The Most Hated Teen Titan Will Never Appear in Titans

With the Titans (2018) television series approaching the end of its third season, many fans have undoubtedly started wondering what other Teen Titans from the comics may enter the show. While the Titans have a large, varied roster, there are obviously some characters more likely than others to be considered worthy of being included in an adaptation as big as Titans. And though he may have some fans and defenders nowadays, there are few less likely to hit the screen than Danny Chase.

Daniel Chase was created by Marv Wolfman and Daniel Collins, and first introduced in New Teen Titans Annual Vol 2 #3 (1987). At the time, since the Titans were growing into adults, Danny was created to put the “Teen” back in “Teen Titans.” He also acted as a sort of rival for Changeling (better known as Beast Boy), as they were the two youngest Titans. He was the son of two spies who served the fictional Central Bureau of Intelligence (no, not the F.B.I.), who developed powerful telekinetic abilities as a young boy. He was intelligent and trained extensively in espionage by his parents and did work as an active field agent before joining the Titans, which made him a powerful and effective superhero. The issue with Danny is not that his powers or backstory were uncool, but rather that he was overpowered, along with being generally unlikeable.

Related: Titans Finally Gives Raven the Credit She Deserves

Fans hated Danny Chase. Many were quick to point out that being a genius 13-year-old telekinetic superspy may have made Danny a little TOO cool. Many of the complaints about him can even be echoed in criticisms of Marvel’s character Moon Girl, but much worse. He was ridiculously powerful and skilled, often coming across as too perfect. It didn’t help that, since his foil Changeling was friendly and nice, Danny was a snide and arrogant brat who scoffed at concepts like teamwork. But he also wasn’t tough enough to back up his claims of superiority. Despite being a secret agent who had apparently seen tons of people die in the field, in one often-criticized scene from New Teen Titans #46 Danny has what seems to be a panic attack after skinning his knee.

The New Titans creative team tried their best to make Danny work in response to fans’ complaints, but it didn’t work very well, and after the death of Jason Todd, Nightwing decides to expel the youngest Titan from the team, that being Danny. He does return in the story Titans Hunt, in a new persona, “Phantasm,” (unrelated to the DC Animated Universe’s Phantasm) but that story was also widely panned. In a battle with the forces of evil, Danny merges with Arella (Raven’s mother) and the Souls of Azarath to become a more powerful version of Phantasm (who also eventually died), bidding good riddance to an extremely unpopular character.

Danny has made some small appearances since he died, but no serious attempt to bring Danny Chase back for good have been implemented. It’s a shame, because for all his problems, he has the bones of a good character. A powerful, intelligent kid who lacks emotional maturity to check himself is something ripe with potential conflict in a team like the Teen Titans, especially in darker adaptations like the Titans TV show. But ultimately, if Danny Chase is going to make new appearances in any medium, his few fans are going to have to start speaking up quickly.

Next: DC Admits the Teen Titans Wasted One of Their Most Important Heroes



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