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DCU Spotlight: Lobdell on Teen Titans

Come September, Tim Drake fans will have to look towards one series to get a monthly dose of their hero. Teen Titans will be the book that will feature Drake in a prominent role. While he is sure to appear in other titles, this will be his main stay. Scott Lobdell talked with Newsarama about Teen Titans and what we can expect for Tim.


Teen Titans ArtNewsarama: Scott, let's look at the Teen Titans characters individually a bit. You've got Tim Drake as Red Robin (with wings!) and it sounds like he's in a leadership role here. Is that correct? And given how (a) Robin has been a fairly constant presence in the Teen Titans throughout the concept's history, was he pretty much a "must" for your lineup?


Scott Lobdell: I bristle at the thought of a “leadership role” because I don’t even like the notion of leaders in comic book teams. The whole idea feels so archaic to me. (“Storm! Fly up to that window and save those people on that burning ledge!” “Do not tell me what to do, Cyclops! I am the leader of this team! I want you to blast the ledge out from under them, the I will catch them when they fall!” “That is crazy! I was the leader of this team and I know it is better to save them before they fall!” “Perhaps, but I am the current leader of the team and your optic blasts will cause the building to crumble and therefore put out the fire!” “That is an excellent idea, Storm. I am sorry I was so myopic that I couldn’t put my ego aside long enough to see things from your perspective!” What — ?!)


Having said all that, is Tim our entry into the series? Is he the first teenager to notice what is going on and start to act, then yeah, in that way one might argue he is the leader of the Teen Titans, if not its founder.


What I think is really fascinating about Tim (particularly in this role) is the fact he is the one kid in Teen Titans who doesn’t have any super powers. In some ways, he doesn’t have a horse in this race: N.O.W.H.E.R.E. is hunting down teens with super powers, and because of his training as Robin he is in a position to help. The choice he’s made is going to wind up disrupting every part of his life, and I think that is pretty noble.


Was he a “must”? Yes, but mostly because when I was asked to write Teen Titans it was made clear to me that I had to use the Core Four.


On the subject of the wings? LOL! It surprises me the reaction that some people have to them. Tim Drake learned his craft at the hands of Bruce Wayne — one of the wealthiest and most tech-savvy people in the world. He is about to go up against an international organization that is going to throw everything they can at every teenaged superhero around, and it only makes sense that he would prepare himself in every way possible.


Just because Dick or Jason or later Damien didn’t think to add wings to his arsenal of (bat) gadgets doesn’t mean Tim has to shun the idea as non-traditional. He wants to stay alive and he wants to count on himself instead of waiting for a Cassie or a Superboy to grab him by the wrist and fly him somewhere. When I see people getting upset — outraged — threatening to never read a comic book again because Red Robin has wings…? Double Ummm.


For the entire interview, including talk about the other members of the team, head over to Newsarama. Teen Titans #1 will hit stores in September.


Posted by Dustin Fritschel

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