We’re back again with one of the best comics coming out of DC these days, and I really can’t stress enough how much I love it. After the action-packed antics of the last few issues, it’s time to slow down and get a little slice-of-life stuff in. Let’s check in on our heroes on their day off, shall we?
I was going to make a “fish out of water” joke anyway but Mark Waid beat me to it
The issue follows our heroes on a slow day. Wally has invited Roy and Garth over to hang out, Karen and Mal are on their first date, and Dick is watching Donna spin out of thrill-seeking control! What could be better?
The Wally/Roy/Garth subplot is given the most attention, but with good reason! It’s a lot of fun, and a chance for us to explore Roy’s relationship to the other Titans.
I really enjoy Roy’s personality in this book. Roy, in recent years, has kind of suffered from being “Jason Todd but with arrows”, and the way Waid writes him is fresh and interesting. This version of our favorite archer is snarky and arrogant, but underneath, there’s a pervasive sadness. A sense that his rudeness comes from not being around people. And where Robin is (mostly) fine with that, it’s very clearly eating away at him. Roy doesn’t really know who or what he is outside of his rich guardian, and that makes him kind of a jerk. The loveable kind of jerk, who you want to see maybe grow as a person and not be such a jerk anymore. Compelling stuff.
We get to see more of Garth in this issue, too. The wedge between him and Donna is being driven deeper by the day, but maybe he’s okay with that? I know I am. Waid’s handling of their relationship is the perfect retort to people who ship them purely because of the Atlantean/Amazon connection. On top of all the drama, though, Garth is just a frankly adorable loser.
Look at him. This is my son. He is perfect.
I know I keep harping on it, but Waid’s character work is genuinely incredible. It feels new and fresh, yes, but there’s also the sense that Waid gets these characters. Like no writer in a very long time has. The Titans, in this book, feel like people, with layers. Not in a “Oh I’m so dark and tragic and I’m brooding about it” way, but in a way that lets the mfeel like dumb kids who make mistakes. They’re fun to read, fun to watch, and manage to make you worry about them.
On the other side of the country, though, Karen and Mal are going through budding superhero romance. Their banter is a little wonky, probably due to the fact that they’re two black teens being written by a 60 year old white man, but it’s not book breaking, nor does it occur terribly often. Definitely could use work, though.
Karen’s subplot, other than her dating life, is where the action of this issue comes in. The Titan’s mysterious adversary is still recruiting, and he’s sent a new lackey to do his dirty work: The Ant!
Yeah, he’s, uh… He’s a Titans villain, alright.
What I will give him though, is that the man is STYLISH.
He’s coming swinging out of the gate with one of my favorite villain designs in recent comics. This look slaps. Bravo, Luppachino and Bellaire!
Speaking of the art team, I’m really loving them on this book. They bring a fun, dynamic look to all the action, and keep the small character moments cute and lively. What more could you ask for? I’m looking forward to every issue to come, because I know it’s going to look amazing!
- You like the Titans!
- Slice of life superhero stories are your jam.
- Honestly, this book is great. Buy it.
I’m flat out head over heels for Waid’s World’s Finest universe. I could read nothing but this from DC forever and be happy. (Put out other stuff, though, DC. I like new, weird things. City of Madness in particular looks incredible this week.)
DISCLAIMER: DC Comics provided Batman News with a copy of this comic for the purposes of this review