How Teen Titans Go! Made Me Who I Am Today

Teen Titans Go! released its first episode when I was ten years old and I, with my low tolerance of childish cartoon hijinks, hated it. It was full of silly colorful visuals and fart jokes, but nothing of any real substance. The TV spots for it would go “Teen Titans Go! Your new favorite show”. I disliked that ad possibly more than the actual show. How dare the executives at Cartoon Network claim this show with its infantile comedy and complete lack of overarching plot my favorite. Especially from the same network that brought me The Amazing World of Gumball and Adventure Time. I took it as a personal attack that I was seen as so foolish and easily manipulated.
The only DC superhero movies I had seen was one or maybe all of the Dark Knight trilogy (they’ve all blended together) and Halle Berry’s Catwoman. I recognized Robin, but I could not tell where I knew the other characters from. It was my cousin Ifidon that told me of the previous incarnation that had run from 2003-2006. I had not seen it because I was of the ages of one through four. I binged all five seasons and then moved on to some of DC’s other cartoons, such as Young Justice and Batman: The Animated Series. Then I found the comics.
Quite a few stories had been toned down for the medium I watched them in, but the book often proves better than film and it also did in this instance. I have yet to see an on-screen interpretation of the Judas Contract that follows the original narrative, and the movie universe Warner Brothers tried to set up has already fallen into unconnected stories. Comic books and graphic novels absorbed my high school library experience. I made quite a few friends in high school through our shared love of manga and comics alone. Even though the MCU brought Marvel into my life as well, I still prefer DC overall. It is likely the difference in tone that endeared me to their side. I admit, DC can get gratuitously dark to the point where it feels like the writers just walked out of a Hot Topic wearing thick black eyeliner after listening to early 2000s emo bands, but Marvel comics have the opposite problem of being too flippant, too humorous, with too little struggle and not enough pain. I resonated more with DC’s darker tone because I feel it to be closer to reality. They also reboot and reset characters less, so its easier to start reading. However, most people do not routinely read comic books, so I would say that Marvel’s movie success is why they are more popular with the general public.
I love comic books. I wouldn’t be paying 7.99 a month for DCUniverse if I didn’t. But its funny to look back and think about how it was my utter disgust for Teen Titans Go! that led me down the rabbit hole to who I am today.

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