Friday, January 22, 2016

Action Comics #48

Just give him his fucking powers back instead of sticking him in an idiotic space suit some pulp hero from the 50's would have worn.

My band has landed their second gig tonight! Technically the first gig was cancelled and this gig is just the rescheduling of the first gig. Technically technically, the second gig is just a party that every member of the band has been invited to. Also I don't have a band. It was just a dream I had.

I do intend to mostly stay away from these long form commentaries but occasionally a comic book will start off so poorly that I either write about it or scream at the walls incoherently as I turn the pages super aggressively and curse every god that other people believe in for the existence of Greg Pak.

I admit I'm probably letting my temper get the best of me and that the beginning of the comic can easily be explained by somebody who doesn't want any excuse at all to rail against the state of writing in mainstream comic books today. Like I suppose that enough time has passed for the Justice League to have journey off to the edge of the solar system in their ship with a Faster Than Light drive, discover the anomaly (anomoly! Remember how it was spelled that way in the annual?!), and chase it back to Earth where it crashes into the Watchtower as they dock with the Watchtower at the same time. Or something. It doesn't really matter, I suppose. The only thing that matters is that the entire Justice League have now been rendered helpless by some Supremacists whose weapons can apparently drain any type of super power from any hero. It drains Superman's solar power which is a product of his physiology. It drains The Flash's power which is a product of the Speed Force. It drains Power Ring's power which is a product of alien and alternate dimensional technology. It drains Aquaman's powers which are just his natural abilities. It drains Cyborg's powers which are the product of the Technosapiens or Apokolips or wherever the fuck they're currently from. It drains Lex Luthor's powers which is probably the most understandable since he's just in a suit probably powered by kryptonite. They don't drain Wonder Woman's powers though because she's a god and that would be ridiculous if they could drain a god's powers! Sheesh!

Oh, but they do have a neck brace which nullifies the powers of Greek and Roman gods.

Vandal reveals himself to Superman and explains that he's now got the powers of all of the Justice League. Superman decides to enter reporter mode and get some answers! So he asks Vandal, "What the hell are you planning?" Oh! I hope that works! Maybe Vandal will even explain to Superman how he can be stopped while he's going over all of the details of his plan!

Oh, I just noticed that Vandal also has Hal Jordan captured. I guess that makes sense since Hal finally came back to Earth to battle Sonar. No it doesn't. I'm just trying my best here.

Anyway, Vandal refuses to reveal his plan to Clark. Good try, Kent! Now threaten him a bit and then go get Steel's experimental super suit and go be Superman even without powers! Show everybody that it isn't your powers that make you Superman! It's your gumption! It's your homespun charm! It's your never give up until the cows are back in the barn attitude! It's your playing doctor with a close cousin at a young age determination! Vandal Savage can't win because he didn't grow up on a farm with loving parents! But guess who did?!

"I'm not going to tell you my plan! But I'll hint around enough so that you understand it! I want you to see how I'm better than you! An evil jerk is better than Superman! Ah ha ha ha ha ha!"

Vandal Savage begins bombing Metropolis because it's always nice to watch Superman fail to save people. Clark just has to bend over to pick up his glasses and put them back on so he can see all of the people dying that he can't save. Wrath is out of her box which seems unlikely seeing as how she failed Vandal and now she's criticizing his choices. Put her back in her stupid box! The only kid worth a damn is the fake robot one, Hordr_root!

After bombing Metropolis, he explodes a bunch of angry shadow bombs over the city. Because Wrath's plan was apparently Vandal's main plan. Make everybody into angry shadow monsters because profit!

A little help? He needs to be saved just like everybody else!

Yay! A team that can actually get a job done! At least right up until they also get their powers stolen by Supremacist weapons. Doesn't it seem like an awful lot of DC's comic book conflict stems from super heroes somehow losing their powers? Or their powers being ineffective against an enemy? Why can't any writers imagine more creative ways to challenge the heroes?

A plane crashes or something. I think it's the origin story of the first Black Mass Superhero. Maybe. I don't know. It's just interrupting the story! Although maybe it'll be a better story than the main story? Maybe I shouldn't complain too much.

Superman convinces Steel and Lana to let him use the super suit they've been working on that will kill a normal human wearing it in about fifteen minutes. So Superman will be dead in a few hours. I'm not sure why they're putting a death trap on Clark Kent and sending him out to stop Vandal Savage. Shouldn't the Justice League United call in Martian Manhunter? Or just, you know, got up against Savage without Superman? Or is the big twist ending going to be that the only person that can ultimately defeat Savage is one that doesn't have super powers! And Batman is currently indisposed.

Justice League United guest starring The Atom and Superman infiltrate the Carrier and begin their attack on Savage's henchmen. But it's Superman who has to save the day! The guy without powers who is also dying. He's the guy everybody is counting on! Christ. At this point, I'm more apt to bet on Green Arrow saving the day.

I fucking told you to keep her in the box! Idiot!

And now, even though it made no sense, we see why Wrath was allowed out of the box Vandal had stuffed her in after she failed. Because she had to play the Darth Vader to Vandal Savage's Emperor Palpatine. Unless that's spelled differently. It doesn't really matter though. Wrath is out of the box. The Justice League are back from their journey through the solar system. Justice League United are called in to be assistants to a useless ex-reporter. The Justice League have all had their powers stolen because that's a thing any old technologically advanced weapon can do. I think there must be a mathematical formula that exists to justify plot holes in comic books. Something like the amount of punches added to the number of Boob/Butt Showcases divided by the number of explanatory Narration Boxes equals number of plot holes the audience will forgive.

Wrath causes an explosion or something but Hordr_root appears or something and Wonder Woman and Superman appear outside the Carrier or something and the Justice League United are incapacitated immediately or something. Oh! I realize what happened! There were only a few pages left in the comic book so all of the heroes had to be put down before it ended. Now Vandal has all of the Justice League and all of Justice League United powering his Doomsday Weapon while Superman and Wonder Woman have died because they crashed to Earth after falling out of orbit. Well, maybe Wonder Woman survived. But Superman in just an advanced version of a Metallo suit crashing to Earth? No. He's definitely dead.

Action Comics #48 Rating: -2 Ranking. Greg Pak and Aaron Kuder's control over this story is analogous to a kitten's control over its body when it's suddenly attacked by a piece of string. Although it's far less entertaining. What I'm saying is I should have spent my $3.99 on adopting a kitten and a piece of string.

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