And Now What?

So, I’m reading all of this hoopla online about the Titans crossover event and how terribly I handled Damian and OG Wally and why didn’t I know this thing happened on page 6 of Obscure Comics #12 back in 2004. Okay, I heard you.

And now what? So, Damian is (apparently) no longer a little shit. He is thoughtful and more mature and less impulsive, less self-centered. Great. I got it wrong. And now what? What do we do with a character after we’ve smoothed out all of the rough edges and rounded off all the corners?

Wally *doesn’t* have a heart problem. Gotcha. And now what? How do we make OG Wally relevant or even interesting? I’m not trying to pick a fight or insult anybody, I’m really asking: and now what? What do the fans actually want? They seem to want their heroes to be perfect and problem-free.

They also seem to want the writers, or at least me, to have read a decade worth of comics before putting their favorite characters into a story. I don’t have time to read 100 comics. I don’t know any working writer who does. I can read, maybe, ten. And I will portray the character the way he or she is being portrayed now, today, currently, not what was done years or even months before.

It’s entirely possible that I’m missing the point fans are trying to make. I *am* listening, but this is a mystery to me. The impression I am forming is fans want their characters to evolve into flat, lifeless droids who, I guess, have adventures wherein their decisions are always spot-on, they are always portrayed in a heroic light, and nobody ever gets damaged. I don’t intend that to be mean-spirited. That literally is my takeaway from all the crosstalk I am seeing.

The extreme distortions– calling my and my colleagues’ work “garbage” –doesn’t help. Arguably, some fans reacted strongly to the stresses we put their favorite characters through. But to suggest that no part, not one scene or one page of the Titans crossover was any good– is just silly. This is the sad byproduct of our zero-sum society, wherein everybody has to be polarized to the extreme of everyone else. Disagreeing with how I portray Potato Man does not, in fact, make me an actual Nazi.

So, somebody help me out. I’m sure many fans gripe about DC or Marvel not listening to them. Well, I’m listening. It’s important to me, to my job, to figure out what fans want and do my best to provide that while not boring them to death by actually giving them exactly what they want.

But is no-drama Wally really what they want? If so, then what? Is well-balanced, non-tempestuous Damian what they want? If so, then what? What do we do? What stories do we write about these characters once they’ve shed the very characteristics that made us love them in the first place?

With all possible respect to my friend Tim Seely, my former mentor Marv Wolfman, Devin Grayson, Geoff Johns and others, I find Dick Grayson to be the most boring Wonder Bread boilerplate character ever to pull on spandex. That’s just me. Tens of thousands of fans are *rabid* Dick Grayson fans. For the life of me, I couldn’t explain why. Grayson, in his various iterations, seems, to me, the ultimate expression of what I’m being harangued about around the web: the flattened-out character whose dealt with all of his shortcomings and character flaws. I see Grayson and I wonder, “And now what?”

Is that what fans want– Damian to be indistinguishable from Grayson? Wally to have no challenges to overcome? And, if so, then what?

I’m not trying to be sarcastic or even defensive. I’m trying to understand because, obviously, I’m missing something.


  1. Alex says:

    See, this was my point about the crossover being bad business. Some fans are so rabid and so obsessed with the status quo that it’s clear they don’t want change, they don’t want characters to evolve and they don’t want substance, they just want the same storylines endlessly recycled and remade and I think the general direction of Rebirth is encouraging this behavior. The crossover brought in fans of Damian and Wally West(the white version) which are notoriously obnoxious and unreasonable and a lot of the complaints are from them, not your regular Deathstroke readers. I just hope this whole affair doesn’t tick you off too much, it seems you’re aware that most comic book readers deal in extremes and hyperbole so… yeah.
    For me, I found the crossover a bit of a mess, certainly not “garbage” or anything close to that and there were some moments that I really enjoyed BUT those moments were written by you(and I really don’t mean to come off as disrespectful toward your colleagues, Ben Percy and Dan Abnett but there’s a reason I don’t normally follow those series and only picked up the crossover issues, their issues had way too much time wasted on the heroes pointlessly bickering and as a regular Deathstroke reader, I was not pleased by the fact that I had to pick up two issues from two series I don’t read and don’t want to read). The storyline is called “The Lazarus Contract” but the actual lazarus contract is only briefly mentioned at the start and never actually ends up playing a part in the rest of the story. Apart from being a fairly predictable arc(solicits kind of gave away stuff too), I also think Slade’s failure didn’t pack the emotional punch that some other scenes in the past issues involving his family had(again, maybe the predictability is at fault). Please don’t listen too much to “the fans” because there are a lot of people reading comics and you can never satisfy everyone, a writer needs to be fearless, lay out HIS storylines and not try to please the masses. Hell, if you were to listen to the masses then you’d have to insert boring inner monologue boxes, stop trying to make Slade a complex character and just make him evil for the sake of being evil and have him constantly trying to fight the Teen Titans(and lose) and maybe then you’d please the status quo obsessed crowd.
    I only have about 4 currently ongoing comic books that I’m constantly excited to read each month and Deathstroke is one of them… I have kind of lost hope in this industry and so I really NEED this title, it means a lot to me in these times so I really hope you’re not losing interest in comics because of this.
    Regarding Dick Grayson, I get where you’re coming from. I like the character but I do not like the Nightwing persona and the endless mediocrity that it brings. Have you by any chance read the “Grayson” series from a few years back written by Tom King and Tim Seeley? I thought it was a very fresh and exciting direction and the writing was charming, funny and at times even deep. Particularly the Future’s End special and #3 were SO good, if you haven’t read it then maybe you can ask your editor, Alex Antone, to hook you up with the issues. Rebirth traded in this new and exciting direction for more of the same and it’s a shame because the ending to Grayson is very rushed due to this and although I like Tim Seeley, he is not doing as great of a job on Nightwing as he did on Grayson, part of the problem is that he’s been recycling storylines like crazy(Rebirth BABY!!!).

    Anyway… yes, some fans want their favorite characters to be boring, they want to see their favorite character defeat everybody so they can brag to friends that their favorite character is better than everyone else’s. They want characters to be stuck in the same storylines, they want the status quo and their shippings to be true and so on and so forth. And for the record, you did NOT do a bad job writing Damian. We are talking about a character that started out as a jerk and with time developed into a better person and died a hero. DC then decided to bring him back from the dead despite the fact that killing him off was always the creator’s intent, so DC brings him back and proceeds telling the same “Damian is a jerk but then he becomes very nice and friendly” plot EVERY.SINGLE.TIME. Damian remained a jerk until the day he died, he just developed a complex personality in which he understood certain things and wasn’t as mean spirited on the outside but recently his direction is going from cold to hot to cold to hot to… you get the picture. I mean, the heart stopping thing was pretty bad as he shouldn’t take “death” so lightly and apart from one panel of “what the hell?”, everyone else didn’t really seemed to mind what he did, even if (as I understand) he’s the cause of Wally’s heart problems in the present day but you did a good job nailing his voice, his dialogue was good(as it was in #5). You didn’t really do anything wrong with Wally either, his fans are just upset that he didn’t beat Slade in 0.001 seconds and solve the day.

  2. Justin says:

    Loved the crossover and the changes. You nailed Damien, in Super Sons #1 he dropped Jonathen Kent Superboy off a building to distract Lex Luthor. He risked Jon’s life on Lex saving him. (Lex is a hero now but he good be playing everyone)

    Anyway love the work and don’t let any of these clowns get you down

  3. horace Conrad says:

    while i didn’t really know much going in, i thought it was a decent overall story. that nickelback medley thing made me laugh. your work is awesome, are you going to be on Deathstroke and that Inhumans book at the same time? If not, looks

  4. horace Conrad says:

    damned mobile posting….

    Looks like I’ll be following your work at Marvel.

  5. Jack says:

    This is a very interesting post.

    For the most part, I agree. I think when “fans” scream about how you wrote Damian, they aren’t being fair to the character. He is very much still a little shit and handles things in a very cold, apathetic and logical manner when the chips are down, just as he always has. Sure, he’s grown and developed in many ways since his inception, but the idea that he’s “fixed” or whatever seems quite ridiculous to me, because that’s just not who he is. I read both volumes of Batman and Robin that included him, and his solo as well, and I don’t believe you betrayed the character as egregiously as others would have you believe. People love when Damian is an asshole to people they don’t like, but when he shows his colors to a character they are a fan of, they let their discontent be known. The only thing I can really complain about was how easily Damian seemed to “get away with it” so to say. Everyone just says “bad Damian” and moves on. It feels very hand-waved. That being said, him leading the Teen Titans seems to bring out the worst in him and I’d love for Percy to explore that instead of it being played straight and unquestioned, because as I said, he HAS developed a not-insignificant amount since Morrison birthed him.

    When it comes to OG Wally, I think they as a whole feel slighted or something. They expected Wally to come back after several years of absence and they expected heaps of fanservice as “reparations” of a sort. Some character-centric comic book fanbases seem to have a large focus on fanservice these days (I personally know many Dick Grayson fans who would much rather read a comic that does nothing but recite how awesome and sexy he is rather than read a story where he actually struggles and is forced to confront his shortcomings as so many others do). I also think this ties in to the reception of Damian’s behavior, since many Nightwing fans hold Morrison’s Batman and Robin as some sort of sacred cow, and see Damian’s vast improvement in behavior as a direct representative of how good an influence Dick Grayson is, and when they see that Damian is still a fucking asshole, it damages that notion in their eyes.

    Much to their chagrin, you and some of your fellow writers at DC would rather tell a story with the characters, explore new ground, build upon what others have done, cast new narratives and so on than simply please the kinds of fans that so rabidly take to social media pages showcasing just how awesome their favorite characters are. I myself am guilty of fanboying like this, I made my displeasure with the entirety of Charles Soule’s work on the Inhumans very much known to anyone who would listen. There simply is no pleasing everyone.

    Now I’ve been somewhat critical of some of your past works (some things in your Power Man and Iron Fist run left very sour feelings in me), but all in all I believe your work on Deathstroke has been nothing short of stellar and I absolutely cannot wait for each issue. It’s fresh, it’s exciting, it’s entertaining, all while remaining true to the characters involved. I really don’t think much else needs to be said on that matter.

    I think the biggest problem with the crossover issue in question was that the issue was…well…it kind of felt like a lot of masturbation with very little payoff, of course the “payoff” being the upcoming story arcs it set up. Once these stories start unfolding I’m sure the vocal dissenters will find something else to complain about.

  6. Devon B says:

    Again, Alex is spot on. Also, I’m not entirely sure what corners of the fandom you’ve been reading in for these comments you’re seeing but I can think of one that is absolutely rabid for these characaters. These groups of fans do NOT accept comics as canon. As crazy as that sounds, they’ve developed a canon as their own, and refuse to go along with the the characters and stories being written. Or rather, they’re selective with what they want from a character. As Alex mentioned, Wally fans wanted him to be Slade in a few seconds flat. Damian fans wanted him to be the protagonist of the whole arc. And the Titans/ Teen Titans fans in general? Wanted nothing to do with Slade.

    As ridiculous as it sounds, Slade is not a popular guy in the comic fandom. I will see posts on Tumblr (where canon-ignoring fans usually group) that have made simple posts such as “can’t wait to see Slade get his ass handed to him by a bunch of teenagers *again*” and blow up because yeah, a LOT of people agree with it. It sucks because they do in some semblance have a right to not like him, I mean before you came along what did he have? What moves was his character making? Everything he was thrown into goes totally against his character.

    Go to Tumblr one day. Type in Deathstroke and the most popular post is well over 30k notes, and it’s panels of Superman flicking Slade off of a cruise ship. *That* is the Deathstroke a lot of the fandom knows and excepts. Some punk.

    Listen man, the arc was great. Fans, incredibly, do just want fun happy times for their characters which I’ll never understand. They rather see Dick Grayson and Wally spend an issue having pizza and fighting petty criminals rather than an actual story. Hell I even know Deathstroke fans who just want “Joey and Rose to be happy.” My response has always been, “you know they ARE the kids of Deathstroke…right?”

    Just like Alex said, what was really missing was the emotional punch the 3 issues wound us up for. And when it wasn’t deliverered, it was just disappointing. People make it a point to hate Slade, and refuse to read anything with his character. The “garbage” talk that you’re seeing is from fanboys/fangirls who most likely read the comic off of a Free Comic website. They want what the fandom itself has created, and if you search the Internet long enough you’ll see that what they consider canon is not at ALL like these characters. Even Dick Grayson, who they believe should be portrayed as a flamboyant flower boy who hugs all of the Batkids and makes them all matching sweaters. His fan base specifically is big enough that it almost feels like writers *are* making some of that canon to please them.

    In the end Priest, it was a great story and I know you guys worked out and put a lot of effort in. The Special was definitely a weak link I believe only the in the eyes of Deathstroke fans. As I mentioned in a post previously, the arc was meant to be about him and he was sent in it enough in that lasting issue to pack any emotional blow with scenes like him seeing Grant for the last time. Everyone else? Don’t worry about them. They will complain left and right over characters that are already being written in 2 or 3 other runs. They’ll complain about art, or how Damian “beat Slade in the animated movie Son of Batman” (don’t even get me started on that) so why couldn’t he take care of him here?

    And we already know the answer: it’s not about could or couldn’t, it just wasnt the story. They wanted their favorite characters (who are most certainly not Slade) to whip his ass and then move on. They didn’t want a complex story, and certainly not one that surrounds Deathstroke. You’re a professional, I know that you know how to take feedback and criticism, but just know that the trashy comments you’re reading are from fans who have seen one version of a character and refuse to accept anything else. Most Deathstroke fans, however, have seen all versions of him and know that your series is special. And that what you bring to Deathstroke is somethingh we’ve patiently waited for, for a long time.

    The arc didn’t go as some of us expected, but I doubt you’ll be losing people off of Deathstroke. #19 was the best one in that arc. And maybe I’m biased for saying that but your style and the way you piece together a story in just one issue is untouchable by other writers. As I said in my other post, I know that from here on out this arc won’t effect the quality you’ve been giving DS fans in the continuation of the run. You’re doing great Priest. The arc is over and people are going to whine about their “problematic favorites” but they will be stuck in the idea that what they want from these characters (i.e. Happiness) and won’t accept anything else until they receive that.

    You and your team did great. I saw the reviews, and people who enjoy comics the way they should (taking into account all characters, not just one) thought highly of it too. My feedback, and Alex’s as well, is just that there were some expectations coming from the previous 3 issues of the arc that weren’t deliverered for Slade in the finale. And again, whether you realized it or not, I don’t doubt whatever continues in the Deathstroke run will fill in the missing pieces.

  7. Inigo says:

    It was a solid little crossover, as these things go. Was pleasantly surprised you scripted the finale, as I wasnt expecting it. Wally chickening out was a human moment, and a breath of fresh air. Slade freaked him out, and made him go get his team for help, something more natural and human than yet another, ‘No i’ve got this!’ Damian was as shrewd and demented as i’ve come to expect. Honestly, i only read it bc I’m following “Deathstroke” anyway, so I enjoyed it.

  8. Steven says:

    “The impression I am forming is fans want their characters to evolve into flat, lifeless droids who, I guess, have adventures wherein their decisions are always spot-on, they are always portrayed in a heroic light, and nobody ever gets damaged.”

    This is an extreme way of thinking and can easily be disproven by looking at the history of comic books. We don’t want the one extreme, of Damian regressing. But at the same time, we don’t want the other extreme, which is Damian becoming flat. What we want are characters to grow into their new rules and be confronted with issues, problems, and personal dilemmas that are more in-line with the state they are currently in. People are always progressing, always changing, including in comic books, and as they evolve, so should the issues they’re dealing with. It’s not that we want a flat Damian, what we want is Damian at the level he’s achieved in his long struggle to become good.

    The problem with your statement, with all due respect, is that it assumes fully developed characters somehow become boring and flat by virtue of having shed off their old flaws. But that’s never been a problem for dozens of other comic book heroes who have been in comics and have been developing for up to 40 years before Damian ever came into existence and yet still find ways to be interesting, unique, and dynamic.

    This is also ignoring (and I know i’m becoming more abstract here, bringing in examples that go beyond what could have been done in this crossover) that there are plenty of ways to challenge characters that don’t involve them remaining in the state they have been in from the beginning.

    As a huge Damian fan, what’s interesting is that he started out as a total jerk, but over the years has become someone between Batman and Nightwing. He’s got some of his father’s broodiness, but it takes a form that is unique to him. He’s definitely learned a thing or two from Nightwing, but it’s taken the form of a snarkiness and sarcasm that’s biting but tries not to cross anyone’s lines unless he’s deliberately trying to get a rise out of them (like with Jon Kent). In the end, it’s all about the subtleties: subtlety in characterization, subtlety in dialogue, subtlety in reaction. And I think there were times during the crossover where such subtleties were lost and it felt like Damian just completely regressed.

    But again, I say this with all due respect and I thank you for your hard work.

  9. David says:

    Hello, Mr. Priest! I’m actually quite a big fan of yours but I’m also part of the number who heavily criticized Lazarus Contract. So here’s my honest response — I hope nothing is taken too personally, but you did ask for fans’ opinions so I’m happy to oblige. I’m quite wordy so if you’re too busy to read this then no problem. I’m just happy you’re asking, most creators don’t do that much.

    On the issues with Damian, this is a long running contention in the Batfandom. Damian fans have to constantly argue and defend the, for lack of a better word, little shithead from hordes of people denigrating him as a horrible character to be a superhero whose existence damages those of others (Particularly Tim Drake fans). Damian has gone through quite a few years of rehabilitation in his unsavory attitude and, as a result, the impulsive, downright sadistic mentality he used to have has gotten smoothed over. Now he’s still an obstinant, holier than thou little asshole, but he’s not this weirdly ruthless, uncaring monster he seemed to be in Lazarus Contract. He literally crippled one of Dick’s friends and teammates (and Damian cares about no one’s opinion more than Dick’s) and, instead of apologizing for what he thought was necessary, bragged about how cool and awesome his plan was while Dick had to restrain him instead of talking to him. I think this problem might just be an issue of real estate, you only had so many pages to tell the story, but I feel like some of the fallout for what he did to Wally 1.0 would’ve been better than the rather out of nowhere and out of place scene between him and Raven.

    On the topic of his plan, I had an issue with this because I honestly still have no clue how to make sense of that story. Probably my heaviest criticism of the finale is everything to do with Damian’s “plan” to foil Deathstroke. How does killing Wally stop Slade from getting powers? Slade stole his powers from Wally 2.0, who got his powers entirely independently of Wally 1.0. Is it because Linda never writes that column about Wally 1.0 for Slade to get the idea if Wally was dead? But Wally didn’t actually die, he was never going to die, so how is causality afffected? Assuming any of that somehow makes sense, wouldn’t crippling/killing Wally 1.0 also…prevent any of them from going back in time? So Damian could never kill him? Because Wally’s the one who took them there. You can’t kill the dude who allowed you to time travel 10 years before he makes you time travel. It’s a bog standard Grandfather paradox. The worst thing is, it works! Damian’s idiot move where he kills another superhero magically works, vindicating his assholery and idiocy with little to no fallout amongst the characters it affects most (The Titans).

    Speaking of The Titans, and even the Teen Titans, basically everyone seemed like wallpaper except Wally, Wally, Damian, and Slade. Even Dick, who apparently created the titular Lazarus Contract, was pretty irrelevant to the proceedings. This seemed like a Deathstroke issue painfully stretched out across multiple books that didn’t really need to be involved.

    Onto characters I wish weren’t involved in this: Wally West, the original. I’ll put myself out there and say I’m a huge Wally West fan. I have been for many, many years, basically since I could read. I am incredibly biased on this point so I understand if you waive me off as a blathering fan with no vision. I absolutely hate the twist you guys attached to Wally here — not because I’m completely averse to seeing my favorite characters suffer (my favorite Wally stories involve crazy amounts of Wally suffering). But because it is a plot point that has already been used. Giving Wally a heart condition that forces him to temporarily retire from being a hero is exactly what Wolfman did ages ago. I’m not looking for a revisit of the worst plot point to ever grace Wally. Secondly, and much more personally, I greatly disliked your writing of Wally West (assuming you were the one who headed up the writing on the Deathstroke issue). There is no world I can imagine where Wally West runs away while a person he’s responsible for letting get away goes around and murders people. There’s no world where Wally is a coward who runs away, then cries to himself about how he’s a coward to Jericho (someone Wally would literally never trust).

    Let me tell you a big Wally fan’s view on this (I’m no writer, so like I said, take this with a grain of salt). Wally would die to save people, that’s who he’s always been. Wally runs into odds he can’t beat constantly and has gotten his ass kicked none too few times for it (especially speedsters, both Thawne and Zolomon have beaten Wally to a pulp while he was helpless). I can’t conscionably stomach the Slade and Wally exchange in that scene. Again, it’s not that I can’t take Wally suffering — I can totally take that. I can point to a dozen stories about Wally suffering that I love. What I can’t take is Slade telling Wally he’s not the real Flash and then Wally proving him right. It felt like DC giving me some mandate through the mouth of too cool, too awesome villain who’s now at his coolest and most awesome. Even if they’re right that Wally isn’t the real Flash in DC’s eyes, it still hurts to see and and is miserable to see it proven right. There’s many other options, Slade just beating Wally to a pulp and Wally staggering back to the Titans, humiliated. Slade just getting away, because Wally was tranq’d and had no idea where Slade ran off to. This scene seemed constructed purely to get a message across that Wally was too scared to do anything — I honestly don’t see the purpose otherwise. I really don’t understand how a character who looked death in the face and said “Let’s boogie,” can possibly be afraid of Deathstroke, no matter how much Speed Force energy he’s stolen. All I saw from this scene was that Wally really wasn’t The Flash, which is horrifying and sad to me because that’s all I see him as. Everything that defines The Flash to me comes from Wally and I saw none of that in your story. Just an incompetent, scared boy pretending to be The Flash. And the followup of this scene, where I felt like Wally wasn’t himself and wasn’t worthy of the name he earned over 20 years, was him losing his ability to use his powers! So now he actually ISN’T The Flash! It was this one two punch of annihilation of anything that is Wally.

    As you said, you can’t read 200 comics in preparation for a 4 issue crossover event. That’s a big undertaking for anyone even as a hobby, much less on top of work. I have no idea what the writer’s room was like for you, Abnett, and Percy when it came to this story. My hope would’ve been that Abnett and maybe the Titans editor (Atone?) would’ve been able to get this conceptualization of who Wally is across when this scene came up. I don’t think all blame falls squarely on your shoulders when there’s a lot of cooks in the kitchen. But this is how I feel, as a fan, on the subject. I’m not begging for a flat, boring character who never suffers through trauma. But Wally has already suffered through more trauma than any other DC hero around right now (unless you can point me to another hero with dead kids, a lost life, and a universe that doesn’t care about him) and this trauma is both unoriginal and a great symptom of fear for Wally fans — massive character regression. Regressing him to who he was before he was The Flash. Because that’s what fans HATED about New 52 Wally 2.0. He took the name but was regressed and unrecognizable. It’s why there was a such backlash against him. And here in this story, we get an urecognizable Wally (a coward, not worthy of being The Flash) who’s beeing massively regressed.

    There were other miscellaneous bits of the story that felt really unsatisfying or unnecessary to me. Most of them amount to feeling like this book was just ticking off bullet points rather than putting together a sensible story — like how I still don’t understand the real purpose of that giant psychic link up scene aside from shoehorning the wallpaper cast as somehow relevant to the plot and, I guess, getting Damian to hug Raven as some weird hail mary contrition for him to save some face after he was utterly awful for the rest of the book.

    As a writer I can’t honestly comprehend how to do your job. I don’t know all the many crazy intricacies and demands it requires, especially in huge mashup crossovers. Fully understanding so many characters you’re not usually responsible for has to be hard. I don’t begrudge you, personally, for any of this, but I certainly did not like this book. That’s how I feel on it.

  10. Jack says:

    As a Damian fan I can say that I actually didn’t have a problem with his voice or his thought process. What irked me was that he didn’t have the heart. That’s imo important, he should be rough and calculated but not just rough and calculated. Then he becomes mini Deathstroke. Still, he didn’t kill anyone nor did he intend to so its not outright character derailment but if this same Damian is written with more compassion or emotionally vulnerable then the characterization should be great.

  11. Isaac says:

    “The impression I am forming is fans want their characters to evolve into flat, lifeless droids who, I guess, have adventures wherein their decisions are always spot-on, they are always portrayed in a heroic light, and nobody ever gets damaged.”

    I can only speak for myself, but that’s not what I want at all. I just don’t want a character’s prior development seemingly tossed to the curb just for the sake of the story, and with Damian in particular, I think that’s what happened here. It felt like too much of a regression with little explanation why, at least that I could see.

  12. Sameer Saeed says:

    As a big Dick Grayson fan, I understand your point of view on him being bland. As for your point regarding fans hating on Damian and how he was portrayed in the crossover, I felt that the one thing that bugged me was how immature he sounded and how I constantly felt that how could someone as rash and immature lead the teen titans. Hopefully a future story tackles this issue. Other than that, everything felt pretty okay to me.

  13. Zander says:

    I’m not a Deathstroke fan, never have and you’re the only reason I’m buying it and I still don’t much care for anything related to him outside of Rose. I currently switch between either keep getting the single issues or trade wait

    The disconnect comes from the fact that ever since Barry came back fans had to sit and deal with OG Wally’s importance being rapidly deminished, he went from being a example of what a lace you hero is to that bum who is interchangeable with a blank slate younger black character that has his name because tv show. Since the start of nu52 OG Wally fans had to sit as various Flash writers came up with excuses on how it is difficult to fit Wally in and this was all before nuWally came into being but they had no problem during Flashpoint to let you know off panel that Captain Cold killed a depowered OG Wally. OG Wally finally comes back but now he’s treated worse than how he was before he was erased from existence and now a new found heart problem out of nowhere that threatens to basically retire him would leave some folks with pause and some anger, why continue to pay money to read a comic when a character you like is continually dumped on and the attitude in response is “well he’s here so suck it up and be happy”. One can draw a comparison between how Roy Thomas wrote Black Panther as a punching bag and how that to this day draws fan ire but your run after it is used to show how to write him correctly and is the platinum standard for the character.

    Also Wally fans aren’t the most obnoxious comic fans as that title will always remain with Hal fans with a honorable mention to Rich Ryder fans

    that’s not even mentioning other characters who suddenly became hard to write like Cass Cain & Steph Brown because you know there’s a walking Barbra now so folks should enjoy that and hey instead of figuring out something to do with those two here’s Harper Row who’s so much easier to write because she’s new( and that’s not even getting to how the original Batwing was treated once his comic ended ). Damian had gotten out of the little douche role but it seems that outside of what Morrison/Tomasi/Gleason did to add multiple layers everyone saw “oh he’s a little shit, got it” and that was it and appear to not care enough to write him beyond that role.

    Most will agree that there hasn’t been a good Titans book since Wolfman/Perez and the current series continues in that tradition and this was just seen as both a quick cash grab for the animated movie and to correct the erasing from canon the pre nu52 stuff. You and the other writers unfortunately were going to run into this kick back regardless and when this was announced I was of the mind of was this necessary and while I am a OG Wally fan( he was Flash when I started reading the Waid stuff ), a Damian fan thanks to the three writers mentioned already this event really for me did everyone a disservice and at the most makes me feel bad for nuWally fans as this said “this character ain’t sh!t” but DC has cultivated that attitude with characters not named Bruce/Hal/Barry for years.

  14. Jharis Allen says:

    Before I go on, I will applaud you on honesty and an attempt to truly understand fans and wanting to deliverer on what they want. If reasonable.

    With regards, you handled Damian terribly IMO. Indeed, he IS more thoughtful and conscious of his actions. I find it baffling on your end you think him no longer being a simply arrogant jackass. It confirms that you do not keep up with the character’s current status, something writers don’t seem to do. It’s frustrating to see characters I follow inconsistent. Then a writer is baffled about that like its foreign. I’m quite sure many fans alike have argued some consistency is in order. It’s okay for mistakes! But your response irritate me since you think a character who deals with a problem to the point it’s not as persistent is FLAT. You’re writing in a shared universe/continuity. You can’t just ignore current events and characterization. Point blank.

    Next: Wanna make Wally relevant? Put forth a storyline where he does something other then give a bad a power up? Put him in the Justice League! Have him battle Darkseid who takes interest in harnessing Speedforce energy! Do I want Wally problem-free? Maybe a little bit. He just came back! Every comic right now thinks riddling a character with constant problem after problem is ideal. Like did you not learn from New 52? A balance is needed! Nobody wants perpetual torture for certain characters. Not all characters are Batman or Deathstroke where you can allow that because they’re……simply different. It’s not because they’re “flat”. You can’t seriously expect every character to have a flaw that’s glaring and constant!

    And finally, your reasoning for disliking Grayson is hilarious IMO. He’s a character who changes overtime! But you find him boring because he doesn’t have flaws you can perpetually pull up? He’s not Batman. His entire character since Nightwing has been a statement to that. I’m sorry but the entire argument about characters not having their problems addressed and smooth out is terrible? Like don’t you think fans like that there’s character who make actual progress? It’s no longer any surprise you’d have a hard time with Grayson and OG Wally! They’re both beloved for the reason things come full circle instead of a AU thought.

    Wanna make fans happy? Be sure to keep up with characters and consistency. You’re in a shared universe. Act like it. Get out of the mindset that perpetual issues for a character is good. A balance is best IMO! And finally, appreciate that nit all characters are there to have their flaws pulled up 24/7 and that they make progress and that’s no means FLAT alone.

  15. Roger Dering says:

    What we want isn’t all that complicated. We want the characters we like to be around, have stories and be occasionally successful. We get two with Wally, we get one with Donna and Tempest. The Titans have historically had a tough enough time competing with the Bat-characters for character focus. Titans’ opening arc was all about Wally, this crossover as it pertains to the Titans was all about Wally and ended only with introducing a new status quo for Wally.
    As for Damian, I’m fine with him still grappling with not using the skills he learned in the League of Assassins to solve stressful problems. But struggle is not what I saw (more like open glee) and I don’t expect it to get the appropriate reprecussions from Nightwing or Batman who are all about their no killing rule. Which doesn’t make them perfect, it can in fact make them quite difficult to work with.

    Too bad to hear how you feel about Nightwing though.

  16. Jubilate Agno says:

    Love your work. It’s been such a thrill to be reading comics by you again.

    If you take a character to a different place than I’m used to, I’ll still be there interested in what you do with it.

  17. Lhynn says:

    Agree 100% with you. Both with Dick Grayson, and Damian.
    What i would advice you guys to do is keep a reference document with character development from all characters, it would make writing them on character much easier, no one wants to read about their favorite character with a voice that isnt the characters own voice.
    Other than that you are 100% right, obstacles and drama and how they deal with that is what makes a character worth reading, so keep throwing them curve balls.
    This is my humble opinion.

  18. Kieran says:

    I agree with you on the flattening out of character front, Damian as a bad person trying to do good in spite of his instincts is far more interesting than the watered down version we’ve been getting recently.
    However on the Wally front I’m inclined to agree with the critics. Its not because i want a boring always the same character. Its because I’ve read the superhero loses/can’t use there powers anymore story line a million times by now. Not only has Wally gone through this story arc before (80’s I believe) but most superheros have so it doesn’t add an interesting edge because its been done to death. Wally having a near death experience in the past that changes his current views on super heroics in my opinion would have been a more engaging route. If that experience let say made him view using his powers to fight criminals as a waste of his potential and instead started working with the government to help with disaster relief or work with the military in any number of ways or maybe go full on pacifist (I mean if anyone could stop evil from happening without resorting to fighting it would be a speedster). I’m sure these aren’t great ideas but I haven’t read very many comics were those sorts of things happen, so i would be much more excited to explore them than whats Wally gonna do now that he cant use his powers, which is what seem’d to be setup in the final issue.
    The only other issue I personally had with the crossover was my own expectations. The title Lazarus Contract made me think that Grant Wilson would be alive in the present be the end of it. I thought that that would be a very interesting subject to explore because it would totally shift the family dynamics between Slade, Rose, and Joey and each character could again be explored in new interesting ways. So when the pay off was just Slade quitting being Deathstroke I was a little disappointed not because its uninteresting by any means but I had built up a very different pay off in my mind and was excited to see that explored.
    Overall I enjoyed the crossover, and hope these points help you understand where some people are coming from.

  19. porto says:

    Thank you for informing that I never should pick anything that you write in the future. With your understanding of characters, Slade must be your limit.

  20. Priest Priest says:

    This topic is NOT closed, I’m just moving it to a new thread. 🙂