Sunday, August 30, 2015

Deathstroke #9

Superman: Punching Robot. Deathstroke: Stabbing Robot.

Oh Superman. You shall not find solace from shitty story arcs in this house of despoiled innocence. I once thought solace might be possible. Back in the summer of 1991, I thought I, too, could find refuge from the tempests of newly found adulthood. Deathstroke the Terminator had his own title! Once a month, I could lose myself in the adventures of a man who wasn't limited by the ethics and morality of other people! A man free to solve any problem by eliminating it and forgetting. Imagine taking the head off the rude asshole at the coffee shop! Or disemboweling the neighbor constantly tsk-tsking your yard! Jubilant freedom! All encompassing peace! But, no. Superman, it is impossible. Eventually we all find ourselves standing over a spider, the size of a human hand, soaked in bug spray yet finally crushed to death because it just couldn't be poisoned. We stand there, and we cry. We realize we have no stomach for slaughter, and no defense from feeling the pain of others. We look fear full in the face and watch as solace disappears as easily as chalk washed from a sidewalk. We realize the only true comfort and consolation for life is death. The rest is just hiding from reality. And--listen well, Superman--this comic book is the worst place you could be hiding. Go deal head-on with your problems in your own comic book. You'll find no solace here.

Just so everybody knows immediately how bad this book is going to be, Tony S. Daniel begins by having Deathstroke think, "Back on so-called Paradise Island (not even)." You didn't think only Oscar Wilde could come up with cutting bon mots like that, did you? Let me dissect it for you if you're sitting there drooling on your "I Heart Maury Povich" shirt and thinking, "Dert?" Deathstroke doesn't think Paradise Island is actually a paradise! He makes this apparent by adding the "so-called" to show that he doesn't believe the word "Paradise" actually describes it. And then he adds a semi-camouflaged "Not!" joke to drive the point home that Paradise Island is not an actual paradise! Unless the two jokes cancel each other out which is a possibility. Then I think it means he appreciates the place. Hmm. Maybe I'd think better if I wasn't wearing this heavy "Number One Jerry Springer Fan" sweatshirt.

In the next panel, he puts the word paradise in quotes, so I'm feeling pretty confident that he thinks the island isn't paradise at all! Whew. I'm glad that's cleared up. Although, it's not really some great revelation into his character to have him believe Paradise Island isn't a paradise at all. Historically in fiction, it's not exactly a place that men are supposed to feel comfortable visiting. I seem to remember there was actually a time that men would simply die if they set foot on the place. So if Deathstroke found Paradise Island to be an actual paradise, I'd conclude that Deathstroke was a woman.

I'm disappointed that Tony S. Daniel isn't drawing this issue because why else would DC Comics allow him to write an issue? Doesn't DC Comics only allow him to write so that he'll agree to draw as well, thereby ensuring that fans of his art pick up a book full of his 7th grade level writing (I apologize to any 7th graders reading this)? Who picks up a comic book written by Tony S. Daniel but drawn by a less competent artist (I apologize to Eduardo Pansica if he's reading this. I really am trying to insult Tony S. Daniel here and you just got caught in the blast)? That's like getting the worst of everything! If any 7th graders are reading this, could you please send me an analogy to use next time I choose to call something "the worst of everything"? You know, something like "That's like having your first kiss with a sixth grader who is also the Portuguese exchange student" except less racist. Is Portuguese a race? Or is it just Spanish with linguiƧa? I think it's actually just a nationality! So be less nationalist when you send me your free 7th grade jokes. Man, I'm laughing already. Nobody's funnier than a 7th grader.

Even though Eduardo Pansica is doing the art, Tony S. Daniel is still writing double splash pages into the comic book. It's possible Tony meant to draw this issue but just couldn't find the time what with coming up with all of Deathstroke's sick burns.

Currently, the ignorantly named Lapetus's army is kicking Amazon butt back and forth all over so-called "Paradise" Island. It looks like they need to be saved by a man! Good thing Deathstroke's here! And I think even Superman will help save all the women too! Although it looks like he's just come to kick Deathstroke's ass for being mean to his girlfriend. This issue had better not end with Wonder Woman being friends with Deathstroke. He's a mass murdering maniac! She's a compassionate queen of hug attacks! That would be the worst writing ever since "Paradise Lost"! Coincidentally, this issue is called "Paradise Lost." Suck it, Milton!

If you're this angry at the pantheon, shouldn't you be ravaging Olympus? The Amazons had nothing to do with locking you up, dude! "Dude"? No, no. "Bro"! Lapetus seems like more of a bro than a dude.

Hessia finds time during battle to remind Deathstroke that they once dated and she totally doesn't trust him at all. Deathstroke reminds everybody how awesome he is by pointing out that the Godkiller sword is super duper powerful so even he has a hard time controlling it. But he does control it which means he's the best ever! He's also the only one with any real sense of the battle since he's the only one who apparently notices Iapetus leave the battlefield (it's so comforting to know that Spell Check doesn't underline Iapetus while it underlines Lapetus because Tony S. Daniel and everybody associated with this comic book are apparently more ignorant than Spell Check).

Deathstroke notices more on the field of battle than the others because he can turn his head all the way around.

Iapetus notices Deathstroke follow him away from the battlefield and declares that "for a mortal," Slade possesses a "sharp, strategic mind." I know! I was just thinking how Sun Tzu once said, "If your enemy flees from battle, it is probably not a trap or a trick and you should totally follow him so you can kill the jerk and maybe even impress him a little bit with your knowledge of strategy." Too bad Wonder Woman isn't a fan of The Art of War or else she would have made sure to notice that Iapetus was leaving the battle.

I just finished eating a chocolate chip cookie and now I have to wonder: Why is most of life the moment after the cookie is gone rather than the moment of enjoying the cookie? Maybe I spend too much time wolfing and not enough time savoring! Or maybe I should think of the "cookie is gone" moments as "anticipating the next cookie" moments instead?!

Iapetus offers Deathstroke a job instead of killing him. What kind of jobs will be left once Iapetus destroys everything? I have to imagine it's some kind of job that starts with "hand" or "blow."

It's refreshing to have the bad guy point out all of Deathstroke's best qualities. I was getting tired of Deathstroke having to point them out himself.

Iapetus knocks Slade all the way across the island and out of his hair in much the same way Wonder Woman didn't, but should have, last issue. He then begins to offer up some Bad Guy Narration Boxes so the reader realizes his true plan is to rescue his sister-wife Themis from Tartarus. Although he doesn't name her so she may very well be called Lhemis.

Even though I was once a twelve year old nerd (when being a nerd wasn't cool at all and all the people who think they're nerds now would never have been nerds then no matter how much they believe their wants and desires can alter reality), I don't really know that much about the Titans of myth so I had to look up Iapetus's lover. But I do happen to know the planets and moons of our solar system fairly decently so when a writer names their Titan character "Lapetus," I recognized the name should have been Iapetus. One of my favorite things is how the Greek and Roman gods have long ago been put away and yet we've resurrected them to still exist in our skies. It's a brilliant system for naming the heavenly bodies in our solar system.

Um, anyway, looking up Themis, I see that she's more of a hugger than a fighter which probably means she'll get free and tell Iapetus to knock it the fuck off. Then he'll shrug his shoulders and go back home to Tartarus. That'll leave plenty of room for Superman and Deathstroke to fight.

Iapetus burrows into the ground after flinging Wonder Woman away. Deathstroke runs up to see if she's okay and guess what happens next? Come on! You can do it! It's a classic comic book trope! Of course that's it! Superman arrives just in time to believe Deathstroke did this to Wonder Woman! I mean, Deathstroke did kind of do this to Wonder Woman last issue. But not this time! This time it's a total misunderstanding and Superman is super in the wrong! Ha ha!

Forget about the probably seriously injured female nearby! There are dicks to compare!

At the start of the next page, Deathstroke Narration Boxes, "This is literally the last thing I need right now." Well, you literally could have prevented this fight from taking place. Perhaps you should have taken the time to explain what was going on? It would probably take less time than the upcoming battle with Superman. Actually, the battle with Superman should take far less time as Superman stands on Deathstroke's smoldering corpse waiting for his regeneration powers to kick in to find out if Slade is suddenly in a more talkative mood. But we all know Deathstroke is going to actually have a chance of beating Superman with his stupid Godkiller sword.

Slade's sword does all the work for him so I'm about to petition to have this comic book's title changed to "Godkiller Sword".

So tell him, you big bag of fuck! I might go so far as to say you are endangering the world by not fucking answering his question when he first arrived! I hate everybody.

Deathstroke completely has the upper hand with his sword and pummels the shit out of Superman right up until the moment where Deathstroke finally decides to start discussing the situation. That's when Superman grabs his throat and chokes off Deathstroke's words. Boy, the drama! The tension! You can't even cut this shit with a Godkiller Knife!

Superman calls Slade a "notorious psychopath and a murderer" which is maybe not 100% accurate but it's at least as close as 99.99% accurate. So of course Slade thinks how Superman is "self-righteous." Oh gee! I guess most everybody on the planet is self-righteous because they don't believe in going around killing people for money. Maybe if Superman were to accuse Deathstroke of those things after Deathstroke killed a couple of people in self-defense, I'd agree that Superman was self-righteous. But seeing that Deathstroke has killed 938 people, and most of those for a paycheck, I'd say that Superman was not being self-righteous at all. I'd say he was being "accurate."

"Slade?! First names...are you fucking him?!"

Now that yet another scene where two people on the same side battle because they don't have time to communicate before throwing a punch, the story can get back on course. Also remember that while Superman battled Deathstroke, hundreds of Amazons were being killed by Iapetus's army. Some hero you are, Superman! Deathstroke Superman and Deathstroke Wonder Woman deserve each other!

Anyway, Lapetus returns from underground and this time he's even scarier for some reason.

I guess it's because he found his polearm?

I can't wait until next issue when Batman arrives and mistakenly believes Deathstroke is the bad guy. Although I guess Batman already had his battle with Deathstroke in an earlier issue. A battle which he totally just got bored of right in the middle of and walked away without bringing Deathstroke to justice. That's totally something Batman would do, right? It's not like he's obsessive about justice or anything.

Deathstroke #9 Rating: No change. It’s hard to call Deathstroke the worst comic book published by DC Comics in a world where books like Twat Lobo and the Teen Titans are being published as well. But it is. It is truly stupidly ridiculous. But what did I expect from a writer who somehow figured that Deathstroke was not doing well in sales not because he’s been poorly written since the start of The New 52 but because he figured Deathstroke was just too old to connect to the potential audience. So the big twist of Tony’s book was that Deathstroke was now young. And guess how much that’s mattered at all? Besides one panel where Slade looks at his cock to notice how young and vibrant it is and a few panels where people say, “You’re not Slade! You’re too young!”, it hasn’t fucking changed a thing. He’s always in his Goddamned mask! Who fucking cares about his sudden youth?! It’s idiotic and makes no sense because he’s still the same old, experienced man that he was before he lost the gray hair and regained his lost eye. It matters zero to this character that his skin is smooth and his cock can get erect. And that describes this book. It’s shallow and without depth. Why are there still people working in the comic book industry who think story doesn’t matter?! Comics have grown the fuck up. Why haven’t they?

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