Now that comic book fans have been introduced to DC's "New 52," which relaunched its universe in September, there's still one big mystery that remains.
Who is the woman in the purple hood that appeared in all 52 of DC's new #1 issues?
Writer Geoff Johns, who first introduced the mysterious character in August's Flashpoint #5, has told Newsarama that readers will learn more about her in Justice League.
But Arthur Baltazar and Franco Aureliani, creators of Tiny Titans, have decided that since their series has the highest issue count in the DCU, they should get to use the woman in purple too.
And her identity is being revealed in this week's Tiny Titans #46.
Well, sort of.The Eisner Award winning series is quickly approaching a 50-issue run -- something unique in the DC Universe these days. And according to Baltazar and Aureliani (or "Art and Franco," as they're better known), the series has some important plans in its future, including the all-redhead issue, a squishy issue, and other really important stuff like that. So Newsarama hunted down the pair to find out more.
Newsarama: Franco and Art, what's the story behind you guys using the woman in the purple hood?
Franco Aureliani: Oh, you're jumping right to the big question.
Nrama: Inquiring minds want to know!
Art Baltazar: We thought we should have her in our book too! She's been everywhere else but Tiny Titans.
Franco: We wanted to basically make Dan [DiDio] and Bob [Wayne] liars. They said that she's going to appear in all 52 books, but we wanted to make them liars and make her show up in 53, in our book too. It's 53, at least.
Nrama: What's a little shocking is that you guys reveal her identity in Tiny Titans.
Art: Yeah, we do.
Franco: Oh, don't tell in the interview! You have to read the comic to find out!
Nrama: So if people want to know who she is, they have to read this comic?
Art: That's right!
Art: Were you shocked when you found out who it was.
Nrama: I fell off my chair.
Franco: Oh man.
Art: That's cool! There's a little hint in her very first appearance in Tiny Titans, if you look real close at the first picture and pay attention to details of the whole lady in purple. You might be able to find some clues. That's all I will say.
Nrama: It's something that you guys do quite a bit, is insert current continuity into the comics, but in a fun way.
Art: Aw yeah!
Franco: We're just trying to get everybody mad at us. But they don't seem to get mad at us. They like what we're doing.
Art: The little shout-outs to the continuity is mostly for the adults who are going to buy two or three copies, you know? One to give to the kids, one to read, and one to board and bag. To keep in mint condition.Even on the covers, we try to put the characters that I know the adults read, so then they'll be curious. Like, "hey! Wow! There's Robin and Beast Boy on the cover!" And then the kids just dig it. The kids don't realize that's what's going on. They just love the Titans. Although you'd be surprised how many kids we've encountered who were reading Blackest Night. So they really liked it when we put Blackest Night in our stuff.
Nrama: The way that the woman in purple is incorporated doesn't require a reader to know who she is. But you do address what "continuity" means.
Art: Yeah, Cyborg's the only one in "continuity."
Nrama: Your Cyborg is the same as the one in continuity?
Art: Yeah, he's not a sidekick. He has his own continuity. Everything that has Cyborg in the Tiny Titans is in continuity with the regular DCU.
But really, with Tiny Titans, each issue is its own continuity. You don't have to read any of the other ones.
Franco: I like how our continuity-free book of Tiny Titans has become so continuity laden with its own continuity.
Art: [laughs] That's true. And every time we use the word "continuity," we have to explain what it is.
So this is important stuff here. If you're looking for the definition of "continuity," then you need to pick up the Tiny Titans book.
Nrama: What we've seen so far, from your characters, as you've approached them, what's your goal? You take the character as they exist in the DC Universe, then how do you describe what you do with them?
Franco: We make them funny.
Art: We get a gag for each character, and we see what happens from that. Like we're writing a story about oranges right now. And Wonder Girl's involved with that.
Nrama: Wonder Girl's oranges?
Art: Her "secret oranges."
Nrama: You're going to reveal her secret oranges?
Nrama: Most of the Tiny Titans are one size, but there are a few babies, and a few adults. How do you pick how old the characters are?
Franco: Whichever one is funnier.
Art: Yeah, that's true. But if they're teenagers or a new character, then we usually have them stay young. But, like, we had the Secret Six in the comic, and they were pre-teens. They were a little older than the Tiny Titans, but they weren't adults yet, because they're still kind of new, but they're not sidekicks.And the rule is to only show the adults from the shoulders down, like Tom & Jerry style.
Art: Yeah, we come up with gags and have something in our mind, and we make the story fit around it.
Nrama: You're coming up on 50 issues soon. Are you surprised the comic has such a high issue count?
Franco: No. We totally expected it. I don't know why everybody always asks us that. We're the only ones not surprised.
Art: I think we're currently the highest numbered comic book in the whole DC Universe.
Nrama: I think you're right! Wow, how did that happen?
Art: I don't know, but it happened in September somehow.
Franco: Shhh. If Dan finds out, he might want to cancel the book. So don't tell him. It's the highest numbered book right now.
Nrama: What's going to happen with issue #50?
Franco: Oooo. There's a surprise coming.
Art: I think we're going to give Beast Boy a relaunch in issue #50. Out of all the characters, he's the only one getting a relaunch.
Nrama: So this is a really "soft" reboot.
Art: Yeah! Well no, it's a relaunch. Because we're going to launch him like how you launch a rocket. But we'll see how it goes. I'm only working on issue #48, so we should wait to announce the relaunch.
Franco: We do have something coming in issue #50 that I think people will be talking about.
Art: Yeah. You're going to see some characters that you haven't really seen before.
Nrama: Big story developments?
Art: It's going to be better than a reboot. You're going to think, "Wow, the only thing that could top that would be a reboot!" Or a relaunch. Or a resurfacing. Or retouching. Re-examine.
Franco: You're going to want to talk to us after that issue. That's for sure.
Nrama: I'll send you an interview request.
Art: A request! Yeah! And you know what? You're going to see the return of Cyborg's trophy from when he challenged Jughead to the burger eating contest. The trophy's going to make its return in that issue.That's not even a sly hint. I just came out and told you!
Nrama: You're revealing too much!
Art: Yeah, I guess that would be a spoiler. Spoiler alert!
Nrama: I think it's too late to say it now. But as long as we're spoiling everything, what do you guys have coming up? This week's issue has Robin called away on a mission, where the woman in purple shows up. And the Protector!
Art: Aw yeah! The Protector is introduced to the Tiny Titans! I don't know if he exists in the real DC Universe or not. But he exists in Tiny Titans! Nobody can die in the Tiny Titans universe, and if they die in regular continuity, we bring them back. So they could be alive in Tiny Titans.
But Protector's cool. You're going to like him. And he looks just like Robin.
Nrama: I love how you make all the Robins different. Like little Damian.
Franco: Aw yeah! With the little jagged teeth.
Art: Yeah, that's good stuff.
Nrama: Who's in January's All Red Hair issue?
Art: All the girls with red hair. And Commissioner Gordon's in the issue too. They all go hang out with Barbara Gordon. And she reveals her face. She takes her mask off.
Franco: That's a direct request from a lot of fans, because we've been asked what the characters look like under the masks. Art's daughter asked as well. How come they're never shown without their masks? We got to talking about that one day, and it inspired issue #48.
Art: Yeah, I was drawing sketches, and my daughter was drawing with me. And she was drawing all the characters from Tiny Titans. And she was asking me to draw all the girls who wear masks, but draw them without their masks. So she said, "Can you draw Batgirl with no mask?" And I drew it. And then she wanted Peek-a-Boo with no mask on. And then she went to the boys, with Kid Flash with no mask and Robin with no mask. And I was thinking, wow, this is a fun challenge!
So the "because you demanded it" on the cover should really say, "because our daughter demanded it!" But I thought we should appeal to a wider audience. So we just say it's because the fans wanted it!In issue #48, they will get rid of all their costumes. We're going to go with some clothes. Maybe some vintage style clothing on some of these characters. It will be good.
Nrama: I hear you giggling Franco. Are these vintage clothes funny?
Art: Let's just say it's part of the gag. And the whole issue revolves around Wonder Girl's "secret oranges."
Nrama: And in February, you've got squishy Titans?
Art: Yeah, they're all squishy. It's all the squishy guys.
Franco: I think that's pretty self-explanatory.
Art: It is? I don't even know what we're doing for that one yet. But it's going to be squishy!!
We know how it can end. There's going to be a secret squishy guy revealed. We've got secrets revealed in just about every issue coming up! And in just about every issue, you get a new character. In issue #49, you get a guy who was actually in regular DC Continuity. If you read the Green Lantern Christmas Special, this is the issue that comes after that.
Nrama: The squishy issue.
Art: The squishy issue! If you read the Larfleeze Christmas Special, the last two pages of that were done by me and Franco.
Art: And this issue takes place after those two pages.
Nrama: Orange Lanterns?
Art: Yeah. And it's in continuity.
Franco: Wait, we've revealed too much!
Art: Maybe we're going to get in trouble with DC.
Franco: We keep trying! You're being let into all the secrets, right here, right now.
Nrama: Plus, I know who the hooded woman in purple is, because I read this week's issue.
Art: That's right. We made sure we revealed who she is before the real DCU does! Be sure to pick up the issue to find out who she is!