Sunday, November 23, 2014

Detective Comics #36

Get it?! The story about a terminal disease takes place in an airport terminal!

Last issue, Batman, The World's Greatest Detective, had teamed up with Ed Boar, The World's Greatest Port Authority Layabout. Together, they will solve The Mystery of the Terminal Terminal! Mostly the mystery is solved because Magnus Magnuson appeared on television to tell the world that he was behind it all. Usually that's the detective's job at the end of the story! He calls everybody to the study and looks smug and paces about while saying things that make everybody nervous because he doesn't want to come right out and say who the culprit is because then nobody will have any reason to listen to him anymore. So he mentions lots of ambiguous clues first so that the wife gets nervous and then the cleaning lady gets nervous and then the chauffeur gets nervous and then the gardener gets really nervous but then the detective points at the ex-boyfriend and shouts, "You had every reason to do it!" And then the ex-boyfriend jumps up and says, "But I loved Bill more than life itself! I would never have killed him!" And after that drama plays out, the detective says, "I know! It was really the mother-in-law!" Then everybody gasps and a few people lean over to the person next to them and say, "I knew it all along." Then the mother-in-law tries to run but the detective grabs her and says, "But what you didn't know is that the mother-in-law is really Sirius B. Finch, the real estate mogul who is planning to build a nuclear power plant on this very spot!" And the detective pulls the rubber mask off of Sirius B. Finch and everybody gasps and applauds and yells, "Good show!" Then the father-in-law frowns and whispers, "But I've been sleeping with her for months!" And the detective says, "If only you had seen the clues the way I had seen the clues! And by clues I mean his penis! I figured it all out while using the urinal next to the mother-in-law at the wake!" And then the story ends.

But the Mystery of the Terminal Terminal is the mystery we are concentrating on today! Let us see how Batman finds the clues to solve the mystery! Yes, yes! Let us see!

That's a pretty big clue! Thanks, culprit, for helping Batman solve the mystery!

Since the whodunit is no longer a whodunit, I guess it's now a medical mystery! Doctor Batman has only eight hours to figure out what is killing everybody or the world will end! I bet it's Lupus!

While Batman tries to find the clues, the Narrator tries to get all philosophical by comparing air travel to life. The Narrator is quite accurate in describing air travel as a piece of time in our lives that nobody really acknowledges. It's just a chore to be dealt with so we can get from one destination to another. But that's where the Narrator's analogy breaks down because the narrator compares the travel destinations to birth and death. But who is ignoring life just to hurry along and rush headlong into death? Okay, okay. So we're all rushing headlong into death. But we're not actively seeking it out! At least most of us aren't. I think maybe Batman is! Maybe I should think about my life as air travel more often! Then maybe I'd read more books by Michael Crichton and John Grisham! I would think, "Boy, I can't wait for the next exciting moment in my life to happen! But until then, I will sit in a tiny space with minimal amounts of food and drink while trying to read my shitty thriller. I will also try to sit uncomfortably close to a stranger while I chew my ice and they go out of their minds listening to me chew my ice but never say anything so how was I ever supposed to know there are people out there that can't stand the sound of somebody chewing ice? Oh, fucking pardon me, Mr. Sensitive Ears!"

Maybe life and air travel are exactly the same thing! I think I'm all turned around on the analogy! Life is just air travel with more elbow and leg room.

Batman needs help! He's the World's Greatest Detective, not the World's Greatest Medical Mystery Detective! When you find a murdered body, you don't call Doctor House! And when you find a body bleeding out of its asshole, you don't call Sherlock Holmes! And since Batman needs help solving a medical mystery, he calls the greatest doctor in the world.

Oh, sorry. He calls a retired acrobat.

Batman calls up Dick Grayson and says, "Dick! Remember the first rule of being my friend? When I say jump, you say, 'Skip deedly doo!' Well, I'm saying jump!"

"But Batman," whispers Dick Grayson, "I am in the middle of torturing a man! Surely saying, 'Skip deedly doo!', can wait!"

"I did not ask Shirley to say 'Skip deedly doo!' I asked you to say it! That was a joke from Airplane! It is timeless, is it not?" wheezes Batman into his Batphone. Dick hears the desperation in Bruce's wheezing and agrees to say "Skip deedly doo!" Finally! That kid sure has learned how to back talk!

Batman continues to search for clues amongst the air traffic controllers while probably thinking, "I bet it is Lupus and not at all contagious enough to spread to these innocent workers!" Meanwhile Dick Grayson continues to torture the man he was torturing but now he's asking him to answer Batman's questions.

Batman continues to run around the airport confidently spreading the disease to as many people as possible. "It does not matter who I infect," he brags to himself, "because I will save them all by solving the mystery! Then they will all thank me for saving their lives!"

Back in Minsk, Dick continues to search for clues to the whereabouts of Magnus Magnuson.

"This is the biggest clue yet!"

Dick is finding clues all over the place!

"Look, Bruce! Look! I have found an even bigger clue than the previous clue! Right in my pants!"

Dick learns that Magnus Magnuson is in Gotham! He's on the plane! Everybody get out! He's on the plane!

I already knew that because I found the biggest clue of all: the cover of the comic book. See Magnus Magnuson choking Batman? See?

The issue ends with everybody surviving thanks to Magnus Magnuson's blood! Yay! Except then the Narrator chimes in and starts blabbing about how we're all going to die. Way to ruin the moment, Narrator! And way to hit us all over the head with your philosophy of "slowing down to smell the roses because we know we're going to die" being the way we should all embrace life. Or something. I stopped listening because I don't enjoy pedantry unless it's coming out of my own typing fingers. Also, pedantry isn't perverted like some of you dumb dumbs probably think it is. Buy a dictionary! Also, a dictionary has nothing to do with penises.

Detective Comics #36 Rating: I'm changing up my ratings this month. Everything is getting reshuffled! So I won't be rating anything for the rest of the month. I'm just going to stick all the books back in whatever order feels right as I read them and as I reflect on how consistently well written each of the titles has been. It's hard to judge Detective Comics because this is a new creative team (and I don't even know if they're going to stick around for more than this two part story). But this issue alone was not a very good example of Batman's detective skills. He really just got lucky that Magnuson was the cure and that Magnuson was on board the plane. Hey, you know what? Dick got lucky too!

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