Friday, March 29, 2013

Batwoman #18

Excuse me for a moment, Batwoman. I need to piss in some mouths really quick. Even though he doesn't need it and won't ever read this, I just wanted to take a moment to defend Wil Wheaton before kissing Batwoman's ass.

Tonight on Tumblr, somebody sent a message telling him he sucks (couched in the "I'm disappointed" language of the utterly offended) because he reblogged Louis C.K. and because he has earned a paycheck for being on The Big Bang Theory. I'm not going to argue whether or not somebody might be offended by Louis C.K. He's a really smart, cutting edge comic and that's always going to step on a few toes. But life steps on toes and comics don't shy away from talking about life. So let's talk about the problem of Wil Wheaton on The Big Bang Theory.

It's not a problem. I don't watch the show mostly because I still can't believe shows use laugh tracks and that show seriously overuses the laugh track. I've seen the show and will watch it for a few minutes here and there in syndication because I think it can be funny. I think it would be funnier from a nerd perspective as opposed to the way it slyly winks at the non-nerds watching the show and whispering, "Can you believe these guys?" But I'm not here to defend what the show does right and critique what I think it does wrong. The person seemed to think it was a problem that Wil Wheaton was drawing a paycheck from being on the show. Wil told this person to fuck off in a more polite way than I would have but in an offensive enough way to piss off a lot of other people who suddenly decided Wil was an asshole.

Wil, be an asshole. Fuck the people that want to take the piss out of you because they expect you to be what they expect you to be. You follow me? If we could all only take jobs that wouldn't offend a single person on Tumblr, we'd all be unemployed. But I guess we'd be incredibly enlightened and totally unoffensive! I guess that's a thing!

One of the truest posts I ever read on Tumblr went something like this: "The quickest way to lose followers on Tumblr is to be yourself." Of course the corollary to that is "Fuck them." I've learned there are two signs that I'm writing my commentaries really well: when I gain a lot of followers in quick succession, and when I lose a lot of followers in quick succession.

Was Wil's response appropriate? Should it even be judged as such? Sometimes a person reacts to an individual more harshly than he would have because he's reacting to the many people that came before with the same exact bullshit. So the response might seem heavy handed or over the top in the small moment others are allowed to see. Perhaps Wil was responding to more than the one person. Anyway, why can't Wil be upset? Because people expect more from him? Because he has a soapbox and should "be better" than other people? Wil's critics seem just fine to react to his anger with their own anger. I suppose celebrities aren't allowed to have outbursts. When you're surprised that a celebrity shows him/herself to be human, it isn't a fault with the celebrity. It's a fault with your initial perception of the celebrity. Perhaps that's why so many people were angry? They were angry at themselves for somehow being duped into believing a role model was something other than just another person.

Anyway, Tumblr allows for everyone to voice their opinions. I'm all for the cacophony. But remember this: the person that makes a stupid joke (often me!) or reblogs some insensitive thing on Tumblr (probably me again!), for whatever reason, might just be the biggest champion of social justice when things really fucking count out in the Thunderdome of society (, sorry. Not me this time. Fuck everyone that isn't me!). This was my voice added to the howling moan. And now, Batwoman! Finally.

The comic opens with Hawkfire and Batwoman punching Mr. Freeze in the helmet.

I like that Jacob Kane (Kate's dad! Bette's uncle!) is anti-snark. I shouldn't be surprised though. He is military and Bette is currently in the line of duty. Get serious, Private!

Let's consider Bette's decision to put flamethrowers in her costume. In what way is that a good idea? As a law enforcement agent, if you're resorting to fire, you've already decided that death and destruction is acceptable. She can't set criminals on fire! Okay, occasionally she can if they're Urban Legends, I guess. But she's really walking an ethical tightrope if she refuses to kill bad guys but putting them in the hospital from serious burns is a tactic. At that point, it's just a toss up as to how injured they'll be. They could need amputations. They could easily get serious infections and die. Or end up with a future of plastic surgery, skin grafts, and physical therapy. And even if she doesn't use her flamethrower on the criminals, why bother? The only thing she'll be doing is setting buildings on fire and causing more problems than the criminal! I think Hawkfire needs to go back to the drawing board and brainstorm a new name.

While Hawkfire fights, she has Colonel Jacob Kane watching via a camera attached to her costume and giving her pointers via wireless communication. Batwoman has the same set up but with Cameron Chase at the other end of her microphone. Both voices seem to be a bit more of a distraction than a help but I suppose neither one actually had much say in the set-up. I'm sure Uncle Jake wouldn't let Bette out in that suit if he couldn't watch her and try to keep her safe. And Batwoman is the tool of the DEO, so she's stuck as well. It doesn't much matter though because Mister Freeze is quickly taken down with a nice big ice chunk jammed through his leg. At least he didn't get third degree burns over forty percent of his body.

Uncle Jake has a few questions about why his daughter is hunting Mr. Freeze. But neither he nor Bette can ask her because they seem to be keeping their communications secret from Batwoman. But they're not the only ones wondering why she's after Freeze.

By the way Batwoman fingers his gun after the fight, I suspect the DEO sent her in to grab up some of his technology.

Batwoman's response to Mr. Freeze basically amounts to, "You're a doody head!" And then Batman arrives to scare the crap out of everybody. The layout of the panels when Batman arrives is really nice, showing a blue half of the bat symbol on the left-hand page and a red half of the bat symbol on the right-hand page. And the layout isn't just nice on this page! The previous pages have retained the playfulness and beauty of the layouts when J.H. Williams was doing the art himself. I was worried about the change of artists on the book but I've been quickly won over (I first typed "run over") by Trevor McCarthy's work here.

Anyway, Batman is here!

I know, right?

Batman wants the Freeze Ray but, as expected, Cameron freaks out and tells Kate to tell Batman to go to hell. Very brave, standing up to Batman way on the other end of that wireless tether! Batman also has a few tips to pass along to Batwoman about fighting bad guys. Well, one tip actually.

Okay, it's not so much a tip as a critique!

Hey Batman! Take your advice and shove it! Some people might think causing a Catwoman to crash a motorcycle going at 100 miles per hour might be a bit of overkill as well! Sure, wah wah wah. You were out of your mind from grief. You still nearly killed your midnight fuck buddy, you bastard! At least Batwoman only took advantage of an icicle that accidentally went into Mr. Freeze's leg as opposed to purposefully trying to cripple him. Catwoman (and Ann Nocenti!) were right: you are a bully!

Batwoman gives Batman half of Mr. Freeze's weapon and all of Mr. Freeze. She then heads off, probably to be yelled at by Cameron Chase and Mr. Bones.

Instead of chastising her, Mr. Bones decides to torment her. He's desperately trying to keep her on the line and working for the DEO. Now that it looks like she's about to break free, Mr. Bones figures it's time to release Alice back into Gotham.

And then it's time to build some sub-plots!

Sub-plot #1: Uncle Daddy Jake's wife (new wife? Did I know he had a wife? Oh memory, you frigid whore!), while looking for the cat, has found Bette's Flamebird costume stuffed under Bette's mattress alongside her porn.

Wait. They have a cat?!

Sub-plot #2: Maggie Sawyer is looking for an apartment to share with her fiance, Batwoman!

Sub-plot #3 but not really since it was already touched upon in the Mister Bones scene: Cameron Chase meets with the fish that they'll be releasing back into Gotham just like my tortured fishing analogy paragraph mentioned!

I don't know for sure it's Kate's sister Alice but judging by the ending of Issue #17, I'd say that's a good guess.

Batwoman #18 Rating: +1 Ranking. I was worried things would fall apart when the new artist came on board but I like it! Still a good looking book. And do I have to add that it's still well-written? I think my "+1" already said that.

No comments:

Post a Comment