Teen Titans from the Beginning (reviews by shaxper) Jul 21, 2016 10:32:13 GMT -5 Cei-U!, Roquefort Raider, and 8 more like this
Post by shaxper on Jul 21, 2016 10:32:13 GMT -5
Teen Titans from the Beginning: 1964-1980
In this thread, I will be reviewing every Teen Titans (and nearly every Teen Titans-related) book from 1964 (their debatable first appearance) thru 1980 (two years beyond the end of their second volume, which continued the numbering from the first). At some point down the line, I'll also be creating a sister thread for the Batman Family comic and ensuing Detective Comics feature in order to further explore Robin/Dick Grayson's adventures there.
...And, yes, A NEW TEEN TITANS review thread will follow after that.
But come on, shax. New Teen Titans is the volume everyone wants to talk about!
Probably so, and, let's be more honest, there's exactly one New Teen Titans storyline most of those people want to discuss. Even at its best, the magic of the Titans franchise has seldom ever been the storylines -- it's the characters, their relationships, and their progression as individuals. Thus, while you only ever need to read one issue of the original Teen Titans to understand anything happening in the later volumes (#50 so that you'd know where Titans West came from), and while even writer Bob Haney has gone on record as saying his work on Teen Titans was "quaint," and "maybe funny to laugh at" (1), there's a charm and a nostalgia to be found in these stories if only because we're watching the beginnings of characters that will grow up beside us and develop into compelling, fully rounded people down the line who will feel real enough to step off of the comic book page.
In that respect, wading through the first stretch of Titans stories is a lot like digging through old photos from your childhood: you were a simpler, less complex person in those images, leading a simpler, less interesting life full of conflicts and concerns that are no longer of any true interest to you. Instead, what you're seeking is your own origin story, where you came from and how you got here. Thus, with the Teen Titans, there's a fascination to be experienced in watching their growth, even when that growth is awkward and littered with poor attempts to be "hip" to a teen generation that is now long gone.
On a more personal level, The Titans were my first favorite superhero team. When I began reading comics as an adolescent in 1989, most would agree that the Titans franchise was already well past its prime, but the Titans comics I was reading weren't coming from the spinner racks. My first LCS had a very paltry collection of back issues, including several inexpensively priced issues from the tail-end of the first Teen Titans run. As I explained here a while back, Robin has always been my favorite comic book character, as well as the one with whom I have most identified, so when I saw a series of comics where Robin was leading his own team of heroes, I was intrigued to say the least.
Thus, in 1989, I was first experiencing the original Teen Titans, beginning with this purchase:
It wasn't long after that I was introduced to a reprint of New Teen Titans #39, and its intensely character-driven narrative immediately made me a Titans fan for life. From the age of nine until present, they've been right there beside me, growing as I've grown, and helping me to understand myself and my relationships with others along the way.
For anyone who doesn't understand why comics matter, I present to you the Teen Titans.
Of course, not much of that will be glimpsed in this first volume and review thread. For now, it's campy nostalgia, as well as some analysis of how a simple one-shot team-up in Brave & the Bold gradually evolved into one of comicdom's most beloved superhero teams.
So I hope I can count on you to follow along and contribute your own reactions, knowledge, and/or questions along the way. It will be a bumpy road, full of some truly forgettable stories, but I think the nostalgia and history will be enough to carry us through
(1) Catron, Michael. "The Comics Journal." Bob Haney Interviewed by Michael Catron Part Four (of Five) «. The Comics Journal, 10 Jan. 2011. Web. 21 July 2016.