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CSBG Archive

I Love Ya But You’re Strange – The Teen Titans Go to Hippieville, U.S.A.

Every week, I will spotlight strange but ultimately endearing comic stories (basically, we’re talking lots and lots of Silver Age comic books). Here is the archive of all the installments of this feature. Feel free to e-mail me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com if you have a suggestion for a future installment!

This week, we look at Bob Haney, Lee Elias and Nick Cardy’s take on Hippy Country, as the Titans disguise themselves as hippies for a mission in 1968′s Teen Titans #15…

The Titans show up in Hippieville, U.S.A. to find a runaway teenager.

Note the narrator. That’s the “Poet,” who narrates the story with song. He’s weird. We’ll come back to him in a bit.

Uh oh, the teen they’re looking for is working for some bad guys!

Here’s the best thing about Captain Rumble. Captain Rumble is not tied to the main plot at all. He’s just this douchebag who wants to mess with the hippies. It is hilarious that Haney just throws him into the story when he does not tie in with the runaway kid or the main plot, which is the smuggling ring that the kid works for trying to take care of him before he can rat them out to the cops (which he has no intention of doing, but they don’t know that).

Anyhow, the crime ring in the town inspires the Titans…

They are undercover as hippies!

The funny thing is that their undercover routine really does not seem to matter much, as they doing superheroics right away that would expose the fact that they’re superheroes. It seemed more like an excuse to dress up…

Okay, so they’re trying to track down the runaway teen before the bad guys get to him but that jerk Captain Rumble decides to attack a love-in…

A “Slug-in.” Classic.

Now get this – the Poet has been narrating the whole story, right? Well here goes from being the narrator to actually interfering with the story!

The Titans rescue the kid, who agrees to both set up the head smuggler (so the teen receives a suspended sentence) and also decides to drop-in and return home with his parents.

Peace, everybody!

I love how the hippy narrator ends the tale by basically recommending that you be a consumer.

If you have suggestions for strange comic book stories, drop me a line at bcronin@comicbookresources.com!

18 Comments

So Robin’s moral at the end is, “If you try to change your life and it doesn’t work, screw it and go back home.” Thanks, Robin!

I think this was the first Teen Titans comic I ever read. The real story here is something that might not be apparent to readers coming to it as a historical artifact: this issue depicts Eddie the Guru and the Poet as righteous characters and the hippie scene to be friendly and welcoming but also conscientious. For that to be happening in a DC Comic in 1968 is astonishing! But Bob Haney was always supportive of the hippie scene and youth culture in general; this is far from the only example you can find where he depicts hippies as the good guys and violent, older anti-hippie outsiders as the bad guys. I know making fun of Haney’s made-up “teen lingo” is easy sport, but look beyond that and the goofy plot elements to the values he endorsed in his work, and I’ve got to say Haney seemed like a pretty groovy cat. You dig?

I hadn’t thought of that before Richard, but you’re right. B&B 102 has some of the same elements (though less hippie lingo).
And the idea of the Guru helping runaways get back in touch with their families is pretty neat.
Being a Brit pre-teen at the time, this kind of thing didn’t faze me at all. American teen life as depicted in TT didn’t seem any weirder than the rest of Earth-One.

I have to agree with Richard. I was waiting for the Guru and/or the Poet to be revealed as the crime boss. I can remember Dragnet episodes about hippies with far worse dialogue but the hippies always turned out to be rotten.

Oh, absolutely. This is a good issue. Goofy, but good.

Eddie the Guru was a very good character and a positive role model. Too bad “The Guru and the Poet” didn’t at least get a try out issue of Showcase.

Hippieville? The Teen Titans went to Ithaca?

I’d love to see the Hippie Titans at a Groove-In with the Forever People, man! Outta sight!

Also hilarious that Wonder Girl wants to get out and get some Love Generation action!

“This love-in’s become a slug-in!”

That should be on a T-shirt.

@Hank: Nice! Having actually been panhandled by a “hungry hippie” in Ithaca, I know you’re right! They have a cool comic club and comic shows, though, so it’s cool. And Ithaca is GORGES!!!

Oy.

@Kevin Street: I think it was on an iron-on patch, wasn’t it? DIY t-shirts!

Was Captain Rumble part of the same gang that hassled the hippies that made Brother Power? I like that contrast with the more violent “old rebels” (like Brando in the Wild One and so forth) with the peace loving hippies in both this one and Brother Power. Did they both predate Altamont? Seems prescient if so.

And c’mon, Brian. The Poet is TOTALLY supposed to be Dylan, isn’t he? Or the Haney/Cardy version, anyway.

He looks more like Allen Ginsberg

And Captain Rumble in his first panel, looks like Grant Morrison. And ‘Clobber the hippies! Waste ‘em!’ could’ve come from any Glaswegian, of a certain vintage! :-)

AverageJoeEveryman

September 25, 2012 at 9:21 am

Mumblin’ Mantas is my new favorite exclamation

My fave? “Rock and roll the hippies!”

Was there a reason Wonder Girl kept calling Robin ‘Robin-o?’

So orphaned Atlantean prince Aqualad is “middle class.” Who knew?

“This is the love-in generation and I’m being left out!” LOL…I can dig you Wonder Chick! Man, the 60′s were great!

[...] Wilson would sign up). •Muslim countries call for a worldwide blasphemy ban. •Non-political: A look at a 1960s story where the Teen Titans meet some hippies. As one of the commenters points out, [...]

@Man With No Face: I suppose you can’t blame the circus kid turned ward of Old Money for being a bit confused about the class system.

Bob Haney’s work always makes me think “Well-meaning, but I don’t think he ever met a teenager in his life.” I particularly like Robin explaining that there’s nothing groovy about being anti-authority. And the hippies don’t disagree.

The Poet freaking out about his guitar kind of reminds me of Marco Soto in the “Discworld” novel “Thief of Time”, who has devoted his life to non-violence and the sanctity of life, just as long as no-one touches his hair.

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