Sunday, December 28, 2014

Red Hood and the Outlaws #37

Drink up, asshole.

Trigger warning for poorly written characters using addiction to represent dealing with the pains of their pasts because God forbid anybody in this day and age can figure out how to deal with their own problems. Dealing with your problems is bullshit because then how will everybody else know that you're in more pain than they are due to life being what it is (you know, bullshit. Like dealing with your problems!). It's better to spiral out of control to prove a point than to care about yourself and figure out your own shit. Better to slap labels on yourself to declare yourself off limits from being criticized because you've been diagnosed. Better to fucking hide and blame everybody else for the shit you don't want to deal with because it's too much and nobody in history has ever had to deal with the shit you're dealing with now. There's really only one trigger warning that matters.

Trigger Warning for the existential pain brought on by the loneliness of never being able to make a real connection with anybody in your life. Not because there is something deficient in you but because there is something deficient in all of us. The greatest sin is to believe your sin is without forgiveness. And the greatest source of loneliness and despair is to think that you're the only one full of loneliness and despair. Unless you possess some kind of telepathic power that enables your mind to be fully encompassed in another mind, you'll never connect with anybody as closely as you'd like. Even when you think you've found a partner that you're completely open with and with whom you share everything, you'll wake up one morning from a dream in which they were acting contrary to what you thought you knew about them and it'll eat away at your heart for the rest of day, hopefully becoming less and less terrifying as you engage in your daily mundane, rote existence until the fear of their betrayal becomes just more cobwebs in the corner of your brain, easy enough to ignore and which you can, probably, live with.

Hi Roy!

I said, "Hi Roy!"

Oh right! Right! And I'm just reading a comic book. Why am I responding to it?

If this is a memory, who are you talking to? Why are you explaining things to yourself? Are you drunk? No, wait. Do you know I'm here?! Can you see me, Roy Harper? Do you understand that you're in a comic book?

Oh, Roy! Don't be so hard on yourself! This is probably why you're an alcoholic. I bet this poor kid put too much pressure on himself to be perfect so that his parents would stop fighting, amirite?!

Why so defensive? I believe you! Now get on with projecting your telepathic memory so that I can watch it as you tell me what's going on, or whatever is happening here. Oh right. I'm reading a poorly written comic book.

I bet the volcano was set up by some kid super proud of his great science experiment, quivering in anticipation as he pictured the judges who would excitedly watch it smolder and then overflow with fake lava that was really just baking soda or something. And then the kid with the Cyborg Dinosaur walked into the room and volcano kid's shoulders sagged, a small tear came to one eye, and he slowly walked outside and threw himself in front of a bus.

Yes you do. This is a memory. That's what you get when you remember. And your dad, in this memory, is in a suit. So, quid pro caveat emptor, you big dumb dumb!

Of course that's all you wanted, Roy. Of course. You needy fucking prick. Do you think you're the only character in DC Comics with Daddy Issues? Get in fucking line.

Why does the reader need to catch up? We already read that part of the story. Are you sure you're not drunk?

You know, I don't have to be reminded of who you are every issue, Roy. And is Ollie really a millionaire? I think he either lost all of his money and his corporation in his own comic. Unless he got it back and then the statement is still wrong because then he'd be a billionaire.

These Narration Boxes serve the same purpose as having no Narration Boxes.

Roy is definitely drunk because I don't think New 52 Oliver Queen actually had anything to do with any business decision at Queen Industries ever. Unless it was an event with an open bar. I guess there was that small window of time during Giffen's short run where Ollie tried to make a go of being a business person. But then he was on a short leash and his handlers never would have let him get away with shit like this. And anyway, Scott Lobdell, since it seems you want to get "meta" with your characters and allow them to speak directly to your "audience" for "you," a better way to answer your critics than being a huge baby and flipping them off? Concentrate on writing better stories. Believe it or not, critics don't hate you just because you're you. They hate you because you suck at what you do. Stop worrying about the naysayers and concentrate on improving your crap. I mean craft!

I hate when people offer helpful advice.

Yeah, wouldn't want a guy who always gives you good advice hanging around with you. Oliver is such an asshole.

He didn't ask you to apologize. It's gauche to assume everybody wants you to apologize for being rich.

So Roy goes to work for Marvel Comics and loses the rights to all the great characters he created and stories that were turned into Saturday Morning Cartoons.

That's not an equation. It's a court case.

Anyway, it goes on like this for a lot more pages with Scott Lobdell feeling the incessant need to comment on his own story in the "voice" of Roy Harper. He might as well just be masturbating on every page. Splotches of semen would probably detract less than the constant Narration Boxing.

What happens is Roy enjoys his life working for Queen Industries. But maybe he enjoys it too much and so he constantly gets drunk and embarrasses himself and works his hardest to destroy the first real happiness he ever had. And then after it all comes crumbling down, he begins to lie to himself that it was never actually good in the first place and he was better off not being a part of Oliver Queen's life.

Oh, but first Roy finds out Ollie is Green Arrow and, just like Madison over in Futures End and everybody else that is a narcissistic asshole that doesn't understand that nobody owes you everything, he's hurt that Oliver didn't tell him who he was and that he was using Roy's inventions for his Green Arrow gig. Like that matters? Roy agreed that whatever he invented wasn't his anyway. This is why you never hire a kid with Daddy Issues.

I guess this is the icing on the cake? That Roy's superhero name is taken as a reminder of how betrayed he felt by his new father figure? Just another sad sack that can't believe in himself without being told by somebody else to believe in himself. Just another asshole that needs to be inspired by some other asshole that was once inspired to be inspiring. Fucking Speedy would have been a better name at this point.

This is one of those stories people tell about themselves which they think portrays them in a good light but really just shows how big of an asshole they are. I love when people tell stories like that.

I didn't think it was possible to hate Roy Harper any more. I guess I was wrong! Poor fucking Roy. I wonder if this is the same tantrum Henry Fyff threw before he left with Naomi? Or that other kid whose name I forget but he died before he could storm off upset that his technology was the only thing that made Green Arrow "Green Arrow." Fuck you, Roy Harper.

I'm going to go build myself a big bonfire to keep myself warm at night after this! And I'll be using all of my Red Hood comic books!

The issue ends with Roy thanking Oliver for still wanting to have something to do with him even though he's been a right spoiled piece of shit "Poor Me! Poor Me!" asshole that I can't fucking stand.

Red Hood and the Outlaws #37 Rating: -1 Ranking because of the incessant Narration Boxes. Holy shit. This comic probably reads better without reading the Narration Boxes. I don't know for sure though because I'm not about to try rereading it. How did I come away from this comic book liking Green Arrow more than I ever did?! I guess if Scott Lobdell was trying to write Roy as a despicable human being than kudos! But I have a suspicious feeling that this story was meant to make Roy a sympathetic character. And I don't doubt it worked for some people. But I probably don't like those people either.

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