Now we’re getting somewhere. While I like the Justice League, I am far more well-versed in my Teen Titans knowledge (and no, just having watched and love the old early 2000s cartoon doesn’t count). For newer readers, there are a few jumping-on points that an argument can be made for, and it really all comes down to how far back you want to go.
If you want to get some old school education under your utility belt, I’d say start with Bronze Era New Teen Titans by Marv Wolfman and George Perez. This particular iteration of the team is what most TT fans older than 20 will associate with the series. It’s the most iconic squad, with Dick Greyson, Wally West, Donna Troy, and adding now fan favorites Starfire, Raven, Cyborg, and Beast Boy (Changeling). These stories are timeline classics and you can’t go wrong with starting here with Vol. 1 to see if the older style is your cup of tea, and if not you can jump forward to Pre-52 Modern Era when Geoff Johns took over the book for what is arguably its best run…
Geoff Johns understands the DC Universe and the characters that reside within it in a way that no one else does; it shows any time he takes over a book, and his run on Teen Titans is no exception. The first arc “A Kid’s Game” is absolutely fantastic and he really doesn’t slow down. This TT was a team of Tim Drake, Conner Kent, Bart Allen, and Cassie Sandsmark, alongside veterans Starfire, Raven, Cyborg, and Beast Boy. I can’t say enough great things about this run and highly recommend it.
Remember in my Justice League recommendations where I said that New 52 era was largely a mistake? Well, the Teen Titans book is a pretty divisive part of that and for good reasons. While I enjoy Scott Lobdell’s writing and absolutely LOVE Brett Booth’s pencils, the New 52 era Teen Titans simply did not feel like any of the characters in any measure. In isolation, and without any prior working knowledge of these characters, the run can definitely be enjoyed. But if you have any level of love for the characters already going into reading New 52, then they’ll all pretty much be unrecognizable. Beautiful art though.
As with so many books in DC line, the Rebirth Era brought with it a huge jump in quality for the Teen Titans across the board. And while I’m not necessarily a huge Damian Wayne or Wallace West fan, the first few volumes in Benjamin Percy’s run starting with Vol 1: “Damian Knows Best” are great. It goes downhill after around Vol. 3, however, so I’d only really bother with it up to that point (it’s no wonder that it’s getting canceled.