“Titans” is in that awkward spot right now where it isn’t sure what it is. It’s not ready for the adult table, but it sure doesn’t fit at the kids’ table any more. This issue epitomizes that quandary. This issue comes across as an incomplete homage to classic Wolfman/Perez type stories. From page one, writer Pat McCallum tries to give us a day in the life of the Titans but, from the get-go, it just feels off. This issue is a spotlight on Beast Boy, but with his first piece of dialog, I found myself distanced from Beast Boy. Cyborg corrects Beast Boy on the difference between apes and monkeys. Cyborg corrects the guy who can turn into an ape or a monkey about the fact that apes are not monkeys. McCallum seems intent on playing the characters out of character, and this is further evidenced by a bout of Donna “acting weird” and dressing provocatively. Other than Beast Boy mentioning it again in the book, the Donna Troy piece seems like wasted panels and an excuse to flash a thong.
The rest of the issue follows Beast Boy as he tries to find his place in the world. His journey takes him to a sci-fi/fantasy convention in San Francisco. From there, he crosses paths with the current incarnation of the Teen Titans and it appears as though Beast Boy might have some idea of what to do with the rest of his life.
Unzueta’s art is inconsistent in this issue, and inconsistent from last issue to this one. The action scenes are well done, but the quieter scenes — which are the first half of this issue — are less developed and frequently seem like tryout pages. This malady is further complicated by the pick-a-color randomness of the backgrounds created by Hi-Fi. In one page — in one room — the non-descript backgrounds range in color from yellow to orange to lime green to teal to lime green again.
This issue wants to be “A Day in the Life,” but it feels more like a “DC Tryout Book.” DC desperately needs to decide how to commit to this title, what “Titans” needs to be and how to get there. This title has been boring and flat for over half a year now, and this issue is just another example of that. I want to enjoy “Titans,” truly I do, but to receive this level of effort for my hard earned three bucks really makes me want to chalk it up and start a different title.