In DC Comics there is the Justice League, an alliance of superheroes who seek to help the innocent and fight evil across the world. Then there are the Teen Titans, a team of teenage superheroes – some of whom began as sidekicks – who have the same mission.
The Teen Titans has become a staple of the superhero industry. Despite its modest beginnings, the series has grown in popularity both in comic books and its TV adaptations.
Created during the 1960s, an era in comics known as the Silver Age, the Titans first appeared in issues of “The Brave and The Bold,” with sidekicks Robin, Kid Flash and Aqualad. They eventually reappeared in their own comic series with new members such as Wonder Girl and Speedy.
Now, to be honest, the original series was cheesy. The team would face off against ridiculous villains like Mister Twister or The Outstanding Separated Man. It was clear the series was an attempt to appeal to a younger demographic, with the Teen Titans having adventures involving other teenagers.
The series was cancelled in 1973 after 43 issues. It made a brief comeback a few years later, only to be cancelled again. It wasn’t until the 1980s the Teen Titans would make a big comeback – and it was a good one.
Fittingly, this new series was called “The New Teen Titans.” It was created by comic artist George Perez and comic writer Marv Wolfman, who had worked on Titans beforehand.
The Titans featured several returning characters such as Robin, Wonder Girl, and Kid Flash, along with several new ones like Beast Boy, Raven, Cyborg and Starfire. This new series also had several great storylines.
Throughout all incarnations, The Teen Titans have always been led by Robin. Everyone knows he is Batman’s sidekick, but they may not know that there has been more than one person to be Robin. There have been four: Dick Grayson, Jason Todd, Tim Drake, and Damien Wayne, who is Bruce Wayne’s son. All four have been leaders of the Titans. During a Titan storyline, Dick Grayson, now older, leaves his Robin indentity behind and he becomes Nightwing, who is now one of the most famous DC superheroes.
During the early 2000s, there was the animated “Teen Titans” TV show. Heavily inspired by the anime art style, this TV show featured a strong balance of humor and drama. To this day, the show has a strong following, and many people from this same fan base genuinely hate the most recent Titans show, “Teen Titans GO!.”
“Teen Titans GO!” appeared in 2013 and had the original voice actors reappear as the same characters. However, the show is completely different and centers around more childish humor and clearly aims at a younger audience. Some fans of the original show have responded with hate-filled posts on social media, attacking episodes of “Teen Titans GO!”
Despite that, “Teen Titans GO!” is still on air, and was adapted into a feature film over the summer: “Teen Titans GO! to the Movies.” I’ve only seen a few episodes of the TV show, but I have seen the movie. While it may not be nearly as good as “The Lego Batman Movie,” it had some pretty funny scenes. It’s a decent movie.
But there is still another version of the Teen Titans on TV. Scheduled to appear next month, “Teen Titans” will be a live action series set to premier on DC’s new streaming service. This show is aimed at mature audiences due to violence, language and so on. A recent trailer was released online and it caused a lot of hype on social media, especially from the line Robin said in the trailer: “F*** Batman.”
But no matter what, The Teen Titans is a beloved series that has a strong fandom just like the Justice League or other DC characters. Whether it is comic books or other mediums, the Titans have grown from a marketing strategy to a well-rounded team, earning their place in the superhero industry.