10 Teen Titans Graphic Novels You Must Read Before You Die –
The Teen Titans have been around in one form or another since the team first debuted in 1964’s The Brave and the Bold #54. Over the years, the team’s roster has included some of DC’s greatest superheroes who happened to be sidekicks to older heroes.
Since the series began, it included Robin, Kid Flash, Red Arrow, Crush, Roundhouse, and Djinn. Eventually, that roster changed with a lineup consisting of Nightwing, Donna Troy, Beast Boy, Raven, Miss Martian, and Steel.
Because of the series’ popularity, it has made the leap over to animation and even live action with a new series hitting the airwaves in 2018. With so many decades of stories sitting on the shelf, there are hundreds to choose from when attempting to determine the ten greatest of them all.
The stories on this list are the best Teen Titans, New Teen Titans, and Titans books that have been published since 1965, but there are many more to check out.
10. Teen Titans Earth One
After Geoff Johns left the Titans series, the team featured some hit-or-miss issues. The New 52 version of the team was pretty much despised by anyone who read it, which left a lot to be desired for DC’s best teen superhero team. Fortunately, not every story published in this period followed continuity.
Teen Titans: Earth One was thankfully, not a part of the normal DC continuity, and stood as a separate graphic novel. The book introduced new versions of Jericho, Beast Boy, Cyborg, Terra, and Raven as they come to terms with their powers while dealing with their own mysterious connection to one another, Deathstroke, and Cyborg’s mom.
Jeff Lemire put together the lineup as the book’s writer. His words were put to page beautifully by the artistic talents of Terry and Rachel Dodson.
Teen Titans: Earth One followed other Earth One titles in DC’s publication history by offering a new take on an old character… or characters in this case. It offered a modern look at the Titans franchise, which appealed to new and old readers alike.
9. Teen Titans: A Kid’s Game
Wolfman and Pérez maintained control over the Teen Titans until they left the series in 1996. After that, DC put out a few titles related to the team until they gave it a full relaunch under the direction of writer Geoff Johns in 2003. This was the same year Cartoon Network debuted the animated series, which only helped to boost readership.
Johns’ lineup was similar to the previous incarnation of the team, but included modernized versions of Starfire, Cyborg, Beast Boy, Raven, Robin, Kid Flash, Wonder Girl, and Superboy.
Their first outing is compiled in Teen Titans: A Kid’s Game, which combines issues #1 – 7 of the third volume alongside material from Teen Titans/Outsiders Secret Files and Origins 2003.
The story covered the team’s new formation following the dissolution of Young Justice. It continued with the team’s first weekend working together and helped establish the Teen Titans under a new leadership. Johns would remain for an additional 50 issues on the series.
8. Teen Titans: Titans Around The World
As the world is settling in the wake of Infinite Crisis, a new adventure began for Robin, Wonder Girl, and the rest of the Teen Titans as they began to recruit new members onto the team. Teen Titans: Titans Around The World collects issues #34 – 41 from The New Teen Titans with writing by Geoff Johns and pencils by Tony S. Daniel, Carlos Ferreira, Paco Diaz, and Ryan Benjamin.
The story picked up a year after Infinite Crisis, which resulted in a roster change following the events of The New 52. Kid Devil ends up joining the team, which comes as a surprise to Cyborg who rebooted himself and set about trying to locate his pals who were… well, spread around the world.
The book delved into many of the characters as they recovered from Infinite Crisis after one year. The story was well-written, but it can be a challenging read if you aren’t already caught up with the Infinite Crisis and New 52.
Even with those two events being a sort of prerequisite, the book stands on its own like most of Johns’ work.
7. Teen Titans: Beast Boys And Girls
Geoff Johns and Ben Raab’s brilliant storytelling takes a closer look at fan-favorite Beast Boy in Teen Titans: Beast Boys and Girls. The book compiles Beast Boy #1 – 4 and Teen Titans #13 – 15 into a single book about how difficult it is for some kids to go to school.
When the Titans return to school after their battle with Brother Blood, a bunch of the kids turn into green animals, while Beast Boy reverts to normal. It turns out the virus, Sakutia, had left Beast Boy’s body and infected several of the kids in the school.
The Titans end up finding Zookeeper, who attempts to capture Beast Boy so he can find a cure for Sakutia as he is also a carrier. When confronted, he turns into a dinosaur and trashes the city.
This is one of those stories that make the Teen Titans a fun read. It’s lighthearted and entertaining in a way that isn’t too heavy, while still managing to deal with the issues facing the characters in a serious and respectful manner.
6. Teen Titans: The Return Of Kid Flash
Things get a bit ugly for the Teen Titans after Robin boots Kid Flash from the team. With an opening for a new superhero to take his place, the call goes out, but each member has their own opinions on who should become the newest Teen Titan.
Aqualad, Starfire, Beast Boy, and Raven all want to give Wally another chance, but there’s another name on Damien’s mind: Emiko, Green Arrow’s half-sister. Just when it looks like the Red Arrow might come on over and shake things up, the team finds themselves in danger thanks to Beast Boy’s strange, new boss.
Teen Titans: The Return of Kid Flash collects Teen Titans issues #13, 14, and 16 – 19 alongside a story from the DC Holiday Special (2017).
This collection was written by Marv Wolfman and Benjamin Percy alongside Scot Eaton, Trevor Scott, Khoi Pham, Wayne Faucher, and Tom Derenick who provided art. It’s a story that takes a close look at the team’s dynamics and how well they work together… even when they don’t.
5. Teen Titans: Family Lost
When Raven returns to the Titans with a new body, she comes with anew master: Brother Blood! Teen Titans: Family Lost collects issues #8 – 12 of Teen Titans alongside Titans #1/2 written by Geoff Johns with illustrations provided by Ivan Reis, Mike McKone, and Tom Grummett.
Not only does Raven return in this tale, Rose Wilson, Deathstroke’s daughter takes over the identity of Ravager and becomes one of the Titan’s greatest threats. She and Deathstroke go on the hunt for the team while the story progresses with gems including Kid Flash’s first time at the wheel.
This collection was an amazing volume of Johns’ work on the title that only builds on what came before it. It touches on the nature of friendship and family, which revolves around each and every member of the group.
for anyone wanting to break into the Teen Titans, this is one of those books you need to read to get a better take on the characters. That said, it’s hard to come into the series blindly, which is why this book should be read after Teen Titans: A Kid’s Game.
4. Teen Titans: Titans Of Tomorrow
It’s often fun to imagine what a character might be like in a possible future and that’s exactly what happens in Teen Titans: Titans of Tomorrow. The story arc was written by Geoff Johns and illustrated by Mike McKone in Teen Titans #17 – 19.
After Superboy is thrust into the 31st Century thanks to a wormhole that popped up during his first date with Wonder Girl, he ends up spending five months in the future. When he returns, he is wearing Superman’s costume. The rest of the Titans take a trip one decade into the future and find themselves at Titans Tower in San Francisco.
They are able to access the building thanks to their DNA, but a fight breaks out between them and their future selves. This ends up resolving when Bart Allen remembers the whole thing from when he was on the other side of the fight, and things settle down.
Like any story involving an imagined future version of a character, fans loved it. The new take on the characters was interesting and made for a fun read.
3. New Teen Titans: Who Is Donna Troy?
There are a number of amazing Teen Titans stories featuring specific characters, but one of the best of them all has got to be Wolfman and Pérez’s, Who is Donna Troy? This book collected The New Teen Titans issues #38 and 50 alongside volume 2’s #50-55 in a single compilation devoted to Donna Troy, aka Wonder Girl.
The collected issues feature some of the best stories in the team’s collection. The New Teen Titans #38 tells the story of Donna’s Pre-Crisis origin while #50 covers her wedding to Terry Long.
As the book continues into the newer issues, it gets into a six-issue story arc covering Troy’s Post-Crisis origin story. It even jumps ahead with content collected from Teen Titans/Outsiders Secret Files 2003, which covers her death and funeral.
The book is one of those all-encompassing collections any fan of Wonder Girl absolutely must read if they consider themselves a fan. Not only is is some of the best books about the Titans, it is some of Wolfman and Pérez’s best work in the series.
2. New Teen Titans Vol 1
When it comes to the Teen Titans, the group concept has been around since the 1960s. It didn’t start to gain ground until Marv Wolfman and George Pérez took over the title with a relaunch as The New Teen Titans in 1980.
Their lineup consisted of Wonder Girl, Kid Flash, Robin, and Beast Boy, but also added some new folks: Cyborg, Raven, and Starfire. This lineup would remain the one most people knew as it was adapted into the animated series years later.
The New Teen Titans Volume 1 collects the first eight issues from the Wolfman/Pérez run featuring stories every new reader of the Teen Titans should definitely have in their collection.
The book details the team’s formation, covers the introduction of Deathstroke The Terminator, their first conflict with Trigon (Raven’s demonic dad), and their initial confrontation with the Justice League. It’s a must-read for anyone who considers themselves a fan of the Teen Titans in any form.
1. The New Teen Titans: The Judas Contract
Back in the ’80s, the Teen Titans were dealing with a story arch involving Terra and her true intentions. It turned out she had been working for Deathstroke since she was first introduced to the team, which didn’t sit well with the Titans.
The seven-part story was combined into The New Teen Titans: The Judas Contract, which collected issues #39 – 44 and The New Teen Titans Annual #3.
There were a number of important moments in the story including the debut of Dick Grayson’s new identity, Nightwing, following his abandonment of the Robin persona. Additionally, the story introduced the character Jericho, but most of all, it concluded the Terra Incognito storyline in a powerful and memorable way.
Marv Wolfman and George Pérez wrote and penciled the books, which is a familiar combination of creators on this list. Their work had a lasting impact on the Teen Titans and would be recreated in animation decades after these books debuted.