One among them will betray them! Ever since Wally West returned from “elsewhere” the TITANS have had a hard time pulling it all together and now some searing revelations reveal there may be a wolf in the fold.
The Teen Titans have come to mean a great deal to fans over the course of their long history since first appearing as an official team-up when the group of teenage “sidekicks” first banded together in The Brave and the Bold #54 published in July of 1964. For most comic book readers, these characters including the Boy Wonder Robin, Kid Flash, Speedy, Aqualad and Wonder Girl resonated the most with its audience because in essence, the Teen Titans represented “us” — eager, young and imaginative do-gooders who wanted to swing into adventure!
Well into the Silver Age and then into the Modern Age of comics, by the time Marv Wolfman returned to writing The New Teens Titans he’d recruited then still-emerging fan-favorite George Pérez to relaunch the title with an all-new, all-different line-up. The 1980’s reboot easily became the most popular monthly book and a ratings hit for DC Comics. Still to this day, those stories mark a major shift in the narrative and changed the way superheroes would be looked at.
When the recent “FlashPoint” event all-but erased the original Titans from history, there was a major outcry from fans and it wasn’t long before the creatives responded. The “Road to Rebirth” the more recent, publishing-wide reboot of the comics line began with writer Dan Abnett taking a look at some missing time in Titans Hunt which brought back the original founding members alongside Lilith Clay an obscure member from the Bronze Age of the Teen Titans storyline that has since assumed full status as a member of the reformed Titans as the telepath Omen.
After the recent return of Wally West the one-time, original Kid Flash who assumed the mantle of the Flash after his mentor Barry Allen was lost during the Crisis on Infinite Earths, fans rejoiced imagining that the time stream would now begin to reassert itself and things will get set right! Unfortunately what we learned is that there have been some major manipulations to the current continuity (Watchmen anyone?) and nothing is exactly where it should be! If that wasn’t enough — 10 years have apparently just been erased! Poof!
In the crossover event “The Lazarus Contract” which impacted the Titans, its companion title Teen Titans and centered on the mercenary Deathstroke several revelations were made, including the fact that Slade Wilson’s son the Ravager’s death, an early adversary of the reformed Teen Titans who faced the H.I.V.E. and the mercenaries in the now classic The New Teen Titans #2 published in 1980. Though this crossover team-up was the first event that brought members of the two Titans teams together, current history sees these past events differently.
Following “The Lazarus Contract” there are some significant consequences on all sides, but especially among the Titans roster. Most obviously is the return Wally West’s heart condition which was miraculously healed at the conclusion of Crisis after he assumed the identity of Flash. It is also revealed that Nightwing had made a pact with Deathstroke that has compromised his standing with the rest of the Titans. There are also several other mysteries surrounding new revelations about Donna Troy’s origins and the “other” Wally West and current Kid Flash!
In order to learn more about their existing predicament, Omen decides to pay a visit to the recently apprehended villain known as Psimon. The mentalist and his Fearsome Five recently battled the Titans and in the process stole the memories of Karen Duncan who is also a metahuman and one-time Teen Titan known as Bumblebee. It is Omen’s goal to be able to extract some information from Psimon in the hope that he will shed some light on how they can help Karen. The interview unearths several other secrets!
Among those secrets that one among them isn’t who they appear to be, and that still another will betray the Titans! Given that for all intents these Titans are still learning the ropes and piecing their lives together, it’s anyone’s guess exactly how these events will play out. It’s encourage to see that Tempest the now grown-up Aqualad is moving into a potentially more prominent place among the group. In the past Garth had been relegated to background, or the forefront of any “water related” cases, but never really stuck around.
Roy Harper the archer known as Arsenal who emerged on the scene as the original Titan Speedy had recently worked alongside the renegade Red Hood as one of his Outlaws, but seeing as how Donna Troy and Flash are getting closer, Arsenal’s unrequited attraction to Troy may play a significant role in upcoming issues. As for Nightwing, it’s clear that he’s assumed his place as the proper leader of the group, but there is still a lot to unpack as the Titans and the Teen Titans try to make sense of missing time and still-unwritten history that is unraveling the Titans legacy!
Titans #12 “Bad Omen” is written by Dan Abnett with art by Kenneth Rocafort and Dan Brown and is published by DC Comics.