Your Home for Toy News and Action Figure Discussion!

Demanded Characters – The Perez Era Teen Titans

Welcome back to another edition of Demanded Characters.  This week we will expand the column to truly make it Demanded Characters by not looking at a whole team, rather than one individual.  From the start this team has been the young eyes of the DCU, and this will be part one of a month long look at the junior JLA.  I will be examining some of the heroes and villains so well known by both die hard readers and the casual fan.  The Titans are known for voicing frustration about not being respected, rushing in, and in some cases growing up to be well respected members of the DCU.

In the last poll it looks like most are in agreement as to how we should get a Plastic Man as a collect and connect figure. 

Read the last article

It is very clear that Mattel is trying to get us certain line ups in the DCU and they have to look outside the JLA to expand this line and give fans a complete DCU.  I know that 2008 has been dominated by the JLA and the Batman and Superman universes, but I think 2009 should be about the other teams as well, such as the JSA, the Titans, and the Legion of Doom.  The Satellite era JLA is what is dominating DCUC right now, and I think with Cyborg in Wave 4, Mattel should take the opportunity to start a whole new team: The "Perez" Titans. No matter the name of the team, when Dick Grayson is in the lead all the old Titans seem to come to help.  Most recently we have seen the old team recalled and put back in to action sharing the name Titans with the younger Teen Titans. 

Who are the Titans?

The Beginning:
The Titans were born in 1964 as a group of side kicks who came together because they had something in common: when they were with their mentors they were kids, but when they were together as a group they were heroes.  The 5 founding members Robin, Kid Flash, Wonder Girl, Aqualad, and Speedy all got the chance to show the world they were more then just a distraction for the villains.  They went on little adventures that were fun tales of superheroes and science, but never really felt like a top tier group. 

However, as time moved on, the 70’s and 80’s were a big time for the Titans.  This era gave birth to storylines and characters that still are a major part of the Titan books today. Marv Wolfman and George Perez came on to the book and changed the way the world looked at the Titans. Indeed, even today the Perez era seems to be inspiration for the Teen Titans cartoon, as well as some of the current comic story lines. 

Titans were a group of people who found themselves coming together to form a family. Above all these were people who cared for each other and tried to help each other as they were growing up to become their own persons.-

Marv Wolfman (Titans Writer) Interview by

The most recognized group to call themselves the Titans comes from the Perez/Wolfman era. It was a time of a great change and growth amongst the ranks as we got to see original members Robin and Kid Flash grow up and a Princess, the daughter of a demon, and a little green man join the team. It was also a time of great villainy and deception as rogues attempted to infiltrate the team.  The old guards Robin, Kid Flash, Aqualad, Wonder Girl, and Speedy were the core, but we got new characters too: Cyborg, Starfire, Terra, Jericho, Raven, Beast Boy, and many others. 

Consider the costume choices that we could get from this group: a classic Robin or 1st appearance Nightwing (for Dick Grayson), a few versions (from a lifetime of costume changes) of Donna Troy, as well as the rest of the original Titans in costumes designed by the legenday George Perez. Characters like Beast Boy and Starfire are easy characters to make that could give us modern variants with little to no retooling. 

The Titan characters of this era are both classic and important to completing the DCU, and without many of them the line would be lacking.  We know the Cyborg coming in Wave 4 has been inspired by these designs, and if you consider the characters and designs from the same era, there are a lot of possibilities. 

Wrap Up:
I know this is an era that I want to have in my collection, it matches up nicely with the JLA we are getting and it allows us to get a wider variety of characters from the DCU.  I think that the Titans before this time were a group of side kicks who really hung out to get way from their mentors, but this era was more about moving out on your own.  We saw the graduation of Robin to Nightwing and Kid Flash to the Flash.  Characters that we had never seen before became major forces in the DCU thanks to their time on the Titans. 

Not only did we get heroes from this period but we got villains. Trigon, Deathstroke, and Terra are some of the most loved characters from the 80’s. While they may be villains they give the Titans their own Rogues gallery to fight, allowing them to be separate from the JLA.  The story of the Titans against the HIVE and Terra infiltration and betrayal of the Titans was great story telling.  So much so that that story line ran through the Teen Titans cartoon. 

I know most will say that the costumes and characters in some cases are dated, but I think this would truly embrace the Classics name, and allowing for a wider range of characters in the line.  Who doesn’t want a Wilson family reunion in plastic?

So the question is would we like to see Mattel build the Perez/Wolfman era Titans?

*some photos courtesy of Titans Tower

Additional Links-