Monday, January 08, 2007

There goes that meme again

It's too late for me to enter the contest, but I just thought of this.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Spoiled Space

Some people like to know all the exciting stuff first. They can't wait for Christmas day to open their presents and they can't bear not to know the big twists coming in their favourite comics or TV shows months beforehand.

Me, I'm more the sort that will give the boxes a shake and try to guess what's inside, but the last thing I want is for someone to tell me. So I avoid spoilers whenever I can. Unfortunately they are sometimes shoved in my face without my choice, and that really annoys me.

It's bad enough when some outside agency feels obliged to reveal all the good stuff for their own purposes, like TV stations running trailers that give away the big twist - I may hate them for it and plot to burn them down, but I can understand that their priority is to get people to watch the show. Once they are actually watching it, the PR machine is too busy screaming at you to watch the next thing to care about how they have screwed over the current one. But what's worst is when the guys producing the original feel the need to give away the ending. Like putting it on the cover of the comic.

The all time worst spoiler cover for me was the X-Men annual (I forget which one) where the story involved mysterious happenings and the big reveal of who was responsible didn't ocur until well into the story. Unfortunately he was prominently displayed on the cover, so the dramatic tension was nonexistant.

The latest issue of Manhunter isn't quite in that league, but cover featuring the old Blue Beetle and then not having him appear until the final page feels like a cheat. It's misleading, and does a disservice to an excellent comic that is worth reading for all kinds of reasons that have nothing to do with the cover.

Sign of Light

Fifty Two #35

First chronological appearance of Doctor Light II since her depowerment (officially 52 #2). It's only one panel, but she's in costume.

So my guess that the resolution to her depowerment story would occur in 52 is now completely busted (as they say on Mythbusters). Will we now even get to see Kimiyo's big comeback story at all? My magic 8-ball says "Outlook not so good".

Okay, the original story was bad in so many ways, but is Judd Winick's tawdry little opus simply going to be quietly ignored? Are those few fans who were emotionally moved by their heroine's plight now to be told "Get over it; it didn't happen"?

Not to mention it would be such an opportunity to produce a hugely empowering kick-ass story about a character coming back from the brink of death to confront her abuser and take back her power and her name.

I really want to see that story.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Money for old rope to hang yourself with

The Amazing Spider-Girl #3

It's like watching a car crash in slow motion. Very slow motion. Motion so slow that even a multi-car pile up gets boring. It's almost as if they are deliberately trying to kill this comic.

The plot from issue #1 drags on but we still have no idea what the maguffin is that everyone is after. May is still not back in costume properly, and just to bog the momentum down further we see the introduction of a new villain Bitter Frost; such a cheap Killer Frost knockoff that even the name is almost the same. And even though we get page after page of angsty backstory about what a hard life she's had so May will feel conflicted about preventing her from murdering more people*, her actual origin is restricted to a single small panel that doesn't actually explain anything.

Even the subplots about May's problems with her social life and her running for class president or whatever it is don't come off because it just makes her look like a self-centred diletante who is incapable of prioritising.

I find it hard to believe that many readers who were lured in by the big relaunch of the series are going to make it to the end of this grossly padded storyline. It's almost a textbook example of how to alienate your audience.

Unless this title gets a fairly radical quality upgrade in the near future I don't think it will last a year. On current form it doesn't deserve to.

*So how many people does she need to murder before "having a hard life" is no longer an excuse?

When is a monthly comic not a monthly comic?

When it's published by Marvel, apparently.

Newsarama's regular "suck up to Marvel" segment Joe Fridays gives us a memorable quote from editor in chief Axel Alonso. He says:

The problem is simple: Comics ship monthly and very few artists can draw 22 pages in a month, or 12 issues a year. That’s just facts.

Firstly, I have to call bullshit on these "facts". How many pages a month did Jack Kirby used to produce when he was at Marvel? There are plenty of artists that can turn out 22 pages a month, 12 months a year. Maybe not the ones you like to cover feature or who bring in the most fans, but then those are the ones who know they will still get plenty of work no matter how unprofessional they are.

Secondly, just in case you've forgotten, Axel it's your job to get a monthly comic out 12 times a year. That's what editors do. If you are so sure that the people you have hired to produce 12 issues a year are incapable of fulfilling that task whatever possessed you to contract them to do so in the first place? And if you know that you can't put a comic out monthly, why are you selling it as a monthly comic?

Sunday, December 10, 2006

The Eighth Feminist Carnival of Science Fiction and Fantasy

Whether it's just that time of year, or that the email box I set up especially for this managed to delete itself while I wasn't looking, the Carnival is a little quieter than usual. But we still have plenty of attractions to amaze and inform, and since it is that time of year, let's start with Subversive Gifts for Girls and More Gifts for Girls.

Something that we missed in the previous Carnival was the announcement of the winner of the 2006 Womens Comics Podcasters Grant. This page has a lot of useful info for anyone who has any interest in casting their pods.

In Just Back from the Casino, Scott Lynch considers what an ugly spectacle the new film Casino Royale would have been if it really was as some critic described "Ian Fleming's Bond".

Over at Arrogant Self-Reliance, Amy Reads reviews Wonder Woman #3 and asks how much feminism you need in Just Not Feminist Enough.

Every Carnival should have one entry that takes the piss out of Frank Miller, so it's a good thing there are webcomics like Wonderella.

There's a thought provoking piece about identification with and attraction to fictional characters at Headpieces full of Straw, but the comments move it in a more female specific direction.

While it wasn't specifically submitted for this Carnival, I think everyone needs to know about Marvel's upcoming Bikiniverse imprint.

Anna O. is described by her doctors as a "female hysteric", who suggested she start a blog to help talk out her problems. Her contribution to this Carnival is Apple, but that's just the tip of a curious and fascinating iceberg.

In Feminist SF - The Blog! Ide Cyan says time is no excuse for sexism in Timeless.

Veleda K responds to the way weakness in men is considered a feminine quality in I was Sick of this a Long Time Ago.

Ragtime hunts for woman-friendly kid's fiction and strikes gold in a most unlikely place, over at Comic Book Thoughts .

Prejudice and privileage are found in many forms, and although it's not a female specific issue, the opinions Lake Desire addresses in an article about the Range of Wii-motion at New Game Plus are depressingly familiar.

As part of a continuing series Using Beauty to Establish Gamer Cred [The Gaming Beauty Myth, Part 3] looks at the problems of being female in the gaming community.

Apple Foot responds to CNet's odd choices for its list of Top Ten Girl Geeks.

Calico Reaction reviews Ursula Le Guin's essays in Dancing at the Edge of the World.

My own contribution hardly needs a link when you could just scroll down a bit to find it, but my exploration of the difference between misogynism and sexism is the most feminist thing I've written all month.

And finally, a quick plug for the Feminist Writers Livejournal Community, a haven for weird feminist fiction.

My Super Ex-Girlfriend

I finally got around to seeing My Super Ex-Girlfriend and it's nowhere near as bad as I feared. Of course after all the negative things I'd heard about it my expectations were very low, so that wasn't a difficult thing to achieve.

The biggest problem people have with it (especially those who haven't actually seen it) is that it it takes the cliche of an ex-girlfriend who cannot let go and makes a comedy of it. I think the attitude would be the same regardless of whether she had super powers or not. They say it wouldn't work if the roles were reversed, but there are plenty of movies where the ex-boyfriend won't accept it's over. The only difference is that they tend to be the cuddly stalker type, rather than the cuddly psycho. That and they usually end with the woman realising her mistake and going back to him.

In many ways this movie is more realistic in it's treatment of the relationship than that particular cliche, or perhaps it's just a bit more cynical. The guy never loves her in the first place. He was just looking for some sex to tide him over while he works on the girl he really fancies. She doesn't really love him. She's just desperately lonely and clinging to anyone who shows her some attention. It's not quite my idea of comedy, but I'm definitely on her side when he dumps her.

Throughout the movie the boyfriend (whose name I've forgotten already) is the point of view character, the sympathetic character we are supposed to identify with, but the fact is he has treated this woman badly and her overreaction does not negate that.

Jenny, herself is very inconsistant at times. Characterisation and plot coherency is dumped in favour of comedy. The woman who has chosen to spend her life using her powers to help others is prepared to let millions die at one point because she's in a sulk and wants a night off.

On the plus side the movie does portray a romantic relationship between a superhero and a regular person that focusses on the petty difficulties that are glossed over in other superhero movies. Superman might be a creepy stalker in Superman Returns, but you know he's not going to do anything petty or spiteful to Lois. And it's never going to occur to Lois that pissing off someone who can move planets might be unwise.

The worst thing about My Super Ex-Girlfriend for me was the lack of consequences to the actions we see. Everyone is happy at the end and they seem to have forgotten that ex-boyfriend has lost his job and his appartment is full of holes. And no one seems to have a problem with evil villain Bedlam hanging around. Admittedly we haven't seen him do anything very illegal, but you don't get a reputation as an evil mastermind without doing something society frowns on.

So not a great movie, and a little annoying at times, but if it was on TV I'd still prefer it over most sporting events. Or reality shows. Or chat shows, soap operas, quiz shows, game shows, political debates, worthy dramas, breakfast shows, and gardening programs.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Definition of terms: Misogyny vs. Sexism


hatred, dislike, or mistrust of women.


1. attitudes or behavior based on traditional stereotypes of sexual roles.
2. discrimination or devaluation based on a person's sex, as in restricted job opportunities; esp., such discrimination directed against women.

I was in a discussion at girl-wonder where the art of Rob Liefeld and Greg Land was described as misogynistic. I disagreed and said it was sexist but not actually misogynistic. Rather than sidetrack that discussion I thought I'd address the difference here.

Misogyny is hatred. A writer or artist might claim to be pro-women and even give female characters overtly empowered roles, but when those characters are forced to suffer in degrading ways that their male counterparts do not, then misogynism is apparent in the work. When women are made to suffer or die purely as a way of motivating a male character it's misogynism.

I know it's a favourite example of mine, but Kimiyo Hoshi's treatment in Green Arrow is misogynistic, pure and simple. I don't care how feminist Judd Winick thinks he is, or how empowered his female characters are in other comics, the way Kimiyo is treated is entirely misogynistic. She is attacked and beaten, symbolically raped, and left badly injured. The hero finds her and is motivated by her plight (though not enough to tend to her injuries before he chases off after the villain), and having served her purpose she is dropped from the comic, her personal story unresolved.

Sexism is more about assumptions. It's about assuming women having a lower value than men in any given situation. It's objectifying. It's making decisions based on sex rather than any relevent data. It is not about hate. Rob Liefeld doesn't hate women. He likes women. He likes drawing hot women in skimpy clothing. His art exaggerates all the hotness to a level where they appear absurdly deformed, but although it is a level of objectivism beyond stupid, it's not hate.

That's what I think, anyway.

Friday, December 08, 2006


Being american is one of those "unconscious privileage" things. It doesn't mean you are better than anyone else but it does mean that until very recently you get the cool comics, the big movies and TV shows before anyone else. Hell, some of the best known american TV shows have never been shown in the UK at all (I have never seen Gilligan's Island), and the ones that did turn up did so often years after they were first broadcast in the States.

Before comics were confined to specialist shops you could find them at selected newsagents (that's news stands to americans), but you never even knew if you would get to see the same titles two months in a row.

It's all different now. UK comics shops get the same selection as the USA only a day later, and if TV isn't broadcast here fast enough, who cares? We can download it the day after it appears in the US and get it on DVD within six months. Movies can still take a few months to roll around, but the pressure is on to minimise the time lag - at least to get it out before the american DVD release.

Even so, there's a lot of stored up resentment there. So anytime we get to see something before you guys, be it the season finale of Babylon 5, the climactic battle between the Daleks and the Cybermen, or the final race of Oban Star Racers (I know who wins! I know who wins!), I can't resist the urge to rub your faces in it.

Nyah nyah!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Carnival reminder

Tomorrow is the last day for submissions to the Eighth Feminist Carnival of Science Fiction and Fantasy, so get those entries in now or I'll have to make stuff up and pretend you did it.

Monday, December 04, 2006

A very careful review of Batman Meets The Spirit

Darwin Cooke's art on this comic is as good as anyone could hope for, and I look forward eagerly to his forthcoming Spirit series. I don't understand why an otherwise classic style features Catwoman wearing her latest costume rather than one she wore when she was a villain, but that's a minor niggle, and it might not even have been Cooke's decision. In all other respects it is gorgeous, catching all the nuances of every single one of the pointlessly large cast.

I know if I wanted to get a Batman comic in which all the villains were defeated off-panel by Superman on the final page, that also featured The Spirit, this would certainly be top of my list.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

The dream team of suck

I have no idea if the original Onslaught event was any good, but Marvel have a worse batting average than DC with "event" comics, and it's taken ten years to revisit it, so I'm guessing it wasn't an overwhelming success. Marvel have a way of recycling even its worst excesses after enough time has passed - whoever thought they'd pry the lid off the toxic can of worms labelled "Spider-Man Clone War" so soon? Don't they ever learn from their mistakes?

So while it could be worse, it does seem that getting together Jeph Loeb and Rob Liefeld on the microwaved leftovers of Onslaught is the dream team of suck.

And no, I don't plan to review it. It is enough for me that it exists.

And yes, I know some of the proceeds go to a worthy cause. But that won't magically make Rob Liefeld a good artist (as can be seen from the cover image), or give Jeph Loeb any original ideas. It will just mean that some people will buy it despite the suck.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

All this and Superman two

I first heard about Superman II having been substantially changed a couple of years ago, but I never expected the original version to surface. Too much time had passed, and anyhow, it wasn't even finished, was it? Turns out I was overly pessimistic, and last night I got to see what the movie was supposed to have looked like.

It is understandably a little rough in places. Restored footage was scavenged from all over, including screen tests, so you need to be a little forgiving. Some scenes are very underdeveloped, and they could have done with keeping in a little more of the footage from the release version in places, though I am guessing they were left out because they would clash too much - I'm thinking particularly of the scenes in the Niagara Falls hotel room. And I think they were right to redo that scene. I'm not going to give away any spoilers but how stupid is Superman to fall for that?

I can't do a big comparison between this and the released version. I'm sure there are plenty of those already available, and I haven't seen the old version in ages. I caught about half of it on TV when Superman Returns came out, but that's it. But I noticed one thing which has always irked me has been removed. During the big fight scene in New York the drama and tension of the scene is constantly undermined by the inclusion of bits of physical humour by the victims as they are getting blown away. I am delighted that these are gone. I think the whole thing would have been a far better film if this version had been properly finished. Except possibly for the ending.

I have a problem with the ending. If this was what Richard Donner intended, then he's an idiot, and I can see why the production was taken out of his hands. It's like an athlete running a good race and then three yards short of the finish line he trips over his own feet and lands face first in the poo.

I don't think it counts as a spoiler, since it happens after the villains have been defeated (what, you thought that in the original version they would win?). In footage taken entirely from Superman I or from earlier in the movie but shown in reverse, Superman causes time to run backwards so that everything that was damaged is fixed and Zod and co. never escaped the Phantom Zone.

How many kinds of stupid is this? If he could do this all along, why did he bother to fight them at all, or trust to a risky strategy to deceive them? When he saw how much trouble they were why didn't he go give the planet a quick reverse spin? Why does he need to fight any battle at all if he can solve every problem with a quick time reverse? Of course in the first movie I always read it that he was only sending himself back in time (flying faster than light and all that), and that's a very different proposition to reversing time for the whole world. Why would any director give the same ending to two movies?

There's reason to think this wasn't what Donner intended (stuff Superman does immediately beforehand in restored footage becomes totally pointless if he is about to go ahead and undo it, and how can the guys in the diner recognise Clark afterwards?), and I can only guess that this part of the movie was never made, or is completely lost, and this was done to cover the gap. It fails.

This may not be quite the movie Superman II should have been, but it's as close as we're going to get.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Just for one day

I still haven't been able to stop watching Heroes, but it and Torchwood are both one reason away from being dropped. And one minor point that is not enough on its own is the whole Americacentric thing Heroes has going.

It opens with "Ordinary people across the globe discovered extraordinary abilities..." Sorry, no. I don't care if you call an entirely local tournament the World Series, as far as everyone else is concerned America is not the whole world, and having one powered member of the cast start off in Japan does not qualify as "across the globe", even if half the cast is in Las Vegas and the rest are in New York.

People of

I admit it. I think referring to those with a certain skin pigmentation as "people of colour" is idiotic and it offends me in some vague way. Everyone is one colour or another. In fact everyone is a mixture of colours (though rarely green), so using this phrase to describe a specific subset of people annoys me. As a response to this usage I shall refer to women as "people of gender" whenever it occurs to me to do so, and I would encourage others to follow my example.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

The real secret origin of the Teen Titans

After reading through the Teen Titans there's one thing I don't understand (1). How did Wonder Girl ever get to be a member? The other members are always belittling her. She is always the last one picked to do anything unless it's "girl stuff" or flying. And even though the male Titans are strangely uninterested in girls most of the time they do occasionally get hormonal twitches, but none of the guys are remotely interested in Wonder Girl, and while she thinks romantic thoughts about any male that occurs to her, the other Titans are a total blank spot to her.

In their first adventure Robin, Aqualad, and Kid Flash are thrown together by circumstance and become friends. They decide to form their own little club and the only other person they invite to join is a girl that none of them is interested in or has ever apparently met before. How did that come about then? (2)

So maybe they all secretly have the hots for her but they are intimidated by her much higher power levels, and daren't make a move on her for fear of getting their arms broken and dropped from a great height, but I think the answer might be much simpler and more logical.

The Justice League of America's original lineup (3) was Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Martian Manhunter, Aquaman, and Flash. Of these six, four had teenage dependants (4), who are Aqualad, Robin, Kid Flash, and Wonder Girl (5). They never get to go along on JLA adventures, so where are they when JLA stuff is going on?

You know what it's like when you are a kid and your parents get together with some other kids' parents and you are forced to spend all afternoon with a bunch of kids you don't know, don't like, and would never be in the same room with if you had the choice? That's what the Titans are, and that's why Wonder Girl is a member. The Teen Titans is the Justice League's day care center.


1) Actually there's plenty that makes no sense to me, but this question keeps recurring.

2) I am aware there is a later retcon in which all four teen heroes are thrown together by circumstance, but I'm not buying it.

3) ignoring retcons.

4) technically five, but Superman has stuck his young cousin away in an orphanage and is pretending she doesn't exist so he can keep milking the "last survivor of Krypton" thing.

5) Wonder Woman's relationship with Wonder Girl is a lot more complicated since they are both the same person, and in fact Wonder Girl had been retconned out of Wonder Woman completely before Teen Titans #1 was even published, but that's a whole other story. Come to think of it, it must be at least 10 years before Wonder Girl is ever mentioned again in Wonder Woman, by which time they've forgotten she doesn't exist.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Reasons to be Teens (part 4)

Teen Titans v1. #7

In the silver age DC wasn't big on character development. Which is not to say there wasn't plenty of characterisation. Look at Superman or Batman and each member of the regular cast has a distinct and individual personality. Early Teen Titans, on the other hand, is so completely plot driven and devoid of characterisation that three of the four members could not be told apart from dialogue alone. The exception, by an odd quirk of sexism, is Wonder Girl.

Wonder Girl's head is full of pop music and romance and nothing else. She pins up pictures of pop stars on the Teen Titan's notice board and spends any time she is not jiggling to the latest tunes in mooning over whatever male she has most recently noticed. Ghastly as this may seem, in portraying Wonder Girl as a bubble headed bimbo, Big Bob Haney has given his token female more depth than the rest of the team put together, as they have no interests at all.

Once again in issue #7 the Titans are called up by a government department. This time it's the Treasury, and the latest in a series of faceless government employees assigns them to go on tour with Wonder Girl's latest crush, pop star Holley Hip as they suspect Holley of smuggling, though any regular reader knows that he will turn out to be an innocent dupe. They fly to London, bringing pop music to the poor deprived british people who didn't have any of their own in 1967, unless you count the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Who, and possibly Pink Floyd.

Arriving in London, Holley's clothes are taken to his tailor. The Titans suspect something is going on but at no point does it occur to them that your tailor delivers your clothes to you rather than the other way around. The tailor is in fact Mad Mod (not quite the Mad Mod seen in the Teen Titans cartoon), fashion guru of Carnaby Street, who must be making so much money legitimately that there hardly seems any point to him smuggling stuff in the clothes he makes for pop stars.

As usual the Titans get to fight the non-super powered Mad Mod and lose, and he is eventually defeated by Holley hitting him over the head with an oddly bendy guitar. You begin to see why they are only sidekicks.

Not a small town in Scotland

I've always considered space opera and sports to be a bad combination. When differences in climate of our own planet are enough to ensure that some nations will never excel at some sports, the idea that every alien race is at such a close physical or technological level to make for a viable competition is one step too far for my suspension of disbelief.

And yet I find myself enjoying Oban Star Racers. Of course the Earth team are going to win the competition, no matter how often their star racer is crashed, blown up, or chopped in half. But will teen pilot Molly ever reconcile with coach Don Wei who is unaware that she is really his daughter? Will Don ever come to terms with his wife's death while piloting a star Racer? Will gunner Jordan ever get a clue? Will the cute alien prince Aikka side with the Earth team when the chips are down? And is the Earth really doomed if they lose the race?

All this takes place on an alien world that really looks and feels alien, with a range of competitors that each have a distinct style gives the story a depth and richness you rarely see in TV animation. And the races are exciting to watch, too. There's enough variation to make each one different, but enough similarity that you know when they are nearing the finish line and it's our heroes' last chance to make the move that will win them the race or cause them to spectacularly screw it up.

One odd thing I've found while looking up Oban on the web: The show has been running once a week in the USA since June and has 5 episodes to go before it finishes, but although it only started a few weeks ago on Jetix in the UK it is shown 5 times a week. At this rate the final episode will be shown in the UK before the US.


Thursday, November 23, 2006

Minor hiccup

Dear customer,
This message informs you of recent email cleaning activity that has impacted your mailbox. In order to effectively manage and maintain our system storage, it is essential blueyonder carry out regular cleaning activity. As your blueyonder mailbox was not accessed for 90 days, our automatic cleanup programme has emptied the contents of your mailbox. In order to prevent this from occurring again, your maximum mailbox capacity had been reduced to 2mb.
If you wish to have this reset to 30mb contact the blueyonder mail team.
Please ensure that you check your blueyonder email on a regular basis.


The team at blueyonder

Dear Blueyonder team,

I agree that this mailbox has not seen a great deal of use lately, but I would contest that it has not been used at all, since I went through it only yesterday and deleted a number of unwanted mails myself in preparation for using it as a contact address for my blog. I recommend you check your automatic programme if it is unable to spot my downloading over 100 emails as it would seem to have a fault.

Please restore my mailbox to 30mb. If it is possible I would also like to have any mail I received since I accessed the account yesterday to be undeleted. I suppose you wouldn't see any point in informing a customer before you trash their mailbox for lack of usage, and I admit that even if you had sent me such a warning I would not have expected it to apply to me since I had in fact accessed the mailbox, but maybe, I don't know, you could always send the message to the more active mailboxes on the account, so the customer would have some chance of knowing about it in advance.

A dissatisfied customer

Anyone who emailed me about the Carnival in the last 24 hours, please give it another try.

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.