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View Poll Results: How would you rate Titans #13?
***** 1 3.45%
**** 0 0%
*** 7 24.14%
** 13 44.83%
* 8 27.59%
Voters: 29. You may not vote on this poll

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Old May 14th, 2009   KTHunter is offline   #49
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You're kidding right?

There's plenty of stories to tell about with the old Titans group.
Plenty.

A few stories/plot devices that haven't been used with the Titans:
  • Body/mind swap. (What chaos could Gar do in Starfire's body? How well could Donna fool others while in Nightwing's body?)
  • Time Travel/history change (How much of a change to the current would would happen if the original 5 didn't get together? Really, think about it. Start with just Roy not being there.)
  • stopping the alien invasion of the week (the JLA can do it, so can the Titans)
  • Alternate universe versions come to visit. (and they don't want coffee)


Plus individual stories? What would happen if Nightwing found an original version of Cyborg's plans from before the tower blew up during Titans Hunt? What would a bachelor party for Garfield be like? What happened to Sharon Tracy? What if Donna couldn't regain a normal identity?


There are plenty of stories to tell. There are two problems.
1. Getting someone on the inside to listen to the ideas.
2. Getting the editor/in-chief out of the way to allow the stories to be told.



I've thought about this waaaaaay too much. 4 pages of story "solicitation" blurbs/ideas too much.
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You have some good ideas.

I would add to that list... resurrect the idea of supporting characters for each Titan. We had a great cast of those in the W/P days, and I think they are part of what made it shine. Also they make for great plot bunnies. What happened to Vic's grandparents? Or Sarah Simms? Someone mentioned Sharon, Donna's friend, and I always liked her, she would be great to bring back. Questor was a lot of fun as well. I wouldn't mind tea with Alfred. We don't have to bring all of the same ones back (Arella is lost to us unless she comes back as a Black Lantern), but there are always opportunities for new ones. Raven's friends in high school, or what about the family tree on the mother's side? Or even some of the denizens of New Azarath, which we saw a peek of in Raven's mini but never really got an explanation for how they got there (since Azarath was destroyed before).

Some of the members have supporting cast out of the box. Wally already has a great supporting cast. I love his kids, but they will probably be best in the Flash title with the "Flash" family. Still an "adventures in babysitting" issue might be pretty funny. Same with Roy and Lian and the "Arrow" family. Nightwing (who for all intents and purposes is still a Titan) has the "Bat" family, and Donna's got Cassie and Wonder Woman. How about for our other Titans? Gar has the DP but we're not seeing much of them here. Kori, Raven, and Vic are kind of out in the cold as far as a supporting cast goes.

Of course, bringing back Matt Logan would raise their stock with me quite considerably. A wealth of stories abound with that fellow.

New villains would be great too, and could be potential fallout from the secondary characters.

This is a great team, and they work well together. I've always preferred character-driven stories... but I think the characters need some life outside the tower (or the duplex, as it were) to have those kinds of stories.
 
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Old May 14th, 2009   DeTroyes is offline   #50
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That seems circular to me. No one would dispute that the X-Men sell well, but I'd posit that's because there are a very large number of people who will buy the X-Men comic no matter how badly it sucks, because they liked the book when Claremont & Byrne were on it. I see your point that the Titans franchise has some similar Wolfman/ Perez goodwill - and I see the evidence of that in the fact that DC has a viable Titans title right now even though no one particularly seems to enjoy it.
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Except, I would also point out there are an awful lot of post-Claremont X-Men readers out there, who came in having grown up from the cartoons and movies. And in any case, I don't see how the argument is circular - Marvel knows the franchise is popular, therefore they take the steps that are necessary in order to keep that popularity flourishing. I hardly see that as circular; symbiotic, at best.

The complaint I hear from folks isn't "man I wish there was a Titans title", it's "man I wish the Titans title was actually good"
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Which, in a manner of speaking, is a rephrssing of my point.

- in which case the X-Men probably aren't the best comparison point because, with occasional exceptions, their books have been critical duds for quite awhile. Mention Chuck Austen to an Uncanny X-Men reader and then make sure you duck.
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And yet, they still sell, are still followed passionately by its fans, and the franchise as a whole is as strong and popular as its ever been. Quality of the product is subjective; the bottom line is still that the franchise is healthy and vibrant - far more than the Titans franchise, probably far more than any DC property save possibly (possibly) Batman.

DC doesn't really have very many high-profile creators right now, comparatively speaking, for reasons that we can only speculate. So it's not all that surprising that there really aren't any on the Titans franchise.
ddf
Agreed, which may be why they've been dragging their feet for so long about naming creative teams. Winick's departure from Titans was known at DC at least since last December, and yet six months later they still do not appear to have made a decision on a replacement). And I still think Winick got the Titans assignment in large part because there was no one else to give it to.

Whoever DC does eventually put on the book, though, whether they're low-profile, high-profile, whatever, is going to have to answer the question - what exactly is left to say about this group? Why are they still a group? The answer's going to have to be something beyond "because they're really good friends", because that's just not the kind of glue that will hold the series together.
ddf
Again, I've got to respectfully disagree here. You can't tell me that Geoff Johns or Bendis or Millar couldn't take this group, just as it stands right now, and not do something spectacular with them using nothing more than the "they're just friends" concept.
 
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Old May 14th, 2009   Matches is offline   #51
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Again, I've got to respectfully disagree here. You can't tell me that Geoff Johns or Bendis or Millar couldn't take this group, just as it stands right now, and not do something spectacular with them using nothing more than the "they're just friends" concept.
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I dunno.. one of the first things Geoff did when he took over Teen Titans was give the book a raison d'etre - the notion of the young heroes joining to be mentored by the vets. From issue #1 of New Avengers Bendis had the team assemble (pun unintended) for a very specific reason, to deal with a very specific problem, really not unlike Wolfman and Perez did with NTT originally.

I'm not suggesting that can't be done with the older Titans, that there's not a "hook" a skilled writer could concoct - just that I haven't seen one for the group in the last 25 years, and I think that's a big reason why the concept has floundered the way it has.
 
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Old May 14th, 2009   Roy Harper is offline   #52
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About supporting cast:

Vic - His grandparents, Sarah Simms, DeShaum & Sarah Charlles.

Gar - Jillian, DP, Questor.

Kory - Some new friends from the fashion world, The Bakers, Adam Strange... Maybe a new plot with her with a city from Tamaran that Brainiac took like he did to Kandor.

Raven - Some mates from college, The New Azarath.

Donna - Sharon Tracy, her friends from The Aurora Photo Studio, her step parents, step brothers, Angle-Man, etc.

Roy - Lian, Dakota Jamison, Grace, etc.

Wally - a lot of them and even Fran Kane.

Some good old Titans like Leonid, Toni, etc.

New Villains like a new Tartarus, etc.


And as a team, I think that definitely there are what to do with them as a team. Something like JSA.
 
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Old May 14th, 2009   balder is offline   #53
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You have some good ideas.
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Thanks.

I would add to that list... resurrect the idea of supporting characters for each Titan. We had a great cast of those in the W/P days, and I think they are part of what made it shine. Also they make for great plot bunnies. What happened to Vic's grandparents? Or Sarah Simms? Someone mentioned Sharon, Donna's friend, and I always liked her, she would be great to bring back. Questor was a lot of fun as well. I wouldn't mind tea with Alfred. We don't have to bring all of the same ones back (Arella is lost to us unless she comes back as a Black Lantern), but there are always opportunities for new ones. Raven's friends in high school, or what about the family tree on the mother's side? Or even some of the denizens of New Azarath, which we saw a peek of in Raven's mini but never really got an explanation for how they got there (since Azarath was destroyed before).
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The catch to all of this is two things.
  1. The ability to tell these kind of stories regardless of being collected.
  2. The ability to collect these kind of stories in a trade.

Part of the fun of the W/P stories is that we learned about the heroes through their supporting cast. With the story structure of the current Titans series, we couldn't really get the depth we want because it wouldn't fit in to the 4 part story collection.



Some of the members have supporting cast out of the box. Wally already has a great supporting cast. I love his kids, but they will probably be best in the Flash title with the "Flash" family. Still an "adventures in babysitting" issue might be pretty funny. Same with Roy and Lian and the "Arrow" family. Nightwing (who for all intents and purposes is still a Titan) has the "Bat" family, and Donna's got Cassie and Wonder Woman. How about for our other Titans? Gar has the DP but we're not seeing much of them here. Kori, Raven, and Vic are kind of out in the cold as far as a supporting cast goes.
ddf
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I don't know. The extra family member dynamic could lead to a few decent stories. The biggest difference between Wally and Linda and, say, Garth and Dolphin is that Linda is used to Wally running off (pardon the pun) at a moment's notice for his friends. Dolphin obviously was not, and didn't understand why.
Last edited by balder; May 14th, 2009 at 04:56 PM. Reason: fixed the ordered list
 
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Old May 14th, 2009   balder is offline   #54
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I dunno.. one of the first things Geoff did when he took over Teen Titans was give the book a raison d'etre - the notion of the young heroes joining to be mentored by the vets. From issue #1 of New Avengers Bendis had the team assemble (pun unintended) for a very specific reason, to deal with a very specific problem, really not unlike Wolfman and Perez did with NTT originally.

I'm not suggesting that can't be done with the older Titans, that there's not a "hook" a skilled writer could concoct - just that I haven't seen one for the group in the last 25 years, and I think that's a big reason why the concept has floundered the way it has.
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The same thing was done with the first New Warriors series. Everything from issue 1 lead up to issue 25. From there, the series kind of floundered at times, trying to find that one target villain that everyone could focus on to hit when they got together. There were good stories inbetween, but they were shorter without the underlying plot that could go for 25 issues.

I disagreed though with the whole mentoring reasoning for two reasons, 1) I didn't think they needed it, and 2) I didn't see enough of the mentoring portion.

(Of course, I also didn't see too much of the proactive work that Outsiders was supposed to be doing either. That's another post for another day.)

Don't get me wrong, the issues from Geoff were good. We didn't see enough mentoring for my taste though. There could have been a good 2 or 3 issues for one story on based on the results of 1 war games scenario, and how to do it better. See actual training about how to take down each other in case of mind control/clone/etc.

That's what makes the original 5 so unique. During Grant Morrison's run, the JLA had the whole mind link thanks to J'onn J'onz. The original 5 don't need the mind link/communication device between each other. They work so well together, they work better with the 5 of them than Batman and Robin did. (IMO, of course.) With the addition of Gar, Cyborg, Starfire, and Raven they relearned everything they had learned before. By adding the new abilities to the mix, they were able to become the team they are today.
 
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Old May 14th, 2009   The Kaiser is offline   #55
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Picked up #4 the other day, and even as the huge Jericho fan I am, I'm not hugely disappointed. The point to be stark raving mad about the Powers That Be screwing around with the Wilson family is over, and since DeathTrap started it's pretty much been my stance to ride the saga until it's over, trying to take it at face value.

I think this storyline would've worked a lot better in a universe where every dead character (that "mattered") didn't come back. It would've served as a good point about how death shouldn't be tampered with because you might really not want someone back, especially someone who died because of mental instability (regardless if it was their fault), not to mention how they'd react to being yanked out of whatever afterlife they went to. Of course we all know Jericho didn't "really die", according to Geoff's run but I think the point still stands.

At this point I either would like for them to get Jericho into some mental clinic where they could try to help him but keep him out of the DC stories for a while, kill him so the writers can't keep using him much anymore, or help him out of this state and then have him "retire" from any superheroing because A)Who'd really want him as a superhero at this point (Talking about the general public, after seeing him kill some 50 people with bombs, of course the Communists might be a bit ecstatic but...) and B)If he was helped and cured, I would think the actual character of Joseph wouldn't allow himself to keep superheroing and eventually run into the same situation all over by copying too many bad guys. Maybe he could hide off in the old ranch Arella used to run, deal with his remorse there.

More specifically on this particular issue, SPOILER. Highlight below text to read
It's good to see Slade finally show up, although I'm wondering how this will work out with Slade's new goals as of his FACES OF EVIL issue, what with staying away from his "old" family. Also, what's with the retcon of "we were always here, YOU JUST DIDN'T LISTEN!" I really digged how McKeever planned out issues in advance using the poor cop to escape and all, so why couldn't he have done the same with the Titan copies in Jericho's head? Maybe make their thought bubbles a lot thinner and transparent, but have them in the mix of other voices. Otherwise it just appears like the Titan memories are now coming up, after all the stuff Crazy!Jericho's done.



Again, I've got to respectfully disagree here. You can't tell me that Geoff Johns or Bendis or Millar couldn't take this group, just as it stands right now, and not do something spectacular with them using nothing more than the "they're just friends" concept.
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I've always been a minority I guess but I never found Geoff's run that spectacular. It was fun, but there were far too many fight scenes mixed with too little real character advancement for anyone except Beast Boy, and I'm not buying Titans-related series to get "Beast Boy and Friends" or 24-page fights with little quips thrown in. It's probably why I've enjoyed Vigilante so much; sure there's fight scenes, but there's tons of scenes of all the other stuff like crime investigation or people talking problems through that lead up to the fights and make them that less spontaneous.
 
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Old May 14th, 2009   DeTroyes is offline   #56
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I've always been a minority I guess but I never found Geoff's run that spectacular. It was fun, but there were far too many fight scenes mixed with too little real character advancement for anyone except Beast Boy, and I'm not buying Titans-related series to get "Beast Boy and Friends" or 24-page fights with little quips thrown in.
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???? And Conner and the rest of the YJ crew didn't get development?

I will admit that Gar got some decent character development, but I'd also point out that it seems to have been all for naught, seeing as all the writers since then have pretty much dumped most of it and brought him back to where he was 20 years ago.

Re: Jericho

At this point, I think limbo is probably the best option for the character. Let him sit out the next 6-8 years, then bring him back when most readers have forgotten why he went into limbo in the first place.
Last edited by DeTroyes; May 14th, 2009 at 06:38 PM.
 
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Old May 14th, 2009   stephbarton v.2 is offline   #57
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???? And Conner and the rest of the YJ crew didn't get development?
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Actually I don't think they did.

Bart: became Kid Flash because shot in knee and Wally was disappointed in him, so yeah, he "grew" but there was no mention of his losing Max, or his scouts, or just the amount he grew in his own series, so instead we get a pat "two panel" character growth and what else did he do? Can't thing of much for Bart.

Tim: the issue after ID Crisis where he dealt with this dad's death was great, that's about all that comes to mind (except his friendship with Conner, which we didn't really see except one funny quip and honestly wasn't that strong in YJ, so rather than see that friendship develop or them come to really respect eachother, we're just "told" they're best friends).

Cassie: I think her character digressed, rather than be the girl who was elected YJ leader for the end she became the most powerful wallflower, used as either Conner's love interest or....well...I can't really think of any character growth for her either.

Conner: what growth is there in a character moping around about an issue he's already come to terms with (it doesn't matter who he is the clone of) and then is taken over and betrays his friends, but then rather than overcome that guilt he mopes (more moping *ARGH*) and than FINALLY decides to do something, than dies. Other than the "soul" issue (26?) Conner didn't do much, there was a lot that involved him, but I would hardly say he got character "growth."

Really, I enjoyed Geoff's Teen Titans run, but I don't think he really did anything to grow or develop the YJ crew. they came off more as plot devices. He wants a Kid Flash, come up with some weak reason to make him Kid Flash. Wants Lex to be Conner's "dad" and have this effect Conner, totaly ignore the kid's personality and how he's always kept chugging even when things got rough and have him mope for 24 issues, and then mope some more until he dies. Cassie, totally forget the confidence in herself she's developed and have her be nothing but a hanger on to the boys.
 
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Old May 14th, 2009   DeTroyes is offline   #58
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*shrug*

I guess my problem here is that I was mostly introduced to the YJ crew by Johns, and not from having read them for years before that (I came back into American comics at "Raven Rising", and only read YJ after that). So perhaps my perceptions are skewed for that reason. But it still seemed to me that Conner, Bart, etc. got the better deal in terms of character advancement than did any of the older of the Titans. Conner, especially.

But even so, I'd kill for Johns to do for the Titans what he did for the JSA or Green Lantern. *sigh* (yeah, I know, it'll never happen now)
 
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Old May 14th, 2009   Bill Walko is offline   #59
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I think some would argue that the original X-Men have far outlived their usefulness. Clearly they still sell well, but even most X-enthusiasts would tell you that the main x-titles have had only a few good runs in the last few decades.

With the X-Men, at least, there's still an in-story reason why the characters are together and functioning as a team. They have a purpose that drives their stories, even if it's hackneyed. The older Titans haven't had that since the first time they beat Trigon.
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While I can see the POV of the original X-Men "outliving their usefulness," they still have several factors "going for them" over teh Titans. First, as you mentioned, they have aa reason for being together. Secondly, the thematics (alienation, prejudice) gives them endless story possibilities (especially as they are able to mirror societal shifts like Prop 8 and Prop X, etc). Thirdly, even though the Claremont/Byrne team is well-revered, there's also a lot of other favorite X-Writers and X-Artists besides them.

I agree that TITANS would be better served if the team had more of a function.

Also, the original Titans purpose wasn't "to beat Trigon." If that were true, they would have never formed a team, and we would have gotten a 6-issue mini series. The thrust of the Cardy run and even the Wolfman/Perez run was "growing up." Coming into your own. Deciding what kind of man (or woman) you will be. Problem: Once all the original Titans (and even Raven, Cyborg, Starfire) grew up and graduated, they lose that unique angle.

That doesnt mean there aren't good stories that can be told with this group of characters. Someone needs to tap into who they are now. And stop repeating "old glory" stories (badly at that). If the thrust is friendship, make this a personal relationships book (that's something the original W/P readers loves; some of the most classic issues were about them as people, with hardly a punch thrown).

When was the last time someone attempted to come up with a new high-level Titans baddie? When was the last time Donna Troy had a serious story arc that wasn't about her origin? Why is a big Starfire arc always about Tamaran? When was the last time Nightwing used his detective skills on a Titans case? When was the last time Raven had a storyline that wasn't about her evil side taking over?

You can tell stories about these characters without doing the same stories over and over. Come up with some brand-new big bads (instead of Deathstroke, Brother Blood and Trigon). Do a Titans story that involves a threat from Greek Myth for a Donna-focus. Have a Starfire/Red Star team-up spotlighting their differences as "aliens" (and explore the alien origins of Red Star's powers). Do a Raven story involving mysticism or the emerging cult issue in Mexico. Set up an ongoing Titans mystery (maybe involving Mr. Jupiter-- a kidnappping?) with Nightwing at the center.

I could come up with dozens and dozens of brand new things to do with these charactersin TITANS. So why can't the writers and editors?
 
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Old May 14th, 2009   Roy Harper is offline   #60
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You can tell stories about these characters without doing the same stories over and over. Come up with some brand-new big bads (instead of Deathstroke, Brother Blood and Trigon). Do a Titans story that involves a threat from Greek Myth for a Donna-focus. Have a Starfire/Red Star team-up spotlighting their differences as "aliens" (and explore the alien origins of Red Star's powers). Do a Raven story involving mysticism or the emerging cult issue in Mexico. Set up an ongoing Titans mystery (maybe involving Mr. Jupiter-- a kidnappping?) with Nightwing at the center.
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Old May 14th, 2009   michealdark is offline   #61
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What I do think is the problem is that the current spate of writers and/or editors spend too much time looking over their shoulders at the past, and let themselves become too dependent on it. That and a general climate at DC that has kept the Titans beholden to the vagaries of the Next Big Event. No writer can make any long term plans with the characters, because every time they turn around editorial is making a new demand to modify their story to accomodate something going on elsewhere.
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I agree with this completely.

(2) Use the Titans as they are now, but as a series of solo or semi-team stories. Have a Vic & Gar arc, a Kory & Raven arc, a Roy solo arc, etc. That way, we're still seeing all the Titans, but we don't have to try and shoe-horn them into a standard team setting -- and even better, we don't have to see idiot plots where the Titans come off as dopes to try and make lame adversaries (Vigilante) seem more badass.
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Old May 14th, 2009   The Kaiser is offline   #62
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???? And Conner and the rest of the YJ crew didn't get development?
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Conner got some development in the issue about his soul, but a lot of the payoff of that got seen in other series, whereas Beast Boy's was in the TT issues. As for the other characters, most of Wonder Girl's stuff came with McKeever, and Kid Flash's development into Kid Flash contradicted his whole previous stand against being a Kid Flash and thus Impulse that he took in... his run (can't remember what series he stated he didn't want to be another Kid Flash)?

And comparing these developments to all the fighting the characters did, it was minimal. Fight scenes were the mainstay of the series and characterization happened in the "downtime" between fights, when it should (at least to me) be the opposite.
 
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Old May 15th, 2009   Wilder Midnight2 is offline   #63
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I dunno.. one of the first things Geoff did when he took over Teen Titans was give the book a raison d'etre - the notion of the young heroes joining to be mentored by the vets. From issue #1 of New Avengers Bendis had the team assemble (pun unintended) for a very specific reason, to deal with a very specific problem, really not unlike Wolfman and Perez did with NTT originally.

I'm not suggesting that can't be done with the older Titans, that there's not a "hook" a skilled writer could concoct - just that I haven't seen one for the group in the last 25 years, and I think that's a big reason why the concept has floundered the way it has.
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Very true.

The thing is comic books don't work the same way today as they did "back in the day". I don't think A new Teen Titans or even an "all new, all different" X-Men is possible in this day and age of packaging things in four and six issue blocks intended for resale as trade paperbacks and artist and writer rotations every story arc and space being given to fulfill various crossover and events duties/mandates.

It took the X-Men several years of outstanding stories, like four or five before people really began to notice what great work Chris Claremont and John Byrne were doing...people didn't really begin to notice the comic untill after jean greys death (her first death).

Comics aren't allow to grow and flourish as they once did. Even writers with long term plans bail before they even get to start.

Then there's the nature of being a Titans fan. Its one of the worst things to be because each and every one of us have very personal feelings as to how this comic and these characters should be played out and it never matches up with whats being produced...which wouldn't hurt as much if the actual product was of quality.

Whatever Marv and george did back in the day...it's never going to repeat itself unless we can get a creative team with some really good tight ideas and the resolve to see things through.
 
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Old May 15th, 2009   Matches is offline   #64
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Also, the original Titans purpose wasn't "to beat Trigon." If that were true, they would have never formed a team, and we would have gotten a 6-issue mini series. The thrust of the Cardy run and even the Wolfman/Perez run was "growing up." Coming into your own. Deciding what kind of man (or woman) you will be. Problem: Once all the original Titans (and even Raven, Cyborg, Starfire) grew up and graduated, they lose that unique angle.
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Bill Walko View Post
I don't disagree with this at all, and I think the coming of age angle was perhaps the biggest draw of the W/P era. The threat of Trigon was the plot hook that got the team together, though, and it was never truly resolved until the first arc of the Baxter series.

But I agree with you - if you're telling a story about people coming of age, generally it ends once the "of age" part has been achieved. By that point, of course, the W/P Titans had become an institution, and serial publishing being what it is, they weren't going anywhere - but no one has ever really come up with the *next* thing to say about them. They've just become a group of grownups that are friends and sometimes have adventures together, but are really only tied together by inertia. That can work in some circumstances, but rarely will it have the same kind of narrative power as something that has a theme, that's doing something other than marking time.
 
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