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Comic Book / Titans (Rebirth)

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Remember the Titans

Titans is a 2016 comic book series that launched with the DC Rebirth brand, written by Dan Abnett, and drawn by Brett Booth. It is a follow-up to Titans Hunt (2015), which saw the reunion of the original Teen Titans as adults. The title features Wally West, having just returned from the Speed Force in DC Rebirth, reuniting with his former friends Dick Grayson, Donna Troy, Roy Harper, Garth, and Lilith Clay. The group is determined to find out who "edited" the DC Universe and removed Wally from the world, and at launch was the most direct continuation of that Myth Arc, which is spread out across the entire Rebirth line.

The series crossed over with Teen Titans (Rebirth) and Deathstroke (Rebirth) in The Lazarus Contract, a Bat Family Crossover that will feature Deathstroke trying to use the Speed Force to revive his dead son, Grant. It is also intended to clear up the Continuity Snarl regarding the Titans' Post-Flashpoint history, along with Deathstroke's relationship with the team, which was similarly Ret-Gone'd in the New 52.

Justice League: No Justice brought an end to the current lineup (along with those of Justice League, Justice League of America and Teen Titans). The new team consists of Raven, Donna Troy, Miss Martian, Beast Boy, and Steel (Natasha Irons), with Nightwing serving as leader. The new team formed in response to a metahuman epidemic brought about by the end of Dark Nights: Metal. Dan Abnett continues as the writer, with Brandon Peterson taking over art duties. The initial team came to an end with a Special in June 2018, and the book was cancelled outright in early 2019.

Contains examples of:

  • Aborted Arc:
    • Wally West's pacemaker was supposed to last longer. Originally, Abnett said he had a grand story about defining Wally's role in a world where a Flash and Kid Flash already existed. Wally even wrote a letter to Dick, resigning from the team but this went to nowhere as his heart issues were wrapped up quickly right after when Kid Flash healed his heart. And after that arc, Wally's story was moved to the main Flash comic where Joshua Williamson set up his new status quo.
    • Wally's relationship with Lilith Clay. In the Rebirth issue of the series, the first thing Omen remembers about Wally is a kiss they shared and she acts fond of Wally during the entirety of the first arc, showing hints of lingering crush on him and some jealousy towards Linda Park. This plotline is dropped after The Lazarus Contract once Lilith and Garth enter into a relationship without even mentioning her past with Wally.
    • Wally's relationship with Linda Park, which seems to be regrowing until all of a sudden it comes to a halt. This segues immediately into some soaperizing in which Wally and Donna kiss and Roy witnesses it.
    • After No Justice, Abnett deliberately sets up a relationship arc between Beast Boy and Raven, starting with Raven admitting to Nightwing that she has misgivings about his next recruit (Beast Boy), and the both of them are painfully uncomfortable with each other when they finally meet. At no point does Abnett develop or explain what the problem between them is beyond Beast Boy interpreting it in light of his self-loathing, but it seems to have been resolved in the final issues of the run during the fight against Mother Blood.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: Roy, to Troia.
  • Batfamily Crossover: With Deathstroke (Rebirth) and Teen Titans (Rebirth) for The Lazarus Contract.
  • Berserk Button: The first Annual makes it very clear that insulting or doubting Wally is one for the normally friendly and polite Barry Allen.
    Aquaman: Until a few months ago, none of us even knew who Wally West was. Not even you, Flash.
    Barry: I do now... and I think you better watch what you're implying, Arthur.
  • Broken Ace: Wally. After his return, he is able to tap more deeply into the Speed Force than ever before. However, his experiences being trapped outside of time, coupled with Linda Park no longer loving him, have left him traumatized, to the point where Abra Kadabra's Lilith puppet describes him as "brittle".
  • Character Focus: Issues 19 & 20 (so far) focus on Roy Harper, with only a few panels with the other Titans.
  • Commonality Connection: Superman and Wally West, as both remember the world as it was pre-Flashpoint.
  • Continuity Nod: Dick and Wally find out that Meta Human Solutions is being funded by H.I.V.E., who is also causing trouble for Deathstroke.
  • Continuity Snarl: Donna Troy makes mention of being an orphan raised by the Amazons. This is in direct conflict with her origin in the New 52, where she's a clone of Wonder Woman made from clay. It's later revealed that she is still that Donna Troy, and her false memories of being an orphan raised by the Amazons were given to her by the Amazons to give her a fresh start. How this even works, with the New 52 Amazons being revealed to be an illusion in Wonder Woman (Rebirth) remains to be seen, as well as the fact that, in the Rebirth timeline, Donna was Wonder Girl, which couldn't have been possible with the clay Donna. Not only that, but Wally is established to having been protected from the numerous memory-altering hijinks going on, so it's doubtful that what the Amazons did could affect him.
  • Covers Always Lie: The cover for #2 showed Bumblebee among the team. Not only did Bumblebee not appear in the issue, she only made one brief, non-costumed appearance in the first arc overall.
  • Dogged Nice Guy:
    • Roy has a not-so-subtle crush on Donna, who may or may not be aware.
    • Wally towards Linda, who seems interested in The Flash as a story, but is unaware of her pre-Flashpoint reationship with him.
  • Forgot About His Powers:
    • When infiltrating Meta Solutions, Dick and Wally's comms stop working, and Wally tells Dick to do whatever he's doing quick. He seems to have forgotten he has super speed and can just run outside, tell the Titans the comms are cut, then go right back in in about 5 seconds.
    • In the same issue, when Mammoth shows up and fights Dick and Wally, Wally seems to have forgotten that he can drain speed, which would've essentially made Mammoth a statue.
  • Happily Married: Mal and Karen are shown in the second arc to have a healthy and loving marriage, with the former having retired from superheroism.
  • Heroic BSoD: When Kadabra abducts Linda, Wally almost completely breaks down, only being brought out of it thanks to his fellow Titans.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: The bromance between Dick and Wally from pre-Flashpoint hasn't skipped a beat.
  • Home Base: The Titans' tower is located in Manhattan after the Titans seemingly misinterpret Abra Kadabra's thoughts (it's obvious he was referring to Doctor Manhattan).
  • I'll Never Tell You What I'm Telling You!: During the Lazarus Contract storyline, Wally is hopped up on truth serum and refuses to tell Slade anything about the Titans...stuff like how they were sidekicks who found each other and became really good friends.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Psion causes Karen to totally forget her husband and daughter as "punishment" for her attacking the Fearsome Five.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
    • Issue 17 has Wally West II lament the "death" of the original Wally West, stating that Wally died because of him, and that he died saving Wally II from a dumb act. He says he'll fix Wally, even if it kills him. It really does feel like Dan Abnett is talking directly to readers and apologising for what happened to Wally in The Lazarus Contract.
    • This continues with the end of said story, where Wally tells Wally II that he should've been a better friend to him, possibly even his mentor. This is actually a big complaint from the Flash fanbase, who reacted very positively to the Wallys interaction near the start of Rebirth, only for nothing to come of it.
    • Similarly, Wally laments that he has no life outside of the Titans, and that he hasn't figured out who he is since returning from the Speed Force. This too was a big criticism of the series, and it says something that Wally says this in the issue of Titans that released before his much hyped return to the Flash series afterwards.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: The Linda Park seen in the Speed Force. It's not exactly clear whether she's the Speed Force itself, Wally's subconscious, or even the original Linda Park.
  • Mistaken Identity: Donna Troy is confused for Wonder Woman by the general public, since she looks and dresses like the latter.
  • Myth Arc: The series' first arc is the first direct follow-up on the Watchmen myth arc, which began in DC Universe: Rebirth #1.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • "The Return of Wally West", the title of the first arc, is a reference to a Wally West-era Flash story called "The Return of Barry Allen", although the similarities, aside from the return of a long-missing Flash, end there.
    • Troia being an evil version of Donna from the future who was manipulating everything from the beginning references two prior villains: Dark Angel, the evil doppleganger of Donna Troy from Earth-Seven, and Lord Chaos, the alternate future timeline version of Donna's son Robert from the Total Chaos storyline.
  • Never My Fault: Mal blames the Titans for Karen losing her memories of himself and their daughter due to Psimon's attack. Despite the fact that not only was it him that came to the Titans for help, but that he was the one who brought her to Meta Solutions in the first place.
  • Platonic Declaration of Love: At the end of the Return of Wally West arc, Wally declares that his friends are his lightning rod now.
  • The Power of Friendship: Wally's love for his friends bring him back from the Speed Force.
  • The Power of Love: Because of his love for the Titans and especially Linda, Wally is able to cover four cities in less than 8 seconds.
  • Red Herring: Inverted. DC Universe: Rebirth #1 first implied that the person behind the disappearance of Wally West was Dr. Manhattan. However, the series has Abra Kadabra outright say that it was his doing... then it's heavily implied that he's working for Dr. Manhattan somehow.
  • Retcon: Oh so, so many.
    • Wally West's entire existence. He was originally just turned into Wally West II, the Kid Flash seen in Teen Titans. Instead, he is now retconned in as part of the New 52 history, but was trapped in the Speed Force and forgotten the entire time.
  • Series Continuity Error: Issue 20 sees Dick helping Wally move into his apartment, which was first seen in The Flash Annual 1. The problem? It's on the first floor of a seemingly normal place, whereas The Flash established that it's high up in a skyscraper with a huge-ass window for one of its walls.
  • Ship Tease: Between M'gann and Dick. They even spend a whole issue in various romantic movie roles, while dealing with tension between the two, resulting in a Almost Kiss.
  • Social Media Before Reason: When Abra Kadabra transports the guests of a kid's birthday party to the moon, one girl takes a selfie while in the midst of gasping for air.
  • Spiritual Successor: To Titans (1999), helped by the fact that the team is comprised of the original Teen Titans.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: In the first arc of Titans, Wally West gets the most focus by a huge margin, gets the most focus on covers, and the variant covers put even more focus on him. In fact, the title of the is called "The Return of Wally West", and even that title is a reference to one of his solo stories from The Flash. The other characters each get a moment every few issues, but opening arc largely serves as the series where Wally's new status quo can be established. The following arc "Made in Manhattan", however, is more evenly spread out among the different team members, with the focus going to Mal and Karen.
  • Supporting Leader: Nightwing is firmly in charge of the team, though he doesn't really have a character arc, at least compared to the others.
  • Visual Pun: Abra Kadabra's watch has a blood splotch on it in the same shape and position as the blood on the Comedian's button in Watchmen.
  • Wham Line: "Did you just tase me? What the hell, Wally? What was— Wally?"
    • After Psimon boasts on "taking something important" from Karen's mind, Mal comes in to help the Titans. Karen's reaction: "I'm sorry...who are you? Have we met?"
  • Wham Shot: The Reveal that "the girl Clay" is a version of Donna Troy from the future
  • Working with the Ex: Wally dated Lilith at some point prior to his disappearance.