After doing that recap of the Titans series, it seems as appropriate time as any to review the newest issue of the series. That was totally planned by the way (it was so convenient and I had no idea Titans was coming out this week).
With the wrap-up of Lazarus Contract, the Titans are reeling from the revelations and conclusion of that story as well as with what Donna Troy learned about herself at the hands of her mentor, Wonder Woman. Meanwhile, there is continued strife between Bumblebee and her husband, Herald, as the former's memories of their relationship has been completely wiped by the villain, Psimon.
With this, Omen has gone to visit Psimon in prison to learn where he has sent the memories of Bumblebee as well as why he did so. He dives into the memories of Omen to use the strife of the Titans against her, hoping to break her mind. We see the conflicts between Arsenal and Donna, the newfound distrust of Nightwing, the struggles between Bumblebee and Herald, Wally's struggles with Linda Park and his new pacemaker, Wally's budding relationship with Donna, and Omen's budding relationship with Tempest. We also learn of a vision of a traitor to the Titans which Psimon beheld. Despite these looming conflicts, Omen still hopes to get what she needs from Psimon.
This is one of those breather issues I praised the Titans series for in my recap, and it certainly fits the bill by giving us a snapshot of what is going on in the lives of the Titans through the framing of Psimon interrogating Omen's mind. This is clever, as it also advances one of the plots this book is juggling, if only a little.
At one point, Psimon calls the relationship struggles of the Titans "a soap opera." Despite this apparent self-awareness of the book, it all feels a little too soap operatic. We have something of a love triangle, one of the most tiresome plot structures of all time, between Arsenal, Donna Troy, and the Flash. We have Omen and Tempest getting together. The most interesting development, Nightwing's deception, is barely touched on and only by Herald while raging about the issues with Bumblebee.
To move into spoiler territory. Psimon posits that Omen's codename is more literal than she thinks, claiming that she is an omen of what's to come. It seems likely that this is teasing the big Watchmen thing boiling in the background of Rebirth, but it also is a sign of the coming treachery in the Titans. It implies that it might be Omen. I really hope not. The introvert being the manipulated traitor? No, never. The powerful telepath turning on the team because of forces beyond her control? That's never happened in comics ever for real and definitely not multiple times with the same frigging character.
I'm being facetious and making some assumptions about plot points, I will freely admit that. However, a lot of these ideas are tried-and-true tropes of super hero comic storytelling. Hopefully Titans will stray from that and my predictions will be proven wrong. We'll see in the coming months.
The artistic team of Kenneth Rocafort and Dan Brown of Ultimates fame is back on this book, and it looks amazing as a result. The gritty and surrealist style of Rocafort is always welcome, and the pairing of Brown's stark coloring is a winning combination. It seems possible that they brought Rocafort in for the psychic conversation of this issue, but hopefully he will stick around.
This comic is a nice touching of base for where the team is at right now, and it's put in at a nice moment after a larger story. However, the pervasiveness of the tiresome love triangle trope as well as the lack of development the Omen-Tempest thing had before this issue makes very little of it hold much weight. The mental battle between Omen and Psimon is the strongest part of the plot of this issue, and the artwork of Kenneth Rocafort easily raises the quality of this comic above where it would be otherwise.
This isn't a bad issue to pick up if you're just hopping on Titans, and it's not a bad overall issue. However, it is the weakest of this series by far. Give it a read if you love these characters or want to try out this book, but hopefully the next issue will be back to its high standard of quality.