Value of Teen Titans Characters in Comic Books
by Christopher Tanis and Ashley Cotter-Cairns
Growing in importance thanks to the DC movie mill, Teen Titans have a number of classic, valuable first appearance issues. Find out what your Teen Titans books are worth with our free comic price guide.
Writer Bob Haney and artist Bruno Premiani did the honors for the first and unofficial appearance of the nascent Teen Titans characters.
True, Wonder Girl is not present.
True, the three superhero sidekicks (Robin, Aqualad, and Kid Flash) never call themselves "The Teen Titans."
True, the plot is silly in the extreme, with the three heroes invited to the town of Hatton Corners to settle a dispute between the kids and adults of the town as to whether the adults were square and unhip, or the kids unruly (no points for guessing which group held which position).
But (and this is a BIG "but") this is what most comic historians look at as the beginning of the team.
They battle a nobody of a villain named Mister Twister, and help settle the differences between the teens and adults of Hatton Corners without ever being rebellious themselves.
If not for a whiff of inspiration after the fact, it would have been a meaningless blip, one of the less valuable issues of B&B. As it is, B&B #54 fetches a good price.
Now we can get official. While we don't get to see how, exactly, Wonder Girl joins or how they decided to call themselves The Teen Titans, the team is officially born here.
The story is as implausible as the last one, with the town of Midville electing a "teen mayor" for "teen day," but there are some in the town (cue sinister music) who – gasp – don't like teenagers.
Now that you've recovered from that awful shock, all you really need to know is that one teen's scientist father has gone bonkers after using a machine designed to turn him into a giant molecule, and he becomes The Separated Man.
Filled with teen angst, he calls upon the Teen Titans, who of course save the day. The Teen Titans characters go their separate ways, their first mission a success.
The final appearance of the Teen Titans characters before their own series began a month later was in Showcase #59.
Odd timing, since their own debut a month later had to already be in the works, making this not very effective as a "try out," which is what Showcase generally was used for.
Either way, the Titans get locked into the "teen themed" stories that would characterize their first run here.
In the inaugural issue of their own title, the Teen Titans characters show themselves to be the upstanding and earnest teens that all America loved.
They joined the Peace Corps to help stop the ancient gods who'd been summoned by a man attempting to stop the Corps from building a dam that would flood an ancient temple in the tiny South American nation of Xochatan. Initially skeptical about the supernatural, the Titans learn a thing or two about volunteerism and superstition along the way.
The Titans face a teenage would-be super-villain named Punch in this issue.
He is so angry at another villain for mocking his plans to defeat the JLA that he decides to prove himself by defeating the Teen Titans first, as that should be an easier accomplishment.
Well, wouldn't you know it, the Titans foil him. Old Pal Speedy (teenage sidekick to Green Arrow and future junkie) is along for the ride to help out, and after the case is wrapped up, volunteers to take Aqualad's place.
We'll leave out, for now, the way in which Hawk and Dove, well, dovetail into the unpleasant objectivist philosophy that their creator, the legendary Steve Ditko, had begun espousing by 1969.
Let's simply say that Hawk and Dove begin their occasional association with the Teen Titans characters in this issue.
Record sale: $570
Minimum value: $1
OK, there's this problem with Wonder Girl, see? She's, well, she's—oh, heck, things just don't work out with her whole story. It'll make your head hurt.
In Teen Titans #22, Wonder Girl was Donna Troy, the orphaned survivor of a house fire who'd been rescued by Wonder Woman, brought to Paradise Island, and given powers equal to Wonder Woman's by Queen Hyppolyta.
No big deal, except later on it is "revealed" that this story was just what Wonder Girl believed, when in fact she is actually a younger version of Wonder Woman, just like Superboy is the younger version of Superman.
But wait—how can she be around with the Teen Titans characters when Wonder Woman is around with the JLA at the same time?
"Joker's Daughter" had been hanging around Titans' HQ, after a battle with Robin.
Robin, for whatever reason, proposed her as a new member of the Team. She had purple skin and some cool gadgets, and could fight a bit, so the Boy Wonder must have figured they needed more chicks around. Or that's the best guess.
Her real name is Duela Dent, and later on, she would be retconned into having the Jokester (the alternate reality heroic version of the Joker) as her real father. Does your head hurt yet?
Anyway, in this issue, the Teen Titans characters battle her dad, Two-Face. They win, big surprise. Bumblebee, who it turns out was just Mal's girlfriend who first attacked the Titans to help her BF look good, becomes a member with this issue.
Mal, for whatever this is worth, has by now become known as Hornblower and would soon become Herald.
In addition to Kid Flash, Wonder Girl, and Beast Boy (now known as Changeling), there are new heroes Cyborg, Raven, and the barely-dressed Starfire.
The issue of the New Teen Titans backtracks from the preview in DC Comics Presents to show the unfolding drama of nearly-naked alien princess Starfire (real name: Koriand'r) and her enslavement at the hands of her evil sister.
Meanwhile, Raven (an empath and precognitive) gathers together the members of the New Teen Titans, since they are fated to be together to rescue Starfire and fight for justice together.
If you're looking for a valuable issue of the New Teen Titans, then #2 is just what the doctor ordered.
The first appearance of Deathstroke adds significant value to this issue, in which we find out that he is the father of Grant Wilson.
The drama which had been brewing between Starfire and her sister, Blackfire, comes to a head in this, the first New Teen Titans Annual.
For anyone interested, the real end of comic books happened in The New Teen Titans #44, when Robin, the Boy Wonder, finally grew up and became Nightwing.
The poop-storm of new Robins that followed was a sad, sad chapter in DC Comics history, and the way that Nightwing was rebooted and retconned after the Crisis in the mid-80s is probably why Nightwing was never as popular as Robin or as his old mentor, the guy in the Bat suit.
The Teen Titans began as a simple idea for a story in The Brave and the Bold: get the sidekicks of some JLA members together for a story.
One can just imagine B&B writer Bob Haney pitching the idea to his higher-ups: "The kids'll love it! Three teenage heroes together, fighting crime—they'll really identify! We can’t miss!"
From that beginning, the idea for the original Teen Titans came. Robin, the Boy Wonder, Aqualad (Aquaman's teenage sidekick), and Kid Flash (Flash's teenage sidekick) would be joined by Wonder Girl (less a sidekick than a junior version of Wonder Woman) to form the original Teen Titans.
The comic sold reasonably well, but not enough to make it monthly. The Teen Titans characters plodded along as a bi-monthly until it was cancelled in 1973.
A 1976 reboot as part of the "DC Explosion" lasted only ten more bi-monthly issues before falling victim to the "DC Implosion." And after all, they'd grown up. Being no longer teens, it seemed silly to all concerned to keep going.
When a "new" Teen Titans team was slipped into a backing feature in DC Comics Presents in 1980, no one expected much, but with new characters and a new creative team (Marv Wolfman and George Perez) The New Teen Titans became a runaway hit, DC's answer, if you will, to Marvel's X-Men (at least it was perceived that way at the time).
The title failed, however, to have the staying power of its counterpart at Marvel, never spawning the franchise that the X-Men did.
Nonetheless, there are many issues of Teen Titans comics, both the "original" and the "new" incarnations, which are valued by collectors, with the earliest Silver Age issues commanding the highest prices at the moment.
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This list of Teen Titans characters may not be complete.
Please email us details of any we've missed.
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