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One Forgotten Teen Titan Returns with a Brand

Jul 11, 2023

One of the Teen Titans' new "Advance Scouts" is a familiar face who often gets forgotten — but is nonetheless important to the team's history.

Warning: Spoilers for World's Finest: Teen Titans #2

A forgotten member of the Teen Titans is back, this time with a whole new purpose. While readers are most familiar with the more recognizable faces who typically fill out a Titans roster (including Robin, Raven, Beast Boy, and more), less mainstream names have also filled out the team over the years. Among those more underrated and overlooked names is Gnarrk the Cave Boy.

Gnarrk the Cave Boy makes his return to the Teen Titans roster in World's Finest: Teen Titans #2 by Mark Waid, Emanuela Lupacchino, Jordie Bellaire, and Steve Wands. In this issue, it is revealed that both Gnarrk and Lilith Clay are appointed as Titans Advance Scouts, since they're "roamers."

In these roles, the two are meant to scout out distress calls sent to the Titans to make sure they are legitimate, with Gnarrk using social media to speed the process along.

Related: Batman Admits the 1 Reason He Originally Hated the Teen Titans

Gnarrk the Cave Boy debuted in Teen Titans #32 by Bob Haney, Steve Skeates, Nick Cardy, and Jean Simek, released in 1971. Thousands of years ago, the 19-year-old caveman gets a major boost to his intelligence and strength when he's on-site for a comet crash that embeds a crystal chunk into his chest. He becomes smart enough to cure diseases and improve humankind in its earliest stages. The Titans eventually find him encased in ice in modern times, and he immediately takes a liking to Lilith: once he becomes a Titan, he's frequently paired with her. Interestingly, Gnaark has died at least twice, but — with little to no explanation — he always finds a way to come back.

The time-displaced, often time-traveling caveman seldom has a big presence in the DC Universe, most likely because writers and audiences tend to forget about him. However, when creative teams like Waid and company do remember to include Gnarrk, the Cave Boy is too important in the grand scheme of Titans history to overlook. He has a storied past with the Teen Titans that dates back more than fifty years. Even if he's a character who's easy to forget because his name isn't as widely known as his peers', his history means that he's hard to overlook once he's brought into the conversation.

What's most heartwarming about Gnarrk returning to a Teen Titans series now is that he's once again paired with Lilith. In both DC's pre-Crisis and post-Crisis eras, Gnarrk and Lilith have always shared a significant bond with each other, and it is great to see that bond continue to flourish during the Dawn of DC. While this issue offers only a mere glimpse of the two, hopefully the series will spotlight the Titans Advance Scouts in action more than just this once.

World's Finest: Teen Titans #2 is available now from DC Comics!

Joe Anthony Myrick (or JAM) is a comics writer who specializes in, of course, covering the big figureheads of the industry (Marvel and DC), as well as lesser-known indy parties and some personal favorites like BOOM! Studios.

Teen TitansTeen TitansWorld's Finest: Teen Titans #2