I’m back after a few busy months both online and off with the first of a few new comic guides to thank Patrons of Crushing Krisis for their continued support…
This guide covers every in-continuity Teen Titans series, from their first appearance in The Brave and The Bold (1955) #54 and 60 in 1964 to the two titles currently running in Rebirth.
This guide was nowhere near next on my list, but two things changed that. First, I reached Teen Titans and Titans in my DC Rebirth reading. I felt like I didn’t understand who any of the characters were or where they came from. As is my wont, as I read the comics and researched the characters, I sketched in some guide details. Within a few hours I realized I had a solid skeleton for a a complex guide.
Second, earlier this week I polled my friends at The Omnibus Collector’s™ Comic Swap and Community and they overwhelmingly voted that this should be the next guide I tackle!
Want access to this guide today? It’s available, along over a dozen other exclusive guides, in exchange for covering $1.99 a month of CK’s hosting expenses.
The definitive issue-by-issue collecting guide and trade reading order for Teen Titans, Titans, & Young Justice comic books in omnibus, hardcover, and trade paperback collections. Part of Crushing Krisis’s Crushing Comics. Last updated February 2019 with titles scheduled for release through June 2019.
In 1965 the Silver Age of comics was in full swing, with all of DC’s iconic heroes starring in their own titles as well as in the the Justice League.
One element that DC generally lacked at the time was the youthful energy of Marvel’s Silver Age titles, which included hip young heroes like Spider-Man and The X-Men alongside more iconic DC analogs like The Avengers or Thor. It wasn’t that they lacked for young characters. It seemed the every DC hero had a teen version of sidekick. They hadn’t been assembled all in one place.
That changed with The Brave and The Bold (1955) #54 in 1964, which combined Golden Age creation Robin (Dick Grayson) with the more recently-made sidekicks of Kid Flash (Wally West), and Aqualad. Their next appearance in issue #60 added a formalized version of Wonder Girl (Donna Troy) and gave the group a name – “The Teen Titans.”
After just one more anthology series appearance (in Showcase (1956) #59), the Teen Titans graduated into their own title in 1966. While many other teen heroes appeared, only one became a more permanent member – Speedy, Green Arrow’s sidekick. The team-up was revived in 1973 and then shuttered in 1978 as the heroes felt they were growing too old to be “teens.”
Marv Wolfman and George Pérez reawakened the franchise in 1980. In an astounding act of creation, they introduced team mainstays Cyborg, Starfire, and Raven in a preview story in DC Comics Presents (1978) #26, where they also reintroduced Beast Boy as “Changeling.”
Wolfman and Pérez would become synonymous with the Teen Titans for the next decade in the same way Chris Claremont was with the X-Men, who the Titans rivaled in popularity. Along the way the co-writers introduced Slade Wilson as Deathstroke and changed Dick Grayson to Nightwing. Their characters made it through Crisis on Infinite Earths relatively unscathed as DC chose not to rock the boat of their most-popular team franchise. [Read more…] about Teen Titans, Titans, & Young Justice – The Definitive Collecting Guide and Reading Order
This week The Pull List is holding steady at a still-staggering 32 comic books.
I’m not sure if I was being a moody reader or if every company shipped some bunk books this week, but the average rating for the week was 2.70 – a full third of a point lower than the past few weeks. While that means most of the books were still better than average, it’s not by a whole lot.
Here’s what I pulled this week, with *s on adds (whether I just caught up with them or started them fresh):
- DC Comics
- Action Comics #998
- Detective Comics #975
- The Flash #41
- * Mera – Queen of Atlantis #1
- Milk Wars: JLA/Doom Patrol Special
- Raven: Daughter of Darkness #2
- * Suicide Squad #36
- Teen Titans #17
- The Silencer #2
- * The Terrifics #1
- Wonder Woman #41
- Image Comics
- * The Beef #1
- Days of Hate #2
- Gasolina #6
- Twisted Romance #4
- Void Trip #4
- Marvel Comics
- All-New Wolverine #31
- Avengers #682
- Captain Marvel #129
- * Champions #17
- Legion #2
- * Lockjaw #1
- Moon Knight #192
- Thanos #16
- X-Men Blue #22
- Smaller Publishers: Aftershock, Black Mask, Boom! Studios, Dark Horse, Titan
- Abbott #2, Boom! Studios
- * Alisik #1, Titan Books / Statix Press
- Backways #3, Aftershock Comics
- * Calexit #2, Black Mask Studios
- Hungry Ghosts #2, Dark Horse / Berger Books
- * Jim Henson’s Labyrinth: Coronation #1, Boom! Studios
- * The Wilds #1, Black Mask Studios
Picks of the Pull
Big Two (Marvel/DC) Issue of the Week:
Detective Comics (2016) #975
A great-looking, contemplative issue that brings together the members of the Bat-Family we don’t usually see in this book – Nightwing, Batgirl, Red Hood, and Damian.
Batman has pulled these trusted lieutenants together as an inner council to decide Batwoman’s fate as a member of the Bat-family, yet in some ways their conversation is also a litigation of Bruce and his methods as the head of this dysfunctional household. Meanwhile, Batwoman holds herself accountable for her own actions, with a surprising result.
This isn’t an issue that’s going to appeal to a more casual reader – it looks amazing, but it has hardly any conflict. However, for someone who has been reading from the start this pierces right to the heart of this title and the ideological divide between Batwoman and Batman that has been brewing all along.
Part of what makes it so power is that Batwoman also has an avowed “no kills” philosophy, but she is willing to make exceptions when other lives hang in the balance. Batman won’t make exceptions, so he gets to watches thousands of Gothamites die from his moral high ground.
It’s heartbreaking to think of this book writing by someone other than Tynion or with a cast other than this one. Everything about it works so incredibly well. Yet, we’re in the “disassembled” phase, and there’s certainly more conflict to come before Tynion moves on.
Best Small-Pub Issue of the Week:
The Wilds (2018) #1, Black Mask Studios
A strong and sombre new zombie comic, The Wilds is definitely a descendent of Walking Dead but with a completely different tone – due in no small part to its pair of woman creators, Vita Ayala and Emily Pearson.
We get the same old zombie-pocked landscape with isolated camps trading resources and doing their best to survive, except the zombies are walking plant life – humans who have turned into semi-sentient flower pots. It makes for strangely calming, beautiful zombies to see all of their typical goriest bits covered in blooming flowers.
Pearson’s art evokes such masters of the modern form as Allred and Noto, employing their same plain, truthful faces and uncomplicated backgrounds.
Beneath the flowery dressing, this is the familiar story of a single senior errand runner who thinks it might be time to get out of the game, and how an act of compassion on her last journey might spell the end of the safety of her heavily fortified compound. There’s no slam bang action beats in this one, but the strange stillness of it is pulling me towards reading more.