Titans Annual 2011 Review

The villainous Titans face off with the Justice League of America!

Titans Annual 2011

The Titans Annual is a bit confusing for me. Not in the usual way, from plot or anything. It’s actually written well, the characters act like themselves, and about everything the team has done mission-wise is actually explained here, and fairly well. My question becomes, if Eric Wallace can write this well, why has he been apparently hiding it all this time?

The Titans face off against the JLA in a major battle throughout this story. The JLA is after the villains both to save/redeem Roy Harper, and to avenge the death of Atom Ryan Choi. It’s an interesting fight on another front- both the Titans and the JLA currently are very different from the teams usually associated with those names, and have many fans unhappy about the changes. So, the all villain Titans square off against what I’ve heard called the “Justice League of Substitutes.”

Elsewhere, Osiris and Isis take part in the battle between the Quarici and Khandaq armies. After driving off the invaders, Isis falls back, but Osiris starts slaughtering soldiers, because he can. Isis is displeased, but lets it go for now, scolding her brother. The JLA/Titans confrontation ends when Slade threatens to detonate a nuke on his ship, which is when we also learn that Cinder is apparently suicidal. Back at the Labyrinth, Ink returns to learn that Dr. Impossible and Sivana are working on some diabolical invention for Slade.

Apparently everything the team has been doing is to get parts for the “Methuselah Machine” as Sivana calls it, and the team is getting the last component now. Sivana gives Ink a teleporter to take him to them. Starman blasts Cinder apart, which is when we learn she can reform from bits, making her a bit more powerful than I thought. The fight devolves into various matchups which only get really interesting when Slade pulls out a green K knife and slices into Supergirl pretty badly, although the Arsenal/Batman one is all right. The fight gets broken up when Isis arrives, turning the power of the elements against both teams.

She demands everyone leave Khandaq at once. She further claims rulership, withdraws from the UN, and says they will outlaw outsiders and recognize no power but their own. Forced to choose between continuing the fight and starting World War III or leaving, the JLA retreats for now. There’s a badly miscolored panel in the fight making it appear that Starman is shooting Jade, but the text shows it’s meant to be Cinder.

The JLA retreats, and then the Titans return to their base, somehow repaired since Osiris smashed much of it on the way out. Here, we learn that Kryptonian blood is what was needed for the machine, and this whole thing was to help Jericho, who shows up on the last page looking somewhat the worse for wear. Actually, he looks one step from being a zombie.

So, Slade was building his toy to help his son, which I wondered about a while ago. I will give points that everything they did was to this end, even the mission for Luthor (where do you think Slade got the Kryptonite knife?). His using Sivana was a nice touch, he is one of the better DC mad scientists.

What I liked and what I didn’t:

Annuals are often just sort of long one shot stories. This one connected to the main plot and did a decent job of it. Eric Wallace does a better job than he has been in the main title, although the dialogue is a bit rough. The Roy/Dick confrontation was well handled, and Wallace managed to get his rather fractured team back together.

Even with Deathstroke’s planning, I don’t see his team winning. Isis seemed to almost literally deus ex machina here, breaking up the fight and sending everyone on their way. I also notice that Jesse Quick was missing from the JLA, which would have certainly made a difference and was never explained. Jade also seemed to be seriously underpowered for her usual levels. I also note a lot of the things that have bothered me are simply not brought up here, like the inconsistency about Cheshire’s child/children.

Better than normal, but not great, I guess. This is one of the ones I won’t miss a lot in the reboot, and I do worry a bit about Wallace taking on the new Mr. Terrific title.


Pros Cons
the plan coming together was good, as was Sivana missing team members to make the fight work


1 Comment

  1. Tom Parry says:

    If the Annual connects everything into a solid cohesive narrative (I haven’t read it yet, myself), maybe Wallace simply isn’t a bad writer. Maybe he’s one who sets things up and strings things along until he gives a final huge reveal that makes everything within his story make sense. Sounds better than someone who ignores cohesion for shiny action scenes (Geoff Johns) or someone who throws so much into his stories that it becomes convoluted and often confusing to follow (Grant Morrison). My only real problem with the villain Titans series has been the inconsistant artwork. I’ve also not been very fond of the Osiris Brightest Day side story, but that was more because Brightest Day was annoying me all year long than anything else.


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