Monday, May 5, 2014

Batgirl Annual #2

Hopefully those skulls belong to Condor and Starling.

Some people might wonder why, in the caption above, I've placed Starling on the same level as Condor. Well, that's easily explained. The only Starling stories I've ever read have been in The New 52. Even with all the shit characters Lobdell has written, Swierczynski still has the record for writing two of my most hated characters in The New 52: Starling and Condor. If she was ever entertaining or not annoying or able to actually hit a target that she was aiming at, I wouldn't know. Condor continues to suck under the guidance of Christy Marx but I think that's because she's remaining true to the character Swierczynski created. Starling ran off with Mr. Freeze rather quickly after Marx took over and hasn't been seen since. So I really do hope one of those is her skull.

You know which other characters Swierczynski wrote badly? Poison Ivy. Batgirl. Black Canary. Katana. Did I miss anybody? I do miss referring to his Birds of Prey as the Turds of Prey though. That was super mature of me!

This issue begins by showing how Batman's bad habits have rubbed off on every other hero in Gotham.

Are skylights paned in candy glass in Gotham?

Has there ever been a story where the glass from the skylight has fallen and cut the bad guys into ribbons? I suppose on those nights, Batman just slinks off back into the shadows and lets the Gotham Police happen upon an unfortunate accident. Unless the building is owned by Wayne Enterprises and then he has to call in Alfred to clean up the mess and throw the bodies in the bay.

This Birds of Prey story takes place well before Condor was an idea that should have been passed on. So Starling, Katana, and Poison Ivy are still on the team. I still don't know why this team was formed! I think Black Canary was either lonely or she was being paid to babysit Starling, Katana, and Poison Ivy.

The team is currently battling Mr. Rain for some reason. Black Canary won't say why and Batgirl trusts that her reasons are sound because Batgirl has yet to live through that whole Turds of Prey debacle. The others don't need a reason to beat the shit out of and, just possibly, kill some bad guys. Starling just came along to shoot the wall as often as possible.

Well then. Blades and guns probably weren't the most appropriate weapons to bring to the throw down.

This story is called "When Pamela Gets Blue" which is probably a clue as to what it's about. I guess Pamela is going to get blue. She does get a message from Mr. Rain and then tries to kill everybody in a story (not told here) that I think involved a plane or a rain forest and probably a whole bunch of people getting amnesia. And by "people," I mean the readers of the story.

And that's the end of season one. I mean, after Alysia screws Barbara by making her help with a lousy community garden project. That's set up so the next season can begin with Alysia showing off her tomatoes.

My guess is that eating pancakes in your sleep might be scaring off the potential suitors.

Barbara points out how people might wind up stealing the fruits and veggies which causes Alysia to take off her panties and bunch them up really tight. She tells Babs that the garden is for anybody who wants or needs anything from it, so why doesn't Babs take her fascist talk of ownership and shove it up her father's asshole. Maybe she says it with a little more tact. But she does have a point. Ownership is theft! But Babs has a point too! Because the people who believe in ownership are going to steal every vegetable in the garden to sell to the people that Alysia wants to give it to for free! If I had to pick which one of these two were currently being unreasonable, I'd pick Barbara because I like Alysia better.

After Alysia self-righteously walks out on her roommate, Barbara pees on the crops. Then later, she goes out as Batgirl to run into Poison Ivy! They're both searching for Mr. Rain but I have a feeling they're seeking him for very different reasons.

Yes. Well sure. Why don't we call "asking around and gathering evidence" "intuition"?

Poison Ivy accidentally finds Batgirl's weakness when Pamela tells her that she's pregnant. Batgirl immediately falls on her face and would have been dead if Poison Ivy wanted to kill her. She'll have to remember that bit when she does want to kill Batgirl at a later date.

I'd say you're not arresting her because you don't have the authority to arrest her. You might have the ability to tie her up against her will and leave her for the police. But let's not start pretending that's the usual legal process.

Poison Ivy hasn't turned blue yet! Although she does point out that she didn't mean she was literally pregnant. She meant she was some other kind of pregnant! Metaphorically! Or analogically! Or similillically! Which is a good thing because I was afraid she might have been impregnated by Clayface when he raped her over in Detective Comics #15.

What Poison Ivy meant was that she's just become more powerful. Now instead of just kissing people and making them do her will, she can now stab them through the face with a vine as quickly as she can think it. Sure, okay. So she's more powerful but at the cost of being way less sexy. Unless you're into being stabbed in the face. I don't want to marginalize the "stab me in the face while you fuck me hard" crowd. For them, Poison Ivy is probably a dream woman now!

Poison Ivy and Batgirl discover a warehouse full of scarred corpses and Poison Ivy points out how she's going to check the "Fern" box when the next census comes out and asks for her race. And that's the end of summer!

The best season begins and everybody gets cupcakes because it's my birthday season! Yay! Also the temperature is the most mild and the kites are screaming to be flown (the best kites ask to fly in autumn because summer is full of kite flying poseurs) and there are probably kittens everywhere! Also Batgirl and Poison Ivy are still hunting for Mr. Rain. Again, probably for very different reasons!

Yeah! It's not always lethal! Sometimes she just uses it to get better grades on her final exams.

I'm also not sure how "crashing through skylights" and "kicking in doors" constitutes a fetish for stealth!

Oh shut up, you actualliers! I know they're stealthy right up until the moment of surprise when they crash through very expensive construction materials to catch the bad guys off-guard! I'm not a full-blown moron!

Batgirl and Poison Ivy find out what Mr. Rain is doing with his subjects. He's implanting them with something that grows inside them and gives them a few more months to live. But then that something is taken out and given to somebody rich enough to pay for it. I don't know what that something does. Makes them stronger? Healthier? Allows them to live longer? Just as long as they keep paying for it.

Batgirl gets angry at Poison Ivy for not crying over some stranger that's dying due to Mr. Rain's experiments. No wait. The guy was dying anyway. The guy was able to live for a little while longer. Anyway, he's dying and it makes Batgirl sad because she's way too emotional. Poison Ivy doesn't give a fuck about this guy and I'm totally with her on that! I think Batgirl is the one acting a bit crazy. Isn't Poison Ivy's apathetic reaction to the death of a stranger that chose to be a criminal to live a little longer the more normal reaction? It's definitely the one I have!

How dare you, Barbara Gordon!

Batgirl isn't judging Poison Ivy on her inability to feel for some stranger that chose his fate. She can't be because that would be ridiculous! She must still be hurting because Poison Ivy turned on her. But even in the face of the revelation that Poison Ivy suffers from SAD (and, seriously, can there be a more apt person to suffer from it? Genius idea!), Batgirl judges Pamela's emotional reaction to the man's death as insufficient. Duh! You just fucking realized her emotional capabilities are intertwined with the changing of the seasons! So in reality, Batgirl must still be pissed at how Ivy treated their blossoming friendship. Although she treated it that way because of her Seasonal Affective Disorder, you dumb Batjerk!

I think Babs will come around to understanding all this by the time winter comes along. She has to work through her emotions (maybe with the help of some cookies from Alysia) before she can begin to come to terms with Poison Ivy's problems.

Also, Poison Ivy does care about the stranger but only because the stranger cared about his daughter and it reminded Ivy that her father never cared for her (as seen in Poison Ivy #1, on sale nowhere anymore! I mean, probably digitally! But you won't get the extra special migraine from trying to masturbate to the cover). So Ivy puts the guy out of his misery by kissing him right on the mouth!

This is what happens when you allow Gail Simone to push the boundaries on what is acceptable in a comic book! Now plants and people are having sex! Oh wait. That's already happened more than once over in Swamp Thing. Never mind.

Kissing isn't actually sex! If you think it is then you've probably had sex with your mother and your father and your aunts and your uncles and many, many babies. You pervert.

And finally Winter is here and Mr. Rain had better watch out because the end of the comic book is near! The first thing to happen is Alysia's community garden has been destroyed. The worst part is that they wrote "go home hippies" on the wall of the shed using their own shit. Gotham City is full of maniacs.

Batgirl finds Ivy and she's finally blue! She's nearly frozen and just barely keeping it together in the dead of winter. But she's found Mr. Rain. She needed Batgirl's help because she knows Batgirl will take her to Arkham where she can be safe through the winter. Mr. Rain tries to get Poison Ivy on his side by telling her he can cure her and she kicks his ass. The last thing any of us want to be told by some rich person with a drug is that they can cure us. That somehow the person we are is flawed or diseased or simply put together incorrectly.

Batgirl's lucky Ivy didn't go full tilt Poison Ice on her ass last Autumn.

On the way to Arkham, Batgirl has Poison Ivy fix up the community garden by growing lots of shit that shouldn't be grown in Gotham City at all, especially during the winter! I'm fairly certain the Swamp Thing got a new hemorrhoid or two due to this abuse of the Green.

Batgirl Annual #2 Rating: I don't rate Annuals. I usually say something extra stupid here. But this one time, I want to say something about the actual comic book. Seasonal Affective Disorder being at least partially responsible for Poison Ivy's behaviour is one of the greatest character moves I've seen so far in The New 52. It's right up there with Tomasi's reboot of Two-Face. It's much better than Bennett's creation of Twat Lobo but not quite as good as her introduction of Arkham Night Nurse! And a bazillion times greater than Swierczynksi's creation of Condor! Also, if this issue and the Poison Ivy issue of Harley Quinn aren't proof that Pamela is a lesbian then I'm going to need more proof, I guess. Lots and lots more proof!

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