When we last visited Teen Titans, a few mysteries still lingered: what’s Wonder Girl’s story? What’s Kid Flash’s story? Will the Titans overlook the whole tried-to-kill-us thing and accept Superboy as one of their own?
The answers are: don’t know yet, probably from the future, and yes, of course, he’s been on the cover since the first issue. Wonder Girl’s still doing the insufferable “Don’t call me Wonder Girl!” shtick but has yet to explain why, Kid Flash’s encounter with Timber Wolf (of Legion Lost) reveals that he’s probably got a back story similar to pre-Flashpoint Bart Allen. And Superboy, to the surprise of no one, starts coming around.
Wonder Girl also claims to have no connection to Wonder Woman (interesting!), Red Robin goes full-on Batman during a confrontation with Solstice, and one of the newest members of the team is revealed to be none other than Doom Patrol fan favourite Danny the Street:
The Titans encounter a menace named Grymm, who looks like a purple-haired goth teenager and lasts about one issue. Characters fight. Stuff happens. Things really get moving when supervillain Harvest appears and informs the Titans they’re going to be participating in a teenage metahuman battle royale called the Culling, an event that’s been looming since Teen Titans #1.
We are also introduced to a character named Omen:
Though she doesn’t look the part, that’s Lilith, the telepath who first appeared in Teen Titans in 1970 and later became part of the original Titans West. Some years after that she adopted the name Omen and famously died having her neck snapped by a Superman android during Judd Winick’s Graduation Day storyline, despite having powers of both premonition and teleportation. But that’s ol’ Winick for you.
Now she’s a particularly nasty associate of Harvest, able to alter reality for specific targets, similar to her old self: she makes Beast Boy think Terra is alive and healthy in Blackest Night: Titans, despite the actual Terra being very corpse-like in appearance.
Speaking of Terra, here she is in Teen Titans Annual #1:
And that’s not Terra II (amnesiac Stratan) or Terra III (Atlee) you’re looking at. Beast Boy calls her “Tara” in The Ravagers, implying she’s the original Tara Markov. Here’s Beast Boy:
Beast Boy’s red. He used to be very green. Terra used to be very dead. Now they’re…dating? Or something? Further evidence that New 52 isn’t really the “soft reboot” DC claimed it would be. Terra and Beast Boy are part of Caitlin Fairchild’s dreadful Ravagers team. I’ve only read the first issue, but if The Ravagers wants to last beyond its eighth instalment, they need to make the book a little more Geoff Johns-y and little less Team Titans-y.
More familiar faces from pre-Flashpoint days show up during the Culling, including legendary D-listers Thunder and Lightning and a young woman named Artemis:
She’s a teen version of the ageless (but mostly adult) Artemis of Bana-Mighdall, who replaced Diana Prince and became the blonde Wonder Woman with an epic ponytail in the mid-’90s. Spoiler alert: for a character that lasted 17 years pre-Flashpoint, her New 52 fate is pretty surprising. Thunder and Lightning retain the blue/orange color scheme from pre-Flashpoint days, but twin brothers Gan and Tavis Williams are now brother and sister.
Harvest, true to his name, gathers all the metahuman teens for a big showdown that doesn’t go the way he thought it would (or does it?) and the action crosses over into Superboy and Legion Lost and then winds down in subsequent issues of Teen Titans and The Ravagers.
The Titans all survive the battle and somehow end up on an island straight out of Lost. A few notable things happen on this island: the Titans assemble for the first time without punching each other in the face; Superboy puts his arm around Red Robin in a bro-tastic hug that invokes heartwarming memories of their pre-Flashpoint friendship; and Danny the Street sacrifices his life to transport the team off the island.
Despite Wonder Girl’s “No, no – let him kill himself for us” sentiment, it’s a pretty poignant moment for one of the oddest/greatest characters ever created in the history of mainstream comics (I’d rank him alongside Mogo in terms of coolness). And the Danny the Alley sign indicates we shouldn’t count him out just yet. It should also be noted that Danny the Street, in addition to being a street, is also a transgendered street, making Teen Titans DC’s most diverse book ever.
Your move, Earth 2.