Titans Hunt #1
Written by: Dan Abnett
Art by: Paulo Siqueira, Geraldo Borges, Hi-Fi
Today marked the release of the final episode of “Life is Strange”, a poignant if not redundant game and spent the better part of an afternoon emotionally flagellating myself with psychopaths, time travel, and a big Fuck all tornado. So when it came time to review my weekly book I opted for the most straight forward, fun looking one. And what do ya know? “Titans Hunt” #1 looked like a barrel of monkeys with fireworks. So I dove inside and figured out DC’s number one rule for making a book “Good”—add one Dick Grayson and give it a shake.
Perhaps you’re wondering what “Titans Hunt” is about. Let me answer that by providing an example. You know that comic book troupe where a whole team of heroes has collective amnesia about one specific event but now it’s come back from the past with troubling consequences? You know, like they did in “She-Hulk”, “Secret War”, or that time Zatanna gave everyone mind wipes like they were gift bags at an award show. Yeah, it’s a really common story but here’s the thing: because “Titans Hunt” is simply plugging in a formula means the book can flex within the confines of the troupe without getting off track. The characters acting out the parts are fully flushed out and have a clear motivation without spending three pages pointing them in the direction of the plot. They’re dropped into the scene, something is weird but they can’t place it, they investigate, bang, wallop, we’re good.
As I said before, Dick Grayson is in this book and he’s pretty much the star. Yeah, the book is a Titans book but right now they have smaller parts than Featured Players on SNL. The book goes through a great fight scene choreographed perfectly for Dick, lots of jumping and face kicking. Then a brief cutaway to someone else at a boat house on an island—back to Dick and he’s throwing punches and banter. Dick is in the middle of a warehouse on the docks surrounded by a hundred guys… Oh yeah, and and Roy Harper is in Oklahoma for some explicable reason—then cut back to Dick; he has a gun out and he’s gonna take these guys down. It gets so bad that they introduce Aqualad into the middle of Dick’s fight scene. Don’t get me wrong, the fight scenes were done really well and they were technically integral to the plot but for a while there I was wondering why they didn’t name this book “Titans Hunt: Also Grayson”.
There are a lot of strengths to this book. Like I said before, the fighting is action packed and really cool. The feeling of the book still feels like a Teen Titan book. And best of all, it’s a miniseries! Thank God, because I love Dan Abnett but I think all of us see this story is going to play itself out mighty quick. So many books these days start with a really good idea and come out strong. Their story and characterization are so well thought out so it seems they could make masterpieces forever. Two story arcs down the line we’re all groaning as yet another terrible issue comes out that meanders and doesn’t know where it’s going. Please, please keep this book as a mini-series because right now there is good motivation for the team. There’s amnesia spread over a group of people, Atlantis is involved somehow, and there’s this mysterious telepath warning that someone is watching. That is a crafted story with a definite and finite ending. I don’t want to pick up the book a year from now when they’re desperately trying to find a reason for Lobo to be there.
Of all the things “Invincible” has done they haven’t quite gotten to forced amnesia yet. Though with their current storyline, they are attempting a “reboot”. Mark is being forced to live in a world where he knows the cause and effect of everything that’s going to happen—or at least he thinks he does. This is a fun joke that could last all of about two pages before getting stale. But Robert Kirkman always has a way of taking a simple joke premise and adding weight. It doesn’t take long before living in the emotional turmoil he’s already experienced nearly breaks him. My hope is that Dan Abnett can achieve something similar, ratcheting up the tension of living in a vague déjà vu. Madness needs to be a definite consequence of losing a chapter of their lives.