There’ll probably be a lot of Teen Titans featured in WTF, DC? For one thing, they all seem to die either for shock value or because “hero dies” is an easy plot point to write toward. One such Titan, Anima, a teenage girl who could project a spirit-sucking energy creature, was introduced in 1993’s abysmal crossover event Bloodlines (which featured a winged space horse wearing red armour and sucking out people’s spinal fluid):
Bloodlines was an attempt to inject some new, uh, blood into the DCU, and it sort of worked: the character Hitman debuted in a Demon annual and ended up with his own 60-issue, five-year solo series. Other characters (Loose Cannon, Argus, Gunfire) received solo titles that quickly tanked, Anima included:
Courtney Mason’s solo adventures remained on shelves for nearly a year and a half before being pulled. Her story mixed fighting and philosophy but for the most part was pretty standard mid-90s DC fare. After her series ended, she popped up in Young Justice, Infinite Crisis, and finally joined the Titans proper in Titans East Special #1, in which Cyborg attempts to augment the original team with a group of past collaborators, including a blue-haired Anima:
A few months after Titans East Special #1, Anima was showcased in a tie-in to Grant Morrison’s bloated, pointless Final Crisis miniseries, joining other former Bloodlines survivors in Faces of Evil: Prometheus.
Anima, along with Argus and Gunfire, give chase to Prometheus before he cuts off Argus’s hands and high-tails it to an interstellar void called the Ghost Zone. Anima makes the mistake of leaping after him as he’s transporting, which has the unfortunate effect of porting the upper half of her body to the Ghost Zone while the lower half remains behind:
Ick. But, hey, just another needlessly violent death for a fictional character in the DCU, right? Sure. That would be the case if Anima’s demise wasn’t followed up with this bit of tasteful reflection:
There’s a famous Hustler cover featuring a woman being fed into a meat grinder. It caused significant controversy – mainly focusing on how offensive, sexist, and violent it was – with publisher Larry Flynt later explaining that the image was meant as a criticism of the pornography world in general (the veracity of his claim is debatable, but the quote accompanying that cover photo – “We will no longer hang women up like pieces of meat” attests to this).
Maybe Anima’s death is like that Hustler cover? Like, maybe someday Sterling Gates will reveal the genius behind having a female character sliced in half and then referred to as garbage while 50% of her corpse floats in a sea of white nothingness? Until then…