There is no previous Teen Titans team.
There never was a preview Teen Titans team.
So, why do Dick Grayson and Roy Harper keep having flashbacks to their time with a previous Teen Titans team? Your Major Spoilers review of Titans Hunt #2 awaits!
Previously in Titans Hunt: While investigating a black market superhero-organ-stealing ring, Dick Grayson ran afoul of a strangely familiar Atlantean warrior. Somewhere in the Midwest, Roy Harper came face-to-face with a strangely familiar fellow who looks like a caveman. Meanwhile, the mysterious Lilith has files on both of them, as well as several other heroes who may or may not exist, and all the while someone lurks in the shadows…
What in the world could be going on?
A SHADOWY FIGURE
We open with Roy “Arsenal” Harper, driving (somewhat erratically) down an Oklahoma backroad, bothering and confused by the events of last issue. Suddenly, his truck is ambushed by a mysterious dark figure in a cape, carrying what seems to be a Native American coup-stick, causing Roy to nearly wipe out. Unfortunately, his skills in not dying are not appreciated by the arriving state troopers, who find the sight of a crazy man leaping from his nearly crashed truck wielding a bow and arrow to be less than ideal behavior. At the same time, Dick Grayson has returned to the Batcave for the first time in months, in the hopes of using the Bat-computer for research, looking up information that he doesn’t want his Spyral bosses knowing he’s looking for. This does not go unnoticed by Alfred Pennyworth (who, by the way, is the highlight of the issue with his snarky asides and quiet affection for the former Robin), who assists him more with philosophical musings than with hard information. We also see Gnaark, the mysterious cave-boy, preparing for a hunt, drawing on the walls of his room a number of very important symbols: A hawk, a dove, wings in the night. As the issue closes, Grayson follows his instincts and ends up on a beach where he is attacked by the mysterious Atlantean named Garth. Their battle is sudden and intense, and only stops with the arrival of another stranger, this one a girl in battle-armor…
WE GOT US A WONDER GIRL!
I’m going to be honest: The sight of Wonder Girl made me very happy at the end of this story. The plot has thickened for a number of our characters, including the retired Mal and Bumblebee, who find that the strange shadowy figure that attacked Roy was visible for a second in the photos from his awards ceremony seen last issue. (For those of you who don’t recognize the visual cues, I’ll reveal something important: The silhouette looks remarkably like Mister Twister, the first foe of the original Teen Titans way back in 1964. Appropriate, no?) Stephen Segovia’s art is solid in this issue, delivering on the speed and power of an Atlantean in combat, but also successfully conveying Mal Duncan’s study full of musical instruments and such. The cover is a little off-putting to me, but I think that’s an intentional attempt to convey horror, and since I’m horrified, it’s successful. More importantly, though, this issue succeeds in the unenviable task of making me care about the New 52 iterations of Dick and Roy and Gnaark as much as I might have about their old-school inspirations, which is impressive (especially given that I dropped both the Grayson and Arsenal titles a few months ago.)
THE BOTTOM LINE: SOLID RETCON WORLD-BUILDING
Since the loss of the original Teen Titans was one of the keenest felt removed premises in the New 52 for me, I’m already predisposed to be sympathetic with the story being told in these pages, but it is very satisfying to find that it’s also a good story, and that the mystery is being handled well, with information doled out slowly but effectively. Titans Hunt #2 kind of has a hard row to hoe, but strong art and an engaging story make me want to know more (and the continuity nods don’t hurt either), leaving this issue with an impressive 3.5 out of 5 stars overall. There’s still a lot of modern DC grim “Serious Business” in these pages, but it has enough heart to pull it off with aplomb…