Thursday, July 2, 2015

DC Comics Presents #26

George Perez switched alliances to DC Comics from Marvel Comics in the late 1970s.  The soon-to-be comic book artist superstar was persuaded to work for DC when promised that he would be the penciller on the Justice League of America.

After several fill-in issues on various titles proving he could deliver the goods George began his run on the JLA.

As DC Comics sales began to fall behind Marvel Comics sales it was decided that changes had to be made in order to compete.

Noticing the sky-rocketing sales of Marvel's Uncanny X-Men, DC management wanted to tap into that burgeoning market with a title of its own.

Writer Marv Wolfman and George Perez felt that a revamped Teen Titans might just be the ticket.  DC bosses balked at the idea pointing out that the Teen Titans had been re-launched before and failed miserably.

George and Marv persisted and convinced DC to give it one more try.  They produced the first issue of the New Teen Titans and DC executives were so impressed that they green-lighted the series on one condition.

Wolfman and Perez would create a 16-page pre-New Teen Titans #1 insert that would be printed in DC Comics' DC Comics Presents titles. It was an industry first.

The creative duo complied and not long after DC Comics Presents #26 hit the newsstands.
DC Comics Presents was a showcase starring Superman with different DC heroes guest-starring each issue.  Issue #26 teamed Superman and Green Lantern by Jim Starlin.

But what really caught readers attentions was the New Teen Titans insert.

The 16-page story centered on Robin who when investigating a crime is suddenly transported to another place and time.

While there he meets other teenagers who would eventually team up with him to form the New Teen Titans.  They included Changeling, Cyborg, Raven, Wonder Girl and Starfire.

Eventually Robin finds himself transported back to his original location convinced that the whole thing was a dream, unaware that Raven had arranged the whole future encounter.

The story was a hit and when the New Teen Titans came out fans bought it in record numbers.
Eventually the New Teen Titans would match the sales numbers of Marvel's Uncanny X-Men.  

DC had a hit on its hands.