Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Earth 2: Society #11

Superman just looks like Captain Atom with his "S" torn off the chest.

The Review!
Perhaps a comic book about a contrived global conflict is the kind of book that makes certain dicks hard and certain pussies wet but it does neither for my dick and/or pussy. This is a story about a society that doesn't trust superheroes and blames them for all of their troubles. Yawn. Double yawn. Triple yawn, even! I don't even know why superhero comic books continue to be published if the main thing modern writers have to say within them is that people don't like authority. Unless they're saying something else with the whole allegory of the misplaced trust in power that I've become too numb and bored to care about figuring out. I don't care what it might be like if a superhero had to deal with the bureaucracies and red tape and public mistrust of public figures extant in the actual world. What I wouldn't mind is an accurate representation of the real world but where superheroes are an added element that just makes the world a better place. What a daring fucking concept, no?

The Commentary!
The less control a person feels they need to exert on the world, the happier that person will be. That's why I'm always so angry when I read shitty comic books! Because I wish I could lock the writer up in my Secret Room of Secret Things and teach them how to write. Not that I know the secret to writing interesting things! I do know the secret to writing popular things though. You write something cliche that appeals to a broad base, hope that the cool young people feel that liking your thing will give them some kind of cultural cache, and then all of the other lemmings (also known as "young people") will like your thing too, desperately trying to portray themselves as having liked it years before anybody else did. But even if I can't really teach a bad writer how to write in my Secret Room of Secret Things, I can at least take out my frustrations on them in horribly demeaning ways. Like I might say, after having them sit in the chair with the broken spring, "How is your mother?" If they reply with anything that isn't "My mother is dead," then I say, "I already knew that because she screamed it while I was doing her hard." I would also be sure to make dramatic hip motions while saying that and maybe do some vulgar thing with my fingers and tongue. Then I would ask, "How is your father?" If they replied with anything that wasn't "My father is dead," I would say, "I know! Who do you think was running the camera while I gave it to your mom!" Then I would ask if they wanted some lemonade and if they said yes, I would tell them I was all out and that they would have to leave now. Boom! Lesson learned, bad writer! Now I just have to hope Cullen Bunn answers "Yes" to my evite!

In my first draft, I had Scott Lobdell as the bad writer but then I thought, "What has Scott Lobdell ever done to me? It's not like he ever posted a picture of a guy flipping the bird and directed it at me!" So that's why I replaced him with Cullen Bunn. I will also be making Cullen Bunn my honorary go-to whipping boy for no other reason than that he once acknowledged that I existed. He should have gone the Gail Simone route and acknowledged my existence in a pleasant way so as to avoid my hate-attention.

I suppose the opposite of my initial statement is also true: the less control a person feels the world is trying to exert on them, the happier the person will be. This is why white cis males should be happy all the time. All of those angry white guys with the man-tears are really blowing their big advantage! Why argue with somebody who attacks white men for simply being white and men? Just ignore them like you've always done prior to that point and live your life the best way any individual can live it: by being recognized by the majority of society that you are, indeed, an individual! When somebody makes a crack about white men, I just laugh and go, "I know, right? Fucking white men are ridiculous!" Because I don't think of myself as a white man! I think of myself as Tess! Or Grunion Guy! Or my real name which you can easily find out but I won't write it here and make it that easy for you. Then I go get a free massage and basket of french fries at one of the many secret White Guy Speakeasies located in every major city.

Oops! Forget I said that! Especially the part about the free french fries and how they're the most delicious I've ever had. Oh wait. I didn't say that. Just forget that too! Oh look over there! It's an Earth 2 comic book!

I was hoping to find an intriguing panel as the distraction but I'm seven pages in and all I've got is this.

Jesus Christ has a line in Jesus Christ Superstar where he says, "To conquer death, you only have to die." That's what I think of whenever there's any backlash to some pop piece of entertainment where the characters or the casting isn't up to White Male Nerd Expectations. What the fuck are you arguing for? You're railing against normalizing things but you think you're somehow keepers of the gates of normalcy. And every time you argue, you're proving that you're ultimate reason for not wanting to change is based in bigotry and superficial bullshit. Instead of allowing the rising tide to drown everyone lift every boat, you're trying to keep all the boats with short anchor chains anchored to the position they've been in for decades while your boat has been without an anchor for centuries. Do you want to stop having this constant discussion about diversity and inclusiveness and privilege? You only have to die. You only. Have. To die.

I know the previous paragraph will be completely misconstrued (which, lucky for me, I won't ever be popular enough to matter) but what do I care?! It's art! I don't have a mandate to explain everything I say in a way that the stupidest person can understand it! That's like asking David Lynch to explain Lost Highway to a large percentage of the audience. I've told this story before but with close to three thousand blog posts (most of them about me and only peripherally about the comic book I'm reading at the time), I should be allowed repeated story tellings. So I was with my old high school friend Soy Rakelson years ago and we were discussing Lost Highway. He thought that it was too confusing and that the auteur had a duty to try to make his or her work understandable. As we talked, he noticed I had John Barth's Lost in the Funhouse nearby and he said, "Oh man! I loved that story in here about the Swimmers!" And I said, "Oh, the one about the sperm." And he looked at me quizzically and said, "You know, the one with the Swimmers?" And I said, "Yeah. The one with the sperm questioning the whole point of his seemingly pointless existence." And his jaw dropped and he was all, "Holy crap." And I was all, "Don't you think an auteur has a duty to try to make his or her work understandable?" For Soy, the story was fascinating because of the philosophical quandary of the narrator. But to me, I couldn't imagine the story really meaning anything if you didn't walk away from it realizing that the Swimmer was a spermatozoa. It definitely changed Soy's take on the story after that.

I don't know if we actually used the word "auteur" that night but seeing that we were both in the same Lit Theory class at the time, we probably did. Although we weren't wearing sweater vests or sipping espressos at the local coffee shop (which was called City Lights, by the way).

I don't think the auteur was very clear about which character is supposed to be speaking which thoughts. I'm fairly certain the little arrows are pointing at all the wrong people. Another possibility is I'm just too stupid to get the gist of this conversation. Is Giffen writing this?

Speaking of Soy Rakelson, he was one of those white guys who constantly felt like he was a victim. He was also Catholic and so he felt under attack all the time on that front too. Plus his family was from Chicago and he was defensive about that as well! One time he wrote a letter to the San Jose State Student Paper arguing about the proposed Black Student Union. At the time, he didn't realize that it was just another group and not, as he thought, a completely new building that would be just for black students. Fuck I wish I'd kept that paper! I'm pretty sure he invoked out of context quotes from people like Benjamin Franklin and Abraham Lincoln to defend his position (a position, I remind you, that was totally based on his misunderstanding of the situation).

I proposed getting a Mortal Kombat video game cabinet for non-Asians but my letter was never printed. I was just tired of getting my spine pulled out by the Asian students and figured I could probably beat a white person or two if only I could get the opportunity to play one!

I should probably begin discussing Earth 2: Society since it's beginning to get interesting. And by "interesting," I simply mean it's beginning to irk me enough to start ranting.

The various cities that have sprung up around Earth Too are ready to go to war over the planet's resource rights. The only problem is that the planet doesn't have any resources. Except for, you know, the two suns. And probably wind. Maybe water. Possibly geothermal. But even though the people of Earth 2 had the technology to build escape ships for a small chunk of their population (I'm not talking about the slipships that Mister Terrific and whoever found for the eventual escape from Darkseid), they apparently can't figure out solar power. It was explained earlier that somehow solar power doesn't work with these suns but I'm pretty sure that explanation was so that people like me would just shut up about it and simply deal with the plot as Dan Abnett wants me to deal with it.

During peace talks with the leaders of the cities, Green Lantern lets it slip that the planet has no natural resources. This leaves the leaders to draw the only conclusion possible: they have to all go to war to steal the other people's resources. I guess everybody has really bonded with the other people who just happened to wind up on the same escape ships as they did. I bet they think twice about going to war when they realize that two of the armies they'll have to battle are composed of Amazons and Atlanteans! I bet they start crying peace all over the place when they learn that little morsel!

I don't think I truly hated this comic book until this panel.

It's not that I'm annoyed that some asshole politicians aren't accepting any kind of responsibility for their own actions or are looking for somebody else to blame. I suppose that's fitting. But what I can't stand is how the "Wonders" just pull down their pants and take it. I don't know what "it" is but it's not any kind of rape, just in case you were about to feel triggered. If Green Lantern's response isn't, "Well, fuck it. I tried. Let them fucking sort it out," I'll be disappointed. Why superheroes feel the need to keep helping when all they receive in return is shit and more shit is beyond me. Oh, I get it. Because they're heroes and they do what's right no matter how popular it is. Although if that were the truth, then Superman really would be a fascist dickface, wouldn't he?

Fury of Amazonia wants to save the world for their own sake and believes they'll thank her for it later. Green Lantern wants to save the world even though they hate him and don't want his help. I say let Fury take over and Green Lantern can save the world if they all write really polite letters to him asking for his help.

The best part of the story is probably the part I won't spend a word on because that's no fun! I'll be all, "And then Ted Grant gets punched in the face and Red Arrow is all, 'My boxing glove arrow doesn't work on mist people!' But Batdick is all, 'Guys? Guys? Status, guys? Guys?' And then Ted Grant is all, 'What's gonna work?' And Red Arrow is all, 'Teamwork!'"

Anyway, Green Lantern is a big hippie failure so Sandman, Sato, and Steel (the S.S.S?) decide to impose martial law and kill anybody who doesn't do what they say. Serves them right!

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