COMIC REVIEW: Teen Titans Lost Annual #1
(Editor’s note: For those with no appetite for self-indulgent meandering, limited time, or both please skip ahead roughly 600 words to get to the actual review.)
I’m told by scientists…
Okay, okay, I’m not told by any scientists. Scientists and I aren’t really on speaking terms since that party at Dave’s house and the whole Bunsen Burner Bake-Off Incident of ’98. But, just go with me here. I’m told by scientists that all of us dream every single night whether we can remember it or not. Not sure how they know that but I’m sure it has something to do with charting brain activity in sleeping simians! (Alliteration!! Yes!!)
The reason I’m dubious of that fact is that on the rare occasions I do recall a dream it is in such furiously intricate detail that I just can’t imagine that that kind of stuff is going on in my brain every night without me knowing about it. Anyway, Sunday night I had one of those dreams and it really shook me up. In it my wife and I were living under a very ominous cloud brought on by the recent news that I had contracted a mysterious and soon-to-be-fatal brain disease and had maybe a month to live. My wife, ever anxious, booked an appointment for us with this doctor who we found working out of a crumbling underground lab straight out of “Jacob’s Ladder.” Flickering fluorescents, peeling walls, water stains, exposed wires. We made our way through upturned office furniture and eventually found him in a grungy back room. (Note: In one of those odd dream gaps I can’t describe the doctor to you. Though he was talking to us we couldn’t actually see or hear him.)
So, Doctor Nobody explained that he had a very experimental yet extreme treatment to recommend but one that had been proven successful on other patients. Since my brain was inoperable he would have to decapitate me. That’s right – a complete head amputation. But, not to worry, he’d be able to keep my body alive while administering a full work-up of chemicals he had developed which would slowly regenerate a new head on my body within a couple of months. The downside (as if complete head loss didn’t qualify) would be that head regeneration is exceedingly painful without the benefit of consciousness to work through the pain.
Despite that unfortunate side effect and the overall foreboding sense I got from the doctor’s “offices” my wife was enthusiastic about the procedure and was begging me to get it done. Neither she nor the doctor could understand my reticence. I wanted to know whether my head would grow back in baby form and if I’d have to wait another 30 years to get it back to where it was. And what of ”Cogito, ergo sum?” (I think therefore I am.) If mind and soul are truly interconnected, wouldn’t it be the head of a brand new man that would grow back and take charge of my body and my family?
The dream ended with those doom-filled philosophical ruminations and my Monday morning was filled with a queasy feeling of existential dread. Sure the dream sounds utterly goofy now. But, it was completely real to me and ruined the day’s first cup of coffee. So, why do I tell you of this dream? Well, for one, I had to tell somebody. That’s one crazy dream! But, for another, if this mundane life of mine is a novel being written by God, then that dream could be considered a bit of ham-handed foreshadowing on the part of the Big Guy. For, not more than six hours after escaping near head removal by the greasy hands of Dr. Nobody I read a 48-page comic book that tore my head off anyway! And, frankly, I’m not sure it’s ever going to grow back no matter what chemicals or electrodes are applied to the exposed brain stem that’s been left flapping about my open neck. (more…)