DC Comics Relaunch: Scott Lobdell’s Superboy & Teen Titans Fueled By Grant Morrison’s Doom Patrol

Writer Scott Lobdell continues to be a lightning rod for controversy, which isn’t a bad thing because he has proven the old adage that “controversy creates cash”. πŸ™‚

His New 52 titles whether Red Hood and the Outlaws, Superboy or the Teen Titans generates a buzz from all angles. Fans don’t sit on the sidelines about his work as part of the DC Comics Relaunch.

If we adopt a thoughtful assessment of Lobdell’s New 52 library, it becomes clear that he is a fan of DC Comics or a student of DC Comics or perhaps a little bit of both.

He certainly knows of DC’s Vertigo line as he has mined some of Grant Morrison’s classic Doom Patrol concepts and characters for his Teen Titans and Superboy books in particular.

And, that starts with Lobdell reimagining of N.O.W.H.E.R.E.

NOWHERE From Somewhen

Our friends at DC Wikia explain the old school Men from N.O.W.H.E.R.E. as follows:

“The Men from N.O.W.H.E.R.E. were a group of killers dedicated to wiping out all that was bizarre and unusual in the world, to make it safe for normal people. They were created by Darren Jones, a man who was clearly insane. On their first outing, when they tried to kill Danny the Street, they fought and were defeated by the Doom Patrol.”

In the new post-Flashpoint relaunched DC Universe (DCU), N.O.W.H.E.R.E. is a huge part of two of Lobdell’s titles, Superboy and Teen Titans. Project N.O.W.H.E.R.E. is a secret cabal looking to control DC’s super-powered kids. Tim Drake, Red Robin, brings the Teen Titans together to protect them and other teen meta-humans from Project N.O.W.H.E.R.E. and keep them out of its clutches.

The group is lead by Templar, who oversaw the creation of “The” Superboy a character who is (still) a clone of villain Lex Luthor and iconic hero Superman, intended to be an obeying weapon. As we can imagine, while Superboy will be a foe of the Teen Titans at least for a good part of the first year of the New 52 according to Lobdell, we know the eventual plan is to have him join, if the cover to Teen Titans #1 is any indication.

Interestingly, Caitlin Fairchild of old school Gen 13 teen team fame is a scientist in Project N.O.W.H.E.R.E. seemingly working against them from the inside. She appears to have the same powers as her Wildstorm days, namely the ability to augment her size and propotions weilding super-strength. This has lead to internet rumors that teen team properties from the now defunct Wildstorm brand like Gen 13 and DV8 might eventually be on comic store shelves alongside other Wildstorm exports to the New 52 like Stormwatch and Grifter.

All this dovetails nicely on the intriguing cliffhangers from Teen Titans 3 and our next section…

Teen Titans… Doomed πŸ˜‰

..with the debut of Danny the Street (see below left).

We don’t know much about Danny the Street in the New 52, but we do know what the character was like in the old DCU particularly during Grant Morrison’s Doom Patrol.

He / it is a sentient street (see right); yes, you read that correctly. Danny-boy includes buildings and has the power of teleportation; yup, I wrote that. πŸ™‚ However, how he / it communicates is interesting and what that reveals about the sexuality of the street; and, again, yes I typed the word sexuality… in relation to a street. (That Morrison has a far-out mind.) Wiki describes Danny’s communications as follows:

“While Danny cannot speak in any normal sense of the term, he communicates with his residents via such means as signs in windows, type-written messages and letters formed out of manhole vapors or broken glass shards. He speaks English, heavily flavored with Polari, a largely antiquated form of homosexual slang…”

In light of Project N.O.W.H.E.R.E.’s prescence in the modern DCU, it is interesting to note that in the old Vertigo continuity Danny and the old school N.O.W.H.E.R.E. tangled…

“…Danny first came in contact with the Doom Patrol when he and his residents were attacked by Darren Jones and the Men From N.O.W.H.E.R.E.”

I do think having Danny as a member of the Teen Titans would be interesting. He’d be a convenient mode of travel and the potential for banter between he / it and the team’s new flamboyantly gay team member Bunker may add some lighter more comedic moments to the series.

I’m not sure where Scott Lobdell will take all this in Superboy and/or Teen Titans, but if the past is a guide, where N.O.W.E.R.E. shows up, and when Danny the Street appears, the Doom Patrol are not far behind.

A Sighting & A Salute

For those interested, Writer Matt Kindt and artist Scott Kolins have actually have already reimagined Cliff Steele / Robotman of classic Doom Patrol fame in the ‘My Greatest Adventure’ mini-series set in this New 52 DC Universe.

We also have Robotman’s partner Maddy Rouge in a pink and white costume in issue #2 reminiscent of a 1980s take on Doom Patrol costume fashion (see below right image).

Can we expect My Greatest Adventure #6’s Robotman arc to lead into future Teen Titans and Superboy stories where a new Doom Patrol surfaces?

We’ll just have to wait and see.

The bottom line is this: Scott Lobdell KNOWS DC Comics history and folklore. That’s just not debatable.

He should be saluted and given the benefit of the doubt about things you / we haven’t read in his books yethe clearly has a plan.

What’s he’s covered is fair game, but if we’ve learned anything from Lobdell’s New 52 books is that readers can’t get ahead of his stories, and that is really refreshing.

I am intrigued to see where Lobdell will take all his zany ideas threaded through his teen hero books for DC Comics. It’s been a fun ride so far.

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