Saturday, July 9, 2016

Catching up on Comics -- Series Run: The Titans #2

1999, DC Comics

Remember that website "Superman's a dick" (I think it's now the more generic "Superdickery")? Well, this issue of the Titans is a prime candidate for it, because, oh man, is he ever a dick here.

Look at that expression, that physicality...
what a dick.
Carrying over from last issue, the Titans finish mopping up the new Hive agents Damien Dahrk sent to interfere with the construction of the new Titans Tower (seriously, the way these two organizations talk about one another sounds more like Cheers vs Gary's Old Town Tavern and less like superheroes locked in a life or death struggle with a terrorist organization), when Superman arrives with the ever so helpful "Is everything all right here."  The illustration by Mark Buckingham places the camera from a bird's eye view above a hovering, hands-on-hips man of steel, which only serves to exacerbate the smug condescension going on here.

The younger Titans are in awe... well, actually they're all in awe, except Flash who is Superman's teammate elsewhere.  Supes and Flash fall into "speedspeak" which means only Jesse Quick can follow along.  Her and Argent start whispering about Superman's overprotectiveness when Garth points out the guy has super-hearing so whispering doesn't really matter.

Then Superman basically makes them fall into formation and Sarge-marches down the line making snippy comments like these Titans are preteens and not 20-something-year-old adults now with almost as many years of experience under their yellow belt as he does...
seriously this page is as big a dick as I've ever seen Superman act in the modern age.

"Jesse Quick.  Your father would be proud," says Superman, like he fucking knows the guy....Seriously, show me one modern age Superman story, from '86-'99, where Superman and Johnny Quick exchange words.  At all.  Flake off man!

Dick moves left, right and center.
As Hive's attack then escalates Superman takes the lead.  It's up to Dick to tell him to stop being a dick and back off grampa,  go unclench, and do it somewhere else.

This issue has a couple good moments, and Jesse Quick emerges as a stronw-willed, capable character (and possible leader), but overall it's bad writing.  It's that thing where someone has difficulty wrapping their head around the whole shared universe thing, and that if Superman is so powerful,  why shouldn't he be turning up wherever there's trouble.  Well the answer to that is here:  it's not good storytelling.  Just because Superman doesn't show up somewhere doesn't break continuity.  And if you're going to write him like this...don't even bother.  Blerg.

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