Monday, June 9, 2014

Batman Eternal #9

Yay! My two favorite characters: Batman of Japan and Swallow! Or whatever his sidekick's name is. Does she count as a favorite character if I can't remember her name?

I wrote a thing about twenty years ago. It was a retelling of the movie Heathers in a kind of epic storytelling format. It was meant to be spoken aloud and told to a group, perhaps over a campfire or a fresh kill. I wanted to show how important the story had been to me, to try to convey how it spoke to me, and to generally celebrate movies as our modern myths. Too often popular entertainment is lambasted by adults and pseudo-intellectuals. I wanted to show how much could be gotten from a movie when a movie burrowed under your skin. I wrote the entire thing at work on a yellow legal pad and avoided watching the movie again to get any lines right or to discover other scenes that might fit with the story I told. I wanted it to come from that place it had set up shop deep in my psyche; I wanted to write about the Heathers that was real and true to me. If you're curious about it, you can Google search "heathers pop epic." I was also reading a lot of Douglas Coupland at the time which might shine through a bit.

For a long time after writing that, I kept toying with the idea of doing a version for another movie that imprinted itself on my brain, The Breakfast Club. One of the things that first bothered me upon seeing the movie was how everybody pairs up except for The Brain who is then convinced to write the essay for them. For a long time, it was just a joke I'd bring up about the movie and how much bullshit that was. But inside, I kept asking myself, "Why?" And eventually I realized the movie was all about power and shifts of power. One of the more brilliant scenes in the movie is when the lowly janitor reveals his true power of being unseen, thus becoming the eyes and ears of the school. The give and take of power between the kids and the institution, between the kids and their parents, and ultimately between the kids themselves drive the movie. It's a fairly obvious observation but one that still didn't allow me to have the breakthrough for why The Brain winds up taking on the extra work. But when it clicked, I finally I had the structure to do a Pop Epic for The Breakfast Club. At the end of the movie, the person with the greatest power is the one that tells the story. It is the writer. It is, ultimately, John Hughes. That Pop Epic can be seen here in Web Comic Format. I sometimes think of doing a text only version of it but I just can't think of the essay being separated from Lord Fondlerot as the principal. I think I photoshopped the two months of detention hand signal pretty fucking well!

I bring these things up because I've been considering writing my third Pop Epic which would be based on Mulan. While it's easy to say upon the release of each new Disney cartoon "Now that was my favorite Disney cartoon!", Mulan has remained my favorite unlike the others. Prior to Mulan, I think Beauty and the Beast held the top spot. My friend Daniel Justice wasn't a huge fan of Mulan because it didn't have a great villain like Skeletor or Blanche Devereaux. But that's what I loved about it. The enemy was not Agent Albert Rosenberg but the culture and Mulan's belief in filling the proper roles within that culture. This was another movie which left me asking "Why?" after seeing it. This time, it was why did Mulan have to defeat the Huns twice? And in the answer to that question lies the theme of my third Pop Epic.

But until I get around to writing that, I think I'll write about Batman of Japan and Sparrow! But first let's catch up on the situation in Gotham City! But first first, let me just say it didn't take me fifteen fucking years to answer that Mulan question, okay, you smart asses? I just recently decided that Mulan could work as another Pop Epic. Jesus Christ, you have to over-explain everything on the internet or some know-it-all asshole is going to try to point out how fucking stupid and ignorant you are! Okay, now let's check in on Gotham!

Hey! That's what I said Batman should start doing! Taking the fucking cash for himself!

Turns out it was Catwoman doing the stealing and not Batman because Catwoman is much smarter than Batman. She knows how to truly hurt the Evil Mr. Smartypantses. They don't offer healthcare, so putting their thugs in the hospital isn't much of a hindrance. There are always more amoral assholes ready to make an illegal buck to take the place of anybody injured. But if you take the cash, that's hurting the Evil Mr. Smartypantses right in the pants! The pocketbook part of the pants and not the crotch part of the pants!

Last issue I thought Catwoman was in Hong Kong when Batman arrived. But now it seems like it must have been Batman of Japan that I mistook for Catwoman. I'm not sure how I managed to do that. I guess you know how some people say they don't see color? I don't see gender! Or, to be more accurate before some smart-off internet asshole gets on my case, I don't see secondary sexual characteristics! Not pubic hair! I mean breasts! Anyway, if I was trying to identify somebody by their pubic hair, I would have recognized Batman of Japan instantly because his pubic hair would have been pixelated! Maybe! The internet big mouths can have that one for free! Come at me with your facts!

Oh look! I guess I do notice breasts! British breasts! Is that Felicity Kendal?

Batman and Batman of Japan head to Wayne Industries Hong Kong Headquarters where the roof is set aside for Batman Incorporated discussions. Canary (Canary! That was it!) is waiting for them along with Alfred of Japan, Master Hong. The Penthouse is a Hong Kong Batcave with a giant Koku and a huge Godzilla statue. I don't see its version of The Joker's playing card though. I guess Hong Kong doesn't have a version of The Joker. I'm glad it doesn't because it would probably be truly terrifying.

Canary seems to be able to grow large. I thought she was stuck as a tiny little thing which is why Batman of Japan was so desperate to get his hands on a shrink ray? Maybe I just forgot some plot point where she learned how to grow again. My mind isn't what it used to be and it used to be not very good at remembering things. That doesn't imply I'm better at remembering things! It implies that my brain is even worse now! Try to keep up! If you didn't understand that, realize that you can't even follow what an addle-minded middle-aged moron writes! Hmm, that's probably not a bad thing if you can't understand an addle-minded middle-aged moron! Sorry! You were right to misunderstand everything I go on and on about.

Batman and Batman of Japan decide to go ask the local gang boss, Shen Fang, what happened between he and Falcone. But as Batman infiltrates Shen Fang's hideout, he encounters the young British lass (or more probably the Hong Kong lass that learned British English) in the Catwomanesque outfit. And even though they're both after Shen Fang, she decides to battle Batman for dibs on who gets to kick Shen Fang's ass first. But that only gets her stabbed near the kidney.

If Batman asks if you're a certain person, you should probably answer, "What? Who? I'm not that!"

Batman begins asking Shen Fang questions punctuated by punching Shen Fang in the face. Shen Fang says, "I'll never talk!" And then one knee to the chin and two panels later, Shen Fang mutters, "Please. No more." Oh my god! How did this guy drive Falcone out of Hong Kong and take over the Criminal Underground Illegal Businesses Committee!?

Oh! That's how! Smart! I mean...pathetic!

Meanwhile in Gotham City, Catwoman falls for a trap set up by Falcone. You'd think she'd have some kind of Cat-sense that enables her to avoid traps like this one even if a cat can't resist a shiny bauble or two. She should have walked into the place she was about to burgle and thought, "Did I just hear somebody think about taking me to the vet? I'm fucking out of here!" And then she should have hid directly under the middle of the bed for the next five hours.

Even though this comic book is Eternal and Weekly, it's still allowed to end with an epilogue. And I'm glad it did because this one is a doozy!

Why Alfred! You cad!

I realize that just because her last name is Pennyworth it doesn't mean she has to be a child of Alfred's but isn't it great to believe that completely?! Sometimes you just have to kick cynicism in the balls and toss it out of the house for a bit so you can actually enjoy your own emotions and good feelings for awhile. I'm going to bask in the idea that Alfred is a dad for a bit now. I'll be back next week!

Batman Eternal #9 Rating: +2 Ranking. Even though Jiro wasn't front and center in this issue, I still love seeing him. He's my favorite character ever (as of this second. It'll change when I begin reading Batwing in a bit. No wait. I won't find any new favorite characters in Batwing. He'll still be my favorite until I read Aquaman and the Others. Oh wait. How about Green Arrow? Nope. Oh well. It looks like he'll be my favorite for at least a day or two!). Plus I actually felt tingly and alive when I read that "Julia Pennyworth" speech bubble. How can I get more of that kind of feeling out of life? Heroin maybe?

No comments:

Post a Comment