In the past, I have been highly critical of the work of Judd Winick. It is mainly due to his more recent work in the Green Arrow area of the DCU. I had hoped that with him returning to a team format book, he could return to the form he was in when he did the Exiles and write the Titans from my childhood as a fun, close-knit team doing amazing things. I had hope after the first issue. I had hoped the second book was an anomaly. After this third book I said to my wife, "Well, at least there were no bondage fantasies in this one." If that is the mark of quality, then this book must be in a sad state.
Starting with the art: it is a travesty of anatomy. Let me emphasize that this is not about style. I am happy to have all kinds of different styles in comics. This is about Benitez needing to go back to review basic human anatomy for art, in particular for static poses. While I cannot comment on dynamic anatomy in motion (given that there is so little motion in this book), his static poses are all over the place. On page 10, there is an absurd picture of Starfire. Ignoring the costume, the '80s hair and the vacant expression on her face, and the waist that is far too thin to be possible (what a list!), there are several major errors in the art itself. The body midline axis, dividing the right and left side of the body is mangled. Her hips are pointing in a direction that is not even remotely correct assuming the direction of the torso is correct. The torso is far too long, with at least an extra head size placed above the hips where they seem to be rotating. The left leg turns at an unnatural angle, reaching back across the right, even though the led is leading straight from the hip.
Flip forward 8 pages to where the Titans come back together; Donna Troy appears to have a curvature of the spine which results in her being completely concave except for her massive bosom. Then on page 19 (that's right, the next page!), we have similar problems in the pin-up pose from Donna. Now she doesn't have a concave belly, it is completely flat, but her back arches in a manner that seems to imply that she has no ribcage.
This leads to one final problem I had with the art: it is massively inconsistent. The silhouette of Donna changes from page 6 as being a fit young woman, to the top of page 7 where she has no curves whatsoever, to massively heavy bosoms on page 8, to an emaciated 14 year old girl on page 18 -- 19. The same seems to happen to Wally West during the book, where he moves from a strong, fit, muscular man on page 4, to being thin lightweight, almost sickly looking Flash on page 7, and then bordering on being the Hulk on page 8.
The writing of the characters is equally inconsistent with previous portrayals. Gar is still being portrayed as being an insensitive jokester, not as someone who has been leading Doom Patrol for a year. Roy Harper is all over the place, leaping from teenage kid, to JLA member. Raven is completely unaware of how the world works in terms of social graces, and Cyborg sounds like he is from the streets (for the 3 panels he is in). All in all, it is almost like Judd Winick is writing the characters as they appeared in the 1980s, not as the veterans they are now.
As for the story itself, not a ton happens. Victor magically tracks down three women who were lovers of Trigon, everyone splits up into groups with each group investigating one woman, with poor Victor sitting back at the tower. After having strange effects happen, relating to three deadly sins, they all hang out and chat for a while in a great big group shot. Then the villains show up and introduce themselves calmly and politely.
Really, I'm wondering what the heck the point is of this book. I really think that it should just be canned now. The following should be the results: Cyborg gets into the JLA finally with Roy. Gar returns to Doom Patrol. Donna heads into space to find Kyle. Starfire hangs out with Adam Strange. Raven goes back to the Teen Titans (given that she is a teen again). Nightwing, well, maybe he can become Batman or something.
What did you think of this book?
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