"Between Friend and Foe" (17 pages) /"Where Nightmares Begin" (14 pages)
|| Jim Starlin
Steve Mitchell George Pérez
|| Jerry Serpe
Teen Titans at 25, Crisis at 20
The Main Event, Scoop, Friday, September 16, 2005
Teen Titans at 25, Crisis at 20:
The Enduring Duo of Marv Wolfman and George Pérez
The legendary creative duos in comic
books include two teams - Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, and Stan Lee and
Jack Kirby - of whom it is generally safe to mention only their last
names. Others may well someday be added to this pantheon and still
others probably already belong to it, but while Simon & Kirby
helped define the 1940s and 1950s and Lee & Kirby certainly defined
the 1960s, another team defined the 1980s and in many ways helped set
the groundwork for the superhero comics we have today.
Writer Marv Wolfman and artist George
Pérez, who this year celebrate the 25th anniversary of New Teen Titans
and the 20th anniversary of Crisis on Infinite Earths, have impacted
the superhero genre as have few other pairs of creators. Though both
worked extensively with other partners before and since those efforts,
there is undeniably something compelling and special about that period
and their collaborative labors.
[ Read more Teen Titans at 25, Crisis at 20 ]
SDCC DAY 2: TEEN TITANS 25TH ANNIVERSARY PANEL
From WIZARD #157 (Nov 2004)
Friday’s Teen Titans 25th Anniversary panel
at Comic Con International: San Diego saw the room packed as Nick
Cardy, Marv Wolfman, Geoff Johns, Glenn Murakami, and Barb Kesel talked
Titans old and new, in print and animated.
After introducing himself Geoff Johns
praised Wolfman, saying that his writing has served as an inspiration
and influence on him over the years.
Murakami said that he, like Johns, was a
fan of the Wolfman/Perez comic series growing up, and lept at the
chance to develop the group of heroes as an animated series when the
opportunity was presented to him.
Asked about the progress of Games, the
long-delayed in finishing original Teen Titans graphic novel by Wolfman
and Perez, Wolfman said that it will happen when it happens, noting
that Perez needs to finish it first, as it is something Wolfman said he
doesn’t want to write in pieces. “It’s the best Titans George has ever
drawn, though,” Wolfman said.
[ Read more SDCC DAY 2: TEEN TITANS 25TH ANNIVERSARY PANEL ]
WHO'S YOUR DADDY??
written by Richard Ho
published in WIZARD #157 (Nov 2004)
Thirty years after he created Wolverine, LEN WEIN remains one of the
most influential creators in modern comic history - even if you've
never heard of him.
PUTTING CLAREMONT ON UNCANNY X-MEN
was simply one in an endless series of shining successes Wein enjoyed
while wearing his "editor" hat. Another one? The critically acclaimed
Marv Wolfman/George Pérez run on New Teen Titans, which Wein oversaw in 1980, after having moved to DC.
"Working on Titans was a dream,"
recalls Wein. "With the X-Men being the hottest book at Marvel, we
figured we ought to do something with DC's own version - the Teen
Titans." He and Wolfman pitched the idea to DC President Jenette Kahn,
who "looked at us like we were crazy. After all, the book had been
terrible - the last time DC canceled it! We looked at her and said
together, 'We'll do it better.' And she said okay! At that point in
time, the two of us were either writing or editing the top third of
their line, so she figured she had a pretty good shot with us."
The team of Wein, Wolfman, and Pérez
went on to make magic, guiding the title to X-Men-level popularity.
Wein's formula for success? Stay out of the way. "My attitude as an
editor was always hire the right people and get the hell out of their
way," explains Wein. "Let them do what they do best. As an editor you
stand on the sidelines, and if they start to veer off course, your job
is to pull them back. But otherwise, if it ain't broke, don't fix it."
"His main strength as an editor is his
ability to see what's wrong," notes Wolfman. "I always said, and he
agrees, that if there was a job that was essentially called, 'No no,
don't do that,' that should be Len's job. He's able to see what someone
else has done, and then make the suggestion very clearly as to how to
make it better."
Even if someone doesn't go along with Wein's suggestions.
May 14, 2004 06:06 pm | Scoop's TT Article (May 14)
The New Teen Titans, The New Teen Titans or The *NEW* Teen Titans?
Did you Know...?, Scoop, Friday, May 14, 2004
For the purposes of this article, we're going to say that the truly authentic New Teen Titans were the ones that cropped up in the 1980s.
See, the first Teen Titans
appeared in the 1960s. Then they experienced a minor lull and underwent
a semi-reinvention in the '70s, adding characters like the Joker's
Daughter, The Bumblebee, Bat-Girl and Golden Eagle.
But it wasn't until 1980 when DC Comics emerged under an official The New Teen Titans comic title that the transformation was complete. Previewed in DC Comics Presents #26,
this fresh-faced crew fused the older standbys like Robin, Wonder Girl
and Kid Flash with entirely original characters like Cyborg, Starfire,
Raven, Terra and Changling.
The major difference between this camp
and its band of '60s predecessors was that, this time, the Teens were
no longer sidekicks. They'd finally emerged from the shadows of their
mentors (with the aid of gradual age progression) to become their own
men... and women. This time around, they were confident enough in their
own ability to bust the bad guys without having to play second fiddle
or beg an assist from their older superheroic counterparts.
Under this title, Wonder Girl married
and Robin graduated college. Then, in 1988, the comic title evolved,
dropping the "Teen" from its name to become The New Titans, and
crimefighting business went on as usual for another eight years.
But any channel-surfing animated series enthusiast knows that yet another group of New Teen Titans
airs regularly on the Cartoon Network. So will the newest New Teen
Titans one day become passe, only to be usurped by another newer New
Teen Titans crew? Well, if history is any indication, we'd guess so....
| December 15, 2003 | Wolfman Interview on Pulse
MARV WOLFMAN ON THE NEW TEEN TITANS
posted 12-15-2003 05:20 PM
BY JENNIFER M. CONTINO
It was announced at Wizard World Texas
that Marv Wolfman and George Perez would be teaming up again to
complete the ‘80s graphic novel starring the New Teen Titans. THE PULSE
thought now would be the perfect time to ask Wolfman some questions
about his original work on the series.
THE PULSE: Back in the day, after the
Teen Titans hadn't done so well in its second volume in the mid-70s,
what made you want to bring them back again? Why did you think the time
WOLFMAN: When I moved over to DC from Marvel I was assigned a lot of
crossover titles like World's Finest and Brave & The Bold and
really didn't want to work on them. I hate those kinds of team-up books
and had already done almost two years worth of Marvel Two-In-One
stories that I felt were among my worst Marvel work, so I was desperate
to get off them. I managed to get onto Superman and still needed one
more title. Having written the Titans in the late 60s - I did the
original origin of Wonder Girl story back then - and having a soft spot
for the group, I thought it would be fun to redo the Titans, but in the
more modern style at the time. I primarily wanted to create my own
characters as well as finally get a chance to do super-hero stories in
my own style - as I had been doing with Tomb of Dracula - as opposed to
writing Spider-Man and Fantastic Four in a pseudo Stan Lee style. I had
no expectations that the Titans would sell, even after George agreed to
do the book, but we both knew we would have fun while it lasted. And it
lasted. And lasted. And lasted.
THE PULSE: At that point in time, how many teen hero comics were there on the shelves?
WOLFMAN: I'm not certain if there were any Teen comics out in 1980
outside of Titans. The X-Men were certainly not teens but I'm not sure
if the Legion was being done at that point or not. Titans was a risk
for DC because Jenette Kahn, the publisher, really disliked the
previous versions and wasn't sure DC should try a new one. But she went
with [editor] Len Wein and me when we said we'd do it better. It was a
leap of faith that I'm not sure is being done today in the same way.
From WIZARD #142 (Jul 03)
| May 31, 2003 | TT Worth Checking Out
TITANIC TITLES WORTH TRACKING
written by Heidi Ward
Be on the lookout for massive youth movement in the back issue bins this summer.
With the highly anticipated relaunch of Teen Titans by Geoff Johns and Mike McKone hitting in July, collectors will be scouring bins looking for hot collectibles, and Wizard has the scoop on Titans back issues to watch!
DC COMICS PRESENTS #26
The New Teen Titans who would go on to star in DC's top-selling
title of the '80s, make their first appearance here. The new series
should spark interest in Marv Wolfman and George Pérez's beloved Titans
CURRENT VALUE: $20
NEW TEEN TITANS (vol 1) #2
Marking the first appearance of Deathstroke the Terminator, fans
will be searching for this issue as Geoff Johns has said that
Deathstroke will return to his heinous nature and be a major thorn in
the Titans' collective side in the new series.
CURRENT VALUE: $7.50
From Silver Bullet Comics
| February 16, 2003 | Wolfman's "What The--?" (Feb 16)
Still More Letters!
Sunday, February 16
written by Marv Wolfman
How did the entire concept of the Teen Titans came about? Was it DC's intention for it to complete with the X-Men
or was it a surprise hit? Had you and George Perez always had the idea
of Cyborg, Raven and Starfire, back in Marvel? Why did DC not include
firestorm within the Teen Titians. Who had come up with the concept of
You’re not asking for much, are you? Seriously, I
get this asked a lot and I may have even answered a version of this
before here, but since folk don’t generally go through the back date
archives, here we go again: Titans came up because I had
decided to leave Marvel and move over to DC. Back then you could only
work for one company, not both. Len (see above) was an editor at DC at
the time and though I was given a number of assignments when I got
there, I really wanted to do my own thing. Len and I had written a Titans story way back in the first series (the Russian Starfire (later Red Star) story and I always had a love for the Titans
concept. I came up with a bunch of characters – more on this in a
moment – then Len and I pitched it to the Powers That Be.
Unfortunately, they didn’t want a new Titans series because they didn’t
like the previous one. They had no thoughts about doing a DC version of
X-Men, no matter what people think. Nor did I, by the way. Despite Len – who created the New X-Men being my editor – I was never much of an X-Men
fan and doing a DC version of that book never crossed my mind. I wanted
to do a ‘family’ book. Frankly, in my mind I wanted to do a DC version
of the Fantastic Four, which, as Stan Lee himself has always admitted, was a Marvel version of the J.L.A.
Anyway, the Powers That be asked us why they should publish a new Titans
book when the last series didn’t do well, and we replied, with no false
modesty, “Because we’ll do it better.” I guess they agreed because they
not only greenlit the book but an introductory story that appeared in DC Presents #26.
At this point I ran into George Perez up at Marvel and offered him the
book. He said yes thinking it would be dead 6 issues later. 16 years
later I got off the title and it’s still running today, with most of
the characters intact, albeit in a somewhat different form.
for how the individual characters were created, that’s harder to say. I
gave the group a lot of thought. I knew I’d want to use original Titans
members Robin, Wonder Girl and Beast Boy (with a new name) in the new
group. Kid Flash would probably appear but I wasn’t all that
enthusiastic about him. My feeling has always been that writers have to
pull back on that character because if you use him properly in a group
book he’ll not only get to wherever they’re going faster than the other
can, but he will probably have already solved the problem. In short,
he’s too powerful for a group dynamic. I also didn’t want to make
Aqualad a regular member because if you use him you are forced to use
water stories to fit him in.
I prepared a list of new
characters. I wanted an alien, and that became Starfire. I wanted an
athlete and that was Cyborg and finally I wanted an empath which became
Raven. Obviously, it wasn’t as simple as that, but the work to create
those characters, and to come up with a back-story I could keep mining
whenever I wanted to, would take much too long to explain. Suffice it
to say I spent a lot of time working out the characters so they would
blend together both emotionally and power-wise before I gave the
character descriptions to George to design. One he did I refined what I
wrote and, as they say, the rest is history.
To continue on how the Titans were created…
From: David Peattie
1.) I'd like to see a series of columns describing how you came up with the new characters you introduced in NEW TEEN TITANS.
Starfire, Raven, Cyborg, and the ones who came later like Deathstroke,
Terra, Kole, and so on. What prompted the idea for each character, what
was involved in fleshing them out as characters, and what kind of
response you initially got from DC about them all. Did the finished,
published product closely match what you'd originally intended? If not,
how much different did the end result come out to be? I know you said
you didn't want to spend a lot of time on "behind the curtain" stuff,
but I am always curious about how much of a writer's ideas make it to
the printed page, and when something is rejected or altered, why the
editor felt that was necessary.
2.) In a similar vein, I remember that some years ago, you and George Perez were supposed to do a TITANS
graphic novel that never did show up. Since the odds of it ever being
finished and published are about the same as my chances of becoming
Miss Universe, I wonder if you might clue us in on what the plot would
Okay, continuing from the above – I came
up with Deathstroke pretty much right after I came up with the Titans.
I knew Deathstroke would be in issue #2 but his son would appear in
issue #1. The genesis of Deathstroke came very fast. I wanted a very
moral character who was also a criminal, a sort of Batman for the
mercenary world, complete with his own Alfred. Unlike Alfred, however,
I wanted his partner to be his mentor. That’s where Wintergreen came
from. His name, of course, came from the gum, just as Princess
Koriand’r’s name came from the spice, coriander. She was the spicy
Titan, after all. I wanted Slade Wilson to be the kind of character
that you never could fully understand. You would also never know which
side he would be on because he operated by his own very strict code of
conduct. Slade would be troubled by what he had to do, but he was also
caught up in a web of his own creation and was unable to break free.
Simply, I wanted to create an antagonist who would be as well defined
as the Titans themselves. Only mistake I think I made with him is
having him have a physical relationship with the 16 year old Tara
Markov. That was wrong.
Which leads to Terra. That was easy.
George and I wanted a Titan who betrayed the others. We also wanted to
play against every reader conception of who characters are. George and
I knew her whole story before we began and we knew she would die. We
set the story up with her trying to destroy the Statue of Liberty to
show she was the bad girl, but we knew if George drew her as a cute kid
everyone would simply assume she would be ‘turned’ from the dark side
because that’s the way it was always done which is why that wouldn’t be
the way we did it. Tara was insane and stayed that way right until the
moment she died. By the way, she IS dead. I don’t know what other
writers will do with her – if anything – but if they want to honor the
original series they will leave her dead. The Terra from Team Titans
was – as stated – some kid the villain kidnapped and physically and
mentally altered her into looking and acting like the original. But she
was NEVER the real Terra.
One last note: I came into DC with
Terra the same day Mike Barr came into DC with Geo-Force. Both had
earth-shifting powers. It would have been unfair for one of us to get
rid of our character, so we decided to make them brother and sister.
Kole. Because other editors were not pleased that they were asked to
come up with characters to kill in the Crisis, I realized I’d have to
come up with somebody to knock off as well, if only to assuage their
feelings somewhat. I came up with the crystal powered Kole who was
named after and drawn to look like a real person we knew. The problem
was, Jose Luis Garcia Lopez, who drew the Kole issues did a magnificent
job and I grew to really like the character and wished I hadn’t created
her to die. But if I were to play the game nicely, she had to weave her
As for “Games,” the graphic novel George and I
began way back when. George drew about 80 pages of the best Titans work
he ever did before going into artist’s block on the Titans. I kept
trying to convince DC to let another artist finish the last 30 pages,
but for reasons that have never made sense to me they have always
refused to do so. Every so often I bring it up again and the answer is
still no. Why? I can’t imagine. There are 80 pages done. I’d have to
dialogue the job and much of it would need to be inked, but I think
even if it now had to be an Elseworlds book – or at least a Hypertime
story – that people would flock to buy a hardcover Perez/Wolfman Titans
book. What do you think?
From Silver Bullet Comics
| October 7, 2002 |
We've Got Letters (Oct 6)
Letters, We’ve Got Letters!
Sunday, October 6
By Marv Wolfman
How did the entire concept of the Teen Titans came about? Was it
DC's intention for it to complete with the X-Men or was it a surprise
hit? Had you and George Perez always had the idea of Cyborg, Raven and
Star fire, back in Marvel? Why did DC not include Firestorm within the
Teen Titans. Who had come up with the concept of Nightwing?
I will assume you’re asking about The
New Teen Titans and not the original group. I don’t know who created
that group – it could have been the editors or the writer, Bob Haney.
Maybe someone out there knows? As for my group, I was leaving Marvel
and coming over to DC (in those days you could only work for one
company and not both) and was getting my assignments. My only request
was no team-up books, so, naturally, I was assigned to DC Presents and
Brave & Bold, both team-up books. Therefore, my first order of
business was to get off those titles.
Len Wein and I had written a story or
two for the original Teen Titans way back in the late 60s, and I always
had a warm spot for those characters, so I asked Len – who at this
point had become an editor at DC – if we could revive the title. I went
home and came up with the characters, so, no, there was not always a
Starfire, Cyborg or Raven. You can read my introduction for the first
Teen Titans Archives to see how they came about. Len and I went into
publisher Jenette Kahn’s office and pitched my idea. Jenette said she
did not like the previous version of the Titans and therefore wasn’t
hot on the idea, but we said we’d do it better. Honestly, that’s all we
said. Jenette, who trusted us, said fine.
As I fleshed out the characters I ran
into George Perez at the Marvel offices. I mentioned to him that I was
working on a new version of the Titans and would he be interested in
drawing it. George thought the book would last maybe a half dozen
issues, and there was a chance he could also draw the Justice League,
which was the book he really wanted to do, so he said yes. George then
designed the look of each and every one of the characters.
We showed Jenette what we had done and
she liked it so much she decided we should do a 16 page original Titans
story that they would put in free in DC Presents #26 to get people
[ Read more We've Got Letters (Oct 6) ]
From Silver Bullet Comics
| August 11, 2002 |
We've Got Letters (Aug 11)
Letters. We’ve Got Letters!
By Marv Wolfman
The following came from someone whose name I stupidly lost. Tell me who sent this and I'll publicly apologize.
What is your opinion of the different segments of your lengthy run on
Titans? What was your best story arc? What was your worst? At what
point did you realize you didn't want to write it anymore? Discuss
generally your long run on the book and how it affected you as a writer
and the concept of the team book in the comic medium. Also compare your
run on Titans to the Claremont period on X-Men and the results on both
The New Teen Titans was the best of
times and the worst of times. I loved writing the book, especially the
first eight to ten years where I was in charge of it, either
unofficially or officially. Those were the issues where I did what I
truly believed in. Once someone else comes in - even if they are a
great editor - things change. Sometimes for the best. Sometimes not so
for the best. There are a number comics where I truly believe the
editor makes the series much, much better, but a very few series where
I feel the creators should be left alone. For me those series would be
Titans, Crisis and Tomb Of Dracula. Everything else I've worked on has
been helped by working with good editors.
I don't think it's at all surprising that things weren't quite the same
on Titans once that control changed.
Best runs: The first 50 issues. Or
anytime I worked with the incredible George Perez. He wasn't just the
artist. He was the co-creator. Favorite stories: "Who is Donna Troy?",
the Terra storyline. And a story nobody ever brings up which is my all
time favorite, "Shades of Gray," the culmination of the
Changeling/Terminator story. There are dozens of smaller stories that I
also love, especially "A Day In The Life," and "A Pretty Girl Is Like a
Maladi." I loved the Kole stories and many others.
Where did it go wrong? The last year or
two. The reason? See my note in paragraph one above. Also, along the
way I lost interest in the series and thought of quitting, but then Jon
Peterson became editor and reminded me what I loved about the book. We
did "Titans Hunt" together which was as close to the 'classic' Titans
as I had done in a long time. It would have been a lot better if it
hadn't had to be broken up by two maxi-series, turning what should have
been a four-five part story where Vic Stone would have been rebuilt to
a year and a half storyline where he got lost in the mix.
I finally had it during that final year
and decided to quit the book. I hated every story. Every issue. I
wasn't even the plotter. So, at a DC Christmas out here in LA, I went
up to DCU Editor-in-Chief Mike Carlin and said I wanted to quit and
asked if DC would bring back Night Force and let me write that instead,
but with a different editor. I thought there might have been a problem,
but Mike said yes but asked me to stay on the Titans a few issues
longer. He said he thought it would be best to cancel the Titans with
my run rather than just hand it over to someone else. They would then
restart it with new characters, concepts and a new number one, which I
thought was a great idea. After sixteen years, a new voice and approach
was needed. Mike assigned a new editor to my last four issues, and,
with the exception of not being able to use Nightwing - who had been
returned to Batman continuity - let me end the series pretty much the
way I wanted. I still thank Mike for rescuing me from what had turned
into a hellish nightmare.
I still love the Titans and would love
to do individual stories about them, but DC hasn't seemed that
interested. I recently proposed a character-driven Titans-3 series
featuring an approximately 24 year old Cyborg, Raven and Starfire
trying to figure out what they are about when they aren't being super,
but nobody seems to be banging down my door for it. I also have tried
to jumpstart the Games graphic novel George and I started a dozen years
ago - of which he drew 80 incredible pages that have never been seen -
but again, no interest.
[ Read more We've Got Letters (Aug 11) ]
(Cyborg, created by Marv Wolfman and George Pérez is one of the
character spotlighted. Image looks like it was taken from HISTORY OF
THE DC UNIVERSE.)
| February 15, 2002 |
Blacks In Comics
By Dan Corbett
Cyborg (Victor Stone)
1st Appearance: NEW TEEN TITANS #1, 1980 [this is incorrect; his first appearance is DC COMICS PRESENTS #26]:
Victor had the typical childhood. His
parents were brilliant scientists at S.T.A.R. Labs who unwittingly
opened a dimensional portal releasing a dangerous creature that killed
his mother and left him with a mangled body and half a face. So his
father used the technology that he was working on to save Victor’s life
and forever making him more than normal, but in his mind, less than
human. Typical, right? But Victor went on to become the Titan’s most
respected and versatile members. His is a story of self-acceptance and
relying on the support of those around you.