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The Titans Just Killed Off A Major Team Member

Contains spoilers for "Titans" #1

The Titans are back in action on the pages of DC Comics, with the popular superteam reforming to replace the Justice League. However, the team's long-awaited ongoing title starts with the tragic death of one of their own. "Titans" #1 opens with the shocking murder of The Flash, Wally West.

Following the events of "Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths," the Justice League disbanded. Realizing he needed to rethink what the Justice League is, Batman passed on the responsibility of protecting the universe to Nightwing and the Titans. Dick Grayson accepted the offer, bringing together the Titans once again; Raven, Cyborg, Beast Boy, Wonder Girl, Starfire, and The Flash have joined forces to step up in the Justice League's place. 

But, while the Titans are doing their best against emerging threats to Earth and beyond, The Flash was just killed under mysterious circumstances, stunning the team as they try to adjust to being the premiere superteam in the DC Universe.

The Titans begin their duties as DC's #1 Team

"Titans" #1 by Tom Taylor, Nicola Scott, Anette Kwok, and Wes Abbott features the members of the Titans adjusting to their new normal as the most important group of heroes in the DC Universe. Nightwing, the group's leader, continues to try to recruit familiar faces to the team, visiting former Teen Titans member Tempest. Alongside Donna Troy, Dick Grayson pitches Garth the chance to step into a role they have been preparing for since they were kids. However, while Garth is impressed with what Nightwing and the team have been doing, he declines their offer, saying he's already working with someone else.

Later, the Titans are ready to move into the new Titans Tower in Bludhaven. But the team is called into action after Oracle informs them the giant-sized ape, Titano, is attacking a nuclear power plant, which could lead to catastrophic danger if it explodes. The Titans take on the villain, and Peacemaker arrives on the scene. The antihero wants to take down Titano through more violent means, but the Titans manage to subdue the superpowered foe. Peacemaker ends up chastising Nightwing and his squad before revealing he believes someone weaponized Titano. 

Despite wanting to shut the Titans down, Peacemaker relays a message from the President asking if the team wants to work for the U.S. government. Nightwing quickly tells him no, explaining that the Titans work for the world's best interests, not just one nation. The hero adds that nationalism and superpowers don't mix before the Titans depart the heated conversation. When they leave, Peacemaker makes a phone call to Amanda Waller, who is trying to eliminate all metahumans in the DC Universe, telling her the Titans are going to be a problem for them.

What happens to Wally West's Flash?

"Titans" #1 starts and end with Wally West's demise. The opening page reveals the speedster was shot point-blank from behind, not allowing him the time to phase the bullet that headed straight for his heart. However, despite the bullet piercing his heart, The Flash uses his remaining time to quickly tell his wife Linda and his children that he loves them before running to the Cosmic Treadmill. Revealing his only option is to "change fate," Wally runs on the time-traveling device as he bleeds out. 

When the Titans return to Titans Tower from their fight with Titano, they find Wally's bloody footprints, leading them to discover his body. Raven shares she feels Wally is gone, as Nightwing tells nobody to move, calling the discovery an active crime scene. The book ends with the words "solve it" being plastered on computers, with the nefarious forces at play challenging the Titans to figure out what happened.

The person (or persons) responsible for Wally's death hasn't been revealed. But, considering the team just rejected Peacemaker's offer to join the U.S. government, it's possible the peace-loving character and Amanda Waller could be involved — especially with the latter's new mission to kill all superpowered heroes. Additionally, the issue teases the return of Brother Blood, with the longtime Titans villain also potentially playing a part in the death of The Flash. 

Regardless of who actually killed him, Wally's death is a major blow to the DC Universe and his greatest allies. If the speedster can be killed, then seemingly anyone can. The Titans just banded together again but are already being put on high alert.

What does this mean for Wally West?

Readers following Wally West's last decade of stories in the comics are fully aware that DC has put the character in continually odd positions. Between being turned into a killer in "Heroes in Crisis," to getting taken from his family and gaining the powers of Dr. Manhattan in "Flash Forward," Wally's place in the DC Universe was constantly redefined. However, Jeremy Adams' (and a rotating group of artists including Will Conrad and Fernando Pasarin) ongoing "The Flash" series brought the hero back home, allowing him to be a hero again while being with his wife Linda and his children. 

With "The Flash" relaunching this Summer under Si Spurrier and Mike Deodato Jr., the series is embracing more cosmic horror themes, which could tie into his death in "Titans." Check out the accompanying text for "The Flash" #1:

"Wally West has never been quicker, more fulfilled, more heroic. His loving family is around him. And yet something is off. Very off. His evolving understanding of his powers has opened Wally to new avenues of sci-fi adventure, and attuned his senses to strange new ideas. Something whispers from the dark vibrations beyond the Speed Force, and as Wally experiments with creative new approaches to his powers he encounters new realms, mysterious allies and mind-shattering terrors."

Wally West's death is unlikely to stick. He's an important hero to the DC Universe who still has plenty of stories left to tell. His "death" will likely be reversed through the Speed Force, time travel, or other cosmic means. But for now, The Flash is dead, and it's up to the Titans to figure out what happened to their friend.

"Titans" #1 by Tom Taylor, Nicola Scott, Anette Kwok, and Wes Abbott is in comic book stores now!