Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Teen Titans Annual: **SPOILER** Rant


Teen Titans Annual
Originally uploaded by Heidi Meeley.
If you haven't read Teen Titans Annual, come no further, fair readers! I don't want to SPOIL the tale.

If you have, come on in!!

*
*
*
*
*
*
*
Did Cassie and Connor do what I think they did? Are they old enough and mature enough to handle it? Did they practice safe super hero sex? What the hell is going on here?

As a mature adult, I am no prude when it comes to comic books. I read Preacher and Invisibles with a lot of love. As an adult, I can draw my own conclusions.

My question is this: What about some unsuspecting teen reading this who is on the fence about giving it up? I know that sounds far fetched, but I am really wondering what kind of message it sends. If I would have read this when I was 16, I might have been horrified, or went back to my room and secretly fantasized- I don't know at this point.

Good for DC for leaving it up to the readers, but bad for DC for taking it as far as they did. Having Connor take off his shirt is one thing, but to have Cassie do the same? Hmmm... They did wake up with pants on, so who knows...

My point here is that I am honestly very surprised at this step in the relationship, though I guess I probably shouldn't be. The ramifications may be the main point. Case in point: Connor dies and Cassie is left with a bun in the oven. Other scenario: Connor and Cassie are weird afterwards and break up. There are hundreds of futures possible, for sure.

LET ME ASK YOU: What did you think? I am very curious about your opinions, and am dying to know them! Any takers?

8 comments:

Matthew Craig said...

What do I think? Well, for what little it's worth:

1. They did it. I've not read the comic, but I saw scans in a LiveJournal that have them caught post flagrante by the (surprisingly young-looking) Kents. Also, another scan from another comic has him confessing all to Nightwing.

2. If there's a single solitary time when it is absolutely okay to "do the do," it is during the end of the world. In fact, there's nothing like mortal terror and trauma to induce a need to propagate the species.

And if it makes you feel any better, it sounds like it was loving, consensual sex. You know, as opposed to the incident that started this two year wallet-drain.

3. Nobody - but NOBODY - of Superboy's age who is on the fence about losing their virginity is reading Teen Titans for lifestyle advice (or possibly at all). But if the annual sends a message - and I'd hate to try to find one that isn't deeply depressing about the state of DC Comics - it's more likely to be about grabbing on to every shred of happiness in the face of a harsh world than anything else.

And I think any consequences - Kent dying, Cassie falling pregnant - would say more about the writer than the characters.

//\Oo/\\

Scott said...

I can't help but wonder if all the people complaining about this are also concerned by the fact that Romeo and Juliet is taught in high school. The pair from Padua was actually somewhat younger than Kon and Cassie, after all.

If teenagers are really as impressionable as the kvelling over this seems to suggest, I'd rather have them knock boots, then try to save the world, then knock boots, then kill themselves...

Heidi Meeley said...

Interesting thoughts. I understand that in times of stress and possible peril, it is easy to throw the old standards out the window. The "end of the world" premise to do it didn't surprise me. Wnat surprised me was how far the art took it, and the openness of it.

I realize that in today's comic book world, the books are pointed at adults, since that is the predominant market. Why shouldn't we see what we saw in that respect? But there is also a part of me that misses some of the mystery.

I am not a parent, but I have two nephews that I would like to have read more comics. At first glance, Teen Titans might be it. After this, I don't think so. In my mind, it is my sister and her husband's right to teach their children about intimacy and sex, not a comic book I pick up on the fly.

At any rate, I understand that the sex came out of love and "end of the world" dramatics. I can even buy that it really wasn't that big of a deal in most people's minds. Was it really neccesary? I don't think so.

I am interested to see what comes out of this, and how the writers choose to portray it. That is where the real proof will be in the pudding.

Thank you for your great insights. It puts a completely different perspective on things.

P'La Jarvinen said...

now for yet another point of view... how about those readers that are even less than teen-aged?
reading your rant, I am reminded of the 3 or 4 different times Kirk and I were at conventions recently and youngsters in the 7-10 yr old mark walked by the table carrying their teen titan action figures, so proud that they had found them at the convention.
parents were looking for readable updated comics for the younger crowds to get interested in, much the same way the parents were when they were younger. I think alot of parents turned to TeenTitans, but the question is where will they turn next if titans is made into the next adult drama?
is there any comic still geared to remaining kid friendly? or is the cost too high to the publisher or the minds of the writers too simple to imagine anything less than graphic adulthood?

Heidi Meeley said...

Pamela, Jim and I were actually talking about that very issue the other day. Our nephews are 12 and 9, and we have been buying them comics since they were around 5. Jim and I usually buy older comics for them since the "adult" content isn't as blatant. The older one loves Superman and Hulk, so we usually hunt through the bargain bins for those. The younger nephew is Hulk and Batman all the way. It is awesome to behold.

Right now, Jim has bought the older nephew Ultimate Spider-Man trades and that has worked out. The other newer book we have gotten for the boys is Lions, Tigers, and Bears from Image. Creator Mike Bullock did an outstanding job, and the art by Jack Lawrence is pure eye candy.

Otherwise, we are not sure what newer books we can give our nephews. We definitely READ the books first, not just glance, to make sure they are kid friendly.

In a way it saddens me that it is so hard to find books that are aimed towards kids in that age range. I too have seen quite a few younger types at the show, and they are hungry for new reading material.

At any rate, my biggest objection with Teen Titans was the fact that now I know I can't show it to my nephews. My sister and her husband want to be the ones to teach their children about the birds and bees, and who am I to blame them?

As an adult, I gravitate towards the Vertigo titles for something different, but mainstream super heroes remain my favorite. I want those books to be accessible, and sometimes I wonder if I am asking too much.

Thank you!

Shawn Hoke said...

“Otherwise, we are not sure what newer books we can give our nephews. We definitely READ the books first, not just glance, to make sure they are kid friendly.

In a way it saddens me that it is so hard to find books that are aimed towards kids in that age range. I too have seen quite a few younger types at the show, and they are hungry for new reading material.”

Personally, I feel better about kids being exposed to love/sex/minor nudity than mindless violence, but I can see where you’re coming from. If they are hungry for new “kid safe” reading material, then it’s out there. The following are just off the top of my head:

Usagi Yojimbo
Gemstone Duck Books
Akiko
Owly
Herobear and the Kid
Peanutbutter and Jeremy
Patrick the Wolf Boy
Bone
Courtney Crumrin and the Night Things
Calvin and Hobbes collections

And I know people tend to buy things for kids that they like and things they think that the kids should like, i.e. the capes and tights stuff. But it’s not a myth, kids really do like manga. Grab an issue of Shonen Jump (that one is probably the easiest to find of any comic) or any of the following digests:

Hikaru No Go
Whistle!
Naruto
One Piece

These are all safe “no panties, no sex” digests to start with, but there are TONS of other appropriate books for that age.

Casey "Meat-Hooks" Malone said...

Yes they absolutely had sex - in Teen Titans #33, Superboy struggles with what he and Cassie "making love" means, and what it has to do with "the end of the world"...

Geeze, someone's awfully full of himself.

Heidi Meeley said...

Shawn, thank you so much for the great suggestions! I get tired of trying to explain to my nephews why the only comics they get are old ones. It would be nice to offer them something new. I will take the list when I shop at Emerald City.

Casey, yep Superboy does get pretty chatty about it in issue #33, doesn't he? Interesting, especially now with Cassie's new alliance. I wonder how that will go?