Lilith Clay has one of the most convoluted character paths in all of comics history. If it weren’t for Donna Troy, she’d probably have the strangest backstory of all the Teen Titans. Over the years Lilith has been a practicing witch, a powerful psion and a demigod granted a place on Olympus by Zeus himself!
Introduced as a precognitive go-go dancer back in the swinging days of Robert Kanigher’s Teen Titans, Lilith was seemingly created to cash in on the hippie generation’s increasing interest in psychic phenomena. Despite being the second woman to join The Teen Titans and the first original character created for the team, Lilith has never enjoyed the development or popularity that other Titans received.
Lilith was largely absent from the series during the height of the team’s popularity in the 1980s. She was only granted a spot in Dan Jurgens’ 1996 Teen Titans – where she first took the name Omen – because Raven wasn’t available for Jurgens to use. Even her death in Judd Winick’s infamously horrible Graduation Day was an afterthought, seemingly occurring only to show how much people liked Donna Troy more than Lilith because more people went to Donna’s funeral when they both got killed by a rogue Superman robot!
Even after being reintroduced as a founding Titan in Titans Rebirth, Lilith Clay has been kept largely in the background. Thankfully, Titans #12 offers up a story that finally gives the most mysterious Titan some much needed definition, even as it establishes the current status quo in the wake of last month’s Lazarus Contract crossover. The centerpiece for this examination of both character and continuity is a literal battle of wills between Lilith and Psimon – the psychic of The Titans’ longtime enemies, The Fearsome Five. Dan Abnett’s script does a masterful job of explaining what has changed recently for those readers who skipped the crossover while allowing Lilith a chance to showcase her powers and personality and setting up the mystery at the heart of the next big story arc.
Artist Kenneth Rocafort takes over the penciling and inking duties with this issue and proves a welcome breath of fresh air. Rockafort’s style is diverse, capable of depicting a typical superhero style as well as the horrors of a psychic assault more appropriate to a Vertigo Comics series. Coupled with Dan Brown’s vivid colors, this suggests good things aesthetically for the upcoming Judas Among Us arc.
If you haven’t been reading Titans, you’ve been missing out on one of Rebirth‘s hidden treasures. With a riveting script and amazing artwork, Titans #12 proves both a perfect entry point for new readers as well as a much-needed examination of one of DC Comics most neglected heroines. Here’s hoping a Tempest solo story is next.