Titans #1 Review

Titans gets its very own post for a few reasons:

1) I have an annoying ear infection and am subsequently brain-tired
2) This is one of three books I've really been looking forward to
3) I talk too much
4-10) Feeling lazy this afternoon

On an upside, I figured out how to do jumps for the post. You could do it too!

Spoilers await, just a warning.

Disclaimer: Palindrome does not in any way, shape or form support or encourage the reading of this comic book.

So I read it while I was at The Stop and as soon as I was done, I felt immensely disappointed but couldn't put my finger on why. Part of that was the Percocet, really. I commented to PalinDrome about this and he pointed out that my disappointment in Trigon being the Villain Reveal! shouldn't exist, because it's a nice full circle touch for bringing them all back together again. I agreed to the point, but still didn't have any concrete reasons , so I wandered away from The Stop in a thoughtful little haze. Lunch was nibbled on during the reread and I very nearly drove BACK to The Stop after figuring out why I'm so disappointed.

But I didn't because that would've been really really silly.

Normally I don't critique art. I can't draw and appreciate it on a very plebeian level. It wasn't as terrible as I've been reading about, but it definitely wasn't something that made me stop and peer at the panels in happy awe. Maybe terrified awe, because I have my suspicions that every one of the seven got violated by the Tentacle/Long Tongue/Whatever creatures that attacked them.

Cyborg, at the very least, definitely got rode hard and put away wet.

So okay, the art wasn't the best but I did get fanservice naked members, which is always a pleasant thing. Let's just ignore Starfire's Horrifying Lack Of Nipples and the fact that no high school girl had that rack and how Raven looks like a Suicide Girl and for some strange reason Dick and Roy were the only ones left clothed (not that I'm bitter or pathetic).

I'm going to go through this whole damn book and complain about it. It'll likely be only interesting to people who think I'm amusing. If you don't, navigate away to something awesome.

The opening scene with Dick was superfluous and confusing. This'll be my complaint from here on out with every character that was written here, but Winick took too long to establish what was going on and then abruptly had them getting attacked and just as abruptly took the camera off them. I understand what he was trying to do, I think, but the execution of his method was bad. Something an editor really, really should've flagged.

To move from there straight into Naked Starfire Sunning Herself was jarring and I feel the distraction of her nudity was used to compensate for two useless pages of panels that really explained nothing beyond a) where she was and why, b) she likes being naked because she doesn't have those American Morals and c) She can still give every hetero male a boner.

It felt like Winick had no clue where he was specifically going for the first eight pages, just knew he wanted to introduce the Current Affairs of Dick and Kory and used filler nonsense to do it. I'm really tired of writers pandering to people who've never read these characters before and making long-time readers suffer because of it. If you're worth your salt as a writer you can juggle both successfully. Winick dropped two of the three balls here. Oh, and hey, btw, there aren't a lot of New Readers that don't know what the fuck Wikipedia is. Just so everyone knows.

Raven's scene was a little more interesting, I suppose, because I haven't read the Emo Art Crack that is her title and had no idea what she was up to. Winick only spends two pages on her, half of which lets The Gentle Reader know that--surprise surprise--Raven isn't playing well with Other Bitches. And then she gets assaulted by a hideous Bovine Hellbeast.

Then enter Roy. I love Roy. LOVE Roy. I love his conversation with Lian, because I have had that very conversation with my eldest (substitute "Moo" for "Skootch"). It was a nice, establishing little exchange there. And then . . . apparently stone spikes are popping from the ground? And there's supposed to be feelings of peril and worry for Roy, I know there is, but tension really didn't get established. At all. Winick spends a page on this total and the whole page ends up being a total flop. After Nightwing and the Bondage Special Team, Starfire and the Super Teethy Fish Monster and Raven with her Bovine Hellbeast, stone spikes fall in at a far less-worrying fourth. Or eighth.

Just a note, Winick, next time, upgrade to something scarier than a Bovine Hellbeast.

Okay. Gar! Gar has to be more interesting! Has to be! It can't just be six hugely empty panels with a serious lack of words depicting not much on the first two pages. That'd be silly. That'd be bad writing and--oh, hey, wait. That's exactly what happened.

Another note, Winick, next time give Roy a second page and stop stalling panels because there isn't anything interesting going on yet.

I'm not going to touch on the obvious Donna and Kyle and Tentacles jokes that are milling around. How about you take a minute and make them for yourself.

. . . .

Good show! These two pages were useless and I still have no idea what the crap is going on, why it's going on or WHEN this is going on. (Basically, the comic book is reading a lot like this post of mine).

But never mind that, onto Wally! Who has to be more interesting, because all those INTERESTING things are happening in The Flash with his cash situation and his kids and wife and . . . oh. Hm. Shower scene. I'm okay with that.

. . . wait--wait, really? That's it? He's talking and then Evil Soap Scum slinks up his nicely defined calves from the shower drain to molest him?

Well hey, Wally, at least it wasn't stone spikes.

And then we're given, for some odd reason, the current(sort of) Teen Titans. Uhm? WTF? Seriously, this annoys the shit out of me: Supergirl is gone, Red Devil is off getting flayed and this is just . . . annoying. Instead of showing the current Teen Titans, Winick, I really wish you had shown some of the OTHER Former/Whatever Titans that were supposed to be in peril. Or spent these really boring three pages split between Roy and Raven. Or someone else and Raven. The writing was, again, weak and filler.

I know this is a Part Two, but Part One did happen months ago and this whole three page interjection of the current(sort of) Teen Titans just annoyed me because it felt really, really useless. And yet again there was no tension or concern.

And then there's Batman and his SUPER DUPER LONG CAPE. So we go BACK to Nightwing, watch him fight and talk for a few pages and then Batman takes two pages to tell him that all of his former teammates are in danger.

Problem: A whole page is spent on Batman standing there with a Bondage Criminal tied up (Ha! Hoisted by your own petard, sir). A WHOLE PAGE. And then it takes FOUR PANELS on the next page for Batman to tell Nightwing that "something's happened".

The writing on this is so filler it makes me want to cry. SO FILLER. SO VERY VERY FILLER.

Long story short, That Guy That Went Psycho On Supergirl is dead, Cyborg is half a man in a jar, a bunch of other people that we didn't get to see are injured and THEN there's what I think Winick and Churchill think is the Money Shot.

The second to last page, close-up shots on all our heroes faces as they sort out who might be behind all this nefarious, off-panel-likely-terrifying action without letting us know how they managed to get themselves to this point. At this point I am so tired of empty, huge panels that I am not excited at all by the dramarama. And then the last two-page reveal of TRIGON!! Mwahaha!

They all look over-dramatic, Dick looks like he's asking someone if there's something in his teeth, Kory looks stoned, Donna looks idiotic (which is running on par with her appearances in Countdown), Gar looks like he's doing an impression of the thinking man, Flash might be wondering if he should check on his wife and kids since he was ATTACKED IN HIS OWN HOUSE and Roy looks like he's having Private Time with his bow.

Good god.

This issue should've been kick-ass. It should've been AWESOME and exciting and every damn page should've been SLAMMED with excellent. It wasn't. Instead, the writing was weak and mostly filler, the panels were empty and I'm pretty sure women have nipples (or Janet Jackson and I are just freaks), and it was all just so anti-climactic and confusing.

Seriously confusing. Like: when did they even fit the costume change in?

I'm disappointed. Obviously. I'll pick up #2 because I'm a sucker and I'm hoping that maybe, maybe this is just off to a rocky start and Winick can do a better job with the next script. (Hint: Have stuff actually happen in a quick way while slipping character interplay between it!)


PalinDrome said...

Like I said Winick has cool ideas but just can't manage the execution. I also wanted to say that I did not and never would have recommended this book. I just thought having Trigon as the first Big Bad was kind of cool.

Girl Friday K said...

Totally right there with you--I've liked some of Winick's stuff before and I think he's not a terrible writer, but this was just majestic in its awfulness.

And Trigon is a cool idea. That's really where it stops though.

I love that you disclaimered your non-support. I'll edit and make it clear that this does NOT have Stamps O'Approval. ;)

(also: after our Marvel vs DC discussions, I was inspired to read some Marvel to get a better handle on the 'verse. I have not stumbled across anything that backs up your statement that it's darker than DC--care to give me any recs when you have the time?

Elwood said...

Who's putting Vegas odds on the first Titan to come out of the closet, since that's Judd's other go-to story-writing move?

Girl Friday K said...

Heh--I want to say Starfire, since she doesn't have those Pesky American Morals.

Roy or Dick would make the interwebs AND heads explode, which could be REALLY funny to watch.

Or maybe it'll be Raven, so Gar can emo about how maybe he turned the tides for her.

Ferretnick said...

Unrelated to Titans (which I did not pick up nor read)... Thanks for the tech info link for Blogger stuff!

I'd been trying to figure out how you kids do that.
Now I can too. Whee!

Girl Friday K said...

No problem! That site has a lot of awesome How To's, for those of us that have no clue how to do savvy bloggery things.

Elwood said...

It was remarkably easy to do, even for the tech-tarded (like me). Didn't like the way it looked, though, so I removed it. No spoilers on my blog anyway.