McKeever on Titans, Both 'Terror' and 'Teen'

Sean McKeever Spills on Terror Titans

In October, the Teen Titans get a spin-off mini-series about the teen characters of the DCU – both good and bad – in writer Sean McKeever's six-issue mini-series Terror Titans.

With art by Joe Bennett, the Terror Titans mini-series hits just as the main team is in flux, with Ravager leaving to explore her powers with the Terror Titans, Miss Martian leaving for parts unknown, and a new deal between DC and Milestone meaning Static will be joining the team.

Newsarama talked to McKeever to catch up on all the changes to the team and to find out what's coming up in the Terror Titans series. During our discussion, we found out we'll see characters like Aquagirl, Zatara, Bombshell, Terra and others showing up in the mini-series -- and more teen heroes recruited onto the Teen Titans soon as well. And for those folks who've read this week's Teen Titans #62, there are a few spoilers at the end of the interview as we ask McKeever about this cute puppy we saw named Wonder Dog.

Newsarama: We've talked before about this mini-series, but now that we're closer to the release, who exactly are the Terror Titans?

Sean McKeever: They're a team of legacy villains: Persuader; Disruptor; Dreadbolt, who is the son of Bolt; and Copperhead. And they are led by Clock King. They were created by Clock King -- given their identities and made into a team by Clock King, who is a very Machiavellian and mysterious character. What we've learned about him in the Teen Titans arc in which they debuted is that he lives in some other dimension where time intersects but it doesn't affect anything. Nothing there ages, so he could very well be incredibly old, which would explain why he's so smart. And judging from the size of his home there in that other dimension, it seems like he's had a lot of time there.

NRAMA: Will we be seeing any new Terror Titans?

SM: There will be new characters on the team in a sense, because this is following up on the Dark Side Club stuff that we've seen all over DC books, including Teen Titans and Final Crisis. And Clock King wants to use the Dark Side Club to his own advantage. And that means, you know, we have all these brainwashed teen metahumans, so what would Clock King want to do with all of them? Somebody who's created a team called Terror Titans -- what could he possibly want?

NRAMA: But there must be some new characters showing up because we've seen a Star-Spangled Kid on an upcoming cover, right?

SM: Yeah! There's a new Star-Spangled Kid, but we're playing that one close to the vest, in terms of his identity for now.

NRAMA: Will we see any other teen characters in this series?

SM: Because it's the Dark Side Club and they have teen metahumans, you're going to see a lot of existing characters. I can tell you a few of them. A lot will show up in the first issue, like Aquagirl, Terra, Zatara, Offspring and many others, including five new characters that I created. And Cully Hamner is designing those, which I'm pretty excited about because I think Cully's great. And also, you'll be seeing the team member of Infinity Inc.

NRAMA: That's right. Their series ended with the words, "To Be Continued in Terror Titans," right?

SM: Yeah. They won't be in the first issue, but we'll follow up on the story in that series that was kind of left open-ended, where Desaad was teleporting them all to parts unknown and experimenting on them.

NRAMA: And as we've talked about before in detail, Ravager is front and center in this mini-series, right?

SM: She's basically sharing the mini-series with the Terror Titans. After she hears Wonder Girl and Robin talking about her in Teen Titans, she leaves the Titans and goes to Clock King to explore that precognitive resonance they share and figure out some things about herself.

NRAMA: How's it been working with Joe Bennett on the series?

SM: It's been really cool. Joe asked me to write any of the action scenes in plot style as much as possible, to allow him to break it down into panels and to maybe do a little more detail work in terms of how the battle works from beat to beat. I write the plot of the battle, don't tie him down into any specific visuals. So he gets to do what he wants, and he's really letting loose. And it's really awesome to see this stuff come back. It's nice to see him letting loose. Every time I get pages from Joe Bennett, I'm just marveled at the level of detail and dynamism in the violence.

NRAMA: Is this going to be violent because of the Dark Side Club?

SM: Partly, and also because it's a story about villains. The main characters are bad guys, and they're called the Terror Titans for a reason.

NRAMA: In Chicago, we'd talked about how Dan DiDio revealed there were new Teen Titans members coming when he showed a teaser image in DC Nation. It's now been revealed that one of those is Static, one of the Milestone characters. Can you talk about that?

SM: I can tell you that before he shows up in Teen Titans, he's going to be showing up somewhere else.

NRAMA: In Terror Titans?

SM: Could be.

NRAMA: You made the joke in our Chicago interview that you were surprised by that image in DC Nation, but you knew who those characters were, right?

SM: Oh yeah. I've known for a long time that Static was going to be joining the Teen Titans. And I'm really excited about it. After all, this will be my chance to get revenge on Dwayne McDuffie for what he did to Gravity.

NRAMA: That's right! He killed the Marvel teen character you created.

SM: [laughs] No, I'm kidding. Hey everybody, I'm kidding! Actually, Dwayne and I were at dinner together last year in San Diego, and I just decided at that point that I didn't want to talk to him about Gravity. Everything hadn't come to fruition yet or been published, and I just didn't want to talk about it because, of course I wasn't happy he'd died and been changed, although none of that was Dwayne's fault. But Dwayne brought it up and told me his plans to reset Gravity to square one. And I thought that was great, because I loved the way he wrote him in Beyond. He really had his voice. So I actually owe him a thank you.

NRAMA: He brought him back.

SM: And he fixed him. So I'm going to treat Static with a great amount of care, and I'm going to be respectful of Dwayne's wishes in terms of how he wants the character portrayed.

NRAMA: Let's talk about this week's issue of Teen Titans. (Spoilers for Teen Titans #62!) We were introduced to... Wonder Dog?

SM: Quite a dog, huh?

NRAMA: It was quite a shocker, Sean. We had a very upbeat, buddy issue last month focusing on a team-up between Blue Beetle and Kid Devil. But this month's issue turned dark when Wendy and Marvin were mauled by the dog we thought was going to be Wonder Dog.

SM: Yeah, poor Wendy and Marvin. But, you know, I hope it got to people because it's absolutely a story-based death and not one of these "shock death" things. The Teen Titans are on a journey, and this is a major part of it.

NRAMA: What can you tell us about the owner of the dog, this new villain named King Lycus?

SM: He's the son of Ares. He's actually a footnote character in Greek mythology who was the king of Libya. And he sacrificed strangers in his fathers name. He shows up in the tales of Diomedes around the time of the Trojan War. So I just took that footnote and expanded him into a character, bringing him into the modern day as a foil for Wonder Girl. He wants to be Ares' champion, not Wonder Girl, his aunt. So he's come to wreak a little havoc in Cassie's life.

NRAMA: Miss Martian has left the team. Does that mean you won't be writing that character anymore? Are there other plans for her?

SM: There are definite plans for M'gann. It's all part of a longer story. She will be back.

NRAMA: Besides Static joining the team, what else can you tell us about what's coming up in Teen Titans?

SM: The next three issues, we've got Bombshell showing up. So those three issues will be two stories in one, with Bombshell returning from the dead, and with King Lycus as a nemesis for Wonder Girl. And it all comes together in a big, fun way with Issue #65. Then after that, there's only four Teen Titans right now, so it's time for a recruitment drive. And next year, Teen Titans Annual.

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