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Top 10 Titans Romances: Dick & Kory

In honor of Valentine’s Day, I’ll be counting down the greatest Titans love stories all day long!

1. Dick Grayson (Robin/Nightwing) and Starfire

It started with a (now-classic) kiss in the pages of New Teen Titans #2 [1980]. In an attempt to learn English, Starfire absorbed the language by planting a wet one on the Boy Wonder. Initially denying his feelings, Robin realized how much he loved Starfire when her life was threatened by Blackfire during an outer-space adventure ( New Teen Titans #23-25, New Teen Titans Annual #1 [1982]). In the heat of the battle, Robin’s burgeoning feelings for Starfire became obvious. The couple proved a perfect match, as Starfire’s uninhibited personality offered a fitting contrast to Robin’s cool demeanor.

The pair remained a solid couple, even as Dick grappled with his own identity issues. Eventually finding his own path as Nightwing, his relationship with Starfire deepened. But the couple faced their greatest challenge when Starfire was forced into an arranged marriage to quell a Tamaranean civil uprising. While Starfire saw this as a marriage of state, Dick felt betrayed and left his alien love on Tamaran (New Teen Titans (second series) #15-18 [1986]). Stafire eventually returned to earth, and reconciled with Dick once he learned she did not take the traditional Tamaranean wedding vows (New Teen Titans (second series) #39 [1988]).

The Titans were soon shaken to the core when the evil Wildebeest Society launched a savage Titans Hunt. As tensions grew, the shape-shifter Mirage even kidnapped and impersonated Starfire, causing strain in her relationship with Nightwing. Impulsively, Dick proposed marriage to the tempestuous Tamaranean, desperately hoping to mend their relationship. The two almost wed, but the ceremony was interrupted by Raven, now reborn as an evil avatar of her father, Trigon (New Titans #99-100 [1993]). Starfire was implanted with a demon “seed” by Raven, which caused her to leave Earth and go on a spiritual journey (New Titans #114 [1994] and Showcase ’94 #11 [1994]). Thus, the long-standing relationship of Nightwing and Starfire was at an end, with neither party acquiring much closure.

Starfire found brief happiness in a marriage to the binary-powered alien known as Ph’yzzon (New Titans #127-130 [1995]). But after Ph’yzzon died while trying to protect New Tamaran from the Sun Eater (Final Night Preview [1996]), Starfire found herself single again. Reunited with Nightwing in JLA/Titans #1-3 [1998], the pair agreed to be good friends. Starfire joined the newly reformed Titans for a time, before finally returning to her people in Titans #17-19 [2000]. In Titans #19, Starfire and Nightwing finally say goodbye in a poignant scene that puts a cap on their relationship.

Starfire and Nightwing became allies again on several teams, including the Outsiders [2004], the Titans [2008] and the JLA [2010]. Although they have succumbed to old passions more than once, the pair have decided to remain good friends above all else.

The classic Robin-Starfire was extremely popular in its time, and for good reason. Like any good romance in fiction, the relationship led to character growth for both parties. Both challenged each other, as Kory learned to act less impulsively while Dick opened up emotionally. It was a thrill to discover the different sides of these characters as their love deepened.

Romantic Reads:
New Teen Titans [1980] #2, 16, 23-26, Annual #1, 39
New Teen Titans [1984] #15-18, 39, 99-100, 114
JLA/Titans #1-3 [1998]
Titans [2000] #17-19


End of titanstower.com transmission. About this author:  Bill Walko is an author and artist and the man behind titanstower.com. He's been reading and drawing comics since he was 5 years old and hasn't stopped since. Read more from this author


One Comment

  1. avatar

    Hey! long time no post!

    I enjoyed the whole retrospective :) A lot of good info, as always, and a few interesting choices in both the pairings and how you presented them (such as no info on the presumptive end of cassie and conner)

    Of course, with over thirty years of comics to choose from, based around a group of Teens, it’s pretty much an angst-fest to choose from on who was with who when and why. (in fact, you could probably have done three stories of this length, delving all the way to near-crushes like Ravager and Kid Devil or Raven and Dick)

    As always, thanks for sharing with us, and I can’t think of a better pairing to end on than the titular titans from their golden era.

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