With September's relaunched "New 52" titles just a couple weeks away, we're still pushing for any and all information we can get our hands on. Let's face it, we've been as patient as we could be since this was all first announced.
Scott Lobdell is marking his place at DC Comics with Superboy #1, Teen Titans #1 and Red Hood and the Outlaws #1. If you've seen the solicitations, you know there appears to be some changes happening. We asked Scott some questions on both and as an added bonus, got an exclusive first look at some early art for Superboy #2!
Scott Lobdell: In a way, yes. The story bounces back and forth between his earliest moments of consciousness as a clone, and the September books. We'll track his relationship with the young scientist who has been involved with every stage of Superboy's development, how she has developed a caring relationship with him, and why she's willing to risk everything to keep him from going head to head with the Teen Titans when he's dispatched to corral them on behalf of N.O.W.H.E.R.E. At the same time, the series is taking place in the very moment that you're reading it -- the second issue features a prison break where Superboy must stop a trio of the Citadel soldiers from escaping. (These are the same badass extra terrestrial military men who helped enslave Starfire's planet once upon a time.)
CV: Will we see any familiar faces in Superboy?
SL: Well I hate to frustrate you, honestly, but yes -- there are two very surprising familiar faces that are going to knock the readers on their butts. I even had to sneak them into the plot where I didn't name them because I knew DC's first reaction was going to be, "No way!" But after they read the first story and loved it... and then I told them, "You realize who those characters are, right?" they were "Oh. Wow. Cool. Didn't see that coming!"
That said, anyone who has read the solicits for SUPERBOY #3 knows at least one of those two characters!
So while I can't tell you without spoiling the reveal, I can tell you that Superboy's supporting cast is going to be made up new faces and some very familiar faces! (No, that doesn't mean Chloe or Simon. Great characters, one and all, just not appearing in SUPERBOY any time soon!)
CV: Whose idea was it to give Red Robin functioning wings?
SL: I will take both the blame and the credit for the wings! LOL! I just feel really strongly that if you have three or four or five Robins in the history of the DCU that they need to be distinct from each other. Think about it, here is this sixteen-year-old kid, the adopted son of a multi-billionaire crime fighter who taught him how to depend on everything in his utility belt, deciding that he's going to use all the resources available to help those super-powered teens at risk. He'd have to be a little bit insane not to go into battle with all the technological advantages he can muster.
Finally, on the subject, I am again amused that some people think it is an act of sacrilege that Red Robin would somehow "depend" on his wings. Batman has had a batmobile almost since the earliest days of the comic -- it is a war room and a crime lab and practically an armory on wheels. That doesn't make Batman any less the World's Greatest Detective just because he has a batmobile... any more than it diminishes Tim's brilliance because he gets around on a set of wings he appropriated from Wayne Labs.== TEASER ==
SL: Yes we will see them, eventually, interact with the former teens who originally named themselves the Teen Titans. And yes, this is the first time this particular iteration of Teen Titans have met and gathered together.
You're buying a number one issue of Teen Titans... we really want it to feel like a first issue. You're getting in on the ground floor.
Now, because I am not in charge of other elements of the DC Universe, I can't say for sure what is happening with Nightwing or Cyborg or other original members. As time goes on and the writers and editors fine-tune their characters, I'm sure we'll be seeing them guest or cameo in the TEEN TITANS.
And before anyone thinks I forget, yes, I do have Starfire over in RED HOOD & THE OUTLAWS, a book I share with TEEN TITANS editor Bobbie Chase (which would make a crossover easy)... but Koriand'r doesn't have a lot of fond memories with regards to her "first love" here on Earth, so don't expect her to have any feelings of nostalgia for a handful of teenagers she doesn't know.
CV: Is the team sanctioned by anyone (Batman, Justice League, etc)?
SL: What a strange question. I don't really know what Batman or the Justice League or anyone else thinks of the Teen Titans. Seriously, in all my writing and pitching and plotting and scripting, I haven't thought about it and no one has asked me what Batman and the Justice League and Wonder Woman and anyone else has thought about the Teen Titans.
And I don't think Tim or Cassie or any of the others would give much thought to whether they are "sanctioned" by anyone or not. They are trying to stay alive under very arduous conditions... I don't think they much care about getting a stamp of approval from Batman and his co-workers.
Now that I am thinking about it... it might be because these Teen Titans are much more apart from their "mentors" than people might be used to seeing them. That is, while Tim Drake comes directly from the wing of Batman, Kid Flash and Barry don't have a pre-existing relationship as the series opens (the fact that Barry and Iris are no longer married makes it at least a teeny bit difficult for him to be, you know, born) and Wonder Girl didn't start her career because she trying to get on Wonder Woman's radar -- in fact, in TEEN TITANS #1 Cassie has been trying hard to stay off of everyone's radar.
I know I should be careful what I write because it can always come back to bite me... but I don't have any plans at all for Batman or Superman or Wonder Woman or even Nightwing or Cyborg or anyone showing up any time soon. Brett [Booth] and I really want TEEN TITANS (the book, and the characters) to stand up on their own. This isn't a series about sidekicks and it isn't a series about young heroes in training... it is the story of what happens when a handful of teenaged super heroes with different levels of training and life experiences come together to defend themselves. No sanctioning required!
SL: Not at all... at this time! (It is one of those things you have to add in these interviews because -- honestly -- everything is open to change. It is a work in progress -- which makes it all so very exciting and fun to work on!) I'm not entirely sure what Kyle is doing over in Deathstroke, but I get the impression from his interviews that Rose Wilson isn't going to be a part of his plans. (Which, considering Rose Wilson is all but a co-star in SUPERBOY...only presents me with lots of opportunities for new stories!)
Regarding the TEEN TITANS themselves -- no, I personally think that it is better for Deathstroke's resume if he doesn't spend his time obsessing over killing teenagers he's never able to kill. He's either the world's greatest assassin or he's not!
CV: Do you have plans for new villains or will existing ones get an updated tweak?
SL: Hmmm. Normally I like to alternate the new and existing villains... but so far it seems to be the emphasis is on new characters. While I appreciate the classics and the history involved with characters, I have to believe I am not the only comic fan in the world whose eyes start to bleed when ye ole' arch enemy winds up in the back of the limo on the last page of our hero -- nostalgic, sure, but hardly compelling.
I think after some thirty years of stories, the Teen Titans and Superboys of the world should be able to spread their wings a little and see what's out there!
And, honestly, if I was going to be playing with any of the Classics in DC, I'd rather have the TEEN TITANS go up against Brainiac or Darkseid... or SUPERBOY going up against the JOKER or RA'S AL GHUL. I'd love to mix and match.
CV: Will the Titans still have Titans Tower as their base?
SL: No. The Teen Titans are going to be much too busy and much too hunted to erect a ten story glass tower on a small island off of a major city where every villain on the planet can find them on Google.
CV: There's mention of an international organization hunting super-powered teens. Will we find out about them right away or will it build up over a few issues?
SL: We will be seeing N.O.W.H.E.R.E. and some their operatives almost immediately in both TEEN TITANS and SUPERBOY -- but expect their motives and their more maniacal machinations to be revealed more and more over time.
CV: Which team member is becoming your favorite character as you write and why?
SL: I am afraid to answer that question because I am never sure which of the other characters are reading this...
WONDER GIRL is my favorite character to write because she is just so damned cool. She is the most powerful member of the team, yes, but she has absolutely no interest in being part of a team. Heck, she's not even thrilled with being Wonder Girl at all, and if you got her to open up to you she might admit that the situation that landed her in the role was probably the result of a series of poor life choices on her part. That said, she finds herself very inspired by Tim Drake -- a kid with no super powers at all risking his life to help other metahuman teens. It annoys her that he is so damned noble.
Oh wait, no. My favorite character to write is THE WALL. Because Miguel comes from such a different background than the rest of the TEEN TITANS. He grew up in a small Mexican village where his family and neighbors loved him dearly, and when he started manifesting his metahuman ability they threw him a huge party -- they couldn't be any prouder of their young super hero. I love that Miguel loves every moment of this adventure he's on... he's the type of guy who'd be in the middle of a battle with the Fatal Five and ask Cassie to take a pic with his cell phone so he can send it to his sister back home!
No, actually, I love Rose Wilson. She is definitely my favorite character to write because she's been hired because she's the only person N.O.W.H.E.R.E. feels is resourceful enough and ruthless enough to put down Superboy if they need her to -- but the longer she's exposed to him the more she realizes she doesn't want to be the person responsible for ending the life of maybe the most unique and exquisite creature on the planet. She hates that her relationship with Superboy runs the risk of challenging everything she believes in.
I'm sorry, Roy Harper is definitely my favorite character. Here is a young guy who lost the greatest opportunity in the world to his drug addiction and is now determined to never go back to the abyss again. He was, after all, the sidekick to his idol... but he tossed it away for what -- to chase the dragon? He had a whole lifetime of heroics in front of him. But he's not going to spend the rest of his life mourning what he had... his feeling is that every day he wakes up sober and every day he goes to bed sober is a good day. How can you not love a guy like that, trucker hat notwithstanding!
No, wait! My favorite character to write is...!
Superboy #1 is on sale September 14, Red Hood and the Outlaws #1 is on sale September 21 and Teen Titans #1 is on sale September 28.
How about those EXCLUSIVE pages from SUPERBOY #2? Check them out below!