The Titans are settling into their new tower headquarters in New York City. Donna is unpacking with Roy...
... Dick is helping Wally adjust to changed circumstances...
... and Lilith is sparring with Garth.
Across town, former Teen Titan Mal Duncan and wife Karen are facing big questions.
If ever a comic book was crying out for a homage cover, Titans #8 is it. The title is To Bee or Not To Bee - which is rather wonderful, but it could easily be Another Day in the Lives as a nod to 1981's New Teen Titans #8.
That was the issue in which Marv Wolfman and George Pérez gave us a look at Dick, Donna and co in their downtime. As it is, we get two non-homage covers, but I like them both. The main one is by the regular artistic team, penciller Brett Booth, inker Norm Rapmund and colourist Andrew Dalhouse, and is a nice group shot. Nick Bradshaw and Alex Sinclair's variant is terrific, reminding me of those good-humoured Golden Age covers which would feature heroes just hanging out.
It's a treat to have Karen and Mal back in featured roles for the first time since last year's Titans Hunt series. They're at the Meta Solutions base, where they hope to learn more about the powers she's recently developed. And if she can't muster control, well...
Hmm, that seems distinctly dodgy. I don't recall Mal's little-seen sonic powers being a huge burden. Mind, given that Meta Solutions' Head of Evaluation Peter Simon is obviously Psimon, the psychic psuper-villain, I suspect Mal didn't decide to give up his powers without help. And he seems to be putting a hoodoo on Karen, too.
Psimon isn't the only Fearsome Five member hanging around Meta Solutions - as well a bunch glimpsed at the end of the story, we have this guy.
Mammoth, about whom Mal has been having disturbing visions. Have the Fearsome Five gone hipster? Whatever the case, this is a fun issue, with good character work from Abnett. Lilith, for example, as seen above, gets a touch of the Legion of Super-Heroes member Dream Girl's fighting skill.
I like the training kit Booth and co give Lilith and Aqualad and I'd be happy for the Titan's resident all-purpose psychic to wear that to her adventures; encouragingly, Bradshaw uses it on his cover. The over-dramatic caped number seems weird for a grounded young woman who never wore spandex in her original appearances. We see that look in a flashback - now that's Lilith.
The dynamism of Booth's art is appealing - a splash page of the group near the end is especially good - but like many artists he could do with practicing how street clothes hang - the suits by Mal and Psimon, in particular, don't work.
Rumour has it this book is going fortnightly soon and I hope that's true - this is the smartest series the Titans have had in, oh, a generation, and more of it would be splendid