3 out of 5
Pop yer eyes back in your skull: my rating doesn’t necessarily mean I understood a hint of what was happening inbetween Titan’s covers. Yeah, we get the gist – a race of gods or demons busy being reborn inside we human fleshsacks, generally to our detriment – but the page to page nuance of writer Colleen Douglas’ worlds-within-worlds-within-memories-within-flashbacks-within-flashforwards is a panel to panel struggle to piece together a Who What Where When Why. Would I normally fault a series for this? Absolutely. Readability is meant to be part of the game.
…Ah, but… Titan was readable. Page-turningly so. I just can’t tell you what the heck was going on on a deeper level than that summary.
A lot of writers trying to pull of this internal mythology will lose points for over-stuffing things with off-page mentions: names and places that are supposed to suggest worlds beyond our understanding but end up just sounding like the made up they are. Titan, meanwhile, speaks the same lingo, but Colleen doesn’t appear to be rubbing it in our face; instead, by focusing it around the god-inheritor named Titan’s experiences – fractured by her memories of this powerful being and race – the patchwork nature of the story has something of a framing, and them strange names and places are presented so casually that we just have to assume that we should know what they are. I mean… maybe I should? The story of Titan suggests lore that I should be looking up somewhere and nodding along. I assume Douglas made it up, but I wouldn’t be surprised to find ‘The History or Ramora’ on a shelf somewhere and that this is, instead, an adaptation.
If you’re a frequent Amigo writer, there are some important things to note here: the writing has not a single whiff of the translated woes from which many of their books (and especially recent ones) have suffered; we might jump around a heckuva lot and characters might speak with villainous gravitas, but it all matches the elevated tone of the thing, and I never found myself struggling over punctuation or phrasing to understand intent. The artists on the book, André Stahlschmidt as colored by Wesllei Manoel, are aces, in sync with Amigo’s generally chunky, sketchy house style, but the dudes have a great sense of layout and pacing that instantly sells the settings which we jarringly jump between, as well as the scope juxtaposition of gods versus humans.
But to wrap back around and be clear: not a lick of this makes sense. It takes place amidst a family of oddly named folk like Heraklion in areas named Sentilla, conversing with robo AIs named Persephone about dark matter and space travel and politics, whilst Heraklion’s daughter Titan remembers her past life as a queen of chaos on Ramora, dosed with poison blood and seeking a way to reincarnate. There’s also a giant talking lizard, lots of awesome exploding heads, and I think some Lovecraft. Y’know, for good measure.
I got no idea.
But I somehow had no problem reading it straight through from start to finish.