Saturday, March 2, 2013

Turds of Prey #17


I look at this comic book and I feel like a disappointed parent watching all of their hopes and dreams of the future flushed down the toilet by their selfish kid squandering all of her potential. This comic book could be so much more than panel after panel of characters performing actions that are not based on previous panels and project no causality onto future panels. The Birds search out a mastermind's hideout and suddenly find their minds wiped and they're out in an alley. Do they investigate and find out what happened? No. They just go about their business. Katana hacks Poison Ivy allegedly to death at the end of one comic and how do the Birds deal with the consequences? Nobody ever mentions it again. Ever. Black Canary watches Katana hack thugs to death with her sword as Starling puts bullets in people's chests one page, and the next page Black Canary is demanding that they don't kill. This comic book is like 95% of teenagers in their parents' eyes: a confusing mess. I wonder if the comic book looks at me as a stodgy old fart that can't get with the times, reliving his glory days while seeming to be a complete failure in the comic book's eyes. Boy, I'm sure glad I decided never to have comic books!

Last issue ended with Black Canary blowing up a power station with her Canary Cry. This happened because Kurt Lance has the power to magnify other people's powers and he's been hanging out in Gotham lately. So he must be close enough to screw with her powers. Although proximity might not matter with these two because I'm pretty sure Black Canary lost control in Japan as well when Kurt wasn't anywhere near her. This power station was also a Basilisk headquarters. I think. It might not matter since, as I explained earlier, this comic book has no sense of causality.

What is Catwoman doing robbing a jewelry store? According to Ann Nocenti's Catwoman, she doesn't steal that stuff anymore, having undergone "aversion therapy" to gems and jewelry due to her Eclipso Gem Heist.

Even though Black Canary's Sonic Scream can explode heads and destroy property, somehow Batgirl and Condor couldn't hear Black Canary's super out-of-control cry which destroyed the building. They go on assuming Basilisk set off their bomb. But Starling knows it was Canary's fault! And so does Strix who immediately attacks her. Fuck. I thought they got past this bullshit last issue. Now I just have to hope it's over quickly instead of wasting a quarter of the comic book.

The fight is over in only two pages but it allows for conflict between other members of the group which is the only way DC seems to utilize Super Hero teams.

DC Comic Book Fans: "You know what would be exciting? If the Justice League fought the Legion of Doom!"
DC Comics: "You know what you're going to get? Wonder Woman fighting Green Lantern!"
DC Comic Book Fans: "Well, after that's cleared up, maybe they can fight Despero!"
DC Comics: "Nope! After that, it's Superman and Wonder Woman versus the rest of the Justice League!"
DC Comic Book Fans: "What about Starro? That could be a big crossover event!"
DC Comics: "But wait! You haven't heard our plans for when everyone goes after Batman!"
DC Comic Book Fans: "I wonder what's going on in the Fantastic Four?"

Strix and Black Canary's little brawl gives them a chance to, once again, not talk about what happened with Poison Ivy.

Does not talking make Strix super wise and insightful?

Why are the Birds of Prey even a team? Starling mistrusts Black Canary and is constantly ragging on her about how Dinah possibly murdered her husband. Well, I guess Starling is on the team because she's in Amanda Waller's back pocket. But why is Batgirl with them? She and Black Canary have been arguing membership since the beginning. Black Canary hates killing but Starling uses guns. So why does Black Canary keep her around? Batgirl didn't want to join the team because crazy plant lady was one of them but she stuck around anyway. And now she's brought a known killer and loose cannon onto the team! And why the fuck is the Talon joining? Loneliness? I'd be more appreciative of a team that got along than one that's constantly bickering. And people wonder why the fuck I like Worlds' Finest so much! It's a fucking treat to see two heroes that love and respect each other and have a good fucking time just hanging out!

As the team bickers, the bad guys begin crawling out of the rubble.

Oh, so the bad guys can hear and recognize Canary's Sonic Scream but ever-vigilant, Batman-trained Batgirl is clueless? Fuck you, Duane.

Luckily the bad guys came prepared with the stupidest techno-gadgets this side of a Mr. Terrific comic book: HEARTSTOPPERS! They're floating balls that scan for human hearts. When they find one, they lock on to the person's chest and shock the shit out of them until they flatline and die. I don't know. This just sounds like someone in Basilisk R & D has a little too much free time on their hands. "What's the most ridiculous and convoluted contraption I can come up with to kill another human being? And the only way it wouldn't work is if one of our enemies did not have a beating heart! But oh ho ho! How likely is that to happen?! Amirite?!" But it just so happens they've deployed the Heartstoppers just when the Turds of Prey have recruited a member without a heart! Oh the humani-irony!

Black Canary's big plan is for everyone to take cover! But Batgirl asks, "Cover -koff koff-...sure... but where?"

Meanwhile behind cover, Starling is secretly speaking with Amanda Waller on her phone. There's a bunch of back and forth about Starling not having been hired to think but then Starling also being in debt to Waller so it sounds less like Waller hired Starling and more like Waller coerced and/or blackmailed Starling into being a gigantic traitor. When will the "big twist" pendulum swing back the other way and readers will begin to be surprised when a member of a super hero team ISN'T a traitor or spy?

While Condor keeps the Heartfuckers at bay with his telekinetic powers, a team of gun crazy government maniacs shows up to begin shooting at whatever the hell they want to shoot at. Luckily the person they shoot is Strix as she roundhouses a Heartstopper to death. Black Canary looks at the broken Heartraper and says, "Gee whiz, guys! This is Basilisk tech which means someone must be nearby and alive and controlling these things! Because, hee hee, I'm sure they aren't automated! Amirite? Tee hee!" Batgirl and Condor run off to find the guy with the remote, leaving Black Canary and Talon alone together. You know? As a test! To see if they can get along! Nobody seems to care where Starling is.

But the Talon decides she'd rather team up with a Heartstopper.

Batgirl and Condor take out the guy with the remote which kills the drones which means Black Canary will never know if Strix meant to do her harm or not! Who needs a team where the members actually trust each other? Fuck that. Where's the fun? So the mission wraps up with a bunch of captured Basilisk members and, probably, a bunch of dead ones in the rubble created by Canary's Cry. And just like a really good terrible comic book, it ends on the person with a drinking problem making a "joke" about drinking!

How many issues of starring in a really shitty comic constitutes "hitting rock bottom"?

Turds of Prey #17 Rating: -1 Ranking. I think I pointed out everything that was wrong with this issue already. If I went on now, it'd just be to cruelly hurt Mr. Swierczynski's feelings. And I like to pretend that I don't engage in that sort of juvenile display.

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