Thursday, November 23, 2006

Five kinds of stupid

Teen Titans v1 #6

I admit I'm really starting to get into the sheer dumb absurdity of Teen Titans, but there's one scene in issue #6 that pushes the limit. Throughout the series Haney has been desperately trying to conceal how powerful Wonder Girl is, while at the same time trying to make Aqualad appear remotely useful (1). In this issue he also makes everyone else stupid in order to give fishboy something to do.

At one point in the story the Titans decide to hide in a magician's trick safe (2) The villain locks them in and then dumps the safe in a handy tank of water. Can you guess how the Titans escape?

A) Robin works out how the trick is done and they all escape through the magician's hidden panel.

B) Wonder Girl uses her super strength to break the safe open.

C) KId Flash vibrates through the wall, taking each member in turn with him until they are all out.

D) Kid Flash vibrates through the wall but only takes Aqualad, and then Aqualad cuts through the locks with Robin's pocket acetylene torch, which only he can do because the safe is in two feet of water, and although Robin keeps underwater welding equipment in his utility belt, he doesn't carry any breathing apparatus, and they couldn't use the acetylene torch from the inside because, um...

Other highlights of this issue include the Titans on matching motorbikes. My guess is that Kid Flash just desperately wants to fit in with his chums and hopes they won't notice how stupid he looks, and Wonder Girl just forgot she could fly again because her head is full of pop music and she has the attention span of a goldfish with ADD. There's also a cut-price version of Marvel's Circus of Crime (3), and a lot of nonsense about hypnotism. Once again Haney spoils the effect by going into great detail on a subject he knows nothing about, where it could have looked a lot less stupid if he hadn't tried to explain it at all. And I'm not sure how old the Titans are supposed to be in this series; I would guess late teens, but as with almost every issue there's at least one panel where they've been replaced by six year olds.

But this issue also includes one of the great stupid moments of the silver age. The Titans are in the middle of a big fight with the hypnotised Beast Boy who has turned into some kind of hybrid half-gorilla half-boa constrictor (4) and the real villain of the piece who has no super powers is so caught up in the moment that he ignores his minion's quite sensible suggestion that they run away with the loot and has climbed into the human cannonbal's cannon so he can be shot up into the middle of the fight that is taking place overhead, armed only with a couple of flaming torches (5). What he thinks this will achieve is never made clear.


1) At some point I'm going to have to get hold of the JLA Showcase to compare how Wonder Woman and Aquaman are treated.

2) Why? To avoid being hypnotised by a baboon of course.

3) Which came first? I have no clue and I don't care enough to look it up.

4) can Beast Boy even do that?

5) Yes, I know you can't see the burning torches in this panel. He is holding them. Inside the cannon.


SallyP said...

FIRE ME, BOY! Oops, must have been thinking of the wrong cannon. Teehee.

Frankly I don't know why Wonder Girl is there either. I assume it is to make cookies after a mission and answer the phone.

Marionette said...

Don't be silly, Wonder Girl can't cook.