THE TEEN TITANSMedium: Comic Books
Published by: DC Comics
First Appeared: 1980
Creators: Len Wein (editor), Marv Wolfman (writer) and George Pérez (artist)
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The New Teen Titans started out with several of the same characters as the 1960s version — but with a difference. Robin was older and more independent of
Batman (in fact, he was soon replaced with a younger version, and allowed to grow up). Wonder Girl had been revamped and retconned, and was no longer very closely tied with Wonder Woman. Kid Flash had never been that constant a companion of The Flash to begin with. And the remaining characters (Raven (no relation), Changling [formerly Beast Boy], Cyborg and Starfire) weren't associated with adult DC characters at all, and seemed to live pretty much on their own.
The result was a group that functioned as adult adventurers, but still maintained their status as teenagers. This was important, because the hottest thing in comics was Marvel's X-Men — also a group of functional adults who benefitted from a youthful image.
This version of The Teen Titans was introduced as a 16-page insert in DC Comics Presents #26 (October, 1980). Readers who bought the comic for its lead feature, a team-up between Superman and Green Lantern, got the Titans debut at no extra cost. Thus, they were enticed into continuing to follow the group when New Teen Titans #1 hit the stands, that same month. (Later, the Titans passed the favor on — Captain Carrot & His Amazing Zoo Crew began with a similar insert in New Teen Titans #16.)
Creators Marv Wolfman (writer), George Pérez (artist) and Len Wein (editor) stayed with the series for several years, creating a large fan following. For a time, the series actually was able to compete with The X-Men on its own turf. One thing that eventually did it in was the inevitability of the characters growing up. By the time Wonder Girl was married, Robin was a college graduate and Kid Flash was converted to the new Flash, it had become hard to maintain the "teen" image. With its December, 1988 issue, the word "teen" was dropped from the team's name, and from the comic's title.
As The New Titans, the series continued until 1996. By that time, still another version of The Teen Titans was running — this one with a line-up of DC's younger-yet characters, including the new Superboy and The Atom (who had undergone the horrifying experience of being turned back into a teenager). And so it goes