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Jay Faerber on Titans: Interview

Jay Faerber on Titans: Interview
by Bryan Cairns webdate: 07/17/2000 9:37:30 AM
This interview courtesy of © 1999-2000 Fandom,Inc.

How many people can say they’ve worked on their dream projects not once but twice? Comic book writer Jay Faerber can. First, he helped relaunch Marvel’s New Warriors and he will soon be making an even bigger splash with DC’s fan favorite Titans when he takes over for current scribe Devin Grayson. “New Teen Titans was the book that got me into comics really,” reveals Faerber about his connection to the title. “…What I always liked about the Titans, as opposed to the X-Men who were equally popular back in the 80’s, was that the Titans were on their own. The X-Men always had Xavier calling the shots and dishing out the wisdom. The Titans, while a lot of them had mentors, were pretty much on their own, wrestling with difficult decisions.”

Currently co-writing Titans #17-19, the story finds the group once more in space helping Starfire and her people, the Tamaraneans, against the Gordian hordes. However, unbeknownst to the Titans, this time around the Tamaraneans are the invaders.

Unable to go into full details of his solo gig on Titans, Faerber was more than willing to give some insight into the characters, beginning with his personal favorite. “I guess I ‘d have to say Nightwing but if you ask me the same question tomorrow, my answer would probably be different. I just like the fact that Dick has absolutely no superpowers, and yet he’s the one these super-powered people look for guidance and respect more than anyone.”

“I like that the Flash actually ‘made it’,” Faerber continues. “He’s the only Titan to graduate into the big leagues and really take over the mantle of his mentor. Back in the day, that was something I always hoped would happen: the older heroes retire and the Titans take over, but I never thought it would. Arsenal is a real kick to write. I actually really enjoyed the team he led, and I still think that line-up could have been fantastic. But alas, it never really gelled. I like how Troia is the ‘den mother’ of this group, and the scene in #13 where she finally loses her patience with being everyone’s confidante is probably one of my all-time favorites. Gotta give myself a little pat on the back for that one. I was a big booster of the Donna/Kyle relationship back when she was a regular in Green Lantern but that’s behind us now.

“I think Tempest always gets a bad rep as the weak Titan or the wallflower. But I really like Garth and think he’s always fun to write and read. I like, how thanks to Phil Jimenez, Garth has gone from being one of the weakest Titans to one of the most powerful. His mystical powers can open up some great stories. Cyborg is another one of my favorites. There’s just something about the scientific genius who pretends to be a hoodlum that I find fascinating. Plus, there’s the massive amount of tragedy he’s suffered in his short life. Tragedy always makes for good comics. I’ll admit that I’ve never really been fond of Starfire. I think she has her moments but she’s not a character I have a whole lot to say about. I’ve been a fan of Damage since his solo series and I really like this ‘little brother’ role he’s taken on with Arsenal. I also like the ties he has to the other, older heroes of the DCU, particularly the JSA. Argent is probably the best thing to come out of Dan Jurgens’ book. I really like how we got to see this party girl mature into a capable heroine right before our eyes. And her father’s ties to the mob make for some great story potential. I’ve really dug Jesse Quick since she debuted back in the previous JSA series, the one by Strazewski and Parobeck. I always thought she’d make a great Titan and she proved me right. I think the strained relationship she has with her mother is a great touch too.”

While remaining tight-lipped, Faerber warns readers that when he takes over the book, the roster will be trimmed down a bit. Who stays? Who goes? Stay tuned! Besides that, he says the two biggest changes will be an increase in sub-plots and the return of a couple of old Titans in supporting roles. That’s not to say he won’t be adding his own special TLC in other ways. People who have read previous Faerber interviews know he is heavily influenced by soap operas so they can expect similar elements seeping in. No, that doesn’t mean more in the romance, sleeping around, or evil twin departments. What can be anticipated are more cliffhanger endings, stories that build over time, and scenes between people who don’t usually have anything to do with each other. And although Faerber has written Gen X and New Warriors, two other teen filled titles, he says there is definitely a different flavor to Titans.

“Titans is much more about legacy,” he says. “Warriors was about a group of relative-unknowns, setting out to make their mark in the world. Gen X was about a school for mutants. But Titans has this legacy to uphold-they really are the second line of defense. If the JLA should fall, the Titans will be expected to step up to the plate. And the Titans certainly get a lot more respect from the citizens of the world they inhabit than the Warriors or Gen X kids.”

On top of all this, Faerber is involved in the Green Lantern fifth week books, specifically the one-shot featuring another of his favorite characters–Firestorm. He is also writing a Superboy two-parter and since it comes out at the same time as his Titans debut, the group will guest star. Not a typical fill-in, Faerber has closely collaborated with the book’s current writer, Karl Kesel, to further any existing subplots. Plus, Faerber will be single handedly composing all of this year’s Superman 80 Page Giant.

One rumor Faerber doesn’t mind collaborating on is a project cooked up with his close friends Grayson and Brian K. Vaughn. The three have been a closely knit group, even work wise, so this almost seems like a given.

“We’ve been asked to collaborate on a project for DC,” he says. “We turned in out first draft of the outline and the powers that be wanted some changes. We intend to sit down and work up a second draft but we’re literally all so busy, we haven’t had the time over the past few months. There’s never one night when all three of us are free. So, hopefully sometime soon, we’ll be able to take another pass at it.”

Fan who happen to bump into Faerber at a convention, stop and take note. When listening to him speak about playing with his favorite characters, there’s something that quickly becomes apparent. This guy is having a blast doing it and what more could you possibly ask for?

This interview courtesy of © 1999-2000 Fandom,Inc.


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