I can’t tell you how happy I am to move past “The Lazarus Contract.” Nothing worthwhile really came from the story, aside from a few transitions that were randomly included at the end. Thankfully, Abnett uses Titans #12 to remind readers of the (much better) storylines he’d initiated prior to “The Lazarus Contract.”
The best way I can describe Titans #12, is to compare it to television/ film attributes. Most of the issue has a “Previously on Titans” type of feel that precedes a number of television shows recapping the audience of minor details that have occurred in previous episodes and seasons. But this issue is more than your standard regurgitation of events… It’s more like deleted scenes with commentary.
One-by-one, page-by-page Abnett teases us with the mess he’s made of the Titans (I mean that in a good way). Each character is in a bit of a predicament based on something they’ve done, learned, or encountered, and any of these situations could quickly and easily spiral out of control.
What I love about this issue, is that I’m not overly happy about any of the circumstances. I like these characters, and none of them are in a great place right now. They just got back together, and I want to see them happy for a little while, not falling apart because of internal conflict… But I’d be fibbing if I didn’t say I’m anxiously awaiting to see how all of this unfolds.
Another aspect worth praising – aside from the individual plots – is how Abnett decided to approach this issue. This recap could have easily been one big misstep, but it wasn’t. In a brilliant move, Abnett covered all of these issues by having Omen and Psimon battle out a war of their minds. Lilith needed a spotlight, and she gets it here! She’s bound to surprise you, and the dialogue between Omen and Psimon is great, so soak it up!
There’s not much new information here, so don’t expect anything drastic, but the issue brilliantly returns the focus of Titans to the stories we’re dying to get to! Good bye “Lazarus Contract,” and hello future stories!
The Art: Rocafort steps in to cover art, and as I’ve said before, I’m a huge fan of his work! I love the realism and the expression he gives his characters. He does a stellar job of expanding the stories with the use of body language, and his layouts really add to the narrative. I’d love to see him work more consistently… Maybe Birds of Prey if they get a new creative team? Just saying…
Breakdowns for this issue can be found in the spoiler tag.
Lilith. Omen carries this issue… and I like the direction Abnett is taking her. She’s growing in power, and clearly isn’t letting on to anyone – even her team members – how strong she really is. The tease of betrayal (which I fully believe will be from her), and the whole Black Widow/ Loki bait and switch from Avengers that she pulled on Psimon was perfect!
Donna. She’s going to be a little reckless because of what she discovered in Titans Annual #1. That recklessness will most likely play out in the field, with her teammates, and her budding relationship with Wally. I’m curious to see her arc.
Wally. Poor Wally. This guy has gotten shafted so bad! Not only did he not exist for years, but since coming to this world, he’s literally had everything stripped away from him… Linda has distanced herself, and now his heart condition prevents him from using his full potential. His story breaks my heart, and all I keep thinking of is the finale of the television show The Leftovers. One of the main characters travels to a different universe in search of her kids, only to discover the heartbreaking truth that she doesn’t belong there. This has to be how Wally feels… and that’s exactly why he and Donna are connecting. And Roy is guaranteed to deal with this poorly.
Identities. Karen and Nightwing are both in an interesting situation where they are dealing with their identity in different ways. Karen can’t remember hers, and Nightwing now carries the identity of a traitor (to an extent) following “The Lazarus Contract.” I feel that these are the less interesting stories from the team. Karen’s has already played out a bit, so it’ll be nice to see some actual progression, while Dick’s doesn’t seem as bad as they’re trying to make it.
The only major complaint that people might have for this issue, is that it doesn’t do anything to really progress the story. Lilith progresses a good deal as a character, but the title itself is essentially where it’s been. I don’t consider this a negative though because I’d forgotten some of these character arcs throughout the course of “The Lazarus Contract,” and this issue amped me back up for what’s to come! Plus, in all of this, there’s still the ties to Dr. Manhattan lingering in the universe!
- You want to read a team book (consisting of heroes) that’s actually good!
- There are so many plot threads taking place that you get the sense that anything could happen at any moment.
- If you’re not a fan of Lilith, you will be after this issue!
Overall: Despite the lackluster that was “The Lazarus Contract,” “Bad Omen” returns Titans to the quality we’ve come to expect from this title. Dan Abnett does an outstanding job of reminding readers where each of these characters are personally without the narrative feeling stale. Rocafort adds to the script by beautifully capturing each character and scene, and itching to see more of his work. The real winner here is Lilith though! Talk about a knockout moment for her as a character!