Saturday, December 10, 2016

Titans #4

If you added a "His" to this title, it could anagram into "shitstain." Apt?

Brett Booth's art is terrible. Why are so many people fooled into thinking he knows how to draw? I suppose if he were drawing people with blood clots in their thighs, causing the painful retention of blood and water in their massively expanding legs, I could see how he was doing a good job. In the early stages of The New 52, his style didn't bother me. I might have even mentioned liking it once or twice because I'm more apt to appreciate cartoony comic book art than art that verges on the realistic. But I think somewhere along the way, he noticed people were raving about Kenneth Rocafort's comic book style. Now Booth's panel layouts are all over the place. It's so punk rock! Here's a simple hint that your comic book art is terrible: if the best compliment people can give it is that it's "dynamic," you're art is shit. Now, I don't know that people describe Booth's art as dynamic but I'd agree with that assessment. It's pretty fucking out of control and all over the fucking page. Plus, he fills a lot of space with clouds and dust which presume movement (dynamism!) but are really just a lazy way to cover up that boring background art.

So anyway, Wally West is back in the Titans and a lot of people are thrilled. I think. I'm annoyed because did the DC Universe really need another speedster? Nobody knows how to write a good Speedster comic book. Here's the first page as evidence:

Take his wand, Wally. Take it. Go super fast and take it. See when he says, "Oh"? Take the wand now! Dammit, stop hesitating. Now he's saying "but"! Take the wand! Take it! idiot! Okay, you've still got a chance! He's now saying "yes!" So much time in the space of that word for a speedster to take the wand out of Kadabra's hand and shove it up his pee hole. But does Wally take the opportunity? Nope. Maybe he'll finally superspeed into success while Kadabra says, "She's gone, Mr. West! Ppof! Your precious Linda Park has vanished before your very eyes!" No, wait, he didn't do it. See that second "POP!"? Kadabra's gone!

Some of you fuckwits will rationalize why Wally doesn't act in what is practically a decade of time from his perspective because you're puppets of your fandom. You could never utter a bad word against the character who you love so much you've drawn a terrible line drawing of him naked that you keep tucked inside your pillow case so that you can masturbate over him every night and fall asleep in your soggy sheets dreaming of his spectacular big thighed body. You're probably thinking about how traumatized poor Wally is having just seen his lover disappear right in front of him. He was too stunned to act! He was in shock! Or maybe he was too stupid to stop Linda Park from being kidnapped by Kadabra since Wally West had this exact same amount of time to stop Kadabra from taking Linda at the end of the last issue. I suppose he was too busy trying to hide his Linda Park Boner to save her that time, right?

Nothing is instantaneous (especially not villainous speeches directed at the hero) but, somehow, in Speedster comic books, the reader is constantly asked to believe that people can get the drop on a Speedster. Even if we theorize Wally West has two modes, Regular Speed and Speed Force Speed, I still can't believe that somebody can get the drop on him while he's at normal speed. If I can punch the face of a person who startles me from behind then Wally West can drop into Speed Force Speed just as quickly. And once he's gone speedy, nobody can do anything that Wally West doesn't want them to do. He should never say, "But I'm not fast enough." I never want to hear that coming from a Speedster. Unless, of course, the Speedster is fighting one of the infinite evil Speedsters that are all always faster than the good Speedster so that the story has some kind of fake dramatic tension.

Wally goes on to explain how Kadabra's "techno-magic" made Linda Park disappear right in front of him and he wasn't fast enough. I would totally accept that if what happened was she was there and then suddenly she wasn't there. But what happened was Kadabra teleported in, said a whole bunch of shit, and teleported out. And now the same exact crap is going on as Kadabra teleports around while speaking and Wally isn't fast enough to catch him. I guess Kadabra is saying everything in a nearly instantaneous burst of noise which Wally can hear as normal speech due to being in Speed Force Speed.

This should be the mantra of every member of every incarnation of every team of Titans ever.

Abra Kadabra calls Flash by his name, Mr. West, so I guess Flash's secret identity isn't a thing. I know some heroes don't give a shit about secret identities which, you would think, would ruin it for everybody. Because it can't be that difficult, with a little time and research, to begin matching up all of the regular people Wally West hangs out with and then matching them up with the people they hang out with before a pattern begins to develop. Wally to Dick to Bruce. Wally to Roy to Oliver to Dinah to Barbara to Bruce. Wally to Garth to Arthur. Although Arthur doesn't have a secret identity either, right? It's just nobody on the Justice League wants to hang out with Aquaman on off hours, so Arthur Curry can't be linked to any of the other Justice League members' secret identities.

Linda Park is such a fat ass. Look at that! No thigh gap!

I'm not sure, by the size of Brett Booth's character's thighs, he could draw a woman with a thigh gap. I guess that's one positive thing I can say about his art!

Kadabra's plan is to destroy Wally West. He thinks that's a magic trick. He also thinks, if we allow him the benefit of the doubt that it is a magic trick, that anybody will be interested in the trick. I mean anybody besides me! Because, let's face it, The Titans haven't actually existed before this in this reality. So nobody will give a shit about them. And if people assume that these Titans are the same as those Teen Titans that went around causing chaos and mayhem and breaking into prisons and helping escaped convicts remain free, then...okay, maybe people will enjoy that trick if they think that.

Abra Kadabra is just being used by The Watchmen, though, to try to tie up all of the loose ends from the Preboot Universe that have wormed their way into The New 52 universe (which has now been rebranded the Rebirth universe but is still exactly the same as The New 52 universe only with more idiot readers who fell for the rebranding and are super excited about that thing they recently despised). To be fair, the Rebirth universe is actually completely different than The New 52 universe because the writers have a mandate to make the characters say things that aren't true about the Rebirth universe but, if said enough, will become true to the audience.

Like here. Wally declares the Titans are his oldest and best friends. Maybe to Wally but they hardly remember him! Except they totally remember him and their New 52 lives because fuck you. Also, Dick tells Wally he loves him which totally isn't true because Dick barely knows him. And he tells Lilith that she's always been a Titan even though he didn't know she existed before a few issues ago. Except, I guess, he completely remembers Wally and Lilith and all of his Preboot memories. So look for Dick Grayson to be in an insane asylum in a few issues. Probably along with the rest of these characters (and Wonder Woman!) who suddenly have to remember various incarnations of themselves because DC's editors have sucked at their jobs for thirty years now.

Think about how badly DC knew they screwed up with The New 52 by the second year in. They thought divesting all of their characters with their decades of past, crazy history would make for an interesting project. But by two years in, they desperately felt the characters needed more history to them and so they pulled that fucking terrible Futures End crap. They thought injecting five years of fake history into the characters would make the characters interesting and yet they just discarded fifty years of actual stories for their new project. They were desperate to inject something more than the present into these characters. They were devoid of the drama of past history and relationships so DC tries to fill that void with prognostications of their futures. Which is the dumbest thing to do because now instead of creating tension and drama, you've locked your characters into a path that leads them to their stupid Futures End future. DC realized their mistake at some point and decided to pull the whole Conversion thing as a bit of legerdemain as they threw out most of the Futures End stuff and tried to forge a new path into the New 52. That, of course, failed as well and the only thing they had left was the emergency chute: bring back Wally West to show they mean to change things back. But in the meantime, blame most of the mistakes on the audience by making The New 52 the fault of the Watchmen (get it? The watchers! The readers!) but pretend that the Watchmen actually represent the editors who really should take all of the blame but DC only really blames them in a wink, wink, tongue-in-cheek manner. DC fucking hates everybody reading their comic books. The contempt shows in every editorial fuck up they bumble into.

This page could have been replaced by a Polaroid of Dan Abnett jerking himself off and I wouldn't have noticed the difference.

Where the fuck did Tempest come up with that time table? Is that how long the Find the Lady vaudeville act usually lasted? Oh, and remember what I said about Booth's penchant for dust and steam? You can practically hear Brett Booth moaning, "Fuck these skyscrapers. STEAM!" The bottom panel of this same page (not scanned) has no background except gray expanse and steam or dust or farts. Whatever.

Oh! And also, just in case you didn't remember that the Titans are lifelong friends who totally didn't just learn of each other's existence about three days previously, Donna Troy reminds everybody. Hey Donna Troy? Have you told them that you're a golem created to destroy the Amazons who has also become The Three Fates? Can't you use your ability to see everybody's destinies and tell them all where Linda Park is?

I love that Donna Troy, here in Rebirth, already has a terminally fucked up and confusing backstory.

Wally thinks, "At first I think, I don't deserve friends like this. Then I think, I'd do the same for them." We get it, Dan. Jesus fucking Christ. They're best friends! Friendship wins! Friends friends friends friends friends friends friends! This shit is sappier than fucking Lumberjanes.

Kadabra has shown the Titans three locations across the city where Linda Park might be so they split up to check those locations. Haven't these idiots ever heard of Three Card Monty? None of the cards are the card you're looking for! Plus, he's a magician! Figure out where he might be thematically! Don't trust he's appearing at a Gymnasium or a Keymart! I mean, maybe he is performing at a Keymart because he's a shit magician. But even then, it would be from 2-4 on Sunday afternoon.

Kadabra doubles the power of his puppets so that they're twice as powerful as the Titans. If he has that kind of power, why is he taking so long to destroy the Titans? He can make people with super powers! He can...wait a second. What does it mean to double Nightwing's powers? Does that mean he's an even better friend than Dick Grayson?

I'll let the rabble make the ass jokes.

Fuck you.

If Wally West obliterates you in the future, how did you come back from the future to stop Wally from obliterating you? And if that's just one possibility and you came back from a future where he didn't obliterate you, why come back at all? Kadabra mentioned earlier he's the greatest magician on all worlds. Why not pick a world that hasn't realized he's a greedy prat and just live there? Comic book time travel is always the worst. Why not have Kadabra come from the future because it's easier to rob banks in the past? Why not have him come from the future to steal shit that will be valuable in the future so he can take it back and sell it to make his fortune? Why not have him do anything except change the past so the future is different? Who fucking cares?! If you can time travel and you hate your lot in life in the present (of your future!), why not fucking go forward in time to start again?!

So the Titans go about town fighting the puppet Titans. It's super exciting.

Here. Have some disgusting thighs and terrible repartee while I finish reading this shit.

Kadabra explains to Linda Park that if Wally West "accelerates too fast, he loses himself." So I guess that's the excuse for why he can't be super fast enough to stop somebody when they're talking? He has to warm up the engines and go from zero to light speed in a reasonable amount of time? Apparently that amount of time is too reasonable and anybody can beat his ass then. Except later Kadabra just mentions that it happens when he runs too fast. So which is it? Is it too much of a top speed that causes him to become unbound in the universe or is it too much acceleration? Either way, it's an arbitrary limit that just makes The Flash useless whenever a writer needs him to be useless. Because now he has to be fast enough to stop the criminal but not too fast or he'll disappear from the universe. Which means...well, it means nothing. It just means the writer has some kind of excuse to keep Wally West from being invincible.

The Titans all fail against the Titan puppets which must be truly humiliating. Wally has to save them all but Kadabra has another trick up his dick: he sends them all to different cities so that The Flash has to run all over saving them! I mean, he sent one group to Coast City and the others to Metropolis and Gotham which are basically right next door to each other anyway. But the issue is that The Flash will have to run super fast to save them all and we just learned what will happen then! The Flash will get lost in infinity! Or something.

The Review
Terrible. It's possible the writing isn't as bad as I believe it is because I'm in a pretty foul mood having to look at Brett Booth's art throughout the story. But I'm fairly certain the writing is that bad because on the final page, Wally West Narration Boxes, "His techno-magic is faster than thought." That's not a thing. See, Kadabra has to think a thought to get the techno-magic to do the thing, so it's at least slower than thought. But let's pretend it's pre-programmed to be faster than thought anyway. Thought isn't really all that fast. Here's the thing. If the Flash runs at superspeed, his ability to think has to be faster than a regular person's ability to think or else he couldn't navigate while running. Hell, he probably shouldn't be able to see very well while running and he certainly shouldn't be able to hear other people talking to him while running faster than the speed of sound. And people shouldn't be able to hear what he...sorry! I've gone off track. Anyway, a common way to beat The Flash in old DC Comics was to have him go up against psychics like Grodd because their thoughts were faster than his speed ability. Again, though, total nonsense. I'll admit that if Grodd blasted The Flash with his psionics while The Flash wasn't paying attention, it would work wonderfully. But if The Flash survived the blast, it would be over for Grodd. Unless Grodd didn't need to be nearby and only needed to think his psychic thoughts without directing them. But then who could stand against Grodd anyway?! Maybe Doctor Fate!

Um, anyway, I didn't like this issue or this series, so it's gone. Off the list! Even if it's going to be a linchpin series in the whole Watchmen fucking with the DC Universe story, I have to drop it. There are just way too many bad ideas in it and it's trying way too hard to replace New 52 continuity for whatever the fuck the characters say enough times to convince readers. I'll pass.

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