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Titans Companion    by Glen Cadigan order for
Titans Companion
by Glen Cadigan
Order:  USA  Can
TwoMorrows, 2005 (2005)
* *   Reviewed by Lance Victor Eaton

Nearly as old as the X-Men, yet never nearly as popular, the Teen Titans have sometimes been less than appreciated by readers and writers alike. Grounded in the rise of the side-kick during the 1940s and 1950s, the team consisted of younger versions of well-established super-heroes in the DC universe - including Robin (Batman's protégé), Aqualad (derived from Aquaman), Kid Flash (Flash), Wonder-Girl (Wonder-Woman), and Speedy (Green Arrow). Titans Companion delivers a detailed history of how they came together, stayed together, and continued to reinvent themselves as the years have passed.

Starting with a brief bio of all characters who have served on the Titans' roster at some point or other, the book looks into the evolution of sidekick heroes and how they ultimately became the Teen Titans. Including speculation about how or why various characters came into being, Cadigan explains in detail their origins, and even discusses fan responses. From there, the book delves into phases of the Teen Titans, including the Silver Age, the Bronze Age, the New Titans, and Team Titans. Each section includes a brief introduction about that particular run, issue numbers and titles. Then, the major writers and artists that worked on the series are interviewed in detail that spans numerous pages. Interviewees include George Perez, Marv Wolfman, Chris Claremont, Len Wein and Neal Adams.

The book manages to cover a large breadth of material about the Titans. However, it's companion status is temporary since the Titans will continue to live on in the DC Universe, and new stories will change the shape and meaning of the team. And yet, the comprehensive range of this book provides readers with a great background and understanding of what the Titans mean both to fans and to the history of DC Comics.

Hundreds of images flood this book, allowing readers to see the visual changes in drawing styles both within the context of the Titans but also through the history of comics. The interviews are a bonus, as they provide readers with an added lens to interpret the series.

To be sure, not everyone will find the book of interest. It's more than a niche-market - not only comic book fans, but those who read DC Comics and in particular the Titans. However, all comic book fans who fancy themselves knowledgeable about the history of comics and the evolution of the ages would do well to own this as a particular case-study. While for fans of the Titan series, acquiring this book should be a foregone conclusion.

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