Writer Dan Abnett has written AQUAMAN for quite a long time, and his run is nearing its final few issues. However, between TITANS and SILENCER, Dan still has a bunch more stories to tell in the DC Universe!

A Chat with Dan Abnett

In TITANS #26, Donna Troy and the Titans team come face-to-face with a new version of the Blood Cult. Along with Nightwing, Miss Martian and Beast Boy, she heads to Norway to face these fiendish foes.

In a conversation with ComicsVerse, Dan Abnett speaks about this new team of Titans. Plus, he speaks about AQUAMAN and SILENCER as well!

Dan Abnett
TITANS #26 page 1. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

ComicsVerse: You recently changed up the lineup of the TITANS team after writing the same characters since the pre-REBIRTH TITANS HUNT miniseries. What led you to make this change?

Dan Abnett: In many ways, it felt like time to shake things up a little, to refresh. Circumstances in the DCU had changed, and there were pulls on certain characters from other directions and other continuities (such as Nightwing in Batman and Wally in Flash), and post NO JUSTICE, the very nature of the DCU had altered radically. Running up to issue twenty-two, I had told a major story about the Titans fracturing as a team, and ultimately being closed down by the Justice League (despite the fact they then went on, unofficially, to save the world).

That “version” of the Titans had ended, for now at least. So we took the opportunity to recreate the team, with Nightwing trying to learn from past “mistakes,” and tied it to the ongoing threat of the Source Wall Collapse, providing them with a strong new remit. Then it came to picking the new line up, and I honestly tried to think like Nightwing — who had the right skill-sets and/or experience to help? It’s a dynamic new start, with lots of fresh interpersonal connections.

CV: Can you give us some hints for what’s to come for the new TITANS team?

DA: The “emergent event” threat (problems caused on Earth by energy from the Source Wall fracture — which is often causing spontaneous metahuman transformations) will continue to be their remit. It’s an ongoing problem that the team is dedicated to, and the threats are never the same twice. This gives us lots of opportunity for self-contained adventures as they tackle individual threats, so there’s lots of variety and fun.

But I am now dropping in hints that there’s a larger story in play, a major threat that will — over the next few issues — start to tie things together as we build towards our first big multi-part arc. I think one of the fun things about this book now is the “learning process,” the team learning more and more about the Emergent problems so they can cope better, and learning about each other. Unlike the original Titans, these guys weren’t close friends before they teamed up. These characters are getting to know each other and learning to work as teammates.

Dan Abnett
TITANS #26 page 2. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

CV: How will Nightwing’s recent injury in the pages of BATMAN affect his role in TITANS?

DA: Drastically. That’s a major drama to come. Nightwing was the heart of this team: it was his idea, his quest, and he was the driving force. The team could be shattered by what’s happened to him. The problem is, the role the Titans play is vital, supporting the Justice League. They can’t just stand down because they’re shaken up. We’re going to find out if the Titans can work as a team without Nightwing’s “glue” driving them forwards.

CV: In HEROES IN CRISIS #1, Tom King may have just killed off Arsenal. What are your thoughts on this, considering how integral he was to TITANS, especially the final story arc of the book before JUSTICE LEAGUE: NO JUSTICE?

DA: Another shocker. I think Tom’s got it in for me :). Seriously, the drama of HEROES IN CRISIS (a great series, by the way), will have an impact on TITANS. I want to make sure the interconnected nature of the DCU is properly connected. We’re not going to ignore things happening elsewhere.

CV: Your run on AQUAMAN includes some striking parallels to today’s American political climate (a controversial new ruler takes over Atlantis, and his first order is to create a literal barrier which keeps out any non-Atlanteans). Was this parallel intentional when you wrote it?

DA: Not directly, no. It was a major story I had been working towards and, as it played out, I became more and more aware of the eerie real-world parallels. With Aquaman, I set out to write a “political” book in as much as it was about the politics of Atlantis as a society and how that interacted with the world as a whole, rather than a “Political” book (capital P) designed to further some kind of agenda.

Readers may derive whatever they want from the story, just as they can make their own estimations about what my own political stance may or may not be. It’s not a satire or a polemic. It’s fiction. Fiction gives you space to think and consider and make up your own mind. With a few notable exceptions, I’m wary of things that try to deliver a didactic message. I think, more than anything, my AQUAMAN run was a reaction to the global zeitgeist. You can’t help but be influenced by that kind of prevailing mood.

Dan Abnett
TITANS #26 page 3. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

CV: Now that you’ve finished your run on AQUAMAN, do you have anything new planned at DC?

DA: Well, TITANS and SILENCER continue, of course, but we are planning something new that I can’t talk about yet. It’s been a huge pleasure to write AQUAMAN, a character I’ve always loved. Including the MERA miniseries, which was a fundamental part of the Rath storyline, I’ve written over fifty issues, uninterrupted. In this day and age of short runs, I’m pretty proud of that.

CV: You’ve now written two crossovers featuring the Suicide Squad (first in the NEW 52 RESURRECTION MAN series, now in AQUAMAN). Do you have any particular affinity with the group, or was there any other reason for featuring these characters again?

DA: I think the Squad is huge fun but, in both cases, the crossovers were editorially driven and I was happy to oblige. Again, I’m all for the interconnectedness of a shared universe like the DCU (provided it doesn’t vanish up its own butt in over-convoluted continuity).

CV: With GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY slated for a third film and AQUAMAN coming out this December, how does it feel seeing characters you’ve spent significant time writing getting the big screen treatment and mainstream acclaim?

DA: Simply amazing, as you might imagine :).

CV: Do you have any plans to revisit any DC characters you’ve written in the past, like Mitch Shelley (Resurrection Man) or the Legion of Super-Heroes?

DA: I’d love to, and there are plenty of opportunities. But the DCU is full of things I’d love to write, and new projects may give me the chance to explore some of them.

TITANS #26 page 4. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

CV: Honor Guest, the main character of SILENCER, is unique in being a woman of color assassin & antihero. What inspired you to create such a character so distinct from DC’s usual lineup?

DA: Honor simply evolved from my initial pitch, combined with JR JR.’s wonderful art and design. She became the character she needed to be. It was organic, which I think is the best way to create characters. I think the one thing we did want her to be was fresh. I’m delighted she’s been so well-received.

CV: EARTH 2: SOCIETY ended with the possibility of more stories featuring the NEW 52 EARTH 2 team. Would you like to ever revisit these characters again? Why or why not?

DA: Again, I’d love to. I really enjoyed that series. I guess it’s up to DC, and how and when they want to see those characters used again.

TITANS #26 and TITANS Vol. 4 by Dan Abnett are both available Wednesday, September 26th at comic stores and on Comixology!

One Comment

  1. M. W.

    September 27, 2018 at 11:42 pm

    How did you contact him?


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