Sean McKeever Spills on Terror Titans
It turns out that DC's newest villain-centered mini-series is going to have a few surprises tucked inside.On Saturday at Baltimore Comic Con, DC Comics confirmed that the Milestone character Static will be introduced to the DC Universe in Terror Titans, the six-issue mini-series that debuts this week from writer Sean McKeever and artist Joe Bennett. The character who became popular on his own animated series, Static Shock, will interact with other teen heroes of the DCU in Terror Titans before his promised addition to Teen Titans next year. Besides Static, readers will also see well-known heroes like Ravager, Terra, Aquagirl and Zatara show up in Terror Titans, along with some new teen characters designed by artist Cully Hamner. Yet McKeever emphasized Terror Titans is also very much a villains comic, centering on a violent and merciless team led by the mysterious Clock King. And as the teen heroes and villains collide, what happens at the end of this mini-series will lead directly into the new status of the Teen Titans next year -- which McKeever has called a "new era" for the Teen Titans. Newsarama talked to McKeever in Baltimore to find out more about Static's debut, the future of the Teen Titans, and just how violent these Terror Titans really are. Newsarama: Let's start by talking about this week's issue, Sean. What are we going to see in the Terror Titans mini-series? Sean McKeever: You're going to see a lot of superheroes that you know. You're going to see the Dark Side Club and see what its status is. You're going to see what Ravager did when she left the Teen Titans last summer. You're going to see what Clock King is up to with the Dark Side Club. And you're going to see what he's doing with his Terror Titans. NRAMA: For those who may not be familiar with the Terror Titans, can you explain what they're doing and who they are? SM: The Terror Titans were created by the Clock King as teen legacy villains. He gave them their suits, which have their powers. And his purpose is to use them for his own goals. And his M.O. is that he likes to create chaos out of order. He likes to build things that destroy. It's something that he enjoys immensely. He's really a Machiavellian, string-pulling kind of guy, and that's what his Terror Titans are for. And now that he's made himself more of a partner, almost, in the Dark Side Club, he's using them to round up teen superheroes to use in the arena to beat the tar out of each other. NRAMA: We heard this weekend that Static is showing up in this mini-series? SM: Static will be making his first full DC Universe debut in Terror Titans #4. NRAMA: Besides Static, there will be some other teen heroes and villains show up in Terror Titans who might show up in Teen Titans later, right? SM: Right. Not all of them are going to survive. But we've got a bunch of teen heroes in there. As we've said before, we're going to have the Infinity Inc. characters. You'll also see that we've got Molecule, Offspring, Terra, Aquagirl, Zatara, and a new Star-Spangled Kid. And there will be many more, including the ones you've seen before like Fever and Hardrock. There will also be five brand new characters that Cully Hamner designed. And the cool thing is that, starting in issue #2, there's going to be a single-elimination tournament in the Dark Side Club. So we'll release the tournament brackets online and information on the new characters so that before the fights start, everybody can guess at who's going to win this tournament. So that should be a lot of fun too. NRAMA: You've said before that the art for this series has surprised you. SM: Joe Bennett is kicking some major butt. There are times when I'll get pages in and I'm sure that there's no way that DC is going to release these pages as is, and with one exception, they've been loving what he's doing, and I've been loving what he's doing too. It's really kinetic, and at times it's really violent, but it's just so dynamic. I'm writing the fight scenes plot style, letting him break it down into panels, and then I come in and dialogue it a little more firmly. That's what he wanted me to do, and I'm so glad we did it that way. He's been coming up with these double-page layouts that are just balls-to-the-wall fantastic. And I'm really excited for people to see it. Joe's one of these guys who's been working in the business for awhile and had a good amount of popularity, but I think this has really worked out as a great showcase for him. NRAMA: So is this mini-series going to have a lot of action? SM: There is a lot of action, but there is definitely a character-based story here. And Ravager's a big part of that. She's front and center in this series. But we'll also be telling a character stories as we explore the rogues in the Terror Titans. We'll be looking at each of them up close and finding out more about them. And we're going to find out the ways in which they are or are not legacies. We're going to explore each of their origins in issues #2-5. Page 1 of each of those issues has an eight-panel, wordless origin story for each character. And it tells you why they're the crazy, psycho characters they are today, and why it's appropriate that they're Terror Titans outside of any perceived legacy. NRAMA: There was a lot of teasing this weekend about this being a pretty violent mini-series. Between what you're saying about Joe's art being violent and these being psycho characters, it sounds like that's true. Is it safe to assume readers are going to see some blood? SM: They're going to see some blood. Bob Wayne joked this weekend that they were having trouble printing all the other books on time because all the red ink is being used up in Terror Titans. [laughs] They're called “Terror Titans” for a reason. NRAMA: But with Static in this mini-series, it's pretty clear that all the events in this comic will lead into what's coming up in Teen Titans during this "new era" you've talked about, right? SM: In Teen Titans, we currently have a three-part arc called “Pawns & Kings,” but after that, we have a five-part arc starting in December, which is the recruitment drive, and that arc is called the "New Teen Titans." And it goes through the Faces of Evil in January, which will feature Brother Blood, and there is going to be some twists and turns until Part 5 of the arc is a Teen Titans Annual in April. NRAMA: This all ramps up toward an Annual? SM: Yep. And there are a lot of things happening between now and then that are worthy of an Annual. Plus, that comes out after the last issue of Terror Titans, so I think you can draw some conclusions from that.
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