This review contains some spoilers for Titans Rebirth #1! If you have not read that comic yet, and you care about spoilers, DO NOT READ THIS! You have been warned.
So as I mentioned a few times in the last post, I am/was very excited for this comic. I love team comics in general, and these are such great characters to see together again. Plus, it is perhaps the strongest example of what rebirth is doing by bringing back pre-52 relationships that were lost in the transition. This comic builds off of a mini series called “Titans Hunt,” which I, admittedly, have not yet read, but the basic gist of the series seems to be that in the wake of convergence, most of the members of the original Titans team that are around in the New 52 (Dick Grayson aka Nightwing, Donna Troy aka Wonder Girl, Garth aka Aqualad, Roy Harper aka Arsenal, Lilith Clay aka Lilith, Hank Hall aka Hawk, Don Hall aka Dove, Malcolm Duncan aka Guardian, John Gnaark aka Gnaark, and Karen Beecher aka Bumblebee) began to remember that they were a team at some point, and then work together to take down Mister Twister. At the end of this series (as they mention in Titans Rebirth #1) they realize there is someone missing from their team, and they can’t figure out whom. Well Titans Rebirth #1 (and, in fact, the DC Universe Rebirth event comic) provide an answer to that question: Wally West aka Kid Flash/The Flash.
So that’s where we are at the start of Titans Rebirth #1. Wally goes to talk to Dick, because he feels like Dick might remember him, and he is surprised to find the rest of the team there ready to take him down. This issue works as series of flashback introductions to the team members individually, as well as the team as a whole. Wally provides little moments of memories of each member to the reader (and, as it happens, to the person themselves) as the issue goes on. The actual mechanics of this within the comic is a bit odd and feel a little lazy. He essentially blasts them with electricity that somehow awakens their memories. Maybe because he maintained his memories from inside the speed force, so blasting them with the speed force energy gives them theirs back? I have no idea! Maybe it will get explained, maybe it won’t. There is limited room in an issue of a comic, so I understand wanting to find an easy way out, but I wish it was handled a little more elegantly. Also, I think this issue feels a little too much like an introduction issue, but I can live with that. These aren’t characters that are widely known, so some degree of introduction is to be expected. And at least it’s not as bad at it as Aquaman Rebirth #1.
Despite the clumsy execution, this comic does a commendable job in hitting home what Wally was saying about the loss of relationships and light that came with the new-52 universe. This is a team of people who were close friends, and they didn’t remember each other at all, and even after they remembered each other, they didn’t remember Wally. So Wally’s presence here acts as a catalyst to bring the team back to how they were before the new-52 precisely by mending those relationships. The method may be a bit strange, but nevertheless, DC is hammering home the same idea. Friendships/Romance/Relationships are the light that was missing from the new-52 that they are trying to bring back with rebirth.
All-in-all, it’s an introduction comic, and it succeeds at introducing you to the plot and characters. Like The Flash Rebirth, this comic feels like a continuation of the DC Universe Rebirth comic, as, I expect, will any comic with Wally and/or Barry in it for a while. The bottom line here? It’s a fun comic, but not a necessary one. If you know these characters and this team, and you have read Titans Hunt, you could probably skip this and not lose very much context going into Titans #1. All that said, this does nothing to discourage me from buying Titans #1. I’m as excited about this comic series as ever, so even if you skip on this one, don’t be discouraged from buying the next issue, when it comes out.