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Author Topic: What If...Supergirl joined the Teen Titans?  (Read 4589 times)
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JulianPerez
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« on: August 05, 2005, 06:38:35 AM »

Here's one thought for creative speculation:

What If...Supergirl had been revealed to the world ahead of schedule, and so was on hand to join the original Silver Age Teen Titans, along with Robin, Wonder Girl, Aqualad, Speedy, and Kid Flash?

Here are some possible points of divergence from reality as we know it:

If Supergirl was a Titans member, it is likely that she would have politely refused the offer to join the Legion when they ask her, as her time is full with Titans business. Thus, she never would have been on hand to invent Element 152, and the Legionnaires would use Legion Cruisers and the jet belts they used in their early appearances instead of Flight Rings. As Brainiac 5 thus never knew Kara, when the first Legion HQ was attacked by the Fatal Five, Shadow Lass and Brainiac 5 could have acted for their feelings for each other. ("He's so handsome...proud, strong willed, and logical. If he were less logical, perhaps he'd understand why I decided to stay.")

If Supergirl had been a Titans member, when Raven reforms the New Teen Titans to fight her father Trigon, Raven may have decided that Supergirl's power level may be enough, and so she would not need to contact the non-Titan Vic Stone, and would not decide that she doesn't needs Wally West so badly that she emotionally manipulates him into loving her (she's got Supergirl on her team, after all). Thus, consequently Wally West would never have acquired his deadly heart condition and forced to retire, and would be at his full speed when he assumes the mantle of the Flash in the Loebs/Guice run in 1987. It would also mean that Cyborg would not have become a Teen Titan either; thus, his father would not be around to build Titans Tower for the team, and the team would use their original cave base for the rest of their incarnation.

Also, it may be likely that if Supergirl was a member of the team, the victory of the heroes against the Citadel in issues 16-18 would have been more complete if they had someone of Supergirl's power level with them to truly cripple Citadel capacity. While the Titans are rescuing Starfire, Supergirl would have been raining Wrath of God on the Citadel Starfleet. Consequently, it is unlikely that the Citadel would function as effective villains in that sector again, and the Omega Men would have disbanded after opposing the remaining stragglers.

That's off the top of my head; what do you think?
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dto
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« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2005, 09:27:44 AM »

Interesting idea, JulianPerez.  But you don't have to reveal Supergirl prematurely, since Kara Zor-El was publicly debuted in Action Comics #285 (February 1962).  The first "Teen Titans" story (featuring Robin, Aquaboy and Kid Flash) was in The Brave and the Bold #54 (July 1964), and the second adventure (which officially named the group and introduced Wonder Girl -- Speedy was retconned as a founding member later) was in The Brave and the Bold #60 (July 1965).  So it's possible for Supergirl to join the Teen Titans since she had over two years of experience (plus her "Secret Weapon" years).

But by the first Teen Titans tale Supergirl was about to graduate from high school and enter Standhope College, leaving her "teen years" behind.   And she was never really into the "youth rebellion" culture that seemed to be an underlying Teen Titans theme.  So Supergirl was just a little "too old" and "too square" for the hip Sixties crowd that the Teen Titans comics sought to attract.

Also, Supergirl already had obligations with the Legion of Super-Heroes, joining back in Action Comcs #276 (May 1961).  Even if the Teen Titans were "cool", how could Supergirl leave the Legion for the Titans?  It would be seen as taking a HUGE step down, careerwise.

But Supergirl had been known to let her heart make poor decisions, so let's assume that a love-smitten Kara dropped the Legion to hang around with the Titans.  Who would make her forget Brainy?  Robin?  Aquaboy?  Kid Flash?  Or even retconned Speedy?  (Even if one played around with their ages, Supergirl would have been at least a year or two older than these prospective "boyfriends".)  Of the possible candidates, I suspect Robin would have been the popular choice.  Of course this would have major effects on the later Dick Grayson/Barbara Gordon relationship.

And as for the Dick Grayson/Donna Troy pairing, this might not have happened -- since the inclusion of Supergirl might have negated the need to introduce a Wonder Girl!  What would the Teen Titans be without Donna?  And since Donna Troy has one of the most confusing origins in the DC Universe, not creating her AT ALL would have greatly streamlined Wonder Woman's Post-Crisis continuity.  After all, "Wonder Girl" was originally supposed to be a teen DIANA, and if the Post-Crisis Wonder Woman was a relative newcomer to the Man's World and the JLA, how do you explain Donna Troy's career as Wonder Girl years PRIOR to Diana's arrival?  Queen Hippolyta might never have gone back in time and joined the JSA as the first Wonder Woman, since she was retconned as young Donna's rescuer.  And then there was the "mirror twin" origin, and the Dark Angel, and...   :shock:
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JulianPerez
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« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2005, 10:41:18 AM »

Thanks for straightening up the Chronology, DTO. I'm not entirely positive what came where or first. I assumed Supergirl was revealed AFTER the formation of the Titans. But alright, let's assume the point of divergence would be if Supergirl was a part of the Titans from the outset(Brave and the Bold #60, 1965 - and yes, Speedy's only retconned in, but for the sake of the exercise let's assume for that story he was just "off camera" or 'busy" or somesuch).

Ignore my speculation about alternate Legion history if Supergirl had been a member of the Legion since 1961. If Supergirl is off the scene, the events in "Fight for Championship of the Universe" (Adventure Comics #366, 1968) would probably have happened the way I conjectured above.

Interesting point you make; that if Supergirl ever left the Legion for any reason, it would be for love. Just based on what we know about Supergirl, I think the person she would most respond to and think is "swell" and "terrific" is the shy, quiet, purple-eyed young Aqualad. Can anybody picture organized, disciplined, take-charge Dick with the ditzy Supergirl?

If Garth and Supergirl do hook up, this has an immediate impact on Aquaman's history. For one thing, in Aquaman #33 (1967) we have the first appearance of Tula, or Aquagirl. If Supergirl was with Aqualad at the time, it is very likely that Supergirl, envious of the childhood memories Garth and Tula share, would have possibly followed them to Doctor Dorsal's discotheque out of jealousy. Kara could have snapped the pair out of the hypnotic trance that Doctor Dorsal placed them in if she were present. At the end of the "regular" story in continuity, it ends with Aquaman telling the kids that after this, they're not ready to stake out on their own. If Kara had been around to provide solutions and eliminate some of the obstacles the two faced, it would perhaps have ended with Aquaman conceding that Garth is adult enough to face life on his own (since he really didn't fail). If Tula never forms a passionate bond with Garth because Garth's main squeeze is the Maid of Might, then it is unlikely that Aquagirl would have become an adventurer or Teen Titan (and consequently, Tula would not have died in CRISIS).

If Aquaman and Aqualad go their separate ways at the end of Aquaman #33 and do not remain partners, then when Aquaman battles Black Manta in Adventure Comics #452 and Aquaman #57, Garth would not have been around to be forced to battle his mentor, preventing Arthur from saving Aquababy from drowning. Consequently, Aquababy would have survived, Aquaman and Aqualad would not have lost their friendship, and as a result of her baby never having died, Mera would not have gone insane.

I don't quite follow your reasoning about Donna Troy. Why would Supergirl's presence mean that Donna Troy leaves or never joins the Teen Titans? I don't think there's a rule that says that you're only allowed one female per superteam (though it sure does feel that way with some teams, that's for sure  Smiley ).
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« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2005, 05:08:31 PM »

Hi, JulianPerez!

One possible correction:  personally I think Supergirl was mainly "ditzy" during her abomninable first solo run (only ten issues, but sadly it did lasting damage to her character).  This was slightly after the time period we're dealing with.  Perhaps had Supergirl been a hit with the Teen Titans she might have been spared such treatment.  Kara could be a competent organizer in her own right, and she'd definitely make a fine second-in-command.

Though I still think that Supergirl would be a bit too mature and responsible for the Teen Titans, especially in the way they were portrayed as part of the Sixties "youth movement".  Supergirl was too firmly entrenched in the ideal Fifties stereotype of the "girl next door" or the perfect "housewife-to-be" to mingle well with this gang.  Sure, she TRIED to "keep up with the times", but that was mainly changing her costume -- and frankly Kara's short-lived "mod" miniskirt, long gloves and hipboots outfit was already a bit outdated when she first donned it.

I was also thinking about Aqualad as a possible Kara boyfriend.  Certainly there was precedence for dating an underwater guy -- Jerro the Mer-Boy was a frequent supporting character in Action Comics.  She still had feelings toward him and Dick Malverne about the time we're discussing, so it certainly would have complicated her romantic life.  How would poor Jerro take it if Kara suddenly dropped him for Aquaboy?  (Though Lori Lemaris' little sister Lenora would be secretly delighted, as she had a crush on Jerro.)  And if Supergirl dated Robin (it was inferred in Superman Family #200 that a future Superwoman in the year 2000 would have such a relationship), what would happen to longtime "steady" Dick Malverne?  

Finally, as to Wonder Girl.  I was thinking there would be a certain overlapping of powers if we had BOTH Supergirl and Wonder Girl.  Considering that Wonder Girl was added as a more-or-less obligatory "token female", I'm not sure DC would have had two girls in the Teen Titans.  Sure there was a FAR greater number of heroines in the Legion, but that was an altogether different ensemble cast.  In the Legion of Super-Heroes, some characters could "sit out" a mission or just appear in the background.  In the Teen Titans, EVERYONE had to have an active role in each story, and it was already getting difficult finding "equal time" for Robin, Speedy, Kid Flash, Donna AND Aquaboy (Garth was particularly troublesome -- the Teen Titans probably stayed away from desert adventures for the most part.)  Adding a sixth permanent member would have created more writer grief, considering that Supergirl's abilities far outstripped those of her would-be partners COMBINED.  

As an aside, that's one reason why I dislike the current Superboy being in the latest Teen Titans.  Sure, he's only beginning to develop some powers like heat vision, but a competent writer could have him absolutely dominating his teammates.  So to rein Conner in, DC resorts to the "dumb football jock" stereotype and further burdens him with an outrageous "Lex Luthor is my half-daddy" angst.  Ugh.

However, all these issues would not have precluded Supergirl from making occasional "guest visits" with the Teen Titans.  While the Teen Titans didn't take on many cases requiring Supergirl's powers, she could have conveniently "turned up" if things got too out of hand.  Preventing Kara from becoming an overused "deus ex machina" would then become a concern, though.
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Aldous
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« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2005, 05:31:21 PM »

Supergirl would have been an even more ridiculous addition to the Teen Titans than Kid Flash was.

It just never worked, if you thought about it, that Kid Flash was always being caught by surprise like the rest of them, or trapped, or shot with some ray by some villain who had announced his intentions in the previous panel....

You have this character with super-speed and super-fast reactions who can race around the world twice before you can blink, who can outrun his own shadow, having to be reined-in by writers to be made to have the same plodding reflexes as his super-slow comrades.

Think about it the other way around. Why would Supergirl join the Titans? What could they possibly offer her? Answer: nothing.
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JulianPerez
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« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2005, 06:45:40 PM »

Quote from: "dto"
Hi, JulianPerez!

One possible correction:  personally I think Supergirl was mainly "ditzy" during her abomninable first solo run (only ten issues, but sadly it did lasting damage to her character).  This was slightly after the time period we're dealing with.  Perhaps had Supergirl been a hit with the Teen Titans she might have been spared such treatment.  Kara could be a competent organizer in her own right, and she'd definitely make a fine second-in-command.


Interesting point about Supergirl's characterization; I do recall there was a definite BEFORE/AFTER concerning that series; Supergirl was always shown as competent and resourceful, and if she was given a situation, like for example, a team role, she would certainly rise to the occasion. "Ditzy" was a poor choice of words on my part. I *meant* to say "sweet and hero-worshipping."

Quote from: "dto"
I was also thinking about Aqualad as a possible Kara boyfriend.  Certainly there was precedence for dating an underwater guy -- Jerro the Mer-Boy was a frequent supporting character in Action Comics.  She still had feelings toward him and Dick Malverne about the time we're discussing, so it certainly would have complicated her romantic life.  How would poor Jerro take it if Kara suddenly dropped him for Aquaboy?  (Though Lori Lemaris' little sister Lenora would be secretly delighted, as she had a crush on Jerro.)  And if Supergirl dated Robin (it was inferred in Superman Family #200 that a future Superwoman in the year 2000 would have such a relationship), what would happen to longtime "steady" Dick Malverne?  


Wow, when you put it like that, Supergirl sure got around, huh? "Aww, who wouldn't wuv you, princess?"

The more interesting (and sad) characterization would be poor Comet the Super-Horse. People chuckle, but I always thought there was something tragic about how at the end of most of the appearances of Bronco Bill at the end there was usually a panel of Supergirl, her arms around Comet's neck, thinking something like "I wonder if I'll ever see him again..." and Comet thinking "If only I were human...I could let her know how I really feel."

If Comet had legitimate competition for Supergirl as opposed to a few casual boyfriends, Comet would have reacted emotionally; Comet generally responds to situations with emotions instead of thinking things through (witness his "Get him, fellas!" charge in "Revolt of the Super-Pets," Adventure Comics #364, 1968). He probably would have left Supergirl (and possibly Earth) behind, thinking something to the effect of "Garth's an okay guy - Supergirl deserves her! *choke* Imagine that - a hoofed thing like me with her! It's so funny! Why aren't I laughing?"

Quote from: "dto"
Finally, as to Wonder Girl.  I was thinking there would be a certain overlapping of powers if we had BOTH Supergirl and Wonder Girl.  Considering that Wonder Girl was added as a more-or-less obligatory "token female", I'm not sure DC would have had two girls in the Teen Titans.


You make a good point about their powers overlapping. Though I don't think Donna Troy would leave the group because of it; actually, if anything, the likelyhood if her staying in the group would improve because there's another girl there for her to talk to (even one as square as Supergirl; but granted, it's hard to imagine *anybody* disliking Supergirl). I think it was Virginia Woolf who said that one sure way to know if female characters are three-dimensional or simply male fantasy projections is, "do the female characters form friendships with one another?"

(Good point also about DC's choices for a more or less obligatory female member too - but it might be better to view this in terms of DC continuity and history instead of real world considerations.)

Quote from: "dto"
However, all these issues would not have precluded Supergirl from making occasional "guest visits" with the Teen Titans.  While the Teen Titans didn't take on many cases requiring Supergirl's powers, she could have conveniently "turned up" if things got too out of hand.  Preventing Kara from becoming an overused "deus ex machina" would then become a concern, though.


That's a really great idea - Kara as secret weapon. It prevents her from making a monkey out of Titans scenarios but allows her to be introduced into group dynamic. And we'd get some great interaction:

SPEEDY: "Thanks for the save, doll! You're sure groovy and gear - for a terminal square, that is!"

SUPERGIRL: "Great Antares! *gasp* No need for that kind of language, Roy!"
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« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2005, 12:02:38 AM »

What about as a part-time Titan?  Why couldn't Supergirl have been both a Titan and Legionnaire?  She could've been an "honorary" member like Superman and Batman in the JSA or the early days of the JLA.
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