Tuesday, September 29, 2009

If I Ran Titans: Deathstroke's Team

Deathstroke leading the Titans? How will that work?

OK, here's my take, "If I Ran The Titans":

The mysterious Mr. Orr approaches Deathstroke to lead his secret government-sponsored black-ops team on specially picked missions. Slade will be paid hansomly, but the real enticement is that Orr promises Slade that he can restore Jericho - both mind and body - through a combination of therapy and cyber-surgery. His team is a mix of unwanted, lost and morally questionable characters.

Ravager: Rose Wilson joins the team with the sole purpose of bringing back her brother. She doesn't trust her father or Orr, so she's there to keep on eye on them both. And she really hates taking orders from her father. So many time, she rebels against them.

Bombshell: Amy is chosen for her military training. She's Slade's second-in-command - a role that infuriates Rose, who still holds a grudge against Bombshell. Ultimately, Bombshell finds herself in the surprising role of the galvanizing leader - taking the responsibility of making sure everyone's personal agendas don't effect their missions.

Risk: Cody Driscoll signs up with Deathstroke's team for two reasons: First, Orr outfits Risk with cybernetic arms. Second, Risk wants to atone for his crimes and start a road to redemption. It's a tough journey ahead, as Cody is a danger-junkie with some self-loathing going on. But Bombshell becomes an odd source of strength and inspiration for Risk. And he may need it - because - can you really trust a gift from Mr. Orr and expect no strings attached?

Gemini: Captured from the Brotherhood of Evil, Mr. Orr forces Gemini on Deathstroke's team for her stealth skills. Gemini claims to have changed her ways, but the girl has deep-seeded psychological issues. This makes her a target for Deathstroke's manipulations, but also makes her extremely dangerous and untrustworthy.

Molecule: Thought dead after being sliced in half by the Terror Titans, something strange happened... Molecule replicated into two bodies. It was at that moment teen genius Jon Levine learned that in addition to his shrinking abilities, Molecule could create a seemingly endless amount of duplicates. Now, when Molecule needs to brainstorm his newest insane science theories on robotics and tech, he replicates and creates his own mini-science team - all of himself! Molecule was drafted for his genius-level intelligence in the area of cyber-technology, but he finds himself at odds with his morally-compromised members. His real goal is to fnd his long-lost twin sister: Carrie Levine.

Dreadbolt: Once a Terror Titan, Dreadbolt finds himself completely lost. Still reeling from killing his father, he has yet to decide if he's a cold-blooded killer - or if he has a shot at redemption. It's not helping matters than one of his teammates is Molecule - who he tried to murder with his Terror Titans comrades.

Sungirl: A complete and utter opportunist, Sungirl will do whatever she needs to get what she wants. Her plans are never vast world-conquest ideas, but more about whatever selfish needs she desires at any given moment. She often pits her own team member against each other - sometimes for the sheer thrill of watching misery unfold. She takes an interest in both Risk and Dreadbolt - and they should probably be careful not to get too close to her - lest they get burned.

Red X: A complete and utter mystery, no one knows why Red X is member of the team of who lies beneath the mask.

Deatshtroke: Initially taking the Titans leadership role for his own reasons, Slade ends up becoming strangely protective of his lost and lonely brood. He also starts to see the team as a way to bring Rose and Jericho close to him - and perhaps have a chance at family again.

Upcoming Stories:

Deathstroke and his Titans are charged with taking down the Wildebeest Society, who are performing wild experiments based on the old Wildebeest tech. They cross paths with an all-new wild and feral Pantha, the sister of the original who wants revenge on the Wildebeest. Can even Red Star reign her in? And with Mirage hot on the Wildebeest trail as well, could Carrie Levine be one of the Wildebeest's captives?

When Deatshroke's team of Titans needs to rescue the surviving Phantom Limbs from Zandia, will Gemini betray the team to the Brotherhood of Evil? And when Cyborgirl shows up, what role will she play?

Clues indicate that Sweet Lili Worth, Rose's mother, may still be alive. Can Rose believe it? Or is a cruel trick of one of the Titans' adversaries? Or even, one of Rose's own teammates?


Preview: Blackest Night: Titans #2

IGN has posted a 5-page preview of BLACKEST NIGHT: TITANS #2:

Blackest Night: Titans #2 Preview
Donna Troy's nightmare is just beginning.

September 28, 2009 -
Blackest Night: Titans #2
Written by: JT Krul
Art by: Ed Benes
Price: $2.99
Release Date: September 30, 2009

Titan-on-Titan violence! Black Lantern Hawk has his talons set for the female Hawk and Dove!

Meanwhile, Red Star faces a frightful family reunion with Black Lanterns Pantha and Wildebeest, and Donna Troy faces her worst possible nightmare! Plus, Black Lantern Terra terrorizes Beast Boy!

Continuing the 3-issue miniseries from writer J.T. Krul (JSA CLASSIFIED, Fathom) and superstar artist Ed Benes (JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA)!


Preview: TEEN TITANS #75

DC Universe: The Source has posted a preview of TEEN TITANS #75:

Things are changing over at Titans Tower, as writer Felicia D. Henderson, also a co-executive producer for the hit TV show ‘Fringe’, teams up with artist Joe Bennett and an all-star cast of Titans past and present to celebrate the 75th issue of the series, and to usher in a new and fresh take on DC’s premier teen team.

TEEN TITANS #75 hits 9/30.


10 Answers with Didio: Titans News

Some Titans news from Newsarama's 10 Answers with Dan Didio:

1) needcomicmoney wrote:
Is Titans going to be cancelled? With Donna, Kory and Vic going to the League and Beast Boy and Raven seemingly returning to the Teen Titans it looks like there will be no need for this book to continue.

Dan DiDio: We're going to have a new Titans team coming your way very soon. You'll see a lot of familiar faces, and maybe a couple new ones. And more importantly, it's being led by Deathstroke. So I think you'll see a new direction for the series, and hopefully, people will stick on board. I don't want to give away what the story is about, but it's tied very closely to Titans lore, and it's also tied very closely to a lot of events taking place in Justice League. So a lot of your familiar faces of Titans, just because they might be on other teams doesn't mean you won't be seeing them in the book.

Newsarama: But the Titans team that is led by Deathstroke is separate from the Teen Titans comic, correct?

DiDio: Correct. This will also show a clear delineation between the two teams and their goals.

Nrama: Some comics have shown Kid Flash and Superboy as part of the Teen Titans team. Will that be reflected within the Teen Titans series eventually?

DiDio: The two characters, Superboy and Kid Flash/Bart Allen, have both come back from what we deem to be traumatic experiences. So one of the first things we wanted to do with them was to re-establish them back in current time, re-establish them with their supporting cast. And from there, once we think the time is right, see how they fit within the superhero community and which teams they might end up on.

Nrama: I think a lot of the confusion comes from how Superboy was shown in Adventure Comics as being part of Teen Titans, and now he's going to be leaving that title as Paul Levitz takes over. The question is where he'll end up if not within the Teen Titans comic itself?

DiDio: I think one of the logical places to see Superboy is in Teen Titans. But that's not to say he won't be making appearances in other books too.


Nrama: So when you say Superboy may show up in other comics, does this indicate Conner's fans will see him in the Superman books?

DiDio: There's a good chance of that.

3) Cyfin wrote:
Can you tell us any more about the upcoming Kid Flash series? When it will be starting, who might be penciling it, anything at all? I've been a huge fan of Bart since the Impulse days, and I'm very excited for his new series.

DiDio: I think we announced that Sterling Gates is writing it. And what you're going to see is it premiering somewhere around April or May of next year. It will launch about a month after the launch of the new Flash book.

Nrama: So there's no artist attached yet?

DiDio: At this particular time, I've got a couple of artists who are under consideration. But right now, we're getting the story worked out in conjunction with the events that are going to be unfolding in both Flash and Blackest Night: Flash.

Not sure what to think of all this. The Deathstroke-led Titans team? I'm not sure how that can work, since DC has turned Deatshtroke from anti-hero to outright super-evil dude. This is probably the make-or-break move for the TITANS series... fan-wise and sales-wise.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Ravager "Fresh Hell" Update

Sean McKeever has posted an update on comicbloc concerning the TEEN TITANS co-feature he is writing:

Hey, all!

Just wanted you to know that the Ravager serial will be bowing out of TT 77 & 78 to make room for Blackest Night (and Ravager in the main story)! Yildiray and I will be back in 79 for part 6 of "Fresh Hell", which as of a few months ago was reconfigured into a 9-part story.

Really enjoyed Miller's arc on the book and looking forward to Henderson's take.

If you're going to Mid-Ohio-Con next week, or Baltimore Comic-Con the next week, drop by and say hi!


I'm really enjoying Sean's "Fresh Hell" and NOMAD! The Ravager co-feature has been one of the bright spots in the Titans franchise these days. I'm a little sad it went from 12-parts to 9-parts, but at least we get a 2-part Deathstroke/Rose story by JT Krul in trade.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Top 20 Iconic Titans Covers

Comic Book Resources is doing a nice job of selecting the top "iconic" covers of various series and characters. So, I decided to do my own feature on the "Top Twenty Iconic Titans Covers." Basically, anything is eligible from the Titans inception to present day. The covers must be memorable and indelibly capture a moment in Titans history. So let's start the countdown....

20. TEEN TITANS #50 [1977]: East meets West as the Teen Titans collide with Titans West in this cover by Rich Buckler. Typical of the 1970s era covers, this one is chocked full of characters, with the tease that there's a big fight within its pages. This issue fully introduced Titans West, while the cover image contains more Titans than you can shake a stick at. And for fans new and old, there was definitely enough intriguing characters that would make any fanboy want to part with his 35 cents.

19. TEEN TITANS #26 [1970]: The Titans got revel ant, leaving their costumed identities to work for Mr. Jupiter. With the hepcat talk and harmless tomfoolery behind them, this cover marked a dramatic departure from the Titans of old. In a classic cover by Nick Cardy, an air of mystery pr evades. Why have the Titans given up their costumes? Where are they going? It also doesn't hurt that Nick Cardy was fantastic at drawing young characters - in or out of costumes - and gave us one of the sexiest versions of Donna Troy ever.

18. NEW TITANS #71 [1990]: The banner says "Happy Anniversary", but Nightwing looks none too happy in this classic cover by Tom Grummett. That's because this issue marked the beginning of the "Titans Hunt" storyline, where the members were abducted on the eve of their third anniversary as a team. Nightwing's expression - surrounded by the remnants of his friends - was an ominous image. Adding to the mood, is the clever shadow of the Wildebeest looming over Nightwing.

17. NEW TEEN TITANS (second series) #1 [1984]: Another iconic team shot by George Perez, launching the team into an all-new series.

16. BRAVE AND THE BOLD #54 [1964]: This is the one that started it all! The teen trio gathers in the first unofficial Teen Titans appearance. Bruno Premiani provides the cover art, a memorable image of three teen heroes held hostage by a nasty old man. The cover said "generation gap with super-heroes", which was a theme of the classic Haney/Cardy run.

15. NEW TEEN TITANS #13 [1981]: As the Marv Wolfman/George Perez run began to hit its stride, George treated us to this chilling cover. Back in the days when covers were designed to make fanboys plunk down their 60 cents for a comic, this one definitely captured attention. So much so, the animators behind Cartoon Network's TEEN TITANS replicated this cover in an episode featuring the Doom Patrol.

14. NEW TEEN TITANS #30 [1983]: No one does group team shots better than George Perez. And this cover proves it! Terra joins the team. And no one suspected the heartache that would follow...

13. TEEN TITANS #1 [2003]: Rescuing the Titans franchise from its doldrums, Geoff John and Mike McKone electrified fans with their new take on the Teen Titans. The very first issue established the new status quo - with the former Young Justice members taking center stage, while the former Titans were to lend support. Mike McKone became a signature Titans artist in a short time - and this cover provided an iconic look at the new teen team. Mike later reversed this image, allowing the former Titans - Beast Boy, Raven, Starfire and Cyborg - to take center in TEEN TITANS #12.

12. TITANS #15 [2000]: The Gargoyle returned to bedevil the Titans in this issue, but the cover by Phil Jimenez lovingly captured the Fab Five in their current incarnations. There's a nice nod to the group's origins with Mr. Twister, and their icons, both old and new. The bold design created the most striking cover of the TITANS 50-issue run.

11. NEW TEEN TITANS #34 [1983]: Everyone looks so happy to welcome Terra into the ranks of the Teen Titans. This was before they discovered she was a dirty skank working with the Terminator. The image of Deathstroke blasting the image away was a perfect portent - as Terra's duplicity would be revealed this issue - sending fanboys reeling. George was on top of his game and inking his own covers at this point - producing a gorgeous image that told a different story once you knew the secret that was contained within its pages.

The countdown continues....

10. TITANS #23-25 [2000]: Donna Troy's history may give some of us a headache, but Phil Jimenez helped ease the pain with this stunning triptych cover for the "Who Is Troia?" story arc. The scans barely capture the painstaking detail poured onto the page, as every Donna Troy factoid is captured loving in this image. Also? No one draws Donna Troy quite like Phil Jimenez.

9. TEEN TITANS: YEAR ONE #1: Karl Kerschl perfectly captures the essence of the Teen Titans formative days. In the shadows of their mentors, the exuberant teen heroes burst forth to gather as a team for the first time! Kerschl's expressive style captured the joy of the Cardy-era without resorting to parody. Indeed, Karl created his own indelible stamp of these characters, most notably the awkward and sickly-looking Aqualad.

8. TEEN TITANS #14 [1968]: The Haney/Cardy run of TEEN TITANS is often remembered for its goofball charm. It was the era of Robin-O, Twinkle Toes, Gillhead and Wonder Chick. Perhaps that why this moody cover by Nick Cardy is so memorable. Thrusting Robin into the spotlight, this cover set a chilling tone for what lie inside - as the grotesque Gargoyle attacked the Titans at their very souls. The slanted angle added to the dynamic image - and the ghostly images of the Titans prodding Robin to quit sent chills up readers' spines. The cover was gorgeously replicated by Karl Kerschl in TEEN TITANS: YEAR ONE #6.

7. TALES OF THE TEEN TITANS #44 [1984]: It was the pentultimate chapter of "The Judas Contract." Deathstroke had captured all the Titans except Dick Grayson. Terra had just betrayed them all. And a mysterious mute dude showed up at Titans Tower's doorstep with his chain-smoking mom. So much was packed into this issue - including Deatshtroke's origin and the debuts of both Nightwing and Jericho. Known for his detailed art, George Perez gave each story its proper due, with this three-pronged image, each third telling it's very own story. Classic.

6. JLA/TITANS #1-3 [1998]: Phil Jimenez goes overboard - including everyone who was ever a Titan, plus a good number of Justice Leaguers for good measure. It's a "where's Waldo" of Titans lore, with obscurities like Azrael and Minion. A Titans history lesson all in one massive triptych cover, beautifully rendered by Phil.

5. NEW TEEN TITANS #39 [1983]: In another provocative cover design by George Perez, this issue marks the departure of Robin and Kid Flash. The easy out would have been a bold cover with someone yelling "I quit!" Instead, George borrowed a bit from John Romita's classic image of Peter Parker leaving his Spidey suit in the trash. This time, our two heroes are leaving their costumes behind, cleverly strewn on the logo, while they walk away with their backs to us. A little mysterious and unexpected, this image left an indelible impression, and was homaged years later in TITANS #13.

4. NEW TEEN TITANS #38 [1983]: Who Is Donna Troy? We've been asking that question for over 20 years now, yes. But back then, the question was finally resolved (or so we thought), as Dick Grayson uncovered the secrets of Donna's past. A moody personal interest story, George Perez eschewed the usual overblown cover-bait tactics and instead, gave us a memorable noirish image of Robin, the detective. In an era when fisticuffs ruled the spinner racks, this one stood head and shoulders above the crowd.

3. SECRET ORIGINS ANNUAL #3 [1989]: This issue cleaned up the Titans' Post-Crisis history under a stunning cover by George Perez. Never one to shy away from group shots, this awesome image tracked the history of the Titans through the ages, along with the evolution of the fab five. Dick Grayson rightfully takes center stage, while the "T" design creates a nice symmetry. Leave it to George Perez to distill 25 years of history into one image.

2. TEEN TITANS #23 [1969]: Back off, tigers, the new Wonder Girl is here! As Marvel Comics became more and more popular, the Titans started swinging into the 1970s, losing some of their square all-too-safe charm. Nick Cardy designed a new mod-inspired costume for Wonder Girl that made everyone sit up and take notice. This is another cover that has been homaged several times - most notably by George Perez when Donna Troy became Troia in NEW TITANS #55.

1. NEW TEEN TITANS #1 [1980]: Well, duh. The grand-daddy of all Titans covers, this symmetrical image by George Perez featured a bold introduction of the now-classic (then New) Teen Titans. The memorable group shot is enhanced with the inclusion of the alien Gordanian claws in each corner, hinting at the danger the teen team was about to face. Like many George Perez group images, each character is visually introduced, allowing their powers and personality to shine.

The cover itself has been countlessly imitated - even by George himself - in NEW TEEN TITANS #130 , The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide #35, TITANS SECRET FILES #1, TEEN TITANS (third series) #1 alternate cover, TEEN TITANS: TERROR OF TRIGON trade paperback, TEEN TITANS (third series) #25, and TEEN TITANS (third series) #41.

Now that's iconic.


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Titans in December

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

Written by J.T. Krul
Art and cover by Joe Bennett & Jack Jadson
An unexpected BLACKEST NIGHT team-up! Ravager has sworn to kill her father Deathstroke. But what happens when they re forced to fight side-by-side against their dead friends and relatives? Will they kill each other before the Black Lanterns do?
On sale December 23 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US

Written by Mike Johnson
Art by Angel Unzueta & Wayne Faucher
Cover by Angel Unzueta
Spotlight on Donna Troy! What happens when a young twenty-something woman feels like she grew up too fast and deprived herself of a twenty-something kind of life? As Donna ponders this, the Fearsome Five continue their Titans revenge streak. They picked the wrong time to do it&
On sale December 9 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

Written by Art Baltazar & Franco
Art and cover by Art Baltazar
Wayne Manor has been overrun! There are penguins in the tub and bunnies in the bedroom, penguins in the freezer and bunnies in the fridge, penguins and bunnies everywhere they've even driven the bats out of the Batcave! Poor Robin is caught in the middle of the bunny-penguin turf war and has to figure out how everyone can live together peacefully! (PS. Did we mention the penguins and bunnies?)
On sale December 16 • 32 pg, FC, $2.50 US

Written by Scott Kolins, Sterling Gates, Amy Wolfram, Fred Van Lente, Jay Faerber, Beau Smith, David Tischman, Jay Torres and others
Art by Scott Kolins, Jeff Lemire, Daniel Liester and others
Cover by Dustin Nguyen
It s that time of year! You t miss your favorite characters bringing good cheer to all. Even Deadman and wana Beast find ways to celebrate the spirit of the season!
ONE-SHOT • On sale December 9 • 80 pg, FC, $5.99 US

Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Jerry Ordway; co-feature art by Francis Manapul
Cover by Jerry Ordway
Variant cover by Francis Manapul
Concluding the 2-part BLACKEST NIGHT tale of Superboy-Prime! The Black Lanterns have forced Prime to face his deepest and darkest fears, but what - and who - are they? And how will Superboy-Prime strike back after this devastating attack?
Plus, Conner Kent faces off with Superman's greatest enemy in an exciting co-feature by Geoff Johns and Francis Manapul. That's right: Superboy confronts Lex Luthor!
Retailers please note: This issue will ship with two covers. For every 10 copies of the Standard Edition (with a cover by Jerry Ordway), retailers may order one copy of the Variant Edition (with a cover by Francis Manapul and renamed and renumbered ADVENTURE COMICS #508). Please see the Previews Order Form for more information.
On sale December 9 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US

Written by Peter J. Tomasi
Art by Fernando Pasarin & Jay Leisten
Cover by Tom Mandrake
The Outsiders loved ones are returning from the grave in this BLACKEST NIGHT tie-in, and the stirring turn of events forces the team to make some difficult choices as they struggle to survive the night and stop the Black Lanterns. But the battle will be a dangerous one, and the repercussions of this issue will be felt throughout the next year!
On sale December 16 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US

Written by Geoff Johns
Art and cover by Ivan Reis & Oclair Albert
Variant cover by Rodolfo Migliari
Sketch variant cover by Ivan Reis
The secrets of Nekron are revealed as darkness consumes the DC Universe.
Everything else: TOP SECRET.
Retailers please note: This issue will ship with three covers. For every 25 copies of the Standard Edition (with a cover by Ivan Reis & Oclair Albert), retailers may order one copy of the Variant Edition (with a cover by Rodolfo Migliari). For every 100 copies of the Standard Edition, retailers may order one copy of the Sketch Variant Edition (with a cover by Ivan Reis). Please see the Previews Order Form for more information.

Written by Keith Giffen; co-feature written by Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis
Art and cover by Justiniano & Livesay; co-feature art by Kevin Maguire
The Doom Patrol battle to the death with their former teammates in this BLACKEST NIGHT tie-in! Faced with the imminent deaths of the entire population of Oolong Island and desperate for options, they abandon their roles as the World s Strangest Super Heroes and take up their new roles& as live bait.
Meanwhile, in the Metal Men co-feature, the battle between our robot friends and the living mannequins of The Clique comes to its messy conclusion.
On sale December 9 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US
On sale December 23 • 6 of 8 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US

Written by Geoff Johns
Art and cover by Scott Kolins
Variant cover by Francis Manapul
The Flashes of Two Cities - Barry Allen and Wally West - battle the undead Rogues. Will the legendary speedsters be able to handle the Black Lantern Rogues' revenge? Plus, witness the resurrection of Barry's greatest enemy, the Reverse Flash in this hyper-speed miniseries event reuniting the fan-favorite FLASH creative team of Geoff Johns and Scott Kolins!
Retailers please note: This issue will ship with two covers. For every 25 copies of the Standard Edition (with a cover by Scott Kolins), retailers may order one copy of the Variant Edition (with a cover by Francis Manapul). Please see the Previews Order Form for more information.
On sale December 2 • 1 of 3 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US


Saturday, September 19, 2009

Donna Troy's New Origin - and a Plea

Regular readers of titanstower.com know I'm a big fan of Donna Troy. A few months ago, I gave her origin a lot of thought, and discovered a good way to streamline it in post-Infinite Crisis continuity (with Wonder Woman back as a founder of the JLA). This new approach keeps the best of the Pre and Post Crisis stories with the Amazons and Titans of Myth - while removing some more confusing baggage like the cascading multiple lives.

You can read my analysis here.

I'm not waiting for DC to embrace this, although I REALLY believe they should. I updated Donna's profile page to reflect these changes and I've also included a detailed look at her different origins, with some printed proof that my new origin works with what has been published to date. I even updated Dark Angel's page and Magala's entry to show how these changes barely effect these characters.

My Plea to Titans fans: Let's get DC to embrace this origin! It's simple, easy to understand, and gives us the best amalgamation of Donna's history without any ret-cons. It's a soft ret-con, which is the best kind of ret-con.

Let Dan Didio know we want this origin on his myspace: link

Ask Dan Didio to make this origin canon at his 20 Questions.

Spread the word on DC Nation facebook: link

Let's get Donna Troy back on track so we can stop telling stories on her past - and concentrate on her future.


Updated Entries

I updated entries to Fearsome Five, Red Devil, Kid Eternity and Jericho.

Check 'em out.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Titans Sales Watch: August

Thanks again to Detroyes! He writes 'em. I post 'em.

August sales numbers are now out, so its time for the monthly tilting at numerical windmills.

As always, all sales estimates are courtesy of ICv2:


Issue # / Release Month / Year / # Units Sold / +/- Previous Month

Blackest Night: Titans (3 Issue Mini Series)
#1 August 2009 64,767 N/A

Titans (Ongoing)
#16 August 2009 31,408 -14,781

Teen Titans (Ongoing)
#74 August 2009 30,380 -610

Tiny Titans (Ongoing)
#19 August 2009 8,432 -144

Vigilante (Ongoing)
#9 August 2009 8,387 -1,555

Doom Patrol (Ongoing)
#1 August 2009 28,267 N/A

Booster Gold (ongoing)
#23 August 2009 22,108 -306 (NTT Crossover)


Blackest Night Titans: Impressive start, all things considered. That's the best any Titans-related title has gotten since Titans #1 in April, 2008 (75,584). But I should also note that, of the three Blackest Night related mini's, it was also the one that sold the least. Still, between those sales numbers and the overwhelmingly positive reviews, this mini has been the biggest shot in the arm for the franchise in years.

Titans: Knew that wasn't going to last; what Blackest Night giveth, Blackest Night taketh away. The previous month's Titans got a +13k boost for having a Blackest Night-related issue; sadly, that boost did not translate to renewed interest in the title with the next issue, as it immediately gave back not only the boost but a little more. While long time fans seem to be enjoying the "Day in the Life" series of one-shots, the format is clearly not bringing in new blood. For the most part, this series is stuck in a holding pattern until the latest New Direction starts up, probably sometime early next year. Until then, the sales slide will probably continue; expect it to break below 30k next month.

Teen Titans: A smaller drop than usual, probably due to it being the last issue of the arc and the curiosity factor of "Another Titan Dies!". Like Titans, this series is basically going into yet another holding pattern, while we await how things shake-out with Blackest Night. The upcoming Blackest Night crossover issues will probably give it a smallish spike, not as big as the one Titans got but probably good for 4k-5k. After that, it will depend in large part on how it all shakes out after the first of the year.

Tiny Titans: While still quite healthy sales-wise for a title of its type, it is worth noting that the sales trend remains on a downward trajectory. If it gets to around 6k, it might be time to start worrying.

Vigilante: Sales continue to dwindle. This time, it actually found itself outsold by Tiny Titans. A pity.

Booster Gold: Included for the NTT crossover. While the title does record a smallish drop, I would like to point out that the drop appears to be much smaller than the title has lately been dropping, almost certainly due to the Titans fanbase crossover.

Doom Patrol: Like Vigilante, this is a title that is at best peripherally related. I'm not sure I'll keep up the coverage, but I thought it was worth noting where it starts.

Overall, slides continue, but we have a clear light in the darkness with Blackest Night: Titans. If only DC could find a way to capture that interest in the main titles...


Why Phil Jimenez Is A Genius

Just flipping through TITANS COMPANION 2 and came across his interview...

TTC: What did you think of [Donna Troy's] debut as Wonder Woman in “One Year Later”?

PJ: Not the direction I would have gone with that character, because, again, I don't believe any of those original Titans should ever become their mentors for the very basic reason that all that suggests is that you must become your parents. One of the things I loved about the Titans in their adult incarnations... Nightwing, Arsenal, Tempest, Troia... was that they were not that.

They took the best aspects of their older mentors, plus whatever else they learned, and then spun them into new identities that were linked to, but not lesser than, their mentors’ identities. That's the beauty of a character like Nightwing, is that he's not Batman, nor should he ever be Batman. He's something else.

So I think Donna as Wonder Woman doesn't actually make a lot of sense for that character, and I think it sort of backsteps her, because all you're gonna do is beat her up to show the world how amazing Diana Prince is. You know, you could never have a Donna Troy that's a better Wonder Woman than Diana, so you're immediately setting her up for failure.

TTC: What do you think about Arsenal becoming Red Arrow, then?

PJ: Same thing. I'm not a fan of it. I think it's actually a step back for that character, and not a step forward. The beautiful thing about Arsenal, I think, is that he's an incredibly unique character with ties to Green Arrow that is not following in his father's footsteps. I'm not very keen on Red Arrow.

One addendum from me: I do think that the "graduation" premise worked very well for Wally, especially upon Barry's death. Of course, now that's undone as well.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Titans in JLA

A new ad from DC reveals the new JLA line-up... including Dick (Batman) Grayson, Troia, Starfire and Cyborg. The new team debuts in JUSTCE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #38. Check out the scan below.

With Beast Boy moving to TEEN TITANS, and Raven also featured in upcoming issues, as well as Wally (Flash) likely leaving.... that leaves only Red Arrow.

Previous TITANS news from San Diego: "Eric Wallace has joined the panel, talking about Titans. "We're going to have a new leader for the Titans, someone that you might be familiar with, by the name of Deathstroke: The Terminator," Wallace informs. Some brief talk about Teen Titans preceded the Titans dicsussion."

With all the members leaving, who does that leave Deathstroke to lead? And are those plans even still in effect?

Monday, September 14, 2009

20 Answers With Didio: Titans News

Didio's 20 Answers:

Superboy ousted from ADVENTURE?

GAMES in question?

Read on:

The Adventure Comics changeover. How did that happen? Was it planned? Will Legion be the stars? Will Levitz continue with Geoff's plans?

Dan DiDio: The change was in the works already before Paul stepped into the mix. And the change started at the moment we decided Francis was going to be the artist on The Flash.

What we're planning to do with The Flash ongoing series, we needed to get Francis and Geoff off the Adventure Comics series so they could concentrate on The Flash ongoing.

So we knew we had a change there. We just weren't sure exactly where and when. And we were going back and forth on which issue it was because Geoff had a really wonderful Superboy story that he wanted to tell that, unfortunately, will have to be pushed to a later date.

But my goal now is to get those guys going on Flash as soon as possible. And then when all the changes started to occur, Paul was our only choice for the series. And to be quite frank with you, before even knowing everything that was taking place, Paul was the person we were thinking about approaching for the series as well, given his association with the Legion, given his association with Adventure Comics, and his love for the title, and his love for those characters. It only made sense for him to be the one to take this and move it to its next incarnation.

Newsarama: There's no doubt that when you think of Paul, you think of Legion of Super-Heroes. But there are Conner Kent fans out there that are wondering - what's going to happen to the Superboy piece of this comic?

DiDio: We're going to see Conner's, probably, gradual leave from that book. But that's not to say Conner won't be joining a team book soon, or appearing in another series of his own at some point.

Lame. and....

Didio: But for George Perez, there's rumors floating around our building that he and Marv are picking up where they left off 20 years ago on the Teen Titans: Games hardcover, original graphic novel. And it sounds like that's something we'd like to see come to completion for a release in 2010.

Nrama: Oh, last time I talked to George about that he had around 50 pages left to draw but didn't know if he'd ever get back to it. It's been a long time coming.

DiDio: It certainly has. But that's why it's still a rumor. We'll believe it when we actually have it in our hands.

Hmmm.... will we ever see GAMES I wonder?

Friday, September 11, 2009

Sneak Peek: Titans: Blackest Night #2

Dc Universe: The Source has posted 5 preview pages of TITANS: BLACKEST NIGHT #2. They also had this to say:

J.T. Krul and artist Ed Benes continue to turn up the BLACKEST NIGHT volume on the TITANS, and we’ve got a few pages for you to look over. We’ll have a more formal (i.e. lettered and colored!) preview, but why make you wait until then? Especially when we have some pretty intense Titan-on-Titan violence? Black Lantern Hawk! Red Star! Pantha! Wildabeest! Plus, a very creepy family reunion. OK, I’ll clam up. Check out the pages below for yourself.

The pages look great! Check 'em out here. J.T. Krul and Ed Benes are knocking this one out.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Levitz Releases Letter of Resignation, Announced As "Adventure" Writer

DC Comics' blog, The Source, has just posted the following public letter of resignation from DC Publisher Paul Levitz. The Source is also reporting that Levitz has been named the new writer for the recently launched "Adventure Comics" series.

You may have heard that Paul Levitz will be once again adding his considerable talent, drive and creativity to our ever expanding universe as a regular DC Comics writer.

So, what’s his first writing assignment?

Paul is returning to the title he made great as both a writer and editor, ADVENTURE COMICS, and with his eyes set to the future, he brings several of his favorite characters with him. ADVENTURE is the first in a number of projects, both ongoing and mini-series that Paul will be taking on as he joins of our list of top notch creators here at DC.

As Executive Editor, and as a fan, I can’t wait for him to get started.

-Dan DiDio

No word yet on how this effects Superboy's feature in ADVENTURE.

Warner Bros. Restructures DC Comics

Deadline.com’s Nikki Finke reported Wednesday that DC Comics will undergo a restructuring as parent company Warner Bros. takes a more active interest in the traditionally autonomous comic book publisher.

According to Finke, Warner Bros. Pictures Group President Jeff Robinov will make DC his top priority. Reporting directly to Robinov will be Diane Nelson, a WB marketer who most famously managed the Harry Potter franchise for the media giant. It seems she is to do the same for DC Comics. Nelson is familiar with DC Comics from her time at Warner Premiere, the company behind the DC-based direct-to-DVD films released since 2006.

Read it here.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Manapul and Johns leave ADVENTURE

From DC Universe: The Source:

What’s the best way to get over having to come back to work after a long weekend? Well, how about some cool news? I can’t really complain, as I’m sending this while heading south to the Florida Keys. But this news is big enough to interrupt my vacation — and it really should be shared now. Remember how we announced that after the completion of THE FLASH: REBIRTH and BLACKEST NIGHT, writer Geoff Johns would be writing a new ongoing FLASH series? One thing we didn’t mention was the name of his artistic collaborator. Johns will be teaming up with none other than superstar artist Francis Manapul to chronicle the adventures of the Scarlet Speedster next year.

The pair knocked it out of the park with their amazing work on ADVENTURE COMICS, so having Johns and Manapul continue their magic partnership with one of the DCU’s most iconic characters was definitely a no-brainer. They finish up their run on ADVENTURE COMICS with January¹s #6 to get ready for FLASH #1, which kicks off the high-octane and mysterious storyline “The Dastardly Death of the Rogues!” Stay tuned to The Source for news on the new creative team taking the reigns on ADVENTURE and a sneak preview of Francis’s art from FLASH. How’s that for a welcome to the working week?

Wow. I'm a little disappointed. But I guess that's another DC title I can cross off my "buy" list. I'm down to the two Titans titles, and even those are iffy right now.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Francis Manapul's Big Adventure

Comic Book Resources brings a big piece of news:

NOTE: DC Comics announced today that Francis Manapul and Geoff Johns will conclude their "Adventure Comics" run with issue #6 and move on to a new ongoing Flash title.

Well, wow... that was quick!

And an interview with Francis Manapul:

“Adventure Comics” has a large cast. Is there a character you’ve really gravitated towards as a favorite?

Krypto, definitely. I based him on our family dog. He’s so much fun to draw. After drawing the Legion and drawing so many superheroes, it’s cool to draw non-people like pets.

What do you love about drawing Superboy?

I think what makes him really cool is that it’s the knowledge that one day, he’s supposed to be Superman, but obviously we’re never going to see that because Superman’s not going to stop being Superman. So the knowledge of him eventually becoming Superman makes him such an interesting character, especially with him being half-Superman DNA and half-Lex Luthor DNA. There’s this real struggle about him.

And what’s neat about his character is that I actually like his t-shirt and jeans thing. It’s a little more street level, I don’t know if that’s the right word for it. But it’s a little more grounded, it’s a little less fantastic but it seems so much cooler and suited for Smallville. It doesn’t feel extravagant or like something more suited for Metropolis. If you lived in Metropolis, you’d expect to see glitz and when you are in Smallville, you have this quaint farmland and there’s this guy who’s a superhero who’s just in jeans and a t-shirt. That’s the American way. You’re wearing your Levis and your cowboy boots.

Mal and Karen: Splitsville?

DC Universe: The Source has posted a preview to Doom Patrol #2:

Ready for another dose of Keith Giffen and Matthew Clark’s DOOM PATROL? Are you sure?

It’s a black hole, but it’s not a black hole. If you’re a Doom Patrol fan, that made perfect sense. And even if not, then you’re in for one hell of a ride as the Doom Patrol face off against the most annoying alien this side of G’nort. Who’s G’nort? Do we have to spell it out for you? Oh, and the Metal Men in space.

Check out page 8, where Bumblebee says, "Marriage is overrated. [..] Things change. That's all. Look Father Rock... Mal 'n me, we made a good run at it. It just got to the point where the good times were being outweighed by the bad times. It happens."

Can't the Titans have fun anymore?

Monday, September 07, 2009

More Titans from J.T. Krul

Reaction to Krul's two Titans issues (TITANS: BLACKEST NIGHT #1 and TITANS #15) has been positive among us battle-weary Titans fans. He seems to "get" these characters in a way we haven't seen since Titans (the elder team) relaunched. J.T. Krul has joined ComicBloc, and he's revealed some upcoming Titans stuff:

Hey everyone! I just wanted to say that I am glad to see so many of you liked Garth's return to the pages of Titans. It was a great story to work on, and i can't wait for you all to see what's in store for Blackest Night: Titans. It's going to be sick and twisted and a whole lot of fun...except for the Titans that is.

And fans will be happy to know there's more Titans-goodness from J.T.:

I agree. What a great cover! But I have to admit that I'm pretty biased, seeing that I'm writing the story. : )

And, by the way, it's a two-parter. Both #77 and #78 are one story that centers on Ravager and Deathstroke as they get haunted, BN-style. I could share more, but come on - that cover says it all, doesn't it?

and, on upcoming work:

Thanks. A lot of credit goes to Geoff, Eddie, Brian, Adam, Rex and the gang. Not to mention Benes and the rest of the art team. I am REALLY REALLY REALLY happy with how the project is turning out.

As for DC stuff, I'm writing a two-part BN tie-in for TEEN TITANS - featuring RAVAGER and DEATHSTROKE, plus a RED ARROW spotlight issue in TITANS in Nov. More to come after that. : )

I also write a lot for ASPEN COMICS. FATHOM Vol. #3 is just finishing up, as is the SOULFIRE: NEW WORLD ORDER miniseries. SOULFIRE Vol. #2 premieres in Sept. with art by current RED ROBIN artist, MARCUS TO.

And, I have a creator-owned book coming out early 2010 called MINDFIELD about telepathic CIA operatives who function as a kind of thought police to combat domestic terrorism.

Oh, and I just found out yesterday that a BEACH HEAD G.I.JOE story I wrote will also be coming out after the first of the year.


Preview: TITANS #17

DC Universe: The Source has provided a preview for TITANS #17:

By Brian Cunningham

Hiya, folks! As the TITANS editor, I wanted to do something a little different to hype issue #17, in comic stores September 9. My first call for ideas was the issue’s writer.

“My first plot had me making out with Starfire for 22 pages,” he said. “But that got shot down for whatever reason.”

The guest writer? Pat McCallum, fresh off his stint of stalking DC editors looking for work.

So what plot was approved for the issue? “The comic book debut of a villain whose only ever appeared in the animated DC universe, some Golden Age Green Lantern cosplay and the…[dramatic pause]…DARK SECRET behind why Beast Boy can’t go by ‘Changeling’ anymore.”

Pressed for more, McCallum provided the below list, adding, “Everything here happens in the issue—really—except one. A free signed copy of Team Titans #1 to whoever spots it.”*

2 Obscure Easter Eggs that only guys like Kurt Busiek will pick up on.

3 Appearances of Beast Boy’s Pérez-era haircut.

9 Panels with Dr. Double-X

300 Pounds of masked pro wrestler hungry for egg salad

800 How many feet a disembodied head is punted

1 billion Copies sold. Beat THAT, zombie Green Lanterns!

* Offer not valid anywhere. So enjoy pages 1-5 of TITANS #17 instead.

JT Krul Talks Aspen, Titans

From San Diego Comic-Con, ComicVine talks with TITANS: BLACKEST NIGHT writer J.T. Krul in this video interview. Check it out. The Titans bit is toward the end at about 6:49....

Sunday, September 06, 2009

George Perez Confirms GAMES

George Perez confirms GAMES at WizardWorld Chicago:

What's George's project after LEGION OF 3 WORLDS?

"My next project is [...] is finishing off the Titans graphic novel that we started almost two decades ago. [...] DC asked me to finish it because next year is the 30th anniversary of [the Marv Wolfman/George Perez] NEW TEEN TITANS, so there's a good marketing reason to get [the book finished]. I'm going back and finishing a book that is over 60 pages in. It should be about 120 pages."

"It is the one we started when Jericho was still a member, and Danny Chase was still a member. We're finishing that off. [...] [Unlike JLA/Avengers] This will be using the artwork that was already drawn"

Check out the full interview!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Speedy & Wonder Twins Hit SMALLVILLE

IGN reports:

September 1, 2009 - Get ready to freaking activate! Two semi-infamous Super Friends alumni are about to make their live action debut, as The Wonder Twins come to Smallville.

TVGuideMagazine.com says Zan and Jayna will show up in the eighth episode of Season 9. And yes, Gleek the blue monkey will be seen as well. We're guessing/hoping there will be a heavy amount of humor involved in the depiction of these much-mocked characters.

Meanwhile, yet another DC Comics character will debut soon, as Speedy is introduced on Smallville. There have been different incarnations of the Green Arrow sidekick in the comics, but the Smallville version will be based on the current incarnation, Mia Dearden. Like in the comics, Mia will be HIV positive. Says Executive Producer Kelly Souders, "She has a sordid past and crosses paths with Oliver Queen in some shady places. But he gives her hope."

Can't wait to see those Wonder Twins!

Yildiray Cinar talks Ravager

The excellent Torre Tita blog has an EXCLUSIVE interview with Ravager artist, Yildiray Cinar!

You've been making a great job on Ravager's stories. Could you share with us your feelings about her? How did you see her?

It's really great to hear from the fans that they enjoy my renderings on Ravager because I'm just warming up. Like I said, I wasn't very familiar with the character(s) and just getting into it lately. Ravager is a very cool character. Besides, her costume is making her cooler! She's tough! I'm very happy and feeling lucky to be picked to drawing her solo adventures.

Sean McKeever seems to enjoy the character. So, I'd like to know if you were already familiar with her?

I know Ravager a little from JOHNS's run and I thought she always had a potential to become a good character.

Could you share something that the future brings for the Rose?

The story is leading somewhere unexpected so keep reading! That's all I can say...

See the whole interview here.

Really enjoying the back-up so far!

Variety Mentions Teen Titans Movie

I guess it's still alive. Variety reports:

While Disney lays down a $4 billion bet on the future of Marvel's superheroes, 20th Century Fox has already begun overhauling one of its big Marvel franchises, "Fantastic Four," to take the property beyond the two films already made.

Akiva Goldsman has been hired to oversee the reboot as producer. Michael Green, the co-exec producer of TV's "Heroes" who co-wrote "Green Lantern," will write the script for the new "Fantastic Four."

Fox wouldn't comment on its plans, but the moves are evidence that Marvel franchises do have enduring lifespans.

As "Spider-Man 4" moves toward an early 2010 production start, Columbia Pictures recently hired James Vanderbilt to write a fifth and sixth installment with the understanding that one or both of those films would give the franchise a makeover with a new director and cast (Daily Variety, Aug. 16).

The 2005 "Fantastic Four" and 2007 sequel "Rise of the Silver Surfer" were directed by Tim Story and starred Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba, Chris Evans and Michael Chiklis. Since the deals for the reboot are just getting made, it is unclear if any of them will return.

Though Marvel Entertainment owns and finances properties like "Iron Man" and "Thor," Fox controls "Fantastic Four" in perpetuity -- as long as it continues making the films. Fox has the same arrangement on Marvel Comics properties "X-Men," "Daredevil" and "Silver Surfer." Marvel is a producer and financial participant through a licensing agreement.

Though the related Silver Surfer character soared in the "Fantastic Four" sequel, that iconic personality has remained a priority project for his own film at the studio.

Fox has so far done one "X-Men" spinoff in "Wolverine." The studio is working on a sequel to that film and has scripts for "X-Men Origins: First Class," and "X-Men Origins: Magneto." Potential spinoffs for the Gambit and Deadpool characters have also been discussed.

As producer, Goldsman is involved with several DC Comics transfers, including "Jonah Hex," "The Losers" and "Teen Titans." He was also producer of the Will Smith-Charlize Theron superhero film "Hancock," for which a sequel is being developed.