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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Crazy Quilt is supposed to be Robin's foe yet he never fought him in his solo feature in the Bronze Age. Every time he appeared to attack Robin, it was always in the main Batman titles with the Dark Knight firmly in the lead role!

It seems like most of Robin's Bronze Age foes were Duela Dent.  I always thought he should fight an evil archer called "The Sparrow", because of the poem.  Still, the Raven appears to be as good as it got for Robin Foes during this run of his series (and better than the new foes created for the Titans' then-recent run).

And just how many romantic triangles was Robin involved in at this point?  In Batman Family, until this issue, he was dating Lori and crushing on Babs, while Batman seemed to think he was mostly interested in Donna & Harlequin, while over in Titans, Bat-Girl seemed to be warning Duela away from "her man".  I never really got the whole "Dick is a player" thing, but now I have to wonder.  Since Dick had such a strong code against dating a fellow Titan when Starfire started expressing her interest in him (subtle she was not), it's possible that he did have a crush on Donna that remained unspoken (and unthought ballooned) in the Titans, so Bruce could have been aware of that while the Titans were not.  I personally thought that Duela only really flirted with Dick when she was fighting him, to throw him off his game, and didn't really seem attracted to anyone on her own time.  Sure, she gave Robin the nickname "Legs", but that's in keeping with the pattern of "Gillhead" & "Twinkletoes", and not far different from when Cyborg would call him "Short Pants".  Still, despite the available options, during this time period, Dick only seemed to really pursue a relationship with Lori.  And before that, he dated Lilith's cousin for a while.

Here's that calendar page I mentioned earlier.  It really seems like a helmet-less Guardian might have been their concept when they rolled this series out.  I'd still like to see the story this should have been.

I still find it difficult to believe that a team with Kid Flash and Wonder Girl had a hard time with the Ant. 

Well the picture does have Kid Flash and Wonder Girl occupied with something else!

Still the Ant reformed years before the Titans met Mal, let alone by the time he became the Guardian.

Randy Jackson said:

I still find it difficult to believe that a team with Kid Flash and Wonder Girl had a hard time with the Ant. 

I thought the Ant would have been a perfect antagonist for Robin, sort of like the Spider-Man/Prowler relationship. 

My guess would be that either Eddie Whit was somehow blackmailed into resuming his Ant identity, of someone else had taken over the identity, probably in the hope of diverting attention to Eddie.

Unfortunately, if we expect Kid Flash and/or Wonder Girl to actually display their usual power levels in Teen Titans stories, most of their published adventures to this point (c. 1977) would have been wrapped up in a couple panels.  The worst example of this was when Mal used his horn to "even the odds" against the Wreckers, summoning five other Titans to fight the six Wreckers (clearly the laziest possible way to bring Aqualad into the book, despite the fact his main contribution to the battle was ducking at all the right times), which was a bit of overkill, since either Wally or Donna outnumbered the gang all by themselves, and any two or three of the non-powered Titans would probably have had little trouble dealing with such a group of light weights without the team's heavy hitters.

I found another picture of "helmetless" Guardian, this one from a house ad promoting the relaunch of the Titans.  Looking closer at #44, I'm starting to wonder if the reason Mal's helmet tended to look "off" to me was because it was added after the artwork had been finished, possibly when someone thought that the scene where Mal makes a point of identifying himself to Dr. Light seemed odd when Mal's face was clearly visible.  I don't understand why someone would have decided to dispense with the Guardian's helmet, or even the cloth mask & gold cap of the Golden Age version.  It's a shame that no one involved with this run seems to have cared enough to remember why or how any of the decisions made for it came to be.

Sorry for not continuing this but things have been a bit hectic. Hope to get back to this soon!

I may as well take this chance to clear up or re-think some of my previous thoughts on this series.  First, I realize that I sounded terribly naive when I talked about the various creators involved in this iteration of the Titans as not really being invested in the series--it's not like most comic book series from the major publishers have ever been "passion projects", just gainful employment on something they hoped would sell well enough to keep paying their bills.  That said, if you compare this run of Titans to comparable titles from the same time period, like All-Star Comics, Freedom Fighters, and Secret Society of Super-Villains (the latter two titles also being mostly written by Bob Rozakis, btw), while all had a certain amount of art team juggling and shifts in direction, none of the other titles seem as slap-dash to me as the Titans did.  I don't think the X-Men had any impact on the decision to relaunch this series, since even 1970s DC couldn't be as creatively tone deaf to miss the mark by this much: nothing about taking the original core group of the TT plus Mal in a costume reflects the "All-New All-Different" X-Men.   Now, the New Doom Patrol (which debuted as this title was winding down), on the other hand, with only one returning member and a collection of international new heroes, clearly had aspirations of riding the X-Men's coattails, not that it seemed to work for them, These Titans had more of a retro-Silver Age vibe.

I do think I might have been outright wrong with my theory that it had Marshall Rogers' idea to cameo Donna & Duela in Detective #474, as I seemed to have forgotten that Steve Englehart was a continuity maven of the first order back then, and there did seem to be an effort on DC's part at this time to establish where some of their titles were relative to each other, so that we'd know which JLA mission was keeping Batman out of Gotham while Two-Face's Double-Trouble Gang was fighting the Titans, etc.

As much as Aqualad got a raw deal, spending most of his time on panel in this series as a set decoration, at least his uselessness was presented as a mystery (however underwhelming the resolution proved to be).  Meanwhile, Donna barely seemed to remember that she had any super-powers at all, Wally mostly moped, and Roy seemed to divide his time between insulting his teammates, and missing shots in order to put Wally & Donna out of action in order to keep them from wrapping up the fight scenes in a single panel.  There's a hint that Roy is experiencing the same problem as Garth, only instead of constantly passing out, he's over-compensating badly for his own feelings of inadequacy.  If this had been made the case, it could of been interesting, but it wasn't, and we were left with a character who just seems to be more trouble than he's worth, and not in a fun way.  This is where the book's "retro" vibe really worked against it, as it tended to be more plot-driven than character-driven, and obviously, none of the characters were well-served by this.  It also made the plot holes more noticeable when the characters weren't interesting enough to distract from them.

I really don't get the logistics of the Titans' HQs in this series.  When the series starts, on the first page we see Robin & Mal arriving in what is probably the old Titan-Copter, leaving us to wonder where it was coming from, since it was usually stored in the Lair's hangar--was Mal using it to get back and forth for his maintenance duties?  Wally & Donna arrive under their own powers, and then several pages later, Roy shows up...somehow.  Was there some unseen "Arrowcycle" behind the scenes in this series?  And just where did Roy live during this time period?  As for the matter of whether or not Donna could fly (or at least ride wind currents to the point that it was a difference that made no difference), it should be noted that in #44, Donna is shown taking to the air inside Titans' Lair and inside the JLA Satellite--what air currents were available in either of those places to ride?  Oh, and this issue was the only appearance of the Titans' space shuttle!  Was it also hangared in the Lair, or did Mal have to helicopter to Mr. Jupiter's private air field to use the shuttle?  In a couple issues, they move to Gabriel's Horn, and I'm not sure how that was supposed to work as either a business OR a super-team HQ.  As others have pointed out, its Long Island setting was scarcely in the heart of the action (most of which seemed to continue to center around the "twin cities" of Gotham & NYC, but except for the Robin Cycle, the TT didn't seem to have any means of transportation besides Mal's horn & Wally's slipstream.  There didn't seem to be any hangar facilities at or near the disco at all, and more than once the Titans were seen heading out of the disco on foot to reach the scene of the action--most of which were out of "walking distance" for any of the team besides Wally & Donna!  how was that supposed to work?  When Mal switched back to being the Guardian, he claimed needed a "secret" identity to keep bad guys from attacking the disco all the time, but given that the Titans were seen working on the outside of the club in costume, and were frequently seen either running out of or walking into the place in costume, to say nothing of bringing Two-Face to the place after capturing him (the villain most guaranteed to double-cross anyone), it hardly seems like Mal's open identity was the problem!  One wonders if, had the series continued, we'd have seen the rest of the team begging Mal to go back to being the Hornblower so they wouldn't need to keep taking public transportation to the scenes of the crimes.

Dr Light's appearance in #44 explains his use in New Teen Titans in the 80s.

Bumblebee resembles a black superheroine called Butterfly who appeared in Skywald's B&W title Hell-Rider in 1971.

I think Mal is wearing a black helmet with an open face on that calendar page. The edge around his face seems to be sloppily outlined, as if an art change has been hastily made. I can't tell if that's how the calendar went out or an owner of this copy decided to enhance the art.

Luke Blanchard said:

I think Mal is wearing a black helmet with an open face on that calendar page. The edge around his face seems to be sloppily outlined, as if an art change has been hastily made. I can't tell if that's how the calendar went out or an owner of this copy decided to enhance the art.

Is that a helmet or is it his hair?

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