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NTT #2: “Second Chances”

A flashback lettercol from New Teen Titans #2

Letter columns scheduled for second issues of comic magazines are notoriously difficult to write. As this is being typed (June 6. 1980). the first issue of the all-new TEEN TITANS is still months away from being published. Even our DC PRESENTS “giveaway” won’t be read for another month or so Therefore, we’re just sitting here waiting for the bravos and/or bricitbats, but we’ve still got a letter col to fill.

We mentioned in our last issue that all of us involved with the new Titans are anxious to see our efforts succeed. Len, George and Marv (talking about yourself in the third person is awfully strange) have spent months creating this new team. rejecting possible characters, working on the ones we thought would work, discarding some of them, playing with their powers, changing them, defining them, redefining them, and trying to give lives to our characters rather than make them simple cardboard cutouts. We want our characters to feel real, because we want to care about them.

Rather than just have the Titans become a routine assignment, we want to be interested in creating each issue. We want the stories to become challenges. We want our characters’ personalities to guide the stories rather than let the stories fit helter-skelter with our heroes. The more real our heroes are to us, the more we care about what we do, the better the new TEEN TITANS will be, and ultimately the more you readers will enjoy our efforts.

Involvement: DC does not begin books at the drop of a name. Len and Marv had to believe in what they were doing, and then lied to convince our publisher, Jenette Kahn, that the new Titans was worth publishing. Together, the two of them marched into Ms. Kahn’s office and began to outline the characters from the start. Jenerte became involved. She suggested how some of the characters should get involved with each other. She wanted to see this or that, and over the next few hours the all-new TEEN TITANS was born.

Involvement: George PĂ©rez entered the scene. He created all the visuals, and though he did not have to partake in the character development, he did. He came up with the look and mood of Raven’s soul-self. He went beyond the job of an artist in interpreting Marv’s stories by adding lovely character touches that add so much to the bock’s visual excitement. He drew head shots of all the Titans for himself to be used as guides. When he showed them to Len and Marv, they wanted to immediately incorporate them into the Titans book itself. Look at page one of this issue and you’ll sea George’s handiwork. Because George cared as much as he did, the all-new TEEN TITANS blazed into life.

Involvement: We had created our first issue, at least in plot and concept when Jenette suggested an idea that would throw everyone for a loop. Because she so much believed in our new group. she wanted to give the book an immediate audience of people who might otherwise not take a look. How? Jeanette commissioned an 8-page free comic book. Free! You can’t be move involved with a product than that!

Involvement. Care. Love. We only hope this alt comes through. Oh, we know that over the next months and years the new Titans will change, will evolve as it develops its own style, as we learn more about the characters, as each character dictates what can happen and can’t happen. We know the book will slowly change, but we hope even these early issues make it clear that we’re committed to the concept of giving you the best we possibly can.

But enough with our telling you how wonderful we are. Frankly, we’ll know soon enough if you’re awed or bored, and no amount of hyping wilt convince you that a bad book is good. So, we’ll just have to wait and see, and hope that you care as much about the Titans as we do.

But, in the meantime, we would like to ask you some questions. What do you think of our new line-up of heroes? We ask not only because we’re interested which we are, but because we agonized over whether or not to change the Titans roster or simply bring back the old group intact. Did we make the right choice? What do you think of Cyborg? Changeling? Raven? Starfire? Should we have kept Speedy? Lilith? Any of the others? Would you like to see some of the old-timers return, or would you prefer we simply forgot about them? Would you like to see new members brought in every so often? Any current members dropped? Should we keep this new roster or keep the team changing?

What kind of stories would you like to see? Super-villains or space sagas? Crime tales or supernatural epics? Would you like to see them all?

Should the Titans meet other DC heroes? We can tell you they will soon come face-to-face with the entire JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA. but what about meeting the various heroes on their own? Which heroes?

Would you like to see totally new villains appearing in the Titans, or occasional old villains, from the original Titans book? What about others from the DC gallery of evil?

Finally, what would you like to see us do with the Titans? How do you think we can make this the best comic ever? What would you like to see in a super-hero comic that’s never been done before?

Frankly, we’re a new comic struggling to survive in a marketplace swamped with a million other comics. That’s hard enough, but as the price of all comics has gone up in recent months, there may be some readers who would rather not spend their hard-earned half-dollar on an untried new comic and instead stick with an old familiar title.

Quite frankly, right now we need you more than you need us. and all our good intentions and good story and art might not be enough to keep us going during the rough fall and winter months ahead, therefore, we really want to know what you think, we want your suggestions, and, above all, if you like what we’re doing, tell your friends to trust us, and have them tell their other friends You’ll be helping us. and in turn we’ll promise to make the all new TEEN TITANS the greatest comic mag ever!

That’s it for this month. Send your cards and letters to THE TEEN TITANS c/o DC COMICS. INC.. 76 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NI. 10019. By the way, send along your suggestions for a Titans letter column title while you’re at it’ Who knows, maybe we’ll give a prize to the winner!

Marv Wolfman


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