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NTT Annual #3: “Additions”

“Additions” by Marv Wolfman
The story of Danny Chase from NEW TEEN TITANS ANNUAL #3

Its been a while since I’ve personally addressed the Titans readers-Mike Gold and now Barbara Randall have been handling the letter columns, but Barbara asked that I write something about the newest Teen Titans Annual.

It’s always special when one introduces a new major character to a series. You spend time developing the character-figure out if the personality or powers are repeated anywhere in the group, thereby making that character possibly redundant. You try to come up with a character who will help flesh out the series… add to new growth and new fun.

You look to see what’s possibly missing. You look to fill that gap as best you can and hope the new character works. It’s not as easy as it may seem – it’s very simple creating new characters (at least for me), but making them work within the context of a series, well, that’s slightly more difficult. There are, for example, some villains who would work better in these pages than in Superman. Or Batman. And some major villains wouldn’t work well in the pages of The Teen Titans. It’s not as easy as, say, fitting some cog into some machine. The trick is making it look simple.

Conceptual drawings of Danny Chase and Godiva
from NEW TEEN TITANS (second series) Annual #3 [1988].

When we first introduced The New Teen Titans lo those many years ago, we spent ages putting together the group. I wanted the characters to balance each other-form an emotional set, so to speak. Raven on one side, Starfire on the other, Wonder Girl in the center, Robin our born leader. Cyborg our scientist. etc. Our characters didn’t overlap and could play off each other emotionally.

When we introduced Jericho we spent even more effort-he was our first new member and his emotions had to work off all our characters. We developed a sensitive artist/poet/musician to work against the more action-oriented characters. His powers, too, were vastly different from the others. which allowed him to function on his own without stepping on Starfire, or Garfield, or Raven.

And now we introduce our latest member-Danny Chase (is he related to a certain Adrian Chase? Only time will tell). Danny. we think, is a little bit different: he’s the youngest Titan by far-only thirteen. He’s a pro: his parents and he worked for the U.S. Government before Danny quit. His powers are different as well … allowing, we hope, for a good blend of character/personality/ability.

Emotionally, he’s a kid, a status, which is needed in a group where already three members have pushed past that fabled 20-year mark. Danny brings the TEEN back into the Teen Titans, and that won’t hurt.

We also introduce a new villainess. Godiva is, quite frankly, a loony tune. We don’t have many of them in these pages, which made the character more interesting to write. Most of our characters are either quite intelligent (Terminator, Cheshire, etc.) or powerful (Trigon, Brotherhood of Evil) or bludgeoning (Fearsome Five). Godiva should work out to be a fun character to put in the book from time to time-to lighten up the proceedings with a touch of sinister mayhem.

This newest run of the Titans also marks my return to the book after a several month absence. If you’ve been following our regular title (and if you haven’t, shame on you), you’ll note that I’m trying to create all-new characters to wander in and out of these pages. Quite frankly, I purposely used up all the old villains before I took my little leave. I don’t want to see them in the regular run for several years (but who knows what THEY have in mind?). So, to that end, you can expect to see a litany of new ideas, new energy, and new wonderment. It should keep all pleased.

Take care,
Marv

 


End of titanstower.com transmission. About this author:  Bill Walko is an author and artist and the man behind titanstower.com. He's been reading and drawing comics since he was 5 years old and hasn't stopped since. Read more from this author