Over the years, DC’s Teen Titans group has been one of those perennial books that’s always around. At one time, The New Teen Titans, as written by Marv Wolfman and drawn by George Perez, was one of it not the hottest comic around, rivaling The Uncanny X-Men for popularity. The classic line-up that included Nightwing, Raven, Starfire, Cyborg, Changeling, Wonder Girl, and some others was all the rage. Other Titans came and went, such as Kid Flash, Speedy, Aqualad, Red Star, Pantha, and Wildebeest, but the core group was what the fan remembered.
Then, after the Zero Hour storyline, a new line-up appeared. Gone were most of the classic Titans, possibly due to no longer technically being “teens”. In its place was a line-up that at least looked interesting. There was former Speedy Roy Harper, now going by Arsenal. Donna Troy went by her real name and was, at the time, a member of the spacefaring police force, the Darkstars. Former Team Titans from a collapsed future timeline Mirage and Terra were there. So was the at-the-time only Green Lantern, Kyle Rayner, as were two teen heroes from the period, Impulse and Damage.
Last week I covered Night Man, a hero from the now defunct Malibu Comics’ Ultraverse line. Malibu was hardly the only comic publisher to try out a superhero line in the mid 90s. Dark Horse got involved with something they called “Comics Greatest World”. At a time when a single issue would cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $2.25, Dark Horse offered weekly introductory comics for $1. Each week for four months, there would be a new issue continuing the storyline in one of four fictional cities, namely Arcadia, Golden City, Steel Harbor, and Cinnibar Flats. The last of those locations was where a mysterious Vortex had opened up after an alien scientist was caught doing advanced experiments in a place that humans were conducting simultaneous atomic bomb tests (oops). The Vortex caused weird mutations and eventually superpowers for select individuals. Now, granted, these $1 comics tended to be shorter than most comics, and when the regular line started for some of the featured characters, the prices went up, but as an introductory offer it was a good idea.
At any rate, each city had its own feel and distinctive characters. Golden City, run by the superhuman Grace, the most powerful human hero on Earth (and a woman, Jenny), was a veritable utopia of advanced science. Steel Harbor was a down-on-its luck blue color city with an industrial feel. Its best known resident was a woman named Barb Wire that appeared in a movie played by Pamela Anderson. Cinnibar Flats had sci-fi weirdness going on. And Arcadia, the first city featured, was a festering cesspool of corruption on every level. This place made Gotham City look like Disneyworld.
That was where the man called X decided to call the shots.
Do you like Kingdom Come? The pre-Zero Hour DC universe? Epic crossovers designed to take all your money and probably not maybe leave you satisfied? Then cart yer arse on in here and read more about Convergence Week Two!
Be sure to catch up on all the Convergence happenings with coverage of:
Continuing my look at the first week of DC Comics Convergence event. Be sure to check out Week One, Part One for my spoiler filled ramblings on Convergence #1, Batman and Robin #1, Nightwing Oracle #1, Batgirl #1 and Speed Force #1. After the break my mind wanders aimlessly and spoilery about Superman #1, Harley Quinn #1, Justice League #1, The Atom #1, The Question #1 and Titans #1.
Gabbing Geek Jenny recently challenged the readers to come forth if they could name a female character that:
Does not have a male version
Has not cameoed in a movie or TV show
Has an origin story older than the mid 90s
And that Jenny herself has read
Her answer to this riddle, when trying to figure an iconic hero that hadn’t gotten his or her own movie yet, was Madame Xanadu. While Xanadu is a fine character, often associated with DC’s various mystical books and teams, she may not be the best character to dub as “iconic”.
See, a better answer may have been a more obscure character, Phantom Lady, also owned by DC, who actually is considered the epitome of Golden Age “good girl art”. There’s no Phantom Man to go with her, she was created in the 40s, and her only appearance on TV or in a movie was a single episode of Batman: The Brave and the Bold alongside the rest of the Freedom Fighters. Of course, if Jenny had read of Phantom Lady, maybe that would have made the cut. Or perhaps not, as we shall see…
Not to be outdone by whatever Marvel announces on The View today, DC is trying to make waves of their own with huge changes to their entire line of comics in the wake of Convergence.
Up first, RIP New 52 branding. It hasn’t made sense in a long time and I guess we are back to it simply being the DC universe. (Unfortunately it doesn’t sound like we’ll be back to the Pre-Flashpoint DCU. Sniff.)