March 5th, 2003


Gayer than a gay thing.

I'm reading the trade paperback reissue of The New Teen Titan's series "The Judas Contract."

Bit of history - this took place/was written in the early eighties. Colors are still garish because of the technology and paper of the time. It's a major series on two counts - one is that Dick Grayson hangs up the Robin suit and eventually takes on the name "Nightwing" as well as a costume that resembles his current elegantly painted nude body not at all - he looks like Elvis in a mask. (Also, Wally West takes a hiatus from all Flashdom, Kid or otherwise.) The other is that Joey Wilson, "Jericho", joins the Titans.

And, yes, I've been primed. I've heard about the Dick/Joey stuff for years, but as I'd never actually seen Joey more than one flashback panel at a time, so it didn't mean much to me. Jericho's power is to take over other people and make them do what he wants them to do. Luckily, he's a very gentle and kind man who hates violence. He's also mute, at least in his own body, because his father allowed his kidnappers to cut Joey's throat before going back on his word. His father is the main villain of the series. He speaks in sign language.

Dick knows sign language. Dick also thinks Joey's fingers are graceful.

He's portrayed with huge green expressive eyes (the creators were forbidden to use even thought balloons. They had to use the character's body language to convey meaning, especially around those who don't sign) and curly blond hair, including enormous sideburns that don't make him a whit more masculine, especially when coupled with a costume that could only be called FABulous.

And one of the things his eyes express, before going inside Dick's body, was, "Don't make me hurt you."

Classic line, that.

But, okay. I was prepared for Joey.

I wasn't prepared for Joey's father and his boyfriend, the butler. The butler who serves him out of love and gratitude, even after he turns evil, who does his best to mitigate or even turn Slade back to the good side. The one who, well. To quote Joey's mother, Slade's ex-wife, "You loved him more than I did." She also didn't understand their "relationship", and those were her words.

I look at the world through slash colored glasses, but they weren't necessary for this.