Titans #8 Review
Written by Dan Abnett
Art by Brett Booth and Norm Rapmund
Colors by Andrew Dalhouse
Letters by Corey Breen
Review by John Dubrawa
Dan Abnett’s Titans series has been absolutely stellar so far, exemplifying the kind of status-quo change DC’s Rebirth is all about. It has righted previous wrongs by resurrecting fan-favorite characters like Wally West and Donna Troy while also bringing readers back to the glory days of a less morose DCU. Titans #8, which marks the beginning of the series’ sophomore arc, continues to push the series forward by introducing an all-new setting and with that, an all-new threat to our team. Abnett also moves the focus off the main Titans for a majority of this issue, instead thrusting the spotlight on two characters who were also underserved prior to DC Rebirth: Mal and Karen Duncan.
The former Herald and Bumblebee have made the move with the other Titans to Manhattan, and find themselves at a crossroads: Mal no longer wants his superpowers and wants to live a normal life again while Karen isn’t so quick to dismiss her gifts. While the two have toyed with their prospective decisions in previous issues of the series, this issue is the first time Abnett demonstrates how heavily this weighs on their relationship. Although the two are discussing whether or not to keep superpowers, their conversation isn’t at all foreign to anyone that has had a relationship hit an impasse. What I’ve loved about this series is that Abnett has constantly found a way to make his larger-than-life characters relatable.
What else I’ve loved about Titans thus far has been the consistently stellar artwork from Brett Booth and Norm Rapmund. Both have done an extraordinary job giving these characters a persona on the page that matches Abnett’s strong scripts. Even in a bit of a quieter issue like this one without heaps of action beats, Booth and Rapmund nail the emotional exchanges between Mal and Karen, especially when Mal reveals a pretty significant secret. Andrew Dalhouse’s colors are bold and bright, which works perfectly in conjunction with Booth and Rapmund’s pencils and inks, respectively. There’s only a few instances when the art in this issue gets a little “pose-y” for my tastes–Donna Troy’s unusual manner of sitting as she looks at photos and Omen’s training with Garth–but otherwise Titans is a visual treat.
Buy! It doesn’t feel like enough people are talking about Titans when it comes to best Rebirth titles but it’s a book that absolutely deserves that type of praise. Now in its second arc, the book is consistently telling a compelling story with relatable characters that are not only having fun and demonstrating the kind of compassion readers need to see more of, but they’re also dealing with entirely relatable issues. Although a new reader could technically jump in with this issue, it’s worth the effort to track down and read the other seven issues.