Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Detective Comics #24

Wrath is the least metaphorical opposite of Batman out of all of Batman's metaphorical opposites like The Joker and Catwoman. Except for maybe Man-bat. That might be the most stupidly literal opposite of Batman.

I don't like this cover for a variety of reasons but the main reason is that it's not telling the ending of the tale that I want to read. In my mind, Wrath is actually E.D. Caldwell's butler and he's going to be defeated by Alfred Pennyworth wielding a highly polished silver serving tray. Alfred will then take off his white gloves, dust off his lapel and shirt front, and say, "And that, sir, is how you clean house." Then he'll look about tentatively to make sure nobody is watching, put a plastic cover over his shiny black shoe, kick Wrath in the teeth, carefully remove the cover, wad it up, and place it in his inner breast pocket of his coat.

I also don't like the fleet of Earth 2 World Army ships assaulting Gotham. Can a city full of civilians with a corrupt police force and a handful of Bat-themed heroes only be defeated by an army of laser equipped space ships? Of course I mean while Batman is distracted. If Batman weren't busy fighting Wrath, obviously an invading army would be stopped by The Goddamned Batman. He'd just have Lucius Fox rig up some ingestible explosives and then Batman would sit naked on the top of Wayne Towers jerking off at the incoming space craft until his mighty orgasm (very mighty since one of Batman's training sessions during Year Zero was how to direct his Chi by not masturbating or having sex with hot burglars so that his ejaculate would fly fast and far when he needed it to) shoots his explosive seed across the sky with impeccable aim, destroying every last invading ship and saving the city. It's Batman's favorite way to save Gotham, as we've seen multiple times so far. He just loves spraying his bodily fluids all over the populace.

As I said, least metaphorical Batman villain ever.

After The Joker nearly killed Alfred due to Bruce Wayne's growing connections to The Batman, did Batman simply decide to shrug his shoulders and say, "What the fuck?" Why is he putting not only Alfred in serious danger to infiltrate Caldwell Tech but his secret identity as well? Would Wrath simply assume that Batman uses Bruce Wayne's butler for undercover missions and Bruce Wayne has no knowledge of it? What about the fact that Bruce Wayne entered the building with Pennyworth and then disappeared once Pennyworth was discovered and suddenly Batman was on the scene? I'm getting really sick of you, Comic Books, thinking us readers will suspend not only our disbelief but our entire brains as well simply to accept the sanctity of the Secret Identity.

Because Bruce Wayne and Alfred were caught learning the secret life of E.D. Caldwell, they've kind of forced Wrath's hand. If he doesn't act now, he'll be exposed so he sets off his electrical trap incapacitating all the Gotham Police Officers wearing his protective gear. Then he climbs into his spaceship (which all really cool Super-villains have to own) and goes after Batman inside Batwing's Cockpit (that sounds like a gay Batman porn parody: Batman Inside Batwing!). Now Batman only has a mere four and one-half minutes to save 90% of the Gotham Police Force! It sounds like an impossible word problem! Also an impossible task.

Nope. Not helping to get me out of porn parody territory.

Why is Batman suddenly having a Star Wars style battle over the skies of Gotham? Did editorial demand they need a scene to reference for the next Batman video game that will include dogfighting in the Batwing? It just seems so over-the-top for Batman! He really needs to get back to his roots where he's a scary, shadowy figure in the alleys keeping the regular people safe. I'm not sure I like this high profile Batman that keeps waging war after war inside Gotham City limits.

To buy himself some time to save the police officers, Batman self-destructs the Batwing (he's calling it the Batplane again because this is The New 52 and you can't have people making Batman inside Batwing innuendos every time he flies about the city). The explosion disables Wrath's spaceship and he crash lands in Gotham Harbor or Gotham Lake or Gotham's Flooded Inner City. Batman escapes on a hang-glider with stolen Amazon invisibility technology. Between pages, he winds up in Caldwell Towers, stops the technology responsible for electrocuting the police officers, and finds his way to Alfred. And even though Alfred is just getting his concussion legs, he believes he knows why Wrath is waging this war.

Alfred is never too injured to make a jab at Batman's obsessive need for stupid Batnames.

Alfred shows Batman that Batman is not the World's Greatest Detective at all since Batman "thoroughly" researched E.D. Caldwell and came up with nothing. But that's because Caldwell, selling tech to the Gotham P.D., had access to the Police files and was able to delete and alter them at his will. Which means Batman's "thorough" detective work simply means running a search of Gotham Police Department's computer database? Am I supposed to believe that Batman didn't investigate every link to the name Caldwell that exists everywhere on this Earth and probably Earth 2 as well? Batman is getting fat and sloppy already!

Oh, the information Alfred turns up is that a man named Mallory Caldwell was killed fifteen years ago in a failed diamond heist. The diamonds were never recovered. Alfred doesn't speculate on what any of this could mean though because he knows Batman has probably already figured it all out. Mallory was probably Extreme Disappointment Caldwell's father who managed to, somehow, get the diamonds to his son who then used them to finance his corporation for killing cops. Unless it was all different somehow since I'm not as smart as The Goddamned Batman.

Or maybe I am! As smart as Batman. Not next.

I bet nobody else reading this comic book figured that out! At least nobody reading this comic book that also writes a blog about reading comic books to showcase his ability to guess what direction the most cliched plots in all of literature are headed! Go me! I'm a very uniquely unique individual of individuality! Much more so than everybody else who are just kind of unique in that way that makes a mockery of the very definition of unique. Also, stop saying very unique, idiots.

Batman next tells Wrath to stop being so obsessive. At least about the things that Batman isn't obsessed about!

Batman: "No more revenge!"
Wrath: "What the fuck? What do you call what you're doing?"
Batman: "Justice!"
Wrath: "I think we're getting into semantics here."
Batman: "I fight for good because my parents were killed by the bad! You're the opposite of me! Your parents were killed by the good so now you fight for the bad!"
Wrath: "But my daddy! What about my daddy?!"
Batman: "Your pain isn't as painful as my pain due to philosophical circumstances beyond your control! But now I'll show you philosophy! With my fist! I meant pain! I'll show you pain!"

Oh Batman. Everything is so black and white in your world. I don't think Batman likes gray because he's never sure if he should spell it with an "e" or an "a."

Batman holds back and lets the Gotham City Police Department take down Wrath. He says he does it because the Gotham Police need a win but I know why he's really doing it. The Gotham Police need to feel like they can take out Batman whenever they choose. So taking out Batman's doppleganger will give them the delusional belief that they have the ability to stop Batman as well. He's throwing them a Batbone. Don't think I wasn't tempted to add an "r" to the end of that!

This is why Batman hates wearing his heavy armor suits. He can't make his quick getaway when everybody turns their heads and winds up having to actually talk to people during the denouement.

Officer Wallace stops Batman so he can suck his dick and shove his tongue way up Batman's ass. "Oh Batman! I get it now! You don't cause villains! Justice causes villains! *slurp slurp suck suck wiggle wiggle lick lick lick* Mmm, yeah! We caused Wrath so we're more like you than we ever realized! *poke prod stroke stroke lickity lick lick slurp* Mmmm! Mmmm! Justice! JUSTICE! OH FUCK YES JUSTICE!" And that's the kind of uncomfortable gratitude Batman has to put up with when he can't just mysteriously disappear. No wonder he pulls that trick all the time! Nobody likes watching a grown man in a cop uniform give another grown man in a Batman costume a blow job.

Oh wait. Did I say nobody? I meant everybody.

Days later, some racist bats begin killing black guys in Gotham. Or maybe it was just an isolated incident blown out of proportion by the media. And by media, I mean me, just now, blowing it out of proportion.

Days and days later, Emperor Douchebag Caldwell meets Emperor Blackgate in Blackgate prison and they discuss a future The Brave and The Bold style team-up! Because Emperor Blackgate won't stop until he's become Emperor Gotham City.

Detective Comics #24 Rating: +3 Ranking. Wrath seems like the least amount of work ever put into a villain to make them a twisted reflection of Batman. I think John Layman sat down and said, "What if Bruce Wayne had actually been named E.D. Caldwell? And he was bad?" And editorial went, "*gasp* Intersting! Tell us more!" And John Layman said, "That's all I've got." So editorial said, "Great idea! Let's run with that!" And so they did. And even though I'm making fun of it, I really enjoyed this issue. And that moment where Wallace jerked off Batman? That was a nice touch. The nicest of touches!

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