Sunday, February 18, 2018

Dark Nights: Metal #5


How many teeth do people from the Dark Multiverse have?

This series is only on Issue #5 and yet it started in the fall of 1992. It's spawned thousands of tie-in issues and forced millions of people to wake up one morning thinking, "What the fuck happened to Scott Snyder? 'Black Mirror' wasn't just a wet dream, was it? Did he wake up one morning thinking, 'I can't wait to do to comics what Geoff Johns did to comics' mom!'" Sometimes when I have a thought, I think, "That must be a thing millions of people have thought previously." Then I use that thought to back-up the previous thought with thought statistics. It's most of the reason why I know I'm the sexiest comic book critic alive. Although it's not most of the reason why I know I'm the greatest comic book critic alive. You just have to go online and read all the rest of comic book criticism to learn that.

I have noticed some people think I care more about comic books than I actually do. I'm constantly being sent questions about my feelings on various comic book characters and story arcs. What these people don't understand is that I mostly don't give a shit about any of this crap. Here is a question I got recently (twice!): "Have Martian Manhunter and Green Lantern ever had sidedicks? If not why if yes how?" Even if I knew every fact about the history of the DC Universe, how am I supposed to answer "how" Martian Manhunter and Green Lantern have had sidedicks. I mean, Martian Manhunter can have as many sidedicks as he wants, being a shapechanger. So I guess the question is easier to answer than I thought. But I don't want to answer questions like that! As I mentioned in my newsletter, "I'm not writing a history of comic books; I'm writing a memoir of my bitterness and hate." What people should be asking me are questions like "How many of your strokes is Scott Lobdell responsible for?" and "How many times have you hate-masturbated to Ann Nocenti's Katana?"

Here's another question I received that I apparently forgot to answer by not really answering: "Why does Wonder Woman treat Donna like a Pariah, she shows her no affection or care, she is a shitty mentor." First off, Donna is a pariah. Second off, she never asked to be mentor to a character created out of editorial stupidity. Third off, she hates Terry Long and disowned Donna the minute she started dating that monster. Fourth off, I don't fucking care about shit like this! You want the real answer?! Wonder Woman treats Donna like a pariah because the writer of the story line which caused you to think Wonder Woman treats Donna like a pariah probably hates Donna Troy! Maybe stop wondering shit like this and try to reflect on why your mother treated you like a pariah! I know it's true because you're a comic book fan.

I should probably begin proving why I'm the best comic book reviewer in the world now.

But before I do that, I should express a concern I have. I sometimes worry that if I ever meet Greg Capullo and one of my stupid friends says, "This is that jerk from the Internet, Eee! Tess Ate Chai Tea!", I'm going to get my ass kicked. So nobody tell Greg Capullo how stupid I think Metal is.


This is so true. I wake up screaming every morning.

I don't actually wake up screaming. It takes a few moments for me to recall who I am and what my life has become before I begin.

After some superhero battles meant to extend the story by making it exciting, Bat-Joker reveals a new secret. "Endings are the loudest of all!" It's so Scott Snyder to begin the comic book by saying something that seems to make sense because he gave two examples to back up his ridiculous statement ("Beginnings are loud because the Big Bang and babies! Never mind that the Big Bang wasn't loud at all because nobody was there to hear it. That's philosophy!") only to reveal that the opposite of the statement is really true! What a twist! I feel so smart having read that! He truly knows how to manipulate narratives and fangenders!

The issue ends with all of the Justice League members losing their Nth metal to the Dark Knights. All hope seems lost! Except Batman and Superman have decided to take a plunge into the Forge of Worlds' magma pit because why not? And Wonder Woman takes the narrative spine of the story (you know, the thing about noise and loudness and screams and shit) and turns it on its head! She doesn't scream at all; she yells her war cry! OH MY GOD! I just busted my comic book nut. Scott Snyder is so fucking good at this!

I think I have a long enough history writing these things that I don't have to point out sarcasm, right?

Dark Nights: Metal #5: As comic book events go, this is a big one. You can tell it's a big one because the editors get off the Snyder's metaphorical dick and allow him to pull from whatever continuity and canon he wants, and to manipulate it to whatever ends he desires. Bring in Sandman from Vertigo? Sure, why not?! Use Plastic Man in a serious manner? Oh yeah! Big events practically call for that to happen! Age Batman thirty years in an alternate dimension and then have him back to normal by the end somehow? Pretty much standard big event fare, that. Create a timeline based completely on Batman being the center of everything and also the reason everything goes wrong due to his hubris that, being the center of everything, he can stop all the bad stuff himself? Well, come on! This is DC Comics, after all! This is the kind of shit comic book fans shove up their vaginas as fast as they can possibly lube themselves up. It's 98% marketing and 2% Scott Snyder's semen. But a lot of fangenders really seem to love that stuff. The marketing, not the semen. I mean, I'm sure some like the semen. It's James Tynion IV approved!

What I'm saying is, I guess it's stupid fun. And there's almost always room for stupid fun. Unless the current president is Donald Trump and practically everybody in congress has been bought by the NRA. Then maybe we should put aside the stupid fun and do something about this shit. Not me, of course! I'm too old and Gen-Xy! The newer generations need to fix this shit. We Gen-Xers stated right out of the gate that we weren't ever getting involved. We're Walter in Get Out. We might not be much help but we know what the fuck is going on and we'll be really funny explaining it.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Damage #1


How come this isn't a double-splash page? Oh wait.


That's more like it.

The two week old version of myself purchased this comic book because he hates present me. Looking at this piece of defecation he purchased for me, if I had access to a time machine, I would literally go back two weeks ago and murder myself. I don't even care what would happen to the space time continuum.

Somebody more rational than me might be thinking, "Dude. Calm down. Just don't read it." To those rational people, I say, "Fuck you! Who gave you permission to be a hypothetical aside in my mind?! Asshole."

Take a good look at the bottom panel of that fucked up cover idea because it depicts one of my favorite comic book tropes: female protagonists who always look fuckable even when they're critically injured or dead. Is that commentary on the sexism inherent in the art of comic books or have I just discovered that I might be into necrophilia?

Here's my unique take on this comic book that probably no other online review site has come up with: Damage is just the Incredible Hulk! Fuck man. I am so out there with the hot takes. Corporate comic book companies can't pull the obliquely homoerotic spandex over my eyes! That's another one of my hot takes: superhero comics are totally about the gay lifestyle. I should probably do a little more research into the gay lifestyle before I write an essay on that though. Does anybody know any discreet gay bars in Portland?

The inside cover of this comic book is a fraction of a larger poster of one of the New Age of Heroes! comic books. I guess I'm supposed to buy two copies of each of these new books so I can cut one up and sellotape them together to hang on my wall? Who do I ask about decorating advice? Is a taped together comic book poster on the wall of an adult really any worse than a pristine and framed comic book poster on the wall of an adult? I hope the person I'm consulting on decorating also knows something about fashion because I'd like to know if I should own more than just comic book t-shirts.

This issue begins with a classic set-up of the protagonist's motivation.


Most people join the army to defend the United States or to end terrorism or to get away from their mother's new boyfriend. But Ethan just wanted to play dress-up.

How many young people read "Let loose, Ethan," and thought, "That's not even grammatically correct." How many young people just read what I wrote and thought, "What's grammatically?" How many young people never even read what I wrote because reading? Who has time for anything except animated GIFs?!

Ethan is terribly disappointed in his military career. He probably should have looked into the United States military before signing up. I mean, I'm going to look into the gay lifestyle before I jump right in with the belief that they're all going to embrace my ideas based on the gay lifestyle pedestal I've cultivated in my closet. If Ethan were me, he'd probably have signed on to be gay, walked into a gay bar, and started shouting, "Where is all the vagina?!"

What I'm trying to say is, "Why is Ethan so surprised that the military is using him in the way the military wants to use him?" That's what fucking happens, Ethan, when you sign your free will away! Sure, you could decide to not follow orders by refusing to take the experimental serum that turns you into a living monster. But you can't complain when you get a court martial for being a huge whining dick. I mean, you can complain. But nobody is going to care. I know I'm already not caring and I have a feeling you're going to be complaining throughout this entire comic book. "I don't want to be a monster! I want to be good! I want to help the world! I don't want to destroy! I want to build! I want to create! I want to suck all the cocks!"

Whoops. Sorry. That last one was somebody else's desire. Never you mind whose.

Some people might have passed on this book because they have a foot fetish and they noticed Damage's feet weren't depicted on the cover. Well, let me inform you that you made the right choice by passing on this dreck.


I'm on the fence as to whether I think Tony S. Daniel can't draw feet or part of Damage's origin story is that he has terrible looking feet.

Venditti and Daniel are both credited as the "story tellers." I think that's mostly just part of the whole campaign behind this new age of dc heroes. They're really trying to put the artist right up front as the most important aspect of the book. But I have a feeling the two of them weren't the greatest collaborators.

Venditti: "We should open with a loving scene from one of Ethan's earliest memories where maybe his mother went out of her way, at great danger to herself, to help somebody in need. It could run two or three pages and we'll show how much Ethan loves and respects his mother and her peaceful influence on himself and the world around him."
Daniel: "Yeah, yeah. That's all good. But how are you going to hook new readers with that? Does somebody get punched? Or is the mother just in a towel? She's hot, right?"
Venditti: "No, no. She'll just be in a normal weekend getup. Jeans and a cool blouse or something. Anyway, that doesn't matter. This scene will hook the reader with the emotional connection."
Daniel: "I don't see it. How about instead we begin with a double-splash page of Damage falling out of an airplane?"
Venditti: "I don't know. That seems like the kind of thing that can be done in a long panel. It feels like wasted space."
Daniel: "Well, I already drew it. So make sure it's in the script. And don't forget about writing in a nearly naked babe at some point. Anyway, you figure it out. I'm going to go look at feetless anatomy models now."

The plane that was supposed to deliver Damage to wherever the fuck they were going is called Stork-1. Get it?! GET IT?!

Damage escapes which causes some military guy to scream, "Damage is off the leash! He's off the leash!" DC loves to "unleash" its characters. They seem to think it's the most exciting thing that can happen in a super hero comic book. They should all come live in Portland because I don't think I've ever seen a dog on leash here in the last twenty years.


I think I purchased a knock-off dictionary because I can't find "assest" in it anywhere.

I think "assest" is a portmanteau of "asses" and "assets." So the additional "assests" inbound are obviously the Suicide Squad.

Venditti: "Okay, okay. We'll start in the middle of the action. Damage falls into a public space and must be stopped. The military men are all lubing their asses for the public reaming they're about to take for their secret weapon being exposed and released in an American city. But Ethan will still be there inside Damage's mind trying to control the beast. We'll offer a flashback to the time with his mother in his effort to calm Damage down."
Daniel: "I could see that. That's like real writing, right? But could you maybe just make the fight go on for about ten pages and throw in another double-splash page?"
Venditti: "Let me guess. You already drew it."
Daniel: "Well, yeah. I just had this epiphany! I couldn't stop drawing the fight scene! I imagine it begins between Ethan who is a total pacifist loser who was only picked for the job because the military thought his low aggression would be easier to control. But he's battling the high testosterone guy who fucks tons of ladies who is all, 'I should have been Damage! I'm the bad ass who has a hot tattoo of a lady in a towel that you can totally see in the third double-splash page!'"
Venditti: "Fine. Um, you know what. Just go off this script." *Venditti pushes one sheet of paper across the table that reads "Pages 1-14: fight scene."*


"No, no! Don't kill me!" Damage doesn't kill him. "Pussy!"

The Suicide Squad appears on scene to capture Damage. But they're not being called the Suicide Squad nor Task Force X. This is a new and more exciting era of DC Comics! So Daniel and Venditti came up with this classic name for the new way too exciting Suicide Squad: Task Force XL! Ha ha ha! I can't wait for some writer to turn them into a fuck-fighting force and call them Task Force XXX.

Damage #1 Rating: This book was a terrible first issue if you're an actual critic of story telling. But if you're the kind of person who runs a comic book company and you're constantly running around the offices screaming "More action! More splash pages! More art that makes me put my dick in my own mouth!" then you might be proud of this embarrassment. It was a fourteen page action sequence where we learn that Ethan somehow turns into a completely separate creature that he can talk to from wherever Ethan disappears to. You might now be thinking that I don't understand the conceit but I do. I'm just taking it literally as it appears because it's so fucking stupid. Ethan simply turns into a monster and then he talks to himself as if he's a different person. It's basically The Hulk on a leash which is ironic considering DC's penchant for unleashing things. And the appearance of Task Force XL is simply the exclamation point on the entire thing. Except not an exclamation point, exactly. Is there a piece of punctuation that doesn't say "This was exciting!" but says "This was intensely stupid!" You know, an idiocy mark? Hey, civilization. We should invent one. It's super needed right now in the United States and the United Kingdom.

If you enjoyed this critique, maybe you'll enjoy my other thoughts on popular culture via the Eee! Tess Ate Chai Tea Newsletter available at tinyletter.com/GrunionGuy

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Dark Nights: Hawkman Found #1


I preferred when Hawkman remained lost.

Look at that cover again. Or better yet, find a version of the cover via Google Image Search that doesn't look like it was smeared with anal lube before being scanned. If your first reaction isn't "Why is that giant bird man hanging from the rebar trying to fuck the tiny bird person in the ass?" then we probably don't have a lot in common. Here's another way to find out if maybe we'd enjoy having a beer together: are you also a petty ass bitch who's super pissed off that Hawkman is coming back to the DC Universe even though it won't affect your life in the least and might even make Hawkman fans happy that they'll get to read terrible stories about their favorite stupid character? If your answer to that question is not a resounding "Of course I am!", you probably live by a philosophy so alien to me that I wouldn't even recognize you as human. I'd be sitting at the bar thinking, "What is this hazy, gibbering smoke monster trying to drink beer out of a mug and why does it think I care what it has to jabber about?! Where is my gun?"

The issue begins with Hawkman telling a story terribly. I think that's postmodern! He's doing what everybody who has ever written a Hawkman story has done: told a shitty story. Hawkman says, "Every night I dream I am a bird. No wait. Not a bird. A warrior. Who can fly. So why did I begin with that bird thing? That was stupid. I guess my point is that I'm not a bird, you stupid asshole readers. I'm not a fucking joke. 'Oh! Oh! Hawkman's big powers are that he can fly and that he votes Libertarian! What a stupid character!' Well that's not all I am! I can beat the shit out of people! That's what makes me bad-ass. I'm not just a guy in a dumb mask with an old-fashioned weapon who can fly. I'm a trained warrior that can beat your stupid mouth to a pulp!" In other words, Hawkman uses the same defense that Aquaman uses when somebody points out that they're a stupid hero that might have made sense when they were created because kids in the forties had a severely limited imagination.

Seriously, Aquaman is a dumb concept. I don't care that he's super strong and nearly invulnerable and can force sharks to jump out of the water to kill parademons. He's still an idiotic concept. Plus, I mean, that shark image from the early New 52 Justice League issues that people use to show how cool he is? Super dumb. It should have caused people to stop saying a thing jumped the shark, replacing it with the thing's shark jumped.

Hawkman's dream is the opposite of that Sandman dream story where the dreamer learns that there is a third option to fly. Hawkman begins by flying and winds up falling to his death. He also mentions a seemingly trivial detail about his teeth loosening. But dreaming about losing your teeth is a sign that you feel powerless in your waking life. Also birds don't have teeth. I guess warriors probably still have some. Which is why it's a good thing he wasn't actually dreaming about being a bird.

Hawkman awakens to Manhawks attacking his stone age community.


At some point, somebody decided that the antagonist of every superhero story should be a dark reflection of the superhero. So now every story is completely narcissistic with the hero disappearing up their own ass.

I hear what you're saying, jabbering smoke monster: "Who else should a comic book called 'Batman' be about if not Batman?!" Well, maybe it could be about justice or acting as a responsible father figure to broken children or saving a city on the brink of destruction or doing the right thing no matter how much you have to sacrifice. It doesn't always have to be about Batman seeing what he might have become if he didn't have the inner strength and intellectual clarity he somehow developed all on his own without any help from parents (no matter how much the butler tries to take credit for some of it). How many of Batman's villains eventually just became shadows of Batman himself? Wrath. Hush. Bane. Even The Joker became molded more toward being the antithesis of Batman rather than some psychotic maniac trying to make a bit of money. If the only enemies we're going to get are twisted versions of the heroes, at least make them whimsical or interesting, like Bizarro or Nam-Tab! I just made up Nam-Tab. He's an ex-Vietcong soldier who drank a Tab can mixed with napalm. He's super poor and his parents weren't murdered in an alley. Now he spends his life trying to murder parents in alleys because his life probably would have been better if his parents had been killed that way. He doesn't have a butler and has never taken in children as wards and has a dog named Eca.

The rest of the story is the just the dream repeated. Hawkman fights back against the Manhawks. Hawkman discovers the dark Hawkman keeping him imprisoned. Hawkman defeats him and escapes on newly found wings. The wings fall apart and he falls to his death, only to wake just before he dies. Basically his prison or afterlife or wherever he is is just a dark reflection of his life on Earth where he constantly died and was reborn.

Dark Nights: Hawkman Found #1 Ranking: The only reason anybody needed to buy this comic book was because they're completists and it said "Dark Nights Metal Tie-In" on the cover. Hawkman was never actually found. The reader just learns where Hawkman has been since his sales dropped through the floor due to terrible writers telling his stories (that probably weren't even worth telling even if a great writer had been on the book). Apparently Hawkman has been off trying to save the Multiverse by working the Dark Forge. That's important for some reason that I've already forgotten because it was dumb. This book didn't make me curious enough to go back and remember why that was.

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Saturday, January 6, 2018

Dark Nights: Metal #4


No. YOU got lube on YOUR scanner.

It's been five years since Metal #3 hit the stands but thanks to great planning by way of writing a blog entry about Metal #3, I remember exactly what was happening! Well, maybe not exactly since the plot points are punctuated by a bunch of dick jokes. I can't be certain, five years later, which dick jokes were actually part of Metal #3 and which ones I just made up. But at least I have a better than vague notion of what was happening!

This issue begins with the Sandman reminding everybody how the Metal story was interrupted by some stupid tie-ins that should probably have been left unwritten, ending their lives in his library of stories that were never told. I guess Sandman is in this tie-in because Scott Snyder was all, "You know what character would bring a bit of intellectual literary seriousness to this story? Plastic Man! Ha ha! Just kidding. Dream of the Endless! Why not give Neil Gaiman's coattails some riding time! We can give Alan Moore's a break for a week or two. Oh, that reminds me. Do we own any of Warren Ellis's characters and stories? We should monetize those too! And look in on Dave Sim and Gerhard's health. Cerebus is public domain when those fogeys die and I've got a great idea for a Cerebus/Ambush Bug team-up!"

Dream's prologue gives way to Batman being freed from imprisonment in the Dark Multiverse. His escorts off the Dark Multiverse battery are dark versions of Superman (one of them is electric blue Superman. He's now a dark dream of what might have been so I guess Rebirth couldn't bring that bullshit back into canon (although it did in that Action Comics Mr. Mxyzptlk story (sort of))). One of them wears a glove full of different colored Kryptonite because he's an idiot? I was going to begin a rant that starts out with "Who carries a weapon that can be turned against them so easily?!" before I remember police use guns. Maybe I can adapt what I was going to say as "Who carries a weapon that can only destroy a small percentage of people in the universe when you, the carrier of that weapon, are part of that small percentage?!" But I won't because that sentence is unwieldy.

You've probably already figured it out by my previous paragraph: Batman wrests control of this weapon (a glove, to be exact) to turn it against Superman. This is a comic book so I shouldn't ask for realism, especially when the story is already on such insubstantial footing as having Superman wield a Kryptonite weapon but can somebody please explain to me how Batman tears a glove off of Superman?! No wait! I can tell myself! This is what happens when you wear a glove practically made out of Kryptonite, Superman! Your hand becomes as weak as a baby's so that you can't even stop somebody from pulling it from your hand! Idiot.

Anyway, the battle never takes place because Batman (who has been strapped to the Dark Multiverse battery for thirty years and really, really needs to shit) calls to Dream for rescue. It's a good thing it's the Daniel version of Dream and not the Morpheus version of Dream. Morpheus never would have helped Batman. He would have just looked on bored and been all, "Really, really. I can't get involved. When I get involved, I cause...complications. I mean, I get involved sometimes but that's only if the thing I'm manipulating will eventually lead to my death. It surprises some people when they realize the entirety of the Sandman run was just one long, convoluted suicide." Daniel is more like, "I'm chipper and upbeat! Go go Sandman Dream Powers!" And just like that, Batman and Superman are pulled from the Dark Multiverse! Now if Batman could just get Destiny and Death to intervene, this story could end in just a few more pages.

With that done, the story returns to the heroes traveling the universe looking for Nth metal to save the day.


I get that maybe "gym selfies" represents pride but what does pushing nuns down stairs represent? Oh! Lust, of course!

Wonder Woman and her gang defeat the seven sins while Aquaman and Deathstork climb into Arion's crypt seeking the Nth metal below Atlantis. Over on Thanagar Prime (a planet heretofore unknown to even Hal Jordan (as if that's supposed to be surprising to anybody but Hal Jordan. He doesn't strike me as the studious type), Hal and Mr. Terrific learn that Lord Synn has taken over the planet with help from his buddy, Starro. Starro's big reveal is that he no longer needs the little stars to take control of the populace of a planet. That's just stupid! That was the best part of Starro! Plus it allowed him to control multiple planets all across the universe and it allowed me to rationalize it! But I can't suspend my disbelief if the little stars aren't stuck to people's faces and yet they're still being controlled while Starro is a thousand light years away micro-managing one of his other holdings. Lord Synn explains that he can't help them because he already knows how to deal with Earth after the Dark Multiverse has taken it over.


He does mean razing, right? If not, I don't know what he's talking about.

Scott Snyder's Starro speaks like a character from one of Grunion Guy's novels. He ends a lot of sentences with "idiot" or "moron" or "jerko!" Well, maybe not "Jerko!" since I've trademarked that. At least I told my assistant, Pickle Boy, to put in the paperwork. I'm sure he got around to it.

Back in The Dreaming, Daniel tells Superman and Batman a story which explains what's happening. At the beginning of the universe, a couple more beings than the Monitor and Anti-Monitor were created. One was the forger and the other was his dragon, Barbatos. The Forger created every world in DC's universe and Barbatos destroyed the ones that weren't selling well. But then Barbatos killed The Forger and forgot to keep doing his job, letting terrible worlds survive. That probably explains The New 52. But now he wants to destroy the Rebirth worlds as well! And DC can't have that because they've invested quite a bit of their reputation in fixing their stupid fucking universe that they keep breaking by way of fixing it. So, eventually, this fix will be seen as the next break that must be fixed. But for now, Barbatos must be stopped before he destroys DC Comics!

Wonder Woman's team's plan goes off the rails when...well, I don't want to say. If you haven't read this comic book, you'll be left thinking, "Why are you always making shit up, Tess? Can't you ever just explain the plot in as straightforward and boring a way as possible? You know, the way the Weird Science Blog guys do it?" And I don't want you thinking ill of me! I'd scan the scene in but I've been known to present some pretty amazing photoshops before so you still might not believe it. But maybe...just maybe...you understand how Scott Snyder writes comic books. He understands that they're supposed to be ridiculous and the more ridiculous they are, the more people he can convince that they're good. So considering that, I guess I'll mention what happens. Kendra whips out the Anti-Monitor's brain so she can whip it into the center of the Multiverse which will destroy the Dark Multiverse (along with Batman, Superman, and Hawkman). But before she can do that, she turns into Lady Blackhawk. Not the military Lady Blackhawk that is probably a lesbian but some weird Hawk and Dove type birdlike manifestation of god-like powers. Then she's all, "All roads lead back to darkness!" which totally isn't true because some roads lead to the light bulb factory. I mean, they must, right? Anyway, after that, Black Adam appears and incinerates Doctor Fate because the other things were just too boring to hold a comic book reader's attention.

And finally, Batman and Superman arrive at the World Forge in the hopes to save the world by, I don't know, forging a new world? But they find the forge has gone out. And guarding the forge, they find Hawman spouting nonsense.


So Barbatos the dragon has a dragon of his own in Hawkman? Okay. I guess!

Metal #4 Rating: I have two ratings for this book! If you're a big stupid comic book fan that laps up every exciting tie-in that you know is exciting because the people making and selling the comic book have gone on record as saying, "I haven't felt this good reading a book since I jerked off while reading a different book!" then you'll probably love this book. Five out of five stars! But if you're a person who has realized in middle age that maybe comic books are far less intelligent than you used to give them credit for, this comic book rates as two giant hawk turds out of however many hawk turds equals a good book. Two hawk turds means it's not a good book, even in hawk turd terms.

If you managed to read your way through this entire thing and somewhat enjoyed the experience, how about signing up to my Newsletter where I talk more about the comics I read but don't feel like making huge blog posts about? I also talk about other things that are more controversial than comic books. Like what you can and can't put your dick in when people are watching. You should sign up! I publish one per week so you won't be spammed by them. Plus, I've been notified by some people, you won't be spammed by them because they go right in your spam folder anyway!

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Eee! Tess Ate Chai Tea Newsletter



This is interesting in some historical Eee! Tess Ate Chai Tea ways. I'll discuss them in my first No More Than Once A Week And Possibly Less Often Email Newsletter at https://tinyletter.com/GrunionGuy. Sign up so I can talk frankly about a lot of things smart people should be able to discuss without some idiot purposefully misunderstanding intelligent thoughts so they can seem better than everybody else in their righteous indignation and interrupting like the moronic asshole they truly are.

Eee! Tess Ate Chai Tea by email!

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Doomsday's Cock #1


Why is Rorschach on the cover of Doomsday's Cock #1?

I've been waiting for this comic book for months and I just realized that I've been misreading the title. So this isn't going to be twelve issues of a massive, veiny, throbbing alien penis? Instead it's going to be twelve issues of a thing I don't want to be reminded of seeing as how our president is an idiotic, narcissistic, easily offended toddler with access to our nuclear arsenal? I'd much rather see Doomsday's penis dribbling pre-cum as he delivers sexual excitement from beating the shit out of any DC hero he can get his fists on. I'd rather see great ribbons of Doomsday's love goo arc across the bloodied face of Superman and Batman and Wonder Woman! No, wait. Not Wonder Woman. That gets into a weird territory that might be construed as some kind of rape fantasy. But I think it's okay if it's male on male action. Nobody needs to correct me on that if they think I'm wrong though because I'm sure there are plenty of people who are right now nodding their heads in agreement and taking down their pants. You don't want to erase those perverts, do you? So uncool.

So now that I'm not going to get a story about Doomsday's cock, I guess I'm getting a story about how the Watchmen are to blame for The New 52. It's a clever way for DC to wash their hands of the murder of all of DC's past history while also making it into a big money grab for fans who can't get enough milk from continuity's engorged teat. Although if we had a brave little dog right now, it would probably be pulling back a curtain with Doomsday Clock stitched across it to reveal a naked Crisis on Infinite Earths jerking itself off as it blows Zero Hour who's currently being fucked in the ass by Infinite Crisis and The New 52 licks up everybody's bodily fluids spilling onto the floor while Rebirth sucks its own dick while watching from a stool in the corner and Convergence lies ignored in the corner fumbling with its underwear.

I just realized I fucked up my anticipation for this series because there's no way it's going to be as good as what I just described.

I haven't opened the cover of this comic book yet because I want to talk about the cover and also I want to first say, "I bet the first page panel layout is that Brady Bunch shit that was a staple of the way the original Watchmen communicated in subtle and intricate ways!" So first, the cover. Ignoring that Rorschach is on the cover, the entire design is meant to invoke the original Watchmen series. At first glance, the image isn't anything like Watchmen #1 except maybe for the way the red mist behind Rorschach is somewhat reminiscent of the pooling blood. But ignoring the image as a coherent image, it still manages to recall the original cover. The slant of Rorschach's scarf feels like the same slant of the spatter of blood on the smiley face button. Even the negative spaces in Rorschach's trench coat seem to fill in the spaces of the button's eyes and smile. His collar forms a circle that could easily be the outline of the button. If I were to say this cover looked like the original cover, people would scoff. But is it reminiscent of it? Is it meant to subtly invoke the same patterns as the original to enhance a sense of déjà vu? Perhaps. I would admit that that's complete speculation. But one thing is an absolute fact: Rorschach's ink blot face's negative space is definitely a cock and balls.

Flipping open to the first page, I see the familiar Watchmen panel layout, nine squares with occasional large panels subsuming a few squares but still maintaining the general layout. When Watchmen changed the layout, there was always a reason for it, whether you consciously understood it at the time. I'm going to assume that Geoff Johns isn't as good at story telling as Alan Moore without any real evidence for it aside from my own bias and say that Geoff Johns' main reason to change the layout will probably be to allude to Watchmen's style but to not be a slave to it. The majority of the story will be told in the Brady Bunch opening credits style but with quite a bit of leeway and variation. That's because this story is about the DC Universe and how the Watchmen (or just Dr. Manhattan, I suppose) are trying to mold it into their reality. The panels breaking out of the nine panel layout simply show the DC Universe's resistance to that manipulation. Once again, speculation. But it's smarter speculation than anything you'll see on Weird Science's stupid anti-Tom King blog! What do they have against great writing?!

The story begins some time after Ozymandias's artistic alien crashed into the streets of New York. It was meant to unite the world, bringing nations together in the face of a threat toward the entire planet. Instead it just made people feel terrified. They lashed out and began to blame those who thought differently than themselves. The initial commentary seems to be from Rorschach's journal but it can't be because he was atomized. I mean, unless he wasn't? Maybe he was just teleported to some unknown location? I've stopped reading at the end of the panels with the commentary so I don't quite know if the media reported on Rorschach's journal and Ozymandias's alien invasion was exposed as fake news (one sign in the crowd seems to show Veidt's face with a null symbol over it). I wanted to think about Rorschach's words (if they are, indeed, Rorschach's).

The narrative commentary on what's happening in America forms a Bothsidesism point of view. It's the rational bastion of the cowardly who want to be seen as more intellectually open-minded than the next person. It's the voice of the professional Devil's Advocate who believes that nobody but they have spent any time considering their own beliefs and points of view. They're constantly testing everybody else in a patronizing belief that nobody has a mind of their own, that nobody spends any time plumbing their own depths, that nobody reflects on the self. They're boring bastards with no moral or ethical backbone. Their only belief is that they shall have no belief other than condemning everybody else's beliefs. I'm not sure how well this jives with Rorschach's views in Watchmen since it's been quite a few years since I've reread it. He was always a bit fascist, so his condemnation of the liberal side of the argument seems apt. But he also takes a moment to point out the flaws of the other side. I suppose a modern day Rorschach would work quite well as a Both Sideser rather than a complete fascist, so I suspect I don't mind?


Uh oh. Trump fans are going to be upset about this comic book. Of course, they'll pretend they're upset about comics making any kind of political commentary. But they're really just upset that the story portrays a world falling apart because the president is an obvious Trumpian disaster.

News reports indicate that Veidt's plan was exposed as The Great Lie. He's now considered a terrorist being hunted by everybody. It was Rorschach's journal that exposed the truth, a journal which disappeared not long after. I guess Rorschach did survive somehow and decided to get back to journaling.

And then there he is. Rorschach has survived, reappearing to comment on how the world has gone to shit so that comic book Fanboys everywhere can fuck themselves silly.


Oh wait. Scratch that. They're more likely to rage about pandering until their heads explode.

Rorscach recruits the Marionette for some secret mission he's on. I don't remember The Marionette but I'm sure it was some villain that Rorschach nearly killed. They have three hours to find Doctor Manhattan since America has launched their nuclear missiles. The world is about to end which probably means The New 52 is about to begin. For some reason. It'll all be explained in time! Probably. I mean, it'll probably be the way Doctor Manhattan saves the world. Or something.

Before leaving prison, The Marionette and Rorschach pick up The Marionette's husband, the Mime. They're the perfect team to catch Doctor Manhattan! She'll pull Jon's strings and he'll trap him in an invisible box. Even a fucking omnipotent blue naked guy can't defend against that.

It turns out Rorscach is working with Ozymandias to find Doctor Manhattan to save their world. But when Ozymandias last saw Doctor Manhattan, he was leaving the Watchmen Universe to find one less complicated to live in. Or to find one that was fairly complicated and fuck it all up so that it didn't seem, at first glance, complicated at all. But like every continuity reboot, it was actually way more complicated than if things had been left alone.

The issue ends with Clark having a nightmare about his prom night. I'm not sure if the scariest part of the dream was when his parents were killed in the traffic accident or when he saw Pete dancing. Lois wakes up and he tells her, "I don't think I've ever had one." Oh, um, the one refers to a nightmare. I didn't want to change the quote and I didn't want to add more dialogue. Instead I decided to write all of this extraneous and awkward crap.

The night Superman has the nightmare is probably the night Doctor Manhattan arrived and changed the past because he didn't want to have to learn seventy years of DC history to understand the world he was now living in. The issue ends with a few lines from the poem, "Ozymandias," because why not? That's a pretty easy quote pull! Especially because it mentioned aliens and appeared after the Superman scene!

Doomsday's Cock #1 Rating: It was huge.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Michael Cray #2


You can tell the twenty tens are better than the nineties because Wildstorm chose not to call this book Deathblow.

This book has sat on my stack for longer than it should have because I've been separating my weekly comics into two piles: one for reading and one for commenting on. If not for this comic book having the greatest plot of any comic book I've ever read (the assassination of Green Arrow), it would probably have been read weeks ago without any discussion. Most comic books are read and forgotten in five to fifteen minutes so I want to savor every word leading up to Green Arrow's death by commenting on it as I read it. I mean, after the whole lead up and this being a different Universe than the DC Universe, it has to end in Green Arrow's death, right? Maybe I should email Bryan Hill and ask if I'm wasting my time and money on this Green Arrow Snuff Comic?

This issue begins with some Michael Cray Steampunk Fiction. That seems odd because I thought he was hunting down a John Donne spouting, sister abusing, farcical facial hair wearing, homeless veteran hunting nutjob? When did he slip into an alternate version of the past composed of 40% Victorian and/or Edwardian costumes, 30% steam powered inventions, 15% goggles, 10% steepling hands over tea and evil machinations, and 5% blimps?

Those are the kinds of useless questions I ask during my commentaries. They're useless because the comic book usually answers the question in subsequent pages. Although they're not useless if you consider all art worthy of contemplation. Don't you fucking smirk at me calling my blog art, you piece of shit!


See? It has all the Steampunk components in probably the right percentages!

It turns out Michael Cray and his new Death Squad are just doing some virtual reality training. I guess since they're going up against Green Arrow, they're training with obsolete weapons against old fashioned foes. I hope Michael Cray has warned them about the boxing glove arrow. That's probably the main thing they should be concerned about. Also the arrow that turns into a net which nobody can ever get out of. I've never been caught in a net but I'm fairly certain I could extricate myself fairly quickly. I know I can get out from under a blanket in like ten seconds and what is a net except one of my blankets with less moth-eaten holes in it?

Cray ditches his Death Squad because, like Deathstork, he prefers to work alone. Also like Deathstork, he has "death" in his super-person name. It's these kinds of observations that led professors in college to respond to my papers with praise like "Gee. You really read the shit out of this book, didn't you?" and "With every paper you turn in, my consternation toward the levels of your academic enthusiasm grows ever greater."

Before Cray kills Green Arrow (look, this is only issue #2 of a twelve issue series. It's possible Green Arrow's murder is just the first story in a longer arc about Deathblow's new Wildstorm origin but I'm not getting my hopes up that I'll see Green Arrow's death any sooner than maybe Issue #11), he visits his doctor to find out if the thing in his brain is still killing him.


This is just the kind of existential and philosophical banter patients crave from their doctors when worried about their health.

After finding out he isn't in any danger from a brain tumor, Michael Cray rushes out to get kidnapped by Green Arrow to be hunted as the ultimate prey. I guess it's important to know you're healthy when going to your death.

Ha ha! Just kidding! Michael Cray isn't going to die! His name is on the cover and the cover shows the story will go for twelve issues. It's more likely — and I don't mean to go on and on about how big my boner is for this event — Green Arrow will die!

Cray wakes up in Green Arrow's hunting dome where Green Arrow has been watching him lie there unconscious. Green Arrow makes sure Cray knows that he's discovered that Cray is an assassin. He gives him a gun because some hunters like to hunt animals that can fight back, like other hunters and...well, that's the only example I could come up with. I mean, sure, sometimes hunters are killed by wild boar or some large predator they should never have been hunting in the first place, but that's not usually because the animal knew it was participating in a fight for survival. It's usually because the hunter fucked up in some arrogant way and the animal was all, "You kidding me? I'll fuck you up, you defenseless pink piece of shit!" And then right before the hunter is killed, he thinks, "I deserved to die like this!"

Was that giving the hunter too much credit? Maybe the hunter's actual last thought was, "Oh no! Whoever finds my body will realize I shit myself!" Or maybe, "This isn't fair!" Or perhaps, "I regret not having beaten my loved ones more!"

Michael Cray and Oliver Queen battle for a few pages until I finally get my wish. First, Cray disintegrates Green Arrow's right arm with his deathblow power. Then one of Michael Cray's coworkers (who isn't supposed to be coworking this event) shoots Oliver Queen through the head. And just like that, Green Arrow is dead. It's not as satisfying as I was hoping it would be. That's probably a good lesson for me to learn through literature. Now I know that I probably would be left unsatisfied and possibly live to regret killing the vet who euthanized my cat. Sure, sure. She had my blessing because he was in pain and just getting worse. But she still murdered him! I should probably let her out of the Death Dome now that I've learned my lesson.

Now that Michael Cray has killed Green Arrow in just Issue #2, I guess I don't need to write a commentary on the next issue.


Oh fuck it. I guess I'll keep it up. I'm going to pretend that this is The Flash as written by Joshua Williamson! Just like I was pretending that the Green Arrow killed was the one written by J.T. Krul and Ann Nocenti and also the one from the television show!