I’m back, baby! It’s been a while, gang. Considering that I’ve been writing for Forte for the better part of five years, I figured I was overdue for a bit of a break. Now that I’ve had some time away to recharge the ol’ batteries, I’m ready and raring to go with a whole lot more comic-y goodness. Before I get started, however, I’d like to extend my thanks to Adrian for his stellar work filling in for me – especially considering that he basically came out of retirement for me! Cheers for the help, bud.
As luck would have it, this week’s comic has a similar kind of “back from the dead” vibe – purely coincidental, I swear – that seems pretty fitting. This time around, I’ve picked up Titans Volume One: The Return of Wally West, written by Dan Abnett (Guardians of the Galaxy) and drawn by Brett Booth (Backlash) and Norm Rapmund (Teen Titans). Dan Abnett is probably one of my favourite authors going around, and surprisingly, it’s not for his work with comics – Abnett is one of a team of writers for the Black Library, the publishing house of Games Workshop that is known for its Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000 novels. Given that I’m a long-time Warhammer 40k nerd, I’ve been reading Abnett’s work for years, and he is easily one of my top three authors.
Once, the Teen Titans were one of the most formidable superhero teams in the DC Universe. While they began their careers as the sidekicks of some of the most famous heroes around – Batman, Wonder Woman and Green Arrow, to name a few – they bonded over the years, and became the closest of friends. Everything they thought they knew was wrong – they had a member they never even knew existed. Wally West, formerly Kid Flash, had ceased to exist, and his teammates – his closest friends – had forgotten him. Stranded outside time itself, Wally could only look in on the universe he was once a part of. Pulled back into reality, and emerging from the Speed Force with the assistance of his mentor – the Flash – Wally must adapt to a reality that has forgotten his very existence, and answer one key question. Why has the world forgotten him?
Titans was one of my favourite Rebirth titles. I wasn’t super familiar with the characters – with the exception of Nightwing, Arsenal and Wally – but the little I knew was enough to get me by. The absence of OG Wally West was something of a sore point for me during the New 52 – I grew up with Wally as the Flash, after all – and this is a fantastic reintroduction for a beloved DC stalwart. Abnett does a fantastic job of quickly throwing all of the main players back together again, and jumping right to the action. Booth and Rapmund produce some seriously great art between them – any of the splash pages could be posters, and the panels where Wally is streaking around look absolutely amazing. It’s surprisingly high-quality all the way through – in my experience, DC’s art can vary drastically from page to page in non-headliner books.
Titans has a cracker of a story, and some of the coolest characters in the DC universe kicking around in its pages – I reckon it’s well worth a spot on your shelf if you haven’t read it already.
Written by Alastair McGibbon