Friday, September 26, 2008

Joe Bennett's Titans

Tar Aquino of Torre Titans! fame has contacted Joe Bennett (TERROR TITANS) for a Titans commission.

Tar shares: "His "Garcia-López" style inspires me and I think that his work would be fully appreciated in the Titans book. So, I asked him to draw the 8 of them plus Joey/Jericho. I will post the steps for this picture as i get them."

Here: The layout! Lookin' good!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Wolfman Vigilante Plans

The Pulse reports: Writer Marv Wolfman is returning to familiar territory when he takes his all new Vigilante, who first appeared in the pages of Nightwing, on a new path in an ongoing series. Wolfman was one of the folks responsible for introducing a whole new Vigilante in the mid-80s in the pages of the New Teen Titans. He told THE PULSE this new character isn't one of the past Vig's returned from the dead, but the clues have been laid out in Nightwing for people to know who is under the mask this time around. The mystery will be revealed in this December's first issue, but, until that time, we've got a few details from Wolfman about this man dishing out justice as he sees fit.

THE PULSE: You've been involved in several stages of the Vigilante's life time. When you were first reintroducing a character by that name in the pages of The New Teen Titans, how did you come up with the definition of a Vigilante for the whole new generation? He kind of reminded me of The Punisher ....

Dan Didio asked me if I'd like to create a new version of the character. I'd been wanting to do a crime book for awhile; getting into a more realistic area, and I thought creating a brand-new Vig would be the way I could get to tell the kind of stories I wanted to. The original Vigilante came out of a couple of panels I once wrote in Daredevil where DD and some villain were fighting and when the fight was over they had destroyed the house of some innocent family they were in, and DD realizes the real effect of a super-hero battle. That kept resonating in my mind; what is the effect of super-heroism on the people around you and ultimately on you.

So the Adrian Chase Vigilante is someone who finds himself trying to do right, but kept sinking deeper and deeper into darkness until he finally killed himself. So in my mind this was very much a deconstruction of the super-hero which is why I never saw it as anything like Punisher. The only similarity was they fought crime, but so does every other super-hero in the biz. Ultimately, there is little difference, at the root, between Punisher, Batman, Spider-Man and many others; tragedy informs their future selves as they seek to avenge a wrong or seek revenge on those who wronged them. Vig was about a person who had to ultimately self-destruct.

The new Vigilante is very different and once we get past the early issue crossover story with the Titans you'll start to see why and how although there will be hints along the way. This Vig will operate in the semi-real corner of the DCU that Batman rarely visits as opposed to the world of Superman and the others. But he's still very much in the DCU which will affect him, too. The new Vig works in a world closer to Goodfellows and The Departed than Adrian Chase did. And let me make it very clear. The new Vig is NOT Adrian come back to life although there is a connection to the original series.

Read the full interview here.

I think I'll give this one a shot...

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Mark Sable Interview at Multiverso DC

Mark Sable took some time to give an interview to Multiverso DC about the DC SPECIAL: CYBORG Mini-Series. Find out what he has to say about the mini, Cyborg, The Phantom Limbs, a brand-new Gizmo, Sarah Simms, and more...

MDC: What about the new villains? Could you hint us with those guys who also appeared on that cover? Magenta is a part of them? A new Gizmo?

MS: Well, there are two groups of new villains. One group was introduced in issue five. They’re The Phantom Limbs, the wounded soldiers that Orr has transformed into killing machines using Vic’s cybernetics. Although I see them as victims as much as villains. I’m really proud of them because I got to create them, and I’m hoping that if I don’t get a chance to tell another story with them, someone else will.

Then there is the Cyborg Revenge Squad, revealed on the last page of Issue 5 (so spoiler alert for anyone who hasn’t finished the issue).

The members are Cyborgirl, Girder, Magenta and The Thinker (Flash villains…so they also share the Wally West connection with Vic), Shrapnel, the new Gizmo and Cyborg 2.0 – the Cyborg from the dark future that we’ve seen in recent years. The idea is this is a team specially put together to take out cyborgs (someone with magnetic powers, a living computer program etc).

The new Gizmo was Eddie Berganza’s idea. He just said, it should be Gizmo’s son, and I kind of ran with that. Fans of the Titans animated series will get a kick out of his origin, I thing.

Check out the full interview here!

Exclusive DC Preview - 'Teen Titans #63'

Newsarama has posted a preview for TEEN TITANS #63. Looks like we have a survivor from #62...

TEEN TITANS #63 Written by Sean McKeever; Art and cover by Eddy Barrows and Ruy Jose Bombshell is back! But wait — isn't she dead? Whatever the answer, one thing's for sure: the Teen Titans are gonna have their hands full! Also in this issue: Wonder Girl can feel something terrible on the horizon coming for her and there's nothing she can do to stop it! DC Universe | 32pg. | Color | $2.99 US On Sale September 24, 2008

Also... "Epsilon?" THAT Epsilon?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Mark Sable on Cyborg #4 and #5

Have you guys been picking up DC SPECIAL: CYBORG? It's one of the better Titans-related mini-series and there's a lot of story packed into these 6 issues!

From Writer Mark Sable's blog: "Issue 4 of DC Special: Cyborg, has been available since Wednesday. As you can see from the cover, supervillains kick the Teen Titan's ass while Cyborg does nothing but weep for them. Actually, while the supervillains (Wildebeest and Equus) take on the Titans and Teen Titans, Vic learns he's not the only cyborg in town, and goes in search of wounded soldiers forced to use his stolen technology."

And Mark on Cyborg #5, also from his blog
: "This Wednesday, September 17th, the fifth and penultimate issue of DC Special: Cyborg is in stores. Illustrated by Carlos Magno and inked by Jonathan Glapion, I'm really excited about this issue because it's not just me taking familiar DC characters and putting them in new situations. I've created a group of new characters - The Phantom Limbs - maimed veterans who were given Vic Stone's cybernetics by the mercenary known as Mr. Orr (from Brian Azzarello and Jim Lee's Superman Run). Their catch - they only get to keep their new limbs if they continue to kill for Mr. Orr - no matter who the target is."

"Are these Phantom Limbs (the title doesn't just refer to their literal cybernetic limbs; "phantom limbs" refers to the sensation that amputees have of still feeling their limbs even after they lost them) - friend or foe? Well, the glib answer is read and find out. But what I'm really hoping is that, just like I'm using other creator's characters, The Phantom Limbs will be part of my legacy on Cyborg. That someone else, somewhere down the line have fun with the toys I've added to the wonderful toybox that is the DC Universe."

If you haven't been reading CYBORG, give it a look! And visit Mark Sable's website for more on the series!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Finally - Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin Gray on 'Terra'

Newsarama Reports: Most recently the new Terra appeared in the "The Titans of Tomorrow, Today!" storyline in Teen Titans #52-54, and now the long-awaited solo miniseries reaches fruition this fall. This four-issue series runs bi-weekly during the months of November and December, and is headed up by writers Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray along with long-time collaborators, artist Amanda Conner and colorist Paul Mounts.

JG: Okay I’m sure smart assed answers aren’t going to rate very well with fans of the previous Terra who was so unceremoniously killed in World War Three. The same Terra who was the victim of statutory rape, well mister, I can tell you this Terra will not be skeezing on some old man super villain. What they will get is a genuine, heartfelt heroine fighting for the planet against some odd villains with special guest stars like Power Girl and Doc Mid-Nite.

Jimmy Palmiotti: What you also get is a beautifully drawn mini series that totally establishes a new character and a decent amount of past history to catch anyone that doesn’t know the history of the 'Terra' name.

NRAMA: Justin brought up the previous holders of the Terra name. So how does this new one tie into those?

JG: That’s a secret origin kind of question that will be answered in the pages of this miniseries. I just hope people have an open mind and can recognize how difficult it is to keep what came before and yet find a way to make something new work within those confines.

JP: terra ties into everything presented to date that has the name terra on it...its what we set out to do...create a back story that explains a lot of what happened behind the scenes, the what and why and especially the who of these characters.

Read the whole article here.

EXCLUSIVE DC Preview: Tiny Titans #8

DC has provided Newsarama with an exclusive sneak peek at this week's Tiny Titans #8 by Art Baltazar and Franco Aureliani.

The issue's solicitation reads: School is in session at Sidekick City Elementary and it's time for report cards and parent teacher conferences. Plus, Beast Boy gets more than he bargained for with a trip to the local library and hilarity ensues at Blue Beetle's birthday party with a case of mistaken identity and much, much more!


Monday, September 15, 2008

Deja Vu: Titans #8

Something I noticed...

- published in 2005
Written by Judd Winick
Art by Shawn Moll & Kevin Conrad
Cover by Doug Mahnke
Guest artists Shawn Moll and Kevin Conrad come aboard for "Lockdown" - a story only acclaimed writer Judd Winick could tell! The Outsiders are trapped in their own headquarters as they try to uncover the traitor in their midst. What happens when seven trapped super-heroes stop being polite and start getting real?

TITANS #8 - coming in December 2008
Written by Judd Winick

Art and cover by Howard Porter
There's a traitor in the Titans' midst, and the entire Tower is under lockdown until the team can discover which member could betray them. The problem is, there's no real way to investigate, since the traitor is now a sleeper agent!
On sale December 10 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US


Dear Mr. Didio,

I'd like some new ideas, please and thank you.

Titans In December

Full solicts here

Written by Sean McKeever
Art and cover by Eddy Barrows & Ruy Jose
Teen guest stars galore! With only four members left, it's time for the Teen Titans to hold a recruitment drive! Who will make the cut, and who will be sent packing? Who will refuse to even show up, and who will bring a boatload of trouble with them?
On sale December 31 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

Written by Judd Winick
Art and cover by Howard Porter
There's a traitor in the Titans' midst, and the entire Tower is under lockdown until the team can discover which member could betray them. The problem is, there's no real way to investigate, since the traitor is now a sleeper agent!
On sale December 10 * 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US


Story by Art Baltazar & Franco
Art and cover by Art Baltazar
Follow the adventures of Sidekick Elementary's newest foreign exchange student, Red Star! Meanwhile, Beast Boy hatches his latest plan to catch the attention of Terra. And we officially go to the birds in this issue as Hawk and Dove swoop down for a visit, and the Penguin waddles in for some fun.
On sale December 17 * 32 pg, FC, $2.50 US

Written by Sean McKeever
Art and cover by Joe Bennett & Jack Jadson
Dreadbolt faces a terrible decision, and his choice could elevate him in the Clock King's eyes - but at an unthinkable cost. Meanwhile, the tournament between teen metas continues, and the fate of the winners and losers becomes clearer as the Clock King's ultimate plan comes to light. Ravager's role in the plan also becomes clearer, and she is beginning to openly rebel. So, to sweeten the deal, she is granted the honor of fighting the Dark Side Club's hidden and true champion - one she could never have expected!
On sale December 3 * 3 of 6 * 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

TERRA #3-4
Written by Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin Gray
Art and cover by Amanda Conner
Worlds collide as only our heroine, the ground-breaking Terra, can stop the carnage! Still struggling to discover the secrets of her past, Terra also has to square off against the earth-shattering might of Geo-Force and a visit from Power Girl. What is the secret of Strata? Who is the Astronaut God? And how does all this impact Terra's life? From the writing team of Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti (JONAH HEX, UNCLE SAM AND THE FREEDOM FIGHTERS) and artist Amanda Conner (SUPERGIRL, POWER GIRL)!
Issue #3 on sale December 3, issue #4 on sale December 17
3 and 4 of 4 * 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

Written by Adam Beechen
Art by J. Calafiore & Jack Purcell
Cover by Andy Clarke
Batgirl's road to redemption at last brings her face-to-face with master assassin David Cain! It's daughter versus father in all-out final combat. Will Batgirl find her ultimate vengeance and kill again? Or will she be killed? All the questions will be answered - and the ending will shock you!
On sale December 17 * 6 of 6 * 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

Written by Peter J. Tomasi
Art by Don Kramer & Jay Leisten
Cover by Georges Jeanty
Nightwing has saved New York City from Two-Face, but that doesn't mean that he's saved himself - or that Two-Face is through with him. Nightwing will be forced to confront the madman in Arkham Asylum then face dire changes to his personal life as he deals with the aftereffects of "Batman R.I.P." and makes the ultimate leap!
On sale December 10 * 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

ROBIN #181
Written by Fabian Nicieza
Art and cover by Freddie E. Williams II
Red Robin is revealed, and Anarky is unleashed in Gotham City! A daring jailhouse rescue rips the GCPD apart, forcing the Spoiler to live up to her name! Plus, Oracle and Jason Bard team up again! And while all this is going on, where is Robin? Maybe he's M.I.A.... or is it R.I.P.?
On sale December 17 * 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

Written by Alan Burnett
Art by Carlo Barberi & Drew Geraci
Cover by Brian Stelfreeze
"This Was Your Life, Wally West" concludes! As Flash stands alone without his powers or family to support him, only one question remains - is this end of the Fastest Man Alive?
On sale December 24 * 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

Written by Matthew Sturges
Art and cover by Rafael Albuquerque
"Boundaries" comes to its explosive conclusion as Doctor Polaris and Blue Beetle face off! Beetle's life is at stake and so are the futures of two communities already fractured by in-fighting!
On sale December 31 * 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US


Written by Gail Simone
Art by Aaron Lopresti & Matt Ryan
Cover by Aaron Lopresti
"Rise of the Olympian" part 2! The Society's ultimate weapon, Genocide, remains on the loose and on a murderous rampage while Wonder Woman has to deal with the ramifications, both mental and physical, of failing to stop the threat. Meanwhile, the Amazons make their long-awaited return to a home they barely recognize, and a god makes a promise to Athena that will change the landscape of the DC Universe forever - and that's just the stuff we can tell you about! Guest starring Troia and Wonder Girl.
On sale December 24 * 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

Written by Marv Wolfman
Art by Rick Leonardi
Cover by Walter Simonson
Variant cover by Andrew Robinson
In New York City, crime is on the rise, and terror fills the streets. Gang warfare is escalating, and metahumans are being drafted into battle. Through the corruption and lawlessness, one man emerges to right the wrongs as only he can. So when a Super Hero conspiracy plot is brought to light, the Vigilante returns to find the traitor and mete out his own brand of justice – with extreme prejudice! Join us as writer Marv Wolfman (NEW TEEN TITANS, CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS) continues the street-level adventures of the mysterious new crime fighter he introduced in the pages of NIGHTWING.
Retailers please note: This issue will ship with two covers. For every 10 copies of the Standard Edition (with a cover by Walter Simonson), retailers may order one copy of the Variant Edition (with a cover by Andrew Robinson). Please see the Previews Order Form for more information.
On sale December 24 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

Written by Alan Burnett, Franco Aureliani & Art Baltazar, Dan DiDio and others
Art by Rodolfo Migliari, Kevin Maguire, Ian Churchill, Tim Levins, Yishan Li and others
Cover by Frank Quitely
Celebrate the holiday as the Justice League of America host a surprise party guest! Dr. Light aids with the Festival of Lights and Nightwing delivers a special gift to Robin. Plus the super-secret origin of Santa Claus!
On sale December 17 * 80 pg, FC, $5.99 US


Written by Grant Morrison & Peter J. Tomasi
Art by Frank Quitely & various
Covers by Frank Quitely and Jim Lee & Scott Williams
Finally, the secrets of this year’s most talked about event can be revealed! Witness how Darkseid's death shattered the Multiverse, creating continuity ripples throughout the DC Universe! Submit to Darkseid and read the full Anti-Life Equation! This is a book you cannot resist to buy!
Retailers please note: This issue will ship with two covers by Frank Quitely and Jim Lee & Scott Williams that will ship in approximately 50/50 ratio. Please see the Previews Order Form for more information.
On sale December 24 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US

Written by Geoff Johns
Art by George Pérez & Scott Koblish
Covers by George Pérez
Don't miss this issue as lightning strikes again in the DC Universe! The Crisis of the 31st century continues as a great hero falls and another returns to help Superman and the Legion combat the murderous Superboy-Prime! Meanwhile, the Time Trapper makes his move against the three Legion founders, Polar Boy's bizarre mission comes to an end and Superman makes a shocking discovery that will redefine the terms of this war.
Retailers please note: This issue will ship with two covers by George Pérez that will ship in approximately 50/50 ratio. Please see the Previews Order Form for more information.
On sale December 24 • 4 of 5 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US


Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Making Donna Troy's Origin Easy: UPDATE

UPDATE: I was chatting with Phil Jimenez about Donna Troy (as I often do!) and he liked my solution for "Making Donna Troy's Origin Easy". I can't think of a higher compliment!

Phil writes (on this blog response, if you look...):

"I love this version and for what it's worth, I'm trying to get DC to adopt it as canon!

Phil Jimenez"

Thanks for the support, Phil!
LOVE that you love it! :) Means alot coming from you

Now it's up to DC Comics......


I figured out a very simple way to fix Donna Troy's origin. Now, don't run away... really. And it's extremely simple. It occured to me as I was updating Donna Troy's page, restoring Donna's connections to the Amazons in "New Earth" continuity, as revealed in recent events. Yes, I used the words "Donna Troy's origin" and "extremely simple" in one sentence. Read on!

There are two things "essential" to Donna:
1. She was raised by the Titans of Myth and
2. she is Wonder Woman's little sister and a Amazon.

Donna's simple origin: Infant Donna Troy was saved from a fire by the Titan Rhea, who brought her to New Chronus and gifted her with amazing abilities. After growing up on New Chronus with the Titans of Myth, Donna was sent to earth at age 13 and left in the care of the Amazons, who would teach her humility. Donna was adopted by Queen Hippolyta, and thrilled to the exploits of her sister, Wonder Woman. Deciding to follow in her sister's footsteps, Donna became Wonder Girl and soon joined the Teen Titans. Later, Donna reunited with the Titans of Myth and embraced her original Titanic heritage as the heroine, Troia.

This is actually supported by events depicted since INFINITE CRISIS, where it was established that Wonder Woman was one of the founding members of the JLA in the new, restructured reality. This restored Wonder Woman as pre-dating Wonder Girl, which has been the problem plaguing Donna since the first Crisis. We have seen young Donna living with the Amazons in WONDER WOMAN #1 (2005) and TEEN TITANS: YEAR ONE (2007-2008). Diana is also restored as Donna's maid of honor at her wedding, as shown in JLA #0 (2005). I think we can safely assume Donna was adopted by the Amazons and became Diana's little sister in the post INFINITE CRISIS continuity.

Yes, there's Donna's SUPPOSED "new origin" in WONDER WOMAN ANNUAL #1 (2007). But it comes with a new host of problems. It eliminates the rescue from a fire, which eliminates "Who IS Donna Troy?" -- it also keeps Donna as an identical twin... it glosses over the importance of the Titans of Myth by stating that Donna is raised (jointly? shared custody?) by both Titans of Myth and Amazons. It's terrible and I reject it utterly. It's already been contradicted, if you look carefully.

See? Donna's Pre-Crisis Amazon connections have been restored.

Now, Donna's Titans of Myth origin has become as important as her Amazon origin at this point. So that is still firmly in continuity. As readers may remember, the Titans of Myth originally sent their Titan seeds back to their homeworlds at age 13 to learn humility, after stripping them of their memories. Donna was given false memories and lived at Kanigher Orphanage. So we'll tweak that a bit in new continuity, and just assume the Titans of Myth left her in the care of the Amazons (who, remember, would worship the Titan of Myth like gods). It would make sense that they would entrust Donna to the Amazons.

So having Donna spend half her life with the Titans of Myth, and the other half with the Amazons makes perfect sense. It also restores all the important Pre-Crisis Diana-Donna-Hippolyta stories and interactions. It also keeps virtually every story detail concerning the Titans of Myth.

If you think about it, Donna's childhood on New Chronus is very important (but her childhood on Paradise Island less so). Donna's teen years on Paradise Island are more defining, since its always been very vague where she lived while she was a member of the team during the Cardy era. So her initial days of venturing into Man's World (untold, mostly) are somewhat similar to what we are seeing in YEAR ONE. Or, if you prefer, Early Donna is somewhat similar to TV Wonder Girl Drusilla, who was intrigued by Man's World.

Don't worry: The Titans of Myth stuff is still all true, Donna.

Now, what needs to be wiped away is the Bryne revisions of Donna as Diana's "mystical twin" and the whole angle of Donna's "multiple lives." These two elements seem to be the most confusing aspects of Donna's origin, and they are no longer needed.Byrne made a nice-try attempt to restore Donna as Diana's "sister" and sort of make all of Donna's myriad origins "true." But we no longer need these band-aids when we have the very simple Titans of Myth and Amazon upbringings. I would dismiss these "revelations" as a mystical ruse of Dark Angel, who is an insane trickster with a deep hatred for Donna Troy.

Dark Angel would still be an alternate Donna Troy who escaped her own reality, but was driven insane as a result. So her recollections and ramblings cannot be trusted. She may be misremembering realities throughout the multiverse... or just trying to torture Donna, who she hates as her opposite number.

Dark Angel: She's just a crazy bitch. Don't believe anything she says.

This simple fix would make Donna's origin ridiculously simple again, and we would lose no stories in the process. Dark Angel still tortured Donna in WONDER WOMAN #130-136 and TITANS #23-25. But all her ramblings are that of a madwoman. Byrne's band-aids were a "made sense" fix at the time, but now they just weight the character down. File them under "Punisher as avenging angel" and 'Guy Garnder as part alien" and other such wrong-turn character moments. We shall never speak of it again.

I'm not a fan of constantly trying to "fix" Donna's origin....
but restoring WW as JLA founder solves many things, and eliminates the need for the absolute most confusing things that trip up new fans -- the "mystic twin" and "multiple lives" -- where fans have trouble grasping the cascading-happening-at-same-time multiple lives, the reasoning on why Donna isn't Diana's identical twin (or is she?, as some writers even confuse that fact), why they aren't the same age, etc...

If DC is very careful with this ret-con, they can eliminate Donna's confusing backstory and retain most of her important, defining character moments.

Donna Troy: Fixed!


Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Joe Bennett talks to Multiverso DC

Joe Bennett took some time to talk with Multiverso DC about his work on Terror Titans. Check this interview and some exclusive pages.

MDC: We know that a lot of teen heroes will appear on the mini, like Terra, Offspring, Zatara, Aquagirl, etc. This means that will be big scenes and a lot of characters to draw. Do you think that it could be a challenge?

JB: Wow. So challenging. Essentially when you are creating all the scenes. The thing seems difficult and hard, but this all pays off for each badly slept night. [Laughs]

MDC: Ravager, one of the more loved characters in the Titans Universe, will be one of the protagonists in this series. Could you tell us how you see her?

JB: I think that Ravager is a big muscle machine, well designed. She also has that killer eye and sexy face. So, in the actions scenes I try to draw her sensual and mortal. It was how she would come after you with that imminent sensation of dread. Anyway, I am sure you would die happy and excited. [Laughs]

MDC: There is some favorite character to draw there?

JB: Well, I love to draw Rose, but I like Clock King too. Eddy chose to make him like The Joker, but I feel him almost like a Rock star skinny but with Mick Jagger’s energy. I brought inspiration from Liam Gallagher’s face (Oasis) to make him there.

Read the whole interview here.

EXCLUSIVE DC Preview: Titans #4

DC Comics has provided Newsarama with an exclusive look inside this week's Titans #4 by Judd Winick and Joe Benitez. The solicitation for the issue reads: The conclusion of the team's first adventure features the return of their deadliest foe and the sacrifice of one of the Titans! Will the Sons of Trigon live up to their father's expectations?

Yo, yo, yo. It's da Trigon Boyz!

Monday, September 01, 2008

Can Dan Didio Fix the Titans?

Can Dan Didio Fix the Titans? It was a question recently posed on comicbloc. It's a valid question. Since Geoff Johns left, the series has struggled to find it's way. Sean McKeever and Eddy Barrows have brought some stablility to the book, but last week's issue, featuring a grusome murder of two characters, seems to have outraged some fans who were beginning to embrace the book.

I think the malaise of the TEEN TITANS book is deeper than "we lost Superboy and Kid Flash." Although, that WAS a big loss...

Losing Kid Flash and Superboy hurt the book, no doubt about it. If you go back and re-read the first 30 or so issues, Superboy is one of the lynchpin members. His relationship with Cassie and friendship with Tim made him important even when he wasn't the "star" of the story. For example, an Ares story, although Cassie-centric, still involves Superboy. When Tim stepped down as Robin, it effected Superboy, too.

Kid Flash is less of a loss because he wasn't integrated as much into the Tim-Cassie-Conner trio that emerged. Somehow, he was on the fringe of that. Still, he was the "heart" of the team in the same way Changeling was during the NTT days.

So, yeah, they hurt the book by leaving. But the book could have recovered...

I believe the problems with the book go back to before INFINITE CRISIS. I think TT had a great launch for 23 issues, and then faltered with the INSIDERS arc, and never fully recovered. Geoff took on a lot with INFINITE CRISIS, and TEEN TITANS suffered a bit during that. ONE YEAR LATER was a good, fresh start... but that's just it.. it was just a start...

Since #34 (and we are now on #62), the book has been in membership flux. We get the OYL membership shakeup. Then Jericho joins and Raven rejoins, and then after the horrid TITANS EAST arc, they all quit again. Miss Martian joins. Supergirl joins then quits. Ravager quits. Blue Beetle psuedo-joins, then actually joins. Then Miss Martian quits. Now two more cast members are dead.

This books needs to get OUT of "contstant flux" and get back to telling character driven stories with interesting conflicts. In the wake of the bad TITANS EAST arc, we got what we thought would be a solid roster in #50, only for it to be followed by the also-bad TITANS TOMORROW TODAY arc, followed by Supergirl, Ravager, Miss Martian leaving.

The funny thing is ... the "missing year" Teen Titans were a mess because they were in constant flux... members coming and going all the time. That was meant to convey a team in upheaval. The original idea, it seemed, was the OYL launch storyline would galvanize the Teen Titans together again!! Except, since OYL, the team has been in constant tumult.


I wonder, sometimes, if anyone takes a step back and looks at this stuff in the current DCU editorial offices. Some of their decisions borderline on parody. Issue #62 featured the death of two more characters (more death, sigh) and Miss Martian leaving. The book needs to settle on a direction and a roster soon.

This is EXACTLY the sort of thing that killed the NEW TITANS book years ago. Readers were fine with some shake-ups during Titans Hunt, but then the book never settled down into a solid roster, and devolved into the unforgivable Jaaska era.

I think it's also a problem when all your characters are in a "dark" place (the same problem happened in BUFFY season six..). In NTT, even when Robin was grumpy, Speedy would be flirting. If Cyborg was angsty, Changeling was silly. In the book now, Tim and Cassie are sourpusses, Miss Martian is driven to evil, Kid Devil feels unloved and aliented, etc... there's no balance. Blue Beetle provides a fresh breath of non-angst (and maybe that's just because he has his own title). They need more of those light, human moments for balance to the darker moments and stories.

The book needs a solid roster. The book needs a solid direction and voice. The book needs for Cassie and Tim to stop acting like the worry-wart parents and have them be the capable teens they were before INFINITE CRISIS. Seriously, those two have been so dour since IC, and that's part of the problem... they are divorced from the other characters in the book.

TEEN TITANS isn't completely "broken" as a book. McKeever has tapped into some good stuff since he's taken over. The TERROR TITANS arc was good And after the BLUE AND THE RED issue, I thought the book was on track at last. More of that balance, please.

So, to fix:
-- make a solid roster, and stick with it for awhile
-- start exploring the relationships between all team members, not just subsets
-- lighten up Tim and Cassie
-- balance the dark storyline elements with some lighter, human moments

As for TITANS, #4 is coming out Wednesday. Maybe I'll do an analysis of that book next week. Heaven help me.