UPDATE: review/RANT: Titans: Villians For Hire Special

Spoiler Warning!

UPDATE:  I am updating this post with a few links that have appeared since this issue dropped. I am sorry if it seems I am flogging a dead horse but this is an issue at DC that has really frustrated me lately so I’ve been keeping tabs on it pretty closely.

First off there is the Eric Wallace interview at Comic Book Resources where he defense the decision to kill off the Atom. Second, Greg McElhatton, also at CBR, review this book and give zero stars ( a rating I didn’t think was even possible). Finally there is a new fantastic article at Bleeding Cool titled The New Apartheid Of DC Comics, by Ryan Mullenix. This article presents itself as a follow up on the Chris Sim’s article mentioned below in this post.

The Original Article:

from The Racial Politics of Regressive Storytelling

I was looking forward to this book, being impressed with Final Crisis: Ink. And then they killed Ryan. How timely Chris Sims article now reads. This is going to be brief because I really don’t have much to say other that  I am just sad. This casts another dark shadow on comic books. In what was a really great week for DC comics, it breaks my heart that they still found a way to chip at another layer of this fan’s love of comic books. This isn’t fun and I am left weary.

P.S. don’t come around here talking about Eric Wallace being a black man. It just makes things worse.

14 thoughts on “UPDATE: review/RANT: Titans: Villians For Hire Special

  1. Fortunately, I have an awful lot to say about this issue.

    TITANS: VILLAINS FOR HIRE Special was a patently disgusting piece of storytelling that went back to the exact same well of shock violence and torture porn that DC has been abusing heftily for a good few years now.

    To clear a few things up before I continue. First, I am not averse to death, violence, ultra-violence, rape, or friggin’ genocide in comic books as long as it’s well handled. And while I prefer Ryan Choi to Ray Palmer, I like Ray alright and my issue with this is not that Ryan is dead, but the HOW and WHY of it.

    Like you, I was impressed by FINAL CRISIS: INK. The first half of the mini was a strong blend of urban violence, superheroics, and attempted reform. It went a little off the deep-end once or twice, but it was ultimately a competent mini-series. This is not.

    Every time DC wants to prove that a new villain is bad-ass, they have them come in and maim, cripple and kill a second rate hero, not realizing that this doesn’t serve to make the villain bad-ass at all BECAUSE IT HAPPENS EVERY TIME. It’s just a beat in the story. It isn’t any sort of narrative victory for the character, the outcome was never in check – Prometheus cuts Anima in half, Deathstroke slaughters the Atom. It’s a meaningless death. It doesn’t tell us anything except that DC doesn’t really value its catalog of characters.

    Is Eric Wallace racist for killing Ryan Choi? I kind of doubt it. He is, however, a writer who didn’t do his research, wrote an incompetent action sequence at the behest character who was utterly mischaracterized, and did it all at the service of a bland, mundane story. Yes, both Ryan Choi and Dwarfstar were preposterously out of character, but that doesn’t matter – one was dead and the other would be shuffled under the rug and promptly forgotten at the earliest possible opportunity.

    So, is Deathstroke and his team a greater threat now that they’ve brutally murdered a college professor who’s power is the ability to make himself smaller? We already knew Deathstroke was a killer, so that didn’t really up the ante. And it was Deathstroke who actually succeeded – the rest of his team could, charitably, be called failures.

    One important question to ask if you want to know if a death is unnecessary, bland, uninteresting, or verging on torture porn territory: what did it tell us about the characters?

    Well, we learned that Deathstroke will kill people. Since his name is ‘Deathstroke the Terminator’ and he calls himself an assassin, however, that is not new information even if you have never read another comic book before in your life.

    We learned that Ryan Choi, uh, dies when he gets stabbed a bunch. Again, though, not really a character trait.

    … and that’s it. They brutally murdered one of their few remaining minority heroes so that we could learn that Deathstroke, the self-described mercenary and assassin, will indeed kill people for money. That was literally the point of the story – that an assassin will kill someone if you pay him money. There was no thematic depth, no plot arc, no characterization. Think about that. Think about how bland that is, how utterly mercenary.

    Of course, people will buy it (I read it in the store) because someone dies, and Deathstroke is seen as ‘cool’ by some people. DC will stop doing it, I assure you, when fans grow up and stop clamoring for garbage like this.

  2. The response seems to be overwhelmingly negative. That makes a little happier. Not because I hope Wallace writings fails but because I am glad it is a problematic issue for fandom.

  3. Holy shit, Seventh! With that much to say, transfer it into a post! I don’t care if it’s word for word.

    Oh, and YWz, in addition to filing your posts into categories, you have to title them with certain key phrases, so as to improve the probability of being found on Google search.

    Instead of “Rant: Titans: Villains for Hire Special” it should be “RANT: Review”.

    You have to get the word “review” in your title so people can find this stuff.

  4. Pingback: Something Atrocious Happened This Week « Der Bugmann

  5. I only found this on Google because Brucecastle included the word “review” in his post, thus proving his point.

    Just wanted to add that I utterly do not understand why Choi didn’t just shrink down far enough that the villains couldn’t find him. Gail Simone put more thought into a single page of her Atom series than went into this entire issue.

  6. In the “vote” part, under the title, am I supposed to vote for the issue, or for the rant? I voted a beatiful one star for the Villains one shot, but now I’m not sure. I think the rant was great!

  7. Pingback: Rant: How Many Atoms is Too Many? « read/RANT!

  8. Pingback: The Perils of the Grand Design « read/RANT!

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