Story: Dan Abnett
Art: Brett Booth, Norm Rapmund
Colors: Andrew Dalhouse
Letterer: Corey Breen
What They Say:
“Made in Manhattan” part one! As Wally West and the Titans adjust to their new lives in New York City and investigate a mysterious new threat, Karen and Mal Duncan visit Meta Solutions to discuss their future. But the meeting takes an unexpected turn when Mal delivers a shocking revelation, and Karen is faced with a difficult choice.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
With a solid opening arc that was just a tad drawn out and then some downtime in the previous issue to get the team setup in their new tower in New York, Titans is drawing on the past in some solid ways while presenting a lot of uncertainty about the future. Dan Abnett has mostly captured the tone and voices of the crew right while allowing for a lot of exploration to get underway, not always easy in a team book to juggle. With this being the start of a new arc, we get the return of Booth and Rapmund, which is quite welcome as I continue to dig their style on this book with the layouts and panel design, especially with some strong and dynamic color work from Dalhouse. Even if the story doesn’t capture, which it does, it’s a book worth reading just for how it looks across the board.
With this being the setup phase for the new arc, we get to connect with several different things. The main one that’s the driving force here is with Mal and Karen as they’re visiting Meta Solutions. They’re trying to figure out how to move forward with their lives based on their recent experiences, which have been somewhat traumatic. The place, as one can imagine, is not what it seems when you have Psimon running it in disguise and Mammoth is there as well, though Mal doesn’t realize that at first. Which is made worse when he reveals to Karen he went there a month earlier and took the cure for his powers, turning him back to normal as he wants a normal life. Karen, unaware of the truth of this place first, is still really curious about her powers while talking about not wanting to suit up, which is a nice change from the usual pace. But the rush of it is something that’s going to impact her, plus whatever Psimon may be doing to manipulate her. It’s an interesting aspect of this opening issue that I like as there are a few layers to work with.
The other side of the book is a bit more traditional as we get the team settling into the tower and their individual aspects. Roy’s doing his best to get closer to Donna, and doing it through some amusing angles when it comes to her stepmom, while we see others going through their training routine and trying to step up more. A decent part of the focus is on Wally, as I had hoped, as he’s dealing with things the others aren’t. We got the nod from Superman the last time around about a way to view everything as a second chance but he’s really struggling with the idea that Linda may not want anything to do with him. Dick’s a solid soundboard for all of this but the internalized fear that Wally is facing is heart rending because it’s an amplified normal relationship aspect when things go bad. To have the love of your life not even know you or make time for you when you had invested so much, even if it doesn’t exist in this timeline, requires some sort of super therapist.
That both arcs come together is no surprise and that we’ve got some hard times ahead for the group as a whole is a given. I’m not terribly familiar with Mal and Karen for the most part, seeing them from the Young Justice TV series more than anything else, and I find Mal to be a bit frustrating to deal with. Karen’s providing for some interesting material to work with just like there’s a lot to dig into with Wally. I’m enjoying the cast as a whole and especially the return to the Tower as there’s a lot of places it can go all while dealing with some of the bigger story pieces of the Rebirth world as well. And it doesn’t hurt that the main art team returns after a mild breather as everything just looks fantastic and dynamic here once again.
Age Rating: 12+
Released By: DC Comics via ComiXology
Release Date: February 8th, 2017