Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Red Hood Loves Arsenal #3

My kid's party does need a couple of clowns this weekend.

Deep breath. Deeper breath. Repeat mantra: "I will give Red Hood Loves Arsenal every chance to shine. I will give Red Hood Loves Arsenal every chance to shine. I will give Red Hood Loves Arsenal every chance to shine. I will lie my fucking head off to prove that I'm not biased."

Okay! I did my part! Now it's time for you to do your part, Scott Lobdell! Write this one out of the park, big guy!

The issue begins as expected: one full page panel with Red Hood Narration Boxing some not very good jokes to himself. He's one of those guys who has to clarify every thought that goes through his own head just in case he misunderstands himself. It seems he and Roy have decided not to work with Tara Battleworth but to become "freelance vigilantes" which I think is just a stupid way of saying "mercenaries." I would say a "fancy way" but I hate Scott Lobdell's writing.

Well, I kept my bias out of the commentary for a full ten minutes! Of course I was petting the cat and wasn't actually typing anything during those ten minutes. Still, I think it's a record.

"Note to self" jokes are the purview of hack comedy writers and failed stand-up comedians! Using the word "purview" probably means something too! Especially if I used it wrong!

Why does Jason Todd have to tell himself not to ever tell Roy Harper that he trusts him more than anybody he's ever trusted? He really should tell himself to tell him. That would be a nice thing to know and a sweet thing to hear from a friend. It would really make their working relationship better! And since Jason Todd began this comic book thinking about how important it is to know your partner, shouldn't he fucking tell his partner shit like this?! Maybe their special chemistry only works if Roy Harper's low self-esteem forces him to continually try to prove himself to Jason Todd and to win his love. I guess Jason Todd learned a lot more from Bruce Wayne than I realized.

Arsenal has purchased billboards to "Rent-a-bat" with a really hilarious and embarrassing phone number. Well, he is a rockabilly genius! You can never tell what a rockabilly genius is going to do! Also, if I keep calling him a rockabilly genius enough times (in much the way Scott Lobdell does), everybody will have to accept that it's true. Then when they tell their friends about this shitty comic book they read, they'll say, "And this one guy is a total rockabilly and a genius!" And their friend will be all, "Oh yeah?! What makes him rockabilly? His clothes? His hair? His tattoos? His attitude?!" And the dumb guy who paid for Red Hood Loves Arsenal will be all, "No! It's the way he's constantly referred to as rockabilly by the writer! Also he's a genius! And before you ask how I know, it's because the comic book keeps saying he is. And he must be because he invents all these great gadgets like napalm flamethrowers and napalm-proof masturbation lotions!"

After Roy and Jason complete the cold opening mission, they go back to their Los Angeles headquarters from which they hopefully won't be evicted from like last time since they're making money being "freelance vigilantes" now. Jason needs to point out why they're in Los Angeles and it turns out it's because Roy likes sunny places that aren't islands and Jason enjoys "artifice as lifestyle." My, my, Mister Lobdell! Look at how intellectually snide you've become, you East Coast snob! I don't like Los Angeles myself. It's the big neon dumpster grabbing the rest of the country's attention so that when they think "California," they think L.A. Well, it's a big state, you know! Some of it is actually really fucking nice!

Tara Battleworth kicks down their front door pissed off that Arsenal has begun advertising on the web to support their new mercenary business. I mean, their new "freelance vigilante" corporation. I don't know why she cares. She sent them on an audition, she paid them some money, they parted ways. Or did I miss the part where they signed a contract that said if they pass the audition, they become her ass puppets?

Why? Why do they need to be taken care of? Are you going to hire them to stop yourself? That would be a bad idea.

Arsenal is impressed by how many views their ViewTube commercial has received. Hey dumbass! How many phone calls have those views generated?! That's when you start making money! Didn't somebody say this guy was a genius somewhere?

Tara Battleworth decides she can't use Red Hood and Arsenal anymore and storms out of their headquarters. I hope she was in town for other business because DC to LA was a long way to go just to scream at these idiots. So they lost Tara's business? Big deal! Remember how Arsenal put the goofy phone number on the Rent-A-Bat ad? Well it's paying off already because he already received an email from a client! I totally want to make fun of that except I have a phone number for my business that I never answer because it sends me email alerts where I get to play the voice messages. Dammit. Oh well, I'm sure I'll find another way to make fun of these jerks before the comic book is over.

At the end of the last issue, Jay and Roy were in Detroit to meet a decrepit old guy in a seedy looking house. But when they get to Detroit in this issue, they're meeting a middle-aged guy on a park bench. Maybe the old guy in the house will come later! Although the meeting with the old guy took place two days after Roy and Jason got their check from Tara Battleworth, so it seems unlikely that the meeting with this other guy on a park bench is happening earlier than that! That would mean Roy rented the new apartment in Los Angeles and moved all of this shit and advertised for Rent-a-Bat and already got millions of views and blew all of the money in about 24 hours.

There's also a typo in the Detroit scene. Ha ha! Dumb editors! I'm glad I don't hire editors so when somebody points out one of my typos, I can blame it on not having an editor and then nobody is at fault at all! Especially not me in any way!

It turns out they meet the old guy later that evening. So Roy did spend all of their money quicker than you can say some thing that's really easy to say quickly. Something like, "I love to suck dicks!" Did you try to say it quickly? Ha ha! You like to suck dicks! That's funny if you don't actually like to suck dicks. If you do actually like to suck dicks, send me a message!

This is the guy who wanted to hire them. I think maybe he didn't even see the commercial. He's probably been trying to hire himself "The Outlaws" for some time now.

Underbelly kills his assistant and Red Hood unloads his guns into Underbelly. Underbelly just told them that he's paranormal though so he's probably okay. But Jason Todd points out that only bad guys like this will probably be calling them for "freelance vigilante" work because that's just the stupid way of saying mercenary, remember?! I guess they're going to have to go apologize to Tara Battleworth now. They'd better or else why the fuck was she even introduced into this story?

Underbelly recovers long enough to point out that he can't be killed because he's an allegory. You can't kill an allegory! Well, usually you can't kill an allegory. But I bet a rockabilly genius can come up with a way to kill an allegory!

Roy blows him up for now but he'll probably come up with a permanent solution later. Maybe some cuffed jeans and some hair wax along with an arrow that can kill allegories. "An arrow that can kill allegories" is probably all the explanation you'll get and you'll be glad for it because you're already 95% certain that Roy is a genius, so why can't he come up with something cool like that? Anyway, Jason decides Rent-a-Bat is a good idea now because they'll probably get calls from assholes and then Roy and Jay can kill those assholes. I'm sure the "profit" part of the corporation will manifest after every murder somehow.

Although I still think Tara Battleworth needs to get involved because she was super good at bluffing and research and why else would she have been introduced?

The epilogue for this issue/prologue for next issue has Roy and Jason in Gotham battling Commissioner Batman. I bet that'll be cause for a lot of yucks!

Red Hood Loves Arsenal #3 Rating: No change. There are writers working at DC Comics who used the extra couple of months during Convergence to plan out some interesting stories when the DC Youniverse got back on its feet. And then there are writers who knew they were going to be writing Red Hood Loves Arsenal (I'm not going to name names) and came up with an idea for a story where Jay and Roy would go legit by working for Tara Battleworth's organization. But then two months into building that story, he decided, for whatever reason, to trash it for the Rent-a-Bat Comedy Hour. I actually think the Rent-a-Bat idea should work well for Lobdell's target audience of fourteen year old boys. I'm just a bit annoyed when writers don't even try to hide their incompetence behind the emerald curtain. Does nobody hold Lobdell to anything he pitches? Or does he even need to pitch anything? I suppose he's just got the Red Hood job for as long as he wants it at this point no matter how much of a mess he's making of the character. Not that the character was really very interesting in the first place. Aside from angry petulant youth who think everybody is against them, who cares about this piece of shit and his asshole friend? People who want to hug and kiss away his crowbar-induced tears?! Fans who look at Batman and see his image replaced by their father's instead?! Kids who just want to fuck his rock hard body until they're too sore to care?! I suppose in a different Youniverse where Jason and Roy were being written by somebody other than Mister Lobdell, I might care for them. Maybe. I doubt it though. I'd rather read an Aqualad comic book. And not the Aqualad from the cartoons! I'm talking Sixties Aqualad!

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