Nightwing's New Titans Are Already Down a Titan - [SPOILER] Isn't Really [SPOILER]

SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for Titans #24 by Dan Abnett, Brent Peeples, Matt Santorelli, Dave Sharpe and Ivan Plascencia, in stores now.

Dick Grayson (aka Nightwing) is already facing quite a few problems with his new Titans team. Not only does he have to get Beast Boy, Raven, Steel and Donna Troy gelling as a unit, he also has to make sure they understand killing criminals isn't an option, no matter what.

In addition, he doesn't even know their liaison to the Justice League, Miss Martian, is actually a spy reporting back to Martian Manhunter with a secret mission of their own. Nightwing certainly has his work cut out for him with all this going down and a fairly immature squad of heroes to handle.

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Sadly, just when it seems the team's getting its act together, a journey to a mysterious realm sees them return one member short, with Raven quite literally not herself anymore.

Titans #24 focuses on Nightwing and company trying to deal with another energy incident stemming from the breach in the Source Wall in No Justice (which they've dubbed the Emergent Event). They've tracked the energy to the Bay Area, where creatures from another dimension are invading. An elf-like warrior, Seneschal Prince Travesty, is marshaling goblin-like monsters onto Earth, claiming dominion over the planet, with only the Titans to rebuff his invasion.

However, the heroes quickly realize these beings (which include a demonic unicorn!) are all figments of an old man's imagination, Ernest Hinton. The 76-year-old is a failed fantasy writer and, thanks to a speck of the unique energy penetrating his mind, his characters are coming to life. It turns out he created them for an RPG he used to play with his students and grandkids, and now they're manifesting in the real world.

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To stop this, Raven establishes a gateway into Hinton's mind as the rest of the posse fend off Travesty and his legion. Miss Martian appears on the scene and goes into the scribe's mind with Raven to seal the rift. Once the Titans remove the Source Wall energy from inside his psyche, nothing can escape Hinton's mind anymore.

And in this imaginative wasteland (which seems similar to the dark land known as Mordor from J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy), they, along with Hinton, fend off his fictional monsters while completing the seal. The energy has been burnt out the writer's mind and everyone returns to reality, with the creatures disappearing.

As they escape, the Titans believe they've come out unscathed, including Raven, who's clearly shaken up, but also ominously showing sympathy for Travesty. At the very end of the issue, we find out why, as we see Hinton having tea with Travesty himself. He's excited to have his creation alive and well and, when asked how the villain didn't disappear into the recesses of Hinton's mind, Travesty reveals some sleight of hand allowed someone to take his place and remain in the writer's brain.

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We then see Raven trapped in an area Hinton calls the UnEarth, crying out to her teammates for help. It's uncertain if the Raven who came back is possessed, mind-controlled or simply a piece of Hinton's imagination come to life, but unless Miss Martian mind-scans her, the Titans are in deep danger. Not only are they a Titan down, they've got a huge enemy moving stealthily within their ranks, and with Hinton coming off reluctant to destroy his creations in the first place, the sorceress may be imprisoned for a long time to come.

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