Monday, February 25, 2013

Vibe #1

Vibe should be thanked for helping kill the Silver/Bronze Age run of Justice League of America so that Giffen and DeMatteis could bring about the best Justice League of America ever. You heard me, Grant Morrison! Feck off! Keith and J.M. did it better!

I suspect the interior of the comic book will explain why Vibe is such an unlikely hero. Is he perhaps a juvenile delinquent that hates authority? Perhaps he's a brain dead kid in a coma? Maybe he's a NAMBLA member with a love of justice and young boys? Perhaps he's a porn star known as Fingers McBang? It could just be that what the cover is really saying with a sly wink and elbow nudge to the comic book audience is that this is "The Unlikeliest Comic Book." It's almost as if Geoff Johns and Dan Didio and whoever else is in charge at DC are running DC by accepting dares. Nobody has been clamoring for Vibe to star in his own series. I'm almost certain everyone was fine with his body decaying wherever Martian Manhunter shoved it after his death in Justice League of America #258.

After he succeeded at making Aquaman appear to be less lame than he actually is, Geoff Johns decided he needed an even greater challenge. He dug through 25 cent comic boxes at conventions and scoured the internet to find the character most reviled by fans and George PĂ©rez! But I'm sure before even beginning his search, he was aware of who he would pick It had to be a member of the worst incarnation of Justice League of America ever put together. Gypsy. Vixen. Steel. Vibe. The team was basically Martian Manhunter's last hope of keeping the "family" together (although now that I list the names of the characters in that JLA incarnation, they seem the perfect mix of heroes to represent Americans. A gypsy. A vixen. Steel which can be read both as the building blocks of skyscrapers and getting pick-pocketed while visiting those skyscrapers. Martian Manhunter which kind of sounds like a pseudonym for anti-immigrant xenophobes). Geoff Johns probably flipped a coin and Gypsy lost her chance at her own title. At least until another wave or two when Geoff Johns has handed the reins of Vibe over to somebody else and he moves on to his next challenge.

I'm actually interested in a Gypsy comic book. More often than not, my hyperbole tends to betray my actual feelings.

Enough blather. Time to find out why Vibe is such a fucking unlikely hero!

This is Vibe five years ago before he was Vibe and he was just plain old Cisco who must be thirteen years old or so even though he's probably malnourished because he lives in poverty in Detroit which is why he looks eight.

Get it? He's full of potential! Energy! Like a gigantic vibrator!

Immediately after his eldest brother tells him this and his other older brother explains how he's going to be a super villain later (especially since he's already got a cool Super Villain name: Dante!), one of Darkseid's Boom Tubes opens up right on Cisco's face.

A lesser commenter than me might make a "Taste the Painbow" joke right here, but not me. I'm above stupid shit like that. I'm more of the "Darkseid just Boom Tubed straight in that kid's mouth" kind of guy.

It turns out getting Boom Tubed in the face gives you super Vibratory powers. Fuck, why not? Why not make every aspect of this secret origin porn-related? Vibe already sounds like some kind of sexual lubricant.

Cisco's eldest brother, Armando, is killed by a Parademon as he pulls Cisco free. But even more evidence stacks up that Dante is going to be a super villain as he backs away, more concerned with his own life than his brother's. And then the story moves five years into the future to drop it a year behind all of the other comic book titles! Have Johns and Kreisberg forgotten that a year and a half has passed since all of the other comic books began? Or am I supposed to believe that comics don't actually move through time much? Perhaps one year in real time is two months in comic book time?

So five years later, Cisco has not gone to college like Armando told him he should. Instead he's working at a Comic Book Version of Best Buy or Fry's Electronics. That does make him a pretty unlikely hero! As Vibe, is he going to go up to random people on the streets and ask, "Have you been helped?" Dante stops by to visit Cisco and beg for money because Dante is a soccer playing bum that has yet to figure out how to be successful at super villainry. Although as soon as he realizes his Super Villain name should be Purgatorio, he'll jump right in! Oh! Maybe Inferno would be even better!

Currently Dante's way to make money is to borrow it from Cisco's college fund or to talk Cisco into gambling his college fund and then borrowing from the winnings. But I guess there aren't too many games of chance where vibrating helps you cheat. Unless Vibe is so good at controlling his vibrations he can get the roulette ball to drop in any number he wants. He'd probably have better luck jumping the other winners at the casino as they headed to their cars.

More Super Villain Origin stuff.

I don't think Cisco realizes he has powers yet although he shows up as a blur in cameras and film. Am I supposed to believe that Cisco has no friends with camera phones? Or does Cisco and his friends just laugh at how he's always fucking up their photos because he's so jumpy? Someone close to Cisco should have noticed by now since Amanda Waller has! She's now hunting him because Waller apparently runs every super hero organization in the DC Universe.

Agent Dale Gunn of ARGUS drives up in a couple of humvees and a compact car all covered in ARGUS symbols. I'm not sure what the ARGUS symbol is supposed to represent. A backwards looking bloodshot eye [It's actually shown clearer later. It looks like a forward looking bloodshot eye shooting needles out of it!]? Anyway, this Dale Gunn convinces Cisco to hop in his government kidnap wagon with him by mentioning Armando. Well, that was fucking too easy. Stupid kid.

Let this be a lesson, children! Do not get into a car with a stranger! Especially if that stranger mentions he's a member of a Government Agency! Especially if you're a minority! I'd rather take my chances with a serial killer because at least people would believe you when you tell them he tried to kill you! But just try to tell everyone that a Government Agent tried to touch your Hispanic privates! They'll roll their eyes right off their fucking faces.

ARGUS gives Cisco some information that apparently Cisco didn't know as well. They have pictures of a blurry person defending a woman at an ATM. Cisco might not have known that he was exhibiting strange powers when he kicked the thugs asses. Or maybe he did know. He could just be acting coy around the government agents. Whichever might be the case, ARGUS wants his help.

So Apokoliptian farts give Vibe a headache? Is that what I just read?

Inside the house is a Parademon. Agent Gunn says it's the one that killed Armando. But Agent Gunn works for Amanda Waller and Amanda Waller wouldn't tell the truth unless the lie she told was a paradox that actually made the lie true. It's possible Waller had this Parademon set free to get Vibe to learn to use his powers. Or it could be this Parademon truly has been roaming the streets eating homeless people for five years like Agent Gunn says. The Agent also mentions they've "been tracking it since it first came here." So you knew it was eating homeless people and you just let it fucking roam free? Who's the real monster here?

Cisco takes the bait, learns to control his vibratory powers, and kills the Parademon. Actually Cisco just punches it with a Vibro-Jab, but the Parademon is pulled apart because he's knocked in-between his "vibrational dimension" and Earth's. Hopefully that doesn't happen every time Vibe punches somebody since Vibe is caught somewhere between those two dimensions. If he punches an Earthling, will he infect the Earthling with Apokolips Vibrations and tear them apart as well?

Aha. So that's what happened to Detroit.

Vibe agrees to be trained by ARGUS and become a member of the Justice League of America. Of course none of the members of the Justice League of America have any idea what Waller wants them to do because she's a big liar, remember?

Waller should try telling the truth sometime. How effective is lying when everyone knows everything out of your mouth is a lie?

But now the readers know why the Justice League of America exists because of the ending of this comic book! Waller needs a team to defend her and one of her current projects from Darkseid since Waller knows he'll be back.

To rescue his daughter, Upside Down Horseshoe Girl!

My favorite part of this comic book was when it was revealed that inside the Detroit Branch of ARGUS, Amanda Waller has a shitload of metas in captivity because they refused to work with her. And it's not like she put people in cells who simply exhibited superpowers and didn't want to be a part of her League. These are metas that already have names and costumes! And I think a bunch of them are also some of those "creatures" that came from other dimensions. Like some captive from Qward. Or Pariah.

Why did Pariah appear? What great evil is going to befall the DCnU that he would be drawn to it? And then Amanda Waller captured him and put him in a tube, so now how is he going to lead everyone to the evil?!

There's also some guy with a sword by the name of Something-orman. And a woman Cyber-something. And some cereal mascot named Krakkle. And a hand pressed up against the glass of one cell that looks like Plasmus. And the last one that holds a captive waiting for her chance at a monthly title!

Geoff Johns next pet project.

Vibe #1 Rating: Like Threshold, I'll start Vibe off at 26 and let it rise or fall from here on out. So far, I liked it. I don't know how much I like the idea of the superhero Vibe but I thought Cisco was a decent enough character. I'm not sure why he's so unlikely though. He seems like any fair-minded, good-natured person that gets soaked in Boom Tube Juice and ends up with magical powers.


  1. I must be the only one that liked The Gypsy,Steel,Vixen and Vibe era Gerry Conway had some great idea's but he lost his way and justed gave up.Vibe was such a nasty little creep but he had potential which we saw in Justice League Of America #258.I must say i like this Vibe better he is a sweet likeable kid.

    1. Transparency Time! I never actually read the Vibe/Gypsy era books. My cousin read Justice League of America and I believe I made fun of the group mostly due to the covers. And then they all died and I basked in the glory of my cynicism and mean-spiritedness having correctly judged a book by its cover.