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DC Rebirth News – No More Nu52 & MAJOR Spoilers

This past week we got some VERY big reveals from DC Comics, with the return of a long lost Titan and something which should make many Titans fans happy.

~SPOILERS BELOW~

DC Rebirth #1 featured the return of the original, redheaded Wally West, and when I say original I mean ORIGINAL. This isn’t a new version of Wally, but the Wally West who was Kid Flash, then became the Flash, married Linda Park, and had twin children Jai and Iris West. Not only that, but we are now being told that the DCnU was never a separate universe from the pre-Flashpoint DCU. DC Rebirth is saying that the DCnU is that same universe where Cassandra Cain and Stephanie Brown were Batgirl, Supergirl was once an angel, and most of the founding Titans had children.

For those who say that DC already reintroduced Wally as a young, biracial delinquent with family issues, Geoff Johns works around that by saying the newer version of Wally is really a distant cousin of the original deal. Apparently, both Wallys were named after the same grandfather. This is seen as DC’s attempt to alleviate those readers who were unhappy with all of Wally’s past characterization and history thrown out the window, and those who wanted to give the new Wally a chance.

Wally’s return coincides with the reveal that Barry Allen and the woman called Pandora were not the ones who changed the DC Universe. It’s true that Barry Allen caused Flashpoint when trying to save his mother from Professor Zoom, but when Barry attempted to rectify his error, a being from outside the DCU reached in and messed with time. This being transformed the DCU by stealing ten years from everyone’s lives, destroying multiple relationships and erasing individuals like Lian Harper, Jai and Iris West, Bart Allen, and numerous others. This being is the reason everyone in the DCnU has been so edgy and suspicious, and why the universe as a whole became such a dark and depressing world.

In “Titans Hunt,” we were told that there were original ten founding members in the original Teen Titans in the DCnU. When they fought Mr. Twister, they forced themselves to forget they were Titans to severe the hold Twister had on them. The end of “Titans Hunt” mentions that they’ve yet to remember who the 10th Titan was, and DC Rebirth revealed it was indeed Wally West. Something happened to Wally during their last battle that cast him out of time and space, and at the same time it erased his presence from the world.

The course of DC Rebirth features Wally trapped in the Speed Force, trying to reenter the DC Universe as he desperately tries to find someone who still remembers him. He tries Batman, a decrepit Johnny Thunder (and mentions the Justice Society of America is still out there), and a younger Linda Park, but is unable to make them remember who he is. Feeling defeated, Wally reaches out to his former mentor for the sake of saying “Thank you” for all their years together. Thankfully, Barry is able to remember Wally at the last second, taking hold of his arm and dragging him back into the world. Wally explains to Barry how messed up everyone’s lives became thanks to the being who meddled with the universe, ominously stating they are being watched.

The issue ends with Batman discovering a bloodstained smiley face pin buried in one of the Batcave’s walls, and on Mars, an invisible presence reconstructs a pocket watch. Yes, Geoff Johns is saying the person responsible for changing the DCU for the worse is none other than Doctor Manhattan from “Watchmen.”

So where does that leave us? Over the past few months DC has been steadily revealing their plans for the DCU following DC Rebirth. Below is a list of the titles involving the Titans.

  1. Aquaman: Jackson Hyde is believed to be returning as Aqualad.
  2. Blue Beetle: Jaime Reyes returns as the Blue Beetle, and gets a mentor in the form of Ted Kord. We’re also told Jaime’s scarab was never alien, but instead is magic in nature.
  3. Deathstroke
  4. Detective Comics: Tim Drake as Red Robin is getting a new costume closer to his original design, and will be featured alongside Batman, Batwoman, Spoiler, and Cass Cain as “Orphan” as they run a “Gotham Boot Camp.”
  5. Flash: The new Wally West is one of many individuals in Central City who gains superspeed abilities and must be trained by Barry Allen.
  6. Hal Jordan & The Green Lantern Corps: Will feature Kyle Rayner as a GL alongside Hal, Guy Gardner, and John Stewart.
  7. Justice League: Cyborg is still with the League.
  8. Nightwing: As we saw in “Titans Hunt,” Dick Grayson goes back to being Nightwing and will be readopting his black-and-blue uniform.
  9. Red Hood and the Outlaws: Jason Todd is forming a new team with Bizarro and Artemis as they go undercover in Gotham’s villain community.
  10. Supergirl: Kara Zor-El is getting a new series, based more on the current Supergirl TV show.
  11. Super-Sons: Damian Wayne as Robin is teaming up with Jon Kent, the son of the pre-Flashpoint Superman and Lois Lane.
  12. Teen Titans: Damian Wayne takes leadership of a Titans team including Starfire, Beast Boy, Raven, and the new Kid Flash… despite their objections.
  13. Titans: The Fab Five reunite alongside Lilith Clay, Herald, Gnarrk, Hawk and Dove, and featuring Karen Breecher as Bumblebee as they try to sort out their forgotten memories and face the being who threw Wally West outside of time.

Other Titans-related info in the “DC Rebirth” issue included the return of Ray Palmer as the Atom along with a living Ryan Choi needing to rescue him from the Microverse, and the reintroduction of the second Aqualad, Jackson Hyde, and the reveal that he’s gay.


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7 Comments

  1. avatar

    Your message…So happy about this!!!! I miss reading these characters!

  2. avatar

    Ugh. Every time they want to try something new, it busts and they need to back track. Yet, they don’t want to eliminate the new stuff. How many characters do we need with the same code names? Now there are multiple Flashes, Kid Flashes, Green Lanterns, etc. Other code names have had multiple users, like Robin, Speedy, Aqualad, Blue Beetle, etc.

    I like Geoff Johns as a writer, but DC is a huge cluster bloop. I would rather have alternate worlds than try to explain why there are TWO Kid Flashes named “Wally West,” one white and one black, and named after the same grandfather.

    Better yet, say, “We screwed up again. Kid Flash is the old Wally West, and the new guy will be given a new name: Walter Wesley, known as Kid Zip” (or Kid Quick, whatever). Instead of trying to diversify by creating minority versions of long established characters, just create new compelling characters who happen to be minorities. Put them on a team, and let them build a following. It seems to have worked for Cyborg. Bunker isn’t my favorite character, but I much prefer getting to know him than having someone change Wonder Girl’s race and make her gay (pick your preferred version of WG, since there are a couple to choose from).

  3. avatar

    I haven’t been back on this page for months, largely because of the fact I stopped reading Teen Titans back in 2012 or 2013. I just could not stand what they had don’t to the team. But since this stuff got announced I had to come back to check it out again. Judging by the lack of updated bios, I’m guessing most people here stopped reading too, huh?

    I’m pretty excited that they’re finally trying to “fix” things. Bringing back the original team and their history is a great way to start. Sure, its convoluted and confusing, but by introducing this stuff back in, they can start to phase out of the stuff that didn’t work through subtle retcons.

    Still, a lot of questions remain… Largely surrounding the previous Titans. What happened to Superboy (Kon-El) and Wonder Girl (Cassie Sandsmark). While I didn’t like their interpretations, it seems odd they’re not being used anymore.

    I’m not going to ask what happened to “Kid Flash” AKA “Bart Allen” because he was a horrible little character, who I hope just got randomly erased and we will never hear from him again, and that eventually Barry and Iris’ Grandson will make a spectacular return from the Speed Force like Wally did, and will be back to his fun hyperactive and adorable self.

    I’m also hoping this Rebirth will help fix existing character history. I know that they finally connected Cassie to Wonder Woman in #19 of the Titans (never read the book, but saw the cover), and hopefully they did away with that knock-off witchblade armor she had.

    Red Robin returning to his old costume seems like an odd choice, but I’m hoping his personality will be back to what it used to be. Also I hope they ignore the origin story they gave him in Teen Titans #0 (the exact issue where I dropped the book), and give him a new origin closer to his Pre-52 history. You know, when he was likeable.

    Superboy… he also need a do-over with history, largely because I’m still confused what his history is. Did NOWHERE create him, or did Cadmus? Although I have to admit, I’d love to see him interact with the new Superboy. Particularly since Kon is essentially a clone, of the New Superboy John Kent, from an alternate timeline future… On second thought, lets just have him go back to being Superman and Lex’s clone. If anything, we get the fun of saying Kon has two daddies again.

    Bunker would be nice to have back, largely because he was the only happy and positive character that the Teen Titans had for the longest time. While Damian’s team will have Beast Boy and Kid Flash (Wally West II), I’m not sure how their characterizations are, so I’m half expecting angst from those two.

    Rebirth read a big apology to fans, as did the Titans Hunt. I’m hoping we get the same treatment for the Titans we were stuck with during the N52.

    • avatar

      I’ve been checking here less frequently largely due to the lack of new posts. I continue to buy the trade paperbacks when they come out, solely to support interest in the Teen Titan brand. But, I have not been interested in the stories for a while. The writing and/or characterization just hasn’t been there for me; the many changes to beloved characters hasn’t helped, either.

      By far, my favorite runs have been the ones by Wolfman/Perez and Johns/McKone. I keep waiting for someone who is as adept at handling characters as those teams. Typical, though, there have been runs where little emphasis has been on character; it’s plot/action above all else. Some of those storylines have been boring, anyway. In other runs, the characterization is flat. In some of them, if you analyzed the dialogue you wouldn’t be able to tell the characters apart. They all quipped one liners in the same droll tone.

      Characterization takes time (and talent), and few writers seem willing to devote the necessary pages to that element. It’s a shame, because the Titans have so many great characters.

      • avatar

        To be fair, I’m not entirely certain the fault falls on the writers. While, yes, Scott Lobdell’s work on the book has been… well, not all that good, I remember reading his work on X-Men and always enjoyed myself. I know he can write good stories and good characterizations.

        I think the largest problem the New 52 was under a great deal of editorial mandate.

        For example, J.T. Krul was doing a find job on the Teen Titans book prior to Flashpoint and the New 52. I was excited to book up the book every month, the characters were back on track, and Krul clearly had number of major plans in store such as introducing Aqualad, building up the Superbly/Ravager/Wonder Girl love triangle, rebuilding the sense of family that the Team has lost with Red Robin, Wonder Girl, Kid Flash and Superboy playing the central focus.

        But then came along Flashpoint, and all those plans were tossed aside. The heads at DC had plans for adult heroes, but while they wanted to retain the Teen Titans, they didn’t really put much planning into it. So they let Lobdell do his own thing. But every time he tried to do his own thing, editorial would suddenly say “oh way you can’t do that.” He tried to re-establish the Titans legacy in Red Hood and Teen Titans, but then it get removed after their first issues. He tried to establish Tim Drake as being a Robin, but then it get removed after the first issue. He seemed intent on telling his own story regarding the Teen Titans, but then they ended up having to do a the Culling crossover between the Titans, Superboy and Legion Lost books. And then they had to do the Death of the Family crossover with Batman. And then they had to do the Forever Evil crossover. Then when they started revealing origin stories, they ended up giving origins for the Titans to other characters leaving the existing team with cobbled together new origins that didn’t fit or were too complicated. Where originally Cassandra Sandsmark was the daughter of Zeus, they gave that origin to Wonder Woman. Where Tim Drake had used his deductive reasoning and intelligence to discover Batman’s identity, they gave that origin to Nightwing. Where Kid Flash was the grandson of Barry Allen and Iris West, because of the anti-marriage mandate, they had to give him a convoluted villain origin. Because it was unclear if Superman ever died at the hands of Doomsday, they ended up having to tie Superboy to some random generic evil originzation. There just gets to be a point where you wonder if its the writer’s fault, or if he’s just doing what he’s told to do.

        Lobdell works best when he has a set history, set characters and strong editor to keep him reigned in. When he’s free to make up his own stories and history does he seem to struggle. When he has to make up new characters (which essentially what the titans became), he has trouble finding their voices, and they all ended up being angry, snarky and awkward. Add to that any attempts he made to connect things to how they used to be, he seemed to get denied.

        With any luck the Rebirth age will let them get back to telling proper stories again, and maybe the editors will let the writers write. And maybe now they’ll have a more focused plan.

        • avatar

          You have a great point about the editorial aspect. Whether the issue was with the writers or with the editorial mandates, someone needs to get back to the basics and realize, “Oh, THIS is what makes a great series; not this other stuff.”

          There were some decent mini-runs by other Titan writers. I think I clump some of the Krul and maybe even some of the McKeever issues with the end of the Johns run. Somewhere in there is where the series started to lose me, though (e.g., the Hunt for Raven, in which Beast Boy needed to say, “We have to find Raven” every couple pages; every arc having another “Titans” in it: Titans of Tomorrow, Terror Titans, Titans East… come on, think of a new name for the antagonists, please!). I don’t remember exactly where it took a bad turn; I do think some of the new writers kept things going pretty well for a time. They deserve recognition for that.

          Around the end of the “good” run, the art also started bugging me a bit. Scott wasn’t bad overall, but I didn’t like her changes to WG and BB. There were a few issues with plain bad art (don’t remember the names involved).

          One thing I want superhero writers to remember (comics, TV, movies) is that big events aren’t enough to generate real interest – at least not mine, and not even long term for most people. I’ve seen so many of them that I’m immune, and others are or will become so.

          We need “real” and believable characters that we actually care about, and not just characters in “emotional situations.” If the characters are poorly done, then the action just isn’t interesting enough. And good characterization requires time – pages in comics, minutes in TV and movies. Often, those in charge assume that action has to be going on to keep interest, but in reality the action has to involve characters we care about. At least, if you want long-term success.

          Take superhero movies now. How many have cities getting destroyed? Almost every one of them. That destruction is losing its impact (throw in disaster movies, alien invasion movies, war movies, etc.). In the comics, the world/universe/multiverse is too often at stake. Yawn. We’ve seen it. Get something new. Huge stakes don’t automatically = blockbuster or bestseller.

          Anyway, I’m rambling now and moving away from the Titans, haha. I love this franchise, and when its done well there is nothing better. When it’s not done well… ugh. I sincerely hope a Titans movie or TV series is done well, because I suspect Johns is planning to do one in the next few years. I also hope the comic book is done well at that time, because a movie/TV series might get some new readers to try out the Titans book. If it’s good, great! More fans. If not… well, at least the movie/show would be good.

          Anyway, it’s fun to have a Titans conversation again!

  4. avatar

    Thanks for being the number one source for “is it okay to start reading Teen Titans again”!

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