10 Best teen superhero teams of all time

Superhero teams aren’t always filled with middle-aged and experienced heroes, sometimes they’re a bit more youthful, which is why we’re looking at the best teen superheroes of all time. In fact, in the world of comic books at the moment, we’re in the middle of an increasingly apparent youth revolution.

But despite taking the spotlight, teen heroes aren’t living easier lives than their adult counterparts. At Marvel for example, the publisher’s teen heroes are now persona non grata because of the ‘Outlawed’ story arc, which makes being an underage hero illegal – while at the same time launching new series for Power Pack, the New Warriors, and the Champions out of the story.

But to celebrate teen heroes before their dire hour, we’re counting down the greatest teen superhero teams of all time.

10. Power Pack

(Image credit: Marvel)

OK, so most of the team weren’t technically “teens” when Power Pack started, but we’re counting them anyway, since the characters have since done some growing up.

Alex, Katie, Jack, and Julie Power all received incredible abilities when a member of the alien Kymellian race bestowed his wondrous abilities on the kids, granting them the power to save their parents, and the world.

It may sound a little silly, but the popularity of the Power Pack was nothing to sneeze at back in the day. With a series running for 62 issues, the Power Pack were bona fide Marvel stars, even landing a failed TV pilot.

Power Pack creators June Brigman and Louise Simonson recently reunited for a one-shot set in the team’s classic era, and got a limited series in April.

9. Cloak & Dagger

(Image credit: Marvel)

OK, so there are only two of them, but that counts as a team, right?

When teen runaways (not to be confused with our next entry) Tandy Bowen and Tyrone Johnson ran afoul of some chemists creating a special synthetic heroin for the Maggia, they were injected with the drug awakening their latent mutant powers.

While their history has since gotten complicated, Cloak & Dagger remain fan-favorite characters, despite not having carried an ongoing series in many years. Still, for many fans, their sporadic appearances, usually part of larger events, are a welcome treat.

They even anchored their own live-action show on Freeform for several seasons.

8. Runaways

(Image credit: Marvel)

The Runaways are Marvel’s long running cult success – a team of embattled young people who are more an adopted family than anything close to the Avengers, their original comic title remains a perennial favorite.

And why not? There’s something inherently compelling about the group of teens (and younger kids) whose parents formed a secret supervillain cabal.

After a few years of ups and downs and separate appearances across other titles, the team is now back in action in a current ongoing, and have starred in several seasons of their own eponymous show on Hulu.

7. New Mutants

(Image credit: Marvel)

There’s a tradition in the X-Men universe of young mutants assembling into super teams that goes all the way back to the original five X-Men.

And while the X-Men have continuously welcomed teen heroes into their ranks, in the ’80’s, a new class of mutant heroes, appropriately called the New Mutants, were brought together at Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters.

While the original five may have paved the way, it’s the New Mutants who solidified the tradition of new classes of mutants making up the school’s roster every few years. And while the New Mutants originally lasted less than a decade before leaving the school to become X-Force, their legacy has remained, seeing many young mutant teams form under the banner of Xavier’s school.

6. Gen 13

(Image credit: DC)

Wildstorm’s Gen 13 is perhaps the epitome of the 1990’s artist-driven title. Featuring five young heroes in their late teens, Gen 13 was super hip (well, Grunge was very hip then), and substantially more open with its subject matter than the kind of teen hero books DC and Marvel were publishing at the time.

While the series ended some years ago after WildStorm was bought by DC, several of the characters – notably Caitlin Fairchild – have appeared in DC’s “New 52.” Gen 13 proper still hasn’t returned, however – despite DC diving back into its WildStorm characters in recent years.

5. Marvel Family

(Image credit: DC)

Captain Marvel may be an adult (sort of), but his alter ego is decidedly a teenager. Billy Batson is usually portrayed as being somewhere between 13 and 16-years-old, and his younger sister Mary Marvel, and companion Freddie Freeman, A.K.A. Captain Marvel, Jr. are even younger, with their alter egos maintaining their youthful qualities.

Sure, the team eventually expanded to include the much older Uncle Marvel and the Lieutenant Marvels, but the iconic threesome have always been shown as young teenagers.

The classic Marvel Family is comprised of Billy Batson, Mary Batson, and Freddy Freeman – though recent comic book incarnations have employed a team of up to six young people who become adult heroes by uttering the name Shazam.

In fact, the recent Shazam! movie embraced this concept wholeheartedly with a full-on Marvel Family of foster kids, all empowered by Billy and his connection to the Wizard’s magic.

4. Legion of Super-Heroes

(Image credit: DC)

Hailing from countless worlds across the DC Universe, the Legion of Super-Heroes are more than a team – they’re a family. With roster numbers reaching into the thirties, it’s almost pointless to name them all here.

But the 31st century team started with the original trio of Saturn Girl, Cosmic Boy, and Lightning Lad, three teen heroes who saved the life of intergalactic billionaire R.J. Brande, and began a legacy that would follow them into adulthood.

While it’s been decades since the team were technically teens, they still started out as youngsters, even traveling back in time to recruit possibly the greatest teen hero of them all, Superboy.

The recent relaunch by Brian Michael Bendis and Ryan Sook gave the 31st century team a 21st century-style reboot.

3. Original X-Men

(Image credit: Marvel)

The five original X-Men may have languished in their initial run – it’s hard to call Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s criminally overlooked original run much of a success in its day – but the teen mutants did give rise to an entire Marvel dynasty.

The original team, composed of Cyclops, Angel, Beast, Iceman, and Marvel Girl were high school aged youngsters, and while they did grow to adulthood – something rare for comic book characters – they did craft a legacy of teen heroism that carries through to the X-Men today, with countless younger members often filling the team’s ranks.

Of course, the original five have also found their way into the modern day, still in their teenage forms, thanks to the power of time travel, so they’re still relevant to this day.

2. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

(Image credit: IDW)

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles may not be the first thing you think of when the concept of “teen superheroes” comes up – but maybe they should be. After all, it’s right there in the name.

Sure, these four mutant brothers may be unorthodox superheroes, but they’re heroes nonetheless. Originally created as a homage and parody of Daredevil, their superheroic roots are undeniable.

Also undeniable is the power of their phenomenon, which has spawned hundreds of comics, toys, several TV shows, and even a host of feature films since their inception in the ’80’s.

1. New Teen Titans

(Image credit: DC Comics)

The greatest teen team of all.

The Teen Titans started out in the 1960’s, with the “fab five” sidekicks of DC’s biggest heroes banding together to fight crime – and forge a bond that would last into adulthood.

While Robin, Wonder Girl, Speedy, Aqualad, and Kid Flash may have all grown into more adult roles, they formed the core of the Teen Titans well past their teen years. Even into the era of the seminal New Teen Titans, these five were mainstays, even banding together simply as the Titans and dropping the “teen” all together when they became adults.

Like the X-Men, the Teen Titans are more than just five youngsters. While the original team may have set the standard for the “junior Justice League” template that so many teen teams have followed, it’s the numerous rosters of teen heroes that have banded together under the Titans banner over the years that makes them so special.

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