Titans has been able to find it’s groove with the latest story delving further into the history of this version of the team. Bringing in the Fearsome Five back into the fold has been handled well as Dan Abnett continues to develop a DCU where metahumans continue to rise in numbers. Now with it being clear to the Titans that Psimon and Meta Solutions is not looking to help anyone but themselves we should be in store for a no-holds bar battle with the Fearsome Five. Will the Titans be able to handle the Fearsome Five without Nightwing or Flash? Let’s find out with Titans #10.
Writer: Dan Abnett
Artist: Brett Booth
Inker: Norm Rapmund
Colorist: Andrew Dolhouse
Story Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7.5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: At Meta Solutions Gizmo places Flash and Nightwing in a device to prepare them to drain their powers and abilities for Psimon.
The other Titans suddenly enter the lab, with Arsenal shooting Gizmo with an arrow from behind and sending the villain into a computer.Lilith starts a psychic battle with Psimon while Tempest fights Mamoth to buy Donna and Arsenal time to free Nightwing and Flash.
Before Arsenal and Donna can do anything Jinx shows up and uses her powers to keep Nightwing and Flash’s containers closed and breaks Arsenal’s bow. Shimmer arrives not long after and uses her powers to transmute the ground below Donna so she sinks into the next level of the building.
In another part of the building Tempest and Mammoth continue trading blows. Mammoth finally overpowers Tempest and sends him flying through a wall.
Back in the lab Lilith and Psimon continue their mental battle. Psimon uses the fact that the other Titans have been taken out to hurt Lilith’s confidence. It ends up working as Psimon starts overpowering Lilith. As he keeps Lilith down, Psimon orders the other Fearsome Five to gather the other Titans so they can steal their powers and abilities as well.
Bumblebee suddenly appears out of nowhere to help out the Titans. Psimon laughs at Bumblebee for not having a chance whatsoever at defeating the Fearsome Five. Lilith also tries to stop Bumblebee from fighting on her own but Bumblebee says she can handle things.
At Titans Tower, Mal Duncan wakes up to see that Karen is gone. After looking at the weapon hall Mal puts on a costume and gets in a taxi to take him to Meta Solutions.
Back inside Meta Solutions, Bumblebee uses her powers to evade all of the Fearsome Five’s attacks. In the confusion Bumblebee is able to knock Mammoth out with an electric blast.
Jinx is finally able to get a hold of Bumblebee and fires a blast at her. Bumblebee disappears only to reveal that she shrunk down in size and is able to get close enough to Jinx to also knock her out with an electric blast. Bumblebee continues to fly around knocking out Shimmer and Gizmo out as well.
Psimon finally gets frustrated and uses his psychic powers to overpower Bumblebee mentally. As he threatens to fry Bumblebee’s mind Lilith finally gets back up and delivers a knockout punch to Psimon.
As Lilith checks on Bumblebee Donna breaks through the floor to learn that Bumblebee saved the day.
Not long after Mal arrives ready to fight in a new costume only to find out that Bumblebee saved the Titans on her own. Mal checks on Bumblebee to see if she is alright. Bumblebee reacts to Mal as though she does not know who he is at all.
The next day at Titans Tower, Lilith reveals to Donna, Tempest and Arsenal that Psimon used his powers to remove the portion of Bumblebee’s memory, called an engram, all about Mal and their baby and sent it to an unknown place telepathically. Arsenal thinks that this memory must be worth something to whoever the Fearsome Five were working for. Lilith says that Nightwing and Flash are working on figuring who that is now.
Over in the Titans Tower control room Flash mentions how the Fearsome Five aren’t revealing anything on their way to Rikers Island. Nightwing says he used the list of their long list of clients to figure out that the ones backing the Fearsome Five’s operation was HIVE. Flash is not surprised given HIVE’s resources. Nightwing agrees as this latest development just made him remember the Titans history with HIVE.
Elsewhere Deathstroke is shown spying on the Titans from a distance. End of issue.
The Good: Dan Abnett continues to find a way to tell stories that build on each other. Even though Titans #10 puts an end to the second full arc of the series it does not feel like things are over. Instead, Abnett adds another chapter in a continuously evolving story that adds another layer into a bigger story. Going into the upcoming crossover with the Teen Titans and Deathstroke ongoings, Titans #10 proves to be an important chapter for anyone interested in reading The Lazarus Contract.
One of the most impressive elements of Abnett’s storytelling is how he continues to streamline the Titans continuity in the new DCU. There is a sense of discovery with each issue as we see all of the Titans remember more about their history together as a team. Bringing in HIVE back to prominence is the latest example of that. Building HIVE up to be responsible for multiple things going on in the DCU helps create a greater sense of how dangerous they are before appearing in the comics.
While they were defeated, Titans #10 was a great showing for the Fearsome Five. Given that they were only defeated because of Bumblebee’s surprise appearance, the Fearsome Five came off as a much more credible threat. The different one-on-one fights that the Titans got with the Fearsome Five showed us how they aren’t a team that can be simply overpowered. The next time the Titans face-off against the villain group they need to actually work as a team rather than a group of individuals. That fact helped to highlight why the Fearsome Five pushed the Titans into a corner was because they worked as a team.
Psimon’s particular show of power was the most impressive. Abnett drove home how powerful of a telepath the character was with his defeat of Lilith. Adding in how Psimon was able to erase Bumblebee’s memory of her husband Mal and their child made him an even more dastardly villain, even if the Fearsome Five loss. That added tidbit ensured the impact Psimon made on the Titans went beyond just helping HIVE.
Titans #10 was also a very good spotlight for Bumblebee. Given that this was the first real showcase for Karen as Bumblebee, Abnett was able to get over how powerful of a character she can be. The surprise factor that her appearance added to the Titans fight with the Fearsome Five help make her take down of the villain group much more effective. With Karen forgetting about Mal and their kid there is now an intriguing sub-plot for her character if she does join the Titans as a full-time member.
The fight with the Fearsome Five also helped to highlight how the Titans still have a way to go before being a well-oiled machine. Though they are all powerful characters on their own not having Nightwing and Flash to help with a fight showed how incomplete the team is. It at least showed us how Nightwing needs to step up more as a leader and Donna, Arsenal, Tempest and Lilith need to be more organized when fighting. And given that Deathstroke is about to make his presence known to the Titans, developing together as an effective team will be crucial if standing up against future threats.
With Titans #10 being very action heavy Brett Booth showed how at home he was at delivering impactful action sequences. There was a great sense of motion in all the action sequences as we saw the Titans take on the Fearsome Five in multiple different fights. The most impressive sequence was the psychic battle between Psimon and Lilith. Booth was able to show off how intense of a struggle it was with each character’s facial reaction to the mental push and pull.
The Bad: As much as I’m looking forward to where Abnett goes with Bumblebee forgetting her married life Mal Duncan did not come off as the most interesting character after this arc. Given how Mal has been heavily involved with the development of this version the Titans history since Titans Hunt that is not a good thing. There has been plenty of chances for there to be something to connect with the character but there hasn’t.If we are to get behind Mal’s part of Bumblebee’s story then there needs to more to the character than just being sad about his powers or Bumblebee’s memory loss.
Overall: Titans #10 was an effect conclusion to the team’s conflict with the Fearsome Five. Dan Abnett did a great job in making the Fearsome Five an effective villain team while building towards a bigger future story involving HIVE. Bumblebee’s development further enriched the story of this arc as there is another intriguing sub-plot for the Titans to deal with.