Thursday, May 8, 2014

Teen Titans Annual #3

Doing a commentary on this Annual now that the Teen Titans featuring Scott Lobdell has been cancelled reminds me of one of my favorite lines by Norm McDonald: "What's the point of beating a dead horse aside from the pure pleasure of it?"

That quote may not be exact because I am one of those people that remembers the gist of shit (not jism of shit) rather than forcing myself to remember every line in excruciating detail so I can impress my asshole friends. Here's another one of Norm's lines that I love that I'm probably paraphrasing: "Kenny G has a new Christmas album out this year. Happy Birthday, Baby Jesus. I hope you like crap!"

And speaking of crap, let's read the Teen Titans!

The issue begins promisingly enough!

The only problem with this opening panel is that it occurs eight hours into the future. And we all know how much Scott Lobdell loves time travel comic books because motive derives from seeing the future. So while the Teen Titans would normally have to act according to their dreams, needs, or desires, in a story where we see the future (i.e. the death of the Titans), the Titans can act on that fact alone. So now they're driven to keep themselves from being killed in eight hours. Which they'll probably accomplish because this book is continued in Reboot Version Two in a few months.

Red Robin is then approached by a shadowy stranger that says, "This was all planned, so buck up, buttercup!" That must mean that the shadowy figure is Harvest! And Harvest is here to give Tim Drake the Eternal Kiss! That way, as a vampire, he can grow up to become Harvest so that he can go back in time to make sure that he bites Time Drake to make sure that Harvest can go back in time to bite Tim Drake!

Of course the reader doesn't get to see the face of the person Red Robin is ready to beat the shit out of. Because that's how comic books work, especially when you're too lazy to write your own stories. You just take the usual tropes, write some generic teen angst dialogue, and then run off to fuck a stray dog in the face.

Sometimes I worry that I might cross a line in the activities I imply Lobdell partakes. But then I realize all that I've ever really said, in many various and imaginative ways, is that Scott Lobdell sucks at writing. And the only way he can prove I'm lying is to write something decent. Which he can't do. So I'm lawsuit proof!

Teen Titans #30 ended with the Next Blurb asking readers to pick up the Annual to see who survived the yacht blowing up. As if that was going to be a major part of this annual. But long time readers of Lobdell knew that he'd never continue the story from there nor would he ever tell any more of that part of the tale! He never remembers anything he writes. So he just has Tim Drake watching the yacht sink the next day and thinking, "I'm just glad no one died in the explosion." Don't worry, Timmy. Nobody was fucking worried for one second. Guess what nobody is worried about now?! Nobody is worried that the team is going to die in eight hours.

When you use the same trick over and over, it stops losing its power. Every Lobdell story either involves a threat to the Omniverse which is always overcome, or it involves the future deaths of heroes (or the Omniverse!) which the heroes learn about somehow, so they must avert the future disaster. I'm fairly certain those are his only two stories. He may have others but they probably sucked so badly that I forgot all about them.

Two panels previous to this, Cassie says they have nothing to apologize for. I guess stealing shit doesn't count. Fuck you, Wonder Girl. You're the worst. Right after every other person on this team. And Superman, currently. And soon to be Jason Todd and Roy Harper (again!). Fuck, Lobdell. Why did you blow all of your X-Men money? Shouldn't you have purchased an island and gone off into retirement, never to be heard from or seen again?

This is Raven totally making sense. I want to kill them all as well. Although I actually have motivation for my feelings. "Habbits." Ha ha. Wait. Was that a joke or a typo? So hard to tell when Lobdell often has characters say things that only make sense if somebody were reading their dialogue and the dialogue's punctuation!

Bunker comes along and says, "Oh, hey there, Little Miz Betrayal." And Raven is all, "How'd you know?!" And Bunker is all, "Duh! Scott Lobdell!" And Raven is all, "Oh yeah! Totes duhs!" And Bunker is all, "Jesus loves you and shit even though you suck!" And Raven is all, "That's so cool!" And Bunker is all, "Score! One more in my account, God!" And God is all, "You're going to Hell, you gay." And Satan is all, "Man, that Guy is a prick. Don't worry, Bunker! It's cool down here! The only reason Jesus tells his Followers that Hell is the worst place ever is because I allow gays and Jews down here. We're just kicking it and shit. Just stay away from Trigon; he's a little rapey."

Red Robin has called an emergency meeting at a really stark and plain restaurant because Harvest is back and he's started another colony in Africa! Being that this is a Scott Lobdell story and he has a history of not knowing what the fuck he's doing, I'm not even going to try to figure out how this plan ties in with Harvest's plans in Superboy. I just don't have the patience to spend much brain power on this comic book.

Remember last issue when Skitters mentioned she was stuck in Skitters form? Yeah, the artists don't either.

The restaurant butts up against Danny the Street because Lobdell hasn't spent enough time soiling one of the greatest members of Doom Patrol in the history of members and patrols and doom. Thankfully Danny just transports the team to Africa as quickly as possible and then gets the fuck right out of this comic book. The Teen Titans arrive at the Colony in Africa to find it a little bit different than they remember it.

It's now Professor Harvest's School for Gifted Youngsters.

Seriously though. How many times am I going to be forced to say this: Scott Lobdell never stopped writing the X-Men.

The Titans discover that nobody was permanently killed in the Culling. They were all resurrected and enrolled in Colony College. And none of them were bitter or wanted their freedom or were pissed at how they were manipulated and tortured and killed! Because, fuck it, they're getting a free education now!

Things continue to get more and more familiar and DC's lawyers continue to get more and more nervous.



I'm sure that Lobdell thinks he's being cutesy doing this whole X-men parody thing. But to pull off good parody, you have to have already proven that you can write well (or at least done enough hilarious parody to show that you're good enough to run a site like Eee! Tess Ate Chai Tea) and that you have ideas of your own. But since Lobdell's last Annual was also a parody of the X-men, Lobdell is simply proving that he has no other ideas. There's still a lot of comic book left, so this whole thing could be an illusion to draw in the Titans and kill them but I have a feeling Harvest might actually be this sick, old vampire version of Tim Drake and he really does want to begin again! Except we saw that beginning sequence so we already know Harvest is a big poopy pantsed liar!

Harvest tells Red Robin that his ultimate goal was to help and maybe he went about it a little wrongheaded that first time. But since he's brought everybody back to life and taken away their powers, no harm, right? Time to party and learn Latin, dudes! Now it's an intellectual Culling! Beast Boy is lucky he's missing out on this one! Total washout, that one.

But then Red Robin and the team explore a bit and then a few pairs of giant green hands grab them all and then Red Robin gives everybody up for dead and is ready to record a message to warn the rest of the world that Professor Harvest's School for Gifted Youngsters is a bullshit front for bullshit and other shit.

That's when Harvest enters the room so that he can have a hearty philosophical brawl with Red Robin.

I suppose Harvest planned every word!

After two and a half years of being the most powerful, well-planned villain in the history of the DC Universe, Harvest goes down like a chump. Raven destroys his Meta-DNA supply so that he can't use it to become a super duper villain (although the college hasn't exploded with him in it yet, so there's always hope of a hand shooting up out of the rubble and a "The End?" popping up under it).

But wait! Scott Lobdell isn't yet done jerking off all over Marvel's trademarks! After the Teen Titans pat themselves on the back for defeating Harvest by leaving him in that explosion (seriously. He was right there. One of them could have helped him out as they fled), Superboy takes over the narration of the comic book! But he's no longer Superboy since he died back in that stupid Back to Krypton story arc. Now, he's a herald of OmniGalactusWatcher!

Or whatever the fuck this stupid piece of shit character is. Oracle!

Please make it stop! But it doesn't stop! It never seems to stop! Lobdell still has a few more pages!

Apparently Wonder Girl went back to being a thief because she's a fucking asshole. And Raven became her roommate because she's pure evil. Bunker and Beast Boy joined with the Green Team to create a new super hero group called International Douchebags. Kid Flash and Solstice are still fucked on future Earth a full millennium century in the future! Skitters got work at STAR Labs where the artists still weren't remembering how she wasn't supposed to be able to control her form. Red Robin hangs out with Batman patrolling Gotham and using their real names which seems stupid but then I'm not Batman so what the fuck do I know? Except we all know that the team is really just going to forget about all of this bullshit and start over in a few months. Even Scott Lobdell knows his shit is going to be forgotten immediately.

Actually, it only matters what happens from here on out. What came before was complete and utter garbage.

Teen Titans Annual #3 Rating: You have to kind of admire how Scott Lobdell thinks that by tacking on these epilogues, he's somehow going to control the future path of these characters. If any of this shit is even mentioned in the new series, I'm betting it doesn't go past a few panels with an editor's note saying, "See Teen Titans Volume One! If you don't give a shit about wasting your time!"

No comments:

Post a Comment