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January Reading Thoughts

Books? What are those? My reading consists entirely of superhero comics and fanfiction. (I am sadly not kidding.) Some highlights:

Batman, Incorporated and Batwing trades: In theory, I really like the concept of a sort of meta-textual exploration of the Batman mythos and its influence around the world. In practice, Batman Inc is largely uninteresting to me*, and whenever I read something by Morrison for a sustained amount of time I start to feel like I'm tripping. Batwing did a much better job of exploring the Batman mythos because it wasn't trying to. I also really liked David, and I definitely want to read more of this. I also want him to yell at Batman for using child soldiers! I guess they aren't children anymore in the reboot, and Damian is a special enough case to make an exception. Still, David commenting on the "A Good Soldier" plaque would make my life.

*That is a lie, it became interesting to me the moment Jason showed up. I am still confused as hell as to how everything is still canon in the reboot though.

A bunch of random Teen Titans volume 3 trades: The main thing I took away from this is that Gar and Vic should make out a lot. I assume they didn't have the sort of fanbase Tim/Kon did because they aren't as attractive. I'm sorry you're a furry, Gar. :/

But the final story arc of preboot Teen Titans bothered the hell out of me because, uh, guys? Why is it okay to kill those clones? There was nothing to suggest that they weren't their own persons! What's happening here is that Superboy Prime came back again to mess with Kon, and he somehow made three more clones of Kon which he leads to fight the Teen Titans. The Teen Titans then stake the clones through the chest with Kryptonite, as one...does.

Kon: Look at him, Tim. Looks just like I did.
Tim: They’re not you, Conner.
Kon: Aren’t they? Didn’t I start out the same way? A blank slate?
Tim: It’s not who you were, it’s who you are. You have a life, and friends, and family.
Kon: Good point. I have a lot.

Look, I realize that not everybody spent their teenage years reading five tons of science fiction and contemplating the idea of "personhood" outside of the human species. I'm aware that my basic knowledge of scientific concepts such as "cloning" and "energy" put me at a disadvantage when reading comic books. And I realize that not everyone wants to deal with weighty moral issues in their comic books. But in that case, don't bring it up! Oh my god! I really wanted to bask in the "awww"-ness of "Titans Together" as the ending and be so happy that the team was doing well, but I kept coming back to the fact that they murdered people! People who could be Kon! Also, if you're willing to murder brainwashed clones, why not take out Superboy Prime once and for all! Why would you do this, JT Krul?

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( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 1st, 2013 10:28 pm (UTC)
Batwing's so good. I can't wait until the next trade comes out!

Oh, vol. 3 Teen Titans. Every now and then I remember that I should finishing reading vol. 3 but then I remember that it devolves into well, this*, and suddenly it's as though it can wait another year or two. (Even just looking at a page of everyone ganging up on a 90s!Kon and out right killing him feels so wrong. To me, things like that are the exact opposite of what the TTs are supposed to be. :/ Did they even stop and trying to reason/talk to the clones or did they just jump straight to killing?)

*Not just this issue, but like most of JT Krul's run in general? I haven't read much, but the issues I have read always felt a little off and even unappealing to me.
Feb. 2nd, 2013 03:33 am (UTC)
I know! I sort of want to give in and read it before then, but luckily I have 5 million other things I need to read.

Yeah, the end run issss... eeeh... I keep trying to be happy that the core four are all alive and together again but then morally questionable things keep happening and it's very upsetting! They did not talk to the clones at all, from what I remember. They only talk to Prime, they all attack, and then Kon is like "This sucks. Rose, go fetch the Kryptonite stake I keep in my room in case I go evil!" And then she and Damian stake all the clones. I thought they were supposed to be not killing people! That is the goal there surely!

My sister told me that Johns' run is the only part worth reading, but I never listen. I'm going to end up reading the second half of Red Robin someday too, because I like hurting myself I guess! D:
Feb. 3rd, 2013 04:48 am (UTC)
That is extremely disappointing. I know the TTs had been through a lot by that point in time so they've changed from their earlier days, but wow. I have a hard time buying any of that.

The Johns run of TT has its painful moments, but the handful of trades I read weren't all that bad. But then, the ones I read were tied in to Infinite Crisis, either during the event or an afterwards/follow-up on how the team tried to cope afterwards, so naturally they were grim in tone. I don't know how the start of John's run is, but I imagine it's not as dark.

The last half of Red Robin though, goddamn. It's pure pain if you have any attachment to who Tim used to be. :/ I know tons of people dislike the first half because he got darker, but at least it made sense in context of what he'd gone through and was struggling to cope with. The last half just felt badly executed. Marcus To's art is its saving grace; he draws a very nice Tim and Tam.
Feb. 3rd, 2013 05:24 am (UTC)
Yeah, I haven't read much of that run myself. The library is sadly lacking in the things I most want, and there is soooo much to read. How do long-term comics fans survive??

I really liked issues 1-12 as seen as a single arc. It's Tim's struggle through darkness, and then things start to look up. He's coming home, his friends are back, things are going to be okay. When he has his fight with Ra's, and falls and Dick catches him, I thought it was sort of a metaphor. When my sister read Red Robin, long before I did (hahaha by long before I mean like August; I read it two weeks ago) she said she thought that Tim wasn't expecting to survive that fight. I also think it was sort of fatalism - everyone else was safe, so what happened to him...would happen. He was just sort of accepting fate. But Dick *caught him* - he's been through so much on his own, but now he has people there for him, to save him, to save him when he falls.

Actually I really like my interpretation, I am definitely going to keep pretending the rest of Red Robin doesn't exist for a good while.
Feb. 5th, 2013 01:49 am (UTC)
I imagine long-term comic fans do it by pure will (and coming up with creative and cheap ways to read things. Aside from the obvious "piracy" answer, eh heh?) Befriending other friends and borrowing their collection?

I actually like the first half of RR for the same reasons. I get a lot of the complaints about it - especially the ones about concerning Tim's (general) character going in that direction at all - but all things considered, I think an arc like that made sense after all Tim had been through. It was nice to see someone literally catch him and reassure him that he's really not alone and that things can and will get better. The last half of RR has some moments like that, but I don't find them anywhere near as well-built up or poignant as the first half.
Feb. 5th, 2013 04:15 pm (UTC)
But I mean, there's just so much stuff! How do you keep track of it all? How do you *read* it all? Everybody seems to have followed things as a child, but everything is new to me!

See, I *have* read some of the second half. One day I asked my sister where this opinion I saw that Tim would have ended up being a villain came from, and she said "read the last issue of Red Robin" so I did. :( And then I wanted to see Ra's sending ninjas to steal Tim's precious bodily fluids, and that wasn't even angsty, just pretty skeevy in the subtext. :( Basically everything is :(
Feb. 7th, 2013 06:24 pm (UTC)
(TW: non-graphic mentions of rape)
I know what you mean, I only started seriously reading superhero comics a few months before the Reboot. I've read so much since then, and yet I know I haven't even made even a dent in the entirety of DCs continuity(ies?). On the brightside, if you don't get sick of playing keep up, there'll always be tons of different stories and series to go back to and read!

Haha, I'm sorry to say the little you read is more or less indicative of what there's left to read. (Ugh, I want to forget the fluid-stealing-ninja plotline so badly, if I'm thinking of the same subplot you're referencing, then it's super gross and doesn't get any better and ugh DC stop with the "cis men can't be raped/cis women raping men is ~*~sexy~*~/~*~not traumatic~*~" nonsense!)

AND THAT LAST ISSUE. UGH. What a terrible ending.
Feb. 8th, 2013 05:23 pm (UTC)
Re: (TW: non-graphic mentions of rape)
See, that is already longer than me. I read my first superhero comic almost exactly a year ago.* I read my first DC superhero comic in *July*. How is there so much! And then new things all the time! And most of the things that happen are terrible! /cries

*This is not technically accurate, but for all intents and purposes it is true.

It was completely super-gross. "Haha men can't be raped by women" is pretty much exactly what it was saying. I would totally read Tim on the path to supervillainy, though. Mostly because I hate Batman for fucking up the lives of children and feel it should backfire on him. SO WHAT if the only reason I care about DC at all is due to Robins, I can be a giant hypocrite if I want!
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )


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