The 6 Characters on My Teen Titans
Let’s talk about the Teen Titans. I do it a lot on my blog, I know, but they’re worth talking about. The Teen Titans are a very popular comic, with a history dating back to before I was even born. And they’ve been on the air in one cartoon form or another for more than a decade. Heck, they even have their own TV show coming up! So why is their comic book so terrible? Why can’t DC Comics make it work? Maybe because they just don’t know what to do with the Teen Titans. But I know someone who does!
In our discussion last week of the highs and lows of DC Comics’ New 52, Henchman Gordon Bishop asked what my ideal roster would be for the Teen Titans. And seeing as how I am totally open to you henchies suggesting Lists of Six, I decided to take him up on his suggestion. It helps that this is one of my favorite games. I’ve already done dream rosters for the Avengers and Justice League, among others.
I’ve also done a previous List on things I would fix about DC’s current Teen Titans comic. So along with those fixes, join me after the jump to find out which New 52 teen superheroes I would write if DC handed me the reigns of the Teen Titans!
And please share your own roster ideas below in the comments!
6. Red Robin
Who is he: Tim Drake is the third young man to don the mantle of Robin, sidekick to Batman. Tim was an acrobatics prodigy who used his keen deductive mind to uncover Batman’s secret identity, which he used to try and apply for the job as the new Robin — but Batman turned him down. Undaunted, Tim used his computer skills to steal money from the Penguin in order to make a statement, only for Penguin to figure out his identity and attack his family. Tim’s parents were put into witness protection and Batman agreed to take him on after all (though why Tim didn’t also go into witness protection is anyone’s guess. Child services were apparently OK with the boy going to live with Batman…).
After about a year as the Dark Knight’s squire, Red Robin decided to strike out on his own to investigate the kidnapping of several other teenage superheroes. Tim formed the Teen Titans along with several other young heroes to save their kidnapped colleagues and put a stop to the bad guys. They’ve stuck together ever since.
Why pick him: I am 100-percent behind the idea that there should always be a Robin on the Teen Titans, preferably as the leader (though I suppose that depends on the Robin). Tim Drake is one of my all-time favorite characters, and frequent readers of my blog know that I am a huge Robin fan. So Red Robin is a must for my version of the Teen Titans. I would much prefer to keep the team as Tim’s organization instead of bringing in Damian. Tim just fits well as leader of the Teen Titans. He’s smart, he’s tough, he’s got a potentially interesting connection to Batman, and he makes for a good straight man. Red Robin has leadership material.
5. Wonder Twins
Who are they: Zan and Jayna are alien nobility from the planet Exor, part of a collection of aliens who represent the various elements of the universe. Zan is water/ice and Jayna is the animal kingdom. When their powers combine, they can change shape into their elements. The twins decided to flee Exor rather than submit to their fate and they wound up on Earth.
Why pick them: The Wonder Twins are just going to have to be a conceit for any list I do about characters I want in the DC Universe. I think they are ripe for some nostalgic molding, and are more than due for a modern interpretation. They’re young, alien and probably a little bit hipster. They’re perfect for today’s modern, youth-friendly world of social media and Internet celebrities. Their journey would be one of transformation, from vapid, celebrity-obsessed teens to full-fledged heroes!
Or at leas that’s what I’d do. Give me a call, DC!
4. Wonder Girl
Who is she: Despite the name, Cassie Sandsmark in the New 52 doesn’t actually have anything to do with Wonder Woman (though Cassie is kind of a half-niece). Cassie is the daughter of a Greek demigod, granting her strength and other powers. Her human mother is an archaeologist, and while accompanying her mother on a dig, Cassie came into contact with the mysterious Silent Armor, an ancient weapon used to fight the demon Trigon. Cassie and the armor are now bonded in their fight for good.
Why pick her: Wonder Girl has more than earned her place among the Teen Titans in the New 52. She’s headstrong, powerful, and dedicated to the cause of helping people. Her backstory is a little sketchy, but so is everyone’s in the New 52, that’s not her fault. Having Wonder Girl on the Teen Titans also helps to maintain some connection to the original team, even if she isn’t really Wonder Woman’s sidekick. Cassie would be the team’s muscle, maybe even the backbone, and definitely up for a romantic lead alongside Red Robin. Heck, she’d probably make a good team leader too.
Who is she: The mysterious and deadly daughter of the demon Trigon, Raven has rebelled against her father to join the Teen Titans, where she has actual friends. She’s magical, mystical and more than a little goth.
Why pick her: Raven is a popular character, thanks in no small part to the various Teen Titans cartoons. I’ve never personally been a fan, but I think she brings a lot to the team. She’s got a unique personality and perspective on the world, a pretty cool power set, and her relationship with one of the Titans’ biggest enemies is always pretty cool. The fans would be eager to have Raven on the team, and I’d be more than happy to really delve into her life and outlook.
Who is he: Miguel Barragan is a brand new hero with the power to create purple psionic bricks, usually in any shape or configuration he wants. Miguel hails from Mexico, which he fled after his boyfriend fell into a coma. Miguel’s boyfriend has since woken up…but he’s still hanging out with the Titans in New York City. That hasn’t exactly been addressed.
Why pick him: Bunker is the best thing to come out of the Teen Titans in the New 52, and quite possibly the only good thing. He’s got the feel and energy of a classic character, and I hope he becomes a permanent addition to the Teen Titans franchise. If he hasn’t already shown up in Teen Titans Go!, somebody needs to get on that immediately. Bunker is culturally and socially diverse, and that’s a must for any superhero team. He’s funny, but not a class clown, and he’s connected to youth culture. He shouldn’t be going anywhere for a long time.
Who is he: Virgil Hawkins was originally created in the early 90s for Milestone Comics, a publisher founded to bring more superheroes of color into the world of comics. He’s most famous for starring in the cartoon show Static Shock on The Kids WB. Then Milestone was eventually bought up by DC Comics, and Static and his fellow heroes were folded into the DC Universe…and promptly forgotten about. Static had his own comic at the start of the New 52, but problems behind the scenes led to bad stories, which led to low sales, which led to Static getting cancelled fairly quickly. The character hasn’t been seen since.
Why pick him: The fact that Static isn’t already a member of the Teen Titans is nigh unforgivable. He’s an interesting and popular character, he adds diversity to the lineup, and he’s just sitting there! Static is an absolute must for my team. He not only brings in a big audience with him, but Static is just an all around fun character. He’s got great powers, a good look, and would easily round out the roster for any Teen Titans roundup. Plus he just needs to be more integrated into the DC Universe. The Teen Titans is the place to make that happen.
Honorable Mention: My Own Character
Not saying I’d introduce Gamer Girl to the Teen Titans…but maybe? I don’t know who exactly, but if I came on board Teen Titans, I’d want the freedom to create an original character. Isn’t that half the fun of getting a team book? Maybe it’d be Gamer Girl, or maybe it’d be…Gamer Guy? I dunno. Somebody! Anybody! It’s up to me!
Sometimes Allies: Bluebird and Spoiler
I’d be remiss if I didn’t add a little addendum stating that Bluebird and Spoiler would both be frequent guest stars and allies of the team. Maybe reserve Titans. I’d definitely make that a thing.
That’s my list, what about yours? What characters would you have on your Teen Titans team? And since we don’t own time machines, better use the New 52 continuity! Let me know in the comments! Any classic Titans you’d finally introduce to the New 52? Any characters you’d want to retcon into being normal again to make them fit? There’s no limit but your imagination!