Titans #17 review

Titans has been spinning its wheels for quite some time now, but this month’s issue finally throws the vehicle into “Drive” and takes off!

Following its first arc, Titans has mostly been a collection of single-issue stories that happen to have character arcs running through them. This, obviously, has replaced longer, arcing plots, and has allowed more of a focus on the characters and their development, while toying with the notion that one of the Titans would betray their team. The run has been solid, but I have found myself feeling as though the title has been dragging as far as momentum is concerned. For nearly a year, Abnett teased the betrayal, and last month we finally got the answer to who would turn on the team… Donna Troy. Well, kind of.

A Donna Troy from the future has gained access to this timeline and is operating under the name Troia. Interestingly, she’s not looking to murder the Titans… She wants Donna Troy to do it. Yes, it sounds odd, but there is a reason behind Troia’s wishes, and there’s a small part of me that understands where she’s coming from. Naturally, Donna isn’t going to bow to Troia’s requests, and the Titans are going to support her completely.

This issue provides a good dose of action and really hits home on a character level. Most of Titans success stems from a sum of its part, and Abnett’s ability to write such hopeful, likable characters. Moments reaching back to the New 52’s Titans Hunt come full circle here. With Twister, Psimon, the Key, and the Titans all playing specific roles in Troia’s arrival, as well as each character’s personal struggles, all of the pieces of the puzzle come together in this high-stakes issue. And in case you’d forgotten Wally West 2.0 is in this story, and this chapter actually sets him up to play a critical role in the plot! If you’ve been reading Titans, you’ll be more than satisfied with this issue!

The Art: As sad as I am to see Booth move on from Titans, I was happy to see the quality of Minkyu Jung’s art! His pencils are consistent, strong, and he tells his story well. Blond’s colors also make the transition feel smooth and prevent distractions due to art changes. I’m hoping that DC offers Jung the title once Booth does wrap up his run in a few months.

Breakdowns for this issue can be found in the spoiler tag.


The Good:

A Team Until the End. The thing I love the most about Titans is the friendship and the genuine care the team members have for one another. Abnett ensures these relationships are at the forefront of all of his stories, and so much of this book’s success relies on these relationships. I always feel good after reading Titans, and that’s an underrated trait that isn’t praised enough!

Not Batman Yet. There are so many great stories running in DC at the moment that touch on the future of certain characters. Two of these characters, in particular, are Tim Drake and, now, Dick Grayson… And both of them create a commentary on their run as Batman. In Detective Comics we’re seeing how the cowl negatively impacts Tim and makes him brash and harsh. In this issue, Troia refers to Dick as Batman, before remembering who won’t become Batman until ten years from now… A decision that will lead to his death.

One Bleak Future. Troia’s future sounds devastating. Because Amazons are practically immortal, Abnett touches on an idea that is often told in vampire stories – a character outliving all of their loved ones, and how that effects them. In Troia’s case, she watches all of the Titans die in her timeline, and it destroys her emotionally. That’s why she wants Donna to kill her teammates. Yes, it will hurt, but it will prevent her from developing a friendship for years, and subsequently suffering for years as they slowly die off. It’s a messed up logic, but I understand where she’s coming from. I can only imagine what I would be like if I lived a lifetime, barely aging, and had to watch everyone I love die. I think we’d all like to think we’d remain strong, but it would honestly destroy most of us.

Speedforce. Yet again, Wally West 2.0 doesn’t really do anything, however, this issue actually sets him up to save the original Wally West thanks to the Speedforce! So, while nothing happens now, I’m excited to see the results in next month’s issue. I mean, clearly he’ll save Wally, I just want to know the degree it will tip the tides of this current conflict.

The Bad:

The Generals. Considering this story includes Psimon, The Key, and Twister, they don’t really do much here. I’m fine with is for now because I think this issues’ focus was exactly where it needed to be, but I hope they become the heavy hitters we know they are next month, otherwise, this will feel like a wasted opportunity.

Recommended if:

  • You’ve been waiting for a payoff concerning the betrayal.
  • You loved Titans Annual #1.
  • You enjoy DC’s tease of potential futures.

Overall: This is the best issue of Titans I’ve read in a while, and it’s highly satisfying. Abnett hasn’t really had a bad issue yet, but the book feels as though it’s been stalling for a few months now. Troia’s arrival definitely ups the stakes, and delivers on promises that were made back in Titans Annual #1!

SCORE: 8.0/ 10