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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!

Teen Titans Ends With #30

Posted by on Jan 17, 2014 in Monitor Room, news and interviews | 4 comments

Get ready for a New, New, New Teen Titans?

Scott Lobdell announced the end of the current Teen Titans title at Comicvine.com:

“I wanted to take this opportunity to thank the legion of fans who have been supporting the TEEN TITANS since our very first issue almost two and a half years ago!

Why am I talking about it like its in the past? Because issue #30 and the annual a week later is going to the final issue of the most recent incarnation of the TEEN TITANS!

I’m thrilled the DC is letting me wrap up the story on a high note as the TEEN TITANS square off against the N.O.W.H.E.R.E. in a final battle — bringing to conclusion the conflict that began in the first issue!

I’m certainly going to miss writing the adventures of Red Robin, Wonder Girl, Bunker and the rest of the gang. But as a huge, life long fan of the title I’m very excited about the whispered rumors I’m hearing race back and forth between New York and Burbank. (Trust me when I say we haven’t seen the last of everyone’s favorite teen team adventurers.)”

Check out the post here.

Wally West Debuts in the New 52

Posted by on Jan 17, 2014 in Monitor Room, news and interviews | 1 comment

It’s true!

USA Today broke the news: “Flash alter ego Barry Allen, who plies his trade in the Central City police crime lab when not in his red costume, gets thrown into more procedural adventures when the new creative team of writersRobert Venditti and Van Jensen and artist Brett Booth debut in The Flash No. 30, out April 23.

A week later, they reintroduce Wally West, another guy who’s worn the Flash togs, into the DC Universe in The Flash Annual No. 3″

Here’s the cover to the Annual:

Scott Lobdell vs Marv Wolfman on CBR

Posted by on Nov 26, 2013 in Monitor Room, news and interviews | 0 comments

Two veteran comic book writers paired up Saturday evening at the fifth annual Long Beach Comic & Horror Con for a joint panel dubbed “Scott Lobdell vs. Marv Wolfman.”

Lobdell — the current writer of “Teen Titans” for DC Comics — turned to Wolfman for comments on his legendary run on the series, saying that at the time Wolfman introduced the “New Teen Titans’ in 1980, readers weren’t exactly clamoring for new Titans stories. Wolfman explained that he initially came up with a new take on the Teen Titans out of a dissatisfaction with working on team-up books like “Brave and the Bold.” He and artist George Perez at first encountered hesitation from fans for diverging from the original “Teen Titans” roster. Lobdell — who’s written “Teen Titans” through the entire New 52 era — said he could relate.

“As somebody who’s relaunched the Titans, I’ve found a tremendous amount of, ‘It’s not Titans if there’s not…” Lobdell said. His typical response has been, “If you were around when Marv and George were around, you’d be angry.”

Read the full report here!

Rumor Casting: Adam Driver As Nightwing?

Posted by on Nov 13, 2013 in Monitor Room, news and interviews | 0 comments

The 29 year-old actor is a serious contender to play Batman’s estranged partner Dick Grayson, aka Nightwing (formerly Robin)

“Girls” star Adam Driver has emerged as the frontrunner to play Batman’s crime-fighting partner Dick Grayson, aka Nightwing (formerly Robin), in Zack Snyder’s superhero sequel “Batman vs. Superman,” two individuals familiar with the project have told TheWrap.

Warner Bros. had no comment.

Driver boasts a unique look that fits the rumored description of Nightwing — Grayson’s post-Robin alter-ego — as a “young John Hawkes,” as first reported by Latino Review. At 6’3″, Driver could hold his own against 6’4″ Ben Affleck, who will play an older and world-weary Batman.

A source tells TheWrap that at least two other actors may be in the mix to play Grayson, the Caped Crusader’s former sidekick, who’s been estranged from Bruce Wayne for years in the movie, according to Latino Review.

Read the full article here.

What do we think, Titans fans? Should Nightwing be in this movie? Can Driver fill Dick Grayson’s boots?

Are Wally West and Donna Troy Returning?

Posted by on Nov 13, 2013 in Monitor Room, news and interviews | 0 comments

Newsarama has the story!

This week’s DC All Access has a brief clue that teases the introduction of Wally West, Donna Troy and Stephanie Brown — three characters that haven’t yet been introduced to the company’s rebooted New 52 universe.

The tease occurs during a segment that has Jim Lee and Dan DiDio sitting together in an office in New York, discussing the publishing business’ move to Burbank. While the two are talking about the benefits of working in the same offices, the camera shows a few things from around the room where they’re sitting (presumably DiDio’s office) — a few trades in a shelf, some action figures, and a white board.

On the white board is written:

 

Wally > Flash
Donna > SM/WW
Stephanie > BMW (scratched out) Amazon

It’s an obvious reference to Wally West, Donna Troy and Stephanie Brown. To read Newsarama’s full analysis, click here.

Lobdell on The Death & Lives of Superboy

Posted by on Nov 13, 2013 in Monitor Room, news and interviews | 0 comments

Scott Lobdell, the writer who wrote much of Kon’s story over those two years, has revealed that Kon is going to die during this month’s “Krypton Returns.” A new Superboy will take his place — Jon Lane Kent. If it all sounds confusing, just hold onto your seat. Lobdell says the future, villainous Jon Lane Kent will take Superboy’s place without the team even realizing it. And at the same time, the old Superboy (Kon) will be making the ultimate sacrifice in “Krypton Returns.”

Newsarama has the scoop:

Nrama: OK, then let’s talk about what happens to Superboy in “Krypton Returns.” You’ve already revealed some of it…

Lobdell: Superboy, as we all know, dies. But long live Superboy!

OK, that might seem too glib. But I will say that the idea of Superman has had many incarnations since the notion of a younger Superman was introduced. He’s been young Kal-El, he’s been Conner Kent and just plain Kon-El. What was Smallville if not the ongoing adventures of Superboy before he donned his cape? I think the idea behind Superboy can survive and thrive with a continuing evolution of the concept: young Superman, clone of Superman, Son of Superman? Why do we have to stay nailed down to on particular Superboy for decades at a time?

Personally, if it were up to me — and it so rarely is — I’d be just as happy exploring a Superboy who is a young black teenager in England, exposed to raw Kryptonite and given super powers. Why does “Superboy” have to be one thing? Why can’t the idea of Superboy be more open to new ideas, new concepts?

Nrama: But for the last two years, you’ve been telling Kon’s story, both in Superboywhen you were writing it, and in Teen Titans. What were the thoughts behind making Jon Kent into Superboy now?

Lobdell: In the first few pages of Superboy, we introduced Kon in a cloning chamber listed as “02″… so there was always the plan to examine who was “01″ — who was the entity that Superboy was cloned from?

In the previous continuity, that was Superman and Lex Luthor. But aside from the notion that “Good” and “Evil” are somehow locked into a person’s DNA before they are born is rather suspect science (maybe even science fiction)… the idea is with a new Kon necessitated by the new Superman continuity, the idea was to keep the origins of Superboy’s donor a mystery that would unfold over time.

This seemed to be the time to explore those mysteries.

Read the full article here!

Remembering Nick Cardy (1920-2013)

Posted by on Nov 4, 2013 in Monitor Room, news and interviews | 1 comment

Legendary artist Nick Cardy has passed away. From innovative cover art to charming Teen Titans tales to the moody Bat Lash, Cardy influenced a generation of artists (and then some). I had the pleasure of meeting the man in person, and he remains one of the sweetest and most gracious creators I’ve had the pleasure of meeting.

Bleeding Cool reported late last night: “Word of Nick Cardy’s worsening health had been circulating all around this weekend as he was placed into hospice care, but we are sad to report that Cardy passed away this evening at the age of 93. Known for his work on Teen Titans and Aquaman among others, Cardy was inducted into the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall Of Fame in 2005.”

Bleeding Cool has collected some reflections here, and also here.

CBR assembled some of his most memorable covers here. And then posted a tribute to his Teen Titans covers here.

He will be long remembered.

Writer Todd Dezago (Cardy’s close friend and fellow comic pro) posted this:

“Thank you, thank you, thank you–to everyone who replied to the news of Nick’s failing health with kind words and warm wishes, testimonials of love and of the joy he brought to us with his beautiful artwork and wonderful stories.

I read each of your messages to him, each one bringing a smile. But, sadly, Nick’s congestive heart failure and respiratory issues are too far along for the Doctors to treat any further. We have called in Hospice and they are keeping him comfortable and free of any pain. He is sleeping and smiling, dreaming, and gently slipping away.

Thank you all, for your words of comfort and love. Nothing has made him smile more than hearing that he’d brought so much happiness to the world.”

Amen to that.

 

 

Lobdell Announces The Death Of Superboy

Posted by on Oct 20, 2013 in Monitor Room, news and interviews | 1 comment

Curious, CBR reports:

During DC Comics’ just-concluded Superman panel at New York Comic Con, writer Scott Lobdell shocked the audience when he announced the upcoming death of Superboy.

“[Superboy makes] the ultimate sacrifice, giving his life in order to stop the universe from falling apart,”Lobdell told the crowd, semi-spoiling the ending of the upcoming “Krypton Returns” story arc. From “Superboy” #26 on, the titular star of the comic will be Jon Lane Kent, the original son of Clark and Lois from an alternate future. Lobdell also announced that Supergirl “will be leaving the Superman family forever, for another whole set of books in the DC Universe.”

While Lobdell is known to crack jokes on his convention panels – at last month’s Las Vegas Comics Expo, he deadpanned that he had been fired from “Teen Titans” – the solicitations text for “Superman” #25 support today’s comments.

NYCC ’13 DC Comics is bring back ‘Tiny Titans’

Posted by on Oct 14, 2013 in animation news, Monitor Room, new york comic-con | 0 comments

With all the news about the new Batman title, DC news, and the Marvel news over the weekend @ New York Comic Con, once bit of news came out that will make fans happy.  The news came out via twitter:

 “Big news out of DC comics and @dandidio1 says so: can you say: Tiny Titans?,” followed by, “Yes! It’s true! New Tiny Titans coming soon!” Although there’s been no official announcement, DC Comics Co-Published Dan DiDio re-tweeted the second message.

 

 

Fans were disappointed when the title came to an end with issue #50 for other titles which some still included the Tiny Titans.  No news yet today and nothing in the January solicits, so keep an eye out for an announcement.

Source: CBR