Wednesday, July 8, 2015

We Are Robin #1

I hate the title of this comic book. My brain always reads it to the tune of the Farmers Insurance commercial. Maybe I actually hate my brain.

Best moment of Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham so far? When I first flew as Wonder Woman. I immediately forgot what I was going to do because I spent the next few minutes just flying around listening to the Wonder Woman television theme song (minus the lyrics which is just fine because in your satin tights fighting for your rights?). Otherwise, the game is kind of mindless until it's super frustrating. I keep forgetting about the special powers of different characters so I spend many, many minutes running around thinking I can't destroy a silver item because I don't have access to Batman and his Power Suit before I remember Cyborg has a Demolition Suit that does the same thing and then I roll my eyes about five thousand times, finish the level, and declare I'll never waste any more time on the game. Until next time, I mean.

The creators have somehow found a way to portray Batman as the unrepentant, unemotional dickhead he truly is. He makes it obvious that he can't stand Tim Drake because Tim is an annoying little shit (although an adorable one). And so far he's murdered about six ducks. Okay, so he doesn't take them out back and put a gun in their bills and blow their delicious brains out. But I'm sure it was his idea to launch the rocket out of the duck pond thus ensuring any ducks taking refuge at the Wayne Family Estate would be thoroughly roasted every time he had to get to a meeting on the Justice League Satellite. Remember, the teleporter was just built at the beginning of this game so he's supposedly been rocketing to the satellite every time. Which, by the way, is a complete pain in the ass getting the rocket ready to go. Batman really needs to optimize the system so he doesn't need to destroy everything in the Batcave just to get the rocket refueled and looking like a bat so he can take it out in public. Maybe a system where he just presses a few buttons or something?

The entire gameplay system where you run around with two or more characters doesn't really help me except when I have to use their special powers one or two times per level. In reality, the system simply ensures that I accidentally kill the other characters in my group about two dozen times while smashing everything on the set to collect the Lego coins which--you'd assume because I must get them all--are made of heroin. The purple stuff is so fucking pure it makes your entire body feel like a three week extended orgasm.

I'm sure I'll have more updates on the game as I slowly slog my way through it. Until then, I have to slog my way through We Are Robin.

I don't think that's a problem with youth. I think it's a necessary feature.

It's been said before but it's worth repeating: every one of us is lucky to have survived to adulthood. Not just because being young also means being fragile and the world is fraught with dangers that we can barely protect ourselves from, but because we don't have a well-developed sense of our own mortality. Youth doesn't allow for much concern with weighing risk versus reward. But what better way to learn our own limits than performing without a net? And I don't mean performing without a net with the realization that there is no net and any misstep will end in disaster. No, the realization that the net wasn't there won't come until ten to twenty years down the road when you look back on the moment and think, "Holy fuck, how did I survive my childhood?" Of course this, tragically, winds up in young people dying due to their inability to weigh risk properly. Some people would be less charitable and call it their own stupidity. But those are people who have yet to realize that their own survival to adulthood was probably based less on their grand intelligence and more on luck than they'd like to believe. I won't say their aren't adults who as kids or teens knew when the risks weren't worth it because I live with one. But generally, kids and teens don't put a shit ton of forethought into exactly how dangerous or stupid the fun activity they're about to engage in really is. Without even thinking long about it, I can come up with a dozen moments growing up where I was lucky to have escaped injury. I've never even had a broken bone which, thinking back on my youth, boggles my fucking mind. It definitely wasn't through a lack of, unconsciously, trying.

My nephew, when he was about twelve (he is now twenty-two), skateboarded down a hill near his dad Danny's home in Northern California. He crashed at the bottom and fractured his skull. His friend at the time ran up the hill to get my nephew's dad. Danny, who had been a skateboarder his entire youth, hopped on a skateboard and rode down the same hill to get to his son quicker. The thought still makes me laugh but it also makes me tear up to think about it. My nephew nearly killed himself because he didn't understand his own mortality. His dad risked his own life because he absolutely understood his son's own mortality. The same decision made by two different people but with various ways of processing risk versus reward. Everything turned out okay and, luckily, there weren't two people at the bottom of the hill with fractured skulls.

Duke Thomas continues his thoughts as he's set upon by some guy whose sister was into Duke and the guy didn't like it. He says in the above caption that not accepting his own mortality isn't one of his problems and yet he goes on to state how he's become an adrenaline junkie who loves getting into dangerous situations. That's exactly the type of person that doesn't understand their own mortality! All of those people who die doing some kind of extreme activity are those kinds of people! If they truly thought they were going to die during the activity, they wouldn't be partaking in the activity. Sure, the thrill fills the body with chemicals that can be as addictive as heroin, so, in a way, they don't totally have a choice. But people who do heroin don't think they're going to die when they do heroin. And yet some do. Those are people who don't appreciate their mortality! The ones who don't do heroin don't do it because it can fucking kill you and the only point of living is to have more life!

I know, I know. A bunch of adrenaline junkies who aren't reading this because they're out living life to the fullest--carpe diem bitches!--would say that the person not willing to risk their lives for very specific forms of excitement aren't really living. But then can't we all point to everybody not doing the thing we're doing and say, "You're not really living." In such a way, we convince ourselves that we are taking full advantage of the luckiest fucking draw in the universe to have been born a sentient human being (lucky depending on how you look at it, I guess. I'd rather be a cat. Or a raccoon. Maybe even a dolphin). Of course, the medium view is probably the most objective. Again, it's all about risk versus reward. Many extreme activities aren't really that risky. Jumping out of an airplane really isn't very risky. It's just that if everything that could go wrong does go wrong, you will die. I submit that because that's a possibility, the people jumping out of airplanes take extraordinary care in preparing for the activity. Whereas somebody texting on their phone and crossing the street are doing a normal, mundane activity and will probably not take extra precautions to ensure their safety. The less dangerous an activity, the less we prepare for dire outcomes. I guess what I'm trying to say is that whether you're Duke Thomas looking to get into as many fights as possible or a shut-in controlling every aspect of your life to prevent an accident, awareness of your own mortality is your best defense against death. At the very least, it should keep you from putting an explosive on your head and winking out of existence in the blink of an eye.

Anyway, Duke beats the shit out of a bunch of guys and loses the girl.

What kind of fucking street punk walks around with that kind of a ninja weapon?

Duke Thomas winds up in front of Dr. Leslie Thompkins because that's where troubled kids prone to becoming superheroes wind up. Dr. Thompkins is looking pretty young here! I think if you're going to be a part of the DCyou, you have to be DCyouthful. Kids ain't got no time to be reading about fucking old people in their thirties and shit. Which is weird because Batman just went from being about 33 to being about 85! But at least he's wearing cool ass armor with bunny ears!

Fuck you, Duke Thomas. What are you? Fifteen? You don't understand the blatant homages to late 70s films! Even if you think you do! And that goes for all you young whippersnappers making faces while reading that!

Forget Tarantino. That guy's ultimately a hack! You want to watch a modern movie that feels like you're watching something straight out of the seventies? Go watch The Devil's Rejects. I think it's on Netflix right now. Rob Zombie worked some time travel magic on that film.

Duke Thomas has been shuffling about the foster system since his parents disappeared during Endgame. Leslie Thompkins believes they'll eventually find his parents. Too bad Bruce Wayne is dead right now. Duke's going to have to become Robin on his own. Along with every other troubled youth in Gotham, according to the cover. And those troubled youths want Duke Thomas on their team. Probably because he has Batman experience.

Duke's new foster family is the typical foster family! At least it must be since it's the only foster family the media or writers are interested in talking about. Never mind the family in which New 52 Billy Batson finds himself. That's obviously an anomaly and they're all horrible houses with adults just using the kids for the monthly paycheck. This family needed an older kid to babysit the younger kids and to clean the house. I hope Duke manages to win the hand of the prince at the ball in a later issue.

Duke sneaks out and heads off into the subway system to look for his parents. Maybe they're living in Ann Nocenti's magical underground kingdom that's just about as big as Gotham itself although nobody really knows anything about it and it's super secret and somehow doesn't turn Gotham into 85% sinkholes.

What's the initiation? Bathing in rat piss?

Once again, the people living underground resent the topsiders and feel they need to destroy them. Can't the people living underground just be happy that they've escaped the weary, workaday world above them and not have to be filled with a vengeful need to destroy them? Why are the majority of people in comic books willing to hate at the drop of a ratman's hat? Is that how the world really is? Am I blind to the fact that most people are ready to spew hatred and turn on anybody else for the most mild differences? Has hiding myself away and becoming a hermit caused me to give mankind the benefit of the doubt? If Superman were real and was a citizen of the United States of America, would most United States citizens fear and despise him? I mean, I know the rest of the world would because it would suddenly be as if the US had access to pinpoint accurate nuclear weapons without fallout radiation and a Star Wars Defense System all wrapped up in a package with a magnificent set of abdominal muscles. Although this isn't exactly that! This might be worse than people turning on Superman. A bunch of downtrodden citizens of Gotham have decided to become followers in the Cult of the Ratcatcher? I don't see that guy as being particularly charismatic.

Ratcatcher proclaims that Duke must be purified, so I'm guessing all these crazed assholes following him are under some kind of Rat Piss Mind Control Concoction. Maybe he's upped his own rat control game and can now control dirty rotten scumbag homeless people. I mean, people currently down and out and who are quite possibly suffering from mental illness. Remember the days when you could insult homeless people and nobody would care?! Jesus. Now it's like you have to respect everybody! It's crazy! Can't some group choose to take one for Team Earth?! I guess we're kind of deciding that group is white men, right? Mostly because society has taught most white men to think of themselves as individuals and not just as white men, so when a comedian makes fun of white men, it's just fine. I mean, as long as it's funny! Because a white man will be all, "Ha ha! White men totally do that!" without actually connecting their whiteness and maleness to the joke itself. It's like being born not just with Kevlar but with some kind of reality bending mechanism! It's why we think everybody wants to hear our opinions as well! I've written like 2500 blog posts just filled with my super important white man opinions! I'd probably have done 5000 if it wasn't for my stupid half-Spanish blood holding back some of my arrogance and trying to keep me in my place! Curse you, Spanish mother!

Here is my list of Matrilineal ancestral names: Vega, Bega, Ortega, Rodriguez, Sanchez. The "Vega" and "Bega" are really the same name but altered because of white ass Americans when the family came over to this country. They left from Malaga, Spain, went around South America because the Panama Canal had yet to be built, and arrived in Hawaii to work on the sugar cane plantations. From there, they traveled to the bay area in California which is where my white ass dad met my mother, they banged, and I was born! ¡OlĂ©!

But We Are Robin saves the day!

Meet the crew: Hoodhat Robin! Scarf-Ace Robin! Spanner Mohawk Robin! Cutie Pie Robin! ¡El Mysterio Robin!

Meanwhile some guy in a ski cap sits in a room full of monitors watching We Are Robin through images broadcast to him via a Robot Bat. This guy also has a closet full of Robin uniforms. It's either Bruce Wayne or a huge pervert! It's also possibly a third option that would be somebody else that isn't a pervert or Bruce Wayne!

We Are Robin #1 Rating: This is a good comic book which the kids will love because it is full of kids doing heroic things. I bet it will also be full of kids crushing on each other, fucking, falling in and out of love, and doing all that Degrassi High stuff kids love! So they'll love it for those reasons too. Oh! I know a good possible third choice for the creepy guy! Alfred! Except he was opening a door with his right hand so that might be a bad guess!

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