The Joy Of A Completed (Comics) Set (Sorta)

I just read the 3-part Titans East/Titans West story from Teen Titans Vol. 1 #50-52 in order for the first time, after working on doing so for…37 years? 38? Something like that. I knew how it ended as a pretty young kid, but never knew how it started until today.

I picked up #52 back in ’80 or ’81, got a second copy of it along the line when the first one got near-destroyed (its remainders actually got used by my spouse for the collage work they did on the cake trays and seating chart board for our wedding) over the course of childhood, got #51 sometime between the late ’80s and early 2000s (honestly not sure anymore when I got either that or my second #52), and finally picked up #50, the first part of it, at Zapp Comics when I was in NJ a week or so ago. There’s something really satisfying about finishing a run of comics, even for what’s a pretty small run and a basic story that, it should be said, is a FAR cry from what people watching the current Titans TV series are seeing (for better or worse), despite some familiar faces (this story has 5 characters in common with Titans season 1). The story does boast one of the biggest gatherings of Titans they’d had to that point, though…

Top Row: Dove I, Hawk I, Golden Eagle, Harlequin/Joker’s Daughter (Duela Dent, original version), Speedy (Roy Harper, aka Arsenal/Red Arrow).

Middle Row: Beast Boy (Gar Logan, aka Changeling), Gnaark, Lilith/Omen, Aqualad I (Garth), Mal Duncan as The Guardian.

Bottom Row: Kid Flash I (Wally West I, aka Flash), Wonder Girl I (Donna Troy), Robin II (Earth-1 Dick Grayson, aka Nightwing), Batgirl I (Betty/Bette Kane, aka Flamebird), Bumblebee.

(Art by Don Heck and Bob Smith.)

This first revival of the Teen Titans series (it initially ran from ’66-’73, then resumed in ’76, running until ’78) lasted for one more issue (that was kind of a “file” story about their origin, from what I gather; I haven’t read it yet), then they went into hiatus again for a couple of years before Marv Wolfman and George Perez did what they did to the book. My first exposure to them was actually through the Mego figures of them, then I found them in The Brave & The Bold #149 when it was on newsstands, and saw one episode of the 1960s Filmation Teen Titans cartoon (Episodes 1, 2 and 3 here, linking as much for me to watch later as I am to show you), but didn’t have any issues of Volume 1 until New Teen Titans had started. I should probably try to knock out the rest of this run (I also have #46, but that’s it from the revival, but it’s a whole 6 issues, only one of which is a big deal because Duela Dent joins the team in it), along with the other ten million series I’m trying to finish.

Thankfully, I did finish other runs of books in NJ, though. More on this soon…