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.

No comments:

Post a Comment