Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Birds of Prey #12

Since when did Starling start using six shooters? Hey, I'm all for it! Give her a cowboy hat, some spurs, and a pair of assless chaps while you're at it.

The Birds of Prey have become Poison Ivy's puppets and she's forcing them to save the world from corporations willing to ruin the environment to make as much money as they possibly can. Oh, and also to create jobs which is their most important reason for existing. Nobody goes into business and creates a successful company for the money! It's all about being a job creator. Never mind that the jobs created suck ass and the people who fill those jobs get treated like they can be replaced at any moment by a barely trained monkey. Here's a quote from The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night (The Richard F Burton translation. Oh, by the way, I have a Tumblr about him!):
"Be not thou too open-handed with they troops, or they will be too rich to need thee; nor be thou niggardly with them, or they will murmur against thee. Give thy giving deliberately and confer thy favours advisedly; open thy hand to them in time of success and stint them not in time of distress."
The 99% movement is a direct result of decades of corporations forgetting the last three quarters of that quote. But they're still all too willing to keep up the first part. One of the reasons they've forgotten the last three quarters of this statement is because they've created an entire society around people wanting the things that will force them to remain in a shitty job. The American Dream is not a dream but an illusion. It is a actually a prison to force you to live for them. Want a house? You're going to need a mortgage which means you need a steady job or you'll lose it. You wants kids? You need a steady job to provide for them. You want all the trappings of a luxurious life? Car, internet, mobile phone, nice yard, good clothes, the ability to eat out regularly? Of course you do. Because that's what keeps things moving. And once you're in the debt cycle, they've got you. They can be as niggardly as they want because you have got to make the car payment. They never have to open their hand to you because you can be replaced. The only people they care about are the investors. Times of distress? Fuck you. Your job actually costs them too much. See you later!

Consider how old that quote is. Many centuries old and possibly a full millennium. Hell, maybe more. I'm supposed to be reading a comic book, not doing research on the origin of "The Tale of King Omar bin al-Nu'uman and his Sons Sharrkan and Zau al-Makan" from the 1001 Nights. But it's so simple and such an obvious way to manipulate the populace. This quote is from someone giving advice on how to to keep an army happy and satisfied. But the advice works just as well for a tyrannical system which needs a continual supply of cheap and loyal labour.

I guess what I'm trying to say is this: Poison Ivy? You go girl!

At the end of last issue, Starling had shot the CEO of this nameless company (or the company with the name I've forgotten (which is more likely, actually)). Of course she didn't kill him. She shot him with a dart which contained one of Poison Ivy's toxins.

The CEO doesn't look so weird now that Travel Foreman has left the title. He probably wandered off to one of the Third Wave books.

Black Canary watches this entire scene while her blood is boiling. That's a phrase that means she's really, really mad! I didn't mean to imply that she had suddenly found herself inside a vacuum. By that, I mean a space devoid of everything and not a machine you use to clean rugs. Black Canary is slightly pissed because she's been betrayed by Poison Ivy. But she's really pissed because Batman was fucking right AGAIN. Come on! The man has got to be wrong about something sometime!

After threatening the CEO with his life, they convince him to give them a lift back to the states in his Gulfstream. Yeah, sure! Why not? While in the plane, Black Canary decides to punch Poison Ivy in the face because she's upset that they almost killed the CEO and she told Ivy if they helped her, there would be no killing.

She makes a good point. And she didn't even pick on Starling who uses guns. Although in Starling's defense, her aim is horrible.

Starling doesn't receive any of Ivy's invective because she's busy piloting the plane. And since she instinctively knows they're fighting in the back seat, she begins doing loop-de-loops and Crazy Ivans and corkscrews and Johnny-got-ringworms. I'm not sure all of those are aerial maneuvers. This ends the fighting by turning Ivy's ire on Starling and gives Batgirl enough time to whisper a plan to Black Canary.

The plan is always "Snitch to Batman."

The "Tell Batman" plan will have to wait though. Because the next thing on their Poison Ivy to-do list is to bail out of the plane and crash it into an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico. Because that won't cause any environmental problems!

I guess I spoke too soon. I guess Starling was talented enough to crash the plane into just the top of the rig which caused a fire that wouldn't do much damage but it was meant to send the workers into the lifeboats so no life would be lost when they overload the drill and sink the rig. That was a long sentence! The rest of the plan doesn't go as smoothly as the crashing the plane part which really seemed like the hardest aspect to get right. Black Canary finds some workers trapped on a lower level. She tries to call off the mission but Ivy won't allow it. Starling stops what she's doing but Ivy knocks her out and takes over. Black Canary does manage to save everyone but she's decided she's done with Poison Ivy. Ivy is just too chaotic and random and amoral.

Hey! Didn't some guy with a Bat Fetish say something like that last issue?!

Back in Gotham, the Birds of Prey are in Ivy's lab beneath Robinson Park. She's resting in a bath of mineral supplements underneath her grow lights when Batgirl gives the signal!

"Fist me in the ass?"

I might have interpreted the signs incorrectly since when I turned the page, I didn't see the scene I was expecting and had to pull up my pants. Instead, Batgirl knocked out Ivy's assistant with her Batarang and ran off to get Batman while the others fought with Ivy. Ivy is about to strangle Starling when Katana chops off Ivy's vines and seemingly kills her.

Oh come on! Since when does a little pruning kill a plant?

Birds of Prey #12 Rating: +1 Ranking. Now that the Birds of Prey are actually interacting with each other and acting on the events happening in their lives instead of forgetting or ignoring them, I'm beginning to like this book. Let's hope it's second year can carry it upwards in the ranks.

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