One of the great joys of having a kid is getting a new perspective on things that you might have, in your dotage, written off.  Recently, Widget has become enamored of the cartoon adventures of the Teen Titans (2003 edition, she finds ‘Teen Titans: Go!’ to be, in her words “creepy”.) and we have taken to watching their adventures as a family.  Having written off the show a decade ago (mostly because of the loss of Kid Flash and Wonder Girl, as well as the loss of the more adult aspects of the Titans history, such as ‘The Judas Contract’), I am pleased to say that it’s better than I had given it credit for, and the five-man team is an excellent balance of characters.  Of course, they’ll never be my Legion of Super-Heroes, but I’d easily put them up against the likes of the Young Heroes In Love, Gen 13 or Generation X, which does in turn spur an intriguing line of inquiry…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) liked the original X-Men, but wouldn’t count on them to find their way out of a paper bag, asking: What’s the greatest all-teenager ensemble of all?

The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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9 Comments

  1. January 29, 2014 at 11:42 am — Reply

    I was tempted to say the original six Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, but technically most of the actors were 20+ at the time. I can’t remember exactly but I think JDF might have been the only actual teenager (I do remember he was the youngest actor of the Rangers when he came around).

    I don’t think I can count the Digimon Tamers (the season 3 version of Digidestined) either since they were only like 12 and AFAIK “teenager” is technically 13 and up. Plus they had the Digimon who weren’t really teenagers either.

    Maybe I’m being too technical?

    Do the original X-Men count?

    • January 29, 2014 at 2:57 pm — Reply

      You are being too technical. :). But the original X-Men should certainly count.

  2. January 29, 2014 at 12:14 pm — Reply

    I would go with the “original” MMPRs as well, for no other reason than Amy Jo Johnson… That being said, I am surprised how well the trio of Harry, Hermione, and The Ginger work to solve a mystery and defeat the forces of evil. EVIL!

  3. Winston
    January 29, 2014 at 2:16 pm — Reply

    I would have to go with The Kids Next Door. The diffrence in their pesonalities make the show as awesome as it was. Kids fighting to keep life fun for all. One of the best ideas ever.

  4. January 29, 2014 at 2:27 pm — Reply

    The kid likes Teen Titans…so we watch occasionally…I still miss the legion of super heros…I wanted to be one.

  5. comicfan1974
    January 29, 2014 at 5:17 pm — Reply

    The crew of the Mystery Machine and their mutt.

  6. January 29, 2014 at 6:00 pm — Reply

    For me it has always been the Teen Titans. And of their various iterations, The Perez/Wolfman “The New Teen Titans” introduced in DC Comics Presents (#26, I believe) is my all-time favorite. The introduction of Raven and the mysterious relationship with Kid Flash hooked me from the beginning. Watching Dick Grayson grow from Robin into Nightwing, from sidekick into a true leader, absolutely fantastic. The introduction of Starfire and Cyborg, the progression of Beast Boy/Changeling, and most especially the Judas Contract storyline. I rooted for Terra the entire time, even though I knew it was going to end poorly. Donna Troy is an amazing character as well, though she may be my least favorite of the Titans, she is still in my top twenty, maybe even my top fifteen, heroes of all time. Oh, and Speedy/Roy Harper has always been a favorite, so I waited a bit impatiently for issues where he would be featured.

    What The New Teen Titans did better than any other comic had done before, or really has done since, is make me care about these heroes as people. The glimpses inside the heroes, the stories of their non-hero identities, the “day in the life” stories, those are what kept me coming back for more.

    The 2003 Cartoon Network Titans are pretty cool, and although I miss absent friends and that insight into their every day personas I was overall happy with the treatment of the characters, including showing Terra as a character that you wanted to live up to her potential, even if you knew the inevitable outcome. Titans Go! is good for what it is. Its not MY Titans, but we do watch it as a family for the zany hi-jinks and pop-culture references. And for Tara Strong, of course. :)

  7. Rome
    January 30, 2014 at 8:45 am — Reply

    The Runaways deserve a shoutout here for sure! The team went through a lot of upheaval (and unexplained power switching- like how they just kept passing the dinosaur around) but the original six kids of the Pryde made for one heck of a teen team. Albeit a funny mix of conventional (like one superstrong character, one magician, one techie, etc) and unconventional (psychic dinosaur, tween mutant, and gay alien) but really well done.

    (tho I loved Gen X, the New Mutants, X-Force, and Avengers Academy, so maybe I have thing for teen teams now that I think about it.)

    • January 30, 2014 at 9:42 am — Reply

      I was always a bit ashamed that I never made it past the first 6 issues of Runaways when I was forced to cut down my pull list. But i would definitely agree with them being one of the top teen teams out there. I remember actually being more interested in the team as people rather than just the action-y action, when normally my then-mentality didn’t give much thought to that.

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