Monday, January 28, 2019

Team Titans #15

Team Titans is an anagram for Matte Saint.

What is it about the early art of Phil Jimenez that I can't stand? I would like somebody else to tell me what's aesthetically displeasing about it because I can't figure it out. I'm assuming it has something to do with the uncanny valley. Is it that he's drawing the characters as realistically as possible but just slightly missing the mark? Kilowatt is the best looking character on this cover so maybe I have a problem with his noses? And eyes? And mouths? And leg muscles? And Terry?

Some people probably read comic books because they love the combination of the art and the writing. But I read comic books because I'm an idiot. You know how long it just took me to read Frankenstein? I began reading it in May and it's now the end of January. It's only 220 pages but Shelley packs a lot of words into those pages. In comparison, comic books have much fewer words! It only takes me a few hours to read a comic book. I suppose if I read it straight through, it would only be a few minutes. But I sometimes read terrible comic books like Team Titans so I'm including the time I spend avoiding reading it in the time it takes to read it. So sometimes it takes over a week to finish one comic book!

My point is that I don't generally read comic books for the art. The art is just a bonus if I like it and barely a blip on the radar if I don't. Sometimes the art skews into so bad I love it territory but that's pretty rare. It usually happens with artists who insist on doing their own writing and they're a big enough comic book celebrity to be left alone by an editor. Then you get some legendary Rob Liefeld or David Finch shit where you can't follow the action from one panel to the next. Some comic book fans might bristle that I put David Finch and Rob Liefeld in the same category, and I understand why. A lot of you are dopes who think David Finch is a great artist. I won't deny that he draws well. But to be a great artist, I think you have to be able to draw men who have actual human lips instead of fish lips and women who might sometimes look older than fourteen. Also maybe tone it down with the double page splash pages?

But I'm not here to criticize Phil Jimenez at the beginning of his career, especially when I can't articulate what it is about his art I don't like (at least with Liefeld, I can argue with his supporters by typing in all caps, "DYNAMIC?! HALF OF HIS CHARACTERS STAND LIKE POORLY MOLDED ACTION FIGURES!"). Besides, I don't think you're allowed to call anything terrible anymore. You have to just say, "It doesn't do it for me!" After that, you wink and make a jerk-off or gagging motion (or both!). Besides, judging by the letters pouring in, some idiots love his work! I know they're idiots because they also think this comic book is good.

I mentioned I just finished reading Frankenstein so that people will think, "Ooh! Grunion Guy reads actual literature! La dee da!" I jotted down some of my thoughts while reading it.

"The doctor's name is Frankenstein. The name of the monster is Frankenstein Jr."

"First three chapters of Frankenstein: 'I'm about to seriously challenge your suspension of disbelief so here's a bunch of science and magic Victor studied that probably explains it all.'"

"'She also might turn with disgust from him to the superior beauty of man; she might quit him, and he be again alone, exasperated by the fresh provocation of being deserted by one of his own species.' — The moment Frankenstein's monster would become an incel."

"I hope Mary Shelley gets the credit she deserves for being the first to write about incels. Frankenstein's monster is a text book example of a guy who does horrible shit because he's desperate to get laid while laying the blame for his actions on everybody else."

"In Shelley's Frankenstein, Frankenstein hesitates to create a bride for his monster because he imagines she might have a terrible will and desires of her own and not be the perfect obedient bride. As if a man would ever come to that conclusion! Suspension of disbelief ruined!"

"Somebody needs to tell Frankenstein about the birds and the zombies."

"Apparently every sentence in this book begins with 'alas!'"

I had some other notes but most of those were just me wondering when Abbot and Costello would be introduced.

Let's get back to the Team Titans by examining the inside front cover.

I am now on eBay trying to get a copy of this disaster.

Dark Joker? How many writers at DC Comics have looked at the character of the Joker and thought, "Why didn't somebody make this guy more evil?" With The Batman Who Laughs, Scott Snyder must just be the latest in a long line of writers who have based all of their work on the most famous line from Crocodile Dundee.

In this issue, Councilwoman Alderman's grandchild from the future has returned to the past to launch a negative public relations campaign against the Team Titans. Some of that previous sentence is speculation. But I'll assume it's true because I know comic books. The bottom line is Jeffrey Jensen (the writer!) seemed to believe that this comic book needed to be exactly like the New Titans: a group of superheroes that don't do any actual superheroing are being smeared by the press. At least the Team Titans aren't purporting to help people. They've already done their job by defeating Lord Chaos and now are just trying to live their lives. Although they did make the mistake of completely trashing a mall. I suppose the millions of dollars in damage to the mall was worth stopping the theft of one hourglass. I don't see why the media should suddenly paint them in a negative light.

Except maybe for Kilowatt. I thought maybe he was a black man that was transformed into an energy being, probably because his Aunt and Uncle in this timeline were African American. Which is why I thought he was going to be in for a shock when he discovered why the Longs' neighbor was flying a confederate flag. But it turns out, Kilowatt is simply racist and was trying to make friends with another good ole boy.

I guess he has a crush on Mirage because she can just turn into a white girl?

The evil jerk plotting the Team Titans' downfall via bad press is a bald white guy in a purple suit. But he's from the future so he's not the bald white guy in a purple suit you're thinking of.

Team Titans #15 Rating: Who knew comic books from the early 90s were so full of social justice?! The B-story was all about a Jewish woman and how she survived Nazi Germany with the help of a Team Titans group that Battalion doesn't recognize. I think there was some moralizing in there about how it was bad to be a Nazi. Weird how nobody was pissed off about this kind of stuff in 1993. The Internet teaming up with white guys who can't get laid has ruined everything! Even if I was bored, at least I can give this comic book a high ranking because it was anti-Nazi! The problem is that it was also boring. Maybe if Jeff Jensen had made being anti-Nazi less boring, we wouldn't have Nazis again! Fucking jerk.

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