Wow. The Titans are fighting the Justice League. Again. Yawn. What is this now, like the tenth annual dust-up between these two teams? The luster is gone. The story behind this skirmish, however, is that the Titans are attempting to protect one of their own — Jericho — from the Justice League who want to see the body-leaping son of Slade Wilson incarcerated.
Winick doesn’t really provide a convincing argument for why this needed to happen as it does, and some of his character choices (and their subsequent characterizations) just seem way far afield. Why bring along Firestorm, arguably one of the most powerful beings in the DCU, if he’s not going to be used? Why wouldn’t Nightwing cooperate with the League? That seems rather out of character for Nightwing.
The saving grace of this book is Howard Porter. He gets another go at the JLA, the team that truly made Porter’s career and the team that would be the JLA. Unfortunately for Porter, he also gets to render them all as members of the Cyclops fan club. The characters vulnerable to Jericho’s power have safeguarded themselves with visors that look distinctly like the one worn by Scott Summers. Not a look that all of these heroes can pull off.
On the whole, this story drew a new line in the sand between the JLA and the Titans. It also unleashed Jericho into the greater DCU to wreak havoc once more. This, of course, sets up the big Titans corner of the universe melee coming up in April. Maybe after that the Titans can find some new foes other than Brother Blood, Jericho, and Trigon.
“Origins & Omens” steals six pages from this issue and limits the main story to 18 pages. The “O&O” features wonderful art from Jesus Saiz (where’s he been?), but unfortunately does little except recap the history of the Titans to this point. Nightwing folds under the pressures of the mantle of the bat, and the “Omens” page offers some glimpses into the future of the Titans. That future doesn’t look especially inviting for Roy or Raven, and it also promises some clutch decisions for Gar and Wally. Hopefully the “Omens” page also indicates that Saiz will return to the pages of “Titans” should Porter need a break.
In all, this book doesn’t feel like it’s found its niche. The conflict with the JLA did nothing to help carve out that niche, even though that seemed to be Winick’s intent. Largely forgettable, this book weighs in as a placeholder for the real battle with Jericho in a few months.