So here it is. It is the time for the final six Titans to come up the red carpet. We’ve got the award music playing, the lights are dimmed and ready, and snipers are aligned onto the roof to take out anybody who tries to sneak Damage, Starfire, or Jesse Quick onto the list. They also have permission to take out Joan Rivers on sight.
And remember, folks. "Faaaaammmmiiiilllllyyyyyy."
Let’s start this out with the least surprising of the six. They can’t all be shockers, folks.
Yeah, right, like anybody out there is surprised. Young “Connor Kent” as he’s so dubbed now has gone from someone I hated during the “Death and Return of Superman” storyline into a full-fledged hero in his own right. Being half-clone of a Kryptonian mixed in with a human can make into an interesting character. (Marvel, take note, this is a “Clone Saga” done right.)
Things have also kicked up a notch with this character in the revelation that his “human half” is apparently none other but the charming DNA profile of one “Lex Luthor.” How’s that for an interesting background?
Oh, and he’s also the current owner of Krypto the Super-Dog. And every team needs a mascot (Hoppy the Marvel Bunny is rarely available for public viewing. Not since the incident with G’nort.).
What he brings to the party: A hotheadedness that you can only find with youth, and a smugness that stems from the same source. Someone perfect to make Tempest sigh and shake his head at.
Yeah, you’ve seen her before. She was in the Atom’s “Titans” team (where she was the sole lasting interesting
member, as well as in the Devin Greyson run of the book (a good move on Devin’s part, too bad the book didn’t sell.)
Let’s start back at the beginning. Dan Jurgens created a new “Titans” team which contained new members such as Prysm, Fringe, and Joto (Spanish for “heat”). These characters showed promise at first, but all of them became irrevocably lame (English for “lame”).
That is, except for this girl.
Stemming from the same mindset that gave us Clueless and Beverly Hills, 90210 came a self-absorbed, disinterested heroine who lived by the expression “Look out for Number One, and bring a credit card
.” She has grown and matured somewhat, character-wise, and had a rather interesting subplot at one point where it was revealed her own father
was on the Titans “must catch” list, but she still retains enough of the old attitude to give us somebody who can be the dark bitter sarcastic side of the team.
Granted, she does seem to be currently involved, romantically, with the hero “Damage.” This is why God invented the “In this issue: Someone DIES!” concept, folks.
Yeah, yeah, keep screaming. You’re just jealous you never thought of it first.
What she brings to the party: Rhymes with “witchy.” Also, she’s packing one of the more unique abilities we’ve seen granted to a newcomer in any comic universe in the past few years.
9) Kid Flash
Wait a second, you’re all saying, didn’t we already do this?
Well, yeah. Kinda. But, see, I personally preferred Bart Allen with the codename Impulse. And you’ve got to admit, a battle over the right to use a name is always a silly but enjoyable fight.
So, we’re throwing her into the mix.
(I’m gonna get so many looks of disbelief by the time this is done.)
Cable and Bishop notwithstanding, time-tossed characters, when handled with a slightest bit of intelligence and style, can be downright interesting characters.
Examples, you say? You want examples?
Well, there’s Impulse. Inferno. Ferro. Superboy (now in the Legion as well). The villain Kadabra. Professor Zoom. (…hey, is it just me, or have most of the better-written time jumping characters either come from the Flash stories or the Legion? Maybe that’s a hint of what to expect here, folks…)
Iris West, the futuristic daughter of one Wally West from the less-than-stellar “Kingdom” storyline was the one bright shining moment in that whole series of books. The rejected sibling (y’see, Daddy West always wanted her older brother
to pick up the mantle) would find herself suddenly in a role where she’d have a lot of pressure put onto her shoulders simply because of her last name. After all, there’s a legacy to live up to.
This Kid Flash, if deposited with this squad of teens, would make for a downright fascinating
addition to the squad. For one thing, we’d have genuine competition for Bart to play against to be able to claim the Flash mantle one day. Plus, we’d be provided our “stranger in a strange land” perspective, which would finally quell the need to ever
bring Starfire back.
You just know
I’ve been looking for a means to do that.
And besides, the Justice League has a bunch of people who can break the sound barrier without breaking a sweat. Why can’t we have two genuine speedsters?
Now, about that name…I dunno about you, but I’ve always been fond of the codename “Zephyr.”
What she brings to the party: She’s not Jesse Quick. Plus the stuff I mentioned above.
God, I just love this character. But she’s frequently underutilized in the DC comics continuum, limited to mere showings in the Beast Boy limited series and the odd cameo in “Young Justice.”
I’m sorry, but this character deserves so much more.
I mean, what do you expect from the biggest tramp
in the DC Universe?
(Now, before I get accused of being unfair, let me explain. There’s being an interesting-yet-trampy character like this girl, and then there’s just being eye-candy disguised as storytelling device like Starfire. The only libido involved with Flamebird is her OWN, thankyewverymuch.)
This spandexed nympho (I’m not afraid to say it, are you?) has been done wonderfully in what few appearances she’s had as of late. She manages to be just
competent enough to hold her own as a superheroine (one great scene I recall is Beast Boy #3, where Nightwing tries to talk her out of the hero gig. Her response, much like Nightwing once told Batman in the same scenario, was “like hell
.”) in a world where superheroines are a dime a dozen.
She’s also the only person on the team who can single-handedly embarrass every male on the team (and seriously tick off all the female members) with her unending list of cheerful double entendres, appreciative glances at anything with the right kind of “bulge” in its spandex leggings, and lovey-dovey sound effects at the male hero population. She’d keep Kid Flash (Bart), Superboy, Beast Boy, and even Mary Marvel blushing furiously through every single team meeting.
She’s already got a past with Beast Boy, she’d make a great person for Argent to talk to, and the talks between her and Mary Marvel alone should be able to make an issue sell-out faster than you can realize what she just said.
What she brings to the party: Boys, she is
You Impulse/Young Justice fans know what I’m talking about.
This girl’s got history
with some of the other people on this squad.
Young Cissie here (I don’t make up these names) had one of the more interesting origins around. Her mother, a bronze-medal winner at the Olympics in archery, wanted to be a hero like Green Arrow and Speedy. Needless to say, it didn’t work out.
However, she was then able to become the living embodiment of a “stage mother” by trying to live through her daughter and forcing her to be the best Arrowette possible. During her encounters with Impulse she and her mother were handed over to social services, and her mother was put into an institution for observation. Cissie continued her quest to be Arrowette (thanks to a handy tip from her doctor that she could get back at her mother by being a better Arrowette than Generation 1 was. Oooh, this girl is mean. I like it) and wound up becoming a member of Young Justice.
However, she gave up the bow-and-arrow routine when, in a fit of rage, she nearly killed the man who murdered her doctor. This was barely prevented by Superboy, and Cissie had a full mental breakdown afterward. She stopped being an “official” member of the team, though she did wind up traveling with Young Justice on a few adventures they got sucked into, and she does stay in contact with the members.
Well, I say forget that. We need an archer on this team, and I don’t see anybody else out there to draw from. Get ready to put that costume back on, girly, cause your healing is about to begin.
We need somebody on this team who, when push comes to shove, can tell the Justice League that they “sicken” her.
See, I'm looking long-term here. Without a Tim Drake... this is the closest we're going to get to a bona-fide 'Second in Command' with this team. Yes, it's true, she can
What she brings to the party: A genuinely downright cynical attitude about dressing up and being a hero, but a driving urge to do the right then, when it all gets boiled down. And, we’d have an archer who (as I wanted), isn’t a drug-addict. Ah, how sweet it is.
Y’know, Hardrock. A character who was created in Superboy’s comic back when it existed? He used to hang with the Ravers? (Hey, everybody has a blemish on their career record.)
Okay, let’s start back a bit.
Hardrock is actually inner city teen Ross Richman, a talisman-bearing, much-bullied youngster who actually started out using his powers to gain acceptance from the kids that used to pick on him, even if it meant using it for criminal means.
Those powers? Oh, well, you see, when Ross Richman says the word “Hardrock” (yeah, I know, it’s dumb. They can’t all be Superboys, Kid Flashes, and Wonder Girls, y’know.) he’s transformed into a veritable colossus of power, capable of giving Superboy a decent fight, push come to shove.
Every team needs a proverbial “rock” to stand tall and not fall down. How much more literal can you get than this guy? And, to be completely honest, this way we’ll have a non-caucasian face in the mix (not a bad thing to keep in mind, since I don’t want people to accuse me of being the next Grant Morrison, or anything.
) And, we’ll also have our ‘guy on the street’ perspective, since he’s grown up around and is more aroused (his conscience, you freaks) by matters involving street gangs and drive-by shootings rather than if Trigon is trying to take over the universe again.
What he brings to the party: A slightly more human perspective to things, and a voice to remind the others exactly who they’re fighting to save the world for
, as opposed to just from
So, there you have it. Twelve members. Guaranteed character interaction that only the best writers can handle, and a variety of powers that could challenge the most dedicated supervillain.
Plus, I got a couple of my obscure favorites dug out of hiding.
And isn’t that, when this boils down to it, what this is really all about?
Now remember, folks, keep those messages coming. Post your praise, and send your criticism and hate mail by e-mail to me, Michael Eisner.
I’ll wait for it patiently.