Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Justice League Dark #8

This cover put the phrase "Vampire Orgy" into my head. And there's only one thing to do when a phrase that good pops into your mind! Google Image Search!

Forget about the plot for a second. Here are some of the fantastic images "Vampire Orgy" generated!

Is it just me or does "an Outdoor BJ" just not in the same category as "Ass Eating", "Anal", and "Cum Swallowing"?

The next image link I followed was a picture of a Dungeon Crawl game and I was curious as to why it showed up with "Vampire Orgy" as a search term. It was a forum where a guy was doing a Let's Play of Dungeon Crawl and he was about to enter The Lair. One of the Vampire Orgy looking movies (or was it a show?) was called The Lair and had a bunch of muscled shirtless male vampires on the poster. Anyway, I spent the next hour reading his Let's Play until he abandoned his game. And then I read the next guy's Let's Play for the next hour.

Why is the internet made up of distractions?!

So back to Justice League Dark! At the end of Rise of the Vampires Part Two which was also called I, Vampire #7, Cain had drained the magic from Zatanna and the Madness from Shade. He used it to remove all of the weaknesses from his vampire army. Mary, Queen of Blood, had joined the good guys. Xanadu was still on Astral Vacation. And Constantine and Deadman were traveling to the Other Side to fetch Andrew Bennett.

Deadman needs a sense of humor.

Does Boston Brand feel embarrassed about his clothing and white make-up when he meets up with other ghosts? Are all ghosts in the DCU forced to wear what they were wearing when they died? I'll have to try to remember this query when I read the next Hawkman story with the Gentleman Ghost. Andrew Bennett is shirtless with just jeans. But he was wearing a sweatshirt when he was killed? Perhaps the way his vampire body dissolved into mist, it destroyed the shirt before he fully incorporealized. That's the technical term for becoming a ghost, right?

While I was musing, Constantine and Deadman found Andrew Bennett. He wasn't on an island since the island wasn't purgatory (bullshit) and Bennett is actually in purgatory. Speaking of the island from the television show LOST, I've got a question! Did they ever explain the "box" or the "room" which brought Locke's dad to the island after Locke's father was killed in a car crash? Sure sounds like a feature of Purgatory to me, you stupid lousy lying producers.

Anyway, Bennet decides he's had enough of living and doesn't want to go back. He doesn't care what Cain and Mary do to the world. And why should he? He's dead now! He's got different concerns! Constantine calls him selfish but I've got to side with Andrew Bennett on this one. He had his life. And like Death of the Endless says, "You get what everybody gets. A life." How come Bennett has the choice to come back? Seems pretty suspect. I'd like it better if he never actually died and somehow survived getting his head cut off.

Xanadu makes a deal with the Crystal Being to shift the balance of power away from Cain and over to somebody else. I thought maybe it was going to go to her since her companions were going to be very angry with her if it worked. But she wakes up and seems much to weak to wield everyone's power. Perhaps it's supposed to go to Andrew Bennett since he's supposed to be the big Good Vampire Hero the way Seely Booth Angel was a champion sniper vampire in his show.

Cain feels something change. And Shade the Changing Man breaks from reality completely.

I think those three four images are supposed to represent the whole of his life flashing before his eyes. The death of Troy Grenzer in the electric chair which is where Shade first came into our dimension, inhabiting the body of the serial killer. His short love affair with Kathy. Kathy disintegrating when Shade realized she was just an illusion created by the M-Vest. And the Enchantress.

Shade ends up transporting himself to the Area of Madness. With this being Milligan's last issue of Justice League Dark, I wonder if he's going to pull Shade from the group? Perhaps save him for some future stories. Jeff Lemire is coming in to helm this comic next month and I'm sure he'll have some of his own favorite characters he'll bring to the group.

The next page just about does it in for me. Kathy is there, in the Area of Madness, waiting for him. She's solid and real and everything. Everything. Know this: Peter Milligan's Shade the Changing Man was one of the greatest comic experiences I've had. It was the character I needed to be reading at that time of my life. It was a story I needed to read. And it's obvious it meant a lot to Milligan to tell it.

Shade senses the change in Writers, something beyond their understanding. And Milligan is pulling him from the team to save his story for himself.

Well, I wanted to read more stories with Constantine and Shade written by Peter Milligan. So it's probably time to pull those Hellblazer trades written by Milligan off the shelf and give them a read. I hear Shade makes an appearance! But for now, Shade is out of the group and I should probably be getting back to Gotham to see who gets all the power.

Zatanna, Xanadu, and Mary decide if this is the end, they might as well go out fighting. They attack Cain and are repelled in just about one panel. Maybe two. So Zatanna's "I don't want to wait for death to come, whenever that monster chooses to kills us. I'm going to face it," quickly becomes, "TEG SU TUO FO EREH!" Great conviction, Zatanna! And what the hell happened with Xanadu's power shift Astral project crap? Anything yet?

Failures! Or, in internetese, LOOSERS! Fuck me! I can't let that stand! Hey, Internet! It's LOSERS! Just one fucking 'O', got it?!

Deadman and Constantine come back from the afterlife without a hitch. Probably because Hades is busy trying to fuck Wonder Woman. Hey! Maybe that's why Andrew Bennett hasn't actually 'died' yet! Because Hades and all of his minions are busy with the wedding plans and getting Hades' Amazonian bride prepared!

And possibly because Hades was busy, and possibly because Xanadu got the Crystal Blue Guy to transfer some power from Cain to Andrew (?), and possibly because John and Boston pleaded with Bennett to rethink the staying dead bit, and possibly because, as Hippie John mentioned before, a vampire as old as Andrew Bennett cannot die unless he allows himself to die, Andrew Bennett is able to rematerialize to defeat Cain in I, Vampire #8.

I guess Mindwarp and his Seizure Soul weren't exactly crucial to this team after all.

Justice League Dark #8 Rating: +1 Rating. Totally biased rating because I loved the four pages centering around Shade. Anyway, that puts it just ahead of Frankenstein which is written by Jeff Lemire who is going to be taking over the writing duties of this comic anyhow.

I am a little bit concerned about the frequency with which DC is changing writers on all of these titles. Writers aren't really known for coming on to a project and trying to keep the story, plots and themes centered around the past writer's efforts. Every time a writer has changed in a series so far, it's been a complete restructuring of the book. Green Arrow: J.T. Krul turns Ollie into a total asshat with no whimsy or sense of humor and then Giffen comes along and makes it a much better read and yet a third writer comes along and keeps the quality up. Legion Lost: plot abandoned and character motivations changed immediately. Voodoo: huge twist, change of motivations, killed all recurring characters from previous story arc. Stormwatch: Well, that just went from the main story by Cornell to a two-part side story and is going to switch up again when Milligan comes on. Maybe Shade will join Stormwatch!

I'm just asking for a bit more consistency than shuffling writers two or three times a year.

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