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Teen Titans

The Teen Titans (also The New Teen Titans, The New Titans, and The Titans) is a fictional team of superheroes published by DC Comics. As the group's name suggests, its membership has usually been composed of teenagers.

Silver Age

The Teen Titans first appeared in The Brave and the Bold #54 (July 1964), portrayed as a junior Justice League consisting of Robin, Kid Flash and Aqualad, joining together as had their mentors (respectively, Batman, The Flash and Aquaman). They were soon joined by Wonder Girl, whose existence as a teenaged version of Wonder Woman had previously been established, but this character was new and separate from the adult character, and their link was not immediately clear. (The mystery of Wonder Girl's background would linger in the series until finally resolved in the 1980s.)

The Teen Titans were popular enough to be awarded their own series, with issue #1 cover-dated February 1966. The early issues were noted for their artwork by Nick Cardy. While Green Arrow's ward Speedy would naturally join, the series later introduced entirely new teenaged heroes, notably Lilith and The Hawk and the Dove.

The series' tone was often torn between the freewheeling excitement of the 1960s, and its darker side as keyed by the Vietnam War and the protests thereof. One memorable storyline beginning with #25 (February 1970) put the Titans in the middle of the accidental death of a peace activist, leading them to reconsider their means and goals, and leading to the temporary departure of Robin. The theme of teenagers learning to take on adult responsibilities was a common theme of the series.

The series' popularity flagged heading into the 1970s, and it went on hiatus as of #43 (February 1973).

Notable Silver Age Appearances

Silver Age Members

First appearance with the team is noted.

1970s Revival

A few years later, the series was revived resuming with #44 (November
1976), but struggled to find focus, moving through a number of storylines in rapid succession. Notable among these were the mysterious Joker's Daughter, as well as the Teen Titans West, consisting of a number of other teen heroes from around the DC Universe. The revival was short-lived, and the series was cancelled as of #53 (February 1978).

Notable 1970s Appearances

New 1970s Members

The New Teen Titans

The Titans were again revived with a new series. Previewed in DC Comics Presents #26 (October 1980), The New Teen Titans #1 (November 1980) introduced a team of new Titans, anchored by previous members Robin, Wonder Girl and Kid Flash, as well as the Changeling (formerly Beast Boy), it introduced the man-machine Cyborg, the alien Starfire, and the dark empath Raven. Raven, an expert manipulator, formed the group to fight her demonic father Trigon, and the team remained together thereafter as a group of young adult heroes.

The brainchild of writer Marv Wolfman and artist George Pérez, it's been widely speculated that the book was DC's answer to the increasingly popular X-Men from Marvel Comics, and indeed both books involved a group of young adult heroes from disparate backgrounds whose internal conflicts were as much a part of the book as their combat against villains. In any event, both books were instrumental in moving mainstream comics in a more character-driven direction. Much as X-Men made a fan favorite out of John Byrne, The New Teen Titans did the same for Pérez.

Even the villains' motivations could be complex, as in the case of Deathstroke the Terminator, a mercenary who took a contract on the Titans to fulfill a job his son was unable to complete. This led to the Titans' most complex adventure, in which a psychopathic girl named Terra infiltrated the Titans in order to destroy them. This story also included the original Robin, Dick Grayson, adopting the identity Nightwing.

Other notable stories included Robin unearthing Wonder Girl's true identity (#38), and Wonder Girl's marriage (#50, also noteworthy for being a rare superhero wedding where a fight didn't break out).

The series underwent some numbering confusion when DC moved some of its more popular books to from the newsstand to the direct distribution market (to comic book specialty stores) in 1984. The New Teen Titans became Tales of the Teen Titans for a year, while a new book named The New Teen Titans was launched with a new #1. The former book began reprinting the latter's stories for the newsstand a year later, and ran to #91, but the new stories were in the direct market book.

Pérex left the book after #5 of the second series, and the series seemingly went into a tailspin (at some point Wolfman apparently suffered from writer's block, and other writers chipped in from time to time). José Luis Garcia Lopez followed Pérez, and Eduardo Barreto contributed a lengthy run. Then Pérez returned with #50 (the book again being renamed, this time to The New Titans, the characters effectively no longer being teens) to tell another origin story for Wonder Girl (her previous link to Wonder Woman having been revered due to retcons in Crisis on Infinite Earths), resulting in her being renamed Troia. Pérez this time hung on to #61.

Following this, the book introduced a number of characters, put other through some radical changes, and though it ran for another 7 years, the group which appeared in the final issue, #130 (February 1996), bore little resemblance to the one which had anchored DC's line-up in the early 1980s.

Notable New Teen Titans Appearances

New Members in the New Teen Titans

Later Appearances

A completely unrelated group of Teen Titans began their own series later that year with a new #1 (October 1996). Led by The Atom, who had become a teenager following the events of Zero Hour, the series ended with #24 (September 1998).

The earlier team was revived in a 3-issue miniseries, JLA/Titans, featuring nearly everyone who had ever been a Titan. This led into The Titans #1 (March 1999), with a group consisting of some previous members and a number of new young adult heroes. This series lasted to #50 (2002).

Yet another Teen Titans series was launched in 2003, again featuring a mix of previous and new members, some of whom had previously been part of Young Justice.

Notable Later Appearances

New Members in Later Appearances

The Animated Series

In 2003, Cartoon Network launched a series loosely based on The New Teen Titans, featuring Robin, Beast Boy, Cyborg, Raven and Starfire. With the art showing a strong anime influence, the series portrayed its principals as young teenagers effectively living on their own in their high-tech base, eating pizza, watching TV, and not cleaning up after themselves. An affililiated comic book, Teen Titans Go was published by DC.