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Judd Winick on Titans East

Judd Winick on Titans East
by Troy Brownfield – courtesy of – posted July 2007

The biggest teams in comics always seem to run through a variety of permutations, spin-offs, and evolutions. Consider the Teen Titans. Originally a cluster of sidekicks, they inspired the creation of another group, Titans West. Over time, we saw the advent of the New Teen Titans (who became the Titans), the Team Titans, a group simply called The Titans, and two more iterations of “Teen Titans”. A recent storyline in which the current Teen Titans visited the future suggested a team called Titans East, and that was realized as a villainous opposition group in the final issues of Geoff Johns’ run on the current series.

Now, Titans East takes the spotlight as an upcoming which will lead into a new ongoing series (which may or may not share the same name), though the line-up might not be what you expect. At the writing helm of a special and a follow-up monthly series will be Judd Winick, who plays things close to the vest with more announcements pending. Art on the new series will be by Ian Churchill.

Newsarama: Tell us a little bit about the concept. How much does this dovetail off of Geoff’s run?

Winick: That would mean talking about the line-up . . . it is an amalgam of some of the characters from the Titans East story and some new ones. There’s a lot of various wild cards.

NRAMA: All right; can you at least say if these are good guys?

Winick: The Titans East special is a story that’s the first chapter of the book that will [follow]. It’s about the formation of the team. It’s not one of these stories where everyone’s going on an Easter Egg hunt to put together their team; the teams’ being thrown together in the first day.

NRAMA: Semi-obligatory question: will this be a Countdown tie-in?

Winick: A global answer is that everything’s a bit of a tie-in [right now]; [but] it isn’t per se. Taking a step back, 52 was the year off and telling you where everyone ends up; Countdown bleeds in all over the place. So, with many aspects of Countdown . . .there are little itty bitty storylines that are kind of just germinating that we may be fleshing out; there isn’t a book in the DCU that won’t be touched [by that] in someway.

Still, a bad guy over here is also a bad guy over there .

NRAMA: What’s your start date?

Winick: We’re planning on rolling out in November. The special’s written and being drawn, and the first issue of the new series is in the can. Things are moving mightily forward.

NRAMA: Can you say anything about the line-up of the team in the special or the new series?

Winick: Nah, it’s part of the fun that we’re keeping the line-up to ourselves. Chapter one is about the team coming together, and in the first issue you’ll see what the final line-up will be.

I will say: I think what’s fun about Titans is that Titans has never been exactly a “mainstream” book. For comic readers it is, for Joe on the street, they at best know the TV show. A lot of Titans and characters who could be applied to [the book] are B-Listers. When you get down to it, who [from the Titans family] is on the A-list? Robin and Nightwing? Flash and Kid Flash, maybe?

What I’m getting at is that there’s a number of A-list types you’ll see and B- and C-list. The one’s we like to do are those where you’re like “you’re kidding me?” The lamest character is somebody’s favorite.

NRAMA: Since we’re looking at the span of Titans past and present, what about one of your obvious favorites: Mia aka Speedy?

Winick: That’s a line-up question! I’m glad that some people were disappointed that Mia wasn’t on the team [post Infinite Crisis]; I appreciated it in a back-handed way that [they thought we’d killed her or something]. . . it was a little bit of a misdirect and a ruse.

NRAMA: The various Titans books have had themes that run from maturation to family to training. What’s the Big Idea this time?

Winick: This group, for me creatively, is where I wanted to go after Outsiders in that this is a group of friends; they’re not just a team, they’re tighter than that. The Outsiders were about work; now I’d like to do the flipside. With these characters; it’s more interesting to me that they’ll work on multiple levels.

Some of the folks will also be bopping around the DCU elsewhere; they’re not married to our books. If character A has a problem, then this about the rest of the team coming to the aid of character A.

There’ll also be Titans villains, but we’ll delve into the world of the individual characters as well.

NRAMA: Finally – anything you want to add about Ian’s art?

Winick: I’m nine kinds of psyched to be teaming up again with Ian Churchill. I love, love, love his work. We had an awesome time on Superman/Captain Marvel issues and I’m thrilled to be doing an ongoing monthly with an artist of his caliber. he rocks. And not just slinging the pencil, he’s a storyteller. He brings a lot to the table.

And all of this will be done under the watchful eye of my friend and ol’ Outsiders editor Eddie Berganza. He is both creative and patient as well as a tower of support. I’m really excited about the whole team working on this New team.


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