The Gold Standard #47

I want to see Fabian Nicieza write Teen Titans. I want to see the book roll over creative teams, again, and hand the reigns of this title that has yet to get back to where it was when Geoff Johns left it, over to Fabian Nicieza. I want Fabian to work with Kon, Cassie, Bart, Static, Jamie, and whoever else HE wants to. Full control to do what he wants with it. Will the name value be a huge selling point for the book, able to push it into the top ten? Probably not, but I’ll be damned if he doesn’t write the best Teen Titans in years.

Current-ish lineup

Why Fabian? Well, let’s think about this; New Warriors, X-Force, X-Men, Deadpool Thunderbolts, Alpha Flight, Avengers, Nomad, Cable, Gambit, Robin, Cable and Deadpool. The man is a workhorse, and everything he touches (with the exception of SuperPro and that was doomed from execution) turns to gold. But look at that list, the man is known for one thing, and really only one thing. Being a go-to Marvel guy. One of the best ones of the nineties, but for some reason his DC work is all in the past few years. Sure, he co-wrote JLA: Midsummer’s Nightmare with Mark Waid back in…I want to say 1996, but then there’s nothing until he wrote backup stories for Kurt Busiek in Trinity (well, and the three issues of Superman they wrote together). He had a pretty good run on Robin during RIP, and he’s writing Azrael now, but this is not where he specializes!

Fabian created the New Warriors. They’re his baby. And sure, they weren’t the first of their kind; the teenaged super team made up of B-list-at-best characters; we’d already seen the Teen Titans, the X-Men, and the Legion of Super-heroes among others. But still, he came on and took a bunch of semi-established characters, threw them together, and made one of the most memorable teams in all of comics.

Birth of the Warriors

Yes, the New Warriors have seen better times as of late, and it is almost criminal what Marvel went and did to poor Speedball, but that doesn’t change what Fabian did for them. He created a franchise of teen heroes at a company dominated by the old guard, and he did it so successfully.

The issue with the Teen Titans is that DC keeps putting writers on who either have no idea how to write teens, no idea how to write ensemble casts, or worse, people who fit both descriptions. Team books aren’t simple, juggling a bunch of characters who, for the most part, generally are getting their only regular appearance in this ensemble book. This is unfortunate because when you have character who are appearing elsewhere, well, generally they tend to get more and more focus in the book as other characters get pushed to the wayside.

The core Titans membership, notice the theme?

Avengers has gone through periods of that with Captain America, Iron Man, and Thor. JLA has had it with Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. Titans has had it in the past with Robin, Superboy, and Impulse. But this means that characters like the Scarlet Witch, Ant Man, Wonder Man, Hawkgirl, Red Tornado, Firestorm, Ms. Martian, Bombshell, and Red Devil are relegated to getting their character moments and developments during the pages where the big three of the book aren’t expositioning the entire story to the readers.

It’s not even a big critical wag of the finger, either. You market what sells, and the thing is, the big three of any of these franchises tends to be more marketable then the sum of the rest of the parts. Sure, the devoted will hop in and read away and get really into it for those B list characters that don’t have monthly books. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m a fan of the Cyborgs, Visions, and Dr. Lights of the world. I read their series just to see them….well, I don’t read Titans. I read Teen Titans, and I read JLA, so hey, score! I get Cyborg without having to read Titans!

Titans Together on the JLA

But ANYWAY, back to task. Fabian has proven time and time and time again that ensemble casts; team books, he excels at them. He has built a career on them. And currently his career has taken him to undiscovered territory at DC comics, fresh ground to cut his teeth, to work with character he’s never laid fingers on before. And while Azrael is a nice and quality book, I can’t help but feel that being contained to just one book, one solo book…hell, one solo book being promoted as part of a line of books to insure sales. It’s just a waste of his ability.

Now Teen Titans on the other hand…..remember Peter David’s Young Justice? And Geoff John’s Teen Titans? And immediately declaring one far superior to the other? I see him as the best of both worlds, maintaining the humor and humanity that PAD instilled in the characters during their Young Justice days, but with the sense of danger that Johns managed to create, that the world wasn’t just fun and games. Essentially what New Warriors was.

Just an idea by someone who doesn’t have the most important opinion in the world, but hey, it matters to me.

Fabian Nicieza for Teen Titans

The Gold Standard

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