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Titans #22

by  in Comic Reviews Comment
Titans #22

J. T. Krul has written some of the more enjoyable Titans-related tales of late, but that’s akin to saying Matthew Stafford has quarterbacked some of the more enjoyable Lions games of late. “Titans” has a funk on it so foul that the Detroit Lions may as well be roses by comparison.
Krul wrote “Blackest Night: Titans” which set in motion some of the discoveries for how to defeat the Black Lanterns. In that series, Krul wrote the Titans as a gang of friends, like they used to be, complete with witty banter as opposed to the melodramatic twits and cardboard cutout placeholders many of these characters seem to have been reduced to over the past half decade or so. Krul takes advantage of the situation here, and gives the Titans, such as they are, a chance to reflect and make some decisions about their own personal forward progress.
Last issue set the team up for a breakup, considering how the various demands of certain characters have propelled them in vastly different directions from one another. The remaining Titans we are left with are Donna Troy (can we please get her a valid codename?!), Starfire, and Cyborg — all characters that have been identified to graduate to the big leagues or, more specifically, the Justice League. Kind of ruins the surprise of this issue, doesn’t it? Phobia, without the aid of her former Brotherhood allies, chooses to take on both Starfire and Cyborg and seems to do a decent job of knocking them down. Except we all know Vic and Kory are tougher than that, so Cyborg and Starfire kick Phobia’s ass, but not before she can set each of them on an introspective detour.
I like the voices Krul gives these characters, even if he was hamstrung by stories we’ve already read, or that have at least already been released. Krul uses this issue to answer the continuity questions surrounding when “Blackest Night: Titans” occurs in relation to the recent goings-on in “Titans” and “Teen Titans.” The end result makes this book seem more like a fill-in, or one of DC’s “Aftermath” books.
From what I’ve seen here and in the “Blackest Night” crossover, I’d like to see Krul get the chance to write solo adventures of Cyborg. He definitely seems to have a specific voice in mind for Vic, and has shown a knack for writing Cyborg with a little more depth even if he doesn’t have much of a chance to explore the depths of the character.
Unzueta’s art is consistently inconsistent. Some panels and pages are far more exciting than others. The first page is magnificent, with Cyborg screaming into action. Some of the H.I.V.E. scenes lack polish, and thereby did little to hold my interest. Unzueta’s got the chops, the talent, and the ability. I’d just like to see it applied evenly all the way through an issue. Make the panels of Hawk and Dove fighting cloaked figures as intriguing as Cyborg charging into battle.
Of course, much of this discussion is moot. The creative team is a flock of lame ducks here as the new “Titans” crew has been announced, along with the new direction and team.