As The Green Team takes off in May 2013, readers will get to meet a group of teenage trillionaires who go on "outrageous adventures" after they purchase superpowers.
Written by Arthur Baltazar and Franco Aureliani of Tiny Titans fame, the book asks the question: "If you were a teenager with so much money that you could do whatever you wanted, and you lived in the DC Universe, what would you do?
"And would it make you happy?"
Art and Franco, as they're known by their fans, will write the comic with artist Ig Guara on interiors and Amanda Conner on covers. The two have promised the book will be filled with intrigue, romance, humor, and lots of extraordinary adventures as a group of outrageously rich kids discover the world of superpowers in the DCU. They also want to make it fresh and young feeling, with pop culture and social media references.
Although The Green Team first appeared in 1975, they only stuck around for one issue, but even Newsarama pointed out recently that the concept was ripe for a revamp.
And revamping is exactly what Art and Franco are doing with The Green Team, bringing the character and concepts up to date for modern audiences. This new incarnation of the group features characters like tech guru Commodore "64" Murphy, Texas native J.P. Huston, superstar actress Cecilia, and Mohammed, a wealthy teenage prince.
Newsarama talked to the pair to find out more about the characters in The Green Team, why they liked the concept, and whether the stories are as political as DC implied when the series was announced.Newsarama: Is the Green Team something you guys came up with? Or did DC approach you about doing it?
Franco Aureliani: They approached us about doing it.
Nrama: Did you know anything about them before they asked you about writing it?
Art Baltazar: We had no idea. Only one issue came out. We had to look them up.
Franco: I looked them up and I said, "There's no way I want to do this." But then they hit us with the concept, and I said, "Oh, actually, that's pretty cool." I changed my mind and wanted to do it.
Nrama: Are the characters different from the first time around?
Art: Oh yeah. We looked at the characters and they weren't relevant. But we got to update the whole team, each and every character.
It's a different concept than it used to be too. The new concept is, trillionaire teenagers can do anything they want. If they want powers, they can just buy them. That's pretty much the concept.
Nrama: What are the names of the characters?
Art: The main character who kind of emerges as the leader of the group is named Commodore. But his nickname is 64.
Nrama: So he got his money from something computer related...
Franco: I don't know how you figured that one out.
Art: Yeah, he's into electronics.
Franco: And then we have a girl named Cecilia Sunbeam. She's a big-time actress.
Art: Yeah, she's been acting all her life.
Nrama: Like Lindsay Lohan?
Franco: I didn't say that. I don't want to get sued.
Art: She's a celebrity, and she has all the problems that go with that.
Franco: And then there's J.P. Huston.
Art: He's from Texas, and his family was in Texas before Texas became a state. He thinks he's better than everyone else because he was there first. He's a little bit arrogant. His family has been there for generations.
Nrama: He's the old money.
Art: Yeah. And he has a little sister that likes to hang out with them a little bit. She's about 13.
Franco: Yeah, and then the last guy is named Mohammed, and he's a prince.
Art: He's young too. He's like 13 or 14. He's a kid. He admires the rest of the group, because they're older and more confident. He's like, "Wow, these guys are cool."
Franco: And these guys have more money than any of us would ever see in our lifetimes, ever. And they get to play in the DC Universe, having that much money.
Art: They have so much money that they're in a different world than the rest of reality. They're super-powerful and super-rich, and there's no concept of the common man. They can do whatever they want. Just imagine that you could wake up today and do whatever. It's the difference between ordering a pizza or going to Italy to have a pizza.
It's Bruce Wayne meets Richie Rich meets Donald Trump.
Nrama: There's a big difference between Bruce Wayne, who's self-sacrificing for the greater good, and then there's Donald Trump, who comes across as the opposite. Is this going to be a group that's on one side of that or the other?
Franco: They're in between and all over the place. They're teens, and I don't know what your experience with teenagers has been, but mine is that not all of them know what they want right now. They're very in the moment. They're not really thinking four or five steps ahead of the game. They're thinking, "It's happening right now in my life." We have some characters that think farther ahead. But these guys are teenagers, and a lot of them are in the moment, like, what's going on in their lives right now. So it's going to be some stories that are kind of unpredictable.
Nrama: Are they at all inspired by the superheroes that already exist in the DCU?
Franco: They're aware of them, but they have a lot more money than any of these guys. The only one who would even rival them, moneywise, would be Queen Industries or Bruce Wayne.
These are the guys who live in the world of seeing celebrities every day, and hanging out with rich and powerful people. It really doesn't phase them too much to see superheroes. It's more like, "Oh, wow, it'd be kind of cool if we had powers." But not so much, "I want to be Superman." You know?
Art: It's kind of like if Bruce Wayne showed up in his jet, one of our characters would say, "yeah, that's a great jet, but mine's better." And then his shows up and it really is better.
Franco: Yeah, he'd say, "my jet is more pimped out than yours. I have snakeskin seats on my jet."
Art: And they don't have any tie to any superheroes. These guys become their own superheroes. They're not sidekicks or spin-offs or anything. They become the Green Team. These characters, even though some of them are reflections of the guys from the 1970s, these are four brand new kids that we're dealing with. They're brand new characters.
Nrama: Do they have a headquarters?
Art: We're working on a headquarters, but as the story begins, they're from all over the world. They have an annual meeting place that you'll see after issue #1. There will be some cool stuff established right away.
Nrama: Have you guys been working with Ig Guara on the designs for the characters?
Franco: Yeah, Art and I are artists as well, so when we came up with the characters, we drew some designs and sent them over. They're cartoony but you get the idea! The designs we've gotten from Ig are sooooo cool! That guy can draw!! I got so excited when we got Ig's version of Commodore, Cecilia, JP and all the rest of the characters. It seems like we are really in the world with the rest of the DC universe. They look cool! I know what we have planned for future issues and can not wait to
see Ig draw them!!
Art: Ig is awesome. I'm a big fan.
Nrama: When the book was first announced, the spin had it sounding a bit political. It doesn't sound political.
Franco: Well, it might get that way, but we don't really see it that way. It's just the regular old lives of these kids. Everybody's life is filled with different things. Political, humorous... we'll have a little bit of everything in there. But no, it's not a political book overall. These guys don't care about that. Our characters are all about, "We have a lot more money than you, and we're going to have a lot more fun than you are."
Art: Yeah, they're oblivious to the 99 percent. It doesn't bother them. It doesn't matter. It's not part of their life. They're so rich that nothing else matters. They can have people put their slippers on if they want.
Nrama: We associate you guys with humor. Is there going to be a lot of humor in this book?
Art: It's going to be humor and outrageousness and drama, with the Art and Franco touch. It's not like superhero Tiny Titans stuff, but it's more of a mainstream feel.
Franco: We write all sorts of stories, and this is going to show another side to us. We're going to have some really straight-forward stories and some really off-the-beaten-path stories, and holy cow moment stories. But our traditional humor will also be there. It has to be there, because we think it happens in everyday life too, and we want to reflect all that stuff. So it's a book that's kind of hard to describe.
Art: I guess if I had to describe it, I'd say it's action-adventure. But it's a lot of things. We want to make our readers say, "Wow, what did I just read?" We want to make it the most outrageous book in the DC 52.