Thursday, May 23, 2019

New Titans #111

The mystery is who thought sending Arsenal into space was a good idea and also who shit his pants?

If your superhero team needs spacesuits to survive in space, maybe send a different team of heroes on the space mission. It just makes more sense to leave Batman and Aquaman on Earth while Superman and Supergirl solve all of the space crime. I couldn't think of any other heroes that could survive in space. Hell, I'm not even sure if we're currently in an era where Superman is allowed to survive in space. Remember when DC thought it would be a good idea to reduce his powers so that even Superman had to wear oxygen when in space? Although even a Superman who can survive in the vacuum of space retains considerable plot problems. Sure, he can survive in space if he's within range of a yellow sun because that's how he gets his powers. Or was it simply that he lost his powers under a red sun and was just fine under any other sun? The 1986 Who's Who doesn't clear things up as it just says that Superman's Kryptonian cells act like solar batteries under a yellow sun. It doesn't distinctly say that the red sun weakens him so I guess he just grows weaker away from a yellow sun as his cell battery drains. Then again, I'm sure things changed after The Man of Steel series. And then again after Millennium. And then again after Zero Year. And then again after Infinite Crisis. And then again after The New 52. And then again after Rebirth. And then again after Doomsday Clock. And then again after whatever the fuck Bendis is doing.

Why the fuck am I talking about Superman?! I'm not even sure he knows the New Titans exist!

As I begin reading the first page of this comic book that shows Kory once again dressed in fraying threads, I remember that I already ranted about sending the Titans into space! In comic books, sometimes your last hope truly is the last hope. Nobody in the 90s wanted to have to rely on the Titans to rescue them.

The Terraist's satellite blasts the Brazilian rain forest as a means to get Brazil to stop razing their rain forests. I suppose it's a pretty good plan because if the forests are burned to the ground, Brazil won't be able to burn the forests to the ground. Reporters all over the world are asking the tough question: "Will governments give in to the Terraist's demands that they stop destroying the Earth before the Terraist destroys the Earth?!" My guess is that they won't because the Terraist's plan is fucking ridiculous. I wonder if the Terraist is also a landlord? "If you won't put up smoke detectors, I'm going to burn the fucking house to the ground. You have three hours!"

To save the world, the New Not-So-Teen-Anymore Titans have all crowded aboard some kind of space rocket.

The way Erlich is gripping that throttle and reaching for a wedge of cheese on the dash makes me horny.

You might have noticed Gar sitting in the back thinking while everybody else crowds around the controls in what I'm assuming violates several safety regulations. Gar's grieving his boring friend Cyborg. Red Star notices because Gar has made sure to do the contemplative hand on the chin while looking at an unfixed point in the distance pose. Nobody else notices because, I'm assuming, they're capitalists. It's a touching scene of a friend mourning the loss of another friend that isn't actually touching at all. But it does highlight Gar's mullet!

I'm not making fun of Gar's mullet at all. There was a time when we, as a society, accepted the mullet as a valid hair style. But then enough people began making fun of it that everybody had to back off and pretend that it wasn't a valid aesthetic. Maybe it had just too broad a base of people who generally wore the hairstyle. I mean, if you saw somebody with a mullet from afar, how were you supposed to know whether they were a working class butt rocker, a hockey player, or a lesbian?

Red Star brings up how the Titans have lost many friends.

Those friends are Terra (not a friend but a mole), Dick Grayson (not lost), and Starfire (also not lost). Would it have killed him to actually think about Jericho, Raven, and Danny Chase?!

Marv Wolfman intrudes on the fiction, musing about how this comic book is still fucking selling, with the line, "Sometimes I wonder why we're still even here." Me too, Marv! I was 22 and still buying this shit! Although there really was a time in my life where one of my main existential dreads was dying before seeing how different comic book stories ended. Imagine being so naive as to think any of these fucking things would ever have an actual ending!

Red Star says, "If we gave up, then our friends will have died in vain," without ever once thinking about one of their actual dead friends. Also without acknowledging that their friends died in vain. Maybe they wouldn't have died in vain if the Titans looked at their deaths and thought, "You know what? We aren't fucking helping anybody! Jericho was killed not saving the world but battling his father. Raven was killed not saving the world but being consumed by her familial darkness. Maybe we should stop fooling ourselves into thinking we're helping the world rather than harming it and just hang up our capes! That would be a fitting tribute to our dead friends!"

Garth interrupts the emotional stuff by pointing out that the Terraist's space station just launched a missile at them. I'm glad Garth, the undersea hero, is pulling his weight up in space by observing shit.

The scene shifts to the Terraist's satellite where I discover I'm not entirely sure if the bad guy is named The Terraist or Teraizer. What I am sure of is that his right-hand man is named "James." The Terraist states that public reaction is still on their side and I have no idea how that's possible. He's burning the fucking rain forests in an effort to save the rain forests. How the hell is anybody supporting this...oh fuck. I just remembered Donald Trump is president and the Republicans are burning this entire country to the ground in order to line their own pockets. Never mind. I totally buy it.

While Starfire flies toward the space station, she philosophizes about freedom. She's all, "It's ain't free, bitches! Some motherfuckers are going to have to die!" I'm not sure what this story has to do with freedom. It's more about saving the world from the most wrong-minded ecoterrorists to ever threaten to chop down the tree they're hugging. Maybe she's still hung up on her relationship with Dick and how she was never free while with him because he of his constant moralizing.

Meanwhile back in the burning rain forest, Dick Grayson comes to terms with his father/son relationship with Batman. Is this the exact moment Dick Grayson began to become a compelling character? Is this when he truly becomes Batman's equal? Instead of the whining brat trying to distance himself from Batman, he finally embraces what Batman represents and what Bruce taught him, both as a son and sidekick. I fucking hated Dick Grayson for so long because of this comic book, because Marv Wolfman needed to concentrate on the drama of teens rebelling against their parents and/or parental figures. But this might be the moment Dick matures. Which didn't mean I was ready to like the ungrateful turd. But I can see this as the experience needed before I could begin to change my mind about him.

Also, it probably helped when Dick began being written by writers other than Marv Wolfman.

The Terraist blasts Starfire into unconsciousness so it's up to Red Star to save her. Mostly because none of the other Titans have any real helpful super powers. I mean, Garth might try to summon a dolphin, or Roy might shoot an arrow with a rope tied to it, or Gar might transform into a space bunny rabbit. But mostly that shit would just waste time.

Look. I don't need my comic books to absolutely adhere to believable scientific standards, but what the fuck is Kory breathing?

The Titans invade the space station and defeat The Terraist as he inevitably winds up revealing that he's not interested in saving the world at all. He just wants cash. And since most of the world supported his terrible scheme, Starfire uses his camera link to the world to scold everybody on Earth. That probably won't help the Titans' reputation. Although she scolds them while practically naked, so my guess is not many people turned off the broadcast.

New Titans #111 Rating: D. The Terraist concocted this entire plan to make money. Why couldn't he be happy with the billions of dollars he apparently already had?! I'm fairly certain you can't build a space station of death while employing dozens of trained killers without having a pretty hefty bank account. It would make more sense if he did care about the environment even if his plan was completely contrary to helping the environment. Anyway, I hope the Titans decide to take care of his cat. That cat didn't choose to be owned by a huge dickhead.

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