- Posted by Johanna on February 5, 2009 at 10:41 pm
- Category: Superhero Reviews
- PUBLISHER: DC Comics; $49.95 US
You’ll need to be in the right frame of mind to appreciate The Silver Age Teen Titans Archives, but if you are, it’s a fun time capsule. The book contains the first five issues of the series from 1966, plus three earlier appearances: The Brave and the Bold #54, #60, and Showcase #59, all written by the unique Bob Haney, his generation’s Grant Morrison. Nick Cardy was the series’ regular artist, although the Brave and the Bold appearances were drawn by Bruno Premiani (The Doom Patrol).
This early teen team was originally made up of sidekicks of Justice League members: Batman’s ward Robin, Aquaman’s partner Aqualad, and Kid Flash. With the team’s second appearance, Wonder Girl joined the group, and things started swinging.
The language is aggressively hip, with plenty of out-there slang (obviously written by an adult). Of more significance is how the stories attempt to capture the generation gap. We’re only three pages into the comics before Batman is describing teenagers as “spoiled brats” while Robin calls him “an old square” and asks for adults to listen to the grievances of the young. Flash chimes in that “only another teenager really understands their problems!” That sets the tone for future stories, with the young heroes aiding kids their own age.
The villains are dementedly imaginative. Mr. Twister starts things off by kidnapping a town’s teenagers with his tornadoes, causing the two generations to miss each other and appreciate the other more. During Teen Government Day, the Separated Man sends his giant body parts to sabotage the kids’ leadership, but he’s defeated with transistor radios, scooters, and surfers. The Teen Titans clear The Flips, a rock group framed for stealing; aid the Peace Corps in South America; encounter a defrosted teen caveboy; prevent drop-outs from being led astray by Ding-Dong Daddy’s hot-rods; find a missing Olympic athlete; and save a camp that aides troubled youth.
So, Daddio, are you with-it enough to make the scene with Wonder Chick, Twinkletoes, and the rest? Dig it! How else are you going to find out how Wonder Girl’s ponytail saves the day?
These stories, plus reprints of another 13 issues, can also be found in black-and-white in Showcase Presents: Teen Titans Volume 1. If you’re just in it for the laughs, that may be a more affordable way to sample the tales … but it’s just not the same without the colorful costumes.