Looking into issue 50-54. Issue 50 is a collaboration between McKeever, Johns, Wolfman, and Dezago. This is also Johns’ last work on Teen Titans and after this issue, McKeever takes over by himself for a while.
We start with a memorial service for Bart which of course includes some mentions of past events and a flashback to something that was never shown before. At the same time this is going on, we also see glimpses of Justice League members being taken out and of course Rose cutting the memorial service to get naked (I’m blaming that scene on Johns as he apparently loves nudity). We also see that M’gann still has no clue how to relate with humans. The team of Titans in here is also a little different. Cyborg has left to rest up the Titans on the East coast and Supergirl is still with after issues 48/49. More so it seems M’gann stuck with the team and shortly in they invite Blue Beetle to the team after he gives them a hand with Lobo. At the end of 51 Tim and Cassie nearly have another moment but Wally comes in rather beaten up. Apparently followed by the future versions of Bart and Conner who are out with the other future Titans to try and force their history to still happen.
Soon we end up with Blue Beetle deciding to go to the tower and finding Marv and Wendy pinned to the wall by bar bells. The Titans are in the cave where the main Justice League members are tied up and are facing the future Titans. The team from The Future Is Now story is actually different and now consists of Conner (Superman), Tim (Batman), M’gann (Miss Martian), Eddie (Red Devil), Cassie (Wonder Woman), and Bart (Flash). In an odd change of pace though instead of fighting, both teams talk. Yes, talk. Supposedly besides trying to keep their future, the future Titans are also there to help save the world. Apparently Starro is coming to Earth soon and if the Justice League faced it they’d be too weak to stop something else soon to come which would force the Titans to step up into their mentors’ roles. I kind of thought they wanted the Titans to take over for their mentors… but maybe the timing just isn’t right? Either way, this soon has them splitting up in teams of 4, two from each group to take out some of Starro’s advanced forces.
During their team up their future selves also try to put the Titans against themselves. Eddie falls for it. M’gann seems unsure. Tim takes an interesting route and threatens his own life. Meanwhile at the tower, Blue Beetle found the cave but some reason Flash leaves Chicago to beat him up just as he was about to act. Little lost to how he knew someone was in there but oh well. Another gap in logic to ignore. Things go downhill for the future Titans though as they soon start fighting with their younger selves. On the plus side, Blue Beetle manages to take out Bart and free the Justice League who soon go off on a mission of their own. Kid Devil, Red Devil, and Rose soon get back to the cave and stepping outside we get to see that the future Titans have a lot of back up that suddenly appeared. Some reason most of the future Titans East who were good are now helping Lex Luthor and the rest of the future bad Titans. Future Lex gives what I view as a rather weak explanation to this. McKeever, was this your doing or did someone hand you a basic script to follow?
Things continue to get worse. M’gann’s future self basically mentally tosses what the future turns into into current M’gann’s head which actually causes the girl to snap and behead her future self. Robin though actually has grown pretty full of doubt now. Starro attacks in full force now and soon takes over most of the future Titans Army. Blue Beetle basically is the only one who escapes to set Bart free who ends up saving the day from Starro. Everyone being free, well then the battle breaks out between the Teen Titans and Titans Army. Oddly enough Tim is having a talk with his future self before Cassie meets up with them and kisses Tim which puts future Conner in a rage. With an odd turn of events future Tim kills Conner and that act soon erases everyone from the future.
Well… Almost everyone? This ends with Tim going down to the cave where M’gann is waiting. She soon changes to look like her future self and kisses him. Then Luthor appears and Tim mentions basically that he’s going to replace Batman and basically turn into the future self we just saw. And finally the issue ends with the three looking at what appears to be complete clones of Conner and Bart. This cliffhanger ending though is never touched up on again. I don’t know if McKeever planned to come back to this but didn’t get to it before Miller took over the series (though McKeever ran the Titans until 71). Maybe it just was something else, but no matter what, that cliff hanger ending should just be ignored. The rest of this arc was pretty good though. Blue Beetle makes a nice debut into the Titans and minus a few gaps/weak points in the plot it’s pretty solid and the characters are well written. Sadly from here the quality slowly dips in stories from arc to arc for a while until Damian makes a debut.