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.

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