There’s an old African saying that goes something like this: “When two elephants fight, it’s the grass that suffers.” That pretty much sums up the MetaWars, a five-year battle between warring superheroes and supervillains. During that time period, Los Angeles became a ghost town, Chicago was left a smolder husk, the Mississippi River disappeared, Lake Erie was reduced to a cesspool, the Great Salt Lake became too alkaline to live near, New York’s five boroughs were trashed, and Central Park became ground zero in the war zone. While the MetaHuman elephants clashed overhead, the citizens suffered in the grass below.
Not only were the superheroes destroying the country they were fighting to save, their approval ratings were dipping lower and lower. Something had to be done quickly. The government eventually found a way to pull the rug from under the combatants and bring an end to the war. Everyone was stripped of their powers and contained. The bad guys were quarantined within Manhattan Island Prison, and the good guys were erased from the zeitgeist. This solution, controversial as it may have been, kept the peace for the next fifteen years.
But as quickly (and unexpectedly) as they disappeared, the superpowers eventually came back. “Having superpowers rudely restored after a fifteen-year disruption is a lot like childbirth,” explained Teresa West; “painful, beautiful, messy, and with lots of screaming.” And with the superpowers came the old rivalries. The MetaWar was back on.
Unfortunately, most of the original Ranger Corps (the good guys) were either dead or inactive. It was now up to a new, younger generation of heroes to carry the guidon into battle. These new recruits included an “oddball quintet of two shapeshifters, a strongman, a power blaster, and a man with enhanced senses.” The Justice League of America was dead; long live the Teen Titans.
And that’s exactly what this is, a respectful salute to the New Teen Titans. Author Kelly Meding even thanks Marv Wolfman and George Perez in her foreword for creating the series that launched her life-long obsession with superheroes.
In Meding’s world, MetaHuman history is a bit sketchy. No one, she writes, knows how the superheroes came into existence. And no one knows how long they’ve been hanging around. Were they created by God? By space aliens? Evolution? Radiation? No one really knows, but here’s our guess: MetaHumans have been around forever. Each new generation simply remakes them in their own image. Wolfman and Perez did it back in 1980 with the New Teen Titans. And now Meding is doing the same thing with her novel, Trance.
[Trance / By Kelly Meding / First Printing: October 2011 / ISBN: 9781451620924]