Titans #4 slows down Tom Taylor’s epic to focus on the smaller gears moving the story. As the Titans question their new direction and Wally’s impending death, other sinister elements develop before the Titans can realize.
One Good Deed At A Time
Taylor circles back to the symbiotic relationship between Beast Boy and Raven. Comparatively, the couple attends to one another’s mental health like commensalism in animals. In this, one person in the relationship performs a one-sided service. For example, when either Beast Boy or Raven suffer from depression, the other dependent unconditionally tends to their needs. Personally, the strategy feels less romantic and more like therapy. In this case, Beast Boy has been losing “faith in humanity” with every passing mission.
Specifically speaking, Beast Boy can’t seem to find satisfaction in taking down small fries. In contrast, Raven has made a habit of fighting local crimes and teleporting suspects into county jails, much to the confusion of the police. Even though I understand crime in the DC universe has its own rules, simply asking victims to make statements after “heroic arrests” is a bit ridiculous. No one needs their rights read nor need to present evidence before locking up random people. It’s a tiny nitpick in logic, but regardless going through the motions isn’t satisfying Beast Boy’s bleeding heart.
Situations Will Arise
After hearing out Beast Boy’s concerns, Nightwing decides to support his reforestation effort in Borneo. As a reminder, Borneo was the site of the mysterious blaze the Titans handle in the second issue. Before the Titans can pursue their humanitarian effort, they accidentally discover Borneo’s occupation by The Demolition Team. Strangely enough, this paramilitary version of the team is a relatively new interpretation. Even Amanda Waller isn’t aware what they’re doing in Borneo, despite the cover insinuating otherwise. Whatever the case, Waller realizes that an unsanctioned conflict with the Titans in the region could work in her favor.
Furthermore, someone is paying the Demolition Team to move the townsfolk in Borneo and destroy their homes by any means. In response, the Titans end up fighting their enemies in various action vignettes anyway. Firstly, there are panels of Starfire charging up and deflecting bullets, while Donna moves hostages out of firing range with her speed. Additionally, Cyborg uses his strength to hold back their destructive but otherwise unimpressive equipment. In fact, they are so harmless that Cyborg leaves mid-battle. To be honest, none of the cartoonish fight sequences in Titans seem quite worth the team’s time.
My Husband, The Murder Victim
Meanwhile, Wally is eager to help the Titans, but the team still worries about his impending death. Potentially, by a gunshot in the back from someone he knows. Ironically, they call the closest person he knows to get him to “stay still” for twenty four hours. So, his wife Linda is on “Wally watch” while the team is out. Coincidentally, the extra suspicious Tempest arrives looking for the team, but finds Linda instead. Sadly, no one knows that Garth has bonded with Brother Eternity’s alien parasite and before anyone realizes, the situation evolves from a who-dun-it to a how-catch-em.
Nightwing and Cyborg unveil part of their strategy involves barricading Wally in a special “trophy room” off planet. Truthfully, I don’t understand the logic in bringing Linda at all. From the characters perspectives, knowing what they have learned about Wally’s death; what would possess Nightwing to put her in danger. Even if they don’t know about the parasite, potentially putting her in the room with something that can kill the Flash is reckless. Moreover, her ability to get close to him fits the killer’s current profile.
- Currently subscribed to Tom Taylor’s Titans run.
- You’re a fan of the Titans international efforts.
- You ‘ship’ Beast Boy and Raven.
Titans #4 slows things down to plant more seeds for things down the road. While the art is comfortable and light, much of the action and antagonists are generic. What works about this edition is its use of foreshadowing of Beast Boy’s big mission, the alien parasites, and whatever is going on with Amanda Waller. I don’t think the Wally murder plot is working, because much of the details feel underthought or rushed. For example, the introduction of Linda would only make sense if they acknowledge how silly it is to endanger her without reason. It requires too many uncomfortable convivences to be true at once. As for the Demolition Team taking over Borneo, Taylor has yet to reveal what they hope to accomplish with demolition, murder, and kidnapping at a meteor site. I always assume that the writer knows where things going, but the loose ends feel small time and dangerously close to improv.
DISCLAIMER: DC Comics provided Batman News with a copy of this comic for the purposes of this review