Last week we looked at Scott Lobdell's thoughts on taking over SUPERMAN. We all have high hopes and Lobdell sounds like he's up to challenge of making us Superman fans happy. There clearly is more about Superman we'd love to know but we also wanted to touch on some of the other characters he's working on, including that one comment he made about Tim Drake.
Click HERE for Part 1.
Scott Lobdell: Front and center! Though... at this moment it looks like he's going to be very busy over in SUPERMAN while the Teen Titans are in Gotham during the "Death of the Family" storyline... but that is still up in the air at this moment! (He is, after all, nearly only human!)
CV: If so, will you be coordinating with the new series writer, Tom DeFalco?
SL: "Coordinating" is much too formal. Tom and I speak nearly every day about lots and lots of things -- Superboy being one of them. So we're pretty much on the same page when it comes to the Boy of Steel.
CV: Your scripts and Kenneth Rocafort's art created a great vibe in RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS. Is that same feeling going to exist with a new artist? Do you normally approach the scripts differently by writing scenes specific to an artist's strengths?
SL: I most always write PLOT first and then SCRIPT. If you ask someone as esteemed as Gail Simone or John Layman, they will tell you they'd rather rub poison ivy leaves against the eyeballs then to write a story that way.
I love it, however, because it leaves the artist with more freedom and more opportunity to impact on the story. (My feeling is a writer has to spend about two or three days a month writing a script... and then the artist has to wake up every day for a month and sit down and draw it. I personally feel the best way to engage the artist -- to get the best from them -- is by looking to them to imagine the story through more of their eyes than my own. I'm not an artist, I am a writer. To that end, I want the artists do be able to art and I'll work with the art that I get back.
Now, sometimes it can be a frustrating process... but, you know, so is working out at the gym or jogging, but the results are almost always worth it. Sometimes I've set up a bit ("He is 'wounded' by her remark -- and mocks getting hit in the chest with and arrow.") and get something else entirely (A close-up of the character smiling)... but, this is just one of the reasons why I write comic books and not novels.
Regarding strengths and weaknesses, no -- I just assume everyone can draw everything and do it awesomely if presented with the opportunity. Sometimes, when I used to break in artists, I would look at samples and see that artists who were writing from their own scripts would tend to only write what they could draw. "I'm not good with space stuff so I drew a scene in a bank!" Eventually though, the more an artist is forced out of his comfort zone the more he realizes he can do anything! I think.
CV: Here's the big one, what were you talking about when you said Tim Drake was never a "Robin" but went straight to being "RED Robin"? TEEN TITANS #1 showed him in the Robin costume, BATMAN #1 mentions he was a former Robin and BATMAN AND ROBIN #10 groups him as a former "Robin" when Damian declares to defeat all of them. This seems to have irritated a few people.
SL: Those are a lot of sort of mini-questions!
What I was thinking in San Diego was "I hate when fans come to panels at conventions and don't learn anything new -- anything they can't read in the solicits! These kids are here on a Sunday morning -- I'm going to spoil, spoil and spoil again! I'm going to tell them stuff they can only learn here -- right now -- at this panel! They've earned it!"
As my friend OUTSIDE_85 has said on more than one ocassion, panels should give us new information.
Now, what I was thinking when I wrote the story was... with the new Five Year Guideline at DC, I felt that Tim would be a more unique character if he hadn't been "another Robin in a line of Robins." When I was first starting out in comics, years ago, there was an unwritten rule that you shouldn't duplicate a character if you could avoid it.
I felt with the New 52 I was given the opportunity to set Tim apart from Robin One, Robin Two, and the latest Robin.
I realize as I write this that heads are exploding across the Internet.... but I believe that as people read the story they will see that most of Tim's origin is in place -- but tweaked and trimmed to accommodate the demands of the new continuity. He still essentially deciphers Bruce's secret identity (though, this is Bruce we are talking about here) -- he is still Batman's sidekick (though, maybe more of a partner) for a year or so between Jason and Damian. He just opts to not call himself Robin for reasons we see in the story.
To that end, I think Tim Drake fans can rest comfortably that most of the stories they've read remain canon -- even if they have to adjust their thinking to the way they remember those stories playing out.
Again, I know that makes some people see red -- but people need to keep in mind that I was hired to write stories for the New 52, not to just transcribe stories from the past and add an iPhone or a pop culture reference in the dialogue. I am confident that most people will enjoy the origin if they read it with an open mind.
Re: TEEN TITANS 1
He is wearing a red costume with an "R" on his chest.
He says he was better known as Robin. Not that he was a Robin, just that he was better known as Robin because it was easier for people to assume he was a Robin.
Re: BATMAN 1
That was a new facial recognition scanner Batman was trying out. I am confident Bruce worked out the kinks as time went on.
Re: BATMAN AND ROBIN #10
If Guy Gardner decided he was going to "Defeat all the Lanterns!" and he went around and beat up Hal, Saint Walker and Atrocitus, I think few people would feel the need to designate between Red Lanterns and Blue Lanterns. Similarly, I think it is okay for Damian to refer to anyone with a "Robin" in their name as a Robin.
Again, there are going to be some people who hate any change at all to Tim's history... and there are going to be people who are more open to a Tim Drake for 2012 moving forward.
Tony Guerrero is the Editor-in-Chief of Comic Vine. You can follow him on Twitter @GManFromHeck. He's still not sure about the Tim Drake decision but is going to give Scott a chance to tell this story.