Don't you just hate spoilers? I do, too. That's why I always try to include warnings. However, I sometimes ramble a bit too much here or there and maybe a few (or many) key plot points slip without me giving proper notice. So I'd like to include a blanket spoiler warning for the weary internet travelers of the world: Here There Be Spoilers. You've been warned.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Teen Titans and Young Justice

Teen Titans is one of my favorite shows about superheros. It's goofy and it's a bit too short (only 56 episodes and one movie called Trouble in Tokyo), but I'd rank it up there with Batman: the Animated Series and Justice League Unlimited. The main characters are Robin, Beast Boy, Starfire, Raven, Cyborg, and the fantastic villain named Slade. The animation is borderline anime-style at times and Chibi-style at times. Chibi (or "super deformed") is when the body of a character is extremely small while the head of the character is rather large. The style is used mostly to convey humor and it really works. In fact, Cartoon Network revived the Teen Titans as Chibi-style shorts for their programming block DC Nation. It's one of the few things Cartoon Network has done right in the past few years. 

What I really like is the voice talent. Slade, one of my favorite villains ever, is voiced by Ron Perlman. Michael Clarke Duncan plays a character named Krall. Henry Rollins is Johnny Rancid. Clancy Brown is the voice of Trident. Keith David is Atlas. Malcolm McDowell is Mad Mod. And Wil Wheaton is Aqualad. 
Raven as a bunny (almost Chibi-style animation)
Teen Titans is largely independent of the DC Universe. Secret identities are almost never mentioned because the characters largely stay in superhero form at all times. Robin's ties to Batman are barely mentioned. In fact, you only notice them if you pay attention. I rather like that sense of separation. I think Robin is a more likable character and a cooler character now that he isn't constantly dragging down Batman.

Yeah, I've never been a big fan of Batman having a sidekick and it's good to know that Christian Bale and Christopher Nolan agree with me.

Although, I will say that Young Justice (one of the new programs on Cartoon Network's DC Nation block of programming) is a fantastic show that features Batman and Robin, but in that show they aren't really sidekicks. More like master and pupil that barely interact anymore. That degree of separation is what I prefer because I believe that Batman is naturally a standoff-ish person and he's not one prone to emotional attachment. A great father figure, in other words.  Young Justice is also more serious than Teen Titans (although the Slade and Trigon material in Teen Titans is pretty freaking serious) and features a larger array of superheros, too. 

Young Justice also takes the opposite approach that Teen Titans takes. Young Justice makes the relationship between the "young Justice League" (not called Teen Titans in this series) and the adult Justice League a strong and prevalent one. The show also features different main characters. Robin is in this one as I mentioned (and voiced by Jesse McCartney of all people!). Aqualad gets more time in this show (and he's also voiced by the same guy that voiced Cyborg in Teen Titans). Kid Flash, Superboy, Miss Martian, Zatanna, Artemis, and Red Arrow are also main characters so far. It looks like a few more could be added in time. It'll be interesting to see who. 

Even though the show is still new I believe that Young Justice is a much better show than Teen Titans and could be one of the better animated superhero shows to come out in quite some time. It's more mature and contains a better overall story line while Teen Titans only carried sporadic story lines. But I don't think either show should be missed because they are both very good. 

If you want something lighter than I recommend Teen Titans. If you want something a bit more serious and mature then go for Young Justice

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