The Teen Titans were more than just a superhero team. They were a family. The kind of family formed by choice, blood, and tears by friends whose bonds go deeper than mere friendship.

Something destroyed that bond, however, altering time itself and the memories of ten young people who once meant more to each other than anything. Events would conspire to unite them once again, truly making them Titans Together! Yet something else was still missing. Or rather, someone was still missing.

In another time, in another universe, Wally West was The Fastest Man Alive—the superhero known as The Flash. But before that, he was Kid Flash—The Fastest Boy Alive. Unlike his friends in the Teen Titans, who merely had their memories erased, Wally West himself was removed from the time-stream, trapped in the limbo between worlds.

Able to see the events of the new world that had formed without him, but powerless to affect any change, Wally spent the last of his power on one desperate bid to break into the world. With the help of his mentor, Barry Allen, the first Flash, Wally was restored to his place in reality.

Now, Wally is seeking out his dearest friends and trying to make-up for lost time. It will not be an easy task, as his former friends are paranoid and still struggling with the mystery of who made them forget one another. A stranger claiming to be a long lost friend is not the best thing for inspiring confidence. Yet even if Wally can convince the rest of The Titans of the truth of what he is saying, can he cope with the return of a villain from his past who has also suffered as a result of the altered timeline?

Picking up where Titans Hunt left off, Dan Abnett spins an epic story as he reintroduces the character who was The Flash for a generation of comic fans into the new reality of DC Rebirth. Despite the Titans label, the focus of much of this book is on Wally West as he gets back into the swing of things and tries to approach Linda Park—the reporter who, in another time and another place, was Mrs. Wally West. Prominence is also given to a subplot involving a budding romance between Roy ‘Arsenal’ Harper and the Amazon Donna Troy.

In this respect, The Return of Wally West mirrors Titans Hunt in that certain members of the ensemble cast are given the short end of the stick in terms of how much page-time is devoted towards their development. The lion’s share of the page time is devoted to the running battle between The Titans and the enemy determined to do what time could not and destroy Wally West forever.

These action sequences are well-drawn, with Abnett’s script being brought to life beautifully by a top-notch art-team. Brett Booth boasts a light, kinetic style which suits a story starring The Flash quite well. Indeed, the weakest parts of the book visually are the static scenes of people just talking, as Booth’s figures have an unfortunate tendency toward being unable to stand still and looking awkwardly posed at times. Inker Norm Rapmund and colorist Andrew Dalhouse do a fantastic job providing the finishes for Booth’s pencils.

This volume is rated 12+. This is a fair assessment, as Titans contains nothing inappropriate for teen audiences. There is no sexual content apart from a few kisses and an acceptable level of superheroic violence for a book aimed at teenagers. The only potentially knotty material is a frank discussion of Roy Harper’s battle with drug addiction as a teenager and some comic mischief with a young Kid Flash and Robin stealing the Batmobile for a quick joyride as…well, they are two teenage boys with access to the Batmobile. What else ware they going to do?

Titans, vol. 1: The Return Of Wally West
Written by Dan Abnett
Art by Brett Booth
ISBN: 9781401268176
DC Comics, 2017
Publisher Age Rating: 12+

  • Matt

    | He/Him Librarian

    Reviewer

    A librarian with over 10 years experience in public and academic settings, Matthew Morrison has been blogging about comic books for nearly as long as they’ve had a word for it.  Over the past two decades, he has written regular columns, commentary, parodies and reviews for such websites and blogs as Fanzing, 411 Mania, Screen Rant and Comics Nexus.  He has served as an Expert in Residence for a seminar on Graphic Novels and Comics for Youth and Adults at the University of North Texas and has given several lectures on the history of comics, manga and cosplay culture at libraries and comic conventions around the country. In addition to his work for No Flying No Tights, he is the Contributing Editor of Kabooooom.com and maintains a personal blog at MyGeekyGeekyWays.com.

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