Saturday, January 10, 2015

Red Hood and the Outlaws Annual #2

"My name is Santa Claus. I invade homes and shoot Goddamn motherfuckers in the head once per year. I have such rabid fans that they can read a story about me written by Scott Lobdell and delude themselves into believing it was well written."

My stomach hurts just looking at this cover. For a fan of these characters who can somehow see past the horrible writing (and, worst, rationalize it as decent writing), this cover promises an exciting, hilarious Christmas romp. But for me, I just see a series of horribly unfunny jokes made by three of DC's most unlikable characters of The New 52.

Maybe this will be my Christmas Miracle! Maybe Scott Lobdell will finally put some effort into his plot and his characterization and his dialogue! Maybe the whole story won't rely on Narration Boxes telling what the character is thinking about the action and then more Narration Boxes telling me what the character is thinking about the previous Narration Boxes! Maybe it will even be...funny! Please, Baby Jesus, grant this miracle for me! Let me enjoy at least one Scott Lobdell comic book this year!

Holy fuck I'm in Hell.

So right off the bat, we get a Roy Harper as a small child with a boner joke, Deadpoolesque acknowledgement of the Narration Boxes, and outright lies from Starfire! They were on Tamaran this year and Roy Harper's Narration Boxes never stopped! So they do have them on Tamaran! Unless she means Tamaraneans don't Narration Box. But then Starfire has been known to engage in her own Narration Boxing, so she's still lying!

See? Although these Narration Boxes don't have her symbol to prove it's Starfire, you can tell from context it's her, the big cum dumpster!

Currently, The Outlaw Babies are sneaking down the staircase in Wayne Manor to spy on Santa Claus. In the background, Alfred Pennyworth is busy dusting when he should be busy grabbing his shotgun and blowing the shit out of the burglar in the Santa Claus outfit. How do I know it's a burglar, kids? Well duh! Because Santa Claus isn't that fat! Also, why would Santa Claus deliver crappy elf-made goods to Wayne Manor?! Whatever Bruce has purchased for the kids is going to be way better, bat-shaped, and deadlier than anything Santa's elves could make.

I told you it was too fat to be the real Santa Claus! Because I could totally tell and I wasn't just trying to cover up almost blowing the secret! Shush. You kids don't need to know what secret I'm talking about.

Oh no! It's the Suzie Su zombie Santa Claus against Red Hood and the Outlaw Muppet Babies! I'm laughing so hard right now! Ah ha ha ha!

Jason Todd Baby explains why they call themselves the Outlaws although they never really have because in Issue #37, Roy Harper admits that he's the only one that calls themselves that. But now he's decided they call themselves Outlaws, so I guess they call themselves Outlaws. They do it because they operate outside of the law! I mean, not in the same way Batman does. Or Superman does. Or every other fucking vigilante does. They do it in a cool way that's cool to the kids and makes them all cool and likable and full of angst and cool.

After they kill Suzie Su and scoop out her insides, Batman comes down to put them back to bed.

See? Being cool is important!

So far in the first nine pages, somebody has told somebody else to shut up or be quiet or shush six times! It's like the comic book is reading my mind! I've been screaming at them all to shut up every page! And six out of nine is almost every page! It's only like four or five off.

More proof that I used "cool" the correct amount of times when I described how Red Hood and the Outlaws operate.

Batman punishes the Outlaws by locking them in the Batcave where they can't get up to no good no matter how hard they try. Not like the Batcave is full of Batinternet without Porn Blockers or Teen Titans cartoons running on the monitor or a giant chocolate penny or a dinosaur that loves chocolate pennies or a Batmobile that eats super villains or a couple of gargoyles that look like Statler and Waldorf. Perfect place to ground some bratty brats that think killing an intruder that's trying to kill them is the proper way to act on Christmas Eve.

Red Hood and the Outlaws decide it's up to them to save Christmas! Because the adults are dicks and totally uncool and never actually know what's really going on ever. Especially that stupid Green Arrow one! How dare he use Roy to make all of his weapons and then allow Roy to be his sidekick so that Jason Todd could make that "worst sidekick ever" joke in Red Hood and the Outlaws #1 but then it turns out Roy was never actually his sidekick at all because Roy hated him for stealing his ideas and quit before he could become Green Arrow's sidekick. Although I'm sure part of Roy's hatred for himself stems from the fact that after telling Oliver Queen to go fuck himself, he crawled back to him and fought crime by his side for a few years.

Thanks! But it's the Narration Boxes that usually do all the cluttering, Narration Box!

Instead of being some kind of Egg Nog Nightmare, it looks like the Outlaws are suffering some kind of super villain mind trap that's making them think they're little kids! I hope Kori and Roy didn't get a good look at Alfred dusting while they were inside Wayne Manor or they might start making connections that Batman won't be happy about.

The Outlaw Babies arrive at the North Pole to find it in chaos. A battle has taken place here! Again! Poor Santa Claus! He must hate modern pop culture and its incessant need to declare war on Christmas! I wonder if Lobo was just here? Or was it American Dad and his family? Oh wait! It was probably Suzie Su's gang! Or some other Red Hood enemy. Maybe one with mind control technology! Or a laser ray gun blaster that turns people into little kid versions of themselves.

I'm going to invent that Super Villain! And I'm going to name him Pederast!

Santa's reindeer have become rabid, so the Outlaw Babies put them out of their misery. Next they're probably going to have to battle a muscular elf with dual automatic rifles and a belt full of grenades!

They split up and while Roy gets his nuts cracked, Kori faces off against Mrs. Claus the Gingerbread Woman.

That's too bad because Starfire loves coming.

The actual real enemy is a being called Plytus, a Psion. Plytus used his (or her?) psionic powers to make the Outlaws drink drugged Egg Nog and then forced them on their Santa Claus hunting mission so that Jason Todd would come murder Plytus. I think. Maybe? I haven't read Chapter Four yet but I think this is the chapter where the villain explains the entire plan so the reader doesn't feel confused by the story.

Plytus was banished to Earth's arctic by Helspont because Earth's arctic region is the most foreboding, desolate, inhospitable place in the universe, I guess. Plytus just wanted to die and because it once tortured Starfire, it was able to mentally link with her or something and learn about Jason Todd's love of dealing death or something. So Jason Todd kills it and then threatens Helspont because Jason Todd is a bad-ass that knows a bullet can solve everything.

When Jason Todd points at Helspont in the camera, we get a bit of Old Portugese [sic]! And it's a direct message from Scott Lobdell! Here, finally, we get his real voice! It says, "Please add some interlac-style lettering inside the camera-circle. The JASON TODD only words we recognize RED HOOD and please add". Obviously the note was to the letterer and initially read "The only words we recognize, Jason Todd and Red Hood." But the letterer couldn't keep them in that position without ruining the flow of the text so he spaced them out a bit and then added some more from the beginning of the note. I'd like to thank the letterer, Travis Lanham, for inadvertently (or purposefully!) giving us evidence that Scott Lobdell is a lazy writer! Why not write the dialogue for those of us who translate all of the Old Portugese [sic]?! Instead you leave the dialogue up to the letterer?! Sure, other writers have done that as well and I think it's lazy. Anyway, one final page that everybody should love!

Ignore Blackfire's servile position and extremely huge and barely covered breasts for the moment...I know it's difficult...but how does Helspont know Jason Todd and his friends are referred to as "Outlaws" when Roy admitted last issue that he's the only one that calls them that? I guess we have to take the newest evidence as the real evidence and since Jason Todd described why they call themselves the outlaws this issue, that's the way things are.

Red Hood and the Outlaws Annual #2 Rating: I saw a thing on Twitter the other day that I thought was funny. Molly Manglewood asked "If "manspreading" is assertion of male privilege, what is it when women establish a sprawling nomad encampment of bags across three seats?" Somebody replied that it was called "Feminesting." That's fucking clever! As you may have surmised, I'm don't want to talk about Red Hood and the Outlaws anymore. Maybe just a few more things! I just wish it had been a fever dream brought on by too much Egg Nog instead of a way to bring Helspont back. So does everybody think it's appropriate to bring back the villain that is supposedly the biggest threat to the New 52 DC Universe (well, you have to admit, he was at one time!) and pair him against Red Hood and the Outlaws? And I guess Blackfire is just along for the ride so she can look sexy and subservient? I can't wait!

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