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!

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Now where were we?

Oh, yes, in 1979, DC seriously thought about cancelling Detective Comics while keeping the more successful Batman Family until they decided to simply place all of BF's content into a Dollar Size Detective Comics

So Robin's storyline finally concluded in DETECTIVE COMICS #482-483 (Ma-My'79) where we learn that The Raven is an agent of a criminal organization that is revealed to be M.A.Z.E. which has been after both Robin and Batgirl for the last couple of years! The Teen Wonder prevents the Raven from stealing the helium from a cross-country balloon in mid-flight, thus killing its occupants. It is revealed that MAZE is testing the Blackbird Bruiser, if he refuses to kill, he's killed. If he does, they keep the evidence on him! 

Robin brings a Whirly-Bat from the Bat-Cave as he apparently doesn't keep one handy in New Carthage! 

Later the Heir to the Bat encounters CARD QUEEN, a new heroine who uses weapons shaped like the suits of playing cards but she is quickly (really quickly) revealed to be a hoax, "battling" criminals but stealing their loot. She escapes from Robin and is "in hiding".

MAZE has been recruiting the brightest college students to continue its success, but its leader demands Robin's death, scolding both the Raven and Card Queen (despite the threat of punishment). He blames all this on the director of the Hudson University "branch" and orders his execution! 

Suddenly Robin appears and attacks along side the New Carthage police department as the Card Queen flips sides and helps Robin. All are captured except for the Raven who flies away!

Card Queen is revealed to be...Duela (the Harlequin) Dent who was recruited because she was Two-Face's daughter yet not knowing that she never wanted to be a criminal! 

After that, Dick Grayson confronts Lori Elton and her new beau, Dave Corby and over three pages explains everything, beats Corby and reveals that he is the Raven (as "corbie" is slang for a raven). In a wordless last page, Dick Grayson walks away from Lori (and Hudson U???), looking grim!

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  • #482 was drawn by Juan Ortiz and #483 by the legendary Kurt Schaffenberger with the story by Bob Rozakis, of course!
  • The Raven could have been a stronger villain if they gave him a weapon or two!
  • The mystery of Card Queen should have been developed better and lasted longer.
  • Truth be told, I liked Duela a lot better as Card Queen than Harlequin. She look a lot better, too, especially when drawn by Schaffenberger.
  • Whether on purpose or not, Dick's breakup with Lori freed him to fall in love with Starfire who would debut in a year and a half.
  • As far as I can tell, this was the last appearance of Duela Dent in any of her identities until her continuity crashing reunion with Dick in Tales of the Teen Titans #50 (F'85).

Next: Speaking about Continuity or Who Are You Wearing?

I'm pretty sure that's his hair.

I agree that Card Queen was the high point of Duela Dent's career.  My biggest problem with the way Wolfman got rid of Duela was that, if it took Robin that long to figure out that it was pretty unlikely that a 30 year old Harvey Dent could have a 20 year old daughter, Dick Grayson has lost ALL of his reputation as a detective!

Oh, and after seeing Schaffenberger's work on Robin & Duela here, and then on Speedy & Guardian in Superman Family, it's a shame he didn't get to draw an issue or two of the Rozakis Titans.

Particularly given how classic his pencils are.  

Dave Elyea said:

Oh, and after seeing Schaffenberger's work on Robin & Duela here, and then on Speedy & Guardian in Superman Family, it's a shame he didn't get to draw an issue or two of the Rozakis Titans.

It would have been fun if the Card Queen mystery had gotten more time & space to play out, maybe with a red herring or two thrown in to distract from how obviously it had to be Duela--maybe Amy Fortune, possible daughter of Amos Fortune, could have enrolled at Hudson around this time.  But then, it would have been nice if Duela had been seen somewhere in the background before the Joker's Daughter reveal, instead of just being pulled out of thin air. 

For what it's worth, my head canon for Duela was that Harvey Dent was enough older than Bruce Wayne, and Duela was gifted student who who entered college at 16 or so, making it possible for Two-Face to have a kid who was going to school with Dick Grayson.  That said, I don't see how one can fixate on the relative ages of any of these characters and keep one's sanity intact: Around the same time Wolfman gave us "old" Duela, in the Batman books, Bruce was semi-dating Julia Pennyworth, who was presented as being in her 20s in the mid-1980s, despite the fact that in her first appearance, it was established that her mother, Mlle. Marie, had died at the end of World War 2.  So, she was born 20 years after her mom died?  Some cans of worms should just not be opened, and that's coming from the guy who wants to know if Speedy had to hitchhike to the Titans Lair!

Dave Elyea said:

I agree that Card Queen was the high point of Duela Dent's career.  My biggest problem with the way Wolfman got rid of Duela was that, if it took Robin that long to figure out that it was pretty unlikely that a 30 year old Harvey Dent could have a 20 year old daughter, Dick Grayson has lost ALL of his reputation as a detective!

In the "Gotham" series some of Batman's future foes are noticeably older than Bruce Wayne, or so I am told. Penguin and the Riddler, specifically.

Considering that Two-Face was a DA with a solid reputation before ever becoming a criminal, it makes sense that he would be somewhat older than Batman as well.  

But those things really don't hold up very well if you look at them with any rigor.

Philip Portelli said:

"corbie" is slang for a raven). In a wordless last page, Dick Grayson walks away from Lori (and Hudson U???), looking grim!


It is? "Corbeau" is "raven" in French. There's a Scots ballad called Twa Corbies.

Rozakis's view of Duela's age was - my paraphrase - one doesn't have to be consistent about comparative ages.

There's a bit in Batman Family #9 where Duela says her father resented her birth because he wanted twins. That indicates Rozakis meant her to have been born after his personality changed. But I figure he could've married while a student.


Dave Elyea said:

I'm pretty sure that's his hair.


There are bumps on the side of his head that seem to be his ears, only they're coloured black and merge with his "hair". The "hair" has the lumpy look of hair in silhouette, but there's no detail. It looks to me like he was drawn without a helmet, as on the #44 cover and in the house ad, and the head was altered at a late stage to indicate a helmet. But I'm not certain.

This is where the original batch of Titans is kind of Ground Zero for the aging problem (which is one reason that Dan Didio hated them, and so many bad things have been done to so many of them): once they decided to write Robin out of the Batman series by sending him to college (as opposed to say, sending him off as a foreign exchange student for a "year" that, in comic book terms, could have gone on for a decade), that group of characters started aging faster then their mentors, so that by now instead of 27 year old Bruce Wayne & 15 year old Dick Grayson, we have 29 year old Bruce and 24 year old Dick.  At the time of this series, as near as I can tell, between the East & West teams, Wally was the only one of them still in high school, and I'd guess that more of the cast was 20 or older than 19 or younger, which is undoubtedly why they shrank the "Teen" part of the logo on the last several issues.  Well, that and they never found a non-clunky way to say "Robin the 20-Something Wonder".

I'd like to be charitable and say that Mal's head is being shadowed by something (the Ant himself, maybe?) in that illo, but the fact is, I'm not entirely certain that anyone involved committed to just what Mal's version of the Guardian was supposed to look like--the first cover & house ad clearly show a bare-headed Mal, and the calendar might show the same, or it could have shown Mal with that blue hood that he sometimes wore under the "standard" helmet.  No one ever seemed to know how much of his exo-skeleton his costume covered, and his yellow trunks seemed to come and go at random.  I thought the costume I designed for Mal was too busy, but his Guardian outfit seemed to in a constant state of flux!

Luke Blanchard said:

Rozakis's view of Duela's age was - my paraphrase - one doesn't have to be consistent about comparative ages.

There's a bit in Batman Family #9 where Duela says her father resented her birth because he wanted twins. That indicates Rozakis meant her to have been born after his personality changed. But I figure he could've married while a student.


Dave Elyea said:

I'm pretty sure that's his hair.


There are bumps on the side of his head that seem to be his ears, only they're coloured black and merge with his "hair". The "hair" has the lumpy look of hair in silhouette, but there's no detail. It looks to me like he was drawn without a helmet, as on the #44 cover and in the house ad, and the head was altered at a late stage to indicate a helmet. But I'm not certain.

I know it was somewhat annoying that the Barbara Gordon Batgirl, who was introduced as an adult, was sometimes pared with a then-teen Dick Grayson Robin as a potential romantic partner. She was also sent to Congress, which has a minimum age of 25, very close to the same time.

On the subject of "unsolved mysteries", this panel from Teen Titans #49 has been bugging me for ages: It seems to be deliberately drawing attention to the red-head in the green top, who a long-time Titans Fan would naturally assume is supposed to be Lilith, but in the next issue, we find out that Lilith was in Coast City at the time (prersumably), so who was this, and why did they make her seem significant?  This panel occurs right after Mal got his new Hornblower costume,and right before the final battle with the Rocket Rollers, in which Mal's horn is conspicuous in its absence.  Is this a clue?  Was this really Lilith?  Was it an Evil Twin? A projection made by Mr. ESPer as a practice run before he created Captain Calamity?  Was  it just a random "extra" who was just randomly colored to look like Lilith as she was randomly drawn staring at the Fourth Wall?  What was the deal here?

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