Perhaps it was the low expectations I carried with me to my chair as I got ready to read “Titans” #24 that made this book nowhere near as bad as I expected. It may have actually been the writing. It certainly isn’t the characters. The only reason Deathstroke and Cheshire should be running around in a comic with “Titans” on the cover is as villains, running from the Titans. These characters do not interest me, but their situation does. Osiris’ tangential connection to the Marvel family, his sudden power bursts, and Deathstroke’s secret prisoner are intriguing, but not much more than that.
Beyond that, Wallace’s script is fairly vanilla. Show off characters, surprise twist, cliffhanger ending. Nothing here makes me want to cheer for the characters, nor do I feel compelled to put this comic on my pull list any time too soon.
The art doesn’t move me either. At its best, it is inconsistent. At its worst, it is uninspired storytelling. The credits list both Fiorentino and Mayhew, but neither truly establishes himself here. That might help explain some component of the inconsistency running rampant in this issue, but there’s a lot about the art in this book that falls flat. The scene where Cinder (I suppose) hurls a fireball is lost in a mishmash of poor storytelling choices. Osiris’s magic lightning confused me seemingly as much as it did Osiris, but as a third party; the reader should have a slight advantage in figuring out where it came from and how. The art team handles pin-ups and splash pages quite nicely though, especially when Osiris lands and destroys the street.
This series has very little claim to the title of “Titans” and could easily have been a “Brotherhood of Evil,” or “Deathstroke” title for what it is worth here. This issue wasn’t as bad as I anticipated, but it wasn’t good enough to get me to give a twitch about any of these characters. The characters here are not loveable scamps; they’re not misguided. They’re evil. They’re ruthless and conniving. They’ve all got hidden agendas, and I don’t have the patience to see them through. This issue is filled with dismemberments, neck-breakings, and explosions just because it can be. As part of DC’s “Brightest Day” movement, this title is pretty dim.
“Titans” as a title has suffered quite a bit in recent years. I’m hoping that condition gets corrected soon. With a foul-mouthed Cheshire (when did she adopt sailor’s dialog anyway?), a ruthless Tattooed Man, a shadow of Deathstroke, and whiny Osiris being played for his power set there’s not much cause to think “Titans” is going to get better anytime soon.
I do hope Wallace and team manage to prove me wrong, but I don’t think I have the fortitude to see it through.