Armagideon Time

Prognostication is a fool’s game, and not just when it involves so-called “psychics” pulling bullshit out of thin air. Even the most cautious forecasts, backed by empirical evidence and historical prescedents, can be upended by a host of unanticipated variables.

Absolute certitude — outside of certain realms of science and mathematics — is a myth, though I’m pretty confident that history won’t contradict my decision to pre-emptively induct DC’s upcoming reboot of the Teen Titans

…into the unhallowed halls of Nobody’s Favorites.

When the economic collapse of 2008 kneecapped the already shaky American automobile industry, the cabal of manufacturers (with the aid and/or encouragement of the government) underwent a massive restructuring. Toxic assets and ancillary revenue drains were divested and sold off, underperforming lines were 86′ed in favor of a more tightly focused brand image, and herculean efforts were undertaken to improve both the quality of the product and the public’s perception of the same. By all accounts, the process seems to have worked.

DC Comics, on the other hand, seems to have looked at the auto industry’s example and decided to do the exact opposite with its upcoming reboot, which is to say “turning up the shit hose to full blast and hoping for the best.”  I’ve long been a DC partisan (insofar as I take sides in these geek turf wars) and haven’t cared for the editorial direction Marvel has taken over the past decade. 

Yet as much as the House of Ideas’ efforts at ham-fisted, psuedo-relevance have rankled me, I’ve been impressed by their willingness to tap indie creators like Colleen Coover, Michael Kupperman, and Johnny Ryan for various projects and one-offs.  The stuff may be marginal in comparison to the flood of bombastic drek, but its existence alone is proof that someone, somewhere in the editorial-creative heirarchy is capable of thinking outside the box.

Meanwhile, DC seems hellbent at rolling back the clock to the Chromium Age.  My initial reaction to the news of the reboot was “oh, like the Onslaught/Heroes Reborn nonsense.”  Little did I know how apt that comparison would turn out to be in the wake of flood solicitations which would have right at home in a 1996 issue of Wizard.  Having missed out on the much of the 1990s signature talent pool, they’ve decided to stage a late reunion tour of decrepit idols and terrible cover bands.

Just look at that friggin’ cover.  As parody, I’d have classified it as too over-the-top (though the feral chick channeling Tawny Kitaen’s Whitesnake slither was a nice touch of period authenticity).  As a genuine offering for a major franchise from a major publisher in 2011, it’s utterly mindboggling. 

And what’s with Superboy’s back?  I suspect they were aiming for something similar to the duct-taped Crass emblem found on any given crusty’s trenchcoat, but it ended up looking like someone scored big in a game of “pin a Kick Me sign on the dudebro.”

How does that line by Karl Marx go?  “History repeats itself, first as tragedy then as yet another awful Teen Titans relaunch?”  In any case, I trust the process of historical inevitability will vindicate my selecting this anachronistic nightmare as this week’s Nobody’s Favorite.

Related posts:

  1. Nobody’s Favorites: Trash metal
  2. Nobody’s Favorites: Trash of two worlds
  3. Nobody’s Favorites: Wings of a dud

33 Responses to “Nobody’s Favorites: Trash of the titans”

  1. MrJM

    Is “shitastic” a word?

    – MrJM

  2. bitterandrew

    It is now!

  3. Michael Hoskin

    Is this illustration legit? Seriously, those are the Teen Titans? And this is a 2011 release?

  4. bitterandrew

    Swiped from DC’s official blog this morning!

  5. Frank

    Throughout the weekend, Bleeding Cool pointed to a dissemination by Brett Booth of an illustration of rocky terrain with his and other artists’ signatures. Even with Rich Johnston’s assurance that it was related to a Teen Titans project, I thought that was entirely too pretentiously vague to bother fellow humans with. Then, on seeing the full art, I wished somehow by the grace of God Almighty to unsee it, or to have it revealed that this was a photoshopped decade old Homage Studios piece that was snickered over alongside Y2K. I would rather read the adventures of Iggie, Sed-8, and Metamorphic, the Rock Type Titans. I’m too old to have been hit in that sweet spot required for me to give a damn about Tim Drake, Connor Kent, Bart Allen or Cassie Sandsmark. That said, on reading the line “the mysterious and belligerent powerhouse thief known as Wonder Girl,” I knew those poor kids were being fed the same turd sandwiches as the original Teen Titans. “You’re too old for our ephebophilic audience now, so would you be so kind as to try some smack and die your way out of interfering with DC: The New Class? If you’re cool about it, maybe we’ll dig up a mentor role for you…”

  6. Chris G

    Remember in the 90s, when DC was largely a place where comics didn’t look like this? Yeah. Wow.

  7. Bill D.

    GAH!

  8. bitterandrew

    Indeed.

    They were too busy employing “nobodies” like Chris Sprouse, Adam Hughes, Jason Pearson, Tony Harris, Phillip Bond, Steve Dillon, and Stuart Immonen.

    Now there’s a 1990s revival I’d love to see.

  9. Chris G

    I do have to say, though, DC really is making Superboy look more and more like Chachi with every revamp.

  10. sallyp

    Crap in a hat…that’s…that’s for REAL???

    Blurrghhh!

  11. Erin Palette

    Am I a bad person for liking how the new Robin looks? I am digging those wings.

  12. Tom Hartley

    I wonder how big Liefeld will make Batman’s manboobs.

  13. Lazarus Lupin

    Erin I don’t think you are a bad person. I would say though the modicum of coolness the wings bring are subtracted by the bandolier. As for the rest, we are talking about a collective face palm here from anyone with a lick o’ taste. This is as bad as that Kevin Smith story where the guys behind the superman movie wanted to have superman without a costume, not flying, and fighting a polar bear. In fact, putting a polar bear on this cover would only be an improvement. The only question now boys and girls is how many months before the next big event to fix up this mess? Any one taking bets?

    Lazarus Lupin
    http://strangespanner.blogspot.com/
    art and review

  14. BATZARRO

    People don’t pick up comics because the costumes just aren’t convoluted enought. In that sense, this is going in th eright direction.

  15. Mitchell Craig

    I just had a thought:

    Has Dan Didio been purchasing fire insurance?

    Because this looks like an arson job waiting to happen.

  16. Nr Miller

    I was trying to be positive, some of this doesn’t look like too bad of an idea…. But christ look at that thing…. LOOK AT IT! Uhg. I’m sure some of the titles are going to be pretty good, but this? Why in the name of—- I’ll wait and see but I might be done with comics for a while now.

  17. damanoid

    That is not a real thing.

    There is simply no way that is a thing that could happen. I don’t care how confused things are at DC right now, how many titles they are attempting to put together at once– it is simply not credible that this cover was vetted and approved by experienced comics professionals in this, the year 2011 AD.

    No, it cannot be genuine. It is classic disinformation, I tell you. DC is playing with our minds. When the actual Teen Titans book appears, it will look nothing like this. Probably at this point DC doesn’t have any idea what it will look like. But the important thing is, IT WILL LOOK NOTHING LIKE THIS. Whatever artistic flaws or plot holes it may have, it will still be viewed more favorably than it would have otherwise, as people everywhere say: “Well, at least it isn’t that freaked out quasi-’Superboy and the Ravers’ version with Cyber-Bug-Witchblade-Girl.”

  18. Jeremy Henderson

    Can anyone name a single Jim Lee costume design that’s, you know…good?

    I’m assuming he had a hand in these redesigns, and I just think it’s bizarre that the company has turned over so much of it’s aesthetic identity to a guy who has never been known for innovative or interesting design (unless you’re a pouch fetishist, in which case you probably have old issues of X-Men with the pages stuck together).

  19. pedro de pacas

    Well I think Jim Lee did a pretty good job with Rogue’s 90s costume… and come on, Cyclops was the leader, if anyone needed those pouches it was him.

  20. Philip

    I’ll be in the corner hugging my knees and chanting “two new books by Jeff Lemire, two new books by Jeff Lemire” and trying to ignore this clusterhump.

  21. Chuck

    Wow. If you guys are freaking out over Teen Titans, I wonder how you’re going to react to the news that Rob Liefeld is drawing Hawk & Dove?

    No, I’m not kidding: http://www.newsarama.com/comics/dcnu-teenage-heroes-superteams-110608.html

  22. bitterandrew

    1. No one but Liefeld gives a shit about post-Ditko Hawk and Dove.

    2. It still looks better than the Nu Teen Titans.

  23. Chris G

    Also, roundly mocking that which deserves to be mocked is hardly “freaking out.”

  24. Chuck

    I didn’t mean “freaking out” in a bad way. Just a figure of speech…

  25. Jeremy Henderson

    There’s no point in arguing which looks worse, Titans or Hawk & Dove, when the new Suicide Squad laps them both in sheer ohdeargodno awfulness.

    http://dcwomenkickingass.tumblr.com/post/6361572785/ss1

  26. Chuck

    Or how about the new Superman design? For some reason, they thought he needed to look like a robot (as opposed to Superboy who apparently now IS a robot).

    http://www.comicvine.com/news/new-superman-supergirl-and-superboy-redesign-images-revealed/143184/

    They thought the red shorts on the outside was silly, so they gave him giant kneepads and metal boots?

  27. Greg G

    Oh, Apollo and Midnighter…

  28. pedro de pacas

    And now they’re putting Martian Manhunter on Stormwatch…. I was happy to see the Wildstorm Universe interacting with the rest of the 52 (something Wildstorm was always geared for, even pre-DC) but this is too much.

  29. Erin Palette

    At least we have evidence Liefeld is getting better at drawing feet now.

  30. Seth

    For some reason, I got the idea that the sign on Superboy’s back isn’t a feature of his costume…I thought Bart put it there.

  31. Cabin Campbell

    It’s come to this, has it? It seems to me that DC Comics has decided to alienate the older fans in a desperate bid to get kids to read their comics, ok by me, it’s not like I yet own EVERY pre2011 comic worth owning yet; I can make that my mission now. Though I believe this heralds a new era, The Plastic Age? Suggestions?

  32. bitterandrew

    “The iAge”

  33. Cabin Campbell

    I would say the Copper Age, but copper is a useful metal, so perhaps, The Slag Age! Hey how in the heck could Superboy get a tattoo with his invulnerable skin? Kryptonite needle? And, who in their right mind would hire Rob Liefeld? Aye, there’s the rub, this is absolute proof that Didio has finally gone off the deep end. Well, we can comfort ourselves with the fact DC is going to bring back the JSA and set them on Earth-2! Hopefully, they won’t √∫˜∆˙ that up. http://www.bleedingcool.com/2011/08/27/james-robinson-confirms-nicola-scott-on-jsa-and-earth-2/

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