Possible spoilers ahead!
Titans: Rebirth #1
Written by Dan Abnett Art by Brett Booth, Norm Rapmund and Andrew Dalhouse
Published by DC Comics
Last month’s release of “DC Universe: Rebirth #1” kicked off a new era of for the company that gave us Superman and Batman.
Rebirth is the publishers latest attempt to fix their continuity, and probably their only chance to make up for the (many) mistakes of the New 52 reboot.
Although several Rebirth comics have been published over the last month or so, it was this week’s “Titans Rebirth #1” that felt like the first chapter of a larger attempt at fixing things.
“Titans Rebirth #1” sees pre-52 Wally West (the real Wally!) reconnecting with his longtime friends in the Titans. Following Wally’s return in DC Universe Rebirth Special, Titans Rebirth feels like a rebooting of one of DC’s most beloved franchises, and it was a wonderful thing to witness.
For one thing, when I started reading comics Wally West was the Flash, more importantly he was my Flash. And after years of following his adventures, watching him evolve from wise-ass to a full member of the Justice League, to a husband and father, I was one of the many readers who wanted him back.
As for the Titans, I haven’t read a Titans book in a few years. I tried a couple of issues of the New 52 series, but it wasn’t anything special. . I did read the Geoff Johns relaunch from 2003, but had to drop it when funds got low.
Now writer Dan Abnett gives Wally a fitting return, and he gives the Titans new hope. Too bad that Wally’s longtime friends have forgotten all about him.
This winds up being a perfect framing device for this fast paced one-shot, giving Wally, Nightwing, Donna Troy, Arsenal and the rest of the team a chance to showcase their abilities, all while they slowly begin to remember their former teammate.
This is an old-school kind of superhero misunderstanding you don’t see too often in comics today, and one that leads to a fun battle between Wally and the Titans. Some reader might not like the premise, but for me it brought back fond memories of other comics.
And don’t worry if you don’t know anything the original Teen Titans. Dan Abnett uses Wally as a guide for this super battle, introducing readers to his friends and playing up their personalities and power sets for those who might be meeting the characters for the first time.
By utilizing a running internal monologue as well as flashbacks from Wally’s memories, we get to see Wally and Lilith’s first kiss; Dick and Wally taking the Batmobile for a joyride; and Wally showing Donna how pranks work. All these scenes are even more special for me because of Bret Booth’s art.
I’ve been a Booth fan since way back when he was drawing “Backlash” for Image Comics in the mid 1990’s. His style is fun, because everyone looks like a superhero, but in a normal way. No Rob Liefeld exaggerations here.
What else can I say about “Titans Rebirth #1”? Basically, in one single issue, Dan Abnett and Bret Booth gave new life to a superhero team that was almost unrecognizable in the New 52 world. They brought back one of my favorite characters, and they reignited some of the best friendships in comics. When I saw the splash page of Arsenal, Donna Troy and Lilith all hugging a laughing Wally, I thought to myself “The Flash is finally home.”
“Titans Rebirth #1” finals score: 9