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What's in a name...?

So I've been lurking a bit today on various Young Justice message boards (almost always a mistake), and I feel the need to respond on one point (ALWAYS a mistake).

Some people are asking (with various levels of outrage), why we are calling this series "Young Justice"?

They cite the fact that our Robin isn't Tim Drake, that our Kid Flash isn't Impulse/Bart Allen. That we're not using Wonder Girl or Arrowette or Secret and that even our Superboy is dressed more like the later Titans Superboy.

And, honestly, I can see their point. In some ways, I do almost (almost) wish we weren't using the Young Justice title.

But it would be nice if these people turned a more practical and realistic eye toward the question of title.

Some ask, why not call it Teen Titans, when you have Dick, Wally, Aqualad, etc.?

But the answer to that is beyond obvious. There was a RECENT hit series named Teen Titans. The name is TAKEN! Taken, by the way, by a great series that used the cast not of Teen Titans but of Marv Wolfman & George Perez's NEW TEEN TITANS with the tone of neither. In fact, the tone is/was much closer to Peter David & Todd Nauck's YOUNG JUSTICE. (Ironic, huh?)

And if, somehow, we DID call our series TEEN TITANS (again), how would that help? Another group of fans (with some overlap) would cry foul because we were putting Superboy, Miss Martian, Artemis and a new Aqualad in with Dick and Wally. Where's Donna? And etc.

The thing is... we're not doing a straight adaptation of either Teen Titans OR Young Justice. We are, in fact, pulling from both properties and later Titans and decades worth of Justice League stuff to create something new with a new continuity on a new Earth-16.

So what SHOULD we entitle it? There just ISN'T one comic book title that's a PERFECT fit for what we're doing. So if you get past the impossible notion of finding a historically accurate title, you're left with coming up with a MEANINGFUL title. In which case, Young Justice fits perfectly - at least on THAT level. (Trust me, you'll see.) It's a flat-out BETTER and more appropriate and more meaningful title for our series than New Titans or Teen Titans or plain old Titans or Justice League Task Force or Justice League Europe or Extreme Justice or Justice League Babies or pretty much anything else you can come up with. I know. I tried. Nothing else captures the essence of our series as well. Baggage or no baggage.

That still leaves the perfectly legit argument: Why do this? Why NOT just adapt the David/Nauck Young Justice? Fair question, absolutely.

And the answer here is... we didn't want to. The creative people (myself, Brandon Vietti, Sam Register, etc.) behind the series premiering this November on Cartoon Network didn't want to. That's not meant as any disrespect for a great comic book. But again, we felt that the tone of the David/Nauck Young Justice book had been done recently and well on television as Teen Titans. Different group of teens, but the same feeling. We wanted to do something NEW. Maybe you'll like it. Maybe you won't. But writers as diverse as Peter David (yep, that Peter David) and Geoff Johns and, uh, Greg Weisman all like what we're doing, so maybe it's worth at least giving us a chance. Or not. That's the call of every individual.

But if you are going to give us a try, you might also try leaving a bit of baggage behind. We have six leads and many, many, many supporting characters (135 existing characters from the DC Universe just through episode 16 alone). As when I worked on Spectacular Spider-Man, we have tried VERY hard to be as true to the core truths of each individual character as possible. Some of the interpretations may be new. Some of the details. The timeline is start from scratch. (Parallel universe, remember?) But the core should hold true, or I haven't done my job.

And gang, stop pretending you know what's coming or what ISN'T coming. What characters will eventually be included and which won't. We haven't even premiered yet. It's fine to guess. But making a guess and then praising or condemning us based on that guess is a bit rough.

Now, I know that this message will invariably read like I've got a big chip on my shoulder. And/or that I'm whining about fans pre-judging the work. That's not the TONE I want for this message. But it's hard in text to get tone across. The tone I'm looking for is more like... weariness. (Not wariness, but weariness.) Honestly, all I'm trying to get across here is that perhaps the conversation would be more productive if folks weren't stuck on preconceptions.

Oh, and one more thing for the record: I know a number of people -- even a few individuals legitimately attached to the series -- have been quoted saying the original title of the series was "Young Justice League". It wasn't. Ever. For better or worse, we were "Young Justice" from Day One of our development. And why not "Young Justice League?" Well, frankly, cuz it sounds awful, don't you think?

Non-sequitor, but since I'm in correcting-internet-incorrectness-mode: Miss Martian is the NIECE of Martian Manhunter. NOT his daughter. Someone misquoted us there.