The Other History of the DC Universe #2
Written by John Ridley
Art by Giuseppe Camuncoli and Andrea Cucchi
Colors by Jose Villarrubia
Letters by Steve Wands
The Rundown: Malcolm and Karen Duncan recount their experiences as young heroes and their perspectives on life, love and heroics as minorities.
The 70’s are the backdrop for the story of two members of the Teen Titans with unique perspectives on the team itself, its members and what their definition of being heroes are. Malcolm recounts his first encounter with the team and how his handling of a racist gang member got their attention to the point where they asked him to join. His experiences become more unique as a member because of how he is treated by certain members of the team as well as the unusual circumstances that led him to not only not have a costume or codename, but to find himself relegated to being the team’s de facto employee.
Karen offers her perspective as well of events and her candid feelings about the Titans and how they treated her future husband. She recalls the missions and adventures they went on as well as Malcolm’s constant journey to find an identity with the team while also trying to be a hero himself.
The Story: Ridley crafts an engrossing story in this issue. Not only are the characters given more dimension and presence, but their story becomes more compelling because of their perspectives. The story shows how marginalized people can still be marginalized even in situations where they are given the illusion of inclusion. Both characters are written with an eye towards showcasing how they are used and discarded by people they were friends with, but the story is how they overcame those circumstances and are stronger for them together. A great read that fans and other writers should check out when writing about characters of color in mostly white spaces.
The Art: Camuncoli and Cucchi bring some beautiful imagery into this issue. The art is very reminiscent of the time the story is set in, but there is a unique look and feel to it that makes the pages pop with engaging visuals.