While Marvel dominated the film world in the 2010s, DC remained king of the animated television serial - a title they first took up with the likes of Batman: The Animated Series. The comics company has released two standout shows since 2000, but when it comes time to pit Young Justice vs Teen Titans, superhero fans have a hard time deciding which squad reigns supreme. However, when one examines the differences between the two shows, it's clear Young Justice is the stronger franchise.
There are a number of signal flags that indicate Young Justice is better than Teen Titans. The newer series strikes a considerably more mature tone, which allows for deeper narrative elements like interpersonal conflicts and meaningful character growth. On top of that, Young Justice makes better use of the greater DC universe, from Justice League cameos to the inclusion of little-known heroes and villains. While both shows are fantastic, Young Justice takes itself more seriously, and the result is a more focused, inspired viewing experience.
Young Justice makes a point to avoid being just another DC animated series that lopes along with the status quo. It actively takes a fresh approach to the DC universe, giving the audience a new perspective on characters they may already be intimately familiar with. This leads to richer character development for heroes like Robin, as the series takes time to delve into each star's personality and motivations. The show also regularly includes obscure characters and ideas from the greater pantheon of DC comics, something Teen Titans rarely ever does.
Throughout the run of Teen Titans the heroes never break from their not-so-secret identities. Whether they're heading to school or going out for pizza, they're always in costume and no one in Jump City seems to mind all that much. It's almost like they're public figures, rather than normal people with alter egos.
Young Justice takes a different route, and instead gives most characters two distinct personalities. This allows the series to explore nuanced ideas such as how the life of a superhero meshes with being an adolescent who is approaching adulthood in "normal" life.
One of Young Justice's standout elements is the show does not shy away from including established members of the Justice League. Whereas DC could have left the sidekicks alone to get on with their work, they instead chose to have the heroes interact with and work under the supervision of comic legends like Batman.
While the Justice League does give the younger heroes some room for autonomy, Team members are trained by Red Tornado and Black Canary. This mentorship gives fans a peek at the human side of older characters that's too often overlooked, as they struggled to come to terms with their proteges growing up and becoming powerful in their own right.
While Teen Titans isn't afraid of tackling adult themes, it's overall a more lighthearted approach to showing the lives of superhero sidekicks than Young Justice. The more recent show constantly put its cast of characters in dangerous situations. These instances often involve severe consequences and bleak violence, meaning the characters appear to authentically fear for their lives. This gives Young Justice a level of gravity rarely seen in animated shows, as there is usually a lot at stake.