Friday, May 29, 2015

Convergence: Aquaman #2

I'm pretty good at the draw half of a face game!

Last issue, Deathblow arrived to blow death all over Aquaman's face. You have to admit that Deathblow is a creative name. Then you'd have to admit that you're an ignorant moron for believing that. Then you'd have to admit that Image nearly ruined comic books on every conceivable level. Then you'd have to admit that you're so young, you think I'm an asshole for saying how Image comics ruined the comic book market because you're judging Image based on the terrific shit they're currently publishing as opposed to the horrible offal they published in the nineties because 95% of comic book readers were fucking idiots who bought into the Wizard propaganda that the Image style was the greatest art to grace a comic book page in fifty years. Then I'd have to admit that while it was, in general, awful art (I don't have a problem admitting that part! It's the next part that I have to cop to), the old art standard deserved to be shit upon in many different ways.

While I can definitely see why fans of the Image style (which, of course, was developed at Marvel for a few years before becoming the basis for most of the lines at Image) continue to defend it as dynamic (especially compared to what "proper" artists were putting out on a regular basis), I don't know how that's the standard defense for somebody like Liefeld whose art hasn't improved in twenty years (if it has, it's barely perceptible). Pick up Rob's New 52 run on Deathstroke. Most of it looks like half-melted action figures standing in poses which he copied onto the page. Dynamic isn't within miles of that comic book. But then check out Jim Lee's stuff twenty years later. Even though I still don't care for all the lines he scribbles on every face and arm and chest and wall and dog and whatever, I can see twenty years of improvement in his work. I might not be a fan of his art but I'd also never say his art is bad.

I was always a proponent of independent comic books and creator owned titles without really being conscious of it for many years. Along with the DC books I read, I enjoyed Cerebus and Elfquest and Strangers in Paradise. So I was pro-Image in theory. But I never bought a single one of their comics because the art just didn't interest me. I suppose I could have given Spawn a chance back then but I didn't. Whatever they did wrong or right, they helped change the landscape in necessary ways. Of course they (with Wizard's help) created that whole bubble that almost destroyed the business. But it recovered and has limped along ever since. And Image? They currently publish the best titles on a monthly basis. If the big two really want to see money pour in, they need to figure out a way to make creator owned heroes as lucrative for artists as they can be for the company. Writers and artists for the Big Two are always going to keep their best ideas off the company table until they get a healthy piece of the pie. Who's going to give DC and Marvel rights to their favorite ideas when Image is just a phone call and no editorial interference away?!

Anyway, currently STAR Labs is trying to defend against Deathblow! They don't know it's Deathblow coming for them yet or else they'd all be snickering at his name.

Atlantis has a sewage system?! I thought Atlanteans just wandered around trailing big long stringy poops behind them.

I really wish I owned most of those comics from Image's early days now. Mostly so I could do commentaries on them. I'm certain they're all horrible. Doom Bunny has read parts of WildCATS #1 to me! So bad! Also, Doom Bunny owns WildCATS #1! Ha ha! He fell for the hype!

Aquaman leads the STAR Labs technicians and scientists into battle against Deathblow because Aquaman doesn't care about saving people. He could have told them all to hide under their desks but instead he gave them guns and told them to follow him into battle. To be fair, Aquaman didn't know the guy they were facing was a 90s Image character named Deathblow. He couldn't know he'd just crossed the boundary between DC Comics and Wildstorm where the death toll increases exponentially.

Deathblow can't stop with the fish jokes and the shooting bullets. He's annoying! I mean, if his fish jokes were decent, I would probably root for him. But he just says things like "fish sticks!" and "chum!" and "big fish!" and "small fry!" And he does most of it in his Narration Boxes which is a complete waste. Is he just entertaining himself? Hmm, you know what? I can respect that. That's pretty much all I'm doing here on this blog.

Finally Aquaman faces an opponent with a less creative super power than his own!

I bet Aquaman feeds him to piranhas! Would Jim Lee give the go ahead to kill Deathblow forever? I mean, he won't be forever dead, right? He'll reform after the piranha swim around for awhile trailing big long stringy Deathblow poops!

Aquaman seals himself in the lower level with Deathblow. I bet it's a big fish tank and Dane the Sea Devil will know exactly what to do! Flood it with piranha!

Aquaman does that thing where the hero fires a weapon at the bad guy (in this case, his hook) which misses the bad guy and the bad guy is all, "You suck!" But then the hero is all, "I hit exactly what I was aiming at!" And the bad guy is all, "I've never seen that move before ever!"

Aquaman punctures a coolant pipe and rolls around in the leaking water to get extra strong. Deathblow decides he should probably run away to find a secret weapon he secretly knows about.

Why would the DEO have a file on a Sea Devil?! Did the file simply read, "You can only tell them apart by their hair color. And sometimes the color goes wonky in the book and then you can't tell any of them apart at all."

Deathblow breaks into the computer system and activates an Aquaman Failsafe called Drydock. It shuts down all water systems and cranks up the heat. Aquaman is all, "Fuck you, Sea Devil!" And Sea Devil is all, "No! You!" And Deathblow is all, "Let's blow some death in here!"

I don't know. I've kind of lost interest in this comic book.

Deathblow begins counting his chickens because the eggs are everywhere. But Sea Devil is all, "Arthur! Deathblow is full of blood and blood is practically water!" And Deathblow is all, "What is he blabbing about?" And Arthur is all, "I'm going to die!" And Sea Devil is all, "Stab him in the throat and drench yourself in his blood! It'll be a crimson shower!" And Deathblow is all, "Why is he talking nonsense?" And Arthur is all, "I think I might know what he's getting at if only he'd say it more clearly!" And Sea Devil is all, "I can't say it any more clearly!" And Deathblow is all, "Gibberish? Is he speaking gibberish?" But then Aquaman flails around in frustration and accidentally stabs Deathblow in the throat and life-giving blood sprays out all across Aquaman's face! He could have also been rejuvenated by piss or semen.

Apparently the STAR Labs employees are dumber than everybody else. Twenty-one minutes later and he's still trying to piece together what happened.

Even if blood wasn't the "chemical equivalent of seawater," covering himself in blood should still have worked, right? Coolant worked and that isn't the chemical equivalent of seawater. Aquaman was going to turn on the fire sprinkler and that's not the chemical equivalent of seawater. Really, all Aquaman needs is to be shot in the face by anything! I suppose if it's wet and salty, that just makes it all the better.

Aquaman isn't sure how to kill a guy who can't be killed but in the end it doesn't matter. Telos deems Aquaman the winner and San Diego, along with the old Wildstorm Universe, becomes non-existent. Deathblow slowly fades away and is gone. I guess Gen 13 is doomed whether they beat Steel or not then?!

The earthquake hits and Aquaman marches out of STAR Labs and into Convergence #7. I guess I'll be reading that in a couple of days.

Convergence: Aquaman #2 Rating: This issue scores 4 Starfish out of 10 Octopi. The art was not my cup of tea and the characters weren't a cup or a tea or even a place mat. I think Tony Bedard was phoning in his Convergence scripts because he's usually more entertaining in the dialogue department. I am glad that Deathblow still exists in The New 52 though! And that he's black. I think. Sometimes he's black, anyway!

Divergence: Doctor Fate
"Medical student Khalid 'Kent' Nassour awakens the ancient power of Nabu, transforming him into this generation's Doctor Fate!"

Does this mean I'm going to read my first Earth-2 story on whatever Earth the Twofers eventually wind up?

The comic looks like it was drawn by a comic strip artist. And the lettering is a strange, skinny font that's completely different than I'm used to! I can't believe how the comics I grew up with are being ruined by these fontists! Nobody wanted DC to change fonts! I mean, unless they began using upper and lower case letters. That would, at the very least, help me determine if Batman is calling Dick by name or calling Dick a name.

The issue begins with a scene that feels like they're trying to emulate some of that Ms. Marvel magic! And not simply because they're Muslim! Although part of it is because they're Muslim. Although they're Egyptian, so I really didn't know when I read this scene if they were Muslim or not. They could just as easily have been Christian. Later though, Pops says, "Allah be praised." That kind of gave it away.

Their cat is named Puck! Get it?! They must like hockey!

Apparently this Khalid has nothing to do with Earth-2 Khalid. I guess it's part of DC loosening the continuity belt buckle. This one is kind of dating a woman named Shaya which sounds a lot like Shayera, right? Plus Khalid is kind of a dick even though I don't think he's supposed to be portrayed as a dick. But he runs into his cat in the rain soaked streets and tells it to find its own way home because he has to go accidentally find the Doctor Fate helmet. Lucky for him, the cat can talk and is Bast and can take care of herself. Unlucky for him, the cat is a god and he just ditched it in the rain. I hope it tortures him! I guess giving him the Doctor Fate helmet constitutes torture.

I don't know about this comic. It's going to be a bit hard to read each month when it looks like I'm reading some Comic Strip Treasury.

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