Monday, May 14, 2012

Red Hood and the Outlaws #7

Why is Todd shooting her in the crotch? Is her Vagina as dangerous as Dove's?

This issue begins with Jason Todd forging Crux's way into Arkham Asylum. And here I thought he was going to become another member of the team! Jason Todd thinks what he did was wrong because Crux isn't going to get a trial or anything. He's just going to be shoved in a basement in Arkham and forgotten.

Oh, don't be so hard on yourself! It's Arkham where a life sentence can be as short as six issues worth of Batman comics.

The good thing about meeting and defeating Crux came in the form of a space ship Crux created from his wildly improbable ability to gather alien technologies while even the most advanced scientists on the planet can't even track the dozens of alien objects orbiting the Earth. Now Red Hood and the outlaws (should that be capitalized? I don't think that should be capitalized) won't need to pay for plane tickets as they fly around the world defeating the Untitled.

Naming your antagonist race the "Untitled" is not cool or interesting. It's just boring. Is it supposed to evoke Lovecraft? Am I supposed to think that this race is so ancient and old that nobody over the course of all of those years could come up with a fitting moniker? How about the Copper Haters? Or the Transformerites? Or They Without Proper Faces? Those aren't any worse than the Daemonites! Okay, yes, they are. But I'm not being serious! And the people who created the Daemonites were being serious!

Are the Untitled going to show up in any of the other New 52 titles? If they do, it'll probably only be in Lobdell's titles. The Daemonites seem to already have a monopoly on ancient evil threats. I bet Lobdell runs around the DC offices trying to convince everyone that the Untitled are a much better threat than the Daemonites even though they're basically the same fucking thing! They're aliens that take on the form of humans. Good job on the unique creation, someone! I say someone because I don't know which came first: The Daemonite or the Untitled.

Starfire is pissed off about something as they take off from Gotham to wherever they're headed to next.

So Lex Luthor can continue to try to kill Superman with impunity?

Starfire's statement opens a whole schlorgbrusse of Tamaranean Flooguswhumps. While it would seem incredibly detrimental to a society that values sentience to allow anybody to kill any alien without fear of a jail sentence, it also helps to sweep away when a nagging philosophical questions about Superman killing Parademons. Have statutes been set up to allow for the killing of aliens without repercussions? Or do Earth Laws just not encompass this area of murder? Aliens, no matter how sentient or humanoid, can never be defined as a legal Earth person? It seems crazy.

Since Superman has been out of the closet for five to ten years and at least two alien invasions have taken place since then (Darkseid and Peraxxus. And Doomsday had to have happened, right?), I think it would be politically expedient to deal with laws surrounding aliens arriving on Earth. Which would make me believe that my supposition about statutes allowing for the killing of non-Earth beings exist. Except that this would be a political nightmare! What if some alien diplomat arrived on some farmer's field only to have his head blown off by a shotgun? It could cause a cosmic war! Although, with or without laws, that would probably happen and be a legally justified killing while defending one's property anyway, human or alien! So laws probably don't matter.

Lobdell may or may not have given this point a lot of thought. I mean, I think he did for his story. Kori feels bitter and unaccepted. She was already feared and had taken to solitude on an island to stay away from the bigotry and hatred and fear. And now she's upset that even the law doesn't recognize her as a person even though she's obviously a sexy sentient orgasm organism. And it helps to make the team earn the outlaw title a little bit more. But did he think about the implications across the rest of the New 52? Because it really does give most of the heroes an easy out to kill any alien beings they come up against without any moral concerns. Technically legal concerns but I'd be willing to bet the writers would use it in moral terms as in "Superman wouldn't think twice about killing parademons because they're just hostile aliens." Even though he is one. So now Aliens are the Other and can be thought of as nothing more than obstacles.

Back to the inside of their new space ship, Roy Harper has determined that Crux has developed a space ship better than Stormwatch's headquarters. Somehow this thing does everything. But it's most important feature is it lets Lobdell move the plot along without fussing over details and complications. The ship can hear anything spoken anywhere on the planet and responds to search commands. So if anyone thought it was going to be a problem having Jason Todd find all of the Untitled, problem solved. How about getting from location to location? Not a problem. Perhaps they need some other technology Lobdell forgot to mention when he explained this ship has a cloaking device (they'll never be found) and omni-satellite detection (they can find anything in Earth orbit) and deflection tech (they can't be shot down) and promethium self-replicating energy cells (they never need to refuel)? Don't worry! The ship can lead them back to Crux's workshop where he has loads and loads and loads of alien technology!

What do you call a "deus ex machina" when it's dropped into the protagonist's lap before any actual problem presents itself?

While the outlaws are flying to wherever they're flying to, Jason Todd's imaginary friend, Essence, shows up.

Starfire's boredom leads to Harper's boner.

This is what she looks like if you can see imaginary people:

See? That ass is unreal.

Jason Todd stabs her with his imaginary All-Blade which can only, apparently, be drawn in the face of absolute evil. What happens if the person wielding the All-Blade is evil? Can he draw it indiscriminately and go on a good person killing rampage?

So he pulls the blade and sabs Essence because he realizes she's betrayed the All-Caste and Jason himself. He also mentions that he has killed "one of the nine Untitled," so I guess the comic book will be over when he kills eight more. Which shouldn't be too hard now that he has a spaceship that can do anything and find anyone!

Before Jason Todd kills Essence, he gives her a chance to explain what happened to the All-Caste. So she tells her history and how it is tied to the Untitled and to Ducra and her All-Caste. It also makes the kind of horrible comic book nonsense that I just love to read!

Oh, Scott Lobdell. This is almost as succulent as Superboy answering questions in his virtual classroom from Superboy #1!

Here we see what I'd only assumed until now. The Untitled are super ancient, dude! It's like some kind of First Evil where a clan of old men created this super fighting woman to help fight evil Big Bads until the end of time!

First off, this happened long before words and almost before coherent thoughts. So here's Scott Lobdell's timeline for Ancient Man:

No Coherent Thoughts.
Coherent Thoughts.
Discovering a Pool of Ancient Evil and Convincing Everyone to Drink.
Almost Before Coherent Thoughts.

I also like that he has to explain that this ancient man without any words and barely any thought actually didn't reach for the stars first which was where maybe you thought this story was going? No, no! He didn't build a spaceship. He drank some water.

Sorry for the interruption, Essence. Go ahead with the rest of your story.

OMG! Essence is one of the nine Untitled! And so was Ducra, kind of. So that means only six left!

After story time, the fighting continues. During the tussle, Essence mentions that she was once "imprisoned in the black heart of Trigon!" What does Trigon have to do with Essence and anything in the recent history of DC Comics? I just remember him as having something to do with Raven from way back in the 80s. Essence also spouts some nonsense about what's wrong with humans and aliens seeing the world as they want to see it and not how it truly is. Please. Everyone sees it the way they see it, Essence. Even you. You just think your version is the truth the way everyone else thinks their version is the truth. Just because you're very old, you think you know the real way of things. That's called generational arrogance (at least that's what I'm calling it)! And it's colored by your own personal history. What about the Daemonites? And Merlin and Adam One's view of the truth since they were there at the creation of this universe! You're just a stupid child to them!

Actually, that's what he pretty much vowed to do, actually.

I guess Essence wasn't watching Jason Todd closely enough to know that his plan was to kill all of her siblings anyway. If she hadn't stopped by to try to convince him to continue killing the rest of the Untitled, he would have continued killing the rest of the untitled. But now that he knows who is manipulating everyone maybe he'll just kill Essence and be done with the whole Untitled crap! Essence seems to think he's not going to be any help anymore.

Since people like to differentiate between Science Fiction and Hard Science Fiction, I'm going to label Lobdell's writing as "Flaccid Sci-Fi."

So let me get this straight. The evil that you drank is older than the sun. Which means it was just floating around in space and was pulled into the gravitational forces which created our Galaxy and just happened to get stuck within the mass of material which ended up creating Earth? Or is it just super old and everywhere in the universe like a form of Evil Energy? And even if it is older than the sun, how does that make it a darkness that can't be dispelled by proper lighting? Could a star older than her darkness dispel her darkness? Lobdell just likes to make grand statements with no thought behind them at all. Thus, Flaccid Science Fiction.

Oh, but that's not the end of the awesome. Essence, like the Untitled before her, tells them how she can be killed! Remember that part where she says, "You know there is no weapon made by man hat can stop me." Well, Jason Todd doesn't take that for the poetic license it so obviously is. Because what can kill her then? Let's see. A tiger. A rock. A lightning bolt. A giant squid. Asphyxiation. Bowel cancer. Possibly some others I may have missed. Which one is Jason Todd going to use?

Oh, he doesn't use any of those! He uses one of those things I told you was a Pre-deus ex machina that the ship would provide. He scrounges around for awhile while Essence fights Starfire and Roy until he luckily finds an alien laser amidst the clutter. She disappears with a scream. Even Jason Todd can't hope that she's actually dead since he seems to know how comic books work. But he's happy that they won for now.

Notice how I didn't even mention the constant and incessant Narration Boxing of Jason Todd? That's because the rest of the normal comic was written so poorly, there was no need!

The issue ends when that super gigantic fat woman named Suzie Su from a few issues ago wakes up from a coma in a Gotham City hospital. Yes. She was shot in Hong Kong and her father flew her to Gotham City to be taken care of. It would not surprise me if Gotham City did have the best care unit for bullet wounds though! Suzie Su's father might also be from Gotham with lots of pull there too, so maybe that's the reason for it. I know nothing about this beast, so I can't say.

Red Hood and the Outlaws Issue #7 Rating: -1 Ranking. The whole Essence part of the story works in that it feels like it was set up since issue #1. So that's okay. But the writing really is terrible. Essence and the Untitled's origin story is just Buffy's origin with some modifications. And creating a ship that will solve all of their problems at the beginning of the story? I mentioned how it would solve their problems and then it did solve their problems by the end of the issue! I foresee this and Crux's other technology being the go to answer for any upcoming mystery. But mostly, just about any statement Lobdell writes that he may think sounds profound or ancient or exaggerated to get his point across (like "nearly before coherent thought!") just makes him look stupid because it is all nonsense when examined. No, not examined. Simply considered.

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