SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for "Titans" #7, on sale now.
If there's one thing clear to readers of the freshly-rebooted DCU, it's that the nature of the original Wally West in the New 52 Universe is central to the mysteries of "DC Universe: Rebirth." That's more apparent than ever in "Titans" #7, in which the Titans move to New York City in order to set up a new headquarters. While they're there, Wally runs into an old friend, and there's more than just a throwback to old times when they race.
THE FASTEST MEN ON EARTH
If there's one race in the DC Universe -- or any comic book universe, for that matter -- that everyone seems to love, it's the Flash versus Superman. Determining which character is the fastest has been a long-standing competition over the years. Races often ended in a tie -- notably the race in the 1967 "Superman" #199 where the duo deliberately throw the results to avoid bookies from profiting -- or get interrupted by outside forces. Still, the tradition continued over the years, even forming the basis of mini-events like 1990's "Adventures of Superman" #463, where the race between Clark Kent and Wally West zoomed through other books at DC Comics that month via super-speed cameos.
It's apt, then, that when Clark Kent pops in to check on the Titans, not only does he recognize Wally West (and refers to him by name, shocking the daylight out of the forgotten-by-everyone former Kid Flash) but the two end up in a little race that takes them halfway across the country. It's a nice throwback to some simpler times, even as it also reminds us of the DC Rebirth mandate for a lighter, happier tone. "Titans" has been central to the darker mysteries of the DC Rebirth, so it's almost a relief to see the two engaging in a genuinely fun activity.
For those looking for the mysteries, though, the conversation between Wally West and the pre-"Flashpoint" Clark Kent is a selling point. After all, while Wally West refers to himself as being from this universe with a mysteriously edited timeline, that's simply what it looks like from his perspective. From the perspective of Superman (and readers), this is the Wally West from the pre-"Flashpoint" universe as well. It's nice that Wally has someone else who remembers his entire life; not just being a hero, but his relationship, marriage and children. And similarly, this encounter gives Superman an ally who will truly trust him in a way that even the other members of the Justice League don't. To the rest of the current DC Universe, this Superman is a refugee from another universe. To Wally West, it's a glimpse of home.
CONFLICTING ORIGINS ARE A WONDER
If you have a strange and complicated origin in the post-"Flashpoint" universe, you apparently have to be part of the "Titans" comic. That's true for Donna Troy, who was only introduced in the current continuity a couple of years ago during the Meredith Finch and David Finch run on "Wonder Woman." There, Donna Troy was created by Wonder Woman's foes within the Amazon community to be an almost anti-Wonder Woman and to take over Amazon society. Donna eventually was given the powers of the Fates by Zeus (it's a long story), but didn't really interact with the rest of the DC Universe until the "Titans Hunt" miniseries, which was since revealed to be a stealth lead-in to "DC Universe: Rebirth" #1.
While "Titans" author Dan Abnett has made an oblique reference to Donna's holding the powers of the Fates, it's been curiously muted. Considering what's happening in "Wonder Woman" right now, with so much of Wonder Woman's recent history revealed as a massive lie, that could be part of careful planning between Abnett and "Wonder Woman" author Greg Rucka.
Here, Donna continues to talk about a past with the Titans (something that definitely didn't exist in Finch's conception of the character), and being an orphan baby raised by the Amazons. This looks to be the start of Donna Troy's new origin, which is apt considering that over the decades, Donna Troy probably has more origins than entire other teams of characters combined. Hopefully this will give Abnett a chance to take the elements that readers liked the most but to otherwise keep it as simple as possible. Donna Troy as the modern Fate never felt quite right, so this could be a chance to get back on track.
With a new Titans Tower situated in New York, and Bumblebee and Herald seemingly poised to re-enter the fold of the Titans (even as they unwittingly walk into the hands of long-time Titans foe Psimon), the title is situated to kick off its next major storylines while continuing to stir up the mysteries of DC Rebirth. That tactic has suited the title well up until now, and a whole lot more looks to be on its way. Whatever happens next to Wally and Donna, it will certainly be keeping the interest of long-time and new DC Comics fans alike.