The fan-favorite Titans have arrived as the new replacements for the team everyone calls on for help, with the abrupt ending of the Justice League and ushering in of the Dawn of DC era.
Different iterations of the Titans have been around since the 1960s, with various refreshes featuring new characters since the 1980s. Currently, in the comics, the Titans are a modern take (a sort of continuation) of Marv Wolfman and George Pérez’s New Teen Titans, with Nightwing, Starfire, Donna Troy, Beast Boy, Raven, Cyborg and Wally West’s Flash on the roster.
This line-up was also similar to DC Universe’s/HBO’s/Max’s Titans television show, which ended earlier this year after four tumultuous seasons. The show included various versions of the team’s roster including Superboy, Hawk, Dove, Jason Todd’s Robin, Aqualad, and others. The show ended on a high note with a wild, bloody season featuring Brother Blood and Mother Mayhem. Starfire and Nightwing finally got to walk off into the sunset, hand in hand and Conner Kent finally flew. The live-action version of Cyborg appeared on all four seasons of DC Universe’s/HBO’s/Max’s Doom Patrol, which also ended this year.
Meanwhile, the Titans’ Dawn of DC’s adventures continue with multiple books going on: Morgan Hampton and Tom Raney’s Cyborg limited series, focusing on his relationship with himself and his father, Tom Taylor and Nicola Scott’s Titans ongoing series, showcasing the team’s adventures in replacing the Justice League and the current Beast World event series, centering the Titans vs evil stars and Amanda Waller.
Along with the Tales of the Titans mini-series, the Titans have also made appearances in Taylor’s Nightwing series, as well as the Knight Terrors and Dark Crisis events. (Wally West is currently leading The Flash ongoing series, so that’s technically another Titans title if you squint at a glance!) With the spotlight being on the team, we’re getting more in-depth storytelling on each Titan than we’ve had in decades.
Starfire/Koriand’r – Alien Superstar
Kory Anders has been a point of contention in recent years, between viral threads fighting about her race (canonically an alien, a Tamaranean to be specific), her beloved live-action counterpart played by Mame-Anna Diop, and her many, many iterations in the last two decades. There’s even tussles about her hair and the color of her fireballs.
She inspires a fiery passion in her fans, which makes sense given that’s a core pillar of the character’s personality. Kory being portrayed by a Black woman in the Titans television series, has garnered her an even larger fanbase, while creating a lasting effect on her physical appearance in the comics.
Her last solo comic feature was released this past summer with Tales of the Titans #1, it featured Starfire grappling with her princess persona and who she wants to be. It was a cute story with great art, read more of my review here.
In the current Beast World event, Starfire’s knowledge is crucial in [SPOILER] figuring out what the Necrostar is and neutralizing the Garro stars. It’s always enjoyable when the comics move away from the “stupid alien doesn’t know anything” vibe from the Teen Titans animated series and embrace Kory’s many qualities, including her curiosity-fueled intellect.
Victor Stone/Cyborg – Man vs Machine
Vic is currently exploring his roots, his relationship with his dad while battling villains in his hometown of Detroit, Michigan in a limited series. The Titans have popped up a few times, but the series largely focuses on Victor’s complex relationship with his father, whilst battling an A.I. uprising. A deeply moving story that encapsulates Cyborg’s love and understanding of his dad.
His live-action counterpart, played by Joivan Wade, goes through a similar journey amidst the ridiculousness of his life. While most fans (myself included) were confused as to why Cyborg wasn’t included in the Titans show, those concerns died down over the years. The show (developed byJeremy Carver), like Hampton’s modern take, digs deep into the man, the heart of who Victor is and not overly focusing on his cybernetic parts. Check out my review of Cyborg’s first issue and past episodes of the Doom Patrol podcast here.
Donna Troy/Wonder Girl – Underrated Amazon
Let’s be honest for a second. DC hasn’t really known what to do with Donna outside the Titans and select Wonder Woman stories for a while. She’s always thrived the best with the Titans, navigating relationships, fighting baddies, and resisting the urge to be the mother hen.
Currently, she’s playing backup to a lot of other people’s stories. She did have her own spotlight this year with Tales of the Titans #3, which focused on her photography (yes!) and taking on bad guys in Markovia (sure). She’s also in her original Wonder Girl outfit in the World’s Finest: Teen Titans (featuring her dating and dumping Aqualad).
Unfortunately, Conor Leslie’s Donna Troy was missing from the last season of the Titans, even though she was brought back from the dead at the end of season three. Here’s hoping with the ongoing Beast World event and Tom King’s Wonder Woman run, we’ll see Donna more in the spotlight.
Garfield Logan/Beast Boy – Headlining Beast World Tour
A fan favorite since the animated Teen Titans television series, Gar has finally made it to the Big Times™️: headlining a major DC crossover event and being the focus of one of the best episodes of DC television in years. Ryan Potter helped pen the epic “Dude, Where’s My Gar?” episode, which featured Garfield learning more about his abilities and traveling the multiverse.
Because of his connection to the Red and his ability to manifest into whatever animal (Earth-based or extraterrestrial) he can think of, Beast Boy is a fountain of fascinating stories just waiting to be told. It seems DC agrees with Titans: Beast World.
Beast Boy changes into a giant green Starro (Garro) to defeat a massive evil sentient star. Things go awry and everybody on Earth gets infected by little Garros and turn into BEASTS. I was skeptical when I first heard about the event but after reading the first issue, I’m on-board. The event goes on a “world tour” to Gotham, Metropolis, Central City and more.
2023 really was a fun, wild ride for our favorite team of grown-up teenaged minor adults. While I didn’t highlight them here: Dick Grayson/Nightwing, Wally West/Flash, and Rachel Roth/Raven are also having great years. Nightwing and Flash with their own ongoing series and personal lives, while Raven has been the focus of her own Tales of the Titans issue, plus graphic novels.