WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Red Hood and the Outlaws #31, from Scott Lobdell, Pete Woods, Rex Lokus and Troy Peteri, on sale now.
For decades, DC's Teen Titans have featured a revolving roster of characters. The earliest incarnation, which influenced several cartoons and even the current Titans TV series, focused on the likes of Dick Grayson's Robin, Wally West as Kid Flash, Aqualad, Roy Harper's Speedy and Donna Troy. As time progressed, other iconic heroes joined the team, including perhaps the most famous lineup which featured Raven, Starfire, Beast Boy and Cyborg.
But while the big names are the heroes most commonly associated with the team, there are some lesser known characters who have played a crucial role in Teen Titans' history. One of them has just made a big return in Red Hood and the Outlaws #16, which features none other than Bunker making his DC Rebirth debut.
The last time Bunker was seen was during the publisher's New 52 era, when the Teen Titans lost their leader, Tim Drake -- or so they thought. Red Robin was presumed dead, but in Detective Comics #940, we learned he had actually been abducted and saved from death by Mr. Oz (later revealed to be Superman's dad, Jor-El). Nonetheless, Tim's teammates weren't aware of this twist, and in 2016's Teen >Titans #24, Bunker was mourning his friend, regaling the others a story of how Tim made him feel welcome, not just as a metahuman, but as a gay man.
Miguel Jose Barragan had sought out Red Robin in order to learn to hone his powers -- psionic energy constructs similar to purple bricks -- after debuting in 2011's Teen Titans from Lobdell and Brett Booth. He'd eventually join the team and become a valuable member, even winning over the respect of the likes of Jason Todd due to his prowess in the field. But when Tim was apparently killed, it seemed like Miguel gave up the hero game. But now we know that he was actually being held by one of Red Hood's latest villains, Solitary.
In this issue, Jason rescues Bunker from an experiment Solitary was conducting on the young hero. Solitary was trying to repurpose Bunker's abilities, and incorporate them into an army of Solomon Grundy clones known as Mondays. Jason dons his Red Hood gear and uses Bunker to track Solitary to the Mexican prison where Jason's father was once held, and where Solitary tries to trick Red Hood into thinking he is his dad.
That Bunker fits so seamlessly into Jason's plans is no surprise, given that Lobdell loves working with his creations. Red Hood has recruited him for future missions in Gotham City, and while Bunker hasn't adopted Red Hood's current philosophy of vigilante justice just yet, it may only be a matter of time before he's indicted into those bloody ranks.
Most importantly, now that he's free again, it's only a matter of time before we see how Bunker reacts to Tim being alive, and how Tim handles the news that Miguel is buddying up to Jason. With old teammates like Starfire and Beast Boy on Donna Troy's Titans, and with Damian Wayne's new Teen Titans fumbling around as an inexperienced crew, there's no end of interesting reunions for the young hero to experience... that is, if he's able to survive his current role as Red Hood's partner.