Thursday, July 14, 2016

Catching up on Comics-- Series Run: The Titans #6

1999, DC Comics
Maybe I was just sleepy when I read it, but this was almost...pretty good.

Donna and Roy take focus as their date is interrupted when they face their old enemy Red Panzer -- who is supposed to be dead -- and his gang of white supremacist assholes.  They're looking outgunned, but Donna's ex-boyfriend -- and Roy's ex-teammate -- Green Lantern (Kyle Rayner) shows up to help out.  At some point Donna has to face up to a man she once loved that she doesn't really remember him, and to Roy that dating him was maybe to impress upon Wally that she's not a squeaky clean good girl.  It does wind up bringing some of Devin Grayson's more frustrating asides from the past few issues full circle in a very satisfying my bad.

Donna and Panzer get trapped under some rubble and have a semi heart-to-heart (but Panzer is mostly rage, no heart) and it turns out he's full of self hate over his father's murder of his mother cause she was part black and didn't tell him. It also turns out that the Red Panzer role is kind of a Dread Pirate Roberts thing where subsequent people just assume the role without anyone supposed to know who's underneath the mask.

I liked Grayson's use of "continuity logic" here for the first time as Kyle, trying to figure out how to save Donna and the other people in a collapsed building decides to call John Stewart for advice, since he's an architect.  It's actually logical for both story and continuity and not just serving the latter.
Grayson's script occasionally cuts to Lian and her babysitter, who are talking about their diverse ethnic backgrounds, in parallel with Panzer and Donna talk about race and his backstory.  There's also a sins-of-the-father/sins-of-the-mother parallel drawn as Panzer tells of his father's crime, Lian reveals that Cheshire is her mother, the same woman that destroyed much of the nation of Qurac where her babysitter's grandparents were killed.  Lian is totally the MVP of this series.  She could have grown into such an amazing legacy character. RIP.

Just as Donna's about to use her newfound "soul power" on Panzer to banish his evil, Vandal Savage teleports Panzer to his ever-growing cabal, which includes Sire, and Grodd so far.  I have a hard time accepting that a self-loathing multi-ethnic white supremist would collude with a millennia-old non-caucasian former caveman, a giant talking gorilla and a green woman from the ocean's depths.  Doesn't really fit the "I hate everyone who isn't white (including myself)" motif.

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