The recently announced Justice League: No Justice four-issue event series is supposed to bring the teams of Justice League, Justice League of America, Teen Titans and Titans together. The only problem is that the Titans are nowhere to be found on the event’s rosters. Representatives of the Justice League and Teen Titans have been placed on four specialized teams alongside their greatest villains, but with the likes of Nightwing, Donna Troy and Wally West missing, how are the Titans supposed to be involved here?
It’s extremely easy to miss, but if you look closely at Francis Manapul’s interior art, the Titans are there. When Brainiac seemingly has a vision of the future, it’s the Titans that the Brainiac robots have just defeated. You can see the entire team fallen at the feet of the machine apocalypse. It’s admittedly not a lot to go on yet, but if the heroes aren’t going to be part of the new Justice League teams, the other logical role they may be playing is as the event’s sacrificial lambs.
Many of the biggest comic book stories have started off with the decimation of a familiar team of superheroes. The incident that kicked off Civil War in 2006 was the death of the New Warriors, and the 2008 Titans series opened with the destruction of Cyborg’s Teen Titans East squad. It’s pretty basic storytelling technique that swiftly establishes the seriousness of the story being told: Open with an event of massive shock, and give the characters motivation to act.
Maybe the team doesn’t ultimately die, or at least they don’t die in this timeline, but the complete annihilation of the Titans, a team made up of second-generation heroes, could get the No Justice party started in a hurry.
The End is Nigh
Titans/Teen Titans continuity has been a mess since the beginning of the New 52, and DC has had to jump through a series of hoops just to get the franchise back to some semblance of familiarity. Rebirth took a major step in the reestablishment of the brand, but key runs (we’re looking at you, Marv Wolfman and George Pérez’s New Teen Titans) have remained largely in limbo.
Since Cyborg’s current origin has been firmly planted with the Justice League, it would be impossible for all Teen Titans continuity to still work. As a result, we have a familiar Teen Titans team run by Damian Wayne/Robin, and a Titans book that seems to simply work as a catch-all for any other Titans character without a place to go. Now, with the reveal of No Justice, it seems like the days of Titans are numbered.
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