Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Tune In Tuesday - Titans Edition

So lots of Titanic TV news, today. First The CW announced that their next new super hero themed series was going to be Raven, based on the member of the Teen Titans. It's an announcement completely out of left field, as Raven has rarely ever starred in anything solo. She formed the New Teen Titans in 1980 and has been a fixture on the team since.
It's an obscure choice BUT thinking about it, a teenage heroine who is the daughter of a human mother and demon father, who must suppress her emotions to prevent her demon daddy from using her as a vessel to destroy the world... it sounds like the perfect match for The CW!
In the comics, Raven has very subtle abilities. She is an empath, so she can read others' emotions, she can manipulate emotions to a degree and she can teleport. Recently, she appears to have developed the power of flight. I'm not sure if they'll try and beef up her abilities on the show the way they did on the Teen Titans cartoon, on which she basically had telekinesis.For such a gothy, introverted character, I never dug how they gave her bare legs on the toon. I guess it was in homage to the slitted skirt she wore in the beginning, but it felt too InYaFace to me. Then again, I'm sure on the show, she probably won't even wear a real costume. We'll see... but I think this has potential. As startling as the decision was, it's a logical choice, so let's hope it works. I'm just thrilled to get a FEMALE based super hero project out there!

In other Titans TV news, last week, Cartoon Network aired a sneak preview of Young Justice... and it was EXCELLENT!The Young Justice comic was basically the 90s version of Teen Titans, just with a different name, starring the then-current "sidekicks" of the Justice League heroes... Robin (Tim Drake), Superboy (Kon-El/Conner Kent), Wonder Girl (Cassie Sandsmark), Impulse (Bart Allen) and Arrowette (Cissie King-Jones), plus a few made-for-the-series characters like Secret (a ghost of a deceased young girl) and Empress (a magical warrior... and sigh, token ethnic character). Eventually the YJ book was canceled and the four stars, Robin, SB, Impulse (adopting the new codename Kid Flash) and Wonder Girl "graduated" to a revival of the Teen Titans book.The show is kind of a mixture of that series and the original/current Teen Titans. It appears that Robin and Kid Flash, as well as guest star Speedy (Green Arrow's sidekick, whose name is used in a hilarious one-liner at the beginning) are the originals from the 60s-80s, Dick Grayson, Wally West and Roy Harper, not the current versions. Yet also in the mix are the modern Superboy, Miss Martian and the newly introduced Aqualad, Jackson Hyde. Not appearing in the preview was Artemis, a female archer who it's been leaked is Arrowette from the 90s Young Justice series. So... it's kind of a hodgepodge.
Arrowette... Artemis has been the subject of a lot of speculation and debate, because the creators wouldn't reveal who she actually was.There are two blond teen archers in DC Comics. Arrowette, as I said, was in YJ in the 90s, but retired.
More recently, Green Arrow took on a new Speedy, Mia Dearden (the original, Roy Harper had adopted the identity of Arsenal, then later Red Arrow). She served with the Teen Titans, but hasn't been as big a part of the DC Universe as some of her contemporaries.There actually is a character in the DCU named Artemis, a red headed Amazon who for a time served as Wonder Woman. The absence of Wonder Girl in the cartoon's lineup led many to assume that THIS Artemis was being used in her place. But why ditch the red hair?

One clever guess I heard was that it was this character, The Tigress, real name Artemis Crock, the daughter of two old Green Lantern foes, The Sports Master and The Huntress. She originally functioned as simply Artemis and she uses a crossbow, so that lends the theory credibility.

But Cartoon Network leaked that Artemis was Cissie King (guess she dropped the hyphenate). Here's the punny part... Her name is Cissie KING. Green Arrow's real name is Oliver QUEEN! Get it?! In the first episode, GA is still partnered with the original Speedy, Roy Harper, so no one's sure how Cissie will factor in.
I gotta say, I L-O-V-E-D this episode! The animation is gorgeous, the characters are all interestingly rendered (Robin is much smaller and skinnier than the others, Aquaman and Aqualad are given barefeet for the first time, which makes perfect sense, etc.) The story was action packed, serious... yet still fun and had a nice amount of character development. Of course some assholes will criticize anything so...
OF COURSE people are bitching that Aqualad is black. Suck it up! they went to the trouble of introducing him in the comics before the series began and he's AWESOME, so suck it up. He's super strong and can create weapons out of hard water. He is the biggest ass kicker in the bunch! Viva Aqualad!
I can't argue with the critique that the first episode was an epic sausage fest. It basically followed Robin, Kid Flash and Aqualad on their first mission as a group, which involved finding Superboy. However, my defense, and I'm sticking to it, is that it was an homage to the very first teen sidekick crossover that preceded the actual formation of the Teen Titans.
See same characters, just... in the 60s.
At least Miss Martian showed up at the end. On this series, she's Martian Manhunter's niece. In the comics, she's a White Martian (the evil kind) but is good so she disguises herself as a Green (good) Martian. She shows up at the very end and all the guys try to mack on her. It's cute. This episode was SO good, I'm willing to not judge it on lack of female content, because I know when the young ladies show up, they'll be handled properly. (One of the producers worked on the EXCELLENT X-Men Evolution series which featured stellar female characters!)

For some reason, Wonder Girl wasn't available to the producers in the beginning, but she has since been made available and I can't wait. Since it's a mixture of older and newer characters, I don't know if the Wonder Girl they pick will be the modern one, Cassie Sandsmark...
Or MY GIRL, Donna Troy...
I'd love to see Donna animated, but I'd actually be happy either way.
Did I mention that Robin is voiced by the ABORBZ Jesse McCartney? Soooooo KEWT!!!
Also, back to the treatment of women in cartoons, if it offends you that female characters factored lightly into YJ, DON'T FUCKIN' WATCH GI JOE RENEGADES!!! Scarlet is featured heavily, but she is the highest ranking of the Joes and is constantly talked down to, dismissed, made fun of and in EVER conceivable way treated like shit!!! It's the most misogynist 30 minutes of toonage I have ever seen! I can't believe NO ONE ELSE, as far as I could tell from reading message boards and such, has complained! Are women just not watching this show? Well... DON'T! (Although, I have watched episodes since and they weren't that bad. Oh well, just venting!)

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