Kicking off this September, Scott Lobdell will be writing three new series: RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS, TEEN TITANS, and SUPERBOY. We caught up with him and Brett Booth, co-artist for TEEN TITANS (with Norm Rapmund), about new character designs, their creative processes, and what’s in store for this fall:
THE SOURCE: What about DC’s new 52 titles excites you the most?
SCOTT LODBELL: Seeing what everyone else is doing! There are so many books that I can’t wait to read — and that’s just as a fan! I haven’t been at DC long enough to know if you get free books as a writer, but that’s how excited I am that I’m even going to shell out money for every one of the titles. Everyone, after all, deserves a look!
BRETT BOOTH: I think it’s actually getting in and reading things from (or close to) the beginning. Plus I might get a chance to draw the original Batgirl!
How and why are you shaking up the series’ status quo?
SL: I find myself trimming mostly. While there are certainly some changes, I really want the first issues to FEEL like first issues… not, say, issue 101 of TEEN TITANS. Brett Booth and I want any new or lapsed readers to be able to pick up issue one and feel like they aren’t walking into a story somewhere in the third reel.
What new characters will debut in the series?
SL: In RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS, Kenneth Rocafort and I will be introducing a young African-American who takes the name Crux — he’s made a lot of sacrifices in his effort to become the first best line of defense against hostile alien life on Earth. But all his previous notions of the dangers of aliens are challenged when he meets and almost defeats Starfire.
BB: Lots! We have some new heroes but mostly villains. TITANS has sort of only had a few notable bad guys – Trigon, Deathstroke – we’re trying to come up with a whole new pantheon of evil! MWAHAHAHAHA! Plus the bad guys are just plain fun to draw. I’ve been sworn to secrecy … but the name Bugg has been mentioned.
Will we see new character designs?
SL: Will we?! Anyone who has seen the TEEN TITANS promo-art knows that Brett and I are the “worst offenders”. But you know, when you have a team where a Robin grows into a Nightwing and Thug Superboy finds his way to getting a decent haircut and isn’t wearing a T-shirt from Hot Topic… TEEN TITANS is a book that has always been changing and redefining itself. We’ll see a lot of that in oft-changing costumes. How many teenagers do you know who wear the exact same outfit every time they go out on the street or to a club? Why should these kids be any different?
BB: I don’t think we kept any of the old ones, just hints and references to them here and there. So maybe.
What’s the first line of dialogue in the first issue?
SL: I’ll let you know! Unlike, I think, most of the other writers, the way I work is: I’ll plot an issue, the artist will lay it out and then I add the script only after the pages come in. I find it the most organic way to tell a story… and it also means I get excited and inspired almost daily as Brett, Kenneth and RB Silva are constantly turning in new work!
What’s the biggest surprise you’ve had working on this character/book?
SL: I’m surprised by how much I like Jason and Roy in RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS. Yeah, they can be a bit rough around the edges but their hearts are in the right place. Part of me wants to give them a hug and just reassure them that everything will be okay. (I don’t know that it will be okay, but that’s why I am a writer and not an Outlaw!)
BB: How easy Bart is to draw, character wise. He just sort of plops out!
What’s the unofficial tagline for this series, in your own words?
SL: “Read me!”
BB: “LOBDELL!” But you have to yell it like Kirk does Kahn in Star Trek 2!
What were your thoughts about the day-and-date digital announcement?
Lobdell also talked a little about Red Hood and the Outlaws, and definitely gave me a lot more excitement about that title. Crux sounds like a really interesting character that I can’t wait to see more of!