Saturday, May 31, 2014

Secret Origins #2

Oh shit. Who allowed Scott Lobdell to tell Starfire's origin?!

It's that time of the month! Time for more Secret Origins that nobody really fucking needs to read! Okay, maybe some people would like to know more about these characters. I shouldn't assume that everybody else has been reading DC Comics for the last thirty years as well! So shall we just fucking get on with it then?

The first story is about Batman's origin! That's an easy one! I can do it with just a few words! Zorro. Mugging. Death. Pearls. Sadness. Bat. Justice!

It looks like DC is going to be a bit long-winded about it.

At least DC's story has pictures.

I don't know who the Narrator is. It's just some Gothamite telling the story of how not just Bruce Wayne was changed by the death of his parents, but the entirety of Gotham! From that tragedy, they learned that random chance could cut any of their threads at any time! And that apparently sent Gotham over the edge and into madness! How can one's mind comprehend the terrible tragedy of a chaotically random universe?! WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE!

Spoiler Alert: You never learn how to get there! You do learn how to attempt to stop the tide from coming in with your bare hands. But that other thing where nobody dies tragically in violent acts? Yeah, you never learn to stop that. Sorry!

Bruce travels the world to learn to stop random acts of violence and psychotic madmen. This one time, he trained under a monkey with cybernetic limbs. I wish this story was that story! But it isn't. Instead, this story is just a composite of panels inspired by back-up stories in previous Batman comic books. A panel which shows how Batman learned to fight to the death without any death and a panel where Batman learned how to solder from a silly monkey and a panel where Batman learned how to drive a stick shift. A page where The Red Hood teaches him an important lesson.

This is that lesson that we all eventually learn. It's the one about not being able to go home again. It's just that most of us don't get hit in the face with a mace when we learn it. Just me and Batman, apparently.

And so Bruce realizes what he's been doing wrong all along! He's been fighting without a ridiculous costume! That's the way to a world free from random violence! A man in a bat costume that carries away children that don't eat their vegetables! Well, actually, that part of the story from Martha can probably be changed a bit. Maybe carry away murderers or something. Anyway, the idea can be refined later! Right now, Alfred needs to get that fucking bat out of the house! It might be rabid! Eeeek!

Batman Origin Rating: No change. If there was anything new here, somebody else will have to explain it to me! I think the idea that he chose to be a bat not simply because a bat flew through the window but because his mother told him cautionary tales about them to get him to eat his vegetables, and because he once learned to shock his enemies. That might be the itty bitty twist that was put on the origin here.

Okay! I think I can do Aquaman's origin in just a few words as well! Woman. Grunion. Spanish Fly. Freak baby! No wait! That's my origin! I think Aquaman's has something to do with a man fucking a mermaid! That's nearly the same thing.

The best part of the origin takes place between the panels. You know! The part that takes place between the sheets!

The rest of the origin is really nothing new. It's already been covered in the pages of Aquaman except maybe with a bit less detail. Aquaman comes out the day of his high school graduation after which his dad dies, he kills Black Manta's father, and he ditches all of his friends. Then he meets some boring super heroes that he dubs "the Others" before ditching those friends to join the Justice League! Later, he ditches those assholes to become King of Atlantis and to stop all manner of monsters from eating anything at all. The end!

Aquaman Origin Rating: No change. This was pretty much a matter of fact retelling of the important bits of Aquaman's life up until this moment. The most important bit seems to be the part where Arthur's friend Danny basically set Aquaman on the path that would cause Aquaman to give up trawling with him. So why was he being such a whiny douche at the high school reunion about Art ditching him? Jerko!

Starfire's origin is even easier to tell than the other two heroes! She was born an alien and thus has special powers that are natural to her alien race! There might also be some parts in there about slavery and not wanting to be a part of slavery (especially the slave part of slavery) or something. Probably a bit about how strong it made her and how it taught her to wear very little clothes.

That's the problem, Kori! You renounced your warrior ways publicly! That's basically like saying "Free slaves!" to the rest of the warrior races!

The Tamarans are invaded by The Citadel who are being controlled by the Dominators who have some kind of deal with Helspont. So, you know, whatever aliens Scott Lobdell could think up at the time he wrote this. And since he only writes while he's taking a shit, he didn't have a lot of time to think up any more aliens than this or else he would have thrown them omni in for super duper loads of excitement.

Just like it always happened, Blackfire is put on the throne as a puppet queen and Kori is sent into slavery to keep her in line and keep the people of Tamaran sad. Also Kori is kept sad too! Because of the slavery.

Some other stuff happens where she eventually gets sold into slavery aboard the S.S. Starfire. It's there that she fights back and leads the slaves to revolt and overthrows her slave masters! All in the skimpiest underwear any space princess has ever worn!

Starfire Origin Rating: No change. Once again, this story mostly covered old material without presenting any new or interesting themes. Relatively boring.

While the first Secret Origins showed some promise and made me think I was wrong to instantly despise this new series, this issue ruined all of that new found goodwill! It wasn't awful, so I'm not dropping its rank any. But it just didn't contain any sparks of insight or interesting themes. Batman's story was probably the most interesting. The other two just felt like rehashed hash. I know this series isn't really for me since I'm a Master Comic Book Reader and I've read everything published with "The New 52" stamped on the front, but I was still hoping for, at the very least, some new perspectives on the characters. So far, Greg Pak's take on Superman from his two mothers' points of view was the best new origin and the one everybody else should look to on how to make these origins fresh.

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