Monday, May 6, 2013

Stormwatch #20

Currently over in the Magenta Timeline...

Here's my deal with Jim Starlin and Stormwatch: I just want well told, exciting stories. But most of my commentaries and criticisms are from the perspective of DC's change to The New 52. Seen through that lens, the Magenta Timeline deal is hard to swallow since it simply bypasses the rules of the game in much the same way as most of Lobdell's or DeFalco's time travel visitors from the future stories. But you know what will be nice? Just dealing with the Magenta Timeline as stories outside of the normal New 52. I don't have to be bothered with how these stories fit in because they don't have to fit in! As long as this old Stormwatch Logo adorns the cover of the Stormwatch books, I'll just read these books as standing outside the entire New 52 Universe. No more pretend rage at Jim Starlin for excising The New 52 history from Stormwatch. Time to just enjoy this comic book for what it is. That last sentence would have ended with a colon and then the description of what this comic book is but since I haven't read it yet, I don't know!

The Stormwatch away team has been sent to investigate the Magenta Time Lords that have been rewriting Stormwatch every few years. Unless they do it every few months. Or every other second? Every negative thirteen weeks? Whatever their timetables for fuckery, the away team consisting of Midnighter, Apollo, Hellstrike, Jenny Soul, and The Weird have arrived on what is possibly the Magenta Time Lords' home planet to put a stop to their shenanigans.

I think I use the word "shenanigans" too much. I must have some leprechaun ancestry.

Apollo and Midnighter's first duty is to get Jenny Soul across the street and into a space with less minds since she's feeling overloaded. And Midnighter will provide the commentary for that blatant under use of their powers for me.

Since I dropped Stormwatch 25 ranks last issue to start them over on their Magenta Timeline, I'll give them a chance to build back up by raising their rank for everything I enjoy. +1 Ranking for this combined with the away teams initial update of "Holy crap!" Mind you, I'll also be giving Stormwatch negative ranks when they displease me. And I am oh so easy to displease!

While Stormwatch deals with crossing the street, the Magenta Time Lords are busy recruiting Lobo to beat them up. The last time Lobo fought with Stormwatch The Authority, it was because Jenny Quantum was upset that he'd killed Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. I wonder how Jenny Soul would feel about that? When the Magenta Time Lords find Lobo, he'd just killed six muggers in an alley after waking up from a drunken binge. Being that this is the Magenta Time Line, I guess I don't have to worry about whether or not this is the Lobo from Rob Liefeld's Deathstroke. I probably wouldn't have to worry about that anyway since I think DC is simply pretending that all issues in The New 52 written by Rob Liefeld never existed.

The first thing the Magenta Time Lord does is send Lobo back into the past to see how he became the gigantic fucking prick he became.

I'm severely disappointed that Czarnians look just like humans instead of all looking like Lobo. But Magenta Time Line! May not possibly be New 52 Canon! Especially since in The New 52, we were introduced to Lobo's girlfriend, Sheba, who also looked like Lobo. But then that was from a Liefeld book and thus possibly not New 52 Canon!

Basically Lobo was the kid that got the sand kicked into his face until his planet exploded into a nightmare of aggressive assholes. Lobo, being a skinny little wimp, knew he was done for if he didn't act quick. He created a virus or some kind of pathogen (he simply calls it "the right lil' cocktail") that only he was immune to and released it. Everybody on Czarnia died.

I still hope Sheba replaces Lobo in the real New 52 Timeline because do we really need more "fraggin' bastich" this and "fraggin bastich" that? Although another reason to completely forget Liefeld's mess is how he had the Czarnians as one of the alien races fighting with Thanagar. Who makes that mistake?! Everybody fucking knows Lobo is the Last Czarnian! And how about another +1 ranking simply for making him look three million times better than the way Liefeld drew him.

Stormwatch does a little shopping and then continues to follow the emanations of the Magenta Time Lords. Jenny Soul manages to see one out of the corner of her minds eye and this worries the Magenta Time Lords. We'll get to their worry after the next odd interruption since the Magenta Time Lords also deal with this following panel:

+1 Ranking for this strangeness that probably has far reaching consequences if Lobo is ever able to extinguish this light. But let's see how the Magenta Time Lords react before speculating on its importance.

If they can see that Jenny Soul can disrupt their plans across all but one time line, then they can obviously see exactly what needs to be done to make that single time line come about. Unless the mere observance of the time line changes the time line! In which case, they're probably fucking screwed.

So what is that light? How is Lobo able to see it and get at it? Why do the Magenta Time Lords not take it seriously? Because it continues to flicker back into existence once Lobo walks away? I suppose the light is some kind of source for the Magenta Time Line. Lobo wouldn't have any qualms trying to destroy everything in one fell swoop if he were able. This could easily fall into the category of one of those really stupid piece of shit things Lobdell will mention that sort of seem like foreshadowing but are really just flaccid sci-fi ideas that he may or may not eventually deal with (mostly may not). But the way this is done is intriguing. I really like the panels of Lobo approaching it, putting it out, and walking off as it flickers back to life.

As Stormwatch is nearing the source of the psychic emanations, a sniper tries to blow Jenny's brains all over the backside of Apollo. But she senses him in time and dodges out of the way, leaving Apollo to get shot in the ass. I don't think it hurts him much though. He's all solar powered up and invulnerable. After the sniper shot, all hell breaks loose just like on the cover.

Sex talk seems a little out of place when you're kicking the heads off of your enemies. +1 Ranking!

Stormwatch is kicking ass but Storm Control (the mysterious teeny tiny leader) is concerned about Jenny's safety simply due to the sheer number of assailants. But before he can order Forecaster the Frogman to pull them out, a ship full of alien lizard men with patches indicating they're trysexual arrive to save the day! They also use budget interplanetary translators. Also, they're religious zealots whose main reason for helping Stormwatch is because the fascist corporate bully boys that attacked Stormwatch are the religious zealots big time number one bad enemy people. So it looks like Stormwatch just teleport doored right into the middle of a long time feud between two idiotic species.

And then there's Maude Lobo.

I suppose comparing Maude with Lobo is about as horrible as when I compared The Golden Girls to the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse. Speaking of Maude and The Golden Girls, both of those shows had great theme songs. Plus Lobo's dolphin buddies!

Stormwatch #20 Rating: I lost count! I think this was worth +6 Rankings at least. I definitely like seeing Stormwatch going on missions rather than all the fucking in-fighting they'd been doing. And going up against the Magenta Time Lords that can, occasionally, rewrite history seems about the right amount of danger for Stormwatch to be on the job.

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