The page printed below has never been seen by anyone outside the DC Comics offices. Before I approached the company about reviving the Titans, a book I'd written for ten years earlier, I had to come up with a number of characters I thought would prove interesting. As always, I started playing with names. Note the date next to my signature at the bottom of the page. It's 1/15/80. Also note that this page was meant for me alone, to roughly work out my ideas as I slowly put together what would make up the comic. I made a copy for George as well as for the company, so they would know what Titans Tower looked like, which is the only reason why I still have my original, yellow color included.

I knew one of The New Teen Titans would be an alien so I first compiled a list of celestial names to play with. These were the names of stars, planets, etc. I later decided not to use any of them and chose Starfire instead. As for why there's a "shucks" next to Ariel, I actually didn't remember why I put that in until reader Bob Buethe, whose memory is obviously far better than mine, wrote, "As I recall, the fanzines around that time were reporting that a new member was about to join the X-Men... Kitty Pryde, code-named Ariel. Of course, her code-name was changed to Sprite before her debut, but is it possible you had read the fan press, and your "shucks" was a reaction to the fact that Chris Claremont beat you to the name?" Once Bob said it he reminded me that was precisely the reason. Had it not been for Kitty, our pussycat would have been named Ariel. One mystery asked and answered. Thanks, Bob.

In the middle column, I listed the Titans I knew would be members. I had already come up with Cyborg, so he's listed, as well as Robin, Wonder Girl, Kid Flash and Changeling (I'd already changed his name from Beast Boy). If you can make it out, next to Kid Flash's name I wrote in, and then whited out, "new name?" I wanted to make Wally West his own man and not a junior version of Flash. Heck, even Robin had his own name. He wasn't Batboy or Kid Bat. I don't know why I never did change his name, but that was my original intent. Perhaps the fact that it's whited out means I dropped the idea pretty quickly. Remember, this was 23 years ago.

You can see I typed Starfire's name later on down the list, once I decided to use her, but I left room for other possible characters above her, in case I preferred them instead. Much later on I wrote in the name Raven. If you look at the column to the right, Raven is listed under General Names with the notation "A black?"

I was trying to decide if there should be two black characters in the Titans, which was unheard of at the time. But I felt if there was another black character in the group, besides Cyborg, his or her name should not reflect the color of their skin.You don't see White Superman or White Green Lantern, and such, so why should a black character be defined by skin color instead of who he or she is. At that time in comics, of course, using the word Black before a name to indicate the color of skin was being done a lot: Black Goliath. Black Lightning. Black Panther. Etc. I reacted against the sterotype and decided though I was going to use the name Raven, she would not be black.

And yes, your eyes are not deceiving you, I do have Jughead Jones on the list. I figured Archie wasn't using him all that much, so why not? (KIDDING!) The same goes with Binky, although he actually was a DC teen character.

Under "Ideas" I noted the concept of a mystery hero who "pops up now and then." Below that, and separate, I wrote in "A sorcerer (ess). Obviously, I combined the two to make Raven. I do list a villainous gang called "The Destructors," but nothing ever came of them. The name was too silly, even for me.

The most notable part of this page is the first and original design I did for Titans Tower. Even before I had worked out the characterizations of the new group, I was already working on their headquarters. I wanted something splashy and distinctive and created the double-T design - one inside the other - for Teen Titans. The Titans were supposed to be given magnetic calling cards allowing them to enter the Tower, but I dropped that idea quickly. The Tower is listed as ten stories high, with a jet-copter heliport on top as well as an elevator. I obviously intended to add in something else on the right but never did. Right from the beginning I knew Titans Tower was "situated on an island in the East River."

With the names worked out and their headquarters nailed down, I began the work of putting together the team. Once that was done I'd worry about finding the right artist. And, boy, did I ever find the right man. I'll write about creating the group at another time.

Hope you enjoyed seeing this never seen before page out of Titans history.

-Marv Wolfman





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Marv Wolfman


Article ©  2010 Marv Wolfman

All artwork © 2003 DC Comics. All Rights reserved.

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