“This reminds me of the old days.” That single line describes this issue better than anything I can possibly pull together. Titans #7 is head shoulders above any other issue in this series to date. If this is a sign of what’s to come, then we are all in for a wonderful treat!
The last two issues of Titans have made vast improvements for the sake of this title. So far, aside from some key moments featuring Wally, the book has felt irrelevant and untrue for the characters. The title has essentially been a watered down version of what it should have been and could have been, as Wally melodramatically searched for himself and found his place in this world… But now we’re past that, and we’re on to much better things.
For the first time since Titan’s debut, it actually feels like a team book. Better yet, the characters – all of them – feel true to themselves. There’s no big team mission here, or a dire threat that needs to be stopped. Instead this issue is about investing. Investing in these characters and the future of this title.
When I said that the line “This reminds me of the old days” is the perfect way to describe this issue, I meant it. In fact, when I first opened the issue, I thought I was reading a flashback from Wally’s previous timeline. The relationships between the characters were do different from what we’ve seen so far, that I couldn’t fathom that this sequence was taking place during the current timeline… Until Superman arrived.
From here, the issue moves forward to explore a number of plot threads, while also continuing Wally’s journey. Relationships are front and center as Wally embarks on a joyful and heartfelt race with Superman as they reflect on their previous and current situations, finding common ground in their requirement to adjust to this new world, while also recognizing the vast differences in their situation. But their situation, no matter how different, is comforting. The scenes between Wally and Clark reminded me of how I used to feel when I first began reading comics religiously. It was the perfect scenario, at the perfect time, and it perfectly captured the idea of Rebirth.
But it’s not just their story, or their relationship that succeeds in this chapter. Roy and Donna’s relationship is explored further, and surpasses my expectations. So far, Roy’s infatuation with Donna has been humorous and slapstick in execution. In this issue, however, it begins to feel… real. Abnett taps into an honesty that he hasn’t touched on yet. The two are quick with their wit, quick to confess, and quick to retreat – something we’ve surely all experienced at one point or another. I often complain about the believability of relationships in comics, but this is the opposite. Their scenes together has me cheering and rooting for these two, as much as I’m rooting for Wally and Linda.
On a separate front, Nightwing, Garth, and Lilith are working their own case… creating and securing a facility for the Titans to operate from. What I love about this, is the detail that Abnett goes into to cover this experience. The team has hired a lawyer, and is working to make sure everything is legal and within code and ordinance for their new base. They run through multiple aspects of how they plan on using the facility, what will be stored there, how they can enter and exit… There’s such a sense of realism to it all. And if you know me, then you know how important this is for me. But the biggest reveal here, is the location of their base of operations, and why they chose it.
From beginning to end, I loved nearly every aspect of this issue. There’s so much good here, that I spent nearly the entire book thinking that someone other than Abnett had written it. Not that I thought him uncappable of writing on this level, but merely because I felt as though he’d purposely chosen a much lighter tone. But this… This right here…. This is gold! I hope that this is just the beginning of what’s to come.
The Art: Lee Weeks handles the art for this issue, and man does he kill it! He has a vast history in comics, and he brings that classic look to this issue! I love the detail he provides, especially to the characters’ faces and expressions. Someone can say a million words with one look, and he captures that. When artists can manage to convey that, they wield a powerful tool. There’s no doubt that his art contributed heavily to the success of this issue, and if I’m being completely honest, it makes me wish he were sticking around.
- You’re feeling a little nostalgic.
- You’re curious to see Wally and Clark’s interaction.
- Roy and Donna sittin’ in a tree! K-I-S-S-I-N-G!
Overall: Titans #7 is a simple story, with a simple premise… and it’s absolutely brilliant! This issue captures a nostalgic sense as it puts it’s characters front and center, while focusing on hope, love, friendship, and understanding. So much of today’s comics are centered around stopping the biggest, world ending threat, that creative teams forget much else. That’s what makes this issue special. As the comic industry flocks in one direction, Abnett stands and turns against them to deliver what could easily be considered the best follow-up to come after DC Universe Rebirth. Hope is still out there…