Bryan Q. Miller pulled a rabbit out his hat earlier this year when he introduced Zatanna to the "Smallville" mythos by writing the Season 8 episode, "Hex." DC Comics obviously thought Miller had a handle on scripting young heroes, because after penning three episodes of the CW hit series, the publisher gave him a multi-issue arc on "Teen Titans" for his first assignment in comics.
For Miller's debut effort, he serves as co-writer on "Teen Titans" #72 with Sean McKeever (who also scripts Ravager back-up stories), and finishes the next two issues on his own. The writer says the fill-in story serves as a "pivotal narrative bridge" for the title moving forward.
But that's not all for the relative newcomer.
DC revealed via its blog The Source that Miller will launch "Batgirl" in August - the final piece to the puzzle that is the Batverse post-"Battle for the Cowl."
CBR sat down with Bryan Q. Miller to talk about these projects and more.
CBR: Are you a long-time fan of this iteration of "Teen Titans?"
Bryan Q. Miller: I've been reading the title faithfully since 2003 or 2004, I think.
Do you have a favorite character or a favorite run?
Picking a favorite character is a little rough. I love Robin, in both his own title and "Teen Titans." Same for Jaime. I'm very glad Blue Beetle joined up with the gang preceding my arc. The "teen soap" coursing through my veins really dug the Tim/Cassie/Connor triangle that started to play out after Connor's death, too.
Regarding a favorite run, at the end of the day, it's a three-way tie. I'm a big fan of the "Titans Tomorrow" arc, and an even bigger fan of the "One Year Later" run. But the one that takes the cake for me is the Outsiders/Teen Titans "Insiders" run where Connor and Indigo went crazy on their respective teammates. I came into the title as a reader during that arc. It pulled me right in, then I played catch up.
What can you tell us about the story you're going to tell in "Teen Titans?"
Without delving into spoiler territory, like anyone their age, all the Teen Titans want is a big night out on the town. But be careful what you wish for. What else can I say about the run without giving anything away? It's definitely a three-part story, beginning, middle and end - with anywhere between one and three huge events by the end of the third issue. There's one huge event for the team and one game-changing development.
There may or not be a third big "thing" happening - it's still up in the air. And you'll know from the first page of the first issue that we -- editors Brian Ogle, Rex Cunningham, and myself -- intend to put the team through an ordeal. How's that for a tease?
From the solicitations for issue #73, we can see Wonder Girl gets in a heap of trouble. What makes Cassie fun to write?
As I see it, what's interesting about Cassie is that she's desperately in need of finding herself. We touch on it a bit during #72 too. She's a young woman who's really - when you think about it - been defined by the people around her for most of the time we've known her. She sees herself through the relationships that she's forged. She wants to stand on her own, but really hasn't figured out how to yet. What this arc does is kind of puts a fire under her to get those issues figured out for herself. Naturally, some things are going to get in her way.
You are also introducing an all-new Fearsome Five. Who's on the roster?
Of the five, three are faces you've already seen. The remaining two are ones that you definitely haven't. Two of the five appear on the cover to #72. Another member is related to another. Suzie doesn't like peanut butter sandwiches, while Davie only sits next to Michael. I'm now officially hoping this interview turns up as a GRE question.
What makes the Fearsome Five a worthy opponent for the Teen Titans?
The Five are the bullies in the high school cafeteria. The ones who walk right up to the good kids, slap their lunch trays away, then ask what they're gonna do about it. In this case, the bullies are a few years older and have been held back for obvious, deviant reasons. And the kicker is, no-matter what happens, the Teen Titans will always care about what's happening. The Fearsome Five? Not so much.
What can you say about the artwork of your collaborators Joe Bennett and Jack Jadson?
Amazing. I've really only seen Jack's inks on the covers so far, which are great, by the way. And I've seen the first dozen or so pages of pencils for #72. Joe is blowing me away. I know this is only the first comic I've written, but I do read a fair amount. And the art always makes it or breaks it for me. It could be the best story in the world, but if the images aren't coming together, I have a hard time pressing through as a reader. Even if Joe weren't working on my script, I'd think his stuff was very cool.
Are there any other comic projects in your future, DC or otherwise?
"Batgirl!" My experience on "Teen Titans" was fantastic, and I'm looking forward to working with everyone over in the Bat-group at DC. Everyone I've met at DC has been nothing but professional and cordial and very cool.
Can't say any more right now but we'll talk again soon.
You were credited as the writer on three episodes of "Smallville", this past season, including "Hex," which introduced Zatanna to the show's mythos. Was that a lot of fun? The episode certainly was a hit with fans.
The fans are there for us through thick and thin, and I really couldn't be more thrilled and humbled by the response "Hex" has received. Zatanna was really a heap of fun to write. We could have played her huge, but in this case, going for a more modest arrival worked in the show's favor - it let us play her as being just a smidge shy of the Zatanna we all know and love from the comics.
Are you returning to the show next year, if it's back?
The show is definitely back, and I'm definitely still along for the ride.
Any other TV or film projects you are working on?
I'm only just starting my career, so there's more to come.