DC Comics' Teen Titans Call Harry Potter "Problematic"?

Teen Titans Academy is a new DC Comics title launching next week, which will see the classic Teen Titans group, including Nightwing, Starfire, Raven, Cyborg, and Beast Boy, running a school for young wizards super-powered youngsters. Some will end up as superheroes, at least, some may end up as supervillains, but the school hopes that the Teen Titans' influence will point them in the right direction. Though Future State: Academy that preceded it suggests, it will end up with a lot of dead students and teachers.

But it also means lots of intergenerational conflict with the students and the teachers – who used to be the Teen Titans  – but are now a little too old for that title.

Bleeding Cool has been made aware of one moment in the first issue of Teen Titans Academy when Dick Grayson, Nightwing, uses a famous Harry Potter reference to welcome a class to "defence against the dark arts" but gets no reaction. Nightwing blames the lack of response on the class being too young to get the reference, but they counter, telling him they do get the reference but that "we just think nowadays, it's problematic and best ignored."

In recent years, Harry Potter creator JK Rowling has been accused of repeatedly making transphobic statements, writing transphobic storylines and supporting other transphobic individuals. A large number of former Harry Potter fans have spoken out – including, at one point, Daniel Radcliffe. With a number saying that Harry Potter is now, well, problematic and best ignored. Just not, until now, in a project published by Warners.

Warners made the Harry Potter films based on JK Rowling's books and made the Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them movies that JK wrote herself. There is a long-standing relationship between the two across media and merchandise.

But Warners also owns DC Comics. JK Rowling has never created written any comics for DC, despite her former colleague and former DC President Diane Nelson asking ever so nicely. Rowling did, however, agree to an official appearance for Harry Potter in the charity fundraising Love Is Love graphic anthology.

So for one of Warners' own comic books to have characters making comments that appear to be referencing this issue, whatever the intent, might be quite a step. Making a large proportion of editorial staff redundant during 2020 may not have helped either, with a number of other issues making their way to print of late.

DC Comics Teen Titans Calls JK Rowling & Harry Potter "Problematic"
Teen Titans Academy #1 cover by Rafa Sandoval

DC Comics did not respond to enquiries made earlier today. Teen Titans Academy #1 is currently intended to be published by DC Comics on the 23rd of March. Let's see if it makes it through.

Writer Tim Sheridan is best known for writing animated TV shows and films, including Masters Of The Universe: Revelation, Transformers War For Cybertron and  Superman: Man Of Tomorrow.

TEEN TITANS ACADEMY #1
(W) Tim Sheridan (A/CA) Rafa Sandoval
Welcome to Teen Titans Academy! Packed with both new, super-powered teens and numerous dark secrets, Teen Titans Academy's student body includes Shazam; a new Australian speedster; a trio of Goth(am) teen expatriates obsessed with Batman—and one member of this first class will become the deadly Red X. Original New Teen Titans including Nightwing, Starfire, Raven, Cyborg, and Beast Boy take on the role of teachers and mentors for superpowered teens. Their goal: to shape the next generation of heroes. 3/23/2021 $3.99

About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.