First Published: October 2007
Contents: Teen Titans #19 (January-February 1969) to #36 (November-December 1971); The Brave and the Bold #83 (April-May 1969) and #94 (February-March 1971); and World’s Finest Comics #205 (September 1971)
Key Creator Credits: Bob Haney, Nick Cardy, Neal Adams, George Tuska, Gil Kane, Robert Kanigher, Steve Skeates, and others
Key First Appearances: Lilith, Loren Jupiter, Mal Duncan, Gnarrk
Story Continues From: Showcase Presents Teen Titans Vol. 1
Overview: The Teen Titans return in their second Showcase Presents volume to continue their adventures as the heroes-in-training for the next generation.
This volume kicks off with issue #19, which featured a line-up change. Speedy officially joins the team as a regular member, after making some cameo appearances in the past. At the same time, Aqualad leaves the team to return to Atlantis. (Maybe it was too hard to write tales that provided Aqualad a chance to swim?) Aqualad still makes the occasional appearance and short return stints from time to time.
In addition to Speedy, some new faces start hanging out with Teen Titans. The pre-cog Lilith joins the team, but never develops a formal costume to wear. That would later inspire the Titans to handle some future cases in their street clothes. Lilith had been working for Loren Jupiter, who would come on board to help fund the Teen Titans. Mal Duncan proves his worth to the team, although he does not have any super powers. (Much later, Mal will go through a couple of costumed identities in the mid-1970s when the Teen Titans returns to the publishing schedule.) Finally, Hawk and Dove make a visit to the Teen Titans but do not join up until the short-lived launch of Titans West.
These stories still remain for the most part as one-and-done, so you do have the option of skipping ahead to stories that may interest you more than others. Naturally, I’m going to encourage you to read it cover to cover, but you do what you want!
Why should these stories be Showcased?: I believe that this is a better volume than Showcase Presents Teen Titans Vol. 1. The stories are not as corny, as they start dealing with real issues of the time, such as the Vietnam War. Adding Lilith and Mal Duncan provided a much-needed diversification to the white male dominated books of the time. There are issues that Robin does not appear and the stories do not suffer without the most visible Titan included. The art in this book is just spectacular, with highlights from Adams and Cardy. This is a very good book, so pick it up and give it a look.
Footnotes: The Brave and the Bold #83 is also reprinted in Showcase Presents The Brave and the Bold Batman Team-Ups Vol. 1.
The Brave and the Bold #94 is also reprinted in Showcase Presents The Brave and the Bold Batman Team-Ups Vol. 2.
This Showcase Presents volume ends with Teen Titans #36. The Teen Titans series came to an end in early 1973 with issue #43. The Titans were brought back in 1976 as part of the DC Explosion, continuing the numbering with issue #44. That run came to an end with issue #53, as part of the DC “Implosion” of the late 1970s.
The full review can be found at Essential Showcase.
To find the original issues, or reprints, of Teen Titans, check with your local comic book store. In the Midwest, I strongly recommend Clint’s Comics in midtown Kansas City. Clint’s has been in business for nearly 50 years at the intersection of Main St. and Westport Rd. The back-issue selection is incredible, and what you see in the store is just a small fraction of their total inventory. In addition to the back issues, Clint’s stocks current issues, trade paperbacks, toys, T-shirts, and more. Check out Clint’s Comics to build your own essential collection!