Titans #8 review

The Titans are settling into their new tower headquarters in New York City. Donna is unpacking with Roy…

… Dick is helping Wally adjust to changed circumstances…
… and Lilith is sparring with Garth. 
Across town, former Teen Titan Mal Duncan and wife Karen are facing big questions. 
If ever a comic book was crying out for a homage cover, Titans #8 is it. The title is To Bee or Not To Bee – which is rather wonderful, but it could easily be Another Day in the Lives as a nod to 1981’s New Teen Titans #8. 
That was the issue in which Marv Wolfman and George Pérez gave us a look at Dick, Donna and co in their downtime. As it is, we get two non-homage covers, but I like them both. The main one is by the regular artistic team, penciller Brett Booth, inker Norm Rapmund and colourist Andrew Dalhouse, and is a nice group shot. Nick Bradshaw and Alex Sinclair’s variant is terrific, reminding me of those good-humoured Golden Age covers which would feature heroes just hanging out. 
It’s a treat to have Karen and Mal back in featured roles for the first time since last year’s Titans Hunt series. They’re at the Meta Solutions base, where they hope to learn more about the powers she’s recently developed. And if she can’t muster control, well…
Hmm, that seems distinctly dodgy. I don’t recall Mal’s little-seen sonic powers being a huge burden. Mind, given that Meta Solutions’ Head of Evaluation Peter Simon is obviously Psimon, the psychic psuper-villain, I suspect Mal didn’t decide to give up his powers without help. And he seems to be putting a hoodoo on Karen, too. 
Psimon isn’t the only Fearsome Five member hanging around Meta Solutions – as well a bunch glimpsed at the end of the story, we have this guy. 
Mammoth, about whom Mal has been having disturbing visions. Have the Fearsome Five gone hipster? Whatever the case, this is a fun issue, with good character work from Abnett. Lilith, for example, as seen above, gets a touch of the Legion of Super-Heroes member Dream Girl’s fighting skill. 
I like the training kit Booth and co give Lilith and Aqualad and I’d be happy for the Titan’s resident all-purpose psychic to wear that to her adventures; encouragingly, Bradshaw uses it on his cover. The over-dramatic caped number seems weird for a grounded young woman who never wore spandex in her original appearances. We see that look in a flashback – now that’s Lilith. 
The dynamism of Booth’s art is appealing – a splash page of the group near the end is especially good – but like many artists he could do with practicing how street clothes hang – the suits by Mal and Psimon, in particular, don’t work. 
Rumour has it this book is going fortnightly soon and I hope that’s true – this is the smartest series the Titans have had in, oh, a generation, and more of it would be splendid  

8 thoughts on “Titans #8 review

  1. Storywise, I like this, but I really struggle to like Brett Booth's art. It just doesn't feel at all appropriate for this book. I find myself just reading it more and more and almost ignoring the art.

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  2. Wanna bet Psimon just made Mal forget about being Herald? Anyways, asides from them ignoring that Donna's new backstory doesn't match the most recent one or any before it continuing to annoy me this was a near perfect issue. I wish that horrid Teen Titans mess was half this good…

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  3. gonna pick this series up an move Superwoman totrade waiting thanks for the help on this Mart an other note I'm hoping that Psimon uses Simon says phrases like in Young Justice eye also hope that Nick Bradshaw does interior art some time

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  4. If the book does go to a twice-monthly schedule, I think it's a pretty good possibility that they'll need at least one more artist to step up, which would be fine with me. I'd agree that Brett Booth maybe isn't the right artist for this book. It's not that he's terrible, I've just found myself enjoying the guest artists far more.
    I have to keep reminding myself that this team of Titans is the new 52 version of the team. They may share a lot of similarities with the original team, but there are significant differences (Donna's origin and Lilith's costume being the two biggest for me). Despite all that, I'm enjoying this book – a lot! It's filling my team book yearning since Legion and JSA are still missing in action and Doom Patrol is firmly trapped in the weirdoverse of Young Animal.

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  5. I wouldn't be surprised if come the big Rebirth event things get a lot closer to the classic versions. And if that means we never see Lilith in a stupid clunky cape ever again I shall be a very happy chappie.

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