Although he might appear to be the "comic relief" of the Teen Titans, Garfield Logan, a.k.a. Beast Boy, is one of the team's most powerful members -- due to his ability to transform into any animal of any size. Alas, Gar's jovial demeanor hides a troubled past, one that has led to plenty of memorable stories over the years, as Beast Boy and under his other name, Changeling. Here are five must-read tales of one of the beloved Titan...
Teen Titans #6, "The Fifth Titan" (1966)
Gar Logan was first introduced as a kid sidekick to the Doom Patrol. Because of his age, the team wouldn't give him formal membership. But if Gar couldn't get into the Patrol, he was going to do his best to become the fifth member of the Teen Titans. In this story, the first time Beast Boy ever associates himself with the group who would become his extended family, Gar finds himself rejected by the Titans as well, since their bylaws forbid him from joining without parental consent.
Now rejected by two super teams, Beast Boy is conned into working for animal trainer “Baltzer the Beast Master,” who tricks him into becoming a rare Albino Baboon, an animal possessing the powers of mesmerism. Baltzer then uses Gar to force an entire circus audience to willingly hand over their possessions. The Teen Titans are able to put a stop to him and break Gar out of his spell -- then they ask the readers if Beast Boy should be allowed to join the group. Sadly, the vote was not in Gar's favor, as it would be almost fifteen years before he joined the team, in the pages of The New Teen Titans.
Tales of the New Teen Titans #3, "The Changeling" (1982)
As a founding member of the New Teen Titans, and now dubbed "The Changeling," an older Beast Boy found a new lease on life. Although seen as the team's jokester, he had a tragic backstory with which many readers at the time were unfamiliar. In this issue of the Tales of the New Teen Titans limited series, Gar spills the beans about his life while on a camping trip with his teammates.
After telling them of the disease that granted him his powers, he shares his story of losing his scientist parents, and being taken in by the heroes Mento and Elasti-Girl, only to lose his step-mother when the Doom Patrol was seemingly killed. He also tells his friends about his ill-fated attempts at becoming an actor in Hollywood on the series Space Trek. Here his friends first get a better understanding of Gar and regard him as more than just the team’s mascot.
Tales of the Teen Titans #54, "Shades of Gray" (1985)
The classic New Teen Titans saga “The Judas Contract” left the team devastated, as it was revealed their teammate Terra was a traitor working for Deathstroke to infiltrate them from within. When she died, Gar Logan was left heartbroken, as he'd fallen in love with the troubled young woman. Breaking with superhero norms, he confronted Deathstroke in a fight to the death.
But the confrontation did not go as planned, since Deathstroke's showed up for the fight sans armor, in his real identity as Slade Wilson. Unable to kill an ordinary man, Changeling and Slade instead hashed out the ins and outs of Terra's infiltration over a cup of coffee. Gar realized the young girl he'd fallen in love with was nothing but a facade, and blaming one man for her insanity was pointless. Gar was never the same after these events.
Beast Boy #1-4 (2000)
Back in 1999, many members of the classic rosters of the Teen Titans returned as adults in the comic series Titans. Changeling, however, was missing -- having gone back to his original name of Beast Boy... In his first-ever solo limited series, Beast Boy embarks on a life without his best friends in the Titans, and moves to Hollywood to restart his acting career. Here, he befriends his cousin Matt Logan, a slacker with entertainment industry aspirations, and his former Titans West teammate Bette Kane, a.k.a. Flamebird. Together they face off against Gemini, a villain with ties to Gar's tragic past.
Teen Titans #13-15, "Beast Boys and Girls" (2004)
When Tim Drake's Robin, Cassie Sandsmark's Wonder Girl, and Conner Kent's Superboy reformed the Teen Titans, Beast Boy returned, this time as a senior member. In this early storyline from their 2000s series, the Titans investigate a school where children are turning into green animals in an identical way to how Beast Boy transforms. During this epidemic, Gar Logan regains a normal skin color instead of his traditional green. It's explained that the Sakutia virus, which gave Gar his powers, has left him and become airborne, infecting innocent kids. Beast Boy then decides to forgo a normal life, by giving himself a modified version of the virus, and managing to cure the children of its original form.