Titans #1 review

The Dawn Of DC is finally upon us. After the death and return of the Justice League in Joshua Williamson’s Dark Crisis, Nightwing and the Titans become the premiere team in the DCU. Unfortunately, the target on their back grows larger and larger as the Titans settle into their new position.

Forever & A Daze

The history of the Titans readily informs the direction of the new series. For instance, the last time the Titans were really together was at the end of the Titans Academy series. In the series, the original Titans utilize their valuable experiences to shepherd the next generation in their T-shaped academy. Sadly, Dark Crisis, The War For Earth-3, and other events did irreparable damage to the team and their students. Following his actions during the League’s absence, Nightwing gets the opportunity to start his own Justice League. Again, this mirrors the previous recruitment during the Source Wall mutations around Titans #23. Unsurprisingly, Dick Grayson once again uses this chance to fill a new T-shaped building with his friends.

Traditionally, Grayson and his friends have lived with each other in T-shaped properties since they were kids. In fact, every incarnation of the Teen Titans found some way to cram several teenagers into their own unsupervised hideouts, houseboats, or even prisons. However, it is hard to see a point to living with your friends as adults. Unless it is for a reality show like The Jersey Shore, asking a married man like Wally West to shack up with his childhood friends is unnecessary. Even Tempest declines a spot on the team in favor of “more important” opportunities. Although the characters openly admit how ridiculous it is, wanting to do it at all feels like they can’t let go of their “wonder years.”

A Crisis In Waiting

Additionally, the new story opens disturbingly close to the Titans series from 2016. Back then, the original series centered on properly reintroducing Wally West, but now it potentially launches with solving his murder. Yes, the Flash’s death is the driving force in this new chapter of the Titans. This unsettling development comes as yet another pattern of behavior DC seems to be repeating with Wally since before Heroes In Crisis. Regardless, Wally’s death is only an omen of a new event around the corner.

Titans (2016). Rebirth. line art by Brett Booth, ink by Norm Rapmund, and colors by Andrew Dalhouse.

The other shoe that drops is the suspicious involvement of Peacemaker. Recently, Peacemaker has made several cameos in numerous Dawn Of DC titles, including The Unstoppable Doom Patrol. In Titans, Peacemaker shows up after a monster attack to give the team one chance to serve the government. Of course, it is only a smokescreen to hide Amanda Waller’s true agenda. After Waller outsmarts the Titans in War For Earth-3, she lies in wait until she survives the Dark Crisis. Since then, Waller receives a greenlight from the “Council Of Light” to begin targeting and killing every superhero and villain on earth. Whether or not Waller’s hitlist is responsible for what happens to The Flash is unclear, but extremely likely.

Continuity, What?

Tom Taylor devotes a decent portion of the first issue to rekindling the relationship between Beast Boy and Raven. In fact, the story quite literally comes to a halt until they work out their issues in front of everyone. The book stylizes these encounters in tonally distinct hues of purple like a warm sadness. Public displays of affection aside, Beast Boy is still dealing with a form of post-traumatic stress from loosing his eye to Deathstroke. Conveniently, healing his eye saves Nicola Scott from incorporating an eyepatch in his handsome design. As for Raven, her look stays more traditional, while introducing a curly magenta haircut reminiscent of Scott Pilgrim’s Ramona Flowers.

I find it interesting that their T-shaped lair really represents how open the Titans are. In an attempt to shed the air of paranoia, their bright new tower is out in the open with a publicly accessible lawn. Even their new costume designs are squeaky clean uniforms that wouldn’t feel out of place on dolls and action figures. Consequently, designs like Cyborg’s bright blue armor or Starfire’s warm beehive bun feel like a positive but sterile direction. The darkly outlined figures and color are otherwise decent. I even think the titles and lettering are a sensational and expressive standout.

Recommended If…

  • Looking for a place to start Dawn Of DC.
  • You’re a fan of Titans.
  • You can’t get enough of Beast Boy and Raven’s relationship.


The new Titans book unwittingly inherits the baggage of several previous stories. Despite the squeaky clean redesign, the characters and story feel like a rehash of old patterns. On a positive note, the book has a good tone regardless of the sickeningly upbeat cast. Overall, Titans #1 lays the groundwork for the next phase of DC storytelling synergy. Readers can probably expect more teases of Peacemaker, Amanda Waller, and whatever Garth is up to in the future. Although, Taylor is directly teeing up Brother Blood as their first foe suspiciously following his appearance in the Titans series finale on HBOMAX. In the meantime, the Titans will continue to strive to surpass the Justice League by seemingly doing exactly what they’ve always done.

Score: 6/10

DISCLAIMER: DC Comics provided Batman News with a copy of this comic for the purposes of this review.