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I’m a Teen Titans fan. If I’m being honest, I’m an on-again, off-again Teen Titans fan. There’s nothing about The New 52 Teen Titans that interests me in picking up the book. The same was true of Ray Palmer’s iteration of the team when he was a teenage version of The Atom. I’ve tried a couple of issues of the Eisner award winning Tiny Titans, but I just can’t do it. I have to confess that I’m really a fan of the classic, core line-up. Robin, Kid Flash, Aqualad and Wonder Girl. Better yet, I’m a fan of Dick Grayson, Wally West, Garth and Donna Troy. There was something unique about these particular sidekicks teaming up together as Titans. A junior Justice League. The original Young Justice.
Give me a story with that line-up, and maybe throw in Roy Harper’s Speedy and Gar Logan’s Beast Boy – and I am there!
There are nights when I’m laying in bed, staring at the ceiling, just about to fall asleep and I wonder: Why didn’t Robin and Supergirl ever team-up in the Silver Age? Why wasn’t Supergirl an original Titan? Why was it Wonder Girl.
It’s no secret that Superman was kind of a jerk with Supergirl. She came to Earth in a rocket, a lot like Kal-El’s, from Argo City. Clark kent’s parents were gone. He was an adult. He kept her a secret from the public, eventually shipping her off to an orphanage and letting his Kryptonian cousin be adopted by an Earth couple. Rather than make her life on Earth simple and easy, Superman, and in turn DC hampered Supergirl and her secret identity, Linda Danvers, with a lot of unnecessary complications.
Now, Argo City was a lot like a space station or a satellite that escaped the destruction of Krypton nack in the day. It was one of two cities, or colonies of Kryptonians to escap the planets’ destruction. Brainiac shrunk Kandor down as one of a collection of cities from different planets he stole for his menagerie. The people of Argo City got together on a city ship and fled Krypton before it exploded. If Superman was supposed to be “the last Kryptonian”, it was difficult to tell from the two cities full of people, his cousin and his dog that survived. It seems like the only people that didn’t survive were his parents.
Still, I’m laying there staring at the ceiling, wondering: If Krypton was an advanced civilzation, did they have a space program? Did they have something similar to our National Aeronautics and Space Administration or Starfleet from Star Trek?
As an alien race, Kryptonians would probably be similar to Vulcans. Considering Zod was one of their worst criminals, and their penal system was to imprison criminals in the Phantom Zone, wouldn’t they have warp drive capabilities? Wouldn’t they have an organized space exploration? Krypton was a scientifically advanced civilization. The planet resembled a future like what the Legion of Super-Heroes or Star Trek represented? Why would Jor-El have to convince the Science Council to build space arks to evacuate the planet before its desctruction when he could just encourage evacuation on the starships to another nearby planet?
I think the answer may be that Superman and Supergirl’s Kryptonian backstory was developed in the days BEFORE the American space program and the space race started by the Kennedy administration. In the ’30’s when Superman made his debut through the ’50’s when Supergirl joined him in “the never-ending battle”, science fiction was influenced by John Carter, Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon. These characters went to strange, alien planets that were advanced, but still a little backward and inferior compared to Earth. Science fiction hadn’t really advanced much in the ’50’s considering examples like Forbidden Planet. It wasn’t until Star Trek, 2001: A Space Odyssey and the US space program that science fiction really STARTED to develop.
I grew up looking at science fiction from the point of view of Star Wars, which pretty rejuvenated Star Trek. I still wonder what it would have looked like if Kryptonians had a Starfleet or warp drive capabilities. What if Vulcans had made First Contact with Jor-El? Would his brother Zor-El have been a crew member on a small starship to explore space. Would they have come back to Krypton for shore leave to find it destroyed? Would they have had adventures across space? Would Kara’s rocket have been an escape pod? Would Jonathan and Martha have taken her in? Would she have been trained by Superman, like Robin was trained by Batman? Could Dick and Kara have teamed up in the Silver Age? Would she have been an honorary Titan, like Speedy?
With everything that went on between Dick and Betty Kane in the Silver Age and with Barbara Gordon in the Bronze Age, it seems like a missed opportunity that Robin and Supergirl weren’t a World’s Finest team – and if they were, why a bigger deal wan’t made of it, the way Tim Drake and Connor Kent were or Power Girl and The Huntress are now. Dick and Kara were first.
Alright, I can drift off to dream about it now.