Monday, March 31, 2014

Justice League Dark #29

Touching the Sphincter of God.

I think this is the end of Forever Evil: Blight! And since that's what I think, I'm probably wrong. For all of my Master Comic Book Reading Skills, I still can't tell when a particular story is ending. Or when a comic book has been cancelled. Or why Scott Lobdell still has a job.

At the end of the (probable) penultimate installment, Constantine had just brained Felix Faust with his tallywacker. The day had yet to be saved though because all of the DC Magic Users were still trapped within the Thaumaton. And, um, that's where we begin. I guess.

Oh hey! Guess what! That thing that happened last issue? Forget it. It was different! Fucking comic books.

I would guess that this Constantine Doppelganger was actually Nick Necro but if Nick Necro can so easily replicate the trench coat, why is he trying so hard to get the one back from John? Hell, why doesn't he just go down to the local used clothing shop! I found an apparently valuable Burberry for $20 down at Buffalo Exchange! I thought I was just buying a shitty ass trench for a Philip K. Dick costume. But I liked it and wore it around all the time until people started informing me that it was expensive. It was only then that I realized Burberry was a thing and then I realized Agent Scully wears one. Now that impressed me!

The fake John that steals the power from Faust and dies giving it back to the DC Mages is one of John's little Psychisms, one of his inner demons. It escaped from The House of Mystery and found itself in an after-school special where it learned to love! And then it gave up its life to save Zatanna and the others. Just like Constantine would never do. Must suck when one of the shittiest aspects of your personality outshines you in front of the woman you love.

Zatanna: "That was so romantic! Why can't you be romantic like that, John?"
Constantine: "But Zee! I am! I mean, that was me! Just imagine how much love the real me has to give if my penchant for kicking puppies can learn to love so strongly!"
Zatanna: "Really? That's what that aspect was? You actually...enjoy kicking puppies?"
Constantine: "Of course not! I mean, not anymore, obviously."

Well, he could have said what I just had him say above this panel!

While Justice League Dark tries to have a bonding experience over the last remnant of Constantine's empathy dying on the floor, Trigon's sons decide to switch teams. Zatanna sighs, "What next?!" Then she leads the team into battle because nobody really liked listening to Constantine's orders anyway. It's just that he had such a cool house and they were kind of mesmerized by his accent. Also he had all those embarrassing secrets about them all hidden inside his little Room of Secrets in the House of Mystery. Does that mean the House of Secrets has a tiny little Room of Mystery in it? Probably but it's a secret.

Constantine throws a fit when he realizes how disappointed Zatanna was that he didn't actually die for her. I can see that. How the fuck do you win Zee's heart? If you die for her, she'll love you forever but what good is it? If you don't die for her, she resents you for not dying for her! That chick has some seriously backwards thinking!

Constantine probably isn't abandoning the Justice League Dark anyway. I mean, I wouldn't mind if he did! He's a loner at heart. He should be doing his own thing in his own comic book and leave the team stuff to other mages. Zatanna thinks he's doing what she thinks he does best: putting his own needs above everyone else's. But he's probably actually doing what he actually does best: a little misdirection! He'll probably come back and destroy the Thaumaton and kiss the girl. Although, seriously, I really do hope he's running out on them to pout and despise himself and go on believing he doesn't deserve friends over in his own comc book.

After John leaves, everything comes to a grinding halt. No fighting. No demons. No magic. No demons. No Constantine. No demons. Everything just comes to a grinding halt. Because the souls of Nanda Parbat have fed on Angel Wings and are ready to move the entire place to a dimension in a better neighborhood. So Zatanna risks everything because magic has risks or something and teleports them all away before Nanda Parbat disappears. And by all, I mean the main members of Justice League Dark and the Trinity of Sin and their buddies. I guess Blue Devil and Shade the Changing Man had to fend for themselves.

Although I'm not sure why John is there. Artistic error?

And so Forever Evil: Blight is over! I think. Did it just end? Really? That was it? Hmm, I guess that's what happens with these DC tie-ins. I think Geoff Johns wants all the surprise twist glory holes for himself. The story may not have really done much to change the landscape of the DC world, but it did finish Constantine's time with the Justice League Dark and his (totally phony, amirite?) love for Zatanna.

Fuck the House of Mystery! It's the more bullshit house anyway! Go get the House of Secrets, John! But you have to let Rain live there with you, okay?

Justice League Dark #29 Rating: +2 Ranking. It doesn't get any positive ranking points for how Forever Evil: Blight ended. I think if you look up anti-climactic in the dictionary, you get a free copy of this issue under the main definition which is my sexual prowess. The great part of this issue was Constantine leaving the team and completely ruining any romantic relationship between Zatanna and himself. Also, Zatanna leading the Justice League Dark from inside the House of Mystery just works so much better since she's always been a staple of the regular Justice League. I actually prefer a more super hero Justice League oriented Justice League Dark! This also should improve Constantine's comic now that he's back to being an unlovable loner.

Amanda Waller #1

This issue is six months late! Villains Month was last September.

I'll never get used to skinny Amanda Waller. No, that's not true. I think Amanda being fat was important to the previous incarnation of the character but it wasn't essential. Sure, Amanda was a stereotype of the strong, maternal, big, black woman. You know the stereotype, played famously by such legendary actresses as Mabel King and Esther Rolle. When you saw a woman like this, you knew what to expect and you dropped the fucking backtalk. That was Amanda and I think her look helped back up her iron will and stubborn attitude. But the look isn't what The New 52 got wrong. What The New 52 got wrong was Amanda's ability. Suddenly, she could break your leg, disarm you, kill you with multiple weapons and fighting styles. So her underlings aren't scared of Amanda herself; they're now scared of what Amanda can do. That takes away a lot of Amanda's actual power. Her ability to get shit done and to make even Batman stand down were not because she could kick ass. They were because she was tough and she was smart and she made Goddamned sure that she was respected. And you know what else made her character? The trait underneath all of that toughness and bravado and absolute control which you were always sure to get a glimpse of when women like this were played by Mabel King and Esther Rolle? Vulnerability. Amanda and Mabel and Florida were tough and proud and strong because they were also scared. If they failed at their jobs, shit was going to get bad. Amanda could not let anybody see her sweat. Ever. And sweat she did because she couldn't go out there and kick ass and shoot guns and beat the shit out of the enemy herself. That vulnerability also meant she had to surround herself with a staff that could protect her. Because being the brains of the outfit, she was definitely a target. The old Amanda wasn't going to go toe to toe with Regulus if he managed to catch her out of Belle Reve.

So forget about The New 52 ruining Amanda Waller because she's skinny. I have a feeling she became skinny for the movies and television which deserves a whole separate rant on fucking Hollywood's standards on which actresses and actors get what roles depending on body shape and beauty. I probably don't need to rant about that, do I? That would be like blowing the choir boys. No, wait. That's not how that saying goes. Enh, never mind. Let's read a comic book.

I normally just skip mentioning this because it generally takes place in a panel or during a moment I don't want a scan but why the fuck are comic book writers so in love with using the adjective "so-called"? Wait. Is that an adjective? Maybe the so-called adjective "so-called"?

Amanda is currently on a secret plane that's secretly headed somewhere secret with a bunch of secret ops secret soldiers secretly being secret about secrets. But somebody apparently told one of the secrets because a missile blows one of the wings off of the plane. Most planes can't fly with just one wing and this secret plane is no different. Amanda and her secret crew crash all over the place.

The pages with the pre-crash events is nicely done. The next double splash page isn't nicely done because even with one wing gone, the pilot manages to land the plane nicely on its belly. Bravo for doing the impossible, sirs! Unless it's not impossible! I'm only a Writer that thinks he knows everything and not a Writer that actually does know everything! I probably shouldn't have admitted to that though! Now you're going to second guess everything I say even if I say it with absolute authority.

See? I like this. This is that attitude I mentioned that Amanda has been missing! The only problem is that you know, from past New 52 stories, she's fully capable of rescuing everybody on this plane and killing whoever shot the missile at them. Even with the head injury.

The plane has crashed in New Mexico during an unnatural snowstorm. Only five of the eighteen secret people on board survived. And only two of them were secret soldiers. None of the survivors were Deadshot or Rick Flag or Bronze Tiger, so she's kind of up shit creek which is really fucking gross.

One of the survivors is a geneticist named Dr. Issen who seems to be the main target of the person that brought down the plane: Kriger-3. That's a stupid name!

Amanda admits to loathing violence which she finds funny. She just laughs off the fact that she hates violence and yet she's dedicated her life to committing scads and scads of it! As much violence as she can put on her books, she'll do it! Load up some nano-bombs in some more violent killers because good old "I Loathe Violence" Waller needs some bad guys killed! Real funny.

Oh! She didn't mean "ha ha" funny! She meant "fuck me why didn't my life turn out differently" funny!

Amanda realizes Kriger-3 has to recharge between blasts, so she and her last secret soldier (the other one died early) blast away at him immediately after he flames some snow banks. As Amanda does this, she thinks, "Is this what it feels like to be an operative on Task Force X?" Why would she need to ask that fucking question? I'm sure being an operative on Team Seven was just like being an operative on Task Force X which is just like what she's doing now! Did nobody tell Jim Zub that Amanda Waller was on Team Seven? That this kind of thing was her life for a few years?

Amanda's plan leaves her last Secret Soldier dead. Now it's just Amanda and her two civilians. She really should have just let Kriger-3 kill Issen. There are plenty more geneticists in the DC Universe that she can manipulate and exploit.

Oh, okay. He knows. But why did Amanda join the military if she loathes violence? Money for college?

I get that the military isn't just about violence! But you have to know that when a problem finally gets to a point where it needs to be solved by the military, violence is usually going to be the solution to that problem. It's like becoming a doctor who loathes blood! Or a firefighter who loathes Dalmatians!

Kriger-3 finally gets Dr. Issen in his grasp while Amanda thinks about how much running the Suicide Squad hurts her feelings. So change your fucking life, Amanda! I don't want to hear your bitching and moaning about how tough it is to manipulate criminals and send them to their deaths. Stop doing it if it's so tough. Find a better way to help protect innocent civilians. Use fucking volunteers that aren't murderers and thugs and psychotics! Lead the team in the field yourself so you understand the risk. Stop lying to everybody in your fucking life! Do things differently! DO FUCKING BETTER.

People like you? You mean irrational people that don't want to be free from the cycle of killing? Walk away, dumbass. Just walk away. After, you know, killing this last psycho! I hear Jack in the Box is hiring. They hardly kill anybody there.

So, boo hoo, Amanda has to murder this guy to keep people safe. The end.

Amanda Waller #1 One-Shot Rating: I get that this issue was meant to show that Amanda Waller isn't a cold-hearted bureaucratic leader that doesn't allow any of the death surrounding her to truly affect her. But it doesn't ring true at all. Up until this point, she has shown she craves control and power. She lies about everything and doesn't mind manipulating the criminals she works to accomplish her desired goals. She doesn't just send "volunteers" on dangerous missions where they might die; she sends many of them out knowing that they're going to die because she's ordered another member of the group to kill them. If she really felt any of the pain and sorrow and regret that her choices have caused, then she'd start making different choices. The one line she uses in this about people her never truly being free is the only hint that something is driving her to have to be in the business of death. But that's it. One line. What does she mean by "people like her"? People who feel they have no choice but to get bloody as hell to protect the world? People who love power? People with implants forcing them to make stupid decisions that go against everything they believe in? I suppose I can pretend that Amanda cares about Deadshot and the rest now but it's going to take a lot of alcohol every time I read a story with her in it.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Red Lanterns #29

The most important part of Kara's new look is the Red Ring which she seems to have left on the bathroom sink. Also, what the fuck is up with the index finger on her right hand? It's probably been broken so many times due to punching people in the face, it's never healed correctly.

Look at that chump Superman! Still trying to control Kara and keep her from making her own choices. Not that wearing the Red Ring was really her choice. But sometimes things happen to people that they didn't choose but they still accept those things. So Superman needs to accept whatever Kara is accepting and lay off. Or maybe he can save her and her mind will be clear of the rage and she'll thank him for forcing his choice on her! It's a tough call! When does interfering with and trying to control a loved one's life actually become help and rescue?

Guy's the man though! Letting her make her own choices and take control of her own life! Sure, his motives might be a bit selfish since his team now has a Kryptonian Red Lantern! But at least he's respecting her life decisions! Even though Kara is possessed by a Red Ring that keeps her rage at a constant heightened state of pure anger, she's obviously still able to make her own rational decisions about what is best for her. I guess if she had a sexually transmitted disease that was slowly driving her insane because spirochetes were digging their way into her brain, Guy would have to respect her choices then too. So when Superman flies up with a Kryptonian syringe yelling something about antibiotics, Guy would have to stop him and say, "Only if she wants the shot, Kal."

Currently it doesn't matter what anybody wants because Zox and Skallox are firing neutron-star-tipped missiles at Kara. For fun.

Le sigh.

After Kara proves she can take a neutron-star-tipped missile to the breadbasket, she joins Skallox and Zox at the Red Lantern Bar. It's an adorably messy place with No Cats signs and a banner that reads "One of Us" on the wall. The weird thing about living in the internet age is knowing that something like "one of us" speaks to far more people than it did before everyone had access to the internet. I generally expect everybody to have seen Freaks at this point but there was a time when it actually was simply a cult classic. Do cult classics even exist anymore? I remember in the early to mid nineties (you know, before the internet really took off and most people were relying on AOL or Prodigy or Whatever), I was steadily making my way through the Cult Classics movies section at a local Hollywood Video. I watched a lot of movies I'd never heard of simply because I hadn't heard of them through word of mouth (the internet before the internet!). Most of those movies are probably now run of the mill flicks that everybody has seen because everybody has now heard of everything thanks to the internet. I'm not putting a judgment on things having a wider audience! That's great. I just find it strange. Now videos go viral and everybody sees them. Back when I was growing up, viral videos were literal VHS tapes that were copied and passed around from person to person. I saw my first footage of a person eating shit out of another person's ass from one of those! I also saw Parker and Stone's "Spirit of Christmas (Jesus vs. Santa)" via VHS tape before it hit the internet and everybody knew about it. In fact, I was surprised one day when one of my auto-responses on a MUSH, "You can't say pigfucker in front of Jesus!", was recognized by another player. That was when I truly realized the internet was changing everything. Information, all of it, was being released from its cage. Now you didn't need to know the right people, or be curious enough to actually get the fuck to a library. You could just sit in front of a screen and soak it all in, following link after link until you're waist deep in information you didn't even know existed just hours ago. Remembering it all is a whole different problem! Just like television is the shitty brother of movies, the internet is the half-assed brother to the library and books. It's tougher to retain data when you don't take a break to reflect and absorb.

Gooble Gobble! Gooble Gobble!

Oh yeah! One last thing I wanted to mention although why do I think I need to mention it since everybody knows about everything already on the internet? Anyway, if you haven't seen the documentary Winnebago Man, I am suggesting it here because it captures quite a bit of that feeling of the time when you had seen a strange bootleg video and then suddenly you run into a complete stranger that has also seen the tape. It just widened your world in such a spectacular way that doesn't really happen anymore. Now when you mention something fascinating you've seen, the main response is "Meh" and "That's fucking old" and "Really? You'd never seen that?" Fucking attitudes, man.

Guy Gardner stops by to ruin the party because he's Big Daddy in this unit. I guess he doesn't respect Kara's decisions as much as I made it seem earlier since he won't allow her to partake in a drink with her new family. He's probably not wrong! Not because she shouldn't be drinking due to her age; she probably shouldn't be drinking because she could destroy the planet if she gets out of control.

Does Ysmault have a yellow sun? Just, you know, wondering.

Kara points out that the Red Lanterns don't have a leader but come on! They all secretly know Guy Gardner is leader! But he's the kind of leader that basically lets them all do their own thing. He still tells them what needs to be done but they don't mind because none of them want to do any of that organizational shit. So Guy needs to figure out what to do with Kara because she's eventually going to attract the attention of Superman and who needs that self-righteous superdick fucking up their sweet deal to rule Sector 2814?

As Skallox points out when he finishes his statement on the next page, the whole planet is filled with lunatics. Although that doesn't really support his argument at all! It supports Zox's! Maybe he should just stay away from the entire place. Go find some other alien that is willing to fuck a creature with the head of a long dead goat.

While Zox and Skallox keep Kara busy (which they were doing in the bar but Guy had to break that sweet deal up), Guy heads to Earth to have a chat with Superman. Superman doesn't quite recognize him with the long hair and the porn stache and, probably, the red suit. So Guy introduces himself as having been on that disaster of a team, Justice League International. Superman is a good guy so he doesn't laugh right in Guy's face.

Charles Soule is pretty adept at these one on one conversations, so I'll just scan it here instead of paraphrasing it poorly with intermittent dick jokes.

It was Clark Kent's own website that broke the news and he's going to blame Barry?! What a dick!

As Kara flies up, the predicted chaos happens. Guy gets shaken down by Superman as Supes tries to figure out how Guy defiled his little cousin. Kara exclaims she's a big girl that can make her own choices. Skallox points out it wasn't really her choice and she's going to be this way forever or she'll die.


Superman tries to fix his cousin the way he's always trying to fix his cousin. This time instead of her fist, she hits him with a cargo ship. It's a nice, cathartic moment for her and she's ready to tell both Guy and Kal why they need to fucking butt out and stop trying to solve her problems. And even when she's right about how they've been treating her, Superman comes right back with the rightest fucking shit to say just like Superman should. He lays it all out. He understands that Kara has wanted him to leave her alone. But he's family and he couldn't just do that. He saw that she is angry and now she's become pure anger while he tried to help her accept what has happened, heal, work through the grief. But Supes also realizes he can't keep pushing himself or his way of doing things on her. She's young and she's not him and she needs to deal with her problems the way she needs to deal with her problems. Superman only has one last thing to say to Guy before leaving Kara in his hands.

How come so many other comic book writers can't write shit like this? Try harder, assholes.

This is a really interesting dynamic between Kara, Kal, and Guy. The entire situation could easily cause any one of these three (or all three) to come out looking like a fucking asshole. But Soule manages to portray them all in a sympathetic light in this confrontation. Superman could easily come off as the worst here. But he's been trying to be a parent to Kara ever since he met her. He's just now worked through all the stages of parental grief and he's finally realizing he can't control Kara nor can he live her life for her. He has to let her go. But he still feels protective of her which is why he reaches out to Guy for assurance that she'll (and everybody she might accidentally harm while angry) be all right.

Kara could easily come off looking like a snotty rebellious brat that's just ignoring any advice given to her by the adults. But we feel the pain and trauma she's been through since issue one of Supergirl. She didn't need Superman telling her to forget things and fit in. She needs to cope with this pain. Perhaps being away from Earth where everything has simply been chaotic and confusing will give her that time. And she'll be with peers instead of people trying to be parents.

And Guy just comes across as the Guy I always love to see rise to the surface. That's the Guy that the Green Lantern Ring chose. He and Kara are a lot alike so he might be the best person in the DC Universe right now for her to be around. Hopefully he'll take her back to Ysmault now and let her have that drink.

Superman mentions once more that Hal's been slagging off the Red Lanterns before he tells them he'll trust them to keep his family safe. And Zilius Zox points out that the Red Lanterns are family. A very angry family with severe acid reflux problems. Then Zilius Zox throws a beer at Superman and yells, "You can take your family and shove it straight up your ass!" Then Superman leaves and the Red Lanterns head back to Ysmault where they find Bleez at the bottom of a crater muttering, "Atrocitus."

Red Lanterns #29 Rating: +3 Ranking. Whereas a lot of writers would have had Guy's confrontation with Superman wind up in a brawl, Soule keeps it to a very nice conversation. Except for the one hit Kara gets in with an ocean liner. But that hit was definitely not gratuitous. Kara has been needing to do that to Kal for a long time. She wasn't about to leave home with any less violence than that. I'm just glad it didn't come to any more. This was as elegant a way as any for Kara to truly join the Red Lanterns and become part of their family. One of us, indeed.

Superior Foes of Spider-Man #10

Spider-Man! Spider-Man! He lives in a garbage can! Spins a web every night! He's strong to the finish because he's the Spider-Man!

This comic book came out two weeks in a row! What the fuck is that about?! Well, as I begin to read it, I kind of begin to get what the fuck it is all about! Last issue concentrated on Captain Boomerang as he dealt with all of the criminals he's pissed off. As he was getting one Criminal Overlord that wanted him dead pissed off at another Criminal Overlord that wanted him dead, he ran into three other members of the Sinister Six driving around in a school bus loaded with children. It looks like this comic book is going to be about how those guys got themselves into that situation and should end with them picking up Boomerang. Which is kind of cool that these two issues came out right on top of each other since the stories are running parallel.

This issue begins with Overdrive, Speed Demon, and Beetle telling stories about the biggest jerko heroes they ever bested in combat. The first to go is Overdrive as he tells a story about getting one over on Hercules.

Does Hercules always sound this idiotic or is this because he's basically being written by Overdrive? I hope he's always like this! I like it!

Overdrive runs but Hercules eventually catches up. But he doesn't recognize Overdrive because Overdrive has put on a helmet by then. So Hercules, being a big dumb lummox, just asks him if he saw a villain run by. Overdrive points the way and story over!

That story doesn't really make Overdrive seem brave or heroic so I'm willing to bet it's all true! Hercules is an idiot!

This is why Superman doesn't get enough credit for how hard his job is. He probably gets his ass beat 90% of the time because he's going easy on a new villain, pulling his punches because he doesn't want to kill the guy. Meanwhile the villain is going gangbusters all over Superman's face. And just because the villain is super strong, it doesn't mean the villain is invulnerable! So Superman has to steadily increase the power of his punches little by little as he takes a serious beating! Every day Superman is walking a tightrope between getting killed and winding up in jail for manslaughter.

Next, Beetle tells her story about how she beat Daredevil! Her story takes place in court as she went toe to toe with blind Matt Murdock! And since there were rumors that he was Daredevil, she kept trying to trick him into revealing that he had some kind of super senses. But when everything she tried failed, she decided to call in a favor and have The Looter cause a ruckus outside of the courtroom.

Stupid Murdock! Your most important job is putting the criminals away after the criminals have been captured! Jerko!

Lastly, Speed Demon tells his fantastically amazing story about when he beat Spider-Man! Or a different time when he came out on top over The Thing! Or when he iced The X-Men! Or how he cleaned The Avenger's clocks! But his best story was how he got revenge on Hercules for sucker punching him!

Didn't Hercules get the clap from one of his twelve labors? Something about the Stygian Bull? Or Stymphalian Birds? It sounds like you can get clap from those!

Of course that's Hercules walking into the bar bringing the gift of battle. It ends there because do we really need to see these poor guys get their asses beat by Hercules? And by poor guys I mean Beetle and Overdrive since Speed Demon, as usual, runs away instantly.

Even without Nick Spencer writing, this comic wins most whimsical of the week! That's a new award I just decided to give out this week and will forget all about next week! On a positive note, this was the last comic book from the batch delivered on March 19th. So now I only have the comic books that came out last Wednesday! I'm very nearly caught up again! I'd high five all the readers if all of my readers were less than five years old. Otherwise I'd have to high five you and then judge you for being old enough to know better.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Superman Unchained #6

I forgot this book existed.

It's been three months since the last issue of Superman Unchained. Somebody tell Jim Lee it's okay if he can't keep a schedule. He's got plenty of other things to do like running DC's whatever department he runs and scribbling all over the faces of the characters he draws. But he should really take some responsibility and tell everybody, "You know what? I wouldn't stand for this late bullshit from the people working under me. And I shouldn't stand for it from myself. So I'm firing myself from the Superman Unchained job!" And then he'd piss himself and run weeping from the conference room. That's how everybody ends a corporate meeting, right?

Since nobody probably even remembers that this book was being published, let me catch y'all up to speed on what was happening. Ascension told Lois Lane their reasons for doing what they're doing and then launched all the nuclear missiles in the world. I don't know what newspapers will be left to publish Lois's story after all the explosions and fallout and EMPs have quieted down but that's not my problem. That's Lois's problem because she's going to flip the fuck out when she realizes she has the greatest headline in the world ready to go and the world is suddenly out of order.

Lex Luthor found out which hand Jimmy Olsen usually uses when beating off his best pal Superman and placed a Kryptonite implant into it.

Lex Luthor is really fucking good at origami.

Superman took Wraith to check out the Fortress of Solitude only to have Wraith threaten to kill him. That's the last slumber party he's ever going to be invited to.

I think Sam Lane was doing some important shit too. Trying to stop Ascension and kill Superman and impress his daughter.

Also, some five year old got a hold of one of my micron pens and scribbled all over the faces of all the male charac...oh wait. Sorry. That's just Jim Lee's style. Never mind.

Antarctica? What the fuck?! Hey, you assholes at DC! Let's not go through this shit again! The Arctic and Antarctica are two separate places and Superman's Fortress has never been in Antarctica! Or does his Fortress switch places with NOWHERE's Headquarters in some kind of unstable, quantum state with the two structures irrevocably bound together?

What is wrong with the staff at DC? Did they not learn their geography lesson when Lobdell and DeFalco kept changing the location of NOWHERE's base? Do people not know that Antarctica is not in the Arctic?! It's the opposite of the Arctic! It's the antonym of the Arctic! It's right in the fucking name! Mostly!

Batman tries to contact Superman to go over the game plan to stop the nuclear missiles but he wastes a number of minutes trying to get through to him in the Arctic. So now the world is probably fucked! Superman realizes this and decides to go speak with Ascension instead of stopping any missiles. Since he can't stop them all, he just won't bother. Hopefully Ascension has a button that will make the missiles not explode somehow.

Batman, Green Lantern (Simon Baz, I guess?), and Wonder Woman will try to stop as many missiles as they can. Batman doesn't mention The Flash although I think he could be helpful too! Unless the missiles are all programmed to explode a mile or so over their targets. That's probably the case. Fuck you, The Flash. You should be able to help because you're so Goddamned fast but since you can't fly, you're completely useless. Like that other guy that doesn't get a mention: Aquaman.

So what will be on Wraith's head? An America that didn't get hit by any missiles? Seems fair. Although he's probably eating his spleen about the fact he's going to have to keep missiles from hitting Canada and Mexico as well.

While Wraith flies off to save American infrastructure (because, let's face it. If he allows the hundreds of missiles to explode everywhere else around the world, Americans are all kind of fucked anyway, right? But at least their cities won't get blown to shit), Superman crashes into Ascension Headquarters in the middle of the Atlantic to find Lois hot on the story! Even though Superman is super pissed off, you can see the little bit of Clark Kent crying behind Supe's eyes as he realizes Lois must be ten thousand times a better investigative journalist than he'll ever be. She fucking found Ascension before even The Jeezly Crow Batman!

Lois has all the information to stop Ascension but the leader hits the self-destruct and blows the entire island to ashes. Superman rescues Lois and Lois rescues just one piece of Earthstone Crystal. I guess that piece is going to have to be enough to stop the missiles. Since it's similar to Krypton's system of Sundildos, Superman can probably insert it in his Crystal Matrix back at the Fortress of Solitude.

Meanwhile Aquaman is struggling to finish the New York Times Monday Crossword Puzzle.

Or maybe he doesn't need the Fortress after all. Good thing since Antarctica is so far away.

Superman creates some kind of shield that causes the missiles to fall apart without detonating their warheads. So what happens to the hundreds of warheads that now fall undetonated to the Earth? I guess they don't explode. But who's going to account for them all?! I'm sure several dozen will wind up in the hands of the likes of Lex Luthor and Black Manta, right?

Wraith wants Superman's Earthstone for the American Military but Superman is all, "I've got scribbles on my face, you bitch!" And Lois is all, "I've only got like one scribble on my face because I'm hot!" And Wraith is all, "Ewwwww!"

Or they say other shit but I'm too distracted by all the scribbles.

Wraith decides Superman needs a super beating because I can't get enough of adding "super" to anything that happens to Superman. But Superman is prepared because Batman gave him a secret weapon to use against Wraith: synthetic mineral! Wait, what? Is that like Generic Kryptonite? It is a yellow ring! You see, young people, you know how different stores like Safeway and Fred Meyer all sell their own brand of products? Back when I was young, those products wouldn't waste any money on even that amount of branding! They were just yellow or white products with big black font. So if you wanted cheap beer, you didn't get Pabst Blue Ribbon or Hamms. You got BEER.

This was all my friend Phil Newby's father ever had in the fridge.

So Batman has created Generic Kryptonite which defeats Superman's cheap knock-off rival, Wraith. Superman beats Wraith's ass until Sam Lane orders Wraith to retreat. Wraith flies away screaming, "This isn't the last you've heard of WRAAAAAIIIITTTH!"

Afterward, Superman brings Lois to the Fortress of Solitude because that seems like a much better idea than bringing Wraith, an alien that wants to kill him, into his home. Lois will just memorize all of his secret shit and write a huge exposé on him and his secret home! He does it to keep her safe but I bet he winds up regretting it! Hopefully he didn't leave his Clark glasses lying around where she might see them.

Superman doesn't once mention the warheads that have fallen all over the planet. Maybe that's The Flash's job! Collect them and deliver them to the guy that must dispose of them: Aquaman!

While Superman studies the Earthstone, he notices its programming begins to be rewritten. I guess the crystalline matrix is like software. A close up examination shows that it's being rewritten in Krypton! What could it mean?! I have no idea because before Superman can speculate, Sam Lane and his army of AT-ATs stage an attack on the Fortress of Solitude! Find out in three months what happens next!

There is a two page epilogue, by the way. Here's the second page:


Superman Unchained #6 Rating: +1 Ranking! I'm glad I'm keeping this blog or I wouldn't have had any fucking clue as to what had been happening previously! Man, I really hope General Lane loses his fucking job. Who said it was okay to use his Super Secret Anti-Superman Army to kill the guy it was built to kill? I mean, who said he could do it now! Obviously it's the reason it was built. But Superman just saved the world! I think a lot of people are going to be pissed if General Lane kills Supes now just because Superman humiliated his pet project Wraith.

Batwoman #29

I had no idea "spell" was a euphemism for "vagina."

Now I have the song "I Put A Spell On You" stuck in my head and its far more sexy than creepy! I think Marilyn Manson's version of "I Put A Spell On You" from the Lost Highway soundtrack is the definitive version of that song. I suppose Manson doing a version of a love song that's already inherently creepy is a bit like the person that has to point out a subtle penis joke by yelling, "It's about a penis!" That's kind of the way Captain Hammer and I roll.

I just realized that Kate is going to have to start wearing pants around her apartment more often now that Maggie's kid has moved in. I figure that's probably the main thing that would change if I had children. I'd wear pants around the apartment more often. Not at first, of course! Just when they got old enough to have friends come over. Although then it might be worth the teenage embarrassment factor to walk through the room in my underwear in front of my kid's friends with a stack of Superman comic books under my arm and asking, "Anybody got to use the bathroom? Judging by my stomach's reaction to breakfast, I'm probably going to be in there for awhile!" Also, the Superman comic books would not be for reading but for wiping my ass because they'd be the ones written by Scott Lobdell.

This issue begins with that Eisenstadt guy (unless his name is spelled differently) discovering a secret about a rich bastard named Mr. Grantham! But the reader doesn't get to know the secret yet or else we'd set the book down and stop reading because too much was revealed too quickly. Unless the revelation was mysterious enough to keep us interested! I know I'd be more interested finding out exactly what Eisenstadt found out rather than being left with this to keep me hooked:

"Blessed Virgin! A Grinch doll!"

Eisenstadt means iron city. I just point that out because it might be important to the character later. Like he might have an iron will or he bustles frequently.

To continue living with Maggie and her child, Kate had to make a few concessions. One of those was to see a therapist for her possible Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Not that anybody but Maggie thinks she might have PTSD. But Maggie is the only one that matters to Kate, so she's going to spend a few pages telling a stranger all the fucked up bits of her life so that she can feel less anxious and more connected to the world. Ha ha! Who does that? What a pathetic loser!

Ow. I think I just hurt my feelings.

Oh wait! I'm not the pathetic loser! I'm the therapist helping people understand that they aren't alone in their problems by exposing my own! My readers are the pathetic losers!

Hey! Wait! Where are you going?! I didn't mean anything by that last caption! Please stay! I LOVE YOU!

Obviously what I meant to say is that we're all pathetic losers together because our problems aren't anywhere as unique as we'd like to think they are. They differ only in slight degrees. There's a quote that I'm probably misremembering somehow but it goes something like this: "When you see somebody else get stabbed in the face, it's comedy. But when it happens to you, it's tragedy." And it's easy to look at the victim of comedy as being a pathetic loser when they whine about not getting how funny the stabbed in the face joke was. So what I meant to say is that by all of us being pathetic losers, we aren't actually pathetic losers at all! We're just animals trapped inside the human condition. We're observers observing the observes as we're observed by the observing observers who are also observed. You know what I mean! Probably!

Oh! Oh! I know what happens when you assume! When you assume, you just make stuff up in your head that lacks evidence and then you believe it so strongly (because why would you, the genius, be wrong?) that it takes two to three times more evidence to convince you that you were wrong than if you had just let the evidence come in before making your stupid assumption.

When the therapist assumes she's heterosexual, it's the final straw for Kate who doesn't actually want to be here anyway. She lists off all the "issues" the therapist would probably enjoy asking her to elucidate before walking out of the office. One of those "issues" is that Kate "scared the hell out of [her] fiance's daughter, possibly destroying [their] relationship." That's still a problem? The kid walking in on Kate half-naked in the bathroom cleaning blood off of her face? Bullshit. If the relationship is so fragile that Maggie can't get past her kid getting what amounted to a slightly perturbing experience then maybe Maggie isn't as into the relationship as she thought. Maybe Maggie isn't the one that really has much of a problem with what happened. Obviously she wants her child to be safe around the problems that could crop up when married to a vigilante. So it's understandable if Maggie wants to make sure Kate is okay. Perhaps it's Kate that is blowing this whole thing out of proportion because she's afraid she can't be a good mother to this little girl. Seems like Kate wants this entire thing to blow up because she's afraid she isn't worthy of a normal, happy family. It's easier to get pissed at your therapist and walk out like he's the asshole than to have to face the fact that your fucked up early family life doesn't make you essentially a fucked up person. I think Kate wants to think of herself as permanently broken because it makes it easier to put her life in danger every night. She doesn't deserve to be happy so she risks her life saving people that do deserve to be happy. But remember that thing about us all being pathetic losers? Right. So Kate Kane also deserves to be saved. But who will save her?

Meanwhile Wolf Spider is planning an art heist on Arkham Asylum! That should be entertaining.

That also just made me realize what I really want in the next DC Comics video game! I mean, after the Suicide Squad game, of course! I fucking can't wait for that shit. Anyway, I want a Catwoman game that's a lot like the Thief games but with super heroes and super villains! So your basic game play is a lot like Thief where you steal lots of shiny shit but with more parkour and whipping. And instead of normal guards, Catwoman has to sneak around super villains and their powers. And of course, she'd occasionally have to fuckfight Batman.

Kate really is on the defensive. Although Maggie is pressing pretty hard with the "you obviously have a mental illness" flanking maneuver. I think couples counseling is the real answer!

Kate and Maggie decide to stop discussing their relationship because it's more difficult than figuring out who Wolf Spider really is. Although that's actually pretty easy but they're just dumb. And by dumb, I don't mean the old timey meaning of cannot speak. I don't even mean the new timey meaning of being stupid. I just mean they're ignorant of comic book conventions. I don't mean conventions as in a place where people gather to meet due to a shared interest, usually for the sake of buying and selling! I mean convention as in a trope or a usual means of doing things. Also, they're ignorant of the fact that they're in a comic book or else they'd know right off that Wolf Spider was Kate's old beard from high school. I forget what his name was. So I'm awful at detektif work too!

One thing Kate has figured out is that Wolf Spider has been stealing Eisenstadt paintings. And she knows the location of one of the last two in the series being stolen: Arkham Asylum! So Kate heads over there in the hopes that Wolf Spider will be there that night. While she's waiting around, maybe she'll remember seeing a painting in her family estate with lots of people with no faces.

The next panel should be Wolf Spider saying, "Kate?" Then Batwoman says, "Evan?" And then they have a good laugh and go out for some pizza.

The fight quickly turns into a chase which winds up in the Metahuman Security Wing. Which is probably where Batwoman is going to fall under the vagina of Nocturna! Once Wolf Spider sets all the inmates free so he can get away under cover of craziness.

I don't recognize most of the inmates released because Batwoman must be in the Batwoman's Villains Wing as opposed to the Batman's Villains Wing.

Wolf Spider sneaks off while Batwoman is left to fight these guys. Clockwise from Bottom Left: La Cucaracha, The Lamprey, Frat Disaster, The Blue Fairy, The Janitore, and Nocturna.

Batwoman #29 Rating: +1 Ranking. The tone of the book has shifted somewhat from Williams and Blackman's run but the quality has been retained. Okay, so the art and the layouts aren't nearly as interesting as before. And the story is quite a bit lighter. But I have to admit I like how much time Andreyko is spending on Kate and Maggie's relationship within the framework of the greater story. This is one book that I wouldn't think twice if people had just dropped when Blackman and Williams walked off the book. But if they did, I think they're missing out on a DC comic that's still well worth reading. Unless it makes you angry just thinking about what could have been! Then you probably shouldn't touch it for your own sanity. Especially since you can't hate it the way you'd truly be able to if Ann Nocenti and Rob Liefeld had taken over.

Red Hood and the Outlaws #29

We'll get to Red Hood and the Outlaws after a short piece I found in a stack of papers on my desk. I have stacks of papers everywhere, covered in words, words, and more words. Some are covered in maps of text adventures and old school computer role playing games. But mostly they're covered in words and arrows and edits, margins filled with revisions, whole sentences scratched out with a note to ignore the omission and include the words underneath the ink. Dozens of half filled notebooks can be found all around the house with short pieces, thoughts, comics, beginnings of stories, middles of stories, endings of stories! Unfinished projects abound all around me. As I was moving some Fortean Times magazines about, I found three crumpled pages of yellow legal paper with something I was writing probably ten to twelve years ago. That's when I was writing on the yellow legal pads taken from the office supply closet from the job I was working at the time. Anyway, I'll shove it in block quotes so you can skip it if you just want to get right to the stupid shit Roy Harper does this month.

First, an apology. Most Writers can't stand reading stuff from their past but I find most of the random things I dig up, at the very least, interesting. Maybe just interesting to me because it's a peak into the mind of essentially a different person at this point. Although a person I still have a lot in common with! Anyway, here's some old school Eee! Tess Ate Chai Tea, complete with grammar errors, redactions, and amateurish turns of phrase! Not like those things have changed anyway.

Is Horatio Alger's 'Rags to Riches' dream fable still part of the American consciousness? Or has working hard to make something of oneself been replaced by get rich quick schemes or money for nothing lottery prayers? In these The ^build up of^ cynicism built in to within of the minds the Generation ^of^ the generations raised in the seventies and eighties was built through the eyes of was caused by seeing parents trying to suck happiness from the work your way up from the bottom mentality. Sure, dad was suddenly bringing home near six figures. But when he was home, he was hardened and cracked. Emotions drained by ^office^ politics never showed up emerged around the kids. But the new video game system and the cable TV made up for that, right?

So we saw working toward retirement as a sucker's deal. And after the divorce, mom's love turned bitter and resentment became her aura. And suddenly the things TV was telling us about love were exposed as hollow lies. Mom's life was gone because she had planned it around the love and affection of a man whose job drained him of all spirit and vitality. But for awhile there, when the checks were rolling in and the pension was growing and dad actually was actually at the dinner table as opposed to the strip bar, it seemed to be working.

Maybe than you're of that generation and your family wasn't like this. Perhaps your parents drowned themselves in drink instead of engaging in cacophonic [sic] conversations. Maybe booze saved the marriage but did it still save you?

Or are was your family life perfect? Did you grow up believing dad was happy and mom's love could save the world? Maybe it is you who is the one raising a family formed by the example you deludedly believed were deluded in believing. And you will be the father ^or mother^ most of us had and your children will join our ranks as just another dead baby left in the wake of our parents shattered illusion.

What were we to do?

When the smoke cleared and we were handed our high school diploma, where were we supposed to go? No matter what my dad's father's bank account implied, he failed. Work would not rule me. And mother may have thought the tight control she didn't use on dad was an appropriate the way to train her children. But the venom verbose venom that dripped from her tongue taught me love was harmful as career. When one finds life cannot be lived through love or career, where is one to go?

Well, college could kill a few years, anyway.

The breakfast bong hits and weekend keggers may have worked for awhile but the problem with opiates is when they wear off, the real world is worse than it was.

And did you learn anything while lost in those hallowed halls? Did Middlemarch and math problems equations expose to you the meaning of life?

(I've got a secret. I know how to stay happy. I know how but I just can't do it.)

All we've I've been taught is emptiness hunger and emptiness. We I strive to find something to satiate but all we I find is empty and unfulfilling.

I realize the primal need to propogate [sic] our species is the only point in and I can't abide children. I look forward to the years and years of this lost and empty despair and sometimes suicide seems a a succinct summation of worthwhile way of saving myself from that fate. But the fear of not existing makes desolation a long desolate life look satisfying. And besides, Because what else is there?

(And the secret of happiness trembles on the tip of my tongue. If I could only accept it convince myself to believe, if my brain hadn't been hardwired to think rationally, I might be happy.)

Perhaps you know the secret of happiness too? Maybe you are more earnest and naive than I am? And if so, maybe you could teach me how to do it. How do I convince myself to believe in the illusion? How do you learn to see that which you know to be untrue? The ability to believe the illusion is the secret to a happy, carefree life.

It doesn't matter what the illusion is.

That's it! Everybody back to work! Comic book commentary begins in

This is the first page of Red Hood and the Outlaws by new writer Will Pfeifer. It might be my favorite page of this entire series so far.

First off, I love the idea of some aliens getting their information not just from a science book half a century old but one aimed at kids as well! Old books that purport to answer questions and to teach children the mysteries of the world are one of my favorite things. Sitting next to me is my copy of Charlie Brown's Super Book of Questions and Answers that I owned as a child. The publication date is 1976 so it isn't as incorrect as I'd wish. But it's still fascinating to see how scientific questions were answered nearly forty years ago. Here's how the book answers the question about why the dinosaurs died out. It doesn't even mention the reason we commonly accept today!

See? No mention of Noah's flood at all!

At the end of last issue, it seemed like Red Hood and the Outlaws were going to hunt down Midas and destroy his international crime organization. This issue begins with Starfire swimming with the dolphins, Jason Todd training, and Roy Harper building shit. He's currently chasing down a tiny robot that escaped his lab.

Last issue, I swore I'd never be able to like Roy Harper after what Lobdell did to him. But fuck it all, I'm already changing my tune!

The aliens from the first page materialize on the ship that the Outlaws use as their island home and proceed to hijack it. They blast into space with Roy still on board and Jason and Kori left to wonder why the fuck Roy would run off in their home. They don't immediately voice their suspicions that he's back on heroin but I know that's what they're thinking.

The guys who hijacked The Outlaws' ship look somewhat Omega Mannish. And since the Omega Men were last seen in Deathstroke by Rob Liefeld, that appearance technically doesn't exist any more. Or they were imposters and these are the real Omega Men. The Twat Omega Men.

Roy's little robot escapes his clutches and winds up in the clutches of the least familiar member of the alien group. Which is good because when it blows him up, that still leaves the Tigorr and the Broot looking guys! Although the one that blew up is a shapeshifter named Grak, so he's still around as well. I don't remember any Omega Men named Grak. But then, I'm not exactly familiar with the entire team.

While Roy ponders a way to defeat three aliens he knows nothing about (except that one can survive a small nuclear explosion), Kori and Jason have a visitor to their island.

Well, at least he brought booze. He can't be that bad.

This is the fourth member of the alien group, the one that was busy being passed out when the rest went on their shipjacking excursion. He's a bit confused and getting chopped up by Jason and burnt to ashes by Kori doesn't help him. But he is a shapeshifter as well, so he just reforms back into his normal form, a drunk Tyrannosaur. Since Kori can speak his language and Jason knows a few things about making people speak their language against their will, it looks like the Outlaws will soon be back together.

In space, Roy discovers the aliens are demonstrating a weapon that can wipe out all life on a planet while simultaneously branding the planet with a logo that can be seen from space. That seems like a pretty decent product. But does it come with a knife that can cut through a can and still remain sharp?

Finally, Kori and Jason know where they need to go but they still need a ship. And Jason knows where to find one.

S.H.A.D.E. Ships Here Aren't Defended Ever.

Red Hood and the Outlaws #29 Rating: +4 Ranking. This was the most entertaining Red Hood and the Outlaws issue of the entire series. Roy Harper didn't make me vomit! And I even began to enjoy his Narration Boxes! I'm fairly certain the cover was meant for the story about crushing Midas's criminal organization. But that's okay because I'm just glad to have a bit of a new beginning for these guys! Although I think I heard a rumor that Lobdell was going to get another shot at writing this thing. DC, that would be a horrible decision. It's probably too late to stop it, isn't it? All I can hope is that the rumor wasn't true! I'll take Will Pfeifer as writer for this if he simply maintains this level of character likability.

Friday, March 28, 2014

New Guardians #29

I bet Kyle Rayner comes rainbows.

This comic book is a good example of how DC had no fucking idea what they were doing when they began The New 52. I enjoyed it early on because of all the different colored characters! It was bright and eye catching! But I had to do a lot of work to make the story understandable and I don't like having to bring my brain along with me when I read comic books. I want the Narration Boxing to tell me everything I need to know! I miss the old days when a panel would show Lois Lane driving off of a cliff and the omniscient narrator would tell the reader that Lois Lane was driving off of a cliff and, as Lois Lane was seen driving off of the cliff, she would be thinking, "Oh no! I'm driving off of a cliff!" Just so the reader wouldn't miss the fact that she was driving off of a cliff.

Where was I? Oh yeah! DC didn't know what they were doing! Right. Okay. So The New Guardians were apparently going to be one representative from each Light Corps. I don't know what they were going to do once they completed their initial investigation of the Ring Thief and how they were going to form a group called the New Guardians, but that's okay because DC didn't know either! Luckily DC blundered their way into a different way to explain the title: The Bohemian Guardians! What if Relic released some unknown Guardians from their forever prison and let them loose in a universe that they could barely comprehend? They would be the new guardians of the title and nobody would have to wonder why the fuck a comic book that was essentially about one comic book artist was called New Guardians! I hate analogies but here's my analogy of the situation: it's like DC went to take a huge dump but instead shat out a big, bloody tumor that was killing them, thus saving their own lives! Ta da!

Currently in this comic book, some Hero (I don't use that word lightly like most Americans that call any jerk that couldn't cope with making decisions in their life so they joined up with the military to have somebody else tell them what to do a hero! Oh come on! You know you've had the same thought! Don't judge me because I voice unpopular but accurate opinions! I'm a Hero!) is going about the universe killing Gods and freeing the subjugated masses. Most of those masses don't even realize they're subjugated because who cares what rules you have to follow and how much money you have to give to people that say shit you want to hear if you get to live forever in paradise after you die? If I knew I could live in eternal bliss as some kind of ethereal being after shedding this disgusting meat-shell, I'd easily go about not doing certain things and being overly proud of myself for things I wasn't doing. Look at me! I'm going to be rewarded because I'm exerting so much effort not doing stuff! Sure, I guess I could also do compassionate stuff like help the needy and sick and crap. But what do the needy and sick and crap care when they can just not fuck out of wedlock and not blaspheme God and not worship their Mrs. Butterworth bottles and then just die and be happy? Wouldn't my care and compassion to help extend their lives just be keeping them from paradise? What kind of a dick does that?!

Although, seriously, do I really think I could stop masturbating in exchange for a forever-life after I die? I'm not so sure! Although I'm fairly certain God doesn't have any rules against masturbation. Sure, Jesus says something about lusting in your heart is practically adultery. But I can still masturbate without lusting after anybody! I can just remember that dream I had where I fucked the vampire as I held her down for the sun to burn her to ash. That was a fictional creature! You can't actually lust after a fictional creature! And that story about Onan spilling his seed? Go fucking read that shit again, Christians. It's not about masturbating at all. Don't fucking listen to whatever the so-called expert priests say. Read it yourself. Use your reading comprehension! That story is about Onan being punished for breaking a vow to his father and not about being punished for coming all over the bushes. He is given his brother's wife after his brother dies so that he can make babies with her. But when he pulls out while fucking her, he's breaking the deal. He's fucking his brother's wife outside the context of the contract that gave him the right to fuck her! And God don't like that contract breaking bullshit.

To sum up, God thinks masturbation is okay. But if you really believe that your ancestors are still alive as ghosts and angels and can look down on you at any moment, do you really think masturbation is a good idea? Stop watching me, Grandma! Gross! I should sell Angel-Sight-Proof Blankets that allow people to masturbate and have sex under without the fear of Grandpa watching.

I think all Gods should be naked. What the fuck do they need clothing for anyway? Well, sure. Jesus needed clothing. But then he was trying to pass, so that's understandable.

The issue begins with Kaland'r telling her story about how she came to be full of faith in the god X'hal. Even though she misuses the term "faith" over and over. Faith has nothing to do with a god appearing in front of you, healing the sick and dead in front of your eyes, and turning your desert world into a lush paradise as you watch. That's knowledge based on experiential evidence! It's easy to say you have faith that the sun will rise because that's not fucking faith! Actually, it's hard to say that because you'd have to swallow your pride and not care that you're completely changing the definition of a word and muddying the waters of communication! But if you want to be one of those people that declares faith and observation are the same thing, go right ahead! Nobody's stopping you! You're free to do whatever you want! Just like I'm free to call you a fucking asshole.

When X'hal appears to Kyle and Carol, they don't instantly believe she's a god because they've seen plenty of super powered freaks in their lives. This is probably just another gamma-irradiated scientist that was caught up in an experiment gone wrong. No reason to jump to conclusions. Carol and Kyle are flying around the galaxy with six beings that have godlike powers but nobody thinks of as gods. They're all equal in this lot.

See? Suitably unimpressed.

X'hal is pleased with Kyle's non-subservience. She also points out that the Bohemian Guardians are themselves gods. Good thing they don't think of themselves as gods (not like those other Guardians that Sinestro taught a final lesson to) or else that Hero I was talking about earlier might have a shiv or two for them. X'hal points out that the Guardians changed the universe to their liking which could be seen as maybe a second or third definition of a god. Although the Bohemian Guardians had nothing to do with that crap! That was the other jerks over their in that pile of dead jerks. I suppose the Bohemian Guardians, having lived billions of years, may have been like the other Guardians at some point. I don't really remember when they were locked away. But since they all have various strange fashions, my guess is they all took the job of Prison Warden at differing times across the cosmic eons. So some of them might be more guilty of being a god than others.

X'hal wants to transform this world into a paradise but Kyle and Carol need to know that what she offers is real and not some kind of religious hokum. So Kaland'r takes it upon herself to convince Kyle that X'hal can make this world better. For realsies and not just for appearancies! According to the cover, she's going to fuck him until he believes.

Before Kyle can be seduced, the Hero of the story arrives: Freebie Freeman the Godkiller. I guess that was enough talk! Let the punching begin!

Well, maybe a little more talking first.

Freebie Freeman, First of the Free, tells X'hal who he is and how he knows her. He tells her origin story to the people who would listen. She was mortal but was transformed into a god by a race of people called The Makers. They were probably Guardians! They turned her into the powerful and angry creature she is today. She doesn't seem angry but that's because she hasn't currently been triggered. If The Makers were to make an appearance, she would flip the fuck out and destroy the world of Kalosa. That's what happened on Freebie Freeman's world. And that's how he became free from religion and belief and toiling for some arrogant, mortal bastard that lucked out on the god power lottery. And now he's here for revenge!

Finally! It only took twenty pages for all these assholes to shut up and stab something!

New Guardians #29 Rating: +3 Ranking. This is apparently the Green Lantern Comic Book where philosophical and ethical decisions are discussed. The main Green Lantern title with Hal Jordan is where rash and violent decisions are made. The Green Lantern Corps starring John Stewart is where hard sacrifices and their repercussions take place. Red Lanterns is where catharsis happens. And after the emotional experiences have left you drained, Larfleeze is where you go to stuff a cupcake in your mouth and leisurely sniff your toe jam. Pretty soon I'll have to figure out why the fuck the Sinestro comic book was needed! Hopefully for orgasms!

Birds of Prey #29

This is a really nice looking cover. Marred only by the asshole at the top. Fuck Condor!

Tonight I tried to make a Birds of Prey crossword puzzle but I couldn't figure out how to fit "Condor" and "Jerk Off" and "Found Dead In A Gutter" and "Amanda Conner and Kurt Lance's Love Baby" and "Asshole" and "I Hate Condor" and "Die Die Die Die Die Die Die Just Fucking Die Already" all on the same grid. Granted, I didn't try very hard. But I think I expelled some of my rage hate for Condor, so I might go easy on him during this commentary.

This issue is called "The Eve of Battle" because the Birds of Prey and Mother Eve are going to have a battle with Ra's al Ghul! So it's possibly very clever. It could have been accidentally clever as well but that's still clever. The title might also be "Eve of the Battle." It's either not very clear or I'm a moron.

Page one treats us to a full body shot of Black Canary as she Canary Screams over the side of the boat and into the wind. That's her version of making a crossword puzzle to expel the raging desire to put Condor's head in a wood chipper. I can't wait to see how Strix deals with her dislike of Condor! I sure hope this ship has a wood chipper on it!

Wait a second! How did my thoughts appear in the comic book?!

Page two mistreats us with Condor's deepest thoughts as he works out his rage as well.

Condor learns that Kurt Lance has become a permanent vegetable! Wait. Is calling someone a vegetable insulting? It's not like they'd know, right? Does that matter? I call my mom a fucking asshole all the time but not to her face and she doesn't seem to mind! Sometimes late at night, I scream, "YOU FUCKING ASSHOLE! HOW DARE YOU BRING ME INTO THIS MISERABLE WORLD? I DIDN'T ASK FOR THIS PAIN AND LONELINESS!" Then my neighbor screams, "Hey Dickface! I'm trying to sleep. How about finding Jesus already?!" And then I yell, "GO FUCK YOUR CHICKENS!" And then I hear the cock of a .357 Magnum from twenty feet away and I yell, "SORRY SORRY SORRY I'LL BE QUIET PRAISE JESUS!" And then everyone is quiet until 3:34 AM the next night.

The doctors have suggested that Black Canary unhook Kurt Lance from life support so that he can pass away peacefully. But Condor is all, "No no no! Let me do that!"

It's possible Kurt Lance is just fine and Condor is manipulating the machinery to look like Kurt has no brain activity. I wouldn't put it past him. He's a huge asshole. You can tell because he wears his stupid helmet into Kurt's hospital room instead of taking it off to show respect for the dead. I mean, dying! Bah, he might as well be dead. It's not like Amanda Waller is here to save his ass.

Condor decides to go sexually harass Black Canary while she's inconsolable over her husband's condition.

Watch the hand, creeper!

While Condor searches for a dark corner of the ship to weep hysterically from the pain of his broken heart, Windfall Uplink catches up to him with some bad news: Strix is a stupid mother fucker. She's been trying to get Strix to use a computer tablet to communicate but she keeps ruining the tablets by scratching her words into the screens as if they were marble tablets. I actually think she's just goofing on Uplink because Uplink made her remember lots of bad memories. So Strix decides to ruin all of Uplink's toys. And then Strix takes off to find Batgirl and fight vampires and little girls over in Batgirl. Condor figures this comic book is called Birds of Prey and not Condor (thank the stars!), so he flies off to find the rest of his team. Uplink asks if she should let Black Canary know what's up and Condor tears up instantly.

Oh, she'll notice! She'll wonder why nobody has tried to touch her butt in the last half hour.

While the rest of the Birds of Prey are off the ship, Black Canary decides to shoot Kurt up with Ra's al Ghul's Lazarus Pit Serum. It's her only chance to save him and completely destroy Condor's chances of love! I hope it works! Broken hearts are probably the most painful thing a person can experience just after kidney stones and childbirth. So I wouldn't wish it on anybody unless I truly, truly hated them.

Congratulations, Condor! Hope you enjoy sobbing uncontrollably until you pass out from exhaustion!

I bet the doctor was told by Mother Eve to inform her if Kurt gets better because she knows the only way his condition can improve is if he ingests some of Ra's al Ghul's bathwater. So now she knows Black Canary is going to betray her! But if she's a true Wise Woman archetype, Mother Eve will let Black Canary know she's going to betray her. And she'll forgive Black Canary. And, as a true Wise Woman archetype, she'll insist that Black Canary betray her so that she can bring back her love. She's going to go Christ Shit Balls all over this mother.

Or she'll do that other thing where she just trusts Canary's good nature and believe in Canary so much that Canary won't betray her at all. One of those two things will happen!

Meanwhile in Gotham, Condor bitches and moans and whines and cries almost exactly the way I did in eighth grade when Marilyn Mendoza told me she didn't like being stared at. Oh yeah, Marilyn?! Well I didn't like you not liking being stared at! I was crushing so hard on this girl that I actually stopped staring at her. For months. Until she approached me and said, "I wouldn't go in there. I think a fight's about to start." I was heading into the A Wing where my locker was and I couldn't believe my good fortune! She had forgiven me! She'd found my penance worthy! I bravely said, "That's okay. I have to get to my locker." And from that point on, we were on speaking terms again! And from that point on, she pursued me! Although I was too shy and stupid to react to her advances. You see, my only move was staring at her from afar and fantasizing late at night that we were part of the Elfquest World. I didn't have it in me to actually answer her when she passed me the note that said "I love you anyways" or accept her school picture when she asked me in a joking manner if I wanted one or took the hint when I saw her looking at me standing in line to sign up for Tennis for P.E. and noticing how she talked her friends into changing from Volleyball to Tennis (idiot! What was wrong with ninth grade me?!). We eventually went on to different high schools and I never saw her again. And we all lived ever after!

Her dedication in our 9th Grade Year Book. I didn't notice the "Luv ya kid" until halfway through summer when my friend Sal pointed it out. I never saw her again. Fuck you, Condor! I hope you experience this kind of pain, you shit!

Condor almost gets lucky when he's nearly put out of his misery by a drone. Except the drone wasn't trying to kill him; it was sending a message. Ra's al Ghul wants Condor on his team, broken heart and all!

You know, I used to respect Ra's al Ghul. But he wants Condor working on his side? Ugh. Loser.

Oh wait! Maybe I like Ra's again! I see what he's doing! He's giving that jerk Condor hope only to pull the hope rug out from under his stupid hopeful feet! Ha ha! Good one, Ra's!

Now that Ra's al Ghul has his various plans in motion, all he has to do is wait until nightfall before he attacks. For some reason. Probably because evil people fight better in the dark. Also ninjas fight better in the dark. And assassins. But old black wise women don't fight so well in the dark. Too bad she wasn't blind as well, as I've noted all along! Then she'd have the advantage.

Mother Eve reveals that the reason Ra's al Ghul is attacking her is to find out her secret of immortality. He's tired of long soaks in putrid water. He wants to be able to live forever from within! But he'll have to win this battle to learn the secret. Which means Black Canary will have to betray her friends! That most likely won't happen. I'm about 60% sure of it.

Mother Eve makes sure Black Canary knows everything about her process and how long it takes so that if she wants to betray her, she can.

Hell, Mother Eve is practically committing suicide!

And then the ninjas attack and the issue ends! So next issue will be the real treat where Ra's al Ghul betrays Condor by giving him everything he wants when Kurt is killed! But Black Canary will probably never be able to love another man and Condor will be devastated! Ha ha!

Birds of Prey #29 Rating: +2 Ranking. Finally, I'm kind of enjoying this comic book! I suppose it's mostly because Condor couldn't catch a break this issue. But I also think the team is finally involved in a story that's at least engaging their own desires and providing real motivations for their actions. Hopefully Condor will die or leave after this war, the Birds will break up for a bit, and then they'll reform with Black Canary, Strix, Skitters, and Mouse.