Saturday, August 31, 2013

Batwoman #23

Stop being so hallucinogenic, Batwoman.

I have nineteen new comic books to read before Wednesday so that I can begin reading Villains Month as soon as the comic books come out! I don't think it's going to happen. I hate myself and my failings. If only I could be more like Linda Mann! I'm so envious of her abilities.

Three or so issues ago, Batwoman and her family and friends decided they would learn Batman's secret identity. It was the only way they could get Kate and her sister free from the clutches of Director Bones and the Department of Extranormal Operations. But then Killer Croc had to have an issue all to himself. And then Batwoman had to learn how to defeat Batman by questioning his biggest rivals. This issue begins with Kate sitting on the edge of the bed trying to convince Maggie that she's ready to face Batman the next day. So are we finally going to get to the showdown I've been waiting for since Issue #5?

Nope. First Kate needs to trip her fucking balls off.

Sure, Kate. Maggie might believe that you're doing this because you love her and you want to show her how sorry you are for being such a huge dick to her as Batwoman, but I know better. This is one of those Shamanistic ritual things, isn't it? A little sweat lodge wisdom before the big battle. A battle I thought would happen around Issue #11 according to my Issue #5 commentary. Boy was I a bit off on that one!

Meanwhile, Firehawk (is that her name? Why can't I fucking remember her name from month to month? Firehawk? Flamebird? Oh! Flamebird! Maybe?) is running around with The Murder of Crows kidnapping DEO bureaucrats so they can torture them for inside information on the agency. That's probably a good back-up plan because what are the odds Batwoman is going to figure out Batman's secret identity? She's no Lois Lane!

Is it just me or does Flamebird look like the baddest ass in this room? She's got a real Terry Moore Parker Girl thing going on here.

I really don't have much to say about Kate's hallucinations because McCarthy really just nails the visuals on this shit. It's not about making sense of the images. Their revelations are in the experience of them and not the story of them. I sometimes wonder if it's at all possible to really describe the experience of hallucinogenics to a person that hasn't experienced them. Which, of course, means the person wouldn't need the experience described! It really widens perception and narrows it at the same time. Everything becomes connected in the most earnest, meaningful way. I suppose it could all be connected in seriously terrifying ways as well but I wouldn't know having never experienced a bad trip. Whenever any of my friends asked me what acid or mushrooms were like, I'd just tell them that I can't actually recommend it to anybody because I don't really know what's going on in their head from day to day. I'd say, "It amplifies whatever mood you're in, or whatever emotion you're feeling. It's up to each person if they feel up to doing it and I can't be the one to make that decision." Also, I never really liked tripping with a virgin because I always felt I had to babysit! Although babysitting while on mushrooms is probably not the best idea ever.

Kurt Vonnegut's son Mark wrote a terrific book called The Eden Express: A Memoir of Insanity about how taking acid tripped his schizophrenia (which he didn't know he had although his family has a history of mental illness). I didn't realize until I read that book that an acid trip was really like taking a detour into schizophrenia. Once I realized that, I could see why schizophrenics often forgo taking their medication. It's like cutting themselves off from being connected to everything. But being in that state all the time must be so fucking exhausting, it's also probably a relief to have that link severed. I highly recommend the book for anybody curious about how schizophrenia can make a person see the world. If you've done hallucinogens, you'll really connect to the way he describes the world once his schizophrenia is tripped. If you haven't, you'll at least get a pretty fucking good explanation of the way things change; you just won't have that visceral feeling of having been there.

Anyway, I really love this page here:

Aww. So sweet! Except for the blood.

Back at The Murder of Crows' loft, Bette has decided punching the DEO Agent in the face isn't making him talk, so she tries a new tactic. Apparently the guy isn't just some nobody bureaucrat. He's Agent Asaf, the DEO's best profiler. So Bette profiles him to figure out what he most wants and how to get him on the same page as her and Batwoman.

It's the Daddy Issues. It's always the Daddy Issues.

Over in downtown Gotham, Cameron Chase is setting loose a small contingent of Arkham's best psychotics: Bane, Poison Ivy, Tweedle Dee, Mad Hatter, The Riddler, Tweedle Dum. She's calling it Operation Batfrack and leaving Bane in charge. You think Batman's going to fall for some mini-Knightfall Flashmob? And what the fuck did the DEO promise these guys to taunt Batman? Tweedle Dee just had his fucking chin sewn back on and The Mad Hatter was nearly killed! Of course, these people are nuts.

I still think they enjoy Batman beating on them.

Later after the fear toxin wears off, Kate attempts a proper proposal. Unless the fear toxin hasn't worn off yet. But asking somebody to marry you is usually done out of every day normal fear of loneliness and being unlovable anyway, so I'm pretty sure the toxin is out of her system.

This is where I usually make a cynical remark about refrigerators. But I think this relationship will last a long time. Hmm. That's exactly what Williams and Blackman would want me to think so that I'll be horrified when Maggie winds up in a Frigidaire! Jerks!

Then some place in Gotham blows up while Director Bones watches and Kate dons her costume and heads out to beat the crap out of Batman.

Batwoman #23 Rating: +1 Ranking. Should I start a pool on how many issues Maggie has left alive?

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