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Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Shocking Revelations

A few days ago on his weblog, noted man-about-town Dorian Wright gave the impression that he was not enjoying the Teen Titans showcase, specifically referring to it as some kind of deep hurting.

As for me, I'm enjoying the living hell out of it, mostly due to the fact that by the second story, the Titans are fighting the collection of giant ambulatory body parts known as the Separated Man.

Seriously, Robin using the rockin' tunes of the Fab Four to battle a giant purple ear before he and his running crew ram a six-foot hypodermic needle into the corresponding heart is exactly what I'm looking for in a comic book. But I realize that not everyone can share my desires, no matter how right they may be.

Unfortunately, Dorian's problem was with the dialogue:

"No, it's the combination of those factors with the dialogue which comes off as a forty-year old trying to sound "down" and "hip" with all the "groovy lingo" that "the kids" use these days."

Oddly enough, Bob Haney's crazy hipster jive-talk is exactly what I like about the stories, and I'm shocked by Dorian's insinuation that it's just Haney making a halfhearted attempt to pander to the kids. For you see, through my profound mastery of The Science, which mostly involves making things up and writing them down, I've made a startling discovery about Bob Haney.

Take, for instance, the dialogue in this sequence from Teen Titans #3...

...and compare it to the sheer poetry that is the dialogue from one of Haney's merely fantastic issues of Metamorpho:

It's almost identical jive, buster. And while one set's coming from the mouth of a teenager, Rex Mason's gotta be in his thirties at least. And heck, during Haney's tenure as the architect of "The NEW Blackhawk Era," a Polish World War II veteran in his forties talked like that. With any one of them, I'd say there was some credence to the theory that he was talking down to his audience, but that, my friends, is a pattern.

And it can only lead me to one shocking conclusion: That's how Bob Haney really talked.

More Haneyesque Shenanigans:
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Blogger Mallet said...

And that my friends is why you should love everything he writes.

4/20/2006 3:22 AM

Anonymous Martin said...

It's merely the most! I must say that, having read Metamorpho, hunted down as much Haney as I could find, and read that, and then read the Teen Titans showcase, I came to the same conclusions you did. He must have come on but strong. Seriously - any story where an alien steals Earth's monuments by having a DJ in space deliver coded instructions to a guy with an anti-gravity ray is genius. And Haney's Wonder Girl is better than anything that came after.
By comparison, Marv Wolfman's story sounds really pompous.

Haney: Created Ding Dong Daddy.
Wolfman: Created Terry Long.

4/20/2006 4:39 AM

Blogger Anthony Palmer said...

It's great to imagine that writers actually talk like they write, because you can take it a step further and imagine the conversations they might have together.

What would happen if Bob Haney and Frank Miller got into a discussion about their favorite ice cream flavors?

Let's take it another step and throw a handful of writers into a single living space for a new spin-off of THE REAL WORLD. Bob Haney, Frank Miller, Stan Lee, Brian Bendis, Jack Kirby and Joe Kelly. (In the magical fantasy land where all of these gentlemen are still alive and healthy.)

The drama! The fightin'! The hyphens! I'd watch it.

4/20/2006 10:55 AM

Blogger Chris said...

Who do we have to blackmail to get DC to release the Haney/Allred Teen Titans Swingin' Elseworlds Special? Who, I ask you, WHO?

4/20/2006 11:33 AM

Anonymous Tug said...

What would happen if Bob Haney and Frank Miller got into a discussion about their favorite ice cream flavors?
Haney: Check out these crazy cones, daddy-o!
Miller: I'm having ice cream with Bob Haney.
Haney: And dig these fly flavors!
Miller: I'm having ice cream with Bob Haney.

4/20/2006 2:03 PM

Blogger Anthony Palmer said...

Miller: I'm having ice cream with Bob Haney.

How cool is THAT?

4/20/2006 3:48 PM

Blogger The Fortress Keeper said...

Jive dialogue is but one of the hallmarks of Bob Haney's genius. In fact, I would argue that his Teen Titans is closer in spirit to the animated cartoon than the more "serious" Wolfman iteration. In fact, I often took the cartoon as a Haney-esque rewrite of Wolfman's run.

4/20/2006 3:48 PM

Blogger C. Elam said...

As I mentioned on Dorian's blog, I can't decide which I love more - his good stories or his bad ones. And yes, pretty much everything he wrote has some form of that crazy jive. Have you ever read any of his text page features? The one in the Metamorpho FIRST ISSUE SPECIAL (#3) is awesome.

I second the motion to get the Last Haney Teen Titans Story into print. Jay Stephens has some samples on his website. I thought the reasons for cancelling it were pretty ridiculous, considering Haney's Titans are the closest in tone to the cartoon.

I'm hoping to add to the Blogosphere's Haney coverage eventually. We need more Haney, not less, daddy-o!

4/20/2006 6:25 PM

Blogger Dorian said...

At the comic shop today, Mike and I found ourselves imaging what a Bob Haney written Sgt. Rock would be like.

It's really the most appropriate title for his storytelling style...

4/20/2006 11:05 PM

Blogger Chris Sims said...

That would be the best thing ever.

But does that mean Bob Kanigher would be on Metamorpho?

4/20/2006 11:36 PM

Blogger C. Elam said...

You don't have to dream it, grasshopper.

(Seriously, Rock is in several great B&B issues, and Haney wrote a lot of war stories, including Rock tales.)

4/21/2006 12:41 AM

Blogger Chris Sims said...

Ah yes. The comics where World War II seems to last well into the sixties.

Scott and I were talking about those last week, and how you always expected it to be an Earth-2 Batman story, but then Sgt. Rock shows up looking slightly older than usual and there's no mention of what he's doing walking around when he was shot on the last day of the war.

You know, Dorian may have had a point about Haney not doing his research. Maybe.

4/21/2006 12:56 AM

Blogger C. Elam said...

Kanigher never actually wrote that "shot on the last day of the war" story, as near as I can tell. Which is a pity, since he did get to write a last story for the Losers

And mostof those team-ups were post-WWII, though I can't for the life of me remember if Rock was a general or a colonel in them. Not that it mattered, as he was NUTS in just about all of them.

There are far worse examples of Haney non-continuity continuity. Like that time Black Canary went into a beauty parlor to get her hair done. Except no one told Bob the blonde hair was a WIG.

(Seriously, go look into the late-70s/early 80s Unknown Soldier book. Bob Haney and he-man war action.)

Word verification : slzts

4/21/2006 1:21 AM

Anonymous Martin said...

Do you think that, if writers live like they write, Joe Kelley periodically has blips where he suddenly looks like he's skipped a few minutes and is doing something else?

4/21/2006 11:53 AM

Blogger Chris Sims said...

No, but I do imagine he looks in the mirror and has a good long cry when he realizes he's not Warren Ellis.

4/21/2006 7:36 PM


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