Sunday, September 22, 2013

H'el #1

I know the villain name on the cover is usually in a sloppy or scratchy or wicked font but this just looks like a three year old learning to write his letters and using Microsoft Paint.

What editor decided to give the go ahead on H'el having the backwards "S" on his chest? That's Bizarro's thing, you stupid sons of bitches. It's just fucking confusing! Oh, but you know what's even more confusing? When you have an "S" on his chest for some issues and then some issues he doesn't have an "S" on his chest and sometimes it's backwards and sometimes it's bleeding and just mostly it's never been consistent.

And who thought up the name? Was it Scott Lobdell thinking he was clever? Because it's not. It's stupid in the way that alien names that mean something in an Earth language (usually Latin) reveal something about their character. So he gets to be called Hell! Except it's H'el because of the House of El! Except they all use dashes in their name whereas I've never seen a Kryptonian name with an apostrophe. Granted I'm not exactly a scholar on the culture of Krypton. Never really been a big fan.

But let's talk about H'el's biggest problem: his power levels. Scott Lobdell has no imagination so every crisis that befalls his protagonists is usually one that will either destroy the Earth, or destroy the solar system, or destroy the galaxy, or destroy the universe, or just simply destroy omnithing! One bright spot is that he gave H'el a motive and a reason for being on Earth. But since he was going up against Superman, Lobdell just made him crazy powerful with any super power H'el needed to beat whatever he was facing. Lobdell can't write to the character; he's simply writing to the characters ability to throw and take a punch.

And what the fuck was up with Oracle? Holy shit, that was one of Lobdell's foggy ideas he never could figure out a good reason for, so he kept teasing the fucker until he appeared, did nothing, and left.

Boy oh boy! I'm getting so excited to read this book now! Shall we guess at the first page? Do I even need to say it anymore? Is it possible he's changed up his ability to write a script for a Villains Month one shot? Or am I going to learn who the main character is on yet another boring first page in a long, Lobdellian history of boring first pages?

Before I open the comic book though, I was wondering: who came up with that static first page design with the Narration Box introducing the character? Was it a standard thing back at Marvel in the nineties? Because I think I first noticed Tom DeFalco doing it. And then Scott Lobdell. It was the main evidence for my theory that they're the same person and why they became Tott Dedell in my world. Okay, on with probably the best comic book of Villains Month: H'EL!

Can't prove me wrong just one time, hunh, Scott?

I haven't even read more than the first Narration Box on this page yet. It's too bad Scott Lobdell cancelled his appearance at the Rose City Comicon this weekend! I could have asked him why he's such an unimaginative twat! He probably would have just showed me his bank account statement and said, "Fuck off, loser." And then I would have yelled, "Fuck me? FUCK YOU!" Hopefully I wouldn't have tripped over any little kids as I ran off crying.

Let me begin with a positive note before I turn into a raving lunatic: I do like that H'el's narration boxes are identified by "H'el" in Kryptonianese. That's a nice touch. I guess.

Yet again, let me interrupt myself before I even start. I hope that H'el exists in a loop of time and was never actually created! See, he goes back in time to Krypton at the end of the H'el on Earth story. Then he's caught in a cavern collapse or something. Many years later, Jor-el digs him out, heals him, fixes him up and sends him into space to save Krypton. Which he fails to do, resulting in his appearance on Krypton in the past. He'd be just like the compass in Lost!

This first page lets us in on part of the reason he's called H'el: he's been designated as Patient H. Probably because he's the seventh mystery person admitted to the hospital. I mean eighth! Unless "H" is the first letter of the Kryptonian Alphabet. Maybe "Patient H" is just the Kryptonian "John Doe" just as "winged stratadarm" is the Kryptonian elephant. Umm, with wings!

Why is Kara ramming a massive, green, veiny dildo into H'el's chest? Kinky!

Luckly H'el is able to narrate the story from his coma in the middle of the laboratory or the readers couldn't be brought up to speed on the terrifically amazing story that was H'el on Earth (by the way, this story is called "To H'el and Back." Lobdell is just so terribly clever!).

Jor-el and Orla ponder why H'el is filled to the brim with delicious radiation. Jor-el can draw only one conclusion! Patient H has been among the stars! Like an elf! But now he's back on Krypton. Like a Kryptonian! Which I guess he is. They're talking about him like he's a Kryptonian male, only one that resists growing tumors when flooded with radioactive energy and stabbed in the chest with a Kryptonite Dildo.

Sheesh. Supergirl and her dildos! Get a room!

Meanwhile H'el observes as a disembodied spirit.

I think H'el is mixing his metaphors. Blinding suns don't cast shadows. They can be the cause of shadows. In which case, Jor-el's brilliance should be some mighty oak casting its shadow across the intellect of the other scientists. Or if H'el wants to stick with Jor-el being the sun for the pun on brilliance, Jor-el should just simply be burning out the retinas of all the other scientists with his brilliance.

I'm not even going to discuss the "magic" of science comment because who can interpret that bullshit when he puts magic in quotation marks? Does he mean the apparent magic of science which is just, you know science? Or is he making some other loopy comment that I shouldn't even try to comprehend?

Jor-el is brought before the Scientific Peer Review of Old White Men Who Have to Muddle with Everything to explain his conclusions about H'el. And since he's a scientist, he avoids wild speculation based on only the smallest of evidence.

Well, he mostly avoids it!

So Jor-el comes up with a crazy theory and declares it must be the correct one. Of course, it is the correct one and we as readers (and H'el who lived through it) know it's correct. But it's nonsense that that should be his guess! That that's the only conceivable way that a piece of Kryptonite could have been taken from the core of the planet. Time travel! He doesn't even consider that the Kryptonite could have come from another planet in the universe that's nearly identical to Krypton (or whatever is needed to produce fucking Kryptonite). I'm guessing they don't have the Occam's Razor philosophy out in the backwaters of omniverse.

I don't know how young Jor-el is here but he's being treated much the same way Wesley Crusher was treated because his mother was the ship's doctor. He was tolerated and people were amused by him and he was given grudging respect for his intelligence. Which makes me think Scott Lobdell has been watching a lot of Star Trek: The Next Generation lately on Netflix.

For some reason, a military man name Zev-ekar accuses Jor-el of treason with his words. What am I saying, "some reason?" If people like Zev-ekar sense an enemy (and politicians and military men are really good at sensing enemies around every corner), they use the wildest hyperbole they can to bring down the other person. Fuck logic and rational thinking. Kill kill kill!

Calm down, man! He said H'el's from the future! Not the immediate future. You do realize that there's a shit-ton of future in the future, right? He could be from anytime!

Ghost H'el Narration Boxes with incredible bravado about all the crap he can do to the Kryptonians standing in Jor-el's way if he really wanted to. But he decides he should be careful here in the past so he doesn't alter the future.

Oh, fuck you, Scott LobdH'el! H'el whole mission was to change the fucking past and keep Krypton from exploding! How much more future altering can you get than that? It's like he's not even the same person anymore!

As Jor-el leaves the Science Council, he runs into Zod. I think it's Zod. He seems much older than Jor-el even though he Jor-el seemed to be a few years older than Zod back in Zod's comic book. But more importantly, H'el thinks, "I do not know much about this man. Besides that, I do not think much of him at all." Thanks for the informative Narration Boxes, H'el! I feel like I understand Zod so much better now.

Jor-el gives Zod a tour of his laboratory where he's already made all of the important discoveries he'll ever make in his lifetime. And now that he knows, from H'el, that Krypton is going to explode, he's pretty much reached the pinnacle of his development. Now he just needs to find a woman willing to have his superbaby.

One of his experiments is to send a ship all around the galaxy and through different kinds of radiation to test how it affects Kryptonian cells. He's going to call it a Time Capsule and explain that it will return to Krypton one day to be opened. But in reality, it will have sent Kryptonian cells across the galaxy sucking up radiation. So that's where H'el was and how H'el has every power in the book, I guess. Because he sucked down every type of radiation that exists. Which means Superman doesn't just need Kryptonite to get strange powers and ant-heads! He can just fly too close to a Blue Dwarf!

H'el recognizes the time capsule ship as his own ship and has a spontaneous burst of sudden onset memory retrieval.

H'el awakens from his coma in his anger that something was a lie. After he crashed to Earth, he lied to himself like the guy from Memento to give himself purpose. Then he scratched that stupid "S" into his chest and decided Jor-el had sent him to save Krypton. Now he's trying to get to the time capsule ship to start it all over again. Just like Memento!

H'el burns Zod to a crisp and breaks Jor-el's neck as he escapes to the time capsule. Which Shit. No Superman? Is that what that means? Way to go, dildo! You just got Scott Lobdell's Superman cancelled by killing Jor-el! You're a genius! Three cheers for H'el!

H'el! H'el! H'el yeah! H'el! H'el! H'el yeah! H'el! H'el! H'el yeah!

H'el sends his cells into space to be born filled with lots of radiation to ensure his future self can return to Krypton to send his cells into space to be born!

H'el #1 Rating: Fuck me roughly with a teeter-totter, I actually think H'el's existence and explanation for his super duper super powers kind of works. I'm not a fan with these time travel and alternate reality shenanigans though. Oh no! Jor-el has been killed! How is it all going to be restored to the regular timeline? Realistically, who cares? My favorite theory of time travel is that there are no paradoxes. If you go back in time, you just move over to a new timeline. So you can do whatever the fuck you please. Kill your grandfather. No big deal because you aren't from that timeline. You've just prevented a version of you from being born but it isn't, ultimately, you. So now that H'el has gone back in time, he could be on Earth 53 for all I are. Kill Jor-el! Rule Krypton! Fuck Zod's charcoal corpse! Have at it! It's just if Lobdell can't make a cosmic destruction story, he'll make a time travel paradox story. I'm not sure he has any subtlety in his bag of tricks at all.

Don't get me wrong! Just because I actually think H'el is a much better character after the reveal in this book, the way the story was told was still atrocious! That fucking ghost H'el walking around narrating everything was just lazy bullshit. But I suppose it would have taken too much thought to produce the same basic plot without H'el being omniscient.

No comments:

Post a Comment