When Dan DiDio told Newsarama readers last year that J.T. Krul was the "up-and-coming writer" that fans should watch, he wasn't kidding.
After orchestrating DC's current Green Arrow event, Krul is next turning his attention to Teen Titans. Beginning in late 2010, Krul will take over the title, hoping to do "what any writer tries to do — tell great stories," he said.
"Specifically, I want to focus on the bond between the Titans," Krul told Newsarama. "They've been through a lot over the years, and while they have their friction, they are a family. Beyond that, I want to build up the team through the threats they face, amping up the threats in terms of some new villains."
Although he's bringing in new villains, Krul said he recognizes that the team itself has been a little unstable lately, and he's hoping to remedy that. After all, the roster hasn't stayed the same for very long since the title was launched in 2003, and lost several of its well-known heavy hitters when Superboy and Kid Flash died, then Robin left the team last year.
"Initially, it's about stabilizing the team — who they are, what they are doing, and identifying the role they play in the broader sense of the DCU," Krul explained. "For me, the Teen Titans are not so much a training ground for newbie heroes, but a beacon for them and for all teenagers in a way. There are so many wrong paths to take and the Teen Titans serve as an example of those trying their best to take the right path — no matter how difficult it may prove to be."
Krul said the team will also be tying into the larger picture of the DCU soon after he takes over the series later this year. "All I will say is that they will cross paths with the Bat world very quickly," he said.
Teen Titans, which was relaunched in 2003 by writer Geoff Johns, has been penned by several writers since Johns left the title in 2007. Currently, the title is written by Felicia D. Henderson of Fringe and Gossip Girl fame, who started on the title late last year.
But Krul is among those writers who have filled in on Teen Titans. In fact, Titans fans have been reading Krul's work off and on over the last year, both in the Blackest Night: Titans mini-series last year and in several issues of Titans and Teen Titans.
"This is a dream project," Krul said. "Ever since I was given the opportunity to work on Blackest Night: Titans, I've wanted a chance to work on the main book. I think the Teen Titans ranks up there with the X-Men as one of the premiere team books throughout the years — especially given the teen atmosphere of the book as these characters work to find their place in the world beyond the shadow of their older counterparts. You can never repeat the lightning in a bottle that was the Wolfman/Perez run, but that doesn't mean I'm not going to try."