Will the Teen Titans roster be settling down soon? a fan asked. Cunningham said that the arc that starts in #72 will “change things slightly in an awful way for our characters...they’re not going to like it.”
“There’s a definite plan that Brian and his team are driving towards, and we’re going to get there, but there’s a bumpy road between here and there,” Sattler said.
Hmmm. "change things slightly in an awful way" and "a bumpy road." Sounds like DC really just wants to drive away any remaining Titans fans....
TITLE Issue # / Release Month / Year / # Units Sold / +/- Previous Month
Titans (Ongoing) #13 May 2009 34,343 -1,671
Teen Titans (Ongoing) #71 May 2009 30,376 -5,036
Tiny Titans (Ongoing) #16 May 2009 8,844 -363
Vigilante (Ongoing) #6 May 2009 18,877 -2,413
Superman/Batman (Ongoing) #60 May 2009 39,531 N/A w/The Justice Titans
Titans - Titans managed to hold on to the top spot, but it's drop-off was pretty bad. That's rather disheartening, since it was starting to level off in the months leading up to "Deathtrap". I'd say Titans #14 is probably going to be not much better, but Titans #15 will be a shot in the arm due to its connection with Blackest Night (especially considering the number of Titans fans who seem genuinely pumped for BN:T). After that, no idea. A lot will depend on who they ultimately give the title to as the permanent writer; if its another unknown like Felicia Henderson, then the title may be toast.
Teen Titans - Huge, huge drop-off. Several factors would be my guess: people just aren't interested in the "new" new-new-new line-up, the loss of Sean McKeever, and the failure for the teen team to be anything more than just walk-ons for "Deathtrap" come immediately to mind. And with fill-in writers for the next several months and a complete unknown as the new ongoing writer, I just don't see how TT can pull out of its dive anymore - and what's more, I think DC knows it. Further evidence, I think, that DC is just putting this title on "holding pattern" status and gearing up for some kind of big relaunch next year.
Vigilante - Sorry guys, but its toast. If "Deathtrap" couldn't get it to stay above 20k on the very last issue of the crossover, then nothing will. Marv Wolfman might be able to string it along for a few more months, but he'll be trying to outrun the devil in doing so. My guess is, the title will survive long enough to get one or perhaps two TPBs, then they'll pull the plug on the monthly and maybe make it a back-up feature somewhere.
BTW, this is probably a good point to recap the sales figures for "Deathtrap":
Deathtrap Prologue: Teen Titans Annual 2009 #1 - 32,525 Deathtrap, Pt. I: Titans #12 - 36,014 Deathtrap, Pt. II: Vigilante #5 - 21,290 Deathtrap, Pt. III: Teen Titans #70 - 35,412 Deathtrap, Pt. IV: Titans #13 - 34,343 Deathtrap, Pt. V: Vigilante #6 - 18,877
I'd say that was evidence for some serious disinterest in this crossover. Vigilante #6, which was suppose to be the climax of the crossover, SHOULD have carried numbers comparable to the other titles. Instead, no one seemed interested in the outcome, and the sales numbers showed it.
(BTW, unless people want me to continue with it, I plan to drop coverage of Vigilante with next month's sales figures, as the title will then be moving away from interaction with the Titans)
Superman/Batman - Included for the Justice Titans. This was actually the biggest selling Titans-related title for the month of May.
Tiny Titans - A negligable drop-off. This one is doing just fine.
The September listings revealed the new TEEN TITANS writer within the solicit: "Come celebrate our gala 75th issue with an all-star cast of Titans past and present! Joining this issue for the extravaganza is new ongoing writer Felicia D. Henderson, a co-executive producer on TV’s hit show Fringe!"
IMDB gives some of her writing credits:
"Fringe" (1 episode, 2008) "Gossip Girl" (4 episodes, 2007-2008) "Everybody Hates Chris" (1 episode, 2006) "Soul Food" (9 episodes, 2000-2003) "The Parkers" (1 episode, 1999) "Movie Stars" (1999) TV series (unknown episodes) "Moesha" (2 episodes, 1996-1997) "Family Matters" (5 episodes, 1994-1996) "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" (1 episode, 1995-1997)
The thing that worried me most? Read the solicit. It says NOTHING about the issue's plot. All we've seen are band aids and "fill ins" coming up, and now -- even with a new writer -- I wonder if there is any direction at all. I'm guessing Felicia D. Henderson will be another stop-gap, until the next band-aid.
Now, Henderson may be a fine writer. But, the track records of untested Hollywood writers on comic books has not been great. The Titans franchise sorely needs a comic book pro that knows the team's history and can establish their niche within the DCU again.
TEEN TITANS #75 Written by Felicia D. Henderson; co-feature written by Sean McKeever Art by Joe Bennett & Jack Jadson; co-feature art by Yildiray Cinar & Júlio Ferreira Cover by Joe Bennett & Jack Jadson Variant cover by Andy Clarke Come celebrate our gala 75th issue with an all-star cast of Titans past and present! Joining this issue for the extravaganza is new ongoing writer Felicia D. Henderson, a co-executive producer on TV’s hit show Fringe! Don’t miss this start to a fresh new take on DC’s premier teen team! And in the Ravager co-feature, Rose lies nearly dead in the Arctic when a horrific discovery chills her even more! Retailers please note: This issue will ship with two covers. For every 25 copies of the Standard Edition (with a cover by Joe Bennett & Jack Jadson), retailers may order one copy of the Variant Edition (with a cover by Andy Clarke). Please see the Previews Order Form for more information. On sale September 30 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US
TITANS #17 Written by Pat McCallum Art by Angel Unzueta & Wayne Faucher Cover by Angel Unzueta Spotlight on Beast Boy! Gar Logan grows tired of not being taken seriously by his Titans teammates. And what he plans on doing about it will shock you! On sale September 9 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US BLACKEST NIGHT: TITANS #2 Written by J.T. Krul Art and cover by Ed Benes & Rob Hunter Variant cover by Brian Haberlin 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)! Retailers please note: This issue will ship with two covers. For every 25 copies of the Standard Edition (with a cover by Ed Benes & Rob Hunter), retailers may order one copy of the Variant Edition (with a cover by Brian Haberlin). Please see the Previews Order Form for more information. On sale September 30 • 2 of 3 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
TINY TITANS #20 Written by Art Baltazar & Franco Art and cover by Art Baltazar Raven conjures a black hole to get to school on time, and soon black holes are popping up everywhere! The Titans try to avoid them, but they keep falling in and ending up...who knows where? Also: black holes aren't the only way to travel – some of the Titans discover the joys of jetpacks! On sale September 16 • 32 pg, FC, $2.50 US WEDNESDAY COMICS #9-12 • THE TEEN TITANS, written by Eddie Berganza with art by Sean Galloway. ADVENTURE COMICS #2 Written by Geoff Johns; co-feature written by Geoff Johns and Michael Shoemaker Art by Francis Manapul, co-feature art by Clayton Henry Covers by Francis Manapul Superboy is back and living out his teenage years in Smallville. But all is not as it seems in Superman’s hometown. And while Conner reunites with his former girlfriend, Wonder Girl, to see if they have a future together, Lex Luthor and Brainiac form a partnership that will cause havoc throughout the DC Universe. But what do their plans have to do with Conner and the other students at Smallville High? Plus, in the Legion of Super-Heroes co-feature, which takes place all the way in the 31st century, Lightning Lad travels to the prison planet of Takron-Galtos to confront his brother, Lighting Lord. There, Lightning Lord informs Lighting Lad of a shocking family secret that sets the pieces in motion for a war that will decide the future of the universe. Yeah, the universe. No big. Retailers please note: This issue will ship with two covers. For every 10 copies of the Standard Edition (with a cover by Francis Manapul), retailers may order one copy of the Variant Edition (with a cover by Francis Manapul and renamed ADVENTURE COMICS #505). Please see the Previews Order Form for more information. On sale September 9 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US
THE FLASH: REBIRTH #6 Written by Geoff Johns Art and covers by Ethan Van Sciver In a battle along the outskirts of time, the secrets of the Speed Force have been revealed! The new archnemesis of those who ride the lightning is coming for Iris Allen. And the Barry Allen you knew is gone forever...or is he? What change does Wally West face? What destiny will Kid Flash choose? Prepare to meet a Flash Family that's both familiar and different...and get to the starting line for the next epic adventures of the Speed Force! 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 September 30 • 6 of 6 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
DOOM PATROL #2 Written by Keith Giffen; co-feature written by Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis Art by Matthew Clark & John Livesay; co-feature art by Kevin Maguire Cover by Matthew Clark Variant cover by Matthew Clark and Kevin Maguire 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? What, do we have to spoon-feed this stuff to you? Oh, and we send the Metal Men into space. Just because. Retailers please note: This issue will ship with two covers. For every 10 copies of the Standard Edition (with a cover by Matthew Clark), retailers may order one copy of the Variant Edition (with a cover by Matthew Clark and Kevin Maguire). Please see the Previews Order Form for more information. On sale September 9 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US
The writer said the three-issue Blackest Night series will stand on its own -- without crossing into the regular Titans series – but "obviously, the effects of Blackest Night will be felt in the main books."
But the mini-series is also important because it tells the stories that Blackest Night isn't able to take a break and tell in detail, Krul explained. "Blackest Night is such an epic story that has grave (that's a pun right?) implications for many in the DC Universe," he said. "These other titles allow the opportunity to dig deeper and explore the conflicts and challenges the Titans, for instance, will face during this ordeal. It's literally like we are taking a small segment of Geoff's Blackest Night story and shining a spotlight on it."
Krul said there are a lot of candidates for Black Lanterns among the Titans because "I guess as a team, the Titans have suffered more than most others."
Bill Walko remembers when his dad used to bring home comic books with the Sunday paper. His brother grabbed the Marvels, his sister chose the Archies and he claimed anything with the DC bullet. And a mild obsession was born. In his secret identity, Bill earns his keep as an artist, writer and graphic designer. By night, he maintains the exhaustive Titans-related site, titanstower.com, and dabbles in his own creative endeavors.