TEEN TITANS (1976-79)

After being cancelled in 1972, the Teen Titans made a couple of appearances in Brave & Bold as its members went their separate ways. However during the 52 and 100 Pagers, several of their stories were reprinted, most with that gorgeous Nick Cardy art. After sales and letters of DC Super-Star #1 and Super Team Family #1 and #7 came in, DC was convinced to give the Fab More-Than-Four another shot, reviving the series with #44 (N'76).

They reunited Robin, Kid Flash, Wonder GirlSpeedy and Mal, supposedly not seeing each for two years. And not being with Speedy since his drug addiction from Green Lantern/Green Arrow #85-86 (S-N'71), despite their early 70s Teen Titans and B&B adventures! Kid Flash and Speedy immediately start rutting as soon as they see Wonder Girl who plays along. Mal is upset that he's been tending to the Titans HQ all by himself even though he volunteered to do so! He namedrops Lilith, Gnarrk, Hawk and Dove as "whatever Happened To...".

But their reunion was all a trap by DOCTOR LIGHT whose weaponry (and dumb luck, to be honest) allows him to capture Robin and Wonder Girl and escape. This causes the other three to snipe at each other and split up.

Doctor Light tortures them to get the coordinates of the Justice League Satellite (of Love) so he can destroy it with a giant, orbiting magnifying glass (no, seriously!) then captures Kid Flash and Speedy separately, gathers them up and polishes off the Flash way too quickly.

Mal, angry about being left behind, goes through the other Titans' trophy cases and gets a super-strength giving exo-skeleton (from Batman #192) and the costume, helmet and shield of the Golden Age Guardian, thus becoming the Guardian II (or III, depending on the Golden Guardian from Jimmy Olsen). He flies the Titans' mini-rocket to the JLA Satellite, distracts Doctor Light, frees the other Titans and saves the day. The Titans decide to stay together!

The story was uneven and the art was rough. No one looked good here. Kid Flash and Speedy were more concerned about scoring with Wonder Girl, Wonder Girl keeps forgetting that she has super-strength, no way Robin tells any of this to Batman and Mal...

Well, I liked Mal as Guardian but it took him two years to realize that he needed to step up his game to hang with the Titans? Really?

Mister Jupiter gets referenced but Aqualad does NOT! 

The text page was interesting as it mentions Beast Boy though he wasn't a member. And hints that Hawk & Dove may have retired.

Next: Just Call Me Angel of the Mourning! OR Blow It Out Your Ear!

You need to be a member of Captain Comics to add comments!

Join Captain Comics

Votes: 0
Email me when people reply –


  • i remember seeing  a few issues of this when I was first reading comics. I had no idea about the history of the team at the time.

  • Flash and Speedy immediately start rutting

    Does that mean something different on your side of the Atlantic?  Because I'm pretty sure that what it means to me would never have been approved for appearance by the Comics Code Authority of 1976!

  • Well, I know what I think it means.

    Peter Wrexham said:

    Flash and Speedy immediately start rutting

    Does that mean something different on your side of the Atlantic?  Because I'm pretty sure that what it means to me would never have been approved for appearance by the Comics Code Authority of 1976!

  • Just using a colorful metaphor, Peter!


  • Pablo Marcos' inks.  They're unmistakable

    Edited to add: except that this time around he is penciling.  Bob Smith inked, apparently..

  • Yes, the oft reviled Bob Rozakis run. Honestly I thought it was better than remembered. Nothing Earth-shaking, but reasonably pleasant. Of course, Ive never really looked at the series with a critical eye, so it could be much worse than I remember. 

  • It had some very welcome features.  A decent attempt at keeping continuing plots, some effort at characterization, even a bit of mystery and interaction with other DC characters not often seen in Titans stories.

    On the other hand, it was not very good at developing and resolving the plots that it hinted at.

    Overall, when I remember it I have a feeling of watching unrealized potential.

  • #45 (D'76) had the editing switched from Joe Orlando to Julius Schwartz so he assigned his Batman and The Flash artist, the under-rated and excellent Irv Novick to do the art with Vince Colletta as Bob Rozakis continued as writer.

    One thing that I forgot to mention was the update to Speedy's costume which spiffed up his longtime outfit.

    After defeating Doctor Light, the Titans return to their cavern HQ where Speedy starts mocking Mal for "borrowing" powers and costume thus being second-rate. Mal immediately abandons his Guardian identity and storms off, leaving the Boy Bowman contrite. Mal later speaks with his girlfriend Karen Beecher (1st App & more on her later), wanting to find his place with the group.

    Meanwhile we are introduced to the Wreckers, a former teen gang of Gotham, now in their thirties with families, one is an ex-soldier, one a lawyer and another an inventor. They're mad that their neighborhood, their "turf", is getting demolished for new projects and declare war on Gotham by planting bombs! Mal is injured in their first attack and is confronted by Azrael, the Angel of Death (no, really)! Mal wants to go down fighting and Azrael obliges, complete with boxing ring and as referee, the Angel Gabriel (no, really!). Mal defeats Death who tells him that should he "lose one fight--to anybody", he will die! To help him, Gabriel gives Mal a shofar, a ram's horn which he can blow to make him the equal of any opponent.

    Mal plays a tune and teleports the Titans to his side including the absent Aqualad so there will be six Titans against six Wreckers. Robin, Kid Flash and Aqualad go to protect the Wayne Foundation Building while the others meet the Wreckers on their home turf, now filled with booby traps. In a battle that shouldn't be that hard, the Titans win and Bruce Wayne will finance a new Titans HQ!

    Apparently Julius Schwartz didn't like the concept of a black hero taking the identity of a white one so he wanted Mal to have a new gimmick. However about eight years later, it would be all the rage. Gabriel's Horn doesn't do much in its inaugural appearance except teleport the Titans around. And the idea that Mal must now win every fight he's in is never fully explained. Is it every physical fight? Solo fight? If the team loses, does he die? What if he loses an argument? A board game? Dodge Ball? Fails to finish a crossword puzzle? A Rubik's Cube? Pac-Man?

    At least we learn his full name: Malcolm Duncan.

    If last issue is to be believed, the Teen Titans haven't been together for two years. But now Aqualad gets thrown into the mix and is not shocked to see everyone together.  

    The Titans have a poor showing against the non-powered Wreckers that may be a homage to the gang that the Titans confront from Mal's fist appearance in Teen Titans #26 (Ap'70).

    Next: Fiddler on the Roof OR Swing Your Partner Do-Si-Do!



  • the "If you lose a fight, you die" thing sounds like it could become tedious real fast

  • 8092837461?profile=RESIZE_710x

    The Baron said:

    the "If you lose a fight, you die" thing sounds like it could become tedious real fast

This reply was deleted.