#19 - The New Teen Titans by Marv Wolfman

The New Teen Titans is about the adventures of some young superheroes who we usually only see as sidekicks. There’s Robin, Kid Flash, Wonder Girl and a host of other characters that are generally found at the side of more popular heroes like Batman and Wonder Woman, often only there to utter a witty catchphrase and maybe throw a punch or two at a bad guy.

Writer Marv Wolfman’s idea was to take these guys and give them some of them limelight. He did this by putting them together in their own crime fighting group, often likened to a junior Justice League by many fans, and throwing some villains at them. Not only that but he decided he’d make them all teenagers, and by doing this he could create side plots about the characters growing up and what dilemmas they faced as they get older.

Beyond the superhero powers and costumes, this is a story of teenagers maturing and struggling to find an identity for themselves. Dick Grayson abandons his Robin persona to forge a more mature identity, whilst Kid Flash does what many teenagers do; he goes to college in an attempt to grow up and find himself. If you were a teenager, or on the verge of it, when you read this, you definitely will have found a few storylines that hit home for you and you could relate to. This is an achievement when you consider that all the primary characters are superheroes, not regular people like you and me. But maybe that is Wolfman's point; if superheroes existed, they'd have the same problems as the rest of us.

A highlight of The New Teen Titans is Wolfman and Perez’s The Judas Contract, where a new member joins the group and isn’t all she appears to be. The plot acts as a catalyst to the Titans lives and forces them to change, some for the better some for the worse, and to grow. It is a classic story and it is where any new Titans fan should start.

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