Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Batman #40

Who was the Saint who slew the dragon? Wasn't it Galen?

Let's leave Convergence behind for a bit while I finish up all of the Issue Forties that DC Comics couldn't publish on time. I'm off to Sacramento for the weekend to hang out with a bunch of nerds and I'd like to at least read Batman #40 before it's two weeks old. So if any of you are in Sacramento and want to join me for Karaoke on Thursday or Friday or Saturday, drop me a message and I'll ignore it if seems too creepy.

Let's begin with Batman and find out if he's still hallucinating on Super Duper Scarecrow Toxin (mad from the tears and piss of frightened children). I want to believe that what's happening in Endgame is really happening because I love the idea of The Joker being Gotham's personal monster who has been around since the founding of the city. But I just can't buy into one aspect of the story and that's how it all began: with a Jokerized Justice League. How the fuck did The Joker manage to poison the entire Justice League? How did he ensure his toxin could infect humans as well has demigods, Kryptonians, and Atlanteans?! How did The Flash not metabolize it in thirty seconds and either die or return to normal? Why am I asking logical questions about a comic book?!

You know why? Because even when reading a comic book, I want the writer to play fairly with me. And if this story winds up not being a hallucination brought on by Fear Gas, I want it to work because I love this origin of The Joker. And I'd easily let a Jokerized Justice League slide but it just seems like such a big clue pointing toward a hallucination.

The other big clue that the story is all baloney was the conclusion to the back-up story in which we learn that The Joker's origin doesn't matter and will very likely never be known. So why wouldn't this immortal clown living in Gotham for four hundred years be bullshit too? I suppose even if that's true, who he originally was can still be a mystery. But at that point, does it even matter? Knowing what kind of neanderthal Vandal Savage was before he became an immortal, suave, charming, majestic, big-cocked asshole means practically nothing to who he became. Sure, it could be an interesting story to compare the two sides of him. But in the end, do you really care if he was a nice caveman turned into a monster by his new power or if he were always an asshole and when he gained his immortality, all of the other caveman just looked at each other and sighed, "Fucking wouldn't you know it! Of course that dick gets super powers!"

This issue begins with Batman flashing back to the moment of The Joker's creation (well, the previous likely origin moment established in this run of Batman) where the Red Hood falls into a vat of Ace chemicals.

This is the epitome of The Joker. This is what he is. He is the existential creep seeping in at the corners of your supposedly meaningful and happy life. He is the constant nagging of "What if...what if...what if...?" This is why he's Batman's nemesis.

Batman has built his life around controlling the world around him. The Joker occasionally oozes into that world and tells Batman in no uncertain terms that random events are the bread and butter of this universe. Batman is the math trying to describe the universe in just a handful of equations. The Joker is popcorn in a frying pan proving that no matter how much you know about the workings of the universe, you can't determine the final outcome and placement of every kernel sitting in the heated oil.

I fucking hate analogies! They're like how when you want to eat something difficult to swallow, you have to chop it up into smaller pieces that are easier to swallow! But you don't just chop it up so that the smaller pieces are the same as the larger piece! No, you have to take off the skin because that gets caught in the teeth and you have to take out the seeds because you don't want a plant growing in your stomach and you have to throw away all of the bits that don't look or smell very appetizing. And then what you have left, you present to the person that was having trouble swallowing it in the first place and pretend that it's exactly the same thing as the thing they couldn't swallow. But it isn't at all! It's like totally different and cleaned up and morally less ambiguous! Fucking apples are the worst.

The Joker is busy having his big parade. Batman wants to shut it down because parades are garbage! I've never understood why people love parades. One of my least favorite pastimes is sitting in a crowd of people being aurally assaulted by brass sections and snare drums while the occasional horse shits right in front of me. Okay, that just reminded me of the best parts of parades. When horses used to shit right in the middle of the street and bands would have to march right through them if a pooper scooper clown couldn't get to it in time. I think now somebody has invented some kind of horse dump diaper catcher thing. Anyway, fucking parades are the worst.

The Joker's float has a couple of guests of honor on it!

It's the Waynes!

I hope Oswald Cobblepot doesn't recognize Thomas and Martha's skeletons or else he might figure out The Batman's secret identity! You know, because why else would The Joker put their corpses on a float to taunt The Batman?

With the revelation of Batman's parents on the float, I suddenly believe The Joker has a completely different motive for this entire fucking Endgame event. And it makes sense that the story is called "Endgame." Why would The Joker be pissing off Batman to this extent unless he's trying to commit suicide by Batman? It makes sense, right? The Joker goes to enormous lengths to make Batman believe he's immortal and then he completely pisses Bruce way the fuck off. Batman, believing The Joker can take more punishment than he really can (due to all the clues and also to having seemingly survived the gun blasts by Gordon which The Joker probably faked up somehow), kills the shit out of The Joker by accident. Perhaps The Joker laughs like a maniac as he dies because he finally got Batman to kill. Or maybe The Joker sheds a tear because he's just so fucking exhausted and he's so happy to be put out of his misery by his best friend and one true love.

I'm kind of falling in love with The Joker a little bit myself.

The crowd of psychotic revelers is too thick to make it to The Joker's float so Batman has Bane give him a leg up. Bane tosses Batman onto the dinosaur where the fuckfight to end all fuckfights is about to happen.

Except Batman fucks it all up. Once he gets The Joker in his grip, he takes a few seconds to talk to Penny-Two instead of jabbing a syringe into The Joker's spine. The Joker activates some kind of audio system that bombards everybody with laughter. The sound cracks the gas masks on everybody's faces and then The Joker releases a fast-acting toxic venom that will kill anybody not already infected with The Joker's previous toxin. And since The Batman is closest to The Joker, he sucks down the toxin first. But before he dies, The Joker is compelled by Comic Book Law to explain how the game was rigged and Batman was never going to be able to find a cure anyway! Because The Joker's internal Dionesium was tainted! Because the last mining shaft with any left was too deep under Gotham and rigged to blow! Because, well, because Batman is just a huge failure!

And then The Joker decides to remove the Bat-mask so that Batman can watch his city fall with the same eyes that watched his parents killed, the eyes...

We've been waiting for Dick to be revealed as not dead for months in the pages of Batman and Robin. I'm glad it didn't happen there because this was pretty fucking delicious.

Obviously Batman is down in the well getting the Dionesium because The Jeezly Crow Batman should a step or twenty ahead of his opponent. They don't call him The Batman for nothing!

That made more sense in my head before I typed it.

It seems Batman outwitted The Joker by figuring that The Joker had never shown this kind of healing factor in any other encounter before this. So if he begins with the assumption that The Joker only gained the power since their last encounter, perhaps The Joker discovered the pool of Dionesium after dropping deeper into the caverns at the end of Death of the Family. Batman got a look at the Court of Owls model of Gotham which had tunnels that seemed to agree with the theory. He then dropped his mapping ball into the pit The Joker fell into and he found the location. After that it was necessary to just keep The Joker misdirected. Dick put on the cowl and Batman went to work.

Batman has enough time to get a sample of the Dionesium but not enough time to get out himself before The Joker turns up.

Now we'll get the fuckfight to end all fuckfights! Although this one won't have a really great ass in it.

During the fight, The Joker gives Batman a happy face scar across his back which all of Bruce Wayne's future girlfriends are going to be intensely curious about. And The Batman doses The Joker with something that will block his healing ability. Then The Joker puts out Batman's eye with a playing card and then The Batman bites off The Joker's ear. I think they're both going to have to roll into that healing spring at this point.

A quick word about The Joker finding this healing spring deep in the caverns of Gotham's underground! Um, kudos to you, Scott Snyder! Something needed to happen to give The Joker his face back after Tony S. Daniel had it cut off in the first month or so of The New 52! I'm sure the pool will be destroyed so that it can't be abused after this story. But Batman will probably bring enough to the surface to help Alfred reattach his serving hand. Bruce Wayne can't have a butler with just one hand! What will the other rich bastards think?!

Eventually the two of them wind up exhausted, Rocky and Apollo style. At that point, it's time for another villain's speech except this time to Bruce's face instead of Bruce's Dick.

If this were a David Lynch movie, you'd have to figure all of this shit out for yourself. But comic book villains are nice and helpful!

Batman throws The Joker under a falling stalactite which breaks his back. He begins to crawl to the pool of Dionesium when The Batman gets him in a chokehold and begins playing a game of chicken with The Joker. He beats The Joker by making The Joker fear his own imminent death. He also gets The Joker to forgive Batman which is just icing on the cock. Cake! I said cake!

Now all Batman needs to do is take a quick soak in the Dionesium pool and everything will be as good as new!


Batman and The Joker lie together bleeding in the collapsing cave as Julia Pennyworth recovers the sample of Dionesium to save Gotham. Two weeks later, Alfred is in the hospital and The Batman is still missing. But he left a note which sends Alfred into a long ramble about what it means to be The Batman and how his story will always end in tragedy even when it doesn't have to. The tragic flaw and all that. The note simply says, "HA." Alfred interprets it as Bruce laughing at the void and accepting his death. Or something.

While Alfred rambles, the panels show the outside of the Gotham Royal Theater. At one point, a father and son limp by in shadow: the boy with a hat and jacket with the Robin "R" on it, the father using crutches with bandages on his face. A janitor cleans out the the theater and, in doing so, tosses the Deus Ex Machina into the dumpster. There will be no sudden salvation for Batman at the end of this story.

Batman #40 Rating: +1 Ranking. Well fuck. Alfred doesn't want his right hand back and Bruce didn't want to live. Great story but it still feels like a hallucination since it was about the death of Batman. Although I think Snyder gets to write that death of Batman story without actually having killed him. Comics being what they are, we'll never get a definitive end for Batman. But, as Snyder writes, we all know in our heart that Batman's story is a tragedy and must certainly end, one day, in his death even, as Alfred points out, it doesn't have to. And the final Batman story must always, also, be the final Joker story. So Snyder gets to write his final Batman story without making it an imaginary tale. And having the two month hiatus until next issue lets it feel like an ending. It's the best comic books can do since they're a continuing middle story without an end. But, comics being comics, we even get the glimpse of, most likely, Bruce and Damian walking down the street because the story must continue. Batman probably sucked The Joker's cock using up the last of the Dionesium in The Joker's system and then was dug out of the rubble by Damian who hurt his eye as well!

Addendum on the Possible (probable!) Hallucination Scenario:

Does the "HA." note make more sense if this is a nightmare? I think it does since the "nightmare" is much more like a joke. And something I didn't pick up on until a night's sleep was the whole aspect of equating Joker with death, "the Pale Man." The whole story is about Batman coming to terms with his own death. That's what the Scarecrow Toxin does. Makes him experience his death over and over again. By the final hallucination, the one that must inevitably be about The Joker, Batman accepts death as a friend and welcomes it instead of fears it. I was reading the final conversation as Batman toying with The Joker but he really is in a kind of manic, unstable mental state there at the end. He's elated that he's reached a point where he isn't desperately clinging to life. He doesn't fear for everybody else's safety if he's gone. Dick is there, and the others. And thus the "HA." being both a final laugh at this whole "joke" and also Batman coming to terms with death. He's reached a level of enlightenment and calm that he's not quite had up until this point. And that could be Snyder's "big change" to Batman. Maybe he'll be less uptight come June?

Convergence #3

What is the name of the villain with the knife? Gloryhole? Squick-Lass? Trepansy?

On a planet completely separated from all space and time, a battle to end all battles to end all battles is taking place! Sounds exciting, doesn't it?! Well, that battle isn't the concern of Convergence. Convergence follows the exploits of six lost Twofers tasked with ending the exciting battle before it can come to a satisfying conclusion. What a bunch of jerks! I'm paying four bucks a pop reading a bunch of comic books about super heroes battling to their deaths and these guys are trying to stop any of those deaths from taking place? If they fucking succeed, they'll owe me three hundred and twenty dollars for wasting my money! Then I'll make eighty dollars because I get a 25% discount on all of my comic books! I hope they succeed!

This issue begins with Green Lantern reminding the readers what was happening because it's been a whole week since we read the last issue and how can any of us be bothered to remember shit from last week? We can't even remember shit we texted to our friends because we were talking to other friends while texting and now neither of the conversations filtered into our long term memory. Fucking multitasking! You're ruining our brains! Any time somebody proudly proclaims to me that they're great at multitasking, my brain reinterprets what they're saying as "I will never fucking remember anything you tell me."

Having grown up an absent-minded person, I had to learn early on ways to keep from losing everything I ever set down. One of the first things I realized which helped me immensely was that if my mind was engaged on some task when I set something down, I'd never remember where I set that thing down. I had to train myself to always put things down in the same spot so I would never have to remember where I left something while my mind was otherwise occupied. Of course now if I leave my keys or wallet anywhere but in the place I've trained myself to leave them, they're fucking lost man! Also, you know how when you leave the house you can't remember if you turned off the curling iron or the oven or the home cat crematorium? It's because you almost definitely turned it off by rote. You don't remember that shit because you just do it as you're thinking about the other things you're doing. You're not actively concentrating on it, so it doesn't stick in your mind.

All that is to say multitasking is a fucking bullshit lie told by people who want to appear constantly busy (because that means they're living life to the lifiest!). Multitasking doesn't mean you're saving time. It means you're doing two or more things more shittily than if you were doing just the one thing. It also means that you're not going to retain details of both tasks. You will invariably concentrate more on one task and that will be the one you remember better. Although you'd remember it even betterer if it were the only task you were engaged in.

Multitasking can work though which is why the lie continues to be spread! But it only works in certain situations like if one of the tasks is something a monkey could do, or, you know, something you've done so often that you need no concentration on it. It also helps if one of the activities doesn't need to be remembered. So washing dishes and having a conversation with the man you're hiring to kill your husband is a valid multitasking situation. But having a conversation with your dying mother while texting your girlfriend about that weird mole on the underside of her breast isn't. Sure, you can do it! But you really should be fully present in only one of those situations at a time.

I listen to podcasts while I work because my job is so mechanical. But if a customer messes up my pattern of buffing the floor, I easily forget which aisles of the store I've buffed because I wasn't really paying enough attention to log it into my long term memory.

I know, I know! You're all the greatest multitaskers ever and I'm just an idiot and what I just said doesn't make any sense because you're so fucking awesome at all the multitasking ever! Don't listen to me then! I don't give a shit. Live your life the way you want to live it, man! Also, go read shit from people that completely agree with everything you think because that's fucking healthy.

Back to Green Lantern, here's what he had to say about last issue.

I couldn't even be bothered to crop this scan so that Green Lantern's entire face would show.

Why the fuck does Alan Scott correct himself from "we hope" to "no, we pray"? What the fuck is the difference besides adding a little delusion to your hoping? I can understand hoping to find a weapon. You're actively looking for a weapon and would like it to end in a positive manner. But what the fuck is up with adding the praying to it? Does that add a bleaker tone of desperation to the scene?

Deimos offers to lead the others underground where, I'm assuming, a kingdom of rebels who have escaped Telos's cities have gathered together in some kind of Anti-Telos dome of their own. But then they're attacked by Planet Brainiac's robots! Val-zod is dragged off in a smart web because that seems totally logical. Plus Alan tells The Flash that "at this rate, we'll never fight our way clear of them!" "At this rate"?! How about if The Flash stops fucking slowing down to say stupid shit like "Let's play Need for Speed! Oh look I won! Ha ha!" and just grab all the robots in one nanosecond and leave them on the other side of the planet?

Meanwhile Planet Brainiac threatens the Kandorians because they're the only city refusing to fight. I guess they didn't get matched up with another city then? Because every other city seems to have been matched up with at least one other city that is just dying to go to war! The Kandorians have way too much time to stand around philosophizing. Somebody send an Extremist or two into their midst. That will change their tune from "We're Not Gonna Take It" to some song about fighting and is current so I don't totally show my age.

Not to be (but I'm going to be anyway) pedantic but it's continued exposure to yellow sunlight! I guess this planet being lit by florescent Brainiac bulbs isn't going to help much.

Val-zod is saved by Dick Grayson and Thomas Wayne arriving on the scene in the Bat-Spaceship. But it's broken now because it was only leased for about three pages of use. Hopefully Thomas got more than the Bat-Spaceship from Bruce (like information, maybe?) because what good was the side trip to Gotham if the thing they gained was only used for three pages? Am I supposed to feel the trip was worth it because an obsolete version of Bruce Wayne got a warm fuzzy from getting to speak with a drug-addicted version of his father? The only way the trip was worth it is if we get some flashbacks to the scene of Alfred and Dick dueling with their cocks as they wait for Thomas and Bruce to stop hugging and crying.

Thomas reveals what he learned after visiting one Gotham: "Every city is either on the attack or under siege." I'm going to assume that he visited every other city in the Bat-Spaceship before returning to the other Twofers. Although he must have missed Kandor because they were engaged in their weekly book club.

By the way, Planet Brainiac kills all of the Kandorians because they were all crying like middle schoolers over their discussion of The Fault in Our Stars.

The Twofers decide they have no choice but to trust Deimos and follow him to whatever trap he's leading them into. Batman and Robin decide to stay behind because Batman is out of Miraclo (and Venom too, apparently). Besides, he sensed that somebody followed them from Gotham even though they were in a Bat-Spaceship and flew all around the world figuring out every city was engaged in the war. It must be somebody with an anti-bat ship! Like all of Batman's villains on the cover.

Skartaris must be where Charles Foster Kane went on that picnic.

The Twofers have made allies with the wrong character of the Warlord comic book! Now they're going to be viewed as the bad guys! I'm sure once they get their asses beat by Warlord, they'll turn on Deimos and join forces with the "good" guy.

In the heart of Skartaris, Shakira, Warlord's friend and/or pet cat, is collecting DC Characters with time powers inside a big glass bauble. She's trying to keep them from falling into the hands of Deimos who wants to clear up his wrinkles, I guess.

Back on the surface, Batman and Robin are attacked by a bunch of Bat-villains. Robin is pulled clear by Man-bat which allows Thomas to blow himself up. That kills all of the villains too, I believe. Now I hope Pre-Zero Hour Gotham survives (or whatever Gotham these guys are from) so that DC Comics can begin a Batman comic book with a whole bunch of new villains. What would become of a Batman living in a city that's pretty fucking safe and an enjoyable place to live?!

I think this page was misaligned by the printer.

Convergence #3 Rating: So Planet Brainiac is a little bit judgy, is he? How dare he condemn The Joker! As if he's the worst person to have ever lived! And in every timeline too! I'm supposed to believe the Joker is worse than Gertrude Stein?! Or post-religious zealot Dave Sim?! Or every troll on the internet even?! The Joker is getting a bad rap here. Also is Dick Grayson really paralyzed? How can he become the new Earth-2 Batman if he has to become the new Earth-2 Oracle?! This book is confusing!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015


The King of the Seas has a lot of responsibilities you might not have known about.

Aquaman! Aquaman! Loves to suck Dolphin Cock-waman!
Sucks a dong! Any size! Afterward he curls up and cries!
Look out! Aquaman has dolphin cum all over his face!

In the deep of the sea! In the darkness of a trench!
He will lick a pee-pee! In sea cum, he'll be drenched!

I have a joke now from a six year old: "What did the one piece of naan say about a joke that another piece of naan told him? That's naansense!"

Here is a joke I wrote that isn't funny at all. It's an example of jokes that aren't funny because sometimes we need examples of jokes that aren't funny to know what jokes are funny.

Knock knock!
Who's there?
Let's rape!
Let's rape who?
Seriously? You're into this suggestion?

That joke is the worst joke you can tell. Here is the best joke you can tell so you can rate any jokes you make by placing them somewhere in the spectrum of the best and the worst jokes ever:

Two men walked into a bar. The first man said, "Rape jokes are never funny." The second man said, "You got that right!" The bartender said, "Amen!" Everybody applauded.

The reason I suddenly had rape jokes on my mind is because Doom Bunny mentioned that guy who wrote the book Wet Goddess about his six month sexual relationship with a dolphin named Dolly. I said it would be interesting to read Dolly's book about the "relationship": A Dolphin's Rape Tale. Doom Bunny suggested Dolly's book should be called "The Creepy Guy Who Sneaks Into My Tank At Night" and Other Short Stories. I think that's a pretty good title.

Anyway, Aquaman!

That is a humiliating attachment.

What's worse than Aquaman? Aquaman with a wacky willy hand attachment! What's better than Aquaman? The Brave and the Bold cartoon version of Aquaman. I don't get how that hasn't become the standard portrayal of Aquaman. It's fucking genius. Somebody finally gave Aquaman a personality other than Stern Undersea King and yet it's seen as a parody or a joke character. From now on, Brave and the Bold Aquaman is the only Aquaman in my headcanon. And my late night masturbatory fantasies.

The couple rescued by Aquaman scurry away hoping not to be noticed by him. I guess he's gone a little bit crazy being separated from his fishy friends for so long. And probably Mera as well. Maybe mostly Mera. Or just the sea in general.

Cat Grant is doing a feature story on Aquaman for Dateline Metropolis because nobody has ever heard of a blog in Pre-Zero Hour Metropolis.

"He grants no interviews (get it? Cat Grant?!) so this entire report is pure speculation!"

Aquaman is paying a visit to STAR Labs because somebody needs to mention how he still retains his powers because they're part of his biology. Except for his ability to speak with fish! I was worried nobody in Metropolis could currently talk to fish and now my worst fear has been confirmed! How are the people of Metropolis getting by without an influx of new fish jokes?!

Aquaman's contact at STAR Labs is Dane Dorrance of The Sea Devils! Wow! How did Aquaman get such a huge guest star for his Convergence book?! A real, honest-to-goodness Sea Devil! If I were wearing panties, they'd be around my ankles right now!

And then Planet Brainiac interrupts your regularly scheduled Aquaman is a Schlub joke. Aquaman runs up on the roof and falls in love!

It's like in Elfquest when one Elf recognizes another Elf and is all, "Cskyr?" And the other Elf is all, "Splart?" And they're all, "We can make the babies now!" Aquaman is all, "Deathblow? Deathblow? Why is that name suddenly all I can think about?!"

Meanwhile, Deathblow has taken a field trip to the Metropolis division of the DEO. Was Mister Bones running the DEO back in 1994? Or whatever year Zero Hour took place in? Because Mister Bones making an appearance would be grand! Maybe he's waiting to star in the Infinity, Inc issue.

Deathblow murders a bunch of people because he's such a typical nineties guy! He's got death in his name! And a word used in place of "oral sex"! And he's got a lot of guns! This guy is so cool he's now my favorite comic book character ever! Also I may have never gotten over the nineties.

Oh! And he smokes cigars! He's the tip toppiest, most cat's pajamaiest super hero to ever be created!

Oh! Did you notice how he stepped on that fish!? That was like literary symbolism or something! It means he's gay! It's almost as clever as when you find out Beowulf is gay in that dragon chapter! Of course the really perceptive readers knew as soon as Grendel's mother came around to kill the man that broke her son's heart.

Convergence: Aquaman #1 Rating: I hope Deathblow wins this battle! He's such a badass! I wonder how many people thought of Deathblow as their favorite character back when he first appeared? I suppose anyone who was a thirteen year old male idiot at the time he came on the comic book scene was probably a fan. I know I'm a fan! Although he was more interesting when he was black in The New 52 Grifter! You know, before he was bleached white in The New 52 Deathstroke!


Yay! Teen Plus! That probably means Catwoman has sex!

Convergence: Suicide Squad #1 was rated "Teen Plus" because it has a powerful woman leading the group. It might also be because it could get incredibly violent but since the first issue was just Amanda Waller walking around being tough, I'm only speculating on the violence part (okay, Toyman was shot in the face but who hasn't had that dream multiple times?) while I have proof that the comic features a strong woman of color.

I hate that phrase: People of Color. I wish the racists would start using it as an insult so society can come up with a better term for non-white people. While we're at it, can we get rid of "white" as a descriptor? I wouldn't mind being referred to as a pink male from now on. Although if I spend any time in the sun, you'll have to refer to me as an olive male. Sometimes I even look quite like a tumbleweed (that's a sanctioned Crayola Crayon color!) male.

Hey, did y'all know that cancer is a thing and it kills people and that's bad and sad and it would be cool if cancer were stopped?

Whew! I feel like I accomplished something with my stupid comic book commentaries now because I just raised awareness for cancer. Also, sometimes when you walk outside barefoot, you could step on broken glass. Boom! Just raised awareness for that too! I'm fucking Mother Theresa all of a sudden. I mean, I am claiming to be her with vulgar authority not sticking my dick in her vagina.

I derailed my "Teen Plus" conversation! So, um, this issue is rated "Teen Plus" because I'm guessing Catwoman shows an interest in sex. She might even claim to enjoy it. And we can't have young males knowing that women enjoy having sex or their heads will fucking explode. I mean, I just typed the sentence "She might even claim to enjoy it" and I almost orgasmed in my pants.

This issue begins with Catwoman in her purple suit crashing through a skylight because she's a Copy Catwoman! Har har! I'm going to call up my mother and tell her that joke.

First off, who wrote this? Justin Gray? Justin, Justin, Justin. Catwoman is a cat burglar! She's a cat which means she's supposed to be sneaky and quiet. Although it seems like I might be wrong about that. If my cat Pelafina were breaking into a museum to steal some super huge jewels, she'd walk in going, "Hello? Hello? HELLO? HELLO? HELLO? HELLO? HELLO? HELLO? HELLO? HELLO? HELLO? HELLO? HELLO? HELLO? HELLO? HELLO? HELLO? HELLO? HELLO?" So maybe Justin Gray got this right, especially for the whole Copycat Joke which I pretended to write but Justin really wrote it without calling attention to it. Scott Lobdell would have put the joke right in a Narration Box to make sure the idiotic readers didn't miss his stupid fucking joke. God, he's a jerk.

Maybe I should scan a picture just to make things more interesting?

Whoa! Those are some crazy big Teen Pluses.

This encounter is taking place before the dome drops. It's just giving the reader a good reason for Catwoman being in Metropolis. "There are sparkly, shiny jewels in Metropolis. Therefore Catwoman was in Metropolis." That's sound logic! Guess who else is in Metropolis according to the next comic book in my stack?! Aquaman! I wish Catwoman and Aquaman would wind up in a relationship. And of course I'm using "relationship" as a euphemism for "sweaty fuck lodge."

Gabe Eltaeb colored this comic book. I've been meaning to write a letter to Gabe for some time. I think I'll do it here and hope he reads it.

Dear Gabe,

Did you love to eat at Fat Albert's and Roma's while at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley? You were probably so cool that you once had your dick sucked in the Michener Library by Dr. Worley. Although the smell of cow dung in the air probably put you off a bit. Did you ever meet Connie Willis? She was the best. One time at the Sigma Tau Delta Halloween thing, A Little Night Music, Daniel Justice (now a noted author in his own right) read my story "A Really Scary Story" and Connie Willis heard it. So I've written a story that was once heard by a Hugo winner! How about that, Gabe!? I don't know why I'm telling you all of this, Gabe. I guess because I feel a bond with you because you went to the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley and I got drunk there a lot while visiting my friend Doom Bunny. Anyway, cheers!

Yours Truly,
Grunion Guy

P.S. Did you read that part where I mentioned Connie Willis once had one of my stories read to her?!

This issue is called Schrödinger's Cat because why wouldn't it be? All the cool kids love to mention that darn cat!

Anyway, the dome drops and one year later, everything has turned to shit. At least in Suicide Slums. Where, um, it was shit already. So I guess nothing has really changed much at all.

This scene is so sexist. Why are there only guys hunting people for sport?

Remember the days before the internet when you could mention "Schrödinger's Cat" and nobody would know what the fuck you were talking about?! Those were the good old days! When you could know some shit that nobody else knew and sound like a huge big shot at a party where everybody was getting drunk and eventually getting laid while you sat in a corner with all of your esoteric, bullshit knowledge that never once made a single pair of panties drop. Now with the internet, everybody thinks it's cool to know stuff! Fuck you assholes! You don't know what it was like in the Wild West before the internet! You all run around claiming the name of "nerd" and "geek" but you don't remember what it was like to actually be one before it garnered a shit-ton of cultural capital. If you ever want to know what it was like to be a fucking comic book reader before the internet, pick up a copy of Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth and read all that tiny print on the inside front cover. I know the popular, correct, modern way to respond to that now is to point out how bullshit sexist it is because it's written from a guy's point of view. But fuck you and your modern sensibilities! You didn't live through the Nerd Holocaust of the Eighties! It was the worst holocaust ever!

I may have damaged my point with that holocaust hyperbole but I stand by my statement! Because I lived through the Eighties and whatever I went through is obviously more important than anything anybody else ever went through! Duh!

She's talking about sex! And blow jobs! Of the male and female kind! Teen Plus!

She's talking about his cum! Or his socks?

That fucking "Teen Plus" rating! It's got my mind in the gutter! Seriously! Why am I reading a Catwoman comic book and purely thinking about Catwoman in sexual situations (mostly with Batman (and inside a box full of poison))? It's not because she's sexy! It's because she's been sexualized by the "Teen Plus" rating! I'm getting a little bit tired of Catwoman and Batwoman automatically getting "Teen Plus" ratings on their books. Since The New 52 began, comic books with on-panel decapitations have not earned "Teen Plus" ratings but Catwoman and Batwoman consistently have a "Teen Plus" rating. When I see that on the cover, I know it's because of the female lead and her healthy attitude towards fucking (even if no sex takes place in the issue. Like the majority of Catwoman and Batwoman comics. So why the fucking rating, DC?). So right on the cover, before I even have a chance to simply enjoy Catwoman as the individual, non-objectified being she deserves to be, she's objectified. Change the fucking policy of "Teen Plus" ratings on comic books with mature female leads who enjoy sex, DC. Or stick a fucking Teen Plus rating on all of your Batman books, mmkay?

Well at least it wasn't immoral, amirite?!

I love the phrase "looting, lawlessness, rampant amoral behavior." At least (and probably more than) 50% of all the amoral behavior was good shit! People doing things but not caring if they were moral or immoral. But some of what they were doing, by an outside observer who did care, might think, "Oh, what a moral, upstanding person! Doing that thing that is so moral!" While the person doing the thing is all, "Hum de dum dum dum. I'm just doing this thing because I want to. Dum dee dum."

Meanwhile the guy judging rampant amorality because he probably wants more rampant immorality is the current head of Intergang, Mr. Mannheim Steamroller. He's taking control of Metropolis in much the way Tobias Whale thought he was taking over Metropolis. Does Catwoman know Bruce is in town?! I bet she'd like to test drive his new spine.

Catwoman doesn't like how Intergang is extorting the populace of Metropolis (or whatever they're doing. They're criming things up!). But mostly she's simply upset that they kidnapped a scientist that was helping her part of the city, Suicide Slums. She's so rampantly amoral!

Anyway, Catwoman raids Intergang to free her useful friend which is when Planet Brainiac tolls the bell which tolls for you, by the way, since you're asking.

And immediately after Planet Brainiac's message ends, Kingdom Come Batman arrives with his dick in his hand and a lecture in his back pocket. Fucking asshole. Catwoman isn't your plaything, asshole!

Although I do hope they fuck. I'm a romantic!

Convergence: Catwoman #1 Rating: Great issue! Good issue! Decent issue! I'm losing confidence in my review fast! Seriously though before I thoroughly confuse jelyde1, I enjoyed this issue. I guess Justin Gray can write without Jimmy Palmiotti looking over his shoulder, offering words of encouragement, and rubbing his stiff cock on the back of Justin's neck.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Convergence: Superboy #1

Everybody put on their leather jackets in solidarity!

The New 52 Superboy has been a complete disaster. But I don't know if Pre-Zero Hour Superboy was really any better. I'm not one to judge because I never followed the post-Death of Superman story. Every now and then I'd ask somebody, "What the fuck is up with that Steel guy?" Or "Who the hell is that Cyborg guy?" Or "Seriously? Superboy in a leather jacket?" Or "Have the Newsboy Legion returned to keep Metropolis safe while Superman rots in the ground?" And then not long after that, I was all, "What the fuck is up with electric Superman?" and "Red and Blue whatzits now?!"

Seriously. I didn't follow Superman at all. The only reason I collected the DC Comics Presents series was because I liked reading about different characters and that was the best DC Comics book on the shelf at the time to read stories based on a variety of characters. They often weren't the best stories but what could you do? If you wanted well written comic books at the time, you needed to be reading Cerebus and Elfquest.

This issue is written by Fabian Nicieza so it's going to be horrible! Although the last Convergence issue he did, Titans #1, wasn't bad at all. That was disappointing. I hope he tried less on this issue.

For the first time since The New 52 began, a Superboy comic book doesn't begin with "My name is Superboy" and then all that shit about NOWHERE and being a living weapon. Yes, I'm exaggerating. There were a few issues that didn't begin that way. But not enough to matter.

For the last year, Dubbilex and Serling have been running tests on Superboy in an effort to return his powers to him. A full year with no results. This probably says a lot about me and nothing about Dubbilex and Serling but I would have quit after a week. And not even a full week! A work week! Then I'd be out of that lab and off playing with stray cats.

This is why I would have quit after a week. They probably knew all this shit after the first week and now just keep going back over it again and again. Don't they know there are stray cats to play with?!

Does anybody want to buy a slightly used copy of Convegence: Superboy #1? I left it squashed up in the scanner over night and the humidity from my office full of farts has warped it somewhat. Plus it's been read by me and has my DNA all over it, so super find, really! Eventually when science catches up to our imaginations, you'll be able to clone me from my DNA left on a copy of a comic book about a clone! Then instead of waiting weeks for me to type up a commentary about a comic book that you've read only to find I made one joke that wasn't even really a joke but I made a comment about how it was a crappy joke which was the only way you knew it was a joke, you could have your own clone of me sitting around making hilarious comments about the comic books you buy! Although I might say some really racist and sexist stuff as well. And don't introduce me to your mother because I will be getting into those panties.

And when I say my DNA is in this comic book, don't assume I shot a load over Superboy in tight pants. I was jerking it to super straight heterosexual pornography and the comic book just happened to be in my firing range.

Ugh! Why do old people think young people want to listen to them ramble?!

How come nobody has started a Medical Magic Mushrooms movement? I'm constantly bothered by these nagging aches in reality.

The comic book takes a surprise twist when the dome falls and Superboy regains his powers And then Telos declares a competition will take place between the cities he's collected. Oh! I get it now! Why didn't every other comic book make it clear that all of these things were linked together?!

I feel like Luthor now but does everybody all the time have to proclaim that they might see a bird in the sky? Is it that fucking surprising to see a bird fly by? Or an airplane? Who are these easily amazed assholes? And another thing: do people in real life point at shit as often as people in comic books do?

As soon as the dome falls, Kingdom Come's champions instantly infiltrate Pre-Zero Hour Metropolis. Sure, they have The Flash on their side so I guess I'll believe it. But Planet Brainiac leaves the whole competition thing pretty vague. I'm surprised how quickly so many champions know exactly what they're supposed to be doing. That surprise could just come from being a lousy adult that doesn't know how to organize anything. When terrorists flew planes into the World Trade Center, I was less shocked and upset by the death and destruction as I was impressed that they could organize something like that. Man, if I were in charge of the world...well, Magic Mushrooms would be medicine, for one thing.

Superboy is ambushed by Red Robin (the Dick one not the Harvest one) who smothers him with kryptonite gas and kicks him in the face. After that, Red Robin suggests that they talk instead of fight. I don't know. I think once you've kicked me in the face, I'm not exactly going to give a shit about your opinions on anything. It's a bit of a pet peeve of mine. Superboy might feel differently though since he's probably been punched in the face by Supergirl for no reason on multiple occasions.

Superboy does that tactile telekinesis thing that always sounds a bit pervy to me and knocks some buildings on The Flash and Red Robin. But that's when Kingdom Come Superman arrives to suggest that they work together to save both of their Metropolises. Kingdom Come Superman has an inherent distrust for youthful heroes without patience or any idea of responsibility. Which makes one wonder, then, why he decides to taunt Superboy instead of acting like the adult and saying something encouraging like, "I need your help, Superboy of another world! Will you kick at my side not as a sidekick but as a peer and lover?" Okay, maybe he might want to leave out the lover part since young men are prone to fits of homophobic discomfort.

Superman's line sounds like copy from a NAMBLA pamphlet.

Convergence: Superboy #1 Rating: Not a bad attempt at a Zero Hour era Superboy story. Although I'd prefer not to have Dubbilex telling me what he's thinking the whole time. Get out of my head, telepath! I'd much rather hear Superboy's thoughts about how he can never live up to the legend that is Superman and how he totally wishes he could fuck that woman that he passed by or that other woman that he passed by just now or that woman coming up that he's about to pass by or the other women across the street or the ones he remembered thinking about wanting to fuck the day before and the women that he'll meet tomorrow. Here's a glimpse inside the mind of Superboy who is really Superteenagedboy: "Sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex! Meat-lovers Pizza (not gay man meat, of course! Pshaw! Sheesh! Yuck!). Sex sex sex sex sex sex! Popeye's biscuits! Sex sex sex sex sex sex! When am I going to have sex?! Or Popeyes!?"

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Convergence: Justice League International #1


Justice League International only has two speeds: comic relief or horrible tragedy. I wonder which one we'll get this time!

This issue is called "It Only Hurts When I Laugh" which is probably a pretty apt title for the Justice League International I just described in the previous paragraph. It begins with Metallo marching down the street in front of the Daily Planet proclaiming that he shall be the new leader of Metropolis. That sounds like the cue for Booster and Beetle to drop in and make a dumb joke!

Or just Beetle.

So Roy Harper's cybernetic arm didn't work under the Dome but Red Tornado is fully functional. Do Martian Manhunter's powers work since they're part of his physiology and not actually super-powers? He obviously has his shapechanging ability still or else he'd look like a monstrous alien freak. No offense!

Blue Beetle makes sure to mention how they adapted Red Tornado's tech so that he could retain his powers so that fanboys like me can just suck it with our whiny bitching over every little pathetic detail. I get it, Blue Beetle! I'm annoying! I should just sit back and enjoy whatever DC Comics shoves in my face: shoddy characterization; implausible plot points; huge, erect, pre-cum dripping phalluses. I got the message! I need an attitude adjustment.

Blue Beetle has spent the last year working on new technologies to protect Metropolis when he should have been practicing his banter. His witty rejoinders just weren't good enough to balance out whatever tragedy is going to befall them by the end of this issue. After they defeat Metallo, Blue Beetle is already left with a broken arm with the owner of a nearby store taking him to task for destroying his restaurant in the melee. At the point the guy says Blue Beetle isn't a real hero is when, if I were Blue Beetle, I'd decide to fix up Metallo and set him loose on the streets of Metropolis. Fuck that ungrateful asshole. He's lucky he's not currently being used as a flesh socket for a robot dongle.

Later at Justice League International Headquarters, Beetle debriefs his team.

You traitor to the robot race, Tornado.

After the meeting, Fire tells Beetle that she wants to fuck but he's all, "No, I need to tend to my bug." Nobody makes a masturbation joke because they are all apparently from Mars.

That's funny. According to The New 52 Teen Titans, the Martians were all about justice and no mercy. You'd think a race that revered poets would be all up inside mercy.

J'onn has a sense of humor, Ted, it's just too subtle for fucking slap-monkeys like you and Booster. J'onn was also making a joke about joining you and Bea in bed, idiot. Or maybe it was a serious suggestion? If he still has his shapeshifting ability (which he must because look at him being all shapeshifted to look human!), he can fill all of their holes!

If Martian Manhunter ever makes it onto one of the new DC Comics television shows, he needs to be played by Andre Braugher.

Ted and J'onn have a boring conversation about the state of their world and their place in trying to keep it from falling apart. Thankfully they're interrupted by Planet Brainiac's Battle Games announcement.

The team congregates on the roof to listen to Planet Brainiac's message. When it's over and the dome is gone, they all discover that their powers have returned. Red Tornado observes silently and then the sad Charlie Brown music plays and he walks off to go sit back in the storage closet and turn himself off.

Justice League International's opponents arrive in a crack of thunder and flash of lightning. They are Wonder Woman, Captain Marvel, and a bunch of other Kingdom Come versions of characters like Obsidian, Jade, Blue Beetle, and others. Suffice to say with just Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel, I think they're powerful enough to destroy Justice League International. I know the JLI has Martian Manhunter and Captain Atom on their team, so they've got some pretty major fire power as well. But judging from their history? Half of them will be dead by the end of the next issue which might actually be cancelled halfway through the book.

Convergence: Justice League International #1 Rating: After Ambush Bug and Cheek's appearance at the end of Supergirl: Matrix #1, everything else is just going to be disappointing! Not to mention most of the stuff written by Ron Marz is also going to be disappointing. So this issue was doubly disappointing! I wish it would have concentrated on J'onn's search for just one more fucking Oreo left in the city. Or Blue Beetle talking to a Booster Gold hand puppet that he keeps strapped to the copilot's seat in the Bug. Even if the whimsical Justice League International can be a little much with the constant banter, the endless bickering, and the constant breaking of each other's balls, I still found it preferable to the Justice League International in which half of the members were constantly being hospitalized or killed. Maybe it's just time to forget this team ever existed.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Convergence: Suicide Squad #1

This is a worse Squad than the current New 52 Squad!

I suppose this Suicide Squad is somewhat believable if all the members have bought into the supposition that they are fighting for their very existence. Otherwise why the fuck would Cyborg Superman be on the team? I'm fairly certain a nano-bomb implanted into his neck either isn't going to blow up when detonated, or isn't going to be implanted for long, or isn't going to really hurt him much when it does blow anyway. And, as I've said before, why the fuck would Deathstroke be on the team unless he was getting paid a ton of money? And isn't one of the selling points of the Squad to the government that it's a cheap method of solving politically problematic problems?

Also, Amanda Waller isn't fat enough! It needed to be said!

I actually don't care if Amanda had suddenly lost a lot of weight during the year under the Dome. The biggest grievance I have against The New 52 Amanda Waller is that she was turned into an action hero. That undercuts what makes her interesting by taking away her real power which is her tenacity, stubbornness, and strength of will. Instead of facing down super villains because she was just that bad ass and threatening, The New 52 Amanda faces down super villains because she can actually physically kick their ass. I don't know about y'all but that takes a little something special away from her character that I've sorely missed.

The issue begins with Amanda Waller dying. Which means it will soon go to 24 hours earlier. Because comic book writers don't truly understand the term "in media res." While Waller is dying, she's speaking with Kingdom Come Green Lantern about how she failed. Then a mysterious person with a gun appears and shoots somebody. Probably Green Lantern since the reader is expected to believe the person has betrayed Amanda and is shooting her.

Oh, excuse me. It's forty-eight hours earlier and Toyman is having dinner with Floyd Lawton.

How is Lawton supposed to find the real Superman if he's not flying around in red and blue?

While the deal is going down, Planet Brainiac removes the dome and a guy at a nearby table turns into Atomic Skull. That causes Toyman to try to back out of the deal since he could spend his million dollars on a better assassin than Deadshot. But that just gets Toyman shot in the head and killed. Toyman didn't die on a mission for the Suicide Squad but it's nice to see at least one C-lister die in a Suicide Squad comic book! That New 52 Squad just can't seem to pull the trigger. But what do you expect from a team that stacks itself with characters you know DC Comics will never kill.

With the dome down, General Lane calls up Amanda Waller to get the Suicide Squad back in operation. The first thing I notice is that Tom Mandrake has no idea how to draw fat people. I'm not a fan of his art in general. I remember reading Ostrander's The Spectre way back when and really being disappointed by the art, even though it kind of works in that book.

The Suicide Squad's current target is Kingdom Come Green Lantern. Surprise! He's made a city called New Oa floating over the Metropolis of Kingdom Come. That's where the Suicide Squad needs to attack him. Or maybe they can just approach him and say, "Hey! If you can make this, can't you make a ship to take everybody out of here? And could you maybe get Magog to strangle Planet Brainiac and/or shoot him in the face with his stupid gun?"

I'd like to amend my previous statement about Tom Mandrake's art! "Tom Mandrake has no idea how to draw fat people."

I know, I know! It's his artistic style! Well, I don't like it! But I'm not saying other people might not love it. One of the reasons I have a hard time commenting on the art is because I love a lot of styles of art that other people can't stand. And some styles that I hate, other people love. Although it's nice when an artist truly can't draw because then I get to bash Marat Mychaels to my heart's content!

Amanda Waller insists on going on the mission which is just fucking stupid. Fuck you, Tieri. Amanda going on a suicidal mission is stupid. Unless the main part of her plan is to be a victim so that they can catch Green Lantern unaware, then this is bullshit. So I'm going to believe that Tieri knows what he's doing even though he has done nothing in The New 52 to prove that he can write a decent story. If he has, I don't remember it and that alone is proof enough for me that he hasn't.

Carol Ferris is also going to go on the mission as Star Sapphire. The other members of the team? Look at the cover! Bane! Black Manta! Deathstroke! But those are the new members! The old members are the ones I'm excited to read about! Count Vertigo! Deadshot! Bronze Tiger! Poison Ivy! And Captain Boomerang!

I hope Deadshot kills Count Vertigo while on the away mission!

Cyborg Superman is also on the team.

Hey, Sian Mandrake! Why'd you make Carol black?! Yes, that's supposed to be Carol in the second panel.

Meanwhile Oracle is reaching out to Kingdom Come Lex Luthor to see if he'll betray his world. He's up for it. I suppose that means he's the guy with the gun at the beginning of the comic book?

Convergence: Suicide Squad #1 Rating: Look. Any version of the Suicide Squad after John Ostrander's version is going to suck Superman's balls. So I didn't have high hopes for their return in Convergence. At least putting a mediocre writer on the book kept me from getting my hopes up. And now I wasn't disappointed! It really wasn't much of a story to critique anyway. The best part was Deadshot and Toyman's scene at the beginning. The rest was just pre-game bullshit and player introductions. I don't mind if next issue is bad. I just want to see a lot of characters die because this story doesn't really matter, right?

Convergence: Supergirl: Matrix #1

This issue should be called "Supergirl: Bum #1".

One of the reasons I can't stand lawmakers (as opposed to how I like everybody else so much) is how they spring to action to create a new law for public safety whenever anybody dies or gets hurt. But they only do it to make it look like they're doing something positive instead of merely sitting in a domed building collecting money from lobbyists to create fucked up laws that nobody ever hears about. They don't want people to know about those laws but if they spend all their time making those laws, it looks like they're slacker politicians that spent their term playing Angry Birds. So up here in Oregon quite a few years back (there are other more recent examples but I want to go with this one!), a police officer was killed on the side of the highway while performing a traffic stop when a car veered off the highway and hit him. So law makers rushed to create a law that said drivers have to move to the left and clear the lane by the shoulder if a traffic stop is taking place. The only problem with this stupid fucking law is that it wouldn't have saved the police officer's life in the accident that prompted the law because the kid that hit him fell asleep at the wheel. But the politician who came up with it got to stand around proudly proving that they were committed to the safety of the public! Or at least public servants. Plus it was a nice stupid fucking law that could probably raise some revenue through ticketing.

Lawmakers also tend to make laws that actually do the opposite of public safety. I would argue that laws proclaiming that pedestrians always have the right of way makes crossing the street more dangerous. People are stubborn and careless with their lives when they know they're in the right. Here's how to make everybody safer on the streets: tell them their lives are in their own hands and allow everybody to build up their cars like the cars in Road Warrior. Then turn traffic court into Thunderdome.

Goddammit. I actually had real points to make and then I couldn't stay serious. I should go into politics just to see if I could get the Mad Max Bill passed!

This comic book was written by Keith Giffen so should we set up the Supergirl Version of the Keith Giffen Drinking and Eating Cookies Game (last seen in Threshold #8)? If you want the game to be wholesome family fun, you can choose to drink milk. Let me remind you of the rules!

1. Whenever a character says “literally”, you have to take a shot. If they use it correctly (very rare!), you get to eat a cookie instead!
2. Whenever a character defies another character (without violence), drink.
3. Whenever a character acts rationally and engages in normal conversation when confronted with defiance or potential violence, eat a cookie!
4. Drink every time somebody is punched or kicked or hit with electricity.
5. Eat a cookie every time something is annotated.
6. Finish your drink whenever a character dies. Or thinks they've died. Or comments about how they're going to die. Finish everybody's drink if the character is Blue Beetle or Booster Gold.
7. Eat a cookie every time Keith Giffen writes a meta-textual statement.
8. Drink after every time you turn a page.
9. Drink every time the panel layout looks like the opening to the Brady Bunch. Although this is more of a Keith Giffen as artist rule.
10. Take a dainty sip of alcohol and a tiny bite of a cookie whenever Supergirl's bum makes an appearance. Okay, this doesn't have anything to do with Giffen but look at that cute bum!
11. Drink whenever Batman makes an appearance (mandatory rule for all DC Comics Drinking Games).
12. Two drinks if Lady Quark and Lord Volt bicker.
13. Eat a cookie and take a drink whenever a joke is repeated. If you remember the joke from a previous Keith Giffen comic book, write a letter of complaint to DC Comics.
14. Finish your drink if Planet Brainiac mentions a convergence!
15. Drink if Supergirl punches somebody before asking their name; eat a cookie of Supergirl is punched while asking the other person their name.
16. Drink and eat a cookie if you have to read some dialogue more than once to get the gist of what they're saying.
17. Down three shots if Supergirl and Lady Quark kiss.
18. Finish your drink with a cookie in your mouth if one of Giffen's jokes actually makes you laugh out loud (Eee! Tess Ate Chai Tea is not responsible if you choke like an idiot).
19. Eat a cookie every time a female character does a Boob/Butt Showcase (if the character is Supergirl, remember Rule #10!). Drink a beer every time a male character does.
20. Finish a six pack if Ambush Bug somehow makes an appearance in this comic book.

I don't know if I'm going to remember all of these rules as I read the comic book because I just made most of them up. At least when I made up the rules for the Threshold Drinking Game, I had seven previous issues to know exactly what Giffen loved doing with the characters in that comic book. But he's still Giffen so I have a feeling most of the rules have a pretty good chance of taking place. Except the Ambush Bug one and the one where one of Giffen's jokes makes me laugh.

Uh oh! Get your cookies and drinks ready!

Eat four cookies for the four annotations even though two of them are commenting on the same bit of text. I think the title of the comic, "Who the Hell is Lord Volt?", qualifies as a meta-textual comment, wouldn't you? Eat up! Take a dainty sip and tiny bite because Supergirl's fantastic bum is totally right there in your face. I think you should eat one cookie for Supergirl's Boob/Butt Showcase and throw a cookie against the wall for Lady Quark's horribly aborted attempt at one. Also, is her costume painted on her? And I'm going to have to finish my drink with a cookie in my mouth because the title did make me laugh. Dammit.

Take a drink because we're turning to page 2!

Supergirl meets up with Lex Luthor pouting in the park. Since he has red hair and isn't bald, I'm guessing this is the Junior Alexander Luthor variety. I think he's depressed because Superman was away on business when Metropolis was taken away. Now he has nobody to try to kill. Nothing worthy of drinking or eating cookies happens on pages 2 and 3, so drink again as we turn the page.

On Page 4, Brainiac makes the Multiversal Thunderdome announcement but skips the line about a Convergence, so it's a missed opportunity to finish your drink. If you're thirsty, you can say "Bugger all!" to the rules and just drink whenever you want, you know. I prefer anarchy anyway.

Turning to Page 5 so take a drink!

The dome recedes and Supergirl gets her powers back. Although I guess she retained her natural, protoplasmic ability to look like Supergirl or else she would have spent the last year in a Petri dish. Thanks to the advertisements, we're now turning the page again to Page 6! Drunk! I mean drink!

Luthor, while being a complete dick to Supergirl, mentions how much he hates when people say, "Look! Up in the sky!" I think that qualifies as a meta-textual comment. Eat a cookie!

I don't know if this qualifies as Rule #16 but I reread it a few times before realizing I'm not meant to understand exactly what Supergirl is talking about yet. So eat and drink. Or not. Whatever!

Turning the page! I've lost count of the number! Drinks!

On the page I can't remember, Lady Quark and Lord Volt make their first appearance. And even though I've never read a comic book where Keith Giffen has written these two characters, they pull off Rule #12 about...let me count the panels...five times! Possibly more! I don't know if this is all one big bicker or several bickers across time!

I'm not sure Giffen knows how to write dialogue that isn't complete bickering. If I had made the rule any time any two characters bicker, we'd all be dead by now. And fifty pounds heavier.

Turning another page! Drink up, sluts!

This is the page where the confrontation happens! Lord Volt threatens Supergirl but Lady Quark doesn't approve of the way he does it and they begin to bicker for the rest of the page while ignoring Supergirl. I think the page has five completely separate topics about which they bicker. So that's ten drinks!

Plus a dainty mini-meal! Rule #10 is the best! Okay, turn the page! I said turn the page! I said...get your hand out of your pants! Jesus!

I can't be completely sure that Giffen is repeating jokes from other comic books but I have a feeling he's just writing Blue Beetle and Booster Gold and told Timothy Green II to draw them as Lady Quark and Lord Volt. So you should probably write a letter to DC Comics. I don't know what their new West Coast address is though!

Lady Quark calls Lord Volt gay and Lord Volt mentions how black that kettle is and then Supergirl is all, "Y'all are both so very, very gay!" Then Lady Quark and Lord Volt are all, "Look who's talking!" And Supergirl is all, "I'm a protoplasmic ball of organic slime! I have children by fission! Which is probably what Luthor was hinting at back there when he was talking about a spurt of children!"

Look, this comic book is just one long bickerfest. Just finish all the alcohol you have in the house. Plus a bite of cookie because that bum!

After Lord Volt says that "There you go again" line, Lady Quark hits him with an electric bolt. That's a drink. When she does that, she doesn't go into a Boob/Butt Showcase exactly but she definitely develops the waist of an Escher Girl.

That costume is definitely painted on.

Supergirl flies off to mess with the gadget Luthor gave her and to let Lady Quark and Lord Volt fight it out. While she does, I need to catch up on my drinking after all that bickering. I should probably just finish the huge bottle of sake in the fridge. Be right back!


Okay! Now I'm ready to fake being drunk!

Lady Gaga and Lord Voldemort catch up to Superbum and say, "You and us and me are going to battle, you got that, tits?" And Tits is all, "I have the things to do that don't involve the punching and the kicking and the electric bolt blasting." Then the beards bicker for awhile. Then they turn back to Supergirl and go, "No. We must fight now. It's in the contract, see?" So Supergirl is all, "Okay!"

But then after agreeing to fight, Lord Volt is all, "Wait! What?! She wants to fight Lord Volt?!" And Lady Quark is all, "More like Lord Homo!" And he's all, "Oh, that's nice coming from Lady Queer!" And the readers are all, "Jesus Christ, Tess! What the fuck?" And Tess is all, "Are you fucking reading this comic book? I'm only slightly fucking paraphrasing this shit!" And the readers are all, "That's no excuse!" And Tess is all, "Stop picking on me! I have feelings too!" And the readers are all, "Oh, so you can dish it out but you can't take it?" And Tess who is me is all, "I'm going to quit if I'm criticized!" And Scott Lobdell is all, "Welcome to the club!" And I'm all, "I wish you'd quit!" And Lobdell is all, "Hashtag I love cookies and Hashtag drink up and Hashtag hashtag abuse!" And then everybody has to drink a bunch more because of this:

"Hi! My name is Supergirl! Pleased to meet you!"

Too bad we're all out of alcohol and cookies by this point because here's some more confusing conversation! And it's not confusing for the usual reasons that Giffen's dialogue is confusing! I think.

Supergirl's bum kind of makes an appearance! Masturbate! I mean, drink and eat! Daintily!

Holy shit my stomach hurts. And not from laughing, Mister Giffen! After Supergirl throws Lady Quark into the street using her telekinesis, her device begins meeping again. That's when Supergirl says, "You're alive! Anthropomorphically speaking!" And the "anthropomorphically" is annotated because who doesn't learn what that means in third grade? And it isn't annotated with a helpful definition (because Giffen knows people already know what it means), it's annotated with an aggressive note to the reader! Sheesh! I didn't pay four dollars to be yelled at! Go fuck yourself, DC Comics!

Supergirl finally gets fed up with the device Lex gave her. A device that's supposed to look for the machinery capable of teleporting Metropolis to another planet. So when it finally started working and Supergirl began following it, I completely forgot to remember that there is one person in the DC Universe that loves Metropolis and also teleports.

I know I told you to drink all of your alcohol but who knew this would actually happen?! I sure as hell fucking didn't when I made Rule #20! Go out and buy a six pack and drink the fuck up, motherfuckers! Ambush Bug is back, baby!

Convergence: Supergirl: Matrix #1 Rating: Holy shit! Not only is Ambush Bug back but Cheeks the Toy Wonder as well! I was preparing to photoshop Ambush Bug into the last page of this comic book to declare that everybody get drunk and then he actually appeared! I'm so elated! Moments like this are what makes successfully avoiding spoilers so satisfying. I hope Ambush Bug becomes an important player in saving all of the cities! And with Cheeks back, I should actually pitch my Cheeks the Toy Wonder comic book idea to DC Comics! Although I might have to publicly apologize to all the employees of DC Comics if they're ever going to consider hiring me to do anything. I don't even think they'd hire me to mop floors at this point! Although, seriously, what are the chances they even know this site exists?!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Convergence: Green Arrow #1

Most idiotic melee ever! At close range, I don't think bows, uzis, or grenades are your best choice of weapon.

Green Arrow must have come to Metropolis to save his city. I'm so sick of hearing him talk about saving his city on Arrow. Ollie is such an arrogant asshole! Who put you in charge, sir? What makes you think people want to live in your saved version of Starling City? Just continue to fight crime where you can and stop projecting this huge, idealistic goal onto every move you make. Although I bet I'd feel better about myself if I pretended that every act I engaged in was saving the world! I'm beginning to feel heroic already! Every word I type is another dagger in evil's spleen! Take that, politicians! And this, cops! And this and that, journalists! And more of the same to you, dog owners that think leashes are a suggestion! I shall mock and mock until the entire world falls to their knees and cries, "Save us!" And I will look down at you all from my lofty office chair and whisper, "*fap fap fap* No. *fap fap fap*"

I'm going to be so confused by this issue of Green Arrow if Christy Marx writes Ollie as an interesting and likeable character. I suppose the bar for writing a decent Green Arrow story has been set pretty low by every New 52 iteration of the character. And I'm including Lemire's version only because while it outshone every other writer's attempt at New 52 Green Arrow, it simply felt like its own thing, perhaps an Elseworlds story that slipped into main continuity which was promptly ignored after Kreisberg came on board.

Are we taking bets on whether or not a Boxing Glove Arrow is going to appear? I think Post-Crisis, Pre-Zero Hour, goatee wearing Ollie North might be too dignified for a silly old Boxing Glove Arrow. But somebody might joke about one!

The issue begins with Green Arrow keeping Edgar Allan Poe from killing himself.

He really should be flipping off the dome. I think giving the finger should be allowed in Teen Rated comic books. Who does DC think flips the bird the most?!

Green Arrow now spends his time stopping minor street crime. He should be hanging out in jail with his buddy Hal Jordan reminiscing about cross country trips where they made profound realizations about the country's problems which couldn't be fixed by a light construct or a properly placed Boxing Glove Arrow. Instead he's making sure long dead horror authors don't kill themselves with drink. Again.

Later, some white guys try to drive a Mexican family out of their block with crowbars and racisms. You can tell they're racist because they're white and love America. One even wears an American flag bandanna on his big fat bald head to show just how racist he is. The only way you'd know he was a bigger racist is if he were wearing a non-ironic trucker's cap. Oh! Like his buddy! You know their friend is racist because he's white and missing some teeth. Only no-good liberal socialist trash go to the dentist.

Um, Boy...can I call you Boy? Is that your superhero name? should work on your retorts.

The racists are wasting their time. Don't they know they're in a DC Comic book? If they just wait an issue or two, the Mexican family will end up Whitewashed. Although maybe knowing they're in a DC Comic book is what they're afraid of. What if the Dome drops and DC decides to reboot them as half-black or gay?!

Well for one, they'd probably wind up with a better wardrobe.

The bald guy is Connor Hawke. Most people reading this book probably knew that. I didn't know that. Perhaps if I had ever been interested in a comic book about a rich guy that wears a mask and uses primitive weapons to subdue criminals, I'd be reading Batman and then I'd have an excuse for not recognizing Connor Hawke. Instead, I just never cared about Green Arrow. Oh! That's my excuse. This whole paragraph was poorly put together. Why don't we surround it with caution tape and just walk away without looking back?

Meanwhile in the basement of the local church...

"While we're at it, somebody check out the purity levels of this guy in the red shirt. I think we've got a passer!"

These white guys might be on to something! They're fighting for a pure America and their American flag might be the first one since The New 52 began that actually got the flag exactly right! I mean, I didn't count the stars but at least the number and color of the stripes are correct.

The racists storm Connor Hawke's Race-Free Sanctuary where nobody sees color or hears cultural accents or smells strange spices sticking to people's clothes. Everybody is the same here! He fires his Green Arrow flares up into the air to create a huge green arrow pointing at his apartment building. Green Arrow sees it and thinks, "Hmm. A literal green arrow! I'm 75% certain that it's meant for me!" He then rushes to help his son save the day. I'm pretty sure Connor is his son because this issue was called "Father and Son." Perhaps I'm being too aggressive in my assumptions?

Fucking white people. And that asshole passing for white.

Green Arrow drives away the Boys of Purity and while they're running away (again), they threaten the person kicking their ass (again). They better come back with better weapons than boards with nails in them and meat cleavers. I bet they're going home to get their grenades and uzis!

With the vile, despicable, gross, problematic human beings gone (see how much I hate them? I have to make sure everybody knows how much I hate them so they don't think I like them by omission of calling them gross), Connor Hawke is able to tell Green Arrow that he's his son. Green Arrow is all, "No way! I can't be your father!" And Connor Hawke is all, "Is it because I have eyes and skin?" And Green Arrow is all, "Those are actually good things, dude."

While they discuss the upcoming Father/Son dance, Planet Brainiac drops the first, second, and other shoe. Immediately after the dome falls, Connor and Ollie wind up in a new city. Kind of. It must be Kingdom Come Metropolis because they round a corner and run into an alternate version of Dinah and a female version of Connor Hawke.

Convergence: Green Arrow #1 Rating: This felt like an episode of Jem and the Holograms except with less music. But I think I learned a lesson about racism in the requisite half an hour allotted to the story (minus commercial breaks for sugary breakfast cereal, fruit drinks in pouches, and toys). I learned that racism is ineffective as a defense against arrows; if your abandoned son ever finds you to deny, deny, deny; and if somebody winds up denying you for whatever reason, blame your stupid eyes and lousy skin and maybe your toes as well. Oh! I also learned one more thing: I'm still not a fan of Green Arrow. Keep trying, DC Comics!