Saturday, January 26, 2019

New Titans #104

At first glance, this cover seems really exciting! "The Final Fate of Cyborg" probably means that he's going to die, right?! The artist corroborates the theory by showing Cyborg receiving a bullet bukake. And the name of the story is "Terminus" which is basically just a fancy Thomas the Tank Engine way of saying "the end"! But then you begin to notice the cracks in this vision of paradise! First, this is only "part one" of the story. While that doesn't erase the thrill caused by the presumption that Cyborg will be dead at the end of this story, it does mean I'm going to have to read more than one more issue featuring Cyborg. The other problem? "Now Biweekly!" Two New Titans featuring Cyborg every month?! Who thought that was something to be trumpeted?! DC must only hire sadists.

The New Titans have been transported to Terminus by a rogue computer being so that they can save Cyborg who was kidnapped by the other computer beings. Except I'm sure that can't be right because this issue begins with Cyborg (controlled by Prester Jon) arriving with the other New Titans. Except because I was sure I couldn't be right, I pulled out Issue #103 to confirm that I was right and Marv Wolfman had decided, between issues, that maybe things should be different somehow? Look, it's only the first thing I'm going to be confused by in this issue. Would you like to see the second?

Pantha is now the funny one.

To fully understand the previous caption, you have to understand that Changeling used to be the funny one before he became depressed by his friend's transformation into an appliance less useful than a toaster (I suppose toaster's aren't technically "useless." But they're so specific in their purpose that I don't understand them on a fundamental level. How can something (or somebody) be that confident in their place in this world?! Doesn't a toaster want to experience other things?! Doesn't it worry that maybe it made a wrong choice? Sure, I understand that a toaster never actually had a choice to be anything but a toaster! But that's why this digression would be considered a metaphor!). And when I describe somebody as the "funny one," I don't actually mean they're funny. I'm using the phrase to denote that Marv Wolfman thinks they're funny but every reader of this comic book who wasn't developmentally arrested did not think they were funny at all.

Pantha makes a Tarzan reference five years before Tarzan would be released by Disney meaning she's, once again, making a reference an old man would make (and realize that when I'm calling the Marv Wolfman who wrote this in 1993 "an old man," I'm the same age now that he was then). But that's not too bad because Pantha is a mystery and we don't know how old she actually is. She might be a hybrid of a teen girl and a seventeen year old cat which means she's like 93 or something. But she's also including the name "Simba" which means she's keeping up with her current pop culture references too (that's where the teen girl half comes in!). In the age of the Internet, two pop culture references is roughly equal to one funny joke. But this wasn't written in the age of the Internet so Pantha had to add a little bit more for her routine. So by the time she says "loincloth sandwich," you should practically be in hysterics. Also, I probably shouldn't use the word "hysterics" seeing as how this is the age of the Internet.

The premise of Pantha's joke is that Tarzan once met up with a lion (not really named Simba!) who said, "Rooooaaaar! Roooaaaar! Rooooaaaar roooooaaaar!" But knowing that readers remember how Tarzan could talk to the animals (and this being the Internet, I don't have to make a joke here. I can just say "Doctor Dolittle!" and everybody reading this in groups of two or more will excitedly high five each other), we realize Tarzan hears, "We're here to help you!" But that was a lie because the lion was (being a LIE-on! Ha ha!) really just hungry for a loincloth. Fuck. Now I wish there were somebody nearby to high five.

I won't even mention the poorly edited stuff aside from this aside where I mention it.

But Pantha trying to be funny and snarky isn't the worst part of this panel (it can't be! Because I totally identify with Pantha!). The worst part is the way the light-being chooses to appear to the New Titans. What the fuck is that shit?! It's like Lobo and Image Comics fucked, got pregnant, chose to abort the baby, looked at the fetal tissue leftover and said, "Whoa! That would make a great Image character!" You know, exactly how all of the early Image characters were created. I bet his name is Bloodorgasm.

The Titans discover that the world of Technis is dying. The Technicians realized the only way they could be saved was to claim a soul. They learned this due to a story in Swamp Thing that I didn't read. I guess Swamp Thing fucked a Technician which caused her to gain a little bit of soul. I didn't realize that my soul could be expelled from my body through my semen. Also, whenever I use the word "soul," understand I only mean it metaphorically. Don't think I believe in anything so optimistic as life after death! I should be so lucky to be dumb enough that I could mistake my desires for actual truth.

Changeling realizes that the little computer people need Cyborg's soul if their civilization is to survive. But Changeling doesn't want to give it to them even though the request is equivalent to asking somebody if they can dismantle your toaster to use the parts for their life support machine.

Some of you might be wondering, "What's been going on with Baby Wildebeest? You don't discuss Baby Wildebeest enough!" And to you, I say, "Fuck off! Baby Wildebeest is the worst character Marv Wolfman ever came up with (and yes, I realize he came up with Pariah and Cat Grant). Baby Wildebeest spends every comic simply repeating famous lines from pop culture and expressing his love of video games. Occasionally he gets mad because somebody threatens "Momma" and then he Hulks out while Marvel lawyers get raging litigation boners.

New Titans #104 Rating: The Titans haven't done any real superheroing for about eighty issues. I might be engaging in hyperbole with that number but even if I had said "Forty issues," it would still be too many for a group that espouses to be heroes but should really just be guests on an episode of Jerry Springer. Was that an old man reference?!

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