Readers following Sean McKeever's bestselling run on "Teen Titans" love what the writer is doing with the re-imagined Clock King and his team of Terror Titans. So does DC Comics Executive Editor Dan Didio -- who also just so happens to edit the title himself -- as the legion of doom will debut in their own six-issue miniseries beginning in October.
McKeever, who is penning the Joe Bennett ("52" and "Checkmate") illustrated miniseries, told CBR News "Terror Titans" is the next step in Clock King's 'big, crazy' plans. "In 'Teen Titans,' Clock King pushed his Terror Titans, trying to get them to capture the entire Teen Titans team so that he could sell the heroes to the Dark Side Club, a sort of underground fight club run by people who believe they're the avatars of the New Gods," the writer explained. "In 'Terror Titans,' Clock King has taken up a more active role in the Dark Side Club and has brought his team of teen legacy villains along for the ride.
"He plans to further push and test his team, and he also has plans for Ravager, who left the Teen Titans at the end of #60."
McKeever said essentially, it's about creating chaos by way of control and order. "It's about destruction, both for destruction's sake as well as for the purpose of rebuilding. And it's also about a whole lot of young metahumans beating the crap out of each other," he offered. "Joe Bennett said he'd only draw the title if there was 'lots of blood,' and I think I've accommodated him pretty well, so far."
The 36-year-old Appleton, Wisconsin native said it's actually a bit easier writing a villain-centric series as opposed to one chalk full of superhero goodness. "There's far more moral ambiguity to deal with. And I also just really enjoy writing people who are capable of terrible things," he said. "It's kind of like playing 'Grand Theft Auto.'"
McKeever revealed that the series won't overly tie-in to the "Teen Titans" ongoing or Grant Morrison and JG Jones' "Final Crisis." "We won't be tying-in directly, but the aftereffects of this story will immediately be felt in 'Teen Titans.' We will also bring the Dark Side Club concept from 'Seven Soldiers' and 'Final Crisis' into its next evolutionary step, and that's the central locale for the story, but no one needs to have read any of that, nor even the Terror Titans arc in 'Teen Titans,' to get what's going on here."
A technological genius, the Clock King possesses the ability to see what is about to happen approximately 4.6692 seconds into the future, allowing him to anticipate an opponent's every move. And while he can predict what will happen, McKeever said it's his unpredictability that makes him a great supervillain. "He's unpredictable, he's manipulative, and he clearly has a lot of secrets. He lives in a state of perpetual precognition, making him damn near impossible to surprise," explained McKeever. "He lives in a dimension where time intersects but doesn't age anything, so he could be very, very old, for all we know. All this adds together to make a highly intelligent, immensely powerful and thoroughly insane character."
Ravager is the newest member of the Terror Titans, but McKeever isn't ready to label her a villain. "I wouldn't call Rose a villain. She marches to the beat of her own drum. Sometimes that beat puts her on the side of the angels, and other times it turns her into a hardened killer," he said.
So there is still good inside her? "Sure. As readers will learn from the outset, Rose is pretty clear about why she's come to the Dark Side Club. It's to do with her own precognition, and how it seems to resonate with Clock King's," revealed McKeever. "Don't expect her to play nice with the Terror Titans, nor anyone else, for that matter."
McKeever said he'd be hard pressed to pick a favorite Terror Titan -- with candidates including Copperhead, Dreadbolt and Persuader -- because they are all his "beautiful, twisted children," and so he loves them equally. He added, "At the start of #2-5, the readers will get to see the 'origin story' of each character, and give you more of a sense of who they are and why they're part of this band of sociopathic killers."
Fuelling the writer's love of the characters is how they're being drawn by Joe Bennett. "Joe brings energy, amazing emotion and wonderful clarity in his layouts," said McKeever. "He's also breaking down a lot of the fight scenes himself, per his request. So we're doing certain pages plot style, where I'll describe the action and he'll decide how he wants to display it. It makes a lot of sense since I'd probably only hamper him, visually."
With news out of Comic-Con International that Dwayne McDuffie's Milestone character Static would be joining Teen Titans, CBR News asked McKeever if he would be active in "Terror Titans." "The Teen Titans will be gaining a few new members in the months to come, but that will happen in 'Teen Titans' itself," teased McKeever. "Of course, it wouldn't be a shock to anyone if at least one character in this miniseries winds up signing up at Titans Tower."
As for what else is coming up in "Teen Titans" in the months ahead, McKeever revealed, "We're roughed out through June 2009 right now, so let's see they're will be new and old and downright ancient. They're will be red and blue and green. They're will be changes and upgrades. And enemies and teammates where they're least expected.
"And Wonderdog will be the New Character of the Year."
"Terror Titans" #1 is scheduled for October 1.