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Titans: Beyond Zero Hour

On This Page:
>> Titans Beyond Zero Hour [from Wizard’s “Beyond Zero Hour”]
>> End of an Era: New Titans #114 lettercol
>> HERO News Item: Titans Plans
>> Deathstroke Beyond Zero Hour [from Wizard’s “Beyond Zero Hour”]
>> HERO News Item: Deathstroke Plans


The Titans: Beyond Zero Hour
[from Wizard Press Presents: Beyond Zero Hour]

The New Titans
Writer: More Wolfman
Pencilers: Bill Jaaska, Terry Godson
Inker: Will Blyberg

“The Titans have had a series of problems in the past year,” says Titans writer Marv Wolfman. ‘They lost a number of members. They were sued by the government and people generally hated them. Finally, their leader Dick Grayson – Nightwing – left them.”

Left in such disarray, the road to rebirth has been a long one. “Even before Zero Hour, Ray Harper, once known as Speedy and more recently known as Arsenal, was approached by Checkmate’s leader, Sarge Steel, to align the Titans with the government,” Wolfman says. “It seems that the JLA has broken ties with the government and Checkmate wanted a new superhero team to replace them. After going over the problems and being assured [his team] will have complete autonomy, Roy agreed to sign with Checkmate.

“Trouble is, he had no members to go with him. On his own and with Sarge Steel, new members are found recruited and a brand new Titans is formed.”

Wolfman reports that this new group will have a slightly different focus than past Titans teams. “Long ago, when the Titans were first created, the team featured already-existent heroes. In many ways we are going back to that original premise,” be maintains. “Arsenal leads a group consisting of Damage, Green Lantern and Impulse, characters who either have their own titles, or in Impulse’s case, is featured in Flash. Also in the New Titans are Mirage and Terra from the now-defunct Team Titans. Finally, rounding out the title is Donna Troy, now a Darkstar. So we’re bringing in characters from other books as well as several already-known Titans.

“Interestingly, all the heroes mentioned are in one way or another orphans whose past lives are shrouded in mystery,” he continues. “Where the last Titans team came together to fight Raven’s demonical father, Trigon, the new team comes and stays together because they are all in a similar situation. The Titans is a place for these people to get together, to find themselves, to be with others like themselves. They are not coming together to fight some great battle, but to understand themselves and to grow. This common need will allow them to become close and eventually became friends.

“So the role of the New Titans is a club for the young DC heroes, a way of getting together with their peers, a place where they can he with their own kind and learn from each other as they grow.”

Of course, no new team can be formed without problems. “For the present, Roy Harper is in charge of the Titans. Dick Grayson is off with Batman doing whatever he’s doing. But Dick will want to return,” reveals Wolfman. “When he does, he will find a group that doesn’t necessarily want him as their leader. They are quite happy with the one they have, thank you. What will Dick do? Will he try to take over? Will he form another group of Titans? Who will stay with Arsenal and who will go?

“The book has gone under a lot of changes in the past few years, but all were evolutionary,” Wolfman says. “Heroes died, new heroes replaced them, tempers flared and, because they were young, mistakes were often made. That is the way life is. But now we begin with a new group. A revolution, so to speak. New heroes, all with their own lives, hopes and desires. This allows us to create a very different kind of Titans book.”


End of an Era: Pat Garrahy Speaks
[Pat Garrahy from NEW TITANS #114 lettercol]

It’s so hard getting around the trite stuff like “END OF AN ERA.” In fact, I think this one’s being used in more than one comic just this month. So when you close this book and take another look at the cover copy, read between the lines. This is the end of the Titans as you knew them.

In the next few months you’ll be welcoming in Arsenal’s new team-a team that includes Mirage, Changeling, Damage, Impulse, DC’s only Green Lantern, Donna Troy Darkstar, Terra, and, eventually, others. You’ll be looking at a whole new group dynamic, the creation of brand-new villains, the betrayal of a Titan, and the resurrection of the Titans’ deadliest foe. In short, you’ll be seeing the excitement that our new regular creative team has poured into this book.

The previous NEW TITANS editor, Rob Simpson, laid the groundwork for our changes, and I have to admit I’m mighty thankful, for he’s been a world of help. Heck, how could I babble on without thanking Marv Wolfman for making this huge transition. This guy’s been with the book since its inception, and he, of all people, has had the most emotional attachment to these characters- many of whom he co-created. I could go no further without thanking Ken Kowaiski for staying with THE NEW TITANS as my assistant editor. Karl’s looking forward to our changes as much as any Titans fan. And without further ado, I’d like all of you to look forward to our new art team: penciller Stephen J.B. Jones (Solitaire, The New Warriors, The Avengers, and Tek World), inking team supreme Hector Gollazo and Harry Candelanjo (known for their separate efforts on Daredevil, Avengers, X-Force, Excalibur, X-Men 2099, and X-Menl, and colorist Gina Going (Fantastic Four, STEEL, FLASH, and Ravage 2099). I think these guys should excite you.

So the old Titans are gone (although you can still catch them during their final fling in DAMAGE #6). This is the end of Nightwing’s group of teenage sidekicks. His time was up. Now it’s Arsenal’s turn.

And just so we don’t alienate the longtime TITANS fans who look upon our changes as drastic measures, I’m telling all of you to take a peek at the next couple of issues. I just happen to be one of those guys who waited each and every month for Marv’s TITANS books to hit the stands. I’m a TITANS fan, and I remember the good stuff. So does Marv. We want it back in these pages.

It’s not really an end of an era. Its just time to bring back the good feelings, the heightened anticipation, the edge-of-the-seat suspense, the big super-hero battles, the personal drama, and the human investment. It’s time for the Titans to be “new.”

Pat Garrahy
“new” editor


HERO Magazine News Item: New Titans Plans

News Item from HERO #19 [January 1995]

New Titans: With Titans we’re going to be slowly shifting the characters, and some solidify in the group, some decide to leave. We’re going to bring in some new ones along the way. William Rosado, the artist of the book, [is] starting to really hit his stride and it looks beautiful. As I said, we’re just trying now to set up who the charac-ters are. We just introduced Supergirl to the book. We’ll probably let go of someone else down the line. So we’re going to keep it as exciting as we possibly can.”


Deathstroke: Beyond Zero Hour
[from Wizard Press Presents: Beyond Zero Hour]

Deathstroke
Writer: Marv Wolfman
Penciler: Alexander Morrissey

“I think the action in Deathstroke is strong – perhaps some of the strongest done – but I really think what makes us special, or at least different, is that the stories are character-driven, not action-driven,” says Deathstroke writer Morn Wolfman. “I think there are levels a reader can find in Deathstroke beyond just the action.”

Slade Wilson may be the DC Universe’s most feared mercenary, but he’s also flesh and blood – setting him apart from most of the heavily armed crime-comic characters on the market today.

“The reason Slade is a good character is because he is a character,” Wolfman asserts. “He has depth. He has morality, and that morality is not a typical one. I like characters who are heavily shaded in gray.” –

But that moral ambiguity doesn’t make Deathstroke any less compelling. “I think Slade’s ambiguous nature as well as not being sure what he’ll do next makes him someone you want to follow,” maintains Wolfman. “His relationship with his ex-wife, his friends and co-workers is more than just another ‘Man on a Mission’ comic. He’s not out to stop the mob. He’s not out to stop evil. You hire Slade, he does his job. Unfortunately, his own life gets in the middle of things and mucks it all up.”


HERO Magazine News Item: Deathstroke Plans

News Item from HERO #19 [January 1995]

Deathstroke, the Hunted: “Deathstroke is going to find himself almost blackmailed to work for Checkmate. There’s an overriding story line that’s going to be very surprising, but that’s hidden in the background right now. What looks like a subplot [currently] will become a lot bigger. He’s going to go out on a lot of missions because Checkmate is virtually controlling him now.”

” We’re going to introduce a new supporting cast over the next few months. Vigilante is going to be very important to the book but I’m not going to say in what way. Also the character that we call the Daughter of Deathstroke, who has been in the background for about a year and a half now, will really come to play at the end of “The Hunted” story line. It’s pretty much about her. We’re also doing three issues that will feature a back-up story that stars Wintergreen and the Daughter of Deathstroke.”

 


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