Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Secret Origins #3

Can't I get a copy for $2.99 with the Scott Lobdell story removed?

Didn't Scott Lobdell already tell Red Robin's secret origin in the "pages" of Teen Titans? I put pages in quotation marks because I'm not generally inclined to call used toilet paper "pages." I bet even he's forgotten what he said in that origin and he's just going to slather up an entirely new one for this issue. Although that would require more writing and writing is much easier when you know what CTRL-C and CTRL-V do!

I might actually enjoy the Scott Lobdell story since I'm not going to let anything ruin my day! Today is my cat Judas's fifteenth birthday. I baked him a yellow cake with chocolate frosting. He mostly just licked off the frosting and now he's lying on the middle of the floor resting. And holding his breath. He's so silly!

Green Lantern
Everybody knows Green Lantern's secret origin! But I suppose DC has to stack these first few issues with Justice League members to make sure that the completionist fans out there buy up all the overpriced issues of this thing. I would have guessed Wonder Woman would have been on the cover of this issue since DC is always touting Supes, Bats, and Wonds as the big three. I suppose Wonder Woman and The Flash will make the covers of the next two issues.

Let's see how well I remember Green Lantern's origin! Abin Sur drink drives his ship right into the side of the Earth. Being that he wasn't wearing a seat belt, he's thrown from the cockpit and impaled on a cactus. Being without fear, he believes he'll pull through without contacting a replacement and dies. The ring then begins searching for a suitable replacement. It realizes Guy Gardner is the best man for the job but he's all the way on the other side of the globe or something and there's a guy named Hal Jordan who's much closer and might not have the least fear but he's got the most stubbornness and that's close enough to willpower. The ring pulls Jordan from his jet fighter and tells him that he's the new Green Lantern. Since Hal has never met a talking ring before, so he thinks he's having a conversation with the obviously dead alien in front of him. The ring convinces him to become Green Lantern by saying, "With great power, comes great amounts of partying." Hal chugs a beer, howls like a gorilla, and pumps his fist in the air before flying off to become the douchiest Green Lantern in history!

Was I close?

What the hell is Venditti doing? Trying to get me to sympathize with Hal on the first page? No way! Forget it! I hate kids and sad kids are the worst!

Jordan grew up to be a pilot to prove to himself that his father's death didn't paralyze him and keep him afraid of living. Instead he chose to live completely immersed in fear. I know how that is! My mom raised me on horror movies! Most of my childhood was spent in abject terror! I bet I could be a Green Lantern now because I learned how to beat fear! Here's the secret: you close off the part of your brain that allows you to feel fear. Oh sure, you have to make some sacrifices since all the other emotions are tucked up in that part of the brain as well. But so what if I never felt joy or love or melancholy or sadness or exuberance ever again! I was free from fear! No wonder Hal Jordan sucks at loving Carol Ferris! Hal and I are emotionless twinsies!

You had Hal at "most powerful weapon in the universe."

So Hal joins the Corps and he mentions Sinestro and a few other things and there you have it. Green Lantern's secret origin finally revealed!

Green Lantern's Secret Origin Rating: +1 Ranking. The twist here is that Hal Jordan is addicted to fear. He tries to portray running toward fear as a noble thing but really he's just a fear junkie with Daddy Issues that left him with a death wish. At one point he says, "Everyone feels fear. Someone says they don't, they're a liar." Well, I don't feel fear and I'm not a liar! Well, okay, I do lie occasionally but not about important stuff! Although I did feel a bit freaked out after watching V/H/S in the dark in the wee hours of the morning last week. But being creeped out isn't exactly experiencing fear! Remember how Roosevelt said that fear only fears itself? I totally believe that and am not scared of anyth...eeek! SPIDER!

I know Batwoman's secret origin! Someone at DC Comics was sitting on the shitter one day and thinking, "Batman. Batman. How can we capitalize on more Batman without eroding the brand? Batman. Batm...Batwoman!" He then hopped off the toilet yelling, "I've got it! I've got it!" He stumbled out of the man's bathroom just as a female employee was stumbling out of the woman's bathroom yelling, "I've got it! I've got it!" And that's how the chocolate of Batwoman got deliciously mixed up with the peanut butter of 52! Also nobody washed their hands in the excitement of the moment which is why everybody that read the first printing issues of 52 got E. coli.

Another secret origin that begins with a sad kid and a dead parent!

I said I wouldn't let anything ruin this day and here DC is trying to shit all over it with sad children and dead parents and sadness and more sadness! Jesus Christ, DC! Let's lighten up a bit, hunh? At least I know Tim Drake's parents don't die! Although I don't know if Scott Lobdell can be trusted to keep that canon! He might decide he wants Tim's real parents to die horribly on the first page of the Secret Origin and then we'll learn the parents of Tim we know have adopted him.

Later, Kate leaves West Point for kicking too much ass and Batman tells her to not make a habit of being gay. Or vice versa. I always get confused between violence and homosexuality. I think it's because I grew up watching Three's Company. I knew Jack Tripper was pretending to be gay and you could tell his slapstick pratfalls were totally faked. So I thought being gay meant being clumsy and smashing your head into open cabinets and falling over furniture and getting bashed in the head by wine bottles.

Kate spends a few years training under her father's tutelage. He also designs her costume for her, edging quite a ways into copyright infringing territories. Later still, Kate meets Maggie Sawyer and they hit it off and everything is perfect! I think the last panel should have had Dan Didio's shadow looming over Batwoman and Gotham City scowling at the fact that she's happy and fulfilled.

Batwoman's Secret Origin Rating: +1 Ranking. I enjoyed this because, ignoring the death of Kate's mom, it was upbeat and positive. Kate's rise to Batwoman wasn't due to misfortune and trauma. She took control of her own life at every turn and became what she wanted to become, always true to herself. This origin story actually made me happy! Uh oh. That's a bad sign! If the happiness got out of the locked area in my brain then that means the fear may have gotten out as well! Shit shit shit shit shit. I wonder where I put the night lights?

Red Robin
If I read any Preboot comic books with Time Drake in them, I've completely forgotten about them. So I don't know anything about Tim Drake's Preboot Secret Origin except what I've heard from other people. This origin begins with Tim Drake claiming he figured out Batman's secret identity. I think that's what happened Preboot. But it isn't what happened in the previous Red Robin secret origin written by Scott Lobdell! No, he thought he figured it out. But he didn't. It was Dick Grayson who figured out Batman's secret identity in The New 52. But remember how I said Lobdell was probably going to ignore what he wrote before and completely change it? Well, so far, one page into this origin, it looks like that's what he's doing.

Is the smartest sidekick ever going to fall for the Batman and Bruce Wayne seen at the same time cover story?! Also, his name is now Timonthy!

So Scott Lobdell isn't technically changing what happened. Timonthy still goes off to check on Enrique Fluente's old digs in search of the truth. But Lobdell changes the perspective so we now see Timonthy actually knew it was Bruce all along. Basically he's satisfying all of the fans that were upset that Timonthy lost the history of being the kid to figure out Bruce's identity. And I bet Scott would swear up and down that this was how he initially envisioned how Timonthy's encounter with Batman actually went so he can smugly point out to the Red Robin fans that he had this planned all along and they were wrong to criticize his initial account. Or maybe that's just me wanting to portray Scott Lobdell as the jerkiest jerk in the jerk store.

So you mean like the moon? God, his way with words is terrible.

Basically Scott Lobdell is telling the same Red Robin story he told before but injecting a shit ton of new Narration Boxes to skew the perspective and turn it into something it wasn't before. It's just a shitty retcon but what do I care? Red Robin has really only been written by Scott Lobdell so far so he's been one of my least favorite characters in The New 52. I don't mind believing this version over the last one.

Red Robin's Secret Origin Rating: -1 Ranking. Look, I'm not a fan of Scott Lobdell. He's a lazy writer that seems uninterested in his characters. He seems to think he writes young adults well but they all just come off as annoying assholes. There was a time when I kept hoping he'd surprise me and write something decent but that day is long past. At this point, he's going to have to come up with some Watchmen level shit to get me to write something mediocre about his writing.

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