Titans: Beast World Tour – Metropolis #1 is published by DC Comics and is split between three stories. “Primal Pain” is written by Nicole Maines and Steve Orlando, art by Fico Ossio, colors by Luis Guerrero, and letters by Steve Wands. “Turtle Boy” is written by Dan Jurgens, art by Anthony Marques, Joe Prado, and Wade Von Grawbadger, colors by Pete Pantazis, and letters by Dave Sharpe. “Don’t Stop: A Tale From the Beast World” is written by Zipporah Smith and Joshua Williamson, art and colors by Edwin Galmon, and letters by Sharpe. This is part of the Titans: Beast World event. The heroes of Metropolis try to protect the city against their own heroes, many of whom have been affected by Beast Boy’s spores and have turned into animals.
The three stories are under the same event umbrella, and are relatively similar, but have different plots. “Primal Pain” sees Dreamer and Superman (Jon) try and protect A-town using the former’s new and uncontrollable premonitions. The structure is interesting as it battles between telling the future and cutting back to the present, sometimes mere panels from each other. And yet there is a rapid pace as Dreamer rushes to try and save lives before whatever is happening in her visions comes true. The frantic atmosphere is a great start.
Following this is “Turtle Boy,” which is much more of a comedic, cartoony adventure. Bibbo Bibbowski, a very minor club owner who declares Superman as a close, personal friend, faces a bestial, gigantic Jimmy Olsen. It’s a refreshing, exciting tale in the middle of two more serious stories, a palette cleanser that embodies the chaotic nature that can be found in Superman comics. It’s got the air of an Archie comic to it, a satirical take on the Silver Age.
The final story features Clark and Lois. Whilst Lois directs her husband from within the Fortress of Solitude, Superman has to stay moving across the globe to prevent the spores from possessing him. There’s extreme risk throughout the whole story then, but it leaves the last part of the issue wide open for surprises. The three may be different in their plots, but there is consistency in the fast pacing and the basic idea of a possessed character. The nicely breaks up the tone though.
The characters within Titans: Beast World Tour – Metropolis #1 all represent the emotions and the brilliance of Superman comics. They embody the hope, love, and overall goodness that comes from the family. The relationship that Maines has with Dreamer is fantastic and fascinating. Originally playing the character in Supergirl, now Maines writes her every time she appears in the comics. It is fantastic to see how she evolves and becomes a bigger part of the DC Universe. Like with Jon, Clark, Lois, and others, she carries that love and hope and the unkillable desire to save people. There are new partnerships, old friends, and eternal romances on display throughout the issue.
The art changes with each story, with a superb variety of styles. In “Primal Pain” Ossio has a brilliant way of displaying energy and superpowers, twinned with a fantastic sense of movement. The edges of the powers have a huge amount of detail, giving them a presence beyond just beams of light. There are extra lines that generate more chaos during fight scenes and periods of intensity. “Turtle Boy” is classic and cartoonish, with features exaggerated to match the macho demeanor of Bibbo and the Archie quality of Jimmy Olsen. The square-jaw, Vinnie Jones representation of the club owner then turns into the rounder, softer Olsen. Then the final story, “Don’t Stop: A Tale from the Beast World” features gorgeously clean artwork. Even though the pages are serene, the hectic nature of the end is still superb, with a terrific and tense fight scene.
The colors are also concocted by various creators in this issue, and yet there is a consistency and love of vibrancy. Perhaps the darkest is the first story, “Primal Pain.” The blue on Jon’s uniform is more muted than what can be seen elsewhere. But when out in the open, the bright blue sky and the deep green of the encroaching power from Beast Boy give levity to the pages. Then in Dreamer’s fight at the end of the comic, the background of the panels dims and this powerful blue takes over, emitted from both of the combatants. There is an almost imperceptible difference between the shades. The final story also deserves mention as the colors are extraordinary. The depth within the colors for this tale is stunning and could even be painted, as flames look like brushstrokes. The lettering has perfect clarity throughout the whole issue.
Titans: Beast World Tour – Metropolis #1 is a great collection of tales. The trio of stories are representative of the creativity within comics and how a similar concept can be told in a variety of ways and in so many styles. Through the characters chosen, the eras of Metropolis are represented well. Dreamer and Jon are the future, Bibbo and Jimmy hark back to a classic period of comics and Clark and Lois are the old faithful. It will be interesting to see the rest of this World Tour concept and how the other locations are represented.
Titans: Beast World Tour – Metropolis #1 is available where comics are sold.