Tuesday, July 31, 2007

SDCC 2007: Alé Garza

Newsarama reports: Artist Ale Garza was doing sketches at his booth in Artist's Alley and talking to fans about his upcoming work on Teen Titans for DC Comics.

"It's kind of cool to be working on Teen Titans with this story because our first storyline that starts with issue #51 involves the Titans of Tomorrow. That was a story arc that I enjoyed when Geoff [Johns] and Mike [McKone] did it, and it's a retouch on that, so it's pretty exciting," he said.

Garza said that Teen Titans has been his dream book for awhile now. "It's the one book that I was aiming to get when I started working at DC, since I did Graduation Day," he said. "It's really exciting. And I'm glad to be working with Sean McKeever. I've been a big fan of his work for awhile. And I'm drawing characters that I really like to draw."

And which of the Titans are his favorites to draw?

"I really like drawing Supergirl, obviously, since I drew her for four issues," he said, "but I also like drawing Robin. Everyone else has been fun to draw too."

See more from San Diego here.

SDCC 2007: Winick & Churchill on Titans East

Newsarama Announces: Titans East takes the spotlight as an upcoming [special] which will lead into a new ongoing series (which may or may not share the same name), though the line-up might not be what you expect. At the writing helm of a special and a follow-up monthly series will be Judd Winick, who plays things close to the vest with more announcements pending. Art on the new series will be by Ian Churchill.

Newsarama: Tell us a little bit about the concept. How much does this dovetail off of Geoff's run?

Winick: That would mean talking about the line-up . . . it is an amalgam of some of the characters from the Titans East story and some new ones. There's a lot of various wild cards.

Read the full article here.

SDCC 2007: Teen Titans Movie News

From IGN.com: Screenwriter Mark Verheiden was at Comic-Con today to talk about his various impending projects, and of course the topic of the recently announced Teen TitansBatman Begins and the Watchmen comic book.

"It's not light and frothy," he says. "It's not silly. I want to play the characters so they feel real to us, not like people we can't understand. And I think Nightwing is a great character for that."

Nightwing is the adult persona of Dick Grayson, a.k.a. Batman's sidekick Robin, who leads the group and is the sole confirmed character in the film so far. Verheiden isn't talking yet about who else will make the film's roster, though he does confirm that there will be multiple villains in the film - and, as he told IGN exclusively after the panel had ended today, from a personal standpoint he is fond of the Marv Wolfman-George Pérez era of the comic book.

"I love the Perez-Wolfman stuff, so we're definitely looking at that, but I don't really want to get into who the team we're picking is yet," he says. "But I'm a huge fan of Marv Wolfman's work and I've talked to him about this a little bit. We're friends and if I can be true to his feeling that you get from those books, I'd be very happy."

Verheiden adds that the real challenge of the film will be to keep the characters "real," which is something he thinks Batman Begins pulled off quite well.

"I think the challenge is probably in terms of the team, to make sure that each one of them gets their due," he says. "The real challenge in this to me is to make sure that you feel you really know these characters as real people. They're empowered people that have been blessed with abilities that are beyond imagination, except for Robin who worked on it and became that himself. And yet they have the same wants, hopes, dreams, and emotions as everyone else. It's just they have this extra part of their lives. And I thought what was interesting too, the sort of big difference between the Teen Titans and some of the other big stories, like say the X-Men, is the Titans have had their powers and for the most part have lived with them all their lives. So this isn't a learning curve. This isn't, 'Oh my God, I can suddenly spout fire!' This isn't the Fantastic Four either. It's a story about, 'What do you do when you've had these powers and now you're 18?' And your name was 'This Lad' or 'Kid This' and now all of a sudden it's, 'How do I have my own identity?' So the core of it is really about the emotional story of these guys, and of course it's a huge, fun action movie too. But the core of it is going to be to try to understand these characters and sort of what it is to be them in today's world."

And while Batman Begins will serve as a basis for how the characters in Teen Titans should be portrayed, Verheiden doesn't see any great need to mix his universe with the worlds of that film or the other current DC movies like Superman Returns.

"In terms of the universes of those films, I don't think we want to do anything to violate the continuity that they've established," he says. "I want to be very true to the Teen Titans, however, I don't want to be slavish to the point where we're just doing things to… I want to be as true as possible, but do the best story I can is I guess the way to put it. In terms of Batman Begins, that's just a great touch point in terms of tone. It's serious without being [too serious]. You feel like there's real jeopardy for those characters. And that's what we want for Teen Titans. When they're in trouble, we don't want you to think they're just going to pull the magic power out of their hat. They're in genuine trouble, genuine jeopardy, and these are 18-year-old young adults trying to figure out, 'How do we survive, how do we stay proud in front of our friends, how do we just be true to sort of what we think we are at a moment of conflict in [ourselves]?' Because they're going through the classic, 'I'm 18 and I don't know what the hell I'm doing.'"

As for whether or not the film will be based on any specific Teen Titan storylines or comics, Verheiden sees the project as more being inspired by thematic arcs of the Titans saga.

"It's sort of taking from the universe and then creating an amalgam that works for us," he says. "If you've loved the books, I don't think you're going to go, 'What the heck is going on with the Teen Titans?' We're not reinventing the wheel is what I want to say. We want to stay true because it's a great franchise, fantastic characters. I love Teen Titans and I'm old enough to have bought them when they were coming out. The Marv Wolfman version -- not the really early version! I want to do a show that appeals to fans who really love these characters and also isn't so sort of oblique or inside that people on the outside can't really get it."

Monday, July 30, 2007

SDCC 2007: Terra Mini-Series Update

I caught up with "Terra" writer Justin Gray at the DC Booth and asked him about the status of the "Terra" mini-series. Although the new black-haired Terra is a completely new character, the mini-series was going to explain how "all the Terras are connected." The mini was announced last year at San Diego, but has not appeared on DC's release schedule.

Justin said he and Jimmy Palmiotti completed about 5 issues worth of scripting. Artist Amanda Conner will be returning to the pencils of #1 after her Black Canary Wedding Special is completed. Looks like It'll be awhile before we see this one!

SDCC 2007: "Judas Contract" DTV Update

At the San Diego Comic-Con, I had a chance to chat with Marv Wolfman, who is writing the script for the upcoming "Teen Titans: The Judas Contract" Direct-To-DVD animated movie. Marv said he completed the script, and he wasn't sure what the current status of the project is; It is slated to follow "New Frontier" as the next DC Animated Direct-to-DVD movie.

I talked to Marv about the reasons for excluding Jericho, and he said it didn't serve the story to introduce a new character in the last minutes of the film. It made sense for a serialized comic book, but not for a self-contained movie. Kid Flash is not in the movie either, for those who have wondered. Marv said that he really wasn't a part of the original "Judas Contract" story either.

The Ravager (Grant Wilson) will be alluded to, and Wintergreen will be in it. The best news of all, however, is that Donna Troy (Wonder Girl) is definitely in the movie! So we can see a cool modern animated version of Wonder Girl at last!

SDCC 2007: More "Judas Contract" Pics

Click! Enlarge! Enjoy!

Friday, July 27, 2007

SDCC 2007: DC Direct Judas Contract Figures

Diamond Select Toys unveils Series 2 at Comic-Con, plus busts and a resin Viper!
Posted July 26, 2007 2:05 PM

BY: DC Direct

The Teen Titans are all about family and fighting, and nobody fights better than Deathstroke the Terminator, as you might have been able to infer from his name. With whom does he tussle? Family, naturally! Pit him against his son Jericho, who prefers to keep his fists clean and his gaze dirty by leaping into your soul. We choose not to speculate on Robin’s proclivities for wearing short pants at his age, or Terra’s general proclivities at her age. Instead we’ll just thanks DC Direct for the George Perez-based Titans figures fans’ve been waiting for!

Wow. These look awesome!

SDCC 2007: Superman Doomsday Preview

I justed watched the "world premiere" of the DCU Animated Direct-to-DVD movie: "Superman: Doomsday." For anyone that's a fan of Bruce Timm's animated universe... well, I think you'll love this movie. It has the same excitement and quality of the Timm-produced animated series. It's set as a stand-alone story, with no continuity with previous animated Superman endeavors. If anything, it's most in line with the Donner-Superman movies, as far as "continuity." It's INFINITELY better than "Superman Returns."

I won't be posting spoilers. But I urge everyone to pick it up when it's released in September. It's defeinitely a little more sophisticated, with a little more violence and some mild TV-MA words, but nothing too intense that a 10 year old couldn't see it. The animation, direction, writing, music and voice acting are all top-notch!

If this same approach is taken with Teen Titans: Judas Contract, I will be one happy viewer!

SDCC 2007: Group Therapy Panel

DC's second (and final) panel of the first day of Comic-Con International- DC Group Therapy - began with Dan DiDio introducing the panel: Writers Gail Simone, Geoff Johns, Sean McKeever, editors Eddie Berganza, and Michael Siglain.
Newsarama has posted a pretty awesome recap of this panel here. The Titans highlights, as reported by Newsarama:

DiDio asked McKeever about taking over Teen Titans and Birds of Prey. McKeever said he wanted to stay faithful to the work that Johns and Simone did, while expanding on what he would be able to bring to the table.

A fan said that with all the recent deaths, the Teen Titans were beginning to look like "emo teenagers" and if there were anything more positive to come. McKeever said that he's always enjoyed not going overboard with angst and missing drama with humor, but with the caveat that "things will get worse before they get better."

The same fan asked about more Doom Patrol stories, with DiDio indicating (as he has in the past) that there will be more stuff with the team at some point, but no immediate plans.

The next fan asked about the Teen Titans line-up, and if the current team would stay "cohesive" for a while. McKeever said he has no plans on changing it at the time, but joked that you never know when DiDio's going to call and tell him to kill someone.

McKeever said he likes the interactions between Kid Devil and Ravager.

Any more with Duela Dent? Berganza pointed to The Search for Ray Palmer books, and that they're going to use someone related to her and delve more into the character.

Is Connor Kent dead dead? DiDio said "Permanently temporarily dead."

"Any chance for a Starfire Vertigo series?" Johns: "That's like eating chocolate and pickles."

Additional reports from titanstower.com:

- A fan asked if DC had any plans for the Wolfman-Perez Titans characters like Cyborg, Raven and Starfire. Didio hinted that another DC Panel at San Diego would make him happy...

- Conner Kent may not be dead in the future.... (see Teen Titans #50-51 for more.. )

- A fan asked if Sean would be following up on Geoff's set-up with Kid Devil losing his soul. McKeever hinted that the "Titans Tomorrow" sequel may provide some clues to that.

- Expanding on the Duela Dent question, Eddie Berganaza and Sean McKeever said her story would be revealed in the Search for Ray Palmer Countdown issue featuring the Crime Syndicate (which also features the heroic Jokester); That issue would reveal someone related to Duela.

SDCC 2007: Countdown Panel

DC's first panel of Comic-Con International - focusing on current mini-series Countdown - started just after noon on Thursday. Newsarama has posted a pretty awesome recap of this panel here. The Titans highlights, as reported by Newsarama:

The fan then asked if it's a curse to be a part of Young Justice given the recent deaths of Superboy and Bart Allen, to which DiDio jokingly answered that they're making their way through the team and are looking for the next team to kill.

The next comment was about all the loss that Tim Drake has suffered, and Beechen said it's been addressed, and that in the last year-and-a-half "We haven't killed quite as many people around him as before," and that it's part of the lifestyle the character has chosen.

The same fan asked if Bart Allen's death will be touched on in Teen Titans, and McKeever said there will be a memorial in #50 of the comics, which leads to the “Titans Tomorrow” arc.

DiDio started to wrap up the panel by saying this was the first Countdown panel where no one asked what was being counted down to. DiDio said that as of issue #26 the title will be changed to Countdown to Final Crisis, and with that, ended the panel.

Additional reports from titanstower.com:
- Supergirl #21-22 will start to reveal what is going on with the various versions of the Legion of Super-heroes in the DCU, says writer Tony Bedard.

- Question: "If there was one thing in the DCU you could ret-con, what would it be?" Sean McKeever answered: " The Death of Conner Kent" Adam Beechen agreed with Dan Jurgens answer, which was "The removal of Superboy from Legion continuity Post-Crisis."

- Question: "Favorite & Least Favorite Character?" McKeever: Wonder Girl favorite, Aquaman least favorite. Beechen: Aquaman favorite, Lobo least favorite ("Contrary to public opinion, it's NOT Batgirl," joked Beechen)

- Jason Todd will be Red Robin "soon", according to Didio. It was stated that Jason has a lot of unused potential, and they wanted to explore, "what if he had a second chance?" The panel also promised "no more severed heads in duffel bags" for Todd.

- A fan asked if Garth would be back as Tempest and Didio answered, "Not at this time."

SDCC 2007: Wednesday

It's Preview Night at Comic-Con and judging from the crowded aisles, it's gonna be busier than ever! Keep checking back the next few weeks for full reports on Titans stuff and more!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Titans Stuff in San Diego

It's almost time for geek Christmas. Otherwise known as the San Diego Comic-Con! What's the Titans Haps? Here's an idea:

THURSDAY 11:30-12:30 Writing with Mark Verheiden—Comic-Con special guest Mark Verheiden, co-executive producer of Battlestar Galactica and writer of the upcoming live-action Teen Titans movie, offers advice to aspiring writers in a lively Q&A session. Want to write for television? Features? Comic books? Bring your best nuts-and-bolts questions! Room 4

THURSDAY 6:00-7:00 DC Group Therapy: Leagues, Legions, Societies, and Teens!—The DCU is home to the world’s greatest super-heroes, and they have banded together in teams with one common goal in mind: justice. Whether they’re rambunctious teenagers from the future, WWII veterans teaching a new generation, the super-powered elite, or the sidekicks who have forged their own way, they are among the DCU’s greatest assets. Don’t miss this important panel featuring the best teams that define heroism in the DC universe. Geoff Johns (Teen Titans, Justice Society of America), Sean McKeever (Teen Titans), Gail Simone (Birds of Prey) and Tony Bedard (Supergirl and The Legion of Superheroes) will be teamed with senior VP/executive editor DCU Dan DiDio, group editor Eddie Berganza, senior editor Mike Marts and editor Mike Siglain to bring you teamwork as you have never experienced before. Room 6A

SATURDAY 12:00-1:30 Wolfman and Kesel Writing Comics—Marv Wolfman and Barbara Kesel conduct a comics writing workshop, discussing how to create characters, story, and theme. If you've ever wanted to become a comics writer, this is for you. Room 30CDE

On the con floor, look out for Titans scribes Geoff Johns, Adam Beechen, Sean McKeever, Marv Wolfman and Amy Wolfram. There's also some Titans artists around, like Mike McKone, Ale Garza, Karl Kerschl, Sanford Greene, and more!

In the next week, check back to get all the latest Titans and comic book related news and info from the con!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Titans in October

The Solocits for October are up at Newsarama. Are we Counting Down enough yet? I am waiting for the "Countdown to Counting Down to Counting Crises on the Infinite Zero Crisis Super-Special." Anyways, here's the Titans goodness in October:

Written by Sean McKeever
Art by Alé Garza & Marlo Alquiza
Cover by Garza & Scott Williams
The Titans of Tomorrow take on Starro!
On sale October 24 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

Written by J. Torres
Art and cover by Sanford Greene & Nathan Massengill
Bullets, bracelets and Hercules! The most dangerous man the Amazons ever faced is now Wonder Girl’s only hope. But if these two champions are victorious, Cassie’s human life will pay the ultimate price!
On sale October 10 • 2 of 6 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US


Story by Paul Dini
Breakdowns by Keith Giffen
30 script by Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin Gray; art by Jesus Saiz
29 script by Adam Beechen; art by Carlos Magno
28 script by Tony Bedard; art by Al Barrionuevo
27 script by Sean McKeever; art by Manuel Garcia
26 script by Paul Dini; art by Tom Derenick
Covers 30-27 by Ian Churchill & Norm Rapmund; Cover 26 by J.G. Jones
Karate Kid confronts Brother Eye! Jimmy Olsen is grabbed by Forager! Shadowpact tries to subdue an out-of-control Mary Marvel! The Crime Syndicate, the Extremists and Monarch gather against the Challengers! Holly and Harley arrive on Paradise Island — and begin their “training”! A lucky coin-toss might have Two-Face save Piper and Trickster from Checkmate! And who is the mysterious— but funny — Jokester? Oh, and Mister Mxyzptlk explains it all!
Plus, more DC villains origin back-up stories written by Scott Beatty, including Zod, Deadshot & Two-Face. The COUNTDOWN continues!
COUNTDOWN 30 on sale October 3 • COUNTDOWN 29 on sale October 10
COUNTDOWN 28 on sale October 17 • COUNTDOWN 27 on sale October 24
COUNTDOWN 26 on sale October 31 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US COUNTDOWN 26 on sale October 31 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

Written by Adam Beechen and Justin Gray
Art by Eddy Barrows & Julio Ferreiro and
Fabrizio Fiorentino
Cover by Ivan Reis & Oclair Albert
Starfire’s powers are still in flux, leaving her defenseless against a new evil that’s plaguing Earth! And elsewhere in the multiverse, Forerunner faces off against the heroes of sorcerous world that include mystic versions of Batman and Superman.
On sale October 31 • 3 of 8 • 48 pg, FC, $3.99 US

Written by Sean McKeever
Art by Jamal Igle & Rob Hunter
Cover by Tony S. Daniel
Learn the origin of the newest Challenger from Beyond, from the world where the heroes are villains. But what does that make the bad guys? Can even the Challengers make things right?
On sale October 3 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

Written by Keith Champagne
Art by Jason Pearson and Derec Donovan
Cover by Pearson
A special issue tying into next month’s Batman event, “THE RESURRECTION OF RA’S AL GHUL”! Fan-favorite artist Jason Pearson illustrates “The Festival of Angry Ghosts,” featuring Damian. Plus, in "The Great Pumpkin," Robin races the clock to solve a series of Halloween-themed murders so grotesque, they leave even the most jaded detectives in Gotham shocked. Plus, a special “Times Past” story focusing on Dick Grayson's first Halloween as Robin.
On sale October 31 • 48 pg, FC, $3.99 US

ROBIN #167
Written by Brandon Thomas
Art by Freddie E. Williams II
Cover by Patrick Gleason & Wayne Faucher
Find out why they call Robin the “Boy Wonder” in this story guest-written by Brandon Thomas (Spider-Man Unlimited)! Something is very wrong with Tim Drake. What has pushed him dangerously close to the edge, and more important, will Batman ever be able to bring him back?
On sale October 24 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

Written by Marv Wolfman
Art by Jon Bosco & Alex Silva
Cover by Ryan Sook
The Nightwing/Vigilante/Metal Eddie story shifts into high gear as Eddie's full plan is finally revealed.
On sale October 3 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

Written by Mark Waid & John Rogers
Art by Daniel Acuña and Doug Braithwaite;
Cover by Braithwaite
The Justice League steps up to take away the Flash's loved ones in the name of the law! Also in this issue: "The Fast Life" begins! This backup feature by Waid, Rogers (BLUE BEETLE) and Doug Braithwaite (JUSTICE) picks up from INFINITE CRISIS and reveals the secrets behind the West Family’s otherworldly exile!
On sale October 24 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

Written by J. Torres
Art by Todd Nauck & Lary Stucker
Cover by Nauck
Kilowatt is the lost Titan from the future! He helped the present-day Titans defeat the Brotherhood of Evil, but now he wants to go home. Will Raven and Herald be able to send him back to the future…or will he end up in the wrong place, wrong time?
On sale October 31
32 pg, FC, $2.25 US


Sunday, July 15, 2007

Mark Verheiden on Teen Titan Movie

San Diego's Comic-Con Thursday programming reveals who is writing the draft for the live-action Teen Titans movie that is currently in development:

11:30-12:30 Writing with Mark Verheiden—Comic-Con special guest Mark Verheiden, co-executive producer of Battlestar Galactica and writer of the upcoming live-action Teen Titans movie, offers advice to aspiring writers in a lively Q&A session. Want to write for television? Features? Comic books? Bring your best nuts-and-bolts questions! Room 4

Wow! Looks like this project may actually be going somewhere! That means it hasn't just been optioned-- they are actually beginning script and story. Encouraging news! (Then again, look at the Wonder Woman movie....). Here's hoping!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Is Jokester Duela's Daddy?

From Newsarama: In October, writer Sean McKeever and artist Jamal Igle will explore that question in Countdown Presents The Search for Ray Palmer: Crime Syndicate #1 as they take readers closer to the twisted characters of Earth 3, where the heroes of earth are the villains and the villains are heroes. Along the way, the group will stop on Earth 3 and encounter the Crime Syndicate, as well as a new character, The Jokester. This "special" promises to tell more of that world's story and the origin of The Jokester.

Interview piece:

SM: Well, sure. It's a story from the Jokester's perspective, and it's a story about who he is and how he becomes the Jokester, and also, the story ends up solving a long-term mystery from the DC Universe.

NRAMA: A mystery from the DCU we know on New Earth?

SM: Yes.

NRAMA: He solves a mystery by...

SM: Well, through him, a riddle is solved.

NRAMA: A "riddle."

SM: Yeah.

I'll be the first to guess that Jokester is Duela Dent's father. It's a "long-term mystery from the DC Universe" that ties into Countdown. It would also explain Duela's yin-yang good-bad persona. What do you guys think? We gonna get Duela's origin at last? Should we start calling her Jokester's Daughter?

Thursday, July 12, 2007

All Flash Preview: Meet Iris & Jai West

Are we seeing the first official appearance of the new Tornado Twins? Titans fans, meet Iris and Jai West! Wally's kids finally get named in the 4-page preview to ALL FLASH #1. I hate what happened to Bart, but I'm glad Wally's back at least....

Check out the preview here.

Alé Garza's Wonder Family

A fan of titanstower.com reminded me of an excellent piece by upcoming Teen Titans artist Alé Garza! Here it is: Wonder Woman, Wonder Girl and (at the time dead) Donna Troy!

This is one of the best images I've seen from Alé! Check out this image and more at
Ale's online sketchbook, and keep up to date at Alé's blog.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Cyborg & Super Powers Team Heading to DVD

From the ever-excellent tvshowsondvd.com: We're just a few weeks away from the release of Super Friends: The Legendary Super Powers Show - The Complete Series, the next-to-last aired version of the legendary cartoon shows from the '70s and '80s. Although Warner has been skipping around and hasn't released all the various incarnations of the Super Friends, you'll be pleased to know that the final act, 1985's The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians, comes to DVD on October 23rd.

This series unites Batman, Robin, Wonder Woman, Superman, Firestorm and new recruit Cyborg, now showcased in a two-disc compilation of fiendish plots, amazing rescues and incredible adventures! Larger-than-life heroes face-off against the evil ruler Darkseid and masterminds Lex Luthor, Joker and Penguin in one memorable showdown after another!

All 10 episodes will be found on 2 DVDs, costing $26.99 SRP. According to the info we received, this "Includes special featurette: "Super Friends Redux: Galactic Guardians" - covering the pumped up, super sized version of the Justice League this time with characters drawn with incredible muscle structure, and definition." Click here to see an early thumbnail of the box art. Stay tuned for a larger picture, plus any further updates.

I'll be posting the amazon link for purchase once they start listing this!

Now Showing in Titanstower.com Theater...

Forget all those Summer Blockbusters! I recently gave the Titanstower.com Theater Room an overhaul of sorts. I've got more screeen shots in the Superfriends Page, as well as new images of Wendy & Marvin. On the Justice League Page, I've got all the Titans-related appearances in the series, including Flash, Hawk & Dove, Nightwing cameo and Speedy - as well as a curious pitch reel with Robin, Impulse and a girl Cyborg! Then, I've got the brand-new Smallville Page with Cyborg and Bart Allen - as well as The Batman Page with Robin and Nightwing.

Grab some popcorn and stay awhile...

Sean Talks Teen Titans #50

Newsarama reports: With the death of Bart Allen in June's issue #13 of Flash: The Fastest Man Alive, DC has now confirmed that much of the oversized issue #50 of Teen Titans will focus on how the Titans remember Bart Allen. And as part of the in memorium issue, McKeever will be working with a few creators who have written the Titans in the past, including Geoff Johns, Mike McKone, Marv Wolfman, George Perez, Todd Dezago and Todd Nauck.

But the issue also marks McKeever's debut as the series' new writer as well as featuring the beginning of a new team make-up and a promised surprise ending that leads into the next storyline. Newsarama talked to McKeever about how he fit all of this into one issue, how the Titans are remembering Bart Allen and what comes next.

Newsarama: So this first issue is going to focus on poor Bart Allen?

Sean McKeever: Yeah. It's really sad. In a short time he went from being Impulse to Kid Flash to Flash, and now he's gone. So issue #50 is a good moment to not only celebrate Bart's life, but for the Teen Titans to take stock of their own lives as they head into a new chapter of the Titans.

Read the whole article here.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Super-Articulate Your Vote!

Newsarama Super-Articulate Poll: From conversations that we've had around Super-Articulate, it seems that one of the big points that fans return to is that they feel that some teams have not yet been completed to their satisfaction. Taking that idea, we're posing our first Super-Articulate poll question. Question: Which set of characters is it most important to you as a collector that DC Direct represent in the near future?

One of the option is " Terra, Jericho, Trigon and Psimon" -- so why haven't you voted, Titans fans?

Marv Wolfman: Young Again

The popular writer discusses his long history telling the stories of DC's teen heroes and why he's returning to them once again. Longtime DC Comics writer Marv Wolfman reflects on his return to Nightwing and the Teen Titans, what's next on his plate and what the fans are asking him these days at conventions.

check out the video interview at WizardUniverse.com!

Marc Guggenheim On Flash #13

Newsarama reports: The reverberations of Bart Allen’s death as the Flash are still being felt, both throughout the DC Universe, where his public funeral is shown in this week’s issue of Countdown (#43), as well as throughout the fan community, where reaction to the death swings between the extremes.

We sat down with former Flash writer Marc Guggenheim for an in-depth conversation about Flash #13, Bart's life, and...Jar Jar Binks?

MG: Exactly, and I think that makes for some really great stories. In Bart’s death, one of the reasons why I agreed to the gig was that DC presented it to me as the first domino in a long chain of dominoes that will lead up to DC’s next big event. One of the things that’s great with what DC is doing these days is that things are plotted out very far in advance with a great deal of intricacy between the various books. A year from now, or two years form now, you’ll be able to go back to this book, and say, “Oh yeah – that’s where it all started.”

Read the whole article here.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Death Of Bart Allen: Flash Backward

Rest in Peace, Bart Allen. It was inevitable that you would succumb to Didio’s killstick of death.

Remember those innocent days in the 1990s? People like to wholesale-bash the 90s as the comic book era of mega-crossovers, holographic covers, all-style-no-substance comics. But that’s rubbish. Spider-clone sagas aside, the 1990s brought us the Death of Superman, a brand-new Superboy, a retooled Legion of Superheroes, the wonder of Ordway’s Power of Shazam, Conner Hawke, the Birds of Prey, Morrison’s JLA run, Kyle Rayner, the joy of Young Justice, Waid’s classic run on the Flash and – last but not least - the infectious exuberance of a certain young speedster named Impulse. Not bad for a much-maligned era in comics. But these days, anything in the 1990s seems disposable at DC Comics.

When Dan Didio took over DC, there was a dramatic shift in tone that started with Identity Crisis. The new DC seemed to be intent on telling darker stories, while – ironically – changing many characters back to their Pre-Crisis, Superfriends-era constructs. All the changes wrought in the 90s (both good and bad, mind you) were undone. It sorta reads like Challenge of the Superfriends with an NC-17 rating. So, naturally, the light breezy fun of Young Justice and Impulse would need to be replaced in this new order. Geoff Johns re-imaged the Young Justice characters in a new Teen Titans series, with Bart emerging as the new Kid Flash. In Didio’s new DCDark, it seemed something had to be done with a character using emoticon thought balloons. Geoff Johns – to his credit - smartly retained a lot of Bart’s core personality and set him on a new ‘hero’s journey’ to start growing up in a new heroic identity.

Then came Infinite Crisis.

I won’t get into a whole critique of the series here, but there seemed to be a great desire to evoke a lot of the story beats of the first Crisis. Now, homages are all well and good. And certainly, the first Crisis has become a milestone, with certain panels and sequences that have been burned into the brains of fanboys far and wide. But some some of the story choices didn’t seem to be completely thought out. Exhibit A: Bart Allen becomes the Flash.

Now, wisely, DC didn’t kill Wally West; They merely took him ‘offstage’ for awhile. Poor Bart, though, was hyper-aged and brought make to evoke Wally’s sequence in Crisis on Infinite Earths #12, where he assumes the Flash mantle (a panel-by-panel recreation). The parallels are obvious. First Crisis: The 20-year old Wally West gives up his Kid Flash identity to assume the mantle of his fallen mentor, the Flash, and rockets into his ongoing (and successful) series. Infinite Crisis: The 20-year old Bart Allen gives up his Kid Flash identity to assume the mantle of his fallen mentor, the Flash, and rockets into his ongoing (and unsuccessful) series. Oops.

Flash: The Fastest Man Alive seemed like it had the success formula. Two Hollywood writers (comic book companies seem to hire anyone with a SAG card) and a ‘hot’ artist. Yet fans balked. Sure, sales were higher than the previous series, but that’s always the case with a new #1. The decline started immediately and that’s when it seems Bart was a marked man. But instead of trying to back-peddle and somehow restore the Bart fans liked to begin with... Well, death is the new order of the day at DCDark.

It’s a shame and a waste of a once-great character. Bart-as-Flash bore little resemblance to the Impulse character or even the Bart-as-Kid-Flash character in Teen Titans. By slowly stripping away his unique character traits, Bart became a DCDark character; The fun was sucked right out of him. And the sadder part is, as much as you may want to think it’s part of DC’s great master plan, that doesn’t seem to be the case.

In Didio’s analysis of the Countdown preview image, he mentions: “And then we also did one other bit, which may have been too subtle for the picture, and that was Flash having one foot on the statue and one foot off the statue, which meant that particular Flash, at that moment, had one foot in the grave.” Except, when you look at the picture... Neither of Flash’s feet are on the ground. Both are on the statue, According to Didio’s logic, that should keep Flash safe.

Then there’s something else... In this oh-so-meticulously crafted preview image, Flash’s eyes are blue. Bart’s eyes are yellowish-brown (consistently colored as yellowish-brown in both Teen Titans and Flash: The Fastest Man Alive). He's in Barry's costume. Barry has blue eyes. I don't believe that was Bart in that image-- but his series wasn't successful enough and they decided to kill him. And then also this: "Dan Didio inadvertently answered that the Flash in the teaser image released several weeks ago is Barry Allen and Red Robin is Jason Todd.." Hmmm...

Bart didn’t truly die at the hands of the Rogues. His death was the result of DC’s “act first and figure it out later” current editorial regime. It was more important to echo a segment in the first Crisis than to serve a mainstay character for the next ten years. It’s like they barely thought Bart-as-Flash through, and then just arbitrarily discarded him once they were done changing him beyond recognition. There’s a lot of talk about creators merely being “keepers” of these characters while they are working on them. Looks like someone needs to call Nanny 911.

I thought things were supposed to be brighter after Infinite Crisis. But I guess we are still stuck with DCDark, where character death is equated with “powerful storytelling.” Where old stories have to be ret-conned as “dark thrillers” with rape, death and gore we didn’t see that happened in-between those too-innocent panels. Where once-fun characters have to be changed into brooding heroes with psychological issue to be taken seriously.

Hey, isn’t THAT what we REALLY didn’t like about the 1990s?

Monday, July 02, 2007

Meeting Room Updates

Updated a few pages in the Meeting Room to reflect current events: Updates for
Duela Dent and Bart Allen and Intertia and Wally West. Also added some supplementary stuff about Superboy's death on the Superboy Page and some new Superfriends screen caps for Wendy & Marvin.

Also added a few more images for Jericho and Ravager and Kid Devil and Aquagirl II.

Robin's Big Date

Robin's Big Date (with Sam Rockwell and Justin Long) can be seen on YouTube.

Pretty funny stuff!

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Mike Wieringo on The Death of Bart

Mike Wieringo - cocreator of Impulse - sounds off on his blog about Bart's death in Flash: The Fastest Man Alive #13: "Let me be clear– I haven’t read FLASH #13. I don’t really read that many superhero books anymore because the dark and depressing nature they’ve adopted just doesn’t interest me. I got my fill of that in the mid 80’s with DARK KNIGHT and WATCHMEN. I’ve read many reviews of the ‘event’, though… and I think the reaction overall has been that the story was 1) very badly done… and 2) in the end, a real yawner and not something that’s had the ’stunning event impact’ that DC was hoping for."

"I think this is symptomatic of the idea that fans are simply getting a bit weary of all this kind of thing. I think that the event-comic-that-heralds-the-death-of-lots-of-characters has become the new gold-foil/Lenticular/Acetate/holographic cover of the 2000’s. They’re stunts… gimmicks meant to sell comics. The writing seems to have taken a back seat to earth-shattering events that are having less and less impact as they are overdone."

I can't say I disagree. I think DC completely wasted a great opportunity to see Bart grow as Kid Flash for awhile. "If it ain't broke...." . Read Mike's whole post here. There's also a larger image of Mike's wonderful "tribute sketch" of Bart.

Sanford Greene's Wonder Girl

From the blog of J. Torres: "he art above is a rejected Wonder Girl re-design by Sanford Greene. Our editors thought she looked too "ethnic," but I loved the look and thought it worked, especially since Cassie's technically half Greek."

Personally, I really like this take on Cassie! I think this mini is going to get Sanford noticed. He's a real talent if you aren't familiar with his work. Looking forward to this mini!

Wonder Girl First Details

DC Comics announced that Wonder Girl would get her own six issue mini-series - Wonder Girl: Chammpion. Champion will ship this fall, with J. Torres scheduled to write and Sanford Greene on art. For first details, IGN Comics turned to Torres. As always, stay tuned to IGN for the latest on Amazons Attack and Wonder Girl: Champion.

IGN Comics: Can you tell us a little bit about the plot?

J. Torres: We kind of spin off from Amazons Attack, and we see how Cassie kind of has to clean up after the Amazons and what happened in Washington. And she's kind of pissed about it, because it seems like nobody else either seems to care as much as she does or feels as much responsibility to clean up the aftermath of the Amazons.

So she goes around cleaning and rounding up all the beasts that we've seen that were involved in the battles, and she's kind of pissed off about nobody helping her. But at the same time, she's kind of taking it upon herself and not letting anybody help her. That's how the story starts, and as we progress, we're going to get more and more into the fact that she's a demigod. She's the daughter of Zeus and the champion of Ares, with all these powers - what does that mean? She hasn't really addressed that as much as I think she should have, or other books should have, so we're getting a chance to explore that. What the hell does that mean? She's the champion of Ares - so what? What does that mean? What are her duties, her responsibilities? She's a god of war, is she supposed to be there to wage war, to be a war monger, to be a peacemaker, to end war…what is it?

At the same time, she's got issues with Wonder Woman and the Titans she has to work through. And to complicate matters, here comes Hercules, who is essentially her half-brother. He comes in and says to her, "you're better than these mortals. Why don't you do something about your lineage and background?" So we get into that, and we tie into Countdown, which I can't talk too much about, but I will see it involves more gods.

Hopefully by the end of it, we resolve some of Cassie's issues and she battles the demons she's been carrying since Connor's death and the 52 stuff. And when she comes out of it, hopefully she has a new direction as Wonder Girl.

for the full interview, click here.