Thursday, June 15, 2017
Quarter Bin 112 "Teen Titans Turning Points"
Tales of the Teen Titans #59, 78 (DC)
The New Titans #71 (DC)
Teen Titans #16 (DC)
from November 1985, June 1987, November 1990, November 2004
Each of these issues kind of encapsulates a turning point for the Teen Titans, so that was pretty neat. Tales #59 is a reprint of their first adventure under Marv Wolfman and George Perez, the start of a wildly popular run that rivaled the X-Men in the '80s. Tales #78, meanwhile, features the team apparently splitting up. New Titans #71, as you can tell from the cover, is an anniversary celebration. Teen Titans #16 kind of once again reintegrates Superboy into Legion lore (long complicated history, there).
I don't think the Wolfman/Perez run ages particularly well. I've read "The Judas Contract," and that did age well, but a lot of the soap opera elements that made the run so popular don't work as well today. Reading Geoff Johns' Teen Titans again is always interesting, because that was one of the runs where he cut his teeth, that and JSA, as DC's resident continuity guy, which is funny because his Titans drastically revamped characters like Superboy [insert classic anecdote about the letter here] and Kid Flash while also giving the team its first successful run in more than a decade.
New Titans #71 also has the distinction of having Tom Grummett art. Grummett went on to be a Superman artist, and in that way helped introduce the modern Superboy. By 1990, apparently, his style was already set, so there was no trouble recognizing his work.
It's kind of amazing that Wolfman thought in the '80s that a Titans movie was imminent, which is far more humbling in 2017 than Stan Lee hyping a Spider-Man movie in the '90s. But that's one of the many reasons to read back issues, to see what people were thinking back in the day...