Scott Lobdell currently writes both Red Hood and the Outlaws and Teen Titans. While Teen Titans is not covered directly by The Batman Universe and beginning next month neither will Red Hood, the paths of the series will continue to cross the main Bat-books in the future. This would include the upcoming "Death of the Family" crossover. In addition, the zero issues this month lay out the origins of Tim Drake and Jason Todd. Newsarama spoke with Lobdell about the zero issues and the upcoming Joker story.
Newsarama: Scott, for "Death of the Family," how many issues will you be tying into the Batman storyline in both Red Hood and Teen Titans?
Scott Lobdell: Two official direct tie-in issues each (issues #15 and #16) — then lots of fall-out for the next six months after that. Yeah, yeah, you have heard a thousand times before that "this event changes everything!" Well, let's meet back here in six months and you'll be stunned how much this event really did change everything!
Newsarama: How much of your Teen Titans tie-ins to "Death of the Family" will be about the team, and how much is it a Tim Drake story?
Scott Lobdell: 50/50.
Newsarama: In Red Hood and the Outlaws #0, you're getting the chance to rewrite how Jason came back to life after being killed by the Joker. What can you tell us about the issue, and how different is it from what we've seen before?
Scott Lobdell: It actually ends on Jason’s realization that he is about to come back to life, so we see no rising from the grave or his relationship with Talia or any of that. Instead, we see Jason’s life from Jason’s perspective, and I have to warn you, it is not an easy story to read. Even after the death of his parents, Bruce Wayne was still a boy millionaire with an adoring Alfred at his side. Jason was born into poverty and crime and addiction and depression. In fact, aside from the short time he was Robin, he had a very hardscrabble existence. In this story, we understand why Bruce and Batman both came to be the defining people in his life just before he died.
Newsarama: A lot of people have reacted to the comment you made in San Diego that Tim Drake was never a Robin. Do you maintain that people calling him "Robin" in former New 52 issues were just shortening his real identity of "Red" Robin to the one-word, common name for Batman's sidekick?
Scott Lobdell: Yes.
Newsarama: I guess you could argue that it's just a small change, so it shouldn't be that big of a deal. But then the flip side of that is, if it's such a small change — why make it?
Scott Lobdell: Oh, I don’t think it is a small change at all. I think it is a huge change.
Newsarama: But I think the most important question is, why do you as a writer of this character believe it's important to establish him as "only" Red Robin, and do we see reasoning for it in Teen Titans #0 next week?
Scott Lobdell: The way you frame the question makes it seem like being “only” Red Robin is somehow a demotion, but I don’t see it that way at all. I think it is awesome that Tim looked at the role of Robin that was filled by Dick and the recently departed Jason and said, "I'm going to honor the role of Robin by not assuming I can leap into the part just because I'm the latest 15-year-old boy to put on a cape."
In #0, he very directly says yes, he will be Batman's partner, he will learn everything he can from Batman, but he's not going to downplay Jason's death by pulling on the mask before Bruce has even had much time to deal with the boy's murder. It is sort of like a cop coming to a new precinct and deciding to grab the badge and number of the cop who died the night before. Who would do that?
For the entire interview, including the direction for both titles in 2013, head over to Newsarama. Red Hood and the Outlaws #0 is in stores tomorrow, and Teen Titans #0 is in stores next Wednesday.
Posted by Dustin Fritschel