July 20, 2010

An End to the Teen Titans’ Growing Pains?

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Written by: Andy
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Last week, DC’s The Source revealed the artist who will be teaming up with Green Arrow writer, J.T. Krul, on the new direction of Teen Titans starting this October. Nicola Scott (Blackest Night: Wonder Woman, Secret Six) will be drawing DC’s favorite teen super heroes beginning with issue #88!

Nicola Scott's Wonder Woman

Not much is known about where Krul and Scott’s run on the Teen Titans is headed, but we do know a roster change is in order. Back in June, J.T. told Newsarama, “Specifically, I want to focus on the bond between the Titans. They’ve been through a lot over the years, and while they have their friction, they are a family. Beyond that, I want to build up the team through the threats they face, amping up the threats in terms of some new villains.”

Scott’s style is perfect for a teen book, and Krul has set himself up nicely by putting together a likable cast of characters for the title’s new direction. The new Teen Titans team will still be led by Wonder Girl and current members Conner Kent, Kid Flash, Raven, and Beast Boy will remain on the roster. That means Blue Beetle, Bombshell, Aquagirl, Miss Martian, and Static are out. I say good riddance…except for Miss Martian. Where these cut characters are headed is uncertain, though we do know Blue Beetle is now appearing in Justice League: Generation Lost, and Static will be getting his own ongoing in 2011.

So who’s filling in the holes? Two personal favorites of mine: the estranged Ravager, and the grittiest kid in Gotham City, Damian Wayne! Having these two characters on the team should provide for a very interesting dynamic, considering each has a strong, bold, and confident personality. Also, what’s a Teen Titans squad without a Robin? I would love a guest appearance from former Teen Titan Cassandra Cain! I have a soft spot for Cassie, but unfortunately she’s been in comic book limbo for the better part of a year now. Wendy Harris (who now goes by ‘Proxy’), Misfit, Batgirl (Stephanie Brown), and Speedy would also be cool guest characters.

A new era of the Teen Titans!

Teen Titans has been scrambling to find its voice ever since the major players left the title a little over a year ago; Supergirl, Tim Drake, and Ravager all made their exit in that time, taking the gusto of the series with them. The recent death of Kid Devil only further hindered the book’s quest in finding a likable cast, but with Ravager returning to the fold and Damian joining too, things should be getting interesting again for this group of kids!

Look for Teen Titans #88 in October, and stay tuned to for an interview with series writer, J.T. Krul! To hold you over, check out this sketch of things to come:

Andy Liegl



  1. Jason

    ok so let me get this str8 new cast kicks out Static Aquagirl (Lorena Marquez) and Blue Beetle (Jaime Reyes) the minority characters and don’t replace them with even 1 other minority? really? DC is having a bad habit of this taking out the characters of color for the white ones this is not a good sign

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by J.T. Krul, Comic Attack. Comic Attack said: Is an end to the Teen Titans' growing pains in sight? Writer @jtkrul thinks so!! #comics #TeenTitans […]

  3. Jason, it’s 2010. I can understand the case you’re making, but at the same time the way you’ve worded it comes off as antagonistic. I think the core problem this title has been facing for the last three years is that, in short, its SUCKED. So DC is shaking up the cast and bringing in characters who actually sell books like Ravager, Superboy, and especially Damian who has reached a new level of popularity recently. Also you seem to have overlooked two prominent facts in your accusation:

    1) Jamie Reyes has been promoted to the Justice League International. Talk about an upgrade from the Teen Titans.

    2) Static is getting his own ONGOING in 2011. That’s right- not a mini-series, but an ongoing title.

    So given these two points, it really comes off like you’re trying to find a racist angle here. Why should Static and Blue Beetle be on the Teen Titans while simultaneously appearing in other books, one of which they’re the title character in? It doesn’t make any sense; Tim Drake doesn’t even get that kind of treatment. About Aquagirl, she was on the team for what, a year? A little more than that? Was she ever really Teen Titan material to begin with? …does anyone care? This has nothing to do with her race as it has to do with her character.

    And what about Bombshell? Is this DC’s way of conspiring against butch women? Maybe!!!

    Seriously though, please check the conspiracy theories at the door or at least think them through before making accusations. That being said, thanks for commenting!

  4. Kristin

    Jason isn’t wrong to have those suspicions. He may be off base in this particular case, but DC’s track record has solid grounds for him to wonder about what’s going on. Don’t dismiss it as just conspiracy theories, because it’s there in their history.

    In this very specific case, he may be stretching it, given the titles the other characters are getting, ect, that Andy pointed out. But let’s not put DC up on a glorious pedestal of racial and sexual equality, alright?

  5. What have they done though, exactly, to procure such a sentiment?

    The death of Ryan Choi by the hands of Deathstroke’s Titans? Maybe. But I’d just chalk that up to making Deathstroke’s Titans look bad ass (regardless of how piss poor you may think the book is). That team of Titans has an Asian (Cheshire), a black guy (the Tattooed Man), and a Navajo (Arsenal). So there’s diversity.

    The fact that Jason is no longer Firestorm because Ronnie’s back? This one has yet to play out and maybe things will clear up a bit in tomorrow’s Brightest Day #6, but for now, we’re left with the impression that either neither character has powers or they both do. Either way, there isn’t a racial angle here to argue at the moment.

    The return of Hal Jordan? Well, no matter how you cut it Hal is THE Green Lantern. John Stewart is still the man though, and will always be the man. He’s my favorite of all the Lanterns (of any color) and he had the spotlight during the Blackest Night kicking all sorts of ass. What’s next for him remains to be seen…

    I know I’m missing some so please point’em out.

    Also, wasn’t Milestone Forever recently released?

    Essentially, what DC has going on right now is the return of the Silver Age characters to prominence via Brightest Day. This means the classic characters are being put back into the spotlight and they’re all pretty vanilla. That’s the reason for all the hullabaloo. Not race.

  6. Also, lets not forget that the new Aqualad is black and Mr. T is still rockin’ hard with the JSA!!

  7. You make a good point in mentioning that Static is getting his own ongoing series, Andy. But the problem is, it’s being written by Felicia D. Henderson, who was writing the Titans book while it was, to put it kindly, struggling. (And I know I’m putting it more diplomatically than most.) When the Static announcement thread on DC’s own website had more than 20 negative reactions to the book, that should send up some major red flags.

    There’s also the matter of Ravager getting back on the team without much in the way of evidence suggesting she’d be a draw as a character – is she really a better Titan than Aquagirl or Bombshell? That’s questionable. At least the inclusion of Damian has some sort of legs – he’s one of Grant Morrison’s pets and is part of a top-selling book.

    As for Jaime’s team-up with the erstwhile JLI team, I really do hope “Generation Lost” leads to some sort of permanent team forming out of that – I mean, really, could they do any worse with the Outsiders name than the current bunch? – but at best it’s a lateral move. There’s a line between conspiracies and reasonable questions, and moves like these, coupled with the recent statements by the likes of Ian “we’ve got pink, blue and green characters” Sattler, seem to toe that line with increasing frequency these days.

    Anyway, Andy, that’s my piece. Looking forward to seeing you in San Diego!

  8. I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t think about the lack of ethnic diversity on the team at first but then again Static does deserve his own series and that’s always a step up because he was one of Milestone’s flagship characters! He’s got a following that I don’t understand among fans of many races due to his books and tv show. The other characters I could actually care less about because both are pretty lame in my opinion. Hell Cyborg is in the JLA now right? Even though all he’s done is make a new arm for Roy he still got a promotion. But hey the new Auqualad is Black so I guess some people are gonna be pissed at that but ah well.

    And regarding the Milestone Forever books that recently came out, I feel that DC played into racial stereotypes when it came to the design of the books which pissed me off and I even stated that in part on my reviews here on the site. Milestone has allowed DC use of their catalog of characters and how many have we seen lately? And how many of those in quality stories? Also I brought up in the review that the books were edited by DC for “legal reasons” but DC owned a couple of the quotes so that sounds like a lame ass excuse and something done to just piss off McDuffie since he called them on their BS on their own message boards and then got fired when certain people saw it a while back. Hell Milestone had way more diversity which was even beyond race in their rosters than DC and Marvel.

    Dan DiDio has been putting his foot in his mouth or just going around the topic lately or leaving out key points in certain interviews ESPECIALLY the one regarding Dwayne McDuffie and Milestone. There are also issues with how the Great Ten have been portrayed and DC just so happened to cancel the book early as well. I didn’t notice several things at first but as I continued to read the series certain things started to take shape and in my eyes it was just wrong.

    And Andy IF DC’s goal is to return their Silver Age characters to prominence then it kind of does have to do with race because back during DC’s true Silver Age why do you think that there were no prominent characters that weren’t White? But this isn’t all DC…hell Marvel is getting blasted for not having women of ethnic backgrounds on their Women of Marvel variant covers recently oh besides Storm. However they were sure to add a LOT of dead characters that just happen to be white instead. But no Danielle Moonstar, Misty Knight, Dust, Shuri (Current Black Panther) Karma, or even Firebird.

    Now I don’t think that J.T. Krull has some motive here to just fill the team with just white people because that would be a stupid assumption and if anyone thinks that, well then I guess I just insulted you. Read the book if you want and if not then fine but at least judge it on it’s ability to carry a good story.

  9. Red Robin

    I understand that there are some who are going to assume that the removal of Titans who are of other ethnic groups might look seedy. I highly doubt the reason for their removal has anything to do with their skin color. It has to with the fact that the book has been doing so horribly poorly. Recent writers have made most of the previous members unlikeable or boring.

    The reason they’re doing this team, is because these are the big name characters associate with Titans and the ones the fans have wanted to see back together for almost 5 years now.

    Superboy, Wonder Girl, Kid Flash and Red Robin are the “Fab Four” of the current hero generation. They’re the ‘kids’ of Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash and Batman. When people want a team of the next generation of heroes, they want to see the big names. And furthermore, these character have had the longest following since Young Justice.

    Raven and Beast Boy are the the nostalgic ties to the iconic team of Titans from the Wolfman era. They’re also fan favorites due to the cartoons series.

    Ravager is the beloved anti-hero. The Wolverine if you will. She’s got attitude, but deep down a heart of gold, who added some interesting dynamics to the team during OYL.

    Damian is the new twist on the series. Where the Titans are primarily a group of kids who became heroes, Damian is going the other way. He’s a killer who became a hero, and who now needs to learn to be a kid. This will be the first time he’s actually around other kids (sorta). Hopefully with Bart Allen around he’ll finally loosen up and learn how to be a kid.

    Static meanwhile is going off to his own series. Removing him from the Titans makes sense because that way he can properly develope his own history without the Titans writers stepping on anyone’s toes.

    Aquagirl is an unlikable character, as is Bombshell. Aquagirl acts like a stereotypical “mean girl”, who is out to steal everyone’s boyfriend’s. Bombshell’s primary trait is being rude, with no real motivation for it.

    Jamie is being used in the JLI series, so having him on two teams would get confusing (i.e. Wolverine syndrome), particularly with the current Max Lord plot.

    Miss Martian is the only other character I wish would remain on the team, mostly because she’s the only innocent and sweet one. She’s not jaded, she’s not angsty, and she just cute.

  10. […] Attackers, earlier this week we showed you the new line up of the Teen Titans starting this October. The new direction will be drawn by Nicola Scott and […]

  11. 214w

    Why is Miss Martian being booted? She is the best of the new characters! And tell Superboy and Wondergirl that they need to get a real costume. The whole shirt and jeans bit is getting tired.

  12. @214w To find out about Miss Martian check out Brightest Day #6 and hit up the interview on the site with J.T. Krul

  13. Luis

    “Jason, it’s 2010.”

    Which makes it that much sadder, and frankly pathetic. Marvel has run roughshod over DC when it comes to diversity. A simple straw poll of comic readers of color will show you how much more we preferred Marvel growing up (especially X-Men). Marvel isn’t even that great, they just make some effort to develop non-white characters. Every DC effort is half-hearted, and the slightest sign of a sales dip convinces DC that they have to immediately revert back to all-white casts for their flagship titles like Justice League or Teen Titans. This isn’t the first time, it will not be the last, I’m sure.

    I’m glad to see they’re at least keeping Static and Blue Beetle around in some capacity. Hopefully they’ll see a return. I also have high hopes for Aqualad. Not holding my breath though.

    PS Of course the bad boy / anti-hero team is diverse. That’s been the status quo since the early 60s.

  14. Afroagogo

    Luis, I couldn’t agree more. It’s 2010 and I still have to work to find a minority superhero character? Seriously? And they are still people defending it like it’s no big deal? You’d think that there’d be some headway made, but no. I look at the drawings up there and it’s like 1986 all over again. Damn shame.

  15. Ok, amazing artist and all around good guy, Denys Cowan just came into my store. We talked at length about this subject, very candidly.

    I have to say, after getting his inside perspective on things, and given the comments here, I’m starting to see where you all are coming from.

    I honestly didn’t see it before because my mind just doesn’t think that way- I don’t see color, I see characters, so I was pretty oblivious to these controversial issues. But Denys made some good points that I really can’t refute.

    It’ll be interesting to see what happens from here on out…

  16. Kairyu

    Too bad Static will leave the titans. Superboy’s solo ongoing will start in Novermber, and he is still on the team. If that doesn’t make sense then he should go too. Many other heroes also have both ongoing title and teambook.

  17. BreezeBlade

    Good point, Kairyu. I think that often happens. When Blue Beetle left to be in Generation Lost, some people say he has to be away, but they seem to forget that Miss Martian was/is also in Cry for Justice, JSA and Brightest Day, and that didn’t influence her stay in Teen Titans. True, she’s going to leave and Brightest Day may be the reason. But there are also other exceptions.

  18. […] excellent comic news site, Attackers, earlier this week we showed you the new line up of the Teen Titans starting this October. The new direction will be drawn by Nicola Scott and […]

  19. […] Andy: Very well done. I want to see Damian interact with more of the teen DCU characters. Oh wait, he is! NickZ: We need to have a Supergirl and Robin team up book. Damian has never been better (and I […]

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