In recent months, the Titans team has gone through some major changes, first disbanding and now reforming with some new team members and a mission tied to the Justice League.
As series writer Dan Abnett takes the team forward, he’ll continue taking advantage of the fall-out from the events in Justice League to generate new stories and adventures for the Titans. As they deal with the effects of the Source Wall breaking and the meta-gene pandemic, the team must learn to pull together, even through their differences —and Miss Martian’s secrets.
With a team that includes Donna Troy, Raven, Steel, Beast Boy, Nightwing and Miss Martian, Titans ships twice monthly and features art by Brandon Peterson. Newsarama talked with Abnett to find out more about how the book will continue to tie into Justice League and what else readers can expect from Titans.
Nrama: Dan, both Aquaman and Titans are currently being affected by the events in other books. Obviously, that's part of being in a shared universe, but did you think both series were at the point in their run when it made sense to cross over more with the rest of the DCU?
Abnett: Yes, and I think it’s always worth “reaching out” to other books, and reflecting larger DCU events outside a book, because that’s how we collectively create and maintain the whole universe. It was time for Aquaman to (literally and metaphorically) surface and interact with the world.
With Titans, every team member has a close connection with a major DCU player, so there are bound to be knock-on effects from other books. Plus, the entire remit of Titans has now tied to Justice League-lead events.
Nrama: That sounds like a lot of coordination.
Abnett: It can cause headaches, just negotiating the inter-book continuity and threading peoples’ work together. We recently had a major DC writers summit on that very topic, and it was productively volatile.
The simple fact is that books like Titans end up being reactive to the headliner books like Batman and Justice League. That’s just the way it works.
DC’s making efforts editorially to make the interaction work both ways, but if you’re smart (and that’s what we’re trying to be!) you find ways to use the big events happening outside your book to your own advantage, rather than just trying to deploy frantic damage control.
Nrama: Does that ever get in the way of your plans, though?
Abnett: Some upcoming Titans storylines were catastrophically impacted by forthcoming DC events in various books (no spoilers!). It could have been disastrous, but we ran with the changes that were forced on us and, in all honesty, I think the stories are better as a result. We own our “continuity wounds” — and the DCU ends up looking bigger, better-curated, and more fully realized as a side effect.
Nrama: As the Titans have been dealing with new metahumans, what's the status of this team in the midst of the changes and the in-fighting we've seen?
Abnett: The team is pushing ahead with their quest to face down and tackle the fall-out of the Source Wall collapse, trying to deal with the freaking and unknowable things that are happening to Earth and the people on it.
They are the Justice League’s emergency first responders on the ground, dealing with the consequences of the big, cosmos-shaking events, while the Justice League zooms out to shake that cosmos.
This means the Titans are constantly learning. The things they face are eerie and strange every time, and it’s no easy job. They’ve got to bond as a team because they’re not the bunch of “life-long friends” they used to be. The drama and the fun has only just begun.
Nrama: We’ve heard that one of the new metahumans will fall in the future issues. Can you talk about what’s coming up next in Titans? Anything you can tease?
Abnett: I’m trying to do fast, wild, self-contained missions set against a building meta-background. There are some creative challenges in the next few issues, and some massive shockwaves to ride out. Plus, we’re unveiling our big villain for the next arc, and throwing in some totally insane twists for the individual Titans.
Nrama: It was revealed recently that you’re leaving Aquaman. Are you sticking around on Titans for the long haul, or should we expect more changes?
Abnett: Unless you know something I don’t, I’m on Titans for the long haul. I’m loving it, and we have got so much cool stuff to deliver.