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Scott Lobdell Answers YOUR Questions (Even Ones About Starfire): October Edition

He asked for your questions and here are the answers.

Exclusive page from Red Hood and the Outlaws #4

Scott Lobdell is busy writing SUPERBOY, TEEN TITANS and Red Hood and the Outlaws. When he's not busy at work on those, he likes to answer questions. The first time around, Scott answered over one hundred forty questions. This time, we limited it to twenty questions, with having multiple parts. Obviously there were several questions repeated but here are the answers we selected for him to answer.

And check out the exclusive page from Red Hood and the Outlaws #4.

LordRequiem

Is Superboy's suit going to remain as this nifty red and black attire or will he eventually return his previous, pre-52 costume?

Too soon to say what he'll ultimately wear. The idea WAS going to be to get him out of the N.O.W.H.E.R.E. outfit and into the t-shirt with bar code on his arm… but, honestly, the more I see him in the costume the more I like it!

But… I don't always have the first say (or the 30th say!) so we'll have to find out together. (The only thing I think i can say with assuredness is that, no, we won't be seeing him in the pre-52 costume.)

BlackArmor

Are Tim's parents alive and was Captain Boomerang the one who killed them?

Follow up: Did Tim still almost kill Captain Boomerang in vengancare in Red Robin #26

I don't know… but I don't see why not. For the moment we're not exploring Tim's past or origin or family. So if readers want to believe that he almost killed Captain Boomerang, I don't see any reason why they can't take most of those stories to be canon.

There is a line in Inherit the Wind where one character says "I do not think about the things I don't think about!" And another character rejoins "Do you think about the things you do think about?!"

Like I say, unless it impacts on what needs to be written about in the moment, I'd rather leave details about the past in the past.

And a comment: bring back Tim's cowl (but I like the wings and the computer moniter thing good job on that and the easter eggs in number 1 actually everything you wrote in all of the books except Tim's domino mask was amazing im going to collect all 3 series)

Thanks for listening and long live cowls

Alas, I see no cowls in the immediate future. But don't start hating all three books because of it!

== TEASER ==

fodigg

Question: Why should we like your memory/sensory-deficient version of Starfire?

That is an interesting question. I don't necessarily write a character to be liked or disliked. Personally, I find her fascinating -- an alien woman who is stranded on Earth (it is not as if a ferry leaves for Tamaran every twenty minutes) who is trying to do her best to adapt to a totally different culture. And while she has a lot of affection for the human race in general, the truth is that humans are not particularly enamored of aliens.

(Superman and Supergirl at least have the fact they look like models going for them. Kori has orange skin, green eyes and oft-flaming hair. She'd stand out even in West Hollywood. She isn't an alien that can slip into a pair of reading glasses and fit right in -- so the challenges she's going to face are different than the Superman and the shapeshifting Martian Manhunters of the world.)

For the past 40 years, Mr. Spock from Star Trek was an emotionally "deficient" alien who probably taught us more about human emotion than a lot of other characters in science fiction. Similarly, I think there is a lot for Kori to reveal to us about the nature of memory than we might initially perceive from the first issue.

I've read the sixth issue, which reveals the story of how she and Jason met -- and he learns exactly what she does and doesn't recall from the past. I think everyone who is dismissing her as a "goldfish" (with tongue often planted in cheek) is going to be disappointed that their snap judgement about Kori hasn't played out.

In short, I love Kori -- I have since her very first appearance. I love that she's the strongest member in a team of bad asses, I love that her perceptions will often challenge Jason and Roy's, I love the fact that she doesn't think the way humans do. I am forever fascinated by her and I can only hope that love for the character is contagious.

Follow-up: What would you say to those who did not like her in the first issue of Red Hood and the Outlaws?

I'm not sure what to say, to be honest.

Maybe there is a book that has been written or a move that has been made that everyone who has read it or everyone who has seen it can all agree that it is the ultimate book or movie -- that it is flawless in its depiction or every storyline and every character introduced. Maybe. But it has been my experience that most books and movies have their fans and their detractors.

I kind of think that is the way it is supposed to be.

There is a saying that goes something like "If you write something that no one hates, then you've written something that no one will love."

Honestly, Fodigg, I don't want to write a book that everyone who picks it up universally agrees is brilliant, or perfect.

While there has been a vociferous response from people who didn't care for issue 1, I've similarly heard from a lot of people who loved it to pieces -- sometimes for the very reasons people who hated sighted.

I guess I could apologize to people that didn't like it -- but that seems odd to me. It feels like a betrayal to the growing number of fans that liked it.

(btw, Superboy was awesome.)

Thank you. It was a blast!

Or35ti

Who the heck is Dustin? :) I'm talking about when Roy asks Starfire is she remembers Dick, Garth, Dustin, Vic, Lilith, and Gar. And where are Wally and Donna? lol. You rock btw :D

Thank you, Or -- from what little I know about you -- you rock too!

The story of Dustin shall be told. All I can say is that it wasn't a typo. And no word on any of the other characters -- they are not in my "control".

RedheadedAtrocitus

Hey Scott,

Thank you for answering my questions from before! Hope all is going well for you at the moment. I'll relegate my time to just one question and ask you...regarding Prodicus, was a major inspiration for his creation the King Shark character? Thank you in advance! Keep up the great work on Superboy!

Hey Red,

I will be honest with you -- so you can get a look behind the curtain of comic making! Just a glimpse. The three characters in the prison were supposed to be from the Citadel -- tied into Kori's origin over in Red Hood. When the cover came back for issue 2 and -- yes, he looked much much much more like the old King Shark than I would have liked. But by that point the cover had to make it out the door so the alien menace looked a lot like the pre-52 Killer Shark.

It was decided then, as the story was being scripted, that it was best to paint Prodicus and his friends as being perhaps an offshoot of the Citadel and not from that race in particular.

(There are some people who write comic books the same way they build a bridge -- with plans in place for every nut and bolt. And then there are others that riff and improvise and it is more like Jazz than building bridges. When an artist or an editor or even a colorist throw a curveball at you -- what can you do but go with it! Woot, woo!)

cincyducksfan35

Scott,

What is Tim Drake's motivation in this series? Red Robin ended with him seeking vengeance against the man who murdered his father and it seemed that he was willing to let captain boomerang die, almost as if Tim would grow up to be a Batman who took calculated risks and could make life or death decisions unlike Bruce.

Thank you!

While that was a great story (Go, Fabian!) I don't know how it would or wouldn't effect Tim's motivation in Teen Titans. He sees a problem (kids getting carted away in the middle of the night by N.O.W.H.E.R.E.) and he's determined to use his abilities and resources to stop it.

nomadicxnightmare

Can I haz Raven? She is seriously missed...

I almost never do this, but… stay tuned.

Also when can we expect to see Fairchild powered-up, kicking ass and taking names?

What is she going to do with those names she's taken? (But I'll just say we'll see more than less of Red before issue six!)

Maxwell Lord the fourth

In Superboy #1 it is said that his awareness was in every atom of his body; does that mean his whole body can process information and thus be used for calculations and storage; in short; does he have a Super Intellect ?

Si! And what a fascinating way to phrase it! You rock!

Also; does sunlight affect his metabolism in one way or another like it does for regular Kryptonians ?

Nay.

And last one: Will Rose meet the Teen Titans or the Outlaws ?

I can't imagine she won't -- and when she does… watch out!

Superlad93

Hey there Mr. Lobdell, let my start by telling you that I've been really enjoying your work & that i think you're a wonderful writer. I look forward to more of your work.

Aww! And I look forward to more of your compliments! =)

Superboy powers Q: I see from your interviews & the actual comic that this run will have a fare bit to do with his powers (I've never been one to dwell on powers but you handle it in the most non-obnoxious way, thank u lol) so my question is are his powers solar based & will normal superman weaknesses effect him??

No, they are not solar based. And he will definitely have limits, but not in the ways he traditionally had in the past!

Power Q 2: I would like to know if you view Superboy as the most powerful teen on Earth??

Sometimes he probably is. But "powerful" is a bit subjective of a term. When he's on his game he's probably more powerful than, say, Supergirl. But I also think it is possible that she could kick his ass if she had to. Same with Wonder Girl if the circumstances were right.

Superboy relationship Q: From what you have told us in interviews: it doesn't seem like Superboy will have very much of a relationship with Superman or the new Super-family outside of his name & DNA....so my question is do you or any other writers have plans to go into the relationship of Superman & Superboy, & if not (just so I can have something to think about lol) hypothetically how would you play their relationship out, would it be the brother brother way, uncle nephew way, father son way (this way is my personal favorite...so no pressure lol) or maybe the original & clone way (please no lol)

I can tell you they are going to meet each other. And you probably shouldn't be thinking in any of the terms you've listed above. I've tried to defy expectations and look at the relationship in a way it hasn't been viewed before. I'll trust the fans to let me know what they think about how I pulled it off. (You are not a shy bunch. LOL!)

Random Q: was that Kryptonian Superboy was speaking/thinking in issue #2 (really good issue btw)

Yes. He said "Help". (Apparently there are fans who can actually read Kryptonian! Serious!)

Relationship/ last Q: I've noticed that the Superman/Superboy relationship has somehow always been a taboo one & it seems to never be truly defined....so my question is why do you think its been like this??

I am not really sure what you mean.

I hope this wasn't too long (i don't ever really do this lol) but thank you in advance for this we fans truly appreciate it.

It was a lot of questions -- but I blame Tony! (Tony!)

ArrowQuivers891

I would just like to start off by saying that I really, truly enjoyed both Superboy and Teen Titans and will continue reading them.

My question is simple: Do you plan for Fairchild to be a fixture in Superboy or are there bigger plans for her in the New 52? (Not to say that being a mainstay in Superboy would be minimal, but...oh, you know what I mean.)

I plan to have her be a fixture AND there are bigger plans for her in the New 52! But, as I don't always get what I want… we'll have to wait and see!

Shieldbearer

Scott,

First of all, LOVING Red Hood and the Outlaws! Don't let anybody change your mind about how you are doing it, it is fantastic!

Will there be some game changing elements in Red Hood and the Outlaws that will bring big attention to them from the rest of the DCnU?

Si! First, around issue 5 -- and then later around issue #11!

Thanks,

Shieldbearer

No, thanks you!

ComicFan_13

Will there be any other characters to join the Outlaws?

Not at this time. I asked if I could have Catwoman after all the hubbub. I was met with stoney silence!

punkpuppy3

Is the eight member of the Titans a boy or girl? How long is the N.O.W.H.E.R.E. arc? Love your books by the way :)

He is a boy. And I was wrong. He is actually introduced in issue two!

And don't think of it as an "arc" -- I don't. They are just part of the tapestry that is the "Titans-verse". Sometimes they will be in the foreground and other times in the background.

Skaddix

Can we get any hints on this top secret 8th Teen Titan?

He is awesome! He appears in issue 2! He is someone Brett and I didn't create. We'll discover that of all the Teen TItans, his relationship with Tim Drake pre-dates Teen Titans #1.

Any plans for another female to join the Outlaws?

Not at this time, no. We already have the best female character at DC -- she doesn't need to share the spotlight yet.

Are we going to see a Gen13/DV8 ? I honestly think DV8 would make great teen agents for N.O.W.H.E.R.E not a more brutal bunch of teenagers around. Plus Threshold vs Superboy in a TK battle would be great.

That all does sound fun! But alas there are no concrete plans on the horizon at the time for GEN 13 or DV8.

Outside_85

I'll say I didn't expect this to happen again.

That is because -- based on your posts on other boards -- you think I am a coward.

But here goes:

1) Were you in any way surprised that your (so far initial) portrayal of Starfire received such a vast amount of negative feedback from the community?

Hmmm. Well, while I think the people who didn't like it were certainly vocal… I'd have to question the framing of your question.

I read a lot of the DC Message Boards and the CBR Message Boards just to keep my finger on the pulse (sorry, I can't read every board) -- and while they go on for pages and pages and pages about things they don't like about Outlaws and Starfire in particular… when you realize that most of these are the same five or six people, who don't like my writing to begin with… well, it makes it hard for me to swallow your assertion that it was so negatively received.

Did some people like it less than others? Of that there can be no doubt.

Did some people hate it with a hate that dare not speak its name? I got that sense, yes.

But, that said, I've heard from lots of people (online and in person) who enjoyed it as much as I did.

I think what HAS surprised me the most is the vulgar tone of the comments I've read. When I hear people calling Starfire a "slut" or a "whore" or a "sex toy" it makes me sick to my stomach, honestly. I don't think a person (man or woman) gets to define someone else's sexuality and certainly not in such derogatory and dismissive terms. The notion that people genuinely believe they are staking the moral high ground in what they believe is their defense of Kori, by using such dehumanizing language is otherworldly to me.

If you want to talk about why I chose to focus on Kori's alien perspective instead of on her 25 or so years of character changes, I am here, all for it.

But to call a woman a derogatory term because you don't agree with her choices -- whether she's a comic book character or a girl in your high school or a woman standing on a street corner -- that isn't a conversation I'm willing to have with someone.

I read online where some guy at the NYComicCon shouted out "Why did they turn Starfire into a slut!" Can you imagine him shouting out a question using a derogatory word used to describe Luke Cage or Northstar -- as if he were somehow defending the characters honor because he disagreed with an interpretation of the character?

Seriously. Words like "slut" and "whore" really need to work their way out of people's vocabularies.

Follow-up/unrelated question; Are you planning on bringing Raven into one of your books? (Though I am personally hoping for her appearance in JLD rather than anything under the Young Justice banner)

Then I can take a little joy today knowing that I have dashed your hopes! LOL!

speedstermike

How come Jason has the bat symbol on his custom? Isn't he working away from Batman?

We'll learn why in issue six. I do have to say, though, I read a post on a message board where someone said "When Batman sees that -- he's going to track down Jason and beat the crap out of him!" Umm… really? Batman doesn't have enough to do with his day that he's going to track own Jason for wearing a bat logo?

moviegeek17

As an aspiring comic book writer i have to ask you. How do you write multiple books on a monthly schedule and my follow up is do you have any tips on how new writers can prepares themselves to write multiple books in a month?

This is one of those difficult questions to answer, because it is sort of like asking a fish to contemplate his fish bowl: because that is the only world he knows so he doesn't have an outsider's insights. That is, I've been writing so many multiple books since I began in the business that I don't recall a time when I wasn't writing multiple books.

But if i was to try... I guess I would say the the trick is to treat each book like a member of your family. I would never confuse my Father for my Mother, my older brother for my younger sister. Similarly, if you make sure that each book you are working on is filled with unique characters and situations you should have no problem keeping them separate -- in terms of stories you tell or the villains you use.

And make sure you get lots of rest. I'm always surprised by writers who tell me they've been awake for three days trying to turn in a script. Do you know anyone who does their best work after being awake for three days?

AMP - Seeker of Lost Knowledge

1.) In regards of your new Titans (Bunker and Bugg), will we soon know the name of your third new Titan that several people/sourses have called “Charcoal Girl”? (I’ve always thought a name like “Abyss” or “Ebony” would work out.)

Well, you you may know by now, "Charcoal Girl" is not her real super heroine name. (It never was though -- that was a nickname Brett gave to her on his blog and it sort of just stuck!). Similarly, you can see where your other suggestions aren't necessary as she already has an established name.

-Why did you changed Bunker from “The Wall”? Did it sound better than the other?

That was one of a multitude of decisions that were not mine. That said, I am happy with the editorial change! Bunker rules!

-Is “Bugg” a name we can take seriously as a Teen Titan.

Well, she has since been renamed "Skitter", but to speak to the heart of your question… Teen Titans alone has been graced with characters named "Robin" (the cutest bird in the world) Aqua Lad (Seriously? "Oh no, Aqua Lad is here! Run for your lives!" Beast Boy, Kid Flash, a girl with a blue cloak named Raven (Huh? Why?) a half-man/half-robot named (wait for it..) Cyborg! The list goes on and on and that's just the Titans. Over the years we come to accept code names of characters because we love the characters… but it is hard for me to get excited by someone being overly critical of a character named "Bugg." (One of my favorite characters I ever created was named after the letter M!)

2.) After receiving much controversy about Starfire in RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS, are you proud or ashamed of yourself? Or both?

I am proud that I wrote a story that -- at the very least -- has people talking about issues they are passionate about. But ashamed? Of what?

3.) What does N.O.W.H.E.R.E. stand for?

They are a very secret organization. They would kill me if I told you.

4.) Not only I was surprised to see Rose Wilson/Ravager in SUPERBOY, but I was also surprised to see Catlin Fairchild from Wildstorm’s GEN-13. Why have Fairchild as a supporting character for Superboy?

You are confusing me with your questions. Why not?

-Will she become Superboy’s love interest?

Nope.

-Will she become an ally to the Teen Titans?

Nope.

-Will she go gen-active at some point? (Meaning, will she have powers again soon?)

At some point?

-Will we see the other members of GEN-13 in the DCNU? (Grunge? Rainmaker? Freefall? Finch? Burnout?)

It seems likely.

Eyz

Here's mine, somethings that had been running around my mind for a while, which I'm not sure have been actually cleared out/answered as of now.

Was this new Roy Harper ever a sidekick to Green Arrow? I mean, on G.A. it seems Ollie's starting all over from scratch and since I didn't see any precise mention if this new Roy's ever been Speedy/the old Arsenal (no Lian!)/Red Arrow on the JLA... Yes he's been with the Titans but it wasn't that clear besides that..

There are hints to Roy and Ollie's relationship in issue 3. And as of right now issue seven is going to reveal a long awaited reunion between the two. (But… that could change, as I haven't gotten issue 7 approved by my editor or the Green Arrow editor yet.)

Did Starfire go through the Rann/Thanagar War in this new continuity? Where she sort of made peace with her sister (well not so much), lived with the Bakers (Animal Man), etc..

I've asked that same question! Will keep you posted.

And finally..

Superboy started all over again? I mean this is more than just a retelling of his origins like "Year One" stories right, it's a proper reboot? Or will it jump some years ahead and preserve some of his old comics and his role during Doomsday?

It was going to be a relaunch, but it became clear after the Superman and Supergirl retooling that Superboy's origin has to begin in the here and now.

Phew! Thanks gang -- until next time?!

S!

82 Comments
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Edited by doordoor123

LOBDELL!

I wish I could have asked what Bart Allen's relationship is with the rest of the DCU. He isn't from the future and just received his speed (Says issue 2) He apparently also has no connection to the Flash. He talked about how he could have tried to get an internship or be a sidekick or something. Is he still related to Barry Allen? It would be weird if the Speed Force just ran in the family. But I wouldn't be surprised because it hasn't been revealed how The Flash got his powers. Who is this new Bart Allen?

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

Scott is awesome for doing this (again). Loving all the books so far. The only thing I have a problem with is the name "Skitter", where I come from (Scotland) skitter is usually something that follows a bad curry lol 

Posted by TheCrowbar

I don't know if Lobdell reads this forum. But thanks for answering our questions!

Posted by moviegeek17

If Scott is listening i would like to thank him for answering my question. Plus his answer was really helpful which is always nice :)

Posted by BatUniverse

Cool

Posted by Saren

+1 for the return of Raven.

Moderator
Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus

Lobdell, you are the man! Once again my questions are answered and I'm all smiles! :)

Edited by Doctor!!!!!

Lobdell is getting so much flack from the Teen hero related series, they were mean for teens and designed to represent a common group of teens who can get away with anything... and with Starfire, she is a Orange alien, who likes to wear the least amount of clothing... maybe they should have boosted up her character, just a tad.

Posted by BurnSide

gotta love that guy for doing this! wish i can read such answer about other series aswell. btw i think the last mystery titan is the guy trapped next to kid flash. and has anyone actually noted that they always call him kid flash? never bart or wally... and seeing it is he only just received his speed it could be bart. he has no connection to the flash because iris and barry have not yet dated? i should have posted these remarks.. maybe i'd have gotten an answer

Posted by cincyducksfan35

Hey my question got picked awesome! I'd be lying if I said that I wasn't disappointed that Red Robins story from that series was not continuing, but Teen Titans has been very good so far in a different way. Lobdell sure packed a LOT into issue #2 of TT. I love when it doesn't just take me five minutes to read a story. Definantly worth the three bucks

Posted by danhimself

@BurnSide: it's definitely Bart....they've said that it's him in several interviews

I've got to say that Mr. Lobdell is so awesome for doing this!! I just wish that some people tried a little bit harder to not come off as such a$$holes when asking their questions. This is the first and so far only comic writer who's sat down and answered OUR questions. It would be a shame to scare him off and prevent this from happening again.

Posted by kennybaese

I was really hoping for more Jason Todd knowledge out of this, but it was good. Glad to see he's sticking with his guns on the whole Starfire thing. As I don't really care about the Tirans or Superboy,most of this didn't interest me a ton, but good stuff nonetheless.

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous
@danhimself said:

@BurnSide: it's definitely Bart....they've said that it's him in several interviews

I've got to say that Mr. Lobdell is so awesome for doing this!! I just wish that some people tried a little bit harder to not come off as such a$$holes when asking their questions. This is the first and so far only comic writer who's sat down and answered OUR questions. It would be a shame to scare him off and prevent this from happening again.

I was thinking this aswell
Posted by Lifeguard85

Looks like I will be sticking with Redhood and the Outlaws, He's got me more interested now.

Posted by ArrowQuivers891

He answered my question (and I got the answer I was looking for, too!) !!!! Anyway, if you can see this, you are quite awesome, Mr. Lobdell. And with your answers about Raven, you have probably made the day for thousands of Titans fans, so, definitely good work.

Posted by Bestostero

They already have the best female dc character? WHAT!? Black Canary is in Teen Titans!? :/

Posted by keith71_98

He certainly said NOTHING that would make me give Red Hood another chance. Still doesn't seem to get why people feel so strongly about his cheesy, over-sexed, frat boy first issue.

Posted by cagedleo730

@keith71_98: I think he doesn't care if you don't like the way he wrote the characters. Some people love it and some hate it. He doesn't think he'll ever get everyone to like it.

Posted by cagedleo730

@doordoor123: It's revealed in the title page of the Flash how he got his powers. It's still the old chemical bath plus lightning equals .... tada super-speed. As for relations to Barry, they could be family (time travel involved or not) or it could be 2 people with the same last name. It happens.

Posted by EscGamer

one of the best comic book writers ever

Posted by Saren

If he's reduced Ravager to a depowered teenager who now hangs around with Gen13, I will find something small and furry and kick it in the ribs till it dies.

Moderator
Posted by Sekele

@keith71_98:

The more you attack something, the more defensive people will get about it

Something people may have thought was ok at first, may grow into a phenomena to them after they spent enough time defending it

Posted by Or35ti

Yay! Lobdell is so cool for doing this.

Posted by LordRequiem

Yup, I like this red and black costume, thank you for your time in answering my question. You sir are a gentleman and a scholar.

Posted by sethysquare

Scott! If you see this, Just wanna let you know that you are freaking awesome. I never thought I'll be so crazy about these books, you made it happen

Posted by sethysquare

@CitizenBane: ahahhahaha

Posted by Sinestro2828

Bummer, wish I'd been there in time to ask some questions for Lobdell to answer, I've been dying to ask about the Outlaw characters myself >_<

Posted by Mercy_

Hmmm. I actually really liked his Starfire answers.

Moderator
Posted by wane88

Didn't we already see Fairchild powered up? I don't have the comic in front of me right now (I'm at work, don't tell boss) but I could've sworn she knocked Superboy in the wall.

Posted by lykopis

@Sekele said:

@keith71_98:

The more you attack something, the more defensive people will get about it

Something people may have thought was ok at first, may grow into a phenomena to them after they spent enough time defending it

This. For all my criticisms though, I do appreciate Lobdell taking the time to answer questions from ComicVine. But, like you Sekele, there was nothing in this interview (amongst others) that changed my mind. Only his writing of the character will.

Posted by GothamRed

How come whenever anyone questions the name of his ne character names, he makes fun of the names of existing characters as an argument? And dammit, change his name back to Wall!!! It was so perfect a name!!!

Posted by TheMess1428

Did I miss something? Everyone is asking who the 8th Titan is, but I never even knew we had an official team of 7 yet. Can someone please give me a list of the official members?

Edited by pspin

Scott Lobdell is the man! All of his series are really good. I don't get what everyone is all bent out of shape about Starfire for, she is an alien from a separate culture that is different so of course anything she does will seem wierd and different. Personally I think this is a very realistic and accurate portrayal of her.

Keep up the excellent work Mr. Lobdel!

Posted by JetstreamGW

Re: Starfire

Mr. Lobdell, I'm not terribly familiar with your body of work. I don't really pay too much attention to who writes or draws what I read. Perhaps that's negative but I'll leave that for others to decide. That said, I see your response to the Starfire question as a deflection of the question altogether. You point out that on the DC boards only a few people are saying these things... but you don't mention the rest of the internet at large. Frankly, the posters on the DC boards almost certainly represent a fairly small minority of your readership on the whole. You really should be taking into account significantly more things than just that.

With that in mind, you didn't actually answer the question. You instead focused on your distaste for your detractors' phrasing... Which tells us nothing. Fact of the matter is, you've taken an established character and did a complete 180 on her personality. Obviously someone is upset about that. I'm not as up in arms about it as lots of others (there are many things wrong with Red Hood, not just Kori). If you have a reason for making this change to her personality, you should explain it. If not, you should accept the fact that there are fans out there, possibly MANY of them, who are going to be upset with you for it, and you're going to have to accept that. Shaking your finger at them isn't going to change their opinion of the book, it's just going to sour them on you.

But hey, your book, do what you want. The sales numbers will make the call, ultimately. They always do.

Posted by cagedleo730

@TheMess1428: Red Robin, Wonder Girl, Kid Flash, Superboy, Bunker, Skitter, Solstice, and #8 probably Danny (Chase).

Posted by jcbart

I have no intention on reading the comic (not for any particular reason), but due to the whole Starfire whoopla surrounding the title I decided to read what he had to say about the issue; he never answered. He kept saying, "There are bound to be people who don't like the title" and then boohoos people for referring to Starfire as a slut, however never addresses the actual topic. He never talks about the way he depicted her in the first issue, he never defends why he chose to have her dress in a skantily-clad bikini and offer herself so easily. Yes, he explains what it's like for her to be an alien, and no she isn't a model who can blend in, but she sure as hell acts like a porn star.

I've honestly lost respect for him purely because he avoided the topic at hand. There was no explanation as to why she acted the way she did and then he had the audacity to degrade people who didn't approve of the way he wrote her.

Posted by postman

@JetstreamGW: Well he was asked if was surprised by the fan reaction to his way of writing Starfire witch he answered. No where in the the question was there anything about why he wrote her that way. The question you want answered is, more or less, "Why did you decide to write Starfire so differently from the way she's been written in the past 25 years?". Lobdell pointed this out by saying "If you want to talk about why I chose to focus on Kori's alien perspective instead of on her 25 or so years of character changes, I am here, all for it." If he ever does this Q n A on Comicvine again someone has to make sure to ask this specific question.

Posted by cagedleo730

@jcbart: He didn't answer that question because it wasn't sent to him. He's only responding to the questions that were sent to him. You comparing Starfire to a porn star is one of the things he's offended about. You take her behavior which isn't that far to what she's been portrayed as lately (52, Countdown to Adventure, Titans, REBELS) and making a moral judgement on how she's written. It kinda shows how you feel about woman who act this way. I agree that the whole slut, whore, porn star words are way overused about women that have control of their sexuality.

Posted by vuviper

@cagedleo730 said:

@jcbart: He didn't answer that question because it wasn't sent to him. He's only responding to the questions that were sent to him. You comparing Starfire to a porn star is one of the things he's offended about. You take her behavior which isn't that far to what she's been portrayed as lately (52, Countdown to Adventure, Titans, REBELS) and making a moral judgement on how she's written. It kinda shows how you feel about woman who act this way. I agree that the whole slut, whore, porn star words are way overused about women that have control of their sexuality.

What do people have against whore/sluts/pornstars anyway? Why are such things insults? I'll never understand people...

Posted by carnivalofsins00

I was wondering, is he taking more questions?

Posted by BlackArmor

Thanks for answering my question i appreciate it good job on all your books there all great

Posted by imsirius

The 'memory/sensory-deficient' thing can still be played off as Kori avoiding issues. I hope that's the path that's eventually taken here.

Posted by RainEffect

"I'll say I didn't expect this to happen again.

That is because -- based on your posts on other boards -- you think I am a coward."
 
Owned.

Posted by Danial79

Scott,

Red Hood and the Outlaws is one of my favourites of The New 52, so all I'd like to say is, thank you. I'm one of those people who was 100% Marvel until this relaunch, so that's quite a feat. You were solely responsible for making Red Hood one of my new favourite characters. I've since watched Under The Red Hood and am considering buying the trade (I know that was Winnick, not you, but still). Thanks again, and keep up the great work.

Cheers,

Danial

Edited by fodigg

Hey awesome! Thanks for selecting my question and for answering it!

Question: Why should we like your memory/sensory-deficient version of Starfire?That is an interesting question. I don't necessarily write a character to be liked or disliked. Personally, I find her fascinating -- an alien woman who is stranded on Earth (it is not as if a ferry leaves for Tamaran every twenty minutes) who is trying to do her best to adapt to a totally different culture. And while she has a lot of affection for the human race in general, the truth is that humans are not particularly enamored of aliens.

I think that's a great setup but none of that was what I really had issue with in Starfire's portrayal. It's the specific elements of your implementation that concern me. And really, the "humans are so silly, when I can tell them apart!" thought bubble was the barest glimpse of that and that was all we got in issue 1. This perspective on her really was not explored much.

(Superman and Supergirl at least have the fact they look like models going for them. Kori has orange skin, green eyes and oft-flaming hair. She'd stand out even in West Hollywood. She isn't an alien that can slip into a pair of reading glasses and fit right in -- so the challenges she's going to face are different than the Superman and the shapeshifting Martian Manhunters of the world.)

Orange skin? She should fit in over in Jersey, right? *rimshot*

But seriously it doesn't really seem like she's having any trouble fitting in. She's certainly not trying to cover up that orange skin, and she had no problem getting dolled up and ordering a limo in issue 2. Meanwhile Supergirl is being hunted the second she touches down on Earth. I know there's supposed to be someone going after Starfire in Red Hood and the Outlaws going forward because of that picture on the internet, but it's been a slow-burn plot point for those first two issues.

For the past 40 years, Mr. Spock from Star Trek was an emotionally "deficient" alien who probably taught us more about human emotion than a lot of other characters in science fiction. Similarly, I think there is a lot for Kori to reveal to us about the nature of memory than we might initially perceive from the first issue.
I've read the sixth issue, which reveals the story of how she and Jason met -- and he learns exactly what she does and doesn't recall from the past. I think everyone who is dismissing her as a "goldfish" (with tongue often planted in cheek) is going to be disappointed that their snap judgement about Kori hasn't played out.

So "wait and see?" I understand that we (the critical fans) are basing our impressions on only one issue alone, but a relaunch first issue is kind of a big deal. First impressions are hard to ignore. I didn't see much about Starfire in that first issue (or in the second, although she wasn't featured much) that made me interested in her, but saw plenty that made me want to dismiss her as a meaningful or interesting character.

In short, I love Kori -- I have since her very first appearance. I love that she's the strongest member in a team of bad asses, I love that her perceptions will often challenge Jason and Roy's, I love the fact that she doesn't think the way humans do. I am forever fascinated by her and I can only hope that love for the character is contagious.

I hope she does challenge Jason and Roy, and soon. I want her to show agency about something—anything—that isn't explicitly fulfilling a male fantasy. That would make her a more interesting character to me.

Follow-up: What would you say to those who did not like her in the first issue of Red Hood and the Outlaws?I'm not sure what to say, to be honest.
Maybe there is a book that has been written or a move that has been made that everyone who has read it or everyone who has seen it can all agree that it is the ultimate book or movie -- that it is flawless in its depiction or every storyline and every character introduced. Maybe. But it has been my experience that most books and movies have their fans and their detractors.
I kind of think that is the way it is supposed to be.
There is a saying that goes something like "If you write something that no one hates, then you've written something that no one will love."
Honestly, Fodigg, I don't want to write a book that everyone who picks it up universally agrees is brilliant, or perfect.
While there has been a vociferous response from people who didn't care for issue 1, I've similarly heard from a lot of people who loved it to pieces -- sometimes for the very reasons people who hated sighted.
I guess I could apologize to people that didn't like it -- but that seems odd to me. It feels like a betrayal to the growing number of fans that liked it.

The nature of your response is really my fault for being terse and putting the question in a like/dislike dynamic. I should have taken the time to lay out my specific concerns, because your sentiment here is pretty useless to those of us who had problems with Starfire's portrayal. You're basically saying "yeah, well, different strokes," but that's essentially the same as saying you don't care about a criticism no matter how much merit there is to it.

Again, your response follows the format of my question so it's not like I can blame you for it, but I really do believe that there are ways to—certainly not to please everyone—but to improve your product to keep the people who like it happy and yet not outright alienate others. I assume you want to have a larger audience? As large and happy an audience as possible?

Bottom line, I think you can have a sexy, promiscuous, cheesecake-heavy version of Starfire that isn't:

  1. mentally deficient, which leads to concerns with her agency,
  2. ONLY concerned with sex, which was all we seemed to get in issue one, and
  3. drawn in hyper-sexualized poses when it does not seem appropriate in the context of the scene.

There's sexy, and then there's silly. I think the people who like the current book will still like it if you lean toward the former, because I don't think they care about the latter. You won't please everyone but I don't think that's a reason to dismiss any and all criticism or to not try and have as large a readership as possible.

I am encouraged, however, to hear that you mean for Starfire to take personal stands in opposition to Jason and Roy. I think that is exactly what we need from her. Every character should want something, even if it's a glass of water, and it doesn't really work when it seems like all Starfire wants is to be the perfect male fantasy for the bro-tastic Jason and Roy. I want her to develop into a well-rounded character instead of what reads like a mentally challenged male fantasy embodied on the page. So yes, a personal stand against the group would help. You know, as long as that defiant stand isn't just about which position to have sex in.

(btw, Superboy was awesome.)Thank you. It was a blast!

No, thank you! Issue two was also awesome.

Posted by fodigg

There seems to be a lot of "wait till issue 6 to find out!" in this interview as a whole. I'm sorry, but you do not get 6 months to pull readers into a series...

Posted by lykopis

@fodigg: Oh my.

Just...just so much WIN in your last two posts. Overloading on winning-ness. Huzzah! Huzzah!

Posted by Phantim555

@RainEffect said:

"I'll say I didn't expect this to happen again.

That is because -- based on your posts on other boards -- you think I am a coward."

Owned.

Ha, I was wondering if someone else was going to point this out. Probably my FAVORITE moment in his answering of questions. By the way Mr. Lobdell if you do get to read these I just want to say I LOVE Red Hood and the Outlaws and I can't wait to read more. At first I never planned on reading the book but issue one drew me in. Is Starfire different? Yes is it a little shaky? Yes but is she still a powerful woman who does what (or who) she wants and doesn't care what anyone else thinks? Hell yes!

Posted by fodigg
1) Were you in any way surprised that your (so far initial) portrayal of Starfire received such a vast amount of negative feedback from the community?Hmmm. Well, while I think the people who didn't like it were certainly vocal… I'd have to question the framing of your question.
I read a lot of the DC Message Boards and the CBR Message Boards just to keep my finger on the pulse (sorry, I can't read every board) -- and while they go on for pages and pages and pages about things they don't like about Outlaws and Starfire in particular… when you realize that most of these are the same five or six people, who don't like my writing to begin with… well, it makes it hard for me to swallow your assertion that it was so negatively received.
Did some people like it less than others? Of that there can be no doubt.
Did some people hate it with a hate that dare not speak its name? I got that sense, yes.
But, that said, I've heard from lots of people (online and in person) who enjoyed it as much as I did.
I think what HAS surprised me the most is the vulgar tone of the comments I've read. When I hear people calling Starfire a "slut" or a "whore" or a "sex toy" it makes me sick to my stomach, honestly. I don't think a person (man or woman) gets to define someone else's sexuality and certainly not in such derogatory and dismissive terms. The notion that people genuinely believe they are staking the moral high ground in what they believe is their defense of Kori, by using such dehumanizing language is otherworldly to me.
If you want to talk about why I chose to focus on Kori's alien perspective instead of on her 25 or so years of character changes, I am here, all for it.
But to call a woman a derogatory term because you don't agree with her choices -- whether she's a comic book character or a girl in your high school or a woman standing on a street corner -- that isn't a conversation I'm willing to have with someone.
I read online where some guy at the NYComicCon shouted out "Why did they turn Starfire into a slut!" Can you imagine him shouting out a question using a derogatory word used to describe Luke Cage or Northstar -- as if he were somehow defending the characters honor because he disagreed with an interpretation of the character?
Seriously. Words like "slut" and "whore" really need to work their way out of people's vocabularies.

Okay, so I don't mean to pile on the responses but this section kept rolling around in my head while I was in the shower. A few more thoughts:

  1. The word usage thing I agree with. No reason to bandy about sexist terms when you're ostensibly against a sexist portrayal of a character.
  2. It should be pointed out, however, that Starfire was just as promiscuous and scantily clad in the old DCU, before your first issue of Red Hood, and that people didn't call her that stuff before. Something changed, and it wasn't just "now she's having casual sex." She lost her personality.
  3. The problem, again, is that we don't see anything else from her in the first two issues. If all you knew of me as a person was a video of me having casual sex, well I'm sure you wouldn't think much of me either. Going forward, we need—NEED—to see Starfire having wants in the text beyond sex and doing whatever the boys want, or this will continue to be a problem.

What's more, what Starfire really needs to get away from all this is a personal QUEST. She needs to be after something and for us to know what that is and root for her/against her. I worry that this "run from the law" thing will be too reactive to fulfill that. Her personal quest needs to be something more than "HULK WANT BE LEFT ALONE." If we see that her world doesn't revolve around the sex, then she can be just as sexy and mentally addled as before and it would be a massive improvement.

I'm sure that's in your plans going forward, but it SHOULD have been in issue 1.

Posted by TadThuggish
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