In fact, among DC's 52 new #1 issues in September, Teen Titans has some of the most drastic changes in its new costume designs.
DC had already announced that Jim Lee was redesigning the costumes for the DCnU, so fans had expected to see some new looks. In Teen Titans, which will launch in September with writer Scott Lobdell and penciler Brett Booth, the looks got quite a reaction.
To find out more about the new costumes on Teen Titans and who these new characters are, Newsarama talked to Booth.
Newsarama: First of all, as an artist, I imagine your starting point is what input you'’re given from DC Editorial and your writer Scott Lobdell on what they want to achieve with the looks of this team and these characters?
Brett Booth: The initial designs I did were for the newer characters: the Charcoal Girl, and who we're calling Bugg right now. I was sort of told they wanted the new designs to be different. Their silhouettes needed to be different from the standard guy or gal in tights. So I took that to heart.
Nrama: Can you take fans into the process of how you were first approached about this version of Teen Titans, and what input you got from Scott and DC to inform your approach to the redesigns?
Booth: Let's see. I talked with Scott a bunch. Our battles were epic! Scott wanted really different, and so I went about attempting to do that. DC was really open about what we turned in. I have a feeling we could
have done any of the number of costume designs we did. And we did a lot. We even brought Jim [Lee] and Cully Hamner in to help with the Kid Flash and Wonder Girls designs.
Nrama: Is there a particular overarching theme or idea that influenced all of the designs? Or were you given ideas and notes about each individually?
Booth: Each character sort of evolved on its own. We had toyed with the idea of matching outfits but quickly abandoned that. There was a lot of back and forth about everything.
Nrama: How much back and forth was there between everyone before you came up with the final designs and was there anything particularly interesting or memorable about the process?
Booth: Wonder Girl had me, Jim, Cully , Scott, Bobbie [Chase] and Bob [Harras] going back and forth. That was the toughest one. I think I did like 8 or 9 designs or variations on her. Cully did three or four and Jim did two. We then decided to just keep her in regular clothes for a bit to get a feel for the character, so we concentrated on her bracelets and lasso.
Nrama: Can you maybe walk through each character and tell what you were hoping to achieve with each and what stands out for you as either the trickiest or your favorite part of the redesign? Let's start with Red Robin? I think fans certainly want to know how the wings came to be and why? And what do they do?
Booth: Scott wanted wings; he wanted the character to actually not get left behind all the time. I did a few designs up, more Hawkman-like, but with the cowl he looked like.. well... Hawkman. So then I got the idea
of a cape with notches cut out so it would look like feathers in a silhouette. But I was told, "No capes!" So I toyed around with the ones he has now. They are sort of both cape and wings. They can be both hard and flexible when needed. I don't want to give too much away.
The wings are more for gliding. He has some small jets on his back that can give him short bursts of power. They can become rigid and deflect bullets if needed — a Batman family staple.
Booth: This was really Scott and I just wanting him to be Superboy, since he's not into spandex, The gloves are a nod to his 90's outfit. The "S" on his back is a joke — Bart put it there because on the original, he didn't
have the tattoo on that side, so it was ambiguous who it was. He's just wearing a muscle shirt and some pants and boots. Just not the traditional "S" shirt and jeans. I added the tattoo as to his design because of a misread email, but everyone liked it so we kept it. The bar code idea was added a bit later but was genius!
Nrama: Wonder Girl?
Booth: Once we decided to make Cassie not quite the super nice girl her designs sort of popped up. I was told to make the bracelets different. I wanted to keep her ties to Greece to I sort of made a set, the lasso
is more like thorny vines or barbed wire. It comes out of the armband and basically gets everywhere so she ties it off at her waist. Scott came up with the modified version of an older design I did and the star field, a nod to Donna Troy's Wonder Girl outfit.
And the shin guards are the only part of Jim's original design that survived. Bobbie Chase and Katie Kubert liked them so much I kept them on.
Nrama: Kid Flash?
Booth: This one was interesting, Jim basically took a design I did and reworked it. I frickin' loved it. But it was a bit older looking, something an older more adult superhero would wear, so Cully came in and modified the headpiece a bit to look more like Kid Flash.
Nrama: The new characters? What can you tell us about then?
Booth: The Bugg girl was originally supposed to be more tech, but I do like organic, so I drew sort of an exo-skeleton. Everyone seemed to like it so we kept it. She's got extra legs and arms she can retract to look more
human. She's in issue #2.
The other one is still under wraps for now. But when Scott mentioned to me what he wanted, I knew exactly what I was going to do. I sort of modified the smoke hair a bit for this image.
Nrama: Anything else you can tell us about designs and characters fans will see in #1 and beyond?
Booth: Bart and Conner have different outfits in issue #1 than these. There are Easter eggs here and there in the first issue so look for them!
Nrama: How do you go about “researching” or finding influences for the way teens dress today, that you think will resonate and feel true to this generation?
Booth: Google helps out. Plus Scott and I haven't completely forgotten what it was like to be a teen. But TV and movies help. I might have to suffer through some horrible, horrible things, but I will do it, especially if I can't find the remote.
Nrama: Have you seen the reaction to these costumes from fans?
Booth: I've only seen a bit, but man people can be nasty. Most has been positive, so thank you. I think we might have gone a bit farther out there than some of the other books, but the story is strong and fun and not the Teen Titans norm, so I'm hoping the art is up to snuff. But I'm sure I'll have my detractors.
Nrama: Then to finish up is there anything else you want to tell fans about the image they've seen of the new costumes in Teen Titans?
Booth: I just want to give a shout out to my partners in crime on the art side, Norm [Rapmund] and Andrew [Dalhouse]. And note this was originally just a promo piece for a meeting so it hasn't been inked and Andrew colored this up with blazing speed so this is sort of a rough piece for us.Visit Newsarama on FACEBOOK and TWITTER and tell us what you think! More on DCnU:
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