Marvel’s Ronin identity is shared by multiple heroes, but DC’s Red X does the same best, tempting the Teen Titans student into the dark.
Warning: Contains spoilers for Teen Titans Academy # 1!
When it comes to secret identities, Teen Titans‘ Red X is one of the most mysterious, with a unique function that is similar to that of Ronin Person sometimes adopted by Hawkeye from Marvel. Both are disguised identities used by heroes with reputations for violence, offering anonymity for those missions where they don’t want their usual costumed character to be involved. But while Marvel has used Ronin’s personality many times, it tends to serve only as a “who’s under the mask?” mystery. On Teen Titans Academy # 1, Red X is confirmed to have that potential, but it can go even further in the kinds of stories it can inspire.
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Created by Brian Michael Bendis and David Finch, the character Ronin first appeared in the New avengers series where it was revealed that it was the new identity of Maya López, also known as Reckless‘s Echo. It was then taken over by Hawkeye, then passed between heroes (and sometimes stolen by villains) as a second secret identity, used, for example, by the vampire hunter Blade to prevent his undead foes from learning that he was back in USA. Red X originally appeared in the Teen Titans cartoon as a secret alias for Dick Grayson to help him defeat the team’s perpetual enemy, Slade. Red X made its comic book debut in the dark possible future of Future State: Teen Titans, where it was revealed that the identity had been used by various heroes in DC history, although in past moments it was never shown in the comics. Teen Titans Academy # 1 revisits that idea, showing the real potential of Red X.
On Teen Titans Academy # 1 By Tim Sheridan and Rafa Sandoval, Roy Harper Titans Academy students are eager to ask Nightwing about his time as the original Red X. Grayson tries to explain the dangers of becoming Red X; that the mask encourages negative behavior and that while he had the Titans, others who later wore the mask fell victim to his dark appeal without a proper support system. But someone doesn’t think the past is that easy to bury, as Nightwing receives an anonymous gift of the original Red X mask at his Titan Academy birthday party. Although he once again tries to explain that the Academy was built to avoid the same things that the Red X mask means, this does not prevent one of the new students from trying it on anonymously.
The reason Red X has so much more potential than Ronin is because while the latter hides an already secret identity, Red X encourages different people to adopt a shared personality. Red X is an anarchic identity in an environment of young and impressionable heroes. Remembering how Marvel’s “Magneto was right” The catchphrase turned a villain into a cultural icon for young mutants, Red X tempts its users to embrace their dark side without responsibility. On Teen Titans Academy, Red X’s persona is not limited to a student, but is a floating concept that could allow anyone to indulge in chaos. In this way, it even builds on Ronin’s potential for mystery: there is no way to tell if the red X in Future state is the person shown in the mask in this problem. Even the question “who is Red X?” it is more complicated than it seems at first glance.
Despite fan interest after hints that the next Disney + movie Hawkeye The show may revisit Ronin’s identity, Red X currently reigns as the most fascinating take on the concept, as his mystery has the most potential for chaos and drama. Red X remains one of the Teen Titans‘major failures, a bad idea that constantly haunts them but also threatens their goals for the future. But with a new Red X and the last Ronin sighting, it would appear that no legacy is anywhere close to being finished.
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