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Will Pfeifer and Kenneth Rocafort Bring Us New Teen Titans

Posted by on Apr 8, 2014 in Monitor Room, news and interviews | 0 comments

Newsarama reports: “The current Teen Titans comic may be ending later this month, but the title won’t be gone for long.

In July, writer Will Pfeifer and artist Kenneth Rocafort will relaunch Teen Titans with a new #1 — and a team that includes Red Robin, Wonder Girl, Raven, Bunker, and Beast Boy. According to DC, the new team’s members will offer “bold, exciting and sometimes dangerous ideas” on how to protect a world full of superpowered teens.

Teen Titans last relaunched with a new #1 issue in September 2011, as part of the New 52 reboot. While that relaunch completely changed the heroes of the Titans, this new series will carry on the continuity that’s already established — but will bring a new direction and approach to the young heroes and their mission.”

teen-titans_1

Nrama: When we talked about Red Hood and the Outlaws, you mentioned wanting to bring “fun” to that title. Do you have the same goal for Teen Titans?

Pfeifer: Oh yeah. Even more so, in fact.

The fact that these characters are actual teens (and we’re going to be writing them like actual teens, too) opens up a whole world of possibilities.

I mentioned before how they’re going to screw things up from time to time, and though that has some serious implications, it’s also a way to put some genuine comedy into the book.

Plus, the Titans haven’t been heroes for too long, which means they’re not burned out or jaded by the (insane) pressures of the superheroic life. They’re actually having fun themselves – well, sometimes – and I want that to come across in the comic.

Nrama: You mention humor, but the description from DC says the Teen Titans will offer “bold, exciting and sometimes dangerous ideas” on how to protect a world full of super powered teens that could either be heroes or villains. First off, are the Teen Titans mainly dealing with teen threats?

Pfeifer: The Titans aren’t strictly dealing with teen threats, but as the DCU’s resident young heroes, they seem to attract the attention of other young people with powers who are trying to figure out what to do with them.

Some of those young people will choose the heroic path, inspired by the Titans. Others will head down a darker path, looking to use their powers for less than heroic ideals.

Either way, they’re going to meet up with the Titans.

Read the full interview here.

I’m a big fan of Rocafort, so we know the book will look pretty. And Will  Pfeifer has done some solid stuff in the past. What do we think of the new creative team, Titanic Ones?

Ravager Targets ARROW

Posted by on Apr 4, 2014 in Monitor Room, news and interviews | 1 comment

Thanks to PunkdImages and comicbookmovie.com for the news….

Judging from some photos from the set of ARROW, it looks like Rose Wilson aka Ravager is going to appear…

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It’s obviously Summer Glau, who joined the case this season as the mysterious Isabel Rochev. In the series, her connection to Manu Bennett’s Deathstroke has not been made clear.

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This will mark the first live action appearance of the character.

 

Teen Titans: Earth One

Posted by on Mar 28, 2014 in Monitor Room, news and interviews | 0 comments

Comic Book Resources reports: Set in continuity-free universes which reimagine the DC Universe’s major players, the “Earth One” original, stand-alone graphic novels are produced by the biggest names in the industry. Today, at Emerald City Comic Con, during the publisher’s Retailer Roadshow, “Teen Titans: Earth One,” Volume 1 was announced. Written by Jeff Lemire and illustrated, colored and inked by Terry and Rachel Dodson, the publisher’s latest OGN arrives in stores on November 19.

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 Which Teen Titans are we going to see in your “Earth One” OGN?

To be honest, that was one of the hardest things to decide when I got the gig, for a couple of reasons. There have been different iterations over the years. There is the sidekick version with Kid Flash, Wonder Girl, Robin and Aqualad. And there’s the Wolfman/Pérez version, with unique characters like Starfire and Cyborg. These books have no continuity, so they’re not linked to the other “Earth One” books. They’re not linked to “Superman: Earth One” or “Batman: Earth One” yet. Without a Batman or a Wonder Woman, there can’t really be a Robin or a Wonder Girl, yet. I couldn’t really use those characters unless I introduced the adult versions of those characters.

What I really decided to do was take unique characters that would be free of all that, so I embraced the Wolfman/Pérez era I loved so much — the roster is Cyborg, Changeling, Starfire, Raven and Jericho.

From the outside looking in, Cyborg is probably the most recognizable character on the team. I’ve always been fascinated by the character. He just seemed like such a tragic character, and you know I love tragedy. [Laughs] He’s a kid that’s been overtaken by a machine — that’s just such a great emotional hook. I knew that I could really work with that. In a lot of ways, he was an easy character to write because I knew his story and his drive. Some of the other characters were a bit more difficult to figure out, what motivated them and what their arc was going to be but Cyborg was pretty clear cut and I think I have done it in a way that is true to who he always was but it’s a new take on the man-machine thing too. And I hope, a little bit unexpected.

Changeling or Beast Boy — or whichever name he was given at the time — was always a great entry point for readers as a kid because he always seemed the youngest. And in a lot of ways, he was the most relatable. I’ve really gone with that here. He’s a bit younger than the other characters in the book, a bit more immature. That’s where he starts — he ends up somewhere else, but I don’t want to spoil anything.

I will not discuss Starfire, because there is a lot of mystery all around her and I can’t say anything without spoiling a whole bunch of the book. I will have to leave that one open for now.

I always loved Raven. In a lot of ways, she was my favorite character in the Wolfman/Pérez stuff. She’s a tragic story. She’s the daughter of a demon and she’s being pulled to the dark side, constantly. I didn’t go that route with her in my version. It’s a really fresh take on Raven, actually. It’s very different than the DCU version. But I still love the character.

Raven and Starfire are really key to the plot of the first volume. I can’t talk too much without spilling stuff, but, like Starfire, there is a lot of mystery surrounding Raven that will all be revealed as the story evolves.

Not going to lie to you. The last member, Jericho, is a bit of a surprise. You want to talk tragic — he’s certainly had his ups and downs!

I don’t mean to be elusive, but it’s tough without revealing big plot points. Jericho has always been someone that I really liked in the Wolfman/Pérez stuff. His power set is really cool, and I loved his link to Deathstroke — we’ll just leave that as a hint.

See the full interview here!

Top 10 Titans Romances: Dick & Kory

Posted by on Feb 14, 2014 in commentary | 1 comment

In honor of Valentine’s Day, I’ll be counting down the greatest Titans love stories all day long!

1. Dick Grayson (Robin/Nightwing) and Starfire

It started with a (now-classic) kiss in the pages of New Teen Titans #2 [1980]. In an attempt to learn English, Starfire absorbed the language by planting a wet one on the Boy Wonder. Initially denying his feelings, Robin realized how much he loved Starfire when her life was threatened by Blackfire during an outer-space adventure ( New Teen Titans #23-25, New Teen Titans Annual #1 [1982]). In the heat of the battle, Robin’s burgeoning feelings for Starfire became obvious. The couple proved a perfect match, as Starfire’s uninhibited personality offered a fitting contrast to Robin’s cool demeanor.

The pair remained a solid couple, even as Dick grappled with his own identity issues. Eventually finding his own path as Nightwing, his relationship with Starfire deepened. But the couple faced their greatest challenge when Starfire was forced into an arranged marriage to quell a Tamaranean civil uprising. While Starfire saw this as a marriage of state, Dick felt betrayed and left his alien love on Tamaran (New Teen Titans (second series) #15-18 [1986]). Stafire eventually returned to earth, and reconciled with Dick once he learned she did not take the traditional Tamaranean wedding vows (New Teen Titans (second series) #39 [1988]).

The Titans were soon shaken to the core when the evil Wildebeest Society launched a savage Titans Hunt. As tensions grew, the shape-shifter Mirage even kidnapped and impersonated Starfire, causing strain in her relationship with Nightwing. Impulsively, Dick proposed marriage to the tempestuous Tamaranean, desperately hoping to mend their relationship. The two almost wed, but the ceremony was interrupted by Raven, now reborn as an evil avatar of her father, Trigon (New Titans #99-100 [1993]). Starfire was implanted with a demon “seed” by Raven, which caused her to leave Earth and go on a spiritual journey (New Titans #114 [1994] and Showcase ’94 #11 [1994]). Thus, the long-standing relationship of Nightwing and Starfire was at an end, with neither party acquiring much closure.

Starfire found brief happiness in a marriage to the binary-powered alien known as Ph’yzzon (New Titans #127-130 [1995]). But after Ph’yzzon died while trying to protect New Tamaran from the Sun Eater (Final Night Preview [1996]), Starfire found herself single again. Reunited with Nightwing in JLA/Titans #1-3 [1998], the pair agreed to be good friends. Starfire joined the newly reformed Titans for a time, before finally returning to her people in Titans #17-19 [2000]. In Titans #19, Starfire and Nightwing finally say goodbye in a poignant scene that puts a cap on their relationship.

Starfire and Nightwing became allies again on several teams, including the Outsiders [2004], the Titans [2008] and the JLA [2010]. Although they have succumbed to old passions more than once, the pair have decided to remain good friends above all else.

The classic Robin-Starfire was extremely popular in its time, and for good reason. Like any good romance in fiction, the relationship led to character growth for both parties. Both challenged each other, as Kory learned to act less impulsively while Dick opened up emotionally. It was a thrill to discover the different sides of these characters as their love deepened.

Romantic Reads:
New Teen Titans [1980] #2, 16, 23-26, Annual #1, 39
New Teen Titans [1984] #15-18, 39, 99-100, 114
JLA/Titans #1-3 [1998]
Titans [2000] #17-19

Top 10 Titans Romances: Donna & Roy

Posted by on Feb 14, 2014 in commentary | 0 comments

In honor of Valentine’s Day, I’ll be counting down the greatest Titans love stories all day long!

2. Donna Troy (Wonder Girl/Troia) and Roy Harper (Speedy/Arsenal)

“They don’t call me Speedy for nothin’, doll,” quipped the boy boyman, as he angled a team-up with Wonder Girl on his first mission as a full-time member (Teen Titans #19 [1967]). By issue’s end, Speedy had scored “a date with the Wonder Chick,” too. Their relationship was likely a casual one, as Speedy later put the moves on Wonder Girl’s roommate, Sharon Tracy. As a matter of fact, the Speedy-Wonder Girl relationship was not touched on for the duration of this era (up until Teen Titans #43 [1973], wherein the book went on hiatus).

The details of their disastrous first date were later detailed in the charmingly heart-breaking Teen Titans: Year One #5 [2008]. What started as a romantic evening quickly went South when the Arrowcar was stolen by Ding Dong Daddy.

The Speedy-Wonder Girl romance resumed when the book returned from hiatus, with Teen Titans #44 [1976]. The teen Amazon gave Speedy an amorous greeting, “That’s okay, lover, as long as you’re back now.” Once again, aside from the occasional “lover” and a couple of jealous outbursts from Speedy, their romance remained frustratingly off-panel. The series was canceled with Teen Titans #53, and when it relaunched with New Teen Titans #1 [1980], it became obvious that the Speedy-Wonder Girl relationship was no more.

The two adventurers rekindled their relationship years later, in the pages of Titans #1-25 [1999]. Donna Troy’s memories had been mystically restored, leaving the  Amazon to question her own identity. Testing her own boundaries, Donna (now Troia) entered into a wild affair with Roy Harper (now Arsenal), as seen in the pages of Titans #9. Once fully restored in Titans #25, Donna gently broke off the relationship to a very-understanding Roy. The two still share a very deep and loving connection, even as their relationship remains platonic.

Romantic Reads:
Teen Titans [1967] #19
Teen Titans [1976] #44
Teen Titans: Year One [2008] #5
Titans [1999] #6, 9, 23-25

Top 10 Titans Romances: Cassie & Conner

Posted by on Feb 14, 2014 in commentary | 0 comments

In honor of Valentine’s Day, I’ll be counting down the greatest Titans love stories all day long!

3. Cassie Sandsmark (Wonder Girl) and Conner Kent (Superboy)

It was love at first super-sight for Wonder Girl. Upon joining Young Justice, Cassie Sandsmark was instantly smitten with Supeboy (Young Justice #4 [1999]). The cocky Teen of Steel remained unmoved by Cassie’s affections. Cassie matured as a member of the team, finally ditching her geeky wig and goggles for a more fashionable ensemble. The gawky adventurer also emerged as a more capable heroine, even assuming the role of team leader. Superboy finally realized he had fallen in love with Wonder Girl, and declared his feeling in Young Justice #55 [2003], culminating in a long-deserved kiss.

The super teens’ romantic relationship continued in the pages of Teen Titans [2003], despite Wonder Woman’s initial disproval (TT #6) and Superboy’s Luthor-initiated rampage (TT #24-35). And when the Infinite Crisis threatened all of existence, Cassie and Conner consummated their relationship  (Teen Titans (third series) Annual #1 [2006]). Heartbreak followed, as Superboy seemingly gave his life in Infinite Crisis #6-7, dying in the arms of Wonder Girl.

A mourning Wonder Girl became obsessed with bringing Superboy back, and became involved with the corrupt “Cult of Conner” (52w2, 52w4, 52w11-12). Eventually rejoining the Teen Titans, Cassie found comfort in the arms of Tim Drake. The pair dated for a short time, while the Legion of Super-Heroes used 31st century super-science to revive Superboy (Legion of 3 Worlds #4-5 [2009]). After defeating Superboy-Prime, Conner returned to his proper time and reunited with an elated Wonder Girl.

The interesting thing about their love story is that’s the inverse of a typical comic book romance. Usually, it’s the dorky guy trying to win the affections of an out-of-his-league beauty. Here, it was geeky Cassie who eventually won the heart of her hunky hero.

Romantic Reads:
Young Justice [1999] #4, 6, 55
Teen Titans [2003] #6, 24-25, Annual #1
Infinite Crisis [2005] #6-7
Legion of 3 Worlds [2009] #5

Top 10 Titans Romances: Garth & Tula

Posted by on Feb 14, 2014 in commentary | 0 comments

In honor of Valentine’s Day, I’ll be counting down the greatest Titans love stories all day long!

4. Garth (Aqualad) and Tula (Aquagirl)

The cover of Aquaman #33 [1967] described young Aquagirl as “wild, wet and whacky.” And it wasn’t long before the extroverted Aquachick caught the eye of a more reserved Aqualad. In that same issue, the pair were  hypnotized into aiding the evil Dr. Dorsal before realizing the error of their wild ways. But the Atlantean teens continued to make waves, as Tula adopted the name Aquagirl  and helped overthrow the evil Narkran (Aquaman #42-49).

Garth and Tula’s love grew, as they became a long-standing couple through the remainder of Aquaman’s first series and in Adventure Comics. Aqualad and Aquagirl made a bigger splash in the pages of Tales of the Teen Titans #45-48, where the Titans aided them in taking down the H.I.V.E.’s underwater base. The pair attended Donna Troy’s wedding in Tales of the Teen Titans #50, briefly stealing away to enjoy a romantic skinny-dip in Steve Dayton’s pool.

Sadly, their long-standing love was cut short in the pages of Crisis on Infinite Earths #9-10 [1985], as Aquagirl gave her life defending Atlantis from the evil Chemo. A devastated Garth mourned her death for years, before finally laying their love to rest in the poignant pages of Tempest #4 [1996].

Romantic Reads:
Aquaman [1967] #33
Tales of the Teen Titans [1984] #45-48, 50
Crisis on Infinite Earths #9-10 [1985],
Tempest #4 [1996]

Top 10 Titans Romances: Mal & Karen

Posted by on Feb 14, 2014 in commentary | 0 comments

In honor of Valentine’s Day, I’ll be counting down the greatest Titans love stories all day long!

5. Mal Duncan (Herald/Vox) and Karen Beecher (Bumblebee)

A brainy and beautiful New York librarian, Karen Beecher met Mal Duncan after the first group of Teen Titans broke up. In Karen’s first appearance in Teen Titans #45 [1977], she tries to counter her boyfriend Mal’s feeling of inferiority. In an effort to bolster his reputation on the team, Karen became the Bumblebee to make Mal look good in front of his teammates, attacking them before being revealed as Karen Beecher (Teen Titans #48).

Both Karen and Mal remained members of the Teen Titans until the book’s end with issue #53. In that same issue, Speedy remarks, “And if you don’t invite us to the wedding, it won’t be cupid’s arrows you’ll see flying!”, indicating the pair was already engaged. The letter column of that same issue confirmed this: “The Guardian/Hornblower/Mal will continue to run Gabriel’s Horn with the aid of his fiancee, Karen (the Bumblebee) Beecher.” The actual wedding was an affair that occurred off-panel, as the now-married couple attended Donna Troy’s wedding in Tales of the Teen Titans #50 [1984]. Living in semi-retirement, Mal and Karen relocated to the West Coast.

The happy couple returned to aid the Titans on various occasions (Secret Origins Annual #3 [1989], New Titans #56-59 [1989], Hawk & Dove Annual (second series) # 1 [1990], JLA/Titans #1-3 [1998] and The Titans Secret Files #2 [2000]), but remained content with their more mundane lifestyle. The pair ran a West Coast version of Gabriel’s Horn for a time, and later opened up a small restaurant and coffee house called The Buzz. Through it all, Mal and Karen remained the strongest, happiest couple it Titans history.

Thing began to unravel when Donna Troy led a space mission during the Infinite Crisis, recruiting both Herald and Bumblebee. Transformed by strange energies, Bumblebee became trapped at insect size while Mal’s Gabriel Horn was fused to his chest (Teen Titans #35-37 [2006]). The couple found refuge with the bizarre Doom Patrol, but these new mutations eventually drove a wedge between the two lovers. In Doom Patrol #2 [2009], Karen revealed she and Mal had separated.

Romantic Reads:
Teen Titans [1976] #45-53
Superman Family [1978] #191-192
Tales of the Teen Titans [1984] #50
Secret Origins Annual #3 [1989]
New Titans #56-59 [1989]
JLA/Titans #1-3 [1998]
Titans Secret Files #2 [2000]
Teen Titans [2006] #34-37
Doom Patrol #2 [2009]

Top 10 Titans Romances: Donna & Kyle

Posted by on Feb 14, 2014 in commentary | 1 comment

In honor of Valentine’s Day, I’ll be counting down the greatest Titans love stories all day long!

6. Donna Troy (Darkstar) and Kyle Rayner (Green Lantern)

A powerless Donna Troy had just witnessed the dissolution of her marriage. Rookie hero Kyle Rayner was helpless to save his girlfriend from being brutally murdered. But in the wake of these tragedies, these two young heroes found love.

Donna found a new calling as a Darkstar, and first met Kyle Rayner during a conflict with the powerful Psimon (New Titans #115, then Green Lantern #57, then New Titans #116 [1994]).

Their love story unfolded primarily in the pages of Green Lantern. It started in issue #58, as Donna helped Kyle move into his new Greenwich Village apartment. Kyle and Donna grew closer, and finally shared a first kiss under the mistletoe (Green Lantern #59). Their first official date (on the moon) was unfortunately interrupted when Kalibak attacked (Green Lantern #61).

Kyle and Donna continued to date and their relationship seemed to be progressing (Green Lantern #61-69 and New Titans #117-130), despite Kyle’s slight immaturity and Donna’s slight apprehensions about trust in relationships. Then in Green Lantern #70, everything came to a head. Donna caught Kyle sketching a naked woman in his apartment – a woman he was obviously attracted to. Donna was hurt and felt betrayed, partly because Kyle neglected to tell her about it. Kyle and Donna remained Titans team mates (although not a couple) until the team broke up (as depicted in Titans Secret Files #1).

While New Titans ended with issue #130, Donna returned to the pages of Green Lantern (issues #73-75) to help Kyle resolve an intergalactic conflict involving Darkseid’s son Grayven. By battle’s end, Donna gave up her Darkstar identity alltogether to live her life as a normal woman.

After Donna and Kyle re-examined their lives, they realized they cared for each other quite a bit and decided to resume their relationship. Donna and Kyle became closer than before; Kyle expressed his love and gave Donna a necklace made from his power ring energy as a sign of that love. (all in Green Lantern #78). Their bond strengthened as Kyle bonded with Donna’s son, Robert (Green Lantern #82) and Donna met Kyle’s mother (Green Lantern #88).

In Green Lantern #89, Donna received horrifying news: her ex-husband, Terry and son, Robert, were killed in a car accident. After getting this news, Donna left Kyle and withdrew from their blossoming relationship (detailed in Green Lantern #90).

Kyle and Donna’s next confrontation in Wonder Woman #125 was awkward and painful. But Donna and Kyle have since talked and sorted through their relationship, to some extent. Although they still have feelings for each other, they have decided to remain friends (as seen in JLA/Titans #3,  Titans #6 and Green Lantern #118).

Romantic Reads:
Green Lantern [1994] #57-70, 73-90, 118
New Titans [1994] #115-130, Annual #11
Wonder Woman [1995] #125
Titans Secret Files [1999] #1
JLA/Titans [1999] #3
Titans [1999] #6

Top 10 Titans Romances: Gar & Tara

Posted by on Feb 14, 2014 in commentary | 3 comments

In honor of Valentine’s Day, I’ll be counting down the greatest Titans love stories all day long!

7. Gar Logan (Beast Boy/Changeling) and Tara Markov (Terra)

Perhaps the most heart-breaking romance in Titans history, the Terra/Changeling relationship was rocky from the start. Changeling met Terra on top of the Statue of Liberty, which she was trying to destroy. A confused and troubled runaway, Terra (Tara Markov) was persuaded to seek sanctuary at Titans Tower in New Teen Titans #28 [1983]. In issue #30, Terra even joined the group as a full-fledged Titan.

Although smart-mouthed and full of attitude, Terra charmed her way into Changeling’s (and readers’) hearts. But the biggest shock of all was in the pages of New Teen Titans #34, where Terra was revealed as a spy for Deathstroke the Terminator. Seeking to fulfill his contract with the H.I.V.E., Deathstroke enlisted Terra’s aid to infiltrate the group and learn their secrets. As part of this ruse, Terra especially manipulated Changeling, who had developed a crush on the cute blond geomorph.

The events of New Teen Titans #39 [1984] made it even harder for fans to believe that Terra may be swayed to the side of good. In that issue, a tarted-up Tara was shown plotting the Titans’ demise while enjoying a post-coital smoke. Terra was literally sleeping with the enemy. And after a brutal training excercize with Slade, Terra denounced “cute girl super-heroes” and vowed to kill all the “sanctimonious do-gooders.” Suddenly, hopes for Terra’s reform seemed slim, at best.

Despite Terra’s dirty deeds, it seemed there was still slim hope for her redemption. When the group gave her a birthday party, Terra was (for once) speechless, confessing “Oh, nuthin’s wrong. I was just.. Thinking of something” (NTT #30) When Dick Grayson expressed pride in Terra, Wintergreen even doubted her ultimate loyalty, “Sir, do you think young Tara is changing her mind? Will she side with the Titans against us?” (NTT #39). And when Cyborg saved her life and remarked that Terra would do the same in the reverse situation, she said,  “Yeah… Mebbe I would have…” (ToTT #41). And moments before betraying the team utterly, Terra shares a romantic kiss was an elated Changeling (ToTT #42)

But Terra proved rotten to the core. Once revealed as a traitor, a heartbroken Changeling suspected hypnosis. But Terra confessed, “What’s with the dropped mouth, Logan? Your pwetty widdle girlfriend isn’t all true-blue and pure? Mister, you don’t know the half of it. But you better believe you’re gonna squirm while I tell you everything.” (ToTT Annual #3).

Nightwing and Jericho liberated the Titans, while the H.I.V.E. Fell in ruins. Changeling reached out to Terra one last time, causing the mudslinger to lash out, “It’s all been an act. Every part of it — ‘specially that kiss, Logan. That was the biggest act of all. It made me want to gag kissin’ you, Logan.” Ultimately, Terra’s own rage consumed her and she buried herself in a mountain of debris.

A devastated Changeling located her body, left with emotional wounds that would take years to heal.

Romantic Reads:
New Teen Titans [1982] #26, 28, 30-39
Tales of the Teen Titans [1984] #40-44, Annual #3

Top 10 Titans Romances: Roy & Jade

Posted by on Feb 14, 2014 in commentary | 0 comments

In honor of Valentine’s Day, I’ll be counting down the greatest Titans love stories all day long!

8. Roy Harper (Speedy/Arsenal) and Jade (Cheshire)

In Tales of the Teen Titans #51-52 [1985], Cheshire revealed one of the Titans had fathered her child. But the truth behind the child’s parentage was not uncovered until New Teen Titans (second series) #20 [1986]. On the last page, Cheshire blurted the shocking truth, “Speedy — my lover, and the man who fathered my child! And I wondered what would happen once I tracked you down. Once I stared into your eyes. And now I know exactly what I’m going to do. Roy Harper, I’m going to kill you!”

In the opening pages of issue #21, Jade failed to make good on her threat, admitting Roy Harper was the “one weakness in my life.”

And that scene laid the groundwork for the tumultuous relationship between Speedy and Cheshire. Their sordid history started with one of Roy Harper’s undercover missions for the government. His assignment was to track down Cheshire, gain her confidence, and hand her over to the authorities. But plans changed when Harper fell in love with Cheshire and she with him.  Their one night of passion left Jade pregnant, as Roy vanished into the night. In the closing pages of New Teen Titans (second series) #21, Jade allows Roy to hold his daughter Lian for the first time.

With the help of Nightwing, Speedy later freed Lian from Cheshire’s guardianship in Action Comics Weekly #613-618 [1988]. Once again, Cheshire’s feelings for Harper led to her own undoing, as she cursed herself for loving the amorous archer.

Roy and Jade eventually came to some sort of understanding, as witnessed in Titans #8 [1999]. There, Roy leaves a picture of Lian in a diner for Jade’s retrieval. Unfortunately, Cheshire proved beyond redemption by taking up with the anti-Titans group known as Tartarus (Titans #10-12). After Taratarus’ botched mission, Cheshire was forced to stand trial for her crime against humanity (Titans #21-22 [2000]).

Titans #30 provided  a turning point in their relationship, as Cheshire’s attempted prison break-out is witnessed by a visiting Lian. Realizing Jade was well beyond redemption, Roy was forced to take a heart-breaking stand against her.

Upon breaking out of prison, Cheshire emerged more sadistic than ever. Her erratic behavior made her an unpredictable assassin and dangerous adversary. Lian Harper was later killed during a brutal attack on Star City ( Cry For Justice #5-7 [2009-2010]), leading an enraged Jade to attack her former lover (Rise of Arsenal #3-4 [2010]).

Roy and Jade’s relationship is pretty volatile in many ways, but it has certainly sparked years of passion-fueled stories!

Romantic Reads:
New Teen Titans [1986] #20-21
Action Comics Weekly [1988] #613-618
Titans [1999] #8, 10-12, 21-22, 30
Rise of Arsenal [2010] #3-4

Top 10 Titans Romances: Wally & Raven

Posted by on Feb 14, 2014 in commentary | 2 comments

In honor of Valentine’s Day, I’ll be counting down the greatest Titans love stories all day long!

9. Wally West (Kid Flash) and Raven

Although Wally West and Raven never quite got together, their doomed romance is the stuff of comic book legend. Raven sought to recruit Kid Flash in New Teen Titans #1 [1980], but Wally West initially refused. Raven mystically manipulated Wally’s feelings and made him fall in love with her, prompting him to join the newfound team after all. Raven’s duplicity was revealed in New Teen Titans #4, leaving Kid Flash devastated. The worst thing of all was Wally’s new realization in New Teen Titans #5, “I care. I still care. I can’t get her out of my mind.” What was once a spell was now quite real. This led the lovesick speedster to aid Raven despite her subterfuge.

His feelings were reciprocated, as Raven wrestled with her burgeoning attraction to Kid Flash as well. But as the daughter of a demon, Raven had to control her emotions, lest her evil side burst free. Legends of the DC Universe #1 [1998] revealed new details surrounding the origin of the New Teen Titans, including Raven’s initial lament concerning Kids Flash, “Thi-this one is different. I– I have read his heart. I know his passions. He gives me feelings I have never had before. No! I cannot allow this.” Likewise, Legends of the DC Universe #18 [1999] featured an untold tale of Raven and Wally West before New Teen Titans #1, in which a young Raven watched Wally from afar, “No! This is not good,” the empath remarked, “I have feelings I should not have.”

Wally repeatedly reached out to Raven, but the teen mystic remained detached. Her demonic side was revealed to Wally in the pages of New Teen Titans #29, causing the speedster to recoil in horror. This, among other factors, led Wally to leave the team in New Teen Titans #39. There, he tells Raven, “I alternately love you and hate you. Sometimes, I can’t bear to be apart from you — other times, I don’t want to know you exist.” Ouch.

Raven’s evil eventually consumed her, and the Titans called upon Wally West to aid them in a final battle against Trigon (New Teen Titans (second series) #2 [1984]). As the team was tortured with visions of their worst nightmares, Wally witnessed the horrific ramifications of a romantic coupling with Raven. The team was successful in defeating Trigon, as a cleansed Raven disappeared in a flash of white light.

Raven later resurfaced amid Brother Blood’s cult, and the Titans galvanized their forces to rescue Raven and put an end to Blood. In the wake of this encounter, Wally gazes at Raven, as the caption reads, “There eyes meet briefly, then hastily move apart. What love there was, if there was, is gone. The feeling that remain have no name… And no words follow.” (New Teen Titans (second series) #31 [1987]).

A sad and melancholy end to a love affair that never was.

Romantic Reads:
New Teen Titans [1980] #1-6, 29-30, 39
New Teen Titans [1984] #1-5, 31
Legends of the DC Universe [1998] #1
Legends of the DC Universe [1999] #18

Top 10 Titans Romances: Lilith & Gnarrk

Posted by on Feb 14, 2014 in commentary | 0 comments

In honor of Valentine’s Day, I’ll be counting down the greatest Titans love stories all day long!

10. Lilith Clay and Gnarrk

She was a mysterious teen psychic in search of her past. He was a gentle cave-boy thrust into the future. And together, these two crazy kids found love. It all began in Teen Titans #33 [1971], where the Teen Titans attempted to domesticate the time-tossed cave teen. Lilith was able to reach Gnarrk telepathically, and she sensed a warmth and kindness in him despite his gruff exterior. When the confused cave-boy fled Jupiter Labs, Lilith found her “poor, bewildered frightened baby.”

Gnarrk reappeared in Teen Titans #39, where Lilith’s soothing influence cooled Gnarrk’s cro-magnon rage. By that time, it seemed Lilith and Gnarrk were a solid couple, as Lilith cooed, “He’s a real cool civilized cat, my Gnarrk is.”

Gnarrk did not reappear until years later, when the Teen Titans encountered the new Titans West group in Teen Titans #50-52 [1977]. In that tale, it was revealed that Lilith and Gnarrk were engaged to be married. Although Lilith was a member, Gnarrk was not considered a part of the West Coast based team. He actually objected to Lilith’s involvement in the group altogether. “You coulda gone to the cops instead of hooking up with this bunch, ” Gnarrk snarled. “How many times I gotta tell ya I don’t want my fiancee playin’ like she’s Wonder Woman? You coulda been hurt bad!” Lilith countered, “But I wasn’t — and I helped save a lot of people. Stop being so overprotective!”

The only former Teen Titan who did not attend the wedding of Donna Troy and Terry Long (Tales of the Teen Titans #50 in 1984), Gnarrk apparently died under unrevealed circumstances sometime after his last appearance.

When the Titans’ past was altered by the history-shattering Crisis on Infinite Earths, Lilith and Gnarrk’s story was altered as well. Gnarrk’s revised origin was told in New Titans #56 [1989], where Lilith used her powers to establish a mental rapport with a mysterious cave-boy encased in ice. The two fell in love through their psychic link, even as Gnarrk remained in stasis at S.T.A.R. Labs. Within a year, the mysterious light in Gnarrk’s chest faded and he died.

Continuity glitches aside, Lilith and Gnarrk’s original love story remains one of the sweetest courtships in Titans’ history.

Romantic Reads:
Teen Titans [1971] #33, 39
Teen Titans [1977] #50-52
New Titans [1989] #56

Will The Teen Titans $ell Out?

Posted by on Jan 29, 2014 in Monitor Room, news and interviews | 1 comment

Heads up, Titans fans!

Bleeding Cool has a lead on what may be the next phase of the New 52 Teen Titans, which is ending its run shortly.  In the final pages of  the final issue of The Green Team: Teen Trillionaires:

You can check out BC’s full report here.

Will this be the new direction of the Teen Titans? Will the Green Team creatives (Written by ART BALTAZAR and FRANCO, Art by IG GUARA) give us a New, New, New, Teen Titans?

I think it’s a fine idea, and could provide an interesting role for the team in their next incarnation.

Or, perhaps this will all be forgotten if someone else at DC has other plans for the Titans.

Lobdell Looks Back On Teen Titans

Posted by on Jan 21, 2014 in Monitor Room, news and interviews | 1 comment

With the current TEEN TITANS title wrapping up with issue #30, writer Scott Lobdell chatted with Newsarama:

Nrama: It would seem pretty strange to just up and leave so many characters in limbo, and now with Nightwing apparently needing a new ID, Wally coming into the New 52, it seems there are some opportunities there. Any thoughts on where DC takes the franchise next?

Lobdell: Not a one! But I had dinner with Dan DiDio just last night and he is very excited and upbeat about DC’s plans for the Teen Titans…. and that’s good enough for me!

Nrama: It’s at least good to hear there are plans for the franchise. But does this mean the characters of the Teen Titans will be in disarray when you’re done?

Lobdell: I think you phrased that question just for the message boards! But yes, the state of the Teen Titans at the conclusion of this story does not have a lot of resemblance to those fresh faced kids of Teen Titans #1.

Nrama: Then to finish up, is there anything else you want to tell fans about Teen Titans?

Lobdell: I know it was a bit of heavy lifting for some of the longtime fans of the core characters on the book — and Newsarama fans haven’t been shy about voicing their complaints — but I can’t find it in my heart to apologize.

I was hired to write a series that started the team “on page one”… no history, no preexisting relationships, for readers that were not familiar with the concept of Teen Titans. The new continuity being what it was, Bart could not have been Bart Allen from the future, Superboy could not have been a clone who spent the last few months living on the Kent Farm as Ma and Pa had died some 10 years ago, and on and on…

… so while I wouldn’t expect anyone to agree with every choice I made or was handed, I will say I remain very proud of the book I’ve worked on for the last 30-odd issues. And I’m very grateful to DC that they entrusted me with a book that is still standing with its head held high as we shuffle off the stage and let someone else take the spotlight! I, for one, can’t wait!

Read the whole article here!