Showcase Presents The Brave and The Bold Batman Team-Ups Vol. 3

Showcase Presents The Brave and the Bold Batman Team-Ups Vol. 3

First Published: December 2008

Contents: The Brave and The Bold #109 (October-November 1973) to #134 (May 1977)

Key Creator Credits: Bob Haney, Jim Aparo, and others

Story Continues From: Showcase Presents The Brave and The Bold Batman Team-Ups Vol. 2

Overview: Before it became commonplace to have Batman appear in the early issues of a new title, the guests came to Batman to team up with the Caped Crusader. Welcome back to the Batman team-ups from The Brave and the Bold, as writer Bob Haney and artist Jim Aparo finds incredible ways to have Batman cross paths with the likes of Wildcat, Mister Miracle, and the Metal Men.

The highlight of this volume is the introduction of the Joker as a team-up partner and not just the opposing foe. The Joker stories really stand out, creating a new dynamic that broke the mold for the typical TBATB team-up. The Joker of this era was more of a comedic threat and not a homicidal maniac. Based on his success here, the Joker would become a frequent guest-star as well in DC Comics Presents, teaming up with Superman.

Why should these stories be Showcased?: Yes, yes, yes – these stories deserve to be showcased like this. The Brave and the Bold served as a solid way to introduce all aspects of the DC Universe to any reader, be it your first time or your five hundredth time. Nothing is in continuity, so you don’t have to worry about what is going on in Batman, Detective Comics, or any other title of the era. My only gripe – if this can be considered a gripe – is that Volume 3 came out over seven years ago, with no Volume 4 anywhere in sight. The Brave and the Bold ran to issue #200. DC Comics, if you are reading this, PLEASE get the next volume out for this title!

Who’s Who / Reprinted Elsewhere:
#109 – Batman & The Demon
#110 – Batman & Wildcat
#111 – Batman & The Joker
#112 – Batman & Mister Miracle
#113 – Batman & Metal Men
#114 – Batman & Aquaman
#115 – Batman & The Atom
#116 – Batman & The Spectre / Showcase Presents The Spectre Vol. 1
#117 – Batman & Sgt. Rock
#118 – Batman & Wildcat, co-starring the Joker
#119 – Batman & Man-Bat
#120 – Batman & Kamandi, The Last Boy on Earth!
#121 – Batman & Metal Men
#122 – Batman & Swamp Thing
#123 – Batman & Plastic Man and Metamorpho
#124 – Batman & Sgt. Rock
#125 – Batman & The Flash
#126 – Batman & Aquaman
#127 – Batman & Wildcat
#128 – Batman & Mister Miracle
#129 – Batman & Green Arrow, co-starring the Atom, the Joker, and Two-Face
#130 – Batman & Green Arrow, co-starring the Atom, the Joker, and Two-Face
#131 – Batman & Wonder Woman
#132 – Batman & Richard Dragon, Kung-Fu Fighter
#133 – Batman & Deadman
#134 – Batman & Green Lantern

If you like this volume, try: the 2007 The Brave and the Bold series, specifically the first 12 issues, from Mark Waid, George Pérez, and Jerry Ordway. This was a fun reboot of the classic series, with a new spin on the team-ups. Waid created an ongoing story where one guest would carry over into the next issue, teaming up with a different guest. And that different guest would then host the following issue, and so on. Waid has proven many times over that he is a master storyteller with the DC characters, and Pérez & Ordway are two legendary artists, each deserving of a hardcover collection showcasing their careers at DC. This run of The Brave and the Bold series has been reprinted in both hardcover and trade paperback collections, and the individual issues are readily available in the back-issue bins. Track down this run and enjoy the read!

Showcase Presents Hawkman Vol. 2

Showcase Presents Hawkman Vol. 2

First Published: August 2008

Contents: Hawkman #12 (February-March 1966) to #27 (August-September 1968); The Brave and the Bold #70 (February-March 1967); The Atom #31 (June-July 1967); and The Atom and Hawkman #39 (October-November 1968) to #45 (October-November 1969)

Key Creator Credits: Gardner Fox, Murphy Anderson, Dick Dillin, Bob Haney, Joe Kubert, Robert Kanigher, and others

Key First Appearances: Lion-Mane

Story Continues From: Showcase Presents Hawkman Vol. 1 and Showcase Presents The Atom Vol. 2

Overview: Welcome back to the ongoing adventures of Hawkman and Hawkgirl. Police officers Katar and Shayera Hol have travelled from Thanagar to make Earth their adoptive home. Posing as Carter and Shiera Hall, archeologists and curators at the Midway City Museum, our feathered heroes work to catch criminals and solve mysteries using a mix of extraterrestrial science and ancient Earth weapons.

Hawkman remains an interesting nexus point within the DC universe. As a Thanagarian, he is the ideal character to interact with Adam Strange, a man of two worlds (Earth and Rann). As a character written by Gardner Fox, it was natural for Hawkman to team up with the Atom, another Fox creation. As a member of the Justice League, there was no question that Hawkman would be crossing paths with Batman in the pages of The Brave and the Bold.

The foes of Hawkman remain somewhat weak in this collection. Seriously, how many people have even heard of Lion-Mane before? A highlight of this collection is Hawkman coming face-to-face with the Gentleman Ghost, a one-time foe of the Earth-2 Hawkman. Robert Kanigher, with Joe Kubert, created the Gentlemen Ghost for the Hawkman story in Flash Comics #88 (October 1947). Twenty-two years later, Kanigher once again found himself writing a Hawkman story and brought back the Ghost.

In 1968, the Hawkman title came to an end with issue #27, but his stories were not done yet. Hawkman took his adventures to the Atom’s book the following issue, as The Atom was renamed The Atom and Hawkman with issue #39. This combined title ran for seven issues (on a bi-monthly publishing schedule). Three of the issues featured the two characters teaming up together in one story, while four of the issues featured each character in his own solo story.

Why should these stories be Showcased?: Well, on the plus side, I believe this is a better read than Volume 1. With that said, I still found this volume disappointing. The highlights of this collection are the issues where he teams up with other heroes, such as Batman, Atom, and Adam Strange. The problem is this is still a book featuring a solo character (no disrespect meant to Hawkgirl). If the solo stories are not entertaining, it’s hard to get through some of these issues. A lot of these tales feel very repetitive, such as an alien on the run from law enforcement and hiding on Earth, or an archeological dig uncovering a dormant creature. I want this to be so much better than it is! Read this is you are a Hawkman fan, or if you like Murphy Anderson’s art.

Footnotes: The Brave and the Bold #70 is also reprinted in Showcase Presents The Brave and the Bold Batman Team-Ups Vol. 1.

The Atom #31 is also reprinted in Showcase Presents The Atom Vol. 2.

If you like this volume, try: the Geoff Johns Hawkman omnibus, which collects the writer’s two-year run with the character from 2002-2004. In 2001, Johns brought back Hawkman from character limbo in the pages of JSA, doing his best to untangle the complicated history of the character over the last 20 years. That immediately prompted DC to green-light a new ongoing book. In this new series, Hawkman and Hawkgirl are reincarnated spirits dating back to ancient Egypt. The new Hawkman returns, and immediately proclaims his undying love for Hawkgirl. However, this Hawkgirl is Kendra Saunders, a great niece to Sheira Hall, the original Hawkgirl. Kendra has the memories from Sheira, but she does not have the feelings for Carter Hall. Hawkman and Hawkgirl develop a working partnership, which presents a different dynamic than what we have seen previously between these characters. The omnibus contains all of the Geoff Johns’ stories, which ran through issue #25. This volume of the Hawkman series ran for 49 issues, then changed direction and was renamed Hawkgirl with issue #50. The Hawkgirl title ran for another year, before ending with issue #66.

Showcase Presents The Brave and The Bold Batman Team-Ups Vol. 2

Showcase Presents The Brave and The Bold Batman Team-Ups Vol. 2

First Published: January 2007

Contents: The Brave and The Bold #88 (February-March 1970) to #108 (August-September 1973)

Key Creator Credits: Bob Haney, Neal Adams, Ross Andru, Nick Cardy, Jim Aparo, Bob Brown, and others

Story Continues From: Showcase Presents The Brave and The Bold Batman Team-Ups Vol. 1

Story Continues In: Showcase Presents The Brave and The Bold Batman Team-Ups Vol. 3

Overview: Welcome back to the Batman team-ups from The Brave and the Bold. Once again, Bob Haney weaves a unique take on Batman, finding unusual ways to bring Batman together with the likes of Green Arrow, Deadman, and the Metal Men.

A couple of books highlight this volume in particular:

  • The Brave and the Bold #98 featured Batman meeting up with the Phantom Stranger. While that match-up, in particular, is not huge, it does mark Jim Aparo’s first take on Batman. Aparo was a rising star at DC at this time, having gained notice for his work on Aquaman and The Phantom Stranger. Aparo would then go on to handle the art on nearly 80 of the next 100 issues of The Brave and the Bold.
  • The Brave and the Bold #100 (February-March 1972) featured Batman “teaming up” with Robin, Black Canary, Green Arrow, and Green Lantern. In all actuality, Batman had been shot and needed the other heroes to solve a crime for him while he recovered. This was published around the same time as the “Hard Traveling Heroes” storyline was coming to an end in the pages of Green Lantern (see Showcase Presents Green Lantern Vol. 5 for that full story).

Why should these stories be Showcased?: I’ve said it before and I will say it again – any of the team-up books from DC (or Marvel) should be must-own for any fan. This is Batman with some of the greatest art talents of the time (Adams, Aparo, Cardy) providing covers and enticing stories to match the crazy stories being delivered to us by Bob Haney. These stories do not worry about continuity, so try not to take these too seriously. Just enjoy the absurdity of Batman teaming up with Sgt. Rock or the House of Mystery.

Who’s Who / Reprinted Elsewhere:
#88 – Batman & Wildcat
#89 – Batman & The Phantom Stranger / Showcase Presents The Phantom Stranger Vol. 2
#90 – Batman & Adam Strange
#91 – Batman & Black Canary
#92 – Batman & The Bat-Squad
#93 – Batman & House of Mystery
#94 – Batman & Teen Titans / Showcase Presents Teen Titans Vol. 2
#95 – Batman & Plastic Man
#96 – Batman & Sgt. Rock
#97 – Batman & Wildcat
#98 – Batman & The Phantom Stranger / Showcase Presents The Phantom Stranger Vol. 2
#99 – Batman & Flash
#100 – Batman & Black Canary, Green Arrow, Green Lantern, and Robin
#101 – Batman & Metamorpho
#102 – Batman & Teen Titans
#103 – Batman & Metal Men
#104 – Batman & Deadman
#105 – Batman & Wonder Woman
#106 – Batman & Green Arrow
#107 – Batman & Black Canary
#108 – Batman & Sgt. Rock

If you like this volume, try: the Batman: The Brave and the Bold animated series. Running on the Cartoon Network from 2008 to 2011, this was a beautiful and fun homage to the Batman team-ups of the 1960s and 1970s. While some team-ups occurred more frequently (Aquaman and Green Arrow), the creators of the series pulled team-ups from all corners of the DC Universe. You would think that the spirit of Bob Haney was supervising the writer’s room for this series. Truth be told, I think I even teared up some with Batman teaming up with the Doom Patrol at the end of that group’s career. The finale of the series tied everything together and made promises that the adventures of Batman will never end. If you have not watched them, or not watched them recently, you owe it to yourself to give this series a look. (There was a Johnny DC book released to support this cartoon as well. While it captured the look and humor of the series, part of the joy with the series is seeing the team-ups animated on the screen. Track this series down for the young Batman fan in your life.)

Showcase Presents Metamorpho Vol. 1

Showcase Presents Metamorpho Vol. 1

First Published: October 2005

Contents: The Brave and the Bold #57 (December 1964-January 1965), #58 (February-March 1965), #66 (June-July 1966), and #68 (October-November 1966); Metamorpho #1 (July-August 1965) to #17 (March-April 1968); and Justice League of America #42 (February 1966)

Key Creator Credits: Bob Haney, Ramona Fradon, Charles Paris, Joe Orlando, Sal Trapani, and others

Key First Appearances: Rex Mason/Metamorpho, Sapphire Stagg, Simon Stagg, Java, Urania Blackwell/Element Girl

Overview: Soldier of fortune Rex Mason will go anywhere and risk his life for the right price. Millionaire Simon Stagg has not only the money to hire Mason, but he also has the beautiful daughter Sapphire, who is deeply in love with Rex. Add in Simon’s aide Java, an unearthed caveman whose origin is never explored, and we have the makings of a cast for a new book.

Rex Mason and Java have been sent to find the Orb of Ra in a hidden pyramid along the upper Nile. Mason finds the Orb but is exposed to a deadly dose of radiation. Rex survives but finds that his body has been changed. Initially, Rex can change his body into any element found in the human body. (Over time, that rule has been relaxed, allowing Rex to change into any element.) With near invulnerability, Rex Mason becomes the reluctant hero known as Metamorpho, the Element Man.

While waiting for Simon Stagg to find a way to change Rex back into a normal man, Metamorpho serves the world as a super-hero, fighting the oddball menace of the month. At one point, he encounters Urania Blackwell, who has been similarly affected by the Orb of Ra, turning her into Element Girl. She starts out as a foe, becomes a sidekick of sorts, and then fades away into the comic book character limbo until she receives her final story in the pages of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series.

Along the way, Metamorpho crosses paths with other heroes in the DC Universe, such as the Metal Men and Batman. He is offered membership in the Justice League but turns them down. becoming the league’s first standby member.

Why should these stories be Showcased?: Following his success with the Metal Men and the Doom Patrol, Bob Haney was tasked with developing another hero for DC. Borrowing pieces from each of those teams, Haney and Ramona Fradon created Metamorpho. While the stories remain firmly rooted in the 1960s, the character and, more importantly, the possibilities of the character are very intriguing. In many ways, Metamorpho feels like a Marvel character stuck in the DC Universe. Rex is an interesting character, and you should give this collection a look.

Footnotes: The Brave and the Bold #66 is also reprinted in Showcase Presents Metal Men Vol. 2.

The Brave and the Bold #68 is also reprinted in Showcase Presents The Brave and the Bold Batman Team-Ups Vol. 1.

Justice League of America #42 is also reprinted in Showcase Presents Justice League of America Vol. 3.

Metamorpho #17 promises the next issue, but the series was canceled there midway through a four-part story. Bob Haney had the chance to finish the story in a backup feature in Action Comics #413 (June 1972) and #414 (July 1972).

If you like this volume, try: Metamorpho: Year One from 2007. Created by Dan Jurgens, Mike Norton, and Jesse Delperdang, this six-issue miniseries (and available as a trade paperback) gave a modern spin on everyone’s favorite element man. Serving as host of a TV reality show, “Treasure Hunt”, Rex Mason travels the world for fame and fortune, and to hopefully one day win the heart of Sapphire Stagg. But digging through a hidden pyramid, Rex stumbles upon the Orb of Ra and is once again transformed into Metamorpho. Can he find a cure to turn him back into a normal man? Jurgens has been an unsung hero at DC for over 20 years now and does not get enough credit for his stories. This is a fun modern-day look at a classic DC superhero.

Showcase Presents The Unknown Soldier Vol. 1

Showcase Presents The Unknown Soldier Vol. 1

First Published: November 2006

Contents: Star Spangled War Stories #151 (June-July 1970) to #188 (June 1975)

Key Creator Credits: Joe Kubert, Bob Haney, Robert Kanigher, Archie Goodwin, Jack Sparling, Gerry Talaoc, Frank Robbins, David Michelinie, and others

Key First Appearances: The Unknown Soldier

Story Continues In: Showcase Presents The Unknown Soldier Vol. 2

Overview: Two brothers from a Kansas farm enlist in the Army at the onset of World War II, and are assigned to the same unit serving in the Philippines. Trapped in a foxhole, one brother jumps on a live grenade to protect his sibling. While the grenade killed the first brother, the second brother is horribly disfigured. Given the option of a medical discharge, the disfigured soldier turns it down, wishing to remain on duty. His late brother had made a comment that one man in the right place can affect the outcome of a battle or a war. He takes on the designation of The Unknown Soldier, and returns to the front lines, undertaking special missions.

These stories are generally one-and-done stories, which alternate between the European and Pacific fronts. The stories follow a predictable formula, all the way down to the page layouts to start each story. Towards the end of this volume, we get two multi-issue stories. Otherwise, these stories could be read in any order.

Why should these stories be Showcased?: This is an interesting volume. From a historical perspective, these stories should be showcased. Anything that Joe Kubert worked on should be reprinted, and his art shines brighter in the black & white format. My concern is that I don’t think this is Kubert’s best work in the medium. I think you need to read his Sgt. Rock stories to really experience a Kubert war comic.

Footnotes: Star Spangled War Stories #157 reprints a Sgt. Rock story where Easy Company encounters an unknown soldier but not “The Unknown Soldier”. That original story, from Our Army At War #168, was reprinted in Showcase Presents Sgt. Rock Vol. 3.

If you like this volume, try: Joe Kubert’s book, Fax from Sarajevo: A Story of Survival. Based on communication from European comics agent Ervin Rustemagić, Kubert put together a disturbingly real look at what modern warfare looks like, detailing the Serbian takeover of the agent’s homeland. Rustemagić and his family survive for nearly two years before finally escaping Sarajevo for good in 1993. During this time, Rustemagić would communicate with the outside world via a fax machine, giving updates of the situation. One of the recipients of the faxes was Kubert, who later worked with Rustemagić to turn this into a graphic novel. Released in 1996 by Dark Horse Comics, Fax from Sarajevo received multiple awards both within the comics industry as well as within the publishing industry.

Showcase Presents The Brave and The Bold Batman Team-Ups Vol. 1

Showcase Presents The Brave and The Bold Batman Team-Ups Vol. 1

First Published: January 2007

Contents: The Brave and The Bold #59 (April-May 1965), #64 (February-March 1966), #67 (August-September 1966) to #71 (April-May 1967), #74 (October-November 1967) to #87 (December 1969-January 1970)

Key Creator Credits: Bob Haney, Gil Kane, Mike Sekowsky, Neal Adams, Ross Andru

Key First Appearances: Time Commander, Copperhead, Hellgrammite, Bork

Story Continues In: Showcase Presents The Brave and The Bold Batman Team-Ups Vol. 2

Overview: In the mid-1960s, Batman was reaching to new heights of popularity. Along with the weekly television show, the character could be found across a variety of titles, such as Batman, Detective Comics, World’s Finest, and the Justice League of America. So why stop there? If the Batman and Robin team-up is so great, wouldn’t a team-up with Batman and <character of the month> be just as great? Absolutely!

The Batman team-ups collected in this volume are an interesting mix. We get team-ups featuring many of his teammates from the Justice League, such as Flash, Green Lantern, Green Arrow, Wonder Woman, and Hawkman. There are “unusual” team-ups with the supernatural characters, such as Deadman and the Spectre. And then there is the downright confusing team-ups, such as Sgt. Rock during the days of World War II.

Bob Haney wrote the majority of these stories, and seemed to be given carte blanche to do whatever he wanted within the pages of the book. These stories have often been described as taking place on Earth-B (for Bob Haney). The art features some of the best artists at DC during this era, with Mike Sekowsky, Ross Andru, and Neal Adams doing some of his earliest work for DC.

Why should these stories be Showcased?: This is a fun, fun book. You see Batman in goofy pairings that would never happen with the modern dark-and-brooding Caped Crusader. This volume gives us a look at the changing DC Universe during the late 1960s. Wonder Woman’s second appearance in this volume is during her white jumpsuit, no powers Diana Prince era of stories. Neal Adams redesigns Green Arrow’s outfit into his most familiar costume and goatee in his second appearance in the book. We get one of the first encounters between Batman and the Teen Titans, which started the ongoing storyline of Dick Grayson/Robin trying to get out of Batman’s shadow and become an equal hero in his own rights. As long as you keep in mind that some of these stories should fall outside of the ongoing continuity, you will be fine!

Footnotes: The Brave and The Bold was an anthology title that started in 1955. In 1959, it became a try-out book for new characters, such as the Suicide Squad, the Justice League of America, Cave Carson, and Hawkman. Later debuts include the Teen Titans and Metamorpho. Issue #50 featured the first “team-up” with Green Arrow and the Martian Manhunter. With issue #74, Batman became the permanent host of the title, teaming him up with all kinds of characters in and out of continuity.

Who’s Who / Reprinted Elsewhere:
#59 – Batman & Green Lantern
#64 – Batman & Eclipso
#67 – Batman & Flash
#68 – Batman & Metamorpho / Showcase Presents Metamorpho Vol. 1
#69 – Batman & Green Lantern
#70 – Batman & Hawkman / Showcase Presents Hawkman Vol. 2
#71 – Batman & Green Arrow / Showcase Presents Green Arrow Vol. 1
#74 – Batman & Metal Men
#75 – Batman & Spectre / Showcase Presents Spectre Vol. 1
#76 – Batman & Plastic Man
#77 – Batman & Atom
#78 – Batman & Wonder Woman and Batgirl / Showcase Presents Batgirl Vol. 1
#79 – Batman & Deadman
#80 – Batman & Creeper
#81 – Batman & Flash
#82 – Batman & Aquaman
#83 – Batman & Teen Titans / Showcase Presents Teen Titans Vol. 2
#84 – Batman & Sgt. Rock
#85 – Batman & Green Arrow / Showcase Presents Green Arrow Vol. 1
#86 – Batman & Deadman
#87 – Batman & Wonder Woman

If you like this volume, try: The Brave and the Bold Archives Vol. 1. As mentioned above, The Brave and the Bold became a team-up book with issue #50. This archive edition collects the first eight team-up issues. These issues are written by Bob Haney, with the exception of issue #52 written by Robert Kanigher. Each issue has a different artist, so this is a great example of the various art styles on DC during the early 1960s.

#50 – Martian Manhunter & Green Arrow / Showcase Presents Green Arrow Vol. 1
#51 – Aquaman & Hawkman / Showcase Presents Aquaman Vol. 2 / Showcase Presents Hawkman Vol. 1
#52 – Sgt. Rock, Lt. Cloud & Tankman Stuart / Showcase Presents Haunted Tank Vol. 1
#53 – Atom & Flash
#54 – Kid Flash, Aqualad & Robin / Showcase Presents Teen Titans Vol. 1
#55 – Metal Men & Atom / Showcase Presents Metal Men Vol. 1
#56 – Flash & Martian Manhunter
#59 – Batman & Green Lantern

Showcase Presents Teen Titans Vol. 1

Showcase Presents Teen Titans Vol. 1

Showcase Presents Teen Titans Vol. 1

First Published: April 2006

Contents: The Brave and the Bold #54 (June-July 1964) and #60 (June-July 1965), Showcase #59 (November-December 1965), and Teen Titans #1 (February 1966) to #18 (November-December 1968)

Key Creator Credits: Bob Haney, Nick Cardy, Bruno Premiani, and Marv Wolfman

Key First Appearances: Donna Troy/Wonder Girl, Mad Mod, Leonid Kovar/Starfire

Story Continues In: Showcase Presents Teen Titans Vol. 2

Overview: After working in the shadows of their mentors for years, the teenage sidekicks get together to form their own super-hero club. Robin, Kid Flash, and Aqualad are brought together by chance. Add in Wonder Girl in the second appearance of the teenage heroes, and a new team is formed, the Teen Titans.

Teenage super-heroes have the same issues as any other teenagers of the 1960s. Boys don’t understand girls, and girls don’t understand the boys, and the grown-ups don’t understand the teen-agers. A lot of these stories have similar plots where the Teen Titans are called in to help settle a dispute between the adults and the teens of some unheard town. The generic villain of the month will show up, never to appear again in any DC comic.

The strength of this volume is the featured characters in Robin, Aqualad, Kid Flash, and Wonder Girl. These four formed the core of all versions of the Teen Titans to follow for the next fifty years.

Why should these stories be Showcased?: I will be the first to admit that I give a pass to any story written by Bob Haney. As seen with his stories in The Brave and the Bold during the Batman team-up era, Bob Haney gave the reader a fun read with each and every issue. Continuity was only observed when it benefited the story. He often broke the fourth wall to address the reader directly. And he would do his best to work in the then-current slang of the time. The Bob Haney Teen Titans were teenagers first and super-heroes second. If you like Bob Haney stories, by all means pick this up. If you are a continuity nit-pick, this volume may not be your cup of tea.

Footnotes: The name “Teen Titans” was not introduced until their second appearance, in The Brave and the Bold #60. For their first appearance in The Brave and the Bold #54, it was billed as “Kid Flash, Aqualad and Robin”.

Teen Titans #18 was co-written by Marv Wolfman in one of his first published stories for DC Comics. In 1980, he and George Perez recreated the Teen Titans, making it one of the most popular titles of that decade.

While Speedy makes a few appearances in this volume, he does not officially join the team until Teen Titans #19, which is collected in Showcase Presents Teen Titans Vol. 2. At the end of the 1970s series, Speedy is retconned into the origin story of the Teen Titans, making him one of the original founders of the team, along with Robin, Aqualad, Kid Flash, and Wonder Girl.

So who is Wonder Girl?: OK, this can be really confusing, not only for readers but even within the offices of DC Comics. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, a favorite story to tell in the Wonder Woman comic was an adventure where Wonder Woman would team up with earlier versions of herself as first Wonder Tot and then Wonder Girl. The key to remember is that Wonder Girl was just a name that Diana used as a teenager, before growing up to become Wonder Woman. In the 1960s, Bob Haney wrote Wonder Girl stories as a back-up feature in Wonder Woman. However, his stories were written as if Wonder Girl and Wonder Woman were two separate people. So when it came time to do a second issue of the teenage sidekicks, Bob Haney naturally decided to include Wonder Girl, who was now considered to be Wonder Woman’s younger sister, in the team that would become the Teen Titans. As a result, The Brave and the Bold #60 is considered to the be the first official appearance of Wonder Girl. Sad to say, Wonder Girl’s origin story would only get more complicated in the years to come…

If you like this volume, try: the 2003 Teen Titans series, originally launched by Geoff Johns and Mike McKone. This was a fresh take on the Teen Titans concept, using the next generation of teenagers using the code-names of the legacy characters (the Tim Drake Robin, the Conner Kent Superboy, the Bart Allen Impulse/Kid Flash, and the Cassie Sandsmark Wonder Girl). Beast Boy, Cyborg, and Starfire (three of the four new members of the Wolfman-Perez Teen Titans of the 1980s) serve as the adult mentors to this new generation of Titans. There is a lot of fun energy found in the early issues of the series, but it quickly grew up as outside influences, from DC editorial and from the real world, changed the direction of the series. All of Geoff Johns’ Teen Titans stories have been collected into one large, 1,400+ page omnibus, but there are smaller trade paperbacks available as well.