Thursday, October 31, 2013

Batwoman #24

This is Batwoman's comic series, so she should win this fight. But nobody beats Batman at DC! NOBODY!

Way back in Issue #5, I predicted that Batwoman and Batman would appear on the cover of Issue #11 beating the shit out of each other. Looks like I was thirteen issues off!

The issue begins with the Arkham inmates that the DEO set loose to draw in The Batman running wild in the streets of Gotham. This must take place some time ago in DC's chronology since Katana is still with the Birds of Prey and Nightwing is still hanging out in Gotham.

And David Zavimbe is still Batwing! I can tell because he really does look fat in his costume.

Batman shows up to battle Bane not because Batman doesn't want anybody else winding up with a broken back but because he's a fucking glory hog. I can't believe Bane agreed to get his ass kicked by The Batman just to lure him out into the open. The DEO must have offered him a small chunk of Gotham for his trouble. But even Bane's amazing acting abilities can't fool The Batman!

They don't call him the World's Greatest Detective because he knows how to please a woman's pleasure spot. You know what I'm talking about! That spot! There's a spot, right? Near the anus?

Bane taunts The Batman with Robin's murder during the fight which is just another clue to placing this comic book on the DC Timeline. Of course I don't know what any of those clues mean! I gave up trying to figure out what is happening before or after what about a dozen issues ago. If you want to know when events take place in relation to other events, you should see Canonology's site. If you want dick jokes, you're probably in the right place. That reminds me. I should probably make a dick joke soon.

Batman learns that Bones is behind the Arkham inmate riots when he injects Bane with a serum that turns his Venom into a toxin. That means Bane will be spending the next two weeks sitting on a toilet with a bucket in front of him. Which means the Talon story must take place at least two weeks after this story.

"Bane spilled his guts!" Bones made a joke!

Batwoman arrives and the brawl begins. Meanwhile, Hawkfire is busy infiltrating the DEO to rescue Alice so that Batwoman doesn't actually have to beat Batman and get his secret identity to save her sister. That's good! Because even though Batwoman declares she's going to cheat to win, she still isn't going to win! And she's definitely not going to learn Batman's secret identity unless he decides to just come out and tell it to her. And then the issue ends with Batman's hand around Kate's throat and Kate's hand around Batman's throat. Which is the last Batwoman panel to be written by Blackman and Williams.

Batwoman #24 Rating: No change. I suppose this ending to the original creative team is fine since no matter who is writing this comic book, they can't let Batwoman beat Batman! Maybe Batwoman will wind up marrying Batman and living happily ever after! I bet that's what will happen when the new creative team joins the book. Also, Nightwing will strip at Kate Kane's bachelorette party. Bones will be shamed into quitting the DEO and a depressed Sawyer will team up with a now unemployed Chase to start a Super Hero Dating Service. I'm almost positive that at least 75% of my guesses will come true.

But seriously. This was a really fucking good comic book and it sucks that editorial and the suits at DC had to muck it up with their opinions and egos and non-writer's ideas. Jerkos.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Wonder Woman #24

Yay! Goddess of War in the house!

This issue begins with The First Born shackled before the Throne of Olympus. Apollo decides it's an appropriate time for a pun while a bunch of his brothers and sisters sit around enjoying the spectacle. Or maybe they're there to judge The First Born. Or maybe they're pouting because there weren't invited to Hades for War's funeral. Or maybe I should just keep reading so I can find out what the fuck is going on.

Aphrodite is here but she's too beautiful and naked to be seen by our eyes.

I still don't know what's going on! Who is missing? War? Hades? Strife? Hermes? Cupid? The other ones that I would have been able to rattle off on command when I was eleven! A lot of Gods are missing!

Wonder Woman has purchased an apartment in London for her ragtag family which includes herself, Hera, Zola, Zeke, and Orion.

Oh, and Lennox! Maybe his body will eventually grow back. Rock grows, right?!

Turns out War was the one missing at the Olympic Tribunal. So Hermes brings Wonder Woman to Olympus to discuss the fate of The First Born. Please. Why would they need her? Everybody knows she'll cave and call for mercy! Wonder Woman seems a bit shocked to discover that she's the new God of War. I guess she wasn't paying attention in Succession of Godhead 101. She probably only passed by sleeping with her professor. No, no. That would have been how it went down with the Wonder Woman of 1950s DC Comics! This is the modern era! So she probably kicked his ass for her A.

Meanwhile on Earth, ARGUS (or some very similar black ops type organization. Maybe the Black Razors or the Blackhawks?) is busy capturing Wonder Woman's brother, Wesley Willis. They kill his flies so he can't seen anything around him and move in to apprehend him. Turns out the black ops people are employees of Cassandra, Wesley Willis's sister. I think Cassandra can't use her power to predict the future any more because her throat was crushed many years ago by Lennox. But that's okay because nobody ever believed anything she said anyway.

Let me interrupt my running commentary to say Goran Sudzuka does a damn fine job replacing Cliff Chiang. A bit sloppy here and there but generally does a really good job of mimicking Chiang's look for this book. I appreciate it when an artist tries to keep the long-standing look of a book the same. Tony Atkins also did a good job trying to keep the look consistent. The effort isn't lost on me at all. Great job. Now back to being stupid.

I bet Superman knows this look well! It's Diana's "Did you just fart?" face.

Apollo seems to think his first prophecy has been fulfilled, the one about a child of Zeus slaying another child of Zeus. But I'm fairly certain it was in direct relation to the Throne, so Apollo might be getting ahead of himself on that one. You can't defy prophecy by pretending it's already happened! Prophecy isn't that stupid, stupid. Wonder Woman heads back home wanting no part of playing War. And then Strife appears to tell the others that she will be the new God of War after she kills Wonder Woman. But Apollo has a feeling things might just go more smoothly without a God of War altogether. I have a feeling he's wrong about that.

Wonder Woman #24 Rating: +1 Ranking. I simply adore this series. That is all.

Supergirl #24

Now that Supergirl's flesh has been used to give Cyborg Superman his identity back, do I have to end this commentary with a shot of Cyborg Superman's ass? It might be sexy but I have a feeling it won't be adorable.

I have a confession to make. Actually, it's not much of a confession since all of my philosophy is malleable depending on the situation, being that I'm a Situational Individualist. So when I say I never high-five people, that's generally true. But I did high-five somebody in Las Vegas two weeks ago.

I was on Fremont Street with a bunch of old friends (and a few new ones) when the ceiling light show shit began with Queen. We were singing and walking and grooving along when We Are the Champions ended and it switched to the Monster Mash. At that point, I began dancing with my buddy Brent. At first I was doing the Molly Ringwald but then I began dancing like a Werewolf and then like a Vampire and then like a Mummy. If I'd put a hat down, I probably would have made a few bucks. Eventually Brent decided to dance like a charging bull and plowed into me and we laughed and stopped and continued on to the next casino. As we were entering the casino, some guy standing by the door yelled, "Hey! It's the dancing guy! That was awesome!" and he proffered the up top high-five. So what? I'm going to leave a stranger who appreciated the majesty of my Monster Mashing hanging? Fuck no!

Plus I was kind of drunk. And you know the kinds of stupid, embarrassing things people do when they're drunk! I am not ashamed. He also may have been five years old and who am I to deny a five year old a high five? Yeah, he was tall for one so young but what do I know about children?

So now you know. Anything I say on this blog is not set in stone, depending on the situation and depending on the people involved in the situation. Nobody should be ensconced in any foundational philosophy that doesn't allow room for mercy and understanding. First and foremost, we are all individuals. We should all understand and respect that. Except in situations when the individual's name is Scott Lobdell. Fuck him!

So Supergirl! She's cute, right? Let's read about her! If she's still alive somehow after melting away into nothing.

Just like I confusingly predicted last commentary: Supergirl's shoved her chocolate deep into I'noxia's peanut butter!

Brainiac has arrived to give Supergirl a K-Pap Smear. But Cyborg Superman (who is no longer Cyborg Superman but Zor-el, Supergirl's father) doesn't want Brainiac anywhere near his daughter's dainty parts, no matter how scientific and unsexy Brainiac's motivations might be. He convinces his lab assistant, Delacore, to put everything I'noxia has into repelling Brainiac while Zor-el figures out a way to save everyone and restore Kara's adorable little bum. Delacore agrees because with a name like Delacore, he certainly isn't going to win a fist-fight, even if it is with a naked, traumatized man of science composed of his daughter's supple flesh.

"And a truth that you must keep me from learning no matter how much I beg and plead and say, 'But why wouldn't I want to know? I want to know now so I should know! I was stupid not to want me to know!' Because once I learn the truth again, I'll wind up saying, 'I never should have known!'"

While Brainiac attacks I'noxia topside, Kara attacks from deep within its bowels. She's going to herniate the fuck out of this place unless she gets her body back pronto! That should have whoever is in charge worried. I don't know who is in charge. I guess Zor-el although he's kind of fucked up everything so far!

Supergirl wants to kill Cyborg Superman for taking her body. That's understandable. But little does she know she's suffering from Daddy Issues! Ha ha! Your daddy took away your body and your innocence and just left a pile of raging atoms! Why isn't that as funny as I want it to be? Why did that statement hurt my heart so much?! DADDY!

"Delacore?! Do we really have time for the Heroin Fueled Sex Contraption?! Oh what am I saying? There's always time for the Heroin Fueled Sex Contraption!"

Delacore reverses the operations and Zor-el once again becomes the amnesiac, Cyborg Superman. And Supergirl's body is restored in its full, naked, nipply glory! I'm assuming that Kryptonian females have nipples. I'm fairly certain Kryptonian children are reared by machines and clones and vats full of artificial amniotic fluids! It's a good thing Superman was nourished by the sun when he came to Earth since Ma Kent's cow milk and corn fritters couldn't actually be digested by the boy.

While Supergirl stupidly gets dressed, Cyborg Superman and Brainiac trade wicked barbs like "You're not super at all!" and "You're dumb!" It's all very 3rd Grade Recess which makes it perfect for my level of understanding. I'm totally getting that they don't like each other at all! I appreciate when comic books don't go the subtle route.

Delacore and the rest of I'noxia turn into a silver sphere, convince Supergirl to flee while Brainiac and Cyborg Superman are playing tetherball, and say their goodbyes to Supergirl.

I'm actually looking forward to Delacore's future return! I don't say that often about characters!

Supergirl flees I'noxia and runs straight into the worst final page of a comic book ever! She runs into Oracle, Scott Lobdell's stupid fucking nonsense omnipotent thing that isn't actually omnipotent and doesn't actually do anything at all. But I suppose he's here to suck Kara into the worst crossover since H'el on Earth: THE RETURN OF KRYPTON!!!!! Did I give it enough exclamation points?

Supergirl #24 Rating: +10 Ranking. I have enjoyed this comic book since it started even if it was a bit decompressed for my tastes during its first year. But it's been languishing beneath a bunch of titles that I only occasionally enjoy and I think it's time for Supergirl to get a nice boost, preferably by my hands and preferably by her bottom. I also sense her comic might not fare too well during Issue #25 since it will be tied directly to Scott Lobdell's awesomest story ever told by either Marvel or DC!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Vibe #8


Whenever my Foster Robot Doom Bunny replies to yes/no questions in the negative, he says, "Nope!" in such a way that says, "Do not bother me again, extremely weak-skinned, blood filled sack of soft organs and excrement waiting to be excreted." Then his subroutines fire up, causing a series of clicks and whirrs as he ponders, "If excrement has not yet been excreted, it cannot rightly be called excrement. UNDEFINED ERROR." This leads to short bursts of laser fire from his eyes after which he rushes to the bathroom to interface with his dongle.

Everybody should have a Foster Robot! The most fun part of having one is on October 31st when the Luddite's Annual Purity Sweeps take place and they storm the house in a variety of costumes trying to put an end to his monstrous existence. It's fun because their weapons are made from crappy technology and my philosophy allows me to use an automatic shotgun! Although the Robot is a far quicker aim with his Microwave Breath than I am with my shotgun, so I've never actually killed a Luddite. I've only fired shells into still burning husks that have been incinerated from the inside out. It's still very exciting!

I also don't know why all the Luddites are so Goddamned short. I suppose they're also against vitamins and healthy diets.

Last issue, Vibe was kidnapped into Gypsy's home dimension by his brother Rupture. And Dante had been whisked away in his Dog Armor full of Super Hero Creating Nanites so that when we next see him, he'll be calling himself Purgatorio. Amanda Waller and Agent Gunn are busy trying to squelch the riot at The Circus and trying hard not to shit their pants over the escape of Omega.

This issue, Amethyst is helping protect House Topaz from House Quartz!

This is the best issue of Vibe yet!

Apparently I should be more careful about leaving comic books stacked up together in my "to read" pile because they're apparently susceptible to cross-contamination. This is the comic book that Vibe #8 was lying on top of overnight.

I'm glad Vibe didn't commingle with my next DC Comics Presents starring Madame Xanadu! Who needs that cunt ruining this comic book with her pretend visions of the end of the world?!

Princess Amaya (otherwise known as Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld!) is captured by a gigantic hulking monster made of Quartz that snaps her arm and engages in completely barbaric behaviour. He has obviously never been to Gemworld Finishing School and learned that you do not break the Princess's arm and threaten her life when exchanging cordialities. If only a hero would appear! Somebody that could create a resonant frequency that could shatter quartz! But who in Gemworld is capable of that?

Luckily when Vibe arrives via the portal created by his interaction with his brother Rupture, some strange power shatters all of the Giant Quartz men. Talk about a lucky break!

But before that happened, Vibe had been abandoned halfway through the portal to Gypsy's homeworld when Rupture believed Vibe had finally died and he had no more power to siphon off. And from his viewpoint in the portal, Vibe saw many places! Like Morpheus's Dream Realm. And Earth 2. He hears somebody speaking Old Portugese [sic] (or Runespeak (or Magic Symbol)) say, "They all deserve what they get." He hears about the death of the Justice League and sees some orchids floating on the wind. Then he sees a dinosaur watching Serenity. I'm sure it all means something very important! Or he's just in DC's Ad-Space.

He also passes through Earth 23.

Eventually he finds himself on the cancelled world of Nilaa which doesn't bode well for Vibe. The phrase "put out to pasture" comes to mind. Minus the sexual implications!

Vibe nearly kills Amethyst the way Vibe nearly kills everybody he touches that doesn't have the standard 528Hz vibrational frequency. But Breacher shows up in time to shove his cock into the middle of Vibe and Amethyst's embrace, saving Princess Amaya from death. Or catastrophic pleasure, conceivably.

Breacher saves Vibe's life as well by shoving a plug in his chest. He then kidnaps him to another world to join a small resistance group. They're probably resisting Rupture! Breacher then gives Vibe a quick Origin Story Clarification before revealing where he has brought Vibe.

Worst vacation getaway ever. Besides [insert your home town here].

I wish I had the chops for a piece of code that would read the location of the IP address accessing this page and insert the name of the city into the caption above. If this were a MUSH, I probably could have rigged that up so that everybody who reads this would get slightly pissed at me for shitting on their place of residence. Except it wouldn't work for all the hacker trolls that are faking their IP addresses and ping ponging their connection all over the world. Also, half the readers would probably nod their heads in agreement and think, "Fuck yeah! This place is the Goddamned pits!"

Vibe calls bullshit on Breacher's story, so Breacher hangs his head in shame and says, "You got me!" Then he tells Vibe the truth.

Which is just as reasonable as the lie, so I have no idea why he felt he needed to lie.

Breacher might just have been nervous that Vibe wouldn't believe him over the story Vibe's brother Rupture told Vibe. So he was trying to manipulate Vibe while sticking to Rupture's story. Why confuse the kid if he didn't have to? Also, it helped fill out the final pages to end nicely on the Mordreth is Breacher and he's become a living portal which could happen to Vibe if they don't act soon cliffhanger!

Vibe #8 Rating: +1 Ranking. I heard from one of my Angles (that's the atheist's version of Angels) that Vibe has been put on the chopping block. It's too bad because I'm enjoying this comic and I think it deserves a story or two following up on all of this previous stuff that has essentially been Vibe's Origin Story. I like the mix of family story and the young rookie being manipulated by a huge government organization. Because he's young, Vibe has a bit of a Peter Parker feel going on that hasn't quite been explored as much as I'd like. Which is why I was hoping this comic would last long enough to finish this first story so it could tell some humorous and off-beat coming of age as a super hero crap for a bit. I'm still looking for well-written and light-hearted, fun stuff from DC and this comic had some good potential. As did Swords of Sorcery, so it was nice to see a little Amethyst in these pages. Right now, All Star Western is my go to fun comic book at DC. I wish there were more like it.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Batman and Two-Face #24

I was hoping Damian would be back by now but I guess DC should let him stay dead for at least a year.

With Ra's al Ghul creating a bunch of Damians inside a bunch of test tubes, my guess is that when Robin returns to this title, it'll be Batman and Robins. With the "s"!

Last issue didn't make me cry at all, so I suspect this one won't either. I'm a tough guy!

The issue begins with Two-Face conducting his mo(u)rning ritual.

Wakey wakey! Russian Roulette and bacy!

Obviously the first thing Two-Face does when he wakes up is flip his coin. I say obviously because that's the most basic aspect of his character, after having two faces. If you know anything about Two-Face, you know that 1. He has two faces and 2. He flips a coin to make all of his decisions. And there you have it! That's all you need to know about him! Ever!

The interesting part of this morning's ritual was that his coin toss resulted in the non-scarred side of his coin. Which means this is the act of a sane and rational good man. He might be just trying to end his pain. But because Two-Face says, "Better luck next time," I believe this is Harvey's attempt to end the evil of his opposite. He uses the same bullet every day which sits on the dresser next to a picture of his ex-wife. Possibly. Probably. I'm not entirely sure since I only know two things about Two-Face (see last paragraph!). After Harvey Dent fails to kill Two-Face, they get dressed and go out for the day, probably to hang out with Batman.

Batman's day began two to three days earlier (probably!) and he's been using that time to practice his journalism skills.

He only knows two of the "W"s.

A woman named Erin McKillen is visiting Gotham for a short meeting before getting the fuck right out because she doesn't want to run into Harvey Dent or The Batman. That means she's probably up to no good! Also, she has "kill" in her name so she's obviously a big jerk. But Commissioner Gordon has a lead on her, so her visit probably isn't going to be as relaxing as she's hoping. She also has red hair, so Nightwing might show up just to flirt with her.

Alfred Pennyworth is busy doing everything wrong, as usual. It must be hard working for The Batman! Is that guy every happy?

I guess next issue will be Batman and Ra's al Ghul. Unless this Two-Face story is a two parter. Because, you know, Two-Face!

McKillen is in town as the head of her Crime Family because there's a big meeting so that the criminals with the normative brain chemistry can drive out the criminals with the abnormal brain chemistry. Also, she's apparently the person that threw the acid into Harvey Dent's face and turned him into Two-Face. Everybody wants her to take him out first but she's a bit reluctant because she doesn't want to die. I'm with her! Why be the head of a Crime Family if you have to put yourself in danger?! Why doesn't somebody else kill Two-Face and she can kill a threat to someone else! That's the way it's done in all the murder mysteries where people think they can get away with it because they have no relation to the victim.

McKillen lets herself be talked into going after Two-Face herself. Apparently she has to show some faith or shed some blood or ante up some skin or something. And because Commissioner Gordon and the Gotham Police make a raid on her place, all of her men are busy making their one phone call. So it's all up to her to kill Harvey Dent and not lose her teeth to The Batman.

Whoops. Looks like she failed on both of those counts.

Sure, that's mostly spit. But I think there's probably at least one tooth and some chips in that mess. And calling her loss of teeth earns me enough Experience Points to move up from Master Comic Book Reader Level 1 to Master Comic Book Reader Level 2! I'm well on my way to earning Grandmaster Comic Book Reader status! Plus Batman's capture of Erin ends this issue which means Batman and Two-Face will be heading into a second issue. So I gained some Experience Points for that too!

Batman and Two-Face #24 Rating: No change. I didn't mention it in the commentary but I thought Two-Face's origin scene was done really well. And I love that the place where it happened (and his wife was killed) is the same room he wakes up in day after day and tries to end his life. Now the "Better luck next time" may simply have been Two-Face's consolatory remarks on another day in which Harvey has failed to join his wife. Simply more good shit by Tomasi.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Animal Man #24

I'm Team Brother Blood! That's a cool thing all the kids do, right? Make teams out of characters and shit? When I was a teenboy, we would say, "Golly gee, I sure as heck really respect Mr. Brother Blood! I wisht he were my uncle!"

I got into a bit of an argument with my downstairs neighbor a few nights ago about his late night music. As part of his evidence as to why I was wrong, he pointed out that I had horrible social skills. To which I said, "I know I do! I'm an anti-social recluse!" I don't know if he expected me to agree with his point but he was correct! I then called him a dick but he didn't find that characterization particularly apt. Man, I hate engaging with people and I particularly hate confrontations like this. I wonder what it was like on his side, arguing with a neighbor who could barely make eye contact with him? I just want to be left alone, dammit! Don't draw me out into the neighborhood to request some peace and quiet!

Apparently the greatest crime you can commit when living in a neighborhood is not interacting with the other people in that neighborhood. I should go to the next block party just to find out what the local legends are about me! I should also carry a big leather bound book covered in dried blood! Then when anybody says anything to me, I can scribble furiously into the book while occasionally glancing furtively over my shoulder.

One of my big fantasies when I was a kid was living in a completely abandoned city and exploring the houses of all the people that had suddenly gone missing. So that was my dream life. To be left alone while being able to explore the stories of the people that I didn't actually want to interact with previously. I like stories about people but I don't like to have to interact with people. I suppose that's why I have five times as many Tumblr Followers as Facebook friends.

Buddy Baker getting the good news!

Brother Blood may have infiltrated The Red by using Buddy Baker's blood but that's just the beginning. Blood has the backing of one of the Totems in the Parliament of Limbs and now it's time for them to go to war against the others. I hope there isn't too much battling between Creatures of the Red. Can we just get straight to the one on one cage match duel to the death between Brother Blood and Maxine? I may be an Initiate and Biggest Fan of Brother Blood but I really want to see him get his ass kicked by a five year old girl. So I guess I'm Team Maxine now!

The war kicks off with Brother Blood and his Totem Backer kicking the shit out of all the friendly, cute, benign animal Totems in the Parliament of Limbs. They don't put up much of a fight because they're peace loving peaceniks full of peace and love. Singing All You Need is Love might work to win a war in a cartoon but this is a fucking comic book! You need muscles and throat punches to win here!

See? This Totem gets it!

That Totem does get it too! His head ripped right off of his body! And then all the other Totems fall because it's The Red's turn to run amok and destroy the careful balance between Red, Green, and Grey. Except none of that can happen until Brother Blood murders a five year old girl. So good luck with that, Brother Blood, because even though this is a Teen Plus Rated Comic Book, I don't think little girls can be killed until you're in a Mature Rated Comic Book.

While war is breaking out in The Red, Buddy Baker gets a call from his wife Ellen informing him that their daughter has disappeared. And since she's a precocious little anti-hero, Buddy Baker probably knows that she's goofing off in The Red trying to save her brother Cliff. It's pretty much the only conclusion a person can come to.

Meanwhile Maxine and Socks and the Shepherd get the news that war has come to The Red. They need to find a place to gather their strength and their troops so they can make a stand. Which means they have to stop their search for Cliff. I must say, I didn't think Lemire would leave Cliff dead but I think that's what he's planning.

Even as The Avatar of the Red, she can't save everyone. It's an important lesson for Maxine to learn early.

I think this is a subtle difference between the lesson DC's big heroes learned and the lesson Spiderman learns. Superman learns through the death of his parents that he can't, ultimately, save everyone from everything. Batman spent his whole life understanding this which is why, I think, he's less traumatized by the piles of corpses left by the bad guys of Gotham. But Spiderman kind of realizes the opposite. He did have the opportunity to save his Uncle Ben and ignored it. The DC heroes learn about futility while Spiderman learns about responsibility. Ultimately, although tragic and sad, Spiderman's origin is more hopeful than the others. Unless it's all different somehow.

The Splinterfolk are sucked into The Red to be Blood's army. Back on Earth, The Church of Brother Blood has begun hunting down Buddy Baker to kill him. At first I thought Buddy would enter The Red to help Maxine, but she might be on her own. Buddy Baker recently had a falling out with the Totems and, I believe, was banished from The Red. So Buddy will have to make war on Earth while Maxine takes care of business in The Red. I guess. Maybe Buddy will just forget the whole thing and just enjoy his time at the award show.

I can't wait until The Chicken Thief movies are actually made.

Brother Blood's acolytes take over the award ceremony and send a message to Buddy Baker. They'll kill everybody at the show in an hour if he doesn't give himself up to be executed publicly. If Buddy doesn't give himself up, the movie industry will be ruined! Or maybe it will just save a lot of money as all the big name, big money actresses and actors are murdered by the Church of Blood. Movies still have to be made and now you can pay lesser stars less money and most likely get the same quality of acting (or better even!). Way to go, Church of Blood! Although what the fuck do I care?! It's not like that savings will get passed down to the moviegoer!

Animal Man #24 Rating: No change. There's a feel about this comic that brings me back to reading comics in my youth. A big part of the reason is that the bad guys have clear motivations that really don't rely on the hero of the book. Sure, they want to kill Buddy Baker and Maxine but that's only to help solidify Blood and his new Totem Master's power. Their main goal is to make The Red the most powerful force on Earth while they pull the strings. It's a fairly standard evil villain motivation but it makes more sense in this context than just a vague "I want to rule the world" mentality. Brother Blood has a perfect connection to The Red that I suppose I have to thank Howard Mackie and his editors for setting up. At least something decent came from The Ravagers comic book although Blood's character has been completely revamped here. Thank God! And by God I mean Lemire and the editors at DC that made the decision to change Brother Blood and not some unknowable cosmic entity that made it possible.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Batman Loves Superman #4

Time once again for "Guess Which Batman Superman is talking to!" Secondary game: "Guess Which Superman is talking to Batman!"

People seem to be having a hard time identifying which Earth's hero is speaking from panel to panel in this comic book. It can sometimes be quite confusing. But since I already spend way too much time reading a single comic book, rereading passages and poring over every minute detail in every panel, I hardly noticed the extra time I was spending figuring out which Earth any particular character was currently from. I'm easily confused reading the simplest comic books anyway! So rereading passages until my brain can figure out what the fuck I just read is my natural state. Apparently this comic book was made to simulate to other people how confused I can be reading run of the mill shit.

I was just glancing at the cover again and what the fuck has Batman grappled to swing across the skies carrying Catwoman? Is he hooked into a passing airplane? Maybe the moon? Perhaps Alfred constantly flies just off-panel in the Batcopter so that Batman can swing around like an idiot.

When we last saw these confusing heroes, they were trying to save the world either from itself and the military's new death crystal or from an intergalactic despot named Darkseid. I don't think they had decided whether or not the world needed the new death crystal to combat Darkseid. I suppose since Darkseid eventually kills Earth 2's Wonders, they make the wrong decision later in this comic book.

Having Earth Two Slade Wilson fire up the super secret death machine doesn't clear up the ambiguous nature of it!

Earth 2 Batman and Earth 2 Superman are obviously more skilled and have more experience using their powers than their Earth Prime counterparts. But they really need to work on their one-liners. Earth 2 Batman acts before Earth Prime Batman can do anything, so he says, "I don't think I'd started inuring myself to pufferfish paralysis toxin at your age." Really? That's what you come up with to tell Earth Prime Batman that his reflexes are shit? I thought the comic book was missing some panels and, once again, had to reread this page a couple of times before I realized he was laying down an insult! The end result of Earth 2 Batman and Earth 2 Superman doing all the work is Earth Prime Batman and Earth Prime Superman hating them.

I guess with good reason! Umm, that's the Earth 2 guys taking out the Earth Prime guys because why waste time convincing them that your way is the right way when you can just knock them unconscious, you know?

Earth 2 Superman's argument for destroying the crystal is that it "can literally do anything." Actually, according to Earth 2 Bruce, it only "magnifies energy" and I know I'm just an idiot with an Oreo fetish but I don't think that literally means it can literally do anything! I think that literally means it magnifies energy! Of course, Superman isn't the smartest guy. He's spent most of his time thinking up excuses to tell Lois why Clark disappeared while trying to get a dangerous story. The rest of his time has been spent winking at a non-existent camera whenever he tells Lois one of those excuses. So I can see how he would be confused by the phrase "magnifies energy."

Meanwhile, Catwoman is flying around in the Batplane flirting with Lois and Wonder Woman is wrestling with Kaiyo. This part is even more confusing than the rest of the comic book because it's full of women not reacting to men. How do they know what to do? It's a good thing Lois Lane is in the scene because she's practically a man with her self-reliance and independence and her ability to fire missiles at a threat without caring who might be hurt. Wonder Woman also acts like a man when she complains that Kaiyo isn't willing to fight fair which, when men say that, always means "Stop having the advantage and fight in a way that gives me the advantage." And Catwoman is showing an inordinate amount of interest in some women on women sexual action, so that's totally manlike. It's almost as if female characters can just be, you know, characters! I suppose I can handle this craziness for one page but if they don't get back to reacting to the males soon, I'm going to have to declare pandering.

Getting back to the sensible action, Earth Prime Batman and Earth Prime Superman have a rebuttal against being knocked out: to not be knocked out at all!

Earth 2 Batman's insult is beginning to look more like really good detective work.

Earth Prime Batman and Earth Prime Superman touch the crystal and their dreams literally come true. So the crystal does literally do anything it literally does. Literally. Greg Pak likes to use the word literally. It makes everything truthier. But that also means Earth 2 Batman was lying when he said the crystal "magnifies energy." I suppose one could argue that he was simply bending the truth because the crystal does "magnify" the "energy" of Superman's wishes that his parents were alive which causes their zombie selves to appear. And Batman believes he's a real scary Bat-Man, so he becomes all batty. So the young heroes learn a lesson about listening to old heroes although they'll never learn the lesson because fuck listening to old people. What do they know? Experience? Pshaw!

While all the magic chaos goes down and somebody calls Batman "Wayne" right in the middle of a bunch of soldiers, Slade Wilson gets back up and climbs into his super death weapon chair and fires it right into Earth 2 Superman's back.

Stop using your secret identity names, dumb dumbs!

In the ensuing battle, Earth Prime Superman learns to fly by just believing he can (without any fairy dust even), Earth 2 Superman destroys the Deadliest Weapon by turning its blasts back on itself, and Lois Lane and Catwoman are saved by the men. Whew. I was getting worried that the women might save themselves! Talk about dogs and cats living together!

It all ends sort of happily ever after even though Wonder Woman didn't get to kill anybody.

Kaiyo is a poor judge of contests. It's as if she already knows how things will turn out.

Kaiyo then returns everybody to their respective homes but without the memories of Batman Loves Superman Issues One through Four. Hopefully Superman will at least remember he can stop leaping tall buildings and just fly on by.

The issue ends with Clark Kent and Bruce Wayne back in Gotham to check up on the bullied kid who beats the bloody snot out of the bully and becomes best friends with Kaiyo. Probably. Or something. Anyway, there is this:

I'm going to pretend Bruce isn't joking.

Batman Loves Superman #4 Rating: No change. Once again, I enjoyed the book. I think it's been a fun title so far and it'll be interesting see where it goes from here. And even though it was apparent it would have to happen, I'm not a big fan of "here's a story but everybody forgets at the end" kind of plots. Hopefully they'll be allowed to remember this encounter in the future once they're confronted by Kaiyo again.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Pandora #4

Pandora backwards is "A Rod Nap."

I have to believe there's a strip club out there somewhere called Pandora's Box. Probably one called The Golden Fleece as well. I think I'd have to go with Medea's Golden Chariot. When you're tucking in for a night of exploitation and boners, it's only proper to invoke the image of a woman fleeing from the dismembered corpses of her children in a magic chariot pulled by dragons.

Anyway, that's the last time I'm ever going to allude to Pandora's vagina when I talk about her box. It's crass and old hat and I don't peddle in those kinds of wares. This is a high brow blog where I drop Shakespeare quotes when I can remember them and constantly quote philosophers after consulting Lord Google and Lady Wikipedia. If I had to rely on the things I actually know, you'd simply be reading a lot of Looney Tunes references here.

Somewhere during the Trinity War, Pandora learned that she could kill a Deadly Sin if she first fully embraced the sin. So she killed Envy in the Trinity War and now she's ready to hunt the rest.

Except maybe she has to first deal with the aftermath of the Crime Syndicate traveling to Earth Prime.

I don't know but I have a feeling we're going to get a lot of Forever Evil tie-ins beginning this way!

Pandora begins her post-Trinity War blackout amongst the ruins of Washington, DC: smoke billows out of the capitol dome, bones litter the National Mall, thick black clouds hang in the air. In other words, business as usual.

So turn it the fuck over, you stupid clown. Sometimes I get confused when I pick up a book the wrong way and wonder how the publisher could fuck up so bad by printing everything upside down.

Oh look at that. It's just like I said somewhere in some commentary someplace at sometime: the Justice League was not killed but just transported to Earth 3. Which is also where Stargirl wound up after escaping the Cube. See how the Earth 3 American flag is opposite Earth Prime's? Because black is the opposite of red and red is the opposite of white! Now here is the part where I sing some Les Miserables!


See, you can tell that Black is the opposite of Red on Earth 3 because the stripe at the bottom of the flag should be red but it's black on Earth 3. And you thought I was just being stupid when I said black was the opposite of red! Well, you say stupid, I say super logical, perceptive, and observant! Unless perceptive and observant are basically the same thing so shut up!

This is the first person Pandora meets on her Steve Ricks backpacking trip across Earth 3:

It's Man Martianhunter!

That red inked font on a gray background is nearly impossible to read without doing severe damage to your retinas. So it's probably a good thing you've already read this bit in your own copy of Pandora #4 because you certainly aren't reading my blog simply to avoid paying $2.99 each month for this comic book. Are you? I'm especially looking squinty-eyed at all y'all pretending to "boycott" DC for "transgressions" against "stuff" but still need to follow everything they put out like rabid French hyenas who want their bread and their cake too.

My God. Who taught me these analogies?! I guess I was raised by Victorian Werewolves. Is that a thing? I hope it's a thing.

Man Martianhunter dies at Pandora's beautifully booted feet and then Pandora disintegrates. No, wait. She probably just gets transported somewhere else.

So menstruation is the key to traveling between worlds? I'm confused.

Once Pandora is back on Earth Prime, she goes to see her arms dealer, Marcus Aurelius. Although he's probably just named Marcus after somebody else because he's practically barren of stupid, trite, boring quotations. He has yet to say anything like "The sexual embrace can only be compared with music and with prayer." Wait. Really? So am I actually praying on a daily basis? And here I thought I was masturbating!

When I was a kid (this is not a masturbation story! It's a Marcus Aurelius story!), I used to spend a lot of time exploring the shit in the basement of our home. My dad had built a trophy rack for my parent's road rally trophies and a bookshelf for a bunch of random books and National Geographic magazines. Amongst the books was a series that collected three or four classic works (probably some abridged) into one book. It was in these books that I first encountered Alice in Wonderland, Gulliver's Travels, Moby Dick and many others. I remember essays by Charles Lamb and quotations by Marcus Aurelius. I don't remember Marcus's wisdom having any great impact on me although I bet I tried to memorize some of them to quote to people. Although the proper situation to use the quotes probably never came up before I quickly forgot them. I wish I could remember who published that series of collections. In a way, that bookshelf, with its collections and National Geographics and other odd books, was my internet of the Seventies.

Anyway, Pandora has come to Marcus to have him help her with her box. The Crime Syndicate tore it up and she needs help putting it back together. Only Marcus has the knowledge and the dextrous fingers needed to fix Pandora's box and save the world.

Meanwhile in Mexico, Vandal Savage is having a bit of a crisis. He's discovered that he isn't pure evil like he always wanted to be because he understands the difference between good and evil. By understanding the difference, he understands good which means he can't be purely and innocently evil. What he really wants is for evil to be so ingrained in his nature that he simply understands that evil is the way of things. What he wants is to be from Earth 3! But he is too self-aware and now he's even afraid that he might have a spark of good within him. Oh, Vandal. Stop worrying about your true nature! You were perfect the way you were in Demon Knights! Just a selfish prick that wasn't concerned about bad or good. You were only concerned with your own desires. You were so beautiful!

Pandora plans a trip to Mexico because she needs to find The Outsider so he can help Marcus rebuild her box. But to find The Oustider, she needs a guide. And Vandal Savage fits that role since she already knows him from their constant run-ins across time and space.

I even find the act of shaking hands violent and aggressive. Which is why I don't participate in it anymore. Now I hug. I even hugged the guys I just met or barely knew when I was in Vegas last week! Because I live by my convictions, baby! Although sometimes I still get sucked into a bro-hug. But that's more of a hand clasp and half-hug which is still far better than the sizing up of the other person that's involved with a handshake.

Vandal Savage hands over his Communication Coin to Pandora so that she can go meet with The Outsider. He's decided that he doesn't want to work for them. I guess the whimsy of it wore off and now Savage is off to satisfy some other desire. Pandora crashes the Happy Harbor meeting that's been repeated about twenty or more times now. But she skips the meeting so I don't have to see poor Monocle fried to a crisp again. Instead, Pandora heads straight on into the crashed remains of the Justice League Watchtower to find her prey.

I wondered what The Outsider was up to during this stupid meeting.

Pandora #4 Rating: +2 Ranking. Now this felt much more like a Forever Evil tie-in! Stupid Justice League of America should pay attention. But then Pandora's story is inextricably tied to the entire Trinity War story. She is, after all, the catalyst for the entire thing. I like that we're given a glimpse of Earth 3 (as we were in JLA #8 but without being coy about it here) and that Pandora is given an obvious motivation for her movements. It's odd that suddenly the Deadly Sins have just winked out of existence though. Perhaps they got cold feet when they saw Pandora kill Envy and they're off regrouping. Or another theory: each of the Crime Syndicate that came through took over the role of a Deadly Sin as they came through. Perhaps it was the only way for them to make the journey because the Deadly Sins were sort of shadows of their true selves already on Earth Prime. Which is why Earth 3 Aquaman (Sea King!) died during the journey. Because Pandora killed Envy and obviously Aquaman would represent Envy! The others might go as follows: Superwoman/Pride, Ultraman/Gluttony, Power Ring/Sloth, Johnny Quick/Lust, Deathstorm/Wrath, and Owlman/Greed. Some of the characters might have some overlap but I felt if I needed to go one for one in comparison, these work best. Owlman as greed because of his need to own and control everything. Ultraman for gluttony because of his consuming Kryptonite for power. Deathstorm as Wrath because he's most destructive. Power Ring as Sloth because he's fearful and hesitant. Johnny Quick as Lust because he's quick to satisfy his needs. Sea King as Envy because he just wants to be one of the big, grown-up super heroes that nobody makes fun of. Superwoman as Pride because she's a proud, strong female. I refused to make her Lust simply because she's fucking two members of the team. They'd all be Lust if I equated it with fucking! If only the real Justice League would fuck as much as the Crime Syndicate does, they might lose some of the sticks up their asses.

Justice League of America #8

Even on their own comic book cover, there's no evidence of any of the JLA having been killed because nobody fucking cares. Green Arrow? Ha ha! Vibe? Good riddance! Martian Manhunter? Who?

That "Who?" was because I fucking remember a time in The New 52 when nobody fucking knew who Martian Manhunter was! That didn't last very long. Suddenly everybody knew who he was even though he made sure to even erase his memory from the members of Stormwatch. Oh! Maybe that's why everybody knows who he is now! Because he never joined Stormwatch because they never actually existed because Adam One was erased from time and so Martian Manhunter never had to make everybody forget about him! This is the kind of bullshit contortions of logic DC fans have to make dealing with The New 52 continuity! I just wish DC didn't care so fucking much about continuity so I stopped caring so much about it!

I can't wait to find out what happened to the Justice League at the end of Trinity War! I hope this issue explains something! Oh man, I have a feeling I'm about to be severely disappointed.

Well, the issue does begin with Stargirl calling out to Manhunter! I think that's a good sign! Although she's confused and unsure about what happened. I think that's a bad sign! It looks like all we're ever going to learn is "The Crime Syndicate won." Fine. Whatever. Suck it, comic books!

You died! That's what happened to you!

Okay, so The Crime Syndicate probably would not have left the Justice League alive. So they probably really think they killed the Justice League. But why would they simply think that and walk away? Somebody fucked with their minds to make them believe that they killed the Justice League. I'd like to say Martian Manhunter pulled it off but I have a feeling The Hostage may have done it. He seems to have some kind of mental powers or he's just really charismatic and a great guy. But I think he's Lex Luthor from Earth 3 and that he probably has some kind of mental powers of control. But why would Martian Manhunter and Stargirl wind up in some imaginary field somewhere? Perhaps The Hostage's powers didn't affect the Crime Syndicate's mind but actually transported the souls of the Justice League into some sort of Limbo, leaving their bodies in a kind of stasis that has the appearance of death?

Or maybe they're all just dead and Dog is going to have to ditch the Phantom Stranger and bring them all back to life by licking their faces and sniffing their crotches. I think that's how Jesus raised Lazarus.

Jason Rusch appears to tell them that they're in Cube 4: The Hollow Deck! Jason and J'onn leave Stargirl on the surface and enter the Cube until they stumble upon Wonder Woman fighting a war. Apparently every prison in the Cube is built to house a specific person, manipulating them by tapping into their biggest emotional weakness. Wonder Woman runs off crying because crying is her worst fear. Jason and J'onn leave her and continue to explore the prison, looking for a way out.

J'onn works his way past Shazam and The Flash and Superman, losing Jason in the process but realizing he's being followed as well. He winds up with Simon Baz as Stargirl suddenly tells him, telepathically, that she's figured out how to escape. And she does so, coming out into Washington DC with the eclipse overhead.

Justice League of America #8 Rating: No change. I'm going to be kind to this issue because it's much the same as an annual. It doesn't really fucking do anything. Apparently some of these books so closely tied in to Forever Evil are going to wind up just treading water because they can't advance the story and they can't do anything until the story is advanced somewhere else. So in this one, we understand that The Justice League have been trapped in some kind of mental prison. And that's it! Great revelation! I especially enjoyed how it was twenty pages of Martian Manhunter searching for a way out and then Stargirl said, "Oh hey! I figured it out! I'm free!" Ugh. I am not looking forward to the other Justice League titles during this Forever Evil stuff. Why can't DC just let the regular titles tell stories that take place before Forever Evil until Forever Evil is over? It would be better than this motion going nowhere, pinwheels in a graveyard bullshit.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Rogues Rebellion #1

Mirror Master, that gun doesn't fit your theme! Unless it shoots mirror bullets that only kill people when you shoot their reflections! That would actually be a cool gun! Albeit of limited use.

When the Crime Syndicate decided to take over Earth Prime (or Earth Zero (or New Earth Prime (or New Earth Prime Zero Hour Year Infinity 52))), some super villains decided not to join their stupid Secret Society of Super-villains. Or maybe some of them just didn't receive an invite via Fancy Latin Coin. And, of course, Monocle just got his head blown off instead of joining which really seems, to me, like a poor decision. To each his own, I guess!

The Rogues decided to protect what is theirs in Keystral City because they have a motto: "Bros over nightmare assholes from another dimension." It's not a great motto but it's easy to understand! I guess this comic book is their story!

After returning from the Secret Society meet-up in Happy Harbor, The Rogues return to Keystral City to find it in ruins. That's because they helped stop the city from being destroyed by apes but then left for a few hours and forgot to lock the doors and the apes got back in while they were away.

The apes did that to him! I hope they didn't get The Folded Man!

After finding Girder crushed because he was a stupid one panel villain from The Flash's early run and destined to become cannon fodder, The Rogues wander into the Forest of Chained Up Cops. It's beginning to feel like The Wizard of Oz! Captain Cold is Dorothy because he's the main character and he wears blue. Mirror Master is The Tin Man because he spent so many years trapped inside a prison unable to love. Weather Wizard is the Lion because fuck you, he just is. Heatwave is the Scarecrow because their names have two syllables and they both have an issue with fire. And The Trickster is Toto because they're both annoying! They're all perfectly analogous to each of the other characters! Only stupid dumb internet monsters that love to argue couldn't see it! It's so blatantly obvious!

So Captain Cold must find a way to return to his beautiful Keystone Kansas as opposed to this war-torn realm full of non-flying apes and evil pig trees. But to save his home, he must first find Glider the Good Witch and make sure she's okay.

Yep! She's fine! Next on the agenda?

The Rogues stand around Glider's room in their ridiculous costumes trying to have a seriously emotional moment. "How is she? What do we do?" asks the green hooded guy in the half-face mask with the dumb orange body suit, desperate to save the woman he loves. "I don't know," says the man in the furry hoodie with the Devo glasses and yellow cummerbund and the white ski boots, sick with worry for his comatose sister.

Before the tone gets too depressing and serious and super hilarious seeing as how they all look so goofy while crying and being emotional jerks, Firestorm's Rogues Gallery arrives to bring them a message from the Crime Syndicate.

Since Grodd and his apes represented the motorcycle riding monkeys, these guys must be the subway trashcans full of teeth.

Should we play a guessing game? Who would best match up with whom? Captain Cold versus Typhoon should be over immediately although I have a feeling Typhoon will end up comparing weather phenomena with Weather Wizard. The Hyena obviously wants The Trickster, so I guess I have to give them that one. Captain Cold (since I stole Typhoon from him) will match up with Multiplex so he can freeze his various aspects. Heatwave can set Black Bison's headdress and magic staff on fire. And Mirror Master can hide himself and Glider inside the Mirror World, away from Plastique's explosions. Or maybe Captain Cold will just defeat them all because Captain Cold is the greatest Rogue ever.

Hearing is definitely a sense!

Heatwave begins by calling out the "hot little ginger." At first I thought he meant Hyena but it seems like he's going after Plastique. My gut reaction when calling the pairs was to put these two together but it just seemed too dangerous! I don't think anybody is going to win this fight because they're all going to become trapped in a burning building whose structure has been weakened by dozens of explosions!

See!? Remember, this is all going down in a hospital corridor!

It turns out I was slightly wrong. For some reason, Plastique and Heatwave took their fight outside. Safety first! I noticed because on the next page, Weather Wizard and Typhoon are measuring their tidal waves out by a fire hydrant.

Weather Wizard's is bigger.

Trickster matches teeny, tiny wits with The Hyena while Captain Cold battles Black Bison because they're the leaders of each group. Captain Cold also has to battle Multiplex because why not? Put down the guy giving orders and the rest of them won't have to listen to any more orders! I think that helps in battle somehow. Although Mirror Master isn't listening to Captain Cold's orders anyway since he leaves Lisa's side to help Captain Cold with Multiplex.

Ha ha! Mirror Master is going to kill all of Multiplex's clones by starving them to death!

Since Mirror Master was supposed to be watching over Lisa, that means Black Bison probably now has her and is going to threaten her life to get the Rogues to stand down. That's just the kind of wacky thing that usually happens during gang fights.

Except Black Bison never reappears with Glider because there are only two more pages left. One page is used for Captain Cold to yell at Mirror Master for not following orders and the other page deals with the appearance of Deathstorm and Power Ring. They're here to kill the Rogues because what else can you do to those assholes that click "decline" on your party evites? Fuckers.

Rogues Rebellion #1 Rating: I'm going to start this at Rank #26 because it was a pretty decent comic-book comic book (can you use a noun as an adjective to describe the exact same noun? Is that allowed anywhere besides my commentaries? It's more than allowed here!) but there really wasn't anything extra special sauce about it. The worst part of the entire experience was having to look at that advert for Scott Lobdell's next big story arc, KRYPTON RETURNS! Can't he just fucking write his comic book without rubbing his stink glands all over the other Superbooks? Stop uniting them with ridiculous "alternate timelines" stories. Why couldn't he leave his X-men shit at the door to DC's offices?