Thursday, January 31, 2013

Turds of Prey #16

Last issue ended with Batgirl bringing the female Talon to join the team. This issue's cover? They're fighting the Talon!

My guess is that the Talon is punching Babs in the face because the Talon thought Batgirl was bringing her to join a well-written team. But her reasoning will have to remain a mystery because she's mute and can't tell anyone. I guess if she can do sign language and her reasons have to do with cookies, goats, and helicopters, I'll be able to understand her. I guess I know the signs for cats and raccoons as well!

How long do you think it'll be before I make a "Strix are for kids" joke? Probably fairly soon. I might even tell the joke three or four times! Get ready!

Black Canary and Starling are ready to fight the Talon even though the Talon is just sitting in the background stroking her pudendum.

If only there were a rabbit masturbating, I could tell my joke!

Batgirl urges her fellow Turds to try Strix out. They might like it. But they know they're in a Duane Swierczynski comic. They're right to be suspicious.

Please. If she were in a fugue state, she'd currently be Balthazar Getty.

Black Canary and Starling find it easier to believe that Batgirl is out of her fucking mind than to believe that the Talon that isn't currently trying to kill them because she's masturbating on a building ledge isn't going to start trying to kill them at any moment. I think that sentence made sense. If it didn't, you can rewrite it yourself and pretend that's what I wrote. Help me out and do some work, why don'cha? Sheesh. Do I have to read this crappy comic all by myself?

Am I the only one that reads "Strix" as "Str-nine"? I also read Netflix as "Netfiftynine." I also read the old Jack in the Box logo as "Jack in the Bejesus" because the "o" and the "x" merge and look like a Jesus fish. Did you know that if you write Christmas multiple times along the horizontal and then write it along the vertical making a big grid pattern of the word CHRISTMAS over and over again (like you probably see on wrapping paper and gift bags around the holidays), It says "SHIT" over and over again on the diagonal? People must see that, right?


Anyway, it looks like maybe they might begin discussing things civilly even though the cover shows a different story. That's because the covers get things wrong all of the time. Maybe it's due to scripts changing after covers have already been painted. Or maybe it's just that DC hates their readers and just loves lying to them as often as they can. But the talking never happens because an unexpected guest (no, actually, he was expected) arrives!

Okay. I admit it, Duane. I chuckled at the idiot ex machina line.

Now I don't know why Condor decided he needed to smash into Strix. Perhaps it was an accident? I guess everybody has heard of the Talons at this point and the big, brave man thought he was saving the little women. Whatever the reason, I can't forgive him. Because now I suddenly have to sit through twenty pages of a fight caused by a misunderstanding that simply delays the Turds accepting Strix as their new member.

Obligatory paragraph where I wonder why nobody ever talks about what happened between Poison Ivy and Katana.

Obligatory panel with people falling off of a building.

Holy shit! I think Grunion Guy's "50 Birds of Prey" fanfic is coming true!

It's about this point when I'm distracted by the advert for the second trade paperback for Snyder's Batman. This is the review quote from "Batman has become a showcase for the possibility of the literary and the explosive to be paired as equals." WTF? Fucking bullshit. Reviewers so love the taste of their own cum. How come DC isn't tapping me for review quotes?! I can wank all over myself too, DC! "Batman captures the feelings of a young man's first tour of duty in the jungles of 'Nam when he first encountered the dizzying relationships of Edith Wharton's "Age of Innocence" in the quiet, desperate humidity filled times between the chaotic rush of seconds-filled gunfire that lasted eternities. But even while praying that each muffled bullet he heard fired wouldn't end his short life, he couldn't forget the heartbreaking choice of Newland Archer that was destined to be wrong because he'd always love the fantasy of the woman he didn't choose more than the reality of the woman he married. Yeah. Batman is like that." Was that too long for a review quote? I guess once I start jerking off to my own words, I just can't fucking get enough. I should make a picture of my quote so that everyone can print it and paste it in their comic books over the popmatters' quote. Unless you like their quote better! If you do, you can stop reading right now and never find out what happens to the Turds of Prey!

Still here? Good choice!

Hold on a second! Black Canary wants to interrupt me with an insightful insight!

Says the Turd of Prey that wanted to kick Strix in the tits a few panels ago.

Meanwhile somewhere above Gotham (that's what Duane said in his meanwhile box! Apparently the Birds of Prey were on the tallest building in Gotham for Strix's interview), Starling tells Condor that his masculine bullshit damsel saving tune doesn't fly in a Birds of Prey comic book! It's just a lot of squawking and feather displays! When he drops birdshit like that, he just lays an egg and it makes him look like a cock that's hard to swallow. I think I might be ostriching the bird jokes a bit so I'll shut my flapping beak. Anyway, I should be making turd jokes not bird jokes! I'm so stupid!

Starling pulls off Condor's wings to get even with him for dropping her off the building in Yokohama. Ha ha! He'll be sorry for doing that when they both splatter on the streets of Gotham.

Or on the same roof Starling tackled Condor off of. I guess he flew them about for awhile which is why they were so far above all the other buildings. Pretend you didn't witness me interpret a comic book incorrectly. This'll be our little secret, okay? I'm sure you're the only one reading this stupid commentary anyway. Nobody else cares what's happening in this shitty comic book that I wish were better because it's the Birds of Prey! Come on! I want a well-written Birds of Prey comic book! Maybe DC can put out another one as one of The New 52 and call it, "The Well-Written Birds of Prey!"

Before Starling and Condor fall on Strix's head and piss her off even more, Batgirl gives a description of The Turds of Prey to Strix. She says, "We band together to take on the threats that no one else can." [Trigger warning: Sexist Jokes Ahead] What fucking threats are those? Severe cramping? An all female group of villains called the Harem Syndicate? Skinny jeans that cause saddle bags? Male dominated super hero groups that don't think twice about a roster full of men but always have to ask why the Turds won't put a man on their team? That last one was because everyone who read the Trigger Warning expected Sexist Jokes all aimed at women and then BOOM! I turned it around and called out men for their bullshit! Oh yeah! Touchdown dance! Or whatever you call the dance a woman does after her first menstruation! I never learned the name of that dance because I was never allowed to see the girl's filmstrip in fifth grade.

Everyone decides to play nice since they still have ten pages of comic book left to deliver an actual story. Condor knows where some Basilisk guys are that Black Canary wants to kick in the balls, so she allows him to tentatively join the Birds of Prey as their token male member. But only because he has a bird name!

I said male member.

It's too bad Strix doesn't talk because she can't participate in the zany back and forth dialogue that the other members engage in. I think I liked the ten pages where they weren't talking and they were simply punching each other in the noses.

As they break into the place where the Basilisk guy is demonstrating a device that will cut power to all of Gotham, Black Canary has one of her Kurt Lance Power Surges and blows a fucking hole in the Basilisk hideout. This sets off the power grid sucking bomb, sending Gotham into the dark. And just when the Mother of All Monsters is climbing into the city! The best part about the accident is that Starling is knocked out and finally fucking shuts up.

Turds of Prey #16 Rating: No change. I keep hoping this comic book will suddenly be worth reading but it never is. It's too bad that an all-female team is relegated to making bad all female-team jokes instead of just being a kick ass team. They even give Condor a hard time because he's male trying to worm his way onto their team. They should be giving him a hard time because he's an asshole and not worth having. And I don't know what value Strix is going to be. I guess her undead assassin personality should fit right in with the other block of wood personalities Swierczynski has given the other members of the team. Except for Starling. She's a right pistol, ain't she? Fucking annoying dick.

Batwoman #16

I might be too tired to produce a coherent commentary.

I suspect not a single insurance company offers coverage to residents of Gotham city. Or else they offer such a specific variety of coverages that you'd either go broke covering yourself for everything or it would be like hitting the lottery if it ever paid off. Currently the people who have coverage against Urban Legends and Ancient Mythological Beasts are sitting pretty. I'm sure most people have coverage against insane clowns and psychotic mob bosses, so a lot of people are going to be flat broke and on their asses when their homes are destroyed by the gigantic hydra currently blasting through the streets. I bet the one guy that's covered for Mythological Creatures My Eighth Grade Boyfriend Would Have Known About is trying to lure the fucking thing to his front porch. I bet the payoff would be enormous!

"Yes, yes. I know your husband was covered against Dungeons and Dragons spells but turning to stone from a Medusa's gaze is not the same as a Flesh to Stone spell. I'm sorry but you get nothing."

Wonder Woman steers Batwoman toward saving the children from Medusa because Wonder Woman knows of only three people that could face the Medusa. Wonder Woman knows Gods so I suspect she's not including them in the term "people." She probably means Superman and Green Lantern and herself. If she's not including herself, she might be including Mera in that group. I bet Mera could kick it's ass. I bet Batman could too but Wonder Woman doesn't respect him as much as she should, so she wouldn't be including him. But I don't know if Batwoman is even capable of defeating Medusa! She's way too low level for that encounter.

Medusa's plan is to spill enough blood on the City of Lunatics' shoreline to summon forth her mother, Ceto. This could be the tipping point for a severe pilgrimage of citizens out of Gotham. "Lunatics and thugs, I can take! But fucking Medusa and the Hydra and the Mother of all Monsters? Fuck this. I hear Central City only has to deal with talking gorillas and some jerk with boomerangs. I'll take my fucking chances there!"

Don't forget Cameron Chase is in the middle of this mess too!

Mr. Bones has also joined the party! He confronts Medusa wearing some kind of biometric goggles or something so that he doesn't turn to stone. Even if he did turn to stone, who could tell since his flesh is invisible?! I guess the fact that he'd stop moving might be a clue. But The Hook knocks Bones out before he can do more than wag his jaw. But Cameron steps in to save Bones although she's only a slight distraction. The Hook knocks her gun away and does some of the best threatening I've seen yet in a New 52 comic book.

Seriously. This is on par with The Joker taunting Robin in Batman & Robin #15.

That "Hey Freak-Show" speech bubble over there? That leads up to maybe the finest moment I've had reading the New 52 so far (how can I say that immediately on the heels of saying "best threatening I've seen in a New 52 comic book?" My tongue is so far up this comic book's ass I can tell it's prostate is a beautiful jewel). There's so much going on in this comic book right now that I really didn't expect this moment. I literally figuratively stood up and cheered. I also might have teared up a little bit but that was probably a metaphorical weeping with simulated snot running out of my nose and pretend hitchings of breath.

Flamebird is back! And she's scared as hell and not going to take it anymore!

Flamebird says, "You don't know how badly I need this..." and then thinks, "So scared, I forget my next line." That's just classic. Beautifully written because it says so much in just those two lines. She's thought about this rematch so much that she has a prepared speech for The Hook yet when it all goes down, she forgets her script. It says a lot about the quality of a writer when I suddenly like Flamebird better than every Teen Titan, better than Catwoman and Green Arrow, better than Hawkman and Starfire and Jason Todd. Flamebird!

Abbot and his gang of monsters join with Batwoman to destroy Medusa's gang of monsters. Boy, Ceto is not going to be happy about the sudden rise in monster-on-monster crime. I wonder when monsters act badly, do their mothers put them on time out or just rip their guts out?

Getting back to Wonder Woman as she battles the Hydra, she decides to name the other two heroes she believes could face it.

Let's see, while reading The New 52, I've correctly speculated too many things to count and incorrectly speculated a negligible amount (probably closer to zero than one).

Wonder Woman realizes she doesn't need a heat source to stop the Hydra's heads from regenerating. She just cuts the heads off so quickly that her blade superheats and melts the Hydra's scales forming a barrier to protect against sprouting heads. She also drops an elbow or two on the monster just for good measure. Batwoman fights her way through the monsters to find Maro and La Llorona and Medusa. She must have been watching how Wonder Woman wins half of her battles by pretending to be nice and gets La Llorona to switch sides when she points out she's a crazy child-killing bitch. Maybe she's more diplomatic than that. Anyway, it doesn't matter because Medusa has spilled enough child-blood to summon her mother.

The Mother of All Monsters is in 3-D! Sheesh. 3-D just looks like a dirty emoticon now.

Batwoman #16 Rating: +2 Ranking. I don't know how Batwoman isn't outselling every other New 52 comic book out there. It appeals to a wide variety of readers, it has the most fleshed out characters in The New 52, and it's consistently filled with terrific writing and fucking amazing art. The only reason for it not outselling everything else is that it scares away the vast majority of the young male audience because it features a lesbian as the main character. Okay, maybe there are other reasons but I prefer to live my life on the edge of hyperbole! Also, I wanted to blame young male readers for something! I'm sure they're all up to no good! The well-written story probably gets in the way of their adolescent male lesbian fantasies. And since the internet has plenty of material to satisfy those, Batwoman loses out.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Legion of Super-heroes #16

Am I the only one that thinks a blowjob chain was just interrupted here?

Why do I always have to be so critical of the comic books when I read them? I'm talking about the non-Scott Lobdell, non-Tom Defalco, non-Ann Nocenti comic books. I know why I'm critical of comics written by those word molesters. Mostly I'm just going for the laugh. I almost typed "cheap laugh" but my jokes are worth every fucking penny I imagine people would be willing to spend on them if I actually were charging people to read them. But I'm not a real critic anyway. I don't mean "not real" in the sense that I don't get paid to do it or "not real" in the sense that vampires aren't real. My criticisms are mostly just wild exaggerations and extraordinary twists of logic spit out by a raving lunatic. That last part is most probably why people seem to enjoy reading them. But what I was really wondering is why do we, as a society, feel compelled to criticize to appear intelligent? I think it's harder to sound smart when praising something because you have to work harder to lift the other person up along with yourself. It's easier to look smart when you've battered the critiqued thing beneath your mighty barrage of insults so it lays smashed and broken beneath your now seemingly towering intellect.

Or maybe it's just fun to tear shit down. Have you ever thrown a rock through a window? That's pretty fucking satisfying on a simply visceral level.

As long as people find valid reasons for showing why something sucks, I'm all for it. But I think people don't realize how much more satisfying it is to read or see something you initially feel you don't like and to figure out what the auteur may have been doing and why instead of tossing out an easy, "That was shit." Here are some of the laziest criticisms that people use to sound smart that I can't fucking abide because they say absolutely nothing: "I didn't like that movie because it was far too different from the book."; "That was offensive."; "That sucked because so-and-so has never made a good movie/written a good book/satisfied me sexually."; "Your point is invalid because TYPO!"; "The New 52 sucks because it's different."; "Why the fuck did I buy this issue? And just when I thought I was beginning to like this comic book. Blech!"

I shouldn't even be bringing this stuff up just before I tear into Legion of Super-heroes, eviscerating it for the sheer pleasure of evisceration. Now every time you read "This is stupid!" in this commentary, you're going to roll your eyes and think, "What a fucking hypocrite!" Although what you should really do is type a comment in that Commentary box at the end and say, "Eee! Tess Ate Chai Tea? You're an asshole!" That would be more acceptable than never knowing someone thought I was an asshole. Maybe I'm just stalling because I don't want to read Legion of Super-heroes because it's so fucking stupid. Did you read Issue #15? All they did was punch dinosaurs in future Barcelona! I think Paul Levitz was too busy that month to hand in a real script so they entered "Legion of Super-heroes" into DC's 1954 Comic Book Writer Simulacrum Program (a HAL-like machine created to write Comic Book Code acceptable comic books) and it spit out a bunch of punch cards with an acceptable Legion script. For some reason, the CBWSP always shoves dinosaurs into the plot, probably because it wasn't allowed to write about sympathetic criminals or sordid activity or unpleasant activity or corrupt judges or corrupt police or corrupt government officials or criminals that never get punished or brutal torture or excessive gunplay or physical agony or gory scenes or gruesome crime or scary shit or lots of blood or depravity or lust or sadism or blowjobs or vampires or ghouls or werewolves or cannibals or zombies or normal torture or profanity or obscenity or werewolves giving blowjobs or smut or vulgarity or secret symbols that may or may not corrupt a child's sense of propriety or large boobs or curvy asses or illicit sex or abnormal sex or cannibals receiving blowjobs or wild sex or any sex at all, come to think of it, or seduction or rape (which Republicans think of as sex so that's been covered already anyway). So all that was left was dinosaurs!

Hopefully Paul Levitz wrote this issue and it will be better.

This issue starts off with Ultra Boy and Phantom Girl and even though I knew it was coming, it made me fucking laugh. Phantom Girl's real name: Tinya Wazzo. Is there a mental disorder where you remain at the same mental state as when you were eight years old? Arrested development? Is that the one? That's the nurture part. But I also live in Portland, Oregon where "young people go to retire" and where the height of entertainment is changing the STOP signs into POOP signs. That's the nature part! Tinya and Jo are discussing the coming election of the new Legion of Super-heroes leader that none of them get to vote for. I guess you're supposed to believe that every member of the Legion gets a vote but really the readers are voting. I hope they all vote for Chlorophyll Kid or Comet Queen.

Dream Girl's power should be "precognition" (with the quotes) because half the time it's just a dream and half the time it's a glimpse of the future. Legion must spend a lot of wasted time on unnecessary dental work when Dream Girl has dreams of members losing their teeth.

I had a vaguely disturbing dream the other night. A group of teenaged Japanese girls were found murdered and strapped into the side of a van dropped inside a pond at a minigolf place. The girls were strapped to the walls of the van in an alternating pattern with the first girl right side up then the next one strapped in upside down and so on. I dreamt the Fark headline was AVAVAVAVAVB+. I don't know what the B+ stood for because I couldn't bring myself to examine the photos of the poor girls. Apparently I was at some kind of wedding for someone from my high school class because I recognized a lot of people from Santa Clara High and they were all practicing for the wedding by singing the Flintstone's theme song. Fuck, I hope that was just a dream and not a glimpse of the future because I just couldn't stand to go to a wedding from someone in my high school class. Oh, and the poor Japanese girls.

Everyone is talking about the upcoming election! It's so exciting! Some people want some other people to win and some other people want some other other people to win! The drama! So much of it!

I'm pretty sure looking suspiciously at somebody through the haze made by a cup of hot tea is against the Comic Code Authority.

Meanwhile Chameleon Boy and Shrinking Violet are checking to make sure Validus of the Fatal Five is still nicely locked up in his Inertron Cube (see cover!). They shrink to microscopic size and slip inside to see if he's nice and cozy.

He seems okay. Now how about getting back to that election?!

Except Validus isn't okay because that's not Validus! It's just an illusion that has been fooling everybody in Legion up until now. It's a good thing Chameleon Boy wanted to investigate Validus up close after they found all those clues that the Fatal Five are reuniting. I still don't know anything about Validus and the Fatal Five. So let me read up on them in the Who's Who!

Validus is apparently the child of Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl who was stolen at the in-. Stupid Who's Who entry is missing a line! That's how it ends and then it picks up with Darkseid on the next line after that! I don't know what the "in" is beginning but I assume that Darkseid was behind Validus being kidnapped. It goes on to say that Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl didn't even know of his existence! So that missing line is really important! And then he was sent back in time over a decade? And he was a perpetual infant? Sounds like he was a very dangerous monster with the mind of a baby but Tharok (the other Fatal Five guy Legion has been worried about) was able to control him. I have no idea how much of that stuff still holds true since this is The New 52 and not the months immediately following Crisis on Infinite Earths!

So the Fatal Five is about ready to start causing trouble but first the Legion of Super-heroes Election is finally over! Everyone has voted and the winner is:

Tiny Wazoo! Yippee!

Legion of Super-heroes #16 Rating: +1 Rating. I don't know what Paul Levitz handed in last time but it was one of the most uninteresting scripts I've read so far in The New 52. This issue was much better. With the Legion, it feels like the pacing has to be exactly right. It needs some action to move the various plots forward. It needs some casual time for a few members to talk about personal crap. It needs some set-up for future plots. And it needs some relationship drama. This one had a little bit of all of those things balanced well. Even though I didn't mention Mon El's sexual harassment of Shadow Lass. I'm pretty sure running your unwanted, pervy fingers through someone's hair is against Legion of Super-heroes Policy on Unwanted Advances Made by Male Members of Legion. There is no policy on unwanted advances made by female members because when is an advance by a female ever unwanted by a male? Especially when everyone in the league is young and attractive. Actually, there might be an addendum dealing with Infectious Lass touching anybody over in the Substitute Legion. Although I'd risk it! She is one sexy spirochete-laden disease factory!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Red Hood and the Outlaws #16

When did Starfire's cup size change?

Last issue I was slightly upset with Scott Lobdell's writing. I guess I'm just not used to the meta-fiction he writes. I prefer my stories to "make sense" and have a "narrative structure" with a "coherent plot" and "motivated characters." Instead I just get haphazard dialogue and inconsistent Narration Boxes shoved into a story that changes from page to page and lacks even a tenuous connection to logic. I think you have to be either very much smarter than me or very much dumber than me to enjoy his writing. And if you're very much smarter than me, what the fuck are you doing wasting your time reading Scott Lobdell comic books? You should be curing medical conditions that someone with my limited intelligence can't even spell. Actually, I might be able to spell them if I knew any actual medical conditions. Pemphagus. Nope. Can't spell them since it's apparently Pemphigus. But I don't feel so bad since Spell Check doesn't know how to spell it either! Ha ha! You're stupid, Spell Check!

Jason Todd was captured by The Joker last issue except The Joker ended up with Red Hood. It makes sense if you squint your brain just right. Jason's date, Isabel, died from a forced overdose by The Joker (just like The Joker did to Todd's mom!) which was probably a good thing because she knew Red Hood's identity and the whole issue in Death of the Family is the danger of random people knowing their identities. That was a close call, Lobdell! The next gigantic crossover could have dealt with Isabel realizing that Bruce Wayne was Batman and blabbing it all over Pinterest. Anyway, Jason Todd believed The Joker knew his identity because he was able to find him at Isabel's house. But then The Joker revealed that he knew more about Jason Todd's life than he should have known and Red Hood began to doubt The Joker knew anything at all. Again, you kind of have to tilt your brain a little to the right and squeeze your right hemisphere shut a bit until you feel like you're about to pass out, and then blink rapidly and shake your head three times and you should see how it makes sense.

So by the end of Red Hood #15, Red Hood and Red Robin were stuck in a pit with The Joker laughing at them while Starfire and Roy Harper were playing Big Brother and Big Sister to the newer Teen Titans. And that's probably where this comic book should begin but I'm not holding my breath. Unless that would help the story make sense?

Wait a second. This is how Superboy always begins! Is Tom DeFalco writing this? I knew he and Scott Lobdell were the same person!

So Roy Harper (Speedy when the mask is on) judges books by their dirty clothing and scraggly beards, does he? Why would he just assume these Jokers are homeless people and not just thugs? Is it because they're missing teeth? Because that could be from poor dental hygiene or Batman. I would have never thought they were homeless. I live in Portland and these Jokers are dressed way too shabbily to be any homeless person I've ever seen. Although they do look like the regulars at my local $1 Pint PBR dive bar.

Occasionally something Scott Lobdell writes makes me laugh. Now, I don't know how many other people might think the next panel I'm going to scan is funny. But I enjoyed the first three speech bubbles seeing as how I can't stop thinking of Roy Harper as anything but Speedy.

He kind of loses me in the next panel when Wonder Girl says, "Belay that order."

The beginning of this fight is a four panel double page spread. The last three panels are all dialogue while the first panel has a bunch of Roy Harper's horrible Narration Boxes. Why hasn't anybody told Scott Lobdell that his shit works better when he isn't over-explaining everything in a snarky Lobdell-version-of-a-teenaged voice? I think all of Lobdell and DeFalco's comic scripts would be better without the Narration Boxes. I wonder if I can get my comic book store owner to black out all of the Narration Boxes on Superboy and Teen Titans and Red Hood?

Ahh! Much better! You can still follow the story and you don't ever need to know what fucking Roy Harper was thinking about. Especially in that last panel. Ugh.

After Wonder Girl and Kid Flash lock the homeless Jokers in the abandoned building with absolutely no other ways out at all, Roy Harper begins his next speech with "Guys, no one says we have to like each other." How come it always comes down to that? Especially in Lobdell and DeFalco's books? Nobody ever appreciates help from someone else. Is this the way it is in their world? I bet Grant Morrison once tried offering Lobdell tips on how to write and he just shot back, "I don't need career counseling from a guy with an accent!" and "I was doing fine before you got here!" And then maybe DeFalco was all, "If I might, Awesome Lobdell? Anyone that has lived this long doing drugs and fucking with magic must have something going on." And Grant Morrison was all, "Fuck yeah, yeh fecking cunt!"

The previous parts of Scott Lobdell, Grant Morrison, and Tom DeFalco as played by The Teen Titans and The Outlaws.

Oh! I got sidetracked with that fake Lobdell and Morrison conversation which I stole from Lobdell's text. I was going to scan in this next picture but now I had to write these couple of lines so that I didn't have two pictures scanned in one right on top of the other. Anyway, the Teen Titans agree to follow Speedy's lead and ask him what the plan is.

Which causes Starfire to masturbate her face. Judging by her exclamation of "Mother of X'hal," she finishes quicker than I do.

Roy actually does have a plan because he took a stool sample from one of the homeless people and quickly analyzed it. What he learned was that they could counteract the Joker Toxin if they hurried and that poo tastes really, really bad. Roy and Bunker remain behind to keep the Joker Bums corralled while the rest of the gang head off to make the cure. While they're gone, Roy Harper enjoys remembering a memory that was taken from him by that little kid S'aru back in Red Hood and the Outlaws #3. I guess maybe the little kid just took the beginning of the memory when Roy tried to get Killer Croc to kill him and Croc realized Roy was trying to commit suicide by Killer Croc and refused to participate. That part of the memory was taken from Roy. So now Roy remembers being severely injured for some unknown reason and hanging out with Killer Croc for some reason. And instead of being mean and nasty, Killer Croc was giving Roy Toyman's old lab on one condition:

Actually, you were. I mean, you always looked monster-like. It could be the fact that you were bullied due to your skin condition that you became a metaphorical monster.

While the others are flying off to get the cure, Starfire and Solstice have a typical Lobdell moment where he sets up a future plot by setting up nothing. Lobdell (and DeFalco but that's redundant because they're obviously the same guy) loves to set up mysteries by having a single panel where somebody says, "I have a gigantic secret!" and that's it. Or, "Should I tell the others before the world is destroyed?!" And that's it. Or, "I hope nobody ever finds out about that thing I did that one time when that other thing was going on and everyone was doing that third thing!" And that's it.

And that's it. My guess: they were lovers. But isn't that always my guess? How does The Joker know Batman's secret identity? They were lovers. How did Supergirl recognize Krypto? They were lovers. How come Dick Grayson never mentions Starfire? They were lovers. See? Sometimes it works!

When the Titans and the Outlaws get to the cure, they find The Joker has already anticipated that they'd figure it out and try to get it. That makes sense since he'd already figured out that the Teen Titans would contact Batgirl and that Batgirl would send them to a specific location and that Kid Flash would run around that location and spread the Joker Toxin which turned the bums into Jokers and then The Joker anticipated that Speedy and Starfire would arrive and that Speedy would figure out the cure to the toxin and where it would be located and that they would go to get it and arrive within two seconds of the bomb he left to go off! Which also means The Joker already knew Kid Flash was there so he knew Kid Flash would rescue the cure and his friends and then they'd be able to save the homeless people. So The Joker didn't want to hurt Gotham City's homeless! He actually has a soft spot for somebody! That's the closest thing to a logical conclusion you'll get in this commentary.

Meanwhile in St. Louis, Hugo Strange is signing his book, What's so Strange About Being Happy?. I guess that's Lobdell's teaser for the next Red Hood story line. But don't think that when he wrote this page he had any idea where the story was going! He likes to be surprised by himself. It's boring to plot out stories. Why would you keep writing the end of a story if you already knew how the story ended? Duh!

Remember how I concluded that The Joker loves the homeless? Well the cure was already packaged in syringes and ready for Kid Flash to inject them into all of the victims (as long as Arsenal didn't shove them all into his veins first). Wonder Girl makes sure Kid Flash gets the job done and Speedy is impressed.

Why Lobdell? Why must all of your characters be such fucking huge cocks?

Oh! Oh! I can answer that last question! It's because Scott Lobdell only knows how to write one character! I bet you thought I was going to make a Scott Lobdell loves huge cocks joke, didn't you? But that's not much of a joke. Everybody loves huge cocks! And speaking of huge cocks, here's one more before the end of the issue:

No. Stop it, Deathstroke. How many Blue Moons are there each year? You've done like fifty free missions already! I have lost so much fucking respect for you.

Red Hood and the Outlaws #16 Rating: +1 Ranking. This issue didn't have much to do with Death of the Family, and that's okay. It was actually readable and I enjoyed most of it after I got done criticizing every fucking aspect of it. Like the characters that just have to be dicks to each other when they meet. And The Joker's improbable way of knowing every move the good guys are going to make. And the awful Narration Boxes that just detract from the comic and pull the reader out of the action. The good points? I like how Arsenal is feeling like a Big Brother to these Titans (even if they are being jerks). And a lot of the dialogue was actually well done (again, minus the rude and snarky bullshit). Take away Lobdell's lazy writing habits and this becomes a comic book that might actually go somewhere and be interesting. Plus it looks like one of the subplots is a Solstice/Starfire sexual relationship. I think that calls for it's own maxiseries.

Monday, January 28, 2013

In Which I Compile The New 52 Continuity Errors

In order to finally edit my commentaries on Blogspot, I'm rereading them all from the beginning. While doing this, I may notice some places where DC fucked up. I'll update this list as I find them.

#1. Justice League #2: Green Lantern mentions to The Flash that the first time they were seen in public, they saved Central City from a talking gorilla. Now there are multiple talking gorillas in DC, so this Continuity Error can be explained away easily enough. But since everyone knows Green Lantern was talking about Grodd, this couldn't have happened since The Flash doesn't first encounter Grodd for another five years. Unless, due to The Flash's speed power being connected to time and not velocity, Grodd gets sent back in time at the end of the current Flash storyline! Now that would actually end up being a pretty awesome save.

Wonder Woman #16

This is pretty disgusting. Although not quite as disgusting as when Superman was defeated by rotting teeth in Justice League Dark.

Last issue, Wesley Willis became an important member of Wonder Woman's cast. The character Milan, Wonder Woman's half-brother, is based on the too soon gone schizophrenic singer. Milan has the power of sight which he doesn't like to use because the power of sight is actually schizophrenia. But Orion and Wonder Woman both need him to use this power. Wonder Woman needs to find another half-sibling and Orion probably needs to find Darkseid's daughter (or somebody else that threatens to end the universe in some way that had to do with Mother Box or the Anti-life equation or some other piece of New Gods Mythos that I forgot).

But that's just the current shit going on. Also currently happening: Zeus has disappeared; Zola's child by Zeus (which may or may not be Zeus himself!) has been kidnapped by Hermes and Demeter; The First Born has dug his way out of his prison in Antarctica to kill Zeus and take the throne of Olympus; Apollo has just taken the throne so he's fucked; Hades has learned to love himself thanks to Eros's bullets and a mirror; and Hera has become Mortal and is sharing an apartment in New York with Zola and Wonder Woman. I think that about does it for the recap.

The action continues in the subway tunnels of New York as Lennox, Orion, Milan, and Wonder Woman try to straighten out some family business. Things were beginning to look like a gigantic brawl until Milan vomited flies onto everybody. That stopped them in their tracks on the tracks. Meanwhile above ground, Hera and Zola were getting to know each other over drinks.

They're joined by Ares. Who let him in the bar with bloody bare feet? Fucking Gods think they own the place.

I was never a fan of gin simply because it tasted strange. While a lot of hard liquor simply tastes like liquor (or gasoline), Gin actually tastes medicinal to me. Perhaps it's the Juniper Berry flavor. Or simply that it reminds me how I can never breathe in hot weather if I'm anywhere near a Juniper. Or maybe it stems from a long-forgotten past life where I was an apothecary concocting panaceas for the nobles and accidentally ended a notable family line by giving them alcohol poisoning with one of my triple gin and hard grain alcohol recipes. That last one seems the most probable.

Down in the subway, Milan sucks back down his flies once everyone promises to stop fighting. Now maybe Orion will explain why he's causing trouble.

Orion fighting a baby might be the only thing that could top Midnighter battling Dex-Starr.

That was easy enough! Tied those two plot lines together nice and painlessly, he did! I don't think Wonder Woman knows anything about Orion. But Milan obviously knows him. What would Wonder Woman think if she knew this was the son of Darkseid? I don't believe she'd think anything. I bet she'd just start swinging her swords again.

Once things calm down, Wonder Woman is able to use her greatest power on Milan: her compassion. She convinces him that his power is needed to keep Zola's baby from being taught to be bad. She's kind to him and understanding. So he uses his power to see everything to help her out. That's a nice description of shizophrenia. The ability to see everything all at once.

Milan sees the baby with the Bird Man and the Tree Lady. Wonder Woman realizes Hermes has taken the baby to Demeter but she doesn't know where to find Demeter. But Lennox reminds her they have Hera who can help with that. Milan mentions one more thing.

Who cares? Who's he going to tell?

Back at the bar while Ares and Hera discuss which of Hera's children she unloves the most, Zola wanders off to the bathroom to meet yet another God or Demi-God. He's got red hair and red eyes and sharp teeth and I don't know if he's appeared before or not because my memory isn't photogenic. Or photographic either. She then enters the bathroom to vomit after this new God explains the atrocities that Ares is capable of. It's in the bathroom that Strife reappears to cause more trouble. Because there isn't enough shit going down already.

Wonder Woman #16 Rating: No change. For people that don't care for reading comic books in monthly installments, I highly recommend picking up Wonder Woman in trade paperback form. Everything about it is fun but the dialogue makes the book. And it probably reads really well in one extended sitting. At least you'll have no problem recognizing all of the different characters when they reappear. This is one of those comic books that if you aren't reading, you shouldn't be reading my spoilery commentary. You should actually be reading the comic book! Besides, I end up doing a lot more reading and gazing at Cliff Chiang's fantastic art than I do writing jokes about the book. It's just too interesting to keep interrupting myself.

Catwoman #16

Is this how Catwoman ends up on Justice League America? To payback Steve Trevor for all the shit she damaged in the Black Room?

Catwoman was eclipsed last issue in one of the worst, convoluted, sphincter widening comics I've had the pleasure to read. Although it did introduce the Black Arm of Dan Donnelly! It's kind of like a parrot except it's a mummified arm of a boxer. I guess that doesn't sound anything like a parrot. But since it was somehow saying, "Yeah! Yeah! Rope a dope, bitch! Rope. The Fucking. Dope!" last issue after Catwoman gave an oral report on what a rope-a-dope is, it seemed like a parrot to me. I really hope it becomes Catwoman's sidekick. Or at least her sex toy.

Let's get on with the action and see if we can't make sense of any of it, shall we?

Someone named Rafa forgot that Catwoman currently has pointy Eclipso ears!

That Black Diamond is much smaller than it's supposed to be. But that could be because it's shedding tiny Black Diamonds all over the the floor. Perhaps that's the way Eclipso works. I seem to remember the 90s Eclipso company wide crossover having shards of Black Diamond all over the place infecting all the major heroes or their supporting cast. And I don't know why Darwin is so frantic and outraged. He let her into this room through the unguarded door that apparently leads from the Cryptography Department to the super secret secure warehouse full of mystical and dangerous goodies.

Now that Catwoman has defeated the normal guards, who will attack her next? Dr. Mist? Dr. Peril? Dr. Fate? Dr. Thirteen? Dr. Occult (wait? Was that the guy killed in The House of Secrets over in JLD?)? Dr. Alchemy? Some magic person that doesn't have a higher education? Perhaps Bachelor Fate? Or Master Mist?

Until the next wave of ARGUS defenders make themselves known, Darwin tries to talk some sense into Catwoman as The Black Arm of Dan Donnelly battles a demon in the background.

Her pointy ears are back!

I'm glad Ann Nocenti got the Dudwin/Darwin exchange in again. I didn't get enough of that last issue.

So Dudwin continues to try to explain to Catwoman why she's acting crazy and why she should stop acting crazy. Perhaps if his argument were logical enough, I might believe he could convince a crazy person to not be crazy anymore. But his argument is crazy stupid. His argument boils down to Catwoman should not act crazy because one scary gem plus one liquid map plus one person that hired Catwoman equals "apocalyptic multiverse time-continuum-destroying damage." Yeah, I can see that. But a crazy person isn't going to see that! Geez, Dudwin. Get a degree in something other than Cartography if you want to be useful.

The debate ends during a close-up shot of Catwoman's ass being kissed by the liquid map. Oh, you want to see that? Fine.

I can't think of a single reason a liquid map would want to kiss that ass with its tongue multiple times and across every square inch. Not one reason.

Catwoman's claws come out once she's touched inappropriately by a normally inanimate and not at all fluid object. She begins threatening all of the weird shit in the room while Darwin tells her about the demon. His name is Escalate and he apparently escalates whatever is currently happening. So she needs to stop fighting with the demon and begin making out friends with it. Although the Black Arm of Dan Donnelly can only punch and parrot shit, so escalating that is going to get seriously annoying.

Here's a peak into Darwin's mind in case you thought I was being unfair when I sort of hinted that he was stupid and useless.

Complete and utter chaos is exploding around Darwin and he's concerned that his name is being made fun of.

Once Darwin thinks that, I just stop reading everything he has to say. I just make up his end of the conversation on my own. I should also just make up everything Catwoman says as well. And maybe get a black marker to just fill in the Narration Boxes. Because Darwin continues to point out that Catwoman is crazy and Catwoman continues to act crazy because she's possessed by the Black Diamond. In between discussing their situation, Catwoman fights with the Escalator.

Oh! Oh! I know how Catwoman can defeat the Escalator! She just has to flash her boobies! Because when does an Escalator stop moving? When it Stairs! Ha ha ha! I should collect all of the jokes I've made up during these commentaries and put them together in a very, very, very short book.

Catwoman doesn't use my tactic because she's crazy. Otherwise she totally would have gotten naked to defeat the demon. Instead, The Black Arm of Dan Donnelly remembers that he always fought for the underdog and decides the cat is the dog in this fight. It punches the Escalator and Catwoman whips the Escalator and the Escalator finally returns to the pages of the Devil's Codex.

All that's left is a way out!

Here's a thought: exit through the secret trapdoor that leads to the Map Room!

They break through the wall in the tank without a word from General Stuart. Catwoman, back in her frumpy scientist disguise, collapses and is placed in an ambulance. The page of the Devil's Codex with her new worst demon enemy also manages to escape disguised as a piece of toilet paper stuck to her shoe. She then ditches the ambulance as Catwoman and heads back to dump the Black Diamond off with Trip. Trip then takes it to the home of "Bruce Gordon" who pays for its retrieval. The man in the home of "Bruce Gordon" goes by the name Alex Montez. Bruce Gordon was the original host of Eclipso who later learned Eclipso was just distracting him because Bruce Gordon was the preeminent solar scientist on Earth and, apparently, Eclipso's most dangerous foe. Apparently Bruce Gordon is now simply an alias of Alex's since his name appears in quotes. Alex Montez is the Arkham scientist that was trying to perfect the Mr. Hyde Serum in Team 7 #2. And now he's got the Black Diamond again! And he's going to get vengeance on someone!

Finally, Trip tells Catwoman he has secrets and he supposes she has secrets so maybe they should get together sometime and tell each other their secrets? Catwoman says, "Sure. But not right now. I have cramps." And that's the end of the Eclipso crossover!

Catwoman #16 Rating: -2 Ranking. It was so awful I think I was Eclipso'd!

Wait. That's not right. Whatever. It sucked!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Warren Ellis Eats Babies

"Life is Short Part Three: Dance to the Music." Shade the Changing Man #57 by Peter Millgan, Mark Buckingham, and Rick Bryant.

Supergirl #16

And H'el is Bizarro again. Maybe the covers shouldn't be finished so far in advance of the rest of the comic book.

Supergirl has major Kryptonian lady wood for H'el and has decided to join forces with him to return Krypton to its unexploded former glory. I hope H'el realizes that once they go back in time before Krypton was rubble, he's still going to have to stop it from exploding by destroying the End of the World Cult that blows it up. Unless it's the clones fucking with the weather systems that causes it to blow. Or maybe one of Jor-El's secret experiments is the cause. No, you know what I bet the cause of Krypton blowing up was? It was H'el traveling back in time! The energy he uses to fuel his time machine will probably go back with him only to explode deep within the center of the planet Krypton. So before that happens, let's hope Flash can talk Supergirl out of going back in time and killing herself as well.

Except according to Superman #0, Superman ends up back in time hanging around stalking his parents! I hope that part is just completely forgotten about so that years later everyone can go, "What the fuck was Lobdell on about? Superman on Krypton? When the fuck is that going to happen?"

This issue of Supergirl begins with H'el's story as told by Oracle's Horn Blower.

Okay. I guess the scar healed quickly over time. And it looks like he made the mark himself to alert whoever found him that he needed to see Superman. But since he made the mark while looking in the mirror, it came out backwards. And he was too loopy from space madness to realize it.

It's at this point in the story where Oracle's Horn Blower finds the body and blows the horn. This actually occurred back in Superman #1. It was a single page of the fishy guy blowing the horn and saying his task has finally been done and now he just has to be heard. And then an editor's note says to read Stormwatch to find out more about this. But Stormwatch simply recovered the horn and put it on the Eye of the Storm. Nothing ever came of it. Until Scott Lobdell decided it was to be used to summon an omniscient creature named Oracle. Although I still don't know why an omniscient creature would need to be summoned.

But that can wait until Scott Lobdell's Superman because it's just too silly to take place in Supergirl. This is a serious fucking comic book, not one of those Silver Age throwbacks written to children and social deviants. So instead of revealing more about Oracle's Horn Blower, this comic will be focusing on The Flash trying to remove Supergirl from H'el's influence.

Hey Flash. She probably can't understand you when you speak while running at super speed.

The Flash slows down long enough to drop some truth bombs on Kara which she obviously doesn't want to hear.

Flash: "H'el is a bad guy, Kara!"
Supergirl: "Go fuck yourself, Flash! You can't tell me who to date!"
Flash: "He's just using you to destroy the world!"
Supergirl: "You're just jealous!"
Flash: "You're not thinking straight! You've spent too much time being written by Scott Lobdell and Tom DeFalco!"
Supergirl: "Lecture much? I don't have to listen to you! You're not my father!"

Eventually Supergirl just decides to break his skull. It doesn't work because The Flash has weird vibrating powers that Supergirl has felt before.

I feel a FWAAASH! coming on!

The Flash vibrates himself and Supergirl through a wall and into Superman's Zoo of Solitude. This is the third zoo to grace a plot in this month of The New 52! Damian and Fake Batman ran about the Gotham Zoo in Batman and Robin #16. And Grifter had a climactic last battle in a nameless city zoo in Grifter #16. I don't think there will be any polar bears in Superman's zoo though. He just keeps exotic alien species in his Zoo which are probably all against some kind of Earth law. And even if there isn't an Earth law against it, how smart is it to bring a strange creature into a new environment? If it gets out, it's going to wreak havoc on the ecosystem. Superman, you're an irresponsible jerk!

They only spend a couple of pages fighting strange creatures before Flash vibrates them through another wall. The Fortress of Solitude is like its own city! It has dangerous robots and dangerous weapons and dangerous animals and dangerous gadgets. I have a feeling Batman is going to have some strong and disapproving words for Superman when this is all over.

The next room they end up in is only dangerous if you don't have the proper treats.

I wonder if Krypto simply means "dog" in Kryptonian? So Krypton is "The Place of Dogs."

Stupid animals in media. They get me every time! The greeting between Krypto and Supergirl is very sweet seeing as how Supergirl had no idea the big dumb dog survived. While Supergirl is distracted by dog kisses, The Flash zips out to find some secret weapon Superman told him to use as a last resort. It's some weird suit of armor that I've never seen or heard of before. But that's okay because The Flash explains where it came from in the most general terms possible! It was created by an "evil genius" Superman fought "off-planet" a "couple years back." Superman has had so many adventures in five years (possibly a few more) that the Fortress is stuffed full of crazy trophies.

I'm still curious about Superman's ability to fly. He couldn't fly at the beginning of Action Comics. Is it because he just hadn't absorbed enough sunlight yet? Supergirl has no problem flying. Or is it because of their special graduation suits they wear? Or does Superman have a Legion Flight Ring shoved up his colon?

The Flash doesn't save Kara because H'el comes along to do one of those fight ending things he does with no explanation as to how he does it. He teleports Flash to the Justice League Satellite. And since teleportation has never been a Kryptonian power, who is this fucker?

The Supergirl part of the story ends with Supergirl and H'el making kissy faces at each other. And then in space on the way to Earth, an all-powerful impossibility awakens!

Being omniscient sucks. This poor bastard Oracle has to travel all the way to Earth knowing the whole time that he's not going to accomplish whatever horrible thing he's supposed to accomplish. But he can't not go because he knows he goes so he has to go even though he knows he's going to fail. Omniscience is a fucking curse.

Supergirl #16 Rating: No change. I think I find the Supergirl parts of this crossover the best parts because I have a huge bias against Scott Lobdell and Tom DeFalco. It didn't start out as an irrational bias but it might have gotten a bit out of control by this point. It started out because they sucked at writing and because they didn't know that the arctic and Antarctica are two different places. But now I just see their names on the cover of a comic book and my brain explodes.

Ugh. According to the advert in this issue, the H'el on Earth crossover still has four more issues to go.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

New Guardians #16

Time to see Kyle get his brains fucked out by the Star Sapphire version of Kilowog.

According to the first page of New Guardians, Kyle Rayner's ability to show love is severely retarded. It's a queer thing, seeing as how he grasped the other emotions so quickly. I just assumed everyone would have a gay old time while Kyle learned about loving and caring for others. But I was fucking wrong about that shit because his cunt of an old man ditched his ass when he was just six years old. So, you know, he kind of began burying his feelings or something.

Since tapping into his early years when his father left didn't pan out, the Star Sapphires try another moment when he should have been able to express his feelings.

G'nort! Arisia! Tomar-Re! The crystal guy, umm, Chaselon! Kilowog! Salaak! B'dg (or Ch'p. But it looks more squirrely than badgery). And the other lesser known human Green Lanterns!

I'm glad G'nort has been acknowledged as existing (or having existed since this is a flashback) in The New 52. That was all I really needed to know. The other character I can't wait to see is Ambush Bug since he obviously exists in The New 52 whether DC wants him to or not. A change in continuity can't hold him back!

As the narrative finds its way out of Kyle's memories and back to Zamaron (which has now found its way back to Sector 1416 where it belongs), we learn that Sapphire 3 (the female Kilowog) does not have enough time to get past first base and really teach Kyle about love because Ganthet is coming to kill Kyle Raynor. DC has really gone crazy on the "shoot your own dog" motif this month. I probably should have been keeping a list detailing every moment when someone needed to end the life or put a stop to someone they were responsible for. I think it's all leading up to Batman shooting his insane clown dog in the creek with the rest of the Bat-family hot on their trail looking for blood.

And then the meeting that will eventually teach Kyle how to love begins.

In the next panel, Ganthet "FWASHES" Kyle. Some of you now what that means. I just thought it was too awkward to scan because who wants to see the man you think of as your father's vagina?

Kyle and Ganthet battle to a stalemate until the Star Sapphires arrive to help him. It's at this point that Kyle begins to show that he loves Ganthet although he's still very hesitant couching it in terms like "Don't kill him!" and "I'd promise Sayd I'd save him!" Come on, Kyle! You'll never save him while you continue to hide behind ulterior motives for not wanting to destroy him. You want him to live because you WUV HIM!

Just as Kyle and the Star Sapphires have Ganthet on the ropes, his army of Borg Lanterns appears looking to destroy love since love often leads to masturbation when one partner is simply too tired or ejaculates early and falls asleep on top of you. And the Guardians of the Universe simply can't have any of that going on in their Universe. But the Star Sapphires are hyper-focused on taking out Ganthet and they just kind of ignore the Borg Lanterns.

And then Ganthet FWASHES Kyle one more time, nearly killing him. That's totally understandable.

And just like a scene from Halloween some after school special, as Kyle lies there mortally wounded by the man he considered his father, he learns the greatest lesson of all! Love stinks. I mean, love is forgiveness. Kyle forgives his dad and forgives himself and forgives Ganthet too. But Kyle should also realize that this means rage is forgiveness too, right? Maybe rage is the not forgetting part! Anyway, it's not really important what love is. Is it really forgiveness or is it actually manipulation? Not even the greatest philosophers or that tootsie pop owl can answer that question! Anyway, learning his lesson, Kyle becomes the first man in the universe to wield love effectively and thus transform into The Rainbow Lantern!

His new name should be RAF W. HCL!

Now when Kyle uses his power, his ring says, "Life." And then all of the Borg Lanterns disintegrate and Ganthet runs away with his ponytail between his legs. And now that Kyle can destroy the Borg Lanterns with a wave of his hand, that means that a large percentage of the universe's population is about to be wiped out. Since, you know, so many of them have already been converted. Time to teach those Borg Lanterns that any love is good love!

New Guardians #16 Rating: No change. Is that all it takes to become the most powerful person in the universe? To be the most angry, selfish, intimidating, stubborn, optimistic, and caring lover in the universe? Damn. I should be a White Lantern! I get through all of those emotions every time I masturbate! Is the fact that Kyle is now all in white and shoots white goop out of his fingers a metaphor for something?