Titans Hunt #1 “The Brave and the Bold”
Written by Dan Abnett
Art by Paulo Siqueira and Geraldo Borges
Colors by Hi-Fi
So this is the second book I’m covering this week that is better than the “main” title that features some of these characters. This week’s Deathstroke featured the Suicide Squad, and made Sean Ryan’s New Suicide Squad look like a joke. Now we have the debut of Titans Hunt, and this is leaps and bounds a much better presentation than both Red Hood/ Arsenal and Teen Titans! WAY better! I wouldn’t mind getting rid of those other two books, have this creative team feature those characters in this book (old Titans and new Titans), and free DC up to have two new titles! If only wishes came true…
Let’s jump into Titans Hunt. Going into this, I didn’t know too much about the title. I knew it was going to feature the former Teen Titans members, and that the story would focus on an unknown Titan. Right away I was excited, but I was also cautious. DC’s team books have been a little lackluster lately, so I was praying for the best.
The debut opens with Roy Harper, and a narrator commenting that Roy has done something dumb… Ok… Nothing surprising there. Roy is known for being a screw-up. We aren’t clear as to what he’s done though. It has something to do with a water tower (or water tower shaped thing), but he can’t remember. I’m one page in, and all I think is, “Crap… Just take a deep breath and prepare for this to suck…” And then Roy starts his internal monologue, reflecting on himself and his drinking… He gets pretty in depth, contemplates the fact that people don’t understand his struggles or why he continues to give in to addictions, and its actually really good. It’s not whiny, or “woe is me,” it just is. Then he walks into a store and buys some alcohol. Yes! This is the Roy Harper I want to see! Is he a screw-up? Of course! But he’s a conflicted and complex screw-up that isn’t as one-dimensional as the “bro” that Scott Lobdell writes. I’m only seven pages in, and I’ve done a complete 180 concerning my intrigue for the rest of this issue.
I turn the page and guess who I see… Dick Grayson! (Score!) Yep, the book just got even better. Grayson is investigating an underground operation that is harvesting organs from metahumans and selling them on the black market. And the name of the organization just happens to be Harvest… which ties back to Teen Titans, except this time, I’m actually interested. This is the difference in having a good concept, and executing it well versus poorly.
A decent amount of the issue follows this plot as Dick, working under Spyral, continues to track exchange before it gets interrupted by an extremely pissed off Atlantian. And that Atlantian just happens to be Garth, who is seeking vengeance for the murder of his people for their organs. The crazy thing is, Dick and Garth don’t appear to recognize each other, and suddenly it becomes very clear that something happened in the past that has wiped the Titan’s memories of a certain event or events.
At the beginning, Roy felt scared, and knew it had something to do with the water tower, but couldn’t place it. Now Grayson and Garth don’t even recognize each other. The issue sets up a mystery as it layers in other characters such as Donna Troy and Lilith, as the latter tries to bring these team members together to confront their memories. By the end of the issue, I wanted more, and I can’t wait to learn the details of what’s actually going on!
Warning! There are spoilers below.
The Good: The characterization. I really enjoyed that this book focused on putting the characters first. I’m a big believer in the idea that if you’re characters aren’t strong and well defined, then you’ll never be able to sustain a book. The characters were the priority here, and then the plot came into play. The biggest win for me was Roy Harper, because I can’t remember the last time I actually enjoyed reading that character.
The mystery. Something has clearly happened, and I can’t wait to find out what. I’m assuming that their memories were somehow wiped, and that makes me think of the time the Justice League had Batman’s memory wiped from Identity Crisis. I was a fan of that book, as well as the outcome, so I can only hope that this title follows suite with as strong of a story.
Garth. If you want to make an impact in a book, then take notes from Garth. The dude just punched a guy through the chest! Through the freaking chest!!!
The Bad: Because this issue spends time on presenting and developing its characters, the plot doesn’t move very far. I don’t think that’s a bad thing at all, but considering none of these characters that are actually featured are with one another (aside from Garth destroying the ring of Harvest thugs), the narrative can feel a little clunky. Again, I don’t think this is completely bad, I’m just noting that someone might call attention to this.
The Art: The art was the biggest let-down of this book. Two artists covered this issue, and I’m not sure which art belonged to which artist, but one was good, and the other was average at best! I don’t think I would’ve noticed the lesser art as predominantly as I did had I not had the other art to compare it with.
What’s also concerning, is that DC needed to assign two artists to the first issue! Is this title already facing some delays? I mean, it’s the first freaking issue. Have one artist draw and complete the book!
To see some samples of the internal art, check out the spoiler tag below.
- Teen Titans and Red Hood/ Arsenal just aren’t doing it for you.
- You’ll read anything that features Dick Grayson.
- You like strong characters in your book.
Overall: Titans Hunt delivers an impressive first issue that fulfills a void that’s been missing since the launch of the New 52. This is the team book that will set the bar for the other team books featuring our younger heroes, and, so far, is collection that any comics fan should pick up!