World’s Finest 205 – the Teen Titans become racists

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Teen Titans scripter Steve Skeates comes back, along with Dillin and Giella, as the Teen Titans meet Superman in World’s Finest 205 (Sept. 71).

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The story uses traditional Teen Titans Kid Flash, Speedy and Wonder Girl, as well as the newbies Lilith and Mal.  Lilith was a go-go dancer. She has psychic powers, but no knowledge of who she is.  Mal Duncan is a kid from the ghetto.  That’s kind of his super-power.  Anyway, while Mal’s presence does often bring up the concept of racism, no Teen Titans story had ever shown Kid Flash and Speedy acting so horribly to him, or Mal acting so subservient.

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Clark Kent, in the middle of a newscast, picks up a subliminal command from Lilith, calling for Superman to help the Teen Titans, who are trapped in a small town.  We see the Lilith and Wonder Girl do nothing all day but sit around waiting for the boys to come get them.

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Morgan Edge, Clark Kent’s new boss at WGBS, makes his first appearance in this book.  He is royally pissed about Clark’s interjection during the broadcast.  Superman heads to the town, but the Titans all insist that they are fine.  Lilith insists that she never sent the mental command.

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Though the Titans see nothing odd about their behaviour, Superman is appalled at the attitudes they are displaying.

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Then he battles a giant dragon.  Almost every one of Superman’s team-ups in this run so far have had the other partner off to the side while Superman battles big dramatic things.  Dragons are always good for that.  This one is an illusion, created by the super-computer controlling the Teen Titans minds.

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With the computer no longer functioning, the Titans return to their real selves.

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In a strong coda, Superman and the Titans reflect on the man who built the computer, whose racism and sexism would have been considered normal for his time, yet who acted out of love for his town and its people.

 

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