Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Multiversity: Pax Americana #1

Earth-4! Earth-4! Earth-4 is on fire! We don't need no heroes! Let that motherfucker burn!

Maybe this issue will be the one where everything is finally explained as opposed to being an entirely separate story about a different Earth where the Gentry are busy gentrifying it and putting in Artsy Toy Stores, and Artisan Pizza Places with forty-five minute waits, and movie theaters with couches that serve wine and apƩritifs, and ice cream parlours with flavors like Strawberries And Bone Meal or Cookies and Cow Tongue. I'm really starting to get angry at The Gentry! I don't care if they drive out the previous residents due to increases in rent and property values! I just wish they didn't think a neighborhood needs one record store per block!

The original Earth-4 housed the Watchmen! Well, it housed the guys the Watchmen were based on. You know, the Charlton comic book characters like Blue Beetle and Captain Atom and Nightshade and The Question and probably a bunch of other ones that I never heard about. That probably means this story will be a reprint of Watchmen.

See? This is practically an exact reprinting of the blood spattered happy face button!

Hey? Remember when Chris Rock did that bit about how there would be a black president before a black vice-president? He was totally right!

It looks like the President of Pax America was Mister Eight! That symbol on that ring couldn't possibly mean anything else! Unless it's representative of a Domino Mask! That's a possibility. But there aren't any other possibilities! Also, Mister Eight is Terry Sloan who is also the original, and much whiter, Mister Terrific. Also, I really don't think that Terry Sloan will have anything to do with this comic book so I'm sorry for completely wasting your time with this paragraph which was all complete bullshit. Except for the Domino Mask part.

The president was shot in the head by (and I'm really stretching my comic book knowledge here so don't burn effigies of me if I'm wrong!) Peacemaker as he falls out of the sky. That's why the president falls over and bleeds all over the car and then the flag catches on fire which is what the image on the cover is! I guess I'm reading this comic book backwards! So now the question is, do I keep reading it backwards as I imagine it was intended to be read? Or do I say "Fuck you, Grant Morrison!" and begin reading from back to front? Knowing Grant Morrison, he's probably expecting that! Which means I'm going to keep reading it non-Manga style!

Whew! Good thing I kept reading it forwards like a good citizen in lockstep with regularity and tradition!

The new president's daughter is Nightshade, a superhero. But now, he says, it's time to end all superheroes! That's Watchmen talk!

The president and Nightshade's journey to the "exit strategy" is a cute little mini-scene where their words describe their passage across the page. It's too clever for its own good! I'm excising it from my comic book right now!

Meanwhile, Blue Beetle is chasing after The Question. Blue Beetle is all, "You're crazy like that guy from that Alan Moore book!" And The Question is all, "What? Where? Why? How? When?!" Then The Question is all, "Whoop whoop whoop whoop!" and Blue Beetle is all, "QUEEEEEEEEESTIIOOOOOON!" And then The Question runs into Nightshade.

I control the board! Me!

Just because I haven't mentioned all the similarities between the background images, the art, and the panel layouts between this and the Watchmen, don't think that I'm missing them. It's just that I covered them earlier when I said "That probably means this story will be a reprint of Watchmen." You know, before I even opened the comic book!

The Question escapes to search for clues at the crime scene of Nora O'Rourke who had cracked the code of Algorithm 8. See?! An 8! Just like on the ring! Unless the ring was representative of googly eyes. Maybe it's Algorithm Googly Eyes?

And then Captain Atom.

Aha! So I could have read the comic book backwards and it wouldn't have changed anything! Or, um, would it have? Um, what's going on here?! Why is this comic book acknowledging me?!

Whoever the Charlton version of The Comedian is (Sergeant Lane? Whoever that is?! (unless it's one of The Gentry since he mentions the scientists opening a hole to hell and he came crawling out) comes in, immediately after Captain Atom is sucked through a government sponsored black hole and out of the Earth-4 universe, to murder the scientists behind Cap's eviction.

So Nora was onto some conspiracy involving President Harley and his Algorithm 8. She thought the president was experimenting with Captain Atom for a new source of fuel but he was actually just trying to get rid of Captain Atom. Then The Comedian (or his Charlton equivalent which I still don't know. Judomaster?! Who else is there?) killed her to keep her quiet. But Peacemaker already knew too much so he took out the president. Now The Question is trying to piece it all together while The Comedian tries to beat some information out of Peacemaker to find out why he killed the president. I have a feeling Nightshade's dad, the new president, is in on the plot.

And since this is a Multiversity comic book, the plot must revolve around The Gentry taking over Earth-4. And it all has to do with that number 8! Unless it's representative of a pair of boobies! But nothing else. I can't think of anything else it could be a symbol for!

Earlier (when the president was still alive), Soon-to-be-president Harley made a deal with Captain Atom. It was a deal straight out of comic books which would change the world.

So when Peacemaker and Nora were talking about the president's plan on the night she was killed, they were talking about a plan by the president to have Peacemaker kill the president! And since Peacemaker has faith in the President's Algorithm 8 (because Harley has "been right so far" while using it), he agrees.

So now everybody is just waiting for Doctor Atom to return and resurrect the president so that thousands of years of peace can begin! So, you know, a lot like Ozymandias's plan! Which means The Question is probably going to fuck it all up, isn't he?!

One other thing Question has been wondering about: a hero named Yellowjacket.

Remember that Before Watchmen project DC did? This single issue has been so much better than that entire series.

Turns out Yellowjacket was Harley's father whom he accidentally killed one night. As he went through his father's things, he found a gun. And then his father, dressed as Yellow Jacket, came in the window because he forgot his keys. And Harley shot him. So Harley's plan to sacrifice himself was his own way of punishing himself for killing his father while also trying to bring peace to the world. His Algorithm 8 seems to be a moment when he was visited by Captain Atom who showed him a glimpse of all time. And I guess he had a good memory?

And I guess now they wait for Captain Atom to return from helping save the Multiverse. According to Algorithm 8, he should come back and resurrect the president and redeem Peacemaker and inspire everybody to live peaceful lives of peace and inspiration! Theoretically, that's a much better plan than the Watchmen plan which decided to use fear of the other to bring everybody together! And it's better than the Vice President's plan which, I suppose, was a deal he made with The Gentry to turn his world into Pax Americana where there would be peace through intimidation and threats of force.

Now if I could just figure out what that symbol on the ring meant!

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