Saturday, August 2, 2014

Red Lanterns Annual #1

How much of this fight would actually be fisticuffs? Guy Gardner is a stupid jerk. Unless the cover artist is a stupid jerk. One of those.

Everybody can point to one of a million things that DC has done wrong in the last few years so let me point out another one. In their "Channel 52" portion of the comic book about the future of the Swamp Thing comic, Matt Idelson writes, "Holding to our fine tradition of making our annuals essential reading...." As you can see, he accidentally typed "fine" when he meant to type "really fucking stupid." How did an editor miss such an obvious mistake? Because they just don't care anymore. And who can blame them when they have to read and reread stories by Howard Mackie, Scott Lobdell, and Ann Nocenti to catch any continuity and grammatical errors? Their minds must be absolutely jellied by the experience.

Hopefully nobody new to the Red Lanterns decided to pick up this annual thinking that it might contain a self-contained story that might lure them into picking up the book on a regular basis, thus increasing DC's profits over the long term because they wouldn't fucking understand it. It's Part Three of a Four Part story. So fuck you, new readers! And wait! DC isn't done handing out the fuck yous! A hearty fucking fuck you to continuing readers as well since they now have to scrounge around their parents' house for loose change and not very closely watched billfolds to come up with another $4.99 this month! Because this annual continues the really fucking stupid tradition of making annuals essential reading!

Speaking of piss poor editing, please enjoy this romantic performance of "The Misplaced Space and The Missed Period."

Atrocitus wants to punish Guy Gardner by squicking everyone on Earth. Dex-Starr is also from Earth but he doesn't give a shit about a species that has no qualms about putting to death, every day, thousands of animals that they proclaim to love and cherish as pets. As long as Atrocitus leaves enough of the Earth left for cats and mice and birds to live free, Dex is probably behind the plan.

Wait. Scratch that. Fuck Atrocitus and his stupid plans!

One of Atrocitus's new Red Lanterns is named One-Heart? That was my nickname in high school! We also called this one kid "Two-Eyes." And another kid was "One-Liver." There was a kid nicknamed "Ten-Toes." And another nicknamed "Nine-Fingers." He had an accident in Algebra II. Then there was that weird kid that was nicknamed "No-Bellybutton." Where did that kid come from?!

Atrocitus's plan changes from the general skull-fuckery to an even more devastating plan: destroy all of Earth's tourist attractions! The best part about this plan is that Oregon will be left alone! There's nothing to see here!

Now New Earth no longer has an Eiffel Tower or a Grand Canyon or any Egyptian pyramids or Las Vegas or some stupid dam in China or some famous building in Spain that probably housed goats and chickens or Baltimore because the Red Lanterns completely destroyed them. So I don't want to see any more shots of Paris with the Eiffel Tower in the background, DC! It's gone! And why would anybody bother to rebuild it? Or the pyramids! Nobody is going to rebuild those. And even if they did, who would want to travel to see some pyramids that were built by modern machines?! DC's editors had better pin this shit up on their DC Continuity Corkboard because I am going to call it out every time I see one of these stupid tourist attractions intact in a future comic book! Unless they all get fixed somehow by the end of this issue. Which seems like a reasonable thing to happen since how can any Earth continue without Las Vegas?

The second part of Atrocitus's plan is to send down thousands of Red Rings because everybody on Earth is going to be awfully angry about the destruction of The City That Reads. And they are! So terribly mad that every one of them that discovers a floating, glowing red ring decides to put it on their finger! Unless that's just human greed. It might be human greed. Atrocitus may not have needed to destroy lots of things for his plan to work. Although destroying all that shit for the sheer pleasure of it was probably a nice feeling.

Guy Gardner finds out what Atrocitus is doing and he gets angry. Or angrier. Perhaps angriest. Whatever! He wants to chew ass and kick bubblegum and he's all out of ass!

The entire DC Universe gets rebooted and Guy still can't live down that time he was sucker punched by Batman!

I do like how Charles Soule reverses the whole "I don't have time for this" comic book trope. Whereas they usually don't have time to explain and waste a bunch of time fighting before they stop fighting to explain, Guy lets Batman know right up front that he doesn't have time for that whole fighting part and they should just get right down to the explanations. Which is what happens! Thank whatever fucking God allows rimjobs for Charles Soule, a comic book writer who refuses to write comics that have already been written.

Meanwhile Skallox heads down to collect Shadow Thief because he's in loooOOoooOOOoove! He wants to take her back to the Blood Ocean on Styge Prime so that she'll be ever so thankful to be back to her somewhat normal self that she'll lick his butthole clean. Sure, she's a self-proclaimed xenophobe but we saw in an earlier issue of Red Lanterns that, in reality, she's simply protesting too much. She's like one of those super anti-gay preachers that believe that being gay is a choice because they're actually gay and desperately choo-choo-choosing to live heterosexually. But they aren't fooling God! At least not that God that loves rimjobs I mentioned earlier.

I'm really, really trying to remain angry at DC Comics so I can earn a Red Ring but fucking Charles Soule keeps writing moments like this and suddenly this thing I don't understand is happening to my face, mostly around the mouth parts but sometimes sort of around the inside corner of the eye area too.

While Guy and most of his crew try to help Earth, Zilius Zox has headed to Styge Prime to shit in Atrocitus's Blood Ocean. The original owner of Zilius Zox's Flying Bar, the Kaalvar, has become a Red Lantern and is on Styge Prime to protect Atrocitus's new home. He also has a chicken beaked, brain exposed friend to help him. And also Rankorr. Surprise! He wasn't crazy at all!

A bit psychopathic, maybe. But not crazy!

It turns out Rankorr just had a really evil mindcontrolling tapeworm in his system. But he hasn't eaten in a while, so he waves a Snickers bar in front of his mouth and when the evil tapeworm sticks its head out to get really satisfied, Rankorr yanks it up and out of his throat and tears it apart. Rankorr's back! Hmm, seems only the crickets care.

Seriously though. What is wrong with the inside corners of my eyes?! WHAT IS HAPPENING HERE?!

Suicide Squad could learn a thing or two from Charles Soule's Red Lanterns! See how it's done? You take characters that nobody cares about, make them care about them through ritual magic of some nefarious kind, and then kill them off! It's not that hard to do!

And if you think that last panel I scanned fucked up my face in unknown ways (more ritual magic, I'd wager!), Charles Soule beats it a page or two later as Zilius Zox crashes the Kaalvar into Atrocitus's new Blood Ocean headquarters while saying, "My ship. My good ship. Thanks, girl." But even before that, he resolves one of his earlier plot threads.

If there were any doubts that Guy and Zox had become friends, this moment puts them all to rest.

Back on Earth, the rampaging new Red Lanterns are stopped when Bleez brings along the Reds' statue building friends they saved from Barg and his buddy a few issues ago. They have that weapon that calms people down and they blast Earth with it. So Earth is saved but what of the Earthlings that all became Red Lanterns? They can't just sit in the sun like Kara did. And all but one Blue Lantern are dead. I guess they'll just have to pick a Red side.

I have to say, I'd pick the side with the cat as well.

Red Lanterns Annual #1 Rating: Charles Soule should write all the DC Comics. At the very least, he should take over Red Hood and the Outlaws and Klarion the Witch Boy. It can't be too late to change writers on a comic book that hasn't even come out yet, right?

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