Sunday, January 19, 2014

Batman Loves Superman #7

Is this comic book ever going to right itself? Did Brett Booth take a blow to the head recently? Does he not remember the proper orientation of comic books?

I have a nagging feeling that I'm going to get chastised for suggesting that a comic book has a "proper orientation!" How dare I suggest that the traditional and most oft-used orientation of comic books be the "proper" one! Well, I'll tell you why I can say that! Because the orientation the creative team is using in Batman/Superman #7 makes it a calendar!

This issue begins with a woman delivering mail. It really draws the reader in quickly as the reader wonders, "Will she be able to mail her package on time? Or will her life be forever ruined because the line moves too slowly and she can't get her loan application postmarked by 5:00!?" I suppose that might draw the reader in if the reader wasn't like me and didn't immediately start berating the woman for waiting until the last minute to get her loan application in the mail. She can't blame the people in line in front of her simply because they were better prepared and arrived at a decent time to get their errands done. She can't blame the postal employees even if they drag their feet with each customer because it's her own fault for waiting so long. I suppose if I were kind, I could imagine that she's done everything just as promptly as possible and has still arrived at this moment in time where she must now rely on the speed with which other people live their lives. But I'm not kind at all. I'm a jerk. I'm a huge asshole. Which is why I also can't bring myself to blame Batman and Superman for her failure when they bust every window in the post office while fighting each other, causing the postal employees to flee for their lives as the clock ticks over to 5 PM and the woman misses her deadline.

I won't blame them. But it looks like she will.

This moment is as ridiculous as those situations that used to arise in the Reese's Peanut Butter Cup commercials where somebody walking along with a jar of peanut butter would wind up nearly killing somebody holding a chocolate bar and they would discover the joy of peanut butter on chocolate. Who walks around eating peanut butter out of a jar in public? And if that person exists and another person happens to accidentally get their chocolate bar into the peanut butter jar, what kind of peanut butter jar carrying asshole suddenly decides that half of that chocolate bar is now his? The only person that should discover the delicious taste of peanut butter and chocolate is the grungy person that doesn't mind fishing her chocolate out of a stranger's peanut butter jar with her filthy hands and trusting that the peanut butter now on the end of that chocolate bar is not covered in hepatitis or syphilis (that's how those diseases are transmitted, right? From double dipped peanut butter?). And then after taking a bite, that person could then choose to share her discovery with the asshole that nearly broke her neck while roller blading down the street fingering a jar of peanut butter.

Anyway, this situation is just as ridiculous as the one I just proposed because who falls to the ground, angry and defeated about life, stoned on Mongul's Space Fury Pollen, just wanting to kill somebody and thinks, "Oh look. Google Glasses screaming 'Die die die' and 'Kill kill kill' at me. Might as well put them on and see what this is about!" Luckily for her, the glasses allow her to take her rage out on Superman as she now gets to control Nano-Enhanced Robot Batman.

But this woman is not the real villain. No, she is just a minor player in an epic struggle between mankind and the alien hordes that are dying to use mankind's rage to enslave the universe! That plan totally makes a lot of sense. And by "a lot of," I mean none at all. So I probably should have just said "none at all" instead of doing that cliche thing where I change the meaning of the phrase I just uttered just to underline my sarcasm. Now I just feel like a dirty, filthy internet blogger.

These are the butts of the real antagonists.

Toymaster Gameshop CTO, Whatsherfuckingname Crystalbones, has programmed a brilliant game that utilizes one million humans who believe they're controlling Batman and decide on the move they want to use against Superman. The game system picks the move most likely to get past Superman's defenses and chooses it. Whatsherfuckingname Crystalbones declares that each player has a million moves at their disposal and in a feat of amazingly accurate math, declares that each of Batman's punches is "literally one-in-a-trillion." And by "amazingly accurate," I mean "I'm fairly certain she fucking failed statistics so how did she program such an amazing game?" First off, each of the million players do not have one million different attacks at their disposal. I'll grant her that her amazing controller she invented allows for one million attacks. But then each punch is simply "one-in-a-million." I suppose if you want to mention 1 million twice and then pretend that you can multiply them together, you can carelessly declare that the trillion you've just come up with fits into her stupid word problem some how.

Although she does declare that the million users all have "millions of unique moves." But I don't know how long-lived Whatsherfuckingname Crystalbones is or how many alien programmers she employs, so I suppose it's possible that she somehow had enough time and manpower to think up one trillion different attacks. I have to admit she's probably a lot smarter than me because I can only come up with Round Kick, Jump Right, Low Punch, Jump Left, Back Kick, Back Round Kick, Jumping Back Kick, Foot Sweep Left, Front Kick, Lunge Punch, Jumping Kick, Low Kick, Foot Sweep Right, Jump, Block, Squat, and Move Forward. And of those, I'd simply continually attempt the "Lunge Punch" or the "Jumping Back Kick." Those always worked well!

Mongul wonders why the humans would continue to try to defeat Superman even as they all begin to realize it's not a game but reality. And Whatsherfuckingname Crystalbones begins blathering all that anti-Superman bullshit that I can't get behind because it paints humanity as a bunch of whining assholes that are more concerned with what others have than what's good in their own lives. I can't get behind humanity being like that. But I might be able to make an exception for Americans.

This is how I walk around Portland. I imagine people screaming at me, "You are not rich! You don't have a fancy handlebar mustache! You are not a DJ! You can't afford retro chic clothing that makes you look poor! You aren't nostalgic enough for last week!" Fuckers.

Mongul swells with pride as his scheme allows for the little people to enjoy their power. But mostly he's just engorged because he's going to kill everyone on Earth as he saps their hatred and anger to fuel his new Warworld. And the only person on Earth that can now stop his plan is The Toymaker! He kicks over the Alien Gaming Console in an effort to kill the program and save the world!

But stupid Superman saves the console from smashing into the ground because it might just be the only thing keeping Batman alive. Hey, look Superman. Batman's already dead and it's kind of your fault for ignoring Mongul's arrival in Gotham City. I say ignore because there is no way in hell you didn't hear all that space shit go down with your super hearing that you're always bragging about. You're always going on and on about hearing humanity's collective heartbeat speed up or how you can hear Lana Lang on the other side of the world flipping the fuck out. But when Batman needs help? "Oh, sorry! I must have spaced out for a second while you were getting a hole blown in your chest!" Now, I'm not laying all of the blame on you, Clark. Bruce is just as responsible for constantly insisting he doesn't need your help and that he is, in fact, better than you at everything. So now look where all your stupid game playing has gotten you guys? Fighting to the death playing a stupid game! Way to go, assholes.

This comic book should just be titled "Asshole/Big Dick." Maybe it couldn't be named that because that title was already taken by a gay porno mag.

Oh? Now it's 90 million? So I guess it was "literally" one-in-ninety-trillion. Unless the math is different!

Batman begins repeating my commentary when he tells Superman that the game has already killed him so Superman should just go ahead and destroy the console already. Looking back, I see I only got through half of that statement about Batman already being dead and that he wouldn't want to risk everybody's lives by remaining a Nano-Enhanced Robot version of himself because I was distracted by pointing out how Superman is a huge dick. But Batman gets it! Save the world, Superman! Batman has given his consent!

Superman decides instead of saving the world at Batman's expense, a better plan is to get killed by Batman so that he can become Nano-Enhanced Robot Superman. Good plan! I can't see anything going wrong with this one! I mean, the only downside to Batman being a Nano-Enhanced Super Robot was that he had no free will and was being controlled by 90 million raging gamerholics!

Oh! That must be Superman's plan! He'll now be controlled by 45 million or more of those gamerholics which will allow Batman to break free of their control and figure out how to save the day because Batman is much better at solving problems that need more than punching to solve them.


Batman learns a lesson in stupid comic book tropes by learning that after the heroes fight, they team up to beat the bad guy. Somebody says, "It's a trope 'cause it works." Oh, bullshit! It's a trope because most comic book writers are lazy bastards! It's easier to script "Enter Batman. Superman punches Batman. Batman punches Superman" than to script "Someone appears at the door and knocks. Superman: 'Who is it?' Voice from off-panel: 'It's Batman!' Superman opens the door and hugs Batman. Superman: 'Hi Batman! Glad to see you! I'm glad you didn't surprise me or I might have bopped you one on accident!' Batman: 'Oho! That would have been a bad mix-up that would have wasted much of our time discussing the real problem at hand!'"

Okay, maybe the punching is more exciting.

The trope works and all the raging gamers in the world actually decide to team up and defeat Mongul. I know this ending is bullshit because I play Halo and Call of Duty. In Halo, there's always plenty of people willing to drive their teammates off of a cliff in the Warthog. And in Call of Duty during Hardcore Ricochet where if you kill a teammate with one of your weapons, you die, there will always be at least one asshole going around blowing up his teammate's explosives so that it hurts them and kills the teammate that planted it. Fucking griefers.

Anyway, Mongul is defeated and tossed in the Phantom Zone and everything returns to normal! Hooray! And somehow Batman isn't dead! Yay! I guess the Nano-bots just rebuilt all of his organs so he's not a Nano-Enhanced Super Robot anymore; he's just normal Bruce Wayne, human. I guess. Whatever.

Nice job on consistency, Greg Pak! Fucking up your own themes from the first story arc where Batman trusts the boy to take care of his own problems and Superman doesn't so he interferes with the kid's life and saves him. Basically this is the opposite of that. Now Batman doesn't trust people to save themselves and Superman does. Oh yeah, by "nice job on consistency" I meant the exact opposite!

Batman Loves Superman #7 Rating: -3 Ranking. I have to give this comic book a negative ranking because it just sort of hand-waves away killing Batman and bringing him back to life so that he's completely normal again. And I suppose Superman was killed as well by a single punch of Nano-Enhanced Super Robot Batman which really fucking doesn't make any sense also. I'm also not a fan of Batman telling Superman people are afraid of him because he trusts them too much. That's just stupid! I'm always afraid of the people that trust me too much. More to the point, I resent them because they trust me to live my own life instead of doing everything for me! Assholes.

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