Friday, August 28, 2009

They Killed Eddie Bloombergl! Those Unoriginal Bastards

In the latest issue of Teen Titans, the last bad episode in a spectacularly bad arc, yet another Teen Titan died.

No superhero team, in either universe, has had so many deaths, some of which have been incredibly stupid (Terra buried in rubble, Aquagirl drowned), They've also had the most roster changes I've ever experienced. The revived Titans (courtesy of Geoff Johns, naturally) was successful because of the characters that made up the core; Robin, Superboy and Wonder Girl (and Kid Flash.) Robin moved on to more personal matters, Superboy bit the big one (but is back), Kid Flash was beaten to death (but is back) and WG was left to mind the store.

She didn't do so hot. Mostly she pouted, argued with Ravager (her one good teammate) till she drove her away, assembled some B-list candy-ass teen heroes to fill the ranks, and donned a new and pretty retarded costume. Now, in the last issue before Connor and Bart come back to the fold, (why couldn't they have done it an issue earlier and saved the day?) she lets one of her closest friends and allies die during a lame prison outbreak.

To be honest, at first I wasn't really into Eddie Bloomberg, Kid Devil (then Red Devil) at all. He seemed like an overly quippy useless addition to the team. But he completely grew on me. His backstories were rather cool, his earnestness never waned despite being rebuffed by people he thought friends and heroes (Blue Devil, Zatara, Ravager), and his powers and skill grew as well. In the end he had lost his powers, but he stuck around the Titans tower, helping with the fight.

His death is rather insulting. As opposed to thinking up something remotely original, they had a villain whose power was an uncontrollable nuclear reaction, about to uncontrollably detonate and destroy the city. So Eddie pops him in the jet and flies into space with him, not ejecting because he doesn't want to risk the jet turning around (the Titans jet doesn't have autopilot suddenly?) and they blow up together.

The other Titans are hardly phased by it. They go through the motions of grief, have a funeral, contemplate quitting, but ultimately use it as a lesson for heroism and teamwork, and they cheer each other up. Pointless, since Superboy and Kid Flash are back now, and the team will re-form around them now. Static hasn't lived up to the hype, Aquagirl is redundant with Cassie around, Blue Beetle is in my opinion tepid, Miss Martian underused, and Bombshell's rebellious belligerence is boring and flat.

I've enjoyed Bryan Q. Miller before--Batgirl, even old Teen Titans issues--but this latest run has been embarrassingly bad. He should have lunch with Matt Fraction and discuss how easy it is to destroy a team hero book. For his part, I believe Fraction has some evil twin, because it seems impossible that the guy writing Iron Man these days is responsible for X-Men/Dark Avengers Utopia, which has been increasingly horrible, exponentially lame, massively stupid in plot developments and characterization, and even pretty bad when it comes to the artwork.

These titles have a built in audience, one that it's not so hard to displease. How about you find some writers who don't piss all over the people who came before them.

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