In a very surprising move, Warner Bros just announced that they are planning to release a feature film based on Bob Haney‘s comic book team, the Teen Titans (okay, so I’m still reading the Bob Haney Special in Back Issue magazine I got on Free Comic Book Day).
While originally a light comic book series about a younger generation of heroes making a name for themselves, the film is rumored to be dark in tone and more in line with the Watchmen (the press release stressed this example).
Thanks to the recent Cartoon Network series, the characters have gotten some increased exposure, but from what I’ve heard the film is going to ignore that take on the comic book series entirely. Bad idea if you ask me… but what do I know?
While the comic series which began in the pages of Brave and the Bold in 1964, the concept has been tweaked in numerous directions. A junior version of the Justice League of America, the youngsters just wanted to carve out their own identities and get out from under the wings of their mentors.
The team of Robin, Kid Flash, Aqualad, Wonder Girl and Speedy was essentially a fun-loving period comic with lots of rock n roll, surfing, dancing, hot rods and other pop culture concepts targeted to teens at the time.
Chief examples of these alterations to the series are the Marv Wolfman/George Perez run of the 80′s and the more recent Geoff Johns series.
Both versions are decidely darker and designed to reach a more Marvel-centric audience that DC Comics had been missing.
More of a coming of age story, the New Teen Titans was full of very serious story, articulate artwork and brand new characters! Building on the original team of Titans, Wolfman and Perez introduced Cyborg, Raven, Starfire and the Doom Patrol‘s kid sidekick Beast Boy (renamed Changeling).
Designed to be DC Comic‘s answer to the Uncanny X-Men, The New Teen Titans was DC’s most successful comics for much of it’s 16 year-long run. It earned an Eagle Award for Best New Series and gave us some of the best long-running story lines of the DC Comics including the Judas Contract (soon to be released as a direct to DVD animated feature).
It even spawned a deluxe format sister comic.
Not one to stay gone from the shelves, the series was revived a few times until it stuck with the current volume started in 2003. Very much a follower of the Wolfman/Perez mold, the latest volume has its share of very serious and dramatic story lines and has been very well accepted by fans since it’s debut.
The film is being produced by Akiva Goldsman (of Batman Forever infamy),but Mark Verheiden (of Dark Horse’s Aliens Comics and Battlestar Galactica) will be writing the script.
No word on which team will be represented in the film, but Warner Brothers has stressed that we will see Nightwing (an odd statement in that Nightwing is an older version of the first Robin, Dick Grayson).