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Fabian Nicieza Interview on “Convergence: Titans” and Roy Harper’s Redemption

In wanting to do more for Titans Tower following the release of “Convergence” and the return of the pre-Flashpoint and pre-Crisis Titans, I took the initiative to contact a few of the creators working on the Titans-related books and asked if they’d be up for answering some questions. This is the first of three interviews I’ve conducted with Bill Walko providing editing and proofreading on the questions I wanted to send.

I contacted Fabian Nicieza (Nightwing, Red Robin, Legion Lost), the author on “Convergence: Titans,” via twitter about answering a few questions for those of us curious about what is happening in the Titans volume. The premise of the miniseries sees Donna Troy, Starfire, and Arsenal teaming up to battle Lord Havok and the Extremists for the sake of pre-Flashpoint Gotham, but that becomes “extremely” difficult when Dreamslayer reveals his wild card: Lian Harper. If Arsenal takes down his friends, he gets his daughter back. Yikes.

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Thanks for taking the time to talk with us, Fabian. Were you approached by DC Comics to write this miniseries, or did you ask them specifically about working on this title?

I had originally been in discussions to work on a different series, but Dan Didio wanted to talk to me about TITANS. Our conversation led to his offering me SUPERBOY and JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA during the same conversation, so, that was a good phone call as far as I was concerned.

What is the main conflict of this story centered around?

The Convergence concept pits characters from two different cities against each other in a battle for ultimate survival, but that’s just the physical conflict. For the TITANS, the moral conflict was how far ROY HARPER would be willing to go to save LIAN.

The antagonists of this tale are Lord Havok and the Extremists. They’re ersatz versions of a few Marvel villains from an old Justice League story. They’ve shown up sporadically over the last twenty years, and their most prominent appearance to date was in a Countdown miniseries that introduced revamped versions of the villains in question. Was there any particular reason they were chosen to fight the Titans for this story?

We had a lot of available characters to choose from. I think I was assigned the EXTREMISTS, and that was fine with me because I wanted the TITANS to oppose characters they had no real chance to defeat. The EXTREMISTS are SO powerful that it helped make ROY’s conflict even more potent.

The Convergence event seems like a nice opportunity for creators to resolve certain storylines that never received proper endings. What are you hoping to resolve with the Titans via this entry in the Convergence line-up?

I think the goal all along for this series, the reason I took the job and one Dan agreed with wholeheartedly, was to help redeem ROY HARPER for a lot of negative crap that had been done to him during the CRY FOR JUSTICE time frame.

You’ve said in other interviews that you’ve been hoping to fix the “unfair and nasty things” done to Roy Harper and his daughter Lian. What would you say to Titans fans who share this sentiment?

Enjoy the series. :)

Some time has passed since Arsenal’s time with Deathstroke’s Titans team. He seems more comfortable with himself, even establishing a group home called Lian’s Place? As a writer, how did you fill in some of those blanks?

Well, don’t forget, the characters were all plucked by Tellos from different points of time, so “this” version of ROY might not have gone as far down into the sewer of DEATHSTROKE’s TITANS as he did in the mainstream DCU.

Readers have gleaned from solicits that an aspect of this story revolves around Roy’s relationship with his daughter Lian. What are your thoughts about that relationship?

I think it’s been a bit of a burdensome complication to the character in many ways, while in other ways it has served to humanize him more than many of his contemporary characters. The fun here was to think how far would a father go to bring his daughter back?

This next question is about Lian Harper. Even though the character hasn’t appeared in the Nu52, she did appear in Young Justice and fans have been clamoring for her return. What do you think about Lian as a character, and what can you tell us about her role in all of this?

Well, I don’t think that much about the character, I mean she’s a little kid who has mostly been used as a prop or a pawn in most stories! She’s used that way here, too, I’m sorry to say, but in the dialogue they had together, I tried to inject a comfort level that shows how much they mean to each other.

The other two Titans fighting alongside Roy are Donna Troy and Starfire. Donna was last seen as a member of the JLA and seemed to be going through some issues of her own, while Starfire was in outer space with the R.E.B.E.L.S.. Somehow they ended up in Gotham alongside Roy and a few other heroes and villains when the dome appeared. What have Donna and Kory been up to since the JLA and R.E.B.E.L.S.?

Again, we didn’t worry so much about a specific month or issue # the characters were “plucked from” as much as a general timeframe. As we saw in the first issue, since the dome went up and they lost their powers, they’ve been living a pretty low-key and relaxed life.

Is there any awkwardness between Roy and Donna considering in their last meeting back in Titans Annual #1 the two were on opposing teams? Not to mention that Roy was… less than cordial to Donna back in “Rise of Arsenal.” How have things been between them?

No, as you saw in the first issue, those matters are not pertinent to the general story being told, so we decided not to worry about too much continuity-specific baggage.

Any plans for Jericho to make an appearance? The last Titans volume ended with the possibility of Arsenal and Jericho forming a new Titans team, so some fans are wondering if Jericho ended up in Gotham when the dome came down.

No, sorry. It’s only two issues long and I didn’t want to glut the story. You will see a welcome addition of a couple more TITANS in #2 but I’ll save the surprise for when the issue comes out.

Are any other Titans going to be appearing in the second issue? Nightwing, Wally West, and a couple of other Titans have appeared in the pre-Flashpoint Convergence books, so is there a possibility they’ll be appearing alongside Roy, Donna, and Kory?

Asked and sort of answered! Hope you check out TITANS #2 and find out!


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