Monday, October 7, 2013

Earth 2 #16

How long is a populace going to obey a Trickster God when every command is just going to end in somebody sitting on a whoopee cushion? Although it's yet to be proven in clinical trials, fart noises do eventually stop being funny.

Remember when there were comic books that were about ongoing stories and were not about villains that had hardly been showcased yet in The New 52? Those times are back again! At least for a month before everything goes Year Zero on us. So enjoy it while it lasts! I'll enjoy it later when I read a good comic book. Until then, I'll read the mediocre comic book that is Earth 2!

This is how the issue begins:

Aww. It looks like somebody was all ready to pose for a lenticular cover and didn't get a callback.

The next two pages show the World Army assaulting Dherain and Steppenwolf too! Which, if you're keeping track with a calculator (I don't expect you to do math in your head), that makes two panels in three pages. I suddenly have a tremendous pain in my wallet and a burning hatred and resentment for DC Comics and James Robinson. Don't take your quarrel out on me by giving me less story! I want to see lots and lots of words! And also lots and lots of Nicola Scott's artwork. And having her copy and paste a bunch of World Army ships across two pages isn't what I paid for! Well, I guess it is what I paid for. But it's not what I would have paid for if I had any dignity! Although she did draw all the little tiny individual people that just look like crucified rocketeers. That's cute.

Well trepan me and fuck me directly in the nucleus accumbens! Page four and five are ANOTHER double page spread! So that's three panels across five pages! Everything in this story so far could have played out in one page. A single page! Hell, a single page by Keith Giffen would have three times as many panels as have been in the first five pages of this comic book so far! If anybody is out there...if anybody is reading these words, I convey this warning: do not purchase Earth 2 #16 at cover price! Haggle it down to at least 50% off! The first seven pages with ten panels amount to five words: Steppenwolf defeats the World Army. Whoever said a picture is worth a thousand words was 9,995 words off the mark.

So, you know, Steppenwolf and his Hunger Dogs (Beguiler, Bedlam, and Brutaal) defeat the World Army. I guess that means The Wonders need to buck up and try again! Although Steppenwolf could have defeated everybody on Earth 2 if he'd just killed the Wonders after defeating them the first time. Oh, I guess two other people survived the massacre.

Commander Khan and Mister Terrific.

Meanwhile the Wonders are busy picking their asses up off the ground and scraping together the shredded remains of their dignity. They're also, like me, wondering why they were left to live. I'm sure Steppenwolf has plans for them although Steppenwolf really should have grown up reading more comic books. Then he'd know that leaving the heroes alive is always a huge mistake. I suppose they didn't have many comic books on Apokolips, so he couldn't learn that lesson. But you know what they did have on Apokolips? A woman named Kaiyo! And since she's on the cover and she wants to see Darkseid's defeat, perhaps it was one of her tricks or pranks that caused The Hunger Dogs to think that the Wonders had been killed.

The Justice Society is coming along nicely! Except for that second Sandman wannabe jerk. I suppose this team needs at least one Red Shirt to keep things exciting with his horrible death when they face The Hunger Dogs again.

Wesley Sandman Dodds gets a radio communication from Commander Khan asking that they help save and evacuate any survivors. The not quite the Justice Society head into Dherain and most do just that. Except for Alan Scott who decides it would be best if he faced Steppenwolf one on one. Except Steppenwolf doesn't exactly like the one on one math, so Brutaal comes in to help double team Alan Scott, and not in a pleasant, ecstasy-induced encounter in the quiet room at a rave kind of double team. No, this is more like a bunch of frat guys that desperately need to be liked by anyone at all and, smelling weakness on all of themselves, join together for some male bonding by beating the shit out of whichever one of them they all somehow instinctively decide to beat the shit out of. That comparison was as tortured as a frat guy's declaration of his heterosexuality.

Come on, Mister Terrific! Show Steppenwolf your balls!

Mister Terrific isn't the man to finally stop Steppenwolf. And why should he be? He hasn't done shit since he's come to Earth 2! DC makes a big fucking deal that Mister Terrific was going to wind up on Earth 2 after his comic book was canceled and then he just hung around in Sloan's basement for a dozen issues. Which is fitting, I guess, since Terry Sloan was the original Mister Terrific. Maybe they were comparing notes. Or balls. Or something.

No, no. Instead of Mister Terrific (or any of the not-quite-yet Justice Society members, for that matter) ending Steppenwolf's reign, it's Brutaal that strikes. You know why?

Remember the fucking cover, assholes? It's Kaiyo!

Or, um, Superman? No, no. I saw the cover! It's just Kaiyo playing a trickster trick!

I suppose I could have misinterpreted the cover even though I am a Master Comic Book Reader. Look, Superman doesn't even have his spit curl here! I'm pretty sure he has that spit curl on every Earth. He even has it on the cover! Which, you know, isn't even him! Although I was wondering how Kaiyo could have been here and trapped in the Omega Room on Earth Prime at the same time. Although she did escape in the last issue of Vibe. And Boom Tubing is tricky when it comes to time and what is the correlation between Earth 2 and Earth Prime's times anyway? Why am I even debating if it's actually Superman or Kaiyo when I could just turn the page and find out!

Superman (Kaiyo!) blasts a huge rift in the Earth with his Omega Beam Heat Vision Eyeballs as the Wonders and the last of the survivors retreat to safety. And this issue had two extra pages in it, so I forgive DC and James Robinson for the slow start! So if you ran out and didn't buy this comic book based on my earlier recommendation, I'm changing that and suggesting that if you like reading Earth 2, maybe it's okay to go out and buy this issue.

Earth 2 #16 Rating: +2 Ranking. Okay, fuck it. I enjoyed this issue. And I suppose that Superman isn't Kaiyo at all even though the cover is awfully deceiving in that it looks quite a bit like Kaiyo. This Superman could be whatever Darkseid had been working on in his Superman Corpse Lab on Apokolips. It might be a mutated version of Earth 2's Superman with some parts stuck on it from the Supermen of many other Earths!

Or it could, you know, be Kaiyo.

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