Titans Hunt restores a version of the original Teen Titans to the DC Universe and provides another key building block of DC’s Rebirth initiative.

An odd series of events begins to draw together a disparate group of young adventurers with no apparent ties to one another. Core original Titans Dick Grayson, Arsenal, Donna Troy and Tempest, as well as other erstwhile members like Lilith, Mal Duncan, Gnarrk and Hawk, are drawn to the small coastal town of Hattons Corners. Initial mistrust and conflict begins to recede as the young heroes realize that they know one another but have somehow forgotten their shared past. A confrontation with the demonic entity Mr. Twister reveals the erased history of the original Teen Titans and sets the young heroes up to reunite as a grown-up team. Although they all feel like someone’s missing. After a flashback to the first time that the original Robin met the Justice League, the team reunites with Wally West, the original Kid Flash, who had been removed from reality and their memories, suggesting a bigger, cosmic plot in play.

Writer Dan Abnett makes Titans Hunt a welcome revival for long time fans of the original team. He reaches all the way back to the first adventure of the original Teen Titans in the ’60s and refashions its locale and villain as an effective vehicle for the team’s return in the present day. Abnett does a nice job of playing the contrasting, strong personalities off one another, and in tracing the evolution of the characters from teen heroes to troubled adults. It’s an effective, compelling dynamic that puts some interesting twists on the team and some old concepts, while making good use of New 52 elements that hadn’t quite clicked before (for example, Arsenal’s amnesia). Lanning does an effective job with the Justice League one-off, giving a nice spotlight to the young Dick Grayson, and the Titans: Rebirth issue was an effective kick-off to the mystery of Wally’s erasure and return. The saga a great story that evokes some genuine emotion, but can also be quite fun.

The collection includes work from several artists. The team of Paulo Siquera and Geraldo Borges alternate with Stephen Segovia for most of the main series. Both work in fairly clean, classic styles, moving the action along nicely, doing expressive character work and producing a few images that pop effectively. The colors from Hi-Fi help sell the air of mystery and supernatural drama that suffuse the main story. Veteran Paul Pelletier, working with a variety of inkers, handles the finale of the main story and the Justice League issue, doing his usual strong, ingratiating job in a style that fit well with the other artists. The team of Brett Booth and Norm Rapmund produce the Rebirth issue, turning out sleek, angular visuals that set up the next phase of the team’s return quite well.

Titans Hunt is highly recommended for fans of the original Teen Titans, but with an appealing story, solid art and importance to DC’s Rebirth narrative, it’s worth checking out even if you weren’t previously a Titans fan.

Author (Grievous Angels) and pop culture gadabout #amwriting

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