Saturday, June 6, 2015

Convergence: Justice League of America #2

The Chip Kidd variant really should have been Martian Manhunter and not secretly a dangerous manhunter Steel.

Last issue, the Tangent Universe Secret Six attacked the Pre-Crisis era Justice League of America. You might not remember that group because you were probably born over ten years after they were destroyed by Despero. You can blame Millennium a little bit too, I think. Also the popularity of Vibe, Steel, and Gypsy which was nearly non-existent. It wasn't the most enthralling group of super heroes to put on the cover of your comic book. When Zatanna, Aquaman, and Martian Manhunter are your most recognizable team members, you've already counted out potential customers that don't have any knowledge of the DC Universe. They might glance at the book and think, "Where's Batman? Or Superman? And why is Wonder Woman talking backwards with a lobster on her head?" The only team member a casual reader of comic books might recognize is Aquaman which would have kept most people from buying the book.

Y'all may think I have an irrational hater's hatred for Aquaman but I don't. I merely live in reality. This era of the Justice League of America took place just a few years before DC Comics sat down to retool Aquaman. And the reason they decided he was unpopular? The outfit. When that didn't work (partly because the mini-series which introduced it was an awful story about how Aquaman needed intense psychotherapy to deal with his unrepentant mother boners (I don't know what that means but I'm sure it's a legitimate psychology term)), Peter David walked into DC's offices and said, "I know why people aren't buying Aquaman! His right hand! Lose it and we're golden!" And just like every other time Peter David had something to say about a comic book character, he was right. For some reason. People loved the new hairy, one-handed Aquaman! At least until people began to turn on the whole "gritty superhero" movement while they also decided that horrible art was the new hip thing!

Imagine how much less respect the team would get if Aquaman were free!

Vicki Vale is standing on the edge of the battle doing play-by-play in a smooth, coherent manner the way no on-site local news reporter has ever done in the history of ever. It should actually be more of the camera man filming the battle in a wide angle to get as much as he can cover as Vicki Vale says things like, "Did you see that?!" and "Police are, um, standing behind...err, back, as the combatants engage in, um, combat."

Sue Dibny handles the Narration Boxing because she gets to say things that would seem ridiculous to have Vicki Vale saying. Things like noticing Gypsy even though Gypsy's super power is to not be noticed. But then Sue probably knows what to look for! Or maybe she can smell her patchouli oil.

The Justice League is getting handily beat by Tangent Secret Six when Gypsy throws a belt full of grenades to cover the JLA's retreat. Part of me wishes that she wouldn't have interfered and this comic book could have ended early. I still have a week and a half of Convergence books to get through and they're really beginning to wear me down since they're essentially the same story over and over again. And the worst part is that most of the stories don't have any kind of satisfying conclusion. The battles tend to end, the combatants shrug their shoulders and go back to their lives waiting for the world to end.

Convergence has also made it convenient for me to procrastinate. I'd love to finish these comics up in a long Saturday marathon session but I have so many other more interesting things to do with my time! Especially now that I've invested in such a beautiful, powerful, game-playing laptop! I wish Torment 2 were available already!

Go ahead, believe it. Stop living with lies!

The Secret Six crash through the wall of the storage locker the Justice League of America are cowering in. Since the team didn't have time to come up with a plan, I think this scene was meant to show that they're all self-hating losers with no gumption or tenacity. Those are just two words I picked at random that seemed like traits that a team of winners would possess.

While the Justice League of America gets their asses handed to them a second time, Sue Dibny tries to figure out how to free Zatanna and Martian Manhunter so the team actually stands a chance against Tangent Secret Six.

And Aquaman! I forgot about Aquaman! He'll help, by being Aquaman!

Vibe murders Tangent Plastic Man by shaking him into a bunch of plastic gaming pieces. While The Atom is distracted because "Gunther" was apparently his lover, Steel punches him in the face with his super Steely Steel Punch of Steeliness.

Can you get any more cliche, Atom? Can I?!

It's so cliche to point out somebody else's cliches! Especially in that sarcastic Chandler Bing voice. I think "Can you be any more [whatever]" was the biggest joke on Friends for ten years.

Sue Dibny digs up a Mr. Freeze gun to freeze Aquaman, Martian Manhunter, and Zatanna. Since they're currently in stasis which is kind of like being frozen in time, this makes sense somehow. It makes more sense if you pay attention to the comic book explanation instead of ignoring it completely like I'm doing. It works and the Big Two Plus Aquaman are free! Zatanna casts a spell that sends the Tangent Secret Six back home and the fight is over. Presumably she just did them a huge favor and they're now free of Planet Brainiac and back home in the real Tangent Universe*.

*Tangent Universe not really real.

When it's all over, Vicki Vale goes in for an interview and completely ignores Aquaman. That's understandable. Ralph gives some speech about how he's proud to fight alongside this group of barely lovable losers. He probably likes it because he's actually respected by them as opposed to being seen as a joke by Batman and Wonder Woman.

Convergence: Justice League of America #2 Rating: I guess the point of this series was to give the Detroit Justice League a modicum of respect that they really never fucking deserved. Couldn't we have just left this team buried and forgotten about them? Although they may have been an interesting and fun team at the time! But who would know?! We were all looking at the covers going, "Why would I buy this comic book?!" I know, I know. All the weird little Martian Manhunter fans are desperately composing harshly worded emails in their minds right now. Well, I don't need to hear from y'all, okay?! You can keep your arguments to yourself. I already know what lateral lisps sound like!

Divergence: Batman Loves Superman
"The epic new storyline 'TRUTH' continues. In this chapter, what are the consequences of a bond broken?"

Should I remember what this "TRUTH" storyline should be about? Is this the same story that was featured in the Action Comics Sneak Peak?

This story begins with a bunch of gangsters smashing up Wayne Enterprises in Gotham. Superman arrives via motorcycle since he can't fly anymore. He beats them up because he has no powers anymore but he can write articles and bale hay. That's almost like being trained in hand-to-hand combat, right? After he defeats the bad guys because he's Superman even if he has no powers, Commissioner Batman crashes through the wall, sees a guy in a Superman shirt who looks like Superman and says, "Who the hell are you?" It's not like he's wearing glasses, Jim! And he's wearing a Superman shirt! It's not like he's changed it up with one of those Superjew shirts.

Commissioner Batman decides the best course of action is to punch Superman in the face and arrest him. Commissioner Batman obviously doesn't care about killing perps since he punches the guy he apparently doesn't know is Superman full in the face with his power armored fist. Then he tazes him because it's just another average day in the life of a cop. Superman somehow manages to not die after all of this and still get on his motorcycle to drive away. He's chased by Commissioner Batman so he grabs a pole as he speeds past which spins his motorcycle around. He rides toward Commissioner Gordon who then shoots a rocket at him, blows up the motorcycle, and somehow doesn't turn Superman into a stain on the sidewalk.

That's when Lex Luthor arrives on his Tenser's Floating Disc to ask Superman for his hand in hetero-marriage.

The only fucking law Superman broke is resisting arrest. And that's a bullshit, catch-all law to just haul in anybody the cops want to haul in anyway. So fuck you, Lex. Superman hasn't done anything fucking wrong.

Oh wait! I just thought of another law Superman broke: not dying at the hands of a cop that abused every single ounce of his power. The police are going to be pretty pissed about this! Especially if it was caught on camera!

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