Titans: Rebirth #1 (DC)

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CREDIT: DC Comics

Rating: 3/5 – Trying to Remember the Titans.
By ComicSpectrum senior reviewer Shawn Hoklas.

It’s been a while since I’ve enjoyed a Titans book. The New 52 version of the Titans was a team that both creatively and character wise just didn’t appeal to me. Then came Titans Hunt which was attempting to bring Titans from multiple teams together, while hinting that there was something off within the Universe. Now, the Titans are getting a Rebirth and after reading this first issue, I’m afraid that this series may not appeal to me either, again for both the creative teams and the characters.

I’ll begin with the art. Brett Booth infuses his pages with plenty of energy, but he’s an artist who’s pencils just don’t connect with me. Booth’s pencils have a bit of that 1990s feel to them and although his storytelling is sound, his character designs and poses struggle within this Rebirth kickoff. With Rebirth embracing some of that nostalgia, it would have been great to see Roy Harper get back to a more classic look, but unfortunately he looks like he leapt off a page from 1995. He’s got large red ski-like goggles, a backwards baseball cap and tattoos running up his arms…very “extreme” in the worst of ways. Wally’s new costume although decent looking, didn’t allow enough for his traditional and arguably better look that we saw returned in the Rebirth one-shot. In addition to these cosmetic disappointments, Booth’s characters can look stiff at times and their space within the panels lack depth. When characters touch for example, there seems to be stiffness to the characters that make them seem as though they’re not occupying the same space.

That lack of depth can also be found within the story as Wally encounters each member of the team, triggering flashbacks of happier times in the past before moving onto the next team member. Although some of these moments are touching, it becomes formulaic and repetitive despite this being a done-in-one story. Although I love most of writer Dan Abnett’s work in and out of comics, this and Titans Hunt before it continue to turn me away from the Titans, which I desperately want to like. Since this issue is definitely a set up to move the team forward, I’ll give this one more month (two issues) before giving up, but based on this issue my hopes are slim that this will be a Titans book that I’ll stick with.

Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas
(shawn@comicspectrum.com
)
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