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Titans: Rebirth #1 Review

Run Wally Run.

Run Wally Run.

Written by Dan Abnett
Art by Brett Booth and Norm Rapmund
Colors by Andrew Dalhouse
Letters by Carlos M. Mangual

Review by John Dubrawa

[Spoiler warning:  the following review will spoil the events of DC Rebirth #1–which you should totally go read if you haven’t already!]

I suspect a lot of readers saw their interest in Dan Abnett’s new Titans series spike upon reading DC Rebirth #1 last month and discovering that OG Wally West was back in the DCU. Titans: Rebirth #1 is the continuing adventures of the time displaced Wally, still trying desperately to reach out to his friends and colleagues of the past to make them remember who he was. While the issue never quite reaches the emotional height of the Barry Allen/Wally West reunion in Rebirth, it does succeed in bringing both new and old readers together with a new status quo for the Titans team. Longtime readers will certainly get more out of this issue than newcomers, but there’s definitely more even ground established for both sides by the issue’s end.

Abnett essentially frames Titans: Rebirth #1 around flashbacks perpetrated by Wally on his fellow teammates in an effort to help them regain their missing memories of him. It’s a little gimmicky, but it works. Even for a new reader like myself that doesn’t have the established history of these characters, it is easy to see what each member of the team means to Wally through brief snippets of their prior time together with him. Abnett is able to get a lot of personality from the team to show through on the page, though as a new reader I definitely could have used those cheesy placards that comics sometimes use to introduce characters and their ability sets. While I’m familiar enough with Nightwing and Arsenal, I knew absolutely nothing about Lilith, Donna Troy, or Garth going in and know only a tiny bit more leaving this issue. Hopefully with the official launch of the Titans series, we can get a much fuller introduction of these characters for any new readers moving forward.

Brett Booth and Norm Rapmund lend their pencils and inks, respectively, to the book and it looks about as bombastic as you would expect given that art team. Each character embodies the book’s namesake in that they are larger than life heroes that take up nearly the entirety of the panels they share, and aside from a few weirdly skewed bodies, look great. Andrew Dalhouse’s colors lend a much brighter deposition to what’s essentially one scene in a warehouse, with the red of Wally’s new suit really popping off the page. If Wally West was meant to usher joy and fun back into the DCU, the art team really captured that spirit here.

THE VERDICT

BUY IT. For me, the Titans have always been like that cool high school clique you always wanted to hang out with because you heard about the cool stuff they did, but were never able to make friends with any of them. Titans: Rebirth #1 doesn’t quite make me cool enough to hang out with them, but I do at least feel like I’m at a more even ground with those inside that lucrative inner circle. This is kind of a “getting the band back together” issue more than a mission statement on what the book will be moving forward, but it’s a necessary transition that puts the Titans back to some of their former glory.

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