Thursday, August 11, 2011

THINGS I'LL MISS ABOUT THE OLD DCU DAY 7: The Change Before Change

If writer Scot Lobdell ever wanted to be a tightrope walker, the DCnU 52 is giving him his chance. While a great writer rarely looks at the audience, but rather focuses on the destination ahead, Scott's rope is made from the tapestry of the Teen Titans and it's interwoven epics are some of the most sacred in all DC lore.

As a fan, the Marv Wolfman/George Perez New Teen Titans were my X-Men. When the masses were trying to show me Canadians with claws, I was trying to sign them to The Judas Contract

Now, the book that has always been about change and making a mantle your own is about to do just that itself, this time boosted by Scott's formidable writing and the artistry of Brett Booth.

While it's hard not to worry about where Wally West has raced off to or where the most human of comic characters has gone with the absence of Donna Troy, I am feeling excitement towards the new crop of fresh and familiar faces, as I imagine the Titans fans before me did when they saw Raven rising out of that cover in place of Aqualad.

While the reboots of Wonder Girl, Kid Flash and Superboy in this series make it sad their recent adventures and relationships are heading for the can (as well as the idea there was ever a 'Young Justice'),  having dissed X-Men: First Class prior to watching for a similar level of continuity fiddling, then singing it's praises after actually seeing it, I'm prepared now for a reoccurring motif.

How the histories of Starfire and Arsenal in Red Hood and The Outlaws (also a Lobdell book) and the soon to be role reclaiming Dick Grayson in the pages of Nightwing reveal their involvement in the refiggered Titans legacy also makes me itch, but it's now one I am eager to see unfold rather than scratch pre-September.

Geoff Johns has stated the open end of the League's first arc allows for Cyborg's Wolfman/Perez era to occur before the second arc ignites. Scott, for his part, has declared previous Titans groups did exist before those in issue one and that they will be respected. Surely as one of DC's Holy Grails New Teen Titans has to be chief among that?

Previously, I never thought Titans was in need of such a reboot and found myself initially skeptical - yet most of us knew the franchise wasn't in the best shape. While my mind lead more towards a reunion of the core Titans by a reliable team, this bigger wave making move has already succeeded by making more people talk about the team then retried roads would've, before even a whole issue can hit!

While I won't be following him onto Red Hood or Superboy due to budget, one of my personal DC 52 highlights is seeing Scott Lobdell at DC. 

I fell for his style on Generation X, then Alpha Flight, Fantastic Four (of course), The Darkness and the highly over-looked mini-series The Adventures of Cyclops and Phoenix. But had you ever told me Scott would be writing for the other side of the fence, I would've referenced high flying bacon.

See? Everything about the Titans deals in 'change'. Writers and readers included.

8 comments:

  1. I loved Cyclops and Phoenix and Generation X was a great title as well. If I were still collecting I think this would make me hop the fence to check out some DC titles.

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  2. I'm glad to read other Titans teams existed.
    Unfortunately that does states they were the teams we read and loved.
    Perez/Wolfman's "New Teen Titans" were my Titans, as the X-men back then were also my X-men.
    I never found a reason to choose between DC and Marvel.
    With not much money, could only buy any of them once in a while.
    The first number of Judas Contract I read was the last one (and was amazing) and later I chased the previous issues.
    I loved Gar Logan from that issue and really the character hasn't received the love he deserved from recent story arcs.
    Now, I'm unsure he even stars anywhere. If he ends up in a story, I hope he will have a better role and some dental job.
    Hugs

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  3. Thanks for the comments guys! I loved that Genaration X is what came from Scott being sent away to work on a revamp for the New Mutants - but returned with an 80% all new cast, based away from Xaviers, where Jubilee was the biggest name the book had!

    I was glad to read that too Aliera but you are right it still is pretty vague.

    I was very late getting onto the X train as the first issue I picked up never explained the mutant/human situation, so it read just like another super-comic and frankly I thought there were better around based on that one issue... but like you when distribution for both companies was working right on these shores I did flip back and forth between the big two.

    Titans though was the book I thought everyone should've been reading. Robin was a key character in getting me into comics, and seeing his new friends, enemies and turn into Nightwing. Well it was every bit as legendary and overdue as it sounds.

    I hope Gar shows up in cameos in Justice League. It would be said if the new 52 breaks his friendship with Vic.

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  4. I'm afraid of that too.
    Also is there any sign of Jericho existing in this new universe?

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  5. Not that I know of Aliera - but as we find out more about 'those previous Titans' we should know!

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  6. Great post, a lot of fans are unhappy about this. I can think of a thousand ways the Titans could have been overhauled in a way that protected their continuity. I can also understand continuty road blocks like the Judas Contract and Terror of Trigon. Great, great stories, but also so great that new stories around characters like Terra and Raven are difficult to tell. If I thought that some of those blocks could be dismantled and the Titans were getting their due in this reboot, I'd be a lot happier. I'm not a YJ fan particularly. Not that I have anything against the characters. But I believe they represent tptb's vision of what the Titans 'should be' and have been shoehorned into the franchise. To me that rewriting of continuity to that extent smacks of old soviet era press photos, where when some functionary fell out of favour he was erased from the photos as though he had never been part of the party and never existed. I find that level of retconning - even in something as small as a comic book - extremely disturbing and not really morally defensible.

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  7. Thanks again for the great comments ToB!

    Personally I think telling stories around characters that have had pivotal stories told of them in team or solo book is part of the challenge you accept as a comic book writer. Raven and Terra included.

    The opposite side of the coin is like saying we can't touch Jean Grey, her best moment was the Phoenix Saga or forget Dick Grayson - nothing will ever top the moment he became Nightwing. It's bull in it's purest form. Comics are an imaginative medium.

    In any media your personal best is a moving target, the closer you get the further away it should move or the higher it should be broken. Fictional characters included.

    As for Young Justice I didn't get why it went that way and tried to start it's own franchise when the titans have always been anchored by Kid Flash, Wonder Girl, and Robin. I think DC would've been better served with 'Titans Academy' and the 30 something based 'Titans'. The fact Justice was shoehorned into the title instead of tieing it into the Titans family was one of those marketing department over common sense decisions.

    Sadly as money issues arise the globe over, and advertising and accountants become more and more influential in decision making, those types of moves could sadly be made more often.

    People want to write

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  8. I was liking the thirty something Titans a lot, and then they just stopped.
    Were selling figures bad?

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