Titans (Back) Together – Review of TITANS REBIRTH #1

titans rebirthThe welcome home tour for the original Wally West continues straight out of the pages of FLASH REBIRTH, as Wally returns to his first super-team, the Titans! Will his friends remember him? And, if they don’t, what happens next? One thing is for certain…fans of the original Wally are (so far) ecstatic with his depiction since his return to the DCU. Whether that trend continues…is something we’ll talk about more after the jump as we look at TITANS REBIRTH #1!

SPOILERS AHEAD!

As Wally heads to meet his friends for the first time (again), we see flashbacks to their time together as the original Titans. Those flashbacks continue throughout the issue, serving both as “new” history for the team in the REBIRTH era DCU and as a means of demonstrating the return of each teammate’s memory of him. Wally’s first meeting is with Dick Grayson, and of course a fight ensues since Dick does not recognize his old friend. Eventually the entire team is pitted against Wally, and if it weren’t for some timely intervention by the Speed Force itself we might have found Wally in pretty bad shape. But, as Wally comes into physical contact with each teammate during the fight, the Speed Force creates a sort of shock, returning each person’s memory of their long-lost friend.

This sounds like a simple plot…and it is both simple and effective. This is a terrific jumping on issue, one that honors both Wally’s character and the history of the Titans. This version of Wally still carries memories of what once was (with yet another mention of Linda), but his personality is what shines through so well.  I loved writer Dan Abnett’s echoing of Mark Waid’s classic intro, “My name is Wally West. I’m the Fastest Man Alive”. Everything in this book shouted the return of the version of Wally that fans have been clamoring for since the beginning of the New 52. In other words, if you wanted to reset the Titans’ story in a way that could be interesting to both long-time and new fans, THIS would be the book.

As for the new duds? I actually like them. The colors remind me a bit of the Walter West uniform from back in the day, and it does a good job of honoring both Wally’s time as Kid Flash and later on as THE Flash. This brings me to artwork…and a thanks to the team that handled THE FLASH during the Venditti and Jensen era, Brett Booth, Norm Rapmund, and Andrew Dalhouse.  This was illustrated exceptionally well from start to finish – I’ve been a fan of this team’s work all along, and I really enjoyed how they handled all the Titans in this book.

Just a note –  Brett Booth published a design for a Wally West return uniform back in the early days of the New 52. It may not have been picked up by DC at the time, but I’m glad to see him getting to draw Wally again now.

Just another note: I’m wondering about the nature of the Speed Force itself in this new era of the DCU. The Speed Force has now supposedly hidden Wally for years, and now it appears to have the power to restore memories in Barry, in the Titans, and we must assume others yet to come. The Speed Force is manifesting as a silver-white color with Wally (as opposed to the yellow surrounding Barry), but it’s more the effects of the Speed Force that are intriguing here. Whether we go back to a pre-FLASHPOINT vision of the Speed Force, some hybrid of pre/post-FLASHPOINT versions of the Speed Force, or something else entirely has yet to be seen. That will be interesting to watch…

One last note: My fandom for the Titans goes back to when I bought the Teen Titan’s first official appearance back in the 60’s (keep in mind I’ve been reading comics for 52 years…). I’ll admit to getting a little misty-eyed while reading this issue. It’s a great start, and I’m looking forward to the ongoing TITANS series.

I’ll give this one a 10/10. What is YOUR opinion? Leave your comments below!

16 thoughts on “Titans (Back) Together – Review of TITANS REBIRTH #1

  1. Jesse

    btw The “My name is Wally West. I’m the Fastest Man Alive” intro was started by Bill Messner-Loebs, not Mark Waid. I don’t know any way to say that without sounding pedantic, but it’s good to give the guy credit.

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  2. I.Strange

    Well, [pedantic nitpick alert] the conceit to Wally’s return is he’s a pre-New 52 character who remembers the old continuity — very meta! So I found it weird/inconsistent how the “revealed” memories were essentially made up. Or disingenuous maybe? “Wally is so great. He taught me how to have fun. He was my first kiss. We went joyriding in the Batmobile!” Okay yeah, Wally IS great but I’m pretty sure none of that **** happened. They’re retconning while un-retconning and it’s all very confusing to me, a robot.

    (I mean, it’s a pretty good issue though. 7/10 for me.)

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    1. Golddragon71

      I actually looked up Lilith/Omen to see if she and Wally actually had a relationship at any point. Near as my research indicates, they didn’t (lilith actually had feelings for Gnarrk aka Caveboy) As i recall Wally did have an almost relationship with Raven before he became involved with Magenta aka Frances Kane.

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    2. Kelson

      Those flashbacks are from the modern continuity in which the Titans broke up and had their memories wiped.

      This Wally isn’t just copied from the pre-Flashpoint DCU and pasted into the New 52. He’s from this timeline, but was pulled out of history like Linda was during “Chain Lightning.”

      Presumably being stuck outside of time for years gave him access to memories from other timelines.

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    3. Rob S.

      The joyriding in the Batmobile was established pre-Flashpoint, at least. There was a flashback story about it toward the end of Wally’s series.

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  3. Kyle

    I really loved this issue. I haven’t been a big fan of the New 52, but now that they brought Wally back, I’m coming around. The way it was handled, nicely done. I started collecting Flash at the height of Wally’s career, just before Zero hour, and I’m so thrilled DC FINALLY brought him back! No complaints, and the costume…I like it

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  4. Steve

    The Speed Force was created to represent untapped and realized potential in a person. The more mysterious it remains, the truer it remains to what it was created to be.

    The Barry Allen-generated energy field that is somehow both finite and infinite is inelegant, nonsensical, and requires much more explaining than Mark Waid’s vague “magic” version.

    So…I guess I’m on the side of keeping it a force of nature like in the TV show rather than a science experiment.

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  5. Steve

    Loved this issue, btw. It’s a perfect jumping on point not just for new readers, but for Young Justice fans as well.

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  6. Jim Thomas

    Im wondering it this is going to bring back Bart at all. I mean Wally is helping people remember things so wouldnt Barry remember Bart?

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    1. Golddragon71

      I’m thinking that in Flash they’re going to eventually reveal bart returning as Barry and Iris become more of a couple. right now, Bart’s existence is hampered by Barry and Iris being “friends” (It was even more so when Barry was with Patty Spivot) I think as time goes on there will be clues that Bart is stuck in the Speed Force until circumstances allow his escaping. (Chances are that when he does escape he’ll return to the Impulse identity he started out with)

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      1. Kelson

        Sort of a “Back to the Future” approach?

        It would be nice to have him back as Impulse. I don’t have a problem with Kid Flash being a role rather than an identity, but Impulse is *who Bart is* (or at least who pre-Flashpoint Bart is). Changing him to be Kid Flash just threw away a unique identity that was actually tied to his personality, and I”m not sure the character has ever really recovered.

        I forget, is Bar Torr still around in Teen Titans? I know New Wally will be taking over as Kid Flash once Rebirth hits the series, but I can’t remember if they’ve brought him back after the most recent relaunch. (Seriously, DC, just start doing yearly “seasons” like on TV.)

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        1. Lee H

          Bar Torr returned to Teen Titans after Convergence, with no real explanation (it was mentioned he got sent back in time, but he didn’t seem sure of how or why).

          Whatever Will Pfeifer had in mind for the series in general got seriously derailed by editorial. There was some abrupt housecleaning at the end – part of which was Bar Torr suddenly disappearing, leaving a note saying he had unfinished business to attend to in the future.

          It was all a bit Poochy. “I have to go now. My planet needs me.”

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      2. Lee H

        I’d love to see Bart Allen re-introduced as Impulse. Unlike Wally, I don’t think he needs to have an established history as a super-hero. A clean slate would be best.

        At this point, it’s best to write Bar Torr off as a different character from a different timeline.

        I think the fact that Barry and Iris aren’t currently a couple could make Bart’s arrival even more interesting. It would certainly be more of a surprise to both of them.

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  7. Kelson

    I’m not completely sold on this series yet. I’ve been burned by Titans relaunches too many times, for one thing, and Booth’s art style isn’t my cup of tea. It was nice to see the old band back together, though.

    I find it interesting that after years of trying and failing (with the exception of the cartoon series) to recapture the magic of the 80s Wolfman/Perez New Teen Titans, they’ve decided instead to try for the 70s Haney/Cardy era. It takes a different approach, and who knows, it might make for a better fit with the compressed timeline.

    Reply

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