Review: Teen Titans #23.1 is All About Rape, a Lot of Rape
What would be a great way to follow up the disappointing Trigon invasion story in Teen Titans? How about a completely unnecessary, largely indecipherable origin story for the lead villain! Not only that, but it’s all about rape! Demon rape! Eons and dimensions worth of never-ending, soul-crushing, genocide-level demon rape. That is Trigon’s origin. He rapes people. That’s apparently his thing. And most of the time, the women he rapes either die during the act or kill themselves from the grotesque horror of it all. That’s our Teen Titans villain, ladies and gentleman. That’s the guy that DC Comics sends up against teenage superheroes.
They better watch out that he doesn’t rape them in order to birth his next demon children. Because that is apparently what Trigon does. He rapes women on a Biblical scale.
Comic Rating: 2/10 – Very Bad.
So it’s Villains Month at DC comics, and a bunch of titles are being replaced for a quick, done-in-one origin story for a lot of New 52 villains. I wasn’t sure if I would bother reviewing Trigon #1, but after reading it, I felt I had to say something. Because this issue is something else. It’s…well like I said, it’s filled with demon rape. That’s pretty much it. Trigon shows up, vaguely explains where he comes from, and then launches a never-ending, interdimensional campaign to rape as many females as possible. The guy loves to rape. He lives to rape. Rape. Rape. Rape.
I hope I never again have to write rape so much in my blog. It’s not a fun word. It’s not a fun thing to talk about. And I’m relatively sure that it doesn’t have to be in this comic. Is rape really the major selling point of Trigon’s character? I know his major comics contribution is having Raven as a daughter, but does she have to have been born of rape? Heck, according to this issue, Raven’s mom consented to the demon rape. So why do so many other innocent women across the universe have to get raped?
The point is, this issue is full of demon rape. A lot of demon rape. Keep reading if you want, or stop now, I won’t mind. But writer Marv Wolfman really loves himself some demon rape. I’ve been around the Internet, and I’ve seen some freaky fetishes in my day. But this issue really, really takes the cake. Join me after the jump – if you dare!
So we start out with three godlike aliens far out in space somewhere watching with disappointment as some alien planet is corrupted by evil. Right off the bat, forget everything you think you know about the DC Universe or the multiverse. None of it matters. Monitors, the Bleed, the 52 Universes; none of it matters. Not a bit. There is absolutely no context to anything explained in this comic, just like there was no context when we saw Trigon’s origin back in Teen Titans #20. All of this just takes place in some alien world across some alien interdimensional barrier. Don’t even try to understand.
Which is probably good advice for the issue as a whole.
Anyway, like I was saying, we’ve got three benevolent aliens who don’t like the evil they’re watching on their space iPads.
They realize that three individuals are the root of this evil, so they teleport the three to them, and we get our first look at young Trigon. The guy is a total stud.
Now, if this issue was all about young, studly Trigon as some kind of badass, Conan the Barbarian-esque demon warrior viking his way across the cosmos, that might have been a good comic. That’s what I pictured when I saw that image. Has anyone ever even shown Trigon as a young demon before? What was he like before he became the evil badass villain we know today? Did he swing a battle ax, perhaps? Into somebody’s skull? Surely he must have.
But no, that’s a story for another day. For this issue, we need to find out that Trigon became a super demon because those three bald aliens plugged him into the Heart of Darkness.
Apparently they’ve got this big, cosmic heart thingy that sucks up all of the evil in the universe. And again, I remind you, do not even try to put any of this into the context of the known DC Universe. It won’t fit. Just accept that there’s some kind of spooky Heart of Darkness, and that these aliens use it to suck the evil out of people. Except it doesn’t work on Trigon for some reason. Instead, he sucks the evil out of the heart and into himself.
Trigon explains that he allowed the aliens to draw him to them so that he could do this very thing, and empower himself with all of the evil from across all the galaxies. He calls them his ‘mother’s and ‘fathers’, but that could just be a metaphor. He claims to be born of some kind of celestial blasphemy, but that still doesn’t explain where he comes from. So really, this isn’t an origin story. It’s just telling us that once upon a time, Trigon hooked himself up to the Heart of Darkness and got a power upgrade. Good for him.
He promptly kills the three aliens, summons a mighty staff and then tries to leave their dimension – only to be blocked by some kind of divine wall. God? Who knows! It’s just there, and Trigon can’t leave. But he outsmarts this wall by using his power to simply bring people from other dimensions to him, instead of him going to visit them.
And so the rape begins.
And not just any rape, but complicated rape. Apparently, once he impregnates that alien woman, she later gives birth to…Trigon? Somehow, Trigon is reborn in this woman’s universe, and he promptly breathes fire over her and everybody in the birthing suite. Because babies can be a handful. Then we watch Trigon grow up and explain that the children of Trigon will each rule a world in his name. So which is it? Will your rape victims give birth to you or to your children?
Also, when Trigon reaches adolescence, does he just grow that loincloth? It looks like the white loincloth just forms out of teenage Trigon’s thighs. What’s up with that? Why is his loincloth biological? Why even wear the loincloth at all, considering all the raping he’s going to be doing?
Seriously, turn the page and we arrive at a double-page spread that pretty much serves as a rape montage.
This is the Karate Kid of rape scenes. That page is horrible! I feel like I need to take a shower! We know Trigon is evil, and everything, but does there have to be so much rape? And so many bloody depictions of the poor victims who got raped? And impregnated with demon spawn, no less?
But don’t worry, interdimensional ladies of the universe, there is hope! Trigon is actually a big wuss who retreats at the first sign of trouble!
A mighty warrior appears out of nowhere, wearing armor that was specifically designed to resist his evil powers. She says the armor was forged by ancient mages, passed down through the generations, but only now does someone actually put it on to face Trigon. He blasts her all of twice with his demon fire, and when she stands her ground, Trigon flees for his life.
Now, bear with me a moment, dear readers. Let’s try to understand this scene. Read that last caption box in the above picture so that you understand my problem. This heroic warrior appears, wearing armor that Trigon can’t penetrate. She defeats him in combat and sends him running off with his tail between his legs. But according to that caption box, nothing ever comes of it. She dies 30 years later and the armor gets passed on. Obviously, the armor is the Silent Armor that Wonder Girl wears. Fine, I get that. But did this Alazandria really do nothing with the armor? Was she just waiting around for Trigon to show up in her world so that she could smack him around a bit, then let him get away?
Because on the very next page, we find out that Trigon just went right back to raping!
Trigon’s raping is so prominent across the galaxy that it basically becomes a business. Sell your women to him and you will be rewarded. There are bounty hunters who exist to bring Trigon new rape victims.
The latest one is Arella, from Earth. She’s a diehard believer in Trigon, so why she had to be bound and brought before him is beyond me. This alien bounty hunter just traveled to Earth one day and found a woman who worshipped Trigon, of all people. Then he captured her and tied her up to be given to him. Arella tells Trigon that she will serve his needs, so he calmly tells her it’s time for the impregnating.
Then the final page of the issue is Arella speaking directly to the reader – I think. It’s just a single page of her face looking right at us. She tells us that she senses Trigon coming to Earth. His plan is to kill all the males, then impregnate our women with his demon army. Really? That was his plan? I don’t remember it even once being mentioned when he fought the Teen Titans. She tells us that Trigon needs to be killed or every universe is in danger. So will someone step up and help her? I thought, for a moment, that this was only the second to last page. I thought we would turn the page and find out she was talking to Red Robin or Blue Devil or Green Lantern or Purple Mongoose or something. But nope, apparently she’s talking to the reader.
What are we supposed to do about Trigon?
Maybe not buy this comic book, for one.
Oh man. This issue was something else. I didn’t know what to expect from Trigon’s chapter of Villains Month, but it was definitely not this. Not page after page of horrifying, stomach-churning rape. Just because they’re all alien women does not make it OK. There are drawings of impregnated rape victims killing themselves in this comic. This Teen Titans comic. And the implication is that Trigon did this for thousands of years, meaning there must be tens of thousands of victims. And this isn’t even sickening pervert rape, if such a difference can be made. This isn’t Dr. Light raping Sue Dibny, where everybody knows how disgusting it is. The rape in this issue is almost matter-of-fact. It’s just what Trigon does and it doesn’t matter to anybody. The victims are all dead. Their families and loved ones are probably all dead. Trigon just rapes nameless, faceless aliens to death and nobody cares.
Correction, somebody cares. They care enough to put on the Silent Armor to try and stop him. But after a few minutes of fighting him, this hero just lets Trigon get away and never again confronts him. The Silent Armor is passed down through the generations until it winds up lost and forgotten on Earth. No heroes were using it in the present day to fight Trigon. He fled from battle and just went right back to raping.
The guy knows his business.
Are we to assume now that whenever Trigon returns to Earth to battle the Titans again that his primary goal is going to be raping Wonder Girl and Solstice? Because that’s really going to make things…weird.