DCAU #346: The Perfect You

IN THIS ONE... Kids from school are bettering their bodies... and turning into murderbots.

CREDITS: Written by Hilary J. Bader; art by Craig Rousseau and Rob Leigh.

REVIEW: These covers are really being done before the interiors are pegged down, aren't they? Anyway, this is one of those "teen issues" stories, like the one about super-drugs, or super-body mods. In this case, kids with body issue problems (bad skin, obesity, or who just want to perform better at sports) have turned to nano-technology, and wouldn't you know it, the nanites have taken over and are making them violent, super-powered, and part of a hive mind. The twist, I suppose, is that the scientist who did this to them didn't do it on purpose and isn't sinister at all. Is there even an FDA in the future?

To address the underlying issue, we have Max making sermons about "fat kids" not being any less valuable than any others, which is more or less at odds with the main cast all being slim and pretty. In fact, when Terry's mom gets into it and complains about not fitting in her "fat pants" and her wrinkles showing, that's at odds with her very slim figure and smooth face. She's on-model, of course. It's the writing that is trying to shoehorn a subplot that just doesn't fit the character. The bit at the end is cute - Terry getting a clerk to mistake her for his sister - but Terry's mom just isn't struggling with her weight, not unless you actively change her shape.

But I've decided Rousseau, while good at replicating the show, often falls down on the money shots. Terry's mom not fitting in her pants isn't a great example, though it should have been clear and isn't, but just look at the way Batman takes care of the nano-hive. He has to find the queen and zap her with something, but it's handled like she's just another person in a crowd. It takes a second quick reading to understand it's all over because the background characters have stopped acting funny. There's no (pardon the pun) weight to it. It's over and it doesn't feel like a victory. And that happens a lot on this series.
REREADABILITY: Medium - I'm not a big fan of the "Afterschool Specials", but this one has some fair action and a cute development with the mom.


LiamKav said...

This is a problem replicated by lots of TV shows... attractive thin people telling us that looks don't matter and it's what is inside that counts. It's the difference between "TV ugly" and "real life ugly", as exemplified by how they changed Willow on BtVS from "chubby" to "thin and quirky" between the pilot and the series.


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