How Did The New Teen Titans End?

The Teen Titans are one of DC’s most popular superhero groups. The layered characters in their teens are what attracted a generation of younger readers, as they finally had a comic book title with whose characters they could completely relate. The group debuted during the 1960s, but it wasn’t until Marv Wolfman and George Pérez took over the title in 1980, changing the title to The New Teen Titans, that the series really became what it is today. A lot of things changed during the 80s and the 90s, with The New Teen Titans, after several name changes, ending in 1996. Today, I am going to talk about that process. 

The New Teen Titans ended in 1996 with the “Where Nightmares End!” storyline, written by Marv Wolfman. In the story, the Titans defeat Trigon one more time, after which they disband the group and head their separate ways, hopeful of the future. They, of course, reunited not long after these events. 

In today’s article, I am going to tell you everything you need to know about the continuity of The New Teen Titans title, which ran from 1980 to 1996. You are going to find out how exactly the series ended, what happened to each of the Titans afterward, and what happened to the group after their last story under this title. Enjoy!

When did The New Teen Titans begin?

I think that if you want to fully appreciate the context of this article, you need to get some background on how The New Teen Titans even came to be and how they developed over the years. That is why I am going to provide you with a short history of the title in the paragraphs that follow. 

The story “Where Nightmares Begin!” introduced the new Teen Titans group, led by Robin, Kid Flash and Donna Troy, who would soon be joined by Raven, Changeling, Starfire and Cyborg. This story launched what would become The New Teen Titans, a series that would last until 1996. 

On one occasion, Marv Wolfman recalled that “once George moved to the same town I lived in, only five blocks or so away, we usually got together for lunch and would work out a story over the next few hours. In many cases I would then go home and write up a plot based on it, or sometimes George would take the verbal plotting we did and take it from there.”

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This is how Marv Wolfman described the creative process behind The New Teen Titans, a process that resulted in “The Judas Contract” storyline from 1984, certainly one of the most famous Teen Titans storylines ever, which chronicled the Titans’ fight against Deathstroke, who would go on to become their biggest archenemy, and his protege, Terra Markov. 

Among the other important stories were “A Day in the Lives…”, presenting a day in the team members’ personal lives; “Who is Donna Troy?”, depicting Robin investigating Wonder Girl’s origins; and “We Are Gathered Here Today…”, telling the story of Wonder Girl’s wedding. These stories were the pinnacles of The New Teen Titans volume one and they helped cement the group’s popularity. 

After four years, The New Teen Titans relaunched with #1 in 1984, starting volume two of the series. This was actually a publishing policy-based decision, as it was part of a new initiative at DC informally referred to as “hardcover/softcover”. This meant that the stories were published twice, first as a higher-quality, more expensive printing and paper distributed exclusively to comic book specialty stores, then republished a year later in the original format, distributed to newsstands. 

As the years progressed, the title changed its name on several occasions. The series was titled The New Teen Titans from #1 to #49. From #50 onwards, it was renamed New Titans, which is the title under which it was published until #130, the last issue in this volume. 

How did The New Teen Titans end?

At this point, you are quite aware of the fact that The New Teen Titans title ceased to exist with issue #50 and that the series, although retaining the narrative continuity, was known as New Titans when its last issue, #130, was released in 1996. 

The last storyline of the New Titans series was symbolically titled “Where Nightmares End!”, which was a heartfelt reference to the story (see above) that actually launched this iteration of the group. The story was written by Marv Wolfman, the series’ creator, and illustrated by William Rosado, as Pérez had left the series some time ago. 

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The story was also a very fitting clash that, in a way, referenced the groups’ origins (if you remember from my earlier articles, this iteration of the Teen Titans was formed by Raven when she was rejected by the Justice League so that she could get some help in fighting her demonic father, Trigon) and their last clash was against their biggest foe. 

Credit DC Comics

As in the very beginning, the Teen Titans clashed against Raven’s father, the infernal demon Trigon, who had captured Raven and Changeling, the Titan better-known as Beast Boy. The remaining titans, which include Starfire, Darkstar (Donna Troy), Arsenal (Roy Harper), Minion, and the Green Lantern Kyle Rainer, go on a mission to save the two from Trigon and his allies.

As you can see, the roster had changed significantly by this issue, with Raven, Beast Boy (Changeling), Donna Troy and Starfire being the so-called “old” Teen Titans, although only two of them actively participated in the plot. 

As one would expect, the Teen Titans do save the day and they manage to free both Raven and Beast Boy (Changeling) from Trigon, after which we have a very heartbreaking moment as the group disbands. The end of this volume of the New Titans also marked the end of the group itself. This was, of course, not a definitive end of the group, but the Teen Titans as we had known them were history and it was a clear sign that DC was having other plans with the group. 

What happened to all the Teen Titans after #130?

Well, as for the individual members, the Titans decided to go their separate ways. Some of them decided to stay and help rebuild Tamaran, while the others headed back to Earth and pursued their separate lives. They were all hopeful for their futures, even though they went their separate ways. 

As far as the four core members are concerned – Raven, Beast Boy, Starfire and Donna Troy – the first three eventually found their way back into the Teen Titans, as their individual careers outside the group just didn’t work as well for DC. Donna Troy had a more successful time working with other heroes, and while different iterations of Wonder Girl later became part of the group, Donna Troy did not. Cyborg, Wally West and Dick Grayson all ended up having successful solo careers, but they also worked closely with the Justice League, becoming very important members of DC’s pantheon of superheroes. 

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As far as the comic book series and the group are concerned, it was clear that DC wouldn’t give up on the Teen Titans, but the group had to be “refreshed” in some way. 

A new series, Teen Titans (volume two), was launched later in 1996 but ended in 1998 due to the group not being popular enough. Atom became the new leader of the group, now consisting of Prysm, Joto, Risk and Argent, with Arsenal joining later on in a mentor-type role. Tim Drake was also voted by the fans to join the group, but the Batman editorial team forbade it, which ultimately contributed to the series’ cancellation. 

The group was “revived” in 1999 with the Titans. In this title’s continuity, the group consisted of Nightwing, Troia, Arsenal, Tempest, the Flash, Starfire, Cyborg, the Changeling, Damage and Argent, with Jessie Quick joining later on. This series was more popular and ended in 2003, when it was replaced with Teen Titans (volume three). 

This iteration was also another hit for DC, as it coincided with the popular cartoon series, but also because it combined the Titans’ roster with that of Young Justice, ultimately creating a very popular team that consisted of Robin, Superboy, Wonder Girl, Impulse, Starfire, Cyborg and Changeling (now rebranded Beast Boy to reflect the cartoon). Raven also returned to the time after a while, as well as Jericho. 

Since then, the Teen Titans have had their own series in every iteration of the DC Universe and they remain one of the house’s most popular titles.