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‘Titans #25’ (review)

Written by Dan Abnett 
Illustrated by Brandon Peterson,
Guillem March, Denis Medri
Published by DC Comics

 

“So, what’s a nice superhero like you,
doing in a dive like this?”

 

In this issue of Titans, we start to see some indication that the purpose of Miss Martian’s presence on the team may be no more suspect than the fairly straightforward purpose of in fact serving as a helpful liaison to the Justice League, and a powerful addition to Nightwing’s team.

I certainly hope that’s all there is to it, because with the events of this latest adventure, some of the barriers between these two start to come down.

And then some.

That’s helpful given how annoying it is to have Dick simply reacting to M’gnn all the time, a fact that has been commented on repeatedly so far in the series. Clearly these two have some issues to work out, and in a manner more in step with the maturity we expect from him, Nightwing acknowledges this by pairing up with Miss Martian when the team is required to split up to handle their latest emergent Source energy event.

The consequences of which are surprising in more ways than one.

The first thing that we are made to realize is that, once again, these events are more than minor happenings. Evidently the power that the unsuspecting citizens of our planet are being bombarded with, and changed by, appears to be creating omega level, reality warping abilities.

That’s interesting.

It also makes me wonder why this doesn’t appear to be more of a crisis across the DCU, but whatever, it serves to make for an increasingly compelling set-up for this series at least. All in due course I suppose.

It does give author Dan Abnett a wide field of imagination to play within, and I’m pleased to say it looks like he’ll be taking full advantage of that. I’m further pleased to say, that the scenario’s he’s engineering from all this cosmic activity for our merry band of slightly dysfunctional heroes, may be just exactly the sort of crucibles – and catalysts – needed to forge them into a team to be reckoned with. That’s the kind of comic-book magic I can get behind.

That’s made clear as Dick and M’gann navigate the perils of an emergent encounter that brings new meaning to the term character-driven. In the process, they learn that each of them may have more to respect in one another – and more to offer one another – than they have perhaps believed, through all their cat-fighting so far.

Mind you, it’s not clear how much of that is innate to their characters, and how much of that is a result of the powerful force they’re subjected to. But that’s part of the fun. Maybe we’re not meant to know. And maybe it doesn’t matter.

The more this goes on, the more I’m impressed with the scope of Mr. Abnett’s story arc set-up. It seems that all the DC bullpen writers have been given the nod to go big and take things to the next level since the breaking of the Source Wall. This run is turning out to be a worthy addition to the creative ferment coming out of that.

Artist Brandon Peterson is back as lead artist on this issue, and his talent with form and layout is a real positive for the book. But it’s also a good chance for Guillem March to step in for a… necessary change in perspective.

In the end, it seems that M’gnn may be finally earning Nightwing’s regard. Normally I’d wonder how Raven would feel about that, as it seemed she’d been shaping up quite nicely to be a co-team leader with Dick. Come to think of it, her and M’gnn’s power sets are nicely balanced, leaving me to think that the potential set-up for a conflict between these two seems almost tailor-made.

First though, we’re going to have to see what mischief Prince Travesty is yet to get up to as Raven’s secret doppleganger. So far, he seems determined to play the role of our missing wayward sorcerous empath to the hilt, with more than a little deception at work to seal the deal.

Which, makes me wonder what else he might try to seal. Given the eyes he’s already given Nightwing, and the spark that jumped to life this issue with the second red-haired alien gal in Dick’s life, it certainly does suggest a potential for some high reality-show level drama ahead for the team.

Where are you Raven? Better figure out a way to get yourself back here fast.

Next Issue: Reality gets weirder, I bet. And Mother is her to lead her children…

 

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