Judd Winick and Ian Churchill’s Titans #1 came out this week to mixed reaction.
J. Montes enjoyed the book:
As simple as the story sounds, it’s really the way it’s put together that makes it so polished. Winick has does a sound job of keeping me entertained throughout, and Ian Churchill’s art is excellent. Now, I’m not Churchill’s biggest fan, but the way he conveys action – more notably a scene in the beginning with Robin escaping from an exploding building and sliding down an adjacent skyscraper – is just brilliant. And did I mention that this guy can draw monsters! Holy cow, someone bring back the pre-hero Tales of Suspense and put Churchill on the book! Colorist Edgar Delgado also deserves a lot of credit for making this book pop. The colors he lays down on the fish creature that attacks Starfire is utterly amazing.
Anyway, if I haven’t convinced you to pick up this book on the art alone, give it a shot regardless. This is a good debut book that keeps the estranging of new readers to a minimum, and it’s a lot of fun to boot. This is how Marvel should have done Young X-Men #1… but anyway…(Grade: B+)
Seb Patrick did not like the book:
For anyone who remembers his nippletacular run on Supergirl, meanwhile, the prospect of Ian Churchill on art duties must surely be a cause for trepidation. What’s surprising, though, is how much Winick panders shamelessly to his, uh, “speciality”: treating us to three pages of Starfire flying and lounging around Animal Man’s garden completely starkers. Worse, he attempts to justify it by having Kori comment to herself (with as much subtlety as a neon sledgehammer) on American society’s apparent aversion to nudity. In a way, this actually managed to offend me more than the scene itself (which really is otherwise just embarrassing, in an “Oh God, sometimes they’re right about comics” kind of way) – if you’re going to objectify your characters for the sake of a bit of titillation, at least be honest about it. Don’t attempt to justify it by shoehorning in a genuine issue whose basis is in fact completely at odds with what you’re doing. Really, you have to wonder why he even felt it necessary – it’s not as if Churchill needs any prompting to go nuts with the cheesecake, and elsewhere in the issue we see Donna, Starfire (again) and some random gang members positively bursting out of their costumes, while the (high school age. HIGH SCHOOL!) Raven is given that ol’ Michael Turner standard: visible thong straps.
You suspect that Winick is just hoping this will get by on some hazy sense of nostalgia for the characters featured. But beyond their names, there’s very little to connect these cardboard cutouts with the people that grew and developed over Wolfman’s original run. As such, it’s very difficult to care about anything that happens to them. Furthermore, in the closing pages of the issue we learn that a bunch of other (apparently less important) characters actually did get badly hurt – and, in one case, killed – only, er, we didn’t actually see that scene. I’m guessing it happened in the ethereal “part one”, but the fact that I’ve had to guess should tell you everything about the paucity of storytelling ability on show here. It feels like an attempt to ape the style of the current Justice League of America series – and it succeeds, but that’s not exactly a good thing. All it means is that it’s a hollow, gaping void of a comic, with absolutely nothing to engage any reader. Unless they’re a brain donor, of course.
And Faust primarily liked the issue but has misgivings:
Churchill’s art is pretty decent. Details like the shards of glass stuck in Nightwing’s costume for the entire issue after he’s blown out of a window by an explosion on page 2 or the numerous quivers that Red Arrow has strapped to his person show that Churchill’s got talent. The only criticism I have is that all of his female characters look identical. He has some got characterization on Starfire early in the issue, but for the most part all of the females in this book look like they came from Michael Turner-land.
I just hope that Winick can keep gay rights out of this book. I’m all for gay rights, just not in my comics. And Winick has a habit of beating people over the head with a hammer when it comes to this particular issue. He did it back in Green Lantern, so I stopped reading Green Lantern.
So what do you think?