Don’t call them sidekicks! The classic history of the “original” team of Teen Titans has been all-but erased, and now an enemy from their past has weaved an evil plan that is bringing them all back together, but to what end?
There has always been just a little something missing ever since the DC Comics Universe was rebooted after the “FlashPoint” event. Entering into the contemporary era of “The New 52” long-time dedicated readers had to come to terms with this new — very new — continuity where our heroes had only recently come under scrutiny of the general population. One of the most significant casualties was the almost entire retcon of the original Teen Titans history.
We learned rather quickly that Dick Grayson, the “original” Robin had never helped become a founding member of the Teen Titans, having really not served a long period of time as Batman’s sidekick before assuming his identity as the all grown-up crusader known as Nightwing. As a matter of fact, Dick didn’t really surround himself or fight crime alongside similar contemporaries. Aquaman didn’t teammate with an “Aqualad” and Green Arrow didn’t necessarily have a “Speedy”.
Effectively Grayson’s Titans disappeared, and emerged as the revolutionary brainchild of his successor Tim Drake, who molded a renegade team of his own and as the Red Robin leads the current incarnation of the Teen Titans. But what if history had been tampered with? What if the original core team — a legacy of characters fans have embraced for generations — had been forced to “forget” that time together? Answering that question is at the core of series Titans Hunt.
Written by Dan Abnett and skillfully illustrated with a very nostalgic quality by artists Stephen Segovia and Art Thibert the limited series, now in its latest issue, catapults the audience to the early days — the founding of the original team — as Nightwing, Garth, the Atlantean Aqualad and Donna Troy, the Amazon warrior once called Wonder Girl — fall victim to a dangerous summons and land themselves in a fight with the wildly menacing Mammoth.
In Titans Hunt Issue #6 (on sale now) entitled “Diabolic” more is revealed about the evil intentions of the supernatural Mr. Twister. Twister was among one of the first villains the “original” Titans faced. Bromwell Stikk haunted the citizens of Hatton Corners, took the teenagers prisoner and it took the might of the Teen Titans to spot his diabolical plans from succeeding. Mr. Twister has returned to exact his revenge and is using Malcolm Duncan, the Herald to send out a siren call.
The signal has triggered the one time team of teenagers to recall their time together, and still leads others including Roy Harper, the marksman called Arsenal, the cave-boy Gnarrk, and vigilantes Hawk & Dove to seek out Lilith who we learned “psychically blanked” the group into forgetting they had ever known one another — obliterating their time together as the Teen Titans. Hoping it would keep them safe, but as Nightwing, Aqualad and Wonder Girl fight on the get closer to unearthing Twister’s scheme.
Their combined might may have brought down Mammoth, but their counterparts are suddenly attacked — blindsided by the arrival of “Diablo” and they mean to kill the Titans before they have time to reform. Titans Hunt takes a page from Geoff Johns “Rebirth” premise and is revitalizing for the fandom much of the stories that we’ve all come to admire. Of course when the legendary Marv Wolfman and George Pérez teamed up in the 70s and reignited comics with The New Teen Titans interest in these legacy characters went through the roof.
Titans Hunt may be going back further in the mythology than anyone may have anticipated and taken a big risk by rebooting an unlikely villain, but what Abnett has done — and continues to do — is pay homage to what’s come before, but also made it matter in a way that is interesting and imaginative. The limited series may soon be wrapping up its storyline, but we already know that the Titans will be part of the upcoming rebranding “Rebirth” event.
The creative team has shown great care and admiration in acknowledging the “Silver Age” glory of these characters, and weaves a great tapestry revisiting their classic origins with their more contemporary reimagining, it’s especially strong in the case of Donna Troy, a significant fan favorite. And all though the “hunt” continues, it is good to know, extremely validating, that the Teen Titans will returning — earning their rightful place in DC Universe contemporary continuity.