On July 7, 1980, DC Comics Presents–a mediocre book, largely produced by old-timers who had done great work but were past their prime (Gerry Conway, Paul Levitz, Martin Pasko, Don Heck) and other supertalents who were peaking in the early 1980s (Curt Swan, Jim Starlin, Len Wein), included a 16-page insert.
But unlike the passable, “don’t matter” team-ups that graced the main pages of the title, this insert was created by an artistic legend, George Perez, who some (me, mostly) say has been even more important to comic books than Jack Kirby, with a writer who had been Marvel’s Editor in Chief (for a brief time) during the 1970s and had written many of Marvel’s most important books (and created characters like The Black Cat and Bullseye). These were two titans of the industry.
The insert was mind-blowing. There were some characters we’d never seen before, and others we’d never seen in that way.
The original Teen Titans were a golden age amalgam of silly sidekicks, teen characters who to that point really didn’t matter unless they were in a book with the JLA, Batman, etc. These Titans were very, very different.
The book would go on to be DC’s best-seller. It was created as an “answer” to Chris Claremont’s X-Men, and ended up, month-to-month, being as-good or better than the Marvel title.
In fact, The New Teen Titans #18 was the first comic I bought that, immediately after, inspired me to race to Forbidden Planet in the village and spend real money on all the back issues. (I never got #2, it always eluded me.)
The New Teen Titans would later return the favor by allowing Captain Carrot to grace their cover and center.
Here they are, breaking the fourth wall….