your source for everything titans

Titans West That Wasn’t

In the late 80’s, there was talk of a spin-off title called Titans West, featuring various Titans characters. This was set-up in the New Teen Titans [second series] as early as #40-50. In those issues, Cyborg’s girlfriend Sarah Charles takes a job in California, Chris King teams up with the Titans when Vicki Grant turns evil, and Red Star reappears and stays in the United States.

The stage was set for these characters, plus Thunder & Lightning, to put up stakes in California and become a new Titans team. But alas, those plans never came to pass.

The Would-Be Titans West:

Cyborg
Red Star
Dial H for Hero Thunder Lightning

Titans West That Wasn’t: Take One

[from Amazing Heroes #135, 1988 – A Marv Wolfman Interview]

AH: When we were at a Fantagraphics party, I heard you say that you had to come up with a few new characters with a certain amount of new powers in a certain amount of time?

WOLFMAN: Yeah.

AH: Have you come up with them?

WOLFMAN: No [laughs]. I was talking about the West Coast version of the book, that would be. in San Francisco. I had set a deadline myself the week after Thanksgiving to come up with a book. At that point, I was approached by CBS to do a development on an animation show for them and then I was approached by another animation company to do a development for them and they both had to be in and still have to be in before the first of the year so I had to drop Teen Titans development right now, though. it keeps going on in my head. I just haven’t got the time to sit down and write it. I’ll do it after the first of the year.

AH: There is going to be a West Coast Teen Titans, then?

WOLFMAN: DC wants to do a West Coast Teen Titans. In the last run of the book, before I did it, it was Titans East and Titans West. It was a regular feature that pre-dated West Coast Avengers by about ten years. They want to revive that. They asked me if I wanted to write it, or would let someone else write it. Well, I want to control the Titans; I think one of the problems with Spotlight was that I really didn’t do any. I think that’s the reason that led to it eventually being cancelled. There was no sense of urgency to the stories, as good as some of them were. There was no sense of the stories having any effect on the characters. The fact that it lasted 25 issues, I think, is a testimony to the characters themselves- that people still cared about them.

So, the deal I’ve made with DC is that when I have time, I will write mini-series for different Titans, either for Action Comics Weekly-I’m already doing one of those for Nightwing-or as a mini-series.

I will handle all the Titan work. That way there’s a continuity between what I write in one place and another. So the stuff will have some meaning as a whole to the book. All of it will feed in on itself, which is the way it should be. It’s for that same reason I decided to do the West Coast version.

AH: Will there some similar characters?

WOLFMAN: Cyborg will be moving to the West Coast. Red Star, who is a re-named Starfire from Russia, will be a member of it. Chris King, who is one of the Dial “H”for Hero character that I had done, and I just reintroduced him to the regular Titans book, he’ll be a member. So we actually have a character who, every time you see him, will be different.


Titans West That Wasn’t: Take Two

[from Comics Scene Magazine #8, 1989 – an article with George Pérez and Marv Wolfman]

One detail that has yet to be worked out is just which of the two will ultimately handle the Titans’ twin title, Titans West.

“We’ll probably do the first issue together whenever that finally comes about. Then, depending on George’s schedule, he may take over the book.

“I didn’t want another young superhero book,” Wolfman notes. “The concept that I had come up with was more of a rescue group-not another bunch of policemen running out and stopping crime-working out of San Francisco. Just before George returned, I set up the San Francisco branch of STAR. Labs as a place where they’re testing super-people. We had Red Star and Thunder and Lightning out there, and some other characters that we were going to introduce. When the Titans West, or whatever it’s finally called, is formed, they’ll operate out of that, and there will be positive charter in the helping in disastrous situations.

“Now that I’m coming back as a writer in my mind after a couple of years where I wasn’t too pleased with everything, I don’t want to overdose on Titans. I want to really enjoy what I’m writing so that each issue, when I sit down, I can approach it at the strongest, as opposed to saying, ‘Oh, no. Another Titans story.’ So, if George decides at some point not to write Titans West, at least it’ll be so completely different from Titans that I wouldn’t be bored.”


Titans West That Wasn’t: Take Three

[from Comics Scene Magazine #11, 1990 – an article with George Pérez]

Another Titans project is the often-mentioned Titans West series. Pérez says it’s still planned. “One of the stories that Marv discussed was a mystery story in which the Titans are missing. That could lead to the introduction or reintroduction of the Titans West set of characters. Then, I would be the writer of the second Titans book if reader interest warrants a second title. It also depends on whether I have the time to write it, or if I would be better off on another title I could write and draw.

“I’m not interested in doing a monthly series anymore,” Pérez sighs. “I can’t do one and do my best work. I used to be able to be satisfied with the work I did on a monthly basis. Now, I look at it and say, ÔAhh, it’s not really the best I can do,’ and I don’t want people to think it’s my best, either. I hope to do mini-series, maxi-series, graphic novels. I really enjoy inking other people. I just finished inking a Carmine Infantino story for Secret Origins, ÔSpace Museum.’ I’m slated to be the regular inker on Titans over Tom Grummett. It’s not all Pérez anymore, but at least Pérez has the last word, as every inker does. But, that means finding a penciller who doesn’t mind my having the last word. I’m very faithful to pencillers, but I’m extravagant when it comes to extra detail I toss in.”


Titans West That Wasn’t: Take Four

[from PACESETTER #4 – The magazine dedicated to George Pérez in 2004]

Marv didn’t recall why Titans West never took off, but he did remember some other ideas concerning the series: “All I remember on this, because it never got to the second stage, was that I designed the headquarters which was a street in San Francisco that was on a hill side. When you looked at the street from street level the houses all looked ordinary. When you looked at them from above – from the sky – the houses were in a T-shape, that is one row of houses at the head of the block and then a second row going perpendicular in the middle of the top row. So we would have maintained the T-shape headquarters but it would have looked like a typical San Francisco street. The HQ would have been a villain’s next, built deep into a mountain that the Titans took over.”

Titans West seems to be a team that can never hold itself together – both in print and outside of it.

 


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