WTF, DC? Anima

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:

Wow.

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…

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6 Responses to WTF, DC? Anima

  1. Thiago says:

    This sort of thing kinda sucks. I guess I’ve read about her (and her gruesome fate) somewhere on Women in Refrigerators (http://www.unheardtaunts.com/wir/) a while ago…

  2. Anima was interesting because she managed to last longer than the rest of the Bloodlines crew, despite being less popular than, say, Hitman. I always wondered what DC’s rules were for the Teen Titans roster. Wonder Girl’s skeleton crew (her + four others) in recent years would’ve been a great place to stick a bunch of wild card characters (Anima, Misfit, Terra, Talon, whoever) but it never happened.

  3. Pingback: NEW 52: Hawk and Dove | WTF, DC?

  4. David Page says:

    Great post working through them in order.
    Just need to point out one thing though. Prometheus: faces of evil wasn’t a final crisis tie in…it was a tie in to an even worse comic cry for justice.

    • The ‘Faces of Evil’ books came out alongside (or between) the last couple issues of ‘Final Crisis’ if I remember correctly (early 2009-ish) and ‘Cry For Justice,’ which seriously is the worst, came out late 2009–ish, I believe. I only read a couple of the ‘Faces of Evil’ books but I’m pretty sure they were meant to tie into the fact that the bad guys (and Darkseid) had won.

  5. Sassafras says:

    That really, really sucks. Anima’s comic is one of my fond memories from that time, and it’s really disappointing to see the badass grunge girl I liked turned into another boobs-n-mutilation spectacle.

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