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!

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