The Teen Titans -- what a colorful collection of prepubescent misfits with the ability to challenge extra dimensional demons. They have been connecting with younger comic book readers since their inception as a sort of gimmick to give the sidekicks their own version of the Justice League. Since they are an eclectic bunch with a rapidly developing fashion sense, they have an array of costumes both good and bad. Some characters have costumes that look extremely cool or perfectly define them while some others make you scratch your heads. But the diverse roster is part of the reason that the Teen Titans have become one of the most recognizable superhero teams in the history of comic books.
Because of the Teen Titans’ fame, many iterations of their team and their characters can be found in other popular media such as the Teen Titans animated show and Young Justice. With these different adaptations, the Titans’ costumes have to be adopted as well. Sometimes they’re almost exactly the same as their comic book counterparts. However, sometimes, the creative people in charge of these projects make a change either for the better or worse. Here are eight Teen Titans members that look better on-screen and seven that look worse.
15 BETTER: SPEEDY/ARSENAL
Unfortunately, Roy Harper hails from the first age of the sidekicks. This is the era when Robin and Aqualad wore tights and Roy wore a skirt. Though the goofiness of the costume is intertwined with the charm of the time period, it doesn’t negate the fact that his original costume is awful. Yes he does upgrade throughout his time in the comics, but when he joined the Teen Titans, he was wearing his original costume.
Arrow does a fantastic job of updating Roy’s look when he goes out into the field. He may technically go by the code name Arsenal, but Thea, who is the Arrowverse’s Speedy wears the exact same costume as well. The suit is a dark red and black variant of Oliver’s suit with the equipment slots serving as a highlight on the costume. It’s very cool and is perfect for the Green Arrow’s sidekick.
14 WORSE: ROBIN
When people talk about the worst on screen Batman family costumes, one of the first thoughts in everybody’s mind is: Batman and Robin, and that is for good reason. There are so many terrible things about that movie, but one of the most egregious errors was the costume design. Joel Schumacher went full camp to terrible effect. Not only did they put giant silver designs on their costume that would certainly get them caught in any stealth situation, but they included prominent nipples and butt plates. To make it worse, they highlighted those features during the suiting up montage.
Robin’s costume from his early days as a crimefighter may be embarrassing, but they’re not a disgrace like the costumes from Batman and Robin. Robin’s costume was classic and the color combination went on to define the character for years to come.
13 BETTER: STARFIRE
Starfire, despite her status as a member of the Teen Titans, has seemed to always fallen victim to the comic book industry’s tendency to dress women in the smallest amount of clothing possible while making their body as voluptuous as possible. In her many comic book appearances, her costume seems designed to show off as much of her body as they could.
Thankfully, the Teen Titans animated show did much better with her costume than the comics did; it was a children's show, so they couldn’t get away with having any of the characters scantily clad. On the show, Starfire’s costume consisted of long boots, a skirt, and a cropped top. This stayed true to her comic book origins but still managed to actually dress the teenage alien.
12 WORSE: BART ALLEN
Smallville was very smart to bring Bart Allen on. The brash and cocky speedster played nicely against Clark’s more earnest but quietly confident personality. But we’re not sure what they were doing when they picked the costume. It’s really just a hoodie in the colors of Impulse from the comics. They put Green Arrow in a leather supersuit, why not do the same for Bart?
In the comics, Bart Allen has a fantastic costume whether he’s Impulse, Kid Flash, or the Flash. He brought his classic Impulse costume with him from the future and is most well known for sporting that suit. That costume is a burned yellow with a red delta going down his front and Bart’s classic goggles. His costume perfectly fits his character: loud and proud.
11 BETTER: SUPERBOY
Superboy is a man of simplistic tastes. Once he escaped from Cadmus, he decided to go into superheroing. However Superboy, or Conner Kent, doesn’t have much to his costume. He typically just sports a black shirt, jeans, boots, and a red Superman insignia. It’s a classic enough look, but it is somewhat silly to just fight in the same clothes you’d wear to the movies.
Conner Kent also made an appearance on Smallville. His origins were actually pretty close to the comics, he was a hybrid clone of Lex Luthor and Clark Kent. They updated his look with the bold addition of: long sleeves. Yeah there isn’t much to this costume either, but regardless of its simplicity, it is slightly better than the comic book version. The long sleeves looks good and even allows for slightly more color to highlight the shirt.
10 WORSE: CYBORG
Cyborg is a character that lends himself to a costume evolution. He’s a cybernetic entity with the ability to update himself and merge with other technology, therefore it’s inevitable that his look changed during his time with the Teen Titans. It’s evolved from a guy with strips of metal replacing some of his skin to a man encased in and supplemented by a complex system of powerful cybernetic parts. Though his look had humble beginnings, it’s evolved into one of the coolest in DC.
Unfortunately, the Cyborg in the 2017 movie Justice League hasn’t had time to progress and neither has the CGI used to design him. The CGI isn’t as bad as early trailers would have led you to believe, but it’s still far too much and makes the character feel unreal. A mix of practical and CG effects would have most likely been more effective.
9 BETTER: JERICHO
It’s not hard to improve upon Jericho’s looks in the comics. With his curly golden hair (where did that gene come from?) to his flowy, dated garb, Jericho looks more like a fairy tale prince than a member of the Teen Titans. Jericho, or Joseph Wilson, is the son of Slade Wilson and Adeline Kane and possesses the ability to transfer his consciousness to another person.
A version of Jericho actually appears on the CW’s Arrow. Joseph Wilson is actually a full-on villain with no powers in this version. He’s a former ASIS agent like his father and after Slade’s disappearance, he became the leader of a terrorist group known as the Jackals. He wears a pretty simplistic black tactical suit and katana. But anything is better than the 16th century outfit his comic book counterpart wears.
8 WORSE: MISS MARTIAN
Supergirl is ambitious and has been steadily improving since its start on CBS. But because of the nature of the show, there is a whole lot of CGI to fit on a television budget and it shows. Supergirl features a great deal of aliens, but none of them look as fully realized as they should. The martians on the show suffer from this as well. M’gann M’orzz is a relatively recent addition who has appeared many times in her martian form, but it doesn’t look as good as in the comics.
In the comics, Miss Martian sports a red and white top with a skirt that speaks to her personality. In addition, she looks completely human with the exception of her green skin. The version of her in the comics doesn’t have to worry about a finite CGI budget diminishing her looks and a costume that’s lacking in color contrast.
7 BETTER: AQUALAD
It’s really unfortunate for Garth that he was created during the time when it was seemingly a law that said sidekicks costumes had to have really short bottoms. Robin, Speedy, and the original Aqualad all followed this law. Speedy wore a short skirt over his tights while Robin and Aqualad were relegated to just really short shorts
Luckily for Aqualad, Teen Titans decided not to go with that costume. In the animated series, Garth was a relatively important player on the heroic side. He was the Titans’ charming ally and a founding member of the Titans East. In the series, Aqualad wears a one piece coverall with blue and black designs across it. The costume actually covers him while simultaneously having a cool design. This costume is far superior to Aqualad’s initial costume.
6 WORSE: KID FLASH
Wally West has long been a beloved character in the DC Universe. He was a well-respected sidekick before becoming the The Flash himself. Wally is one of the only sidekicks who had a decent costume during the beginning of the sidekick era. His costume was similar to the Flash’s with much more yellow than red and a great deal of his bright red hair which actually goes well with his costume.
For some reason, the Arrowverse cannot seem to create a really great version of their heroic speedsters’ costumes. Eobard Thawne’s was very effective, Zoom’s was very menacing, Savitar’s was extremely cool and powerful. But Barry’s and Wally’s costumes just don’t seem to work. They’re getting better, but they just look goofy sometimes. Keiynan Lonsdale does a good job with the character, the costume just doesn’t flatter him.
5 BETTER: GUARDIAN
James Olsen and his alter ego, Guardian, on Supergirl have been a divisive addition into the Supergirl mythos. Typically, Jimmy Olsen is closer to Superman rather than Supergirl and has never assumed the role of Guardian. In addition to those changes, James’s Guardian costume does not necessarily resemble the Guardian costume from the comics. But maybe that’s for the better.
Malcolm Duncan of the Teen Titans became the second Guardian soon after he joined. He joined during one of the earliest Teen Titans run, so it’s only a given that his costume was silly. The first knock against the costume is that it was a powered exoskeleton that was primarily cloth. On top of that, the helmet just didn’t look good on Mal. James Olsen’s version solves both of these by making the suit mostly metal and covering the face almost entirely with his mask.
4 WORSE: RAVAGER
Something about this just didn’t work out. And it’s a shame because Ravager is an interesting character and season two of Arrow was a nearly flawless season of the show. Isabel Rochev was a great corporate villain for Oliver Queen, but as soon as she became a physical challenge for the Arrow, she didn’t work. She wasn’t threatening or really even believable during her fight scenes. The design of her costume is essentially Deathstroke-lite but with less colors and a mask that just doesn’t fit right on her head.
Ravager from the comics has a Deathstroke-lite costume as well, but that costume makes more effective use of the designs from her father’s armor. The scales and other additional flourishes make for an eclectic combination of elements on her costume. Plus, her mask fit correctly on her head.
3 BETTER: ROBIN
Though Robin’s initial costume is iconic and possessed a unique color palette that would define the mantle for years, he was still a kid in a short shorts. The original costume was a good start, but the need for a slightly more realistic and less ridiculous looking costume facilitated numerous updates to the costume. And generally, these updates have always worked out for the best.
One such upgrade comes from the upcoming live action DC show, Titans. In the show, Dick Grayson is older, but still dons a version of his Robin suit. The suit looks to be actually armored and to sport a muted version of the original’s color scheme. This way, it invokes the feeling of Robin without giving him colors that would get him spotted immediately.
2 WORSE: PANTHA
Comics aren’t always transferrable to other media; that makes sense. But why did Teen Titans decide to turn Pantha into a luchador? Pantha was still a powerful honorary Titan, but that decision to turn her into a luchador robbed the audiences of the much cooler version of her suit that’s found in the comics. In Teen Titans, Pantha was decked out in a black and yellow panther-inspired luchador costume.
In the comics, Pantha has nothing to do with wrestling. She was a product of the Wildebeest Society’s experiments and possessed the abilities of a panther. As a result of the experiments that created her, she had panther-like claws for hands and feet. In addition, her costume was a dark blue and yellow with numerous highlights and details. This costume is undoubtedly better than her cartoon version.
1 BETTER: WONDER GIRL
This is the second version of Wonder Girl, Cassandra Sandsmark. She’s a demigoddess with a powerset similar to Wonder Woman’s. Like other superheroes, Cassie actually has many variants of her costume but the classical version of her outfit is a red and bright gold shirt with the Wonder Woman logo and jeans. (Sound familiar?) Most of her variations keep the top and just change the pants slightly.
This version of Wonder Girl also is one of the main team members during Young Justice: Invasion. Her costume in this series is a little more practical and looks more like an actual super suit rather than an outfit. She wears a black, sleeveless top with the Wonder Woman logo and red tights. It’s a good thing they went with this altered version of the costume. Otherwise, she would’ve been mocked for stealing Superboy’s schtick.