Sunday, June 29, 2014

Justice League #31

She'll probably become the Green Lantern that Hal Jordan used to be. You remember? No time for cosmic shenanigans. He just stopped bank robberies and muggings and such.

I'll probably spend most of this commentary fixing my image tags after typing "JL32.jpg". Maybe that's an exaggeration. I'll probably spend about 1/1000th of my time typing this up fixing the image tags. DC Comics should just skip a number when numbering this series so it can get back in sync with the other original New 52 titles.

Last issue, Lex Luthor paid a visit to Bruce Wayne because he's the only person in the whole world that somehow made the connection between Nightwing being Robin being Dick Grayson and Bruce Wayne being Dick's ward. At this point, I don't think I'd be too impressed to be the smartest man on New Earth because it appears everybody else on New Earth is a complete moron.

This is when Alfred runs in excitedly wearing a Batman baseball cap and waving a Batman pennant and screaming giddily, "Master Bruce! Master Bruce! Batman is currently on the news battling The Sloth in downtown Gotham!" And Lex Luthor goes, "Oh? I guess I was wrong about you, Bruce. No way Batman could have devised such a cunning piece of legerdemain to derail my suspicions!" And Bruce will be, "Sorry you wasted your time, Lex. But I have some women to bang, so if you'll excuse me."

Bruce's first attempt to dissuade Luthor is to pull the "that's a preposterous idea" card. Act aghast at the unlikelihood of the idea and maybe Lex will buy it. Except that tactic is basically telling Lex Luthor he's stupid and he jumped to an incorrect conclusion. Even if Lex was wrong (which he isn't!), Lex couldn't be convinced that he's wrong because he's a narcissist. And if his genius and intuition has led him to a certain belief, he's going to believe that belief no matter what anybody says because he's so fucking smart that he couldn't have guessed wrong.

Bruce continues the "this is all too ridiculous to even consider" ploy even though it isn't working so he moves on to the exit plan I detailed above.

That sounds like a shotgun! Did Alfred forget to frisk Lex when he let him in?!

The "CHAK" sound effect was not a shotgun at all. It was the sound of Lex removing a pistol from his inner coat pocket. That's an odd sound effect but then I've never removed a pistol from a pocket, so I can't say it's not the appropriate sound effect. The important thing to remember is that Alfred failed at his job and should be canned immediately.

Lex thinks pointing a gun at Bruce Wayne will prove that Bruce is Batman. Hasn't Lex already seen footage of Bruce Wayne kicking ass? It happens occasionally! But Batman won't resort to it this time because it would seem to give him away. But isn't not kicking the gun out Lex's hand proof that he's Batman since Bruce has done it before in front of loads of witnesses. If he doesn't do it now, it's because he's trying to prove he's not Batman! So that means he is Batman!

Alfred comes to Bruce's rescue by putting a pistol to Lex's head. I don't think Alfred would make that mistake. I get that it's showy and cinematic to have the gun come off-screen to rest against the target's head but only idiots give up the advantage of having a gun by getting within melee range. Also, I think Alfred would have brought his shotgun. And what about Titus? Titus could have mauled Lex Luthor and saved the day! Although Batman has been traveling around the world lately with Titus so that might wind up being the last proof Lex needs to pin Batman on Bruce Wayne.

Lex Luthor blows up Bruce's grandfather clock because Lex smelled bat guano behind it. This reveals the passage down to the batcave. I knew Batman should have stuck with the Shakespeare's head button to open the secret entrance to the Batman and Robin poles. Now Lex knows for certain that Bruce is Batman! I guess he'll have to be killed and/or have his memory thoroughly erased. Again.

Meanwhile Cyborg and Shazam are bored with saving the world.

Now see, this is a more interesting question than which super hero can beat up which other super hero. Which hero would be champion of Ping Pong?

Also meanwhile, Captain Cold pays a visit to Lexcorp so that they can run tests on him to see if he's a candidate for Project: Wannabee. Not that Captain Cold knows that's why they're taking the tests. He just wants to be loved. He also might want a job that provides medical for himself and his family, just in case Glider catches another bad case of the comas.

I am so sick of everybody bringing up that goddamned story about the frog and the scorpion! We get it! Scorpions can't change their spots! And frogs are gullible assholes!

Here are some other things I'm sick of hearing about: the Native American that feeds wolves, and the person trying to kill people by eating poison. I'm sure there are a bunch more that regularly make the rounds on Facebook but they aren't quite on my mind right now. But if I've seen it posted by some dopey friend on Facebook, I sure as hell don't want to see a professional writer using it in their work!

Oh fuck. Bruce actually decides to retell the story. And then he even changes the ending to have some nonsensical stupid bullshit about a bat saving the frog's life. Jesus, Bruce. Talk about contrived! At least the original story makes sense since frogs always act as ferries to other wild creatures. But when do Bats ever save frogs? Hardly ever, that's when!

What Bruce is trying to tell Luthor is to fuck off. So Luthor leaves and the first thing Alfred asks is "What are you going to do about Luthor?" when he should be asking, "What the fuck was that idiocy, sir? Perhaps you should leave the trite moral stories to Facebook."

That's the real reason Batman keeps Alfred on! So that when the time comes that some antagonist has to die, Alfred will do it for him and he can pretend his hands are still clean.

Just imagine if Lex Luthor were found shot to death in Bruce Wayne's mansion! Now that's a story I want to read! DC needs their version of "What If..." for The New 52. And each issue should just continue a story that's recently been told in The New 52 but taking a very different turn at some point. So the "What If..." for this story would point back to this story with a one page synopsis of what led up to this point. Then maybe it would reprint a few pages of this comic book before having Alfred shoot Lex in the head and resulting chaos that would ensue from there.

After Lex leaves, the Justice League puts out the call to meet in Portland, Oregon because there's an asshole blogger there making fun of their stories. Luckily for me, there's also a woman that just transformed into Power Ring which they'll probably have to deal with first. Although they still might send J.T. Krul's Green Arrow to arrest me for being a dick on the internet.

But before the Justice League can get there, somebody else arrives. A group that brings tears to my eyes to finally see.

I love you, Cliffy!

I'm glad to see Niles Caulder looking much older than his previous appearances in The Ravagers. Hopefully the Niles Caulder from The Ravagers was a clone created by Niles that somehow got loose from him. It then went on to try to clone other people like Gen 13 so that it wouldn't be an alone clone. I am also excited by this line-up of The Doom Patrol. Cliff Steel. Negative Person or Rebis. Elasti-girl who is hopefully Rita Farr. And Elemental Girl who should fit right in with these guys. I can only assume that this is the Doom Patrol's first baby step to getting their own series.

Justice League #31 Rating: +2 Ranking. Firstly, I enjoyed the confrontation between Batman and Lex, a few pages dedicated to Captain Cold, and Shazam acting like the ten year old kid he is, Young Justice style. But even if I'd hated everything else, turning that last page to see the Doom Patrol with Cliff Steele would have been all I needed to make my night. I have a constantly changing roster of characters I love, mostly due to who's writing them or the point in my life when I was introduced to them. But I think I've always identified most strongly with Cliff Steele. Can Justice League #32 come out next week?

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