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  1. #1
    Extraordinary Member AmiMizuno's Avatar
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    Default Is there really a difference between Titans and JL?

    Many say the Titans are more like family and the JL are more work buddies. However, there are many in JL who are very close. So is that a fair comparable? On a side note would it really be that bad if Nightwing or the other originally Titans move to JL and drop their Titan status? What's so wrong about being both? Or making another branch?

  2. #2
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    The new Teen titans # 8 in 1981 story A Day In The Life revolutionalised comics in a sense because it told an up close and personal story of the Titans private lives. Today there are a lot of stories like that in comics. I would say that the Titans and JLA or not that far apart. But DC and the writers and some fans want them to be as they first appeared in comics. Titans will probably not be equivalent to the JL.
    Last edited by abetterday; 06-11-2021 at 03:10 PM.

  3. #3
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    Yes. Unless DC irreversibly retires its traditional Big 9, at their core, the Titans will be the never quite realized Next Gen to the JL's Pantheon.

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    Ultimate Member Lee Stone's Avatar
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    Titans for me is like a larger-sized Fantastic Four (usually a Fantastic Seven) mashed up with '80s/'90s X-Men.
    Family and friends first, superheroes second.
    Most of their conflicts tend to be personal or things that get overlooked by the League.
    They also tend to focus more on social issues than the League.

    The League for me is like the Avengers, basically.
    DC's heavy-hitters focusing on problems too big for one or two heroes.
    They tend to be more work related, treating each other as co-workers at worst, or friends at best.
    You may get small pockets of members that build stronger relationships, like Oliver and Dinah, Barry and Oliver, Atom and Hawkman, or Beetle and Booster, but those are exceptions.
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  5. #5
    Extraordinary Member Holt's Avatar
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    The Titans have a much greater sense of interpersonal drama than the Justice League, which is part of the nature of the book. The Justice League often consists of a bunch of A-listers who have their own titles, which makes character development or character drama more difficult. The Titans mostly exist as part of that book (with Nightwing and Wally West as the only notable exceptions), so those sorts of stories tend to be far more prevalent. Basically, if the Justice League are the Avengers, the Titans are the X-Men or Fantastic Four.

  6. #6
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    Wow, mispost.

    Anywho, the Titans mostly grew up together, while most of the League met as adults and had their own supporting casts, love interests, jobs, and various solo storylines that didn't involve any other League members.

    Most of the Titans can't really say that, having not had solo books, or been much developed outside of the Titans books.
    Last edited by Sutekh; 06-11-2021 at 10:44 PM.

  7. #7
    Black Belt in Bad Ideas Robanker's Avatar
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    As DC moves away from letting characters be specific in characterization and focus more on building IP, the biggest dogs will start eating from everyone else's plate and making the B-and-below list redundant.

    You see this in stuff like Barry adopting Wally's personality from adaptions to become the "funny one" that people expect of Flash from cartoons.

    Another example is the Trinity. It was the World's Finest until about the 2000s. Yes, there were some times before then that Diana got to be special, but really it was in the 2000s when Diana started getting her due (albeit very slowly), and if we're being honest DC only did that because of the strength of her merchandise and public appeal as opposed to suddenly realizing she's awesome. In Diana's case, we got something good (Diana getting more respect) for the worst reason (commerce, likely not wanting to look sexist). Suddenly, Diana was getting treated as significantly more important than she had been until then. Superman and Batman survived and got their importance from sales, popularity and merch. Diana was exceptionally popular and sold merch like gangbusters, but was treated as the assigned book ghetto for so long. I've even heard stories from industry professionals across podcasts that she more or less only survived because DC had to publish her because they could lose the rights otherwise. She went from "oh god, they're giving me Wonder Woman" to the third pillar of the company which she always deserved to be.

    The JLA sometimes felt a bit distant, but as DC kept trying to sell them as the biggest deal ever and other team books played up interpersonal relationships, that started feeding into JLA (and other places). Most longtime fans will tell you that the Titans or JSA are closer based on the strength of specific runs (NTT, Johns's JSA) but frankly the JLA are treated as pretty close, at least among core members.

    At this point the difference is that you can generally assume the JLA aren't going to be event fodder, get some good talent on the book and will sometimes get to drive a significant narrative in the DCU. Conversely, the Titans will always be the "Event Death" farm team that is there to spin plates and placate fanbases. Sometimes it'll be good, but that's usually when DC is asleep at the wheel and lets the creative team tell fun stories. You'll be forgiven for wanting to dodge "teen angst simulator" with most runs.
    Last edited by Robanker; 06-11-2021 at 11:37 PM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Stone View Post
    Titans for me is like a larger-sized Fantastic Four (usually a Fantastic Seven) mashed up with '80s/'90s X-Men...
    I can't recall where, but I saw a comment from Wolfman saying that everyone thought NTT was an attempt to copy X-Men, when he was actually trying to mimic the early FF.

  9. #9
    Extraordinary Member Zero Hunter's Avatar
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    The Titans are a soap opera while the Justice League is a big dumb action flick. The Titans could do big stories but then they would follow that up with actual aftereffects of what happened and other personal drama. The JL just goes from one big story to the next and you never really get to know the characters that well.

  10. #10
    Astonishing Member John Venus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AmiMizuno View Post
    Many say the Titans are more like family and the JL are more work buddies. However, there are many in JL who are very close. So is that a fair comparable? On a side note would it really be that bad if Nightwing or the other originally Titans move to JL and drop their Titan status? What's so wrong about being both? Or making another branch?
    Yeah that's exactly it. The Teen Titans are a found family specifically the New Teen Titans by Wolfman and Perez. They are a group of people from very different backgrounds who found solace and belong with one another and their most iconic stories are about them standing up for each other against forces that try to rip them apart and tend to be centered around their inter personal relationships.

    The JLA are more like SWAT team of DC's biggest heavy hitters coming together to fight against a bigger threat. Their team dynamic is much closer to a workplace comedy (see JLI and certain episodes of JLU).

  11. #11
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    Yes, there is. As several others have pointed out, the bonds that were at the center of the Titans were fundamentally different than those at the center of the JLA. Yes, the JLA has several characters that have formed strong friendships, BUT no matter how good of friends they became in the field, they all had separate superhero careers to return to.

    At the end of every mission, Batman would always head back to Gotham, Superman would return to Metropolis, Flash to Central City, the resident GL would go back to Oa, etc. And they would all have their own separate and unique villains and adventures. Because that's what the JLA was always meant to be: the coming together of DC's biggest and already established heroes.

    The Titans on the other hand was about characters who literally grew together. They literally lived together most of the time, they hung out with each other, some of them even slept together. And what's more important, most of them didn't have separate superhero careers to return to. So, the comparisons to the X-Men and Fantastic Four that others have brought up are pretty apt. The Titans' villains were all mutual villains and most of their iconic adventures were shared as well. They had a common history and backstory as a team that was all their own.

    That's why it was so hard to "sell" Cyborg as a founding member of the JLA during the New 52. How do you sell him as being a necessary part of a team literally built on the idea of disparate characters with their own unique histories and adventures coming together when his entire history of adventures is tied up with another team that has been erased from canon?

    So in the end, yes, the JLA has friendships, but it's more like the friends you make at work, whereas the Titans' friendships are like the friendships you make with your roommates.
    Last edited by Green Goblin of Sector 2814; 06-12-2021 at 08:36 PM.

  12. #12
    Extraordinary Member Robotman's Avatar
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    One team has some of the most marketable characters in pop culture on their roster and the other team is the Titans.

    In all seriousness, the Titans do feel more like a family as the League kind of seems like co-workers. Unfortunately, the Titans often lack a purpose. I like the idea of them training the next generation of heroes like in the Young Justice tv show. I haven't liked the Titans Academy book but I like the concept.

  13. #13
    Extraordinary Member Zero Hunter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robotman View Post
    One team has some of the most marketable characters in pop culture on their roster and the other team is the Titans.

    In all seriousness, the Titans do feel more like a family as the League kind of seems like co-workers. Unfortunately, the Titans often lack a purpose. I like the idea of them training the next generation of heroes like in the Young Justice tv show. I haven't liked the Titans Academy book but I like the concept.
    Honestly I would rather have the League be the one training the next gen and not the Titans. I hate that the Titans are just seen as the Jr. Justice League. That last Titans series where the League came in and basically sent all the "kids" home was probably the most disrepectful thing ever done to the team and made me drop the book. To me the Titans are best when they are their own thing and not connected to the League or as training the new kids.

  14. #14
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    The topic question seems weird to me, since it's so obvious that the Justice League and the Teen Titans are different. I would just assume that anyone that read them would know they're different. But if you have to explain it to someone who is not aware of either, I guess then it's difficult to put in words.

    The World's Greatest Super-Heroes--or what National Comics had left after they put most of their super-heroes into limbo--came together to form the publisher's super-group. It was the same idea as the Justice Society--but when the J.S.A. was formed, All-American/Detective Comics had a surplus of characters to draw upon. But the idea of an All Stars Comic Book was there. The draw was that you could get all the stars in one comic book, crossing over with each other.

    The Teen Titans were formed later on, after the Justice League concept was well-established. And the idea was to use the sidekicks of Justice League members. The thing is there weren't that many at the time--but whatever sidekicks they could find (plus Wonder Girl) were put together in a new kid gang. The kid gang is an old concept in comics and has its own conventions. Compare Teen Titans stories with Scooby-Doo stories and you'll find many similarities.

    I guess the key thing here is that, if there were no Justice League, the Teen Titans could not exist. One concept leads to the other. The Titans' existence is dependant on the League's existence--whereas the existence of the League does not depend on the existence of the Titans. You could say--on a meta level--the existence of a Justice League does depend on the existence of Justice Society.

    One might ask a lot of questions like this, "Is there really a difference between Robin and Batman?" Sure, they are both doing the same job--but Batman can and has existed without a Robin. A Robin depends on a Batman to exist.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zero Hunter View Post
    Honestly I would rather have the League be the one training the next gen and not the Titans. I hate that the Titans are just seen as the Jr. Justice League. That last Titans series where the League came in and basically sent all the "kids" home was probably the most disrepectful thing ever done to the team and made me drop the book. To me the Titans are best when they are their own thing and not connected to the League or as training the new kids.
    When a Nightwing, Wonder Girl, or Superboy book routinely outsells Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman, there's maybe a chance. Until then...

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