Titans has been one of DC Comics most inconsistent titles on the market. When it is good Titans can be near the top of DC Comics’ ongoings but when it is not it is at the bottom. Things haven’t gotten better as Titans has been going through serious ups and downs since launching in its new direction post No Justice. Now with Nightwing out of commission the Titans have found themselves without a leader while still dealing with the chaos going on in the world. Can things for the team turn around? Or will the lack of a leader force the team to split up? Let’s find out with Titans #30.
Writer: Dan Abnett
Artist: Minkyu Jung
Inker: John Dell and Scott Hanna
Colorist: Adriano Lucas and Hi-Fi
Story Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: Donna Troy, Raven and Steel are shocked by Miss Martian’s White Martian form.
Rather than answering questions Miss Martian goes after a crazed Beast Boy in order to stop his rampage. Donna tells Raven to stay back as she is hurt while she and Steel deal with Beast Boy and Miss Martian.
Beast Boy and Miss Martian easily swat Donna and Steel aside while continuing to fight. Miss Martian eventually uses her psychic powers to by trying to communicate with his regular mind, reminding Beast Boy of Tyler. Miss Martian tells Beast Boy that she understands what it is like to look like a monster but that is not what she or he are.
Beast Boy finally calms down and sits down. He then asks Miss Martian why she hid her true form from them. Miss Martian reveals that because of how the White Martians are seen as killing machines Martian Manhunter told her to hide her appearance. She goes on to say she didn’t reveal her true form because she wanted everyone to like her rather than be terrified by her appearance. Donna, Beast Boy and Steel tell Miss Martian that she could’ve told them sooner.
Beast Boy then apologizes for the damage he did in his crazed state, including damaging the Boom Room. Steel says she can easily repair the Boom Room. Beast Boy continues to apologize for going into such a state. Miss Martian mentions that because the planet they are on is close to the Source Wall that it affected Beast Boy’s state.
Donna checks on Raven and notices that she has a weird look on her face. Raven states she can see something.
Inside a prison cell on Unearth, Raven’s soul-self is shown chained up and screaming for help.
Back on the planet the Titans are on Raven senses her soul-self and suddenly passes out.
A little later Donna checks on how Steel’s Boom Room repairs are going. While they are going fine Steel admits that she feels like that their situation feels hopeless with everything that has happened after just forming the team. Donna says that there is always hope. Steel then turns on the Boom Room’s beacon.
While waiting for help Raven reveals she saw her soul-self trapped somewhere. While Steel says they will find Raven’s soul-self Beast Boy is not as positive about that.
Donna speaks up on how they must stop having secrets from each other. She talks about how the first team of Titans were friends and helped them get through many bad times. She then talks about how she was hesitant to join a new Titans team filled with strangers but Nightwing convinced her to be a link to the original Titans. Continuing on Donna talks about how even without Nightwing around they are still trying to deal with the Source Wall crisis while also each having their own personal problems to deal with.
Donna reveals that a few days before Nightwing was shot she attended Roy Harper’s funeral, much to everyone’s shock. Donna admits that she hates to say that she did not talk at Roy’s funeral.
Donna then talks about how now she is going to start acting on what Nightwing saw her as and proclaims that there will be no more lies or secrets. She goes on to say they are all Titans and they will accomplish the mission statement Nightwing chose them to do. Donna then gives Raven, Steel and Beast Boy jobs to do so they can survive on the planet.
Donna tells Miss Martian to rest. Miss Martian transforms into her regular form and states that Donna is the leader the Titans need.
Suddenly the team spots an intense green light in the sky. Green Lantern Kyle Rayner shows up after spotting the Titans’ rescue beacon. End of issue.
The Good: Titans #30 is exactly the issue that this series has needed. The new direction that Dan Abnett has put into place for the Titans is finally coming into place. All this series needed was another character to step up, especially without Nightwing around. Luckily we had that character in the form of Donna Troy.
Donna Troy was by far the star of Titans #30. This was her issue to step up into the role she has always been made to fulfill, one of a leader. Even before Donna solidified herself as the leader of the Titans we saw hints of that with how she handled the big fight between Beast Boy and Miss Martian. Throughout this scene Donna was able to quickly asses that Raven could not participate and had her stand back to rest. Identifying this type of situation in the heat of the battle shows that Donna can be flexible on the field in order to be a successful leader.
At the same time Abnett showed one of the most important aspects of Donna’s character and that is her big sister nature. Donna has always been at her best when she is shown to understand the emotional weight of others. She has always shared a deep bond with her teammates on the Titans. And in return all the members of the Titans have been able to trust Donna more than just about anyone.
That was an aspect on display with how she talked to Miss Martian about hiding her White Martian form. It wasn’t a lot of dialogue but just enough to help make Miss Martian realize that keeping her White Martian background a secret was the real bad thing. Opening up the line of discussion so Miss Martian and the others don’t feel like they have to keep secrets will make this Titans’ team much stronger.
Speaking of Miss Martian, Titans #30 was by far the best showing for this character. I have made it no secret that I though Miss Martian was the weak link of this series. The overall shadiness of her nature because of her White Martian secret was holding the character back. Now that Abnett has been able to deal with Miss Martian’s White Martian background and have the character realize that it won’t affect how her teammates see her it opens the door to so many more possibilities. It also puts behind, for now, a character plot point that has defined all of Miss Martian’s appearance in the DC Universe so far.
Similarly, Beast Boy coming to terms with his rage is an important next step for his own character evolution. The chaotic nature of his powers right now needed to be dealt with. Having Miss Martian as the one to help push Beast Boy to deal with his own insecurities will make what Abnett does next with the character much better. Even without having full control of his increased powers just yet at least now Beast Boy realizes that he needs to be strong and confident mentally so his powers don’t rule him.
While she did not have a big role Abnett did a good job writing Steel in Titans #30. Abnett is finally tapping into the fact that Steel is the least experienced in working within a team environment on this incarnation of the Titans. Dealing with that will make Steel much more interesting character as she comes into her own, away from her uncle’s shadow. There is still work to be done to get to this point but more interactions like the one she had with Donna will be key to get Steel to that point.
It was also good to see the fact that we will soon be dealing with Raven’s soul-self problem. While not the most compelling storyline this is something that needs to resolved quickly. At least addressing where Raven’s soul-self is points to that. The quicker the Titans get Raven’s soul-self back the better this series will be since that storyline has been easy to forget.
Now with Nightwing out of commission and both Arsenal and Wally West/Flash dead the Titans were in need of a much needed addition to the team. And with the ending of Titans #30 it looks like Abnett found the right character to fill the hole on the team in the form of Kyle Rayner. With Hal Jordan starring in the ongoing Green Lantern comic and Jon Stewart acting as the main Green Lantern for the Justice League, Kyle was being left out of everything going on in the DCU.
Putting him on the Titans team is a great move to make use of Kyle’s character while also providing the Titans much needed fire power. It also gives the Titans a character that is familiar with the cosmic side of the DCU, which they are dealing more with as they confront more threats from the Source Wall crisis. And for Kyle this will give him a shot to interact with characters from his generation of heroes so he won’t have to feel like the kid brother that he normally is around Hal and John.
Minkyu Jung delivered a very good looking issue with his work on Titans #30. Throughout this issue Jung is able to capture the vibrant world the Titans are in. At the same time he nails the intense action in Beast Boy and Miss Martian’s big fight. And as good as Jung’s fight scene was the way he drew Donna during her speech to close the issue was even better. He got across the change in tone Donna had as she shifted into the role of the Titans leader.
The Bad: The only problem that Titans #30 faces is that because of all the drama within the team the conflict with the Source Wall is easily forgotten. Until the Titans mentioned their mission statement it was easy to forget how or why they were on the planet they are in. Now that Abnett has solidified the foundation for this series he’ll need to do a better job developing the threats the Titans are dealing with. If not than the series will quickly lose the momentum it has gained with the developments in Titans #30.
Overall: Titans #30 is the shot of adrenaline that this series desperately needed. Dan Abnett did a great job developing each member of the Titans individual stories. All that development came together to make Donna Troy’s rise as the leader of the team a memorable moment for the Titans. Ending things with Kyle Rayner’s surprise and much needed appearance added the hook needed to create further interest in what is coming next.