Teen Titans

The Teen Titans– later known simply as The Titans– are one of the most popular teams in comics.  They first formed in 1965 and were composed of popular teen sidekicks Robin, Aqualad, Kid Flash, Wonder Girl and Speedy.  At times, the Titans’ comic book sold better than their mentors’ ‘Justice League of America’.  Over the years, the team ballooned to incorporate dozens of members and the original founders eventually graduated to their own unique identities.  Kid Flash took over as The Flash when the original died.  Dick Grayson became Nightwing, Speedy became Arsenal then later Red Arrow.  Aqualad became Tempest and Wonder Girl a.k.a. Donna Troy became Troia (complete with a new origin), Darkstar and eventually stopped using a code name completely.

As part of growing up, several of these heroes have joined the League.  With ‘Titans’ coming to live action on Warner Brothers’ new streaming service, and with the live action ‘Justice League’ in theaters this year, here is a look at the heroes that have made the switch to the big Leagues!

10. Golden Eagle (Charley Parker)

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This one is unique, as Golden Eagle was a member of the Justice League FIRST.  Though he was only made an honorary member, he joined to League briefly to replace Hawkman, and quickly vanished into obscurity.

He was dusted off and joined the Titans spin-off team Titans West, based out of California.  Unfortunately, that team soon disbanded, because the main ‘Teen Titans’ comic was cancelled shortly after their formation.  Of that era of Titans, Golden Eagle is one of the most obscure and he was killed off during the ‘Titans Hunt’ storyline, but he has since been revived.

9. Tempest (Garth/Aqualad)

Tempest

Aqualad was a founding Titan, though he eventually left.  He has returned periodically to help out or even serve as a full-time member.  He eventually evolved into Tempest, gaining powerful mystical powers.

In ‘Justice League’ Vol. 2, he was made an honorary member of that team.

8. Starfire (Koriand’r)

Starfire

During the time that Batman was believed to be dead, Nightwing adopted his mentor’s identity and was tasked with forming a new Justice League and he turned to many of his Titans colleagues.  Among them was his estranged ex-lover Starfire.  She agreed to join, but her run with the team was extremely brief as she promptly left to join the R.E.B.E.L.S.

7. Jesse Quick (Jesse Chambers)

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Jesse Quick, the daughter of Golden Age heroes Johnny Quick and Liberty Belle, was introduced in 1992 as a member of the Justice Society of America.  Unfortunately, that series ended quickly.  Jesse joined a new version of the Titans in 1999 and later graduated to the Justice League at the same time as Donna Troy and Starfire, where she served as a substitute for The Flash.

6. Donna Troy (Wonder Girl/Troia/Dark Star)

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Donna Troy is Wonder Woman’s adopted sister and possesses the same power set.  As Wonder Girl, she was a founding member of the Titans.  She served with the Titans after she adopted the new identities Troia and Dark Star.  Donna served as Wonder Woman’s replacement as a member of Nightwing’s Justice League.

5. Nightwing/Batman (Dick Grayson/Robin)

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The former Robin, Dick Grayson is easily the one character most associated with the Titans.  He was a founder and the team’s leader through almost every iteration he has served with, which have been many.  He helped out with Justice League Task Force in the early 90s, but his real tenure with the League came after ‘Blackest Night’ when he formed his own team.

At this point, Dick was serving as Batman and he recruited several of his fellow Titans including Cyborg, Donna Troy and Starfire and acted as their leader.

4. Red Arrow (Roy Harper/Speedy/Arsenal)

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Of all the Titans turned Justice Leaguers, Roy Harper had the worst experience on that team.

As Speedy, Roy was Green Arrow’s sidekick and was the most rebellious member of the Titans.  Though he went many years without serving as a member, he eventually formed his own version of the team after the prior version disbanded.  It was this version of the Titans welcomed the next name on this list.  He also later led a version of The Outsiders and in the New 52, was a member of Red Hood and the Outlaws alongside Starfire.

In 2012, he became Red Arrow and joined the Justice League.  Unfortunately, in the miniseries ‘Justice League: Cry For Justice’, Red Arrow had his arm chopped off by the villain Prometheus and his daughter Lian was killed when a bomb set off an earthquake in Star City.  This led to him getting hooked on drugs, causing him to become delusional (leading to the infamous dead cat scene).

Luckily, it seems that these events were wiped out by the New 52, but he does still seem to be suffering from substance abuse.

3. Green Lantern (Kyle Rayner)

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Bet you forgot that Kyle Rayner was a member of the Titans!  His tenure was fairly brief, but he was part of Arsenal’s team in the 90s, along with Donna Troy, with whom he had a romantic relationship.

In the late 90s, DC decided to restore the Justice League to greatness, with a lineup mirroring the team’s original membership.  At the time, the League’s first GL, Hal Jordan had turned evil and acting as Parallax, so Kyle subbed in and enjoyed a pretty lengthy run with the team, roughly ten years.

2. Cyborg (Victor Stone)

Cyborg

Cyborg joined the New Teen Titans in 1980 and stayed with them for over 10 years.  He has become one of the most popular and identifiable members of the team, thanks to his exposure in other media.

Though he was recruited by Nightwing for the Justice League, his run with that team was limited.  But it helped serve as a primer, because when DC relaunched their entire line from the ground up with new #1’s, Cyborg was promoted as a FOUNDING member of the new Justice League and he will be depicted as such in the upcoming live action ‘Justice League’ movie.

1. The Flash (Wally West/Kid Flash)

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While Nightwing, Kyle Rayner, and Cyborg made significant contributions to the Justice League during their tenures with the team, it’s Wally West that has made the biggest.

Wally was Kid Flash, The Flash’s sidekick and a Titans founder.  He served throughout the original run of the ‘Teen Titans’ comic book and the ‘New Teen Titans’.  He eventually quit to become a full-time college student but after his mentor Barry Allen died during Crisis on Infinite Earths, Wally returned to heroics, adopting the guise of The Flash.  He shortly thereafter joined Justice League Europe before switching over to the Justice League proper.  He remained with the team when it was relaunched in the late 90s as ‘JLA’.  He was a fixture of most team lineups, until Barry Allen returned shortly before the launch of the New 52.


What do you think?  Do these rankings seem fair or would you make any changes?