Veteran television writer Eric Wallace ("Eureka") knows how to make the most of an opportunity. A long-time fan of the Teen Titans, Wallace wrote the one-shot "Titans" #14 after original series writer Judd Winick left the title to script the first arc of "Batman" post-"Battle for the Cowl." And while Wallace says the single-issue story featuring Cyborg wasn't a try-out, editorial leadership at DC Comics must have liked what they saw because Executive Editor Dan DiDio announced recently that Wallace was taking over "Titans" as the new ongoing writer once the current story wraps up.
Joining Wallace on "Titans" is Fabrizio Fiorentino, the same artist who worked with Wallace on his first major project for DC Comics, the six-issue miniseries "Final Crisis Aftermath: Ink." The new creative team for "Titans" comes at a time when "Teen Titans" is also welcoming a new writer. Felicia Henderson, who writes for the massively successful "Fringe," starts her run on the series in September with #75.
In his first interview about his new "Titans" assignment, Wallace told CBR News he hadn't discussed the interworkings of the two titles with Henderson just yet, but teased the two teams will be crossing over in the months ahead.
CBR: When last we spoke, your "Titans" one-shot and yet to be released and you had some other things cooking at DC but couldn't say just what they were. Was the ongoing "Titans" gig one of those 'other' projects?
Eric Wallace: Yes. I'm really happy that Dan was able to announce it so soon. We're all really looking forward to getting started. The goal of this next phase of "Titans" will be to tell memorable and exciting stories with high emotional stakes for its members. Oh, and to have a few big surprises along the way.
So "Titans" #14 was a pretty important try-out?
I suppose so, but to their credit, the folks at DC never made it seem that way. They literally just said, "Hey, wanna write a 'Titans' one shot?" Thanks to my love of the team, I quickly said yes and we were off to the races. It wasn't until the script for that issue was done that the subject of a longer run of issues was even brought up. By then, I was almost done with my scripts for "Final Crisis Aftermath: Ink" and looking forward to my next project. So it all turned out perfectly, at least from my perspective.
You also mentioned you were a big fan of the legendary Wolfman/Perez run on the original "Teen Titans." Have you been plowing through those back issues in preparation for this assignment?
Definitely. I love those stories, but I hadn't read a lot of them in over a decade, so I wanted to brush up my familiarity with the world. Now I don't plan on copying any specific storylines, but I do want to recapture the sense of immediacy and deep characterization they gave to their tales. And of course, throw in tons of action, because I really like to see things blow up.
"Titans" #14 focused on Cyborg. Will Vic Stone be a major player during your run? And if so, what makes him such compelling subject matter?
Yes... and no. I can't really go into that too deeply yet, because exact storylines and how they affect the characters are still being developed. I can say that what makes him so compelling for me is his duplicity. He's a man trapped in a computerized body. And in the modern computerized age that's a huge advantage in every way, except when it comes to being a man. By that I mean affairs of the heart and all the other interesting stuff that comes with being human.
By the way, if there's anything I specifically want to do on my run of "Titans" it's to make sure that readers can recognize the characters on this team as deeply human. That means they'll have flaws, they'll get into arguments, some of them might even sleep with each other or at least try really hard to, and of course they'll occasionally need to have some laughs and blow off some steam. After all, they're not teens anymore, they're adults, and it'll be my responsibility now with these upcoming stories to write them that way.
Another character you admitted great affinity towards was Red Arrow. What do you love about Roy Harper?
What's not to love about Speedy? Yes, I actually used to read "Teen Titans" as a kid before the Wolfman/Perez run. You know, back when the Joker's daughter was a member? And Hawk and Dove were around? Actually, they were my older sibling's comic books, but I used to borrow them and read them after school. So I've actually been following Roy for a long time as a fan.
The classic "Green Lantern/Green Arrow" issues that dealt with Roy's drug abuse really had a strong affect on me as kid. It was all so real, especially with what was going on around me at the time. I actually had a best friend go through a similar situation, so reading about Speedy's rough road made it a lot easier to deal with.
After all those early stories, I just kept on reading "Teen Titans" or "Titans" in whatever form they took. And look at what Roy's been through since then. The jokes, the women, parenthood, the women, becoming Arsenal until finally graduating to membership in the JLA - did I mention the women? Seriously, though, except for Dick Grayson, Roy has grown up probably more so than most of the other Titans. That, for me, makes him deeply fascinating. Just wait until you see what we have in store for him.
There are a lot of Wally West fans out there who want to know what his role will be in the DC Universe with Barry Allen back in the fold.
Again, that's like the Cyborg situation, and unfortunately I can't really discuss the others yet.
Since Judd Winick left, the title has been a series of one-shots and fill-ins. Is a major storyline in the works?
Well, as Dan DiDio mentioned already, look for some big changes. As for the style of stories themselves, shorter arcs are being discussed right now for the initial part of my run. We all really want the audience to get to know the lay of the land before throwing something huge at them, especially with some of the surprises we have in store. Having said that, I love a big mystery and so do the folks at DC. So yes, there will probably be a larger story arc at some point, just not initially.
Things must have worked out on "Final Crisis Aftermath: Ink" as you're back with artist Fabrizio Fiorentino on "Titans." What's Fabrizio bring to a project?
Fabrizio brings a dynamic storytelling sense to every frame he draws. The guy's just phenomenal. Whether it's an argument over dinner or a huge battle with multiple layers of action, Fabrizio is a master at choosing the perfect moments to illustrate. By that I mean the ones that best tell the story a writer is trying to get across. Plus, let's be honest, his art is just glorious to look at.
Where do you feel the Titans fit in the DCU as a team? They're not quite ready for prime time with the Justice League and yet there'll all grown and no longer "teens."
Well, like I mentioned earlier Roy was a member of the JLA, so he's already taken his game to a new level. As for the rest of the Titans, I think they're definitely ready to graduate to the big league. Maybe it's time they gave the JLA a run for their money.
Any plans to crossover "Titans" with "Justice League of America" or "Teen Titans" in the imminent future?
Yes, but not in the way folks will be expecting.
Have you discussed the project at all with new "Teen Titans" writer Felicia Henderson?
Not yet, but I'm hoping to very soon. Felicia's a fantastic writer and I'm really looking forward to what she has planned for that book.
The first issue of Eric Wallace and Fabrizio Fiorentino's "Titans" run has yet to solicited but is expected to begin in October.