The Justice League is dead. Long live the (new) Titans.
That's right - it seems DC is officially passing the torch from the Justice League to the Titans as the premiere superhero team in the DC Universe (at least for the time being, anyway) in the pages of February 21's Nightwing #101 from writer Tom Taylor and artist Travis Moore, as seen in DC's just released February 2023 solicitations.
DC readers already know Dick Grayson will play a prominent role in the finale of Dark Crisis On Infinite Earths, and it appears his elevated role will carry over to the post-Dark Crisis DCU.
According to DC's description of Nightwing #101, it's Superman that tells Dick it's his time to lead, and as a result, he gathers "group of friends to be the premier league in the DC Universe and moves their base of operations to Blüdhaven."
"Meet the new Titans!" DC declares.(opens in new tab)
However, somewhat contrary to the "new Titans" designation, along with Nightwing, a variant cover for Nightwing #101 from Moore would seem to indicate that the team's line-up will be comprised of many of the characters who have traditionally made up the Titans, who in turn graduated from the original Teen Titans team.
The characters on the variant cover include Nightwing (naturally), Wally West, Donna Troy, Cyborg (who gets his own series later in 2023), Beast Boy, Starfire, and Raven.
Nightwing, Donna Troy, and Wally West are all former sidekicks to Batman, Wonder Woman, and Barry Allen, respectively, and Cyborg has his own history with the Justice League - so this marks a rare occasion where a whole team is replaced by Legacy heroes.
But whether that cover is meant to represent the full new Titans line-up remains to be seen.
And the elevation of the Titans' role in the DC Universe isn't exactly a brand-new notion. Writer Joshua Williamson previously discussed wanting to put the Titans in a bigger role in the DC Universe while talking about his current Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths event all the way back in May. And Newsarama argued the Titans were the only logical replacement for the then-dead Justice League.
"I really wanted to do a story about the sidekicks, like the new generation. Not just the newer characters like Yara [Flor] and Jace [Fox] and Jon, but like the Tim Drakes, the Kyle Rayners, and then again, going back to Nightwing and the Titans. What I really wanted to do is tell a story about all of the ... I guess you call them next-generation characters, right? Like, all of the not-Justice League characters," Williamson said at the time.
Now it looks like the Titans are stepping up in an even bigger way, taking the place of the Justice League as the DC Universe's top heroes, again, at least for the immediate future. But that said, DC has not announced a new Titans series.
So for now, DC seems to be fulfilling Williamson's promise that there is no Justice League and won't be one anytime soon, as any mention of the team was notably absent in its Dawn of DC announcement of November 18. But all that said, the Titans' worthiness to lead aside, an eventual return of a justice League is more likely a matter of when, and not if.
The Titans grew out of the Teen Titans, one of the best teen superhero teams of all time.