An unmade Alex Ross proposal called Batboy takes place in a future where the Teen Titans grew up to head their own Justice League.
It’s been sometime now since the Justice League’s group of former sidekicks the Teen Titans could justifiably use the first part of their team name. Even though the team never really got to take over the League for their mentors, a remarkable piece of art from acclaimed artist Alex Ross shows the Titans graduating to the Justice League of America.
While younger comic fans will be familiar with the iconic Teen Titans lineup popularized by the 2003 animated series and Titans, the first group of Teen Titans were much different. Originally the team consisted of Robin, Kid Flash, Speedy, Aqualad, and Wonder Girl. While the team’s lineup has changed significantly over time, this core team of five has remained incredibly close throughout DC’s history. The original Titans would even reunite after Wally West returned to continuity with DC Rebirth. Though each of these heroes has been a member of the League at one time or another, they never really lived up to the promise of taking over the Justice League in their mentors’ stead in DC’s main universe. That’s why it’s so satisfying to see a reality where they did just that.
In a Tweet, Alex Ross shared the artwork for a future version of the Justice League mostly made up of former Titans with the two notable additions of Barbara Gordon’s Batwoman and Kara Zor-El’s Superwoman. In another Tweet, readers can see that this version of the JLA actually comes from a comic Ross proposed titled Batboy. That series would have followed Bruce Wayne’s son in a future DC universe where the Titans have taken over the Justice League of America. Keeping with Ross’ headcanon that the DC Universe stops in the 1970s, this version of Dick Grayson never became Nightwing and instead stayed as Robin. In contrast, it appears as though Wally West, Donna Troy, and Garth have taken over their mentor’s mantle.
It’s unfortunate that Batboy never got past the proposal stage, as this version of the Justice League alone deserves its own story. While this is almost certainly best left for an alternate universe, the irony is that the DC Universe is more poised than ever for this exact lineup to become main DC Canon. After Justice League #75 killed off DC’s most famous heroes, all signs point to Nightwing taking a position of leadership in the wake of such a massive tragedy. If Dick wanted to make a new League, there’d certainly be no better members than his oldest friends. Most of them should be available too. Nightwing and Donna are both teaching at Titans Academy, Wally is DC’s main Flash once again, Garth isn’t doing much of anything at the moment, and Roy Harper just came back to life in Infinite Frontier. Even Barbara and Kara would be available, though Kate Kane might have some objections about Barbara taking over as Batwoman.
As enticing as this idea is though, it’d probably be for the best that if this iteration of the JLA does ever become canon, it’s in a story by Ross. Not only were they Ross’ idea, but there’s also no other artist who could make the team as heroic and epic as Ross did in this concept art. With nostalgia for the animated series hot, the Teen Titans have never been more popular, so maybe it’s time DC gave Alex Ross free reign to bring back this remarkable version of the Justice League.
Next: Teen Titans’ Disappointing Series Finale Got a Happy Ending in Comics
Source: Alex Ross
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