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Monday, 18 April 2016

Editorial: 5 Characters Who'd Make A Great Teen Titans Team.

Editorial: 5 Characters Who'd Make
A Great Teen Titans Team.

As the work I have to get done today piles up, it looks like today's going to be a fluffy editorial day. After the barrage of reviews last week, I imagine you guys might like a quick break for a lighthearted list of potential Teen Titans members as well.

For those who don't know, the Teen Titans are DC's premier teen superhero team, the inspiration for both Young Justice and Marvel's Young Avengers. Typically consisting of Robin, Kid Flash, Superboy, Wonder Girl, and Raven, along with a handful of others depending on who's popular at the time, they're perhaps best known from the Teen Titans television show, which aired from 2003 to 2006. 

With a recent uptick in popularity thanks to the popular Justice League vs Teen Titans film (which made the roster Robin, Raven, Blue Beetle, Beast Boy, and Starfire), it's not a bad time to take a look at which five characters I'd put on the team if, for some baffling reason, DC asked me to tomorrow.

In all honesty, this list could have been twice as long, so expect a part two in the next few weeks, I guess?

Batman II / Terry McGinnis.

Unpopular opinion: Robins are only really become interesting when they stop being Robin, and sometimes not even then (hey, Tim, how're you doing).

But, if we sidestep Robins altogether, we do have another promising option for a Batman representative. Batman Beyond, a popular cartoon series set twenty minutes into the future in a time where Bruce Wayne has grown too old to effectively fight as Batman, introduced us to Terry McGinnis, a wisecracking teenager who became the new Batman under Bruce's tutelage.

The series and character were popular enough to spawn a spin-off series, to be continually referenced in Batman video games (and as recently as 2015), and to have a comic series based on it that has run on and off since the series' end to the present day, so it's fair to say that Terry would be a popular choice for a Titans member.

Time travel would have to be involved, obviously, but it's the DC Universe, time travel happens all the time in it.

Supergirl / Kara Zor-El.

Superboy is typically the member of the Supes family who ends up with a Titan membership, which is a shame, because while I do like Superboy, Supergirl brings with her a bunch of interesting plotlines and character development opportunities, just because she, unlike nearly every other member of the Supes family, actually remembers Krypton.

Introduced in the Silver Age, Supergirl is one of the few survivors of the Great Super-Thing Deluge, in which DC's writers would randomly slap an 'S' and a cape onto literally everything (thus leading to such things as the Super-Horse), because unlike ninety-nine percent of the new super-beings introduced at that time, Supergirl actually managed to capture audiences' attention.

Popular enough to get her own film, her own TV series, and a recurring role in several other television series, she has a popularity that arguably comes close to rivaling that of Superman himself. She'd be a popular choice for a Titans series, especially given that her popularity has only increased in recent years.

Also, there's really only so many times we can see Superboy go through the 'I'm a clone of Lex Luthor does that make me evil' character arc before it gets old.

Blue Beetle / Jaime Reyes.

Jaime is a rare thing, a legacy character who is better known and more beloved than the superhero he was originally based upon, and part of that is probably because his backstory and powerset are way, way more interesting than Ted Kord's. A boy from El Paso, Texas, Jaime becomes the Blue Beetle when the Scarab, a biomechanical alien symbiote, fuses to his spine, granting him a voice in his head and access to a suit of adaptive power armour.

Later plot developments would link the Scarab to the Reach, an invasive alien empire, which means that any series that includes Jaime also gets access to a villainous army of cybernetic insect aliens for free. That's not a bad deal.

While Jaime has never been a staple member of the Titans, he looks set to become one, having been featured on their roster in the recent Justice League vs Teen Titans film, and recently inducted into the group in comics, as well, as well as having had an important role in Young Justice's second series.

Raven / Raven Roth.

Popularised by the Teen Titans television series, Raven, the magic-wielding daughter of the demon Trigon, is one of the Titans' breakout characters, having shown up in almost every iteration of the Titans, and usually having a fairly major role. She's also one of the only Titans members to be a playable character in Injustice: Gods Among Us, but that's a dubious honour at best.

In many respects, Raven is inseparable from the Teen Titans brand, being one of their most prominent and well-known members, so it only makes sense to include her. Besides, the inclusion of Raven also opens up a wealth of plotlines by bringing Trigon, one of the DC Universe's best villains, into the fray.

Spoiler / Stephanie Brown.

Much loved by fans and yet consistently mistreated by DC's writers and editors, Stephanie Brown has been Spoiler, Robin, Batgirl, and then Spoiler again. The fact that DC's editors keep trying to write her out of existence, either killing her off (and then having her never mentioned again) or just trying to keep her out of DC's rebooted comics for as long as possible, and keep having to cave to fan pressure and add her back in anyway is a testament to how popular she is.

Moreover, as arguably one of the most experienced teen heroes in DC (she's the only character ever to have been both Robin and Batgirl, after all), as well as being a generally sunny, upbeat person, she'd make the perfect leader for the Teen Titans.

While she arguably fits into the same Batfamily niche as Terry, the fact that she has her own distinct identity and links to the supervillain Cluemaster means that she can comfortably stand apart from him. 

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