It's been revealed: Donna Troy is the one that the Key, Psimon, and Mister Twister were trying to summon. She is here, and our Donna Troy doesn't know how to process this reality.
This other Donna Troy is visibly unhinged and intent on wiping out the Titans on behalf of her younger self.
All the while, young Wally West, AKA the Kid Flash, is still reeling from the apparent death of the elder Wally West, the Flash of the Titans.
I said this of Sam Humphries and Tim Seeley in my Green Lanterns review from a few days back, but Dan Abnett is extremely skilled at writing characters endearing and likable enough so that the sincere elements which would otherwise come off as a little corny remain genuinely emotionally engaging. I am made to care enough about Donna Troy so that this revelation about herself and how she may one day perceive her friends his truly sad.
Donna is the focus of this issue, with Kid Flash getting some spaces in between. The remainder of the Titans fall to the background as Donna Troy and the future Troia hash out their feelings between each other.
One thing that helps is that Donna Troy has remained one the most reserved member of the team, so you can feasibly buy that she may one day feel completely detached from her teammates as she outlives them by centuries.
Also, this Troia is completely nuts, and the writing and art does a fantastic job of conveying this. From Abnett's ranting dialogue to Minkyu Jung's panels with insane eyes and crooked smiles, Troia has gone insane in the centuries of her life.
Something else interesting is that Troia references to a number of villains whom have had big DC events about them in years past, but have yet to appear in the New 52 and Rebirth. Imperiex, Maggedon, and Neron are all name-checked by Troia at different points.
This was mentioned in another article written by our intrepid Editor-in-Chief, Rich Johnston, but this comic does parallel with Detective Comics #968 (which I also reviewed!) in some interesting ways. Beyond the competing future batmen of Dick Grayson and Tim Drake, both involve the future incarnations of team members coming back to save themselves or others from teammates. Both are able to successfully accomplish this structure with an emotional heart, which makes it all plausible. Tim Drake wants to save his friends from a possible mistake made by Batwoman; Troia wants to save herself from the pain of losing her friends by killing them all at once like ripping off a band-aid.
That is a slightly flawed plan, but in her defense, she is visibly nuts.
This isn't quite what anyone was likely expecting from the big reveal of who was pulling the strings on Psimon and Mister Twister. Even then, if it were Troia, one would expect it to be the one from before Flaspoint. I will admit that it's a bit disappointing. This is no Watchmen character, and it's not some big epic rogue not seen in a bit. However, the comic does make do with this premise by making it relevant to the Titans themselves. I'm still left curious as to how all of this will play out in the end.
Brett Booth is swapped out this issue for the aforementioned Minkyu Jung. While Booth is always a welcome presence in Titans, Jung accomplishes some good work here. As I already said, Troia is crazy just from the look of her, and that's before she starts speaking. Beyond that, the costumes look especially great this issue, with the future Troia having a cool-looking uniform with a dazzling star-pattern akin to her pre-New 52 costume. Blond provides some dazzling color work that really makes the page pop.
Titans #17 is a solid read with an interesting premise in the arrival of the future incarnation of Donna Troy. A lot of implications arise about the future of the Titans, and our Donna Troy has to grapple with some painful realities about herself. It is an emotionally hefty read, and you should definitely pick it up.