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Dressed To Kill: Mike McKone’s Designs

Dressed To Kill: DC Offers A Sneak Peek At The New Teen Titans
from Wizard #139 – April 2003
Forget everything you think you know about the new look of DC’s upcoming Teen Titans revamp.

No seriously forget it. “The final costumes haven’t been seen yet,” said upcoming series penciler Mike McKone. “Simply because I haven’t drawn them yet. The promotional cover that was released did not contain the final costume designs. They were close, but not quite.”

So while DC, or rather McKone, keeps secret what the new lineup of Superboy, Cyborg, Robin, Starfire, Raven, Wonder Girl, Beast Boy’ and Impul – er, Kid flash, will be sportin’ in July’s revamp, the publisher did offer up a behind-the-scenes look at the approval process involving McKone, writer Geoff Johns (Avengers and what seems like two-thirds of DC’s superhero titles), and editor Eddie Berganza.

So enjoy, and to all you high school readers remember: Even though the new Titans may look badass in the comic, that doesn’t necessarily mean the look will work in the real world. We’ve learned from experience.

SUPERBOY: For Superboy’s new look, McKone, Johns and Berganza decided to go for a more back-to-basics approach.

“They’ve already changed Superboy’s look recently because he had a look from 1993 with the earring and fade haircut, but we started to worry that that look might get dated too,” explained Johns. “We decided to go for a more “classic” look that would feel timeless. Since he’s living in Smallville now, we wanted to make him look like a normal kid. A more jeans-and-T-shirt look.”

CYBORG: McKone, who admits that the Mary Wolfman/George Pérez run of the 1980s was one of the only comics he read as a kid, adopted his predecessor’s initial design with a few tweaks. “Cyborg will be pretty close to the Pérez design, with a couple of modifications,” hinted McKone. “We’re giving him little LED battery indicators all over his body. And we decided to get rid of the garter belt.”

KID FLASH: When Bart Allen finally makes the jump from li’l Impulse to full grown Kid Flash, he won’t be cuttin’ that hair anytime soon. “Impulse, or rather Kid Flash, will probably end up looking the same,” said McKone. “I don’t think there’s any real differences except a big white line around the red and yellow areas.”

STARFIRE: Along with the Princess of Tamaran taking on a more utilitarian look, McKone admits that he had one other idea that he wouldn’t take no for an answer on. “I insisted on the thigh-high boots,” said McKone.

BEAST BOY: From the way McKone talks, Beast Boy’s development must have been a time-consuming, utterly frustrating process. “I got lucky,” McKone said. “The first costume I designed, Eddie liked. From there, I just practiced drawing Beast Boy.”

ROBIN: While fans shouldn’t expect any major changes to Robin, Johns admits that certain aspects of the character’s design will take a more prominent role. “Robin’s going to use his utility belt a lot more,” hinted Johns. “So he’s going to have a lot of cool gadgets to play with.”

WONDER GIRL: In addition to having a latch on her belt to hold her own magic lasso, Wonder Girl’s also going to need to have a utility belt – to hold her credit cards thanks to her ever-changing costumes. “She’s a girl, so she’ll be changing her costume quite a bit,” said Johns. “Her costume has been an evolving process, and it’ll continue to evolve throughout the series.”

– CS


End of transmission. About this author:  Bill Walko is an author and artist and the man behind He's been reading and drawing comics since he was 5 years old and hasn't stopped since. Read more from this author