Monday, March 17, 2014

The Phantom Stranger #17

Trigon and his entire family, including Lobdell's version of Raven, make any comic book in which they appear 300% worse. Hashtag I did the math.

Hey society? Do we have to hashtag everything? I know I'm late to being annoyed by hashtags but then my Twitter account is like an unflushed loo at a rarely visited rest stop. But now that they're everywhere, I can't avoid them. I don't claim to know what we, as a collective group of assholes, should and should not be doing with our culture. But when I'm watching something as mind numbingly mind numbing as The Amazing Race, do I really need to participate in #SomebodySaidSomething? When I'm watching a commercial for auto insurance, do I need to take part in the national conversation with a gecko or Flo? Although I am glad that millions of moronic assholes constantly identify themselves as such with things like #SorryNotSorry and #NotaRacist. I like Tumblr tags because they aren't intrusive and they're fun to use. They're like footnotes. You can take them or leave them depending on how much of a complete experience you must have. But hashtags on Facebook posts? Well, you know what? I don't really mind those because as soon as I see a hashtag included I know that post isn't worth reading. Fuck, I already know 95% of all Facebook posts aren't worth reading. Sorry, friends and family but, well, hashtag truth hashtag bitches.

I do like that things are being tagged so they're easy to find if you're looking for something particular. But is anybody really going on Twitter and looking up Hashtag Barista Problems? Or has Hashtag Circumcision Won't Stop Bleeding really proved useful to anybody? Although if you really want to fall into a deep, dark despair of bitter anger and disappointment with the world, just go on Twitter and search out the #SorryNotSorry or #NotaRacist tags. Whee.

None of that has anything to do with The Phantom Stranger although the title is an anagram for Hashtag NPR Ottermen. Is their a liberal conspiracy to replace the human race with Ottermen? If there is, I just discovered it.

This issue begins with the resolution to The Phantom Stranger's encounter with The Spectre last issue. Basically it doesn't come to much more than Chris the Redeemer giving The Phantom Stranger and Cassandra Craft some kind of gift, a vision of their past and future connected. Maybe Cassandra Craft is Mary Magdalene? Anyway, after that nonsense with Chris, Dog, and the Spectre (nonsense that feels like a pilot for another project secreted safely within this issue to set the stage for a monthly Spectre comic) is finished, everybody heads to Las Vegas to meet up with Trigon's sons.

Her psychic eyes don't seem to notice that her tits are falling out of her shirt.

Maybe Cassandra likes her current look with the too small shirt. I certainly like it. What is the process of choosing your dress when you're blind? Comfort? Feel? Physical descriptions from sighted people? I know it would be easy for me since my fashion hasn't changed since high school. Jeans. Thermal long-sleeved shirts under t-shirts. Boots in winter; Birks in summer; barefoot whenever or wherever I can be. Cassandra seems to have a bit of that fashion sense. She's just keeping things loose and easy. The Phantom Stranger and Pandora should be taking fashion advice from her.

The mini-Trinity of Sin (fuck The Question! If he isn't going to take part in these crossovers, he can go fuck himself. Cassandra Craft should get the job) makes their way up to the 13th Floor (you know, where evil and ghostly shenanigans always take place) to meet with Trigon's sons and ask them to help save the world. Because without the world, where are they going to find souls to gamble with?

As debauched devils and sons of the Universe's Greatest Rapist, their sexual desires seem pretty vanilla. They're demons. Why are they sticking to just females? And humanoids? And animate objects?

If I were an Incubus, I'd run around naked with my erect phallus flailing around in front of me, banging and rubbing it on anything and everything I encountered, leaving streams of burning jizz on everything I passed. As a Succubus, I'd do pretty much the same thing except the jizz part would be girl jizz and I'd probably shove a lot more things up me since I'd have two nether orifices instead of just the one. As either, I'd probably be fairly easy to defeat or capture because there would be like a 90% chance that I'd be masturbating when encountered. I'm not even a sex demon and that percentage is probably accurate for my normal life.

Here's an aside for people reading this that keep thinking, "Why the hell does Tess keep talking about comic books? Get to the boring, mundane shit about real life!" It's 9:20 AM in the morning and I just received a package of chocolate from Germany. Okay, the Non-Certified Spouse actually did. But I answered the door where the old timey DHL delivery guy was busy covering the package with a garbage can lid to protect it from the rain! Also last night, I laughed Sierra Mist out of both nostrils. It was refreshing!

Once again, a bunch of arrogant prick asshole losers need to be convinced that The Crime Syndicate is bad for business. You'd think people would notice this kind of thing. I guess I'm just too optimistic about the intelligence of people (and rapey demons). Why would any evil or amoral person think, "Hey! More evil and amoral people! They're just like me! We'll probably get along great!" Well, if you're one of those evil and amoral people (like me!), you'll understand the flaw in that logic. If you're a goody-two shoes ratfink jerkoff, you might think, "I love being around people like me! Why wouldn't evil people like being around other evil people?" I don't know. Because community doesn't work when you're setting your neighbor's house on fire and coveting his wife's ass? Pretty much every evil jerk in the DC Universe that had any aspirations to live life by their own free will should be against The Crime Syndicate. I can understand losers like Giganta or Blockbuster or Copperhead following them. But Deathstork Deathstroke? Vandal Savage? Gorilla Grodd? These are individualistic leaders that would see this kind of disruption of their world as a seriously bad thing. I can see these devils not noticing at first because who cares what fucking humans do? But eventually they're going to have to deal with how unbalanced the world has become.

Why would The Stranger ask these guys for help when he already knew what they would ask in payment and he wasn't ready to give up the coins? I bet that's why this story is called "The Gamble"! Because there's a secret part to this plan!

Eventually after a lot of fighting and threats to ordinary people, Belial gets The Phantom Stranger to reconsider the deal. The Phantom Stranger gives up his Necklace of Coins in exchange for help from Trigon's sons. I have a feeling the Necklace of Coins is a Cursed Artifact that can give much power but also demands much from the wearer. The Phantom Stranger, having just declared his independence from Dog, probably used this opportunity to also rid himself of the Necklace of Coins by tricking Belial into demanding it as payment. Now Belial is Dog's Servant, right?

Belial decides to help The Phantom Stranger because he's obviously OG if he can wear that necklace without breaking down like a little bitch the way Belial just did.

Everybody heads off to Nanda Parbat to save the world or something.

The Phantom Stranger #17 Rating: No change. I can't think of a reason Cassandra would be connected to The Phantom Stranger unless she's somehow Magdalene. Who else could she be? Oh! Jesus himself! Except Chris the Babysitter is the Jesus figure in this story. But The Phantom Stranger didn't fall in love with him, so he's not actually Jesus. Just a divine substitute! Cassandra Craft could be Jesus though! Would J.M. Dematteis write Judas/Jesus Slash Fiction for a major comic book company? I would!

Here are Cabbage Patch Batman and Robin showing off half of the German Chocolate delivered today.

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