The Titans were always a family. A group of kids who bonded together from shared experiences, who supported each other when there was no one else to turn to. This element of the series can be found going all the way back to the original run in the 1960s, and has been evoked throughout the years in later incarnations of the group.
Abett, Booth, Rapmund and Dalhouse use this concept as the core of Titans Rebirth. The issue both follows up on Wally West’s appearances in DC Rebirth and Flash Rebirth, as well as serving as an epilogue to the recent Titans Hunt miniseries.
The conclusion of Titans Hunt had seen Nightwing, Donna Troy, Arsenal and Garth have their memories restored of their time as teammates. Lilith, who had been central to that miniseries, continues in this issue, though Hawk and Dove, Mal and Karen Duncan, and Caveboy as well, are not included. At the end of Titans Hunt, the re-united members sensed that there was someone missing from their group. That was Wally West.
When Wally arrives, in his new outfit, his former friends do not remember him. The story in the issue is really quite basic, as he touches each one, and restores their memories of him. Where the pleasure lies is in the flashbacks, and the relationships.
More than one Titans tale had dealt with how central Wally was to the group, and that gets emphasized here, as each member recalls defining moments in their relationships. My favourite flashback saw Wally at Roy Harper’s apartment, as we learned that his supposed mentor, Green Arrow, was not even aware that Roy was not living with his mother. It was the negligence and preoccupation of their mentors that created the bond between the Titans.
Good scene follows good scene. It’s heart warming and funny, and also sets up the bigger mystery. While in Titans Hunt they were dealing with Mr. Twister, the Titans very first foe, and Lilith’s memory alterations to prevent Twister exploiting them, in this issue it becomes clear that the reality changes they are experiencing are part of a larger picture. Like, you know, that whole Rebirth thing.
It’s a bit odd to see Lilith in a big green cloak. The garment itself is reminiscent of what she wore when she called herself Omen, but green was always her colour of choice. I suppose the two were melded together when this costume was designed. Still, it’s not the biggest surprise with her character, as it turns out that she and Wally had a much closer relationship that had been previously detailed.
A fully satisfying re-introduction to the team, and I am eagerly awaiting Titans 1.