Teen Titans Continued

Robert Pondering Teen Titans Go

I have a really interesting relationship with Teen Titans and Teen Titans Go.

Teen Titans Go is possibly the closest analogy to Looney Toons and Pinky & the Brain on TV right now. It’s slapstick and it’s social/pop culture commentary at the same time. It’s stupid without being unintelligent.

They borrow lots of bits from all over the place. In addition to Looney Toons and Pinky & the Brain, it reminds me a lot of Samurai Jack.

My biggest issue with Teen Titans Go is, and I bet Zimm says this is one of the things that he likes about it, that Robin / Nightwing should be a competent leader that the rest of the team looks up to instead of the butt of most of the jokes. He was trained by Batman.

I like Teen Titans Go better than the previous Teen Titans series that uses the same character designs but was not nearly as over the top comically. I think it’s the how different and how far they take Teen Titans Go from its comics roots. Which brings me to…

One of the first super hero comics I bought as a kid was an early issue of the Marv Wolfman/George Perez New Teen Titans. It featured Brother Blood as the villain. It probably wasn’t the best choice of reading material for seven-year-old Robert, but I survived and really enjoyed the Titans for years to come. Being a Marvel Zombie, Titans was one of the few DC books I bought semi-regularly until they killed the Titans book to replace it with a new Teen Titans in the 2000s.

In the 1980s, New Teen Titans was the DC Universe’s Uncanny X-Men. Uncanny X-Men and New Teen Titans were the two leading and probably best super hero comics of the 90s. There was even a crossover between X-Men and the Teen Titans beautifully illustrated by Walt Simonson.

Both teams didn’t have separate lives between their civilian lives and super hero lives. They lived in their headquarters (X-Men in the X-Mansion and Titans in the Titans Tower). They had relationships with their teammates. They didn’t really deal with street crime or go on patrol. They fought major menaces. You would often see a character in full costume beside a character in complete civilian attire.

For all of the impish humor of Teen Titans Go, The New Teen Titans was a mature book. The Judas Contract storyline featured a 15 year old Terra smoking and having a sexual relationship with the middle-aged Slade Wilson and betraying her teammates to Slade. Pretty heavy stuff for a newsstand book in the 1980s.

This dichotomy is one of the things I struggle with in enjoying Teen Titans Go. I really like it but then I remember what the New Teen Titans comic was.

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