By Ray Tate
"It all lends to a pulse-pounding conclusion that will leave more than one fan favorite character dead--and both young teams shattered forever."
Well, we've heard that before. DC owes me money. They have yet to reimburse me for one cent of the coin I spent on Our Worlds at War or a fourth of No Man's Land which culminated with Big. Yellow. Birds keeping the world's greatest heroes at bay. They have not repaid me for the misery of every piss-poor Superman storyarc from the year two thousand. They owe me a mint for the time I wasted watching Power Girl being reduced to a sex object.
I don't expect to be paid. I mean they have yet to remit to me the funds I spent to find out that the height of the Huntress' and Black Canary's observational powers amounted to identifying a felon by his buttocks. No, I'll never get my money back. I've opted for revenge. I'm writing first to expose the secret of Titans/Young Justice: Graduation Day. You see, I know who will die. DC has a pattern of behavior that can be followed with great ease.
The first character is a woman. DC has a penchant for killing or maiming female characters left and right; pre-Crisis and post-Crisis. The first one was Elasti-Girl, the last one was Vesper Fairchild. I'd wager not a year goes by where at least one female character bites the dust.
Second, this is a heroine who has no title of her own. Wait a minute, that's all of them. Not very helpful this second condition.
Third, this character has forfeited her original name, and fans still don't know what to call her.
Fourth, although she has slept with nearly every male Titan and possibly some of the female ones, this character has absolutely no sex appeal. Ah-ha! That's better says you.
The soon to be dead hero is Donna Troy.
Argent is exotic and sexy. She will not die. Jesse Quick while a fan favorite will not die simply because DC already killed three speedsters. Admittedly she was a good candidate. Jesse is after all an intelligent woman when written well and quite powerful. DC hates these qualities in female heroes. Usually, just one foreshadows the character's imminent death or crippling, but Jesse has upped her sex appeal. If you observe the promotional art, Jesse has had her crotch shaven and invites the carnal dreams of adolescents who cannot legally buy porn. Donna wears a full body suit covered in distracting stars. It becomes fairly obvious who will be killed.
Peter David created Empress. A comination of guilt and the want to mend fences will save her. Mr. David also has a new series coming up for DC. They already killed two of his books. So, they do not want to generate any more bad feelings with this talented author.
The newish Wonder Girl seems to be the more logical candidate to die, but once again, you simply have to look outside of fairness. Cassie appeals to a larger demographic. Donna Troy mainly has stuck around for nostalgia purposes and because everybody has inadvertently forgotten to kill her. Cassie also preserves the trademark of Wonder Girl. With Cassie around, DC need not create a new Wonder Girl. She also happens to be a creation of John Byrne who busily makes money for DC with Superman & Batman: Generations. DC does not wish to anger Mr. Byrne. Besides, Cassie is a blonde. DC has killed already one big name blonde by the name of Kara, and that move is still gnawing at their rear. The lesson they learned? Don't kill blondes.
Donna Troy will die. Now, if the writers had something for her to do, there is a good chance that she would have been spared, but you see, Donna's death will appeal to the writers. Her death creates friction between Nightwing and Arsenal who will blame each other and blame themselves. This gives Nightwing more angst so he can catch up to his psychotic mentor. This gives Cassie the want to carry on the good name of Wonder Girl. Most importantly Donna's death saves the writers from the pretense of studying her continuity which has forever been screwed up by The Crisis of Infinite Earths ironically by the author who cared the most about her and then again by John Byrne. It also saves the writers the trouble of remembering which name she is using that particular day.
DC will also kill off a male character in this mini-series. This death will attempt to show that DC is not only out to get female characters. In reality, it's merely an attempt to throw out a practically worthless character. It's safe to say that Nightwing and Robin are immortal. No need to worry there.
DC would probably love to kill off Arsenal. He's absolutely worthless except as Speedy. However, this move would leave Lian an orphan. Lian would then be required by law to put on a costume and avenge her father's death. Unfortunately, Lian is about eight and will stay that age for a long time. Killing Arsenal would mean DC has orphaned a child who cannot fend for herself. The outcry would be horrible and just might spill over into the newsmedia.
Impulse is another speedster. DC has already killed three. Besides, Bart acts as a great comic foil that attracts readers who are fed up with the dark and ugly universe. If the titles are flagging, inject Impulse in them and get a tiny boost in sales.
Cyborg has been killed already. Ever notice that male heroes come back, but the female heroes stay dead? Dove recently returned in JSA but that just means she has a shot at being dead again for a third time. Holly from Catwoman miraculously survives because nobody remembered that she had died in the post-Crisis Action Comics Weekly. In any case, Cyborg will soon star in a cartoon series. He's guaranteed life so long as the show lasts.
Will DC finally kill Aqualad? They might if he was still Aqualad, but he carries the name Tempest which happens to be a two-character trademark name. That's the item that will save him. Anyway, he's not a fan favorite character. Very few people will scream bloody murder if he's killed. To quote the late great Douglas Adams, Tempest is "mostly harmless."
The process of elimination leaves the very dead Superboy. Why kill Superboy? He has no book. He has starred in three; so he has become a fan-favorite. Killing him will affect an iota of fandom but not the whole. He's redundant. He's not actually related to Superman nor is he Superman as a boy. Killing him affects nothing in the larger scheme of things, and DC is putting out three different types of young Superman books.
So there you have it, Donna Troy and Superboy will die with a whimper heard by practically nobody in Graduation Day which still raises in an important question:
"Ray, you're no longer suckered by such series. How can we the consumer recognize a non-events?"
Glad you asked. Non-event mini or maxi series can be avoided by simply observing ten simple rules.
1) Never buy a mini or maxi series in which the villain was specifically created for that mini or maxi series. Marv Wolfman was the last author to create a believable, bona fide menace for a comic book event. Not a single entity that has followed has matched the Anti-Monitor's presence. So bankrupt of ideas, DC actually believed that an empty suit might do it.
2) Never buy a mini or maxi series that claims to fix continuity. Continuity will never be fixed unless DC holds a press conference and declares the Crisis of Infinite Earths null and void.
3) Never buy a mini or maxi series that purports to be a mystery. No matter how many clues indicate otherwise the villain will always turn out to be Hank Hall.
4) Never buy a mini or maxi series that ties into another mini or maxi series. If bitten once by Bruce Wayne: Murderer do not believe things will improve with Bruce Wayne: Fugitive.
5) Never buy a mini or maxi series that claims it will change the DCU forever. Only one mini-series changed the DCU forever, and that was once again The Crisis of Infinite Earths.
6) Never buy a mini or maxi series that introduces new costumes. This criterion is especially true when Joel Schumacher designs those costumes.
7) Never buy a mini or maxi series that promises to kill characters. Marv Wolfman again was the only author who made the death of heroes impact upon the readers. Sam Lane is dead. Does anybody care?
8) Never buy a mini or maxi series that promises to resurrect characters. The sole exception to this rule can be found with the absolutely sterling Return of Helena Wayne: the Huntress. Wait a minute. That only happened in my head. Scratch that.
9) Never buy a mini or maxi series in which DC only promotes the cover artist. The interior artwork will invariably disappoint.
10) Never buy a mini or maxi series that creates a new hero. None of these heroes ever last--case in point Superboy.
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