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.

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DC has always been remarkably inconsistent as to just how famous their heroes' alter egos were, especially the Titans--not only should Dick & Roy be favorites of the paparazzi just for being the "youthful wards" of a couple of wealthy playboys, but I've never understood why their relatively exotic backgrounds from before their super-hero days was never mentioned in their daily lives.  How do their teachers & classmates not know that Dick grew up in a circus (heck, the Flying Graysons seemed to have been pretty famous even before Batman or Bruce Wayne entered the picture), or Roy grew up on a Sioux reservation (not famous, but still, pretty unusual for a ginger), but they somehow managed to get thru their school years passing as "regular guys", despite the fact that the way they both fought crime dressed in  Little Red Robin Hood costumes was NOT the most unusual thing about either of them!

I'd guess that Mal was only Gotham City/Long Island Famous, since nothing he did ever seemed to get enough traction to catch on with the public at large.  On the other hand, while it  never came up in this version of the Titans, in the previous one, Wally was Mal's closest friend on the team, so it's possible that Mal had been a frequent visitor to Blue Valley over the years they knew each other, undoubtedly in some of the many "Untold Tales" that comprise the bulk of Mal's background.

Given that News Anchor Clark Kent was assigned to cover stories all over the country (as opposed to merely presenting the stories covered by roving reporters the way local anchors do), I always had the impression that GBS was a national network on Earth-1.

While there is no logical explanation for the Justice League socializing with each other in their civilian identities, given Wally's personality back then, it would not be hard to believe that the various Titans had all been pen-pals of his over the years--maybe they were even explained away as members of other branches of the Flash Fan Club!

Dave Palmer said:
I’m sure the tabloids would be all over trying to find out who this hanger-on (Mal) was with the Titans.  He would be a public figure with no privacy.

Hey, maybe the tabloids could flesh out Mal's backstory, etc.

I miss reading about Bat-boy while waiting to checkout at the supermarket

Weekly World News was the only tabloid that I ever bought. It was wonderfully outrageous without making up lies about real people.

I'm inclined to think that no one was paying attention to unknown Wally West's high school graduation and the well-known people snuck in. There are actors and others today who manage to to avoid the paparazzi by being purposely boring.

I'm inclined to think it's very plausible that the famous people who came to Wally West's graduation wouldn't be noticed.

Sure, Dick Grayson was in a circus act, but how many actual members of the Wallenda Family would you recognize if they walked down your street? Sure, Roy Harper grew up on an Indian reservation, but if he doesn't bring it up, would anyone else?

Yeah, Clark Kent was the anchor for a national TV network on the level of a Walter Cronkite or a Barbara Walters or a Hugh Downs, but why should that mean he wouldn't be there?

As for Bruce Wayne and Ralph Dibny, the tabloids are about getting their photos of the celeb, not about digging into connections, and even they might not bother going to a dull, unexotic place like Blue Valley.

Yesterday I went through my long-boxes to dig out the appropriate issues of Batman Family and Detective Comics which wasn't easy, only to discover that those stories were included in a far easier to get to trade paperback! But that may have been a blessing in disguise as we shall see!

BATMAN FAMILY #16 (Ma'78) has the multi-chapter tale of the "Fury of the Five-In-One Foe!" by Teen Titans writer Bob Rozakis and Don Heck who drew TT #50-52. 

It begins with ROBIN and the HARLEQUIN trying to stop a new villain THE LUMBERJACK from robbing a western sports store. "Nigel" here has the flannel shirt, ski mask and French accent along with an axe and chainsaw that completely covers his hands! Despite being unable to pick up anything to steal, he holds his own against the Not-Dynamic Duo by freeing a bunch of dogs from the dog-catcher's van and escapes!

The Teen Titans' breakup is mentioned and the Harlequin expressing her goal to be a solo super-hero. Along with her standbys of her "Bubble Gum" and "Powder Puffs", she uses her new weapons of a rocket powered frisbee that she calls her "flying saucer" and her quick-rusting "super seltzer". Oddly enough the Justice League never come a'calling! 

Later we learn that Dick Grayson's girlfriend, Lori Elton, is upset that he's spending a lot of time with Duela Dent (and probably finding white makeup all over him!). But he invites Lori to Washington, DC to have dinner with Congresswoman Barbara Gordon.

Later Barbara Gordon and her father, Commissioner Gordon (CG), are on a train guarding the Rajah's Ruby and reading about another new villain, THE GALLOPING GHOST, a cowboy-themed baddie who stole plans for a new jet technology from Coast City. They are immediately attacked by JOHNNY G.I., the Bullet-Proof Soldier, clad in green army fatigues armed with a jet-pack, grenades and assault rifle. After a prolonged battle with Batgirl, CG and his men, he escapes empty-handed!

After that, Babs and CG have Dick and Lori over for dinner where they watch the "Miss Stars & Stripes Contest" held in Honolulu, Hawaii and with two of the judges being photo-journalist Vickie Vale-Powers and tennis pro Betty Kane. Suddenly the pageant is interrupted by the red-outfitted LASER RAZER who seems to after some TV equipment. But he gets confronted by Betty as BAT-GIRL! Unfortunately she is quickly defeated! 

Despite not knowing (and seemingly not caring) if Bat-Girl is dead or alive, they note that the Laser Razer is wearing one green boot, convincing all of them that he must be color-blind!

A week later, President Jimmy Carter is presiding over a joint session of Congress where a mysterious voice demands that everyone there (president, senators and congressmen) all RESIGN from their offices or they all be killed by a bomb in ten minutes! Apparently there's a force field involved too. Congresswoman Gordon appears to capitulate but her normally red hair is now green! Robin, observing from a TV studio, notices one technician not puzzled by Babs' hue change and realizes he's the madman! 

It takes FIVE pages for Robin and Batgirl to take down one non-powered guy, using his own weapons against him! He admits that he was all those villains and is captured. Later they explain that all his crimes targeted a government official from town to city to county to state to federal and that each crime was to get something to help with his next identity! Whew! 

But here's the kicker: his motive was that he had lost a rigged local election and wanted to discredit the election process!!! Holy Voter Fraud!


For all the hype about the Harlequin's guest appearance, she vanishes after the first chapter, not even being asked to help catch the bad guy! 

For all we know, Betty Kane was killed in this story or, at least, convinced to retire again!

In the original comic, the Laser Razer is, indeed, wearing the green boot of Johnny G.I. but in the trade paperback, both boots are green! 

And really, wearing one boot of a different color means one must be color-blind? What if it was just a fashion choice?

Next: Love Is a Battlefield OR Blackbird Smashing in the Dead of Night!

BATMAN FAMILY #19 (S'78)'s third story stars ROBIN and is written by Bob Rozakis and drawn by Juan Ortiz who also did Teen Titans #53.

As both the Teen Wonder and Dick Grayson, our neophyte reporter ponders over the crime spree that his current hometown, New Carthage (location of Hudson University) is suffering from. From bank robberies to the reservoir bursting to the bombing of the New Carthage jail which kills three murder suspects that Robin captured, it's all non-stop.

Making matters worse, Dick's longtime college girlfriend, Lori Elton has suddenly broke up with him and has taken up with rival student, DAVID CORBY. When he attempts to talk to her, he gets manhandled by Corby! Unable to retaliate without revealing his own fighting skills, he can do nothing but seethe in anger. 

DUELA (HARLEQUIN) DENT suddenly appears to tell our Heat-Broken Hero that she is leaving Hudson University for a while without telling him why. She also warns him to avoid Corby but he thinks it's a joke!

Later a roommate in his boarding house tells him about a stress-tester device that he invented for the Allied Engineering Associates that could be used for destructive purposes. Realizing that was what damaged the reservoir, Robin heads for their building and sees their executives together with known criminals. The Collegiate Crimefighter dodges the stress-tester only to be attacked by a new villain, THE RAVEN, a black-garbed winged opponent who tries to smash him into the building! The Young Acrobat is able to escape but crashes into some bushes and the criminals all flee.

Returning to his dorm, Dick finds his roommate missing and his apartment ransacked. Suddenly the phone rings and it's Batgirl pleading for his help in Washington, DC but the phone explodes! With all this happening all at once, Robin is overwhelmed!


Robin does go to help Batgirl in an unrelated story in Batman Family #20 where the Dynamite Duo battle the Power Sower, noted for the guest appearances of the Elongated Man and the Red Tornado.

For a small college town, there is certainly a LOT of crime there! Perhaps Dick Grayson is an earlier example of the Jessica Fletcher effect! 

I wonder if anyone figured that Robin's arrival in New Carthage must mean that he's going to Hudson University?

Next: Won't You Like To Fly in My Beautiful Balloon OR Pick A Card, Any Card!

Oh, The Raven.  A logical enough name for this villain, yet he is so different from the Raven about two years in the future...

Lori Elton used to be a big part of Robin's stories.  But someone should ask what is it with her insistence in dating people with names such as Mallard (Batman Family #17) and Corbin.  Now I want to see her meet the New Titans' Raven...

Robin had so few Bronze Age villains to truly call his own. I would have gave him some more like a real apprentice to one of the Bat-Foes (though not a top tier one) or one connected with the first Teen Titans series like Punch or the Scorcher.

My psychic powers tell me that Corby is the Raven. No?

That would be telling!

At least, he can't be a writing desk as well! (Literary joke time!)

Richard Willis said:

My psychic powers tell me that Corby is the Raven. No?

I don't know that I would call him a Bronze Age villain and not even his own either (having been sort of inherited from the Boy Commandos), but according to Batman #316 it would seem that one of the main members of Robin's Rogues Gallery at this point (despite having apparently met _once_ back in 1951's "Star Spangled Comics" - if that is even the same Earth or the same Robin) is, of all people, _Crazy Quilt_.

Comics can be strange.  But I must admit that the thought of Robin and Crazy Quilt holding a grudge against each other across 28 years and a dimensional barrier is too funny to fully ignore.

Philip Portelli said:

Robin had so few Bronze Age villains to truly call his own. I would have gave him some more like a real apprentice to one of the Bat-Foes (though not a top tier one) or one connected with the first Teen Titans series like Punch or the Scorcher.

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