At Teen Titans Academy, the new DC speedster spoke about the origins of her controversial relationship with Suicide Squad leader Amanda Waller.

Warning: the following contains spoilers for Teen Titans Academy # 3 by Tim Sheridan, Rafa Sandoval, Jordi Tarragona, Max Raynor, Alejandro Sanchez and Alex Sinclair, on sale now.

Teen Titans Academy is home to tons of young aspiring heroes from all walks of life. Many of the students would have nowhere else to go if it weren’t for school, which offers a sense of security and stability along with education and training.

The academy’s resident sprinter Alinta certainly deserves a safe and comfortable home after her difficult upbringing, which she finally opens up to in Teen Titans Academy # 3.

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While talking to her friend Tidda, Alinta lets her guard down and tells her her tragic story. Alinta developed her powers when she was very young and lived in Australia with her parents, who trafficked in stolen goods and various types of contraband. When they discovered young Alinta’s superspeed, they put her to work in the family business. Before long, Alinta was running all over Australia working as an illegal courier for her parents. She helped move money, stolen goods, messages, and whatever else they needed.

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Bolt was so young that she didn’t even realize she was helping them break the law until some people held her accountable for her parents’ mistakes. In their unscrupulous business, they managed to accumulate substantial debts with dangerous people. When they couldn’t pay their debts, these people punished them by taking their daughter’s legs. Bolt does not go into detail about what exactly happened to him, but the results of the attack are very clear.

For better or for worse, Amanda Waller came to Alinta’s aid after her misfortune. Waller gives Bolt the prosthetics he uses for running and enrolls her in the Teen Titans Academy. But of course there are conditions. Waller explains to Alinta that one day she will be called to work for her. She makes it clear that saying “no” will not be an option. Almost immediately after Alinta finishes telling Tidda her story, the Suicide Squad breaks into the Teen Titans Academy with the help of Red X to carry out Waller’s orders to pick up Alinta.

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Just when Bolt appears to be cornered, Crush and the other Academy students come to the rescue. They are able to fight off would-be kidnappers, in part due to Peacemaker’s reluctance to fight the children and Red X’s apparent betrayal. But it’s clear that Waller has his sights set on Alinta. The infamous government agent has proven to be an untamed force in the DC Universe. His handling of the Suicide Squad illustrates his ruthless pragmatism time and time again, so this won’t be the last time he tries to get his hands on Bolt, but Bolt is not alone. The Titans were able to withstand a surprise attack and will now have their guards raised, so there may be hope for Alinta, especially if Red X continues to sabotage Waller.

Regardless of his relationship with Amanda Waller and the Suicide Squad, Bolt has a lot of demons to deal with. The trauma of her childhood and its lasting physical effects will follow her throughout her life. But, as sad as your situation may seem, Teen Titan Academy Issue # 3 also shows her building support networks in the academy that will reinforce her on her challenging journey.

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