As Wizard World Chicago kicked off with a special preview night on Thursday for weekend ticket holders, we found writer Sean McKeever at his table, signing comics for fans. We took the opportunity to talk to him about the last issue of his ongoing DC series Teen Titans.
But first, a warning... *spoilers for Issue #60 ahead* - click here for a preview.
This week's issue of Teen Titans ended with the departure of one of the team's members as Ravager left Titans Tower in a bit of a huff, a teaser indicating her story would be continued in the Terror Titans six-issue mini-series that begins in October.
As the Titans recover from a surprisingly brutal battle with the Clock King, and as they go forward without one of their members, we talked to McKeever to find out more about the upcoming Terror Titans mini-series, the future of the Teen Titans, and what was up with that DC Nation page.
Newsarama: Let's start with the big event at the end of Issue #60, Sean. Ravager packed up and left. Is this for good?
Sean McKeever: I don't want to say if it's for good or not, but she's definitely one of those characters who skirts the line between good and evil. She's definitely in that gray area. She's somebody who's killed. She's somebody who -- yes, while mind-control has done terrible things to her at the hands of her father, but she's also done some fairly bad things on her own. And so there are aspects of her personality that she has to explore. And it's pretty easy for her to take that new avenue at the end of the issue when she hears Wonder Girl and Robin talking about her.
NRAMA: She's showing up in Terror Titans #1, and you had told Newsarama back in April that there was a well-known teen character who would be joining the Terror Titans. Can we connect dot-A to dot-B and come to the conclusion that Rose is the one joining Terror Titans?
SM: She won't necessarily be on the Terror Titans team, but she's front and center in the Terror Titans mini-series. It really is like she's sharing the mini-series with the Terror Titans. We're going to explore the Terror Titans in the mini-series. But yes, she's part of it. When she leaves the Teen Titans, she goes to Clock King to explore that precognitive resonance that they share.
NRAMA: Can you explain why exactly what the relationship is between Clock King and the Dark Side Club? And will we see more of that in the Terror Titans mini-series?
SM: The Clock King was hired out by the Dark Side Club to pick up teen metahumans, and he specifically decided to pick up the Teen Titans as sort of a trial-by-fire for his team. And you'll see more about that in the Terror Titans mini-series as he becomes more involved in the Dark Side Club and has his own plans.
NRAMA: This character of the Clock King caught the attention of readers. He's obviously incredibly smart, and with his precognitive ability, very tough to beat. Can you tell us anything about him?
SM: He's a bit of a mystery. As we mentioned in this arc, in the dimension where his headquarters is located, time intersects, but it doesn't have a backward or forward effect. So you don't age. There's no direction of time. So it could very well be that he's been around for quite awhile and that's why he's as smart as he is.
NRAMA: Will we find out more about his background in Terror Titans?
SM: A bit. But the thing with Clock King is, you can't really trust him. It doesn't matter how compelling what he says is, he could very well be lying to you.
NRAMA: This week also saw the debut of a Titans image in the "DC Nation" column that appears in the back of most DC comics. There's a new face in that image. Point blank, Sean: Is Kid Eternity joining the team?
SM: That's what it looks like! I couldn't tell you for sure though. The first I knew that they were putting that up on DC Nation was when I opened it up and saw it in there. And I said, "Wow! Kid Eternity! Is he going to be in Teen Titans?"
NRAMA: But can you at least tell us if he's showing up in a future story?
SM: I would imagine that there's a very good chance he'll be in the book in the future. That's what that image says.
NRAMA: What's up with Kid Devil's clothes in this DC Nation image?
SM: Yeah. What's up with that? He's usually wearing the pants and no shirt. And now he's not. Kind of weird. [smiles]
NRAMA: Is there a reason for that, Sean?
SM: There may very well be. [laughs] This is a lot of talking about the DC Nation for no answers, isn't it?
NRAMA: Yes, it is, but you know we have to ask. Can you talk about the two hidden characters on this image, where we see the dark shapes, but their images are blank? Are there two new characters joining the team soon?
SM: You know, I'm not sure which two characters those are because when I saw the original version of this image, there were four other characters on it that aren't on there. So I'm not sure what's going on. I'm going to have to talk to my editor, Mr. Dan DiDio, and find out what's going on with that book.
NRAMA: So wait. You're telling me there were four other characters on this image that we don't see, even besides the two who are blacked out?
NRAMA: Finally some answers. A total of six other new members who aren't seen, including the two shadowed images?
SM: Well, I didn't say "new." Obviously, there are other members who are on the team but aren't shown. Like Robin. He's not there. And he may or may not have been one of those others.
NRAMA: So, then, answer this. These five characters that we can see, plus the other two who are blacked out -- a total of seven -- will those be the end-all Teen Titans team at some point soon?
NRAMA: So there are more. And will characters be joining the team in the next few months?
SM: Well, as people have seen in solicitations, Bombshell's going to show up in Issue #63. Whether or not she joins the team remains to be seen. But that's one possible team member, and you'll see some more cropping up toward the end of the year.
NRAMA: Including Kid Eternity?
SM: Apparently. [laughs]
NRAMA: And Blue Beetle's in this image. Is he on the team or not?
SM: He's not right now, but we'll find out soon what his status is going to be going forward. The next issue is going to be about Blue Beetle and Kid Devil. Issue #61 will be a classic team-up between the Blue and the Red. Kid Devil is recovering from his ordeal at the Dark Side Club, and he's still a bit steamed about having lost to Shockwave and screwed up way back in issue #56. So now he's going to go out and try to prove himself by taking down Shockwave all by himself.
The only problem is the next place that Shockwave shows up is really close to Blue Beetle's home turf. And Kid Devil doesn't like Blue Beetle too much so hilarity ensues, as they say.
NRAMA: Miss Martian's in this image. Does she still carry the consciousness of her future self within her?
SM: That's still definitely a part of her. And that's something we'll start dealing with again in issue #62. You're going to see an interesting development for Miss Martian... in light of the death of Martian Manhunter.
NRAMA: And what about Miss Martian having white skin in this DC Nation image? Does that have something to do with this development that is linked to J'onn's death?
SM: Well, I'm wondering if they just did that because the background was green and they didn't want it to clash. [laughs]
You can write down that I laughed after saying that.
NRAMA: Can I write down that you laughed "maniacally?" 'Cause that's what you're doing now.
SM: Sure. You can say that. [laughs maniacally]
NRAMA: Let's talk about the Terror Titans mini-series. What's the story going to be?
SM: In the wake of this Terror Titans arc, Clock King wants to take his Terror Titans to the next level. He wants to challenge them and make them stronger. In doing so, he's got them more deeply involved in the Dark Side Club. He has particular plans related to that. I can't really say what those plans are, but they are called the "Terror" Titans, so that will give you a hint.
NRAMA: He mentions "terror" in this last issue.
SM: Well, he's a fan of chaos through order. I mean, that's what he's all about. So he's going to put that to use in the Dark Side Club.
NRAMA: Will we see any other new members of the Terror Titans, because he was clearly unhappy with the current members when we last saw him?
SM: No, it's still going to be Copperhead, Dreadbolt, Persuader and Disruptor. And we're going to delve into each of those characters in greater depth. You're going to understand who they are. Why they're eager to be on a villain team and why they're considered legacies. Of course, we know Dreadbolt is a legacy because he's the son of the current Bolt, who will also be in the Terror Titans mini-series. But we're going to see why these kids were enticed by someone like Clock King and how he's able to shepherd them into becoming better villains.
NRAMA: And your artist on Terror Titans is Joe Bennett?
SM: Anybody who knows Joe Bennett's art knows he's perfect for this. It's a darker book. A more violent book, really. I mean, we're talking about the Dark Side Club, where you've got an arena, as you've seen in Teen Titans. You've got teen metahumans beating the tar out of each other. You've got that, and you've got the Terror Titans, who themselves are murderers, as you'll learn. So it's going to be a bloody and exciting book with lots of action.
NRAMA: Let's talk about your artist on the regular Teen Titans series. Issue #61 has a different artist. Is Eddy Barrows still doing art?
SM: Eddy Barrows is still our regular artist, but we had Carlos Rodriguez do this one issue. He did a great job in issue #58 to help us out. But him filling in for issue #61 is not because of Eddy -- it's because of me because I had to play catch-up on the book. So I was doing double duty on scripts and getting us up to speed so we have a good cushion of time. Now we're planned well into 2009. And I'm really super-excited about it. And Eddy's kicking some butt. It's really fun to have him on board.
NRAMA: Let's talk about what else is coming in the regular Terror Titans series. We heard about the Blue and the Red issue in #61. What's after that?
SM: In issue #62, Wonder Dog shows up. We have Wendy and Marvin, so we had to have Wonder Dog to go with the Wonder Twins. And then in Issue #63, Bombshell shows up. Teen Titans readers remember she was yet another in a long line of traitors to the Teen Titans, and she presumably died at the hands of Batgirl in the Titans East arc, and we're going to show why she isn't dead, and what she's up to now. And the Teen Titans are going to go head-to-head with her. And in that issue, Wonder Girl also has to deal with a threat of her own.
NRAMA: A new threat?
SM: Yes. A new threat. And it's a threat that ties to Greek mythology. And the Bombshell and Wonder Girl stories -- that's a three-part arc. And after that... things start to get kind of fun and crazy.
NRAMA: Big things coming down the line?
SM: Yeah. And I'm really excited about it. I'd say that we're going to usher in a fun new era for the Teen Titans.