After fill-in duties on “Titans” and “Teen Titans” as well as the successful “Blackest Night: Titans” miniseries, Krul moved on to his highest profile assignment yet, the re-launch of the “Green Arrow” ongoing series. While that series continues to hit the target each issue, Krul also jumped aboard “Teen Titans” this week as the new regular writer.
The 37-year old Krul holds a Bachelor of Arts in Film and Video Production from Michigan State University. Before his career in comics took flight, he served as the production coordinator for the final season of “Seinfeld.”
Outside of his work at DC Comics, Krul is best known for his work with the Michael Turner creations “Fathom” and “Soulfire” at Aspen Comics.
Krul told CBR News that he’s thrilled to be a part of the DCU and that he hopes this exclusive deal will lead to long runs on both “Green Arrow” and “Teen Titans.” He also shared details about his forthcoming “Wonder Girl” one-shot, which features a new character named Solstice.
CBR News: First of all, congratulations on the exclusive deal. Why was this the right time to pledge your allegiance to DC Comics?
J.T. Krul: Thanks. It's a great time to be at DC. Since starting to work with them a few years ago, the experience has been nothing short of tremendous. They're a great company with some of the most iconic characters in the world. Being able to tackle books like “Green Arrow” and “Teen Titans” is really a dream opportunity. Over at Aspen I was fortunate enough to be able to write both “Fathom” and “Soulfire” for over five years and I wouldn't mind sticking with “Green Arrow” and “Teen Titans” for just as long.
I guess a deal like this allows you to think big picture and long-term on those titles?
Absolutely. I'm just finishing up with my first “Green Arrow” arc and we already have things mapped out for the coming year. And the same goes for “Teen Titans.” For me, there is a strong appeal in being able to build long term development with characters - planting seeds and laying the foundation for the future.
Starting with “Teen Titans,” your highly anticipated run on the series kicks off this week with #88. What do you have planned for Conner, Bart and the gang to begin with?
We hit the ground running with the new lineup for the Titans as they face off against a strange new threat called the Feral Boys. But that's just the tip of the iceberg as we begin to meet more villains for the team to confront. And if their hands weren't already full, they also have to deal with Robin.
What can you tell us about the Feral Boys and Headcase, the other villain in your first arc? I believe these are new creations, so what do we need to know about them coming in?
They are both connected to a greater threat that exists under the radar of the Titans - one that could be a danger to just about any teenager out in the world. Both the Feral Boys and Headcase are definitely dangerous villains for the Teen Titans to face, but they may also be victims as well.
You also mentioned Robin coming to Titans Tower in your second issue. Was that your idea or was Damian offered to you? And how is he connecting with his new teammates? Does anyone stand up and say, “This guy is OK.”
When we first started talking about having me taking over the book, the concept of bringing Damian around was brought up immediately. The current roster may have their friction with one another, but they have developed a certain comfort as well. We thought the new Robin would add a compelling dynamic for the team - really mix things up. I think readers might be surprised by some of the reactions to his appearance, but it's safe to say that Ravager and Robin will definitely have issues.
Garth and Cassie have been jostling for the leadership chair for about a year now. Will that rivalry resume or will the return of Conner and Bart bring some calm to the team?
I am moving away from that leadership debate. Cassie is the leader of the Teen Titans, while Beast Boy's role on the team will see an evolution. He's the veteran and will find himself filling the role that Donna Troy once held as something of a den mother. Would that make him a den father? The younger Titans will look to him for guidance because he's smart, experienced, and a good listener.
Sticking with Cassie for a moment, you have a “Wonder Girl” one-shot coming in January. How tightly will that story tie into the one you’re telling in “Teen Titans” and what details can you share about the new character you’re introducing, Solstice?
It ties together in terms of character, both with regard to Cassie and Solstice. While most of the Titans have yet to meet the newest member that will join the team, Cassie has a bit of history with her. We're using the one-shot to highlight what makes Wonder Girl amazing as a hero and compelling as a character, as well as shed more light on Solstice in terms of her background. I am really excited about bringing some officially ‘new’ blood onto the team.
You’ve been writing the Teen Titans in some form or another for a little while now. Is there one character that you have really responded to as a writer? On the flipside, have any given you problems with either their dynamics or finding their voice?
I find myself drawn to the darker characters for some reason - intrigued by their flawed nature - so Ravager has been particularly fun to write. She's got such a strong and brash exterior, but carries vulnerability with her. In terms of having difficulty with one, Robin brings the biggest challenges because he's a child, much younger than the rest, but is extremely intelligent. Making sure to present him as refined but allowing the youthful attitude to peek through is a delicate balance.
Your other ongoing series, “Green Arrow,” is really expanding Ollie’s universe and I love how you’re using the mystical forest almost as a character itself in how it’s driving the story, but come on, when are you going to give this guy a break? He’s got to worry about Nix, Queen and now Black Arrow; when does Ollie get to have a brighter day?
Yeah, the chips seem to be stacked against Ollie, but he's tough, right? The mystical aspect of the forest is something that will really be coming to the forefront as we head toward the conclusion of “Brightest Day” with more allies and enemies for Green Arrow to deal with. He may have thought the forest would provide him with some solitude, but that forest is going to get rather crowded. He's going to confront more demons, personal and otherwise.
Any truth to those rumors that Swamp Thing may be living in the mystical forest too?
No, but don't be surprised if you see some Ewoks pop up.
“Green Arrow” #5 and “Teen Titans” #88, both written by J.T. Krul, are on sale now.