- It's like a Teen Titans reunion! Who brought the chips, dip and spiked punch?
- — Arsenal
Synopsis for "Titans: Then & Now (Part I of IV)"
The original Teen Titans, Dick Grayson, Roy Harper, Garth and Wally West meet up in the mountains of northern Maine. Grayson explains to the others that their old benefactor Loren Jupiter has been kidnapped and the clues all point to a place known as the Cardy Boarding School.
They approach the school and find it dark, abandoned and surrounded by a strange, green mist. As they approach the front door, they all simultaneously experience a flashback of a previously forgotten mission.
- The original Teen Titans respond to an emergency call from the Cardy Boarding School concerning some missing students. They meet a boy named Jarrod who tells them about the situation. While surveying the area, Wonder Girl discovers a strange, purple substance on a tree limb. They enter the school and begin seeing bizarre, ghostly apparitions.
In the present, the Titans enter the closed down boarding school and see images of spectral, zombie-like figures standing before them. Flash and Nightwing fight them hand-to-hand, and Tempest manages to isolate them with a blast of freezing water. They then proceed to the athletics hall and the indoor swimming pool. The Titans then experience another flashback.
- While investigating the school, each of the team members encounter phantasms who resemble their individual mentors; Batman, Flash, Green Arrow and Wonder Woman. Each of them in turn expresses great disappointment with their protégés, declaring them utter failures.
In the present, the Titans try to make sense of the flashbacks, but up until now, none of them had any memory of this "lost case". They go to the back of the campus where they discover the old Titans Helicopter. Inside the copter, they find Neil Richards bound and gagged. They untie him and tell Neil that Loren Jupiter has been kidnapped. Tempest finds a note on the floor of the copter with latitude and longitude lines directing them towards Wyoming. Nightwing doesn't like this, but feel that they must follow the clues, even if it's a trap. He climbs into the cockpit and starts up the helicopter.
- The Titans have their final confrontation with their phantasm mentors and discover the true villain behind all of this -- Haze. Haze is a student named Jarrod Jupiter, the son of Loren Jupiter. He is angry for being neglected by his father who preferred instead to devote all of his attention to the Titans. By way of the strange, purple gel that Wonder Girl exposed herself to earlier, he was able to create elaborate illusions, preying on the Titans' insecurities and their respective parental issues.
- The Titans have their final confrontation with Haze at the top of a mountain peak. Kid Flash tries to grab a hold of him, but Haze slips on the rain-slicked peak and falls into the ocean below. Aqualad dives after him in the hopes of rescuing him, but it appears as if Jarrod Jupiter is dead.
- At the suggestion of Mister Jupiter, Lilith uses her powers to hypnotize the Titans into forgetting about the incident. Jupiter believes this is for the best, so that they would not have to deal with the anguish of their failure.
In the present, the Titans take the chopper and follow the coordinates to Wyoming. When they get there, they find their younger selves, the original Teen Titans standing ready to do battle with them.
Appearing in "Titans: Then & Now (Part I of IV)"
- Teen Titans (past) (Flashback and main story)
- Teen Titans (present)
- Haze (Jarrod Jupiter) (First full appearance) (Flashback and main story)
- Batman (As an illusion only)
- Flash (As an illusion only)
- Green Arrow (As an illusion only)
- Joker (As an illusion only)
- Wonder Woman (As an illusion only)
- Teen Titans
- Loren Jupiter (Flashback only)
- Trick Arrows (Flashback only)
- Lasso of Truth (As an illusion only)
- Wonder Girl's golden lasso (Flashback only)
- Titans Helicopter (Flashback and main story)
- Chapter one of the "Then & Now" story-arc.
- Double-sized 48-page special.
- This issue is narrated by Nightwing.
- Donna Troy's absence from the main story in this issue is explained by the fact that she is mourning the recent loss of her ex-husband and son, Terry and Robbie Long, who tragically died in a car accident shortly before the events from this issue.
- Loren Jupiter was the benefactor of the original Teen Titans, making consistent appearances from Teen Titans #25 to Teen Titans #41. It is unclear at which point in time the events from the flashbacks are supposed to take place.
- In the final flashback, Robin ruminates, "A few weeks before this case we watched as a proud, noble man was gunned down". No indication is provided as to who Robin is referring to.
- In the flashback scenes, the Titans (particularly Wonder Girl) speak in jargon characteristic of the 1960s, which is when the original Teen Titans comic book series was published. One of the hallmarks of the title was that the characters were perpetually using phrases such as "Fab", "Ginchy", and "Daddy-O". Due to the standards of time-compression in the DC Universe, the Titans would not have even been born, much less active during the "in-universe" 1960s, making their flashback dialogue from this issue seem anachronistic.
- Teen Titans Recommended Reading
- New Teen Titans (Volume 1)
- New Teen Titans (Volume 2)
- Tales of the New Teen Titans (Volume 1)
- Team Titans (Volume 1)
- Teen Titans (Volume 1)
- Teen Titans (Volume 2)
- Teen Titans (Volume 3)
- Teen Titans (Volume 4)
- Teen Titans (Volume 5)
- Teen Titans (Volume 6)
- Teen Titans Academy (Volume 1)
- Teen Titans Spotlight (Volume 1)
- Teen Titans Go! (Volume 1)
- Teen Titans: Year One (Volume 1)
- Titans (Volume 1)
- Titans (Volume 2)