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Peter David on Teen Titans Animated

posted july, 2003

Overall, I liked the debut of the new “Titans” series. Basically it’s aimed at 7 to 10 year olds, so older viewers tuning in expecting to see JLA are going to be disappointed…or, at the very least, will have to reorient their thinking. The basic thrust of the series is surprisingly consistent to the mandates I was given when I did preliminary development work on the series many moons ago before it was handed off to others.

The notion was that the kids bicker, have difficulties operating individually, but as a team they pull it all together and are unstoppable. That’s the pilot in a nutshell. Nor did they want to launch with an exposition-heavy origin episode. Very, VERY heavy anime influence, right down to switching to super-deformed versions of the characters when they’re particularly petulant.

Overall a strong launch for the target audience.

Marv Wolfman
posted 10-16-2002

Peter [David] did do a development but it’s not the one they went with. David Slack has done the final development as is the story editor. David has asked me to submit a concept for an episode which I did. We’ll see if it passes muster at Warners.

Marv Wolfman
posted 10-02-2002

From what I understand – and this isn’t confirmed – is that Peter did do a development on the Titans but they then brought in another writer to develop it in a different fashion. Again, as far as I know, the Titans series does not take place in the future, despite what has been reported. As for my working on it, I have spoken with the story editor and there is a possibility of that. If it happens I’ll let folk know.

Companies like to keep their development under wraps so at least for the present I won’t be discussing the show outside of whether or not I do any work on it.

By Peter David
Tuesday, October 1, 2002

You know one of the reasons it took me so long to get a website together? Because, believe it or not, I really, really don’t like blowing my own horn. I don’t like saying “I did this” or “I did that” because it seems boastful and bragging on some level.

I came to realize, however, that keeping one’s mouth shut in this day and age simply means that you get ignored. So I thought I’d supplement the recent announcement of the new Teen Titans animated series by mentioning that I helped get it sold in the first place.

Six months ago I was contacted by Paul Levitz at DC who asked if I’d be interested in working with development folks at Kids WB and Warners Animation on a Teen Titans animated series. Why me? Because although the concept was to go back to the Wolfman/Pérez era of characters, they decided they wanted it to have the sensibilities of YOUNG JUSTICE (because, really, the characters from the Wolfman/Pérez days were far more “Titans” than “Teens.”)

So I re-read as much of the Wolfman/Pérez and Wolfman/whoever-else “Titans” that I could find, had meetings with various folks, and wrote a bible. I then did a couple of revises on the bible, got the okay to write the pilot, did so, and did a revise on that. I also wrote a stripped down summary of the series’ premise for a market research session they were going to be holding with some young viewers.

I hewed to DC continuity where I could, but also made a variety of changes for assorted reasons. I won’t go into detail as to what because I don’t *recall* signing a confidentiality agreement, but if I did and just forgot about it, I wouldn’t want to violate it. Anyway, my initial work on the project was strong enough to help get the series green lit.

Was I annoyed that no mention of my participation was made in the press release? Nah. I mean, it’s not as if I was singled out to be omitted; they didn’t mention other development folks either. I’m not listing them here simply because I’m not sure if they’d want their names bandied about, although I should note that one of whom gave me some absolutely kickin’ Samurai Jack action figures. Furthermore, I haven’t seen much of the project for a few months; I’ve no idea how much of what I contributed remains. For instance, I didn’t have them set in some future period as implied by the press release. That wasn’t part of the mandate I was given.

Bottom line, I got paid a nice buncha money for the work, and it also led to my involvement in developing another animated series for another DC hero…and no, I’m not going to say which one until we hear whether that’s a go or not. Although it’d be cool if it did go forward, since then I’d be two for two.


Peter Talks about how the members were chosen: You have to understand something about DC characters: Different licensing situations exist for all of them. The characters who were chosen to be in TT were the ones who were most available from a licensing and rights point of view. My assumption is that they wanted to go with “Teen Titans” instead of “Young Justice” because there’s simply more name recognition for “Teen Titans.”

Posted by Peter David @ 10/01/2002 10:09 AM

Peter David on why he was chosen: Why didn’t they get Marv? That was my first question, actually. They said they wanted me because the tone of Young Justice was exactly what they were looking for. Could Marv have tailored it to their desires? I’ve no doubt. But Hollywood tends to “cast” directly to their needs. “Get me the writer who did this particular project.” In this case, the tone and style of YJ was of greater importance to them than the specifics of the characters.

Posted by Peter David @ 10/01/2002 06:18 PM

Visit the Teen Titans Animated Series Guide for more information. Titans Go!

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