Tag Archives: Dan Abnett

Today’s Super Comic — Titans #6 (2016)

My DC: The New Frontier reviews will take a quick intermission, because I just picked up the trade paperback for the new Titans series and it was pure fun.

A large part of the appeal, at least in my case, is nostalgia. The first storyline, “The Return of Wally West,” reunites “my” Flash with the original Titans as they tussle with one of the first Flash villains I ever read, Abra Kadabra, a techno-magician from the distant future.

When DC rebooted with the New 52, Wally got lost in the shuffle (as did fellow Titan Donna Troy, the original Wonder Girl, who’s also back here, though her return happened in a previous story I haven’t read). Wally’s back now, and he gets a starring role in the new Titans series (featuring the original Teen Titans, but a bit beyond the “teen” part).

Wally must come to terms with the fact that the world isn’t quite how he remembers it, which is fitting, as it’s not quite the DC Universe I remember either. But some things remain constant, and one of those things is friendship, as Titans #6 makes clear. The bond between these former sidekicks remains as strong as ever, which the issue creatively shows using pre-established Flash lore.

I’m not sure if it would work as well for newer readers, but for older readers who grew up with these characters, it’s almost like checking in with old friends you haven’t seen in ages. Seeing this classic Titans lineup in action together just makes me happy, because I read their classic adventures when I was a young teenager. And I grew up reading about Wally West’s maturation into adulthood, so seeing him in action as a Flash and as the storyline’s leading character—even better.

Writer: Dan Abnett

Penciler: Brett Booth

Inker: Norm Rapmund

Publisher: DC Comics

How to Read It: recent back issues; Comixology; included in Titans vol. 1: The Return of Wally West (TPB)

Appropriate For: ages 12 and up

Today’s Super Comic — New Mutants #27 (2011)

While it can be lots of fun to mix and match various members of the X-Men’s extended cast, there are some established groupings that are always great together. One, naturally, is the X-Men’s original spinoff team, the New Mutants. The ‘80s lineup made a comeback in the last decade, and the cast chemistry remained intact.

Of course, they’re not kids anymore, nor are they Xavier’s students. When Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning took over the writing, they laid out a new mission statement for the team: Cyclops has tasked the New Mutants with taking care of the X-Men’s numerous loose ends (Cyclops was basically the X-Men’s general in this era).

Their first order of business is to find X-Man, an alternate-reality version of Cable from the “Age of Apocalypse” timeline who migrated to the main Marvel timeline (you can see why the X-Men might have a few loose ends here and there). To prevent things from being too easy, X-Man is a captive of the amoral Sugar Man, another “Age of Apocalypse” émigré, but one who just wants to find his way back.

In #27, we get to see the grown-up classic team in action, but one founding member in particular gets to shine. Dani Moonstar, depowered mutant and current team leader, has a lengthy one-on-one (and interdimensional) battle with the vicious Sugar Man, proving she’s a formidable fighter even without the aid of super-powers.

Much of the issue’s appeal boils down to “likeable character being awesome.” It’s not deep, but it absolutely works.

Writers: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning

Artist: Leandro Fernandez

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Cover: Marko Djurdjevic

How to Read It: back issues; Marvel Unlimited; Comixology; included in New Mutants vol. 4: Unfinished Business (TPB)

Appropriate For: ages 12 and up