Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Captain Atom #11

Yay! Final countdown until Captain Atom's final issue! Hooray!

Captain Atom is finally cancelled. I thought it should have been canceled in the first wave of cuts. But I also thought Green Arrow should have been canceled. And Hawkman. And Detective Comics. But as you can see, people will continue to buy comic books no matter how bad the comic book writer is if the comic contains a character that is near and dear to their rear. Everything Tony Daniel writes should be canceled. Everything Scott Lobdell writes should be canceled. And everything J.T. Krul writes should be burnt and shot into the sun.

Do you think J.T. Krul is sad that Captain Atom was canceled? I like to believe he just shrugs his shoulders because he knows he's simply half-assing the writing job on this thing. My dream writer for this book would be Philip K. Dick. Holy fuck would do wonders with this character. And my dream writer for Swamp Thing would be H.P. Lovecraft. Except I'm not sure Lovecraft could write a comic book script. He fill it with Narration Boxes and then I'd bitch and moan the whole time because all the dialogue was in half-remembered memories and old, mysterious letters.

At the end of last issue, Captain Atom created a rival for Ranita's affections. What a fucking dumbass piece of shit. Now he's got to compete against his doppleganger and Scott Scott Alexander Scott Alexander Alexander Scott Scott!

Captain Atom begins this issue not understanding anything he's thinking. Objective reality can never be known because it can only be seen by a subjective viewer. And that viewer is probably drunk, if he knows what's good for him. Captain Atom then complains that the coffee table in the room can't really be understood until we bark our shin on it. At that point, we can understand the difference between Elves and Business men. And later we lie to our diary.

Okay, so he didn't say it as entertainingly sophisticated as I just phrased it! But I think his first narration box is J.T. Krul's defense for his own horrible writing!

See? He's saying I can never actually know if his writing objectively sucks! It's theoretically immune to my actual criticism! What a fucking genius!

Basically what it all boils down to is this: Captain Atom is pouting. He has all time and space at his fingertips. He can control all the matter in the universe. And all he can effectively do is pout and whine and doubt himself.

While Cap pouts, his handler, Mutated Stephen Hawkings, whines.

It's like J.T. Krul is trying his hardest to remember how Jon acted in Watchmen and describe it here.

After this little speech, Mutated Stephen Hawkings whines, "You're mine! I made you! Give me your secrets!" Not exactly like that. But really fucking close.

In the Continuum where Captain Atom is pouting because Ranita is out on a date with himself, objects and people begin to appear out of thin air. Scott Scott Alexander Scott Alexander Alexander Scott Alexander Scott's dead mother appears. A chest belonging to another worker when he was a kid appears at his feet. And Mutated Stephen Hawking continues to speak to an unresponsive Captain Atom going from one supposition to another about what's going on. Some fucking scientist he is.

Dr. Megala has a scientific theory!*

*sung poorly to the tune of "I've Got A Theory" from Buffy the Musical Vampire Slayer

I've got a theory! It's a loser! A fucking loser, no something isn't right there.
I've got a theory! Some writer's writing! And we're all reading what his crappy mind's created!
I've got a theory Krul should fucking quit! Because he ruins every comic book he's ever written!
It could be awesome! Just really awesome! Which is ridiculous cause Green Arrow was a jealous bastard chasing realty TV stars while dinosaurs fought in Korea.
It could be money!
Or maybe idjits.
I've got a theory! Go read Maaaaarrrrrrrveeeellllll!

After Dr. Megala declares he doesn't want anything from Captain Atom and that he's not going to play Captain Atom's game (which Captain Atom isn't playing. He's just being quiet!), Dr. Megala flies out of his wheelchair and disappears into deep space.

No, seriously. I know I often lie about a lot of things when I'm writing these commentaries. Half the time, you don't even know if I'm actually describing the comic book action or I'm just indulging my own twisted fantasies. But this time I'm serious. He flies into deep space. Okay, okay. I see you want proof. How dare you not trust me after I wrote you a song parody and everything.

Well, it's a fucking damn good thing Captain Atom has decided he can't play God anymore.

Actually, Dr. Megala doesn't physically fly into space although that would be more interesting. He just collapses on the floor not breathing but knowing everything there is to know because that was his wish. It probably killed him. Because Scott Alexander Cubed's mom is completely freaking out. And the other worker, Benjamin (Jacob's favorite!), open the chest to find all of the heroclix he's lost over the years. But they explode and he catches fire.

Apparently, Captain Atom has turned into a fucking Monkey's Paw. "Free wishes that turn out to be curses for everyone because my other half which isn't really me nor my other half is about to fuck Ranita, that asshole!" cri cri cri cri cri

Captain Atom #11 Rating: No change. This comic book is just a silly mess.

Green Lantern Corps #11

Are the people who work in Internal Affairs pricks because Internal Affairs hires pricks or because pricks like to work in Internal Affairs?

Last issue, Guy broke John out of prison while the other Green Lanterns distracted the Alpha Lanterns. But the other Green Lanterns lost all power to their rings and now John and Guy are on the run with no one to help them. Like the cover says!

Any Green Lantern that gets in the Alpha Lanterns way has their ring drained and they're immobilized. But one of the Alpha Lanterns refuses to arrest any of them because he's becoming increasingly uncomfortable with Lanterns battling other Lanterns. I know, rite?

You know you're on the wrong side when even Salaak won't follow shitty bureaucratic orders.

Of course the Guardians are watching the entire thing because they've been manipulating everybody any way they can. Whatever is going on right now is only working to further their plans or else they would put a stop to it. In The New Guardians comic, I was speculating that they're working toward a DC Universe that doesn't need central power batteries. I sure wish they'd get to a point in the DC Universe where the Guardians of Oa were extinct. Boy I hate those fuckers.

John and Guy take refuge underground in the Ring Foundry. They delve deeper and deeper looking for something they can use against the Alpha Lanterns.

They aren't going to stumble onto the Guardians new army. Right? Too easy, right?

Why isn't all the equipment that created the Manhunters destroyed? Those things didn't work too well. Perhaps the factory should be firebombed? And are the Alpha Lanterns robots? Perhaps the originals were but they probably rebelled and went insane like the Manhunters. So the Guardians just shoved that hose onto the chest of normal Lanterns and flipped the switch. And maybe if I knew anything more than "Green Lanterns once couldn't affect anything yellow", I'd know what the Psions were as well!

Well, Guy and John don't find any current Guardian experiments. But they do take pieces of all the failed experiments to build an army to fight their battle for them.

A few of them should be saying, "No Manhunter escapes the Manhunters."

A big fight ensues and many Manhunter Kits are destroyed. But they've been powered with some special Green Lantern Seminal Fluid from deep within the bowels of Oa! They slowly reform but not into their original shapes. They're all collected into one gigantic Alpha Lantern killing Manhunterstrosity.

Green Lantern Corps #11 Rating: No change. This issue was pretty slow and uninteresting. One of the Alpha Lanterns began having second thoughts and the rest of the Green Lanterns are on John's side. The Guardians are just sitting back waiting for whatever they want to happen to happen. Lots of fighting and not really much else to speak of.

Birds of Prey #11

The cover is obviously not by Travel Foreman. It's by Stanley "ARTGERM" Lau. What the fuck kind of nickname is that? TELL ME THE STORY RIGHT NOW!

Stanley Lau: "Many people has asked me about the rationale behind my nickname - Artgerm in many occasions. To me it is more than just a nick, it is actually my mission statement in my art journey, which I would like to see people get "infected" by my works and inspire them to create art."

Oh! Thank you, internetz! If only The Holy Bible were as informative and helpful as you are!

One week ago, the Birds of Prey were in the Amazon. But one week from then, Poison Ivy is in Dubai attacking the head honchos of a company that wants to get into Deep Core Fracking. Hee hee. That phrase probably makes everybody in Battlestar Galactica's universe blush.

I apologize profusely for the many, many times I use the phrase "verb THIS adjective noun" in future commentaries.

The above panel is actually Poison Ivy attacking the business people with her Vagina Vines and not the head business person waving his magic hands at Poison Ivy and capturing her in perverse tentacles. I know it's hard to tell, especially for readers who don't understand that Poison Ivy controls plants. Yeah, dude! That's her magic super power skill!

After that intense scene, time rewinds and everyone is back in the Amazon! Yay! And the roof of their shelter is collapsing under the weight of hundreds of veggie pygmies! Boo!

Why, Dinah? Do you need some holes in the walls?

On the way down to the lower levels where Poison Ivy will finally be fully healed, the Pilot is killed. Why couldn't he have just died in the helicopter crash? Was he kept alive to kill him later to make things seem more dangerous? And why does Katana suddenly have little sparklies hovering around her head?

I think she pulled her swing and let him die! That's why he was kept alive! To be a clue that Katana is being controlled somehow. Possibly.

You know, I was reading somebody's reviews on The Birds of Prey when I was doing a search to remind me what Choke's henchmen were called. Turns out, they were called Cleaners. Anyway, it was two guys reviewing the comic and they seemed to really like it up until Issue #7 when they finally began noticing all of the problems with Duane's writing that I was pointing out several issues before that. But they still believed the previous issues were really well done! The part that I really loved was when the first guy ended his bad review, he hoped that the other reviewer would be able to figure out a way to defend and make sense of all the things the first reviewer hated. See? That's what I'm always bitching about with comic book readers! They continually defend bad writers and bad editing because they want to like the characters so badly! They can read the shittiest shit but if they can contort some fucked up rationalization for the horrible writing, the story suddenly becomes good! Man, I hate that shit.

Those reviewers probably hate people like me though. I'm cranky and unforgiving and I take offense when someone pisses in my face and calls it Batman. But this isn't about Batman! So I should probably finish this comic if I'm going to get 19 more read today!

While Poison Ivy luxuriates in her healing grass, she tells the other Birds that she's dying. Her new suit is the only thing keeping her alive. It also augments her powers.

And then it's time travel time! Also a little space travel too since it's a week later in Dubai and not a week later in the Amazon. The problem with Time Travel and the reason nobody can get it to work correctly is that when you travel back 100 years, the Earth is no longer where it was 100 years ago. Fuck, the solar system has moved millions of miles along with the galaxy as well! So to correctly travel back 100 years in time, you also have to move through space by calculating where the Earth was 100 years ago. Also, you probably have to account for the expansion of the universe which would make everything closer together 100 years ago as well! So people in the future probably have time traveled but nobody knows what's happened to them. They simply disappear into the past and become frozen blocks of ice as they materialize in deep space in a place where the Earth won't be for 100 years.

Hmm, that has nothing to do with reading this comic book either! I'll never get through this stack today! I need some Ritalin.

So, in Dubai, Poison Ivy's crashing of the business meeting suddenly encounters some resistance.

Travel Foreman draws a really nice bottom of an office chair. No lie!

Back to the Amazon and one week ago (fuck I'm feeling nauseated), Poison Ivy tells the Vegepygmies to stop attacking. And just like that, everyone is out of danger! The only problem is they've all been poisoned with the same poison infecting Poison Ivy and will all die in six months unless they become eco-terrorists with Poison Ivy.

Oh come on, Canary! Batman kindly warned you last issue and you bit his fucking head off!

So, back to the future in Dubai, Poison Ivy is not bathed in plant killing petro-chemicals. Batgirl crashes through the window, swinging from somewhere. That was pretty much the tallest tower in the world or something and Batgirl still managed to swing in through the top floor window. Black Canary does too while Starling simply uses the door. The Birds feel they have to help Ivy because if they die from this poison, killer spores will be released from their bodies which will begin an epidemic that will destroy the entire world (except Madagascar). So the Birds have turned into Eco-Terrorists and when they've got the board room locked down, Ivy gives Starling the command.


Birds of Prey #11 Rating: +1 Ranking. There! How about that! This comic was just barely good enough to gain a ranking at the bottom of the shit pile of stinking, rancid New 52 comics. Maybe it'll keep some kind of logical consistency from here on out. And I'm sure Starling didn't actually kill the guy. Probably just made him shit his pants.

Justice League #11

Insert your own Goddamned joke here.

I've got 21 comic books to read before I'm completely caught up so I don't have time to be funny! I'm going to plow through the last of these issues so that I can take my time with the new arrivals each week after that. Plus I'll be able to read something other than comic books. And maybe attend to my business so it doesn't go under. And possibly play a little more Call of Duty. And mostly just sit around in the backyard napping.

Last issue, The Justice League had just been defeated by an author dying of cancer. Sure, maybe he had a few super powers and he'd done a little research but he was still a writer. Near death. Against Batman! And Superman! And Wonder Woman! And Cyborg! And The Flash! And Green Lantern! And Aqu...well, did I mention Batman?!

The author David Graves main power is The Tear-Jerker.

While the rest of the Justice League are overcome by sad thoughts, Batman fights through it. Hell, the death of his parents might be sad but only when Batman finds the sadness appropriate. Showing Batman his parents being murdered while Batman is in Kick-Your-Ass Mode is just going to fuel his need to be even more kickier.

For some reason, Graves teleports back to where he's keeping Steve Trevor: Trevor's sister's house. He only had the entire Justice League paralyzed by sadness and then he leaves them to recover. I'm guessing that his contract calls for a minimum 100,000 words or so. This was just the Prologue. Or the Prelude, maybe. Perhaps a simple Forward.

Really, The Flash? Because Batman has been so forthcoming up to this point.

Graves torments Steve's sister a bit while the ghosts of Graves' family sit with him. He mentions that his son was ravaged with disease at the end and didn't recognize him. And later, Superman mentions that they saved Graves and his family. So it looks like some form of cancer killed off Graves' wife and children and is now taking Graves. He blames the Justice League so he must blame them for his cancer.

I haven't called out DC's editors in a while. I missed the typo in Legion of Superheroes #11 in Damsel Girl's introduction box because I've stopped reading those boxes a long time ago. I ignored a typo in another comic's Last Issue box. So I'll throw this one out there and remind everyone: DC's Editors have the easiest job in the world because they don't fucking do it!

Wonder Woman gets all Amazony on everyone and declares she's going to go cut this asshole's head off. But Batman stops her and tells her that they don't cut people's heads off. Speak for yourself, Batman! Or was that a hint to her that cutting off heads would go too far but maybe, you know, breaking some guy's neck would be okay. Wink wink.

Then Green Lantern tries to stop her.

No wonder Sinestro is so condescending to Hal Jordan. Jordan fucking sucks. So he earned the ring for his great Willpower. And yet, every other Justice League Member can break his constructs! Abin Sur fucked up! Should have been Guy Gardner all along.

Wonder Woman next disparages Green Lantern's sexual abilities and slices him in the chest with her phallus. Superman tries to stop her and gets kicked six blocks away. Xena Wonder Woman can't be stopped!

It's as if Jim Lee were a shitty director and he hired the worst extras imaginable. "Look like you're looking at the big video monitor! Maybe more people could point? Yeah! Yeah! Now it looks like you're all looking at it! Bravo!"

Cyborg Boom Tubes everyone away from the public and into Graves' writing cabin in Maine. Tensions are still running hot so Batman tells them to cut the shit and work together.

I mean Aquaman! I didn't recognize since this is the first time he's spoken in four or five issues.

Wait, what? That was Superman? No, no. I'm sure it was Aquaman.

David Graves' Journals give the Justice League some of the answers. Graves and his family became ill shortly after Darkseid's attack on Metropolis and he blamed the Justice League even though everybody in Metropolis didn't suddenly have cancer. Batman also discovers Graves went to that mountain to be reunited with his dead loved ones. So they Boom Tube there and Cyborg manages to spot the entrance to the Land of the Dead.

No, Victor, you're completely dead and your cyborg half is merely life support.

Once in the Valley of Souls, they all see visions of deceased family members. Except for, you know, Cyborg.

I told you! You're dead, mother fucker!

Oh, and I thought Wonder Woman might see her mother killed by Hera. But she's probably gone off in Limbo or The Happy Hunting Grounds or wherever dead Amazons wind up. I probably knew if I could remember more Xena. Instead of her mother, she sees Steve Trevor who tells her, "You're too late." Well, doesn't that just twist your lasso.

In the Shazam back-up story, Billy Batson finally makes it to Hogwarts The Wizard's Lair by hopping aboard the mystic subway after getting punched in the face by the asshole kid that bullies his foster brothers and sisters. Oh, and Black Adam acts like a giant dick.

Justice League #11 Rating: No change. The comic is still a huge improvement over the initial Darkseid story arc but I will not give a team book a boost in the Rankings when the members of the team beat each other up when they have a disagreement. It's simply silly.

Supergirl #11

Last issue, absorbed by Black Banshee. This issue, absorbed by Nanotech. Next issue, absorbed by her own vagina. FWAAASH!

Ten issues in and Supergirl has not had a moment to sleep. I have no idea how much time has passed between issues but the most rest she got was when she was stuffed in the Kryptonite Tank in Simon Tycho's space satellite. It's a good thing she's a supergirl and probably doesn't need any rest at all.

Looks like between last issue and this issue, a substantial amount of time has passed. Since the first ten issues took place in about a day and a half (I'm estimating!), ten months or so must have passed since the end of Issue #10 to get Supergirl caught up with the rest of the New 52. Tommy and Siobhan have been living in Siobhan's flat in New York while Supergirl has been, well, elsewhere. But she spends a lot of time with the siblings and is slowly learning English. So far, after ten months, she's learned how to say "Hello." This issue, she's planning on learning how to say "First Date."

I knew she hadn't slept between issues #1 and #10. But she still hasn't had any rest? Maybe my ten month guess was way too high!

Supergirl and Tom go out for a slice of pizza while Siobhan goes to her day job at the cafe where she apparently wasn't fired for bringing her psychotic dad to her show. It's possible nobody remembers having their souls sucked. Or maybe all the witnesses died. Not that I'd like her to get fired because some asshole she's related to showed up at her job and starting causing trouble! That's just fucked up. Fucking family! I'm glad I don't have the kind of emotional attachment to family that keeps people involved in never ending disputes and drama over exaggerated hurt feelings. I probably accidentally blocked out all of the intimate feelings towards other people when I was forced to shut down all of my fear circuits watching endless streams of horror films with my mom.

Kara has a slice of jalapeno pizza with extra jalapenos. Or maybe she just tried a slice of pepperoni and her super senses turned the heat of the pepperoni into a nuclear reaction in her mouth. She heads outside to super vomit when a T-1000 disguised as the cop from The Village People decides she's had enough downtime.

That's a doozy of step up to that door.

The Liquid Cop Nanobot has probably been sent by Simon Tycho. Even though everybody on Earth seems to want to punch Supergirl in her vagina, only Simon Tycho has shown that he has scads of cash and a Supergirl obsession. And since he's gone all Johnny Get Your Gun since he last appeared, he needs to send his henchmen after her.

While other heroes tend to keep the fisticuffs to a two to three page minimum, Supergirl always goes all out and spends ten pages exchanging blows with her adversary. Eventually, she accidentally uses her X-ray vision to see inside the Nanoguy's skull where she notices a small control mechanism. She blasts a pinpoint laserbeam of heat vision into his skull, destroying it. The suit sloughs off in a grey ooze and the man beneath falls over unconscious. Kara leaves him in the park and heads back to pick up Tom.

She is dangerous! Unless Siobhan has taught her that shaking hands is a better greeting alternative to punching faces.

Kara ditches Siobhan and Tommy because she needs to find out why people keep attacking her. Look, Supergirl. You beat the shit out of everyone you've ever met. You even tried to beat up Superman! You might have to take a little responsibility for the position you've found yourself in. Plus, I think next issue you should take an English Language course. It'll make the entire comic book more interesting. And it could be a fun issue if Michael Green and Mike Johnson weren't so afraid of casual, playful dialogue.

Supergirl #11 Rating: No change. I just feel like this comic is wasting so much potential. Supergirl finding a place in this world and forging new relationships with a variety of humans would be a lot more interesting than Supergirl feeling lonely and getting in a huge fight every issue. It feels like this comic is only on Issue Four while the rest of the New 52 have been out for a full year. Well, maybe not all of the other ones! Reading Green Arrow feels like an eternity.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Nightwing #11

Talons. Alpha-Omeganauts. Cleaners. Mutliple Crime Bosses and their gangs. Gotham is too fucking crowded.

Higgins spends a thrifty two panels explaining where Issue #10 left off, so I'll just use that.

I don't think he actually spent any time trying to change their minds.

Nightwing tries his best to beat up an entire army but the leader hides in the shadows until the he sees a chance to zap Nightwing and act cocky. Nightwing tries the changing their minds thing again but he seems to have suffered a concussion.

Perhaps the "Your Friends" are a gang. Or a singing group.

Turns out the Republic of Tomorrow blame the heroes of the city for attracting all the dangerous gangster, crazies, and villains, so they intend to kill all of the heroes of the city. I suppose they don't see the irony in their mission statement. Nightwing gets away from this army. Unless this army gets away from Nightwing. I'm not exactly sure who actually does the escaping. Either way, they're all just going to have to finish the fight later.

Nightwing decides to confront Officer Nie about trying to frame him for the murders of the Strayhorn brothers. He believes it was this guy because, well, all the evidence points to him. But also Nie tried to frame Batman in the Rossini case which I don't know anything about. Either it's referencing something from before The New 52 or it's just fabricated history to show that this guy Nie is a gigantic douche. He's a metaphorical douche in that he's being used by Mayor Hady to clean up Gotham City! The only problem is Hady is cleaning up the city for the criminals.

The only reason the heroes are part of the problem in the DCnU is because the writers are lazy and inept. To be fair, the old DCU had lazy and inept writers as well!

Super heroes were initially running around in the comic book world to defeat the bad guys and keep people safe. But eventually, as I said, lazy writers came along and couldn't be bothered with creating a reason or a motive for the bad guys. So instead, they had the bad guys attack the good guys for the thinnest of reasons. Even good writers did shit like this which is why I prefer to use the adjective "lazy." After the plot where the bad guys were hunting the good guys became cliche, writers began asking the question, "What if the heroes weren't here? Half of these building-destroying conflicts would never happen!" And then came the flood of stories where the authorities and the populace began turning on the heroes and hating them.

I sincerely despise this trope. I don't know my pre-1980s comic book history very well, so I don't know if stories about humanity turning on the heroes were ever told. Perhaps it was Legends with Glorious Godfrey turning everyone against heroes that began the flood of the hated hero stories. Or maybe it was just the rise of the anti-hero with stories like Watchmen, V for Vendetta, and The Dark Knight Returns. These are all great stories (maybe not Legends. I remember not hating it and it was the first appearance of the new Suicide Squad team that I loved). Whatever the case, I'm tired of super heroes not being heroic. I'm sick of them always being on the defensive. This kind of shit makes a craphole character like Office Nie correct in his judgments! And that sucks.

Although I've been enjoying the comic up until now even though Dick was mainly fighting against that Saiko guy who was merely in Gotham to kill Nightwing. So maybe The Children of Tomorrow have a point! Hundreds of people almost died in the Haly Circus disaster that was cause by Saiko trying to kill Nightwing. Man, I just wish super villains would start stealing shit and trying to take over the world like the good old days.

Meanwhile in the sewers, Paragon and the members of his army that haven't fled discuss the Republic of Tomorrow's future. The members of Paragon's army have the thinnest of reasons for wanting Gotham's superheroes to hang up their capes. The main guy speaking out against shutting down all of this nonsense was angry at Batman because Batman crashed into the car this guy's sister was in and she ended up in the hospital. Meanwhile, Batman probably saved thousands of lives from the Scarecrow's fear gas or Riddler's deadly knock-knock jokes. Bruce Wayne should set up some kind of fund to pay for the medical bills of anybody hurt in any catastrophe or event in which The Batman tries to help. I'm pretty sure Bruce Wayne can afford it. If not, he could probably use all of his Batgear to win millions of dollars at The Penguin's casino.

Paragon gets a little upset that the members of his army have decided to abandon him and his cause. So he kills them. What else can you do?

Later, Dick's loan falls through because Dick Grayson is a big risk and the banks don't want to associate with him. So Dick decides to go pout in the Batcave. My sister used to do this when she couldn't get her way at home. She'd head over to our grandparents' house and sit around pouting until our grandmother would ask her what was wrong and then fix it. Looks like Dick is hoping Batman will ask him how much money he needs.

Oh! Maybe Damian can hack Bruce's bank account and be Dick's partner in the Amusement Park business!
Dick gains some insight from Damian while Damian tries to get Dick's goat. Unless Damian really is a brilliant and wise ten year old. Whatever the case, I like how out of all the past Robins, Nightwing seems to get some respect from Damian.

I'm constantly having problems with my laptop's keys not pressing because they get clogged up with random detritus (not Robotic, evil Detritus). How are Batman's computers not completely fouled with bat guano? Oh right. Alfred Pennyworth.

Nightwing begins to make some connections but the reader isn't really involved much in the revelation. He just figures out who the Strayhorn brothers were and why they were killed. But he doesn't clue me in! Sir! I paid $2.99 for this comic book and you will tell me what the hell is going on!

Wait. What?

Apparently Officer Stark was one of the officers killed by Saiko in the first issue. And Officer Nie here had a relationship with him. So Nie now blames Nightwing for Stark's death which is why he really wants to believe that Nightwing killed the Strayhorn brothers. But it appears somebody else framed Nightwing. Probably Paragon. But what is Paragon's connection to Officer Nie? They both blame Nightwing for being the cause of innocent people dying.

One thing Nightwing figures out is that the Strayhorn brothers had their Alpha-Omega Republic of Tomorrow tattoos removed a few days before they were killed. My guess is, like the rest of the army that tried to abandon Paragon this issue, they were killed for leaving the Republic of Tomorrow Army. The only real mystery now is why Paragon wants Nightwing blamed for it. It's easy to see why Paragon is manipulating the facts and evidence to get Officer Nie to believe it was Nighting. Paragon wants Nightwing dead. But why? WHY?! Who is Paragon?

Nighwing #11 Rating: No change. The issue didn't really pack any surprises except for the reveal that Officer Nie was in love with another cop. But the main thing this comic highlighted was the fact that Nightwing's entire run of issues has been about villains hunting Nightwing because of who he is. You know, he's always had this kind of trouble. The Teen Titans in the Pre-52 were always being attacked by one super villain or another whose only reason for existence was to end the Titans' existence. Sheesh.

Legion of Super-heroes #11

I just can't imagine ever enjoying this super group no matter how well written they are.

I apologize to all of the Legion of Super-hero fans out there because I just can't comment on this title without being completely biased. I think you really need to have some kind of history with this group to enjoy it. This cover with Comet Girl freaked out making a last stand probably fills Legion fans full of feels. But all I can think is, "Is she naked?"

Judging by the cover (and last issue's cover which showed the rescuers captured as well (and about to be inseminated by a Dominator turkey baster)), the rescue mission isn't going to go so well. But maybe Comet Girl, whom everybody seems to find annoying, will prove she's not simply a spastic sex monkey and rescue them all! Do I even need to read the comic? The cover is telling me everything I need to know!

The Ex-Legionnaires disguise themselves as an erratic comet exploding in the skies of Dominion. The Dominators are easily fooled since most comets that punch into their planet's surface do so on a weaving, drunken trajectory.

Here we are! Here we come! Lead us, Thom Kallor! Lead us!

Oh! I know what the plan is! Bouncing Boy will inflate to a gigantic size and begin rolling around the planet. Star Boy will increase Chuck's mass so that his gravitational pull causes everything to stick to him!

"We are moved to tears by the size of Chuck's thing!"

If Katamari isn't their plan, they'd better think up one quickly. The Dominators have decided the prisoners have been held in their cell long enough and are ready to turn them into DNA protein shakes for their experimental creations.

Uh oh! Here come the Spooge Sticks!

Dream Girl must have dreamed a dream about the Dominator trying to shove a Spooge Stick into her belly (or wherever Spooge Sticks go. A stork, maybe?). So she knew it was coming! That's a pun!

The space cavalry breaks through the roof and subdues all of the Dominator guards. It looks like the rescue is going to be successful! I don't know what that cover was talking about! So stupid! And why did they call this issue "Betrayal"? Nobody's been betrayed! Everything worked out perfectly! And in half as many pages as usual!

I suspect the last ten pages will be Legion enjoying each others' company on the flight back to Earth, sipping tea and reminiscing. It will be very relaxing and allow me some time to get to know the characters. Maybe I'll find out that I have a lot in common with Star Boy! Or that Dream Girl thinks Earl Grey tastes like Fruity Pebbles too! Maybe they'll discuss how Alice in Wonderland is an analogy of a girl becoming a woman and how the entire episode takes place during, and is a metaphor for, Alice's first menstruation. Perhaps they'll all laugh about how nobody on the internet is reading this commentary because the only people reading Legion of Super-heroes are super fans of the group and probably hate my inappropriate prejudice in my writing voice.

Or maybe somebody will be betrayed and they'll all get caught!

Surprise! The betrayer was the one still standing on the cover! No, seriously! I'm surprised!

Comet Queen blasts Brainiac in the middle of battle but I don't think she did it because she's working for the Dominators. Cosmic Boy mentioned earlier in the comic that one of the rescue team was recovering from a mind-wipe, whatever that is. Perhaps that was Comet Queen and she also had some supplanted suggestions as well. It's MK Ultra still going strong in the 31st Century! Fans of the book probably know what's going on with Comet Queen and who she means by someone who really, really doesn't like Brainiac 5. But since the mind-wipe and the person not liking Brainiac are all part of Pre-New 52 history, I have no idea what's going on.

The point being: the Dominators catch them all! They suspect no message got out but something has to happen for the other Legionnaires to get the proof they need to attack the Dominator's home-world and rescue their compatriots. Or maybe Comet Queen will escape and do the warning part herself.

Legion of Super-heroes #11 Rating: No change. It's just a matter of time before I become a fan of these goofballs too, right? How many issues does that take? My guess is fifty.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Wonder Woman #11

Cliff Chiang's Wonder Woman is simply lovely.

The wedding in Hades was a huge hit! Now, not everyone was there. And nobody actually got hitched. But Hades did fall in love with a mirror. And Strife had such a fabulous time, she immediately goes to rub it in Hera's face. Hera really isn't very interested in the exploits of Wonder Woman though. Especially now that Diana is protecting the baby that Hera just put a hit on.

Since this comic has taken up residence in the realms of Gaiman's Sandman and Xena, Warrior Princes, from the start, I'm suspecting she made a deal with one of the Furies?

Afterward, there's a really nice exchange between Demeter and Artemis concerning filling the vacancy left by Zeus. The dialogue between characters is really where Azzarello shines. The plot, so far, really isn't something that, as I've stated before, hasn't already been done in various ways. Zeus abandoning his post is quite similar to Destruction leaving his duties. I don't mind the similarities since I loved both Gaiman's Sandman and Xena, Warrior Princess. But the dialogue and interaction Azzarello brings to these characters really makes this book a stand out of its own.

I also like that this takes place in Coloma, Michigan.

Meanwhile, Hermes (in bell bottoms!), Diana and Lennox accompany Zola to Zola's doctor in Virginia to check on her pregnancy. It's gone a little weird seeing as how her time in Hades has pushed her further along in the pregnancy than she should be according to the timeline on Earth.

Half of the other writers in DC would have ruined this moment with a Narration Box. "I wanted to strangle him for saying that but I couldn't help thinking it as well." Blegh!

While waiting outside for Zola, Apollo and Artemis show up to put Wonder Woman and Zola's baby down. Apollo has wanted Zeus's throne from issue one and now Artemis seems to have thrown her antlers in the ring as well. I'm glad to see that neither Artemis nor Apollo recognize Lennox, so I don't feel bad for not knowing who he is either!

Now we can add Sailor Moon to the mix of stories Azzarello is stealing from. "By the name of the moon, I will punish you!" But that's okay because I also love Sailor Moon!

Wonder Woman, Hermes, and Lennox get their asses handed to them by Apollo and Artemis. I guess a sworn promise to protect Zola just wasn't as strong as two pissed-off, ambitious Gods. Apollo and Artemis kidnap Zola and take her to Olympus to meet Hera. In exchange for bringing Zola and Zeus's unborn child (who is Zeus, right?), Hera gives Apollo the throne of Zeus. I'm not sure what Artemis gets. Fuck all, I guess!

But before Apollo can take the throne, he's apparently going to have to kick Wonder Woman's ass one more time.

No Lennox since his rock body was nearly shattered by Artemis.

Wonder Woman #11 Rating: +1 Ranking. I like everything about this book but Diana is still mainly a cipher. I hope Wonder Woman #0 simply deals with Diana's personal life and hardly touches upon her Wonder Woman persona at all. Maybe show the costume hanging on the back of the bathroom door.

Red Hood and the Outlaws #11

I hope Starfire's origin involves a frank discussion of Tamaranian sexual practices.

The main thing I've learned from reading and commenting on Red Hood and the Outlaws is that Jason Todd has a lot of fucking fans. People seem to love Red Hood. I'm sorry that so many people like him and yet they have to read him written by Scott Lobdell. I can only imagine what interesting stories could be told by a decent writer. He must allow DC to pay him in tacos. Why else would DC keep him on board and allow him to mangle so many titles? Oh well. Maybe the kids love him. I certainly love hating him. At least Rocafort keeps the comic pretty with a lot of interesting layouts. That's a plus.

I had to go dig up last issue and see how it ended because I thought maybe my last commentary was incomplete by the way this one begins. Last issue, they ship they were on was surrounded by dozens of Blight ships. The Blight are the race invading Tamaran. Kori had just threatened the other ship and a battle was about to ensue. This comic begins with Roy Harper shirtless and tied up and being tortured by the Blight. Maybe Lobdell lost one of his scripts and just said fuck it, handing in the script to Issue #12. He doesn't believe in cause and effect anyway. Or maybe my brain damage theory is correct and he actually can't think in any linear fashion. Poor guy. And maybe DC can't fire him because of this disability. Poor readers.

Meat sack? What are they made of? Cotton candy?

In Superboy, Lobdell has Detritus, a creature made of junk, call the humans "meat sacks." That makes sense because humans are made of meat and Detritus isn't. But here, the aliens look as if they're also made of meat. Perhaps they call all organic beings meat sacks? Maybe it's a term of endearment. Whatever it is, it just shows how unimaginative Lobdell is that he's recycling his insult from Superboy. I fully expect to hear someone call someone else a meat sack in the Teen Titans' next issue.

So somehow, Roy Harper has been captured. I take it the space battle and Kori's threat to the Blight didn't turn out so hot. Also, note Roy's bravado and attitude in his submissive position. I don't know that Lobdell knows how to write anybody any other way. Everyone in his comics just constantly mouths off to everybody else. I think he researches how the youth speak to each other by watching guys playing basketball.

Scott Lobdell: "Boy, they're always challenging each other and acting tough! I should jot that in my notes: 'Is...that...all...you've...got.' Nice! Now my next comic script will be really authentic!"
Basketball Player A, whispering: "Why's that old guy always writing down whatever we say?"
Basketball Player B: "Fuck if I know. Let's just yell gibberish at him."
Scott Lobdell: "Oh! This is gold! 'Flip...flop...orangutan...pancake...panties.'"

And now meat man? Are these aliens made out of butter? Crystals? Fungus? Oh! Maybe they're made out of fungus! That would explain their pallor.

Apparently being called Meat Man is too much for Roy Harper and he cracks. He tells Fungus Dude his version of the space battle that just broke out between issues. Apparently Starfire's ship, the Starfire, defeated the dozens of Blight ships that had surrounded them.

Can I stop for a second? This comic book makes my stomach hurt. Here, it's all yours for awhile.

Oh look. How cute. Lobdell realizes Roy's Narration Boxing doesn't make sense if he wasn't there. How about just leaving them the fuck out?!

Actually, it's worse than that. Roy is talking directly to the reader (as seen in the Narration Boxes of the first page I scanned above) and telling the reader how he began telling the Blight the story where he ends up telling the story that Kori told him earlier. That's only meta if by meta you mean "I've totally lost control of my ability to tell this story."

Kori's origin story is that her sister Komand'r sold her out to enemy invaders to ensure peace for Tamaran. Kori eventually escaped with the crew of the Starfire and returned to Tamaran. They were heroes but Kori felt alone so she left Tamaran. Now she doesn't want to help them escape the Blight because they didn't help her.

Dude! I know exactly how you feel!

That's when Blackfire (Komand'r) appears to threaten Roy and tell him she wants to speak with her sister. Perhaps next issue will being with Starfire on the planet's surface telling a homeless Tamaranian how her ship crashed and Roy was taken prisoner and Jason Todd told her a story that she's getting all meta on by telling Todd's story to the homeless person who is probably actually telling the whole story to her great grandchild 50 years from now.

And then another back-up Essence story. Essence survives the Life Hammer and kills her uncle. One Untitled down, some other ones left. Or something. Really not much of a story. Too bad a good writer wasn't writing this Essence versus the Untitled stuff. Might actually end up being enjoyable.

Red Hood and the Outlaws #11 Rating: -1 Ranking. Fucking Lobdell. Can you even write a comic book script? I get the feeling that he just writes a monologue from the point of view of one character and hands it over to the Rocafort to do as he pleases. Maybe DC thinks Lobdell is a good writer because he keeps getting writing gigs on titles with really popular characters that simply sell themselves. People love the Titans, so the Titans book sells. Same with Red Hood. But even Superboy isn't going to be able to sustain acceptable numbers for long. Please, somebody at DC take notice of how shitty this guy writes and do something about it!