Monday, July 29, 2013

Catwoman #22

No, he's standing.

I should do a review where I think up the worst or most obvious jokes I can. My cousin-in-common-law, Neal, writes and draws editorial cartoons for the San Diego Reader, the Lincoln Journal Star, and The Reader (Omaha). He's got a sharp mind and a keen ability to suss out the truth in political situations rather than just making the obvious jokes or trying to tug at the reader's emotions. Having been an editorial cartoonist since College, he's experienced with business as usual among a lot of the more famous cartoonists that are, plain and simply, hacks. One of my favorite things he does is predict a cartoon that will be repeated by various papers and by different artists after any major event. One year around Christmas, we were gathered at my Non-Certified Spouse's grandmother's house in rural Nebraska while he was trying to come up with some cartoon ideas. What we realized that day was that I was probably his target audience if the stupid editors weren't in the way trying to keep out all of the comic book references! The Non-Certified Spouse came up with an idea he used for a paper that day and now she's resting on her laurels about that one time she wrote something that ended up in an Omaha Newspaper! And now she wants a writing credit for my cover caption for Superman #22 which I haven't gotten to yet! Boy, she's really acting like a big shot!

Anyway, I mentioned Neal because of his ability to guess the most obvious cartoon for major events. I loved that he would tell us what the cartoon was probably going to be and then find example after example of different artists coming up with that exact same cartoon all over the country. I wonder if I can manage that myself? I might have to take some bipolar medication first to rein in my idiocy. You might want to have a few drinks before reading this commentary so your brain power will be functioning closer to the average citizen's. You know who I'm talking about! The ones that still enjoy comedies with laugh tracks and think making fun of Dwarves in Fantasy movies is the height of entertainment! Fucking dirtbag Elven lobby have the ears of Hollywood producers! Dwarves should be respected, dammit! Stop making a mockery out of them by filling their beards with leftover food and making them ride tiny horses!

I'm already off on the wrong foot! The average person just flicked a booger across the room and thought, "Who the fuck cares about dwarfs and elfs?" And then they high fived each other and whooped like mad men to prove they were living life to the fullest. But I know my readers are above average! Way above average! We're like a super secret sexy cult of smart! We should have some kind of secret sign that we can flash at each other as we walk about amid the narcissistic fashion monkeys that dwell all around us. We need a sign that says, "I get you. And you get me. Now lets go eat some tater tots." But I don't know what that sign should be. Maybe I should sell shirts with one big fucking tater tot on it. Somebody design that and we'll sell it on this site for 50/50 profits!

The Penguin has been bombing the shit out of an area of Gotham infested with Rat-tails. Mayor Hady has been in favor of letting a mob boss turn a good chunk of Gotham into a burning, crater-filled, corpse-strewn park because he's corrupt and probably on The Penguin's payroll. But what about Batman? Where the fuck has Batman been? It's not like he's busy in his own comic book since those are currently running flashbacks. Am I supposed to believe that Batman has just been ignoring the way Titus has been hiding behind the toilet from the sounds of explosions outside? Umbrellacopters are dropping bombs all over Gotham and Batman doesn't care! He and Catwoman must be having a tiff and Batman is sitting in his study pouting. "Fuckin' she can deal with it herself. Tell me I'm unemotional and distant."

As I was typing that last paragraph, I realized that this is an Ann Nocenti comic book and there's no way in hell I'm going to sit idly by and make stupid, obvious jokes as she rams word icepicks into my eyes.

This is Volt. His name was Volt before he received Volt powers.

Catwoman has decided to make everything right, she will go down into Gotham's under-realm where the Goblin Folk are partying like it's 1199. Her plan? To save Johnny Rat-Tail. Or whatever the fuck his name was. Apparently he was a major character! Catwoman was not only befriending him but she was beginning to crush on him as well. Nocenti likes to have her female character's motivations driven by the males in her life. I guess it's time to find another rook statue that leads down into the Gotham Faerie Kingdom! Catwoman can't enter through the bomb crater sinkhole because the Gotham Police Department is filling it with cement. Oh man. I bet the fucking Gotham Gas and Waterworks guys are going to be pissed when they get to the scene to repair all of the infrastructure only to find it all blocked up with cement! Looks like the people of the Badlands are going to enjoy a bunch of sewage overflows into their apartments this year! If everything doesn't blow up from all the gas leaks first!

First Catwoman goes to get a bunch of spelunking gear from her new best friend in all the world, Alice Tesla.

You do realize she'll be test driving it while trying to save her friend that could be bleeding out right now, right? She doesn't have time for your stupid heist, Alice Tesla!

You might think that Alice Tesla was named to show that she's a great inventor with a touch of madness and a keen association with holes in the ground. But you'd be wrong. Her mother was an 80s rock groupie who really loved Alice Cooper and Tesla. Alice's father is probably Kane Roberts. She was conceived on stage during a performance of "Roses on White Lace."

Apparently Catwoman has to run the heist first. Hang in there, Rat-Tail! You may be bleeding to death but it'll turn out okay! Mind over matter! If you don't mind dying, it doesn't matter! Ha ha ha!

Catwoman needs to break into a funeral home to find some technology that turns dead people into diamonds. My guess is that the owner has a Kryptonian locked up in the basement creating the gems. Catwoman decides to forgo going through a window and instead drops down the gritty cremation chimney. Gross! And then she meets a new friend!

Even in a simple brawl, Nocenti can't write dialogue that works.

Let's pretend that a "survivalist getup" and a headlamp keep a person's guard up for now. Catwoman's response to the guy not letting his guard down? "Another paranoid anti-government nut job?" What? Where the fuck did that come from? "The headlamp exposes the truth! And the gas mask keeps me safe from Project Cloverleaf's chem-trails! The splint mail protects me from exposure to the infertility radiation beamed out from the local news reports every evening!" Hey Catwoman? You live in fucking Gotham! Might the reason for the "survivalist getup" be to, you know, survive?! But I suppose you can't stop Ann Nocenti from non-sequitoring into a subject she wants to go on and on about! Well, I'm not listening today because I've run out of farm animals to draw for Ann Nocenti's Funtime Super Happy Knowledge Farm. Or whatever the fuck I was calling it. God, I'm an idiot.

At least I setup bullshit segues to maintain some semblance of structure to my insane ramblings!

The only line you missed was after Catwoman's "nut job" comment, Nut Job says, "Is it paranoid to know all the facts? And take charge?" So Catwoman sees a guy in a particular getup, decides he's an anti-government nut job, and then makes the leap that he's also an end-timer. Now, I won't argue that those things often go hand-in-hand since my father is a perfect example of the intersection of these kinds of crazy (and hell, who isn't at least 50% anti-government at all times anyway?!), but it just irks me that her intuition is so crazy good! She reads people better than Johnny Crane!

Speaking of end-timers, I had a conversation with my father on the Fourth of July about where the world may be headed. I think he's been watching reruns of The Twilight Zone because he believes that the continuing loss of jobs is due to robots taking people's jobs. I think Fox News's arguments against Corporations being at fault for the loss of jobs in this country due to outsourcing is pointing off screen and yelling, "ROBOTS!" While it can't be denied that many manufacturing jobs, at one point, were made redundant due to automated techniques, and that computers can take over positions as well, those were jobs that were lost long before the sudden lack of jobs that had helped the middle class remain staunchly in the middle class. Those jobs are going overseas. Hell, the manufacturing jobs have all been going overseas. Our fucking robots are now losing jobs to humans! My dad's vision of the future is Road Warrior while I'm a bit more optimistic and see Star Trek: The Next Generation as being where we'll, many, many years from now, eventually be. I think we may both end up being right. The Americas will turn into a Road Warrior wasteland and become the cautionary tale for Europe, Asia, and Africa who will all buck up and go into the future Star Trek style.

Catwoman gets a Human Diamond from this guy who just works security but had enough personality so that Ann Nocenti could briefly discuss end times, and she heads back to get her underground gear from Alice.

As an aside, I really love doing commentaries on Ann Nocenti's comics because they are all over the place. They really give me a nice forum to vomit words into the aether. But as an enjoyable comic book reading experience? She's not very good. See that sentence? That was me being kind!

Ann Nocenti is doing something right! I love Ugly Cat! Although I don't know what makes Ugly Cat so ugly. Hey Rafa! You are reading the script, right?!

Catwoman and Ugly Cat stumble upon something bad which winds up being a bunch of stretchy arms capturing Selina.

Meanwhile Trip and Gwen are going to team up to find Catwoman even though Trip wants to beat on Gwen for betraying Catwoman. Catwoman has some really top-notch associates! I can't believe Rat-tail may be the most upstanding person she knows. And that includes Batman.

Double Meanwhile with a cherry on top, Doctor Phosphorous is telling his daughter Tinderbox that she'll never be completely fulfilled because he won't let her marry a man. Dude, if she wants to be out from under your patriarchal thumb so that she can find a completely different patriarchal thumb to be mashed under, who are you to stop her? He just doesn't want her leaving Charneltown because she has to help with the family business of making dead people into gems and then sending them topside through a system of pneumatic tubes. Doctor Phosphorous doesn't mind living underground because he has everything he needs stuffed into the top of his hookah. But Tinderbox wants to be topside! It's at this point that I would begin singing that Little Mermaid song where she shows off her forks and tries to remember topsider words but instead my brain just keeps shoving in the tune of Veruca Salt's "I Want It Now." Not the band, dumb dumb. The character the band was named after.

Nocenti loves writing strong female characters!

Catwoman is the person that has been caught. It's Catwoman. If you were wondering how that guy was going to finish his sentence.

Catwoman decides she doesn't like being manhandled even if there is a chance to marry one of these Charneltowners. So she fights back, scratching Doctor Phosphorous in the face and trying to string him up with her whip.

This might be the most disgusting super power in The New 52. "Why is he putting his finger in his...OH MY GOD I'M BURNING!"

Doctor Phosphorous subdues Catwoman so now she has to marry him. Or at the very least, work for him. Now she has to be his spy to see if some jerks called The Warhogs are violating the terms of the two tribes' treaty by entering The Underground Neutral Zone. I bet Rat-Tail has been found by the Warhogs and he's going to become their spy!

Catwoman finds out that the Neutral Zone is a place where Obsidian blocks are made since it's a place where lave touches water. I suppose both tribes want enough blocks to make a portal to the Nether Realms, especially since Alice Tesla mentioned a place in Gotham that was flooded that used to be called The Nethers. Was Nocenti watching her kid play Minecraft when she thought up this fucking story?

Nocenti may also have been reading The Bible.

Catwoman and Tinderbox mount up on horses and ride off to meet with the Warhogs. Of course, Ugly Cat goes with them. When did this fucking comic book become a Swords and Sorcery tale?! Fuck it! I'm up for it! This might be the best idea Ann Nocenti has ever had! I think that little Goblin from Catwoman #19 was right! This underground is going to be a lot of fun!

Catwoman #22 Rating: +1 Ranking. Look, this isn't a great comic book. But here's why I'm giving it a +1 Ranking! It was more enjoyable than every other Catwoman book written by Nocenti. Ugly Cat was introduced. And this is now DC Canon: THERE IS A SWORD AND SORCERY WORLD LYING UNDERNEATH GOTHAM! Nope! Can't change it! Nocenti has made it so! Get over it!

And now a new Catwoman feature in which I end every commentary of Catwoman with a picture of one of my cats! Yay!

The little kitten in the middle is my dear Pelafina (named after the mother in House of Leaves). This was about eleven or twelve years ago when she stayed with the neighbors for a week while we were out of town. She apparently made great friends with Toast (the washed out ginger) and Moose. This picture kills the life out of me every time I look at it.

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