Scenes from an instant message window

In which Bill dissects the inherent value of teenage superheroes and team books and doesn't let poor Ian get a word in edgewise

The scene: Cyberspace. Bill is seated on his homemade throne built from the bones of his enemies. Enter Ian, stage left.

Ian: man, Teen Titans sounds boring

Bill: Well, I mean, Teen Titans--

Bill: Well, it's a book where the sole purpose is to throw all the teenage superheroes in a room with one another and have them fight stuff.

(more after the jump)

Bill: Everyone who writes it pretends to be Marv Wolfman when they SHOULD pretend to be mad Bob Haney, lighting universes on fire with a keystroke.

Ian: you know

Ian: good call

Bill: In that way, Teen Titans doesn't have a hook for me. It was cute in the '60s when the sidekicks figured out they should have a clubhouse and they got caught up in the teenage rebellion movement thingie--

Bill: And people liked it when Wolfman came on and started writing it like it was the X-Men--

Bill: But...

Ian: yeah

Ian: different era now

Ian: it should be...

Ian: Emo!?

Bill: Egads, no.

Bill: There's an inherent problem with the super teen scene, in that we need to see them grow up to achieve character development, but they can't mature without their super mentors getting older, and they never will, so the teen characters eventually hit the never-ending spin cycle until some editor kills them off.

Ian: hahaha

Bill: But, yes, I really don't think the Titans have a premise, which is why they fail, for me.

Ian: yeah

Bill: Same with the Avengers. And the JLA, sort of, which is why JLI is such a success-- they had a direction!

Ian: they did!

Bill: Team books are all about "like these characters separately? Buy them together!" with no other point to them.

Bill: And Teen Titans suffers the most, because... I mean, I like some of these guys, but no living comic writer can write a proper teenager, even though no comics reader would want to read one anyway.

Ian: ha

Ian: truly

Ian: and DC wouldn't publish a real teen book anyway

Ian: "What! Robin can't have sex! He's a minor!"

Ian: "It's bad enough he's had girlfriends! We let them make out, but...!"

Bill: Robin doesn't even know what sex is. He does not have genitals.

Bill: Why do people even read Robin? I mean, where's the hook? If I wanted "Batman in high school," I'd want, you know, BATMAN in high school-- not Batman's junior partner Angst, the Boy Ponder.

Bill: Maybe it's because of Chuck Dixon being awesome. ... Oops.

Ian: ha ha

Ian: I read it because he was an approachable character, far more so than Batman was, when I was a kid

Ian: but then Dixon left and...yeah

Bill: I liked the Dixon ones I read way back when.

Ian: he needs to be Tim Drake: Teen Detective

Bill: I thought the original mini-series was great. Tim Drake had excellent build-up into the role. And then, at some point, stagnation set in.

Ian: yeah

Ian: the inability to age played a big part in that

Bill: I feel like the book hurts when Batman shows up. Naturally, it makes sense for Batman and Robin to hang out all the time, and they should team up a lot more, because, you know, they're Batman & Robin-- the ampersand is essential-- but in Robin's solo book, Robin should be solo.

Bill: As is my wont, I have a plan for every comic ever previously produced, soooooo I could eke out a year or two of Robin stories.

Bill: Mostly, though, I just want to use him as a vehicle to revamp the dregs of the Batman rogues gallery and make them cool again. My focus should, however, be on Tim Drake, the Greatest of the Robins.

Bill: And he is, because, let's face it-- Dick Grayson became Robin by the same amount of tragic chance that birthed Batman (much like the lightning striking twice theme of Flash/Kid Flash), and grew (supposedly) into his own man; Jason Todd, was, um, killed off because no one liked him; Spoiler, was, um, only Robin for a cheap gimmick and killed off because editors felt like it.

Bill: Tim Drake became Robin after figuring out Batman's identity and determining that Batman *needed* Robin. And then he went and filled the role himself when no one else could.

Ian: right

Ian: hence: detective

Ian: also: self-made man (or, rather, hero)

Ian: he's the most driven of the lot, career wise

Bill becomes distracted by something shiny and disappears for twenty minutes.

Bill: That previous convo about the Titans and Robin and stuff sounds like bloggable fodder.

Bill: Go go gadget WordPress!

Ian: woo!

Exit Bill, lifted off via wires.

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