Spoilers ahead for Titans #6, in stores today.
Back in August, ComicBook.com speculated that Abra Kadabra, the villain for the first arc in Titans, in fact knew that it was Doctor Manhattan who had interfered with the timeline following the events of Flashpoint.
Today's issue of Titans all but confirms it.
To backtrack: When DC Universe: Rebirth #1 came out, the pre-Flashpoint Wally West -- currently appearing in Titans -- narrated the one-shot. Along the way, he revealed that someone or something had "stolen" ten years from DC's heroes.
As a result, he said, relationships were altered or forgotten, events never took place, and on and on.
That force, fans can deduce based on the evidence provided in that issue, is Dr. Manhattan, the powerful superhuman from Watchmen. In that story, Dr. Manhattan was a man, transformed into a godlike being who opted to be a superhero to help humanity. Eventually losing his faith in humanity, Manhattan became a party to great evil in the hopes of traumatizing mankind into working together against a common foe. He was last seen attempting to create life itself in the final pages of Before Watchmen: Dr. Manhattan -- a prequel series, sure, but due to the nature of the character, that matters little. He sees time as a construct and is able to view the future as easily as the past (except in Watchmen's main story, when it was temporarily clouded).
Dialogue shared between Dr. Manhattan and Watchmen big bad Ozymandias appeared on the final pages of DC Universe: Rebirth, clinching in the minds of many fans that it's they who are responsible for the changes made to the DC Universe following the events of Flashpoint. Some have speculated that the world Manhattan was creating at the end of his Before Watchmen miniseries was in fact the world of "The New 52," although evidence in the actual comics seems to contradict that.
The world, though, was still changed as a result of Flashpoint. Whose fault is it, and to what degree? Well, that's up in the air until we figure out exactly what Dr. Manhattan was up to, but right now it looks like the blame is a fairly 50/50 split between Barry Allen (The Flash) and Dr. Manhattan.
There have been several little nods to Watchmen throughout Titans, though; our earlier observations came from the fact that lettering technique suggested Kadabra was talking about an unseen third party when it would otherwise have been safe to assume he meant one of the Flashes in Titans #2. Titans #5 saw a drop of blood fall onto a watch face held by Kadabra in a very Watchmen-like way.
In the final issue of the arc, Omen reaches into Kadabra's mind to find a way to defeat him. Among other things, she learns that his plan is cold and calculated, "like clockwork," likely a nod to the various ways clockwork and clocks played an important role in Watchmen.
More urgently, after he's defeated, Omen says that inside his mind, "I only really got one word: Manhattan."
...Which doesn't seem particularly subtle.
It's worth noting that this week also saw another tease of Tim Drake being teleported by glowing blue energy around the prison where the mysterious "Mr. Oz," widely believed to be Ozymandias, is holding him. Mr. Oz is set to be featured in the forthcoming "Superman Reborn" mini-event in March, where readers are promised they will start to get a sense for what his deal is.
Titans #6 is in stores today. You can get a copy digitally on ComiXology.