Mark Waid tells Superman: Birthright spiritual sequel and flashes back to the original Teen Titans in new DC titles

World's Finest: Teen Titans art
(Image credit: DC)

DC has announced a pair of new titles from Mark Waid, including a spiritual sequel to his story Superman: Birthright and a spin-off of his current Batman/Superman: World's Finest title.

First up, Waid and artist Emanuela Lupacchino will delve into the history of the Teen Titans for World's Finest: Teen Titans, spinning off from Waid and artist Dan Mora's ongoing World's Finest title.

In World's Finest: Teen Titans, the original five Titans - Robin, Wonder Girl, Speedy, Kid Flash, and Aqualad - are joined by several other classic Titans from the Silver and Bronze Age including Bumblebee and Mal Duncan for a series of stories showing what life for the original Titans was like before the team was relaunched as the New Teen Titans in the early '80s.

"It's very much about character interaction," Waid tells Newsarama of the tone of World's Finest: Teen Titans. "What I found, to my surprise, as somebody who has been thinking about these characters since he was a kid, was when I started planning out the book, and really doing a deep dive on the characters and their relationships, and how they fit together, is all kinds of brand new insights as to how these characters work, what their state of mind is at this point in their lives, how how their psyches work, what it's like to be them."

Though World's Finest: Teen Titans will include its share of superhero action, Waid says the heart and soul of the title is all about the shared moments between the teen heroes as they grow together.

"It's really getting back to the proto versions of these characters to the point where there are villains certainly, but they're not the focus. punching is not the focus," Waid explains.

World's Finest: Teen Titans #1 goes on sale July 11 with a main cover by Chris Samnee, who also provides a variant, along with more variant covers from Evan 'Doc' Shaner, Jim Cheung, W. Scott Forbes, and series artist Emanuela Lupacchino.

Here's a gallery of the covers as well as some uncolored interior art and character design sheets:

Then there's the second title, a three-issue DC Black Label limited series Superman: The Last Days of Lex Luthor by Waid and artist Bryan Hitch, in which Superman embarks on a quest to save his archenemy from a terminal illness.

"Lex has come to Superman with a real problem, Lex has contracted a fatal disease that even he can't crack, he's gonna die," Waid says. "He asks Superman to help save him. And he does this knowing full well that Superman is going to hate doing it, and that it's going to torture him."

"But Superman can't say no, he cannot stand back and let Luthor die," he continues. "Unfortunately for Superman, if you took a straw poll of the DC Universe, 94% of the people on the planet Earth would say just 'Let him die.' And so for the first time, Superman is working against the wishes of his adopted planet, and working against public sentiment to do something that he thinks is right."

Here's a gallery of interior art from Superman: The Last Days of Lex Luthor #1:

In terms of his approach to the story, Waid calls back to his and artist Leinil Francis Yu's retelling of Superman's origin in the 2004 limited series Superman: Birthright and its core take on the characters of Superman's world.

"It's very much a spiritual sequel to Superman: Birthright," Waid explains. "It is very much a spiritual sequel to Birthright in that if you read Birthright, you'll be very familiar with the versions of these characters that we're using in The Last Days of Lex Luthor."

Superman: The Last Days of Lex Luthor #1 goes on sale July 25.

Read the best Superman stories of all time.

George Marston

I've been Newsarama's resident Marvel Comics expert and general comic book historian since 2011. I've also been the on-site reporter at most major comic conventions such as Comic-Con International: San Diego, New York Comic Con, and C2E2. Outside of comic journalism, I am the artist of many weird pictures, and the guitarist of many heavy riffs. (They/Them)