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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2004 8:46 pm 
You’re all gonna hate me by the time this is done.

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Y'know, sometimes comic book fans make my head hurt.

They snivel about the state of the industry, and then I see dozens of people just reading books in the shops and not buying them.

They cry about the condition of their favorite character, but keep buying the book anyway.

And franky, they just don’t make sense. :?

On Wednesday, as I was picking up my usual stack of books, there was a heated debate over the Teen Titans cartoon. One of the debaters was your very heavily stereotyped comic book nerd. He had lot of useless trivia up in the noggin, but not much common sense. He also had a gut that indicated that his attempt to duplicate the powers of Matter-Eater Lad had considerably backfired, and had left him more Chuck “Bouncing Boy” Taine-ish instead.

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Yeah, we all know the type. :wink:

I was the other debater. :D

He kept insisting that: “Okay, the Teen Titans cartoon is good, but it got the basic concept all wrong!”

“Oh?”

“Yeah. It needs Wonder Girl! It needs Kid Flash! It needs Speedy! The Teen Titans were all about faaaaammmmiiiilllllyyyyyy!”

“…”

At this point, I believe the guy behind the counter was grinning so widely his head threatened to fall off. He knew what was coming.

“Okay. So you say the Titans are all about family, right? Who do you consider to be part of this ‘family’?”

“Speedy, Kid Flash, Robin, Wonder Girl, Aqualad.”

“Okay.”

“You know. The original team.”

Dead. Silence.

“…you do know that the original team was only Robin, Kid Flash, and Aqualad, right? Wonder Girl didn’t join until their second appearance?”

“Huh?”

“You also know that Speedy didn’t make an appearance with the Titans until their own series was well underway. And didn’t even join the team until many issues later. It was, like, three years since he met them.”

“…it was?”

“Well, yeah.”

“…”

At this point, someone else chirped in with their opinion that the guy I was debating with was right. The Teen Titans were all about “faaaaammmmiiiilllllyyyyyy!” He started quoting the Wolfman/Perez run on the title to me, with Cyborg, Beast Boy, Starfire, and Raven.

Someone. Was quoting comics. To me.

It was on.

“So, what does it take to make a good Titans comic?” I asked, trying to hide my smile.

“You gotta have the family there. The core guys,” commented Geek #1.

“The new guys, too. They belong just as much as anyone,” commented Geek #2.

“So I take it we’re just going to ignore Dan Jurgen’s Titans series?” I asked.

They shifted uncomfortably.

“Oh, and are we also going to ignore when the series became “New Titans”? Or wait, I know. “Team Titans!” With the ‘brought back from the dead’ Terra!”

They blinked. Apparently, they had forgotten that at one point, the “family” had also included “Baby Wildebeest” and “Pantha.”

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Yeah. “Baby Wildebeest.” “Faaaaammmmiiiilllllyyyyyy!” :?

The two kept insisting that if the book could just get back to its “roots,” as it were, then everything would be wonderful.

So, I picked up a copy of Devin Grayson’s run on “The Titans.”

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You could hear a pin drop.

“Okay. So, we’ve got the original core members and the new crew, with a few other interesting personalities tossed in to add to the mix.”

“Damage.” What the hell was DC thinking? Anybody whose power requires them to literally blow up doesn’t make for good storytelling!

“Did you two buy this book?”

Nope.

“Why not? It has your precious ‘faaaaammmmiiiilllllyyyyyy’ in it.”

So, then the gauntlet was tossed by one of them.

“Fine, then. Who would YOU put on the Titans?”

It’s a good thing I’ve been using those Crest Whitestrips lately. I’d hate for anybody to have not been dazzled by my grin just then.

See, here’s my outlook.

Sure. Back in the day, it worked having Wally West, Dick Grayson, Roy Harper, Donna Troy, and Garth on a team together. But think of it this way. If Wolfman and Perez had held to that “faaaaammmmiiiilllllyyyyyy” concept, you’d have never gotten Cyborg, Beast Boy, Raven, or Starfire.

…three good out of four isn’t bad.

Keep in mind that during this time, the ratio of “Old-School” to “New-School” was three-to-four. You had Robin, Wonder Girl, and Wally next to the four new kids.

This team has been the most popular and the longest running version of the team to date.

Stick that in your “faaaaammmmiiiilllllyyyyyy” pipe and smoke it. :D

Now, I’m just as much a fan of looking back as anybody for how to make a team work.

Heck, look at my Defenders line-up.

But, in this case…maybe change is a good thing.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you:

“If I Ran The Teen Titans.”

Let’s establish some ground rules first of all.

1) We’re not bringing anybody back from the dead.

Which means no Donna “I have a new codename every week!” Troy on this team, kids.

That’s right, start your sniveling now. It builds character!

(Of course, if I had my way, we’d still have a certain blonde earth-mover still buried six feet under. Thanks SO much for completely ruining the whole point of the “Judas” storyline, you guys.)

2) We’re not going to take away from what a character has become just for the sake of my storytelling, unless there’s actually a chance of it happening.

This means no Dick Grayson. Wally West now plays with the Big Leagues in the Justice League, so he’s out. Arsenal shoots people. With guns. He’s out.

Starfire? Once a Mort, always a Mort.

Yeah, just keep screaming. Just makes it easier for me to hunt you all down. :D

3) The team will have no more than the standard 12 members. Any more than that, and we’re dipping into Legion of Superheroes territory.

Coming up next, I’ll start our little team construction, and believe me, folks. It’s gonna be a bumpy ride.

Bring popcorn. I’m gonna have fun.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2004 9:03 pm 
The Jurgens team had potential, but it was completely wasted. I was especially disappointed in how Prism was written--you'd think that being raised in a "Leave It To Beaver"-ish virtual reality by aliens and being yanked out of it into the real world would be sort of important to her character.

I can't say I know that much about the Titans. Around the height of their popularity, the comic I was into was Jonny Quest.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2004 5:06 am 
Just to make sure - Dick Grayson's still alive, right?


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PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2004 9:48 am 
Rakka wrote:
He also had a gut that indicated that his attempt to duplicate the powers of Matter-Eater Lad had considerably backfired, and had left him more Chuck “Bouncing Boy” Taine-ish instead.

Image

Yeah, we all know the type. :wink:

On behalf of all morbidly overweight fanboys, I'm offended! Not all of us can be svelte women with faces that could launch a thousand posts.

Just because we're large enough to outmass three fangirls put together doesn't make us bad people. :(


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2004 10:30 am 
I used to understand the attachment to older characters when reconstructing team/book/group. The mentality of key members being an integral part of the definitive take is fairly overpowering.

But then from an objective standpoint, you hit on a couple of things: sometimes the character (or the group) has moved beyond the point where they belong from a story-telling standpoint, and if one keeps characters in based on that you are going to have a Legion of Superheroes realm.

Also... if one is that attached to the good old days, that's what back issues and collections are for.

...I thought about going on a tangent here about basic premises of a work and what I think about maintaining it all costs vs. holding nothing sacred, but it don't really belong.

Oh! I do remember one thing.

Rakka wrote:
Y'know, sometimes comic book fans make my head hurt.

They snivel about the state of the industry, and then I see dozens of people just reading books in the shops and not buying them.

They cry about the condition of their favorite character, but keep buying the book anyway.


This ain't just comics. I hear the same thing from my parents and grandparents when they start the "The world is getting more wicked everyday." Even though probably their parents and grandparents said it, and each generation wishes it was forty years ago because back then things were "perfect." Or how the current cast on SNL always sucks and is at an all-time low, and the cast five years ago is always the bestest ever. Even though five years was also supposed to be an all-time low.

My point?

I think people just like to complain, cause it's makes one sound deeper to point out what's wrong and not what's right.

That and people don't seem to parse, different != bad.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2004 12:27 pm 
Aaaaaah. Come on, you got to include Donna. She's the perfect Den Mother to keep the group together. Besides, with Nightwing as a part-timer you need someone to run the team when he's gone and she's quite good at it.

Plus we need someone to eventually partner up to Tempest after we kill his wife in the very first storyline, which leads to the Titans reuniting. :twisted:

(Plus she needs to more more seperated from the WW-stable, so that they can't mucka round with her powers no more. Super-strong and flying is good enough.)

Keeping Starfire out, I don't mind really. Raven needs to stay out as well. Still don't trust her.

My own line-up??
Got 6 thus far: Darkstar, Nightwing, Tempest, Cyborg, Changeling (Beast boy sucks as a name.. Period.) and Jesse Quick.

Jesse would also function as a part timer tot he team. So why include her?? Well, she is a speedster, plus she and Nightwing did get along rather well. It ought to get Babs jealous, considering that Oracle would undoubtably take care of their information needs, just like she does with 3/4 of the other superheroes active int he DC-verse.

Might even get Babs and Richard back together again. :twisted:

Rest is open to discussion really. We do need some flying airsupport and someone adapt at magic. (Though if Donna were to put her Darkstar uniform back on (that had blasting abilities iirc, then we wouldn't need that, considering she'd be covering the flying fire support and up close brawler posts quite nicely. Kinda, like Joyce. :D)

As for Terra. Baaah, just let the Titans discover that Mojo was responsible for her supposed resurrection. Mojo messed with the Timetrapper to have him think he got her from the original timeline to act as his agent in an alternate one. Puts up a nice short crossover with say X-Force or whatever the name is of the current youngster X-team. Why Mojo would do that?? Because he wanted to, and because he wanted to increase his market share by giving his audience something new, namely DC-verse adventures. This after their regular Marvel-verse programs started losing viewers. :P

Or something like that. :wink:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2004 5:08 pm 
Anh Minh wrote:
Just to make sure - Dick Grayson's still alive, right?


Yeah, he's got his own comic now. Set in the absurdly-named city of Blüdhaven.


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 Post subject: "Faaaaaamily"
PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2004 5:11 pm 
The insistence on "family" as being key to the Titans is particularly odd considering stuff like Nightwing/Starfire. Incest!


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 Post subject: Re: "Faaaaaamily"
PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2004 5:18 pm 
gwalla wrote:
The insistence on "family" as being key to the Titans is particularly odd considering stuff like Nightwing/Starfire. Incest!


Family can include extended family, aka brothers- and sisters-in-law. but to get there some folks have to get hitched first. :P


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2004 5:39 pm 
Based on an extemely sketchy knowledge of the DC universe, and the presence of Robin and Kid Flash in the one issue I read, I concluded that Teen Titans was indeed about family: it was the JLA's daycare center.

Adult heroes put their kids there before going to work.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2004 9:20 pm 
Anh Minh wrote:
Based on an extemely sketchy knowledge of the DC universe, and the presence of Robin and Kid Flash in the one issue I read, I concluded that Teen Titans was indeed about family: it was the JLA's daycare center.

Adult heroes put their kids there before going to work.


Yeah, that's pretty much what it was at first. It was a sort of club for the kid sidekicks of the adult heroes. Later on they started adding teen heroes who weren't associated with established superheroes.

More recently, Young Justice served a very similar purpose. I'm not sure why they didn't just call that "Teen Titans". Maybe the Jurgens "Titans" was still going on when it started or something.


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PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2004 4:43 pm 
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Carnie
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Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2003 8:43 am
Posts: 2920
Location: Once upon a time there was a kingdom called Denmark...
packy wrote:
Rakka wrote:
He also had a gut that indicated that his attempt to duplicate the powers of Matter-Eater Lad had considerably backfired, and had left him more Chuck “Bouncing Boy” Taine-ish instead.

Image

Yeah, we all know the type. :wink:

On behalf of all morbidly overweight fanboys, I'm offended! Not all of us can be svelte women with faces that could launch a thousand posts.

Just because we're large enough to outmass three fangirls put together doesn't make us bad people. :(


Even overhere we got one who match that description perfectly! However, he is our leading expert on everything Marvel-related plus a good deal of other comic-related subjects... 8-)

He! I remember a day I was present in The Comic Store (its The Store when you only have two in the entire city...in the whole country even! :? ) It was around the premiere of the first X-Men Movie, and a customer went up and down about X-men this and that and our guru could only nod with a faint smile. Then the customer finally ends his rant and asks him: "Do you know something about X-men?". "Well" he answered; "I've only been translating it for the last 15 years!" :P
...the look on the customers face were priceless! :lol:

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