Saturday, January 12, 2019

New Titans #102

Why couldn't this have been Starfire on the cover?

One of the big changes to the New Titans post Issue #100 involves Gar Logan's powers. It was okay to be a character that could turn into all sorts of cute and lovable animals in the eighties. But this was now the fucking 90s, motherfucker! Nobody is going to be impressed by Changeling turning into a raccoon to steal Gizmo's batteries out of his World Destruction Gadget. This is the era of people named Deathblow and Deadkill and Murderfuck! So Marv Wolfman pulled on his "I'm Keeping Up With the Times!" pants and decided Gar could now only turn into the most vicious and scary looking demonic creations. So instead of becoming a bear and getting Deathstroke in a bear hug to save the day, Gar now has to turn into a creature with three mouths full of teeth and seventy thousand dicks. The dicks aren't in the mouth specifically. I mean, with seventy thousand of them, I'm sure some of them are in the mouth. But I didn't mean for the description to sound like all of them were in there.

Since Councilwoman Alderman went insane and died, she's been replaced by Councilman Quirk. At first you might think he's basically the same character because has he got a huge bee in his bonnet about stopping the Titans before they get any more citizens of New York hurt or cause millions of dollars more in damages. But then you realize, "Oh! He's got a dick!" So that's probably why the change.

Or maybe because it would be hard to sympathize with Arsenal if he were screaming like this at a woman? Not that it's at all easy to sympathize with his terrible position. Screaming at a guy making salient points to just shut up and "lissen" to you? Maybe chill out a bit, Roy. Have you tried opiates?

I can understand how Roy would like to clear up this mistake that Sinn is a Titan. But I'd argue that he should allow the misconception. Sinn has now saved more New Yorkers from criminal harm than the Titans have in 101 issues! I think this situation can be spun in a positive direction! Roy should have been all, "Sure, Titans don't kill! And Sinn didn't kill these scumbags. They were merely killed in the commission of a crime against the people of New York. Sinn couldn't know they didn't have invulnerability! If you dress as a super villain to commit crimes, you have to expect that you're going to, at some point, be punched by Superman. You think people would blame Superman for killing somebody who acted invulnerable and was putting people in harm's way?! He'd punch that fucker into outer space without a second thought and be proud of the lives he saved. Why would anybody spend a second thinking about the dumb criminal who died doing dumb criminal stuff?! It's the criminal's own fault, really!"

If you have any problems with that line of reasoning, don't argue them back at me! That was Roy Harper saying that stuff!

I shouldn't even bother discussing the Titans and their adventures. Liz Alderman (I decided to finally use her first name because I think I'm the only one amused by the phrase "Councilwoman Alderman") and her male replacement, Leonard Quirk, quickly become the most intriguing aspect of Marv Wolfman's Teen Titans. Marv wants so desperately to create a public persona who condemns the Titans while obviously being on the wrong side of history. And yet, she's absolutely proven right every step of along the way. If one were to go through this entire series and count the number of times the Titans saved people from danger which the Titans were not ultimately responsible for, the number would be far less than the amount of story arcs within the last hundred issues. The Titans bring danger and destruction to New York City. Liz Alderman has valid complaints about their proximity to the city. She should be praised as a hero trying to save her community. Instead she's vilified and treated as a mere nuisance and public relations nightmare.

Ultimately, I think Marv Wolfman realized Liz might be more sympathetic than he expected. So what does he do? He reveals that she's being manipulated by Raven gone evil. Which, when you think about it even a little bit (which is all I can generally muster), doesn't invalidate her previous complaints! It just shows she was under the influence of evil when she was trying to get the Titans shut down. But that doesn't mean the Titans shouldn't be shut down! It just means terrible reasons to shut down the Titans line up with plenty of good reasons to shut them down! They're a fucking nuisance to the city and they, rightfully, should be banned from New York.

By the end of this issue, we learn that Councilman Quirk has been manipulated by Sinn! Oh no! Once again, good arguments against the Titans operating in the city will be overshadowed by the evil manipulating this poor man! The Titans sure do get lucky!

New Titans #102: Once again, the threat to the city isn't actually a threat to the city. Sinn is actively targeting the Titans. If they weren't there, she'd be off doing something else. I mean, sure, maybe she would be murdering people and looting the city because it wasn't protected by the Titans. But that's just rampant speculation on the part of Titans' lovers! Ignore them and just acknowledge the facts! On the plus side which is actually another negative side but I'm trying to be more positive, Cyborg might soon get his personality back! Unless he already has it back? It's hard to tell because he's so fucking boring.

The letters page is back and it's full of "did this person's brain get pierced by a screwdriver" compliments like this one by Jesper Christiansen: "The New Titans is definitely the best super-hero comic book on the market today. Marv Wolfman is an exceptional writer. While reading New Titans #97, I felt the same as when I was reading Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings; I couldn't get enough, and I didn't want it to end." Jeremy Norris sends in a list of questions and two requests, one reasonable and one because he loves boobs:

"1) Is Solar Flare Red Star's new name?
2) Will Aqualad ever get a new name?
3) Can you please bring Speedy back with a new name? How about Longbow?
4) Please get rid of Cyborg.
5) Will we ever see Aqualad, Troia, Nightwing, Flash and Speedy fight side by side again?
6) I would like to see a Titans action-figure set that includes Starfire and Redwing."

It sounds like Jeremy has an issue with some names! But Longbow? Ugh!

One reader whom I think I'd probably get along with great sent this:

Not lose Changeling. Not change Changeling's name. Not even a "please" kill Changeling. This guy understands communicating thoughts.

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