Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Team Titans #16

I'm fairly certain that this is some of that 3-D art that was popular at the time. I'm also fairly certain it's a dick.

In our new ultra-modern time, it's popular to not criticize art that you think is terrible. To simply say, "It was not for me," has become the popular trend. So let me begin my critique by saying, "This was not for me!" Now all the people who believe that shitting on somebody else's hard work is in poor taste should probably head on over to a more polite website, like ... well, fuck me. This being the Internet, I don't actually know of any. I guess any that have comments locked? Or maybe Neopets?

Heck, I haven't even read this issue yet! Maybe I'll love it and then I'll have to say, "It was totally for me! Especially the cover where the disembodied face sucked the huge three dimensional cock!" I have to admit that liking this issue is a possibility although it's not a probability. You know what I'm saying!

I forgot to do my anagram of the title: "'t' Santa Time!" That's "It's Santa Time!" but abbreviated in the way a cockney lad would probably say it just before he cleans out your chimney.

Please remember not to criticize my anagrams. I'd prefer it if you just said, "It wasn't for me," and moved along. My fragile ego thanks you!

Before I even read this, I'm wondering why nobody thought to introduce Lobo to this comic book to make it better. It was 1994! I'm pretty sure Lobo was still popular and yet not so wildly popular that fans would begrudge him showing up in a shitty book like this.

This issue begins in 1885 in the American West where a posse of lawmen pursue a lost in time member of the Team Titans. This member of the Team Titans is named Gunsmoke because the Team Titans time machine must send members of the Titans to the place and time where their name fits best. That's why Metallik wound up in the early nineties. Oh, sure, they would have been better off arriving in the eighties but maybe the time machine's artificial intelligence knew that a metal band wouldn't get a record deal in the early nineties which would leave Metallik more time to pretend they're making the world a better place while really just fighting evil Team Titans teams like Judge and Jury.

"Oh no! My horse was shot straight up the asshole!"

Image Comics changed the face of the comic book industry in many ways that smarter people than me actually know about. But one of the ways that people don't talk about as much (unless they do. I don't have time to actually read about comics or research them or interact with other comic book fans in any way except to make a disgusted face when they try to speak with me!) is how, immediately following Image Comics push for creator's rights, DC decided to create and trademark characters by every name they could think of. "Here are a bunch of characters created by committee that we can get our writers to use instead of creating their own and then expecting royalties on those stupid characters we own and don't legally have to pay extra for, you Goddamned vampires! Fucking Image Comics! Suck our dicks!" Team Titans had to be a reaction to this new mindset. The premise of this terrible comic book was that thousands of superheroes from the future were sent back in time to save their future. And most of those characters had terrible names, like Redwing and Gunsmoke and Battalion and Sparkle Boy. Evidence from the letters pages suggests that this comic book was expected to last long enough that audiences would see what happened to hundreds of these teams.

About the same time this series was hitting the shelves, DC put out their summer blockbustr, Bloodlines, which was just a blatant attempt to create as many new heroes as they could come up with before writers began expecting created by paychecks. I'm not sure how well it worked though since Hitman is probably the only hero created at that time that anybody could now name. And also, maybe Garth Ennis gets a created by paycheck for him? I don't know! How should I know?! Remember that part about how I don't do research?!

In conclusion, Team Titans can be criticized harshly because it was never meant to be a work of art or a coherent story or entertaining at all. It was just a repository for new characters that DC editors could later mention to new writers when they came on board. "Oh, you don't want to create your own character that you would really be into and thus probably write a terrific story about which would help make DC a lot of money even if we had to pay you creator's rights on it! Maybe you'd rather write a story about Loose Cannon or Joe Public or Cardinal Sin?!" Years later, that editor might be wind up looking at the top selling comics of the month to discover the writer who they drove away was writing a hit comic book with Image Comics because it was the story they wanted to tell but didn't know how to tell it using Loose Cannon as the main character.

Meanwhile, Terry and Donna had a baby that didn't grow up to be an evil narcissistic time traveling world conqueror. I sort of forgot about that.

"Stop being hysterical, Donna! Listen to me, a failed history professor, when I downplay our child's potential illness!" -- Terry Long, typical man.

I can't wait until Donna's child's skin sloughs off and he's revealed to be a mutant lizard monster. Then Donna can be all, "I told you something was wrong!" And Terry can be all, "You just live for these moments, don't you?! Wonder Girl! Always right! Can't do anything wrong! Won't let her husband live it down that he failed to write his book on mythology that would have given him a tenured position at NYU!" And Donna would be all, "I never bring that up! You need to let that shit go, you stupid bastard!" And then Terry can be all, "Our child is a lizard because you probably fucked some mythological creature during those months I couldn't get an erection because I felt like such a failure!" And then Donna can be all, "Why are you still even in these comic books?!" And then my writing teacher can be all, "Is this really how you want to write dialogue? With all the 'so-and-so can be all's?!"

Oh look! I was right about Lobo still being used to increase sales. I think this was right around when Lobo was being used on any series that wanted to prove that their hero could beat the unbeatable Lobo, thus turning Lobo into a punching bag and a loser. Which maybe he always was but look at how cool he looks! And at least he's only a genocidal monster and not a pedophile like Deathstork!

The rest of the comic book seems to be Jeff Jensen's attempt at art. That's my guess because he's doing something different and that means it must be art! The final nineteen pages are narrated by Nightrider, the vampire, as he's shot by a neighbor, crawls off to die, and then infiltrates the dreams of the other members of the Team Titans. That's not the artsy part though! That's regular comic book stuff. The artsy part is that Jensen tells the narrated story through the second person point of view. I always think of it as the Choose Your Own Adventure perspective. Maybe Jensen thought the reader would actually give a shit about Nightrider if they were put in Nightrider's bloody shoes? It's a decent attempt since if Nightrider were telling the story through the first person, I would read it while constantly thinking, "Is his name really Nightrider? Did I misread that? I should go back and check where Terry says his name. Let's see. Yep! It's really Nightrider. What a terrible name! Although I'd read a comic book where he teams up with Gunsmoke, sort of like Iron Fist and Luke Cage." But since the story is told in the second person, I completely forgot to think about Nightrider's dumb name because I was distracted by the use of the second person. Instead, my thoughts were these: "What the fuck is Jensen doing?! This is so awkward! It's like when my cousin began writing essays and stories at Mission College and he wrote them all in the second person because I'm pretty sure the only books he ever read were The Cave of Time and The Mystery of Chimney Rock!"

So congratulations, Jeff Jensen, on completely succeeding at taking my mind of Nightrider's name which, I guess, means I cared a little more about his story? Not that this story where he crawls into a cave to die concentrates on him and his pain anyway. It's more a storytelling trick to catch up the reader on all of the angst and pain and turmoil the other Titans are suffering through. Poor Nightrider! He's not even interesting enough to carry the story when he's dying!

Yeesh. Mirage dreams she "gives birth" (quotes because I don't think this portrays normal birth!) to her baby, conceived when Deathwing raped her, after which her baby threatens to rape her.

After a bunch of mysterious images and bits of story that make the reader believe they've seen some clues as to the future direction of this comic book (but actually haven't seeing as how none of the dreams mentioned how they'd be cancelled in nine more issues), the neighbor who shot Nightrider clambers into the cave and cradles him in his arms. "I won't let you die," he screams to the Gods! "Even if I have to let you suck my dick!" He glances around furtively. "That's probably how your life will be saved, right?" he says as he unzips his jeans.

Team Titans #16 Rating: A+ because it was artists making an effort, I guess. But this comic book wasn't for me.

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