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iReview :: TEEN TITANS #13 “The Return of Kid Flash” Part One

Following the recent events in Gotham City during the METAL crossover, Robin is looking to reboot the line-up, but it’s the Titans that expect Damian to fall in line! Can they persuade him to re-enlist Kid Flash?

When young Damian Wayne decided that he had all the makings to pull a team together that could rightly inherit the legacy of his father, the Batman and his teammates in the Justice League, Robin decided that he would gather alliances some tested and true. He pulled together the Teen Titans which had all but crumbled after losing their intrepid leader, the Red Robin in battle. DC Comics took its current company-wide rebrand “Rebirth” literally and raised the title from the ashes.

Robin convinced former Teen Titans, the shape-shifting Beast Boy and the telekinetic-witch Raven to stand by his side, and brought onboard the alien princess Starfire and the relative newcomer Kid Flash. It looked just like old times, except that with a penchant for being abrasive Damian didn’t immediately elicit the camaraderie necessary to inspire his teammates to follow him. Fortunately the Teen Titans eventually came around to help defeat Ra’s al Ghul.

The cover to the latest issue of TEEN TITANS #13, published by DC Comics.
Team Titans?

It’s unfortunate for Robin that he’s had to at many instances live in the shadow of his predecessors, and is most often confronted by the successes of the first Robin, Dick Grayson who helped co-found the original Teen Titans, then largely made up of the sidekicks of the Justice League. Now a full-fledged adventured of his own, Grayson is known as Nightwing and leads the Titans the original team of sidekicks, all-grown up and life-long friends into battle.

Most recently, the Damian’s team of Titans joined forces with Nightwing’s team to prevent the mercenary Deathstroke from altering history! With the advent of one-time “Kid Flash” Wally West having returned from his exile outside of mainstream continuity, Deathstroke intended to use the Speed Force to help him travel back in time and rescue his son from a fate worse than death. Chronicled in the recent crossover event “The Lazarus Contract”, ended with due consequences.

Both Wally Wests were held prisoner by Deathstroke who manipulated the younger Wally (Kid Flash) into helping him absorb the Speed Force for himself. In order the stop Slade from his dastardly task, Damian struck the older Wally West in the chest — in affect killing The Flash and stopping time, but irrevocably causing him to suffer permanent heart damage. Now whenever The Flash uses his powers he is danger of suffering a heart attack.

At the conclusion of that episode, Nightwing walked away not entirely trusting that Robin was a capable leader, and after firing Kid Flash from the active roster, Damian lost the confidence of his teammates. The mantle of leadership was passed to Starfire, a more experienced combatant and certainly a far more compassionate leader. Though the damage had been done, and with Kid Flash off the team the Teen Titans wondered if indeed they could be a team at all.

Full Circle

Although Robin has done his best to keep their faith, even bringing in the new Aqualad into their ranks, working closely with Nightwing and Green Arrow to protect Gotham City from the menace of the Dark Knights, he hasn’t won back the trust of his teammates — who decide that they want Kid Flash to rejoin the group. Damian, as usual, has other plans and goes off in pursuit of another candidate. At the behest of Green Arrow, Robin seeks out the archer known as Red Arrow.

The rest of the Titans try to convince Wally that his place is with them, but Wally will only return to the team on one condition — Damian has to apologize for treating him so badly. With the latest arc unraveling in the pages of Teen Titans #13 “The Return of Kid Flash” may be imminent, but can anyone predict what the team will look like when this latest adventure reaches its apex? Who have the Teen Titans put themselves in the crosshairs of this time?

What makes this line-up one of the more interesting reads published by DC Comics, is its very distinct personality. Although the characters are all very familiar and have a profoundly importantly legacy to live up to, with Damian in the reigns of this incarnation of the team, the Teen Titans is always unpredictable and fresh, keeping it one of the more consistently invigorating reads especially as the “Rebirth” rebrand continues.

Teen Titans #13 – “The Return of Kid Flash” Part One is on newsstands now.

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