Saturday, February 8, 2014

Catwoman #27

Am I the only one at least partially disturbed with Catwoman, a person Bruce loves to fuck, dressed similarly to Robin? Is that what Gothtopia really is? A place that doesn't judge a man for wanting to fuck his young sidekick?

For anyone that doesn't know, Gothtopia is this story where The Scarecrow and Mad Hatter and various other Gotham Crazies have drugged the entire city so that they believe everything is going swimmingly. "Going swimmingly" is how phys ed teachers of the fifties used to describe their alternative sex life when they didn't want to use words like "domination" or "heavy leather ball gag" or "genital mutilation." I learned that from a Final Jeopardy question. Anyway, some citizens have been breaking out of the drug induced paradise and been killing themselves. A few superheroes have been breaking through the spell and not killing themselves because they need to save everybody from living a beautiful, happy, harmonious life.

In Gothtopia, Catwoman has become Batman's new partner and goes by the name of Catbird. Who wants to bet against her being called "Cat-Turd" at some point in this comic book? Because I've got twenty bucks on it!

If somebody were to really take that bet, I'd probably lose my money. I forget that just because I think of it and that I would put it in a story, that doesn't mean a writer that has to answer to a bunch of editors would wind up doing it.

Ann Nocenti titles this issue "Happiness is a Cold Gun" because of reasons. After reading the issue, I may very well learn why she titled it that. But I've also learned not to put too much effort into understanding anything written by Ann Nocenti. She's the person that wrote a Green Arrow story where a woman juggling flaming batons kept shouting advice at him. Now, that could have really been happening even though it's unbelievable that she would have kept encountering Green Arrow again and again. Does it make more sense to think of her as a guardian angel or a magic pixie? Maybe. I don't know! Like I said, I don't think about it. I just read it and let it wash over me like five day old diarrhea.

Gothtopia. Where sexuality isn't a spectrum; it's a Fudge Brownie With Walnuts Party and everybody is coming. On the brownies.

The issue opens with Batman and Catbird catching a couple of criminals on the rooftop. It's possible (and I'm going to do just a tiny amount of thinking about Nocenti's writing here. I know, I know. It's a bad habit and I keep falling back into it) that Ann Nocenti has no ability to comprehend the assignment she's been given. Gotham City has no crime. Everyone believes it's a warm, peaceful place. But here are two criminals committing crime and aware that everybody else is acting goofy. Not only that, the police show up and point out that crime is down 99% and the only crime left is suicide. Is that even a crime? Is Attempted Suicide a crime? If attempted suicide is not, why would successful suicide even be a crime since you don't have a live perp left to convict? Anyway, it's pointed out that no crime is happening while they're arresting two criminals for committing crime. Is it Ann Nocenti that's fucking up or am I to believe that everybody is so out of it that they don't have any clue what they're doing from moment to moment? And should I believe that these two criminals have broken free from the Scarecrow's toxin? So far the only ones to do that are geniuses like Batwing and Batman! Somebody keep an eye on these two evil genius burglars!

More sexy orgasmic kissing. I always figured Batman and Catwoman to be the type to come at the same time.

Catbird's friend, Selina Kyle (wink wink!), goes to the police station later to help counsel people who have attempted suicide. Once again, Ann Nocenti has a character mentioning that "a suicide attempt is, technically, a crime." Fucking bullshit. This is more of that "crocodiles prefer rotten meat" bullshit that Nocenti keeps pulling out of her ass. Does Ann Nocenti know anything about fact checking? Lord Google does a pretty good job if you ask him politely and turn on Safe Search so you don't get distracted. I know she does research for her stories because she always over uses lingo whenever she has a character involved in a new pastime or career. Half the time she doesn't even get the lingo right but she seems to feel like she's gotten the job done well if she can manage to stick as much of it into the conversation as possible. So now she's told me that crocodiles prefer rotten meat which is a lie. She's told me that cats can't swim which is a lie. And now she's saying that attempted suicide is technically a crime. Which is a lie. I'd be willing to blame Selina Kyle for having her facts wrong but the police earlier categorized suicide as the only crime left in Gotham.

My point is this: you literally do get dumber reading an Ann Nocenti story!

Anyway, Selina Kyle is going to get to the bottom of the rampant wave of Gotham Suicides! If she just asks the right questions and the people just tell her nonsensical answers, she'll crack this case wide open! Just like a Unicorn Detective!

Why isn't this an AMC Series?

Before Catbird has to join up with the Birds of a Feather and Bluebelle and Flying Fox, she receives one last call from a person worried about his friend. The caller purposefully misunderstands her advice and hangs up. And then Selina goes on with her life as we jump forward in time to Batman's incarceration in Crane's Health and Wellness Center.

I should also mention, because I'm a petty bitch, that Bluebelle is spelled "Bluebell" in this issue.

And then this is Catbird's reaction when the man she hasn't been able to keep her lips off of during the first few pages of this comic is put away for having a psychotic break:

"Welp, no time to wait and see what's wrong with Bruce. I guess it's time to reenter the dating pool!"

Words. Words are not enough. I'd like to explain how awful Ann Nocenti's writing is. I really would like to be able to express just exactly how terribly she puts the words next to the other words and then adds some more words until their whole purpose, as words, becomes hidden in their sudden unwordiness. No matter how many sentences she forms, her ideas remain inchoate. The ideas never venture forth from the primordial soup to become stories. They just kind of flop around, a mess of protein strands that never quite become life. And she has me torturing metaphors in my attempt to understand how she can be so ununderstandable!

I'm not good enough at the wordsmithing to explain how bad Ann Nocenti's writing is. That last paragraph was my attempt and it was a sad miscarriage. Luckily you don't need me to see how horrible Nocenti is! Let me allow her to display her skill. Exhibit A:

Thank Jesus on High for the person that invented the trash can! Whatever did we do with all of our stinky things before then?

That night, Selina Kyle has a dream about her former self. She remembers that she's a thief. Oh! And here's where we get to the part where Ann Nocenti did her research to find out the names of various types of criminals! Like wheelmen and safecrackers and thieves and pickpockets and confidence men and escape artists and hackers and hustlers! Wait. Are escape artists actually criminals? I suppose she means people that escape from prisons and not people like Talon and Houdini!

Anyway, Selina seems to know who she is in her dreams but she keeps denying it. She wakes up and gets back to being Catbird until she meets the guy she gave the bad advice to earlier. He's a man in bird armor. Is he Catwoman's opposite: Birdman?! And when she meets him, she begins to see the real Gotham flicker in and out in much the same way Batman and Batwing did before they broke the Scarecrow's spell.

This guy's name is Steeljacket. I've never heard of him but apparently he's the second best burglar in Gotham but he seems to always try to steal the things that Catwoman has just stolen because he's, presumably, an idiot. And now he's trying to wake up Catwoman so she can become the best burglar in Gotham again? I guess he just can't handle success.

Anyway, by telling Catwoman the truth and letting her beat the shit out of him, Catwoman somehow overcomes The Scarecrow's toxin. Batman and Batwing needed drugs to do that but then they're weak assholes. Now that Catwoman sees the truth, maybe next month she'll turn to Steeljacket and ask, "Who the fuck are you?"

Catwoman #27 Rating: No change. Does anybody like Ann Nocenti? I want to hear from that one reader that defended Ann Nocenti a long time ago and said that he thought her dialogue was like David Lynch's dialogue! Can you still defend her after this god-awful run on Catwoman? Can you?! Dare you?!

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