Friday, January 4, 2013

Teen Titans #15

And that's a wrap on the Joker face covers!

This issue takes place some time between Teen Titans #14 and Red Hood and the Outlaws #15. At the end of Teen Titans #14, Red Robin had left New York to help Batman fight The Joker in Gotham. Solstice saw him leave of his own accord and that was that. Until later that night, they found a message from The Joker via a messed up Red Robin effigy in Tim Drake's room. Now everyone believes Tim has been kidnapped by The Joker and Solstice doesn't say anything. They rush off to Gotham to save Tim Drake.

Does this mean The Joker knows that Tim Drake is Red Robin? Yes, yes of course it does. Why else would it be in Tim Drake's apartment? So while all of the other Death of the Family tie-ins kept telling the story in an ambiguous way so that the reader couldn't be sure if The Joker was bluffing about knowing their identities or not, Scott Lobdell writes things that can only be explained if The Joker knows. So for Scott Lobdell's sake, The Joker had better know!

Although, to play Devil's Advocate with myself (the PG version!), the other Teen Titans don't know that Red Robin is Tim Drake. Yet they have access to his penthouse which means that they could dig up who he is if they wanted. Which Tim Drake would never allow. So the Penthouse might actually be leased to Red Robin! Right? Maybe? Does that sound possible?

At the end of Red Hood and the Outlaws #15, Red Robin was unconscious and at the bottom of a hole in Gotham City. The other Titans were on the street battling Joker Thugs. So now this issue should fill in how they all got from over there to over there a little further.

Red Robin narrates the story from wherever the fuck he is (he probably was immediately kidnapped by The Joker because causality and Scott Lobdell have never met) and since he's such a genius, he knows exactly how it will all go down. The Titans search his room and find Batgirl's number. Check.
Wait. How the fuck does one get in contact with Batgirl without learning that she's Barbara Gordon? She doesn't have a Bat Signal? The Bat Family all have ways to communicate with one another but I can't imagine that method is shared with anybody else ever. I bet Babs has a Batpager. Probably the only company still making Pagers is Waynetech. Anyway, they meet up with Batgirl in the city.

My guess is that he's rubbed off on 3 out of 4 of them.

Red Robin guesses Batgirl will make a lame joke and she does. It's really lame because it's not a joke at all. She arrives. Some people are watching her arrive. And she accuses them of having "Rushmore starebacks." Should they have looked away? What more do you want?

Next Red Robin assumes that either Wonder Girl will attack Batgirl (you know? After calling to meet up with her. Red Robin really doesn't have any respect for Cassie, does he?) or Bart will attempt to grope her. Check!

The FKZZTT sound effect is some kind of anti-groping electrical shock charge that Batman installed in Batgirl's suit so he doesn't have to follow her around with a shotgun.

The comic book's credits stated that Scott Lobdell did the plotting while Fabian Nicieza did the dialogue. That's exactly how the thing reads as well. It's like Lobdell just wrote out a bunch of narration boxes in Red Robin's voice to tell the story and then Fabian interpreted those Narration Boxes into the actual events that are taking place. But this story also holds a great big clue to a larger mystery in the DCnU! See how accurately Red Robin predicts the future simply because he's insanely smart and can tell everything that is going to happen no matter how many random things could disrupt the sequence of events? Know anybody else that can do that?! Right! Harvest! Just like I've been saying. Fucking Tim Drake is Harvest.

The Flash shows Batgirl Red Robin's "bat phone thingie" and how her name is inside and not in code. So that's how they found Batgirl. My guess is that Batgirl's number is the only number in this Bat Phone Thingie since it was his emergency contact for the Teen Titans if he ever got himself into some kind of trouble. It's like a medic alert bracelet!

Red Robin knows that after Batgirl recovers from being either attacked or hugged, she'll tell them about The Joker. Check!

My favorite part is that she calls the Gotham City Police Station "Commissioner Gordon's Office."

Batgirl decides to hang out with the Titans for awhile because she doesn't have enough going on in her life what with chasing Katana to Japan and marrying The Joker and worrying about her brother slitting Alysia's throat. Maybe I'm the only worried about that last one. The New 52 needs a fuckload lot more of Alysia.

Meanwhile, Red Robin wakes up in the pit that he was thrown into by The Joker when he was kidnapped from his room after leaving for Gotham but apparently having to go back to get something. The Joker has clothed him in an old costume and greets him upon waking with a comment that's almost correct.

I always thought Red Robin was thrifty and responsible with his vast fortune. But The Joker knows him better than I do!

As you can see by that last comment, I have a bit of a problem with the way The Bible has taught people to use "prodigal." The son that returns isn't "prodigal" because he's returning after a long absence which is usually the way it's used. "Prodigal" is the adjective that describes the son that left as being unwise with his money, "wastefully extravagant." So the saying, "The prodigal son returns" simply means the son who spent his money foolishly and recklessly returns. The rest of that story is even better! Because the father gives the son even more inheritance while the stupid kid who buried his money under a rock doesn't get anything more! Ha ha! Dumb dumb!

I also have a problem with how people will refer to a person who does good deeds as a "Samaritan" as opposed to a "good Samaritan." Jesus's whole point in telling that story was how even a Samaritan who is selfish and narcissistic and filthy and dirty who helps a fellow in need is better than a priest or a saint or a totally respectable Jewish person who doesn't help the fellow in need. Jesus's story is shocking in that a Samaritan actually helps a fellow traveler on the road. But now everybody thinks Samaritans are good and helpful and nice and thoughtful!

You know, if people can't get just these simple things right when reading The Bible, how do they fucking interpret the rest of it so spot on? That was sarcastic!

Even The Joker is confused by the term "the prodigal son" as he decides that Jason Todd is more fitting of that name. The Joker and Red Robin consequently have a conversation where The Joker shouts his half and Red Robin Narration Boxes his half but The Joker still knows what he's thinking. You know what would be better? If Red Robin was actually responding to him. But I have a feeling that Fabian simply had to write the dialogue around Scott's stupid Narration Boxes in the script.

Batgirl points out the places where The Joker has committed crimes in the past. The Teen Titans split up to investigate these places. Meanwhile Red Robin sits in the dark narrating these moments as if he's watching over them. He's going to be a real good Harvest when he grows up to be a Vampire! He even Narration Boxes: "They won't find me in any of those places--and The Joker knows what does he get out of sending them on a wild goose chase?" Well, Red Robin, let me answer that for you: The Joker didn't send them to investigate those places! Batgirl did!

What's happening here is several levels of people knowing how other people will react. The Joker obviously knows that by kidnapping Red Robin, the Teen Titans will contact Batgirl and be sent to a bunch of locations where Red Robin won't be but The Joker can have his thugs waiting. Meanwhile, Red Robin knows that The Joker knows that Red Robin will have left a clue for the Teen Titans to find so that they'll contact Batgirl and Batgirl will send them to these places where The Joker will have ambushes waiting. How many levels of stupid is this?

Then The Joker springs the big secret on Red Robin that he's sprung earlier on the rest of the Bat Family: He knows Red Robin's real name! Oh noes!

Since Tim Drake doesn't believe The Joker and Tim Drake was kidnapped out of his bedroom, his penthouse must be in Red Robin's name!

The Joker planned for everything just like every villain Scott Lobdell writes. Kid Flash kicks up Joker Dust that turns everybody into aggressive Joker Zombies. They begin fighting but they don't want to hurt the innocent people now attacking them. Their powers are also ramped up because Kurt Lance is hanging out thinking at them.

Wait. What?

Actually, you don't have to check out Birds of Prey #15 because it won't tell you anything. Birds of Prey actually should have had a note to check out Teen Titans #15 for what's happening.

With the Titans overwhelmed by Joker monsters, Speedy and Starfire appear to save the day! And I guess Jason Todd falls into the pit trap with Red Robin right about now except in Red Hood, Red Robin was unconscious when that happened. But if that's the only problem I have with these two stories interweaving, that's a pretty good day over at DC Editorial!

Teen Titans #15 Rating: -2 Ranking. The Joker sucked as The Joker. And the thing I can't stand even worse than heroes beating up on other heroes is super villains weaving intricate plans that are no different than predicting the future with 100% accuracy. This comic goes one better by having Red Robin somehow know everything as well! The good thing about this comic book is that you can actually skip it while reading the Death in the Family since it really just fills in some minor gaps. Just read Red Hood and the Outlaws and you've got enough to understand what's going on. The only thing missing was Red Robin telling The Joker that he was going to kill him! The Joker just wasn't mean enough, I guess.

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