Thursday, June 14, 2012

Red Hood and the Outlaws #9

Just like Kenneth Rocafort to get all fancy with his Talon! Also possibly because it's Chinese.

Last issue, Night of the Owls was beginning and Jason Todd was convinced to stay and help because Tim Drake is one of the few people who have actually been human to Jason Todd. And maybe Jason Todd can serve up a little justice, murder style! So there's that!

Oh, that's okay! I didn't expect this comic book to actually go anywhere anyw.... Wait a second. Are you talking to me? Why would I care how long you were in Gotham? Or are you speaking with someone else? Did you promise your diary you'd be moving on to some more action-packed part of the world?

The comic begins with Red Hood apologizing for remaining in Gotham one more issue. I get that it's the writer's method of updating the reader. But it's stupid. Yeah, that's an opinion. But it's a well-informed opinion, bitches!

The world would be a much less mediocre experience if everyone understood that different opinions hold different weight. It's hard to really express that to everyone though. Because the one insult that nobody wants to hear is that they're stupid. Everyone thinks they're a mother-fucking genius. Which means that everybody thinks that their opinion is a well-formed golden treasure trove of wisdom and well-though out arguments. Which means they also think their opinion needs to be respected instead of ignored like so many should be. The real trouble makers are the nicety nice guys who think a calm, rational dialogue where everybody gets to chime in is the ultimate discussion where everyone learns a little something. Let me give you some truth: most people shit from both ends. Have I done my rant on average intelligence? Well, here it is again if I have!

First off, I don't give a shit about the actual numerical IQ score given to an individual. Especially when information about the Intelligence Quotient states things like this: "Groups within the US score different average IQ's, such as 115 for college grads or 85 for African-Americans." Um, bias anyone? So forget actual IQ ratings. Just think of intelligence in a general way. There has to be an average so I'll look at it through the idea of IQ ratings.

The median IQ of a United States Citizen is 100. A rating of 70 or lower could mean possible mental retardation. A rating of 130 or higher means exceptional intelligence. This means that really intelligent people are, relatively speaking, living amongst retards since the difference between IQ scores is around 30, the same difference between average thinkers and people with mental retardation. But since nobody is stupid and every single person in the world gets butt-hurt when they're called stupid, everybody reading this can relate to having to deal with all of those OTHER stupid people! Therefore, all of our opinions matter. Or something. Fuck everything! Maybe I should just read Red Hood and the Outlaws!

The non-team of Outlaws are in Gotham City's Chinatown to protect Mr. Freeze from the Talon. But he's turned the entire place into an iceberg to protect himself, so they may not be needed. From the ads I've been seeing, Mr. Freeze isn't even going to make his first New 52 appearance until the Batman Annual anyway! So should I just wrap this one up with, "The Talon is defeated by Jason Todd and his friends while Mr. Freeze hides in his ice cave"? No, I think I'll finish the comic and then I'll wrap it up with that sentence. Let me just copy it here. Okaaaaay. Done.

Well, I guess I was wrong and the DC Comics advert was a big lie.

Here's the advert for the DC Annuals in Resurrection Man #9. See? FIRST APPEARANCE OF Mr. FREEZE!

Here's the advert for the DC Annuals in Red Hood and the Outlaws #9 where Mr. Freeze makes his first appearance. THE VENGEANCE OF Mr. FREEZE! What's so exciting about Mr. Freeze anyway? Do they think he's some awesome villain that everyone wants to see because Arnold played him in a shitty movie?

See that? That's the kind of attention I'm paying while reading these comics. I remember what a fucking stupid ass advert says ten comics ago.

Jason Todd kicks the Talon and subdues it while he argues with Mr. Freeze about Todd's right to save Mr. Freeze if he wants to save Mr. Freeze. This must be the weakest Talon of the bunch and they sent him to fight the most dangerous foe (besides Batman and they send a dozen to take care of him!). The Talon sneaks out from under Todd's foot while Todd argues with Freeze so that Todd has to give chase. Now maybe Mr. Freeze will hustle off to meet up with Batman in the Annual and hopefully answer all the Court of Owls questions and put an end to this entire storyline.

Todd's chase turns into a fight that I could scan pictures of and comment on or I could just complain about Lobdell's writing. Oh, you know which one I'm going to choose! Both!

Lobdell, Lobdell, Lobdell. Stop it already. Stop with the Narration Boxes. Getting to hear every thought Jason Todd has does not make the comic book better. It doesn't add anything except the belief that you don't trust your audience to look at pictures and comprehend them. Hell, there are times when you say something in the dialogue and then have Jason Todd repeat and clarify what he just heard! What the fuck is that? Here's an example:

Talon: "Oh, you hadn't heard? By all means, let me explain this whole Court of Owls and Talon process to you as we fall out of the sky and onto a cliche Dragon Float. You know they're everywhere in China Town! Have we hit the float yet? No? Good, I still have time to blather on. As a Talon, I've already died! So I'm already dead! But now I'm back, one night only, to kill the Court of Owls' enemies!"

Jason Todd, Narration Boxing: What? He's dead and come back to life?! Hey! That happened to me once!
And this:

Now, I can see why he'd add this caption. But the urgency of the "Holy" and the "one more strike" is not felt in any of Red Hood's dialogue after this.

I think the Narration Boxes are a dangerous tool for the writers of comics because they're so innocuous. They seem to add more and how can adding more be bad? A little more information. A little more insight into the character. But they usually tell something that can be done much better through the story. Subtle is always better. Unless you can't write something subtle and then you Narration Box the shit out of your comic.

But back to innocuous.... I use this word because I'm sure many people read this comic book and see no problem with the use of the boxes. They may even like hearing the action and conclusion in the voice of the character. If I were reading this without bothering to comment on it, I might not even notice it so much. But overall, I think it hurts the writer and his ability to tell a story when he relies on these things. Lobdell, I challenge you to write an issue without any Narration Boxes. Free yourself, sir! FREE YOURSELF!

Anyway, Jason Todd keeps chasing the Talon. They run past a billboard for Haly's Circus which causes Jason Todd to guess everything about the Talon! He's FUCKING BRILLIANT!

Oh Christ that Narration Box doesn't need to ruin the flow of this fucking scene!

Interesting that I'm reading Red Hood and the Outlaws' Owl Crossover immediately after Catwoman's Owl Crossover because they're both sort of trying the same thing. Except this comic is a mess where Catwoman's was told well. Catwoman Narration Boxed upon her final confrontation with the Talon but it's her thoughts as she's processing the situation and her next move. It might as well be thought bubbles. And then her Talon is hesitant and undead and single-minded while this Talon is just another joe striking up a conversation with another resurrected guy. Hey, man! Resurrection buddies! Let's be cool to each other!

Damn, I sound so bitter! Maybe I should just accept this new way of writing comics. It's not as good as when Narration Boxes aren't used. But then, not using Narration Boxes doesn't necessarily make one a good writer either. So I'll just shitcan my comments on the Narration Boxes for now until the boxes really become egregious. Let's get back to Starfire battling Mr. Freeze even though he's not supposed to be appearing in this comic book yet!

Maybe I should edit some of this whining or at least strike-thru a bunch of it? No, fuck it. I'll leave it here for posterity!

I once told my cousin that I didn't believe in love. You know, the kind of love that Disney tries to sell us. The one man/one woman, souls united bullshit. And he said, "I feel sorry for you." I've never wanted to slap someone more in all of my life.

Fucking Starfire! Anything can cause pain in the world! Love is a strong emotion; it's a raging passion at times. And that can cause a fuckload of hurt to the person in love and to many, many people in that person's immediate surrounding. Don't get all righteous on Mr. Freeze because he's fucked up from some unrequited love. That shit is tough. That shit wastes years in a person's life. That shit will cause a mother fucker to bring the world down around his tears. So take your pity and go fuck yourself, bitch.

There is just too much insight into Mr. Freeze's situation from Starfire who just came in blasting and knows nothing more than this guy is freezing China Town and he's doing it for love. This scene is just a total shortcut to explicate the matter at hand. It's a cheat.

But even if it is a cheat who cares? There is always sake and Call of Duty which I just drank and played respectively. Now I am ready to pass out but I figured I should probably finish reading this comic. So here's how it ends.

Roy shoots Mr. Freeze in the head with a suction cup arrow that delivers 1.21 Gigawatts of electricity into him. He doesn't go back in time though because he isn't traveling at the pre-requisite 88 miles per hour. Or whatever it is. Anyway, it's 1.21 Jiggowatts or something. Maybe. I don't know! Who can remember this stuff even when they're sober? Remember when Marty kissed his mom? That was disgusting but sexy too. And remember how Crispin Glover refused to be in the sequels and then sued them for using his likeness? Yeah, they deserved that. Crispin Hellion Glover is a bona fide genius. At least he's smarter than Starfire who says, "Had his life had taken a different course, blah blah blah." She didn't say the blah part, really, but she did say the had and the had again part. I almost called her a stupid bitch but I should be nice since she is ESL (English as a Second Language or something. I think I'm ESL right now!).

So Mr. Freeze is knocked unconscious and ready to be transported to the Batman Annual. Red Hood leaves him on the roof where Batgirl has her Talon tied up and she's switched the Owl Signal to the Bat Signal. By the time Catwoman leaves her Talon here, someone has taken Freeze and the other Talon and turned off the signal because Selina has to pick the lock to turn it on. Anyway, that's it with this issue. Oh yeah, Red Hood kills his Talon after the Talon asks him to kill him. Whatever. I didn't approve of the way the Talon acted in this comic. But what do I know? I'm drunk! And I've got a bias against Lobdell! But then I used to have a bias against Winick as well and I've come around to like his writing! So I think I'm actually not biased at all. All of the DC writers get judged fairly.
No, seriously! I'm so fair! Totally. Anyway, the issue is over now. Good night.

Red Hood and the Outlaws #9 Rating: No change. It wasn't good enough to get the +1 I promised if it was good enough. At least it didn't lose a rank! The art is still fantastic! That's a plus, I guess. But not a plus in the ratings. Don't misunderstand me or I'll poke you in the nose.

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