Saturday, February 28, 2015

Batman Loves Superman #19

Why are they battling inside Kandor? Couldn't Batman just drop one of his miniature red suns inside, cork it, and shake it like crazy?

I've been taking the Trixie Belden Home Course For Becoming the World's Greatest Detective lately but now I'm wondering if I should even bother. Last issue, it was revealed that the Kandorians were the ones trying to kill Superman. And in my commentary on the issue before that, I said this:

And isn't The Bottled City of Kandor still missing? Maybe one of them got out, driven mad by Superman's hairy sack swinging by the bottle every time he got out of bed to take a whiz.

I bet I even nailed their motivation too!

Well, I can see why Kal-el would want to murder them. Bastards!

Superman's Joker narrates this chapter of the story as if he's speaking with Superman and explaining everything that's going on. But he still doesn't reveal who he is because that's pretty much a last page revelation. If you know how to write a comic book, then you know not to blow your load on the first few pages of the script. I'm not sure why that's a rule though. I'd want to blow like four or five different loads throughout the entire twenty pages. Then the reader will be left wiping cum off of their faces and thinking, "Hoo boy! That was one exciting ride!"

Batman, Superman, and Supergirl have arrived at the Bottled City to find it has been battered by artillery. Or BBs, I guess. They hitched a ride in SHADE's Ant Farm so that they can enter the city and kick some ass. I'm disappointed that they didn't bring Krypto along. I hope they find Streaky while they're in there!

Their first order of business is to figure out what's going on in the bottle. So they prepare to visit Supergirl's friend Tali.

Why is Toymaster's alley undercover work? Oh wait! That's Lois Lane! She must have just come from her undercover investigation of Hiro's corporation.

As the investigation inside Kandor proceeds, it looks like Greg Pak didn't wait until the end of this issue to blow his load at all! I think he blew it last issue when he revealed the magic bullet was a Kandorian.

Superman steps on a device that reads his DNA and identifies him as Kal-el. Then it tells the history of Kandor where the House of El are the villains. Jor-el takes the place of Xa-du and is also behind the explosion of Krypton. Kal-el takes the place of Brainiac and is the one who bottled Kandor and kept them prisoner by his bed where they had to see his gigantic cock slide by their bottled wall every morning. Somebody has convinced them that Superman is their nemesis. And that's all well and good. Even Earthlings get turned against Superman and with far less propaganda or evidence. That's not the part that made me begin forgetting how awesome the magic bullet reveal was last issue.

The information disk conveniently reacts to Kal-el's DNA to tell him this story (I suppose it belonged to his aunt and grandmother on his mom's side who, he just found out, were residents of Kandor). It identifies him as Kal-el and then begins talking to him in the third person about what an asshole Kal-el is. And then some soldiers just happened to surround Superman, Supergirl, and Batman to realize Superman is the evil Kal-el. Superman and Supergirl being distracted enough to be surrounded? I believe that. But Batman is here! Maybe the harsh gravity inside the city has really thrown him off of his game.

Batman invades the tower to rescue the Kandorsheep while Superman and Supergirl seal the bottle from the inside. Idiots. This could have been over so quickly with one red sun cork!

The person behind it all is Xa-du, the Phantom King. He's so forgettable that I keep forgetting to add him to every list of possible suspects whenever somebody is picking on Superman. I hope we get some explanation how he found the Batcave and hacked into the Batcomputer in an earlier issue! Because that was the most difficult part of his plan so far.

Xa-du's super soldiers are Tali, Superman's grandmom, and Superman's aunt. Next issue, Superman will have to punch his Nana in the face.

Batman Loves Superman #19 Rating: No change. When I hear Xa-du the Phantom King is the enemy in a story arc, I instantly begin to lose interest. Maybe he's the kind of villain that really old school readers of DC Comics like to have appear so they can feel nostalgic and young again. To me, there's just something strange and awkward about his entire existence. Maybe that's the point? He's from The Phantom Zone, a place out of time. He shouldn't fit in to modern day comic books. Seeing him is how I would imagine seeing a modern movie if an actor from the forties time traveled to today to be one of the stars. It would be so hard to watch because acting styles from seventy years ago just don't mesh with what we expect from actors today. What I'm trying to say politely is that Xa-du is a boner shriveller! Anyway, this was a bit of a letdown after the awesome reveal from last issue but still a pretty solid story.

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