Since Robin’s introduction in 1940, the idea of teenage superheroes has resonated with the hearts of fans. When these teen superheroes and sidekicks teamed up to form the Teen Titans, it became one of the hottest titles DC has ever published. Later on, Young Justice was formed in 1998 with only three members: Robin (Tim Drake), Superboy, and Impulse.
Despite how similar they are, the Teen Titans and Young Justice are more than just teenage superhero teams. The conversation between Superboy and Superman really nails it, where Suberboy’s asks his mentor what exactly Young Justice is. To this, Superman says: “You’re Young Justice. Your time will come.” So which team deserves to inherit the Justice League’s mantle? Here are 5 reasons why it’s the Teen Titans and 5 why it’s Young Justice.
10 YOUNG JUSTICE: They’re Based In A Former JLA Hangout
The Titans’ iconic headquarters is located in NYC first, then San Francisco. Known as Titans Tower, it’s literally a giant T, where the Titans live, train, and work together. They earned their headquarters, while Young Justice discovered theirs.
They stumbled across the League Cave in Happy Harbor, Maine. It used to be a Justice League HQ before things became more official, and they moved into the Hall of Justice and eventually the Watchtower. The young heroes were more than happy to make this place their home, and renamed it the Justice Cave.
9 TEEN TITANS: They Work With The League More Often
Obviously after working together for most of their lives and being their mentors, it’s fairly obvious that the Titans and League would work together in times of crisis. A perfect example is in Crisis on Infinite Earths, where nearly every hero worked together to stop the Anti-Monitor.
The Flash’s sacrifice was the moment that Wally West, then known as Kid Flash, held the costume of his mentor and swore to continue The Flash legacy. Pretty deep stuff.
8 YOUNG JUSTICE: They’re More Powerful
This one could be debatable, but look at Young Justice’s founding members: Tim Drake is a much better Robin than Dick was at that age, Superboy is much more powerful than Donna Troy and Aqualad, and Impulse could run circles around Kid Flash. Wally really didn’t evolve into the speed freak until he managed to step out of Barry’s shadow in the storyline Return of Barry Allen.
Impulse can easily keep up with Wally as The Flash and is able to perform feats even Wally can’t, such as remembering everything he reads after speed reading. Bart’s run as The Flash also confirms he is the fastest person to ever hold the mantle. The Titans simply have nothing against this raw power.
7 TEEN TITANS: They Graduate Into The Justice League More Often
While Young Justice has some future League members in its sights, readers usually don’t get to see them move up unless it is in Elseworlds stories or alternate timelines. If that isn’t enough, Young Justice founding members Impulse, Superboy, and Robin eventually joined the Teen Titans, with Impulse taking up the Kid Flash moniker.
Meanwhile, readers get to see Wally West become The Flash, Dick Grayson become Nightwing and Batman. In fact, Cyborg was retconned into being a founding member of the League itself in the New 52.
6 YOUNG JUSTICE: They Fight More Powerful Villains
The Teen Titans’ first villain was Mister Twister, who uses a stick that can control the weather. He usually fired tornadoes with an occasional rain and lightning on the teens. Young Justice’s first villain was Bedlam, a teenager who gained godlike powers from the being Garn Daanuth, a literal Lord of Chaos. Bedlam used his newfound powers to create two different worlds, placing every adult on one and every teenager on the other.
The three boys had to figure out how to defeat this godlike being on their own, without the help of their mentors, in their first team up ever. Sure, the Titans have Trigon, but he seems more like the exception than the rule.
5 TEEN TITANS: They Were Founded More Professionally
The Teen Titans were formed through a team up against the villain Mister Twister. Aqualad, Wonder Girl, Kid Flash, and Robin fought the villain and realized they worked better together as a team, and immediately formed to execute missions together. Meanwhile, Young Justice was formed on a whim. One day, Robin, Superboy and Impulse were just hanging out and decided “Hey, we should totally be a team!”
This goes extremely well with the fact stated above that the Teen Titans founded and built their headquarters from the ground up and made a name for themselves, while Young Justice’s founding members just stumbled upon an old League hangout and decided that was good enough.
4 YOUNG JUSTICE: Their Missions Are More Similar To Justice League’s
As stated earlier, Young Justice has faced some pretty powerful villains. A recurring theme in the team’s missions had them going against humans who have somehow gained access to New Gods technology, the powerful race of characters who oppose Darkseid.
The Teen Titans’ original premise was to answer calls and help solve issues relating to teens, such as high school dropouts and drug use, while fighting the occasional B-List supervillain. It wasn’t until The New Teen Titans run where they really began to face challenges as a team.
3 TEEN TITANS: They Have More Adult Supervision
The Teen Titans are constantly observed by the League, as their actions reflect on the mentors who trained and practically raised them. In fact, this is an ongoing issue in the first Titans Annual in DC Rebirth. The Leaguers and the Titans have been captured by the Key, and they are often at odds with each other, as the Titans are fully grown adult superheroes who have dealt with worse, yet the Leaguers (with the exception of Barry) still see them as their sidekicks.
Batman, of course, tries to over Nightwing, while Aqualad literally has to answer to Aquaman as King. Meanwhile, the boys are watched over by Red Tornado, who they accidentally woke up in Happy Harbor.
2 YOUNG JUSTICE: The Team Consists Of Superhero Successors
Young Justice’s biggest edge over the Titans comes in terms of succession. Unlike the Titans, the major Young Justice members are all literally legacies to the Justice League. Such legacies include: Superboy (Superman), Robin (Batman), Impulse (The Flash) Wonder Girl (Wonder Woman), and Arrowette (Green Arrow).
Probably the most well known Teen Titans lineup is Robin, Cyborg, Beast Boy, Raven, and Starfire. Notably, Robin is the only legacy character in that list. Even in their animated series, Young Justice trumps the Titans since almost every member is a legacy character, including newcomers like Miss Martian, Zatanna, and even Rocket.
1 TEEN TITANS: Their Influence On DC & Marvel Is Undeniable
The Teen Titans were created in 1964. They were the original hit teen superhero group, serving as the inspiration for teams like the Runaways, Young Avengers, New Mutants, and of course, Young Justice. The New Teen Titans is one of DC’s most influential titles, as the creative team of Marv Wolfman and George Perez ushered in the team in such a talented way that they rivaled adult the sales of big-named teams like the Fantastic Four and even the Justice League itself.
Insane storylines like The Judas Contract, Terror of Trigon, and The Church of Brother Blood have influenced not only the DC Universe itself, but the way comics are written forever.
The Justice League won't be around forever, so who should inherit their mantle: the Teen Titans or Young Justice?