Saturday, September 24, 2011

Gnarrk: Smartest of the Teen Titans


We've pretty much established the original Teen Titans are no brain trust. No think tank. Even by the standards of typical teenage behavior, the Titans are a pretty dim-witted bunch. With the addition of Gnarrk, a Cro-Magnon ("Early Modern Human" or "Anatomically Modern Human" in today's terminology) teen from 20,000 years ago, their collective intelligence quotient took a mega-leap upward. Unfortunately, as we see in this page from Teen Titans # 39 (1972), the other male members of the Titans find Gnarrk's vocabulary troubling.  From his pose and facial expression, Robin takes it particularly hard.  See, growing up in a circus family and then becoming the ward and partner of Batman left him with little time for things like education and self-esteem, or developing and expressing ideas that aren't simple re-wordings of things he's just heard.

What Gnarrk should have said in the second panel is, "Donna's hip to my scene, Lilith, baby.  I wasn't making like some crazy Sir Lancelot on a Camelot trip.  My bag is taking it easy with the muscle stuff and using my noggin, dig?"

5 comments:

Richard Bensam said...

An articulate Gnarrk is a great character -- both Geico and ABC agree with me on that, and I wish Bob Haney could have sued them both -- but I've got to say, your rewrite in the closing sentence is worthy of Snapper Carr himself.

Joel Bryan said...

Snapper Carr? High praise indeed! Snapper and his brothers Clapper and Tapper, and their grandmother who was a flapper.

Yeah, Gnarrk is now my second favorite Titan behind Wonder Girl. Haney should've sued NBC for Phil Hartman's "Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer" character, too. I wish DC would do a book about Gnarrk and Lilith, a kind of Thin Man riff where they're married and solve crimes together.

Richard Bensam said...

Oh yeah, Flapper Carr! She married his grandfather, the well-dressed Dapper Carr. Of course now Snapper has kids: teenage Rapper Carr and the baby, Napper Carr, who's just a little nipper. And in the distant future, his descendant will be Zapper Carr.

(We're totally writing a Hembeck strip here, don't you think?)

I absolutely love the idea of a Gnarrk and Lilith series. Really! It could appear alongside "The Adventures of Ralph and Sue Dibny" in every issue of DC Will Never Publish This Because They Hate Marriage and Healthy Relationships Comics.

Joel Bryan said...

That, my friend, is in the running for "Best Response I've Ever Received." But let's not forget their great-grandfather, known throughout the frontier as Trapper Carr. Or his own great-grandfather, who ventured in search of the Northwest Passage and had a lifelong interest in cartography.

Joel Bryan said...

Also, I'd buy that book. They could alternate lead features. And there'd be a regular 8-pager about Nasthalthia Luthor where she's still working for the TV station and dates a whole lot of different guys. An updated The Mary Tyler Moore Show, only she's kind of evil.