DCU Spec – Teen Titans

by Douglas Ohlandt

012323D-1024x536 DCU Spec - Teen TitansWith James Gunn and Peter Safran relaunching the DCU and prepping a new slate of films to reintroduce characters, now is the time to consider adding some DC comics to your collection – before anything is announced and prices rapidly rise. Let’s take a look at the Teen Titans.

Teen Team-Up

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In 1964, DC teamed together three of their teen sidekicks in The Brave and the Bold #54. Kid Flash, Aqualad, and Speedy made their first appearance as a team in this issue but did not yet receive a team name. Even without the name “Teen Titans” on the cover, it’s still considered the first appearance of the team.

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There are 1,337 graded copies of The Brave and the Bold #54 in the CGC census with the majority of graded copies fairly evenly distributed between the 8.0 and 4.0 grades. Some recent sales include a 7.0 selling on December 15 for $667, a 5.5 on January 7 for a slashed $441, and a 4.0 on December 15 for $322. In each instance, these prices represent roughly a 30% decrease in value from peaks a year ago.

We see the same trends in some of the higher and lower grades. It’s hard to imagine a new DCU not including this popular team in some way, shape, or form. Their first appearance could present a good opportunity, particularly if prices continue to drop.

Wonder Girl

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The Teen Titans’ second appearance in The Brave and the Bold #60 would not only be the first time they received their team name but would also feature the first appearance of Wonder Girl. She would join the team with this issue and become a mainstay of the team. There are substantially fewer graded copies – 472 – than of The Brave and the Bold #54, somewhat surprising considering the first appearance of a major character.

Depending on the grade, prices have been either rising or falling. For example, a 7.5 sold in the January 10 Heritage auction for $660 after selling a month earlier in the ComicConnect auction for $395. Meanwhile, a 7.0 sold in November for $549, then sold on January 4 for $450 before jumping back up to $545 a day later.

It’s tough to gauge swings like this and determine when you’re getting a bargain. My advice would be to track recent sales and only jump in when the price is below the average of the most recent.

First Issue

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After an appearance in Showcase #59, the Teen Titans would receive their own title beginning with Teen Titans #1, cover dated January 1966. This one doesn’t sell as often as you’d think. There will be months like September 2022 when four or five graded copies sell followed by a number of months when only one or two copies see sales. We are, however, beginning to see prices climb.

A 9.0 graded copy sold on January 4 for a slashed $1,274, up from the August 2021 selling price of $1,010. In the 6.5 grade, the most recent price paid was $328 on January 4, up from the $242 paid in a September ComicConnect auction. Keep an eye on sales in other grades to see if prices continue to rise in future sales.

This is definitely a comic worth speculation, but others may be thinking the same thing.

Rebirth of the Teen Titans

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Unfortunately, the original Teen Titans series never really caught on much with comic readers. The series lasted 43 issues before cancellation in 1973 and then was briefly brought back with Teen Titans #44 only to be cancelled once more.

The final issue was Teen Titans #53. However, in 1980, Marv Wolfman and George Perez reformed the New Teen Titans in DC Comics Presents #26, an issue that contains the first appearances of three new characters: Cyborg, Raven, and Starfire.

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One of the biggest DC keys of the late Bronze Age, there are 4,974 graded copies of this comic in the CGC census, two thirds of which are graded 9.0 or higher. Since peaking in the 9.2 grade at $500 in November 2021, prices have dropped by roughly 40 to 50 percent.

Based on sales over the past six months or so, you should be able to find a copy in this grade below $300, and may even be able to find one below $250.

New Teen Titans Keys

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While there are some minor keys in the first series of The New Teen Titans – the first appearance of Brother Blood in The New Teen Titans #21, the first appearance of Terra in The New Teen Titans #26, and the first appearance of Vigilante in The New Teen Titans Annual #2 – there are three major keys worth keeping an eye one. The first of these is The New Teen Titans #1.

TNTT1-194x300 DCU Spec - Teen TitansThis is a remarkably affordable comic if you can grab a copy when it’s on a downward swing. Just take a look at the one-year average in the 9.8 grade. Notice the big swing between the high of $700 and the low of $175. If you can catch it on the dip, this is definitely a worthwhile investment.

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The biggest key, however, is The New Teen Titans #2, the first appearance of long-time foe and important DC villain Deathstroke. There are 7,185 graded copies in the CGC census, 4,400 more than for The New Teen Titans #1. In the 9.8 grade, this one actually sells better in eBay auctions than the big auctions.

The two lowest prices over the past year have been in the June 2022 ComicConnect auction – $864 – and the January 17 Heritage auction – $600. eBay prices during that time have averaged $1,000.

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The final of our major keys is Tales of the Teen Titans #44. This issue contains the first appearance of Deathstroke’s son, Jericho. More importantly, it is also the first time that Dick Grayson dons the costume and takes on the name of Nightwing.

There are 7,229 graded copies in the CGC census. In the 9.8 grade, the averages tell the tale. The $397 90-day average reflects the drop in price from a number of $700 sales between January and August 2022, while the $415 30-day average reflects a recent rise in prices.

Recent sales bring it closer in line with the 2020 trend line after dropping below that a few months back. Nightwing continues to be one of the more popular DC characters and long-term trends continue to be positive for Tales of the Teen Titans #44 despite some peaks and valleys.

Do you see Teen Titans comics as worthwhile investments considering DCU speculation? Or is it too early to tell? Let us know below.

000080221A_Posters_2-Footer DCU Spec - Teen Titans*Any perceived investment advice is that of the freelance blogger and does not represent advice on behalf of GoCollect.

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