I can count the number of times DC has rebooted the Teen Titans on all your hands.
The Titans in any incarnation are a team of side kicks or teen heroes looking for somewhere to belong. They’re not the Justice League. They’re kids looking for somewhere they fit in.
It’s a concept ripe with possibilities. Yet somehow, DC can never seem to get it together… or at least not for very long. The few times they have made it work, it’s been screwed up by editorial mandates or a new creative team.
Case in point: after a phenomenal 3 issue mini (Graduation Day), Geoff John’s rebooted Titans. For once we were given a proper team destined to take over for the Justice League. Robin, Superboy, Wonder Girl and Kid Flash were paired with Titans mainstays Cyborg, Beast Boy and Starfire.
Teen Titans became one of the best books on the stands. Then came Infinite Crisis and One Year Later. Superboy was killed by the US legal system. Kid Flash was killed by DC editorial’s sheer stupidity. Robin and Wonder Girl were still there, but they were once again saddled with Z-list team mates. It only got worse when Johns left the book. And I dropped it shortly thereafter.
WELL. Now Conner and Bart are back. I want to see a proper Titan team again. Here’s the pitch.
Creative team: Daniel Way and Eddy Barrows.
Eddy Barrows is the one thing I liked about Sean McKeever’s run. Though his style is dangerously close to ape-ing Ivan Reis, he’s talented. I think an inker with a heavier, darker style would work well. And Daniel Way has been blowing me away on Marvel’s Deadpool. That’s what this book needs: FUN. I’m not sure if Way is locked in at Marvel, but I’d love to see him work his magic on Titans.
ROBIN/ Tim Drake
Yeah, yeah. I know. Damien Wayne is the new Robin. Tim is Red Robin.
Two things about that:
1) Red Robin is a stupid character name invented by an over-rated artist.
2) Damien sucks.
Seriously Alex Ross, Red Robin- Red Arrow—- one trick pony much? (I realize that wasn’t exactly a sentence, but I’m fairly certain Ross is the white Kanye West and therefore incapable of reading it anyway.)
Soooooooo… get rid of Red Robin. It’s an ugly costume and a redundant concept. What’s the difference between Robin and Red Robin? A cowl and an extra belt. And ATTITUDE! *AHEM* Tim Drake is a leader. Yes, he is very much Bruce’s protege, but he’s more like Dick than he lets on. Tim is at his best when surrounded by people he loves. Without that support system, he becomes lost like Bruce is. So have Damien be eaten by Lobo, bring back Tim and be done with it.
Superboy/ Conner Kent
Conner’s the heart of the Titans. They fell apart without him. Similarly, without them he loses some of his luster. Much like their forebears, Tim and Conner are pure magic when they’re together. So lets get the band back together.
Now we have the heart and brains of the team. Let’s get some sex appeal.
Wonder Girl/ Cassie
Rounding out our future Trinity is Wonder Girl of course. The romance between her and Conner seemed to become more relevant AFTER he died than when they were together.
Now let’s see what happens. I don’t think Adventure Comics has the space to properly explore this relationship. First of all, people expect them to be together. But should they be? Are things still the same? Conner died and came back to life. And Cassie has been through a lot in the 2 years since then. Can they just pick up where they left off, or are they just another teenage couple destined to burn out after a few months?
Kid Flash/ Bart Allen
I LOVE Bart, but there are way too many Flashes running around. Let’s just call him Impulse and put a new costume on him.
Bart sort of embodied the spirit of youth for the group. His place was taken in many ways by Kid Devil, and that’s fine… but Bart is just a fun character. He was the Beast Boy of his time.
The Ray/ Ray Terrill
Now that we have the four mainstays out of the way, let’s get to the wild cards.
Ray Terrill is a criminally under-used character. He’s incredibly powerful, can do many of the things a Green Lantern can do, and is kind of irresponsible.
I was a huge fan of Christopher Priest and Howard Porter’s Ray series from the mid-90s and would love to see this wonderful character get a second chance.
He’s been around. Identity Crisis, Final Crisis… but I mean, getting stuck with the Freedom Fighters? Whats that all about? Let’s put him in the big time and see where it goes.
Ravager/ Rose Wilson
I have no idea why Sean McKeever thought Kid Eternity would make a more useful Titan than Rose.
The Rose/ Cassie dynamic was fun. You could almost see them becoming competitive friends somewhere down the line as adults.
Plus she’s an amazing fighter with the same gifts as her father, Slade Wilson.
No point in arguing. She’s in.
Blue Beetle/ Jaime Reyes
Blue Beetle is never going to get a fair shake on his own boat or in back-ups. (sorry, mixed metaphors) But as a Titan, people will actually stand up and take notice.
And again, my dream team is about F-U-N.
Jaime is a loose character that would bring a lot in terms of varied abilities, villains and character potential. Plus I have too many WASPS running around.
Arsenal/ Roy Harper
I haven’t the slightest idea why DC insists on letting Alex Ross think he’s a writer. The decision to turn Roy Harper into a pale imitation of Green Arrow is outright stupid and degraded him. Yes, they did interesting things with him, but putting him in lacy tights was not one of them.
So make him Arsenal again. I doubt he’ll be in the JLA when Robinson comes onto the title. The Titans still need a mentor, and Roy is almost as good as Dick. Besides, I’m sick of seeing Cyborg in every Titans book.
Okay! So what do you guys think? Love it, hate it, think Roy’s lacy latex is sexy? Let me know!
Oh, and don’t forget to check out my BOOK OF THE WEEK!
See you next time.