‘Young Justice’ and ‘Teen Titans’—Past and Future

Photo by Brandilyn Carpenter
Photo by Brandilyn Carpenter

Peter David and Benjamin Percy joined a crowd of eager fans to discuss Young Justice and Teen Titans in the comics. Both writers were eager to talk about their works, Peter David being responsible for the Young Justice comics in the 1990s, and Benjamin Percy working on the current Teen Titans comics.

One of the first questions asked by the audience was how the rosters for the two comics were determined. Peter David said he was given the original roster for Young Justice: Robin, Impulse, and Superboy. He wanted to include more female characters, though, because he felt more comfortable writing teenage girls—he had two of them.

The Powers-That-Be gave him the approval, asking him to wait a couple issues then introduce the new characters. He brought in Secret, Wonder Girl, and Arrowette to help round out the team. During the run, he ended up retiring Arrowette and introducing an original character named Empress. David said one of his biggest reasons for creating her was to add some more diversity to the team, with her being their first black teammate.

Percy’s story was much different. He met with some of the executives in a boardroom, with every potential character written on a white board. They then hashed out each character and came up with the current Teen Titans roster.

He said it was difficult for them to figure out how to introduce each character without overwhelming the readers. He also hinted that a new Green Arrow–related character would be visiting the Teen Titans soon and potentially joining the team, but he couldn’t give too many details.

The panelists also discussed TV’s influence on their respective comics. David said the Young Justice cartoon revitalized interest in his comics, with them recently being collected into trade paperbacks. He said the Supergirl TV show had the same effect on his old Supergirl comics.

Percy told the audience about not being allowed to watch the current shows so they wouldn’t influence his current comics, since DC wants to keep their shows and comics separate. To which Peter David quipped, “Please don’t channel Teen Titans Go!” which was met with audience applause.

Percy went on to say that DC’s Rebirth has helped bring TV show viewers into comics. People who’ve never read comics before start reading because the shows help pique their interest and they want to see more of their new favorite characters.

Multiple times during the panel, David lamented on how few comics DC has for younger readers. He attributes the steady decline in comic readership to the fact that there’s no good bridge for young readers to get into comics. Even ones like Teen Titans are written for older audiences.

When asked for some information on what Young Justice and Teen Titans fans could expect, both panelist had some sneak peaks for the audience. Percy told the audience to expect Damian to grow up a lot in this run of Teen Titans, explaining that it was time for him to start maturing and really coming into himself.

David was unable to confirm that he was involved with the upcoming season of the Young Justice cartoon, though he made sure to mention he always tells people when he’s not involved in something.

Both panelists mentioned DC’s upcoming streaming service. Fans will be able to watch both the new season of Young Justice and the live action Teen Titans on the new service in the near future.

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