So ComicBookResources.com released this article today which covered the DC Comics Young Justice panel at San Diego Comic Con. Scott Lobdell, writer of Teen Titans and Superboy (among others) had a bit to say about what he’s planning on doing with said books. Unfortunately what he said made me so…I was just…I mean…I’m ready to…AHHHH!!!! After I finished reading it I couldn’t help but put my thoughts into words. I’ve taken the relevant pieces of the article and quoted them below along with my thoughts on the matter.
Lobdell talked about September’s “Teen Titans” #0, saying the issue was “Almost exclusively about Tim Drake, but we get some secret info about Skitter and Bunker…as near as I recall, as it is now Tim goes straight from being Tim Drake to being Red Robin in that there was no official period of time where he was Robin. We keep most of the origin in tact in that he was one of the few people who could get very close to learning who Bruce is…but it will be a much updated version of his origin.”
What exactly does he mean by “as near as I recall”? Shouldn’t the writer know key details of the history of one of his main characters? And why is it that all of a sudden Tim Drake was never Robin even though it’s been confirmed multiple times in Batman and Robin, oh and not to mention HIS OWN BOOK.
What exactly is going on here? Did Lobdell just receive a last minute editorial update right before San Diego Comic Con telling him that they just made changes to Tim’s history? Or does Lobdell just NOT know what the hell is going on outside of his books? Judging by the way he writes his stories I think the last time Lobdell ever actually read a comic was in the 90’s. Or is it possible that DC is actually retconning Tim Drakes New 52 reboot merely a year later? The fact that he did not give a definitive answer at the panel says to me that either he or DC is unsure about the status of Tim Drake. It’s also possible that he is taking crazy pills.
Lobdell turned to the return of Starfire’s sister Blackfire, noting as he did earlier in the weekend that he’s changing the nature of the villain to a woman with an extreme amount of guilt over her role in selling Starfire off of their planet. “She’s not the nihilistic, Machiavellian, evil role but a caring sister who betrayed Kory,” he said, joking soon after that he didn’t know why he was writing so many depressing stories these days.
It’s not that your stories are depressing so much as your writing is Lobdell. I really hate to be rude, but COME ON, MAN!
“The impression I get from Superboy is that he’s not a t-shirt and jeans kind of guy,” Lobdell said about whether the teen hero would ever go back to his more recent clothing choice. He said one thing he loves about the New 52 Superman is how it’s broken the mold on whether a hero can have multiple costuming options, and so Superboy’s look would evolve moving forward. He echoed those sentiments for an upcoming redesign for Red Hood’s standard costume.
What do you mean “he’s not a t-shirt and jeans kind of guy,” He wore t-shirt and jeans for YEARS and continues to do so in the animated version of Young Justice. He LITERALLY is a t-shirt and jeans kind of guy. JUST LOOK.
I think what he means to say is he doesn’t like that design of Superboy. I completely respect that as DC hired you to create and write a new version of Superboy for the New 52. The problem I have is that you are showing a complete disregard for any version of the character that existed before your run. By doing this you show a disregard for his fans as well. Superboy has been a very successful and popular character for years before you started writing him and you should find a way to honor that in some way.
The idea of Red Robin’s new origin and how it impacts Damian Wayne’s desire to kill all former Robins. Lobdell said, “He hates them all…Robin Williams…Robin Leach…”
That’s good, make a jokey-joke. That’s what we want to hear when we ask serious questions about characters that we clearly love and respect more than you do. The joke answer is very often a non-answer. This lends to my theory that either the status of Tim Drake as ever being Robin is in flux or Lobdell is simply clueless.
The issue of how the classic Nightwing/Starfire/Cyborg Titans could exist if Red Robin’s team is the first, Lobdell said that in his mind, those young teens hung out but never formally formed a Teen Titans team. He admitted this slightly contradicts what he said at the panel last year in San Diego, but plans for the series and how its mythology worked changed in the past year.
So wait, you’re saying that Cyborg hung out with Nightwing and Starfire when they were teens while he was in the Justice League? While it’s not an ideal explanation I actually would be okay with this. Cyborg, being the youngest of the JLAers, would naturally want to seek out younger heroes to interact with. Unfortunately (and I hope I’m wrong about this) this sounds like Lobdell is making stuff up on the spot just so he can have an answer instead of looking flummoxed on stage. Ask Geoff Johns the same question and I’m sure his response would be “Who told you that?” In fact, Lobdell’s response should have been something along the lines of Cyborg being in the hands of Geoff Johns since he currently has control of the character in Justice League.
When a fan asked after the possibility of a Tim Drake solo comic, Lobdell said he’d be up for it and gently chided Harras about green lighting such a project, but it didn’t seem like that discussion would be picking up in any meaningful way in the near future.
Please DC, I beg of you, just no. He’s done enough damage as it is.
Lobdell said he doesn’t watch the “Young Justice” TV show, not from any bias against the show but because he doesn’t watch animation often and felt like watching something so close to his work may muddy the waters for what he wants to do.
It really is a shame that you don’t watch the Young Justice TV show since they are doing an INFINITELY better job at incorporating different elements of DC’s young hero continuities all the while modernizing them for the 21’s century. It seems to me that this is exactly what DC was looking for. I understand if you don’t want to copy the show exactly but at least you could take a lesson or two of how the show handles their characters and their histories.
Come to think of it, I think I may prefer the Young Justice TV show continuity over that of the New 52. And now I’ve made myself sad.