My take on Titans East Special
Ok, let's start at the beginning. Looking at the cover, seeing Power Boy, i groaned. BUT, i dove into the issue regardless.
Writing-wise, The first half of the story, featuring the classic team, was great. The characterization was spot on, and the action moved well. Judd Winnick excels at small moments, so the former was no surprise, but the latter came as a nice surprise. If he can keep this up in the regular series it's going to be awesome.
The segue from past to present was poignant in showing how nothing lasts forever, and yet, how when we're young, we can't ever see things NOT lasting forever. What a rude awakening when we find this isn't the case. It came across VERY well.
The second half of the story introduced me to several characters i'd never read, and some i've read before. Bottom line, Winnick made me like Power Boy. POWER BOY.
The rest of the characters, those who got the most "screen time", like Power Boy, Hawk & Dove, and Vic Stone, became human and accessible very quickly, falling into tride and true roles that seem shallow at first (the stuck up one, the hot chick, the voice of reason, the Drill Sergeant, respectively), but that promise room for growth.
The rest, seen mostly in battle, weren't as well defined, but used Winnick used their banter with/about Power Boy as a means of giving us quick "snap shots" of them. All in all they came across as a likeable bunch, which made the issue's cover blurb, "Who Will DIE?", hang over my enjoyment like that "DAM" Sword in the Westall painting.
Without giving away the ending, lets just say it was well done. It was swift, brutal, and even knowing it was coming, still managed to surprise me. I'm hooked and can't wait for Titans #1. I want some answers, dammit!
No comic story is complete without art to complement the story, and Ian Churchhill's art definately did that. It was crisp and never boring, even in the quieter parts of the story. His women are absolutely Gorgeous, and he does a fine job on facial expressions (both male and female) and body language. His characters aren't cookie cutter types, they all sport differing builds and heights, and he's crisp, easy on the eyes, not so complex as to be distracting, not so simple as to bore you.
His group/crowd shots are not George Perez level of course, but that's no big, considering pretty much no artist can do what George does, and on a Titans book there will be comparisons. He wisely, instead of trying to imitate, does his own thing.
One thing i totally laughed at and liked was Robin's body hair in the first half of the story. not sure who's call that was, but it was inspired! This issue is well worth picking up. That's my take.