26 years ago - Mal Duncan is born.
14 years ago - 12-year-old Mal takes up the saxophone.
9 years ago - 17-year-old Mal is gifted with a mysterious horn that opens dimensional portals. He is pursued by the extra-dimensional beings that forged it, and is helped by the Teen Titans.
6 years ago - 20-year-old Mal joins Flamebird's Teen Titans as Herald. he dies in the Quroc bombing.
Mal first appeared in the original Titans, even before the Perez/Wolfman team. He had no powers and no costume; he was simply a guy that befriended the team. He would later use the equipment of the original Guardian, before starting to use a magical teleporting horn as Hornblower. Post-crisis, he started being called Herald.
It's fairly obvious that he's an attempt, and I'd argue at least a fairly well-meaning one, to introduce some diversity into the Teen Titans. His girlfriend (and later wife) Karen Beecher was introduced as Bumblebee at around the same time. She was a well imagined character, devoid of the cart-before-the-horse awkwardness Mal seemed stuck with. Cyborg took over the mantle of "lone black character" when the new Titans team debuted, and Mal was largely retired until he had his interdimentional powers built into his own now-damaged vocal chords, joining a short-lived Doom Patrol team as Vox.
We kept the idea of Bumblebee joining the Doom Patrol, but chose to include Mal among the characters to die in the Quroc bombing, giving him a single heroic arc rather than a long period of obscurity. We've also deliberately decided to go with the costume designed for the Teen Titans animated series, which managed to take the best elements of several of his costumes and still stand out as something unique.