Saturday, February 2, 2019

New Titans #106

New Titans is an anagram for Ew! Nan's tit!

For years, the standard method of making a boring character like Cyborg more interesting was to upgrade him and make him more powerful. This means Cyborg is now a member of the Justice League with Apokoliptian technology that's practically magic but his personality remains "a guy who sometimes yells 'Booyah!'" Perhaps the worst writing decision Marv Wolfman ever made (and he's made a lot of them! Remember, he's the guy who created Trigon, the demon who loves raping things) was not outright killing Cyborg during the Wildebeest story arc. I suppose when you create a character, killing it means also killing the lucrative "character created by" royalty money! I'm only guessing that the money is lucrative and that there is any money at all.

Look at that cover. It just screams, "You will be bored by this comic book!" No, it doesn't scream that. It says it in a dull monotone. Why does Arsenal look so smug? Is it because he needs to emote for everybody else? Why include a close up of Phantasm when he's incapable of expressing anything?

I just read this comic book and it's more boring than even the cover suggests. Cyborg didn't get an upgrade at all! All he does is wake up. If he did get an upgrade while he slept, who can tell? He never gets a chance to show off any powers at all! Not that he has many. At this point in his story, if he managed to do anything other than blast somebody with his white noise cannon, I'd consider it an upgrade.

By the end of the issue, Cyborg is awake, Arsenal is suspicious, and Technis has traveled to Earth to take over. So maybe the Titans will save the world finally!

New Titans #106 Rating: Terrible! I bought this comic book when I was twenty-one years old. That's embarrassing! But I suppose I should blame the thirteen year old who began reading this series. The twenty-one year old was just a slave to the need to collect every issue after that. Luckily Zero Year came along and taught me to stop thinking comic book continuity meant anything. Crisis on Infinite Earths tricked me into thinking DC cared about continuity and that every story in a about a character mattered to the overall tapestry of that character's life. But then Zero Year came out and I was all, "Oh. I get it. Continuity is all bullshit." One thing rereading comic books from my youth has definitely taught me: I wasn't smart.

New Titans #105

Arsenal might look better without the chaps but think of all the pockets he lost.

When a lot of your days are filled with thoughts like "Is this all there is?" and "How much longer must I suffer these fools?", it's easy to shrug your shoulders and spend the day reading back issues of Marv Wolfman's New Titans. It's either that or eat more sugar than my body knows what to do with. Either way, I'm looking forward to a lot of naps today.

Also, I suppose when I say "It's either do this or do that," I'm leaving out a lot of other possibilities. I suppose I could spend the weekend learning a new skill or reading a great piece of literature. I suppose I could spend the day speculating about even more things that would be a better use of my time than reading an old issue of New Titans but then I'd just have to list every possibility that might be open to me if I wasn't so completely fucking tired of living.

This is probably the moment in my after-school special where I finally understand Hamlet.

It's a pretty sad after-school special because it follows me well into my forties and I never learn a negative lesson from taking drugs.

This issue begins by remembering that Starfire and Nightwing were once major characters in this book. It's hard to imagine that only five issues ago, they were almost married. I would say they were married but whichever editor answers the letters was fairly adamant that the marriage was never legally completed. His two main arguments were that the priest never said "man and wife" and that the marriage document was never signed. Which is weird because isn't that usually signed before the wedding? Who wants to deal with the bureaucracy of marriage when you're rushing off to fuck for the presumably first time?! I signed my friend Doom Bunny's wedding papers as the witness. But since I signed "Ben Dover," I don't think he's legally married either.

Anyway, Starfire has decided to watch Councilwoman Alderman as she's moved into her new home, Nordling Asylum. She contemplates killing her because doesn't the councilwoman deserve to die? After all the truth she's told about the Titans? How dare she point out that they're reckless and dangerous and have hurt New York way more than they've helped New York? But she refrains and decides to do a sexy dance against the asylum's fence instead.

It's also possible she's shitting in her space diaper.

Nightwing arrives to scowl for four or five panels. He explains his motivation going forward for the next few months of this comic book. He's going to destroy Raven's soulself and help Starfire move past being raped on their wedding day by Raven's soulself. "It's like raaAAaaAAaape on your wedding day! It's free fries when you've already paid!" One thing we never appreciated Alanis for is kick-starting the national conversation on how many of us never really understood the definition of irony.

Meanwhile on Technis, this conversation is going on:

Technician: "We need Cyborg's soul to survive."
Changeling: "You can't have it!"
Technician: "But without his soul, we won't survive. And if we don't survive, we can't save Cyborg."
Changeling: "Never!"
Technician: "Are you even listening to us anymore? We're going to save your friend so he can save us."
Changeling: "Over my dead body!"

The Technicians use Changeling's memories to convince him that they just want to help. Most of his memories are about dead people so Gar just winds up crying a lot.

Gar can only express his emotions while doing a Buddy Hackett impression.

Pantha decides it's time to show some depth of character so instead of making a joke about Gar's mullet (mostly because the Beastie Boys had yet to let everybody know that it wasn't the best look), she gives him a hug and a pep talk. She feels he's lucky to have been given a hallucination of two people who might be his parents by suspicious alien computer people and hopes maybe they'll do the same for her. That way, she can learn if she's a human or a cat (and by "learn," of course I mean "told a probable lie by creatures she can't trust but she's still willing to believe because she's desperate and credulous). But Gar doesn't buy it! He's still suspicious and he's got the face to prove it!

Red Star is either burping or practicing sucking cock.

The Titans agree to let the little computer people help Vic except Roy doesn't completely trust them. He breaks into the central processing unit causing a feedback loop that brings Vic back to life without becoming a pawn of the Technicians. But Pantha doesn't find out if she's half-cat and half-human or the other way around (which is different somehow). Maybe that'll be next issue.

New Titans #105 Rating: The New Titans continue to not help anybody. Worse, Starfire contemplates murdering the only person who has consistently pointed out how terrible the team is at doing their job. I suppose it's okay now that Wolfman revealed Councilwoman Alderman was evil. Do you think Marv realized at some point that Alderman's arguments were truthful and convincing so instead of fixing the narrative, he just decided to make her evil? And somehow that's supposed to taint the truth of her opinions. "She may have been right about the Titans being a menace to New York City, but now that we've discovered she's evil, we should probably disregard her powerful and insightful arguments!" This issue was the worst issue in a long time because Cyborg was finally revived at the end. Boo! Hiss! Go back into a coma, you ennui machine!

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.

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?!

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Batman #63

King does Snyder's "Batman is happy/Last Temptation of Christ" story in one issue. And instead of the insufferable Commissioner Batman, we get John Constantine! King also lets slip he's on the side of the right: Snyder's happy Batman was all just due to Scarecrow gas.

I'm afraid I'm going to forget what was happening in the non-Batman dream part of the story by the time King gets back around to it. Also, what happened to Dick Grayson after he got sniped in the face? Does DC actually expect me to read Lobdell's Nightwing to find out?! Fuck that! I'd rather not know!

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Team Titans #14

Team Titans is an anagram for Meat Taints.

This issue begins with a fart joke and while I'd like to criticize writer Jeffrey Jensen for that, it would probably come off as hypocritical. Have you seen some of the immature shit I write? Just today, somebody on Twitter wrote, "A virus has spread around the planet. You are locked in at home. You must survive for 30 days. The last thing you ate is what you will eat until the virus passes. What are you eating for 30 days?" and I answered, "My own semen." At least, like everybody else on the planet, I didn't answer it seriously. As if the guy asking the question just wants to see an endless scroll of "Pizza!" and "Beer!" and "Chocolate!" Maybe not all people are so quick to lie like I am. I mean, the last thing I ate was not my own semen. If that virus actually did hit, it would 30 days of eating my girlfriend's asshole.

On the plus side, I didn't try to intimidate an elderly Native American Vietnam vet with my stupid friends who, judging by the video I'm referencing, are just a bunch of apes in Catholic school sweatshirts. I don't think I was ever friends with somebody who was a racist asshole. But I was friends with this one guy who was just a normal kind of asshole. And sometimes he would do something that you would expect an asshole to do. And in those times, I never backed him up. He once got his ass beat at a park for being a prick and I just stood by and shrugged. Maybe I even put on a lousy Maine accent and said, "You reap what you sow," as I watched him take his fucking medicine.

For those reading this who know me from high school, yes, I'm talking about Larry.

But now I'm a responsible adult who has decided instead of needing to make ethical and judgment calls based on your friends' actions, I would rather forego having friends. Comic books never look at me with a deep hurt in their soul because they feel betrayed by my friendship. They just sit there stupidly as I call them the worst names I can think of and express my extreme disappointment in them. So in a way, comic books are exactly like my friend Doom Bunny!

After the fart joke, the Team Titans enter a mall. I'm going to scan the first two panels to open them up for discussion. The main topic of the discussion is, "What the fuck? Did I just have a stroke? How dumb am I that I don't understand what just happened here? Please let me die."

Maybe Mirage developed echolalia due to her recent trauma? But that still doesn't explain why Battalion says distracted in the way he does.

Hopefully somebody else understands what just happened in these two panels because I've spent way too much time on it already. You might think I've only spent the amount of time it took to read it, scan the pictures, and type the previous words. But I first read this comic book in 1993. So now you know why I never amounted to anything.

Conveniently, the time criminals have decided to rob the mall. Time Commander's hourglass has wound up with some clock repair person who works in the mall and I guess super-villains can't just do a normal errand without robbing somebody. Not that they successfully rob anyone. At least I don't think they do. I'm confused by a bit more than the previous scans.

Chronos begins the comic book with just one arm even though I'm fairly certain he had two arms last issue. But then when he's battling Kilowatt, there's a "blink" and suddenly he has his arm back and he's saying, "Huh? Where the hell am I?" Maybe it will be explained next issue because the clock repair woman seems to have some kind of link to time travel. But even if she somehow manipulated time to give Chronos back his arm, where was it in the first place? I mean aside from on his body on the cover.

After the Team Titans destroy half the mall without even needing to (because apprehending these jerks was simple enough without Kilowatt destroying the roof and Terra destroying the foundation), Terra suddenly becomes a philosopher and psychologist. She realizes these criminals deal with time because they're obsessed with their own mortality. She then spends a page or two explaining why this is but all I read was "I'm Jeffrey Jensen and I have ideas, man! IDEAS!" You know, what everybody translates my reviews into as they read them. But just like every young person who thinks just because they have a hot take on something that they're great at deconstructing any text that crosses their path, Terra is just fucking wrong with her assumptions. I know this because I just read the Who's Who entry on Chronos and it explains why he's obsessed with time. It's because he saw how terrible he was at plotting crimes but was then inspired by the clockwork efficiency of the prison system! So he decided to learn how to make clocks. Although mostly he just learned how to make bombs that looked like clocks and guns that looked like clocks and deadly projectiles that looked like clock. He's basically Batman if Batman had had a neighbor who wanted to see time fly.

Team Titans #14 Rating: Terrible. Practically incomprehensible. Sure, overall I understood the story. Inept villains fail to rob mall while heroic team of teenagers destroy mall while stopping them. There's also a costume parade taking place in the mall but that never becomes a plot point like you would have expected it to. But following the story from panel to panel was too hard a chore for this Grandmaster Comic Book Reader. At least this issue has a letters page so I can read the terrible takes on why this comic book is great. That always makes me feel smarter than the five people who wrote in.

Friday, January 18, 2019

New Titans #103

Tumblr is definitely going to flag this as adult content.

Cyborg fans (I'm assuming there were at least two) were having a shit time in the 90s because Cyborg was out of commission for about two years. But if you really think about it, Cyborg fans were having a shit time every other decade as well because Cyborg is the most bland and boring character in the DC Universe. Sure, he says "Booyah!" occasionally but that's only worth it if you happen to be reading a Teen Titans comic book next to somebody else reading a Teen Titans comic book and you both read the "Booyah!" line at the same time so that you can reach over and high five. That's only happened to me like three times so I shouldn't use it as an example of the one thing that makes Cyborg interesting.

The shit that really makes Cyborg interesting are the things that are too serious to be discussed with my facetious and ham-handed approach to life. Like how Cyborg's character arc is that of a black American that had to be emasculated to be accepted by his white peers. He's sort of the Rankin/Bass Abominable Snowman of the Teen Titans. The only way Santa and his white capitalist regime will accept the Abominable Snowman (whom they refer to by a pejorative one word name, by the way. You know, the B-word (Also, the stereotype suggests that Abominable Snowmen can't swim)) is if they defang him and put him in chains. Then they use him to do the physical labor, like putting the star on the top of the tree. Fucking Santa was a racist scumbag piece of shit.

Anyway, I don't (and can't!) understand the things that really make Cyborg interesting. I mean, I can understand them when they're explained to me! But I can't come up with any of them because I find him too boring to contemplate in any serious way. One thing I do know: Marv Wolfman didn't fucking know what to do with him other than as a model for all the stereotypes Marv Wolfman knew. Oh, and smash him to bits in a rocket to Russia.

Marv Wolfman predicted Twitter

Just when you thought the Teen Titans had run out of relatives to attack them, Rita Farr shows up with the Brotherhood of Evil to disrupt the Titans' mind probe of Cyborg. During the fight, Terra finds time to remind Gar that she loves him because this comic book is ultimately a teen drama. It definitely isn't a super-hero comic book because the Titans never save anybody. It's simply a metaphor for being a teenager in nowhere near the same way Buffy the Vampire Slayer was. I mean, Buffy was as well but it was done competently which is why this is nothing like Buffy. Wolfman only knew that to be a successful teen drama, you need young people crippled by crushes, engaging in sex, and fighting with their parents. That's this entire series in a nutshell.

I once wrote a teen drama and here it is:

Canada Junior High

The fat kid ran up to the hot girl on his first day of Canadian School but not because he was hoping to become a man but because it was his sister.

"Hey sis! We're going to Canada School together now!" bothered the fat kid. His name was Fatkid.

"Don't talk to me, you mopface!" screamed his sister completely irrationally just like a junior high school girl would act. Even in Canadia which just goes to show that communism isn't any better than whatever America has because teenage girls are mean and nasty everywhere. Especially to their mothers and fat brothers.

"But Sis! We need to stick together because our parents don't live in the same house and neither do we for some reason that isn't because our dad is a fish but some other reason. I think it is because he likes jokes and whoopee cushions. And chicks old enough to get married and do it don't like those things," expostulated Fatkid to Sis (that was her name in case you didn't catch that).

"I don't care! You're making me unpopular! Go bug someone who isn't me, you mopface!" re-emphasized Sis who immediately went into the bathroom to change into her popular clothes. That means she made herself look like a whore. While she did that, Fatkid went and got himself locked in a broom closet by Jacob Jacoby, the shortest kid ever to go to Canada School.

"Ha ha! That mopface sure fell for the old get yourself locked in the closet routine!" high-fived Jacob to Lizard and Spokes who were off to write one song for their band and play it every episode for the next five years.

"I think I'm a lesbian!" dreamed Spacelin during the big slumber party. Unless she had a medickal seizure instead. Either way it doesn't matter since both things probably make for good character development.

After that, Lucky did some shoplifting with that one girl who never returns after Christmas Break (unless it is called Boxing Day Break in Canada School). And then the cool girl got pregnant at a party just like all the cool girls do. You can tell she's the cool girl because she has hair that can put ten people's eyes out all at once.

Then some foreign exchange student named Doctor Somebody saved the world from inside a phone booth and some people asked for money while other people answered phones. That was weird but it's probably important to the story so if you're an editor, don't even think about taking it out. I think there were some really scary puppets who only ate vegetable soup looking for treasure while riding in a hot air balloon too but I don't like to think about that because it gives me the creeps and this isn't a scary story; it's a coming of age story!

Oh yeah! I forgot to mention that Fatkid was rescued from the broom closet by the Asian kid, Bob. Bob and Fatkid become really good friends and enjoy a good flashback in the cafeteria to get everyone caught up on all of their shenanigans like the time they cheated on the male enhancement test and the time they had to do oral reports on cheap pottery.

Then the twins ran around pretending to be each other but you could always tell which was which by the gross plaque that Prude had on her teeth and Skank didn't. It's really disgusting and I think that paints a pretty good portrait of them so I'll move on to the big dance finale!

At the big graduation dance, the school caught fire and burned down. Unless it was destroyed by a giant snake instead. It was very exciting and initiated a new phase in all of their lives.

The End!

Rita and the Brotherhood of Evil wind up being blobby light creatures from a technological world creatively called Technis. They kidnap Cyborg because he's some kind of human/machine interface and they need him to wipe out a virus infecting their sister Zavior. One of the Technites has second thoughts about the kidnapping and remains behind to help the Titans travel to Technis for a four issue story arc that is going to completely suck.

Meanwhile, Pantha continues to suffer the worst existential crisis in the history of sentient beings: is she a cat that became human or a human that became a cat?! My guess is she's a cat that became a human because she's too stupid to realize that, being created by Project Hybrid, her issue should be "Am I the offspring of a cat that fucked a human or a human that fucked a cat?!" Oh wait. That's the same thing. Anyway, Pantha should buy a dictionary.

New Titans #103 Rating: Boring. It was a Cyborg issue! And the only thing more boring than a Cyborg story is a Cyborg story where he isn't brain dead. So this Cyborg story was actually a bit better than the usual ones. Plus Pantha freaking out about not knowing if she's a cat or a human was lamer drama than that found in any episode of CW's Arrow.

P.S. The Letters Page!

Ingrid Nuernberg substantiates my claim that Titans is nothing but a melodrama when she writes, "The current story arc is better than any soap opera." But she isn't criticizing the comic book! She's actually praising it! Weirdo.

All of the letters were in regard to Issue #100 and not one of them mentioned the rape of Starfire by Raven. Although Johnathan Mark Campa of Glendale, California, had this to say, "...the lip-lock between Raven and Kory (HOT STUFF)...". I feel you, Johnathan! I hate when comic book artists draw the women so hot that you don't realize something terrible is happening in the story! How am I supposed to know I should feel shocked and horrified when I have a boner stirring in my pants?! You know how many dead heroes I've jerked off to?! Stupid artists! Make terrible things look terrible so I stop acting terribly!