Titans: Beast War – Waller Rising #1 is a one-shot published by DC Comics, written by Chuck Brown, with art and colors by Keron Grant and letters by Wes Abbott. This issue is part of the Titans: Beast War event. Waller has lost control of Doctor Hate and so sends her nephew after him.
The direction in which the plot of this one-shot travels is certainly unexpected from the opening. As Deadeye, Waller’s nephew, is dragged into finding Doctor Hate, he soon finds there is more at play, as there often is with Waller. Hate’s own plan, breaking free from control after the chaos of the first issue of the event, draws in more characters from across the globe and even other dimensions. Figures are either betrayed or plucked from their locations. Hate is trying to break into a fabled dimension known as The Kingdom, which is why the psychic powers of Deadeye are so important.
The different strands of characters entering the book are intriguing as each one adds a different viewpoint. Some are heroes, others are the most despicable of villains, and yet they all are there against their will. The mysticism isn’t always easy to follow, and getting lost within the plot isn’t difficult, but that is because of how much is inside of it. The conclusion of this issue is fascinating as it affects so much: Waller’s plans beyond just this event, the role Doctor Hate will play, and the future of every other character.
The cast of this one-shot is much bigger than expected, yet the personalities are given huge amounts of time for each addition. The comic actually features some prominent black characters in the DC Universe, including Nubia of the Amazons and Vixen, as well as others connected to both magic and other corners of reality. Not all of them have speaking roles, but those that do change the story entirely. Many of them bring an entirely separate storyline, filling the book with more content. The casting choices are all fascinating, as many have been waylaid, underused, or just lost.
The centre of the comic is both Wallers, but actually, they aren’t as huge figureheads as what might be expected. Deadeye is a guide that which the whole book can follow, entering the kingdom and receiving all of the exposition that is needed. Introducing other heroes may provide backup, but they haven’t been given the same job as everyone else.
As for Waller, she never gets directly involved, merely choosing to send her own nephew instead. The mystery only deepens with what she was using Doctor Hate for. But the dialogue shows just how calculating, ruthless, and manipulative she is. As for the antagonist himself, Doctor Hate is an enigma that seeks to declare himself above mere mortals yet often shows signs of petulance. He wants to take control but has spent a long time being under someone else’s.
The art is phenomenal and mesmerising. The fantastical, mystical elements of the comic come to life under a really odd art style. The characters, especially the men, are hugely proportioned. They have big, broad chests but are very tall. There are also some fascinating layers to the comic, as images often appear on top of each other. Characters’ faces are sometimes translucent, with a background visible through them. And there is some intense, complicated imagery that is representative of the incredible journey Deadeye and the others are taking on. It is hard to understand what is happening sometimes, with strange angles and lighting obscuring important elements, but the creativity on display is unique and captivating.
The colors are a huge part of the bizarre and bewildering artwork. From the first page, there are so many bright and fanciful colors painted into this psychological, dimension-hopping adventure. The powers and the landscapes have a perfect artist to create a mind-boggling display. The colors are easily the best and most enticing part of an already bewitching story.
Even pages that are full of action and tense stand-offs feature flurries of intensity that sow individuality in each page. Grant terrifically generates chaos from colors. Despite how frantic and confusing the issue can be, the lettering keeps control of the dialogue.
Titans: Beast War – Waller Rising #1 is a remarkable and unexpected experience. With how vibrant and unbelievable the art is, it could be effortless to just spend an afternoon gazing at these pages. But that would be a disservice to the writing as well, which has astonishing amounts of layers and depth to it. It’s a huge book with a plot that expands from a singular objective to a sprawling and enthralling piece of entertainment, with so many fantastic characters coming in to enrich the story. Titans: Beast War – Waller Rising #1 is a comic that really could have flourished regardless of the vent, but the crossover granted the one shot with the seeds to grow from.
Titans: Beast War - Waller Rising #1
Titans: Beast War – Waller Rising #1 is a comic that really could have flourished regardless of the vent, but the crossover granted the one shot with the seeds to grow from.