All of you Starfire fans may as well just pack up and go home now.
When you're building a new team, it's always important to keep a clear eye on who's going to be leading the shindig. Someone who can handle the responsibility. Somebody with experience. Somebody with charisma. Somebody, when the chips are down, everybody else is going to look to because, y'know, that guy will know what to do. How? He just does
This is why, when the chips are down, every pair of eyes in the JLA turns to Superman. In the Avengers, they look to Captain America. In the old days of the New Mutants, they looked to Doug Ramsey.
Okay, okay, I was kidding on that last one. Just making sure you guys were still paying attention.
So. With all that in mind, let's see what kind of leader we can find, and build a team around him, shall we?
"What's that? You want Aquaboy to lead this group?"
Well, shyeah. We need someone from the actual old guard who's still, y'know, recognizable to keep this team going.
Can't be Flash, he's graduated to the Justice League. Nightwing's busy with the Outsiders. Troia's dead. Arsenal... don't get me started on Arsenal.
The former Aqualad, however, has grown considerably as a character, evolving past his days of being generally useless (you know I'm right) to a stand-up, charismatic hero of his own. Having received a boost in power (the ability to control certain elements), and a snazzy new costume (no more short-pants here), he's primed to be the head honcho of a new team.
What he brings to the party: A sizable amount of power, leadership (you know, that whole Atlantis thing and all), and a touch of the old-school mixed in with the new.
I gotta do something about the "faaaaammmmiiiilllllyyyyyy" people wanting to hunt me down, as well. I don't need them skulking outside my window.
Repeat after me, moppets. "Character conflict is a good thing."
C'mon, once again. With feeling
Good. Now, while we're on this "look to the past to see the future" kick, we should all remember that the Titans have never had a character who presented more conflict, both outside and inside the team, as Raven. Such events included forcing Kid Flash (through the wonder of psionics) to fall in love with her, the entire "Dark Raven" storyline, and the fact that her daddy-dearest is Trigon, a nearly-omnipotent other-dimensional being that could probably make Darkseid pause for a second.
Plus, that costume is just awesome. And you know it.
Hey, it worked for Wolfman and Perez, it'll work here.
Plus, as a bonus, she and Tempest have....history
together, to add to the spice.
Now, honestly, as of late she's been getting slightly reduced, attitude-wise, to a rather bland and uninteresting character who seemed focused around "tell me your feeeeeelings, nothing more than feeeeeeeelings" as well as "Kory, Donna, you're both my siiiiiiiiisters".
Well, screw that.
In the newest Titans run, she's been (albeit kicking and screaming) brought back somewhat into the 'gee, can we really trust her?' mode, and her darker side is being dredged up something fierce.
We likes. We likes a lot.
We want the bitch brought back.
What she brings to the party: One more for the "faaaaammmmiiiilllllyyyyyy" people to choke on, and other than that...
...do you really
need to be asking me that?
3) Beast Boy
Think back to all of your favorite moments that involved the "new" Teen Titans. Go on, I'll wait.
Okay, got some? How many of them involved this guy in some key way?
Yeah, that's what I thought.
DC, for many years, kept trying to suck everything that made this character fun
away from him. They made him a serious, thoughtful character.
To quote above, 'well, screw that.'
Gar Logan has always been the lovable "clown" of the Teen Titans, and there's no reason why that should change. It made it all the more interesting when he suddenly started living up to his full potential. (You might recall, he was the character who managed to go mano-a-mano with Deathstroke the Terminator, and seemed to be about to win
, a fact that also had Slade rather surprised at the time.)
It will be interesting to see his growth when he finds himself as a 'go-between' for the old and new generation of Titans. One of the old-guard who suddenly finds himself responsible for setting a good example for the kiddies. The one person on the team who can be talked to openly by both the older members and the newer ones.
What he brings to the party: Look out, Donna Troy lovers, we've got a new 'heart' of the team.
Rakka ducks the thrown stones and spears.
But... not Tim Drake.
Sorry folks, it's officially canon. Tim Drake has retired as Robin (but he'll be back one day, we all know it) and Stephanie Brown has taken his place.
Who's Stephanie Brown, you say? Well, maybe you'd recognize her under the name "The Spoiler"?
Geez, people. What am I going to do with you?
Stephanie Brown, daughter of the longtime loser "The Cluemaster" (yes, that's right, there's somebody out there so lame, they thought stealing an idea from "The Riddler" was a good idea), decided that if her father was going to be a villain, she may as well go out and be a hero.
Personally, I liked her old costume. Sexy, yet mysterious.
She and Robin developed a 'thing' over time, but it also lead to some teaching for the new up and coming superheroine. See, she was of the mindset that if someone was trying to kill her with a chainsaw, it was just fine and dandy to leave him behind to save her own life when the building started to come down.
(Admit it, guys, if you had an attractive young heroine your own age gallivanting around with you when the world is supposedly coming to and end, and she recommends that instead of going around saving people, you two slip off and she sees if she can't fit into your thermo-lined tights that you'd be tempted, too.)
But, she grew as a character. She learned lessons from the Huntress and Black Canary on how to be a hero. She's helped in the training of the new Batgirl. She had a baby. (Oh, that's right, she was a teenage mother. There's a character point for you.) Batman started to approve of her as a heroine as well. And now, she's the new Robin.
And you've just got
to have a Robin on this team.
What she brings to the party: Attitude with a capital "A", and a sense of being the realist and a darker attitude at times on how to handle villains than you might expect from a "Robin."
5) Kid Flash
Lately, Bart Allen has been getting awesome.
I have every issue of Impulse. And let's be honest. In the beginning, he was a joke. The concept was there... but they never took it anywhere really interesting.
Now, however... he's suddenly on his way to being the greatest speedster ever. He's capable of many of the same feats as his Grandfather (one Barry Allen), he has a photographic memory (He cleaned out the San Francisco public library in under a half hour. And remembers everything he read), and has been trained by some of the best.
And he's still not even ten years old yet.
Yeah, remember, he was aged at superspeed. He's still only, like, 6, tops?
Oh, and there's also his current drive to show people he's taking things seriously. A nice contrast, personality-wise against our Robin who used to keep donning a costume to impress a certain boy wonder.
What he brings to the party: A touch of naivety, and every team should have someone that moves at superspeed.
6) Mary Marvel
This is the cincher, folks. This is why you won't have a Donna Troy coming back. This is also why I refuse to bring in the new 'Wonder Girl'. There's someone so much more INTERESTING out there. Someone sweet, kind, and all-together innocent
who honestly believes in the best in people.
Someone who packs enough power to kick Captain Atom's ass up and down the street.
Mary Marvel, the sweet, charming 16 year old who packs a good chunk of the power of Shazam has always been underplayed in everything. Which is too bad, cause she can be so interesting. She made regular appearances in the end of Peter David's "Supergirl" run, and she was in the 6-issue "Formerly Known As The Justice League".
Besides, Captain Marvel gets to play with the JSA, and Captain Marvel, Jr. gets to hang with the Outsiders now and again... it's time the more interesting member of the trio got to shine for a while in a mainstream book.
What she brings to the party: Brute power, a genuine heart to the team with a want to look over people, a fresh face, pure innocence, and many opportunities to have her mention "Hoppy, The Marvel Bunny."
I love that rabbit.
Well, that's the first six, folks. We've got something old, something new, something borrowed, and something that can punch you until you're blue.
Hold onto your hats, cause from here on out, it gets controversial