There were a lot of little changes in the wake of DC Rebirth, but there were two major changes: replacing the New 52 Superman with the older, post-Crisis Superman (along with his family) and the return of the original Wally West, the first Kid Flash and the Flash for the majority of the modern era. So what happens when these two finally meet?
The comic Titans is pretty much a direct continuation of the post-Convergence series Titans Hunt. In that book, a number of superheroes (Nightwing, Arsenal, Donna Troy, Aqualad, and Omen) found themselves drawn to one another, until it was figured out that they had once been a team called the “Titans” before something erased everyone’s memories. When Wally West returned, he was able to somehow restore their memories of him, too, and together they tackled the villain Abra Kadabra. Wally, however, is still suffering from having been trapped in the Speed Force — not only does no one else remember him, that means his former wife Linda Park also has no memory of him.
Meanwhile, Superman has taken his counterpart’s place on the Justice League, but is very careful to make sure that nobody (aside from Batman and Wonder Woman) knows he has a family.
Which brings us to Titans #7, “Home Sweet Home,” written by Dan Abnett and illustrated by Lee Weeks. During their fight with Abra Kadabra, Omen got only one word from his mind: “Manhattan.” So the Titans have decided to move there, in case it needs protecting. And, after a battle with a giant metahuman, the Flash gets an unexpected visitor.
I like that simple “Good to see you again, Wally.” It conveys a lot of things — that Superman has missed having someone he truly knows around and that he also doesn’t realize that nobody else remembers this Wally West.
I like the fact that Clark thought they were just racing for fun before things became serious.
Here’s where it can get somewhat confusing. Because Superman still thinks that he came from a parallel Earth, even though the New 52 Earth is the same Earth...with ten years gone and things shifted around. (To be fair, Clark has good reason to think that, since there was already a Lois and Clark on this world when he arrived.) Wally, however, knows that time was changed.
I love that he just tells Wally about his son. Because he knows Wally. They fought side by side on the Justice League for years. They were one of the few married superheroes. And Superman knows what it’s like to have to start over again, although he had Lois and Jon with him.
So they race back.
And the book ends with Superman looking at the new Titans Tower and saying that it feels like old times.
One of the great things about DC Rebirth is re-establishing a shared history between the characters. When the New 52 first started, it was hard to know who knew who or what had happened when. The universe was brand new and even though they said that superheroes had been around for five years, a lot of connections between characters were lost.
Titans #7 brings back one of those connections. This isn’t the New 52 Superman’s first meeting with the New 52 Flash. This is the Superman from right after the original Crisis, the one who went through so many trials, the one who faced Doomsday, and the one who married Lois. And this Flash is the one who saw his mentor die and took his place and exceeded his mentor. He went faster than Barry Allen had. This is the Wally West who saved Linda Park from Death itself by running to the end of time.
And it was great to see them meet again.