I've been sitting on this for a couple of weeks now, trying to see what I could find out myself and these questions may be more speculative than factual. Still the Original Teen Titans always get shunted aside for the New Teen Titans so here's to Comics' Fab Four (or Five) (or Nine):

Above is the first true appearance of the Teen Titans. The previous year in Brave & Bold #54, Robin, Kid Flash and Aqualad teamed up but not as the Titans. Now Wonder Girl is a member and they are organized. So I ask:

  • Did they ever mention how the guys met Wonder Girl? It seems that there are missing adventures. Technically this is the debut of this Wonder Girl though you would never know if you read it. How did readers react to her? Was DC called out for putting a teenage Wonder Woman on a current team? Did anyone care?
  • All kidding aside, why was Speedy left out? In both TEEN TITANS #4 (Au'66) and TT #11 (O'67), his appearance is a big thing but when he joins for real in TT #19 (F'69), there's little fanfare.
  • Aqualad was phased out for Speedy. Yet Aqualad was a big part of the Aquaman cartoon show. Were the writers simply tired of trying to fit him in the stories?
  • They introduced the Ant in TT #5 (O'66) and the Russian Starfire in TT #18 (D'68). Were they ever intended to become members? They seem such oddities now.
  • There seemed to be little contact with the Justice League and never in a good way like TT #25 (F'70). Did the JLA supervise the Titans in any way? Why didn't the two teams join forces? What did the Titans think about Snapper Carr?
  • How careful were Kid Flash and Speedy about their secret identities? Mister Jupiter knew them thus he was privy to the Flash's and Green Arrow's as well. Did he know Batman's?
  • Mal--was there any justification to him joining the team besides diversity? And what's your favorite Mal persona? Tan suit? Hornblower? Guardian? Herald? Can anyone add scans please? I seem to have lost that ability.
  • Was Lilith patterned after Marvel Girl? Psychic redhead in a green mini-dress? Was she really Juliet/Esmeralda? Was there a Silver Age origin for her?
  • Did Bat-Mania affect the Teen Titans?
  • Was Speedy's drug use brought up? Robin going to college?
  • Were the Titans brought up much in Batman, Detective, Flash and Aquaman?
  • Could Kid Flash have gotten his own book? Technically he was the most "super" Titan and was featured a lot there and in Flash.
  • Was Wonder Girl ever mentioned in Wonder Woman as the Separate Version?
  • Why did Aqualad get several solo stories in Teen Titans, not Aquaman?
  • The Five Teen Titans vs the Original X-Men: Who Wins? My money's on the Titans! Your pick?

The Teen Titans are a favorite of mine for the longest time but until 1980, DC treated them like second class citizens. Hopefully you all share my feelings and will be kind enough to respond.




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  • Kid Flash appeared in a number of solo back-up stories in The Flash in the Barry Allen years. The first wave of stories mostly appeared in 1959-64, but there were a couple of stragglers later in the decade. The second wave ran from 1970-72, and featured an older looking Kid Flash in stories by Steve Sketes and Dick Dillin. In 1978 the featured started up again when the title's page length briefly expanded as part of the DC Explosion, and managed two episodes before the DC Implosion aborted DC's plans to add back-ups to its titles for a while. (A third issue had an untold story with Barry instead in the slot.) A final Kid Flash tale appeared in The Flash #325 in 1983. This was apparently created for the DC Explosion series as it featured Wally's discovery that a female friend of his had developed psychic abilities, and this was the starting point of the Flash/Kid Flash story in #269 (which was incidentally the last issue of the title Julie Schwartz edited). In #269 the female friend was Gail Manners from The Flash #120, but this page, by which I found where the lead-in story appeared, notes that when it appeared Gail was renamed Jill, which point I'd missed.

  • With the exception of Aqualad, any of them could have headlined a book if there were sales justifications.  Robin had certainly had a long run of solo stories for years, and Kid Flash was very much a hero in his own right--his relationship with the Flash was more of a mentor's approach rather than someone to be there for Flash to talk with. Wonder Girl was Wonder Girl.

    Aqualad--I'm having a really difficult time thinking of when he made any sort of useful contribution outside of "The Dimensional Caper". He was useless in Aquaman and not of much more use in Teen Titans.

    I have zero knowledge of Donna Troy ever being mentioned in Wonder Woman, at least not during the Silver Age.  It's possible she was brought up during the mind-70's when the Titans were resurrected.

    Presumably, Aqualad got solo stories because there was no other way to feature him, and also I believe to set up future Titans stories.

    The Titans appeared frequently in The Brave and the Bold during the 1960-1970's.

    Titans vs. X-Men?  Kid Flash ends it in three pages if not sooner, despite it being 5 on four.  Wonder Girl takes out the Angel simply because she's the only Titan that flies. Aqualad hides behind a rock unless there's a pool of water nearby, in which case Aqualad is frozen inside a lake.

  • Randy Jackson said:

    With the exception of Aqualad, any of them could have headlined a book if there were sales justifications. 


    The young-Wonder-Woman version of Wonder Girl nearly did: she took over the covers of Wonder Woman on a number of occasions - #107 (her debut), #109, #112, #116, #119, #121 (the story is apparently a Wonder Woman Family one, but the cover only shows Wonder Girl), #123, #144, #147 and ##150-152. For ##152-153 she even got a logo on the cover larger than the title's. (#153 was apparently another Wonder Woman Family tale, but the GCD says the "text indicates this is an adventure of Wonder Woman when she was a teenager", which could mean it was a Wonder Girl story altered into a Wonder Woman Family story. WW's other selves also appear on the cover. )


    Wonder Tot took over the covers of #126, #130 and #132. Both, of course, also appeared on most of the Wonder Woman Family covers.

  • I can field some of these, Philip, at least off the top of my head.



    "Did they ever mention how the guys met Wonder Girl?"


    Not during the Silver Age.  When the series began in The Brave and the Bold # 60 (Jun.-Jul., 1965), Wonder Girl was just "there", no explanation provided.  When DC finally got around to telling the origin of the Teen Titans (flawed though it was), in Teen Titans # 53 (Feb., 1978), the story revealed the first meeting of W.G. with Robin and Aqualad and Kid Flash, but it didn't shed much light on her background.



    "All kidding aside, why was Speedy left out?"


    That may have been addressed by editor George Kashdan in a response in one of the letter columns.  I remember after both of Speedy's guest-star appearances, there were letters calling for the Boy Bowman to join the Titans.  I vaguely recall one of Kashdan's responses addressing Speedy's lack of membership---albeit obliquely.  When I get a chance, I'll run through my collexion of Teen Titans and see if I can find it.



    "Aqualad was phased out for Speedy . . . .  Were the writers simply tired of trying to fit him in the stories?"


    I've never come across an explanation that came straight from an authoritative source, but my guess is you put your finger on the reason.  TT writer Bob Haney probably discovered the problem with Aqualad, just as Gardner Fox did, with Aquaman over in Justice League of America:  that it was just too difficult to provide a natural underwater episode in most of the adventures.  The use of Aqualad in TT pretty much mirrored Aquaman's participation in JLA.  For the first half-dozen or so TT adventures, the Junior Marine Marvel was effectively utilised within the plot.  Then, for the next seven or eight tales, it became increasingly obviously that the water-based scenes were shoehorned in, just to give Aqualad something to do.  Sometimes Haney could be creative and pull it off neatly, as in "The Dimensional Caper", from TT # 16 (Jul.-Aug., 1968), which was set in a high school.  But most of the time, it was an awkward fit.


    Ultimately, Haney just stopped trying to squeeze in something for Aqualad to do (just as Fox did with Aquaman), and the Junior Marine Marvel was just along for the ride.  (One letter-of-comment about the Christmas-themed tale in TT # 13 [Jan.-Feb., 1968] made that very observation.)  To be fair to Haney, though, he did make one final logical and effective use of Aqualad's abilities in "Eye of the Beholder", the youngster's next-to-last adventure as a regular Titan, in TT # 18 (Nov.-Dec., 1968).


    Where Fox finally solved the problem by simply leaving Aquaman out of the stories, on the usual "tied up on an urgent case of his own" excuse, Haney and new TT editor Dick Giordano went another route, by replacing Aqualad with new member Speedy.



    "What did the Titans think about Snapper Carr?"


    What the other Titans thought about the Snapster was never revealed, but Robin's attitude toward him was shown in JLA # 50 (Dec., 1966).  In "The Lord of Time Attacks the 20th Century", the Boy Wonder appears as a special guest star.  (The first half of the tale is given over to the Dynamic Duo.)  There is a scene in which Robin, for the first time, is present at a JLA meeting and he meets Snapper.  It's a two-teen mutual admiration society:


    "Give me five, Robin!  I'm sure glad to meet you at last!  I've envied you for a long time!"


    "You've envied me?!  Color me green, Snapper---I'm jealous of your being 'in' with the Justice Leaguers . . . ."


    "Yeah--yeah--yeah!  But you're on the go with the Caped Crusader against villains like the Joker---Penguin---Riddler . . . ."



    "Mister Jupiter knew [the secret identites of Kid Flash and Speedy] thus he was privy to the Flash's and Green Arrow's as well. Did he know Batman's?"


    As I recall, Robin appeared as Dick Grayson in the company of other Titans in the presence of Mr. Jupiter at least once---in TT # 38 (Mar.-Apr., 1972), so logically, Jupiter should have known, or could easily have deduced, that the Batman was Bruce Wayne.  I would point out, though, that while the same would hold true for Speedy and the Green Arrow (since Roy Harper had the same ward-guardian relationship with Oliver Queen as Grayson and Wayne did), Jupiter could not have made the same logical inference with Kid Flash and the Flash.  The link between Wally West and Barry Allen was not as direct or conclusive as in the other cases.  In fact, in the case of Kid Flash, the logical inference would have been that Wally's father, Robert West, was the Flash.


    So, unless Wally specifically divulged the Flash's secret identity to Mr. Jupiter, Jupiter probably knew the secret identities of the Batman and the Green Arrow, but not that of the Flash.



    "Mal--was there any justification to him joining the team besides diversity?"


    Not really.  Mal (last name, Duncan, not revealed for years) was introduced at the height of the Teen Titans' social relevance phase, when they had eschewed their costumes and super-powers.  Mal wasn't even as much introduced for the purposes of racial diversity as he was social diversity---a youngster from the streets added to a group whose members were composed mostly of the privileged class.


    During the brief costumeless, powerless period, Mal fit in just fine.  But as soon as the Titans' order-of-the-day returned them to costumes and powers full time, in TT # 32 (Mar.-Apr., 1971), Mal rapidly became even more of a fifth wheel than Aqualad had been.



    "Did Bat-Mania affect the Teen Titans?"


    Sure did, just as it did almost every other DC title at the time.  Starting with TT # 5 (Sep.-Oct., 1966), Robin's portrait was included as an inset at the top of the covers, giving it the feel of "Starring Robin, the Boy Wonder . . . with Aqualad, Kid Flash, and Wonder Girl".  Also, Robin was the central figure, dwarfing the other Titans, on five of the next dozen covers.  The only other characters to get this type of feature placement on the covers was Kid Flash once and Speedy once (as a special guest star).


    Inside the stories, there was plenty of "product placement" for the Batman television show.  The billboard concealing the hangar exit for the Titans-copter advertised the Batman TV show, and the Titans were sometimes shown watching the show on the set inside their lair.


    All of this Bat-centric emphasis stopped in late '68, after Batmania had died out and the TV show had been cancelled.



    "Was Speedy's drug use brought up?"


    No, not in the original 1965-73 run of the series.


    "Robin going to college?"


    Yes.  It was expressed, in TT # 25 (Jan.-Feb., 1970), as Robin's reason for not signing up with Mr. Jupiter's social-relevance programme, as did the other Titans.  Thus, it marked the Boy Wonder's departure from the series.  Obviously, with Robin's regular presence in other DC series, it wouldn't do to have him give up his costume.  Also, his position as leader of the Titans would have conflicted with the new direction which put Jupiter in charge.


    Robin's presence at Hudson University arose again, in TT # 28 (Jul.-Aug., 1970), when he served as the liaison to put Aqualad in touch with the active Titans.  (The Junior Marine Marvel was unaware of their paradigm-shift and their association with Mr. Jupiter.)



    Hope this helps.



  • ...Philip:

    " Did anyone care ? "

      Actually , I have meant to ask this for a longlong while...Did ANYONE in fandom , either as expressed in what got printed in lettecrols , or even printed in actual paper ( Mimeograph , hectograph , whatever . Any kind of fanzine . ) ever express amazement over the fact that the contemporary-times separate person Wonder Girl made her first appearance in , indeed , the initial B&B tryout story , already there ?????????

      Fans weren't so accustomed to continuity then (that was rather an innovation , in the actual comics , of the 70s on , it's seemed to me) , but...........Was it , even , by the mid-60s a thing that Fandom Assembled didn't care much about " lesser " DC titles ?? Or Wonder Woman ? Or , uuhh , DC in general , perhaps beyond the " standard " Schwartz titles , so much had Marvel taken up fannish favor ???????

  • ...I have read , IIRC , that there are a couplish of WONDER WOMAN stories in the Kanigher era that might , at least when read casually/by someone not knowing the " Wonder Woman when she was young/Imaginary Wonder Family " concepts , could have been seen as depicting a contemporary-times Wonder Girl who is definitely a seperate being from WW , and perhaps Kashdan/Haney read those...

      For that matter , what about the couplish of Haney stories revolving around a " teenage Wonder Woman "...and a likewise " cadet " , I suppose , uniform-wearing Steve Trevor (The Glop .) ?

      Continuity ~ In a 1960s sense - or no ?

  • ...Ooper.........KANIGHER-era WWs w/a teen Wondy and cadet Steve !!!!!!!!! Kanigher !!!

      I sowwy .

  • ...I once had an idea for a definite permanent hero-spinoff version of the Ant meself ~ I'd have to re-familiarize myself with the story now , really...

      BTW , I think it was the 2nd 6 issues or so of TT , roughly #s7-12 , that really fell into the " Swinging Sixties " excesses (I suppose) of " Go-go , swingin' Wonder Chick !!!!! "and so forth , outer-space disc jockey(-ies) that gave this title/era - and Bob Haney - their (among some) bad reputation , methinkseth...Was it " DC feeling the heat of Marvel - and the general ' CAMP ' era " - then ???????????

  • Luke Blanchard said:

    #153 was apparently another Wonder Woman Family tale, but the GCD says the "text indicates this is an adventure of Wonder Woman when she was a teenager", which could mean it was a Wonder Girl story altered into a Wonder Woman Family story.


    or vice versa, which theory might better fit with the Wonder Girl logo on the cover; but I haven't read the issue.


    Green Arrow's feature came to an end at the start of 1964 with the story in World's Finest Comics #140 (=the last Jack Schiff issue), three months before the proto-TT Mr Twister story appeared in The Brave and the Bold #54 and over a year before the first TT story proper in The Brave and the Bold #60, so when the TT came along he was a character from a dead feature, while Aqualad was still appearing regularly in Aquaman.


    I've only seen a couple of the Dick Giordano issues of Aquaman, but in the couple I have seen Aqualad still appeared but was no longer a central character. The era began with Aquaman #39 (the last Bob Haney/Nick Cardy issue) and #40 (the first Steve Sketes/Jim Aparo one) in 1968. As far as I can tell Speedy replaced Aqualad in Teen Titans in 1969. Giordano had taken over that title in 1968 too.

  • I find it amazing that Speedy's drug addiction got no mention at all in Teen Titans yet it was referenced in Brave & Bold #100.

    My query about Mister Jupiter and the Flash's secret identity hinges on the supposition that Kid Flash may have mentioned that the Scarlet Speedster is his uncle at some point, in which case connecting the dots becomes easier.

    But Batman could not be happy about Mister Jupiter, Mal, Lilith and the other later Titans knowing Robin's real name.

    The Titans beat the Original X-Men because:

    • Robin was a better leader than Cyclops and had a better trainer.
    • I'll grant that the Angel may fly faster than Wonder Girl but either Kid Flash vortexes him down or Speedy shoots him down!
    • Even Aqualad could help if they're fighting them on a beach. He may be as strong as the Beast and nearly as nimble.
    • Wonder Girl can deflect Cyke's eyebeams and get to Marvel Girl quickly.
    • Speedy gives the team some long range attacks that could take out Iceman.
    • Kid Flash sets the mutants up and the others knock them down!
    • 'Nuff Said!


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