. Only time will tell.

7 out of 10

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Jason Saba
Comics, sports, tv and film. Lifelong Batman fan. Love most things 80s and 90s.