Grayson Discusses TITANS Departure (Mania.com)

By:Russell Lissau
Date: Wednesday, September 27, 2000

Writer Devin Grayson may have ended her long run on DC Comics' The Titans, but that doesn't mean she still isn't a fan of everyone's favorite team of twentysomethings. Although she's been replaced on the series by friend Jay Faerber, Grayson would love to head up a project starring the group's resident redheaded weapons expert.

'I'd love to develop a series for Arsenal,' Grayson says of the hero about whom she has already written one action-packed mini-series. 'I think he's unique in the DC landscape. He has the potential to become a really lovable rogue, almost a James Bond-type adventurer. Creators talk a lot abound finding a lesser-known character and really developing them into something wonderful and cool, and I'd like to think I did that to some degree with Roy [Harper, Arsenal's public identity]. I feel extremely connected to him--he's sort of my male alter-ego. And I honestly believe he has unique contributions to make to the DC Universe.'

Grayson's decision to quit The Titans earlier this year came as a surprise to many fans. The Brooklyn-based writer says she had to leave the series, which she helped launch in early 1999 and helmed for 20 issues, because of several factors. A big one was the demand on her time created by her newest project, Batman: Gotham Knights. Another was the dissatisfaction she felt while writing about heroes that were also characters in other comics--and therefore were being manipulated by other writers.

'Sometimes you find a character you're working with is having his/her fate influenced by creators you don't like or trust, and you're expected to play along, and it's really hard,' Grayson explains. 'I'm actively working on this because I think I need to mature past it, but I still sometimes have the reaction of wanting to put down all my toys and leave the sandbox in disgust when some bully comes in digging a moat around my sand castle.'

The die-hard Titans fans were sometimes a little hard to take, too, according to Grayson. 'This feels weird to say because I was one of them,' she says almost apologetically. 'They struggle with the same frustration of loving--and in some cases really over-identifying with--these characters while being wholly unable to influence their fate. And they take that frustration out on anyone who gets anywhere near the franchise.'

Speaking of franchises, you don't have to be a comics professional to see that DC's biggest cinematic franchise, Batman, is in serious trouble. Grayson says one solution could be a film about another of her favorite Titans: Nightwing, the former Robin. 'I do fantasize a lot about writing a Nightwing film for Tom Cruise,' Grayson says. 'I think it's a brilliant match. Cruise as an actor would be eminently capable of communicating Dick Grayson's passion and intense life force. And he seems to be very attracted to dramas that revolve around difficult father-figure relationships, stories of a young man's struggle and redemption under the tutelage of an older male mentor. That's Nightwing's story, man, and I would give anything to introduce Mr. Dick Grayson to Mr. Tom Cruise. I've always had a strong feeling that they would really like each other.'