DC Comics Round-Up: Titans (2023) #1, Cyborg (2023) #1, and Superman (2023) #4
One chapter closes (good-bye, HBO Max’s Titans!) and another opens (hello, Titans and Cyborg series!). It’s a busy week for Teen Titans fans as we get not just one, but TWO Titans-related books this week. Tom Taylor and Nicola Scott bring us a fresh, new take on the Titans, who are stepping up in the absence of the Justice League, post-Dark Crisis.
Newcomer Morgan Hampton teams up with Tom Raney for the all-new Cyborg series, with Detroit’s prodigal son returning home. PLUS, I review an absolutely fun, silly issue of Joshua Williamson’s Superman series!
Let’s talk all the new goodness in this somewhat spoiler-filled recap and review.
Titans (2023) #1 Recap:
The Titans are back and stepping up in a big way. The Justice League has been put on the backburner by DC, which gives everyone’s favorite team a chance to shine. The issue opens with Wally West somehow not escaping a bullet and Gar’s trauma over being shot in the head by Deathstroke.
This whole issue was essentially a set-up for the team to reopen Titans Tower, after it was blown up for the millionth time, and announce to the world they were Back™️. Like the new Doom Patrol series, Peacemaker shows up to menace the team because that’s apparently his new role in the DCU now.
By the end, the team realizes they’ve lost one of their own and they’ve got to solve who “murdered” Wally West. (I put “murder” in quotes because the guy is leading The Flash ongoing series at the moment, so I think he’s going to be fine.)
Titans (2023) #1 Review:
Let’s start with the good stuff: Nicola Scott’s artwork is like a warm, buttery croissant. There’s a softness to it that makes me smile. It lends itself beautifully to a story with almost no direction. Of the 32 pages we get, most of them feel like empty calories, like filler. Where Cyborg’s story caught us up and then moved us into his journey with ease, this issue feels stuffy and stagnant. It feels like a run-off from Nightwing’s own series, rather than feeling like a separate book.
I’m apprehensive about the Garfield/Raven romance and I’m not sure how Taylor is going to handle the Starfire and Nightwing connection, considering he’s pushing Dick and Babs in a big way in his other book. All in all, I wanted to like this so much more than I did. It’s the first issue, however, so I’m hopeful it feels more robust and lively, in the spirit Marv Wolfman’s and George Pérez’s series.
Rating: 3/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️
OUT OF THE SHADOWS. The Dark Crisis is over, and the Justice League is no more. Now, a new team must rise and protect the Earth…Titans, go! The Teen Titans are ready to grow up. Each member joined as a much younger hero, certain that one day they’d be invited to join the Justice League. But the time has come for them not to join the League…but to replace it! Are the no-longer-teen heroes ready for the big leagues? Danger lurks around every corner as heroes and villains alike challenge the new team before they’ve even begun. Will the DCU ever be the same? Find out in this landmark first issue brought you by the all-star creative team of Tom Taylor (Nightwing, DCeased) and Nicola Scott (Wonder Woman Historia, Earth 2)!
Written by: Tom Taylor Art by: Nicola Scott Colors by: Annette Kwok Letters by: Wes Abbott Cover by: Nicola Scott Price: $3.99
Cyborg (2023) #1 Recap:
Victor Stone is back in Detroit and his fellow citizens have a lot to say about his return. He stops two familiar villains from doing nefarious things, while looking great in a new outfit. Vic learns some heavy news, goes to therapy, reunites with an ex-girlfriend (shout out to Dr. Sarah Charles) and discovers a shocking presence in his father’s home.
Cyborg (2023) #1 Review:
This was a very fun issue and refreshing to read. So much of Cyborg’s recent books have been overly focused on the “man versus machine” aspect of him, rather than just exploring Vic Stone as a Black man, who is also a superhero and has robotic parts. Morgan Hampton does great work here, catching readers up on Vic’s history, while also moving his story forward.
There’s an authenticity with the way the Detroit citizens speak and type. It feels like they’re real people, not just caricatures pulled off Twitter or TikTok. Sarah’s reappearance was a pleasant surprise and there’s still a little sizzle between them, even though their romance is over. I love seeing a Black man in therapy, especially one who has suffered as much loss as Victor has. More surprises are in store for him, however, as his apparently “dead” dad ain’t so dead, maybe?
Rating: 5/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
INNER CITY BLUES. When a family emergency brings Cyborg back home to Detroit, Victor Stone surprisingly finds himself enjoying returning to the simpler life–where everybody sees him for who he really is and always was, rather than a larger-than-life superhero. It’s been a while since Vic’s been able to lower his guard and seek a purpose outside of being Cyborg 24/7. But a lot has changed in Detroit while Victor’s been away. An aggressive new company is turning the Motor City into an overclocked engine for revolutionary artificial intelligence…and no one knows better than Cyborg that technological transformation always comes at a steep human price!
Written by: Morgan Hampton Art by: Tom Raney Colors by: Michael Atiyeh Letters by: Rob Leigh Cover by: Edwin Galmon Price: $3.99
Superman (2023) #4 Recap and Review:
Jimmy gets around! Lex is a fantastic liar! Clark has been busy as hell! Another great issue with beautiful art from Jamal Campbell.
Jimmy is apparently into supervillains and I love that for him. Lex’s jealousy of Superman goes much deeper than Clark realizes. Lois is investigating Marilyn Moonlight, whom we haven’t seen since the first issue. Lots of moving parts but overall a great read and a little more light shed on the new villain Superman is up against.
Rating: 5/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
CHAPTER FOUR: SCREAMS FROM THE PAST. Introducing the Kryptonite Klaw! Superman is vulnerable to Kryptonite, but what happens when other dangerous superhumans are exposed to it? If Superman wants to stop Metropolis’s newest enemies, he must uncover Lex Luthor’s secret past!
Written by: Joshua Williamson Art by: Jamal Campbell and Nick Dragotta Colors by: Jamal Campbell and Frank Martin Letters by: Ariana Maher Cover by: Jamal Campbell Price: $4.99