Titans (vol.3) #5 (2017)

Titans (vol.3) #5 (January, 2017)
“The Return of Wally West, Part Five: Run For Their Lives”
Writer – Dan Abnett
Penciller – Brett Booth
Inker – Norm Rapmund
Colorist – Andrew Dalhouse
Letterer – Carlos M. Mangual
Assistant Editor – Brittany Holzherr
Editor – Alex Antone
Group Editor – Marie Javins
Cover Price: $2.99

Another “from the pile” pick.  When term-paper purgatory ends, I’ll be digging deeper again.  I’ll hopefully be able to catch up on my Rebirth reading too!  I’ve currently got a backlog of well over 100 issues… ALL Rebirth branded… ay yai yai.

As with all new/newer issues, the spoilery synopsis portion will be somewhat less-so.  Considering just how little happens in this issue, it’s gonna be seriously short.  Either way, I don’t wanna give it all away if it’s still on the racks.

We pick up where we left off last issue… Wally is faced with quite a dilemma.  His fellow Titans (and Linda Park) are all facing certain death… he has enough time to save some of them… but there’s no way he can save them all… or can he?  Abra Kadabra watches in glee as our man speeds off.

From here we get… several pages of Wally running around saving his teammates.  We get into his head for a bit of it, and he reminisces about his time being with Linda back in the “real” DC Universe… though, oddly… he still hasn’t mentioned the twins.  I know I don’t mind them being nyoinked out… but c’mon Wally, they’re your own flesh and blood!

After saving all of the Titans from their diabolical doppelgangers, he beelines it to Linda.  She is hanging precariously upside down over a vat of molten some such.  Just as she is about to fall in… Wally catches her and pulls her out of harm’s way.

Linda gathers her druthers and her first instinct is to be… ya know, really ticked off.  Her attention then turns to Wally who is standing before her absolutely drenched in lightning… he was able to save all those he cares for… but at what cost?

With a flash (!) of light… Wally is gone.  Perhaps he has been dragged back into the Speed Force… we’re going to have to wait 30 whole days to find out.  At least Abra Kadabra’s happy!

Ya know… I’m of two minds on this issue… this title, really.  On one hand, it’s great seeing these characters all together again… though, if I had my way, Gar, Vic, and Kory would be here too… that’s unfortunately neither here nor there.  When I covered the first issue of this volume several months back, I positively gushed over how much I enjoyed it.  On the other hand… and maybe this is due to the biweekly dominance of DC at the moment… but this feels just painfully slow.

I mean we’re five issues (plus a Rebirth special) in… and not a whole lot has happened.  Sure, we’ve got a tacky white-bordered trade paperback we gotta fill… but, man… this be slow!  Plus the content… I’m reminded of a few times when Chris Claremont would return to an X-Family book, say early-mid 2000’s… we’d get battles with doppelgangers… and it was always boring.  Granted, here I kinda dug it when they showed up… but that was issues (and months) ago at this point.

I’ll concede that I enjoy the idea of Wally having to push himself here.  Having to punch it into overdrive as to not leave any Titans or potential future-past wives behind… only to find himself swallowed up into the (maybe) Speed Force… again.  It paints Wally as a true altruist, and provides us with a problem that will need solved.  I gotta say though… this did not need an entire issue.  This could have all been accomplished in a scant handful of pages… or hell, perhaps even one.  

If this was a biweekly book I may feel a bit different.. . but knowing the next chapter is coming 4-5 weeks from now… I’m gonna need more.  What’s more, non-Titans-completionists will definitely require more.  I want this book to succeed.  I want the Titans franchise to be top-tier/top of the sales charts for DC Comics.  I don’t want this to be canned (or relaunched several times over) within the next couple of years… I want this to be the start of a new golden era for this team/these teams… for that to happen, we’re gonna need more.

The art and coloring are still really nice, though Linda’s ridiculous sideburns are fairly horrid.  Everyone else looks really good.  The color is a particular treat here… very vibrant… beautiful reds especially.

We get a cliffhanger that’s already been spoiled by solicitations… of course we know Wally’s not going anywhere… especially seeing as though we just got him back… but it would be nice to not be spoiled by coming attractions… sadly, this is contemporary comics, and I’m afraid that that train’s already left the station.

Speaking of things that have left the station… I wanna just take a second to look at the cover.  We got  a blurb here which reads “Wally’s Last Run!”  I gotta say… if I were a new (ha!) reader, that would not entice me to pick this issue up.  Maybe put “Flash’s Last Run!”… but, “Wally”?  I dunno… seems like this book is directed solely at folks who are already in the market to buy it.  I guess that was kind of what Rebirth was all about, and may seem like a silly complaint… but I couldn’t help but sigh when I saw it.  Then again, this is an industry that tried to publish a comic book called “Osborn“.  So, what do I know?

Overall… it pains me to say this but… if I wasn’t an insane completionist, I’d be waiting for the trade.  In modern day DC Comics, books come out twice a month… the books that only come out once feel such a far step behind… especially when not all that much happens to advance the story.  No pun intended… this book is running in place.

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