8 Things Teen Titans Comics Do Better Than Any Other Franchise
The Teen Titans first appeared in 1964, bringing together DC’s three most popular sidekicks – Robin, Kid Flash and Wonder Girl – and giving them a home away from their mentors. Since then, it has become one of the most famous teenage superhero comics of all time.
By expanding its list, Teen Titans eclipsed the former League of Super-Heroes champion, helping to set the stage for DC’s next generation of heroes. Over the years, the comics have achieved things that no other comic book franchise has. It’s been a trailblazer for decades, captivating readers with its incredible stories and wonderful characters.
8 They inspired publishers to try their luck with more superhero books for teens
The Teen Titans weren’t the first teenage superhero team, but they were the most successful, receiving their own book in the Silver Age. The X-Men debuted the previous year, but calling the first X-Men books a success would be a slight stretch. The Legion of Super-Heroes had been around longer, but their exploits were still published in adventure comics, and they still rode Superman’s ponytails, as teenage Clark Kent was the team’s most important member.
the original Teen Titans series ran for twelve years of original stories. The X-Men would turn into a reprint book long before that, and wouldn’t become popular again until all the teenagers left. The Legion would not have a solo book until the 70s. Later, the success of New Teen Titans would inspire Marvel to create its own competition for it, New Mutants.
7 Comics have evolved over time
By their very design, books for teens should be different from their older counterparts. The Justice League, Avengers, X-Men, and Fantastic Four are basically the same as they’ve always been, but with different members. The Teen Titans can’t do that. Like any other team, they change members over the years, but the teenage heroes should reflect the era they come from. The Teen Titans comics have had to evolve and change since their debut in ways that other teams don’t.
Although the core mission of the team has remained the same, reading a Teen Titans ’60s comics are different from ’80s comics, and both are different from 2000s and 2010s. It’s more than just the difference in how comics are written; a teen book should feel modern unlike books featuring older characters.
6 He gave sidekicks a place to be stars
Sidekicks were a big deal in comics since the Golden Age and DC has some of the best. It made sense to give the sidekicks their own team, especially since the comic’s readership was younger at the time. Teen Titans turned his acolytes into stars. Characters like Donna Troy and Wally West would never have become so beloved without being on the Teen Titans. The Teen Titans in all of its incarnations have given the sidekicks of the DC Universe a place to shine.
Teen Titans allowed the sidekicks to take center stage and become heroes most of them never will be. Without their mentors around, they’re the draw. Other teenage superteams, like the New Warriors, New Mutants, or members of the Avengers Academy, are always new heroes. The core of the Teen Titans are still secondary characters elsewhere who are given a new spotlight.
5 Readers could see the teams evolve into heroes
Another big thing about the Teen Titans dynamic and how change is built into the concept is how the heroes grow. Growth is a big part of superhero comics; whether personal or about the powers of the heroes. However, the members of Teen Titans are all young, and their changes are very different from those of the older heroes.
Often, members of the Titans grow stronger, their powers increase, they gain self-confidence and become more mature heroes. It’s especially difficult for the various legacy heroes that join the party, as they have to stand out from their predecessors. Teen Titans charts a new course of growth for its members.
4 They set Deathstroke on a path to stardom like no other comic
Deathstroke is one of DC’s greatest villains and it all stems from his time battling the Teen Titans. The team’s adventures create many beloved villains, but Deathstroke strikes the most resonant chord with readers. Other books create iconic villains, but none go as far as Deathstroke.
Deathstroke has had several solo titles over the years, becoming a villain battling against the DC Universe’s greatest heroes – from Batman to Green Arrow to the entire Justice League. Deathstroke’s growth was tied to his place as the New Teen Titans’ biggest villain during the team’s most popular era. Few books have produced a villain with this kind of upward mobility.
3 The team helped cement two of DC’s greatest icons
The Teen Titans alumni became great heroes, but two stood out: Nightwing and Wally West. Dick Grayson founded and led the team as Robin. Becoming Nightwing really put him on the path to Batman’s shadow, shining as an incredible hero in his own right and solidifying himself as a kingpin of the DC Universe. None of this would have been possible without his role as the leader of the Teen Titans.
The same can be said of Wally West. Being on the Teen Titans allowed readers to see who Wally was for himself, making him more believable when he took Barry’s place as the Flash after Allen’s death. West eclipsed Barry as the Flash and has since become the fan-favorite Scarlet Speedster.
2 They’ve always been the best teenage team in comics
The Teen Titans have made teams of teens a force to be reckoned with. They were the undeniable king of teenage teams. The only comic that came close to taking its crown was The New Mutants in their ’80s heyday, but later volumes of Teen Titans cemented their dominance in the teen team book market.
The way the Teen Titans blended sidekicks with new heroes and created timeless adventures across multiple generations of the team was unprecedented. There’s something about a Teen Titans story that no other teen team-up book can match; a sense of the familiar and the new.
1 New Teen Titans Has George Pérez’s Best Work On A Team Book
George Pérez was one of comics’ most prolific talents, an artist who excelled at everything that made superhero comics worth reading, and a writer whose creativity didn’t get always the credit it deserved. His work with writer Marv Wolfman on The new Teen Titans were a true collaboration, as he helped plot the book and draw it.
Pérez was known for drawing team books like nobody’s business, with unprecedented work on The Avengers and Justice League of Americabut his best work on a team book was definitely NTT. No other team book at Marvel or DC has been honored by Pérez’s talent like NTT. Reading his runaway numbers, fans find pages full of jaw-dropping detail, incredible action, and character design that was and still is unmatched.
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