In Teen Titans Academy, DC’s newest speedster opened ou about the origins of her contentious relationship with Suicide Squad leader Amanda Waller.
Teen Titans Academy is home to tons of young would-be heroes from all walks of life. Many of the students wouldn’t have anywhere else to go if it weren’t for the school, which offers a sense of security and stability along with education and training.
The academy’s resident speedster, Alinta, certainly deserves a safe and comfortable home after her difficult upbringing, which she finally opens up about in Teen Titans Academy #3.
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While talking with her friend Tidda, Alinta lets her guard down and tells her tragic tale. Alinta developed her powers when she was very young and living in Australia with her parents, who trafficked stolen goods and various types of contraband. When they discovered young Alinta’s super speed, 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 anything else they needed.
Bolt was so young that she didn’t even realize she was helping them break the law until some people held her responsible for her parents’ mistakes. In their unscrupulous business, they managed to accrue substantial debts to dangerous people. When they couldn’t pay their debts, these people punished them by taking their daughter’s legs. Bolt doesn’t go into detail about what exactly happened to her, but the results of the attack are abundantly clear.
For better or worse, Amanda Waller came to Alinta’s aid after her misfortune. Waller gives Bolt the prosthetic blades she uses to run and enrolls her in Teen Titans Academy. But, there are of course strings attached. Waller explains to Alinta that someday she’ll be called upon to work for her. She makes it clear that saying “no” won’t be an option. Almost immediately after Alinta is finished 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.
Just when Bolt seems to be cornered, Crush and the other students at the Academy come to the rescue. They are able to fight off the would-be kidnappers, in part due to Peacemaker’s reluctance to fighting children and Red X’s apparent double-cross. But, it is clear that Waller has her sights set on Alinta. The nefarious government agent has proven herself to be an indomitable force in the DC Universe. Her handling of the Suicide Squad illustrates her ruthless pragmatism time and time again, so this won’t be the last time she attempts to get her hands on Bolt, but Bolt isn’t alone. The Titans were able to weather a surprise attack and now they will have their guards up, so there may be hope for Alinta especially if Red X continues to sabotage Waller.
Regardless of her relationship with Amanda Waller and the Suicide Squad, Bolt has plenty of her own demons to grapple with. The trauma of her childhood and its lasting physical effects will follow her throughout her life. But, as sad as her situation seems, Teen Titan Academy #3 also shows her building support networks at the academy that will bolster her on her challenging journey.
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