During the summer of 1992, my family traveled to Prince Edward Island in Canada for a couple of weeks. While they went to the beach or did other summer stuff, I spent most of my time reading the large stash of comic books I brought with me from Boston.
However, those comics didn’t last me for too long. By day three of our vacation, I was already in need of some new reading material. Luckily, one rainy day we traveled to one of the malls on the island, and on the second floor I found a large comic book store. I picked up my usual stuff like X-Men, Ghost Rider, and Amazing Spider-Man, but I decided this was my opportunity to try out some comics I normally wouldn’t have the chance to read.
One of the books I took a chance on was New Titans, and I was able to pick up the first couple of parts of the Total Chaos crossover with a new book called Team Titans. The story spanned nine individual comics, and it revolved around the Team Titans traveling back in time to kill Donna Troy before she gave birth to the child that will eventually rule the world, Lord Chaos. But Chaos learns of the Team Titans’ plan, and he too travels to the past to stop them and to make sure history unfolds as it should.
At first, the story sees the New Titans and Team Titans fighting one another because the time travelers want to kidnap Donna Troy. Eventually, cooler heads prevail and the teams team-up to battle Lord Chaos. This is pretty much what happens in every other team crossovers in comics, but I didn’t mind. There was plenty of action in these issues for sure, but that wasn’t what I liked best about Total chaos. what I enjoyed most about this crossover was the humor Marv Wolfman wrote in between action scenes.
The stuff with Pantha and the baby is funny as hell but also kinda sweet. Also, Pantha’s reaction when she learns Mirage seduced Dick Grayson while disguised as Starfire, was just priceless. The look on Nightwing’s face says it all. Then there’s Terra constantly calling Terry Long “the Whinner,” which still makes me laugh.
I knew who most of the New Titans members were, but I didn’t recognize anyone on the Team Titans roster. DC Comics read my mind however, and put out Team Titans #1 with five different versions of the comic. The books had five different covers, but that wasn’t all. Team Titans #1 had a different story in each issue, featuring the origin of each Team Titans member. I wanted to buy all five, but was running low on funds, so I chose the one with the Mirage origin story.
Team Titans came out about a year after X-Men #1 sported 5 variants as well. But this was rare at the time. It’s not like today when every comic has multiple variant covers that nobody wants. Anyways, I’m glad I went with the Mirage Team Titans variant, because she turned out to be the most interesting and compelling character in the book.
Her origin was actually kind of tragic. In the insert we learn that Mirage was a street urchin drafted into Lord Chaos’s army when she was very young. She rose quickly through the ranks, but it wasn’t long before she realized how this all was. In the end, Mirage turned on Lord Chaos and her best and only friend, who she met when they joined the army.
Comics from the 1990’s get a bad rap these days, but there were some good comics back then. Total Chaos was a fun, and fast paced crossover that introduced me to new characters and to new stories. After the crossover finished, I continued collecting New Titans for nearly two years, and I eventually picked up the rest of the Team Titans #1 variants from a 50 cent bin at a convention.
But perhaps more importantly, the Total Chaos saga introduced me to the artwork of Adam Hughes, Phil Jiminez, and Tom Grummett. Total Chaos also reminded me how good Kevin Maguire’s art was, and still is. So despite having to go to another country to find these comics, I’m very glad I picked them up when I had the chance.