The Life & Times of an Auteur.

Commentary on Pop Culture, and maybe creating some of my own.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Demon Rises

I normally don't review the "Young Justice" comic book, but maybe that will change. What I really wanted to do is talk about this issue, and how much I loved it. At the same time, I'm going to discuss why I only like but don't love the "Young Justice" animated series.

Let me get this out of the way, on every technical level "Young Justice" is a very well produced show. The writing is great, the animation is gorgeous, the voice acting is top notch, and the direction is beautiful. It's a very solid production. It's produced by one of my favorite writers and producers and a close friend. And yet, with this show, for me anyway, there is a pretty big disconnect. It took me a very, very long time to figure out what that disconnect was, and why it hasn't sucked me in like "Gargoyles," "Spectacular Spider-Man," and even the second season of "W.I.T.C.H." did.

For me, the problem is that we really only get one point of view, and that's the point of view of The Team. Now, I know they're the stars, and there's nothing wrong with that, but it's still the only perspective we get. On "Gargoyles," "Spectacular Spider-Man," and "W.I.T.C.H." we got to see much more of the world the characters inhabited, and the perspectives of other characters and factions. And in the case of "Gargoyles" and "W.I.T.C.H." those were also ensemble shows.

On "Young Justice," we're eighteen episodes in and the villains are still a complete mystery to us. Sure we know who the members of The Light are, but what else do we know? The answer is not much. We knew much more about the Green Goblin in "Spectacular Spider-Man" in his first appearance alone than we do about The Light this far in the game. And the Goblin's identity wouldn't even be revealed to us for another seventeen episodes. We knew a ton about Demona and Xanatos at this point in "Gargoyles" even with her background still being a mystery. By this point in "W.I.T.C.H." we knew Nerissa pretty well too.

My favorite episodes of "Young Justice" are "Humanity" and "Secrets" because they did what I feel the rest of the series is missing. "Humanity" gave us things from the perspective of T.O. Morrow and Red Volcano. "Secrets" showed us things from Harm's perspective, granted we saw it through the prism of Artemis, Zatanna, and Secret, but it was there.

Now, I recognize and understand that the single perspective is a conscious creative choice, and by the time the season is over, I'll most likely understand and appreciate why that choice was made. That is my hope, and I trust this creative team to deliver in the end. But right now, it's a creative choice that's not working for me based on my own preferences.

On that note, I thought #11 of the "Young Justice" tie-in was great. It gave us not just Robin's perspective, but also Batman's, Alfred's, Ra's al Ghul's and Talia's! We knew who everyone was, and what they wanted to do, what motivated them. Had this been the first time I saw Ra's al Ghul, the issue would have told me everything I needed to know about him. Talia was interesting, with just a few lines of dialogue we saw the conflict between her love for Batman and her loyalty to her father. The scene in Ra's al Ghul's lair when he comes out of his Lazarus Pit was classic al Ghul material.

I also really enjoyed the cut to Kent Nelson's funeral, and we could see how his death affected everyone, particularly Wally, while setting up something with Artemis that looks interesting too. I am really anticipating the next issue, and I say this as a guy who has never read a DC comic book in my life.

In short, this issue summed up everything I like to see in Greg Weisman's work, and why I am a fan of his. I really wish this had been an animated episode of the show. Again, I don't mean to be so rough on the show, I do like it. But, it comes down to a stylistic preference, and this issue of the comic delivered on my preferences in way the show mostly hasn't.


  1. I would definitely recommend checking out previous issues of the comic tie-in, especially the two-parter featuring Artemis's origin and the other two-parter with the team investigating a cold case murder. Both were excellent stories that REALLY should have been in the show as well.

  2. I have been reading the comic. This was just the first time I've reviewed it.

  3. One possible payoff this *might* be building up to might be the reveal of this mole that might still be lurking on the Team . . . because whomever it might be, the revelation will hopefully be a very organic one, having the audience witness most of the Team's actions (as they are, as you've pointed out) the main prism of the show).

    It's definitely a solid critique, one that I'm curious might develop as the series progresses and the secrets and lies start to unravel . . .

  4. Blech, I think I MIGHT have typed "might" one too many times in that first sentence . . . >_<

  5. Seeing as how Clayface in this universe is something of an offspring of "The Lazarus Pit", hopefully that will shut up the people who bitched about Clayface "overpowering" The Team.
    It's actually an interesting take on him, and I can't wait to see how Matt Hagen ties in to this.

  6. Interesting perspective about what plagues "YOUNG JUSTICE". Naturally, I have commented about this show in other forums and on the whole we have some common ground. Despite some of my belly-aching, I do consider "YOUNG JUSTICE" to be the best new DC TV cartoon since "JLU" ended in 2006. I agree that on a production level it is well done. The animation is great, the voice acting is good and when the show is on, it's very good. The version of Atlantis seen on this show is probably one of the best I ever saw put to animation, period. Yet at the same time there seems to be "something" missing that keeps it from being great. Your single POV idea is interesting. I attribute it partly to the fact that this show is, for lack of a better phrase, a "world in progress". On "GARGOYLES" and "SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN", the audience enters the world of the show in it's infancy and is along for the ride as it grows more complicated and more actors come to the stage. Thus, midway through a season when things seem intense, they instead seem like a fine tapestry. "YJ" doesn't have that. Diving in at the pilot we have heroes with sidekicks, and these sidekicks have been friends forever. We have a JLA which is over 14 members strong. We have villains with names being thrown at us every few minutes and so on. We see Superboy come in fresh, but then just as we're finishing meeting him, we have Megan showing up too. The universe of the show is very busy and cluttered. I think it distracts from character work.

  7. The comic books seem to serve as places where material that had to be sacrificed at the editing table lands, and perhaps unsurprisingly, I hear it often deals with more inter-character stuff. Among my complaints in other venues is how little development Wally/Kid-Flash has gotten. The lion share of the focus of the show has gone to Superboy and/or Megan/Miss Martian. Aqualad, Artemis, Red Tornado and Robin have come in after, with Wally left behind as a fairly two dimensional character embodying tropes that many male speedsters in American animation seems to have; arrogant, inefficient, eats a lot, comic relief, and a flirt. Yet the comics, I am told, have fleshed him out a bit more. And I imagine he's not alone. I think the TV show is simply so "busy" with all the details - the villains, the density of the world, the storyarcs - that characterization doesn't feel as natural and organic as it did in other shows. Thus, you have to wait for episodes devoted almost entirely to that to play catch-up, and that only works up to a point. In "SECRETS", we are supposed to believe Artemis is crushed upon finding out Superboy and Megan are an item, yet since she arrived they have barely interacted together. On the other hand, Wally's useless flirting towards Megan has been almost overused. Artemis is not shy and would not have kept a thing for Conner to herself. There just wasn't time because episodes were busy enough squeezing in plots with Forever People or Injustice Leagues. The lack of POV effects the antagonists, as you mention. We know who "The Light" are, but we don't know what they want or even why they operate. To a degree, they seem almost like MAD from "INSPECTOR GADGET", played straight (and more competently). In previous Weisman productions, we watched villains grow and develop over time, but this show simply thrusts out one name from the WHO'S WHO OF THE DCU after the next. It has happened to lesser degrees to Icicle Jr. and perhaps Harm, but that's not enough. They always say that a hero is only as good as their villains, and while the villains challenge our heroes, we don't know why they do so, so it can feel hollow. I wonder if this show had started in a simpler period - perhaps when Robin, Kaldur, and Wally were first meeting, without there already being 200 DC characters showing up within 18 episodes, maybe there would be more time for characters to breath and the world would be able to blossom before us better.

  8. @ Dread: Wally has gotten MORE development than Robin has in the entire series. Denial gave us a look inside his mind in how he thinks, but it also gave us development in him being a little more open minded once Kent Nelson passed away, but he couldn't explain him being in Fate's helmet. Sure he doesn't admit this to anyone, but that's still alot more development than I think your giving them credit for.
    Not to mention he has shown a knack for having a great scientific mind that we've seen come in to play in Denial, Bereft, Home Front, Humanity, and Failsafe.
    Not to mention his growing attachment to Artemis. A girl he couldn't stand when she first showed.
    How does this stuff sound like the makings of a two-dimensional character might I ask?

  9. I can see where you're coming from and do agree it is a problem with the show, though not as big as you do.

    I think we're being kept in the dark about the villains on purpose in order to keep the mystery of the Light intact when the reveal comes and they enlighten us as to what's really been going on in the previous episodes. I don't think it's a coincidence that the two villain insights we've gotten are from plans the Light aren't involved with.

    Hopefully season 2 will be a bit better about this since they wouldn't want to do the same thing as season 1. I do hope we get at least one episode the focuses solely one the villains (like Task Force X in JLU) since that’s my own personal preference as I like seeing something solely from a villain perspective.

    (and for some reason I can't log in with any of my IDs. Weird)

  10. @ nygma619: Robin has had character development in "Drop Zone", "Humanity", and "Disordered". While he has also sat out a few episodes, Robin is arguably the one character in the cast the audience is over familiar with. Thus, maybe I don't notice as much if he isn't fleshed out much more than, say, Red Tornado is at times. "DENIAL" I felt was a poor Wally focus episode because he didn't actually contribute anything to the plot aside for becoming possessed by Nabu. Kent Nelson would have sacrificed his chance at heaven for ANY teenagers Nabu possessed; Wally was not unique in this. Dr. Fate was in fact weaker because he had possessed a complete non-believer. It was Nelson who ended up being critical in the episode; Wally didn't do anything distinctly unique aside for acknowledge what was obvious to every single character in that episode. Magic is an odd subplot to attach to him as well. Magic has absolutely nothing to do with the Flash mythos. Imagine if I only had one episode to focus on Batman in a Justice League show, and I made it a plot about Thanagar and Rann. What in the world would that have to do with Batman? In every other character's focus episode, they often play a key and unique role in the climax. In "DENIAL", I don't think Wally did that at all. He simply performed typical actions. The entire episode was spent proving him wrong, and showing what a moron he was. It's actually one of my least favorite episodes of the show. Yes, Wally has acknowledged that magic exists; he's encountered magical allies (Zatanna, Zatara, Capt. Marvel) and enemies (Wotan) and not gone on about how magic isn't real or isn't a threat. The problem is none of the other characters have noticed, and this hasn't made Kid-Flash a more efficient hero. How is this development? Wally's science knowledge has proven useful - for any other character that isn't himself. He's yet to actually use that knowledge to do anything cool or useful by himself; is it always to allow another character, like Robin or Artemis or so on, to get to look cool and useful. Furthermore, science knowledge is just exposition that if the plot demanded it, Robin could easily look up on his glove computer if he needed it. If anything, it shows that Wally would be useful as tech support who stayed beyond in the Cave. He's the weakest link in terms of battle in virtually every mission he is in. He always gets smacked aside and is quite often the cause of the problems (such as in "Drop Zone"). He has lost virtually every battle he has been in. His super-speed has offered no advantage in any situation, and he is the only member whose tactics haven't improved since the debut. He is the only team member who can be undone by mud, marbles, or a rock. Yet he acts like he's the MVP. In the comics I heard there was a "face your fears" moment that showed Wally has some insecurities about the whole Flash legacy, but I don't read that and only go by what the TV show has provided. His sense of humor is not appreciated, and even Robin considers him a moron. Unlike the other characters, any Wally subplot relies on another character, and is exclusively tied to Artemis. He has nothing going on himself. Contrast this to the others. Aqualad has his leadership issues and the mystery of his father. Robin has getting used to being on a team and not being Batman Jr. Megan has a mysterious past, and Superboy has his own creation secrets. Artemis has her family being villains and hiding that from her peers. What does Wally have? Special dialogue whenever someone mentions Kent Nelson, and a crush on Artemis. His "growing attachment" to Artemis isn't an arc; he flirts with anything with boobs, and merely realized Artemis is hot. He's flirted with Megan and Black Canary since. Frankly, the issue with that subplot is why Artemis would see anything in Wally. The subplot only exists to provide a bickering couple to the lot, which is cliche.

  11. @ Dread: I think you lost me somewhere in your run on sentences, when you didn't add something called paragraphs.

    Wally flirts with anything with boobs? Gee I must've missed him flirting with Zatanna. Or with Artemis in her debut for that matter. As for what Artemis would see in him? I'd like to think that was subtly answered in Denial.

    I don't remember Robin mentioning how dangerous the volcano was in Humanity.

    Also I find your accusation of Wally being "a moron" in Denial to be narrow minded. Because he doesn't suddenly accept things on faith? God forbid.

    How is his "growing attachment" to Artemis not an arc? Lots of romances are cliches, like Conner/Megans badboy/valleygirl romance. I think your issue might be you not liking that specific cliche.

    Where in the hell did you get the idea that Fate was weaker in Denial because he possesed a non-believer? There was no sign of that ANYWHERE.
    Robin considers Wally a moron? Since when?

    "Furthermore, science knowledge is just exposition that if the plot demanded it, Robin could easily look up on his glove computer if he needed it."
    Well why didn't Robin do that in Homefront then? Why did he need Wally to spell that out for him?

    I remember Robin being more the problem in Drop-Zone than Wally.

    As far as Magic being an oddball plot for him. That was the point, to bring about his stubborness with believing anything outside science. Which I found to be a fascinating look in to his mind and how he thinks. Who cares if it has little to do with the Flash mythos, this most likely WON'T be the last time Wally gets a focus episode either. And I'd like to think you'd know that after following other Greg Weisman produced shows.

  12. @ nygma619: I apologize for the formatting of my post. I am long winded and blogspot's 4000 or so character limit on replies is a barrier I hit a lot.
    - Actually, I did think it was a little out of character that Wally didn't say anything to Zatanna in "Humanity", who is probably the only female character in the show that responds to his sense of humor. I believe that was done to allow Robin to be able to attach to her more seamlessly, with a "Wally-esque" line no less. Wally initially had a bias against Artemis for "replacing" Speedy until "Bereft", where he realized she was "beautiful" afterward. "Denial" answered why Wally should pursue Artemis; so she could be "his little spitfire who won't let him get away with nothin'." What Artemis would see in Wally remains a mystery. The show had to zap her with amnesia to get her to interact with Wally in a pleasant way, and she immediately redoubled her opinion that she finds him "annoying" afterward. A couple ideally should like each other before there is lust. I don't believe Artemis likes Wally in that way, and while the show tells me she likes him in various scenes, she never acts that way as a character. Artemis could be the most concerned with keeping her secrets from Wally because he's a blabber mouth who annoys her, not simply because she's into him, in theory. The show is using that as a romance hint, but that's telling, not showing.
    - Fate appeared considerably stronger in "Revelation" with the mystically trained Kaldur as his host. I could have sworn there was a line in "Denial" where Klarion or someone else commented that Fate was off his game and it was linked to Wally's lack of faith in magic.
    - Robin's dilemma in "Drop Zone" was he wasn't used to working with a team and kept vanishing to go solo, which was an inconvenience. Wally, meanwhile, ran off ahead, slipped on mud, and not only blew the team's cover for the stealth component, but wound up in the midst of a Bane/Kobra gun battle. For the rest of the mission the team was complicated by that exposure, including having to unite with Bane to even attempt to accomplish the mission.
    - Spelling out science exposition is literally Wally's only use on the team. His super-speed has proven useful in literally no mission aside for "Failsafe", which was a traing exercise and thus irrelevent. That is why that task is obligated to Wally in episodes in which he appears. It is his only tactical use. Any other named character in the show would at least be no less useful on the team than Wally in terms of an actual battle. He's just the one who rattles off exposition about DNA or volcanoes. Which would be fine if he had a tech-support role, but Kid-Flash insists on battling with the rest. He couldn't even beat Blood Spider without capturing himself.
    - Robin and Wally are best friends; but "Humanity" seemed to indicate that Robin knows Wally is dumb as rocks. He goes on a speech and says to the effect that because he can't think of any good ideas on how to find Morrow, he'll ask Wally because's the master of dumb ideas and Robin was betting on chaos theory. The irony is Wally's suggestion was actually clever (and worked), but the rest of the team gave him no credit for it.
    - Does Wally have any subplot or character arc that doesn't revolve around Artemis? No. The other characters, however, have arcs and subplots of their own that don't exclusively revolve around a romance. That's my issue. That, and while I understand and accept Wally being into Artemis, I have seen nothing to suggest Artemis being into him besides the show telling me. He offers no complimentary traits and they have nothing in common as characters. Honestly, I'd have paired her up with Kaldur. Peter David is writing a Wally episode in Season 2, but I think he's had the least development in Season 1.

  13. Just write more than one post. You've done it before.

    Pair Artemis with Kaldur? I can't see it. To steal a line from The Puck from Gargoyles, I find this version of Aqualad to be "The stiffest and most wooden mortal on the face of the earth". Their personality types together don't do ANYTHING to generate any fire works.

    As far as what Artemis would see in Wally: Look up the trope "Beligerent Sexual Tension". I'd also like to think that she remembers herself not being annoyed by him in Bereft when she had amnesia then.

    But personally I think the thing Artemis might like about Wally is his mind and stubborness. In Artemis's mind, I think she finds his stubborness to be attractive to her. Or maybe it's her relationship with Wally where he's her own personal "punching bag" that she loves about him. Artemis is a fighter after all. And "fighting" with Wally could be something she secretly enjoys.

    Of course I could be wrong and something else will be shown in the next eight episodes. If you want to know just go ask Greg Weisman at "s8". I'm pretty sure he'd be willing to tell you.

    Also I think there's more to Wally's attraction to Artemis then him finding her "hot".

    Why do other characters need to bring up Wally believing in order for it to be relevant? This complaint reminds me of that one Simpsons quote, "2. When Poochie's not on screen, all the other characters should be asking, "Where's Poochie?""

    -I didn't notice any power increase in Revelation. I also thought Klarion had no idea what he was talking about in Denial, since he was mostly too cocky when he had the upper hand.

    "I don't believe Artemis likes Wally in that way, and while the show tells me she likes him in various scenes, she never acts that way as a character."
    Revelation says hi.

    As far as Robin thinking Wally was dumb in Humanity? I'm pretty sure he was being sarcastic.
    As for Wally not having another subplot outside of the comics. Why is this a bad thing?

  14. @ nygm619: I'd rather not to multi-posts; we'll be here all day. But, if I must... ;)
    - I like Kaldur, and feel I end up liking him more after every focus episode he gets. He's an efficient bad-ass. Here, I feel Artemis could bring Kaldur out of his shell so he isn't so "stiff". She could get him to loosen up once in a while; Kaldur could offer stability and efficiency. They both have villains for fathers to commiserate about. It could go somewhere. All Artemis has with Wally is bickering, and that novelty gets predictable fast.
    - I've never been a fan of Beligerent Sexual Tension, because I feel the Beligerence is often overplayed to the point that you never see where there is any Sexual Tension. Who seriously gets turned on by someone who spends every moment belittling them? I sure don't. Even with lust, the charaters have to at least seem capable of ceasing bickering long enough to kiss.
    - Artemis enjoying treating Wally as a "punching bag" does not paint her in a favorable light. It would make her seem like a bully. I can believe Artemis treats Wally like a bossy older sister; she points out his every flaw, pokes him when he's being stupid, and is willing to bandage him on occasion. That's a relationship, but it doesn't feel very romantic to me. The fact that it needed Psimon's Amnesia Beam to get it going has always seemed too blunt and awkward. You can make any characters lovers with an Amnesia Beam. Artemis says outright in "Bereft" that she finds Wally "annoying. I'd argue Artemis was more into the attention Wally gave her than in him himself; she was quickly jealous when he brought up Megan. Artemis is a Type A action girl and Wally is a Type B putz; I don't see what Artemis likes about Wally besides attention. She doesn't like his sense of humor, or his smarts, or respects him at all. If she just wants a putz to dominate, that makes both look bad. Artemis is strong and would seem to me to be interested in an equal, not a sidekick. The only way I see it working is in a Kim Possible/Ron Stoppable manner; the efficient action heroine and the useless moron she loves. But even there, Kim at least found Ron funny, and valued his company.
    - Artemis tending to Wally's arm in "Revelation" is only romantic due to the lack of any other positive, non-Psimon induced interaction. She cared about Kaldur's physical well being in "Home Front", and briefly tended to him when he was dehydrated in "Bereft". Does this mean she's hot for him? No. It means she cares enough about her teammates to want to tend to them when hurt, at least for tactical means if not for decency.
    - Wally not having a subplot is a bad thing because the rest of the central cast has their own non-romantic subplots, and all of them tie into the thrust of the seasonal arc in various ways. Wally is just there to attach to Artemis. He has no involvement with he seasonal arc and no purpose to the show aside for comic relief and providing science exposition; the latter just makes other characters look cool when they carry it out. It suggests that on paper he's 20% of the show, in practice he's closer to 10% or less. Maybe I expect too much. Every show needs a Snarf I guess.
    - Kaldur, Robin, and Artemis all notice and react to Megan & Conner's subplot. Kaldur and Robin are intertwined in their subplots. It helps remind viewers they're there. In contrast, Wally is just there for the punchline. He mingles with Artemis's subplot and has special dialogue regarding the Helmet Of Fate, and that's it. He can't even lay claim to Klarion as a villain because he didn't fight him; Nabu did. And even if he did, Klarion has nothing to do with Flash, unlike Luthor has to do with Super-stuff, Sportsmaster to Artemis, Manta to Kaldur and Ra's to Robin.

  15. If you can't post multiple posts, may I suggest brevity then.

    -Luthor has nothing to do with Red Arrow or Aqualad either; but that didn't stop him from appearing in Targets.

    -My problem with Aqualad is that he reacts blandly to just about EVERYTHING that happens around him. It makes for a very boring character to watch IMO. And what could Artemis possibly do to bring him "out of his shell"?

    -"Who seriously gets turned on by someone who spends every moment belittling them?" You'd be surprised! ;) Okay not every moment but theres a certain energy where it never feels like theres a dull moment.
    This arguement is starting to remind me of another simpsons quote:
    "Librarian: [looking on] Hmph. First they hate other, now all of a sudden they _love_ each other. Oh, it doesn't make any sense to me.
    Man: Of course not, you're a robot. [the librarian weeps; her tearduct malfunctions and her head melts]
    Also you'll notice that ever since Revelation, Artemis hasn't "put him down" as much.

    -"Wally not having a subplot is a bad thing because the rest of the central cast has their own non-romantic subplots, and all of them tie into the thrust of the seasonal arc in various ways."
    You seem to be the only one put off by this.

    -Also Wally and Artemis do have in common the fact that they're both very stubborn people. Who feel the need to defend themselves when they feel threatened.
    Also we haven't seen all of the facets of Artemis's personality yet. In fact her two part origin story shows that she has a bit of a playful imagination that I didn't think she had.

  16. Brevity, gotcha. I'll give it a try.
    - Luthor (and Ra's) is (are) part of "The Light", and his (their) appearance in "Targets" helped bridge to the reveal in "Revelation". Both of them got to interact with Red Arrow and Aqualad. In contrast, Klarion in "Denial" didn't battle Wally; he battled Nabu. I'd argue Luthor has more to do with Speedy and Kaldur than Klarion has to do with Wally.
    - I do agree that Kaldur's problem is that his default persona is "leader". It is all he does and all he emotes to. His biggest internal conflict? Not being a good enough leader. This has plagued characters like Leonardo, Cyclops, or the Red Ranger in other shows. He needs a sense of humor, or a hobby, or something. "Downtime" at least tried to supply that. Artemis is sassy and through interaction could get some more life into Kaldur. They have some interesting exchanges in "Revelation".
    - Since "Revelation", Artemis and Wally have not interacted much. In "Humanity", Artemis continued her practice of punching Wally's arm every time he says something stupid - which was after every line of dialogue. "Failsafe" had Artemis off the stage quick. Hardly anyone was interacting in "Disordered". Artemis' interaction was almost exclusively with Zatanna in "Secrets".
    - The Flash fanboys are irritated by it in other forums online, such as at Super Hero Hype or Toonzone, although perhaps not on this blog. In theory Wally is 20% of the cast, yet he isn't attached to any seasonal subplot or has any arc of his own. In practice he's the comic relief and may as well be a supporting character. The dilemma is this is a team show and in theory focus is supposed to be equally split. It isn't. Which is also less great team shows.
    - I'll concede Wally and Artemis are both stubborn, but stubbornness is a terrible detail to attach a romance around. I suppose another thing in common is that both Wally and Artemis have high opinions of themselves; the difference is Artemis can actually deliver upon her confidence in himself, and Wally cannot. But the fact that Artemis' origin story has been left to the comic which 90% of the show's viewers haven't and will never read, is a problem. It is impossible to see all the facets of any character's personality on this show if the really meaty parts are left to the $3 director's cut pamphlets. If the comic did not exist, would Weisman and his writers have done a better job of having fewer DC cameos and more critical character building scenes?

  17. My only question is: how was Ubu not totally cut up and dismembered from being dragged on the ground by truck moving at high speeds?