Review: Titan-The Ultra Man #2

Advent Comics has been around since 2009 and now the strongest hero on their roster has his own solo series. Writer and series creator, Tony Kittrell has crafted an origin story for Titan that calls to mind the greatest days of Marvel’s Silver Age; while responding to a call at Advanced Technologies Labs, fire fighter Marcus Cameron is engulfed in an explosion of stellar energy changing his life forever and bestowing the power of the stars upon him creating the super hero, Titan-The Ultra Man. Simple yet dynamic and exciting, like Kirby and Lee’s work throughout the 60’s.

Advent Comics as a publisher calls to mind another young, brash group of talented upstart creators, that being of course Image Comics. In the early 90’s no one was doing it like them, they were making the rules up as they went, changing what wasn’t working and re-tooling what was for a new, younger generation of comic book readers and that is the same energy I get from Advent. Let’s face it, the sad political climate we now find ourselves stuck in needs fresh, innovative, forward-thinking voices and time after time comic book creators have found themselves taking center stage in many of these debates, particularly when race and gender issues are concerned. Fortunately for us, Tony Kittrell and the other Advent creators are more than up for the job as is evidenced by the current issue of Titan. The narrative does not shy away from political or social commentary giving it an edge of urgency and relevance.

This issue continues the battle between Titan and the insidious Corporate Raiders, however this time around the protector of Sky City is joined by a mysterious hooded heroine who calls herself the Porcelain Doll. As bad as things seem at this point for Titan they are about to get worse, the vile Atom Smasher and Mauler are just waiting for their chance to wreak havoc on Sky City. The stakes are as high as they could be, but for one of Titan’s peers, the hero known as Giant his very life hangs in the balance. This issue has it all including a brand new look for Titan as he debuts his new costume.

Writer Tony Kittrell is obviously a huge comic book fan and like any good comic book writer he is a student of the super hero genre. This is clear the moment you open the book, his storytelling has all the tropes that make these modern-day myths so effective. Kittrell adeptly walks the line between being inspired by those who came before him and simply retelling their stories, he is able to bring something of himself to the narrative while keeping it firmly rooted in a fundamental comic book style and I love that about this book. There is a melding of the traditional and the cutting edge styles of storytelling; the tension and suspense as he builds to a huge game changing event are heightened as he interjects unexpected twists and turns along the way, these are the beats of an engrossing story. Admittedly this is my first foray into the world of Advent Comics, but this issue has certainly opened the door and my eyes to a world rich in characters and full of intriguing narratives I plan on exploring further.

The story is crafted like an idling race car, so full of potential all you have to do is step on the accelerator and that is exactly what artist Pow Rodrix does. His style is big 90’s influenced, over the top super heroes; muscled like Greek Gods clad in spandex as bright as the sun. Pow’s visual storytelling is kinetic and cinematic in scope, taking Kittrell’s plot and acting it out before our eyes with all the grandeur of a Hollywood blockbuster.

If there is a weak spot in this issue I would have to say it is the dialogue, more specifically the banter which at time gets just a bit repetitive. This really didn’t bother me so much but when the rest of the book is so good it does stand out somewhat. I believe Kittrell is only going to get better, he has all the attributes of an A List writer and I am certain it won’t be long before he takes his place on that list among the Scott Snyder’s and Tom King’s of the industry.

Overall Titan-The Ultra Man #2 is an entertaining, fast paced, visually exciting installment of a series that is sure to garner critical acclaim and a loyal readership, both of which it deserves completely. 4/5

Writer/Creator- Tony Kittrell
Interior Artist- Pow Rodrix
Colorists- Kirsty Swan, Brian Valeza
Letterer- Ed Dukeshire
Publisher: Advent Comics

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