Sean McKeever - All Things Titan - 'Deathtrap' and More

Sean McKeever on All Things Titan

Teen Titans #67

Beginning in March, Sean McKeever will be writing all three of the Titans-themed books for the DCU as he not only finishes up the Terror Titans mini-series and debuts a new line-up in Teen Titans #69, but he'll also temporarily takes over the Titans title with issue #11.

Newsarama has learned that McKeever will be writing the Titans series for three issues as the comic crosses over with both Teen Titans and Marv Wolfman's Vigilante title beginning in April.

Titans is a Teen Titans spin-off title that started last year with a cast of now-grown-up former Teen Titans banding together to form a new team. When McKeever begins his fill-in storyline for regular writer Judd Winick, the Titans will face one of their own -- Jericho Wilson.

Son of Slade Wilson, also known as Deathstroke The Terminator, Jericho is able to possess others and control their actions. But over the years, his body-hopping has caused him to pick up traces of the evil personalities he has possessed, giving him an uncontrollable desire to defeat the Titans.

But Jericho's not the only one of Slade's children who's struggling right now in a "Titans" series, as Rose Wilson, the sometimes-villain/sometimes-hero called Ravager, has recently left the Teen Titans team to develop her precognitive ability, aligning herself with Clock King, the mysterious young villain running the show in the pages of Terror Titans. And later this month, the Faces of Evil: Deathstroke issue will have a showdown between Ravager and her father that promises to hint at what will come next for the Wilson family.

All of this tension is building just as the Teen Titans are doing a little building of their own. With Robin leaving the team after the events of Batman: R.I.P. and other members bowing out recently, the team is recruiting new members with an upcoming debut of the new Teen Titans line-up in March. As readers have seen indicated by the blacked-out figures on the cover of Teen Titans #69, the new team has three mystery members, although most fans have guessed the identity of at least one. After his debut in last month's Terror Titans issue, the Milestone character Static looks like he's sticking around for awhile.

Newsarama talked to McKeever about why he's temporarily taking over Titans, what makes Wonder Girl the right leader for the Teen Titans, and what's coming up next in all his Titans-themed comics.

Titans #11

Newsarama: Sean, with you taking over Titans in March, everyone's going to want to know – are you the new writer on Titans?

Sean McKeever: No, I'm not taking over for Judd. I'm just filling in for a few issues. Titans #11 is the lead-in to the “Deathtrap” crossover between Titans, Teen Titans and Vigilante. Editorial asked me to come in and tell the Titans lead-in story and the two Titans issues of the crossover itself, so I'll be writing those in addition to the Teen Titans portion of that crossover.

NRAMA: So when does the crossover start and how many issues is it?

SM: The Teen Titans Annual comes out at the start of April, and that leads directly into the Deathtrap storyline. It's also an epilogue to the whole recruitment drive we're seeing in Teen Titans. So we'll see the new lineup against their first major obstacle, then the crossover starts in earnest with Titans #12 the very next week.

NRAMA: Are you looking forward to writing the older characters in Titans?

SM: Yeah! That will be fun. Initially, I thought I was just going to be writing them in my portion of the crossover in Teen Titans, and I was excited about that, particularly the chance to write them while working with Marv Wolfman, who's writing the Vigilante portion of the crossover. But now, this opportunity to write them in their own title is pretty neat. I have a lot of reverence for the Wolfman-Perez era of the New Teen Titans, so this is pretty exciting.

NRAMA: In the last issue of Teen Titans we saw the departure of Tim Drake. Is it true that Robin has left the team?

SM: Yeah, it's sad but it had to happen. With all the uncertainty going on in Gotham, Tim's priorities have had to shift dramatically. That said, I have to say I'm pretty happy with the send-off we gave him, and I feel people will really enjoy Wonder Girl being in charge.

NRAMA: Wonder Girl's character has grown quite a bit since you took over, hasn't she?

SM: The main thing I wanted to do with Wonder Girl was that when I came onto the book, she was in mourning, understandably. And she was in a relationship with Robin. What I really wanted for her was to be independent; I wanted her to not be defined by who she's dating. I wanted her to be her own person.

And so now we're at that point where she had independence. She's not defined by a relationship. She also has her own power. She's no longer powered by Ares or Zeus, but powered by herself. And, more than anything, that's where I wanted her to be. I think we all, unless we get married right out of high school, we have that period of self-discovery, where you're becoming an adult and are coming of age. And that's what I wanted to have her experience. So that's what she's going to be experiencing now as she takes on that leadership role.

Teen Titans #67

NRAMA: We just found out who Wendy and Marvin's father is. Is this going to be a part of Wendy's life for awhile?

SM: Yeah. Calculator being Wendy's father makes for a situation where we can do some interesting things down the line. You're going to see the start of that in the Oracle mini-series coming up. The Calculator's in that series, and if you've seen the solicitation for the first issue, they mention the Calculator's daughter.

NRAMA: We're also seeing a lot of action among former and current Teen Titans member in your mini-series, Terror Titans. What can you tell us about what's coming up in that series as it builds toward the end?

SM: Hopefully in Terror Titans, there have been a few surprises for people, and we've got a few more up our sleeves in the next two issues as things really ramp up. At this point, Clock King has finally succeeded in successfully brainwashing all the teen meta-humans. Star-Spangled Kid was a hold-out. My intention there was always to show a patriotic character, a character who represents America, against Clock King and his Terror Titans, metaphorically breaking the American spirit. So at the end of issue #4, he's succeeded.

And where it goes from there is that Clock King starts to put together his main campaign – what he's intended for these meta-humans all along. And we see the repercussions of what happened with Persuader and her father in issue #4. We still see the new Bolt dealing with having murdered his own father. And we get the origin story behind Disrupter, and we get an even stronger sense of just how crazy she is. And Joe Bennett delivers some really amazing stuff.

NRAMA: Let's talk about the recent reveal of Static in the DC Universe in the pages of Terror Titans. Does Static join the Teen Titans team soon?

SM: I think if you've seen that cover of Teen Titans #69 with some of the characters silhouetted, the answer to that question is definitely there.

Terror Titans #6

NRAMA: So we have potential new characters in Terror Titans as well as the regular Teen Titans series. Going into the crossover, what can you tell us about who might end up on the team as of issue #69?

SM: Going into the crossover, we're going to have a new batch of kids in there, joining some of the current members to form a team that will be a little more permanent after the shake-ups we've seen lately. So this new team will have a trial by fire during Deathtrap as they have to deal with Jericho. And you'll find out more about that over the next few months.

NRAMA: What's the latest on the artist for Teen Titans?

SM: Eddy Barrows has moved on to Action Comics, and the new artist takes over in April with issue #70 as part of the crossover. You'll see an announcement about that soon. It's someone I've enjoyed working with in the past. Once you see who it is, you'll realize it was a no-brainer choice.

NRAMA: What else can you tell us is coming up for Teen Titans?

SM: We've just started the New Deal arc with a sort of recruitment drive in #66. And from there, we have Brother Blood returning in issue #67. We'll be featuring Red Devil and Kid Eternity in February's issue #68, along with an Origins and Omens back-up story.

And then in March, you've see the story behind that cover with the shiny new team. We'll also be dealing with the after-effects of the Terror Titans mini-series. There are a lot of teen characters there, including Static, and things that happen that will be addressed in the Teen Titans book starting with issue #69

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