THE TITANIC TWOSOME
Published in SAN DIEGO COMIC-CON UPDATE 2005 #2 (Jul 2005)
transcribed by Vu
Marv Wolfman and George Perez celebrate 25 years of the New Teen Titans at Comic-Con International!
In 1980, everyone was looking for change. DC Comics was experiencing a
slump in sales, and fans were interested in seeing their superheroes
embark on more complex adventures. Meanwhile, on the creative side,
author Marv Wolfman wanted to move away from writing two-man teamp-up
books like World's Finest and The Brave & The Bold,
while artist George Perez was interested in leaving Marvel Comics for
DC. Wolfman figured that was creating his own comic he'd find his
opportunity, so he approached DC editor Len Wein, whom he'd worked with
on the Teen Titans in the late 1960s, and pitched his take on The New Teen Titans. Problems solved? Not quite.
"We pitched it to [then President] Jenette Kahn, who wasn't all that
thrilled, because she didn't really like the previous version," explains
Wolfman. "To which we said, 'We'll do it better'."
Kahn agreed to give them a chance, and Wolfman set about finding an
artist to solidify the deal. He came across Perez, who was known for
working on team-oriented action books, but Perez had other aspirations.
"The only reason I said yes at all was because I was interested in
doing the Justice League of America," laughs Perez. "I said if I could do an issue or two of the JLA, I'd do Titans."
Most of DC's new titles were being cancelled after six months so everyone assumed The New Teen Titans
would be destroyed by poor sales faster than Brother Blood could ever
hope to accomplish. But fans immediately flocked to the multifaceted
characters, intricate artwork, and pulse-pounding plotlines that
elevated Wolfman and Perez's "Just Little League" because what was
currently being published. Soon the title was rivaling the X-Men.
books at Marvel - indeed, the companies eventually published an epic
crossover starring the two teams - and DC fortunes began turning around.
Today, the Teen Titans have seen a dramatic resurgence, with an animated
series on Cartoon Network, a besting-selling comic written by Geoff
Johns and toy lines based on the team's various incarnations but none of
those beloved characters would be saving the universe at all if it
weren't for Wolfman and Perez's success 25 years ago, which is why
Comic-Con International is celebrating the Titans' anniversary at this
We took a moment with this dynamic duo to discuss their early work and
the elements that turned a group of teen heroes into comic book legends.