December 3, 2023

Gabbing Geek

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Slightly Misplaced Comic Book Heroes Case File #37: Minion

This is not him.
This is not him.

Over the years, DC’s Teen Titans group has been one of those perennial books that’s always around.  At one time, The New Teen Titans, as written by Marv Wolfman and drawn by George Perez, was one of it not the hottest comic around, rivaling The Uncanny X-Men for popularity.  The classic line-up that included Nightwing, Raven, Starfire, Cyborg, Changeling, Wonder Girl, and some others was all the rage.  Other Titans came and went, such as Kid Flash, Speedy, Aqualad, Red Star, Pantha, and Wildebeest, but the core group was what the fan remembered.

Then, after the Zero Hour storyline, a new line-up appeared.  Gone were most of the classic Titans, possibly due to no longer technically being “teens”.  In its place was a line-up that at least looked interesting.  There was former Speedy Roy Harper, now going by Arsenal.  Donna Troy went by her real name and was, at the time, a member of the spacefaring police force, the Darkstars.  Former Team Titans from a collapsed future timeline Mirage and Terra were there.  So was the at-the-time only Green Lantern, Kyle Rayner, as were two teen heroes from the period, Impulse and Damage.

Oh, and then there was Minion.

This is him...
This is him…

While George Perez was long gone by then, Marv Wolfman was still writing the adventures of the Teen Titans.  Personally, I wasn’t a fan.  Wolfman’s characters always seemed overwrought with emotion.  I got a trade or two from the glory days with Perez, and very few pages go by without somebody shedding some tears.  There were tears of joy, rage, sadness…you name it, someone was crying over it.  The “Judas Contract” storyline came with an intro that talked about how so many fans just could not believe Terra was evil.  Surely she would come around?

I read the dang thing and wondered why anyone would think she wasn’t.  And that was before the pages came around that implied she, being clearly underage, might have been sleeping with clearly overage Deathstroke.

She's smoking, underage, while having a relationship with a much older enemy...yeah, how exactly did no one believe she wasn't really evil the whole time?
She’s smoking, underage, while having a relationship with a much older enemy…yeah, how exactly did no one believe she wasn’t really evil the whole time?

Um, ew.

Look, Terra was just unpleasant.

Moving on…

Fast forward to Zero Hour, I see the ads; I’m a fan of Rayner, Damage and Impulse; and I opt to give the book a try.  I read it for a while, but it didn’t do much for me.

It apparently didn’t do much for a lot of people.  While Kyle would eventually hook up romantically with teammate Donna Troy, the friendship between Damage and Impulse was apparently ignored outside the book.  How much so?  So much so that I distinctly remember reading a letter column for Impulse’s solo book where a fan asked if Damage could come hang out, and the editor answering the letter said the two had never met.


It probably didn’t help that Wolfman was recycling the same Raven/Trigon storyline again, plus longtime Titans’ foe Psimon kept coming back for more.

But somewhere in there, Minion showed up.  Now, let’s be fair.  Minion is a horrible name for a superhero.  A minion is a peon, a servant, maybe a slave, at best a sidekick, and often to a villain.  That said, it helped that his name actually was Minion.

Jarras Minion came from the planet Talyn, which was locked in an eternal war with another nearby world of Kallas.  Jarras’ parents were in the act of building the ultimate battlesuit.  Minion’s people were pacifist by nature, and the weapon, called the Omegadrome, made whoever wore it aggressive enough to fight.  It also adapted to any attack and allowed the wearer to, well, beat anybody.

Then the aforementioned Psimon destroyed both Talyn and Kallas (that’s one way to stop a war), leaving only Minion wearing the Omegadrome alive.  You can probably guess what happened next.

Minion ended up joining the Titans when the aforementioned Raven arc came back.  Supergirl joined the team then, too, but by then I really didn’t care.

Minion eventually left Earth and gave the Omegedrome to Cyborg.  He hasn’t really been superheroing since.

It’s probably for the best.  Outside the suit, Damage and Impulse took note that Minion looked like a Smurf and sounded like one of the Chipmunks.  Not the most intimidating of heroes, all told…