When it comes to comics, especially superhero team titles, it can sometimes feel very difficult to simply jump in. Even with first issues for brand new series there can often be a great bit of history and story-specific information from previous runs or titles that can make fully accessing the story a challenge for new readers, or even for those who have been away from the team's stories a while. Occasionally, though, a series comes along that not only kicks off a satisfying story for familiar readers, but also welcomes newcomers with open arms. This week, Titans: Burning Rage #1 is that comic.
Technically, the stories in Titans: Burning Rage aren't new. The stories were originally published in Titans Giant #1 and #2, part of the Walmart-exclusive DC series. So, for some fans the issue will be very familiar. However, the issue marks the first time the stories have been available to more stereotypical comic book readers by way of traditional comic book stores, with this being the first of a seven-part series.
And it's absolutely a series worth diving into. Even before you get into the actual story, Scot Eaton and Wayne Faucher's art—Eaton serves as penciller while Faucher is inker on this issue—is clean and sleek while Jim Charalampiois' colors leap right off the page. It's a critical combination with the story, written by Dan Jurgens, involving quite a bit of action. In the course of just a few panels, the reader literally swings in for lunch only to drop into some major action with the appearance of the villain the Disruptor. While that much action in such short succession seems like it could be a recipe for a mess, the issue strikes a fine and well-considered balance. Jurgens wisely lets the art do most of the heavy lifting here and, instead, gives readers some witty and memorable dialog. It's engaging and interesting, but also fun.
The issue also does a fantastic job, with the art and colors as well as the story of introducing the major players. Each of the Titans makes a proper premiere, both in action and in words. There are no mysteries here as to why each member of the team is present and what they have to offer. By that same token, readers are given just enough information about the villains to make them interesting without fully revealing their plans. Perhaps the only weakness of the issue, if you could call it that, is the issue ends rather abruptly. With such an even pacing throughout, the cliffhanger in the last panel comes as a bit of a surprise but it's certainly not a bad one. Titans: Burning Rage #1 is an issue that leaves the reader wanting quite a bit more simply because it's that good throughout.
Overall, Titans: Burning Rage #1 is an excellent example of how a story can be fresh and enjoyable while still being familiar. It offers a little something for every reader, be they new to the stories, new to the medium, or a longtime fan simply sitting down to enjoy favorite characters. It's a book that has a lot to offer, including the promise of more pure comics-reading joy to come in the remaining six issues of the series.
Published by DC Comics
On August 14, 2019
Written by Dan Jurgens
Art by Scot Eaton & Wayne Faucher
Colors by Jim Charalampiois
Letters by Tom Napolitano