Mountain Comics #6 – Teen Titans #51


Dan Greenfield ( visits Rob's Mountain Comics series to talk about "Titans East! Titans West! And Never(?) The Teens Shall Meet!" by Bob Rozakis, Don Heck, and Frank Chiaramonte from TEEN TITANS #51!

Check out images from this comic by clicking here!

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17 responses to “Mountain Comics #6 – Teen Titans #51

  1. Thanks gents. An interesting discussion about a familiar title In an unfamiliar era for me.

    Can you imagine any kid today getting excited about anything advertised in a modern comic?

  2. Great show, Rob and Dan.

    I’d have killed for those school supplies. But I would have probably have been beat up a lot for owning those.

    I was never one for the Teen Titans. I think I had felt like they were just a junior version of the JLA. And even though the Wolfman/Perez books were beautiful and tightly plotted, the dialogue and characters like Changeling and Cyborg really turned me off for some reason. It took Nightwing’s creation to get me interested.

    More mountain comics! How many are there?

    1. I bought hundreds of comics over the years, and I have a first pass list of a few dozen. There will be few more episodes of MC before I put the show on hold. It will come back next year in Spring/Summer.

  3. This was one of my favorite comic books when growing up. The way I read this issue the “titans west” had adventures together before they appeared in this comic book and they would have more adventures together after they appeared in this comic book. I loved the idea that there were superheroes in the DC universe who had lives and adventures that we only occasional got glimpses of. The idea of the DC universe being larger than the comic books could show really intrigued me. It is the same reason I loved the JSA and Freedom Fighters and bought any comic book that contained characters from Earth 2 or Earth X. I was actually a little disappointed when the JSA and Freedom Fighters got their own titles because it took a little of their mystique away.

  4. Top episode. I was buying the series as it came out and this really was an exciting story, it was the first time I’d come across Beast Boy, and I was thrilled to see the return of BatHyphenGirl.

    One titchy thing, when Dan mentions the nightclub Groovy Frog, is he getting mixed up with Roy’s band, Great Frog?

    Talking of merchandise, did anyine ever buy those superhero wall stickers? I bet parents were thrilled st all that gluey goodness on their pristine walls.

  5. Nice discussion fellas! I have a soft spot for this era. Despite some pretty shaky art during this period on a LOT of DC titles, the stories were fun and inventive, and they did add some much needed personality to the Titans….beyond the Haney groovy dialog, of course.

    I actually wrote an article on the Titans West for Back Issue a few years ago, so that goofy combo has always fascinated me. According to Rozakis, the plan moving forward was to switch the focus back and forth between the two coastal teams in the title, with Kid Flash being on both teams, because he could easily run from one side of the country to the other!

    Luckily, in my younger elementary years, it was perfectly fine to carry character-themed school supplies. I went to kindergarten with a Peanuts satchel and Super Friends lunchbox, and then carried He-Man and Super Powers lunch boxes until the 4th grade. 5th grade was the great cut-off, so I had to keep my geekiness on the down-low.

    Funny this topic came up when Wal-Mart just had that big super hero back to school push, with store signage featuring Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and Spider-Man (!) and the commercials with actors in the current movie series costumes.

    Great show, and it’s always a pleasure to hear Dan stop by. Big fan of 13th Dimension!


  6. Great episode as usual.

    Somewhere in my misspent youth, I remember buying Teen Titans #50 of this run, a comic which was the birth of my irrational love of Hawk (and Dove). I don’t have the issue. I don’t remember anything about it. But I can remember being taken in by the design of Hawk, especially his cape (capes? feathers?). That Ditko can design them!

    I don’t know how Gar can become a King Kong size gorilla. I also don’t know why he doesn’t do that way more often if he can.
    Robin: Hey Gar we’re fighting the Brotherhood of Evil!
    Gar (thinking): Hmmm, I could become Kong and just stomp them … nah.
    Gar (speaking): I’ll turn into a billy goat and headbutt Plasmus!

  7. Man, six episodes in and I’m not hearing about a mediocre comic yet. I had some vacation comics (i.e. comics I bought while on trips with the family) but aside from a random Super Powers issue and another random Swamp Thing I don’t think anything comes close to the power these Mountain Comics hold.

    Keep these episodes coming, Rob. I dread the day when you run out of these books to talk about.

  8. You know, I don’t think I’ve ever read a classic Titans West story, so I’m surprised to see the costumes here, being more familiar with the Perez redesigns. Golden Eagle looks really bad. And was Bat-Girl replaced by Flamebird? Man, this is a weird, mostly retconned run of the franchise!

    1. Yeah, Betty began styling herself as Bette – that was a suggestion from BNF Carol Strickland – and was given a new named to go with Dick’s new name when Marv and George apparently decided to make her a superhero stalker.

  9. I really liked this series! Eagerly bought each issue, always hoping that it was just a little bit better. I’m not going to pile on Don Heck, but I am going to express my disappointment with F. Chiarmonte. I thought his inks were too scratchy and indistinct, especially on the Superman books where he was Swan’s regular inker for a long time.
    However, I am first in line to sing the praises of Bob Rozakis! His was one the first names I could recognize in my nascent comics-reading years. He was answering letters in titles like Batman and Detective, and writing the new stories in Batman Family, and then came the profile pages, and, HOORAY, the Daily Planet page! Rozakis was able to make himself a “personality” to me more than the rest of the creative staff at DC. I recognize that he never wrote a “Kree-Skrull War,” or a “Crisis,” or a “Celestial Madonna,” or any other kind of interconnected, cross-over, paradigm-shifting stories, but he was superb at tight, comprehensive, compact stories. Somebody invite me on Fire & Water to talk about his Man-Bat stories, and I can do twenty minutes on his wonderful characterizations of Kirk and Francine.
    As to Teen Titans, and this little story in particular, Rob is right that Rozakis was very aware of the great toybox full of old characters that he could use, like Lilith and Gnarrk, and Betty Kane. It seems to me that he wrote Betty as a very smart, leader-type. A sort of West Coast version of Robin. But Charlie Parker, Golden Eagle…man. He never got his “redemption” story did he? Is he what you guys call a “Mort?”
    I did not like what Wolfman did with Duela Dent. That sort of thing always seems to me like rejecting a previous writer’s ideas. I prefer it when those old ideas are incorporated. See the new viability of Bumblebee!
    I like the Mountain Comics stuff, as well. The last few came after my collecting days, but this one is right in the thick of those early heady times of finding new little stores that might carry comics! I remember well my regular after-school places, as well as several other pleasant discoveries!

  10. Sorry to hear Mountain Comics is only a seasonal show. I’ve quite enjoyed these brief blasts of second hand nostalgia.

    The New Teen Titans was one of my gateway series, alongside Bob Haney’s The Brave and the Bold, yet I have a potent aversion to pre-1980s Titans stories in the Bob Haney mold. Your coverage of this issue underlined one of the reasons for that. Not only is the team already struggling with the problem of every fan wanting project themselves onto heroes rather than sidekicks, and then you send plainly pathetic bad guys at them? Who wants to read The Inferior Five played straight, where it takes a whole team to beat an Atom c-lister? Plus, all of the Titans wear costumes designed to contrast but never outshine their adult mentors, so they were all intentionally second rate on their best day. In a situation like this, you need to hard sell with cool new villains and flashy art, and instead it all goes to Heck.

    I really like the looks of Guardian and Bumblebee in that one panel, though.

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