I’m continuing my Retrospective for the Teen Titans with the Teens Titans/Legion of Superheroes crossover and issues 16-19 (collected in trade as The Future is Now). Handling a lot with these issues, so I’ll try to keep it from being too long. I do want to state though that these issues are some of my favorites of this Teen Titans group and Johns is joined by writer Mark Waid for the Legion cross over.
This starts us right in the action of the Legion being attacked before us seeing Conner and Cassie have an actual date. Shortly into the date Superboy gets pulled into some sort of worm hole, and shortly after Superboy reappears dressed like Superman but with a Legion logo on his belt. Cassie rushes him to the tower and they soon get attacked by Persuader who has an axe that can basically cut through anything. After the short fight, Superboy gives them all Legion rings and they follow him into the future.
Reaching the future the Titans meet the Legion of Super Heroes and we basically learn three main things. Superboy has been there for five months, the Fatal Five is now Five-Hundred due to Persuader’s axe, and Legion World is blown up before they can get there. Due to that they end up on Earth and instantly are put into a losing fight till Raven teleports both teams to Legion HQ in Metropolis. It’s shaped like a giant L and Beast Boy can’t help but comment on that. They are given some downtime (odd as they are hiding in a giant L shaped building) where Superboy gets put under fire about what group he wants to stay with and we see Kid Flash growing happy about being able to see family again. Not to mention the Titans getting quite a few verbal jabs and Braniac 5 stating he has a plan. Of course, they soon get found out and another giant fight breaks out.
Brainiac’s plan works, but causes a bit of a bind at the end of it that tosses the Titans into their future where they are adults. Waid and Johns I think did a great job working together on this part, and Johns uses this to bring us right into his next storyline.
In this future we soon find out a few things. Mainly that the Teen Titan members have filled in the role of their mentors, and that they aren’t afraid to kill or it seems even intimidate normal civilians. And like often happens in the world of comics, a fight soon breaks out between the Teen Titans and their future selves pictured above. I almost feel sad Waid is gone for even though I still generally like this story line, we go back to having some odd dialect choices pop up here – mostly from Superman.
This story arc is pretty good though. The TT escape besides Robin who has his future self try to convince him of what he will become. The rest though go to Central City in hopes of finding a Cosmic Treadmill to get back to their own time and another hint is noted towards an upcoming event, and one that is a little more straight forward than the one I note in part 2. They are also soon joined up by the future Cyborg and the Titans East. So pretty much the Titans West are the bad guys who control the West side of the U.S. with an iron fist and the Titans East are the good guys who keep the Eastern U.S. free and happy. I’m a little confused though behind this concept mostly for Metropolis is typically considered Superman’s town. More so, this arc started with Batman in Gotham, and when he’s talking with Robin has them in Gotham as well. Both locations tend to be located on the East Coast. If anything, I would have expected Conner and Tim turning into the bad guys would focus on their home turfs first… Well the concept is kind of explained, but they start it off as the U.S. splitting in half (East/West) and then make it sound like all the U.S. was under the bad Titans rule for a while before they freed 12 states.
We of course soon enter into another large fight of Teen Titans and Titans East vs. Titans West that gets brought to the Batcave. They find the treadmill and Bette some reason decides to kiss Robin who is ten years far too young for him. Really Johns, what made you think that was a good idea? The Teen Titans get sent back to their own time with things seeming to be fine. We do end though seeing Superman (Conner) in the future talking to Lex Luthor about how he is afraid that the future they currently are in will soon stop to exist.