Thursday, February 12, 2015

Aquaman and the Others #10

Forget the improper sword fighting techniques on display! Check out the over-the-top sexual imagery going on! Mera's head is probably exploding!

Last issue ended with POW! betraying The Others because he's channeling a backstabbing double agent who is working with Mayhem. Mayhem wants to remind the world that nuclear bombs are dangerous because we've all been resting on our post-fall-of-the-Berlin-Wall laurels and have forgotten the terror of the miniseries The Day After. It's incomprehensible to me that millennials have never woken up in terror after having a nightmare where the bombs were launched. I just had one a few months ago, just for old times' sake, I guess. Everybody thought the world was going to become a Road Warrior wasteland after Chernobyl and we didn't even have one-tenth of the fear mongering media sites like we have today playing up disasters like Fukushima. I guess along with access to lots and lots of talking heads screaming about the sky falling, we also have access to lots and lots of real, scientific information. You know, if we want to look for it. Of course, that means we also have access to loads of conspiracy theorists and Web M.D., so we're all actually more terrified than ever!

Modern Citizen: "I wonder why my stomach hurts. Let me check the web."
*Browses for One Minute
Modern Citizen: "Holy fuck I have all the cancers!"

Having access to more information than what local media outlets deign to give you makes for a much better world (at least it does for me! I'm not so sure about some of my high school friends on Facebook. Hoo boy, do they believe some wacky hookey!). When I was growing up in the seventies, one of my greatest fears was the imminent invasion of Killer Bees! It seemed like at least once a month, a local media station would put up a graphic showing North and South America and how far the Killer Bees were encroaching year after year and by which year they would reach Northern California. I simply pictured a wave of man-eating bees devouring everything in their path as they headed north. Terrorism is for Millennials what Killer Bees were for me! After having lived through the Killer Bee scare, I'm not afraid of anything! I've seen what America does to threats. Once they reach our shores and realize the cushy life they can have here, they calm the fuck down and start trying to fit in because Survivor is on! Sure, occasionally you hear about a hive of "Africanized" bees stinging the shit out of some punk fucker that probably deserved it because he was trying to smash a hive with a rock but that's less fear mongering about bees and just more subtle racism to keep everybody afraid of anything being "Africanized," especially your daughters!

This seems like an appropriate time to link to my Jungle Fever theory of The X-Files. Damn. I wrote that fifteen years ago? Fuck you, time! For transparency's sake, I didn't write all of the Bastard's articles. I just wrote this one, the one that deconstructs Rudolph, the one about Survivor, the one about The N-Word, and the one about September 11th. I think those were all of them. Just a word of warning: many of these are superficially offensive due to language, stereotyping, and caricatures. Would I write any of these essays today? Not in the way I presented them back then, no. Am I embarrassed by them? Some of the content. But if I believe in anything (I'm not sure I do, but let's go with it!), I believe in honesty and transparency. Am I proud of them? Definitely. Maybe I'd like to distance myself from all the "retard" stuff. And that N-word sidebar of the Asian woman is rather icky. But isn't fourteen years distance enough? That was a much younger, more passionate, less fearful of internet reprisal version of myself (that was a joke! I still don't fear internet reprisal! You have to be popular to get any of that good stuff!)! I'm more refined now! Shut up! I am too! Anyway, do I still believe the heart of each essay? Yeah, I do. Mostly. Except for that bit about Big Brother being the worst reality television show ever. Fuck I love that show! If you're a lover of fiction and the way character interactions work through shifts of power, how can you not love Big Brother?! It's one of the best fictions on television!

Oh! There's the bullet wound!

Meanwhile on the moon, Vostok XL remembers his childhood less fondly than most people remember their childhood. His childhood wasn't full of Nickelodeon cartoons and action figures and comic books and chasing boys around the playground to punch their smart fucking mouths and not because you had a crush on them like all the teachers thought but because he was a pervy little asshole that doesn't understand personal space.

Thanks for the Vostok XL torturing recap, Maelstrom!

Mayhem decides that their opening move will be launching one of their twelve nuclear missiles into Aquaman and The Others' Yacht Headquarters. That sounds like a great plan! Blow them the fuck out of the world before they get a chance to stop your plans! What supervillain team has ever been so proactive?! Might this be the time when a supervillain team's plan finally comes to fruition because they take the bull by the horns and just blow shit up instead of making speeches and giving the good guys time to beat them?!

Oh. I forgot that missiles and Death Stars can't be activated on command. I guess ignition systems always need a little time to warm up.

Down on the yacht, POW! tries to flee but iSpy stops him because iSpy knew he had been crossing his fingers when he promised not to be double kidding about being their ally. It was so obvious that POW! was just pretending to be the good guy because good guys don't often smash your bedroom door down with an axe and then stick their face inside and go, "Here's Prisoner-of-War!"

It turns out iSpy switched the clip in POW!'s gun so that he was firing blanks. No wonder Ya'wara didn't have any bullet wounds when she was shot at the end of last issue! But she did get hit in the head by that piece of the blank that killed the Crow and that guy from Voyagers! So she still almost died! Plus then she almost drowned which is also a way to die! But Mera saved her life and now everybody is safe again! At least for the next nine minutes.

Instead of trying to swim for his life, POW! tells The Others that Mayhem is going to nuke the ship. Christ! Can't any supervillain ever keep their mouth shut?! You just fucking ruined the entire plan, you goofball!

Oh? This is Aquaman's plan? The whole thing? Who does he think he is? Harvest?!

iSpy, with a little help from the great men and women of the United States Military who are all heroes and I'm a huge fan of them and patriotism and unwavering fealty and all the other stuff I'm supposed to say, drives the backstabbing spirit Korec out of POW!'s life forever. Then iSpy looks at his wrist and says, "Whoa! Times almost up! And who stole my watch?" The next part of the plan is for Ya'wara to put some clothes on. Unless it's for Ya'wara to teleport them all to the moon. One of those.

When Mayhem tries to launch the missile, they discover that the launch codes were actually a virus that begins shutting down their targeting systems. Who cares if the targeting systems get shut down? Without the launch codes, the targeting system won't be any use to Mayhem anyway! Next, Ya'wara appears and she teleports Mayhem to an island where Aquaman waits to beat them all up. But before they teleport away (because I guess it isn't instantaneous when Ya'wara has to teleport people against their will), NKVDemon launches one of the nuclear missiles. But he doesn't have the code! And, um, the targeting systems aren't working!

I bet Vostok XL changes sides in the upcoming fight and saves the day and then everybody begins to respect him! Also, Maelstrom goes, "Whoa, whoa, whoa! I just wanted to make the world a better place." And Mera goes, "Even though I know you are looking at my husband like he's a ten inch orange dildo, I think you should join the Others!" And then under her breath she says, "Because they fucking suck dick too."

In the middle of the fight, NKVDemon gloats about the nuclear missile because what fun is blowing up part of the world if nobody knows you're responsible for it?

"I suppose it's possible he guessed the launch codes! Highly improbable but since when has 'highly improbable' ever meant anything to any of us at any time in our lives?! It's like our personal histories have been contrived by some all-knowing, omnipotent God (if that God were stuck in the 1980s, of course)."

Aquaman and the Others #10 Rating: +1 Ranking. Here comes the high praise: this issue wasn't nearly as boring as previous issues have been! I think having read two issues of Blue Devil from 1985 just before reading this book made this book feel modern by comparison! And while I can't quite bring myself to say it was "thrilling" or had me on the "edge of my seat," I can say that it "passed the time" and "had Mera in it." Big thumbs up!

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