I never have anything nice to say about DC Comics. Then again they never give me anything to lose my head over and rant about how great they are either. It’s a two way street; have to earn respect to receive it. Or however the saying goes. Regardless, there is a new series which is bound to turn the already on its side Teen Titans even further on its side or more likely on its back, baking in the desert sun like a turtle.
This October, Dan Abnett is going to try to reinvent the wheel. October sees the first issue of ‘Titans Hunt‘ a series which will reveal a secret past for the Teen Titans. Abnett has felt that what has been missing from the DC New/DC YOU Titan book is an interconnected feel. According to Abnett most of the characters feel and seem disassociated.
Ya don’t say?
As innovative and aggressive something like this would seem on the surface, the problem arises that this is going to give current continuity a curve ball. Abnett is already talking about using past and present Titans, linking them together. So we have Grayson, Agent of Spyral, Donna Troy (who has only just been introduced in Wonder Woman as being created for the first time!), Roy Harper and Starfire, to name a few, which he is bringing home.
Even thought Abnett cited the Marv Wolfman/George Pérez era as being his definitive era, Abnett wants to dig further back and draw from the early Nick Cardy Brave and the Bold era of DC’s younger sidekicks. Back in the early 1960s the sidekicks would team up in DC’s Brave and the Bold long before the first Teen Titans book ever existed. This, Abnett says gives him the ability to be looser and play a more open field of storytelling with these characters all meeting again for the first time.
That’s right, the story is called “The Secret History of the Teen Titans.” A secret history that the Titans and I’m sure to some extent both DC and Abnett are not really sure of at this moment. Alas, the three shall all be learning things about one another and their connection come October. Oh yeah, I was including Abnett and DC in that jab.
See, this is the thing about this project… It’s pandering. Maybe not to the degree of Convergence, because let’s face it, Convergence was just throwing some familiar faces and costumes under one roof and slapping a 3.99 price tag on the cover. This is no different; it’s taking the existing New 52/DC YOU shadows of classic characters and linking them together in ways which already sound more convoluted than their existing histories. It seems DC can’t let us have our old memories of what some of us long time readers consider a perfect era. Instead they want to try and bastardized everything.
Abnett says he hopes that the Easter Eggs in Titans Hunt will thrill and excite readers. Why give us Easter Eggs, pale reflections of a past that no longer exists. Instead of trying to give all the Titans characters a linking past, why not give them a present and future. This project could sound so much better if the characters were becoming the ‘classic’ Titans again for the first time instead of having them have been a team long ago that everyone conveniently forgot.
Maybe Abnett will answer just how Starfire knows Dick Grayson, having had dreams about a man she never met. Anyone remember the whole Starfire/Dick Grayson bit in ‘Red Hood and the Outlaws?’ Did she know him, had she forgotten him? A long standing dangling plot thread which took a while to clear up. By issue 20 we have had Starfire flipflop on her personality and history as well as how her species functions almost as if no one on the book was even sure where they were going with that. At times it even seemed as if Scott Lobdell has his own agenda and didn’t bother to tell anyone at DC Comics. I would love to see the slate wiped clean but I won’t hold my breath, because…
“Yet it’s an easy-to-follow story, but one full of different strands that are being woven together. And I hope I’m doing a good job, as I write it, of explaining anything that anybody needs to know as they go along so that it is absolutely clear to somebody who’s never read Teen Titans before. But if you have read Teen Titans, and you’re really invested in those characters and their heritage, you can see those things popping up almost as Easter eggs, where references and acknowledgements are made that I think will please people.”
THAT up there just tells me all I need to know about how this story will read. It’s Convergence all over again.
“I’m trying to make it [Teen Titans] immediate and fresh and accessible, whilst acknowledging and not contradicting the great heritage of the Teen Titans.”
Can’t be done! Their heritage and history is already so diluted and convoluted thanks to the early ‘shock value’ attempt from the New 52 launch five years ago. Anyone remember when Scott Snyder treated Tim Drake as a past Robin in his early New 52 Batman arcs yet Scott Lobdell clearly contradicted that fact and twisted it a bit in his early New 52 Teen Titans book. It took a whole Teen Titans issue #0 to settle on just what Tim’s name with Batman was and to fix the two creators, either not agreeing or not caring what the other was doing. Just leave the past alone, let the convoluted DC New 52 history rest and sort the future out and maybe, just maybe there could be a story worth reading.