Teen Titans Academy Adds a Perfect Touch to the Classic Team's Costumes
William Howie
Teen Titans Academy Nightwing
Teen Titans Academy Nightwing
WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Teen Titans Academy #1 by Tim Sheridan, Rafa Sandoval, Jordi Tarragona and Alejandro Sanchez, on sale now.
While the Teen Titans may be moving in an entirely new direction, several generations of Titans are coming together at Teen Titans Academy to teach -- or learn -- the ins and outs of being a superhero. Teen Titan's Academy #1 brings together a variety of Titans from the past, the present and the potential future, and their new accessory manages to link all of them together.
Until recently, the Teen Titans were left in disarray after Damian abandoned his role as Robin and turned his back on the team. Before disappearing completely off the grid, however, he brought the two groups together, and they decided that they could work as one group to guide the heroes of tomorrow. Therefore, they created the Roy Harper Titans Academy, named in honor of the original Red Arrow who they believe to be dead. And like many schools, the Teen Titans Academy has its own uniforms.
The school is made up of three different groups. First, there is the faculty which is made up of veteran Titans from the New Teen Titans era, such as Cyborg, Starfire and Beast Boy, who are led by Nightwing. Next is the Upper Classmen, a group that includes others who have spent time as a Teen Titan like Bunker, Kid Flash and Roundhouse. Finally, there are the Freshmen, new students handpicked by the faculty to join the academy, with a few familiar faces such as Billy Batson in their ranks, but mostly new faces such as Gorrila Gregg, Stitch and Tooby. What manages to bridge them all together, apart from an apparent desire to do good, is simply the letter "T."
Each of the faculty/veteran Titans has their own unique and recognizable costume, but each of them also has a circular golden buckle with the letter "T" on the front. It is unclear whether or not this has any functional use, but even if it doesn't, the unity it symbolizes is extremely important for the progression of these characters. While the Teen Titans have never been about uniformity, this effort to show how united their are in this cause is essential for the longevity of the project.
Not only does it connect all of them without forcing them to lose their sense of personal identity, but it also gives the younger students something to aim for, like a badge of honor. Within the comic, the Freshmen are with Nightwing engaging in a VR simulation, and each of them is wearing an identical suit with a "T" on the chest, connecting these aspiring heroes with the people that they potentially idolize. The only people we don't see with the symbol somewhere on their body at one point or another is the Upper Classmen, but this is most likely due to the fact that they have already been Titans, deeming it unnecessary, while also differentiating them from the "teaching staff," perhaps even as a means to allowing the other students to connect to them on a more personal level.
The first thing this new school is trying to establish is a sense of unity between the students and the teachers, as well as something for all of them to strive towards. It's unlikely to be smooth sailing, but this new, combined version of the Titans look to be building something special.