Tasked with intercepting ‘Emergent’ crises, manifestations of leaked Source Wall energy among Earth’s populace, the Titans are called to San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. There, they find themselves in a game of Dungeons and Dragons. Or so it seems, what with ruddy great monsters, a cheeky Elf and…
While clearing regular folk out of the way, Donna Troy comes across an elderly chap who seems to recognise the weirdlings.
Team liaison Miss Martian, meanwhile, is having a private chat with the Martian Manhunter.
The ambiguity of the exchange is typical of this excellent issue. The first episode of the new direction Titans was a decent read, but things really move into high gear here, with a threat that’s huge fun. Look, for example, at this page.
When he’s not writing comics, Dan Abnett has been known to produce fantasy novels, and he’s obviously having a whale of a time here. The senior gentleman, Ernest Hinton, is an interesting new character, while Prince Travesty of Unearth could easily find a place for himself in the DC Universe – he’s a real one-off.
The latest Titans team is beginning to gel as a fighting unit, with the exception of Miss Martian, forced on the gang by JLA leader J’onn J’onnz. Nightwing, with instincts befitting Batman’s first partner, doesn’t trust her, so he’s keeping her off the battlefield as much as possible, something she’s not happy with. I look forward to things really kicking off soon. I suspect she’s not a traitor so much as someone tasked with a side mission she can’t tell the Titans about. Yet.
I enjoyed the character interaction, and the fight scenes are huge fun thanks to penciller Brent Peeples, inker Matt Santorelli and colourist Ivan Plascencia. The fantasy folk convince, while our heroes look formidable, never more so than in a JLA Unlimited style walk towards the ‘camera’. I can fair hear the martial marching music…
I hope this issue is indicative of the standard of future Titans books. I’m no fan of the Dark Metal business, but the Emergent strand could be good for a year’s worth of stories, a peg to hang the action on as Abnett solidifies his new team. And if Peeples and co stay on the art side, all the better.
Brandon Peterson is meant to be the regular artist, but this time he’s only on cover duties; what a cover, though, I’d be hard-pressed to pass this one by in the comic shop. The variant isn’t issue specific, but artist Emanuela Lupacchino and colourist Dave McCaig ensure it’s gorgeous. Smiling heroes, did you ever?!
The story closes with a wonderful cliffhanger – there’s no way I’m missing next issue.