The Teen Titans are big right now! Which Teen Titans television series is best? Is it the original TEEN TITANS show, TEEN TITANS GO!, or the upcoming TITANS live-action series? Let’s find out!

The Present — TEEN TITANS GO! The Series

Currently, we have TEEN TITANS GO!, the show, airing on Cartoon Network. TEEN TITANS GO! exists as a reboot of the original TEEN TITANS show that aired in the early 2000s. Taking a sillier approach with episodes following a loose continuity, TEEN TITANS GO! seems to follow a tone akin to SPONGEBOB. It also has a more exaggeratedly cartoonish animation style. It contains parodies, self-referential humor, and is generally pretty random and wacky.

The Teen Titans
Image From DC

TEEN TITANS GO! features the same voice cast from the original 2000s series. However, that and the characters’ general personalities are essentially the only things that carry over. Each episode is split into two stories of about 10 minutes each. As such, it’s hard to create much substance. Little room is left for development, focusing on a quick plot that may or may not have a solid resolution.

The focus is more on the jokes and various hi-jinks. Being funny and wacky is not necessarily a bad thing, however. The show has received plenty of nominations and positive reviews for being one of the better-animated kids’ shows on current television. That being said, it’s hard for fans to get an accurate and full view of the Titans themselves as they originally were in the first series/comics as GO! depicts them.

TEEN TITANS GO! “The Film”

TEEN TITANS GO! TO THE MOVIES is in theaters now, serving as a film adaptation to the series. Having a feature length plot, TEEN TITANS GO! TO THE MOVIES does provide a little more substance than the average series episode. In the film, the Titans discover that they seem to be the only heroes who don’t have their own film. They come to realize that everyone thinks that they’re jokes.

In an effort to change public opinion and get their own movie, they attempt to gain an arch-nemesis in the form of Slade Wilson, aka Deathstroke. The majority of the focus is on Robin, as he is the one seeking the superhero film validation the most. Throughout the course of the film, Robin learns that he and his team shouldn’t worry about the overall perception. They should just be themselves and that’s heroic enough.

The Teen Titans
Image from DC

Now, this isn’t to say that TEEN TITANS GO! TO THE MOVIES isn’t without the series’ signature brand of wackiness and humor. There’s plenty of self-referential jokes, jabs to DC and Marvel alike, as well as to Warner Bros.

Some notable moments are when the Titans mistake Slade for Deadpool, as Deadpool was originally patterned after Slade. This is even part of Slade’s defense, as well as his claim that plenty of people carry guns and swords, not just Deadpool. Other hilarious moments include Green Lantern sharing that we’re not talking about his movie due to its poor reception, as well as Stan Lee getting a cameo, despite it being a DC film.

The Past- TEEN TITANS: The Original Show

Let’s take a look back to the original show that aired on Cartoon Network during the early 2000s. Simply titled TEEN TITANS, the show features the same group of characters from GO!: Robin, Starfire, Beast Boy, Cyborg, and Raven, following their adventures as teen superheroes.

The Teen Titans
Image from DC

The show’s animation style is more like that of the JUSTICE LEAGUE or BATMAN animated series. Carrying plenty of heroic action and plots, the series does contain a stronger continuity across episodes than those of GO! While still containing plenty of humor, it’s not as wacky or juvenile, being more contained and well-timed.

TEEN TITANS also features episodes with strong struggles and conflicts. Those conflicts come externally, such as with a villain like Slade. They also come internally, where the audience can see much of the inner struggle that comes with being a teenager, let alone one who has superpowers.

Original Series Revival?

While TEEN TITANS currently has only had 5 seasons, that could change in the near future. During the credits of TEEN TITANS GO! TO THE MOVIES, there is a post-credits scene featuring these original Titans. After some distortion, Robin clears up the image, saying that they are the Teen Titans and they think they found a way back.

This could mean a couple of things. The first thing is that this post-credits scene is a tease for a sixth season of the TEEN TITANS. This would be very exciting for many fans and was alluded to a few days ago by Raven voice actor Tara Strong. Strong tweeted that if the GO! film did well, then there would be big potential for a sixth season.

The second thing is slightly less awesome than a sixth season but still cool. This post-credits scene could be a tease for a crossover episode where the original Titans meet the GO! Titans. Such a crossover has been teased in the past, and GO!’s meta, self-referential humor has referenced the original show before as well.

TEEN TITANS GO TO THE MOVIES Is Seriously Silly!

The Future- Live Action TITANS

During San Diego Comic-Con, audiences got to see the first trailer for TITANS, a live-action series airing on the new DC UNIVERSE app. The Teen Titans team will consist of Robin, Raven, Starfire, Beast Boy, Hawk, and Dove.

The Teen Titans
Image from DC

From what we’ve seen so far, TITANS will be taking a much darker tone than that of shows past/current. Much of the trailer focuses on Robin and Raven, with limited shots for the rest of the Teen Titans. Raven seems to be struggling with her powers and inner darkness, afraid that she likes the darkness inside of her. It appears as though she gets into trouble, finding herself crossing paths with Robin.

Robin Says What?!

Robin, however, is probably the most controversial factor of the trailer. We see Robin about to overtake a group of thugs in an alley. One them asks:

“Where’s Batman?”

It’s not unfair for the thug to ask, as Robin is commonly known as Batman’s sidekick/partner. However, Robin brutally takes down the criminals, with an uncommon aggression. He even takes one of their guns and shoots them. He then replies:

“F*** Batman.”

Using a gun is a very surprising move for a member of the Bat-Family. The only exception being with the second Robin, Jason Todd. Todd grows to become the Red Hood: a merciless vigilante having a complicated relationship with Batman, but no qualms using guns. The problem is is that the Robin we’re seeing isn’t Todd. It’s the first Robin, Dick Grayson, the traditional Titans leader.

The Teen Titans
Image from DC

Also, Grayson is essentially the most positive and humorous Robin. He arguably has the consistency brightest demeanor of anyone in the Bat-Family. Thus, it’s really weird to hear him say “F*** Batman” and shoot criminals.

Now, this is most likely an indicator that he and Batman had a falling out, and Robin is striking his own path as he did in the comics, eventually becoming Nightwing, the defender of Bludhaven, Gotham’s sister city. The first season of TITANS could very well see that growth happen. Even so, this initial start is much darker for Grayson than previous depictions, in any media form. One has to ask: is the level of darkness really necessary for the Teen Titans? Do fans even want it?

Which Version of the Teen Titans Do Fans Want?

With all of these different types and flavors of the Teen Titans shows available, the question is bound to come up: Which Titans show is best, and which do fans appreciate most?

The answer: It depends on the fan. A younger fan is probably going to enjoy GO! more than the MA-rated live-action TITANS. Fans my age, those who were kids in the early 2000s, probably love the original TEEN TITANS and have a lot of nostalgia towards the show, hoping that it will make a significant comeback. I know I am. It’s hard to gauge if the live-action TITANS is best, mainly because it has yet to release.

From what we have seen, there is a general worry from the masses online that the darkness being displayed is there just for the sake of wanting a dark series. Genuine substance will be needed to justify the darkness that is present. If Robin is saying, “F*** Batman,” there better be a good reason for it which should be explored and fleshed out for Robin’s character. It shouldn’t be a throwaway line to explain Batman’s lack of presence. For now, let’s say that the live-action TITANS has potential.

A Followup Question With A Definite Answer

If the question is which Titans show represents the comics Titans best, the answer, for now, is undoubtedly the original TEEN TITANS. Not too silly, not too serious. It features the Titans as they truly are: teens who are learning to be the best heroes they can be. It shows the positives and the negatives that come with that growth.

The other shows have their strengths and bring new things to the table, but the original TEEN TITANS has the best representation. In any case, whether you’re a GO! fan, an OG fan, or looking forward to the live-action TITANS, it’s pretty sweet that you have options. The idea that later on this year you can pick between three different and unique types of the Teen Titans is awesome. When there’s trouble you know who to call! TEEN TITANS!…TIMES 3!

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