Friday, May 3, 2019

Team Titans #18

The original cover had Mirage holding Deathwing's torn off cock in her upraised hand.

The casual use of the phrase "Payback is a bitch" in 1994 causes me to suspect this cover is problematic. Also, Team Titans is an anagram of "A mint taste," so does that help prove my point? Anyway, it's not like Mirage hasn't not been written to seem like a terrible person. Yes, she's strong and confident and probably threatens some people's masculinity (like Terry Long, for sure!). But she's also kind of hateful and mean-spirited and takes the piss out of people just because she didn't get enough sleep. Also she raped Nightwing. I keep forgetting that not only is she a victim of rape but she's also a rapist! I suppose one doesn't forgive the other but I also suppose I would feel more empathy for her if she hadn't raped Nightwing. In fact, I'm beginning to think this whole Deathwing rapes Mirage plotwas way more thought out than just another writer using rape as a casual means for a character's emotional journey! Maybe the whole Deathwing plot was a convoluted A Christmas Carol haunting to show Mirage the error of her ways! So this cover is basically Ebenezer Scrooge leaning out of his window on Christmas morning to ask some urchin to have a turkey delivered to him for a half a crown! As if anybody in town would trust Scrooge to pay them for their services! If A Christmas Carol wanted to be more realistic, it would have the kid throw up two fingers at Scrooge and call him a cunt. Also it would have less ghosts.

My new favorite comic book panel: Terry Long defeated by a baby.

Prester Jon has arrived back on Earth in his new body. I'm not sure if the body came this way or if it was changed by his time traveling through space on his roundabout way home but Prester Jon has become the fifth member of the Elastic Four (the other members are Plastic Man, Elongated Man, Jimmy Olsen on his stretch serum, and some other chump). The ability to stretch his body into any shape translates into the power to defeat four powerful elementals. Elementals who are just trying to save the Earth, by the way. Terra's introduction into the current timeline has wreaked havoc with nature, and so she must be dealt with. But just like all heroes who can never allow for the possibility that maybe their very existence is the worst threat to the universe, Prester Jon decides to fight them. Just like when Superman learned Earth was the cause for all the trouble in the universe and he just shrugged and was all, "But it's my home, motherfuckers!"

I'm sure I'm remembering that Superman story correctly.

The elementals are defeated by a white panel with the word "blink" in it. Maybe Zero Hour just happened and it fixed Terra's time anomaly? I have no idea. Anyway, this is a good example of deus ex machina, nerds. It's not Arya Stark going on a multi-year journey learning how to be a deadly assassin that can wear the faces of other people and get around silently amazingly being the one that nobody at all expected to kill the Night King. And by nobody at all, I mean everybody who wasn't watching Game of Thrones and/or people who love to talk about how the book was so much better than the movie (mostly to prove that they're not as illiterate as they sound).

Redwing discovers that she's growing claws to match her wings and she freaks the fuck out. Before she can maul Donna, the US Government arrives to restore order. That means they shoot her with a tranq dart and threaten to shoot everybody else with far worse. No wonder NRA members are so scared of the government! They must read comic books!

Also, I mean, sure, the government can be corrupt and scary. But the people who claim they need their guns to defend against the government also seem to be the ones who don't mind that police use extreme force and who also worship the military no matter how many times it's used for illegal and immoral purposes around the world. Just, you know, as long as the people getting shot don't look like they do, or the bombs don't fall in their backyards. But if those bombs did begin falling, look out! They've got a fucking ArmaLite to protect them!

Donna, Battalion, Redwing, and Nightrider are all taken into custody. The government doesn't like any of their answers to their questions (even the true ones!), so they'll probably wind up in federal prison. Also there's one of those white "blink" panels. That probably means they'll be okay somehow. Like maybe they all now fit in the timeline and the government will be able to check up on their pasts.

Meanwhile, Mirage has chosen to run away from her life but Detective Dick Deathwing is on her trail!

The hat and the trench coat don't make Deathwing less conspicuous.

Deathwing follows Mirage onto a train headed toward Miami. Once the train enters a tunnel (I think that's more rape subtext!), Deathwing attacks Mirage! At the same time, the artist's eight year old takes over art duties.

The tongue hanging out of Deathwing's mouth is the chef's finger kiss of this inspired scene.

Mirage locks the unconscious Deathwing in a bathroom and shoves some used toilet paper in his mouth before taking on his identity. Conveniently, she also intercepts a communication to Nightwing telling her exactly where the bad guy's base is! Because whenever I phone somebody about meeting me at my place, and I know that person has been to my place many times, I always still ask them if they'll soon be at 1990 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA 95050 USA.

Hopefully the next scene involving Mirage will be when she gets her nipple pierced. You know, to really nail down the Deathwing disguise! Although, will future panels showing Mirage as Deathwing make such flagrant use of nipple shots? Where does the Comics Code Authority stand on female shape-shifted nipples? I mean, they're still female, right?! If they are allowed in subsequent scenes, I can't wait to see if I'm aroused by them!

Back at the Long Family Farm, a bunch of rainbow people appear to tell Terra that the Team Titans will be going home soon. Are these another Titans Team? Or are they Zero Hour precursors?!

Deathwing's boss, Lazarium, steals Killowat's powers while he waits for Deathwing to arrive with Mirage. I wonder if he also stole Killowat's racism?

Team Titans #18 Rating: C. This was as average as a comic book could get. When the pencils and inks seemed unrushed, the art still seemed rushed. When the pencils and inks seemed rushed, the art was fucking terrible. And I'm a terrible artist, so I can say that.

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