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Top Five Titans Cover Appearances by Characters

Top Five Month (check here to see an archive of all the top five lists featured so far) continues with a look at which five characters have appeared on the most Titans covers in the forty-four year history of Titans comic books. I mean ALL the different Titans comics. I mean, Teen Titans Volume 1, The New Teen Titans Volume 1, The New Teen Titans Volume 2, Tales of the Teen Titans (only the covers for the original material – it seemed weird double-counting the Baxter issues), Tales of the New Teen Titans, New Titans, Team Titans, Teen Titans Volume 2, Titans Volume 1, Teen Titans Volume 2, Titans Volume 2, plus every cross-over one-shot, mini-series and Annual. There have been so many comics with “Titans” as the title that the #1 character on this list was on over 200 covers!!!

Here are the top five…


5. Beast Boy/Changeling

Gets helped out by never really leaving the original series, even when he became a bad guy later in the run. Hurt by not being on the late 90s Titans Volume 1 cast.

4. Cyborg

WAS on the late 90s Titans Volume 1 cast.

3. Starfire

Was on the late 90s Titans Volume 1 cast and was often a favorite for artists to give spotlight covers to.

NOTE: The top two characters on my list were separated by just ONE cover. That’s so close that I have to acknowledge that there’s a chance that I made an error somewhere in the counting or missing an issue or whatever. I think I’m right, but with numbers this close, it is worth noting that when you take margin for error into account, they’re basically tied. But I’ll use the numbers I have here…

2. Robin/Nightwing

Helped by being on the original cast, the 80s cast and the 90s cast.

1. Wonder Girl/Troia

Helped by the frequent absences Dick took in the 1980s plus the time when Donna (as a Darkstar) was on the post-Zero Hour team without Dick. This barely made up for her early 1990s departure from the book plus that period where she was, you know, DEAD (luckily for her, Dick spent the period after that as a member of the Outsiders, not the Titans).

That’s the list! Surprised at the rankings? Who do you think was sixth on the list?


I don’t know if this is considered blasphemy, but Nick Cardy will always be far more definitive a Titans artist than Perez ever could be. Perez is great and all, but DAMN Cardy is on a whole other level. Best of all, Cardy actually knew how to draw teens as teens.

@T. – I’m one to agree with you. I love Perez’ work, but Cardy will always be the definitive Teen Titans artist for me.

I’m not too surprised Donna was #1, given how much Cardy and Perez loved to draw her. I would have guessed it was Dick, but if it’s that close and you’re calling it a tie, I don’t feel too bad about being wrong.

For number six, I would guess either Raven or Flash.

@T. pretty sure that’s considered blasphemy but Cardy was great.

Is Wonder Girl’s “back off Tigers” a reference to Mary Jane (from Spiderman?)

Man haven’t read that Starfire issue in years but I remember it being pretty….intense.

T dissing Perez/Wolfman Titans… in other news, dogs chase cats, up comes down and fanboys disagree on the internet…

And in other highly predictable news. I disagree with T– while I won’t say Cardy or Perez draw covers better than the other (they have such radically different styles of drawing and composition I appreciate both– how’s that for wishy washy), I do take exception to the “Perez doesn’t draw teens” comment. In the first place, I think he does fine with actual teens like Terra and Changeling. In the second place, Wolfman and Perez pretty much admitted the “teen” part of the title was all but branding during the 80s and they were adults except for Terra and Changeling.

Though, this may shock T, I think the “Quit Robin Quit” cover is the best of the ones on display.

Were you counting solo covers, or if there were 5 characters on a cover, each character got a vote?

The latter.

Solo covers, though, of course helped make the difference between characters (like Starfire and Cyborg – the difference likely was all the solo covers she’s received over the years).

Shinydan Howells

September 3, 2010 at 5:38 am

Daft question: How widespread is the use of the word “coriander” for what most USians call “cilantro”, in the US? I’ve only just discovered the latter word and so I’ve always assumed that the Princess Koriand’r joke was obvious to everyone.

Pip pip, wot?

It was obvious to me, but I am not American so it may be a usage thing.

Omar Karindu, with the power of SUPER-hypocrisy!

September 3, 2010 at 6:00 am

I’m an American, and I always heard it called coriander until some time in the 90s, at which point the popular usage switched to cilantro.

Off topic, but related to the Titans: I’ve been reading through The New Teen Titans and came across one of those unfortunate scenes that make one cringe to read now because of later events. In New Teen Titans #20 (May 1986) Donna is piloting the T-Jet and is so distracted by talking about the group’s problems that she almost flies into… the World Trade Center. There are even shots of workers inside the WTC reacting in alarm to the T-Jet’s approach.

I can concur with Omar:

I never even HEARD of “cilantro”, until the upswing in psuedo-Mexican food popularity in the 90s.

On the other hand, coriander I’d not only heard of, but had used in a Home Ec dish in the early 80s (months before I started collecting comics – and interestingly enough the Titans were one of the first I started buying regularly, with the baxter-paper series opening arc with Trigon), and there was no mention in that class of the spice even having an alternate name. Eventually I had most of the NTT back to their start (with no reliable sourse to even start thinking of collecting the original titans).

Amazingly, DC believes that they can undo forty plus years of branding and roll out a series called TEEN TITANS without those characters. It is hard to imagine why it does not sell.

I’d heard of both spices but didn’t know they were the same thing until right now.
Who did the Robin cover? I love the style.

Dalarsco, the Robin cover is by Nick Cardy.

@Dalarsco Me too. See, Comics does teach you stuff.

@Dalarsco and Scavenger

Make me the third.

I always loved that version of Donna’s Wonder Girl costume.

T dissing Perez/Wolfman Titans… in other news, dogs chase cats, up comes down and fanboys disagree on the internet…

I wasn’t dissing Perez/Wolfman Titans. In fact if you reread my comment I explicitly said that Perez was great. I just think Cardy is the best Titans artist ever and doesn’t get enough credit for it.

Though, this may shock T, I think the “Quit Robin Quit” cover is the best of the ones on display.

Why would that shock me? It’s far and away the best one up there.

I’ll guess Raven for #6, if only because Speedy/Arsenal/Arm Fall Off Boy II and Wally West spend too much time on other teams.

I think we should all give Brian a hand for tallying all these. He must be a statistician elsewhere, or something.

And Nick Cardy is wonderful. Better than Perez? Hmm. But Wonder Girl and Lilith are jaw droppingly beautiful females by Cardy’s hands.

Now I’m going to be reading my Titans stuff. Man alive, like I don’t have enough comics to read!

I think that you are in exceptionally steady hands with either Cardy or Perez. It is hard to rate one over the other. However, I have come to resent the Wolfman-Perez run on TEEN TITANS a little bit and that colors things.

Do not get me wrong, those comics are wonderful on their own. It is in the conversation with the greatest team book runs of all time. My problem is that DC treats NTT (and Crisis) like the Holy-frickin’-Bible, while treating much of the rest of its long history like a baby treats its diaper.

As you can see from the covers, Dick and Donna were a key part of the Titans brand. Wolfman-Perez progressed them from young college aged characters into full-blown adults. They married Donna off to a guy in early middle-age with a child. I am not 100% sure, but I think Dick discovered Trigon was his mortgage lender in one of the later issues. Cyborg was complaining about his robot prostate. Starfire was looking into buying actual underwear.

The bridge back to fun, carefree youth was burned.

For the most part, in the United States, “coriander” refers to the dried herb and “cilantro” refers to the fresh herb–much like prune and plum. The etymology of coriander is German and the etymology of cilantro is Spanish, which is why the fresh herb is called cilantro in the US as it came from Mexican cuisine in Texas, Southern California, and the Southwest.

Yeah, I live in Puerto Rico and never heard of “coriander” until years after I started reading Teen Titans.

Donna’s second costume is the best she ever had, I don’t see why they had to change it.

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