FOR TOMMY: GEOFF JOHNS
Very. You've gained quite a reputation for your work on companies'
respective icons. Why do these characters appeal to you, why
do you believe there's anything left to say with them?
I guess I am a traditionalist -- some of that has to do with
the fact that the first comics I read where my Uncle's old
collection from the 1960's. The Flash, Justice League, Superman,
Batman, Green Lantern, Fantastic Four, Captain America --
they were the first characters I was really exposed to, and
I loved the grand bigger-than-life adventures they had. The
thing I always loved about reading comics growing up was diving
into another world and universe every time I opened a book.
There's always another angle to take with a super-hero or
super-villain -- especially a villain, since they don't get
hundreds of issues to themselves -- because everyone thinks
differently. A writer like Greg Rucka would find something
completely different and, I'm sure, compelling to say about
Doctor Mid-Nite or Captain America than any other writer has
because he's a good writer. The same goes for Kurt Busiek
or Grant Morrison or Brian Bendis. A good writer will always
find something to say with a character. That's why when you
hear Greg Rucka is going to do Wonder Woman -- you get excited.
When I heard Ed Brubaker was doing Catwoman -- I got excited.
You know he's gong to do something new and unexpected. Jeph
Loeb and Tim Sale tackle the Hulk? Way cool. Different perspectives
bring different things out of the characters. As long as there
are good writers writing comics, there will be things to say
about the icons.
What do you want out of comics, Geoff? As opposed to other
forms of expression...
My goal is to make the week easier for comic readers and to
get new readers into comics. To get them excited that it's
Wednesday and the new issue of Teen Titans is out. That no
matter what goes on -- you get picked on at school, someone
dents your car, your boss is being a jerk, you fail a mid-term
-- there's something to look forward to. There's a world to
escape to. My goal is to entertain and get readers excited
about the characters I get excited about. There's nothing
I love more than hearing a reader say, "I never liked Hawkman
before." or "I used to think Captain Cold was lame." I want
these characters and their legends to grow and endure.
personally, I also want to keep improving myself as a writer.
I am constantly trying to see what works and what doesn't
and what I need to improve on. In JSA, I think we got our
roster too large at one point so we shuffled characters around
-- but at the same time I look at Teen Titans and say, we
have 7 characters on the team now, let's keep it small and
I'm very content with how Titans is going. Because I learned
what happens with a big team. You have to care about Hourman
before he goes into battle and if he's on a team of 15, it's
gonna be hard to get to know him. Another example, I opened
Avengers with an arc that was probably a little too complex.
I threw everything in there because I was excited about the
book -- and the storyline was a little rushed. But the issues
that followed I really like. I look at my first handful of
issues on Teen Titans and I'm really proud of the pacing and
character growth. I learned from Avengers. I'm always looking
at what works and doesn't work for me as a writer.
never learn enough about writing.
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