Saturday, October 27, 2012

Teen Titans #13

Why is Tim Drake consoling Superboy?

Last normal issue, Wonder Girl had lost her wonder. Some guy whose name I can't remember who also had armor like Cassie's took her armor. She was left a beaten mess with Red Robin and Superboy while the bad guy ran off to destroy the world. The other members of the Teen Titans were holed up in a motel off the New Jersey turnpike for some reason. And because that's the way Scott Lobdell ended the last issue, he begins this issue telling a completely different story. But at least he's kept his standard first page splash with Narration Boxes.

The only major difference is that this one doesn't begin with "My name is Cassie Sandsmark."

I'm just guessing that this is Cassie. I suppose this is her story about how she met that mean jerk that just stole her armor although Tim Drake probably already knows the whole thing, being such an amazing detective.

The story begins making sure that any rational reader can't stand Cassie by the end of the first three pages. She's a spoiled brat following her mother around the world as her mother makes archaeological discoveries, unearthing cultural treasures for all the world to share in museums and exhibits. And Cassie goes around stealing the same shit because she "likes it." And when she's almost caught by a security guard just doing his job, Diesel (that's his stupid fucking name!) cracks the guy over the head, knocking him out and possibly giving him severe brain trauma. Cassie describes this as things "working themselves out." Sure, she's saying that to basically hide the truth of the situation from Tim and Conner because she realizes this story makes her look like a douchebag.

Now I'm not saying I can't get behind a character that robs and flaunts the laws. Fuck the man! Fuck the laws! And I love Catwoman. But this portrayal of Cassie is just vomit inducing. At least she's smart enough to know that this story where she meets Diesel portrays her in a horrible manner, so she tells the story in vague, innocuous terms. So maybe I should like Cassie. Perhaps she's changed if she's ashamed enough about her past self that she can't tell the story explicitly to her new friends.

So, yeah, anyway, the little shitbird meets Diesel.

Actually, it's "Fifty Shades of Grey." Fuck me, why do is that knowledge taking up space in my brain?

Another reason to dislike Cassie: she thinks a too-tight shirt and khaki pants is an "interesting look." Cassie and Diesel end up having a passionate love affair that crosses international borders and stretches the limits of my interest imagination! This story is being told in the back of a Fed-ex plane since they needed to hitch a ride to wherever they are going.

Tim Drake gets the story back on track and away from all the illicit meetings and fanciful sex positions (not to mention the just under the surface of Cassie's story robberies she and Diesel were committing). He wants to know about her armor, so she tells that story. Sounds like Diesel was getting bored of Cassie always off helping her mother on the digs. So Cassie did some digging of her own to hurry things along. Or something. I'm not exactly clear on why Cassie going off to dig on her own away from Diesel was supposed to help her see more of Diesel. Even if Cassie did find something extraordinary while digging where her mom didn't want to dig yet, she wasn't going to stop her mom from completing all the other goals on the dig. Why the fuck am I even trying to make sense of these kinds of minutia? It's not important and I really don't care! Cassie went off digging on her own! End of story!

I mean, not literally the end of the story. Just the end of me being a nitpicky asshole.

Oh! Well, it turns out she wasn't digging alone and I was speculating on nonsense that would be answered later. As usual! Turns out Diesel had infiltrated the dig because he didn't want to wait for Cassie's mother's methodical work to find the really cool ancient treasures of Angkor Wat! So he was already in the hole when Cassie followed that night. And eventually found him.

"OMG! He put on some armor that's attacking him! Let me put on some armor nearby to help pull it off!"

So yeah. That's what Cassie does. She puts on some gauntlets and they fill her up and take her over. She then manages to take Diesel's armor inside herself as well. But she struggles to maintain control. It's as if she's being possessed. She said the armor wasn't alive earlier but her struggle with it and taunting it out of Diesel and into her seems to show differently. After she manages to subdue the will of the armor, the tunnel collapses. Diesel is buried and she climbs out on her own. And that, she thought, was the end of Diesel. But I guess he retained some of the armor's power since he survived and he returned to steal Cassie's while wearing his own.

The Titans eventually arrive at the site and Red Robin discovers something disturbing about the language used at the site.

Yay! Raven will be on the team soon!

Meanwhile in New Jersey, Bunker, Solstice, and Kid Flash never make an appearance in the comic book. But Amanda Waller and Kurt Lance do!

What the fuck?! So Amanda Waller is going to have time to run every fucking team in the New 52? Did DC do some kind of reader survey and determine that what The New 52 needs is more Amanda Waller? She's beginning to appear in more books than Batman!

So Kurt Lance now has super powers? And he's kept in a super secret sub-level in Belle Reve? And Amanda has a crush on him? And what kind of stupid question is that, Kurt? Why would Amanda train them to be a new Team 7? Obviously they'd be Team 8! Stupid!

Teen Titans #13 Rating: No change. This issue of Teen Titans was one of the better issues in the entire series. But I just got bored with it halfway through. Cassie's origin is fairly standard. It felt like it simply needed to be told so that the Teen Titans can move past her weird armor hurting her bullshit. But there was no spark to the story! No intrigue or surprise. Just Cassie finding the armor at an archaeological dig while embellishing the story with a lot of language that maybe she thought made it sound more mysterious and intriguing except it simply came off as flowery bullshit. "Silent armor ... because without any warning, it just eats away at your sould, like it was at Diesel's...bite by bite--" And "I felt [the silent armor] calling to me--" to which Superboy responds that it's not so silent. Cassie continues, "No, that's the thing, I realized how easy it would be to use it--abuse it--keeping power like that in need the inner strength to control it, to keep it silent inside of you." Blah.

Oh! But I should mention this as well! When she put on the gauntlets, she was fine. She looked like Wonder Girl. It's just the armor she stole from Diesel that really fucked her up. So once they destroy Diesel's armor and return her normal shit, everything should be good. Then she can return to this:

and stop cutting herself and crying on the bathroom floor.

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