When DC relaunched its comic book line back in 2011, as the New 52, perhaps the biggest casualty was the classic Teen Titans. It was soon established that the current Teen Titans, who were starring in their own book– including Superboy/Kon-El, Red Robin/Tim Drake and Wonder Girl/Cassie Sandsmark– were the first Titans team, despite references to an earlier incarnation in the pages of ‘Teen Titans’, ‘Red Hood and the Outlaws’ and ‘Batwoman’.
But longtime comic readers knew that this was far from the truth. The original Teen Titans debuted back in 1964 and united the sidekicks of the Justice League heroes as a team of their own, consisting of Robin/Dick Grayson, Kid Flash/Wally West, Aqualad/Garth and Wonder Girl/Donna Troy. Roy Harper/Speedy, the sidekick of Green Arrow, joined a few issues later. Over the years, many additional characters joined the team and beginning in the 1980s, the original Titans were allowed to grow up and adopt new identities separate from their mentors, beginning with Dick Grayson who adopted the guise of Nightwing.New 52 Wally
But the most successful of the first class was certainly Wally West, whose mentor, Barry Allen/The Flash was killed in action. Wally then became The Flash in Barry’s honor and went on to greatness, headlining a relaunched ‘The Flash’ comic book for decades and serving in his place in the Justice League. Wally was the version featured in the long-running ‘Justice League’ cartoon.
But DC decided to bring back Barry Allen, leaving fans to wonder what had become of Wally (and Donna and Garth). The producers of ‘The Flash’ TV series recast the West family as African American and the publisher followed suit introducing a new black Wally, who is still active in the new comics.
But the original, carrot-top Wally is back (along with Donna and Garth) in DC’s new ongoing ‘Titans: Rebirth’ series.
‘Titans: Rebirth’ writer Dan Abnett and artist Brett Booth spoke about bringing this iconic character back.
“Wally is my absolute all-time favorite comic character! So it’s been five or six years of constantly pitching ideas to Dan DiDio to get Wally back. I think I turned in like seven or eight pitches to get Wally back. He was the first DC book I read, and then I went back and read a lot of the Titans stuff he was in. He’s always been my Flash. When I finally got to draw him and work on the costume, it’s like my dream at DC has come true. I can leave now. No, but I’m super excited. When I read some of the stuff Dan wrote for issue one, I totally fanboyed out because I’m finally able to do the stuff I’ve always wanted to do.”
“We have, if nothing else, a duty, to lean on him quite heavily for the opening arc because the expectations of the Rebirth one-shot are so significant. If we didn’t feature him heavily and pursue what was set up by Geoff, we’d be falling down in our tasks. He is very much the heart of the team. Like Brett, I have immense affection for him as a character. No pun intended, but he is the lightning rod of the Titans. He is what connects them together. Even in Titans Hunt when he is deliberately absent, his absence was felt and he was the piece missing. Putting him front and center, and re-establishing his links to the team and the DCU – and all the baggage he brings about the threat he is warning them of – is incredibly important stuff. Having said that, it’s also a team book. It has other great characters, which Brett draws brilliantly, and we’d be letting Titans fans down if it wasn’t a team effort and everyone got their moment.”
Wally takes center stage in ‘Titans: Rebirth’ #1 which is available now. He stars alongside Grayson, back in his Nightwing identity, along with Arsenal/Roy Harper, Donna and Garth, plus a new character. Also in the mix are Lilith Clay/Omen, Man Duncan/Herald, Karen Beecher Duncan/Bumblebee and Hawk & Dove.
Are you glad to see Wally back in action?