"I think what happens to Tim... is so shocking that even I am shocked with what I got away with..." -- "Teen Titans" writer Scott Lobdell
The Batman event "Death of the Family" will finally touch the lives of "Red Hood and the Outlaws" and "Teen Titans" this week, when each of their 15th issues will deal with the Joker's terror-filled reign of revenge. MTV Geek chatted with Scott Lobdell, the author of both comics, about what we might expect.
MTV Geek: Let's just cut to the chase about "Red Hood and the Outlaws" #15. Jason Todd has a pretty intense history with the Joker; what can readers anticipate that might happen if and when those two meet up in this issue?
Scott Lobdell: I think that the readers are going to be as surprised as the Joker is, to discover that his usual bag of psychological tricks that in the past that he has played on Jason no longer work they way he wants them to. And I think most of that has to do with Jason's relationship between Roy and Kori over the last 15 issues. The Jason that the Joker faces off against here isn't the same angry young man who was lashing out over issues related to Bruce and Joker. And part of that is because he's actually developed these strong relationships with the two outlaws who have been close friends and confidants since they've started hanging out together.
Unfortunately what that means is that the Joker has to dig even deeper into his bag of psychological tricks -- and what he comes up with will shake Jason to his core!
From "Red Hood and the Outlaws" #15
Geek: How do you think Jason has developed as a character since hooking up with Roy and Kori?
SL: I think when you consider Jason's history he's spent most of his childhood either starving and broke, alone after the death of his respective parents (as near as he knew). And he went from there to Alfred being sort of as a best friend, and Bruce kind of like a emotionally distant surrogate father. There's been very little evidence of Jason actually cultivating actual relationships with his peers -- I guess Dick Grayson might have been the closest thing he had to a peer, but there are so many issues there, in their respective roles as Robin.
So for better or for worse, Roy, out of sheer force of will, has kind of knocked down whatever barriers Jason might have erected over the years -- and really is the first person not to be intimidated by Jason or his past. We've even been instances of Roy listen to Jason tell some of his more horrific adventures, and Roy just thinks the whole thing is a scream. It's a thing where having Roy in his life allows Jason to understand that life is too serious to be taken too seriously.
And then you have Kori, a woman who lives so much in the moment that if Jason is wallowing too much in the past -- well, Kori isn't terribly too much interested in the past or the future. And that has forced Jason to live more in the here and now, rather than in the barometer of his past.
Batgirl apparently makes an appearance in "Teen Titans" #15
Geek: Now let's talk Titans! Will the events of "Teen Titans" #15 -- and the rest of "The Death of the Family" -- have a lasting impact on the young team of superheroes?
SL: I think that both Red Hood and the Outlaws and Teen Titans will be dealing with the ramifications of "Death of the Family" for many years to come -- at least for a full year to come. I think what happens to Tim, and what happens to the rest of the team as the result of "Death of the Family" is so shocking that even I am shocked with what I got away with doing to Tim and the rest of the team. I think that anybody who thinks that "Death of the Family" is going to end with a big sigh and everything going back to normal will be pleasantly -- and unpleasantly -- surprised!
"Red Hood and the Outlaws" #15 and "Teen Titans" #15 both hit stores this Wednesday, 12/19