Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Phantom Stranger #18

In which Doctor Light gets deep inside Superman.

This looks like an interesting idea, right? Superman is powered by sunlight so Doctor Light can possess Superman by entering through his Kryptonian Photosynthesis Cells. Or however it is he absorbs sunlight. I suppose the same way everybody does so they don't have to take Vitamin D Supplements. Also, this cover is ugly. Also a joke about Doctor Light's Vitamin D Supplement being his dong.

It's easier to just point out places where a good joke can be made than actually taking the time to think up something funny. It also seems to be fairly acceptable humor for average people, so I'll stick with it!

I guess Forever Evil: Blight is over? And since Superman is in this, he survived Forever Evil and Doomed. Unless this is a flashback episode. I actually don't care how it falls into continuity. I just hope it's a well told story about the Man of Steel because those seem really hard to do in the era of The New 52.

Exactly! You should have super anxiety.

I would think Superman would be anxious all the time. Maybe not so much now that his parents are dead and he doesn't have to worry about disappointing them. Except that Superman probably believes in heaven and that Ma and Pa Kent are watching him all the time. That would make me super anxious if I thought my relatives were watching everything I do. Do you think they laugh their asses off watching me try to wipe myself clean after having a really messy shit? Those bastards! I hear you snickering, Grandpa!

Anyway, Superman doesn't have to worry about himself. He knows he'll be fine. And even if he isn't, he's not worried about dying while trying to help everybody else. But I imagine he'd feel anxious about keeping everybody in the entire world safe from everybody else in the entire world. He would be worried about failing constantly because he can't be everywhere at once. And even if he could go back in time like his movie version, I think he might cause some paradoxes if six billion versions of himself suddenly showed up at the same time.

My point is Superman seems like a worrier to me. It's why Batman calls him Mr. Whiskers.

Superman is currently hanging out on the roof of some building in Metropolis thinking about how psychics are frauds when he's unexpectedly visited by the Ghost of Doctor Light and the Ghosts of A Bunch of Other Dead People. They all claim to have been killed by Superman. I suppose Superman did kill Doctor Light although it wasn't intentional. But he was the one walking around with loaded eyeballs, so he's kind of responsible for what happens to people when the eyeballs suddenly go off in somebody's face. The other ghosts are probably just people that died thinking, "Why wasn't Superman around to save me?! That bastard!"

Meanwhile in New York City, The Phantom Stranger looks out of a window in post-coital bliss with Zauriel who's dressed only in a bath towel.

Somebody ring a fucking bell already. Poor wingless Zauriel.

The Stranger and Zauriel are holed up with Terrance Thirteen in his playboy penthouse apartment monitoring mystical anomalies on Thirteen's Magic HAMM Radio. It looks like The Phantom Stranger now has a way to find people in trouble so he doesn't have to wander the world like some vagabond that loves betraying friends he hasn't met. Currently, Thirteen notices some problems with reality in Metropolis.

I don't think that's a good enough excuse, Superman. If your powers are that dangerous and they can be manipulated by other people, you've got to figure out how to lock them down. Especially since you're so susceptible to magic and mind control. You bear some of the responsibility in Doctor Light's death.

Superman needs to let Batman design a kill switch for him. So if Superman ever gets hijacked again and begins killing people (sort of like the problem they're currently having over on Earth 2), someone (probably Batman) can flip the switch and Superman will drop dead. Why do you think Batman likes having a sidekick? The main reason for the sidekick is to kill Batman if he ever turns to evil! That's the only gun Batman allows his sidekicks to have: The Extreme Emergency Batman Shutdown One-Shot Derringer. Everybody in the Batfamily has one. Except Jason Todd. That fucker would always be coming up with excuses to try and use it.

The other ghosts are citizens of Metropolis who are angry that Superman couldn't figure out a way to stop death. Bunch of selfish assholes. Guess what? Superman has a list just like Santa Claus. But Superman actually does know what you're thinking. I mean, as long as you think out loud. I bet he knows every citizen that's ever badmouthed him. When a disaster hits, he probably sets up his triage by the names on that list. "Let's see, Mr. Maxwell Clark is being ravaged by rabid dogs. But he once called me a 'Super Twat,' so I think I'll help get little Clarissa May's cat out of the tree instead."

Superman forgets the lesson he learned from his father about not being able to save everybody and to just be content in being able to do what he can. As long as he's always trying his best, that's as much as he can ask of himself. Until now! Now Superman is going to forget the lessons of his father and decide it's once again time that he learn how to save everybody always. Death shall die this day!

While I don't think Superman should feel guilty about people dying since that's how the fucking world works, he really should feel bad about the Doctor Light incident.

"And it was exhilarating!"

The Stranger tells Superman not to worry about it. Go catch a movie. Relax. Forget about other people's troubles. But Superman wants to fix this. He decides to fly up into The Stranger's mystical crack and save all of the dead people from being dead.

Superman allows Doctor Light to punish him. He once burned Doctor Light to ashes, so now he allows Doctor Light to try to do the same to him. And so Superman is bathed in fire, perhaps baptized by it so as to be reborn?

"While I was burning in ectoplasmic napalm, I remembered the death of my parents already taught me this lesson. But thanks for the reminder!"

Once Superman stands up to Doctor Light, he learns that Doctor Light is actually Philip the Cuckolded Sin Eater. Philip was also a serial killer. Now he's the Agent of Natas the Rottweiler. Natas the Rotweiler is the Fremesis of Dog the Scottish Terrier. They've had the most annoying barking war going on for thousands of years with mankind living in the house between their houses and just trying to get some sleep.

Metropolis and Superman are safe now but it looks San Francisco and Cassandra Craft are the next victims on the Sin Eater's list. Plus next issue guest stars a very special Barn Owl!

This could probably be made into a really funny Madame Xanadu's vagina joke.

The Phantom Stranger #18 Rating: No change. I wish DC's universe wide cosmic events would fail to boost sales so they'd just stop doing them. This comic book says "The Phantom Stranger" on the front. So I want to read about the character "The Phantom Stranger." I don't want to read a plot about a cosmic crisis that sort of features The Phantom Stranger. He shouldn't be taking the back seat to the plot. Let's see the plot derive from his character! Or at least, like in this issue, a plot that revolves around characters important to his overall story, like Sin Eater and, now, Cassandra. Isn't that a novel idea?

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