Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Justice League of America #3

That's not the real Catwoman. She knows how to work a zipper. Or maybe she doesn't? Why is the pull tab on the zipper down at the bottom? I guess it opens from the belly button up in case somebody needs to do some emergency belly shots off of Selina's stomach.

This cover is a Who's Who of the worst comic books of The New 52! Granted, Green Arrow is finally being written to character. But before that, he was just another one of Ann Nocenti's failures. Three of Ann Nocenti's characters are on the cover! I wish she'd write Hawkman as well.

Also, I thought Green Arrow didn't make the cut? Is he going to just keep showing up until everybody believes he's a member? Perhaps this takes place after he proves himself by taking down Komodo and having a slumber party in the desert with Magus.

I was going to scan Green Arrow pouting in the locker room and declaring that he was going to make a major comeback after being down and out for a year and a half but then I saw Stargirl's public service announcement which set off one of my pet peeves.

Look, colorist Sonia Oback, I don't give a fuck if you burn it, wave it, or wipe your ass with it. But how fucking hard is it to find a photo reference of the American flag so you can get the fucking color scheme right? Jesus H. Lincoln.

I would have loved to blame David Finch for the above mistake because I'm a complete asshole that likes to twist the knife when I've got a fish wriggling on the hook over the fire with a gun to its head. But I'm pretty sure it's the colorist that reversed the red and white stripes on the flag. I should also blame editors Kate Stewart and Brian Cunningham for not catching this mistake although their jobs might not have anything to do with the art and are merely story editors. Anyway, you would think this is a mistake that DC would try desperately to avoid since now I think they hate America.

That panel is reprinted as a poster on the wall of Star Girl's room on the next page and it's even more fucked up! Now I KNOW DC hates America!

Amanda Waller has a brief meeting just to make sure that Stargirl despises and mistrusts her.

What a great leader!

Amanda Waller used to be a tough son of a bitch that got things done in the Preboot universe. Sure, people were intimidated by her. But she needed to be tough and intimidating to get things done. Now she's just a conniving, manipulative jerk. To be fair, I wasn't reading stories with Amanda once she began working for President Luthor. So maybe she became just as big an asshole as Maxwell Lord at some point. I mainly followed her with the Suicide Squad where her lying and manipulation wasn't so bad because it was to murderous criminals (mostly). Sometimes she was a jerk to Bronze Tiger when she didn't need to be. But now she just seems to lie for the sake of lying. She's incapable of doing anything without using threats and intimidation. Overall, she's simply unlikable. Not that she has to be a likable character! But I liked her better when I liked her.

Besides, the threatening someone's father with jail time to get them to do what you want is already being done by Mister Bones over in Batwoman. Come up with your own threats, Waller!

Getting back to the heroes that are actually on the team to do heroics and not simply to look cute and innocent with a smile full of braces and some trite speeches that can be boiled down to "Yay America and God!", Steve Trevor's first order of business when the team is ambushed by Professor Ivo's robots is to fuck up Wonder Woman's secret identity.

Sure, he only says her first name. But Hawkman shouldn't even know that. And now that Clark Kent is publicly dating Diana Prince in Superman, everybody needs to be extra cautious about blowing secret identities. Plus Ivo is probably recording anything the robots see and hear so now he's got a lead on Wonder Woman's secret identity name.

I know Wonder Woman hasn't really been too concerned about a secret identity. And it's possible that the media already know her as Diana. But suppose that's true? Then Clark Kent is being super stupid by dating her! Putting her hair in a pony tail and throwing glasses on her isn't going to make people suddenly forget that Diana Prince is Wonder Woman. Oh! And I think everyone DOES know Diana Prince as Wonder Woman, so Steve Trevor really didn't make a mistake here. The reason I think that is because I just remembered something from Superman #19 that confused me at the time. Jimmy Olsen calls Diana Prince "Princess" and she corrects him and says that she's not a princess and that people often make that mistake. So everybody knows Clark Kent is dating Wonder Woman! Which means Clark is being just as careless about his secret identity as Bruce is being with his by connecting Batman Incorporated with Bruce Wayne. Eventually Wonder Woman and Superman are going to kiss in public and Lois Lane is FINALLY going to make the connection. And do you think she's going to keep that story from headlining the next Daily Planet paper? Fuck that! Time for a Special Edition!

After Vibe yells at Wonder Woman instead of helping Trevor with his super powers, he yells, "It's gas!", when Batman sets off a gas bomb. This kid is being extremely helpful! So fucking glad he's back on the team! Hawkman isn't being any more helpful. He doesn't even warn everybody about the gas! And Martian Manhunter is currently being pummeled by a tree wielded by Superman. The first mission isn't going too well. Perhaps if Green Arrow were here!

Ha ha ha! Oh man. I crack myself up.

Forget Green Arrow! It's Katana and the voice in her head that ninja jumps in to save the day!

"Diana! Why are there so many cross-hatches on my face while your skin remains so clear and supple?!"

Doing Arts by David Finch
Chapter Five: How to Make Men Look Different From Women

"Light women's faces nicely. Do not use shading. Put lots of cross-hatching on men's faces. Make them look dirty and in shadow even if they are standing right next to the woman in perfect light. Also put boobs on the womens."

After Katana cuts off Wonder Woman's head and everybody sees the wires and sparks, Martian Manhunter explains to the rest of the group that these beings are not human. Vibe ends up shaking them into pieces and the fight is over. Although Katana wants to keep it going by slitting Catwoman's throat simply because her voice said it didn't trust Catwoman. But that easily resolves itself with a Martian Manhunter mindscan and the team is ready to continue their trek through the forest. But they don't find much of anything.

Since they couldn't find the lair of the Secret Society of Super-villains, Steve Trevor comes up with another plan. The plan is for Catwoman to get the Society's attention so that they'll hire her and she can become a double agent. Unless she decides to be a triple agent. Which is just a confusing way of saying a single agent. Unless there's more to it. Anyway, the plan is to have her get caught trying to steal an artifact from a museum.

If her plan is to get caught, why even bother stealing the necklace? Unless she has some secret hiding place she can stow it. And she just mentioned in a previous page that her uniform doesn't have pockets. So that doesn't leave her anywhere to...oh. Eww.

The Justice League of America arrives to "capture" Catwoman but she, of course, decides to play a little...well, I'm sure there's an analogy that fits this situation that I just can't come up with. The JLA give chase when suddenly Green Arrow arrives to bring everybody down. But Hawkman has a solution to this problem.

I should raise The Savage Hawkman's rank just for this!
Catwoman decides to stop playing around so she doesn't get a right hook from Hawkman too. And Green Arrow decides to use some Amanda Waller's tactics on Steve Trevor to earn a place on the team. He won't tell anyone that Catwoman is working for them if he's allowed on the roster. I guess when your main skills are shooting sticks and getting your ass kicked by little girls, you sometimes need to resort to desperate measures to get an invite to a super team.

Once Catwoman is caught, she's thrown in Arkham Asylum where Catwoman #19 takes place. So now I can read that next! After Catwoman #19, Catwoman escapes only to be captured by Signal Man and Blockbuster. She finds herself strapped to the same chair The Scarecrow was strapped to at the beginning of last issue. It looks like the plan worked! She's infiltrated the Secret Society of Super-villains!

The back-up story is written by Matt Kindt. On my scale of storytelling that goes from Scott Lobdell to Competent Writer, Matt Kindt falls close to the Competent Writer side of the scale. I haven't filled out the scale since I just made it up but it will probably have 100 places. I'm only familiar with Kindt because of his work on Frankenstein and the only good story in Men of War (a back-up story). This story is about Martian Manhunter and will hopefully discuss his love of Oreos.

Except it only pretends to be about Martian Manhunter by labeling it "Martian Manhunter". It's really about Martian Manhunter's assessment of Catwoman. He likes her.

But then it's also about her assessment of J'onn. I guess she gets some psychic backlash when he does the mind probe on her. Or perhaps he gives a little of himself due to the guilt of stealing their memories. Catwoman sees J'onn in another time and place while he's hunting. She feels bonded to him, closer. And she also believes he doesn't know she's getting some of his memories. Maybe he unconsciously gives some of them since you would think he would know how his mind probe worked. I'm sure he's done it and had it done to him by other Martians. Anyway, they both feel a bit closer to each other after the mind probe.

Come on, Selina! That's unfair. You just witnessed a totally alien culture. You can't judge it by human standards.

Justice League of America #3 Rating: +1 Ranking. It's too bad that bits like this back-up story can't fit into most mainstream titles with their twenty page limits. I guess it could but not in an ensemble cast like this book has. So the extra dollar was worth it this time. That's really how I should judge these $3.99 comics with back-up stories. I should keep track of how many are just there to steal my extra dollar and how many are worth it. Although if I started judging comics like that, then DC would owe me refunds on nearly all of the Teen Titans and Superboy comics put out so far.


  1. dude you are so on about how you characterized Waller in the new DC. Suicide Squad #20 sucks and have you heard what DC did with Bronze Tiger? they made him into a fucken Thundercat. i spit on all things DC Comics.

    1. I had not heard about the Thundercat thing.

      And dammit. I haven't read SS #20 yet but with the new writer on the front, I was holding my breath for a good change. I guess I'll see for myself later this week when I get to it.

    2. well in that case . . "i'll be back".