- Your city is mine! Your reality is mine!
- ―Johnny Rancid[src]
Johnny Rancid is a villain and an enemy of the Teen Titans.
Johnny Rancid is essentially an evil vandal and punk motorcyclist who first appeared in Jump City causing chaos in the streets. Robin, out on patrol on his motorcycle, tried to apprehend him on his own, but was vexed by Rancid's taunts and cycling skills and was therefore caught in an accident which wrecked his bike and earned him a broken right arm. Reluctantly staying home in the Titans Tower, he received a surprise visit by his extradimensional counterpart Larry; in the course of this encounter, Larry's reality-bending finger was broken, causing major upheavals in the fabric of reality on Earth.
Noting these phenomena, Rancid traced the source back to the Tower and jumped into the energy column that Larry's unleashed power had created, transforming into a hellish version of himself and giving him superpowers and warping the entire city according to his whim. Robin and Larry set after him and defeated him the same way he did with Robin: by decking him with repeated taunts until Rancid lost his composure and let himself be bested. With Larry's powers under control again, Rancid was stripped of his powers and jailed.
Some time later, Rancid returned to the city, with a self-built robot bulldog named Wrex in tow. In the subsequent altercation with the Titans Wrex was destroyed, but Rancid managed to escape and later returned with an upgraded robot monster called Wrexzilla. Before the latter could commence battle, however, it and Rancid were both eaten by a mutated Silkie, who had been changed into a giant moth monster by Killer Moth. When Silkie reverted to his former larval state, Rancid was found dazed, but alive amidst the debris left behind and, along with Killer Moth, taken into custody.
Johnny Rancid later escaped from prison and reappeared as a member of the Brotherhood of Evil. With his demonic powers somehow restored, he participated in the race initiated by Ding Dong Daddy for Robin's most prized possession, but was thrown out when Red X pasted an explosive on his bike, forcing him to abandon it. When the Brotherhood executed its plans to eliminate young superheroes around the world, Rancid and Cinderblock were charged with capturing Más y Menos, a task which they completed by half with only Menos ending up captive. He participated in the mass fight against the assembled Titans in the Brotherhood's base, It is unknown if he was frozen or not.
Teen Titans Go!
Johnny Rancid only makes one appearance in the Teen Titans Go! comic series, in issue 19 "Song of the Dead". Rancid appears to have reformed and sets up a rock group which includes Raven's friend Goth Boy. He is encouraged in this enterprise by a shadowy man who calls himself "The Agent" and has promised Rancid a promising career in entertainment with concerts and music videos. The group proves popular and even Starfire is impressed enough to buy a Johnny Rancid T-shirt and ask him for an autograph (in the final panel of the comic). Rancid dedicates one of his concerts to Wrex.
However, the Titans discover that Rancid's concerts are linked to a sudden spat of zombie attacks! Rancid and his group perform near morgues and cemeteries and their music gives off paranormal energy which raises the dead! The Titans then learn that Rancid is due to perform live on national radio and fear that this will cause the dead to rise all over the country! They intervene, with Raven taking on and defeating "The Agent", who turns out to have been the Devil!
The Titans are shown to suspect that Rancid was part of "The Agent's" plot — with Cyborg holding his Sonic Cannon at Rancid following "The Agent's" defeat. However, other scenes establish that Rancid genuinely wanted to have an honest career as a singer and was shocked by the effect his music had on dead people. When "The Agent" pressures him to make the national broadcast, he stalls long enough for the Titans to intervene and is genuinely impressed by the way Raven drives "The Agent" away.
Powers and abilities
Johnny Rancid was originally a normal human being, though he possessed considerable skills in motorcycling and sharpshooting, as well as enough mechanical and electronics-based training to construct his own (albeit crude) combat robots.After gaining vast supernatural powers from the rift in reality created by physical damage to Larry's “magic finger”, Rancid gained several enhanced weapons and abilities. His bike was modified to run even through the air and across water on a fiery trail, at speeds which even surpassed the super speedsters Más y Menos. His energy blasters were likewise enhanced in potency. Any reality-warping powers he would have been able to utilize were shown in an extremely limited fashion, such as an energy grip with which he attacked Robin and energy restraints from the sky for Starfire.
He seems to be in peak physical condition, but it has not been proven that he is.
Teen Titans Go!
- Wrexzilla, a invention of Johnny Rancid, strongly resembles the Dinobot Grimlock.
- Every part of this character alludes to a punk band: The name Johnny Rancid is either a reference to the band Rancid or, more likely, to Johnny Rotten, the lead singer of the legendary punk band The Sex Pistols. Additionally, he is voiced by Henry Rollins, frontman for 80s punk group Black Flag.
- Johnny Rancid looks a bit like Lobo, an anti-hero and villain in the DC Universe.
- Johnny Rancid while transformed looks like Akuma from the Street Fighter series.