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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Teen Titans - Future Heroes of Earth?

In Brave and the Bold #54, DC Comics told a story from a different angle. They joined the sidekicks of the greatest heroes and put them together in a story. Who were these young heroes? Robin (Dick Grayson), Aqualad and Kid Flash. Although they were not referred to in the storyline as the Teen Titans, this book is credited with their first appearance. In May 2008, a 9.4 CGC issue sold for $2,293.

Later, in Brave and the Bold #60 they appeared for the first time as the Teen Titans and the group included one more member, Wonder Woman's sidekick, Wonder Girl. These four teenage superheroes would form the corps of what the Teen Titans would become. In 1966, DC gave the fab four their own title, Teen Titans. The series had 53 issues and ended in 1978. Through it's run Green Arrow's sidekick, Speedy, eventually joined the team

In 1980, the group was reborn at the hands of Marv Wolfman and the great George Perez. This time the team included the originals and some new members: Robin (Dick Grayson), Kid Flash, Raven, Changeling (Beast Boy), Starfire, Cyborg and Wonder Girl. Others would eventually become members as well. Heroes such as Terra and Jericho. This version of the Teen Titans were an older group of teens unlike the previous stories. Their battles were more epic and they dealt with issues of growing into adulthood, love and independence. Robin and Starfire shared a love interest, for example. The majority dropped their former sidekick identities and adopted new mantles to indentify themselves, no longer as sidekicks, but as individuals. Robin left Batman and became Nightwing. Wonder Girl became Troia. Kid Flash became the Flash after the death of Barry Allen. Speedy took on the name Arsenal and Aqualad became Tempest, although he continued to serve alongside Aquaman in Atlantis but not as a sidekick.

The team has had reunion books and the Teen Titans have continued on but with a much younger group. The original Titans grew up and have become full grown heroes in the DC Universe. The former members have always been a popular group. Cartoon network created a Teen Titans cartoon that consisted of the original members from the 1980 series. The only difference is that Robin is Tim Drake instead of Dick Grayson and Wonder Girl is not a member. Robin and Starfire even have feelings for each other as they did inthe 80's.

The modern Teen Titans consist of members unheard of or they are members who resemble the characters of old but have different alter egos. Robin, Superboy (now dead), Kid Flash are examples of members that have different secret identities from the originals. As these characters grow up we cannot help but wonder if the former team will eventually replace the Silver Age heroes. There seems to be so much revamping and rebuilding of universes that it can be hard to keep up. The old heroes never seem to grow old and the new young heroes are stuck in time. It's the group in the middle that seems to be the only group that ages. Will we one day feel about the Bronze/Copper Age heroes the same as we do about the Silver Age? Will this group one day be the heroic corps saving our planet day after day? Only time will tell.

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