- Even the brightest blaze can burn out if it burns too greatly... inside.
"Titans: Then & Now" was a five-part storyline that took place in issues #12-16 of Teen Titans (Volume 2). The story was written by Dan Jurgens with illustrations by Jurgens and George Pérez. Coloring and separations were provided by Gregory Wright, Patrick Martin and Digital Chameleon with lettering by Richard Starkings and Comicraft. The story was edited by Eddie Berganza. "Then & Now" is the first team-up between Jurgens' neophyte Teen Titans and original Teen Titans members Nightwing, Arsenal and Tempest. This storyline takes place after "The Lost World of Skartaris" three-part story-arc.
The original Teen Titans, Dick Grayson, Roy Harper, Garth and Wally West meet up in the mountains of northern Maine. Grayson explains to the others that their old benefactor Loren Jupiter has been kidnapped and the clues all point to a place known as the Cardy Boarding School.
They approach the school and find it dark, abandoned and surrounded by a strange, green mist. As they approach the front door, they all simultaneously experience a flashback of a previously forgotten mission.
- The original Teen Titans respond to an emergency call from the Cardy Boarding School concerning some missing students. They meet a boy named Jarrod who tells them about the situation. While surveying the area, Wonder Girl discovers a strange, purple substance on a tree limb. They enter the school and begin seeing bizarre, ghostly apparitions.
In the present, the Titans enter the closed down boarding school and see images of spectral, zombie-like figures standing before them. Flash and Nightwing fight them hand-to-hand, and Tempest manages to isolate them with a blast of freezing water. They then proceed to the athletics hall and the indoor swimming pool. The Titans then experience another flashback.
- While investigating the school, each of the team members encounter phantasms who resemble their individual mentors; Batman, Flash, Green Arrow and Wonder Woman. Each of them in turn expresses great disappointment with their protégés, declaring them utter failures.
In the present, the Titans try to make sense of the flashbacks, but up until now, none of them had any memory of this "lost case". They go to the back of the campus where they discover the old Titans Helicopter. Inside the copter, they find Neil Richards bound and gagged. They untie him and tell Neil that Loren Jupiter has been kidnapped. Tempest finds a note on the floor of the copter with latitude and longitude lines directing them towards Wyoming. Nightwing doesn't like this, but feel that they must follow the clues, even if it's a trap. He climbs into the cockpit and starts up the helicopter.
- The Titans have their final confrontation with their phantasm mentors and discover the true villain behind all of this -- Haze. Haze is a student named Jarrod Jupiter, the son of Loren Jupiter. He is angry for being neglected by his father who preferred instead to devote all of his attention to the Titans. By way of the strange, purple gel that Wonder Girl exposed herself to earlier, he was able to create elaborate illusions, preying on the Titans' insecurities and their respective parental issues.
- The Titans have their final confrontation with Haze at the top of a mountain peak. Kid Flash tries to grab a hold of him, but Haze slips on the rain-slicked peak and falls into the ocean below. Aqualad dives after him in the hopes of rescuing him, but it appears as if Jarrod Jupiter is dead.
- At the suggestion of Mister Jupiter, Lilith uses her powers to hypnotize the Titans into forgetting about the incident. Jupiter believes this is for the best, so that they would not have to deal with the anguish of their failure.
In the present, the Titans take the chopper and follow the coordinates to Wyoming. When they get there, they find their younger selves, the original Teen Titans standing ready to do battle with them.
Titans alumni Nightwing, Arsenal, Flash and Tempest stand before younger versions of themselves; versions similar to what they looked like back when they were all members of the original Teen Titans. Both groups begin fighting one another and the younger Titans taunt their older adversaries, citing the worst points of each of their respective careers. Kid Flash tells Wally that he is a disgrace to the legacy of Barry Allen. Robin tells Nightwing that he could never measure up to the Batman. Speedy reminds Arsenal of the years he spent as a drug addict, and Aqualad accuses Tempest of being secretly happy that Aquababy and Aquagirl are dead so he could enjoy the spotlight.
A few hours earlier however, the real Teen Titans met up with Neil Richards outside the Cardy Boarding School. He brought them up to speed with everything that has happened including the appearance of Haze and the disappearance of Loren Jupiter. The kids pile into the T-Jet and take off for Wyoming - the last known whereabouts of the original Titans. En route, the kids continue to bicker with one another over recent events, particularly Risk and the Atom.
When they arrive in Wyoming they find several of their known adversaries ready to do battle with them: Vault of Dark Nemesis, Jugular of the H'San Natall, a Psion and one of his robotic sentries. The Titans begin fighting the villains and Argent notices that Vault appears to be much more limber than she remembered.
Suddenly, Omen arrives and reveals the truth of the situation. Haze has used his powers to create illusions in the minds of all the Titans, forcing everyone to see their foe as someone else entirely. Once the truth is revealed, the illusions disperse and everyone apologizes for attacking one another. Like many before her, Argent finds herself smitten by Nightwing.
Without warning, a dimensional aperture opens and giant tentacles emerge, grabbing Omen and taking her away. The Titans mobilize to get her back. They explore Haze's realm and the Atom is the first to find Omen.
The Teen Titans and the original Titans split into pairs and begin exploring Haze's compound in search of the villain. Risk and Tempest have a brief altercation with some armored guards, but they evade attack by diving into the sewage system. Risk believes that Haze is using the compound's plumbing system to distribute the gas that produces his hallucinogenic effects. Both men begin suffering visions of their respective mentors (Aquaman and Loren Jupiter) admonishing them.
Meanwhile, the Flash and Prsym begin exploring another section of the building. The darkness of the chambers start to sap Prysm's power and she begins to panic. Wally is taken aback when he finds himself suddenly wearing the costume of his late mentor Barry Allen. His own uniform rebels against him and incapacities the Flash while Prysm finds herself sealed inside a bag of unending darkness.
Elsewhere, Argent and Nightwing engage several of Haze's sentries, but manage to get away. Nightwing begins seeing visions of Batman, but knows that this is just another of Haze's tricks. Haze himself finally makes an appearance and manages to distract the heroes long enough for him to get the drop on them.
In another corridor, Arsenal and Joto try to determine the layout of the entire facility. Joto puts a thermal charge into one of Arsenal's crossbow bolts and Roy fires it into a chamber wall. Joto sees an image of his fellow Titans captive, but is worried when he sees no sign of Argent. Argent then appears before him, but this is just another of Haze's illusions. Arsenal is unable to warn him as he is crippled by visions of his old days as a heroin addict.
Meanwhile, the Atom manages to find Omen. He sets her free and Omen teleports them both to Haze's command center where he has now collected together all of the captured members from both teams. Haze attacks Omen and tears her mask free. The Titans all gasp in shock as the face of Omen is finally revealed.
The Teen Titans and the original Titans stare in awe as the face of Omen is finally revealed -- Lilith Clay!. Lilith is an empath and an ally of the original Teen Titans as well as the New Teen Titans. The assembled heroes also learn that Lilith is the daughter of Loren Jupiter and as such, is also the half-sister of Jarrod Jupiter, aka, Haze. Haze's hatred for Lilith is equal to his hatred of the other Titans, but he also recognizes her as a source of power. Through Lilith, Haze would be able to channel her psychokinetic powers in order to create illusions so elaborate that they actually become part of the fabric of reality. He is still however, hampered by the neglect that his father has visited upon him over the years and continues to avenge himself against him by tormenting Loren Jupiter's newest charges, the Teen Titans.
He teases the heroes with images of their deepest desires. Arsenal sees himself succeeding his mentor, Green Arrow while Prysm finds herself reunited with her virtual family. Others however continue to suffer the torture of their worst nightmares. The Atom feels the full impact of being rejected not only by his ex-wife Jean Loring, but also by his former colleagues in the Justice League. Tapping into Omen's memories and psyche, Haze summons forth images of every villain the Titans have ever fought and sets them upon the heroes.
While the heroes are distracted battling the illusions, Haze addresses his father, demanding to know, "Why won't you love me?!" Lilith tries to intercede on Loren's behalf, but Haze throws her from the tower of his compound. Fortunately, Arsenal fires a grappling arrow that enables her to slide down to safety. With the psychic connection between Haze and she severed, Haze is now vulnerable. Joto leaps forward and punches Haze and all of his illusions begin to disperse.
As they fight, Haze grabs a hold of one of his gas containers threatening to "go nuclear". Arsenal fires an incendiary arrow in their direction. The top of the tower explodes in a cloud of flame. Joto remains inside the inferno to insure Loren Jupiter's safety. However, even with his own thermal powers, he is not impervious to the intense heat. Jupiter is saved, but at the cost of Joto's life.
The funeral itself is attended by Isaiah's family as well as his allies in the Teen Titans and the original Teen Titans who were present when Joto gave his life fighting Haze. His father, Judge Crockett, exchanges words with Loren Jupiter who expresses his sincere lament at his family's involvement in the death of the man's son. Isaiah's sister, Nikki, approaches Cody Driscoll and offers him words of support, telling him that Isaiah actually thought that Cody was really cool.
After the service, Lilith goes to meet with the other original Titans. Nightwing, Arsenal, Flash and Tempest are still sore at her for never revealing that she is Loren Jupiter's daughter. Lilith tells them that she did not learn of this fact until well after she had disassociated herself from the Titans.
Back at the team's HQ, Loren Jupiter announces that he is disbanding the Teen Titans. He refuses to take responsibility for any more spilled blood. Argent is particularly distressed by this and feels that the Titans should remain together in honor of Isaiah. The kids discover Isaiah's journal and Argent learns that he harbored a secret crush on her.
Later, Lilith goes to visit her half-brother Jarrod inside a mental health facility. After being exposed to his own hallucinogenic gas, he has been rendered catatonic. He dreams of growing up in the perfect, idyllic family household -- one that does not include the Teen Titans.
- Teen Titans (Volume 2) #12
- Teen Titans (Volume 2) #13
- Teen Titans (Volume 2) #14
- Teen Titans (Volume 2) #15
- Teen Titans (Volume 2) #16
- Takes place after the events of Teen Titans (Volume 2) Annual #1.
- Crosses over with the "Genesis" event.
- Significant events that took place during this storyline include:
- No trivia.
Links and References
- Teen Titans at Wikipedia
- Teen Titans at Titans Tower
- Teen Titans (Volume 2) series index at DCU Guide
- Teen Titans (Volume 2) series index at Comicbookdb.com
- Teen Titans (Volume 2) series index at the Grand Comics Database Project
|Teen Titans Storyline|
This event or storyline is specifically related to any and all incarnations of the Titans, including the Teen Titans, New Teen Titans, New Titans, Team Titans and just Titans. This template will automatically categorize articles that include it into the Titans Storylines category.