Following the events of "Teen Titans Annual 2009," on sale April 1, writers Sean McKeever and Marv Wolfman team-up with artists Fernando Dagnino and Raul Fernandez to tell a five-part crossover in the pages of "Teen Titans," "Titans" and "Vigilante." The story is part of DC Comics' Faces of Evil campaign, whereby whereby the villains of the DC Universe take center stage in a series of one-shots and special issues of existing series.
In the story called "Deathtrap," the featured Face of Evil is none other than Jericho, a former Titan and the son of classic Titans supervillain, Deathstroke the Terminator, whose plan of attack is to eliminate both teams of Titans in one fell swoop.
Wolfman and artist George Perez created Deathstroke during their acclaimed run on "The New Teen Titans" in the 1980s. Vigilante, now the star of his own ongoing series, was originally conceived as a western hero in way back in 1941, but was later re-imagined into his current anti-hero characterization (albeit with a different secret identity) again by Wolfman and Perez back in 1983.
Naturally, Jericho's involvement in the "Deathtrap" crossover between the Titans books and "Vigilante" is a boon to fans of Marv Wolfman and the Titans, both young and old.
How do Vigilante, Jericho and Ravager fit into this titan-sized tale? CBR News checked in with Sean McKeever and Marv Wolfman to find out.
CBR: First off gentlemen, how long has this crossover been in the works?
Marv Wolfman: For quite a while. And it's the reason we held up "Vigilante" a while so we could make the crossover work.
Sean McKeever: I recall first discussing seed elements of the crossover with [DCU Executive Editor] Dan [DiDio] last spring, so, yeah, quite a while.
Sean, while the solicitations credit Judd Winick, you are actually writing "Titans" during the "Deathtrap" storyline. Will you be staying on as the writer on "Titans" moving forward?
SM: I'm essentially just filling in for the crossover. I wrote "Titans" #11, which is the March lead-in issue, and I'm also writing #12 and #13.
Sean, this crossover comes at the end of a membership drive for the Teen Titans. Folks are pretty sure they know your new lineup, based on the cover of "Teen Titans Annual 2009," but can you confirm the team is Static, Bombshell, Blue Beetle, Miss Martian, Kid Eternity, Wonder Girl, Aquagirl and the tricky one, Kid Devil?
SM: I can... but I won't. [laughs]
In "Deathrap," the Teen Titans, the Titans and Vigilante team-up to take on Jericho. What makes the former Teen Titan a perfect villain for this story?
MW: It's hard to deal with a character who not only can be anyone you know, but also because he was once a Titan. He knows almost everything about you. He's the greatest stealth villain there can be.
SM: He's a character that the Titans have a past with, like Marv said. They're long-time friends, and the Teen Titans who don't know him look at his historic place on their team with a certain degree of reverence, so it makes it all the more difficult for any of them to fight him.
Marv, what does Vigilante - the resident lone wolf - offer to the Titans teams, both young and old, as an ally? Can the two teams learn from someone who predominantly works alone?
MW: Vigilante and the Titans are after some of the same things and therefore cross paths, but they aren't working together in the traditional sense. They are not friends and frankly, the Titans would just as soon arrest him and he's just as willing to screw them over. This is not a case of the enemy of my enemy is my friend.
They are two entities who are using their own methods to get to the root of what's going on with Jericho and the New York mobs, and therefore find themselves crossing paths all too often. Vig doesn't mind screwing the Titans over to get what he wants, and if anyone of them gets in his way he doesn't mind shooting them. On the other hand, the Titans won't let him get in their way.
How does Deathstroke's daughter, Ravager, play into all of this?
SM: She's a wild card. She has her own agenda, and whether or not that lines up with what the other heroes want will determine if she's friend or foe. Of course, with Jericho being her brother, it really makes you wonder if she'll be out to protect him at all costs or kill him. After all, that Wilson family is pretty messed up.
Sean, what does Wonder Girl bring to the Teen Titans as a new leader? "Deathtrap" will be her first big test.
SM: Well, she did lead Young Justice for a time, so it's not new ground for the character. However, it is a big test for her just the same. For the first time, she's tapping into her own power and experiencing true independence. All that sounds great, but it also means she no longer has any perceived safety net, and she's at least subconsciously aware of that fact.
You're also writing in this story the grown-up versions of the original Titans. Are you having fun with that?
SM: It's been great so far. I realize the Titans are in essence another team of young heroes, but these characters have far more history and their ages allow for a different tone. Also, I'm seriously geeked to be working with [artist] Howard Porter. I love his new style.
You are also on the record of being a big fan of the Wolfman/ Perez era of "The New Teen Titans." You must be thrilled to be working with Marv.
SM: Yeah, as I said, it's really been great. I was pretty pleased when he wrote the short story for issue #50, my first issue, but this has me even more jazzed. He's a very good collaborator, which is a huge plus, since this is really my first proper crossover.
Marv, you played such a major role in developing so many of these characters. Is it fun to still be working in this world after all of these years?
MW: Absolutely. I loved the characters and still do. It's actually more fun now having not done them for awhile than it was a few years back. It's like meeting old friends and starting the friendship allÂ over again.
Have you followed the Teen Titans through the different writers and lineups over the years?
MW: No. Unless I have to because of a story, I almost never read any book or character I created after I leave. People tend to ask me what I think of the way they do my characters and I honestly don't want to tell them. I never asked the writers who preceded me what I should do or what they thought and I think the new writers should not be encumbered by what I think. They need to make the characters theirs, as I did.
Coming out of "Deathtrap," what's ahead for Vigilante?
MW: I want to do straight-on crime stories and have a few really different ideas set up. I also intend to have Vig leave New York sooner than later. He's not a character with a home base. Stay in one place long enough and the feds or some other hero will capture him. He goes where the crime is and doesn't wait for the crime to come to him, so he'll be a character on the move.
Also, "Vigilante" is not your typical vigilante book which comes out of revenge for some past crime committed to him or his family - Batman, Spider-Man, Punisher, the original Vigilante and many others are like that. This is a book about redemption and how far he will go to make up for the things he has done. I'm trying to take the concept of the vigilante comic book and spin it completely.
And Sean, what does 2009 have in store for the Teen Titans?
SM: With issue #70, Joe Bennett comes on as the ongoing artist (current artist Eddy Barrows is moving to "Action Comics" with Greg Rucka).
After the crossover, there are all these new team dynamics to explore, and you'll see tension and romance and even some friendships being forged. For the rest of the year we've got some very big stuff happening. I think I'll let next month's **Origins and Omens** backup, with art by Ed Benes, speak for itself.
The "Deathtrap" crossover runs in "Teen Titans Annual 2009," "Titans" #12-13, "Vigilante" #5 and "Teen Titans" #70-71.