Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Catching up on Comics -- Series Run: The Titans #1

1999, DC Comics

When you think of the Titans, the1999 series my not exactly be at the bottom of the list but it's not quite the glory days of Titans, either.

With the growing pains of the New 52 reboot, it's far too easy to be cynical and forget that there have been rough starts and pained runs aplenty before Johns, Didio, Lee and company decided to scratch things and start again.  

This first issue of The Titans is all talk, no action.  The bulk of it takes place in a tacky looking seafood restaurant, where Wally, Donna, Dick, Garth, Roy and his daughter Lian sit down for a trashy meal and gab about recent events and re-forming the Titans.

It is an inexplicably continuity-centric first issue, and quite possibly the absolute worst way to kick off a new series.  I don't recall if this was a case of the '90's expectation that continuity is serviced above all else or if writer Devin Grayson deemed reconciling all the recent continuty annoyances to be the important place to start.

It's not that the issue is badly written as a whole, but it's the most confounding book to me.  The fact that Grayson has Wally proposing the re-formation of the team is bizarre since he's currently in the JLA, but it's not like this fact isn't lost on Grayson either.  But her witty repartee to explain it away doesn't exactly make it any more logical.  It's a case of DC wanting their Flash cake and Flash eating it too.
In the seafood shack booth, where five plainclothed superheroes and an adorable toddler (Lian is the MVP of this story, RIP) are crammed in, they decide on their roster in a weird game of "hey do you remember so-and-so".  They pick Damage, Argent, Starfire, Jesse Quick and Cyborg (in his short-lived Metal Men-esque appearance) .  I guess they recruit them mighty quick and then they all suit up to help build the new Titans tower, because that's something I'm sure they're all qualified to do.  I hope that thing gets a safety inspection before Lian moves in.

Waitaminute, Jesse can fly? (All the Quicks can fly, my wife tells me.  That's dumb.  Speedsters run, they don't fly).

If The Titans #1 is notable for any reason, it's that it's the first appearance of
Damian Darhk, the scenery-chewing villain of Arrow season 4 (as played by awesome Neil McDonough).  Here you can see some of the flavour that was brought to the character on the small screen.  He isn't your typical villain.  His mom is the queen of HIVE, but he's not exactly cowtowing to her.  He's too busy on his mobile, brokering deals and being glib.  You want to smack him right away, but it's obvious he thinks himself better amd above everyone and everything (even if it's not quite reality).

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