Comic Review – TITANS #31: Things Take Shape

The Return Home

This is an amazing issue.  It begins to bring into focus so many loose ends that have been flapping around for a few issues now.  The covers alone do a nice job of showing this.  The A cover is a bit misleading.  It shows the Titans fighting the Blood Cult.  This never happens, but it shows what may be coming down the road.  I am not a fan of these misleading covers.  Cover B, however, is a beautiful cover depicting what we finally find out in this issue.  Like it or not – THESE are our Titans.  It is a wonderful Collage of our heroes going forward.

Green Lantern, Kyle Rayner, tells us the backstory of the energy beyond the wall and his interactions with it through the Corps as he transports our team back home to Earth.

Rubel welcomes the team back to Earth, but here we get a lot of the one thing I not only dislike about this issue but hate about certain DC titles.  All throughout this issue, we get references to events outside this title.  Events like Unearth are not a  problem because they reference previous stories int eh Titans title, but there are so many other references like drowned Earth and Green Lantern stories that we are left with half images and don’t know what is going on unless you read the entire DC line of comics.  Often it leaves the issue we are reading half empty and confusing.

The Pieces Bring Out the Whole

The team breaks up at this point.  In a nice little back and forth between Kyle and Donna, we officially find out that Donna is the new head of the Titans.  They have been building this for the past few issues, so it is no surprise.  I like the idea of Donna leading the team.  The one thing with this though (strongly hinted at if you read Nightwing) is that Dick Grayson may not be coming back any time soon.  Ric may be with us for awhile.

Meanwhile Miss M. talks with Raven about finding her missing spirit-self.  M’Gann makes a 1-on-1 mind link to see what Raven saw in her vision.  Once inside, they realize the planet they are seeing is Unearth, a fictional planet made from a man’s mind from issue #24.  What seemed like a filler issue a few months ago now has serious meaning.

The next scene we get is a great scene showing the master manipulative powers of Batman.  He can out-think villains and manipulate them to go where he wants them.  In this scene, he manipulates Donna and Kyle into going where THEY want to go.  They just weren’t 100% convicted to the idea yet.  Batman essentially blesses the Titans moving forward under Donna’s leadership and gets Kyle to join the team instead of heading back to the Corps.  The team is now set with the Blood Cult as their target.

There is just one more piece to the puzzle, but Garth becomes the bearer of this last piece of information.  From his recovery chair in sickbay, he now looks like a something out of a horror movie as psychic muscles make a bloody web with Garth and his chair.  The parliament focuses its powers through Garth to fill in the missing pieces and give the Titans directions.  They must head back to Unearth.

Of course then Garth vomits blood all over the Titans and wakes up.  Rubel, Steel and Kyle come up with a plan to go to Unearth to stop the threat as well as recover Raven’s lost soul-self.  Of course as soon as they are through the portal Kyle sums up the mass Demon horde they are now surrounded by. “Wow, Donna.  You Titans never do anything small, do you.”

Over the years the Titans have been many people in many combinations.  I really like this current make-up of the team.  They have every power they should need right now.  Their different personalities are a fun mix, and Garth’s timing is impeccable.  I love several panels in this issue where Donna puts her leadership foot down.  The panels are great snapshots of a leader calling out orders, ones that knows what they are doing without doubt or hesitation.

Looks like the next issue we get to see the Titans kick some Ghostbusters, demon-dog butts as they try to stop the Blood cult and rescue Raven’s soul.

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