Thursday, April 10, 2008

on titans.

Titans came out yesterday. Judd Winnick's writing it and people (I guess) seem to be hating on him. I don't know...first we have an uber-feminist claiming that Joss Whedon rapes his wife and now people are accusing Judd of some things that I normally reserve for writers that I know better as hacks. That makes me sad to see, but I realize that everyone has different tastes.

I thought Pedro and Me was brilliant and I'd love it if it was required reading in my classroom every single year. (Perhaps in my last year of teaching, whenever I know that I'll be leaving anyway, I'll be brave and just shoehorn it in.)


I hear the complaints about the art. I really do. I just don't agree with them. I grew up in the Bad Girl art phase of comics and while the post-modernist, semi-feminist in me can see the supposed harm that comes from unrealistic things like that, I've always just thought of comic book art as that style. My art tastes have matured (I go ga-ga now for Tim Sale and Matt Wagner a lot more now) but I still like to see things like that in a super-hero comic book. I mean, we're supposed to accept that Dick and Kori run around all day doing physical things and never getting hurt beyond superficial wounds, but we can't believe that they'd be great looking people? Doesn't trouble me at all.

On to the specifics of the writing: I didn't grow up with these Titans. I know a lot of people have super-strong feelings about this group, but I don't. I love Dick, I like Wally a lot, and that's pretty much it. Roy doesn't do a damn thing for me, Kori's never been anything other than the hot alien, I didn't (and don't) get why people care about Raven so much and Vic is just sometimes so...unlikeable. (I'm not going to get into Garfield, because I don't think he's that bad. He's great, in fact. It's just that...well, he's been pretty complicated over the last few years, with the Doom Patrol stuff and whatnot so I don't want to un-necessarily dog on him for anything like that.) Regardless, these characters are nice enough. They're just not the be-all, end-all for me when it comes to teenaged comic book characters. (Which, BTW, they're not supposed to be anymore, right? I mean, I would hope not. Wally's got kids, after all, but the whole reason they're the Titans is that they're not the Teen Titans anymore, right? Right... It's just that DC keeps coming up with these new generations who were supposed to take the old ones' places, but they never do. Awesome.)

(God, that was quite a digression. Back to it...)

The continuity of the issue is the only thing that I've been hearing about that I truly do agree with. If Dick's attacked first, like he is in the issue, how long does his fight take for Bats to get there and tell him that his teammates have been trying to call him? But I don't see that as necessarily a fault of the writing, but rather some lazy writing and then a fault of the editor. Not good work, overall. Other than that, I liked it. A good time was had by all.

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