Titans United: Bloodpact #1 is the first issue of a six part miniseries featuring a Titans roster that includes a black t-shirt era Conner Kent.
Resembling a line-up similar to the HBO series, it doesn’t appear to be a story set on that Earth. What is clear is this story is set apart from current events happening in Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths and quickly sets itself up as its own stand alone adventure… I’ll elaborate more on that later, but first let’s take a look at the cover art.
The standard cover is by Eddie Burrows & Marcelo Maiolo and features the Titans in a classic “hero pose” atop a building with a cityscape background. There’s a real grittiness to the art style that gives this piece a great mood and hints at a grim tale inside. There’s even a cover add for the HBO series which currently lines up with this Titans roster.
Derrick Chew gives a dazzling variant of Raven in her white attire. The swirls of magical energy have a nice sense of motion and add a great color contrast to the white costume. Chew’s covers have always had a great blend of traditional comic style with anime/manga sensibilities and this variant is no exception.
Jorge Molina offers up the Hispanic Heritage Month variant in an art style honoring the late Mexican muralist Jorge Gonzalez Camarena. It may seem odd to use Kyle Rayner as the centre piece since he isn’t in this issue and I don’t think scheduled to appear in this series, However, his Hispanic heritage and past association with the Titans make him a good candidate for this variant and the realism is phenomenal.
Taurin Clarke’s variant has the Titans charging through a portal from the city into the unknown. It’s a great group shot as well and acts as a kind of foreshadowing for what awaits readers within. This is a great piece which has a real silver-age feel to it.
Depicting headshots of the seven Titans members featured in this series, Stephen Byrne’s variant is simple and effective. Three eras of Titans are represented with this roster and nothing about that seems out of place. Bryne really brings these characters and their personalities to life with this piece.
Artist Lucas Meyer and Colorist Tony Avina do a fantastic job utilising familiar character designs to quickly get you into the story in Titans United: Bloodpact #1. There’s no doubt who anyone is upon first seeing them on the page. They also play around with some of the panel borders adding a level of special effects flair to the unexpected events that are transpiring before our eyes. Even though this opener takes place solely at night, there’s no lack of lighting and color making every page worth slowing down to appreciate.
Written by Cavan Scott with letters by Carlos M. Mangual, this issue focuses on Tim Drake’s narrative of events as we jump right into the action. Whether this is an alternate Earth or a story from the past isn’t clearly established and honestly matters little by the end of the issue. All you really need is a baseline knowledge of these characters, and comics in general, to understand what’s going on.
It’s a really good starting or jumping on point for anyone interested in these characters and their adventures. Cavan Scott does an excellent job capturing the voices of everyone in just a few pages and by issue’s end creates a “bubble” for this story to exist on its own regardless of continuity.
Obviously what excites us about Titans United: Bloodpact #1 is Conner being a part of the team. Although this first issue had little focus on him there’s hope we’ll get to see Conner shine a bit more as the mini series plays out.