Comic Book Questions Answered – where I answer whatever questions you folks might have about comic books (feel free to e-mail questions to me at email@example.com).
Reader Tracy S. wrote in to ask:
Hello. I grew up reading my dad’s comic books, so I’ve always wondered about this. When the original teen titans were formed, why was the original Supergirl never a member? I thought she was in the same age group.
I think that there are three major answers to the question, Tracy.
First off, when the Teen Titans officially formed in Brave and the Bold #60 in 1965 (after a precursor to the team had appeared a year earlier in Brave and the Bold #54 in a team-up of Robin, Aqualad and Kid Flash), Bob Haney had some trouble pulling in characters from the other books.
You might have heard the famous story of how Haney just assumed that the teenage Wonder Girl character in the pages of Wonder Woman was Wonder Woman’s sidekick when, in fact, she was actually just a younger version of Wonder Woman herself that writer Robert Kanigher had just decided to have team-up with her older self in “impossible stories.” I suspect, then, that Haney would have had even a tougher time borrowing a character from DC’s most popular title at the time, the Superman family of books, who were notoriously stingy with the use of their characters (they barely agreed to let Superman join the Justice League of America).
Secondly, Supergirl had her own feature in the pages of Action Comics (here’s one from early 1964’s Action Comics #310), which the other heroes in the Teen Titans did NOT have…
A book like Teen Titans would generally be made up of characters who did not have their own feature.
Finally, though, here is the best reason why Supergirl wasn’t on the Teen Titans. In Action Comics #318, which came out in 1964 a couple months after the Robin/Kid Flash/Aqualad story that later inspired the creation of the Teen Titans, Supergirl graduated high school and began attending college…
In other words, she was NOT treated as being in the same age group as the rest of the Teen Titans at the time. She was noticeably older. Which would explain why she was never considered for being an original member of the Teen Titans. Later versions of the character was shown as being a bit younger (and yet showed more skin, oddly enough) and this version did, in fact, join the Teen Titans…
So there ya go, Tracy! Thanks for the question! If anyone ELSE has a question they’d like to see me address, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org!
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