Scarlet Fail Picture

This was inspired/motivated by the mess of a fanfiction story “Scarlet Embrace” by Darkmoon Knight, as he was known at the time (he's changed his handle a few times since then), originally published April 15, 2004. Near as I can guess it was fairly popular from 2004-2006 until Mr. Darkmoon lost inspiration and had real life stuff get in the way of writing. Or maybe he was dissatisfied with it, I don’t know. What I do know is that the original “Scarlet Embrace” features consistently poor spelling and grammar, an annoying Gary Stu OC, Die For Our Ship character bashing, beautifully awful character assassination, a plot that falls apart the more you think about it… It’s not the worst fanfic I’ve ever read, but it’s still… just… bad. Thus, this happened.


Psycho Murderess Jinx: There we were, plodding along, and nothing too terrible or failtastic had happened in the badfic so far (besides some obligatory Improved Attractiveness/Sueification of the Titans) and then all of a sudden WHAMMO! Jinx gets pissed off and impales Robin with a bunch of metal pipes in an honest-to-goodness attempt to kill him what the hell Character Derailment. Let me repeat that: Jinx of all people actively attempts to kill Robin and then gloats about it. With like, maniacal laughter and a slasher smile and everything.

I uh… I guess Kid Flash was wrong about her then, huh?

Sin, AKA Obnoxious Matchmaker Stu: Good godswallop I hated him. If he was supposed to be likeable, then our friend Darkmoon failed epically. (Heck, even the other characters seemed to be aware of his massive douchiness on occasion.) Sin is some form of weird hybrid of vampire mythologies and a walking Gothic stereotype who dresses in all black, needs TEN belts (How the hell do they all fit?), has some kind of ~Soul Reading~ power (or something, I kind of went cross-eyed at that point), and was entirely too creepy for his supposed “protagonist” alignment. Seriously. He had a Joker laugh, was uncomfortably possessive and controlling of Robin and various aspects of Robin’s life, especially in regards to who he was dating (Hello in-fic Rob/Rae shipper!), oh and let’s not forget the fact that he was suspiciously conveniently on hand to forcibly change Robin into an undead bloodsucker without fully explaining the terms and conditions of this new unlife to him. And basically responded to Robin’s horror at having to drink blood by saying, “Suck it up and deal pansy, you’re a monster now.” And dismissed the scant few suggestions by the other Titans to change Robin back. In short: he swoops in, alters Robin’s physiology beyond repair and without true consent, and then proceeds to take complete control of the boy’s life, all under the guise of benevolence. Gah. Every time I think about him he just gets creepier.

Stupid stalker vampire Stu.

Vampire Robin: There’s not that much to say about Vampire--excuse me--Nosferatu Robin, other than the fact that he did ENTIRELY LESS QUESTIONING of things than was remotely in-character. Dude, you were just turned into a vampire. Even though Sin is letting you feed off him for the moment, ask about what your diet is going to consist of after that. Ask who Sin is and why the hell he was so conveniently on hand when you were dying. Ask why he wants to dress you up and take you to shady gothic nightclubs. Ask how the hell you are supposed to reconcile being a hero and a Titan with being a nighttime bloodsucker, you know, implying that you can’t go out during the day and that you’re going to have to kill people on occasion.


Whiny Angst Sue Raven: *weeps* Raven… Raven… what did the bad man do to you?

Raven actually alternates between being an annoying mopey crybaby pining after Robin even though he’s already taken and a blushing giggly schoolgirl with a childish crush. It’s hard to say which mischaracterization is more aggravating. I think the pendulum swings in favor of the mopey crybaby for me because of the part in Chapter Six--AKA the Dethroning Moment of Suck--where Raven has three whole paragraphs of wangsty inner monologue about how “Robin doesn’t love meeeeee! Why can’t I show my feeeeeelings and emoootionsss? I can’t deal with my paaaaaaiiiin!” while the DJ at the nightclub plays “My Immortal” by Evanescence.

I wish I was making that up.

Flanderized Suefire: Step One--Start off the fic by Sueifying Starfire and making her unrealistically beautiful and perfect and popular, instead of the pretty but insecure flawed character that she is. (This will also divert the readers’ attention from the fact that you don’t actually like Starfire or her relationship with Robin.) Step Two--Exaggerate her trademark naïveté into full-blown stupidity and have her constantly asking “silly” questions so that your Gary Stu OC can be a condescending prick to her. Step Three--Emphasize how, because she is so perfect and pure and innocent, Starfire can’t possibly hope to understand the Dark Tormented Soul that is now Robin and thus is so terrified of him that she immediately falls into the arms of the next guy, even while constantly comparing him to Robin.

Step Four--Pass your readers a Clue Stick so they can beat you over the head with it.

Only Sensible Character: Oh Cyborg! My bastion of sanity in a world gone wrong! (Until the nonchalant stupidity of the rest of the cast caught up with you, at least.) You were the only one who had a realistic, in-character reaction to the fact that some weird guy had just turned Robin into an undead creature that needs to drink blood to live. You alone could sense how massively screwed up the whole situation was.

Plus you tried to punch out Sin, which was very much appreciated even though it didn’t work.

Petulant Child Slade: In addition to Mr. McStalker Sin, Slade also was kind of a creepster in this fanfic. Except that Slade being a creepy possessive stalker could be construed as being moderately in-character and we can’t have that can we? So what did our dear friend Darkmoon do to derail Slade’s character? Oh, just had him--upon finding out that Robin is a vampire now and witnessing him trash several of his sladebots--pitch a temper tantrum and whine about how Sin “ruined” him. Um, what. Didn’t you spend the entire Apprentice arc trying to make Robin be more aggressive and violent and villain-like? And now that he’s a dark demonic creature, with an uncontrollable vicious feral nature that could surface at any moment, and needs to drink blood to survive, implying that he will inevitably have to kill people to eat eventually... you’re going to complain about it? You are freaking SLADE, man! Robin has superstrength and heightened reflexes now! And drinks blood! You can work with this! Stop bawling and be a villain dangit!

Not Important: Man, Beast Boy really got the short end of the stick here. He was barely in the fanfic at all and when he was, he was somewhere in the background not contributing much of anything.

But then again, given how mangled Robin, Raven, and Starfire’s characters were under the narrative spotlight, maybe that’s a good thing.

Random Minor Characters: One of the fic’s most bizarre moments came when Hot Spot, Speedy, and Wildebeest suddenly showed up, with absolutely little to no narrative foreshadowing beforehand. They just enter stage right along with Cyborg and Beast Boy one chapter and proceed to hang around for the rest of the fic. Why are they at Titans Tower? When did they get there? What are they doing there? Where were they the first couple of chapters? Never explained! They don’t even really do anything or add anything of significance to the plot. Well, except for Speedy, who suddenly becomes ~Mr. Sensitivity~ and is used as the standard generic Robin Replacement Clone so that Starfire can moon over him.

Beleaguered Reader: Self-explanatory. XD

The cherry on top of everything is that the darn badfic left on a cliffhanger. It has since been revamped and replaced with a re-written version. The new version is, eh… slightly improved. Jinx was replaced with Madame Rouge, Raven wasn’t as annoying, I think Starfire gets paired off with Beast Boy instead of Speedy, characterization and writing style were a bit better, and more thought and time was put into the plot.

Unfortunately, Sin still exists. So sorry author, still no points for you.
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