Titans in Tatters, DC Rebirth’s Shocking Titans Drama after Lazarus Contact Special (Titans #12 Review)

Titans #12

Written by Dan Abnett

Panels and Cover Art by Kenneth Rocafort, Colors by Dan Brown

Lilith Clay (Omen) visits Psimon of the captured Fearsome Five in Riker’s Island after the questionable defeat of Deathstroke in the crossover event ‘The Lazarus Contract’ – attempting to gain information on Karen Duncan’s missing memories. Taking a quick trip down memory lane via a handy dandy telepathic conversation, readers learn the state of the Titans after the crossover series and where they’re headed next.

What You Need to Know: DC Rebirth has done an excellent job of blending both pre-crisis and New 52 cannon into the poetic balance we see today in their active series, even rolling in the surprising twist of bringing Watchmen into DC’s main continuity. One of the biggest gripes from fans during the New 52 series run was the loss of the original Wally West, The Flash who was The Flash longer than Barry ever was in that time of DC comics. He aged from a teen understudy to the real deal superhero, got married, even had children of his own that inherited the connection to the speedforce – then, boom! – all that was wiped clean with New 52’s desperate stab at rebooting the entire multiverse due to low comic sales.

While the new Wally was a great change of pace, it was a slap in the face to fans of the old Wally. DC heard the fan outrage and actually listened. DC Rebirth has done an amazing job of realizing its mistake of breaking away from legacies established over the decades while also breathing life into its active titles to keep with the times, and what a fun ride it’s been.

Titans Rebirth is all about the re-emergence of the original Wally West and the impact it has on the Titans, who are all now young adults and faced with the problems that go with it.  It’s nostalgic and also newly immersive, harking back to the old 1980s Teen Titans while also establishing new footing in this new universe where nothing is quite as it seems. Most of the original cast is there: Wally: who has gone from Kid Flash to The Flash, Dick: who has gone from Robin to Nightwing, Garth: Who has gone from Aqualad to Tempest, Donna: Who has gone from Wondergirl to Donna Troy, Roy: Who has gone from Speedy to Arsenal and Karen Duncan and Lilith Clay as Bumble Bee and Omen, respectively.

What You’ll Find Out:  Titans 12 kicks off after the defeat of Deathstroke, where the Titans and Teen Titans team up together to correct the mistakes of the past.  Secrets are unleashed and the consequences of time travel and past mistakes impact the team as a whole – a team who was already on shaky ground with Donna Troy’s discovery in the Titans Annual. The entire team is faced with both professional and personal struggles, all of which impact their ability to be truthful with each other and function successfully as a team.

Psimon’s telepathic interrogation leads the readers into doubting both Lilith’s ability to control him and the unity of the Titans as a whole. Lilith proves to be more than Psimon betted on, easily subduing him and getting the answers to where Karen’s memories are being held (which were ripped away during her emergence as a meta-human during a lab study).

The panels and cover art in this issue are fantastic and play well with the emotions lurking beneath the surface of each character. (That panel when Roy can’t bring himself to tell Donna how he feels? Absolutely crushing!) I really hope we see more out of Rocafort going forward.

What Just Happened? Lilith gains the location of Karen’s memories – which are being stored at a facility the Fearsome Five used to drain and steal powers from other meta-humans, but will they succeed in returning them to Karen? Considering the hefty drama piled up against them, the Titans should focus less on external struggles and more on healing the team’s insecurities about their friendship and feelings towards one another.

One of the core foundations that makes the Titans so powerful is their unbreakable trust for each other. But what happens if that trust is betrayed? The seeds of doubt are there – we will just have to keep reading to see if anyone acts on them and splinters the group.

Rating: 9/10

Final Thought: Hold onto your seatbelt kids, it’s about to be a bumpy ride.

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