It’s Time to Discover (or Rediscover) the Teen Titans Animated Series

One of my favourite issues to write about right here is the Teen Titans. They are the stars of a few of my favourite comedian books of all time (together with the NEW TEEN TITANS run that was the bestselling DC comedian guide for eleven years). So, unsurprisingly, my all-time favourite DC animated collection was the unique Teen Titans collection that aired throughout the early aughts. Now, thanks to the energy of DC Universe, this superb present is extra accessible than ever!

Unlike a few of the juggernaut collection (Batman: The Animated Series, Justice League), the unique Teen Titans animated collection won’t have reached as many potential viewers as its hilarious successor, Teen Titans Go! So, permit me to run down all of the most superb points of this phenomenal collection.

Firstly, you have got to be impressed by the characterization. For myself and lots of cartoon watchers since, that is our first introduction to all of the members of the Teen Titans that aren’t Robin. This places the collection in a singular place of making definitive variations of Cyborg, Starfire, Raven and Beast Boy for a era of followers. Despite the characters by no means utilizing their given names and little or no about their lives outdoors of Titans Tower ever being addressed, they’re launched in broad strokes that instantly permit the viewers to get a deal with on who they’re. Then, over the course of the present’s 5 seasons, Teen Titans slowly takes their most outlandish—dare I say “cartoonish”—traits and humanizes them.

Here is the greatest instance, in my humble opinion. Raven (as voice by the superior Tara Strong), is launched as the goth woman in the pilot episode. It’s an excellent shorthand and a straightforward means to ease the expectation of viewers about who Raven is and what forms of issues she could be all in favour of. Then, once we later study that she is half-demon and that her powers are by-product of one other darker plan, it’s not a bitter capsule to swallow.

Yes, Raven is darkish. Yes, Raven is moody. Her character and interactions together with her fellow teammates mirror that. For instance, she has little endurance for the antics of Beast Boy and Cyborg who’re very self-focused and aggressive. However, the basic Raven/Beast Boy romance does come into play (and I weep for happiness each time I watch it!), and we get to watch Raven come to phrases together with her id because it relates to her father, Trigon, and because it relates to all of these individuals she surrounds herself with. She opens herself up to Beast Boy’s affection and the second when she hugs him for the first time has develop into so iconic in the scope of well-liked tradition that it’s now a really well-known .gif on Twitter.

All of the Teen Titans characters get this type of improvement that was fairly unusual on animated exhibits of the period. Ultimately, it speaks to the dynamic characters and story arcs that make up the baseline of the present.

Teen Titans was lucky to be able the place that they had an impressive pool of potential characters to pull from. The New Teen Titans group make up most of the younger superheroes that seem all through the present. For the most half, the legacy characters (with the exception of Robin), are overlooked of the present solely to pop up late (Hey, Speedy! Hey, Aqualad!) and are a welcome addition once they do pop up. Not solely do the power of the characters help the endurance of Teen Titans, but in addition the dynamic storylines. New Teen Titans strikes once more!

Remember once I talked about that New Teen Titans was a bestselling collection? That gave the creators of the present such a terrific leaping off level to craft the story of those younger misfits coming collectively and forging a superhero household.

The second season of the present stars round newcomer to the staff—Terra (!!!)—and tells a stripped-down model of THE JUDAS CONTRACT. If you’re studying this text, then there’s a superb probability you’re fairly acquainted with The Judas Contract and I’m not going to take any nice pains about spoiling it right here. I solely need you to know that not solely is The Judas Contract thought-about to this present day to be considered one of the biggest Teen Titans tales to have ever been informed (shout-out to Marv Wolfman and George Perez for all of their exhausting work on it!), but in addition one among the biggest comedian guide tales to have been advised interval.

Granted, on Teen Titans the betrayal-driven narrative is fairly stripped down in contrast to the deep complexities of the unique story, although it’s no much less riveting. It is not any much less tragic. When Slade Wilson (as voiced by the epic Ron Perlman) is launched, he’s sufficiently mysterious. When viewers go on to study what an impression Deathstroke has on the bigger DC comedian ebook universe, there isn’t a doubt that the Teen Titans have been up towards a spectacular foe.

There are extra episodes that tackle basic Teen Titans tales:

●Starfire and Robin’s romance is launched and explored​
Starfire’s historical past together with her evil sister, Blackfire, is the focus of an particularly good episode
Robin’s maturation and adopting of the Nightwing id is explored (enjoyable reality: Dick Grayson debuted as Nightwing in TALES OF THE TEEN TITANS #44 in 1984)
●Cyborg learns to embrace and perceive his techno-biological existence

These aren’t even ongoing storylines!

And if that’s not sufficient, I’ll let you already know that the collection culminates in Trigon’s return to Earth to reclaim his daughter Raven in a tremendously epic narrative that’s lifted immediately from the unique comedian ebook supply materials, and naturally, it’s up to this workforce of foolish misfit younger individuals have to save the world.

I’m not sure if the last season of Teen Titans is as well-known and beloved because it ought to be. By the finish, the staff comes collectively to inform a narrative that’s in each approach as epic as what Justice League Unlimited was throwing down at the similar time. Teen Titans manages all of this with a extra profound sense of self-awareness and an animation type that marries each Eastern and Western traditions. Much like the comedian e-book workforce from which the cartoon attracts its identify and inspirations, it’s really particular and deserves to be revisited.

If this has sparked an curiosity in you to jump over to DC Universe and take a look at a number of episodes, please let me know down in the feedback part! What episodes are you watching? The tales are at our fingertips like we’ve by no means had them earlier than. Teen Titans, go!

Teen Titans is now obtainable to stream in full on DC Universe.

Ashley V. Robinson writes about TV, films and comics for and is a member of the #DCTV Couch Club. You can discover her on Twitter at @AshleyVRobinson and on the Jawiin YouTube channel. 

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