Dan Abnett casts a long shadow in comics. Almost no one this side of James Gunn and his co-writer at the time, Andy Lanning, is more responsible for the Guardians of the Galaxy we all love on the big screen, and as a solo writer, he’s had as much influence as anybody on the world of Aquaman. He’s also been helming Titans, the post-Rebirth book that has followed the first wave of sidekicks who seem to be at the center of the Rebirth mystery. And now, between Batman, Heroes in Crisis, and Drowned Earth they’re also all mostly dead or battling intergalactic ocean deities.
We got an exclusive look at this week’s Titans #28 and had the chance to chat with Dan about the book and his work on Aquaman and in the DCU in general. Take a look!
Den of Geek: Are we getting Garth back full time post-Drowned Earth? Assuming he survives…
Dan Abnett: Well…hard to say without spoiling what comes next, but this is a new team, not the old Titans. However, they’d very pleased to see him and he’s the perfect guy to turn up during a crisis like this.
Den of Geek: How much input into the creation of these new aquatic pantheons are you getting? As the Aquaman and Titans writer, you get a few different angles of entry on the Atlantean story.
Dan Abnett: This is very much down to the Justice League crew to lead the way, but I love what they’re doing and I talked to Scott about Aquaman continuity (past and present) to get him in the right place and let him know what worked, what was viable, and what might risk contradiction.
The real collaboration came in fitting my issues (Aquaman and Titans) into the event. Actually, to be brutally honest, cross-overs are a real challenge, because you have to stop what you’re doing to jump into someone else’s story, and that can seem jarring. There are two ways a crossover works well: if it’s literally PART of the event, and an essential chapter, or if it uses the event as a backdrop to advance its own story. Here, I got the best of both: the Aquaman issues are completely parts of the event’s main story, first Mera’s chapter – issue 41 – (which links at both the start and end to Justice League) and then Aquaman’s – 42 – (which fits precisely between Justice League #11 and 12).
Aquaman #42 is my last issue, the end of a run that’s lasted fifty plus issues of Atlantean goodness, and it’s great to go out on such a big story, and one with such a personal edge. On Titans, the event forms an urgent backdrop that drives the plot, and is the perfect moment to examine the big, ongoing storylines on Titans. Win win!
Does the remit of the Titans shift at all because of Drowned Earth? Or does it just shift because of the massive upheaval in the DCU in general?
Yes. And no. But yes, though not in the way you’d expect. The Source Wall crisis backdrop still hangs over everything, but this issue throws the Titans into a completely unexpected place, story wise.
Putting Donna as the perspective character is an interesting choice given her headspace in general, and her reluctance to join the team just post No Justice. Is she being set up to take a stronger role in the team dynamic?
Absolutely. It’s her time now, what with everything that’s happened with Nightwing. She’s the perfect focus character, and the only “original” Titan. Keeping the team together is going to be down to her.
What’s the craziest thing you have coming up for us in Titans?
The next couple of issues are pretty crazy, but then we go into an epic story that revisits some of the stuff set up in the first part of this run (i.e. from issue #23 onwards, the Source Wall threat). We’ll get an unusually deep look at the villains’ side of things, and then throw everything together in the wildest and most fantastical end game. And I do mean “fantastical” shift from SF super-heroics to High Fantasy…
Titans #28 is on stands on Wednesday, 10/25/2018.
TITANS #28 written by DAN ABNETTart by CLAYTON HENRYcover by LEONARDO MANCOvariant cover by PHIL JIMENEZIn a tie-in to the road to “Drowned Earth,” the Titans get a visit from an old teammate when Atlantean mage Tempest guest-stars in the ish. What’s got Garth’s fishnets in a twist? He’s there to help the new Titans lineup take on a major oceanic threat, whose attack comes straight out of the pages of Justice League and Aquaman. Guess you could say that prelude “spills over” into TITANS this month.
Read and download the Den of Geek NYCC 2018 Special Edition Magazine right here!