Comic book crossovers can be tricky. Marvel, DC, and other comic book companies that focus on caped crusaders can create a story big enough to warrant a miniseries focused on earth-shattering events alongside countless tie-ins dragging characters kicking and screaming into those events. It’s why a crossover event needs a sufficiently solid hook to entice readers about how ancillary characters will tie into the main event. Luckily, Titans: Beast World deilvers all of the elements required for a great event.

Titans: Beast World sees the likes of Nightwing, Cyborg, Raven, Beast Boy, Donna Troy, and Starfire taking charge in the face of a Tamaranean threat facing Earth. Led by writer Tom Taylor and artist Ivan Reis, the event lays the groundwork for a world-ending creature known as “The Necrostar” but flips the script and reader expectations in dramatic fashion. As the world has to deal with its denizens—hero, villain, and civilian alike—transforming into beasts, the Titans are forced to take on new enemies while tackling one creature that hits a little too close to home.

DC Comics has always had serious strengths when it comes to its “legacy characters.” Dick Grayson’s Batman, Wally West’s Flash, Kyle Rayner’s Green Lantern, and Jaime Reyes’ Blue Beetle are just a few examples of legacy figures that have given the comic book publisher some of its best stories of the past. Taylor and Reis have taken the opportunity to put the Titans, former sidekicks now on the frontline of Earth’s superheroes, to be the group that everyone else looks to. Taylor is clearly a big fan of the DC universe, which has been apparent in previous runs on Injustice, Nightwing, and Superman: Son of Kal-El to name only a few. That passion bleeds into his character work here, as the heroes’ characterization is at its best.

Luckily, Taylor is paired up with Reis, a penciler who has made his name creating some of the biggest comic book events in DC’s modern history. From Blackest Night to “Trinity War” and “The Sinestro Corps War,” Reis’ big, bold take on superheroes makes them seem larger than life and goes a long way in selling the Titans as the team of heroes who can logically surpass the Justice League. Reis has perfected his emotional beats, capturing high stress and emotion on characters’ faces, but is also able to capture some mind-bending creations that are large enough to be considered too much for the combined forces of DC’s heroes.

Beast World has more than a few moving pieces when it comes to its set up, and while it isn’t perfect, it really works once it gets going. Taylor is able to present an original concept for the creature that has been unleashed, while also presenting some interesting ideas on how the Necrostar was able to gain its freedom. Seeing humanity attempt to further explore the galaxy in the face of constant alien incursions of DC Comics‘ Earth is an interesting twist, even when it goes awry here. The weakest aspect of the first issue is the inclusion of “Dr. Hate,” which honestly isn’t much of a strike against Beast World as Taylor takes the opportunity to take a shot at the ridiculous villain. Hate’s inclusion might seem too out-of-nowhere for those who haven’t been following the DC universe closely, but he gives enough worthwhile exposition to let readers know as much as they need.

Titans: Beast World, the latest DC Comics crossover, is most assuredly worth your time and feels like a breath of fresh air in an industry that can often rely too much on company-wide stories. Taylor and Reis are both performing at their best in Beast World #1. For fans of the Titans and DC’s legacy characters in general, this feels like the comic book crossover bound to give those characters their day in the sun. The Titans represent a perfect mix of down-to-earth storytelling and the “gods walking amongst men” feel that the DC heroes exude in these pages, suggesting an incredible crossover ahead.

Published by DC Comics

On November 28, 2023

Written by Tom Taylor

Art by Ivan Reis

Colors by Brad Anderson

Letters by Wes Abbott

Cover by Ivan Reis, Danny Miki, and Brad Anderson

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