With the New 52 version of Teen Titans ending in April — the same month that Wally West is promised to appear in The Flash — there are a couple questions that fans should be considering: Are more of the old Teen Titans characters finally showing up in the New 52? And could they form a new Titans team?
Ever since the New 52 was launched without most of the characters from the best known version of the Teen Titans — the Marv Wolfman/George Pérez era — fans at comic conventions have been clamoring for characters like Wally West and Donna Troy to be added to the new continuity.
Not only are comic readers nostalgic for the old team, but there's a high level of respect for the original team of sidekicks who founded the Teen Titans — characters who are either non-existent or significantly changed in the DCnU.
But there have been signs that DC is heading toward a reunion of at least some of the original Teen Titans.
"New" Wally West
Although DC announced that Wally West will be introduced to the New 52 universe in April's The Flash Annual #3, the new writing team of Robert Venditti and Van Jensen have been secretive about how he's showing up.
But artist Brett Booth did give Newsarama readers a few clues. First, he said Wally will be "different," which seems to point toward a whole new iteration of the character, as opposed to a familiar version of Wally/Flash who travels from the past or future.
Booth also said that Wally is on the Annual's cover. The most obvious character on that cover is a new, electrified speedster who's wearing a dark blue costume. But Booth indicated the blue-clad dude is the new "Future Flash," who's "busting through, coming to 'our' time" — and the character seems to be depicted as a villain. The more likely candidates for Wally on the cover are other figures — including a person being hit by lightning, and another who's putting grafitti on a wall (and getting Barry's attention).
Whatever these clues mean, it's likely that DC is introducing a whole new version of Wally West. Just because he didn't exist before doesn't mean a new version of him can't be conjured up now. After all, DC is introducing a new version of fan-favorite Bat-character Stephanie Brown this year, with indications that she'll have a brand new role in the Bat-universe.
Now that we know Wally West is coming, who's next on DC's list of pre-New 52 characters that will be revamped and introduced?
In November, one of DC's video-based teases included a brief glimpse at a whiteboard that said:
Wally > Flash
Donna > SM/WW
Stephanie > BMW (scratched out) Amazon
It was an obvious reference to Wally West, Donna Troy and Stephanie Brown. The three characters are all heroes that haven't yet shown up in the New 52 — but are always a topic of questioning by fans at conventions.
We now know that Stephanie is being introduced in the new Batman weekly (which would explain the whiteboard's "BMW" by her name), and Wally will show up within the pages of The Flash (explaining the "Flash" by his).
So it seems likely that Donna Troy will be showing up in Superman/Wonder Woman, the new monthly series by Charles Soule and artist Tony Daniel.
Goodbye Old/New Titans
It's hard to ignore that the hints about an addition of Donna Troy and Wally West are happening when the New 52 version of the Teen Titans is ending.
Scott Lobdell, who crafted the current Teen Titans team and has been writing the title since it launched in September 2011, told Newsarama in January that "there's not much of a team left" when the series heads toward its ending.
The writer also indicated that, while he doesn't know the details of what's coming for Teen Titans in the future, he sensed that DC Co-Publisher Dan DiDio was "very excited and upbeat about DC's plans for the Teen Titans." So the team's concept isn't going away.
Lobdell also pointed out to us that the "Teen Titans lends itself to many different variations."
"How can one not be excited about what's coming up for this team?" he said.
The question now is, would those "many different variations" include a new version of Wally and Donna's team? Would DC put together a new Teen Titans team, utilizing the old Titans characters?
The Old Switcheroo
There's one last reason we think a new Wally/Donna team is a possibility — DC has cleared the way for a new Teen Titans team by making sure the concept's past has a clean slate.
That wasn't always the case. In the first couple months of the New 52 relaunch, Teen Titans and Batwoman both referred to former Teen Titans teams. Tim Drake talked about the current team being the "shortest incarnation of the Teen Titans ever" — implying the existence of past teams. And Batwoman character Bette Kane referred to herself as a "former" Teen Titan.
The first month's clues were a clear signal that there was at least one former Teen Titans team in the DCnU's revamped timeline — and most people assumed this referred to the "original" team that included Wally, Donna and former Robin, Dick Grayson.
However, when the collections of Batwoman and Teen Titans came out nine-to-12 months later, those references to the old Teen Titans teams had been censored out of the books. No longer was there an old Teen Titans team, and DiDio said publicly that the Marv Wolfman/George Pérez era would be "eventually gone."
Now that the DCnU is more than two years old, DC seems very adamant that the current Teen Titans are the first and only incarnation of the team.
So we have to ask — could the insistence by DC that there never was a Teen Titans team in the past actually give us hope for the eventual addition of Wally West and friends in a new one?
The only reason to stick so steadfastly with the "no-past-Teen-Titans" edict is if DC has plans to re-introduce characters like Wally West and Donna Troy elsewhere, with a whole new background. And if they've never met before, and never formed a team in the past, it seems to us like it's only a matter of time until they do.