DC Universe: Rebirth #1 reintroduced Wally West, who has finally broken through time to land in a world that has forgotten him. Tethered to the DC Universe by Barry Allen, who remember Wally at the last moment, Wally and Barry begin to tackle the mystery of who changed the world and why. Wally remarks that not only were ten years of time taken from them, but specific important moments that marked the development of friendships and relationships between heroes were removed by a foe, making them weaker.
Following DC Universe: Rebirth, the next step in this long-form mystery is Titans: Rebirth #1 by Dan Abnett, Brett Booth, Norm Rapmund, Andrew Dalhouse, and Carlos M. Mangual.
Titans: Rebirth #1 follows down that same path of rebuilding what was lost, but in a much different way. While DC Universe: Rebirth #1 was a deconstruction, examination, and call to action by Geoff Johns, the Titans team takes a more straight-forward approach here, spending the issue pitting the Titans against Wally before finally reuniting them when their memories of their old friend are sparked. Wally shows up in the apartment and touches Dick, who receives a psychic shock that, as Lilith states later in the issue, alters Dick’s “mental patterns.”
This misunderstanding, the Titans pegging Wally who they don’t recognize as a foe, plays out for most of the issue, until each of them touch him and receive that same shock. While it feels like it takes Wally a long time to figure out that this is what he needs to do to get them to remember him, the sequences that follow the return of their memories are stellar. Dick, Donna, Roy, Lilith, and Garth are stunned by heart-warming flashbacks to fun and raw moments with Wally, remembering him as a friend first and a hero second.
At the end, the Titans have been rebuilt as a team, and they stand together as friends. They intend to investigate who did this to them and why, but the Watchmen connection that arose at the end of DC Universe: Rebirth #1 isn’t explored here. Rather, the Titans suspect Mister Twister, and Wally confesses that he doesn’t know, but believes that, together, they can get through anything.
Though it lacks the nuance and the narrative scope of DC Universe: Rebirth #1, this issue gave us something that we haven’t had in a long time. The Titans are back together, and it seems that the creative team is setting this book up to be an essential piece in the ongoing cosmic whodunit that will seemingly lead the heroes of the DC Universe into conflict with Dr. Manhattan. I think this is a good start and, though it feels more like an opening scene than a complete comic due to some intense decompression, it’s great to be reading and enjoying DC Comics with these characters once again. If those fun and heartwarming flashbacks are indicative of the tone we’re going to get in Abnett and Booth’s ongoing Titans story, consider me strapped in for the ride.
PAT SHAND writes comics (Vampire Emmy, Hellchild, Van Helsing), novels (Iron Man, Charmed), and pop culture journalism (Sad Girls Guide, Blastoff Comics). He currently spends his days writing, reading, and trying to convince himself not to get yet another cat.