Thursday, January 31, 2013

Teen Titans #16

While I wasn't to thrilled with the third part of this tie in I was a little leery of this one. RHATO #16 was a little off since it focused so heavily on the Titans instead of our bat kids and plots that won't be used until the next writer comes along. For the most part I like Fabian Niciezas' writing but I disliked his dialogue for TT #15 to the point I worried on how he'd write the interactions between Tim and Jason. To say nothing of the statement that Barbara Gordon has more reason to hate Joker than any of them. Sure he's written Jason far better than most during his run on Robin but his Tim seemed to go back and forth on whether he liked Jason.


Before I get into this review any further I just want to bring up the truly cringe worthy trend with Joker that may be more unsettingly than the people he's maimed and killed during Death of the Family. That's the undertone the writers have put into his appearances. Yes we all expected it somewhat in regards to Harley and the Killing Joke had him strip both Gordons down. Synder has Joker make comments like "putting a sock on the door" and saying how he loves his bat king. Apparently Catwoman also said the clown was in love with Batman (which he readily agreed.) But in this four part tie in he's followed Jason to Isabels' house where he at the very least put up a camera in the living room. He knows Jason and her had sex and watches the towel clad former Robin react to his girlfriends' forced OD. Then Joker changes Tims' clothes TWICE while he was drugged.

Joker lovingly touching them while making remarks about their characters is up there on the very creepy list. It's odd how much simple things that aren't even violent are more distrubing than all the gore previous shown in DOTF. What he says is more insightful than one would think as he goes over how Jason stole death from him then wondering aloud if returning from the grave was really worth it. That rejection and lonliness  he mentions? Joker knows Jason suffered through that because he was there in UTH when Batman decided to slit his adopted sons' throat instead of allowing Joker to live. The moment he goes over this and Tims' intelligance instantly made me worry over what he'd do considering the foreshadowing we've been getting.

Tim's awake but unable to move thanks to whatever drug Joker gave to him (off panel.) I'm guessing Jason was knocked out since RHATO #15 had him state and show that those type of toxins don't work on him. I like how Tim is able to figure out Jason is with him by sound and smell alone. The comfort he finds in his presence is rather sweet reminding me of the Robin that used to admire Jasons' case. Okay having Jason and Tim refer to each other as "Red" upon awaking is cute. I'm actually surprised there hasn't been more jokes. I'm not sure why Jason assumed Tim was there because of him since he knows Joker is attacking all of them.

Joker reveals two men behind them with bags over their heads which are supposed to be their dads. I wasn't thrilled to see the TT and Outlaws since I wanted this to only focus on our bat boys. While I don't mind Roy shrugging off the idiot label I'm a little annoyed that Cassie is calling him that since he just saved the day with his leadership. She even admits that they never would have figured it out without help so it's more of unneeded moment. Speaking of unneeded we get another appearance by Dinahs' not-so-dead-husband. He claims his help boosting the Titans powers was the reason they saved lives. Uh, I recall the team needing to be bailed out by Kori and Aresnal because Bart (and likely the others) didn't think he could handle the boost enough to prevent accidently killing the Joker affected homeless people. They could have died or have failed to help those people if the older kids didn't show up. Then we get ANOTHER non-DOTF related part with Trigon. He introduces Raven and that's it.

The idea is to decide who's dad lives and who's dies. I'm not really sure why anyone would buy Jason pulling a gun on Tim. First of all Jasons' father died in prison. Second of all if that was his dad he likely wouldn't want Tims' to die. Yes Tim points out the first part but Jason says it could be his father because his moms' death was faked. While that's true he didn't believe anything Joker said at the start of this crossover. Why would he believe it now? I do think it's rather telling how little Tim knows Jason when he says that he's his only friend. Kind of shows some ego too. It gets to the point I feel Nicieza is letting a little of his bias against Jason into his writting since he seems to think Jason is some idiot (at least via Tim) while Tim is the boy genius. I mean calling Jason a tool while he picks up on the plan and moves in like they've been working together for years? Yes this might have been something he started to do to fool Joker but Tims' thoughts make it sound like Jason just did all this for the hell of it and is a punch first type of person.

Yeah, this Tim doesn't sound like Lobdells'. That self righteous spiel reads like the Red Robin series. This is the same Tim that considered though dismissed the idea of taking a life. The one that accepted and forgave Jason. Now he acts like he's some superior detective that has to suffer through Jason taking action. I knew Jason wasn't going to really attempt to kill Tim but having him say he was waiting for Tim to use his "big brain" to come up with a plan? Give me a break. Jason isn't some helpless pawn that needs directing and when the Joker is involved he wouldn't be so dependant on someone else anyway. And really? Tim was kicking Jasons' butt? Sorry but it wasn't so onesided (not to mention Jason admitted he wasn't trying to kill him) and I doubt Tim would be able to defeat him with his wings once Jason dropped them. Also just what was the great plan Mr. Brainy came up with? Jason was the one that was buying time before Tim even got his bearings. All Tim did was tell Jason when to shoot at Joker (which wasn't the real one anyway.) I mean that's nothing Jason couldn't have thought of. Why didn't Tim attack if destests killing? He has non-lethal means of taking someone out.

Making his wings slash open the helmet was the one brillant move he did in this in terms of fighting. Not that it was smart in the long run as it opened Jason up to the gas attack ensuring they both lost. Yeah I'm not seeing how Tims' the "smart one" in this.

I feel kind of cheated that the big beat down we were promised was a fake out. Bet you the bullet hole in the face mask of Jokers' won't be there in #17. Well it wasn't there in #16 unless the hat covered it or something. There seems to be a lot of things that have changed since Lobdells' interviews. I thought Joker was going to get under Jasons' skin but he never did. Not unless that fight for his fake father was supposed to be it--which I didn't buy. He wasn't even shaken up afterward. The supposed anger Joker feels towards Tim wasn't even mentioned making it seem like he was mildly annoyed and bored with him. There were hints that Joker would mention certain things, like perhaps the sibling Jason was going to have. We got nothing. While the Jason and Tim scenes made this more entertaining the sudden shift in Tims' attitude didn't work at all. This felt rushed and uninspired.

Questions raised?: What is Tims' relationship to Dick? Since Jason is now the closest thing he has to a brother it makes me wonder if they had time to bond. I think Tim might be frustrated with Dick chosing Damian to be his Robin then seeing how everyone kept turning a blind eye to the kid that repeatedly tried to murder him. That makes him feel like more of an outsider. Still his wording is strange as Tim says he's closest to Jason despite admitting they rarely spoke to each other since Jason returned. This begs the question if they knew each other when Jason was still Robin which would change quite a bit.

What is up with Kiran? I missed one issue of TT so I don't think I could have missed that many hints. She mentions Lance but that doesn't seem to be what Kori was talking about in RHATO #16.

Is Joker saying Tim is slow or Jason? Because the reflection in the art makes it hard to tell if he means our left or his.

Did Tim really talk about Jasons' father dying in prison and Jason mentioned his mothers' fake death--where Joker can hear them? I thought they were playing with him not knowing since they don't call each other by their real names. Joker may know (he should) but the point is to make it uncertain, right? If he doesn't know he'd figure it out. Jokers' crazy not stupid.

How the hell does Tim know Jason has All Caste training? Jasons' not the type to blab his secrets, Tim admits he hasn't talked to him much, and the All Caste isn't that well known out of certain circles.

Joker has more than one tray or is this an artist mistake?

Did you notice?: "Jack Drake" has a mask like RRs' drawn on the bag over his head while "Willis'" has x's for eyes and a tongue stick out drawn on his. "Jacks'" sign says "#1 dad" while "Willis'" says "deadbeat dad."

Like Batman and Robin Joker is eating popcorn enjoying the show. This is a bit of a twist of his torment with Damian. There he fooled Damian into believing he was fighting his own father in a kill or be killed situation. Here he's asking the Reds to chose who dies.

They were gassed just like they are in the Batman #16 panel and it reveals why it affects Jason as the helmet was cracked during the fight.

"Thar be bats" is painted on the wall leading to the place Joker drags his bat kids to in every book.

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