Titans United is a new seven-issue miniseries launching this week from Cavan Scott and José Luís. It features an interesting collection of Titans and a big problem to solve right out of the gate: a civilian who can’t control their powers and is going to get somebody killed!
This is an interesting first issue that may be more about a cool lineup more than anything else, at least once the issue ends. The cover says it all as we see Nightwing, Donna Troy, Superboy, Starfire, Raven, Beast Boy, and Red Hood all on the team along with Hawk and Dove for good measure. The issue opens with a regular dude seemingly going about his day until his nose bleed turns into optic blasts taking out the side of a building. He has no control over his powers and the Titans show up to save the day. Or so they think.
After you shake the feeling we’re reading a comic about Cyclops, Scott does well to get every hero integrated into the story. Beast Boy might be the most fun as he has the comedic banter, but the edgy nature of Red Hood and Superboy are intriguing as well. As far as team books are concerned, Scott does well to mix in all the characters which is a common failing for some.
The problem with this issue is that the majority of it is focused on these heroes trying to help this civilian who can’t help himself. It turns out he is somehow taking their powers and is unable to control them. There is only the start of mystery offered here before the issue ends. Before any detective work can take place, or even for these heroes to begin to understand what is going on, the cliffhanger suggests they must rush out to stop some other calamity of similar confusion.
That makes this issue read like a so-so start to a better read once in trade paperback. Decompression can be a bugger with books like this, but it, unfortunately, makes this issue skippable until the second issue opens things up.
The art does well enough with a ’90s style detailed superhero look. That gives the book a nostalgic vibe it and it’s well done. There are a lot of powers at work in the issue and Jonas Trindade’s inks with Red Lokus’ colors give it the pizzaz one expects from Big Two superhero comics. There’s a stand-out three-headed animal monster that sticks out as excellent, for instance. Sadly, because there’s so much confusion as to what is going on or even if we should care about the power changing civilian the superheroes are trying to contain, it’s hard to care about any of it.
This is a well-managed superhero book that hasn’t quite found its hook yet. Titans United #1 could be a stand-out book, especially for Titans fans, but you may need to wait for the second issue to be sure if this is a trade waiting situation or just plain skippable.
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