Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Secret Six #5

Why did Simone make Alice so young because now I feel the way I feel when I watch Sailor Moon?

The life of a comic book reviewer is pretty sexy. Not from the outside, of course. From the outside, I'm a grumpy dickhole hunched over a laptop in a dark room snickering to myself as I think up new names to call lousy artists. But from the inside, I'm Jesus Christ here to save the world of comic books! No wait! That's not sexy at all! I forgot that I began saying that my life was pretty sexy! Stop thinking about Jesus being sexy! I won't be responsible for your blasphemy! I think I meant I'm Fabio on the cover of an 80's romance novel sweeping a copy of Elfquest #12 into my eager arms. That's the issue where Skywise met Aroree and probably the moment in comics that sparked the most fan fiction I've ever written (unless it was that scene where Skywise puts the moves on Foxfur). And by "written fan fiction," I actually mean "late night masturbation fantasies." This was before the internet so my fan fiction and masturbation outlets were severely limited.

I was going to continue to explain how great the life of a comic book reviewer is but now I can't stop thinking about how every piece of erotic fan fiction on the internet was probably masturbated to by the author. I also kind of feel like a fraud calling myself a "comic book reviewer" when I hardly ever mention the art, barely dissect the themes inherent in most stories, and mostly just type up any random thought that my synapses can fire off. But that's probably just low self-esteem trying to make me its victim. If you look up self-esteem in the dictionary, you'll find a picture of me teabagging it. At least you will in Eee! Tess Ate Chai Tea's Oxfordian Dictionary of The Words I Could Remember While Compiling This Dictionary. Oh! "Compile"! That's Another One I Can Add!

I think this needs to be Jon Hamm's next role.

That page is why Gail Simone and I get along so well in my late night fan fiction. She puts her wieners right out there and dares people to make something of it. Some writers think that dignity is something to maintain, something to be hoarded and cherished. But Gail Simone learned a mighty lesson from Of Mice and Men and Old Yeller and took care of her dignity in the proper way by shooting it herself. People respect their dignity so much that they probably think what I just typed was an insult. Fuck no! I don't even remember what my dignity looked like! I'm pretty sure my dignity didn't survive junior high. All dignity does is hold you back and make you think having a character yell, "Red-hot wieners for everybody!", is sophomoric, silly pap. Which it is! But that's a good thing and not a bad thing! Comic books are meant to be fun, people! Get out your red-hot wieners and enjoy this shit. If I wanted to read War and Peace, I'd shoot myself.

Actually, I do want to read War and Peace and I don't actually want to shoot myself. Which reminds me that I need to replace my two favorite shirts in all the worlds! One had hearts and rainbows all over it and said, "I hate myself and want to die." It was made popular by that Engrish website. The other shirt had a penguin with his arms outstretched and read, "I wish I could fly." One time at a theater in Reno, Nevada, as I handed the ticket taker my stub for Thirty Days of Night, she looked down at my shirt and said, "Aww. That's so sad." I never remember what I'm wearing so I assumed it was the one where I hate myself. But then I looked down and saw it was the penguin and that made me smile. It is a rather melancholy shirt.

It was apparent in his reaction to the weird sex on the couch, but this scene really made me see the genius of having Ralph Dibny in a group like this. You need some kind of "normality" barometer with these psychos.

I put "normality" in quotes up there because some people are offended by the dictionary definition of the word normal. We get it! Everything should be acceptable! But that doesn't mean you have to take the definition of "the norm" behind the barn and introduce it to the concept of glory holes. I think it would be less uptight if you did though. And who knows? Norm might even enjoy the working side of the hole.

At the barbecue, Strix sits up in a tree and nobody knows why because I guess they've forgotten she's an owl. Ferdie is drilling holes in the ketchup. Alice is practicing sleeping five feet above the bed. Shauna's stole is more adorable than it ought to be. And Porcelain is getting drunk. The others will probably get drunk too. I know I'd get drunk if I ever decided to meet the neighbors during the yearly block party. But after twelve years of avoiding them, it's getting harder and harder to make an appearance. Besides, the one time I went to the neighbor's pig roast for a few minutes to get a beer and say hello, I was accosted by two people who may have thought their social game was kick ass but found it wasn't good enough to break through my hermit-fu. One guy told me I should try the chocolate covered bacon. I said, "No thank you." And then he said, "No, seriously. You have to try it. It's amazing." And I said, "That's okay." And he said, "You're really missing out. It's so good." And I said, "I don't eat meat." He then blinked a few times and just turned and walked away. Is that how you socialize? Are people supposed to enthusiastically love whatever I love? And if they don't, I just write them off and walk away? The other person must have recognized me as the neighbor that nobody really knows. And it seems maybe I have a reputation that was earned from speculative gossip because as I came down the stairs of my place and walked the few feet into the neighbor's driveway where the keg of beer was, this person approached me and said, "Is it the Witching Hour?" And I said, "What?" And he said, "The Witching Hour! Time to shut it down?" And I said, "I don't know what that is." And he said, "We getting too loud?" And I said, "I'm just here to get a beer." He then blinked a few times and just turned and walked away. Apparently I rock at partying!

Big Shot tells Catman that he thinks of the Secret Six as family. Whoa, whoa! I think that's coming on a little strong, don't you? Family?! Already? I guess Ralph and Sue were always kind of the parents of any group with which they were involved. And now that Sue's gone, Ralph is probably going stir crazy. Also he's probably horny and at least one of these pervos is bound to put out.

Catman heads up to wake up Alice and get her out of above bed. While he's in her room, she mentions having a dream about Preboot Swamp Thing #50. Except they wanted to destroy Alice instead of going into Hell for whatever they were doing during that story. Saving Abby or something, probably. Catman also notices a picture of Sue Dibny and explains that she isn't dead. He has a memory of her torturing him. Uh oh. It looks like maybe the Dibnys are pricks in the Reboot.

Blake decides to ask Big Shot nicely why he's married to a murderous shrew.

That might not be the best answer but it's an answer, I guess.

Porcelain and Shauna have a pleasant discussion while the boys fight it out on the lawn. Shauna shows herself to be far more intelligent than she's been letting on, and quite the clever little innuendoist. If she keeps coming up with clever explanations of comic book tropes, I might have to break my rules and begin crushing on an unattractive character of appropriate age. Although I really don't know how old she is. She could be sixteen but she looks like she crawled out of a Japanese television set that was currently tuned to a documentary about trash heaps. And the way she eats a hot dog could put a man in traction for weeks. Ooh baby!

I've always thought it was odd the way that men can look at women eating food and turn it into something sexual. The power of the Male Gaze is infinite! You know those schools that try to enforce dress codes because they say girls will distract the boys too much? Well, they should keep the girls from eating anything at all as well. In fact, maybe they should just sew all the girls' mouths shut. Or not even allow them to go to school at all! Problem solved!

Black Alice uses her powers to stop the fight which means she dresses up like Hawk and jumps into battle. Is that how her powers have always worked? She steals the trademark of another hero and gets busy fighting? I know she pulled Zatanna's backwards magic trick in an earlier issue, and I think she did something else at some point but I'll be damned if my brain ever decides to cooperate with me. And since the "me" part of me is a figment of my brain's imagination, I might have some kind of problem distinguishing reality.

Big Shot decides to stop fighting and answer Catman's questions. He tells everybody that Mockingbird is actually The Riddler. So by Issue #5, the Secret Six know who their tormentor is? I don't buy it! The Riddler is probably just Mockingbird's red-hot wiener!

There has to be a way bigger conspiracy here than just Mockingbird and the people he's manipulating. You don't once watch All the President's Men on acid and not learn a little something about conspiracies.

Big Shot decides to come clean to his new family. He loads them up in a van and takes a drive down the coast to explain it all. He begins painting a portrait of a night aboard a yacht where The Riddler was trying to fence a famous diamond, The India Star. It was the night the Secret Six's paths would cross for the first time and the entire reason why they were in the positions they found themselves in now. Ralph and Sue were posing as fences to try to get the diamond for a client. Catman and Strix were working security and/or filming cereal commercials. Shauna and Ferdie crashed the party because Shauna is a starfucker. Or, at the very least, a well-dressed-anybodyfucker. And Black Alice and Porcelain were there to steal the diamond. Maybe. Some of them might be lying. What is the secret?!

Whoa! I almost forgot to say "What is the secret?!" during this commentary! That was a close call.

Little did any of the guests know, the India Star wasn't the real reason they were all gathered together.

Somebody's nose forgot to sniff out this little mystery.

The Riddler's diamond was subsequently stolen and his yacht blown up. The only people left on the yacht when it blew were Riddler, the Secret Six, and Sue. Riddler blamed those on his ship for the disaster and that's probably why they wound up in the bottom of the ocean being asked, "What is the secret?!" I guess the answer to that question would be that one of the six has a huge diamond up their ass?

Anyway, Ralph Dibny says he didn't know Sue was still alive. But as we've seen previously, he's in contact with him so it's more probably Sue is the reason Ralph is working for Mockingbird. Just like the others will have reasons why they are as well. Many layers of this conspiracy have yet to be exposed. Maybe I can figure them out if I drop some acid next month. Although if I do, this commentary will be full of observations like "Triangles are the perfect shape because three is the perfect number" and "Why do you push the pause button to pause a movie and then push the pause button again to unpause the movie instead of pushing play?" and "Jupiter is following me. It won't stop looking at me" and "Books with pictures in them would be a great idea!" and "Am I really typing this or am I just a homeless vagabond desperate and alone and fantasizing in a ditch down by the trainyards?" Acid might be an enjoyable way to pass an evening, like playing video games or a round of tennis, but I don't believe it helps one think grand and interesting thoughts. Especially when you're busy trying to smash those tiny people climbing in and out of the handle on your comic book boxes. I hate those fuckers.

The group arrive at the dock of Edward Nygma's new yacht and Sue appears. At the same moment, Black Alice and Shauna are sedated by tranquilizer darts. It's a trap! Of course! The Riddler captures them all and announces there will be a wedding the next day. I guess Sue has made her choice! Probably just to keep Ralph alive. But still, it's gotta hurt that the woman you love would choose a cheesy Batman villain over your silly stretchy self, right?

Secret Six #5 Rating: +1 Ranking. This comic book contains characters that interact with each other in ways that real people might actually interact with each other. Most people would think, "Well duh! Isn't that how fiction should read?" Well, yes! But you'd be surprised at how seldom that actually happens in comic books. A lot of dialogue is simply written towards getting characters to engage in some kind of physical conflict. Complexity of character is not something comic books have traditionally done well. So it's always refreshing to read a book like this with a bunch of characters sitting around at a picnic which makes you think, "Jesus Christ, this is exactly what Thanksgiving is like with my family." I love the words and the story and the art and the characters. It's a fun book and I'm glad it's on the shelves. One more thing which I didn't mention because, as I did mention earlier, I suck as a comic book reviewer: I love Eaglesham's chaotic covers. Please keep them coming. They're like little mini-posters that I would easily hang on my walls if I were still in a phase of my life where I stapled shit to walls. Maybe I'll get a gym membership simply to tape these covers up in my locker so I can stand naked before them and gaze at their beauty.

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