Titans: Rebirth, Issue #1 Review

Titans - Rebirth (2016) 001-000Title: Titans: Rebirth, Issue #1
Author: Dan Abnett
Artists: Norm Rapmund, Brett Booth
Publisher: DC Comics
Language: English
Genre: Superhero
Release Date: June 15, 2016
Pages: 23

 

Wally West, the original Kid Flash, has returned and seeks the help of his old friends the Titans, Nightwing, Donna Troy, Garth, Lilith, and Arsenal. After Wally breaks into the team’s old apartment, the Titans mistaken him for an intruder and confront him, however, as the now younger speedster tries to hold his own in a fight, old memories begin to return, and one by one the Titans recall their old friend.

Story

The Teen Titans have always felt like a family and that is what writer Dan Abnett uses as the backbone of the story, whether there is a “teen” in the team’s name or not. Rather than focusing on what the story leads will be or the running plot of the series, the story favors to focus on reviving the Titan’s lost memories and getting Wally back together with them, after a misunderstanding.  Seeing the team reunite is especially great for older readers who have missed these characters, and it provides new readers a chance to see what each of the Titans contributes to the team.

The idea of Wally being able to restore everyone’s memories, like how he did with Barry Allen, is a good use of him being one of the main factors in the DC Universe: Rebirth event. Even if it is a bit contrived that the speed force could restore memories in such a manner, however, the speed force has always been able to pull off miraculous feats before.

The events of Titans Hunt were also mentioned in order to establish what the other Titans have been doing, however, it is not essential in order to understand the story. Other than DC Universe: Rebirth, there isn’t any external reading needed for this comic.

Character

The canonicity of these memories can be debated, although they do a good job of evoking Wally’s relationship with his friends, whether it be showing support to Tempest and Lilith , getting Donna to have fun, or childhood memories with Dick Grayson when he was Robin. In fact, Nightwing’s memory was indeed the more fun-filled memory and possibly the most heartwarming, as every kid would jump at the chance to ride in the Batmobile.

Speaking of old memories, when the Titans try to discuss who might have taken their memories of the last 10 years, they mention Mister Twister as a possible suspect, which is a nice nod to the team’s very first mission together as the Teen Titans.

One flaw that could be worth mentioning in terms of characters is that the comic does not paint the other Titans in a good light at first as they are quick to attack Wally, even Nightwing. This somewhat paints the other Titans as reactionary hot-heads who take the approach of “hit first and ask questions later.” This, somewhat, makes the confrontation and misunderstanding seem a bit forced in order for Wally to make physical contact with them.

Art

The art by Norm Rapmund and Brett Booth is sadly one of the weaker aspects of this comic, while the art can compliment and support the story during the transitions when each member of the team regain their memories, there is a lot of noticeable problems.

Booth’s artwork has always favored muted colors, aside from the opening sequence when Wally recalls old memories, the coloring in most of the comics are very washed out and do not contract well from the background. Booth has a noticeable problem when it comes to anatomy and proportions, mostly seen with his male characters, with their character models inconsistently varying from slender to over musculature. The expressions are not any better as they range from over-exaggerated and awkward, for example, Nightwing’s expression when he is shocked, remembers who Wally is, and when he pleads his teammates to stop attacking. 

Similar to Superman: Rebirth, Issue #1 and Wonder Woman: Rebirth, Issue #1, this comic reveals a new outfit for the main characters, in this case, Wally. His new outfit is sadly more of a downgrade from his previous one and with the washed out colors it is hard to distinguish the different shades of red on his new costume. The outfit looks somewhat similar to his previous one, but now it is all red and similar to Superman’s new, mostly-blue outfit which makes it look rather plain. Even though there is a reason for Wally’s recent costume change, it’s a rather weak explanation. It is also odd, if not a contradicting choice since he is trying to get people to remember him.

Final Word

While the artwork may drag this comic down, it does not negate the enjoyment of seeing the Titans reunite with their long lost friend after a slight misunderstanding. The comic shows how much of a friend Wally has been in their lives and when his teammates regain their memories. It does feel like a wonderful, happy reunion. The reunion has enough emotion that will make older Titan fans happy and enough occurred in the comic to give new readers an idea of how unique each member is, what they meant to one another and with their shared history.

Rekindling old memories

Welcome back Wally!

Wally West getting back together with his old friends is indeed a Titan’s book that older readers will most likely enjoy, especially when walking down the shock induced memory lane and an almost tearful reunion. While the art the weaker aspect of this comic, it doesn’t subtracts from the enjoyment that much.

  • Titans: Rebirth, Issue#1
Overall
3.8
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