After being cancelled in 1972, the Teen Titans made a couple of appearances in Brave & Bold as its members went their separate ways. However during the 52 and 100 Pagers, several of their stories were reprinted, most with that gorgeous Nick Cardy art. After sales and letters of DC Super-Star #1 and Super Team Family #1 and #7 came in, DC was convinced to give the Fab More-Than-Four another shot, reviving the series with #44 (N'76).

They reunited Robin, Kid Flash, Wonder GirlSpeedy and Mal, supposedly not seeing each for two years. And not being with Speedy since his drug addiction from Green Lantern/Green Arrow #85-86 (S-N'71), despite their early 70s Teen Titans and B&B adventures! Kid Flash and Speedy immediately start rutting as soon as they see Wonder Girl who plays along. Mal is upset that he's been tending to the Titans HQ all by himself even though he volunteered to do so! He namedrops Lilith, Gnarrk, Hawk and Dove as "whatever Happened To...".

But their reunion was all a trap by DOCTOR LIGHT whose weaponry (and dumb luck, to be honest) allows him to capture Robin and Wonder Girl and escape. This causes the other three to snipe at each other and split up.

Doctor Light tortures them to get the coordinates of the Justice League Satellite (of Love) so he can destroy it with a giant, orbiting magnifying glass (no, seriously!) then captures Kid Flash and Speedy separately, gathers them up and polishes off the Flash way too quickly.

Mal, angry about being left behind, goes through the other Titans' trophy cases and gets a super-strength giving exo-skeleton (from Batman #192) and the costume, helmet and shield of the Golden Age Guardian, thus becoming the Guardian II (or III, depending on the Golden Guardian from Jimmy Olsen). He flies the Titans' mini-rocket to the JLA Satellite, distracts Doctor Light, frees the other Titans and saves the day. The Titans decide to stay together!

The story was uneven and the art was rough. No one looked good here. Kid Flash and Speedy were more concerned about scoring with Wonder Girl, Wonder Girl keeps forgetting that she has super-strength, no way Robin tells any of this to Batman and Mal...

Well, I liked Mal as Guardian but it took him two years to realize that he needed to step up his game to hang with the Titans? Really?

Mister Jupiter gets referenced but Aqualad does NOT! 

The text page was interesting as it mentions Beast Boy though he wasn't a member. And hints that Hawk & Dove may have retired.

Next: Just Call Me Angel of the Mourning! OR Blow It Out Your Ear!

Views: 3204

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

But Mal kept the whole curse thing a secret from Karen and all the other Titans, so they were no help.  Poor Karen had no idea that it would literally kill Mal if he lost the argument over whose turn it was to do the dishes!  Seriously, one must assume that the conditions that Mal was operating under here depended on some pretty loose interpretations of the terms "fight", "opponent", "losing" and "equal".  I've never been able to figure out how it would make Mal equal to an opponent by teleporting Donna, Duela & Speedy to the Guggenheim to stop a bomb. 

Luke Blanchard said:

Dave Elyea said:

I've read about Rozakis' plans before, and found them puzzling: If Mal subconsciously wanted to give up superheroing, having the Curse of Azrael hanging over his head would have been plenty of motivation to quit--I mean, who in their right mind would go out of their way to take part in fights if losing any one of them would result in your instant death?

The perils of the curse in ordinary life are so much greater! What if he lost a game of checkers?

At least a Titan, understanding the problem, could politely lose. "Let's shoot some hoops!" "OK, but only if I get to win!"

He does indeed.  I vividly remember reading that panel with Guardian putting his face covering on while explaining that he is aware that Jim Harper had a brother that died at a forest fire. 

Implausible as they can be, those connections "in name only" can sure be exciting as well.

Come to think of it, Speedy never confirmed outright that he is Will Harper's son... maybe there is a third brother?  I just looked at it, and apparently there is indeed a further, as-yet-unnamed Harper brother (and also a sister, Mary of the "Guardians of Metropolis" series).

So many plots waiting to be written...

Nobody? It’s honestly very pertinent to this discussion.

Martin Gray said:

I must say, this thread really prepared me for last week’s The Other History of the DC Universe, reframing Mal and Karen’a time in comics. Writer John Ridley’s alternating narration is really nicely done, and where he deviates from what we originally saw happen, it only adds to the rich tapestry. 

Does he?  I seem to recall Robin and some of the others offering Mal help and he refusing it, to just a few panels later knock out his opponent while saying that he was putting his life on the line there, presumably still within the earshot of at least a few other Titans.

He als had at least one vision of Gabriel during that period.  I don't think the others saw Gabriel as well, but that was left a bit ambiguous.

Dave Elyea said:

But Mal kept the whole curse thing a secret from Karen and all the other Titans, so they were no help.  Poor Karen had no idea that it would literally kill Mal if he lost the argument over whose turn it was to do the dishes!  Seriously, one must assume that the conditions that Mal was operating under here depended on some pretty loose interpretations of the terms "fight", "opponent", "losing" and "equal".  I've never been able to figure out how it would make Mal equal to an opponent by teleporting Donna, Duela & Speedy to the Guggenheim to stop a bomb. 

Luke Blanchard said:

Dave Elyea said:

I've read about Rozakis' plans before, and found them puzzling: If Mal subconsciously wanted to give up superheroing, having the Curse of Azrael hanging over his head would have been plenty of motivation to quit--I mean, who in their right mind would go out of their way to take part in fights if losing any one of them would result in your instant death?

The perils of the curse in ordinary life are so much greater! What if he lost a game of checkers?

At least a Titan, understanding the problem, could politely lose. "Let's shoot some hoops!" "OK, but only if I get to win!"

I did not realize at first, but you are talking about a very recent book, and it turns out that Karen and Mal are in fact the cover characters of #2.

It sounds really interesting, but I am not aware of the contents.

Martin Gray said:

Nobody? It’s honestly very pertinent to this discussion.

Martin Gray said:

I must say, this thread really prepared me for last week’s The Other History of the DC Universe, reframing Mal and Karen’a time in comics. Writer John Ridley’s alternating narration is really nicely done, and where he deviates from what we originally saw happen, it only adds to the rich tapestry. 

It’s fascinating - Mal’s entire hero history retold by the man himself and Karen, with two perspectives on the way the Titans treated him. It’s told not in terms of sliding timescale, but situated right where it happened, the Seventies (with odd exceptions, such as the unveiling of Supergirl by Superman). Some real world events are rolled in, putting Karen and Mal’s lives in context, and it’s just a great read from writer John Ridley and artist Giuseppe Camuncoli. They’re looking at DC’s non-white characters over several issues... I haven’t reviewed the second issue but did look at the first, which focused on Black Lightning. It’ll give you a better idea of what the creators are attempting. 


This link may work...

Luis Olavo de Moura Dantas said:

I did not realize at first, but you are talking about a very recent book, and it turns out that Karen and Mal are in fact the cover characters of #2.

It sounds really interesting, but I am not aware of the contents.

Martin Gray said:

Nobody? It’s honestly very pertinent to this discussion.

Martin Gray said:

I must say, this thread really prepared me for last week’s The Other History of the DC Universe, reframing Mal and Karen’a time in comics. Writer John Ridley’s alternating narration is really nicely done, and where he deviates from what we originally saw happen, it only adds to the rich tapestry. 

To be honest, given the pandemic and my current financial status, I pretty much quit new comics cold turkey. Add to that, DC's current situation and output level, I've been focusing on my back issues!

Given that none of the other Titans made any effort to keep Mal from going into battle, including Karen, I don't think they knew about the curse.  I'm not entirely certain they even knew that the Horn of Wonder actually came from the angel Gabriel.  I think Mal knew how crazy the whole story sounded, so he kept it to himself.  Plus, since his entire motivation during this time was to be accepted as a "real" Teen Titan (despite the fact that he apparently really didn't want to be a super-hero), it's hard to imagine him telling the others that it was now, in fact, more dangerous for him to run around fighting super-criminals (or even the Wreckers!) than it was back when he was just "The Ghetto Kid".

Luis Olavo de Moura Dantas said:

Does he?  I seem to recall Robin and some of the others offering Mal help and he refusing it, to just a few panels later knock out his opponent while saying that he was putting his life on the line there, presumably still within the earshot of at least a few other Titans.

He als had at least one vision of Gabriel during that period.  I don't think the others saw Gabriel as well, but that was left a bit ambiguous.

Dave Elyea said:

But Mal kept the whole curse thing a secret from Karen and all the other Titans, so they were no help.  Poor Karen had no idea that it would literally kill Mal if he lost the argument over whose turn it was to do the dishes!  Seriously, one must assume that the conditions that Mal was operating under here depended on some pretty loose interpretations of the terms "fight", "opponent", "losing" and "equal".  I've never been able to figure out how it would make Mal equal to an opponent by teleporting Donna, Duela & Speedy to the Guggenheim to stop a bomb. 

Luke Blanchard said:

Dave Elyea said:

I've read about Rozakis' plans before, and found them puzzling: If Mal subconsciously wanted to give up superheroing, having the Curse of Azrael hanging over his head would have been plenty of motivation to quit--I mean, who in their right mind would go out of their way to take part in fights if losing any one of them would result in your instant death?

The perils of the curse in ordinary life are so much greater! What if he lost a game of checkers?

At least a Titan, understanding the problem, could politely lose. "Let's shoot some hoops!" "OK, but only if I get to win!"

In point of fact, except for the JSA (and later, the Seven Soldiers), ALL of the Golden Age characters that DC revived in the Silver Age were clearly set on Earth-1, until Roy Thomas reclaimed them with his highly unlikely Great Migration.  Supposedly, this would have taken place around 1950, but exactly why or how this might have happened, given that only Zatara,out of those characters, had the ability to open a dimensional portal, and at least two of them would have to have taken one or more siblings with them, since Air Wave had been grafted on to Hal Jordan's family just like the Guardian was added to Speedy's, remains a mystery.  I don't think Roy Thomas had anything to do with the Air Wave thing either.  I want to say it was Denny O'Neill, but I don't have the information handy at the moment.

Richard Willis said:

Without finding issue numbers to cite (pre-Roy Thomas/pre-Crisis) Julie Schwartz and his writers had Zatanna and her father Zatara on Earth-1 in their "Zatanna's Search" loosely-connected crossover.

Oh, and before I forget, when Jack Kirby introduced the Golden Guardian clone in Jimmy Olsen #135 (Jan. 1971), the original Newsboy Legion revealed that the original Guardian, having risen to the rank of detective Captain (presumably in the Metropolis PD) had died in battle with thieving hoods recently.   So Jim Harper probably died around the time the Titans joined the Jupiter Program.  Maybe Mr. Jupiter was secretly involved in the DNA Project (it would certainly fit with the rest of his activities), and HE was the one that stored Jim Harper's gear in the Titans Lair?

Of course, that still doesn't explain why the Harpers never seemed to have met before Jim died.

After Zatara was seen in All Star Squadron, my personal theory (taking into account Justice League of America #164-165 {ma-Ap'79}) was that the Master Magician battled the Volcano King on Earth-Two and was observed by Sindella on Earth-One who rescued him after he was injured and brought him to Earth-One to heal. Since he wasn't from Earth-One, Sindella wasn't automatically attracted to him and they fell in love naturally.

That's why Zatanna does not have the same "love curse" that the Homo Magi have and why she appears to be more powerful than her father. It also explains why she can travel between dimensions more easily that other sorcerers.

Luckily she was spared the manic-depressive disorder that Plastic Man's son had!

Dave Elyea said:

In point of fact, except for the JSA (and later, the Seven Soldiers), ALL of the Golden Age characters that DC revived in the Silver Age were clearly set on Earth-1, until Roy Thomas reclaimed them with his highly unlikely Great Migration.  Supposedly, this would have taken place around 1950, but exactly why or how this might have happened, given that only Zatara,out of those characters, had the ability to open a dimensional portal, and at least two of them would have to have taken one or more siblings with them, since Air Wave had been grafted on to Hal Jordan's family just like the Guardian was added to Speedy's, remains a mystery.  I don't think Roy Thomas had anything to do with the Air Wave thing either.  I want to say it was Denny O'Neill, but I don't have the information handy at the moment.

Richard Willis said:

Without finding issue numbers to cite (pre-Roy Thomas/pre-Crisis) Julie Schwartz and his writers had Zatanna and her father Zatara on Earth-1 in their "Zatanna's Search" loosely-connected crossover.

It occurs to me that these family connections driven by surnames may have been inspired by the Green Hornet radio show revealing that Britt Reid was related to John Reid, the Lone Ranger.

I wonder if this connection was planned when the Green Hornet was created or was it yet another writer's fiat?

Reply to Discussion

RSS

Welcome!

No flame wars. No trolls. But a lot of really smart people.The Captain Comics Round Table tries to be the friendliest and most accurate comics website on the Internet.

SOME ESSENTIALS:

RULES OF THE ROUND TABLE

MODERATORS

SMILIES FOLDER

TIPS ON USING THE BOARD

FOLLOW US:

OUR COLUMNISTS:

Groups

© 2021   Captain Comics, board content ©2013 Andrew Smith   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service