Sunday, July 14, 2019

Superman: The Man of Steel #37

I wonder which of these Batmen is the one who battled Spawn?

Apparently Frank Miller claimed the Spawn/Batman team-up was part of the Dark Knight Universe. So now I know which Batman on this cover battled (and then later teamed-up with after realizing all of the punches were misunderstandings) Spawn!

I thought I liked Superman until I read the first page of this comic book.

Clark Kent is a real square!

Man, that's exactly the kind of talk I'd expect to hear from a mullet-headed Loverboy fan! Shredding Metal rocks! Go chaos! Fuck God! Get fucked by Satan! Whoooo!

I don't even know who this guy in the Shredding Metal jacket is! I wish Scott Lobdell were writing this so I would have a narration box saying, "My name is Jeb. I'm the manager for Shredding Metal. And a living weapon created by N.O.W.H.E.R.E." I'm assuming he's the manager because he looks like a fucking old man.

Batman comes to Metropolis and contacts Superman the only way people could in the 90s.

It's not like Superman wears a pager.

This Batman turns out not to be the real Batman. He uses words like "hippie" and "expedient" and uses a mirror to reflect the sun's rays to contact Superman with Morse Code. He also doesn't remember getting his back broken or understand why Superman has long hair. Plus, he shook Superman's hand! What kind of pre-Crisis on Infinite Earths gentlemanly Batcreep is this guy?!

Frank Miller Batman used punches and skulls cracking for his Morse Code message.

Old Timey Batman arrives next. I hope he brought his gun!

Superman and the Batmen can't figure out what's going on so they stop a bunch of terrorists from ruining the concert instead. It's just like Clark Kent predicted! The concert did bring a bad element to Metropolis. Fucking kids!

After the concert is over, the Batmen continue to morph into different Batmen, faster and faster, until they just disappear. That's when the real Batman appears and I realize this comic book was just twenty pages of filler and nonsense. The alternate Batmen didn't even do anything entertaining! I suppose their one trick worked though: they got me to buy this stupid comic book.

The issue ends with Jor-el and Martha-el arriving at the Kent farm in Smallville to bring their son home. But they're so dumb that they think Pa Kent is Kal-el. Even I know that parents who really love their children could recognize their infant son if they never again saw him until he was an eighty year old man. That's just common sense!

Superman: Man of Steel #37 Rating: D. I don't even know why I bought this comic book 25 years ago! Maybe I thought the coming of the Batmen was going to end in an orgy. Apparently if you put a dozen Batmen on the cover of a comic book, my 23 year old self will buy it and prove he's an idiot.

Superman: The Man of Steel #30

This is what the cover of this issue looks like in the bag.

And without the bag!
This comic book came with a batch of vinyl stickers (that's the generic term for Colorforms!) that you could stick on the cover scene. But just like any kid, I seem to have misplaced my Colorforms. Never mind that I was 23 at the time. Hopefully they'll turn up in a different comic book box because I'm really angry at the 23 version of myself right now. Fucking idiot. Why did he even open the sealed bag?! Oh, that's right! It was a Lobo story! I had to get as much Lobo as I could!

Lobo has heard that Superman was killed and came back to life. So he's come to Earth to kill Superman. I don't expect logic from Lobo but I'm still going to ponder why he's mad at Superman for coming back to life (which Lobo thinks is treading on his brand) and he's not mad at Doomsday for doing what Lobo couldn't. Doomsday's actions humiliate Lobo more than Superman's, at least from the Lobonian perspective that every action in the universe must be viewed through the "How Does Lobo Make This About Lobo" lens. But then I guess Doomsday didn't come back to life (at least not yet! I hope there was an issue where Lobo went after Doomsday when he heard he was back) so what choice does Lobo have except to kill Superman?

Come on! Both Superman and Clark Kent decide to grow mullets at the same time?! What terrible fashion trends descended on Metropolis that nobody questioned this?!

Lex Luthor is shown a few panels later coming his full head of gorgeous red hair so that explains that. Everybody probably just figured Lex set off some kind of super growth hair bomb during some dust up with Superman while Clark Kent was nearby getting the scintillating front page story.

This must have come out at a time when everybody was trying their hand at writing a Lobo story. Louise Simonson's tack is to make Lobo say "bastich" and "geekoid" a bunch of times. So a pretty good depiction of the character! Although he also responds to Superman's "Hey Lobo" with "Hey is for hor..." (he gets punched before he can finish) which wouldn't be on any Family Feud survey of "Things Lobo Would Say."

This is the part of the movie where all of the Superman fans cheer! It's also the part of the movie where I mutter "Bullshit. Fucking Superman can't do that to old 'Bo. So stupid" under my breath in the back row.

I don't know what Lobo was thinking when he let down his guard to get sucker punched. He just dunked Superman in a fountain and acted like he'd won the battle! He must have gotten some shoddy information about Kryptonians from his murder agent.

While Lobo rubs his jaw and compliments Superman's violence, Superman thinks, "Okay! Now that I've got Lobo's attention, I can reason with him!" Obviously Superman got his shoddy Czarnian information from Lobo's terrible-at-research murder agent.

Instead of reasoning with Superman, Lobo kicks Superman in the nuts. This is a good example of dramatic irony because when Superman was all, "Let me help you up, Lobo, and we'll talk reasonably about your problem," all of the readers were giggling and thinking, "He's going to kick you in your stupid goody-goody nuts!" It's also possible that I'm the only reader who was thinking that and I have nothing in common with the rest of you.

Maybe Louise Simonson was just too kindhearted to write decent Lobo dialogue.

My new theory on Twat Lobo is that he grew out of the tooth Superman just knocked out of Lobo's face. I know Brainiac 5 or somebody did some kind of scientific hoodoo voodoo to keep Lobo from regenerating from every drop of DNA he left in his path. But maybe somehow that one tooth didn't get the treatment! Maybe it had already died and was turning brown in Lobo's mouth and not really attached to the rest of his system when Lobo was dosed with the magic non-regeneration goop! But it couldn't rightly grow into a new Lobo right in Lobo's mouth so it had to bide its time. Or maybe Lex Luthor dug it up at the scene and thought, "I can grow a Lobo body to replace this new young clone I'm living in that's already losing its hair. Lobo has tons of hair! Look out ladies, L.L. Cool Lex is gonna get laid!"

Everybody in 1994 was calling themselves "L.L. Cool" whatever. It was just a thing!

I'm generally surprised Bibbo wasn't just off panel saying, "Geez! Why ain't youse two get a room a'eady!"

I'm the biggest Lobo fan on the Internet no matter what all those way-too-serious Lobo fans on Twitter and Tumblr say but I'm not ashamed to admit I didn't know he had pointy ears. His hair is so luscious and thick, why would I have ever noticed them? Also, what? Am I not going to stare at his crotch and ass most of the time?!

While Lobo and Superman battle, some aliens that Lobo pissed off on his way to Earth arrive. They zap Lobo and Superman with, according to Lobo, a "force-twelve disintegration beam." That sounds powerful! But it doesn't even faze Lobo or the Main Man. Oops! Sorry, Lobo! I meant the Main Man and the Remains of Superman! Does that work as a witty play on words? No, you know what. Don't tell me if it doesn't. I would rather live in my delusions.

Superman punches Lobo into orbit where Lobo crashes through the alien's space ship. Then Superman looks at his fist and thinks, "Oh yeah, baby. Daddy's powers are increasing." Meanwhile, Lois Lane feels a disturbance in her vagina. That's not a reference to Star Wars and the explosion of Alderaan. It's my subtle allusion that Superman's new power allows him to fist Lois so well that she orgasms in the past.

I feel like reading a Lobo comic book has reduced my mind to that of fifteen year old me. Although fifteen year old me would probably have been all, "Wait. You can get a whole fist up there? Why would you want to?!"

When Superman flies into space to force the aliens away from Earth, he's worried about how long he can hold his breath. But he discovers, thanks to a laser knocking the breath out of him, the after being resurrected, he no longer needs to breathe! His theory is that one single breath has so oxygenated his blood that his body is all, "Whoa. Slow down, dude! We're good down here!" My theory is that Superman is a fucking zombie.

On board the alien ship, Lobo finds himself battling a whole bunch of aliens who he's already fragged once before. More zombies! Does that mean Superman is allowed to kill them? Also, if we consider Superman a zombie, is Batman in the right to kill him as well? I'm pretty sure Batman's "no kill" policy has certain limits, like he can kill non-sentient creatures or reanimated corpses.

Superman helps Lobo kill all of the aliens but only because they are robots. Superman lets Lobo think he didn't know they were robots to gain some cred with the Main Man. Or maybe Superman didn't know they were robots and his zombie blood lust got the better of him? I suppose it's 50-50 which it really was.

Here we see Superman giving his tacit approval of genocide.

Superman: Man of Steel #30 Rating: A+. Look, there are three reasons a comic book automatically gets an A+ from me! If it stars Lobo, if it's written by Mark Russell, and if I was paid in sex for a good rating. This time, only one of those reasons came into play. But I can't wait for the day that all three of them do! Hey Mark Russell? When are you going to write a Lobo comic book?!

Saturday, July 13, 2019

The New Titans #0

At first I thought Beast Boy had a tiny erection.

Steel seems upset that Arsenal's new roster of Titans are just kids because he obviously hasn't been paying attention to the adjective before "Titans" during the last several decades. I can see why he'd be upset though. He wants the Titans to sign a contract to work with the government and teenagers probably can't sign the contract legally without parental consent. And how is he going to get that?! One of the other major features of the Titans over the last several decades is that their parents were all assholes and psychopaths. Looks like The New Titans can't work for the government! The government probably should have figured out all the details before paying off all of the Titans' debt and giving them a satellite.

I don't mean to sound ableist but Changeling is fucking disgusting.

Fine, I did mean to sound ableist. Changeling's new disability makes me sick. I didn't mind when he would turn into an elephant or a rhino or a gorilla because then he only had one giant swinging dick. Now he's 95% penises! Sorry, I don't mean to sound homophobic but did I also mention the penises are also green and that one of the newer commercials for a class action lawsuit against a diabetes drug asks if you suffered from genital gangrene? See, now you're sick too!

These two guys from New Jersey are trying to catch a few of Gar's penises in their mouths.

Crimelord (remember him from Deathstork the Hunted #0? I guess he's the new evil nemesis of the Titans universe. And maybe the entire DC Universe!) is causing chaos in America, almost blowing up the World Trade Center seven years before it's supposed to get blown up. But the new New Titans are out to stop his henchmen. Those Titans are Arsenal, Damage, Terra, Mirage, and Changeling. The henchmen are men in giant robot armor, some jerk named Slagg, and a misshapen woman named Coven.

I didn't think she was misshapen until this panel.

Although maybe it's not Coven's fault. I think maybe there's something wrong with my eyes.

Is there an optical condition that makes you see people as having giant thighs?!

If there were an optical condition like the one I described in the previous caption, it would probably be call Brettbootharacts.

Is Mirage still pregnant with Deathwing's rape baby? What are the negative consequences of battling super villains while being pregnant? I bet it's worse than drinking too much alcohol while pregnant! Notice I said "too much alcohol"? You can drink while pregnant. Non-American adults do it all the time! I mean, not "all the time" because that's actually the problem. But in moderate quantities, your baby will be fine! Probably! And even if it isn't, it's just a stupid new baby! You just met it! How attached can you be?

I have to admit: I thought about all the people who would probably get choked up reading this line about the World Trade Center and said a little prayer for them. Poor bastards. They're the real victims, having to be sad for the rest of their lives.

There's this terrible conservative game show on Fox called Spin the Wheel. Here was my first reaction to it which I wrote on Twitter or somewhere else on the Internet:

Spin the Wheel is right-wing fantasy of what they wish television was. The only people who get a chance to win lots of money are ones they think deserve the chance. When discussing the Las Vegas shooting, they just call it a "tragedy" and never mention what actually happened.

It's called "Spin the Wheel" but it should be called "Touch the Wheel." Um, that's evidence that they ignore reality while still believing things are what they are because they say they are (and also the audience chants the "truth" the entire time).

Although the best part is the rift they're causing in these "deserving" families because the idiot trusted family member keeps costing the family millions of dollars. Oh, sure, they act like they don't care on television. But that fucking wound is permanent! Ha ha!

See, the rift is caused because the final four spins of the wheel work like Deal or No Deal. The show offers the person a deal to walk away. But the person doesn't get to pick. Instead, a loved one makes that decision. When the person spins the wheel (I mean touches the wheel), the ball inside the wheel can either land on some money or a Back to Zero wedge. If the ball lands on Back to Zero and the loved one didn't take a deal, they lose all of their money and go home humiliated. But if the loved ones takes the deal on the first or second or third spin, the person spinning can still win millions of dollars which are then lost because the loved one took an early deal. It's a fucking rigged set-up for the family and I'll tell you why.

The only thing for the loved one to do is to never take the deal. You might go home with zero dollars but you avoid something even worse: rooting against your loved one. As soon as the person who can take the deal takes the deal, they have to hope that the person spinning loses everything. They have to. Otherwise, they made a poor choice and cost their loved one millions of dollars. And I can't help but think that anybody rooting for their loved one to crap out on the wheel is a fucking piece of shit. Now, you might be saying, "Hey, they took the deal as insurance! Even if their loved one wins millions, they couldn't have known. They did the smart thing!" But here's the thing about being a human: you know the loved one who took the deal wants proof that they made the correct choice. They don't want to be responsible for all the money lost if their loved one never hits a Back to Zero wedge. Therefore anybody who takes the deal is a fucking traitorous rat and I, for one, would never fucking forgive them. "You took the second deal?! That means you wanted me to fail every spin after that, you fucking asshole! Get out of my life!" is totally how I'd react on national television. Not that Fox would ever think I was deserving of touching the wheel!

That was a digression because the rest of the comic book was just idiotic Teen Titan banter. You know the kind! "I want to fuck you so bad, you ugly shitstain!" "Ew, you make me so mad that I want to stick my tongue in your butt!" "Will you two knock it off already because Changeling is masturbating again!" "Gross! All of his dicks at once?! Gag me with a spoon!" Oh wait. This comic was from 1994 and not 1984. Although didn't Wayne and Gar bring back gag me with a spoon?! Probably! Not! Ha ha!

New Titans #0 Rating: C-. Boy howdy was this an average comic book! The best part about owning this series is that I have conclusive proof of when I became a man! Between New Titans #114 and New Titans #115 when I finally grew up and realized this comic book was terrible and I should stop reading it. But I didn't stop reading all terrible comic books so maybe I became a man later. Or, more apt, will become a man later! Hopefully soon because I can't wait to see what a woman's ding dong looks like!

Friday, July 12, 2019

Deathstork the Hunted #0

For a comic book that I'm fairly certain will chug mild to average amounts of donkey semen, this cover is pretty cool. Except for Deathstork's elf shoes.

Holy fucking fuck balls with spicy fuck sauce. I know in my Team Titans Annual #2 commentary I mentioned how much DC and Marvel wanted to be Image around this time but I sincerely forgot just how much. I think I can rest my case with this advert for a new Doctor Fate comic book.

"This is what our audience wants, boys! I guess we have to give it to them!" To be fair, I actually love this cover and I really want to fucking read this comic book now.

The cover of Team Titans was proof of my argument much in the same way that the low-level Chernobyl radiation detectors were proof that there'd been a radiation leak. This is like finally getting their hands on something that could measure extreme levels of radiation and everybody suddenly shitting themselves.

I could make the argument that this is just DC still trying to capture that whole X-Factor X-men hype and McFarlane's Spider-man days. But that's all really just the precursor to Image. For whatever reason, these guys made art that made fangenders ruin the couch they were sitting on. Not that I ever ruined a couch I was sitting on over their art. But I know a few jerks who definitely did! Anyway, that Marvel stuff was just the prologue or the opening chapters of Image. And DC definitely would dip their toes in this fucked up poison art well many, many times before the industry nearly collapsed under the weight of all the extra stress lines drawn all over every character's face. And also maybe the pouches and the bullets. Oh, and maybe the variant and foil covers.

Currently, Checkmate and other government agencies are hunting Deathstork because he did the worst thing in all of history. I don't know what that thing is yet but I'm sure there'll be a flashback. Remember, Zero Hour was all about touching up everybody's origin stories and slightly recontextualizing the current story arcs. Maybe some changed dramatically but since I certainly didn't read many of them and I've done no research, how am I supposed to speak with authority and also know I'm speaking the truth?! Let me just state facts in a way that sounds like I know what I'm talking about so I don't have to do any real work and not be embarrassed by constantly being called out by Actually Nerds.

Before Deathstork dies (or kills everybody chasing him, more probably), he remembers what happened to him three weeks ago. He was visiting the Hmong whorehouse in New York (where Rose and a bunch of other children were being raised) to find out what happened to one of them that was seriously injured. She told a story about tying up a senator and then making him wait while she sat in the bathroom. While waiting, some guy in an omega outfit broke in and shot him dead. She jumped out a window, landed on her face, and blacked out.

Ahem. She landed on her face, artist!

The prostitute must have noticed the assassin was a big dumbfuck because how could he not know a prostitute was in the house? The senator was tied up and the assassin made a crack about the senator's wife knowledge of this event before killing the senator. Anyway, Deathstork will probably be framed for this. And maybe the murder of a few other senators because why would it be such a big deal if he killed just one?!

It turns out the senator gets replaced by a double who has access to Clinton. His plan to blow himself up while jogging with Clinton is foiled by Deathstork when Deathstork shoots him from a helicopter. Afterward, the government thinks Deathstork was out to kill Clinton as well so now he's Deathstork the Hunted. The whole thing was some plot by some guy from Zandia named Crimelord. I think Zandia is where Brother Blood is from. It's sort of like Qurac. It's just a place where DC can house all of their terrorists so nobody gets upset when they use the wrong race of people as terrorists. It just makes comic books easier! Although it really seems more like a dog whistle of sorts. "We all know that every person living in specific countries are total terrorists! That's why people buy into places like Qurac and Zandia and Latveria. Wink, wink!" Which is kind of a weird way to go about things when, in comic books, you could easily just have a super villain be from any country without automatically being a representative example of the people from that country. It's not like everybody blames every American for The Joker! Or do they? Oh man, what an international public relations nightmare that guy's been! No wonder people in Europe can't stand Americans! Fucking Joker!

Deathstork the Hunted #0 Rating: C. So that's the big Zero Hour twist on Deathstork! He's now the most wanted man in America where before he was just the greatest assassin in America but also kind of a good guy so people like Batman and Superman mostly just shrugged their shoulders and let him be. Although once every few years, they have to battle him, just to show that they're keeping an eye on him so he doesn't get too out of control. Although isn't Batman at least partly responsible for every one of Slade's murders simply because Batman never tries too hard to bring him in?

Team Titans Annual #2

In this alternate version of the DC Universe, the Team Titans were marketable.

That caption above was either a joke or a lie. Because even though I believe there's a universe where DC didn't completely fuck up this concept, I know it's not going to be portrayed in this annual.

I should have looked closer at the guns and faces on this cover before saying I was joking or lying. Because the caption was nearly spot on! I should have said, "This is the DC Universe where DC stole Image's look hoping that they could get a piece of that Image cash." How could DC not think that the only reason Image was selling so many comics was because of the art style of so many of their artists? It's not like the writing was any better than the writing at DC! And oftentimes, it was super duper way not better! If only DC realized that Image's main selling point was that every issue was an investment, maybe they wouldn't have spent so many years trying to capture the Image ascetic and simply failing. I'm glad Image survived and I'm supportive of the ideology behind the creation of Image but I was never fucking interested in reading any of their comic books. Maybe I would have liked some of them. But I was never a fan of the squinty face people with lots of stress lines scrawled on their faces standing in uncomfortable poses with thighs bigger than their torsos. I was kind of into pockets and guns but not enough to buy a shit book like W.I.L.D. Cats. I mean Wild C.A.T.S.!

Of course nowadays, Image puts out the best comic books on the rack. That's because why would a writer or artist give over the rights to their most passionate ideas to a big company?! Of course they're going to save their best stuff for a place that honors creators' rights! If they're writing for Marvel or DC, they're just going to half-ass this one idea they had when they were a teenager about how maybe Blue Beetle never really liked Booster Gold and he only hung out with him because Guy Gardner stopped being his friend after recovering from the concussion Batman punched into his head. You can tell when a creator is writing out of passion and when they're writing for a paycheck. Sure, Scott Lobdell hits deadlines and keeps a story moving. But it's less of a linear plot and more of a stream-of-consciousness zig zag that often repeats up to three pages of material from the end of a previous issue at the beginning of a new issue (if he even remembers where the story left off and hasn't decided to go in a totally different direction!). Look at what Cullen Bunn did on Aquaman when DC was giving him a paycheck. He forced shitty John Carter plot ideas into Aquaman's body, completely ignoring the boring person Aquaman was always meant to be! He just didn't seem to care much at all about DC's characters and history. For more terrible Cullen Bunn examples, see Sinestro and Lobo.

The interior art isn't done by the cover artist so I don't know what the appeal of this issue was supposed to be after all. Maybe DC was just hoping to trick all the dumb kids that were dumb enough to be tricked into buying Wild C.A.T.S. #1.

In this Elseworld, Lord Chaos has taken over Earth and turned it into Battleplanet which seems like a completely original idea that nobody should tell Len Wein or Jim Starlin about.

I know some of you just read that and are thinking, "Len Wein is dead, idiot." Well, my response is, "Have you ever heard of Ouija boards, jerko?!"

This annual is super thick and probably really boring, so I should probably just sum it up and give it an F Rating as quickly as I can.

It doesn't take too many pages for me to realize I shouldn't have compared Battleplanet to Warworld but to the Death Star. Hell, the cover gave the game away but I was too busy thinking about Image comics. This is just "What if the Team Titans did their version of Star Wars?" Lord Chaos destroying planets with his super planet. Prester Jon starring as the plans to the Death Star. Redwing escapes from Darth Chaos in an escape pod with the plans. Mirage is captured on her ship, The Rebellion. Killowatt plays the role of the orphaned Luke Skywalker except way more racist. Battalion is everybody's only hope.

The long version's runtime is about 121 minutes.

Nightrider and Terra are Han Solo and Chewbacca but I'm not sure which is which. Also maybe they're a little more into the whole rebellion thing than Han and Chewy were. At least I think Chewy wasn't really into it at first and came around later. It's hard to know when everybody just had to trust Han was translating honestly for him. Also, can we all agree that the term "Fuzzball" is problematic at best and totally racist at worst?

The Millennium Falcon is played by a giant bat which means Terra is the Wookie.

A whole bunch of Star Wars inspired stuff happens before the big finale! You'll be surprised at what the finale looks like, I bet!

Team Titans Annual #2 Rating: D. The chances of discovering an annual worth reading are 1 in 1000. This is just another one of those 999 annuals that never needed to be made.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Superman: Up in the Sky #1

If Superman throws a single punch in this series, I'll quit writing comic book reviews forever. Or I'll call Tom King a hack. One of those!

If I were going to write a Superman series, I'd embrace the biggest problem everybody says they have with Superman: he's so powerful that he's boring. He would never encounter a threat to his physical safety. He would never say stupid shit like, "That actually hurt!" He would never fucking raise a fist to anyone! Why would he need to?! The story would never be about Superman getting his ass beat by the new biggest threat he's ever faced until the big climactic moment where he stands back up and finally knocks the crap out of the villain. I wouldn't even try to trick the readers into feeling some kind of tension that Superman might not be able to handle the big threat. He'd do it easily, issue after issue. Everybody would know that he was going to save the world. But would Superman be able to save Metropolis blindfolded with both hands tied behind his back because some sick kid requested he do it? Make all the drama happen in Clark's work life and his relationship. Will he be able to save the world and make it to Lois's big award ceremony? Can he plan Jimmy Olsen's bachelor party in such a way that Jimmy discovers his fiance is a demon from Hell on his own?! Get fucking imaginative, Superman writers!

All of the stuff I'd do, I'm expecting Tom King to do! Man, I'm really getting my hopes up, aren't I?! Tom King probably isn't even going to like the pedestal I've built for him!

Tom King is a hack!

Actually, that was page one and it's the moment after Superman threw that punch! So I don't think it counts as Superman throwing a punch in this series. King probably began the series like this on purpose! That's the last punch Superman is ever going to throw and we didn't get to see it in this series. Because it's all we've seen all the time always! And why?! It's especially galling when Superman punches a regular human. He could seriously injure somebody that way! If I were Superman, my main move would be picking up criminals by the scruff of their necks and wagging my finger in their faces.

Above Superman and the robot are narration boxes that say, "Clark. I need you." My guess is that they aren't the robot's thoughts. I bet it's Perry J. Jameson. No, that doesn't make sense since the statement doesn't end in five exclamation points and a swear word.

I guess the clue as to who is saying it lies in the gray coloring of the boxes and the little bat symbol inside them.

Batman is on a case that he can solve on his own and doesn't need Superman's help at all. What he needs from Superman is for him to tell a little girl that her foster parents and two of her siblings are dead. Obviously Batman can't do that because it would mean scaring the shit out of a little girl. Also it would sort of look like failing to save the girl's family was Batman's fault somehow which it definitely wasn't. Batman hasn't failed to stop random violence for thirty years even though he vowed to. He probably would have if the medium of comic books wasn't stuck in a constant present. People sometimes think it's ridiculous that The Joker is always getting out of Arkham and murdering people. Sometimes they even suggest maybe Batman is at fault a little bit for not killing The Joker. But what they don't realize is that The Joker is always both in and out of Arkham. Batman never really catches The Joker but he also always catches The Joker and he may, in fact, have only caught The Joker the one time (but in a million different ways). If you want to take comic book canon seriously, might I suggest first getting a lobotomy?

I thought maybe Superman was going to comfort the girl because that's a job for Superman. But instead he grills her so he can get all of the details for a Clark Kent exclusive. Unless maybe he's just trying to get a lead. But why would he need a lead? Batman is on the case! Superman should just stick to doing the jobs meant for Superman, like making little girls feel better and writing complimentary articles about himself under a pseudonym.

Superman is nothing more than the journalistic version of an ambulance chaser. Also, um, what does "Kansas isn't in Kansas anymore" mean?

Superman's job for this issue is to find the missing girl. You might think that's Batman's job. But Batman's job is to punch the person who took the girl until that person is hospitalized with internal injuries that won't kill him (because that's wrong) but will force him to use a colostomy bag for the rest of his life. Hey, he knew the probably consequences of crime in Gotham!

Superman doesn't think of finding the girl as a job. His job is to easily dispatch dinosaurs in downtown and easily stop asteroids from colliding with Earth. His passion is saving little girls. It's all he thinks about while the comic book images portray him doing his job. Just as easily as I said I'd write Superman saving the world. I think maybe Tom King and I are on the same page.

Tom King is a hack!

I don't know. I guess it's okay to show Superman punching a guy with an atomic skull. Or is that the opposite of okay?! Shouldn't you handle nuclear material carefully? Punching Atomic Skull in the face could result in a nuclear catastrophe, couldn't it?! Why doesn't he just use his freeze breath for everything?! Except maybe crashing planes. And rescuing kidnapped children from space men.

Superman feels like he doesn't have time in his life to pursue his passions so he goes to speak with Pa Kent. Not zombie Pa Kent like you're probably thinking because remember how he died on Clark's prom night? I guess that didn't happen now. Rebirth and whatever stories I probably missed because I stopped reading every single DC comic book because DC kept insisting on hiring terrible writers like redactedell and redactedenti and J. T. redacted. Pa gives Clark some good advice full of guilt but it's no Uncle Ben advice. Every relative of every super hero is just out here trying to be as great as Uncle Ben. But I don't think people are going to be quoting this advice to Clark: "Who do you think is going to save that little girl, Clark? Batman? Wonder Woman? Guy fucking Gardner?! Stop worrying about how many people are going to die on Earth while you're in space and just go get that little girl already! Sheesh! You big pansy!" But Pa's a Midwest farmer so he used a word a little stronger than "pansy."

Obviously by "stronger word," I mean "pustule-ridden horse cock." I know a lot of Midwest farmers and they're disgusting!

Superman learns that the girl he met in the hospital died from her injuries and/or the incompetence of the doctors. So that's another person Batman failed to save! So now Superman turns his anger to the state of the America's health care so that this never happens again! No, no! He actually gets so mad that he throws a train off of a trestle.

What a piece of shit.

Why is Superman so nervous about leaving Earth? Isn't that exactly the thing every single other DC hero says is happening whenever they're stuck with saving the world from some threat that's far beyond their power to deal with? "The Justice League are on a mission in space! I'm all that's keeping the world from sliding into Hell!" yells Green Arrow every month. Because, seriously, the only reason you rely on Green Arrow is because all the other heroes are in space. All of them.

Didn't Superman used to have a clone of himself or a robot that he used for when he was away? Also for when somebody thinks Clark is Superman? Also for when Lois is super horny?

Superman heads to Rann to sort through the Zeta Beam data so he can find the bastard who kidnapped the little girl. Her name, by the way, is obviously Alice. There's a lot of literary capital in that name.

To sort through the Zeta Beam data, Superman must be hooked up to what I can only describe as a suicide machine.

If Superman can't survive this then who can?! Why does this machine even exist?! Except to kill?

I was reading this as some sort of device to compute Zeta Beam data but it's possible Superman is just staring down the pipe of the regular old Zeta Beam machine. But anybody can be transferred by a Zeta Beam, right? You don't have to be special. But then, maybe this scientist is just finally telling the truth! What if the Zeta Beam really is a suicide machine, destroying the individual zapped by it only to reconfigure a clone on the other end. Sure, the clone has all the same memories and feelings and attitudes of the original body. But the mind in that original body is fucking gone, man! How many times has Adam Strange killed himself in DC continuity?!

In the machine, Superman remembers some kid pretending to be Superman who threw himself off of the roof of his house and killed himself. Unless it's not a memory and the machine is just expressing, in an analogy (unless it's a metaphor?), how Superman has just killed himself. It's also possible it's part of the reasons behind Superman needing to save Alice. It's also possible Tom King fucked up his script and forgot what story he was writing.

In this new story, Superman wants to quit being Superman because he's too inspiring! But Wonder Woman is all, "So a few kids are going to hurl themselves from rooftops? So what?! You wanting to take responsibility for that is what makes you Superman, and what makes you Superman is what is going to keep driving kids to jump to their deaths! Imagine if Batman were to take responsibility for all the deaths on his watch instead of plugging his hears and going, 'Na na na na na na na na na na na na na?!' That's the guy who should fucking quit!" Maybe she didn't say it in those exact words but why would I repeat the exact words from the comic book? Go fucking buy it yourself!

Superman also remembers fighting with Doomsday and Magog and his father, Jor-el. Oh? Hey! Has Jor-el decided to remain on Earth as Pa Kent? Is that the story I missed recently?!

In Superman's hallucination, he meets Alice who is super wise but that's only because she's also Superman. It's like when you're in a dream and somebody who isn't you says something really smart or funny. I usually wake up and get angry at my brain. "Why did you give somebody else those lines?!" But then I calm down and remember that my brain came up with those lines all by itself. Then I pat myself in the groin for a few minutes and think, "That'll do, pig. That'll do."

Superman: Up in the Sky #1 Rating: A. That bit by Alice at the end is particularly well done. That's why I couldn't comment on it and barely mentioned it. If I could comment on intelligent and wise stuff, do you think I'd be doing comic book commentaries?! I'd be fucking with Shakespeare and Langston Hughes! I'd be commenting on Yeats and Cervantes and Danielewski! Sometimes you just have to accept what height of brow you are and live there like a mud scrabbling land fish. I know I don't have wings! I'mma just slop around down here in the filth while occasionally pretending to understand stuff written by Tom King and Mark Russell.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

New Titans Annual #10

I'm sure Starfire is completely naked for important plot reasons.

Oh, I get it! Elseworlds stories are like Marvel's "What If...?" stories! So this Elseworlds story would be "What if Raven had huge tits?"

In this version of the DCU, colorists get so distracted by Raven's big tits that they accidentally color Raven's face the same color as Raven's clothes.

In this universe, Raven is played by Tina Turner. And Cyborg is related to Toys'R'Us.

Speaking of V'ic'tor's'ton'e, Raven turns him into Cyborg in this world. And she makes sure he has the biggest cock in all the land. "Booyah, I tuck it into my knee pocket. What of it?! Booyah!"

No wonder Raven had to make Cyborg's penis so long. Pantha is providing some really flaccid competition.

Raven is a sorceress queen who has turned a bunch of random peasants into her Teen Titans.

But she fucked up because she made Dick Grayson the dumb one. That's no way to convince her to let you out of your cage, dick!

Cyborg shocked that the six human people he saw in cages were "transformed" like him. I mean, I guess one of them was green? And one had a huge penis? Maybe that's it! He's pissed about Raven giving somebody else a huge penis!

In this weird Elseworld, Starfire wears more clothes than any other woman.

I didn't scan this to say, "Whoops! Never mind! She's hardly wearing anything!" Because even with her underwear riding straight up her ass, she's still better dressed than Raven and Pantha. I scanned this to say, "Whoops! I guess Cyborg and Pantha don't have the longest penises after all!"

Look at this guy casually running for his life! He's my second new favorite background character!

Right after this guy, Anguished Fat Man! He was from one of the early New 52 Action Comics.

The Titans escape Raven's clutches with Nightwing taking the lead.

I don't know why Donna looks so disgusted or how she's holding up Arsenal's rigid body. Maybe Raven put handles on his back?

Oops! Sorry! I got distracted by all the tits and ass.

This is totally not a metaphor for what I just did in my pants. What do you think I am? A twelve year old boy who doesn't own any better jerk off material than a 1994 New Titans Annual?!

Anyway, Raven kills Nightwing and, I guess, Boxing Helena's Starfire?

Look, Marv Wolfman. I think I know what you meant for Phantasm to be doing to Nightwing here but I can't do anything about it! I'm spent!

This is exactly the kind of sordid universe I'd expect from a DC timeline where the only thing that was changed was Raven's cup size.

Hee hee!

Double hee hee!

Trigon does come just like every twentieth issue of the Titans. You'd think they'd have some other enemies! I mean, sure, they have Deathstork but that's just so Trigon doesn't appear in every tenth issue. And also they have Brother Blood but that's so Deathstork doesn't appear in every fifth issue. And I guess they have the Fearsome Five and the Brotherhood of Evil! But that's just so Brother Blood doesn't appear in every third issue!

By fighting together, the Titans save the world. That's the message in every Titan's story! If you fight alone, you will be defeated. If you fight together, you will destroy New York and drive your parents and/or siblings back to Hell/Tamaran/Slade Industries/Dayton Enterprises! Go go Titans go! Is that their catchphrase?

New Titans Annual #10 Rating: I'll let this panel speak for my rating:

See? The colorist never recovered from seeing Raven's huge tits.