Thursday, April 25, 2019

New Titans #107

Can you imagine a team superhero series making it to Issue #107 and believing this is the line-up that will get them to another hundred issues?

I know you're all judging me for that caption. Not because you can't agree with it completely (unless you're somehow, shamefully, a Cyborg or a Beast Boy or a Roy Harper fan) but because I didn't mention Cyborg's weird new cybernetic baby legs. The cover is by Nick Napolitano who seems to be mostly a letterer now (for — forgive me — obvious reasons)? Maybe it's not the same person. I'd hate to imply that a respected letterer in the industry today once drew Cyborg with fountain pen feet and fairly decent breasts.

Although the letterer on this issue is Christine Napolitano, so maybe he stole his wife's job when DC fired him as a penciller?

Oh, excuse me! I shouldn't assume Nick was fired as an artist because of the way he drew Cyborg on this cover. I should probably assume he was offered more money to work at Image.

In my commentary on Team Titans #16, I speculated that the series could have received a huge sales boost by having Lobo as a guest star. If my memory served, I thought it might have been at peak Lobo saturation at DC. According to the ad on the inside cover, I may have been spot on.

Every successful pitch at DC in the early to mid nineties began "Picture this: Lobo [rest of pitch interrupted by sounds of editors jizzing and creaming their pants]."

The issue begins with Roy Harper enclosed in a metal box in space while he tries to explain claustrophobia to sentient software. He describes his reaction as his "sweat glands doing a world-class impersonation of Niagara Falls." The next few pages do not include Roy Harper explaining what Niagara Falls is nor does it include the sentient software saying, "Slowly I turn. Step by step. Inch by inch." If you're young and you don't understand any of that meant, just let it go. Let the old people have their moment to nod and smile nostalgically!

The sentient software haven't had an upgrade in eons ("since Noah was a pup," according to Roy Harper) so they need to copy and paste Cyborg's soul into their code. I know it sounds ridiculous but just remember that this was written in 1994 when people still believed in souls.

If I had a body for the first time in decades, due to the sudden rush of sensations, I would not want it to be in a skintight leotard.

Prester Jon's argument for mortality is that "knowing life is finite is what gives us our drive." You know what I would trade for immortality? My drive! It's barely extant anyway! I know I only have a limited time to write my Horatio Algeresque sex adventure novel, Slags to Bitches, and I still can't be bothered!

The sentient software decides to give Prester Jon his mortal body even though "it is not within [their] programming." What good is software that performs tasks it isn't programmed to perform?! It's like having a toaster thatt can suck your dick.

Hmm. Shark Tank, here I come!

Sarah's low bar for love is inspirational!

Prester Jon reveals his new body and, I believe, Baby Wildebeest reveals that he's gay.

Baby smash!

While Technis begins to destroy the Earth, Phantasm freezes up in a moment of existential crisis. He wonders if he saves people for their sake or if he's saving them because he finds pain delicious. Either way leads to the same thing: Phantasm helping people in pain to be close to their pain. So I'm not sure what the crisis is really about. The only way I see this moment making sense is if the drive is sexual so he's going into a shame spiral.

Speaking of a sexy shame spiral, I'll be right back!

Meanwhile in New York, Councilman Quirk decides to hold a press conference as the Earth is being destroyed. He's decided to lay the blame on the Titans (and just because it is the Titans' fault, he shouldn't know that!). Who does he think will see this broadcast?! Everybody in New York is being turned into digital data or running around trying not to be turned into digital data. This is the worst attempt to garner votes that I've ever seen!

The Titans manage to save the world but in so doing, everybody learns that Cyborg wants to kill himself. Booyah! That's the best idea he's ever had!

I probably shouldn't make light of suicide, and normally I wouldn't. But have you read a comic book with Cyborg in it?! They're all so boring! At least if he attempted suicide, there might be some drama or tension!

I don't think Pantha has ever seen The Wizard of Oz.

Cyborg reveals that he can no longer exist off of Technis because they've completely drained his battery. Remember, this was 1994! If some piece of technology broke down, we figured the battery had died and we threw the whole thing away. So the Titans are forced to throw Cyborg away. He's incorporated into Technis and it flies off into the universe. And Cyborg was never seen again!

New Titans #107 Rating: A+ in 1994 because it left me with the hope that Cyborg was gone for good. F- in 2019 because what the fuck, DC?! How is he a major member of the Justice League?! Oh, don't point to Aquaman as if having one boring member justifies a second!

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