Hit or Miss: Tom Taylor to Write The New Titans Title

DC Comics unveiled the creative team for the new Titans title set to debut on May 16, 2023. We already knew that the Titans title would star the Marvel Wolfman/George Perez Teen Titans including Nightwing, Flash (Wally West), Beast Boy, Cyborg, Starfire, Donna Troy, and Raven. What we did not know was who would be on the creative team for this latest effort to resurrect this franchise.

Well, now we know. Tom Taylor will be the writer and Nicola Scott will be the artist. Before I dive into this creative team, I had to openly admit my bias for the Wolfman/Perez Teen Titans. The only superteam that I love more than the Wolfman/Perez Titans would be the Legion of Super-Heroes. The Wolfman/Perez Teen Titans is some of the best super team comics that you will ever read. If you still have not read them then do yourself a favor and invest in these back issues. You will absolutely not be disappointed. Wolfman fleshed out these characters and delivered excellent character work with each issue. Obviously, Perez brought some of the best artwork you could ever imagine with every issue.

The Titans’ roster is a wonderful collection of characters. However, these former sidekicks and teen heroes have been lost in the shuffle as DC Comics bizarrely layered legacy characters on top of legacy characters over the past twenty years. It is now to the point that everything is jumbled up with all of the various legacy characters and how they fit in with each other.

As a result, the Wolfman/Perez Titans found themselves in an awkward place. They were not established heroes like all of the Justice Leaguers. However, they were no longer the teen sidekicks or legacy heroes like Damian Wayne, Tim Drake, Cassandra Cain, Stephanie Brown, etc. Like the uncomfortable middle child, the Wolfman/Perez Titans have lost their proper place in the DCU.

The only exception would be Dick Grayson. Dick remains the only Wolfman/Perez Titans who has been elevated up to the status of a bigger name character in the DCU. To be clear, Dick is not on the same level as Bruce, Clark, and Diana. But, Dick has been elevated up to the same level as big-name Justice Leaguers like Martian Manhunter, Green Arrow, and Black Canary.

Wally West is the second most accomplished character in this group. However, Wally will forever be stunted by the fact that he was never given his own unique mantle and identity like Dick Grayson was given. Instead, Wally has to wear Barry’s costume and have Barry’s codename. All while Barry is still active. On the other hand, Dick being allowed to be Nightwing has given him the opportunity for him to become his own man and carve out his own unique place in the DCU. Wally West has not been given that opportunity. Wally has forever stood in Barry’s shadow.

Cyborg would be the third most accomplished character from this group. Cyborg benefited from being elevated to a founding member of the New 52 Justice League. This certainly raised Cyborg’s profile, however, it also stripped Cyborg of much of what made his character so special and interesting. It also did not help that the New 52 was massively unpopular and a sales failure.

Then you have the remainder of these characters. Beast Boy, Raven, Starfire, and Donna Troy have all been wandering the wasteland of the DCU. These characters have lacked any real purpose or place in the DCU. Poor Donna Troy had to see her Wonder Girl mantle go to Cassandra Sandsmark and then to Yara Flor. Again, DC Comics’ weird obsession with so many legacy characters with the same mantle piled on top of each other causes problems.

All right, let’s loop back to the creative team for this new Titans title. Tom Taylor as the writer is a solid choice. Taylor has had sales success with Injustice, DCeased, and Dark Knights of Steel. Taylor is also seeing increased sales with Nightwing due to the bump from Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths. However, Taylor has also had several titles that sold poorly like All-New Wolverine, Superior Iron Man, Suicide Squad, and Superman: Son of Kal-El. So, Taylor has been a mixed bag when it comes to sales success.

Personally, I have run hot and cold with Taylor. There are some of his titles that I think are fantastic reads. Then there are others that are just too cringe filled and shallow for me to read. Having said that, given the options that DC Comics had at the moment, Taylor is probably their best choice to write the new Titans title.

Taylor has been doing a good job on Nightwing. Therefore, I am hopeful that Taylor can take some of his excellent work with Dick Grayson and sprinkle that on all of the other Titans characters.

Nicola Scott as the artist is a much easier selection for me to grade. I love Scott. I adore her artwork. Scott as the artist for Titans is an absolute home run. Taylor’s quality of writing may be unpredictable, but Scott’s art will not be. I know we are going to get plenty of gorgeous artwork from Scott in each and every issue.

Rokk’s Excitement Level: 9 Night Girls out of 10. Look, this is the Wolfman/Perez Titans! I was going to buy this title even if I hated the creative team. The fact that I have some hope in this creative team boosts my excitement level even more so for this new Titans title.

Rokk’s Prediction: I want to say that Titans is going to be a huge seller. But, sadly, it has been a long time since this franchise posted good sales numbers. The most recent Titans title was the six-issue mini-series Titans: Bloodpact. This title debuted at the number 86 spot. Then it dropped to the number 131 spot, then the number 173 spot, then the number 149 spot, and then the number 166 spot.

Taylor’s most recent sales numbers are all over the place. Over the past two years, Taylor’s Superman: Son of Kal-El title regularly sold outside of the Top 75. On the other hand, Taylor’s Nightwing has been a consistent Top 50 and has recently popped into the Top 25 and Top 10.

This is a tough one to predict, but I am going to say that having the Titans first as a backup story in the white-hot Nightwing title should help generate some fan interest in this new title. Therefore, I think that Titans will start out hot with a Top 25 debut number. Then Titans will settle into being a Top 75 seller. This is what I am hoping will happen. However, given past attempts at the Titans franchise I fear that Titans may end up being a title that struggles to stay in the Top 100.

At any rate, let’s hope for the best! It has been a long time since we have gotten a good Titans comic book. This is a wonderful roster of characters and they deserve some time in the spotlight in a popular comic book.