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Titans #2

Posted: Monday, May 19, 2008
By: Christopher Power

Judd Winick
Joe Benitez & Victor Llamas
DC Comics
Well, after a first issue setting the stage for an epic battle with the forces of evil, lots of talking, lots of standing around and some updated costumes and looks for our character, issue 2 brings us…exactly the same thing.

This book seems to have required an opening bondage scene and an attack by a shark thing on some guys who are (I’m guessing by the uniforms) linked to the guys from the first issue. The Titans show up to stop the shark thing, and they reveal that the team is saving Titans around the world with the help of the JLA, who make a guest appearance for a panel. At least that complaint from the first issue was dealt with. However, the entry of the team seems disjointed, because Nightwing’s comment seem to relate to a missing speech bubble on page three (I assume that the Argent was supposed to say “No way”). It also seems odd to me that Damage was being saved by Batman, I guess the Justice Society were all on vacation at the time that he was attacked or something?

We then have a lot of talking at the tower while Raven “calls home”. Raven arrives in Trigon’s dimension to find the lord of darkness to be ruling a dead kingdom. Oh, and for some reason Raven is in an outfit that barely covers her. The biggest insult is that Raven, who up until now has always appeared in her cowl in Trigon’s dimension, actually asks “What am I wearing?”, which is then never answered by anyone in the book. It seems like yet another excuse for Winick et al. to have mostly naked women in their book. Way to evolve the medium team!

The talking goes on, with Cyborg whining for 2 pages and Beast Boy being an idiot after being depicted as pretty serious in the first issue. Then we have a couple of pages of Trigon and Raven, which largely does not impart much information. Only the last panel has a point that ties to something resembling a plot.

The team then has to save Raven from herself, and we get another “big reveal” at the end.

The art has good construction, but what it ends up constructing is awfully presented. The only bonus is that Benitez and Llamas had Donna do up her top from the last panel of the first issue. The edginess of the first book is replaced with art that imparts a feeling of cartoon drawings. Hairstyles are different from the first issue, in particular Donna and Kori both look like they are back in the '80s. Beast Boy grew more hair and shaved his sideburns while they were out saving the other Titans. Wally and Roy look like they are 16 years old for most of the book, with the best pencils coming on page 19 with the picture of Red Arrow with bow drawn. This shows that Benitez and Llamas can do very good work. More of the book should have been like that, and less like page 16 where everyone’s face was contorted.

After a promising start, this book went the way I expected it to originally -- right to the lowest common denominator. That is perhaps the greatest disappointment; after 10 years of waiting my favorite team is in pretty sad straights at the moment.



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