Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Hugh Sterbakov NOT on TITANS #14 After All....

Hugh Sterbakov has just posted at comicbloc: "Hey, guys. Just a heads-up, I won't be writing this issue after all. Nothing all that exciting to report here, just some scheduling problems. It's still going to be a Cyborg one-shot, and I'm sure it'll be great."

One wonders what goes on at DC editorial these days....

Sean McKeever: Ravager & The Waiting Place

While his tenure on all but one of the Teen Titans is coming to an end, writer Sean McKeever is returning to the teenagers who broke him into comics in the first place.

Starting in June, McKeever will begin writing one of the ongoing, 10-page "co-feature" format stories as a back-up to Teen Titans issues. Focusing on the Titans character Ravager, the stories will feature pencils by Turkish artist Yildiray Cinar of Noble Causes fame (check out his work here). And McKeever has also confirmed that he's reuniting with artist Mike Norton (Trinity, Green Arrow/Black Canary) to create a new Waiting Place story to be released in September.

NRAMA: You'll still be writing one of the Teen Titans characters as you tackle the new Ravager back-up stories that will run in Teen Titans beginning in June. What can you tell us about those stories?

SM: I can tell you that I'm pretty excited to be writing Ravager still. Anybody who read issue #57 of Teen Titans knows I had a blast writing her there. And I enjoyed writing her in Terror Titans. I think she's a complicated character, and I think she has a lot to still show people about her. And what's exciting about the Ravager back-ups – the "serial," as I'm calling it, because with 10 pages an issue, it is more like a serial style or like those short movie serials that used to come out way back in the day, before I was born – and what's great about these is that we're going to see things from Ravager's point of view. We're going to have a first-person narrative, so you'll actually get into Ravager's head, and I think there will be some revelations, maybe some aspects of her that you didn't realize, in this story.

Read the whole interview here!

Looking forward to Sean's Ravager story!

Blackest Night: Titans Mini-Series

Thanks to DeTroyes from ComicBloc for spotting this (and Andrew NDB for scanning it):
"Some spoilers have started to leak from Blackest Night #0, which comes out on Free Comic Book Day the first weekend of May. Among the items that have leaked are a "checklist" for Blackest Night. Check out the bottom entry on the August 2009 listings: BLACKEST NIGHT: TITANS #1 of 3 (August 2009)"

Looks like DC is really pumping up thsi BLACKEST NIGHT event, building it up like Marvel has done with DARK REIGN. It will be interesting to see how it fares! Now, best guesses on what dead Titans will be brought back?

We already know Bart (Kid Flash) is back, and Superboy is returning soon.

The (Too-Long) List of Dead Titans:
Aquagirl 1
Lilith Clay (Omen)
Hawk 1
Dove 1
Joker's Daughter
Gnarrk (is he dead on "New Earth"?)
Terra 1
Vigilante (Adrian Chase) - ally
Addie Kane - ally
Danny Chase
The Team Titans (erased, probably not technically considered "dead" to DC)
Baby Wildebeest
Terra 2
Power Boy
Little Barda (?)

Did I miss anyone?

Preview: Teen Titans #69

Newsarama has posted a preview of TEEN TITANS #69, which hits stands this Wednesday - along with the TEEN TITANS ANNUAL 2009!

The new Teen Titans line-up debuts next week and Newsarama has your first look preview. TEEN TITANS #69 Written by Sean McKeever; Art by Allan Goldman and Julio Ferreira; Cover by Eddy Barrows and Ruy José Get ready for the debut of the new Teen Titans line-up! What surprising heroes show up as part of the team? Who made the cut and who got sent home? And where do they go from here? This special issue sets the stage for the "Deathtrap" crossover with TITANS, which kicks off in the upcoming TEEN TITANS ANNUAL! DC Universe 32pg. Color $2.99 US On Sale April 1, 2009

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

More From Hugh Sterbakov on TITANS #14

Here's some of Hugh Sterbakov's (Top Cow's FRESHMEN, ROBOT CHICKEN) comments about his upcoming issue, TITANS #14, from comicbloc: "I've always loved Cyborg, and I'm stoked to crack his head open and really explore the whole man vs. machine argument. Your first instinct about that debate, I think, is to automatically run to the defense of humanity and expect someone in Vic's metal shoes to cling to the flesh, but you can't just do that blindly. In fact, as I was discussing this with the editors, one of the things that came up was, "Well, it's starting to sound like the machine aspect is better." These are emotions you have to crack, you can't just take them for granted and assume you know how someone would feel in this situation.

My comic, Freshmen, has a pretty cool mechanic where every issue is narrated by a different character, and I try to make sure you learn several new things about the narrator in every issue. Things that aren't inherently obvious. Like, for example-- hang with me here-- we've got a talking beaver (it's true) who sort of becomes the reluctant brains of the team, because he's super-smart. But he's still a beaver-- he's still obsessed with building dams-- and when you get inside his head, you realize just how much of an outcast he is with human kids. It's not all fun and games, he's the only talking beaver on Earth and he's all alone, no matter how much this other species tries to relate to him. In some ways, that's Vic, too.

I don't want to give too much away, but Vic will be in a pretty dark place at the beginning of my story, and I'll be exploring whether he even wants to climb out of it, let alone how. It's a way, way different tone from Freshmen, but I'm really excited about it.

Now all that having been said, you're probably thinking this sounds like a morose issue re-examining a character with the same themes you've seen a thousand times, but trust me-- that ain't all there is to it. The core of the story is a cool mystery that spins out of a small detail in Deathtrap and leads Vic into his past, and there are plenty of great action scenes that will make you think about Vic's tech in a whole new light. And the ending is a nice little surprise.

Looking forward to hearing what you guys think!"

Sounds like a lot for one issue. But that's a GOOD thing.

OK, now I'm a bit intrigued.

Hugh Sterbakov on TITANS #14

Hugh Sterbakov, guest writer on the upcoming TITANS #14, commented on the issue on his blog: "I didn't realize the solicits were coming out today, but I guess the cat's out of the bag. The publisher I mentioned that I've been working on some ideas with is DC, and the first thing that has come to fruition is a one-shot story in Titans, which is a series that reunites the original Teen Titans as adults. It's a team very much in flux, however, since the lead character, Dick Grayson (the first Robin), has gone off to be involved with Batman: Battle for the Cowl and the other ramifications of Bruce Wayne being dead. (For those of you who don't read comics, Batman is currently dead. And in other related news, nobody who ever dies in comics ever stays dead). I'm not taking over the book, and don't have much idea where it's going after my story. I'm just doing this one issue, which is based on an idea I brought them for the character of Cyborg.

This is a very personal, introspective story with Cyborg taking stock of his situation, and grappling with the inner struggle of his character, which is a man vs. machine dichotomy. Happened to be very similar to the themes I'm tackling in my SciFi pilot, which is weird, but at least I was already in the mindset. There will be a good amount of action, though, since the story came together nicely as a little bit of an epilogue to a big crossover event they're about to begin."

Titans In June

DC Comics has released solicitation information and images for new comics and products shipping in June 2009.

Written by Bryan Miller and Sean McKeever
Art and cover by Joe Bennett & Jack Jadson
Thirty pages of story content! In the first feature, Wonder Girl’s leadership is put to the test as the team faces the all-new Fearsome Five! In the debut of the 10-page co-feature, Ravager goes solo for the first time, continuing her descent into darkness begun in TERROR TITANS.
On sale June 24 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US

Written by Hugh Sterbakov
Art by Angel Unzueta & Wayne Faucher
Cover by Angel Unzueta
Starting this issue, we begin one-shot “Day in the Life” stories. And this issue stars Cyborg! In the grueling aftermath of the “Deathtrap” arc, Vic Stone must face the very teammates he feels he let down big-time. How he deals with it will shock you!
On sale June 10 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

Written by Art Baltazar & Franco
Art and cover by Art Baltazar
It’s Robin’s birthday party, and you’re invited! See what the Tiny Titans get him for the big day. Plus, Cyborg learns what continuity is and why sometimes it works against you. And join Mrs. Atom, Dot and Crumb for a day of shopping.
On sale June 17 • 32 pg, FC, $2.50 US


Written by Geoff Johns
Art and covers by Ethan Van Sciver
At last, the answer to the question that’s plagued DC fans for decades: Who’s faster, Superman or The Flash? Call your bookie and bet the farm, because you’ve never seen a run like this – and if speedsters keep dying at the pace they’re going, you might never see another one again!
Retailers please note: This issue will ship with two covers. For every 25 copies of the Standard Edition (with a cover by Ethan Van Sciver), retailers may order one copy of the Variant Edition (with a cover by Ethan Van Sciver). Please see the Previews Order Form for more information.
On sale June 10 • 3 of 5 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

Written by Michael Green & Mike Johnson
Art and cover by Francis Manapul
It’s the action-packed finale of "Mash-Up"! Superman and Batman team with the Justice Titans to take down the worst villains in Gothamopolis! But who is the hidden mastermind behind this topsy-turvy world?
On sale June 17 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US


Saturday, March 21, 2009

Teen Titans in "Wednesday Comics"

Newsarama has announced "Wednesday Comics": " The publisher today officially announced Wednesday Comics, a new 12-part weekly series launching this summer that will be presented in a 14” x 20” broadsheet format and will have to be unfolded and opened to be read. The "Wednesday" part of the title refers to the fact new comic books go on sale at comic book stores nationwide every Wednesday."

" Characters coming up in the pages of
Wednesday Comics include: Hawkman (already linked to creator Kyle Baker art for which can be seen here), Batman, Adam Strange, Metamorpho (linked to Neil Gaiman and Mike Allred), Catwoman, Demon, Deadman, Kamandi, Superman, Sgt. Rock, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Teen Titans, Supergirl, Flash and the Metal Men . Each story will have its own full-page installment each week for the 12 issues. The stories may be standalone stories with each installment, or a 12-part serial – the choice was left up to the creators."

Sean Galloway is providing the art for TEEN TITANS, and he's posted a preview on
his blog: "I told ya this year was the year I'm doing more sequentials. :) The story I'm working on is a 12 pager. [...] Also here's what I did first to get a good feel of the characters. I was given the liberty to cheeks-ify them."

They look pretty cool! Check out another image and Cheek's blog here!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Thoughts On McKeever's Departure

I'm really bummed at the news.

I've been a fan of Sean's work over at Marvel (SPIDER-MAN LOVES MARY JANE and GRAVITY), and I was really excited when he took over TEEN TITANS. Sean really has a knack for writing teenagers. And although I've enjoyed Sean's run, I always felt that something was holding back the full potential of what he could do on the book without editorial interference and mandates.

But Sean leaves some Titans legacy in his wake:
-- He masterfully continued Rose Wilson's story and led her in new directions (helping to make her the breakout character she is today).
-- He continued to develop Eddie Bloomberg.
-- He gave us the future-classic Red Devil/Blue Beetle team.
-- He delved deeper into Miss Martian's backstory.
-- He gave us an intriguing new set of adversaries (not exactly villains!) with the Terror Titans.
-- And let's not forget - he helped redeem Cassie... explaining her erratic behavior and freeing her from Ares' and Zeus' influence.

There were some great moments in his run, wasn't there?
So for all that and more, thanks Sean! You've now a proud part of Titans history.

And hey, still looking forward to seeing what you have in store for Ravager!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Sean McKeever Leaves TEEN TITANS

It is with sad news I bring this message from Sean McKeever:

"Hey, everyone. A bit of good news/bad news for you. Which is which will depend upon your opinion of my work, I guess...

I have decided to leave Teen Titans. My last issue will be #71.

It's been a wild ride for 22 issues (plus an Annual and Terror Titans)--sometimes good, sometimes bad, and often awesome. I've really come to care about these kids during my tenure, but now it's time for me to place my focus elsewhere.

However, you will still see my name in Teen Titans for a while, as I'm writing the Ravager co-feature in the back of the book. It's gonna be great to get inside Rose's head and write her with a first-person narrative. (Of which you'll get a preview in my last full issue.)

Because of this decision, it's likely that you won't see me in this thread a great deal. There isn't a lot about the Ravager story that I want to reveal in detail and I obviously don't have much to tell you about the future of the title's main course.

I want to thank you all for your questions, enthusiasm, praise and criticisms. It's been a real pleasure communicating with some of the title's most passionate fans."

Speaking for myself, I will miss Sean on the title. I was a big fan of his work over at Marvel (SPIDER-MAN LOVES MARY JANE and GRAVITY). I've enjoyed a lot of the moments Sean has brought the title in the last 22 issues. Thanks, Sean!

WriterS on TITANS

Newsarama reports, in Dan Didio's 20 Answers:

12) It’s been reported that Judd won’t be writing Titans after the “Deathtrap” crossover concludes – who will be taking over the writing on that series?

DD: That will be announced at a later date, but I can guarantee you that there will be writers on Titans following Judd Winick’s departure.

Hmmm. WriterS. Plural. Wonder if that means co-writers (like Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin Gray) -- or a fill-in writer for a story arc, followed by a regular fulltime writer?

Monday, March 16, 2009

Preview: Vigilante #4 (part 1 of "Deathtrap")

It Begins here!

Vigilante #4: The 'Deathtrap' x-over with th Titans titles kicks off next month, but all roads in Vigilante are leading to it VIGILANTE #4 Written by Marv Wolfman; Pencils by Rick Leonardi and John Stanisci; Cover by Walter Simonson After interrogating Nightwing for information leading to the capture of Jericho, Vigilante has trained his sights on another member of the Titans. This time, Vigilante's search for the traitor brings him to Titans Tower, but when he breaks into their headquarters, he finds himself face-to-face against the mighty Cyborg! Let the battle begin! DC Universe 32pg. Color $2.99 US On Sale March 18, 2009

click here for preview!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Blue Beetle & Ravager to Get 'Co-Features' in DC Titles

I'm squeeing like a fanboy. Ravager in solo tales!

From Newsarama: " In June, both Teen Titans and Booster Gold (prior to the launch of Doom Patrol, which debuts later in the summer) will gain their own co-features: Ravager and Blue Beetle, respectively. The co-features will be presented in pages added in addition to the regular series’ stories."

" According to DiDio, the Blue Beetle and Ravage stories will pick up on threads from the recently canceled Blue Beetle series, as well as Ravager’s storyline in Terror Titans, and will continue to move the characters in their own directions.

“We’ve listened to things that people are saying, and there are a lot of well-loved characters out there that for whatever reason can’t support a series at this time,” DiDio said. “This approach, we feel, gives them a chance to shine and attract new readers and fans as well, and more importantly, add value to our books as well.”

The move is, as DiDio pointed out, a return of sorts for DC, as he pointed back to his own days of a fan when Firestorm appeared as a second feature in the ongoing Flash series. Those stories, DiDio said, are still fondly remembered by fans today, and also still have ramifications decades down the road."

Read the whole story here.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Sean McKeever at NYCC 2009

From Newsarma 2009 Coverage: Sean McKeever talks about collaborating with Marv Wolfman on "Deathtrap." He also talks about his favorite Titans characters to write (you may be able to guess who!) and about "finally" being allowed to use Static!

check it out here.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Nightwing 1991 Mini-Series Redux

For the full scoop on the aborted mini-series, check out the exclusive info on titanstower.com's
"Cutting Room Floor" page. It's under "Titans Hunt Era"

Now, for the strange but cool lost piece: Nightwing and Starfire redesigned by Art Thibert. It's oh so terribly 90s. I wonder if future generations will wonder why the early 90s seemed plagued with falling debris and lots of random smoke. Also, they will imagine that there were contests where, the person who wore the most pouches won... something. Also, the captioner doesn't even recognize Starfire! Ha!

Oh, 90s.

A blogger has posted some additional information on the aborted Nightwing mini-series, as Comic Book Legends reports: "check here for promo art Thibert did for the aborted Nightwing mini-series I mentioned last week (as Frank notes, while the end result was that Nightwing and Starfire were to be married, the specifics of the mini-series from the original plan by Jonathan Peterson, Marv Wolfman and Thibert to the promotional information about the mini-series changed a bit)."

Amazing Heroes #202 featured some upcoming plans for Titans related characters. Like many of those plans, they ended up on the cutting room floor.

Here's what that issue had to say about Nightwing: "Nightwing gets his first limited series when Starfire is put into a coma, and Nightwing must find out who did it. Unfortunately, her sickness becomes so serious that he begins to lose his grip, and his former mentor Batman must intervene. Can Batman get the original Robin back on his feet? And what will Starfire say when Nightwing proposes to her? (Let's just say that Clark and Lois won't be the only engaged couple in the DC Universe!)
Issues: 4. Writers: Art Thibert & Pam Winesette. Artist: Art Thibert. Ships: ?"

For fun, here was the description of the Hybrid ongoing series that never was: "Hybrid and Deathstroke are both recruited into the Brotherhood of Evil, but Hybrid revolts. A team of young humans who have been mutated, they are outcasts. The tycoon Steve Dayton hires them to be a protection squad for his Dayton Industries, but does he have another purpose for them? Writer: Len Wein. Penciller: Art Nichols. Inker: George Perez. Ships: ?"

"Ships: ?" is right, huh?

The plans for New Titans, Deathstroke and Team Titans were more or less what we got, with one additional bit in Team Titans: "This team's Terra decides to join the regular Titans because of her attraction to Changeling. She's replaced by a guy called Battalion, who's.... well, you can probably figure out what he's like."

It was exactly at this point that the whole Titans franchise collapsed when Jonathan Peterson left DC abruptly. It's sort of a shame, because he was really building up the Titans corner of the DCU.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Preview: Terror Titans #6

DC Comics has provided Newsarama with a preview of this week's Terror Titans #6 by Sean McKeever and Joe Bennett. The solicitation for the issue reads: It's the explosive finale! Clock King's final, twisted plan terrorizes Los Angeles. Can Ravager stop it? Will she even want to? What role will Static play? And when the dust settles, how will each of the Terror Titans feel about the Clock King, their team...and themselves?

Monday, March 02, 2009

Winick Officially Off TITANS

Titanstower.com fan Paul reports from Florida's MegaCon:

"Hey I just wanted to pass on this info since most newsites are only reporting on WonderCon. Saturday at MegaCon during the DC Univers panel I asked if Winnick would still be the writer of Titans post Deathtrap. Dan Didio said no he wouldn't and a new writer would be named soon. I don't know why the DC Nation panel at MegaCon was reported on but no one has covered the DC Universe one. Just wanted to let you know so you could pass along the good news."

Titans fans have been speculating this for months. For whatever reasons, the TITANS launch has been horrible. Let's hope DC lines up someone suitable to replace Winick!

Sunday, March 01, 2009

February 28th is George Perez Day

From Newsarama: " The Hero Initiative also hosted the DC Universe panel, where Perez was given a very special surprise, in that Saturday, February 28, 2009 was declared by the County as “George Perez Day” in Orange County!"

Couldn't happen to a nicer, more talented guy!

Titans News from Mega-Con

Newsarama reports: " The DC Nation made its convention circuit stop at , where Senior VP – Executive Editor Dan DiDio was joined by Jimmy Palmiotti and Vince Letterio, director of Direct Sales to discuss where the DC Nation is heading in the coming year." Here's some Titans-related highlights:

"A fan asked if that type of storytelling comes from Didio’s soap opera background?

“Yes,” Didio replied. “We try to be flexible if we see a character breaking out.” He pointed to Ravager as an example. When sales of Titans spiked each time Ravager appeared on the cover, they knew they were on to something, which prompted the Terror Titans series, which fans in the voiced they liked.

[...] QUESTION: What about the case of Conner? [the question pertains to Conner Kent aka Superboy]

DD - Conner who? Amanda Conner is now a Black Lantern (laughter from the audience). Seriously, a lot of characters will be addressed, but I don’t want to give much away. There will be some mini series feeding off of it. But we are looking it over to see where such mini series would make the most sense before we go ahead. As Geoff (Johns) has been writing the story, we see places where he wants to have more story and pages, and that’s’ where we want to spin off mini series for tangent stories."

I think it's interesting that Ravager covers equal a bump in sales. Ever since the 90s, I've thought Rose Wilson had the potential to become a breakout character. And here we are!

Titans News from WonderCon

CBR's Saturday coverage of WonderCon continues with the DC Universe panel.

-- The first fan was the woman from Friday's panel who read questions at the request of her boyfriend. Today's question comes via text message, and asks why Wonder Girl no longer wears her magic bracelet. “This guy really is in another state,” Casey joked. Gehrlein said there is a reason, and “keep reading 'Teen Titans.'”

-- Wally West will still play a role in the DC Universe after “Flash Rebirth,” Sattler said.

-- Which version of the “Doom Patrol” will the series feature? “There are acknowledgements of previous versions, we're not saying that all that never happened,” Gehrlein said. “But we want to make this as accessible as possible.”

Dr. Doom Patrol: Keith Giffen

Newsarama reports: " The team may have been around since the 1960s, but when a new Doom Patrol series launches later this year, writer Keith Giffen is determined to make the comic a fresh, new take on the dysfunctional group of heroes."

"NRAMA: What about some of the later characters like Mento, Beast Boy, Bumblebee or Vox? Are we going to see those characters showing up at all during the series?

KG: You'll see them show up sooner or later. You'll see some show up much sooner. There are a few characters other than the big three that show up in the first issue.

NRAMA: Does that mean the comic may feature more than just those three members and Chief eventually?

KG: Yeah, but I didn't want to start with a team that had, like, eight members right off the bat. I wanted to introduce the readers to the concept slowly. I'd like to think the people who are very familiar with Doom Patrol will see that we're honoring the basic concept of the Doom Patrol and what has gone before, but also showing that there are things you didn't know about these characters. There will be even more for you to learn about them. And for new readers, we're creating even more interesting characters so they'll want to come along for the ride."

Read the whole article here.