Thursday, September 4, 2014

Secret Origins #5

Crap. Why is DC allowing Scott Lobdell to write so many origin stories?

I don't actually know if Scott Lobdell is writing the Red Hood origin story but he's written every other origin of the characters he's been kind of given charge of since The New 52 began. I wonder if I can send those pages back to DC for a partial discount?

Here's what I remember about Cyborg's origin from the Preboot era: he caught the winning touchdown at a local high school football game but the football was unstable and blew up in his face. He was rushed to STAR Labs where the doctor said, "I can't work on this man! He's my son!" And everybody went, "But his dad was killed in the accident too! How can he be your son?!" And then the doctor went, "Because I'm his mom, you sexist assholes! Why is that 'Mind Teaser' so fucking hard for people to figure out?! What is wrong with everybody?!"

Actually, Cyborg's life was saved by his dad who worked for STAR Labs. I can't remember how he got all fucked up in the Preboot era. It's been a long time since I read those stories! In the Reboot, he got all fucked up in some kind of Apokoliptian Boom Tube catastrophe. I think. Anyway, it should all be explained soon.

Oh, Marv Wolfman is writing this? Then I suspect Victor Stone was raped by a Parademon and then by a Hunger Dog and then by a Female Fury and then by a Mother Box. All that was left of him after that was scraped into a titanium shell and plugged into a wall socket.

The story begins with Victor and his dad discussing ways to do something technical and uninteresting.

Why would you think about the thermal imaging when it's going to be twice as long to get the results?! Half as fast is slower than what you're currently doing! Now if you got them "in half the time" or "twice as fast" then maybe you should consider it.

I should apologize. What they are discussing is so boring that I'm not really paying attention. Maybe the goal is to get results slower. Scientists! Who can tell what they really want besides the downfall of civilization and the death of God.

Victor reminisces about the good old days when he had a penis and groupies to use his penis on. But his father did not like all of Victor's extracurricular penis activities. He wanted Victor to use his brain! What a boring old man!

"But I want to use my peeeeenis!"

Some time later, Victor gets blasted by a Boom Tube while in his father's lab. I'm sure his dad had nothing to do with it even though it looked like it was aimed directly at his penis. Victor was nearly killed! Luckily, the DC Universe is full of nanites and Doctor Stone happened to have access to the super popular Promethium Nanites! He would rebuild his son and he'd rebuild him in such a way that he'd have to use his brain because he would no longer have a penis. He would have a disk drive instead of a sex drive!

Cyborg Secret Origin Rating: No change. I suppose we're supposed to learn that Victor's dad loved him or something. Also, Victor is driven to do what he does so that he can prove his father wrong about penises. They aren't inherently bad! It's all in the way you use them and/or Marv Wolfman writes about them.

Red Hood
I never read the return of Jason Todd. I also don't really remembering reading many Jason Todd stories back before he was killed off. And I guess how he became Robin originally doesn't matter at all because Scott Lobdell is going to tell the tale and it's going to be complete ass. Previously, Lobdell's origin of Red Hood had The Joker manipulating Jason Todd's entire life so that he would be picked to become Robin by Batman. But The Joker was telling the story, so it must have all been bullshit. How else could the editors allow such a story to become canon? Especially when the story only made sense if The Joker knew that Batman was Bruce Wayne. And DC has been trying to keep that as ambiguous as possible. Although every Death of the Family tie-in issue that Lobdell wrote, he fucked it up and wrote things that could only be possible if The Joker knew the secret identities of the Bat-Family members. I always got the feeling that editors didn't give a shit what Lobdell wrote simply because he made deadlines and made their jobs easier. And then Scott Lobdell admitted that the only way he broke into comics was because he figured out ways to make the editor's job easier.

This story is only about eight pages long but it contains five thousand Narration Boxes, so it might take me a few hours to read. It's practically a book! Does Scott Lobdell know what comic books are? He does know that they rely on pictures and, as a comic book writer, you're supposed to let the pictures do the heavy lifting, right?

This is the kid Batman chooses as his partner? A boy that can't even answer a yes/no question correctly?

Bruce and Alfred ask Jason to be Robin because, oh, who the fuck knows. Because he was an orphan and a criminal? Because he was completely and utterly trustworthy enough to know Batman's secret identity? Because he was good at jumping fences? The story doesn't exactly explain what Batman saw in Jason Todd except for the orphan stuff. Maybe it was because Dr. Thompkins asked Bruce to take in the kid because he was really pissing her off. Anyway, this isn't a Robin Secret Origin! It's a Red Hood Secret Origin! Let's get to the crowbar already!

Ah! There we go! Maybe I should stop reading here and leave him dead? Will that cause my Red Hood comic books to disappear?

If Jason Todd's mom died in his arms, why did he go to the Middle East to save her? He should have more confidence in his ability to determine if somebody is dead or not. Also, what happened to his mom's child, his little sibling? Hunh? Answer that! I think Joker Jr. is out there somewhere waiting to be written better than The Joker's Daughter.

Later he crawls from a grave then he takes a dip in a Lazarus Pit then he meets Ducra then he wrestles Essence then he acts like an asshole then oh who fucking cares. Fuck you, Scott Lobdell.

Red Hood Origin Story Rating: -3 Ranking. This story is really just a fucking list of moments in Jason Todd's "life." Snapshots, I guess you'd say if you were trying to point out how the story was decently written. But then you'd have to live with the shame of lying to yourself. Scott Lobdell may know how to fill pages but he certainly doesn't know how to tell a story.

Mera's secret origin has to do with being a costumed performer on skis with some water world park in Florida, I think. Or she was the Queen of some offshoot of the Atlanteans. I think she met Aquaman one day as Aquaman stopped some corporate assholes from drilling off the coast by throwing fruit pies at them. He gave her one and she fell in love.

Mera was given the job of assassinating the King of Atlantis for banishing and imprisoning her people of Xebel. Instead she falls in love with him. Could you mess up a job more fully than that?!

Hells yes she's more impressive.

Once Mera gets out of Xebel, she listens to a seashell with a message from her mother. Her mother clarifies her mission. It isn't to kill the king of Atlantis at all! It's to fall in love! So she did get her mission right!

Actually, her real mission is just to get her ass away from Xebel's patriarchal bullshit and become her own woman. The message doesn't say anything about getting involved with a man that isn't fit to cut her toenails but she does that as well.

Mera Secret Origin Rating: No change. The most surprising part of this secret origin was Aquaman's sideburns.

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