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!