The Teen Titans Poke Fun at the Concept of 'Shipping'

In Meta-Messages, I explore the context behind (using reader danjack's term) "meta-messages." A meta-message is where a comic book creator comments on/references the work of another comic book/comic book creator (or sometimes even themselves) in their comic. Each time around, I'll give you the context behind one such "meta-message." This time around, we look at how a Teen Titans tie-in comic book made fun of one of the biggest interests that fans of the series have, namely, SHIPPING!

Ever since the idea of serialized fiction was established, we have had some variation of what is commonly referred to today as "shipping." Shipping is when you are actively interested in a specific relationSHIP occurring on a given serialized narrative.

If you want two specific character to get together, you will "ship" them. One of the interesting aspects of shipping is that sometimes you know that the coupling in question probably will not happen, but that doesn't mean that you're any less dedicated to it. This sort of ties in with a popular aspect of fan fiction going way back to the 1970s, which is the concept of "slash" fiction, where characters that you know would never get together on the actual series become popular stars of fan fiction doing just that. The most famous early examples would be Captain Kirk and Mister Spock. Obviously, those two are never going to date, but "slash" fiction between those two are still very popular. Similarly, there are popular modern "ships" that will never happen but the fans still like to dream about, like people who ship Supergirl and Lena Luthor on Supergirl. Part of this is because fans of same-sex relationships on TV shows never had ANYthing to look forward to, romance-wise, because same-sex relationship never occurred on TV. They are starting to occur more nowadays, so that is why those ships are so important to fans. They can actually see these things possibly occurring now, so they draw even more attention.

In any event, a show that is quite well known for its ships is the original Teen Titans cartoon series that aired in the early 2000s. A different version of the series, Teen Titans Go!, has been a major hit since it came out back in 2014. The new series was just as much into "ships" as the original one. Here are a couple of the prominent ships on the show, Robin and Starfire and Beast Boy and Raven...

Anyhow, on the original show, Robin and Starfire kissed in the episode, "Trouble in Tokyo"...

There is this character on the show named Larry, who is an imp from another dimension. Essentially, he is Robin's Bat-Mite. Well, Larry was so happy about Robin and Starfire seemingly getting together that he took his feelings to new extremes in the pages of the Teen Titans tie-in comic book series by J. Torres, Todd Nauck and Lary Strucker, specifically issue #39 (the series was called Teen Titans Go)...

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