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Old 05-15-2007, 10:42 AM   #1
MattBrady
 
SEAN McKEEVER ON THE TEEN TITANS IN HIS FUTURE

by Vaneta Rogers

They're some of the most high-powered heroes of the DC Universe. Between them, they possess the powers of gods, the fire of demons and years of training from the smartest and best fighters in the world.

They're among DC's biggest guns -- that's why they're called "Titans."

But they're also teenagers. And that qualifier is what makes the latest announcement from DC about the Teen Titans comic seem appropriate to many fans, as Dan Didio revealed yesterday that the new writer on Teen Titans beginning with issue #50 will be Sean McKeever.

Known for his work on a handful of comics that concentrate on teens -- from The Waiting Place to Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane -- McKeever accepted a DC exclusive contract earlier this year when he became part of the team that puts together the DC weekly series Countdown. Also announced recently as the upcoming writer on Birds of Prey, McKeever will take over Titans from current series writer and Countdown co-writer Adam Beechen, who DC announced is moving to the space-themed Countdown to Adventure mini-series in August after working on Teen Titans since co-writing Issue #45.

Already raising speculation about the importance of the number "50," McKeever's debut issue will also feature an impressive list of former Titans creators helping out in what Didio called a "jam session," including Geoff Johns, who only earlier this year left the title he brought to prominence in the DCU.

As McKeever gears up for the publication of his first Countdown issue in June as well as his August debut on Teen Titans, Newsarama sat down with the busy writer to talk about the new gig, what this multi-creator "jam session" is all about, and why there are a couple new teenaged faces showing up on the cover to his first issue.

Newsarama: In the age of the internet, it's hard to stop rumors and constant guessing about what creators are doing next. But you being the new writer of Teen Titans -- that's a bit of a surprise!

Sean McKeever: Teen Titans? What?

NRAMA: [laughs] A surprise to you as well, huh?

SM: [laughs] No, no. I'm really excited about it. It's the one series at DC that seems like it's custom made for me.

NRAMA: Seriously though, have you known about this for awhile?

SM: A little while, yeah. I've been chomping at the bit to tell everyone about it and talk about my plans.

NRAMA: A little while? Because, you know, just to nip it in the bud -- it's not a recent decision influenced by fans? I mean, are you already working on that first issue?

SM: Working on it? It's already written. This isn't something that just happened. As Dan mentioned yesterday, they had Adam moving on to other things and asked me if I would like to take over. And I immediately said, "hell, yes."

NRAMA: You said Teen Titans was "custom made" for you. What do you mean by that?

SM: Well, it's a teen drama at its heart. It may be a superhero team book, but when [Marv] Wolfman and [George] Perez started their run, it was all about character dynamics and character interplay as well as all the exciting action and adventure. And I think that's supremely appealing to me as a writer, and it fits naturally with my strange ability to write teenagers.

NRAMA: We've talked to you about it before, particularly when you were writing so many titles about teenagers over at Marvel, but for DC fans who aren't familiar with your work, what is it about you and teen comics? Why do you think it's one of your strengths as a writer?

SM: I always have some joke answer to this question up my sleeve, but the honest truth of it is I just don't know. I do enjoy writing teen characters, though, so it's not like it's a curse.

NRAMA: You mentioned Wolfman and Perez earlier. Have you always been a Teen Titans fan?

SM: I was a Spider-Man guy growing up, so I only read a little bit of DC here and there when I was really young. Teen Titans always looked interesting to me, but it was like X-Men for me as a kid, because I didn't get into the X-Men until the late '80s. I would look at it but I didn't know the characters and so I'd feel intimidated. And it was the same thing with Titans. I'd look at the covers and say, "Wow, that looks really cool. But I have no idea who they are." So I would never actually crack one open.

Finally, I read Teen Titans during the �A Lonely Place of Dying� crossover, which introduced Tim Drake as Robin. And when I was in college, I picked up an issue that I think was by Wolfman and [Tom] Grummett, where Deathstroke and Nightwing were beating the hell out
of each other on the cover, and Nightwing's costume was in tatters, and I thought, "This looks pretty interesting, and Deathstroke looks cool." And I liked it so much, the next week, I went back to the comics shop, and I said, "How many issues back can I go?" And I got like 15 issues and read them all in one weekend, and I really just fell in love with that whole run, with Phantasm and Pantha and everything. Then I started getting the comic every month for a while after that.

NRAMA: When the title was relaunched in 2003, you were a writer for Marvel. Were you a fan of this most recent run of Titans too?

SM: Yeah! I've read that whole run from the first issue on and enjoyed it quite a bit.

NRAMA: Now that you're taking the series over, can you tell us anything about the direction of the series as we head into your storyline?

SM: Ummm... No. [laughs]

NRAMA: OK, very funny. But seriously, Sean, we'll see the August solicitations next week, you know. What's Issue #50 about?

SM: Oh, OK. Well, you know, Geoff did this story -- it's one of my two favorite stories he wrote. It's Titans Tomorrow, where they meet future versions of themselves.

NRAMA: Right. The adult versions of themselves. And Tim was a bad Batman that shot Duela in the future. Hmmm... guess that's not going to happen now?

SM: [laughs] Well, you never know what the future brings. But, I really like that story.

NRAMA: ...

SM: ...

NRAMA: That's all you're going to say about Titans Tomorrow? "I really like that story?"

SM: Well, I really like that story, and... you will probably realize that soon. Oh, I guess there's no point in being too coy. Geoff was saying, when he left the title, that he was planning on doing something with the Titans of the future, and I'm picking up that ball and running with it.

NRAMA: More Titans Tomorrow? And on that cover to Issue #50, there are a couple new faces ...

SM: Yeah! I noticed! What's up with that?

NRAMA: [laughs] Well, I think you're the right person to answer that. Why is Supergirl on the cover?

SM: Supergirl is on the cover because she's on the team!

NRAMA: She's a Teen Titan now? Wow. That's a big change for the Titans, isn't it?

SM: Yeah! Now you've got two blond, flying powerhouses on the team together, which is going to be kind of interesting. And the fact that her and Cassie are such good friends will be a lot of fun to play with.

NRAMA: Will the reason for her joining the team be explained in issue #50?

SM: On that one, I'm going to have to plead the fifth. Not that the answer would incriminate me, but you know what I mean. "Wait and see."

NRAMA: OK, the other character on the cover is Blue Beetle.

SM: Yeah! I saw he was on the cover. What is that all about? [laughs]

NRAMA: You're loving this, aren't you? Finally able to tease everyone about the Teen Titans story you've been working on and couldn't talk about before this. Why is Blue Beetle on the cover, Sean?

SM: Because he's in this issue.

NRAMA: In this issue. That's all you can say about Blue Beetle?

SM: He's in this issue. I can say that. And I can also say this new Titans line-up will be showing up in August's Blue Beetle #18.

NRAMA: And it was announced that Randy Green is going to be working with you. Is he the ongoing artist?

SM: Randy's the artist for Issue #50. Then Ale Garza, the cover artist for #50, comes aboard with #51.

NRAMA: Does that mean those two are rotating or that Garza's taking over?

SM: Stay tuned on that front.

NRAMA: OK, can you tell us more about Issue #50? Dan Didio called it a "jam issue" with several other creators involved.

SM: It's a double-sized issue, with me writing the main story, and then writing parts of the story will be Geoff Johns and Marv Wolfman. And Geoff is working with Mike McKone, and Marv is working with George Perez. So it's going to be two awesome eras of Titans history represented in my first issue!

NRAMA: Double sized? Is this just because it's a landmark number?

SM: It's Issue #50, so we're giving it more pages. Plus it's kind of an "In Memoriam" issue.

NRAMA: Ugh. In Memoriam?

SM: Yeah, but you know, I do want the Titans fans to know that I don't plan on killing anybody. I know there are worries about that out there.

NRAMA: Well, yeah, there are a few new Titans that Geoff just brought onto the team, and to nervous fans, "new" equals "expendable," particularly with a new writer coming on board.

SM: Like I'm going to kill Kid Devil, Ravager and Miss Martian?

NRAMA: Well, yeah, since you want to be so blunt. You said you're not going to kill anybody, so I guess that means those three are safe?

SM: Oh, I'm sorry, I meant to say I'm not going to kill anybody except Kid Devil, Ravager and Miss Martian.

NRAMA: You do know that won't come across right on the internet. They can't see that you're teasing.

SM: Sure, but the next thing I'm going to say is that, actually, my personal priority as I take over the series is to explore those three characters in particular and develop their personal lives. I want to take a look at those three outside the Teen Titans, because, besides Kid Devil, they haven't really been given a lot of back story.

NRAMA: So you're going to tell readers more about Miss Martian and Ravager?

SM: Yep. And Kid Devil. What are they doing when they're not with the Titans? What's their story?

NRAMA: Phew. Three characters safe. But while I know you aren't ready to give us the details of the exact roster, what about some of the older characters? There are rumors of Cyborg, Jericho and Raven leaving the Titans and joining other teams. And rumors of a possible comic starring some former Titans?

SM: You'll see a lot of the older Titans characters in my first issue. And then after that, I guarantee they'll be around in the DCU. Those characters are too important and wonderful to not be a part of the DCU in a major way.

NRAMA: Let's talk about the Titans team in general. How does the team fit into the DCU? The Justice League of America has been described as the heavy hitters, the Justice Society as the backbone that oversees the training and acts like a DCU family -- what are the Teen Titans?

SM: The Teen Titans are the world's finest teen heroes, and Titans Tower is the place where any teen hero can come to train, hang out or just get away from the rest of their lives.

NRAMA: You hinted at Supergirl and Wonder Girl's relationship, and you've talked about wanting to focus on a few of the Titans whom we don't know very well. Can you talk about the team dynamic as a whole? How are they going to interact as they move past Superboy's death and adjust to accepting these new members?

SM: When someone near and dear to us dies, we never really get over it, but there does come a point where we find a way to move beyond the loss and live our lives. I think the time has come for the Titans to reach that point. Outside of that, I'm going to stay quiet for now.

NRAMA: Is there anything else you want to tell fans as you take over the Teen Titans title?

SM: I love this series and its amazing legacy, and I hope I can stick around to entertain and move you for a very long time!
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Old 05-15-2007, 10:48 AM   #2
Dr. Crane
 
So Supergirl's a Titan now? I guess she's back from the future??????????????
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Old 05-15-2007, 10:50 AM   #3
Dragavon
 
Thumbs up

I can't wait for this. I thought I would have to drop this title since Johns was leaving but it's in great hands with McKeever.
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Old 05-15-2007, 10:51 AM   #4
FablesJunkie
 
Sounds like I'll be staying on board with this one, then, especially if Barrionuevo stops penciling before #50. Thank god.

And I'm really looking forward to getting in-depth stories that focus on the new characters (i.e. Miss Martian, maybe some more Kid Devil stuff, and last but certainly not least, Ravager. {maybe she and Cassandra Cain can have a rematch. I'd go.})

Exciting stuff, and great job on the interview, Vaneta!
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Old 05-15-2007, 10:55 AM   #5
MrNEWZ
 
Ale Garza and McKeever? This gets better and better...
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Old 05-15-2007, 10:56 AM   #6
God-Man
 
On the one hand, I like the idea of Jaime being in his own corner of the DCU, away from all the other superheroes. I like that he don't really trust other heroes that much. On the other hand, I think the Titans are a good fit for him. I hope he's on the team past #50, even if it's just part time.
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Old 05-15-2007, 10:57 AM   #7
dalunt
 
Ugh I am so not liking the new direction they are taking Supergirl (not to mention the art, I liked Churchill's Supergirl so much more...)

And that cover looks like they are 12 years old... I already miss Johns' run I guess it was good while it lasted...
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Old 05-15-2007, 10:58 AM   #8
jlm1955
 
I like Adam's work on Robin, but Sean seems to have plans for this book that will make Titans a really strong series again. Happy to hear we will see more of the Titans Tomorrow storyline.

Great interview!
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Old 05-15-2007, 11:00 AM   #9
JohnP
 
The issue of Deathstroke and Nightwing fighting on the cover is New Titans 86. Based on that issue, he went back and got all of Titans Hunt. One of the more controversial storylines in Titans history, and it was still enjoyable to him.

To me, that's just cool.

So are we getting a new logo?
Any "Day in the Life" stories?
"blink and you'll miss" cameo's from former titans?
multi-part stories specifically for trades?
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Old 05-15-2007, 11:00 AM   #10
Magnus P.I.
 
SUPERGIRL? Are you kidding me? Oh please no. She's rapidly becoming the Wolverine of the DCU. Talk about redundant too, given Wonder Girl and Miss Martian being on the team already.

Ugh. McKeever, Beetle and no Raven were almost enough to make me not drop this title. But Supergirl seals the deal. I just cannot stand that character.

BRING BACK SUPERBOY! DC, please settle your legal issues regarding the character already! The team just doesn't feel the same without Conner.
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Old 05-15-2007, 11:01 AM   #11
TheBrettman
 
gahhhhh! what is going on with batgirl/cassandra cain!!!???
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Old 05-15-2007, 11:03 AM   #12
linnen
 
This is fantastic news! Monday afternoon I was writing myself a note to remember to drop this title from my pull-sheet because it's future looked so bleak. Incredible what a change 48 hours can bring!

Thanks for making this happen DC!!
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Old 05-15-2007, 11:03 AM   #13
biffordmichael
 
If this is half as good as Gravity, Sentinel, or Spidey/Mary Jane I'll be satisfied...this is going to be a great fit...a new beginning...a fresh start...Johns was awesome but I sensed burn-out in the last arc. Titans are my all-time favourite franchise and this is exactly where I hoped McKeever would land. NOW if he can work Kon-El back into the series...

Biff
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Old 05-15-2007, 11:04 AM   #14
WildcardZ
 
I can't wait. McKeever is a great successor to Johns. This team sure does go through a lot of roster changes. Where the hell are Cyborg, Beast Boy, and Raven? I like the more teen group, I think they should have at least one Titan alumni on the team. Any word on Starfire?
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Old 05-15-2007, 11:06 AM   #15
Ace
 
This is going to be a sick amount of fun.

He better keep Jaime on the team though. Blue Beetle needs the exposure and there are so many great stories to be told there.

Just uh.. no Phantasm.

I think we can all forget about Danny Chase forever, thank you very much.
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Old 05-15-2007, 11:09 AM   #16
jedifish
 
Glad to see Miss Martian, Kid Devil and Ravager stick around. I think they've really added a lot of chemistry to the team since OYL. Well, maybe not so much Miss Martian yet, but I find her interesting.
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Old 05-15-2007, 11:09 AM   #17
biffordmichael
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by WildcardZ
I can't wait. McKeever is a great successor to Johns. This team sure does go through a lot of roster changes. Where the hell are Cyborg, Beast Boy, and Raven? I like the more teen group, I think they should have at least one Titan alumni on the team. Any word on Starfire?

Isn't Starfire going to be in that Countdown To Adventure series with Animal Man and Adam Strange?

I actually think the old school mentor bit is played out for now...I'd like to see Beast Boy in a new Doom Patrol series and see Cyborg in Justice League of America...Raven has a mini coming I think...I'm ready for new blood!

Biff
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Old 05-15-2007, 11:10 AM   #18
DeTroyes
 
Supergirl on LOSH, the Outsiders, and now the Teen Titans.

What, is DC trying to make her the Wolverine of the DCU?

******

McKeever on Titans is definetely a huge step in the right direction. Looking forward to this far more than Beechen.

But I'm rather annoyed that the older Titans are now all being dumped, and mostly to uncertain futures. Gar Logan was exiled to the Doom Patrol, but DC has been persistent in shooting down any hopes of a new DP series anytime in the foreseeable future; Raven at least has a mini coming up, but after that there doesn't appear to be any plans; and what of Cyborg? or Jericho? or Vox (Herald)? Bumblebee? Flamebird? Argent? Mirage? There are a whole bunch of really cool characters out there that DC isn't using, and don't really seem to be interested in using.

I really, really wish DC would just bite the bullet and put out a second Titans title, someplace where the older characters can prosper. Marvel gets away with a dozen or so X-titles on any given month; you'd think DC could do the same with one, measly additional Titans title.
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Old 05-15-2007, 11:10 AM   #19
BanMan
 
Garza on art? Holey Moley!!!

He's been like my favorite DC artist since Batgirl.

I'm all over this!! And Randy and Ale switching over arcs sounds like a good idea to me.
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Old 05-15-2007, 11:10 AM   #20
Kevin T. Brown
 
What no Aqualad or Mal or Bumblebee or Wildebeest or whatever odd Teen Titan I can think of.....

Geez, people, chill.

There's jumping the gun, then there's reading WAY too much into things. At least give McKeever a chance to get his first issue out before ripping it apart.

Oh wait, this is the internet....

Never mind.




Seriously, with the addition of Ale Garza, I'm really looking forward to what's to come.
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Old 05-15-2007, 11:10 AM   #21
WildcardZ
 
Quote:
BRING BACK SUPERBOY! DC, please settle your legal issues regarding the character already! The team just doesn't feel the same without Conner.
[/quote]
There is some truth to this. While I have definitely enjoyed the series since OYL, the team does not feel the same without Conner. He was the glue that held the team togther and the team also seems to have lost it's innocence without him.
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Old 05-15-2007, 11:10 AM   #22
tbumpkins
 
God help me, I want to pick up Teen Titans again. Although the Titans Tomorrow part has me pensive, as not soon from there I dropped the book, so I least I know I've not gone completely insane.
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Old 05-15-2007, 11:11 AM   #23
biffordmichael
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magnus P.I.
BRING BACK SUPERBOY! DC, please settle your legal issues regarding the character already! The team just doesn't feel the same without Conner.

The team HAS to have Tim, Cassie, and Conner...they're the future, the junior trinity, the gang from YJ...you are SO right man, it's just not the same without Conner.

Biff
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Old 05-15-2007, 11:13 AM   #24
DianaKingston
 
After the OYL fiasco, my primary concern with DC books is accessibility - I love McKeever's work, but if it's just going to be more continuity porn, there's not much point in picking it up.
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Old 05-15-2007, 11:14 AM   #25
biffordmichael
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeTroyes
But I'm rather annoyed that the older Titans are now all being dumped, and mostly to uncertain futures. Gar Logan was exiled to the Doom Patrol, but DC has been persistent in shooting down any hopes of a new DP series anytime in the foreseeable future; Raven at least has a mini coming up, but after that there doesn't appear to be any plans; and what of Cyborg? or Jericho? or Vox (Herald)? Bumblebee? Flamebird? Argent? Mirage? There are a whole bunch of really cool characters out there that DC isn't using, and don't really seem to be interested in using.

I really, really wish DC would just bite the bullet and put out a second Titans title, someplace where the older characters can prosper. Marvel gets away with a dozen or so X-titles on any given month; you'd think DC could do the same with one, measly additional Titans title.

I'd support a grown up Teen Titans title (maybe just call it Titans?) as long as Jericho stays far far away from it but the book would need some sort of unique direction...maybe something with Donna, Kyle, Nightwing (with Bats coming back to The Outsiders), and some of the others...

Biff
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