Taking a look back in the Road to Rebirth with DC’s Titan Hunt.
This review finds us on the road to DC’s Rebirth, where Continuity was being brought back and leading out of the depths of the dreaded New 52 era in 2015, 2016. Titans Hunt, an Eight-Issue Miniseries that reintroduces an old, forgotten villain and offers a twist to an old classic. Written by Dan Abnett and illustrated by the team of Paulo Siqueira and Stephen Segovia.
The original titans were still heroes that fought evil and saved the world countless times now have visions of an era that time seemed to have forgotten, a time that found them working together, but now after experiencing a mysterious event they feel like they are suffering, lost in a deep fog of a never-ending battle and darkness.
There was one who remembered and that person’s name was Lilith Clay a heroine who was one of the original members of the Teen Titans but like the other members were affected by the visions until she heard whispers coming from the dark. One day she set out to find the original members of the team, beginning to keep tabs on them even to the point of becoming Roy Harper’s Drug addiction counselor, unbeknownst to her there was another who also was searching for the heroes, one person that time seemingly forgot and stood in the darkest part of the shadows. Who was he, and what connection did he have with the Titans?
This Villain was one that newer fans might not be familiar with, the name he was known by was Mister Twister. Introduced in 1964’s The Brave and The Bold Issue No. 54 by Bob Haney and Bruno Premiani. He was just Bromwell Stikk, a man born in a town called Hatton Corners, who had a lineage dating back to the Colonial Times, his ancestor leased the town to the Colonists for the price of a feather from a Passenger Pigeon and this went on for centuries until the species became extinct. He would soon discover a Native American Cave with an old shaman’s medical staff, dipping the staff into the mysterious and special brew he drank the brew which discovering quickly that he could control the forces of nature. When the mayor couldn’t pay what Twister demanded the villain summoned a Tornado to whisk the Town’s Teenage Population away to Goat Island, where he would enslave the teenagers and demand them to erect a twister-shaped-tower in his honor.
Three familiar heroes would reach Hatton Corners and learn about what happened, those heroes were Robin (Dick Grayson), Kid Flash (Wally West), Aqualad (Garth). When the Teen heroes reached Goat Island, Kid Flash would erect the tower for the children and Aqualad would use his power to summon a whale and move the island away from Hatton Corners. Mister Twister would learn about what happened he wreaked havoc on the town of Hatton Corners. The teen heroes stopped and disarmed the villainous madman, reuniting the children with their families this marked the beginning of the Teen Titans.
He would battle the titans again throughout the years before and after the first two Crises. When the New 52 began he was erased from time, and memories of the villain vanished but he would return but as a mere shadow of his former self; re-emerging as a Supernatural Demon who existed between space and time; with time reset again they battled the new Mister Twister but the group and their souls were ensnared in an Occult Ritual that threatened the world. Lilith, who is an Alpha-Class Psionic, tried to alter their minds with a method called Psychic Blanking. She used this technique for her and the others to survive, providing a temporary way to stop him. But Mister Twister would make his return, beckoning her to bring the team together again. She went to the length of allying with Diablo, a secret organization that would try to exterminate the Titans to stop Mister Twister but would eventually fail.
But he controlled Gnaark and forced Malcolm Duncan to sing into a Supernatural Amplifier to summon demons that would take over the earth, and possibly the galaxy. After a lengthy battle with an old enemy (Mammoth) and the members of Diablo, it was when in the presence of Mister Twister that the Titans began to regain the memories that were once lost.
The Titans prepared for one last fight with the recently formed Mister Twister, assuming that he had control of the heroes only to find out that he did not have dominion over them as he once had before. Children grow and take on different identities, that is in a similar case with heroes in some ways when Nightwing pointed it out, they were no longer the Teen Titans but Titans instead; Hawk was a different story, he never changed his identity so his soul was still under the control of Mister Twister. It was by chance the Original Dove came back in the form of a spirit briefly to help Hawk break the control of Mister Twister. The heroes fought valiantly against the demonic specter Gnarrk lifted Mister Twister throwing him into the portal which bought Mal Duncan time to help the others shut the gateway off. and save the world once again as Titans once more, their legacy and memories back again, leading to the reunion with an old friend, another clue in the bizarre reality change.
As a longtime Teen Titans fan, this was a great story that was desperately needed, the current Teen Titans book at that time wasn’t doing so hot and luck would have it after the Convergence Event Arc we would begin to see a lot of old continuity beginning to return and familiar characters and foes return. The biggest gripe I had for the book was that with a lot of continuity returning, it would cause the new fans to get confused and possibly just overlook the book altogether, but you had Dan Abnett handling the story who isn’t a stranger to Superheroes and one of the top veteran storytellers that work for DC or Marvel today. He helps the reader get a good grasp of Titan’s history, starting way back in the silver age and working it right up to today, setting up a fun mystery along the way.
The artwork was another good fit for the story that Arnett was trying to tell, Paulo Siqueira and Stephen Segovia’s artwork is a good fit, the duo makes a good team. The action sequences, the emotional expressions, and the environment were another reason why fans should read the series, the creative team’s note to detail and staying true to the characters was a great way to help bring in new fans and new readers.
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