Swimming with Sharks: Krul Talks Titans

J.T. Krul, known primarily for his work on "Fathom" for Aspen Comics, is diving headfirst into DC Comics' "Titans" in July when he brings Tempest back to Titans Tower.

Tempest, first introduced as Aqualad in "Adventure Comics" #269 in 1960, was a founding member of the Teen Titans along with the original Robin, Dick Grayson, and the first Kid Flash, Wally West.

Fans of the 36-year-old Krul, who once worked as production coordinator on "Seinfeld," will be sad to hear that he's not the new ongoing writer on "Titans," but he writing a "Blackest Night" tie-in book: "Blackest Night: Titans." In this interview with CBR News, Krul shared some major details about his fill-in work on "Titans" #15 and promised readers whether they know him or not, they're going to care about Garth by the end of the issue.

CBR: First off, are you the new ongoing writer for "Titans" or is this a single issue fill-in?

J.T. Krul: As far as the "Titans" title goes, this is a single-issue gig for me.

Are you a long-time fan of the Teen Titans?

While I didn't grow up reading "Teen Titans," I have been following them for several years now, ever since the latest title launched, and I've also gone back and read a lot of the older stuff as well.

Do you have a favorite character or run?

Right now, I have to say Tempest is my favorite character. I mean, isn't that obvious? But, if I had to choose another, I would actually say Tim Drake/Robin or Roy/Red Arrow. As for runs, I really got into the relaunch that Geoff Johns did and the "Kid's Game" storyline was a great rebirth of that title. Going back, I also really enjoyed the Terra stuff. I think Marv Wolfman was really doing some incredible stories back then, as he managed to take a team of teenagers and use their trials and tribulations to propel them into adulthood.

What can you tell us about the story you're telling in "Titans" #15?

Well, the short of it is Tempest is back, and back in a big way. If you love Tempest and have been chomping at the bit for his return, this is it. And, if you don't know Tempest or care about him, you will by the end of the issue.

The solicit teases: "The last page not only answers this question, but will have fans buzzing." Any hints?

I'd say that I would love to spill the beans, but the truth is I hope people pick this up and fight the urge to flip through the whole thing in the store as they wait to pay for it. It's a great story, and an important one for Garth.

For those catching up, where's Garth been?

He's sort of been MIA. Following the destruction of Atlantis in "Infinite Crisis," Garth disappeared for a bit and re-emerged without his powers. Since then, he's been looking for his wife and child who also disappeared in the course of the city's demise.

What makes Tempest a great character?

What makes any character great? Conflict. Tragedy. Heart. Over the years, these original sidekicks, Garth, Dick, Roy, etc., have been put through the ringer and then some. Being in the comic world for decades will do that to you. And, no matter what, they keep plugging away. They keep fighting. They keep trying. That's what makes a character great. It's kind of like sports or any endeavor in life. It's not always just about whether you win or succeed. It's about the effort.

As a founding member does his return cause some pretty major ripples, sorry had to do it, within the team dynamic?

Aquatic puns are the hardest to avoid. Believe me, I know. I wouldn't say major ripples, but it was great writing some of the founding characters interacting again.

Have you seen any pages from Ed Benes and Rob Hunter?

Not yet, but I am dying to see pages.

What can we expect from "Blackest Night: Titans?"

I honestly can't say anything about "Blackest Night: Titans."

What else are you working on these days?

Well, Aspen Comics is still a big part of my life. I am getting into the final stretch with volume three of "Fathom" with Ale Garza. It's an epic story this time around as our title character, Aspen, finds herself in a middle of a war with the humans and the Blue battling against another ancient race from the ocean depths called the Black. We are also finally finishing up "Soulfire" Volume One with Joe Benitez taking over for Michael Turner on the art. It's been a labor of love in every definition of the word, and we're extremely proud of how the book is finishing up. I know Mike would have been happy. Also, "Soulfire" continues with a miniseries called "New World Order." And, "Soulfire" Volume Two will launch later this fall.

If that wasn't enough, I also have a creator-owned project I'm completely psyched for that I'll be doing with Aspen coming later this year and going into 2010. Not to mention the fact that I have more DC work coming up that hasn't been announced yet.

"Titans" #15 goes on sale July 15 from DC Comics.

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