Sunday, June 29, 2014

Catwoman #32

Who is the Mysterious Fireface?! To find out, you'll need to slog through twenty pages of complete nonsense!

Last issue, I decided it was taking too long to comment on Ann Nocenti's story like an actual critic critiquing actual writing. And since Ann Nocenti's writing isn't technically writing, I decided to just start listing all of the weird and incomprehensible things going on in The Race of Thieves! I may also interrupt the list for a nice bit of Scenes From Ann Nocenti. Ready? On your go! MARK!

Another List of Ann Nocenti’s Bullshit
By Grunion Guy

1. Funny enough, I accidentally guessed how Nocenti would begin the issue. Sure, it's a "race" so why wouldn't it start with an on your mark type of gunshot deal. But I'd forgotten this part of the competition was going to be a literal race.

2. To prove who is the best thief in the world, the thieves compete in a Wacky Race. None of them question this.

3. Vegas is running odds on the winner of the Race of Thieves. I suppose this isn't that odd since Vegas bookmakers will run bets on anything. But this is some kind of clandestine, invitation-only, outside of the law competition! Did Roulette hold a press conference at the Rio before sending out the puzzle box invites?

4. I guess Roulette is participating in this race? She's on a bullet train to the end of the line while the other racers try to drive through sandy terrain to beat her.

5. Mirror Master owns a rocket ship?

6. Rat-tail (woo woo!) has suddenly entered the competition and even though the race is straight along some tracks, he rides his motorcycle across the front of a tank and some kid named Big Wheel's truck. He's worse at driving than he is at doing his hair.

7. Rat-tail winds up in Catwoman's car even though the positions of all the vehicles make no sense for him to be able to hop to her car when his motorcycle is run over.

8. Catwoman decides to tell Rat-tail about her new job as an undercover coroner with the Gotham Police.

9. Coroner Bill don't believe in none of your highfalutin, modern day CSI nonsense!

10. Coroner Bill actually says "Jeesums." Just in case you weren't sure he was an ornery son of a gun what ain't got no time for all these computer doohickeys!

11. Catwoman and Mirror Master have no trouble conversing while racing. Perhaps Sam Scudder has gotten good at hearing things he shouldn't be able to hear so he can respond to The Flash's super speed one-liners.

12. Oh! That's what I've been doing wrong all these years of gambling! The smart money is to bet on the long shot! Shucks!

13. I think "stay on your wheels" is better advice than "don't use fuel." It's a fifty mile course! Who's going to be dumb enough to run out of fuel?!

14. I suppose he did have to drive all the way to this desert in South Asia on one tank.

15. Some smart-assed Asian guy points out the idiot that didn't refuel should have been using a camel because "their tanks never run dry." Piss off, old man!

16. An Interpol helicopter begins firing missiles at the contestants and Catwoman correctly guesses that the hearse in the race is asking for it just before it blows up. Why was the hearse asking for it? Where does she get such lovely intuition?

17. While missiles are flying all around them, Rat-tail (woo woo!) asks Catwoman to continue her story about Coroner Bill and his rival.

18. Catwoman notices details the other coroners missed. Like how the corpse of Rita's ancestor is missing a finger. She has such attention to detail!

19. If the family fortune still exists? I suppose he's talking about money other than all the priceless artifacts they found buried beneath the family home and frozen in blocks of ice. Also, I think every line of Coroner Bill's is supposed to be followed by a laugh track.

20. The missing ring finger was taken by Coroner Bill so he could solve the case and prove that gruffness and ill-temper are better tools for solving murders than gadgets and gizmos!

Scenes From Ann Nocenti's Catwoman: Scene Three

Catwoman needed to do some investigating. She was in a race but it was not a race against time because she had plenty of time to do some investigating on the side. She wanted to investigate Hunt Stone's house. "Gee," she thought ballooned, "Hunt Stone's billions are what we are racing for. Not because he wants to give them away but because he must because his child has been kidnapped. I will break into his mansion and do my investigating to prove that he doesn't have a child. I mean, to find his missing child. But I might find his child is not missing because he does not have one! The mystery will thicken!"

Catwoman cut a tiny hole in a window of Hunt Stone's Mansion. It was very small but since it was big enough to get her head through, it was big enough to get the rest of her cat body through as well. The first thing she investigated were the chairs. There was only one in each room! "A-ha!" she extrapolated. "Where did Hunt Stone sit if there were only one chair for his child? I must investigate further!" Next she looked in his photo album that he kept on a table in the hallway. It did not have any photos in it! "This mystery is so thick!" she exclaimed.

Next, Catwoman investigated the bed. "Hmm," she thought. "That is quite a big bed. But do not get me wrong when I say it is big because it is only big enough for one man without any room left for a child. I think I am beginning to solve this mystery!" But first Catwoman remembered something her coroner friend said. He said, "Dust is made of skin flakes." That meant she would collect a bag of skin flakes to perform DNA on them! And the DNA would say, "These flakes have 0% chance of being from a child!" That would really help to solve her mystery! But she thought she still wanted a smoking gun because those always blow cases wide open. So she investigated the creepy baby death mask. "Who could have made this?" she thought! But she knew she could find out the answers because of fingerprints! Her investigations were a success! Now she would just have to go to the lab and process her fingerprints and her DNAs. Good job, Catwoman! That was me, the narrator, congratulating her on her job well done. Or done well enough.

End Scene.

21. There is no possible way that this is a person in a disguise.

22. Catwoman causes the Interpol helicopter to crash. But she does it in the safest way possible so that everybody in it can survive.

23. The Interpol helicopter was actually Vice and Swindle. They argue about how they were getting paid by Roulette to kill the other racers. Catwoman hears them from one hundred feet away while racing at a hundred miles per hour.

24. The finish of the race makes no sense. I'm not surprised because the beginning of the race made no sense. Nothing made any sense. I suppose you don't buy an Ann Nocenti book hoping for a coherent story.

25. Here's how the race finished. Roulette's train was about to cross the finish line so Catwoman grapples it and climbs on top to squat on her knees and scream, "Yes!" Then Mirror Master decides to stop before crossing the finish line to throw up a mirror to stop the train because the engineer would think another train just like his suddenly appeared on the track. That doesn't work and the train crashes into the mirror anyway. Catwoman dismounts (having done her job. I think?) and asks Mirror Master if he got the girl. He says "Yes" instead of "What girl?" I suppose they're talking about Roulette. Alvarez and Keyes were also in the race because they decided investigating a race in South Asia was important to justice in Gotham. And finally the bearded guy in the dune buggy won because he was the only one left and he paid off 100 to 1. And since betting on the long shot is the smart money, he's who Catwoman bet on!

26. Rat-tail (woo woo!), Catwoman, and Mirror Master board Roulette's train to steal the prize money because of course it would be on the train. But it's not. And neither are Roulette or the engineer! So I guess it wasn't Roulette that Catwoman was talking about to Mirror Master. So who the hell was she talking about?!

Catwoman #32 Rating: No change. It's now the worst comic book of The New 52 because Johns and Romita are turning Superman around and making it interesting! And enjoyable! But this book? Holy fuck, my brain hurts.

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