Comics/Graphic Novels

Titans: Rebirth #1 (2016) Comic Book Review

So far, it’s pretty safe to say that the real stars of ‘Rebirth’ are the ‘Flash’ characters. As I’ve said before, those linked to the speed-force have had a lot of sway over the years, especially in relation to time itself. ‘Wally West’, in this regard, is no different. From his arrival at the beginning of ‘Rebirth’ he has managed to transcend time and interact with a number of characters, who had all but forgotten him.

Warning: There may be possible spoilers ahead.

In this issue, he is faced with one of his greatest challenges yet, when he has to confront a group of his closest friends as well as face the heartbreaking fact that they will not remember him.

‘Wally West’ will be best known, by many the DCU fan, as ‘Kid-Flash’. He was ‘Barry Allen’s’ side-kick and arguably one of the key figures amongst the younger heroes in the DCU, including his presence in the critically acclaimed series ‘Young Justice’ (#bringitback). Despite his presence in the DCU, since 1959, he disappeared from continuity in the New 52 and in his place came another ‘Wally West’, a cousin with the same great-grand father as a namesake.

With ‘Rebirth’, however, this disappearing act has been rectified and ‘Wally’ returns, this time as another ‘Flash’ (given that he is too old to be dubbed ‘Kid’). With his mentor’s memory of him restored his next goal is to jog the memory of his dearest friends, the other members of the original ‘Teen Titans’.

A lot of you, like me, will know the ‘Teen Titans’ from the 2003 animated series (as well as the more recent adaption ‘Teen Titans Go’). However, what a lot of you might not know is that the ‘Teen Titans have actually been around since the 60s and only a ‘Robin’ character has been a constant throughout the series. ‘Titans’ heralds the return of the original line-up, however,  given that they are in their 20s now, ‘Teen Titans’ no longer applies (hence ‘Titans’).

For those that are unaware of the New 52 line-up they include; ‘Nightwing’ (‘Dick Grayson’), ‘Donna Troy’ (long story…), ‘Aqualad’ (‘Garth’), ‘Arsenal’ (‘Roy Harper’) and ‘Lilith Clay’, These ‘Titans’ are a group who are used to having memories taken away from them as, in an introduction to true continuity, a series called ‘Titans Hunt’ was released. In this, these characters, along with some fellow ‘Teen Titan’ alumni, have their memories of each other taken away by supervillian Mister Twister. However when these ‘Titans’ memories return, those of Wally are still missing and all of them have a nagging feeling that a huge part of their lives is missing (#where’s Wally??). In this issue, Wally returns to fill that void and vows, along with the rest of the Titan’s to put things right and catch whoever is responsible.

As an avid reader of series that include a team dynamic, I was wondering how this reunited team would fare, especially given that they have no memory of one of their key members. ‘Titans: Rebirth #1’, however, has already demonstrated why this team of heroes, is one to keep tabs on.

Writer, Dan Abnett has managed to weave a sentimental but strong introduction to this, reunited, band of heroes. There are moments of sadness, reminiscent of the ‘Rebirth’ One-Shot, where Wally is once again rejected by those close to him, but also moments of hilarity when we are treated to a few trips down memory lane. Artists Brett Booth and Norm Rapmund have also done an excellent job of conveying the emotion of these characters as well as showing their strength despite this ordeal.

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‘Titans: Rebirth #1’ is yet another step back to a true continuity, and is one of the most welcome thus far. Within their ranks are some of the most charismatic and energetic members of the DC Universe and this first issue really manages to pay the homage they are due. In all, for those that want a good dose of action, some fun along the way and some good old fashioned team bonding, ‘Titans: Rebirth’ will undoubtedly be the series for you!

Score 9/10

Titans: Rebirth #1 is available to buy from today by clicking here or by visiting your local comic book retailer.

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