Wonder Girl, Starfire, Robin, Cyborg, Changeling, Raven, Kid Flash
The most famous team of teenage Super Heroes
in The DCU
(but not the first
). Often referred to as a "Justice Little League
," though more often as a "Junior Justice League."
The original series began back in The Silver Age of Comic Books
, with a one-shot story in The Brave and the Bold
#54 (July, 1964), where three Sidekicks
, and Kid Flash
, teamed up. The issue sold notably well, and, after a few more tryouts and the addition of Wonder Girl
(despite her actually intended to be the the original Wonder Woman as a girl, and not a contemporary sidekick) and Speedy
, became an ongoing series.
The book depended heavily on Totally Radical
, with Fad Super
villains like the Mad Mod and Ding Dong Daddy and hamfisted attempts to address the issues of the day
. Nevertheless, it was lighthearted and fun. Eventually, though, it was cancelled in 1973, brought back in 1976, and re-cancelled in 1978. Altogether 53 issues were published.
In the Bronze Age
, the series returned as The New Teen Titans
, launched in 1980. Written by Marv Wolfman and drawn by George Perez, this version of the series was the most successful and the most iconic (as well as being the version the 2003 animated series
is most based on). It brought back Robin, Wonder Girl, and Kid Flash, and teamed them up with new characters Cyborg
, Raven, and Starfire, along with previously-established character Beast Boy
, now renamed Changeling.
The series moved into Darker and Edgier
territory, and was a trendsetter in that respect; for instance, an early storyline involved them going up against "Deathstroke
the Terminator," a paid assassin, and being infiltrated by the not-so-innocent
Terra. It was heavily character-based, with lots of conflict, romance, and soul-searching (that occasionally slipped into Wangst
This version was not only popular, but often considered DC's number one title at the time, a rival to the X-Men
(which they eventually crossed over with
), and a major definer of the tropes that came to be recognized as comics' Bronze Age. However, writer fatigue and removal of the book from newsstands to prop up DC Comics' direct market line of books led to it collapsing into boredom and fan apathy. The arrival of a new editor inspired Wolfman to shake up the book, using a subplot involving the mysterious "Wildebeest Society" that went on way too long
and didn't have a very good ending. Fan favorite villain Deathstroke became a good guy and ally to the team, half the roster was slaughtered/turned evil/depowered, a Titans group from the near-distant future of 2001 arrived and were stuck in the past, and popular villain Terra was brought back in a sense as a genetically-altered doppelganger who didn't know her own past and strived to better the "Terra" name; none of which really helped the book and ultimately led to the Batman editors having their big chance to take back Nightwing from the Titans (Wolfman had the sole rights to him since 1980), to the horror of fans of the book. This coincided with a lot more Executive Meddling
with Wolfman having to introduce various characters he didn't have interest in actually using, such as Impulse from The Flash
and the early '90s Supergirl.
Ultimately the book was cancelled, but within a year was relaunched, consisting of an aged-down
Atom and a bunch of new characters, but it wasn't very successful (to the point where poor Risk became C-List Fodder
to the extreme with the morbid running gag of losing limbs to Superboy-Prime). Editorial meddling with Dan Jurgens' intent didn't help the matter, although he did get to use some lesser-used characters like Captain Marvel Jr. in the process
. And let's not even talk
about those Team Titans
, that group of future-sent teens that showed up during New Titans.
At this point, the idea of the Teen Titans split two ways. A late 90s series just called Titans
lasted quite a while (and featured most of the original team and
the 1980s successful team, plus a few new characters), but was never a big seller, and eventually delved into some truly horrific storytelling by Jay Faerber (the "Jesse Quick sleeps with her mother's fiancee" storyline). The other idea took the original idea of a band of teenage heroes and sidekicks
, and became Young Justice
. The former tended even more toward the soul-searching of New Teen Titans
, while the latter went through mostly lighthearted adventures and character-based comedy.
About this time, the aforementioned Teen Titans
animated series premiered. After it became popular, the powers that be
decided they wanted a Teen Titans
comic that resembled the show. Thus, both Titans
and Young Justice
were cancelled, and the more marketable characters from the latter were brought together with the more nostalgic characters from the former in the dark-natured Judd Winick-written miniseries Graduation Day
, which led into a relaunch of Teen Titans
written by fan favorite Geoff Johns
. On a side note, the aforementioned animesque
cartoon got its own comic book adaptation
, Teen Titans Go!
This series was reasonably popular, but involved several changes in characterization which annoyed long-time fans. For instance, the Fun Personified
character, Impulse, was shot in the kneecap (with ADD curing bullets, as many disgruntled fans have quipped) and suddenly became Kid Flash, a more intelligent and serious character than before (although he did
retain some of the humor that made him popular in the first place), and the modern version of Superboy was retconned
into having Lex Luthor
's DNA and worrying about turning evil because of it
. Meanwhile, the Tomboy
Cassie Sandsmark (aka Wonder Girl II) was stripped of her original personality and made The Chick
, only there to mostly praise Superboy and do little else, only to then become increasingly spiteful and aggressive towards her teammates after he died. Generally, the ex-Young Justice
characters were on the receiving end of this, being made Darker and Edgier
as an attempt to invoke the New Teen Titans
days and the more modern DC sensibility of dark storytelling.
The series had been revamped again multiple times during that third volume, introducing new Legacy Characters
(such as Sailor Moon
-esque Miss Martian and the cynical Bombshell), and attempting to be both Lighter and Softer
(for example, bringing Wendy and Marvin from Super Friends
into the DCU) and Darker and Edgier
, killing off even more
characters (such as the aforementioned Wendy and Marvin, at the hands of a murderous devil dog version of Wonder Dog, no less). Such gore-filled editorial mandates led to writer Sean McKeever to quit the book in protest, and things spiraled further down the drain, to the extent that DC reunited the 80s New Teen Titans into their own book "Titans" (again
) and the Teen Titans went through even more change. After two years, the various team members were 'graduated' to the Justice League (Troia), 'demoted' back to the Teen Titans book (Beast Boy and Raven) or killed off (Tempest). "Titans" was now about a Deathstroke-lead team of villains, while the simultaneous run on "Teen Titans", by comic newcomer Felicia Henderson, had few champions, even amongst the most rabid fans.
Around the start of 2011, J.T. Krul took over writing volume 3, with fan-favorite Nicola Scott on art, and so far, their run was fairly well-received compared to the previous writers. Yet this too would not last. Both Titan books were cancelled in August; these were replaced in September with a single book, written by Scott Lobdell
and drawn by Brett Booth, as part of DC's New 52
relaunch. The starting line-up consisted of Red Robin, Kid Flash, Wonder Girl, and Solstice, along with with two new characters, Skitter and Bunker. Superboy starts out as an enemy under control of N.O.W.H.E.R.E., an organization devoted to capturing, controlling, or killing young metahumans. He eventually joins the Titans
after they save him from dying at the hands of his creators. This leads into The Culling, a crossover with Legion Lost
, during which both groups face off against N.O.W.H.E.R.E.. After that, the revised origin for Cassandra Sandsmark was given, then the book tied in to Death Of The Family
. Trigon followed, as well as a Forever Evil
tie in that explored Kid Flash's origins.
At 30 issues, the book has now been cancelled once more. However, the series has been relaunched in July 2014 with a new #1, written by Will Pfeifer with Kenneth Rocafort as the artist. It has Red Robin, Wonder Girl, Beast Boy (in his original green, in fact), Bunker, and Raven as the starting line-up. In an interview, Pfeifer hints at the possibility of someone from the Superman and Flash families joining the team at a later point. According to the same interview, the run places a greater emphasis on the Titans being teenage heroes who haven't been heroes for very long. Apparently the events of Forever Evil
ties into the new run, as the Titans draws the attention of super-powered teens around the world, good or bad, and that it may later tie into the weekly series Futures' End
. See more here.
Notably, nearly every single run since the 1990s has been an attempt to copy the success of the 1980s version, and every single one has eventually fizzled out thanks to a combination of bad writing and/or Executive Meddling
(which one is more prevalent depends on the fan asked).
In 2013, a new animated series about the Teen Titans was released called Teen Titans Go!
which featured things from the 2003 series (such as the character's designs and certain powers) and the comics (such as Raven having feelings for Beast Boy and her hair being black, Terra being straight up evil), but made Denser and Wackier
This page has a character sheet
These series contain examples of:
- Afraid of Doctors: In Geoff Johns' Teen Titans, Superboy and Beast Boy have a phobia of doctors, due to both of them being experimented on as kids. Beast Boy in particular has a special hatred for needles.
- Ambiguously Jewish: Kid Devil, aka Eddie Bloomberg.
- Animal-Themed Superbeing: Beast Boy and Robin.
- Anyone Can Die: The Titans seem to have a higher rate of mortality than other super teams. Even former Titans are prone to dying. No wonder the Titans memorial hall is so crowded.
- An Arm and a Leg: Risk loses an arm fighting Superboy-Prime in Infinite Crisis. He then loses the other arm in a later battle vs. Prime. As no other writers used him again after this appearance, fans debate over whether he died or not.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: After Mia Dearden reveals to the team her Dark and Troubled Past, where she contracted HIV from her days as a teenage prostitute, the others start telling of their own secret worries; Beast Boy is worried his "condition" could infect others and eventually turn him into a monster. Raven can't help but feed on emotions whilst everyone else sleeps. And Cassie is scared that Ares may be turning her into a weapon of war... Then Bart comes in with his own secret:
Kid Flash: I gotta secret, too. I ran out of clean underwear yesterday, so I stole some of Beast Boy's.
Beast Boy: You what?!
- Ascended Fanboy: Kid Devil once he became a Titan.
- Static was also a comic book fanboy prior to becoming a superhero. When Miss Martian first met Static and invited him to Titans Tower, he was awestruck and claimed to be a "big fan" of the team.
- Ax-Crazy: Ravager (though she got better).
- She's back to her former ways as of the reboot, though not working with her father.
- Back for the Dead: Wolfman made a big story with Brother Blood that ended with him amnesic and left in a forgotten church to farm. Many years later, the Outsiders visit the Church, and discover the evil hidden base below it. Brother Blood unleashes his master plan... and gets murdered at the end of it, so that his son became the new Brother Blood (something that Blood had done himself, as well as his father, his grandfather and all the way to the time of Crusades).
- Badass Normal: Each Robin and Speedy to join the team falls under this.
- Big Bad Wannabe: The H.I.V.E. had no revenge agenda against the Titans, they just attacked them to establish a reputation as an evil group. How did they do that? They hired Deathstroke, who did all the dirty work. The H.I.V.E. never successfully attacked the Titans themselves. Deathstroke finally captured the Titans and sent them prisoners to the H.I.V.E. And with the Titans in their power, they just had an episode of Bond Villain Stupidity.
- Boobs of Steel: Starfire.
- Bombshell, literally due to her metal coating.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Virtually every Teen Titan has succumbed to this trope at least once
- Brother-Sister Team: The villains Shimmer and Mammoth, of the Fearsome Five.
- Butt Monkey: Dr. Light during the Wolfman-Perez era. Even his team betrays him several times, he always has humiliating defeats, and is referenced in-story as such. One of the worst cases was when he was stopped by Wally West and Frances Kane, who had no super hero costumes and fight with hit-and-run tactics while staying out of his sight.
Dr. Light: I lost with Flash! Hawkman! The JLA! Green Lantern! The Titans! Even the Atom! But this is the final humilliation! I don't even know who has defeated me!
- Canon Discontinuity: Several beloved Titan stories (Who Is Donna Troy?, The Origin Of Lilith) were rendered null and void by Crisis on Infinite Earths..
- Judd Winick threw out all of Geoff John's work to redeem Jericho and bring him back to life.
- J.T. Krul tried to fix that, only for Eric Wallace to undo it himself just so he could fix Jericho.
- In a similar case to the Jericho situation, J. Torres attempted to redeem Cassie Sandsmark of her aggressive attitude in the "Wonder Girl" miniseries and have her come to terms with Kon's death— only for Sean McKeever to derail her back only so he could put his OWN fix and explanation for her behavior. And then after Kon was resurrected, writers such as Henderson just simplified her back down to a clingy jealous girl that was condescending to her teammates.
- The post-Flashpoint/New 52 timeline completely erased the Teen Titans from history, per the latest from New York Comic-Con.
- Captain Ersatz: In-universe. In the time between the Doom Patrol and the Teen Titans, Logan worked in the TV series "Space Trek". He used a Red Shirt, and worked for "Captain Tim". The program was sued for plagiarizing Star Trek, and the green guy was unemployed again.
- Carnival of Killers: Chesire debuted as part of one.
- Cartwright Curse: Starfire's relationships, and all three of her weddings, have ended disastrously.
- Catchphrase Interruptus: General Zahl said "Heil... Hit..." and died.
- Cat Girl: The late Pantha
- Cerebus Syndrome: ...and back. The 1980s were the good kind of "Angst-ridden super-heroes", so much that they (along with the X-Men) pretty much defined the trope for comic books, but even that got bad after a point. Various other runs have fallen into this as well.
- Clever Crows: Raven is a Dark Is Not Evil hero (when not being possessed or mind-controlled by her Eldritch Abomination father) whose magical powers often use a corvid motif.
- C-List Fodder: It's a comic series made up mostly of teenage characters, many of them forgettable. They may as well have bullseyes on their heads. Pantha, Baby Wildebeest and Bushido were casually murdered by Superboy-Prime in one page of Infinite Crisis, and Risk got his arm ripped off (which later became a running gag). Their "Hall of the Dead" is now ridiculously huge, featuring Kole, Aquagirl I, the aforementioned trio, Kid Devil and half a dozen others.
- Complexity Addiction: Dayton Industries develop a rare element, and the HIVE wants it. Toyman prepares a very complex plan, killing members of Dayton's staff with toys, and then attacking the Titans when they begin to investigate (and, of course, they defeat him). Deathstroke had a simpler plan: set the building on fire, wait for everybody to escape, and then get inside and steal the thing. Where Toyman had an epic fail, Deathstroke won, and in just a single page.
- Continuity Snarl: Donna Troy's origin (and Donna herself) is the most well-known of these. The short version is that she used to be Wonder Woman's sister growing up after being adopted by the Amazons, and later became a super-hero. The Crisis on Infinite Earths converted her to actually debuting first (on a team full of sidekicks) because George Perez wanted to have a "rookie" Wonder Woman in the new continuity.
- The New 52 has also presented a number of these, due to editorial decrees on the universe changing during the run. Initially, the original Titans team history was to be left intact and Tim still would have had his history as Robin. At some point, editorial deemed all the previous teams to be excised from continuity, and that Tim was never Robin, just Red Robin. This lead to said references to previous Titans and Tim's Robin history being edited out in the TPB printing of Lobdell's first arc.
- Meanwhile, a cameo of Beast Boy was edited out from the first arc due to the change in plans for him: He'd now be a newly-debuting hero, and red (to tie into "The Red" from Animal Man). A cameo of Miss Martian was also taken out. In Red Hood and the Outlaws, Roy mentions Beast Boy and Tempest having been part of his past team, but that comment would also be considered retconned by now, as Garth (Tempest) is now a mere infant in the new continuity.
- Cousin Oliver: Danny Chase
- Covers Always Lie: The New Teen Titans 16. Starfire wants to kill someone, and Wonder Girl, Cyborg and Robin try to stop her. Actually, it was just Wonder Girl. In fact, Cyborg wanted to help when Starfire run away seeking vengeance, but Wonder Girl pointed that stopping her was something she has to do herself.
- Crashing Through the Harem: In the first issue of the 1996 series, Cody sneaks into the Cheyenne Mountain base on a dare. Spotted by guards, he runs away and ends up running into a women's locker room, which is full of young women in various states of undress. He stops and stares at them, assuming that he has run onto a holodeck. One of the women then kicks him to the ground.
- Cruel Mercy: Trigon. Psimon, who betrayed him and secretly aided the Titans to stop Trigon, was sentenced to a Fate Worse Than Death. But his servant Goronn, who spreads terror in his name since time immemorial, and was defeated for the first time, does not deserve such punishment. No, a quick and painless death is enough for his failure!
- Cute Mute: Jericho. He had his throat slashed as a child, and thus was mute for his entire tenure on the team. Artist George Perez created the character solely to flex his artistry chops, and outright forbade writer Marv Wolfman from ever giving the character thought bubbles, meaning everything about Jericho had to be portrayed through his facial expressions and body language. Amazingly, Jericho became a rather successful The Casanova in-universe despite his communication handicap.
- Makes sense; if you're mute you figure out how to use, and exploit, body language.
- He didn't just depend on facial expressions and body language, though - he communicates through American Sign Language (every time Jericho is shown using sign language, when drawn by George Perez, you can be completely sure that the sign is accurate). Besides, when he uses his power and gets inside someone else' body, he can talk with that body.
- The Cutie: Miss Martian
- Dark Action Girl: Rose Wilson became this when she took on the Ravager name. Later, former traitor Bombshell would fill this spot on the team.
- Darker and Edgier: The title has swung this way a lot from time to time.
- This happened to Kid Devil when he joined the series. He was originally a much goofier sidekick that used high tech devil pajamas and originated from the Blue Devil series, known for its very fun tone. Between then and his time as a Titan, he made a deal with Neron to become a real devil, and a lot of angst came with it when things didn't turn out they way he liked. It is slightly averted in his case, as Eddie's personality didn't change much, just his appearance and situation.
- Dating Catwoman: Speedy and Cheshire, Changeling and Terra
- Deal with the Devil: Kid Devil
- Death by Origin Story
- Grant Wilson, the "Destroyer". He became a bounty hunter, died, and his father Slade Wilson inherited his contract with H.I.V.E. to destroy the Titans.
- Cyborg's mother, at the same incident that destroyed his body and forced his father to turn him into a Cyborg. It was the source of the initial tension between Victor and Silas Stone.
- The first mystery parents of Donna Troy, who died in an apartment on fire when she was just a baby. If those were her parents And if they existed at all. It's... complicated.
- Death of the Hypotenuse: Starfire fell in love with Dick Grayson as soon as she came to Earth, but he told her that they were Just Friends. So, she fell in love with some other guy instead. This guy was actually instructed by the HIVE to seduce her and pray on the Titan's secrets, but he fell In Love with the Mark, and tried to cut ties with HIVE and have a real romance. The HIVE agent killed him. Starfire never knew the truth about him, she thought that he was killed just for being her boyfriend.
- Demoted to Extra: The original Titans West from the '70s vanished when it came time for the New Teen Titans series, due to Marv Wolfman considering all of the characters (except Lilith and Beast Boy/Changeling) to be lame. Bumblebee and Mal Duncan (who were part of the original East Coast team towards the end of the '70s) were also Put on a Bus, and Duela Dent showed up once as a fat phony who revealed that she had lied about her origin of being Two-Face's daughter. After the Crisis, Wolfman seized the opportunity to retcon Bumblebee and Mal (now called "Herald") as having been part of Titans West, and attempted to erase Duela from continuity completely. Caveman G'narrk (who died in a Bus Crash Pre-Crisis) became a case of Death by Origin Story, while Bat-Girl (retconned to Flamebird) and Golden Eagle became even more shallow "joke" characters stuck in a rut of Can't Catch Up.
- The earlier Titans all became demoted when it was time for Dan Jurgens' version of the Titans, partly due to Executive Meddling. Jurgens had originally planned to use Nightwing and the JSA member Wildcat as mentors for the team, but had to make do with using the de-aged Ray Palmer instead.
- Characters like the second Wonder Girl suffered this in the change from Young Justice to the third volume of Teen Titans, as Geoff Johns decided to pay more attention to Robin and Superboy, effectively making the rest of the cast into wallpaper. After OYL, the focus then became Robin and Wonder Girl, which continued somewhat into Sean McKeever's run.
- Distaff Counterpart: Miss Martian (for Martian Manhunter) and Bombshell (for Captain Atom).
- Dragon Lady: Cheshire
- '80s Hair: Starfire, oh so much.◊
- Emotionless Girl: Raven, though later writers have tried to emulate her animated counterpart's surly Deadpan Snarker personality.
- Exposed Extraterrestrials: According to Starfire, Tamaranians don't place much value in clothes (they see nothing inherently unchaste about nudity and they're pretty much Flying Bricks anyway). This is largely her justification for being both an Innocent Fanservice Girl and Ms. Fanservice.
- Eyepatch of Power: Ravager
- Face-Heel Turn: Averted with Terra, who was really bad all along, and acted like it. But other Titans have played this straight, in a trope that's used quite a lot for the series
- Fad Super: As mentioned above, Mad Mod and Ding Dong Daddy are prime examples.
- Family of Choice: The Titans support each other in all the good ways of a family, but they're also a family in all the worst ways with all the conflicts you'd usually suspect from living together like one. They do have some disagreements, but it always leads into more character depth.
- Fanservice: To an insane degree. Though notably, both Wolfman and Perez gave a bit of equal ground — Dick Grayson was Mr. Fanservice personified, and Deathstroke was set up as a "sexy older gentleman" type, and the female fans of the book reciprocated alongside the males drooling over Starfire and Wonder Girl.
- The Animesque cartoon series made Raven into the resident fanservice girl, complete with big breasts, a skimpy costume (though usually obscured by her cape) and getting her clothes ripped off briefly during the Trigon arc. Which is a complete 180 from her original interpretation as a small-chested, demure girl who didn't really get normal people. To make your head spin even more, they made Starfire small-chested. Yes, "Miss Balloon Bod" Starfire.
- Finger-Licking Poison: In "The Judas Contract", Deathstroke captures Gar 'Changeling' Logan by drugging the gum in the envelopes Gar is using to respond to his fan mail.
- First Name Basis: Initially, Raven did not call Robin and Kid Flash as such, and neither as "Dick" or "Wally". She called them "Richard" and "Wallace".
- Fleeting Demographic Rule: Raven goes evil because of her demonic heritage, the team fights a group of evil Titans...
- Follow the Leader: A positive example, since the New Teen Titans were arguably the high point of the title. Still - take two up-and-coming talents from Marvel, and give them a Sixties team that has potential but not much success. Keep some of the original cast, and add a more varied group of newcomers. Include a character that debuted in another title and looks to become a breakout star (named Logan, for bonus points) and what have you got?
- Frankenstein's Monster: Young Frankenstein
- Genre Savvy: In one comic during the "Family Lost" storyline, while investigating the disappearance of Rose Wilson/Ravager, Superboy inquires if having a questionable psychological profile is a requirement to being a Titan (pointing out Duela Dent, Raven, Terra, and Jericho amongst examples).
- Green-Skinned Space Babe: Miss Martian in her Green Martian form, though perhaps a much cuter take.
- As stated previously: Starfire, in the comics. There is a reason Starfire was called "balloon bod" by Terra I. She basically defines Most Common Superpower, Ms. Fanservice, Stripperific and (due to her Lightning Bruiser status) Boobs of Steel. At the very least, she's as fanservice-intensive as, say, Power Girl (if marginally "smaller"). In the comics. In the cartoon, not so much.
- Pérez actually stated that her character was meant to exude sexuality.
- Half-Human Hybrid: Raven
- Hand Blast: Starfire, as well as her evil sister Blackfire, has this as her main superpower.
- Heel-Face Turn: Superboy
- Heroic Sacrifice: Cinder of Deathstroke's team dies in order to destroy the Methuselah Device. Subverted in that she was already suicidal but couldn't die because of her power to turn into molten magma, and that she destroyed the device because given the option to bring her dead family back, she'd rather they stayed dead because she believed the world is a horrible place. It's hard to feel that sorry for her, or awed by her, when she'd been portrayed as such an utterly flat character, the circumstances of her powers revealed a month before she died, and the reminder that she burned off a man's reproductive organs using her own.
- Hindu Mythology: Explored in a recent arc, which introduces the Indian hero Solstice.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: General Zahl fired his gun against Robotman, but the bullets ricocheted on his metal body, and returned to him instead.
- Hollywood Cyborg: Cyborg
- Husky Russkie: Red Star
- Idiot Ball: Is handled by Cyborg and Dick Grayson in Rise of Arsenal.
- In Cyborg's case, designing a hideously gaudy removable prosthetic that in fact increases the pain Roy already felt in his arm, and is aware of that flaw. Notwithstanding his engineering capabilities, did giving something like that to a man who had just recently learned his daughter was dead seem like a good idea? Wouldn't it have made more sense to wait, or at least give him a more standard strap-on prosthetic made from wood or plastic? Did a grieving father honestly need the pain in his missing limb amplified at that time? Cyborg even states that Roy is "good as new" once he's outfitted with it, and then quickly apologizes for said statement.
- And in Dick's case, having Roy admitted to Virgil House, completely alone. From the way Roy had been acting, Dick should've known that being alone was the last thing he needed at the moment.
- When Raven first came to Earth, she asked for help to the Justice League. They did not help her: Zatanna senses a great evil in her. So, she created a new group, reuniting the disbanded teen titans. And, as she explained them, the evil that Zatanna felt is that Raven is Trigon's daugther; even when she completely refuses him and tries as much as possible to prevent his arrival. Sounds fine... but didn't she told that to the League? After all, she never denied or concealed on purpose her relation with Trigon, if it came as a reveal was because she usually says very little.
- I Just Want to Be Normal: Cyborg had one of the defining aspects of this in the 1980s run (he was an unwilling cyborg). Blue Beetle later on. Solstice has shades of it in the reboot.
- I Just Want to Be Special: Kid/Red Devil, to such an extreme that he made a deal with Neron to have powers. It is one of his defining character traits and is the motivation for almost every decision he makes.
- Infant Immortality: Averted. Sweet Jesus, how it is averted. The only three living children of the Titans are Jai and Iris West, and Mirage's daughter Julienne. And even then, the West twins were brought back from the dead, and Julienne is the product of rape. And now thanks to the New 52 reboot, all three characters are wiped from existence.
- Innocent Fanservice Girl/Shameless Fanservice Girl: Starfire flip-flops between the two. On top of her having no nudity taboo and stripperific outfit, she learns languages through physical contact. Apparently any type of contact will do, but she deliberately chooses kissing as it's "more fun".
- Interspecies Romance: Starfire and Robin I/Nightwing had this going on for quite a while. They not only became engaged, but were almost married over the course of "The New Teen Titans" — they broke up when the wedding ceremony was attacked by Raven, currently experiencing Demonic Possession, and she killed the minister before he could officially marry them.
- Irishman And A Jew: Kid Devil, possibly.
- Jive Turkey: Cyborg talked like a bit of Shaft, and a bit of "normal educated human being". He spoke some words (like "Lissen/Listen") a bit funny for the most part. Before him was Mal Duncan.
- Kid Hero: At least the original version of this team. By the Marv Wolfman era, most members had reached college age, but there was still room for teenagers (like Beast Boy and Terra).
- Kudzu Plot: Boy, did the 90s lay it on thick.
- Kuudere: Raven
- Leader Wannabe: Damian Wayne declared himself leader when he briefly joined, but no one recognized him.
- Legacy Character: Three Robins, two Kid Flashes, two Wonder Girls, two Speedies, two Aquagirls.
- Leotard of Power: Every female Titan has worn one at one time or another.
- Lightning Can Do Anything: Static is the Patron Saint of this Trope.
- Like Brother and Sister: Dick (Nightwing) and Donna (Troia) are almost patron saints for this trope. When George Perez drew them, they even looked like fraternal twins.
- Luke, I Am Your Father
- Lilith grew up not knowing at all where did she came from, or the source of her powers. Then, one day, Thia (one of the Titans of Myth) shows up and gave her the "We Can Rule Together" speech.
- Changeling had a less troublesome case with one of the villains of the Doom Patrol, who was actually his former foster parent. But, as he was an Abusive Parent in his own right, this simply gave him the excuse to fight him even harder.
- Mad Scientist: Doctor Caligan
- The Mole: Terra. What's hilarious is that at no point in the comic does she ever seem to at all hide he fact that she is constantly lying to and dislikes nearly everyone on the team.
- Subverted with the finalized origin of Terra II. She was sent to the surface world to help Mankind by her people, who were oblivious to the fact that Terra was evil.
- Monster Modesty: Cyborg doesn't wear anything. He used to wear a jump suit hoodie with the hood up but Beast Boy convinced him he looks better wearing nothing. The orange-skinned alien Starfire also had elements of this (see below).
- Most Common Superpower: Starfire is the best example. They didn't call her "Balloon Bod" for nothing.
- Motive Decay: The villains of the Fearsome Five. What do they want to do as villains? According to the day, it may be bank robberies, be more powerful, get revenge (either against the Titans or one of their own ranks), or bank robberies again.
- Ms. Fanservice: Starfire was an obvious example in the old days, what with her Innocent Fanservice Girl ways, but Donna Troy often ran around in bikinis as well. Let's just say George Perez liked drawing sexy ladies.
- Narrating the Obvious: Defied during Starfire's first adventure, when the Titans managed to destroy a Gordanian ship. The other ship saw it in their screen, and a mook told it to his captain... who interrupted him and ordered him to shut up. He has eyes and he's seeing what's happening.
- Never Recycle a Building: Figures in Marv Wolfman's story "Who Is Donna Troy?" Apparently a burnt-out building sat in that condition for about 16 years, and Donna's childhood doll was still in a room of said burnt-out building and not carried off for nesting material. This is a key clue used by Robin to track down Donna's origins.
- Next Tier Power-Up: Beast Boy awakened the ability to shape shift into mythological and magical animals when protecting Raven from the Wyld. His evil future self who had the same ability implied that he could do it all along but was afraid to do so.
- Nice Job Breaking It Heroes: Roy Harper's descent into anti-heroism can be attributed to how out-of-character his family and friends acted during Rise of Arsenal.
- Black Canary, the closest thing to a mother he ever had and the woman who helped him beat his addiction the first time, washed her hands of him and considered him a lost cause. She should've known that being alone was not helping matters. It was with her support that Roy beat his addiction the first time. And when she had the opportunity to fully give that support again after Roy had been pushing her away, she chose not to.
- Cyborg designed him a prosthetic arm that wasn't a "proper" prosthetic because Roy's arm is still infected. The arm is removable, but increases the pain in his stump, greatly hinders his ability as an archer, and he can't wear normal clothes over it.
- Doctor Mid-Nite was completely oblivious to the fact that Roy had been taking pain killers from his supply of medication, never mind how easily Roy was able to take them.
- Donna Troy, Wally West, and Dick Grayson, supposedly his closest friends, did nothing to help. Granted, Roy called Donna a whore and said she was a bad mother, but if Donna truly understood the pain Roy was in as she claimed, she'd know people say things that don't mean when they've lost a loved one (and have suffered a horrible injury). She might have wound up the same way he did after her son died, only she had the support of her friends and family. Dick was the one who came up with the idea of having Roy temporarily committed at Virgil House. And Wally, he did absolutely nothing at all.
- 90% of Your Brain : Deathstroke/Terminator was said to use all of his, which in his case meant enhanced senses and reflexes, mostly.
- The Notable Numeral: The Fearsome Five.
- Not Wearing Tights: Lilith, Danny Chase.
- Not What It Looks Like: At the beginning of the new series after the "OYL" gap, Robin (Tim Drake) returns to his room at night and sits on his bed, only to have a naked and extremely drunk Ravager (Rose Wilson) wrap her arms around him and try to seduce him. Robin's completely not interested but, knowing Ravager can be a bit hard to dissuade, pins her down on the bed and starts to handcuff her hands behind her. Then Kid Devil walks in.
Kid Devil: Hot damn!
Robin: This isn't what it looks like.
Ravager: Yes it is.
- One Steve Limit: With Wonder Woman having such strong relations with the Greek pantheon, it was only a matter of time before the Titans (Oceanus, Hyperion, Coeus, Cronus, Crius and Iapetus and the females Mnemosyne, Tethys, Theia, Phoebe, Rhea, and Themis) were included in DC as well. And where Wonder Woman goes, Wonder Girl will surely eventually follow. But they are not "The" Titans of DC, so this other group was named the "Titans of Myth". And if you think that's confusing, it's even more for Troia, who has been a member of both.
- Orwellian Retcon: Brother Blood is a special type of Legacy Character: he is immortal, nothing can kill him, nobody can kill him... except his own son, when he gets to 100 years old. His son takes up the identity of Brother Blood, and will reign as an immortal until his age of 100, and then face a similar curse. But what about the people that pray to him? Even if they witness the fight, they will not even think that there was one man being Brother Blood then and another one now: it is always Brother Blood, who has lived 700 years. All hail Brother Blood!
- Our Mermaids Are Different: Villain named Siren, though she can make her tail into legs.
- Please Put Some Clothes On: In one issue, Ravager (Rose Wilson) drunkenly comes on to Robin (Tim Drake) by hiding in his bed completely naked. When he refuses her offer to "be friends", he handcuffs her with her hands behind her back...immediately as an intruder alarm goes off, causing Kid Devil to rush to Robin's room and find a naked handcuffed Ravager with Robin on top of her. After Robin tries to explain that it is Not What It Looks Like, they rush off to confront the intruder whilst Robin tells Ravager to put some clothes on.
- Tim's predecessor was saying this to Starfire a LOT during the Wolfman-Perez run.
- The Pollyanna: Miss Martian
- Power of Friendship: They are all over this trope. They aren't the equals to the JLA or JSA in sheer power. It's their ability to work as a team and the fact that you mess with one, and expect any and all past and present members to show up looking to kick your butt that makes them frightening.
- The Power of Legacy: In the original Judas Contract arc, the other Titans gave Terra a hero's funeral, a statue in their hall, and told everyone (including her half-brother, Geo-Force) that she died a hero. The truth was that she was The Mole and Evil All Along.
- Public Exposure: Mirage used her illusion powers to disguise herself as Starfire and pose naked for a men's magazine. Starfire was not amused when she found out.
- Put on a Bus
- Nightwing was put on one towards the end of the New Teen Titans run.
- The final issue before JT Krul's run ended with half of the then-current Teen Titans being written out of the book.
- With the Flashpoint reboot, all of the Titans save for Cassie, Tim, Connor, Kiran, and Bart are now gone. Furthermore, even the villains are now on a bus, as Scott Lobdell had announced that his run will not feature a single existing Teen Titan villain. Rose Wilson is kind of an exception, but her origin has been changed around note
- Red Shirt: Kole was created specifically for this purpose. Wolfman was obligated by his fellow creators to kill one off his characters for the Crisis on Infinite Earths because they all had to kill off people they were using for it. He ended up kind of liking her in the end, but a deal's a deal, and he didn't have to wipe out any major character.
- Religion of Evil: Brother Blood's Church of Blood.
- The Resolution Will Not Be Televised: The first Doom Patrol had been cancelled, and The Bad Guy Wins at their last issue. Wolfman, fan of the Doom Patrol, did not leave it at that. He already made Beast Boy a member of the Titans, and he made him reunite with Robotman and Mento for a last adventure of the Doom Patrol, who got their vengueance against Madame Rouge and General Zahl for the deaths of Niles, Negative Man and Elasti-Girl. And, to keep on with the Patrol, he also introduced a new Brotherhood of Evil, led by the Brain and Mallah, who were Not Quite Dead.
- Ret Canon - Following the One Year Later Time Skip from Infinite Crisis, Beast Boy donned his costume from the cartoon and Raven donned a similar costume to the one from the cartoon (modified to include a bird symbol and leggings). A future incarnation of Cyborg has blue plating similar to his cartoon self. A series of Titans East teams also appeared, but only the third bore any resemblance to the cartoon's version, the first (whose ranks include the aforementioned future Cyborg) being from the future and freedom fighters against their old teammates and the second being Psycho Rangers set up by Deathstroke.
- Revisiting the Roots: Starfire has got married and stayed in Tamaran. Nightwing does not want to hear about anything. Changeling tries to stop Mento, who got crazy. Cyborg is in the hospital, after Mento almost killed him. Raven is still missing since The Terror Of Trigon. Kole is dead, and Jericho is crying for her. The New Titans are no more. So, who will work with Wonder Girl? Wally West, Jason Todd, Speedy, Aqualad and Hawk. The original teen titans are back! (but not for very long)
- Roll in the Hay: During Infinite Crisis, Wonder Girl and Superboy consumate their love in the hay loft of the Kents barn before Superboy flies off to confront Superboy-Prime.
- Sassy Black Woman: Bumblebee, in the old days.
- Secret Public Identity: Danny Chase, Mal Duncan.
- Sequel Hook: At the end of the origin of Lilith. She happens to be the daughter of Thia, one of the Titans of Myth, who mentioned in passing that she has several offspring in the world, at strategic positions of modern power (politics, economy, military, etc). And the adventures continues... but that point was not forgotten. At the end of the story, we see the personal assistant of the US president, who takes the phone and calls other people. "Yes. Our mother is dead, but her plans will live on. The sons of Thia, the sons of the Sun, will someday rule the world!". An interesting point for a future story arc... which never took place. Crisis on Infinite Earths took place after it, with its massive cosmic retcon, and the Titans of Myth were completely redefined. The Sons of Thia are not there anymore, and never carried out their plans.
- Sexy Jester: Joker's Daughter, eventually. She started out being pretty hideous, and got fat in the mid-80s, but later artists draw her very hot.
- Shapeshifter: Beast Boy/Changeling, Miss Martian.
- Sidekick Graduations Stick: Nightwing, Arsenal, Troia, Tempest, The Flash. Possibly Red Robin and Red Devil.
- The Smurfette Principle: In the first incarnation of the team there wasn't even one. They were looking for a token girl and they saw that a character called "Wonder Girl" had already been published, so they decided to use her. Somehow they (not to mention their editors!) missed the fact that "Wonder Girl" was actually just Diana as a teenager for something like four or five years real time. She was finally given the first of way too many origin stories in an attempt to fix this mistake. And thus began a grand and glorious tradition of no one having any idea who she is or where she came from.
- Stalker with a Crush: That winged man that fell in love with Lilith at first sight.
- Star-Spangled Spandex: Wonder Girl
- Sudden Name Change: Chimera, a minor character in the "Team Titans" era, originally had her full name given as "Sanjeet Rey". However, a later card set by DC called her "Sanjeet Gupta". Even later in the title's (short) run, Chimera gave her name as "Sanjeet Bhatia".
- Take That: After leaving DC and going to work for Marvel Comics, Sean McKeever publicly talked about the copious amounts of executive meddling he faced while writing the Teen Titans. In response to the attention the quotes drew and the negative reputation Teen Titans has garnered in recent years, Marvel editor Tom Breevort publicly referred to McKeever's new title, Young Allies (which like Teen Titans is a book about teen superheroes) as "...What you wanted Sean's TEEN TITANS run to be!"
- Team Mom
- Troia became this during the Team Titans era.
- Solstice seems to be taking this role in the New 52.
- Team Title
- Teen Superspy: Danny Chase.
- Terminator Twosome: In an alternate future, Troia gave birth to a child with godly powers, who became an adult instantly, killed his mother and conquered the world. The Team Titans go back in time to kill Donna Troy and prevent the existence of Lord Chaos. And the one who also goes back in time, to stop them and save Lord Chaos is... Lord Chaos himself.
- That Man Is Dead: District attorney Adrian Chase is dead. Now there's only Vigilante, and the mob leader Scarapelli must die. Robin is sick of hearing that rap, and reminded Chase that If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him. And, while he said that, Scarapelli tried to kill Robin, but Vigilante tossed him aside in time and killed Scarapelli anyway.
- Token Black
- The book actually had two black cast members in the 70s, and it was going to be averted with Cyborg and the character who eventually became Starfire in the Wolfman team, but they went with an alien girl instead.
- Averted in Lobdell's run; three of the seven members are minorities.
- Tomboy: Wonder Girl II (Cassie) originally started as this in her Young Justice days, then became The Chick, before being riddled with Wangst. Bombshell now seems to serve this role.
- Too Dumb to Live: The Titans once fought against Goth, a demon that posed as a teen idol and convinced all his fans that they would be better in Hell. The titans rescued them, sure. But there was one fanboy that sticked with Goth, and insisted that he wants to go to hell because it would be so cool. Goth teleported him to hell... and something got wrong, he was teleported back. And insisted. "Try again... and this time, through the front door!
- Totally Radical: Cropped up in every version from time to time, but especially the original.
"No teen-ager would use "music" in a hip language message! They'd use jive!"
- Tsundere: It's a little bit unclear whether Raven is a type B Tsundere, a Kuudere, or both.
- Underwear of Power: Several, though less nowadays. Best example would be the old Robin costume.
- Even though it was in fact a legless leotard, people (even later writers) seem to think it was just underwear, despite how impractical that is.
- Values Dissonance: In-Universe. Troia had an "anti-evil touch", and tried to use it against Panzer and his group of neonazis. It did not work: in their twisted view of things, those guys believed in the alleged virtue of their cause, and did not consider themselves evil.
- Villain Protagonist: The Terror Titans in their own miniseries, and much later Deathstroke's team in Titans, most of whom kept indecisively straddling the line between antihero, antivillain, and straight on villain.
- You Can't Fight Fate: Raven spent years knowing that Trigon would eventually assimilate her, and that she would eventually become a demon like him. It finally happened in The Terror Of Trigon. Her soul was cleansed from Trigon's evil at the end of the story.
- All the Brothers Blood were cursed with this. They do not age, but at some point, each one's son kill his father and becomes the new Brother Blood, who would be killed by his own son a centur later, and so on.
- You Have Failed Me: Do not work as a mook for Trigon, ever. You'll have more chances if you tell Darth Vader that the rebels have escaped.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Why hasn't Zatanna apologized to Raven? Her advising the Justice League not to trust her is the reason why The New Teen Titans became a team in the first place. To make matters even worse she turned the whole team against her moments before Trigon's first appearence.
Tropes in the New52 Teen Titans
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: Wondergirl with both Superboy and Red Robin.
- Brain Bleach: Red Robin's response to Wondergirl comparing her previous relationship to Fifty Shades of Grey.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: The Joker did something to Tim...
- The Dreaded: This is a team of relatively inexperienced but very powerful heroes. Their first story arc involved defeating an army of powered evil doers and escaping an exploding Antarctic base. Despite this, they immediately get very scared when a Red Robin puppet is delivered to the base with pins stuck through it and a smiley face...
- Evil Plan: NOWHERE's goal is still somewhat mysterious beyond a combination of wanting an army of meta-human heroes and For the Lulz level of douchery.
- The Glomp: Skitter seems fond of this where Bunker is involved.
- Gratuitous Spanish: Bunker, a teen metahuman from a small village in Mexico, who peppers his speech with random Spanish words. He's actually pretty restrained compared to most examples, using one or two Spanish words or phrases per issue (as opposed to "per word bubble"). At one point he even lampshaded it.
Madre...you know the rest
- In Name Only: Due to a combination of reboots, Executive Meddling, and some Dork Age traits rearing their head, this winds up being literally true for a good portion of the cast. "Tim Drake" is the alias of Red Robins's unnamed parent-endangering alter ego, Kid Flash isn't actually "Bart Allen" but instead Barr Torr the future terrorist/rebel, and due to time travel shenanigans, Superboy ends up being replaced by the evil Jon Kent, with none of his friends, including the Batman-trained detective, the wiser.
- Note: all three characters were the original founding members of the comic-Young Justice. Fans...were displeased.
- Love at First Punch: Teased, but ultimately averted between Superboy and Wondergirl. They meet when he starts his attack on the Titans by battling her.
- My Eyes Are Up Here: In the second issue of the 2011 reboot, we get this exchange between Tim (Red Robin) Drake and Cassie (Wonder Girl) Sandsmark:
Cassie: Yo! Up here. (points at eyes) And before you ask—Yes, they're real.
Tim: I wasn't looking at, um... them, Cassie. I was trying to figure out how those war bracelets you're wearing are invisible.
- Slasher Smile: Tim has one at the end of # 17.
- Trigon Made Them Do It: Revealed as the cause behind Red Robins's new libido and sleeping with Wondergirl.
- Your Cheating Heart: After previous issues established a somewhat cute relationship between Kid Flash and Solstice. Suddenly, Red Robin convinces her to start making out with him.
- He then follows this up by doing the same thing with Wondergirl. And somewhat controversially, they also resolve their UST. This is surprising since this is Tim Drake we're talking about here.
Works that they have appeared in: