an interview by Andrew Hein
courtesy of http://www.comixtreme.com
In a few short years, Geoff Johns has become one of most popular writers in comics. He writes or co-writes four or more book a month: JSA, Flash and Hawkman for DC and Avengers for Marvel, along with the occasional one-shot and mini. As if he doesn’t have enough on his plate, it was recently announced that he will be responsible for one of DC’s biggest projects for 2004: the re-launch of fan favorite The Teen Titans.
Geoff was nice enough to take some time away from writing more books a month then a mind can fathom and his new wife to answer a few questions.
ComiXtreme: In the space of a couple of years you have become one of the busiest and biggest names in comics. Now you’re taking on what seems to be one of DC’s biggest upcoming projects; the re-launch of Teen Titans. How did you end up getting that plum assignment?
Geoff Johns: I was approached by Dan Didio and asked if I had any interest in the Teen Titans. I’ve loved the concept and characters for a long while and with the new generation of teens, Superboy and Wonder Girl, I saw a lot of potential in the group.
CX: I know that its way to early to talk about story lines, but what can we expect from this book in terms of kinds of stories and tone?
Johns:It’s going to be in the tone of “life” ? humor, horror, action, drama. Very character-focused action stories. Meaning, stories that only these characters can tackle.
CX: Who are you really looking forward to writing in Titans, and who do you think that you’ll have the hardest time finding the voice of?
Johns:I absolutely love Superboy. Love Wonder Girl and Cyborg. The character I think will be the most challenging is Robin. Because he has his own book I’ve got to give him an entirely new character arc within Titans. It’s easy to look at Robin and say “He’s the smartest Titan there. He’ll be the guy that always comes up with the plan.” But that’s not necessarily going to be true. Robin will find his own niche in the group, and it’s going to surprise even him.
CX: Any chance of Courtney (Star Spangled Kid) making an appearance in Titans at some point?
Johns: Probably sometime. I’m sure of it.
CX:Were you a fan of the Wolfman/Pérez Titans stories of the 80’s?
Johns:Of course. They really re-defined team books for DC back then. Taking the Marvel approach. I don’t remember the last time a team filled with so many new characters became so successful.
CX: You’re no stranger to the team books. Are you going to be approaching Titans differently then you do your work on JSA with David Goyer, or on Avengers?
Johns:It is going to be different. The team won’t be as massive, and it’s going to be much more character focused.
CX: You and Rags Morales really seem to make a great team on Hawkman. Why do you think you two work so well together?
Johns:Because, well, we just get along personally. He’s a great guy, amazing artist, and above all, he takes his job very seriously. His passion for this medium is very contagious.
CX: I really love the description of Hawkman that you give, of him being like Conan with wings. It really is the best description of the character that I’ve ever heard.
CX:I know that Mike Carey has made mention of the “Geoff Johns style of writing superheroes”. Is that weird to hear so early in your career?
Johns:Yes, but it’s very nice of him to say.
CX: You write really amazing superhero stories. Can you see yourself working outside of superhero comics at some point?
Johns: I’m going to later next year. I already have done a short sci-fi story for Humanoids that was in Metal Hurlant #3 and I have some horror stuff in the works.
CX:You seem to approach writing superheroes in a more Ôstraight ahead’ kind of way. What do you think about books, like Authority, that cast heroes in a much different light?
Johns:That’s fine. I just like to write heroes being heroes. My own personal tastes.
CX: Not only do you work in comics, but you also work in Hollywood. Anything on that front you can talk about?
Johns: Nothing yet, but soon.
CX: You always make yourself available to fans. You frequent several different message boards, and even have your own. Do you find this interaction important and helpful?
Johns: I enjoy it more than anything else. The good and the bad, but mostly just interacting with other people who love comics.
CX: Any closing words?
My thanks to Geoff Johns.
For more on Geoff Johns, and his work, visit www.geoffjohns.com