Thursday, June 30, 2016

Cyborg #12

Wasn't this the cover to Issue #11?

The Review!
I'm assuming this is the last issue because it said "The End." at the end and also I'm eating cake. You've got to celebrate the little things. And the things that are a little bigger than even the little things like not having to read this comic book anymore. I'm fairly certain it's dried up my levels of serotonin. Which might also be the reason for eating all of that cake. As for the actual review of this issue, it was a structurally sound comic book where the good guy defeats the bad guys while also showing empathy, compassion, and muscles. But it suffers from poor editing, especially at the end when the world is destroyed. Or should have been destroyed. Maybe the world is saved by bad editing because the editor didn't go, "Hey, Marv? Are you sure you wrote this ending correctly? I think the world would collapse into a black hole the way you've written it." But since the editor didn't say that, the world lived! Hooray for bad editing failing to catch bad writing! Or something?

Keep reading...

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Cyborg #11

Diversity at DC Comics! Present Cyborg as the angry black man who can withstand fire! Such stereotypes!

The Review!
Isn't it about time to give up on Cyborg? He's not as fascinating as DC wants me to think he is. But I guess they don't have a great history of black characters to turn into star characters. My preference would be for Black Lightning. He's got a lot more personality and as long as the colorist remembers to make his lightning bolts black, his name isn't really racist! Of course, DC wouldn't have this problem of Cyborg not being interesting enough to be a star if they just had a more diverse cast of heroes who were popular. The problem is trying to make any character as popular as Batman! It's like there's no formula for how to make a character super popular which DC could apply! I mean, Batman isn't anything like Harley Quinn! And Harley Quinn isn't anything like Lobo! Except for the really white skin. But you know what? That isn't going to work here! That's about the extent of my wisdom on this subject!

Keep reading...

We Are Robin #12

This comic book needs something to make it interesting but I haven't given it enough thought to know what. Probably sex.

The Review!
This is the last issue of the series and, of course, it's probably the best and most interesting. Why is that? Why can't comic book writers figure out what makes a final issue where they wrap everything up so much better than the issues where they're trying to build the world? I think it's that whole 'in media res' thing! This should have been Issue #1! I bet most comic book fans would read this as Issue #1 and hate it because people like to have their hands held and bottoms powdered as their full of shit opinions diapers are changed when they are being entertained. I suppose some changes would have to be made to this issue if it were the first one but not a lot. I mean, this one works due to the call backs to previous issues the Robins have had in their struggle. But even call backs to previous history can work when the reader isn't privy to that history. If only writers would write to the intelligent and the curious instead of making sure everything is understandable to every dull-witted, slack-jawed moron who might pick up a comic book, maybe first issues would be far more interesting far more often.

Keep reading...

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Sinestro #23

"Let them use cock rings!" -- Famous French Clueless Royal Person Who Gave Out Free Cock Rings and Sparked a Revolution. Seriously. I would tell you to Wiki it but, I mean, someone probably accidentally deleted the entry or something. That's why I don't remember his name. He was an interesting figure because he thought no matter how little the people had, sexual pleasure could make up for most of life's disappointments. But he failed to take into account that most of the poor, unwashed masses he was tossing the cock rings to didn't have any sexual prospects. These losers were already really angry about how life was not only violent and hopeless but it was also withholding from them one of the few things even animals seemed to enjoy willy-nilly. Putting a cock ring in their hands just exacerbated the problem and it wasn't long before royalty, leaders, good looking guys, and fit women who said no were getting their dicks and vaginas chopped off in the public square. It was a time of great unrest although Fedora manufacturers and sellers made a killing.

The Review!
I should probably put this review behind a pay wall so that Cullen Bunn doesn't accidentally see it and get butt hurt over people having opinions! I can see why he would get upset about my reviews of his work though because my opinions are so close to facts as to be indistinguishable. Was that sentence okay? Did I need a "from them" at the end of it? Why do words and sentences have so many rules? No wonder Cullen Bunn has trouble writing! I wish my Writing Assistant and Editor and Run To The Shop To Buy Sandwiches Boy, Pickle Boy, were still around to fix my writing mistakes. But no! He's gone off to have a family and live a life and grow old and have enough money for a funeral and a grave. What a show off! So now I have to try to make fun of Cullen Bunn's ability to write with a poorly executed and hardly refined writing style! It makes me look like a fucking joke, Pickle Boy! How dare you leave me! Why did you leave me when I needed you the most?! I'm so hungry for a sandwich!

Keep reading...

Monday, June 27, 2016

Deathstroke #19

Why does the Lawman want revenge against Snakebite's crotch?

The Review!
This comic book made me think bad things. Really bad things! Bad things that no person ever wants to admit to thinking if they want to win the Holier-Than-Everybody-Else War that is going on in the world! But guess what? I survived! Survived to think more inappropriate things next time! That's a good thing because the next comic book I'm going to read is Cullen Bunn's Sinestro and I know I'm going to need a lot of inappropriate words and phrases to describe the writing in that one! As to describing this book, it was the usual crap it's been since David Finch took over. Or was it Tony S. Daniel who was writing it? Whatever. They're basically the same guy. Both of them draw fish-mouthed men drenched in shadows. Both of them draw woman who look like fourteen year old girls. Both of them love using double splash pages. And neither of them can fucking write. I can't really criticize James Bonny too harshly here because he's just remaining true and emulating Daniel's style. Unless it was Finch.

As for the review of my commentary? Double Plus Good!

Keep reading...

The Coming of the Supermen #5

Superman should have lunch before breaking up this fight. It might solve at least his future Luthor problems.

The Review!
Most artists who can draw probably also think they can write because writing is the easy part! You just draw a panel of Gambit throwing a card at a Sentinel and make him say a card game pun! The thing about comic books is that so many of the writers are so mediocre that companies may as well have the artists write the comic book as well. Which may be the reason we have this debacle by Neal Adams. The writing is terrible. It's terrible with so many "very"s in front of it that I should probably think up a better word to describe it so I can drop a few veries. How about atrocious? No wait! Abominable! It is an abominable travesty! I bet the only person who is enjoying it is Denny O'Neil. There's no doubt now who was the brains behind the Green Lantern/Green Arrow team-up tales! Was there any doubt before this? People were probably just all, "Denny did a great job on the writing and Neal did a great job on the art and I would never consider giving either one credit for what the other person so obviously did!" But if that wasn't the case, now we know definitively that Neal Adams did not do any of the writing on that series. Unless some of that series was terrible. I mean abominable. All that shit was before my time.

Keep reading...

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Bloodlines #3

I wonder if spikes come out of Haley's secret piercing?

The Review!
Don't think there was any real action in this comic book simply because the cover depicts a huge battle. No battles happen here. Somebody gets an MRI. Somebody goes shopping. Duncan the Urban Hunter proves to everybody that his name is just as dangerous as it sounds. But there isn't any huge battle at all. It's almost as if comic books are immune to laws about false advertising! But if you like books about young teenagers getting super powers and you don't want to pick up any of the other teenage super group comic books, you might like this one. Eventually. You know, when the action begins.

Keep reading...

Justice League 3001 #12

The Legion of Super-heroes if they were cool.

The Review!
According to some anonymous person on the internet (and who can we trust more to give us insightful analyses of our intensely personal selves?!), I'm an "edgelord". I could guess by the context what that meant but figured I should get the specific, community-voted on and approved definition, so I consulted Urban Dictionary for the factual facts.

A poster on an Internet forum, (particularly 4chan) who expresses opinions which are either strongly nihilistic, ("life has no meaning," or Tyler Durden's special snowflake speech from the film Fight Club being probably the two main examples) or contain references to Hitler, Nazism, fascism, or other taboo topics which are deliberately intended to shock or offend readers.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Suicide Squad Most Wanted: Deadshot and Katana #6

How is Deadshot not constantly being shot and killed by people on the left side of his body?

The Review!
Halo and Katana and Cat are now a family so I don't care about any other changes that come with Rebirth. This was all I needed. Just them, together. And on the opposite side of the comic book in the second story, Lawton returns to his family too! I mean, he loses his real family which is his daughter. But the Suicide Squad is more of a family to Floyd than Suchin, right? She's so boring. Always wanting to do little kid things that usually aren't invading another country, murdering murderers, and causing violent mayhem all across the globe. Her violent mayhem is limited to the playground. I like this format for Suicide Squad stories centering around specific characters. It's relatively cheap for two comic books and since the characters are bound to the Squad, it's less likely that the person purchasing the comic book will be dissatisfied with one of the stories. Unless, of course, one of the stories winds up being written by Scott Lobdell. Then I'd feel conflicted buying this even if the other story were written by Peter Milligan.

Keep reading...

Suicide Squad Most Wanted: Deadshot and Katana #5

Another gay black character is going to be killed for no reason! What is this? Orange is the New Black?

The Review!
I rewatched Adaptation last night and I think the theme of that movie was that writing is masturbation. No wonder I'm really into both of those. There may have been some other themes too but I was too interested in the masturbation one. I think Baker's The Fermata had that same theme! I remember not really caring much about Adaptation the first time I saw it. But maybe I like it a little better now. Kaufman really nails how writing about writing truly is the masturbation of writing. But writing to please an audience isn't so great either. Writing to please oneself? Well, we're back to the masturbation analogy. But what else is there, really? If you're not into self-pleasure, why bother with life at all? I realize when I get caught up in criticism and expectation (like how people expect a comic book review out of me), I get bogged down in doubt and trite bullshit. I'm much better at simply being comfortable masturbating with an audience. If they want to watch, that's up to them and their issues! If they're turned off by it then they can look away. I just need to continue to do it my way. You know, slow at first with a lot of shaft play and then quicker while really giving my testicles a pounding. I'm talking about my writing style, you pervs! Do you think I'd actually describe to strangers how I masturbate? Um, and the comic was pretty good and all that. It had art and lettering and stuff. Number out of Number. Would probably not read again but that's just because I have a lot to read and not an indication of quality so maybe I should have just left it out.

Keep reading...

Action Comics #958

I trust the Superman that doesn't have the glowing red devil eyes!

The Review!
"Action Comics is putting the action back into Action Comics! Also the comics! It's a really aptly named comic book!" I wonder if DC would use that blurb for the next Action Comics Trade Paperback? I wonder if Dan Jurgens is getting paid for rewriting the Death of Superman? Usually when I get something wrong at work and have to redo it, my boss just gets really angry and makes me stay until it's fixed even if I'm off the clock! I wonder if I can send my original copy of Death of Superman back to DC for a refund since it was obviously defective and needed upgrading. Not that I think Superman is going to die this time so technically it isn't a new version of The Death of Superman. It's more like The Death of Superman That Never Was Because He Didn't Die This Time by Dan Jurgens, 80s Robot. I wonder if Dan Jurgens speaks like Max Headroom? I wonder if he fucks like Max Headroom? I wonder what Max Headroom fucks like?! Anyway, if you like action and you like comics, you probably should have realized that this comic book is right up your alley.

The Commentary!
Some writers look back on their past writing and cringe. I look back on my past writing and think, "How me write well so good?" I thought getting more and more practice doing something was supposed to make you better at that something! What am I? Bizarro Writer? Every single thing I write now is shit! It's worse than shit! It's shit that ate bad shrimp and got diarrhea and shit an even worse shit! It's the kind of shit that makes that shit that shit it think, "Holy shit! I need to get my shit to a hospital!" At least I get to reward myself with masturbation after finishing a page. Or a paragraph. Or right back!...sentence.

Maybe what's wrong is that I've written too much! My writing has always been purposely terrible and off-kilter. Maybe I've written 10,000 hours worth of writing and now I can't not write bad! Crap! That's my entire gimmick! Oh man. I need to think of a new gimmick! A good gimmick would be to write really smart and insightful things. But then I'd have to be smart and insightful. I wonder if I'm any good at pretending to be smart and insightful? Or I can just steal other people's insights!

Oh! I came up with a really good insight the other day while not reading the comments section of one of my commentaries! I was thinking, "Grunion?" That's what I call myself! Tess isn't my name, dum-dums! It's just the name of the blog! It makes sense if you say it out loud to your mother. You might not understand what you're saying as you say my blog's name but your mother will slap you. Anyway, I was thinking to myself, "King Beauregard...I mean, Grunion! What if New 52 Superman isn't actually dead at all? You know how he turned to dust? Maybe that was the Quarmer Superman! You know, the one made out of sand! Holy switcheroos! That would mean the real Clark Kent really is the real Clark Kent! And he probably lost all of his powers because the Quarmer took them all! So now there's a Clark Kent character that's the real Clark Kent and he's going to get to date the Superwoman Lois Lane and it'll be this whole role reversal thing where Clark gets to be in the crotchless panties and Lois gets to be on top eating deep dish pizza!" See? I'm so insightful and I didn't steal most of that insight at all!

This issue begins with Preboot Superman saying, "Hey! Remember all that stuff that happened in the previous comic books? Well you should because I just reminded you! Now let's get on with the story! Hopefully it won't be a repeat of the last time I met Doomsday or this will be the shortest run of Action Comics ever!" You might be thinking 958 issues isn't really a short run but it's the only run of Action Comics, so it's the shortest! I'm not going to complicate the issue by pointing out how Action Comics was renumbered for awhile and how we're all pretending the renumbering never happened now.

Why would you want a copyrighted image going viral?! You'll never collect royalties from all those dum-dum Facebook users! Besides, won't Lex own it? I bet he forgets to even credit Jimmy in the Daily Planet!

Clark is all, "Viral?! This could make the Special Edition of a hard copy of a newspaper that nobody reads anymore! You'll make a few bucks!" And Jimmy is all, "Yeah, but how do you expect to write it when you're a part of the story?!" Pshaw! Like that's ever stopped Clark before!

Dr. Ozymanhattan continues to watch the action on his multiple television screens. If I were smart and insightful, I'd come up with a reason his staff looks like it looks. What is it? A fermata on the end of a staff? It doesn't look enough like one but that would make sense. I bet Dr. Manhattan's atom symbol on his forehead has worn down a bit so that it now looks like a fermata. That would be a smart thing, right?!

Lois and Jon are watching the battle at home which means news cameras are filming the entire fight. So I don't know why Jimmy thinks his still photography is going to make him famous! Those stills will be yawnsville by the time he gets them developed!

I'm so smart to have read that thing you don't need to know about that caused me to figure out that Quarmer angle!

Doomsday and Superman battle for a bit. At least Jurgens remembers how boring he made the fight last time he wrote it so he intersperses it with scenes of other people. Lex is all, "Clark Kent?!!" And Lois is all, "Enough television, young man! You'll ruin your supper!" And Jon is all, "I can fly! I can fly! I can fly! I can fly!" He sings it really campy for some reason. Oh wait. That was me singing it out loud. Never mind.

The issue ends with Doomsday about to crush Lex's head. Not in a funny Kids in the Hall way either! More like in a funny while smoking pot and watching Faces of Death way! And, of course, Dr. Voyeur continues to monitor the situation. I bet he jerks it constantly under those robes.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Detective Comics #935

Sure, Batman gets his name on the cover. What about Batwoman? And what about Black Canary in Green Arrow? And Mera in Aquaman? I'm beginning to suspect there might be sexism in comic books.

The Review!
This is the comic book where Batwoman has wound up so if you're into Batwoman, you're probably going to pick up this comic book. It's not as good as Batwoman was when Blackman and Williams were writing and drawing it. But I don't think we should try to make everything live up to its absolute best! Why should we ask for the highest standard possible from a company whose products we're buying?! I mean, most of you probably aren't buying the products anyway, right. BIG MANGA WINK. So you can't really expect DC to hire the best writers and artists when they aren't getting the money they might be expecting, can you? Plus it's better if the comic isn't absolutely stunning because then it's easier to justify pirating it! Oops! Sorry! I didn't mean to use the P-word! I meant easier to justify reading it on the sly? Reading it fairly for free? Why did I even bring up torrenting and theft and stealing anyway? It has nothing to do with this comic book! It's not my favorite book but it's a decent read and I like Batwoman. Plus Tim and Steph fuck while Cassie watches, so that's probably worth at least half of the cover price, right?

Wonder Woman #1

Who is the corpse? Etta Candy?

The Review!
The story is currently concentrating on the "wonder" part of Wonder Woman's name as she wanders about her business completely confused about her past. Unless the "wonder" manifests in no Narration Boxes so the reader has to "wonder" what Wonder Woman is actually thinking. The lack of Narration Boxes alone makes this comic book worth reading. Here's a tip that I've given before but I should probably remind people of it a lot: the best writers don't rely on Narration Boxes. Sure, they may use them but when they do, it's for a particular effect and not just as explication to make sure the reader understands the story. People complain when a computer role playing game is "on rails" because it takes away a sense of freedom or autonomy from the user. Narration Boxes are like comic books on rails. They tell you what to think and how you should feel. They take away any ambiguity and what is art without ambiguity? It's a sham, that's what! That's why my reviews are full of ambiguity! Because it's art! The reader is left to wonder: Is Tess really this stupid? Or is Tess even stupider than it appears? You'll never know! Because art! Also, I like where this comic book is headed. It's taking its time which is a good thing! I mean, that's not always a good thing. Sometimes that's just a writer padding out twenty pages to expand a story to six issues when the story really should be told in two issues. This story takes its time because we're learning how patient Wonder Woman is. She's seeking out Cheetah but she's trying to do it in a peaceful way. How good is that?! Instead of twenty pages of Wonder Woman fighting Cheetah until they finally stop to speak at the end, it's twenty pages of Wonder Woman carefully approaching Cheetah and ensuring Cheetah that she doesn't want to fight. Come on! Who takes that kind of approach with a super hero?! Especially when they absolutely should take that approach! Like with invulnerable and powerful heroes like Superman and Wonder Woman! I mean, I understand if Batman has to sneak in and punch Cheetah in the throat before talking to her. Because if he didn't, he'd be torn to shreds!

No wait! Batman was a bad example! He would never be torn to shreds even when he totally should be. Maybe I should have said Green Arrow or Blue Beetle.

Keep reading...

Thursday, June 23, 2016

The Flash #1

Is Barry outrunning death again already?

The Review!
This issue is called "Deus Ex Machina" because the story it tells right up until page seventeen follows a fairly standard and predictable plot. The foreshadowing is less like a shadow and more like a spotlight. But then all of that story is thrown away so that The Flash doesn't learn the lesson he almost learned when the deus ex machina blasts down from the sky and saves the day. In a way, it's like seventeen pages that didn't need to happen! What happens on page eighteen could have happened on page four, really. I suppose the supporting cast of this comic book had to be introduced. That's what all the middle pages were really about. Williamson does to himself this issue what he did to Ron Marz on Voodoo! He took the narrative, set it on fire, pissed on the ashes, and started an entirely new narrative! Is that his go-to move? I suppose it works fair enough here although I'm a bit concerned about more Flash stories featuring multiple speedsters. Have we not had enough of that yet? I just hope time travel doesn't get wedged in here as well.

Keep reading...

Aquaman #1

I would read this comic book! Too bad this comic book won't be this comic book, you know?

The Review!
Black Manta returns! I don't know why I used an exclamation point on that previous sentence. I'm bored of Black Manta and his incessant need for vengeance. Get over it already! Stop letting your father's death at the hands of Aquaman define you! Find motivation outside of your need for revenge! Get a new costume because that helmet and the way it makes your neck look extra long totally creep me out. I enjoyed the first half of this comic book that was setting up what could be an entertaining and continuous B Story of life inside Spindrift Station. But the second half was all, "Whoops! Spindrift Station is being destroyed! No more sitcom located within an embassy full of land dwellers and sea dwellers having hilarious cultural misunderstandings! Oh, and the goofy comedy relief reporter? He's actually dead in a trunk. Ha ha!" That's what I get for insisting the last few issues of New 52 Aquaman were too boring with all of the talking and more talking about stuff that didn't matter. Now when the talking is entertaining me, it's blown up for the sake of Black Manta drama! I hate that guy!

The Commentary!
I didn't realize until just now which is two weeks after reading it that Aquaman Rebirth #1 wasn't even about Aquaman. It wasn't setting up Aquaman's new status quo at all. It was that jerk Black Manta's story! It was about setting up his plans and goals (which aren't very nice, by the way). I don't want to read Aquaman stories that are really Black Manta stories! I don't even want to read Aquaman stories! What was even worse was Black Manta's plan to get even with Aquaman was to kill Mera who has nothing to do with the beef between Manta and Aquaman. If Black Manta was trying to garner enough sympathy over the whole Aquaman killed his dad thing so that maybe Black Manta can get his own Deathstroke-type comic book, he's going about it the wrong way! He should not be driven by simple vengeance. He should be an eco-terrorist who believes Aquaman's policies and dealings with the surface world will bring ruin to the oceans and thus the world! He should be a critique of tree-huggers because nobody likes tree-huggers anyway! I mean, some people do but then they've never actually sat down and had brunch with one. Eco-blah, eco-blah, eco-blah! Give it a rest! We get it! We're making the Earth unlivable! Well, you're making my pancakes inedible!

The issue begins with Mera and Arthur sharing some coffee in the morning.

I'm glad Mera didn't have time to put on pants before going outside!

The new artist really loves to draw hair! I bet he hates drawing Black Manta!

Black Manta is probably happy Mera forgot her pants too because he's voyeuring them up right now! He really means business. Who gets up this early to assassinate somebody?

Oh no! I hope Black Manta doesn't kill Aquadog! If Black Manta kills Aquadog, I will stop reading this comic book. Seriously. If Rebirth becomes all about killing people's pets, I might have to break up with it. It's okay if he kills Garth or Tula though. I've never been comfortable with the Aquakids.

The action moves to Spindrift Station, Atanta's embassy on the East Coast of the United States. I almost asked if any kind of action ever takes place at an embassy and then I remember Lethal Weapon II. Oh! And Benghazi! And Beirut! And Saigon! And Tehran! And Beirut! And...well, I can't think of all of the others because there have been so many attacks on US embassies. So it's a good thing I didn't ask about action at embassies! It's like other people don't want US Embassies in their countries! Is it the decor?

Entering Spindrift Station for the first time are Daily Planet reporter Ray Delane and British Navy Lieutenant Joanna Stubbs. I guess they're going to be the supporting cast of this situation comedy. Land dwellers dealing with fish people! Wacky! How many times will Ray Delane put his foot in his mouth? Ordering fish sticks at the commissary! Oh, you rascal!

Stubbs almost has sex with Sark, one of the king's guard, before Aquaman shows up to say a words. I hope the first thing he explains is how he doesn't actually speak with fish and that land-dwellers are idiots to think so. Instead of saying anything useful, Aquaman sends everybody to eat appetizers. Ray Delane gets sick eating sea slugs and wanders out of sight to throw up. Or to plant bombs.

Darn! I thought Ray Delane was going to be the comedic relief! Black Manta isn't anywhere near as funny.

Where did Black Manta get that kind of technology? I don't mean the technology to look like a completely different person! I mean the technology to shove sea slugs into his mask so that it looked like he was eating them as Ray Delaney?

Black Manta sets off some bombs and kills a bunch of people. Oh man. The Republicans are going to investigate the shit out of Aquaman on this debacle! I hope Aquaman doesn't have a private email server or has never received oral sex from Vulko.

Mera gets harpooned in the chest while trying to keep Spindrift Station from flooding. Did that passive sentence make it sound like Mera is at fault for getting harpooned? I didn't mean it that way! I just figured everybody knows who was doing the harpooning so it gave me some leeway with my sentence structure!

Aquaman isn't as devastated as Black Manta thought he would be but he's exactly as extra angry as I warned the fictional comic book character Black Manta he would be.

Well, you did murder his father (technically. Does technically count in murder?)! And he did stop! Actually he didn't stop. He went and murdered your father because you murdered his. Hmm. Carry on!

I think if Black Manta and Aquaman just had some couples counseling, they might be able to work through this issue. It's not like either one of them meant to kill the other one's father! Arthur was just trying to kill Black Manta! That's got to count for something. It's better than Black Manta trying to kill Mera because Aquaman killed Black Manta's dad. That's a total dick move which is why Black Manta is wrong. If Manta were just trying to kill Aquaman, I'd be okay with that!

Black Manta's goal isn't just to kill Aquaman. He also wants the surface world to hate and fear him. So it's a good thing Black Manta is acting like a terrorist and killing innocent people and destroying an embassy and attempting to assassinate a king to boot! Everybody will be totally willing to see his side of things now!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Justice League #52

This Man of Steel has the look of a man who won a bet where I have to lick his asshole clean. Believe me. I know that look.

The Review!
How long can Lex Luthor as Superman remain interesting? This seems like one of those Geoff Johns guzzling whisky at the bar ideas that sounds like a shocking story idea but eventually gets old quick. I don't know whose idea it was but since Dan Jurgens is writing this book, I guess I'll have to assume it was his. It's not like we haven't seen the Lex Luthor goes good story several times before. So once again, we get to read stories where Lex Luthor is doing the right thing but in a not so great way while we wait for him to go off the rails revealing either his ultimate criminal plan or that he's just a huge dick who will never change. Hopefully Dan Jurgens will bring a new twist to the Lex as hero thing but I have my doubts. Jurgens is, after all, only a robot built in 1986 with no ports to upgrade his memory. This might simply wind up being a Cold War allegory that doesn't matter anymore!

Deathstroke #18

Slade's finally been reunited with his kids, What's-her-name and the other one!

The Review!
If you're a fan of bad writing and Rose's camel-toe, you'll love this issue! More things you might like about this issue: fake fatherly love, thin eye-patches, dresses that cling to every orifice, and stupid names! It's a cavalcade of things to make fun of!

Batgirl #52

I think Batgirl just got stung in the face by a wasp.

The Review!
One day, Mary Sue was sitting down for lunch after her morning lecture, "Do Not Think of the Transporters as Suicide Machines or People Replicators." She was desperate for a big, fat, juicy sausage. Her lips were watering just thinking about sliding a huge sausage into the proper orifice. You know the one! The one that enjoys sausages! Did you see me winking as I typed that? Cadet Jenkins McElroy wandered into the canteen and picked up an empty tray that would soon be loaded with sausages of his own. And probably some eggs and toast and maybe beans since Star Fleet was an amalgam of all cultures, even the weird ones that eat beans for breakfast. "Hey, Mary Sue! What's going on?" asked Jenkins with his sausage hole. "Ohhhhhh," moaned Mary Sue because Star Fleet uniforms were so tight that she could totally see Jenkins was hiding a sausage in the appropriate place for guys to have sausages. "Oh Mary Sue! You kidder!" said Jenkins not understanding what was going on at all because he was a virgin and he had never heard a sex moan before. I have heard them a lot which is why I know that they sound like "Ohhhh!" And if you don't think that's what a sex sound sounds like, you probably read it incorrectly and should read it the way it really sounds. You should also read it out loud and record it and email me the recording but only if you're a female because I don't want to hear a guy doing a sex sound. I've heard that enough! I mean because I've heard my own sex sounds all those times I've done it a lot! Now I forgot where I was in the story. I think Mary Sue fell asleep satisfied and full of sausage or something.

The Commentary!
Dear Diary,
I am a sham! A lousy, good-for-nothing sham! I'm not the virgin you thought I was! I can't keep my deep, dark secret any longer! I'm a different virgin! Ha ha!

Here's the thing, Diary! I don't want to be superhero! I want to be a stand-up comedian! I can take the stage name Oracle and tell jokes about my vagina! "My vagina is like a greyhound bus! A lot of people have spent a lot of miserable time inside of it! OH!" Then the audience members will look at each other and wink and say things like "She bangs a lot!" and "She's talking about doing it!" Here's another joke I'm working on: "So the other day, Mary Sue--that's what I call my vadge--was all, 'Let's fuck that guy over there!' And I was all, 'That's a lamppost!' And Mary Sue was all, 'I know!'" Okay, so I need to work on my material! But that's the problem. I'm spending all of my time being a superhero and no time writing super funny jokes to tell while standing up!

Oh! I wonder if that's why The Joker shot me in the spine! He didn't want any competition so he made sure I couldn't stand up or be funny due to having been traumatized! That guy!

Another thing I've been super busy with is hanging around with my new girl crew. We call ourselves the Pussy Patrol. Well, I do! They want to call themselves the Birds of Prey but I'm like, "The only bird in this group is Black Canary!" And then Bluebird was all, "Hey! Bitch!" And I was all, "Also isn't it kind of degrading to refer to ourselves as 'birds'? And isn't it a little violent to think of ourselves as birds who eat other birds? Oh wait! I just got that! It's a cunnilingus reference! Uh oh. Mary Sue is hulking out!"

So the other night, I was hanging with the Pussy Patrol when we heard that Gladius was holding the kids of Gotham Academy hostage! I was all, "We have to save them even if I'm already super busy trying to balance my social life, my family life, my career life, my imaginary love life, my Mary Sue hygiene life, and my superhero life!" And Wonder Woman was all, "Tell me about it, sister! So difficult! OH HOW I WANT A BABY SO BADLY!" But Admiral Grump Canary was all, "It's a trap!" And Vixen was all, "Does anybody have any wacky nose pep?" See, because she's a model and they all do that, right? I don't know! I'm a drugs virgin too, okay?! And the Spoiler was all, "And it turns out, she was really a guy!" And Blackbird was all, "I was in the middle of getting my head shaved when you called! I mean, that must be the explanation of my hair style, right? Nobody would really go around with half of their head shaved when they're trying to keep a secret identity, you know?!" But I was all, "Don't worry, Pussies! I have a plan! Dun dun dun DUN!"

My plan was basically to go in and kick butt but they didn't need to know it was that simple! Mostly I could call it a plan because I knew a secret way into the library where the kids were being held. Which probably didn't matter so much because we were still walking into a trap. Why do heroes always walk into traps when they know they're traps? I think most of the time we just say we know something is a trap so if it turns out to be a trap, we can be all, "I knew it!"

Ugh. What the hell are you wearing, Grump Canary?!

The plan took a terrible turn when I confronted Gladius and said, "You're surrounded!" But the Pussy Patrol were all standing behind me because some people don't know how to follow plans! How embarrassing! Now all the kids at Gotham Academy think I don't know the definition of surrounded!

Maybe nobody noticed because almost immediately, Gladius went all Boss Battle on us! She grew four more arms and they were all wielding swords and she was all, "Now get in to melee combat with me and don't you dare try to attack me with ranged weapons!" So most of the Pussy Patrol were all, "Okay!" And I was left to spit out that little cloud of air like they do in Mangas when a character is exasperated! Even Bluebird closes in on Gladius and she uses electricity guns! They're not Tasers because those are trademarks and she makes her own versions which she hasn't named yet. Unless she has and I wasn't paying attention because I was thinking of some way to get a dick up in Mary Sue.

AnySwayze, I was all, "Let me show them how it's done! I'll impress them all with my ranged attack skills by taking out Gladius's remote control of her mechanical arms from a ranged distance down range!"

Why is my memory so good?! Now I'll never forget this embarrassing verbal flub!

So it turned out Gladius wasn't exactly Gladius! She was just pseudo-Gladius! The real Gladius went running off looking for the Negahedron which is some thing that does something bad or something. I know I have an eidetic memory but sometimes things are so boring I just never really pay attention when I first learn about them.

Since the Pussy Patrol worked as a team all night, I decided to send them all home so I could take down Gladius all by myself! Mostly because Gladius had taken off on a fire engine and I wasn't about to bring Vixen and Grump Canary along with me. What firefighter would look at me when Grump Canary's everything is hanging out of her fishnets and Vixen is acting like she's on the catwalk (also probably walking like a cat because of her powers)?

Damn it! I'll remember this flub forever too! What is wrong with my speech capabilities?! Luckily none of the hot studs they use for the calendars which I totally don't rub Mary Sue on were around to hear me.

After the adventure, I ended up at my surprise going away party. Wait. What? Where am I going away to?! I didn't know I was going away! What's going on here?! Who's messing with my mind and my life?! Why is my world always changing around me without my consent?! Life is terrible!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Red Hood Loves Arsenal #13

I was in a bromance once. We did a lot of brock-gobbling and brodomy.

The Review!
According to Lobdell's retweets of people who like his Red Hood Loves Arsenal comic book (because I imagine he retweets every single positive mention he gets), he has about three fans of this book. I'm a nobody and I think I receive more appreciation for my stupid bullshit! That makes me feel bad for Lobdell. Now that this series is over, I truly hope he's decided to recommit himself to giving a shit about his Rebirth comic book. I doubt that will happen since he's been writing for DC for five years and he has yet to prove that he thinks about anything he's writing for longer than it takes him to jot the script down on the back of a bar napkin. He doesn't even seem to remember his scripts from month to month because there is no logical consistency in any of the characters in any of his DC Comics series. I suppose that's the main reason he continues to get work. With no consistency in his characters, he can change them as editorial dictates come down the line. Anything an editor wants, Lobdell does. I'm not saying that as an insult! I'm just saying he's easy to work with and he gets the job that's needed done. It's just that that never results in a compelling story. And it will never result in characters I will grow to love. It simply results in a superficial book that I'll forget about five minutes after closing the cover. I suppose comics has always had a place for that kind of fluff so Lobdell fills a niche. Plus people seem to love Jason Todd and Roy Harper no matter how poorly they're handled.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Teen Titans #20

I still can't see New 52 Raven without thinking, "Is everybody at DC blind and/or stupid?"

The Review!
Tony Bedard swoops in to salvage the mess this comic book has become and build a decent transition into Rebirth. It looks like his job is to lift the Teen Titans out of the super villain pit they've dug themselves into so that they can at least be not quite heroic but at least not lawbreakers by the time they get their Rebirth. Tony Bedard did a lot of work for DC in the early New 52 and I felt most of it was competent and entertaining. He doesn't disappoint even with this disappointment of a comic book. In fact, he actually does the impossible and writes a Teen Titans comic book that didn't cause me to question every one of my life choices up until this moment. Plus he writes Brain and Mallah as a couple although, as usual, it doesn't seem like he got the editorial thumbs-up to outright state that they're in a relationship. Mostly I'd say that's okay because I'm all for subtlety in writing over explicit declarations but in the current popular culture environment where mainstream companies are desperate to get gay viewers by playing games of "Homo or not homo?" with same sex character relationships, I think sometimes an outright labeling is more than appropriate. Editorial allowed a stupid "That's not a pickle jar" caption that really seemed like a dildo joke but they didn't okay a "Lovers" tag for the duo? I was going to say "Gay Lovers" tag because I think that's appropriate but maybe it's a little too confining for a sentient ape in love with a brain in a butt plug.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

The Sheriff of Babylon #7

Who is picking these stupid Goddamned quotes for the cover?!

The Review!
Everybody who thinks they're intelligent should be reading this book. Or you should at least be seen reading this book. It's possible people seeing you reading this book will smirk and think, "Look at that adult child reading a funny book. Loser!" But if you display the name of the book properly, they might remember you when the movie comes out and they'll think, "Holy guacamole! That loser I saw that one time was reading this story in comic book form long before it became a hit movie that is making all of the money!" See? You want that to happen to you, right? Then you should read this! Just try not to read the cover blurb on any of the issues because they're all terrible and not by me, Grunion Guy! Or, if you want to use my cool nickname, Grunion Gun!

Calendar Man! (as seen in Batman Rebirth #1)

Alter Ego: Julian Day
Occupation: Ex-Stage Magician, now Professional Criminal
Marital Status: Divorced
Known Relatives: None
Group Affiliation: None
Base of Operations: Gotham City
First Appearance: DETECTIVE COMICS #259
Height: 6'11" Weight: 193 lbs.
Eyes: Blue Hair: Brown

In the guise of Maharajah the Magician, Julian Day arrived in Gotham City for a five-day engagement, which was actually a front for the series of crimes he intended to commit as Calendar Man [Well, good thing a nobody who no one would have looked at twice decided to use a garish and probably racist disguise so that he could commit some crimes unnoticed. Smart!].

Basing his crimes on the five different seasons--winter, spring, summer, autumn, and the Indian monsoon (or rainy season) [I bet that's how Batman figured out who Calendar Man really was! He was all, "Wait! Five seasons! We don't have five seasons in America! But they do in India (although some places in India divide them up even more, according the Batwiki)! I wonder if there is anybody from India currently visiting Gotham City?!"]--the Calendar Man wore a different uniquely equipped uniform for each crime, publicly challenging The Batman (see The Batman) [Why do these idiots always taunt Batman?!] to catch him before he could finish his crime spree. Unfortunately for Day, the Caped Crusader was more than equal to the task [No shit! This guy's crime spree theme is calendars! He'd be better off selling calendars in the mall three months out of the year.].

Several years later, after escaping from prison [What was his escape plan? Marking 'Laundry Day' on the calendar so he knew when to hide in the hamper?], the Calendar Man returned to Gotham, this time basing his crimes upon the days of the week [And then that was it, right? He was out of tricks. I guess he could base his crimes on the names of the months too. But then he's out of gimmicks! Unless he got really tricky and used some device that enabled him to utilize the ten days lost when changing from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar!]. Once again, The Batman caught him, and Day is currently serving time in Gotham State Prison.

Possessing no true super-powers, the Calendar Man is apparently an accomplished inventor, developing special equipment as necessary to carry out his thematic crimes [Like One a Day Crime Tip calendars, and Inmates of Arkham monthly spreads?].

The Calendar Man is not a particularly skilled hand-to-hand combatant, preferring to rely on his advanced weaponry when facing an opponent.

Scooby Apocalypse #2

Temperature-wise, I don't think Velma's overall outfit ever really made any sense.

The Review!
I'm not sure this comic book captures the heart and spirit of the old Scooby Doo cartoon. They're battling real monsters. Science is seen as dangerous. And they're using guns to settle conflicts. Scooby Doo is rather brave. It all just seems And it's not like the cartoons were inscrutably high-brow! But that's the way a re-imagining of a beloved story often goes, right? As long as the characters all look like the old characters but with modern updates, it doesn't matter if the heart and soul of the concept is left intact. Velma is the smart one in the short orange skirt and orange turtle neck sweater. Daphne is the hot one in purple and green. Fred is the statuesque bit of man-meat. Shaggy is a slacker hipster doofus. Scooby is a great dane that with a speech impediment. The Mystery Machine is a van. This title has everything that identifies it as Scooby Doo! But it's not Scooby Doo at all. It has maybe a single digit percentage of the essence of the cartoon. Which, I'll admit, I'm actually fine with. Fuck that cartoon was stupid.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Wacky Raceland #1

And away they go on the way out Wacky Races!

The Review!
Look, I was a fan of The Wacky Races when there was barely any plot and it just consisted of a bunch of twenty second jokes dealing with how one car passes another. Now it actually has a backstory and a plot and a whole world being built around the races? Sure, I'm in! Especially since the premise is so mind-numbingly silly already, none of it has to make a whole lot of sense. I imagine this comic will be mostly a bunch of two to three page black humor jokes about how one car passes another with the occasional sub-plot dealing with a racer or two having gone off course and running into cannibals or mutants or something. Also a few pages need to be set aside for some of Dick Dastardly's dirty tricks! The only part I'm still not sold on is the sentient cars. I especially dislike how the Mean Machine is so antagonistic toward Dick and Mutley! I suppose it makes sense. I bet if my work van were sentient, it would fucking hate my guts. "Hey, dude. Dude. You do know what oil is right? You've heard of fucking oil? And let me tell you something: I did not come with a television. That little light you're constantly staring at and ignoring is the fucking Check Engine light. Do I need to explain what that means because it's right there in the name of the fucking light, you goddamned moron. I can't wait until the bottom rusts out of me while you're barreling down the freeway. You fucking deserve it, asshole."

Green Lanterns #1

What's up with Earth Lanterns always wearing the ring on the middle finger? I mean, I know why Guy does it. But why everybody else?

The Review!
Using the power of my new Emerald Sight, I can see that I am not going to like this comic book terribly much. It's on the first issue and it's already relying on visions of the future and prophecies to advance the plot. The plot also seems to be revolving around the idea that the two new Green Lanterns are full of rage. That sucks. Because I can see how Humphries is going to go down the path of Simon Baz being angry at the government and other people constantly believing he's a terrorist because he's Muslim and I don't want to see that part of Simon Baz explored. You know when Simon Baz's character really shines? When he's reaching out to other people and trying to get them to dig out the motes from their own eyes. He was the one who stood up for B'dg and called him a Green Lantern when everybody else was calling him a squirrel because he knows what it's like to be judged and misrepresented. He's the one that had some kind of super healing power never seen before by other Green Lanterns because of his compassion. But I guess we'll focus on his anger now because that's good drama. Plus the Red Lanterns have this whole Red Dawn thing happening which must be cool because it's FUCKING RED DAWN, BABY!

Aquaman! (as seen in Aquaman Rebirth #1)

Alter Ego: Arthur Curry
Occupation: Ex-King of Atlantis, now Professional Crimefighter [Professional? Does Aquaman have a degree in Crimefighting? Who's paying him to fight crime? Come to think of it, who answers the question "What's your occupation?" with "Ex-King!"?]
Marital Status: Married
Known Relatives: Mera (wife), Orm (half-brother), Arthur Jr. (son, deceased), Tom and Atlanna Curry (parents, deceased)
Group Affiliation: Justice League of America
Base of Operations: City of New Venice
First Appearance: MORE FUN COMICS #73
Height: 6'1" Weight: 325 lbs.
Eyes: Blue Hair: Blond

Tom Curry, a lonely lighthouse keeper, rescued a woman from a hurricane. While nursing her back to health, Curry fell in love with the woman, whose name was Atlanna [Notice there's no mention of Atlanna's feelings. Was she in love? Was she in shock? Was she delirious and drugged? This all sounds mighty suspicious to me. Why is a lighthouse keeper tending to a nearly drowned woman? I suppose the "lonely" part of the description explains that.]. The two married and had a son, whom they named Arthur.

As a child, Arthur discovered he had the ability to breathe underwater [How do you discover that power? I bet he also discovered, a bit later, how to get shit stains out of his swimming trunks.] and the telepathic power to command all creatures of the sea [Notice the word usage: command. Not ask politely. Not inquire as to the availability to possibly help out a friend. Nope. "Command." What a dick.]. When Arthur was six, his mother revealed on her deathbed that she was an outcast from the then-hidden sunken city of Atlantis [What was she dying of? Did they go on a family vacation to see the Grand Canyon and Atlanna was dead one our into the trip?]. With his father's help, young Arthur began training to use his unique abilities ["Unique abilities" is a kind way to describe forcing others to do things they don't want to do. But then what should I expect from a lonely lighthouse keeper who holds women hostage until Stockholm Syndrome and despair take over and they take you as their husband?]. Several years later, Arthur's father passed away and Arthur became an orphan of the deep [Holy fuck that's dramatic! Is Marv Wolfman writing this entry? Let's see...yep! Either Marv or Len Wein.]

While in his early 20s, Arthur, now dubbed Aquaman by the media [I suppose it's too much to expect from the media to come up with a clever name.], met another young Atlantean outcast who called himself Aqualad (see Aqualad) [Did he see news reports on the mysterious Aquaman and think, "Hey! I'm from the water too! But I'm just a lad! I'll call myself Aqualad! I wonder if there are any girls out there who might want to be Aquagirl?] and the two have been comrades ever since [I wonder if Aquaman "commanded" Aqualad to be his comrade?]. At one point, Atlantis called upon Aquaman to help them defeat alien invaders, then named him their ambassador to the surface world [Did the Atlantis media call him "Terraman"?].

Eventually, Aquaman met Mera, exiled queen [Underwater kingdoms love their banning and exiling and outcasting, don't they?] of an interdimensional water world, and ultimately married her [Now that's the kind of romantic story I want to tell my grandkids. "Me and Geemaw eventually met and ultimately married!" Riveting!].

Soon after, King Juvor died and Aquaman was proclaimed King of Atlantis [Why? Are ambassadors usually second in line to the throne?]. Months later, Mera gave birth to Arthur Jr., who exhibited her super-power of creating solid objects from hard water [Hard water? You mean ice? So they could make ice sculptures?]. Together, this new royal family introduced Atlantis to the outside world.

In time, though the sinister Shark (see Shark) in human guise, deposed Aquaman and forced the family to relocate. The Sea King finally defeated the Shark and was offered the throne once more, but he turned it down, preferring to remain first and foremost a super-hero [You mean a professional crimefighter, right?].

After his son was slain during a battle with his old foe Black Manta (see Black Manta), Aquaman and company [Company? You mean Mera?] moved to the submerged East Coast city of New Venice, where they currently operate out of the ground floor of an old police station [Operate how? Did Aquaman have a Detective Agency?!].

Aquaman's greatest ability is his telepathic mastery over all of the sea's inhabitants [What about penguins? Can he control penguins?]. His body is also more dense than that of a normal human [So why doesn't he explode when he surfaces?!], enabling him to survive the awesome pressures of the deep, as well as extreme changes in temperature [And most importantly, makes him bullet-proof!]. This density gives him superior strength on land, and he is also skilled in hand-to-hand[-to-fin] combat.

Underwater, his swimming speed is in excess of 100 mph [Shouldn't that be 87 knots per hour? I hope my miles to knots conversion button worked since I rarely use it.].

The Sea King is unable to remain out of water indefinitely. This liability developed sometime after adolescence [So it's a secondary sexual liability?], and if Aquaman remains out of contact with water for more than an hour, he weakens, slips into a coma, [gets made fun of by the other members of the Justice League,] and will ultimately die.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Superman #1

His pants are full of people!

The Review!
On one hand, this is a promising start to a new Superman series. On the other hand, Tomasi and Gleason are assholes who I will never forgive for this comic book. Ever. Ever fucking ever. Fuck them forever. Fucking dicks. If you haven't read this comic book and you want your heart to break, go ahead and read the commentary part of this or rush out and pick up this comic book. Or you could just throw yourself in front of a bus. The pain of being broken by a bus is probably on par with the pain this comic book has caused me. Dicks.


Green Arrow #1

This cover has a lot going on but I really like the zipper down the front of Ollie's Kevlar suit.

The Review!
You know what? You'll probably read the commentary after this (unless you don't read that part because you hate good things) and think, "Wait. Didn't he say he liked this issue?" But I did like this issue. I liked it so much better than all the previous issues of Green Arrow, even Lemire's run. I don't know why people had such a hard-on for Lemire's run. It was competent. And it was trying to tell a story about Oliver Queen being the Green Arrow. But I think it had too many ties to the Arrow television show for me to ever fully trust it. And maybe I shouldn't say I like this issue better than that run because this issue has many flaws as well (most of those Percy's agenda to be the best ally ever! But he's handling it much better this issue! I know it'll seem like I don't think that when you read the commentary! But he is! It's just not as entertaining to me to be nice about it!). But fuck if this wasn't a good Green Arrow comic book. It's setting up the world of Oliver Queen and the way Green Arrow awkwardly tries to fit into it. It's set up the cast of characters that all make sense in Green Arrow's Seattle. We have an Oliver trying to do what good he can with the money he's making while also seeing how much evil that same money is causing. And, of course, it ends with a good old comic book betrayal! Plus people fucked. People fucking goes a long way for me. I haven't been this hopeful for a Green Arrow book since Percy's Sneak Peek in Conversion! Or Conversation? Converse? Whatever!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Batman #1

I hope The White Rabbit survived Rebirth!

The Review!
I'm surprised David Finch didn't kill himself while drawing this comic book since it took twenty pages before he was allowed to draw a female. He must have been so bored! Plus Tom King didn't write any double splash pages for him! How is David Finch supposed to earn extra money selling the double splash page original art if Tom King is going to be a dick about his scripts? Bah, what do I care about David Finch not getting to do a double splash page. I'm ecstatic about that! Way to show Finch whose boss, King! Speaking of King, he dunked this issue, if you'll forgive the cop/doughnut metaphor. It was the perfect Batman story! It had Batman in it and he disappeared on Commissioner Gordon and he saved the day and he gave Alfred heart palpitations by almost dying and he made his sidekick do word problems. Plus no Narration Boxes! I might have a serious crush on Tom King. But don't think I'm biased because of it! If this were a terrible issue, I would say so! Usually even if a comic book is really good I'll say it's terrible because I'm a monster. But this one really isn't terrible at all. It's the best Batman #1 since Snyder's Batman #1! It's also only the second Batman #1 I've ever read so that previous sentence might not really mean anything.

The Commentary!
Batman is now being written by Tom King so it's really going to frustrate the people whose favorite part of Batman books are the First Person Narration Boxes. That's my least favorite part of modern comic books! I much prefer the story be told through dialogue and art. But then I'm not afraid of ambiguity! I don't need Batman to tell me why he's doing everything he's doing while he's doing it. Or from a point in the future looking back on what he was doing in the present and explaining it to a mysterious third person. That's my main problem with First Person Narration Boxes. They act as omniscient narrators but are tethered to a person in the story who shouldn't be explaining things as if that person knows an audience is watching them. Although that's really dependent on the writer, I suppose. Some writers use Narration Boxes as thought bubbles which work fine in that they don't make me wonder, "Why is Roy Harper explaining his own thoughts to himself?" And then some writers use them to have characters explain their thoughts and actions to the audience they somehow know is reading their story which come off as Roy Harper explaining his own thoughts to himself.

Oh! I just had a thought about Narration Boxes and how Tom King doesn't use them. Can you imagine how different Omega Men would have been if we were allowed inside the heads of any of the major characters? It would have wrecked the entire fucking book! That book relied on the reader projecting their ethics and beliefs onto the characters, both the seemingly good ones and the seemingly bad ones. Narration Boxes from the point of view of any of the characters would have nailed down their feelings and motives and left no room for any moral ambiguity. The reader would have known right from the beginning both the selfish and the altruistic intentions of each character which could easily have left the reader not caring about how things ended or which terribly flawed person triumphed.

This issue is called "I am Gotham" because a character is going to be introduced who goes by the name of Gotham. This is clever in the way that somebody is clever but you don't realize how clever it is because nobody takes the time to think about anything. Mostly people see something like this and think, "Got it. A guy is named Gotham. Simple title." But Grandmaster Comic Book Readers who are in love with Tom King think things like, "I appreciate how Tom King is taking the reader right back to the beginning of Snyder's run where Bruce explains what Gotham is. King is taking what Snyder did on a figurative level in making Gotham a major character of the comic book and doing it literally. While Snyder's Batman battled Gotham on a psychological level where he was constantly feeling betrayed and reduced by the city, King is now going to have Batman battle Gotham on a physical level. And yet within those physical confrontations will be the understanding that the battle is inherently figurative too! And all of that will be up to the reader to interpret because King abstains from using the crutch of narration boxes."

I didn't actually think those things! What I really thought was, "Der! Gotham is real person now! Wowzers!" That other stuff was just random bullshit.

The story begins with a plane being shot out of the sky with a rocket launcher stolen from the military. This isn't a job for Batman at all but he rushes off to figure out how to save the day. I would think the way to save the day is to call Superman immediately even if Commissioner Gordon is standing right beside you and now knows you sometimes ask for help.

Well, at least he made the call, even if he had to waste some time getting out of earshot of Gordon before asking for help.

Knowing that Hal and Clark don't always respond immediately because they're sometimes dealing with their own problems that are usually more important than the few hundred people who are certainly about to die in Gotham whenever Batman calls, Batman asks Duke to find a place in Gotham where Batman can jump his Batmobile onto the plane. Or some other stunt of that sort. This is the second job we've seen Duke perform in his role as Batman's sidekick and it's another math problem. Before he had to count to 240. This one is a little more complicated, what with having to figure out timing and speed and angles and trajectories and all that other stuff that I would have assumed the Batcomputer could do better.

Superman and Green Lantern are busy on the toilet or whatever so Batman has to save Gotham himself. That means ejecting out of the Batmobile and onto a crashing plane. Does he have a Bat-Grapple strong enough to save a plane plummeting to the earth?

When is Gotham going to save the day and make Batman feel useless and impotent and short-dicked?

Batman swings about the plane setting up Bat-rockets and Bat-gadgets to take over control of the plane. Then he sits on top of it ready to steer it through the Gotham skyline like Doctor Strangelove playing Grand Theft Auto.

Alfred, this is no time for one of your droll bon mots. Although that was a really good one.

Watching Batman save the day is a dark figure who has just killed the Kobra agent who shot the rocket at the plane. Unless this person killed the Kobra agent and then used the Kobra agent's rocket to shoot down the plane himself. I don't want to make too many assumptions because when you make assumptions, you might wind up being wrong. I mean the "you" literally. I don't mean it as in "you and I and everybody included." I mean you specifically. Me? I can't make all the assumptions I want because I always just deny having made the wrong ones.

Batman is prepared to die steering the plane into the proper angle so that it affords the people on board the best chance of survival. He says his goodbyes to Alfred and Alfred goes along with it like he always does. I don't think it's ever mentioned but Alfred must have serious heart problems, shot nerves, and a billion ulcers, right?

At the last second, two other superheroes arrive to catch the plane so that Batman doesn't have to die. Which is perfect because he gets to live but with his reputation increased all the more! What a true hero! Willing to sacrifice himself for the greater good! I'm fairly certain Bruce was willing to ride the plane to his death mostly just to shove in Clark's face who the most heroic member of the Justice League actually is. That would be a good death.

The heroes who save Batman (but not the people on the plane because they were already fucking saved! They better not get credit for that!) are Gotham and Gotham Girl. They're here to save the city! The issue ends before Batman can tell them that that job is already taken and it's probably going to be weird saving some place like Sacramento or Omaha while named Gotham. But thems the breaks! Those cities need heroes so and Omaha has some of the same letters as Gotham. That should be an easy name change. Although the costume already has a huge "G" on the front, so maybe they can become Green Bay and Green Bay Girl instead.

Flash Rebirth #1

Some jerko scribbled on my copy!

The Review!
This is the section where I sum up my thoughts on the book after reading it. The next section is the one where I catalog my thoughts as I read the comic book. Usually I don't have many thoughts about a book after I read it which is why I'm writing this nonsense about how this page is organized. This is the least fun section to write because I don't actually want to think about the media I've consumed. I just want to react to it in a childishly petulant way. Is that redundant? Who cares because it gets across that I'm childish. I'm like a child. I want what I want and I don't want to have to think long or work hard. What I want to do is giggle about how I just used the words "long" and "hard". I suppose I should work harder at being insightful since people like to read smart things that make them think, "I'm smart because I just read a smart thing!" Of course, maybe the people looking to read comic book reviews aren't that pretentious? Maybe what I have to say is exactly what they're looking for! Because sometimes people like to read things that make them think, "This person is a complete moron and I am so much smarter than this stupid person on the internet with their stupid opinions that are so much worse than mine!" So maybe being insightful is a negative thing! I should just remain superficial and glib! I should also, at the veryiest least, have some kind of opinion on The Flash Rebirth #1 for my review. So here it is: this was written by the same guy who took over Voodoo after Ron Marz couldn't make it interesting. I don't remember him making it any more interesting than Ron Marz made it. But he did manage to blow up everything Marz had been creating by killing most of Marz's characters and explaining away Voodoo's complete change of character by making two Voodoos! So if you're that one guy from way back who once commented on my blog that Voodoo was the only New 52 book worth reading, maybe you'll love this book! Although I don't think that guy liked the book for the writing, if you get my meaning. My meaning is that he liked Voodoo's boobies.

Titans Rebirth #1

The Review!
If you enjoy the Teen Titans remembering mediocre memories and celebrating Wally's return, you'll probably enjoy this comic book. That's all there is to it. I suppose if you're a big Wally fan, this was an emotional issue. Although it could have been more emotional if the Titans actually had any interesting memories. But no! Instead we get flashbacks to Wally waving at Garth and going, "Hi Garth!" And Garth going, "Hi! I'm from Atlantis!" Boring! You also might like this issue if you're into Brett Booth art. Brett Booth is slang for "bad art with misshapen people". It also sets up the looming battle between DC's heroes and the employees of DC Comics. This Rebirth shit is going to get so postmodern you'll think you were reading Pale Fire. Unless it'll be more like watching an episode of Beavis and Butthead. I hope it'll be nice mix of those two elements.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Justice League #51

Who thought the upside down Star Trek chevron was anything but disturbing on Robin's crotch?

The Review!
This issue was a prologue for Titans Rebirth #1. But more than that, it was about Robin's first day as a big boy super hero. He learns that he's useful even though he doesn't have any powers and he learns that everybody is jealous of him because he's close to Batman. They're all, "What kind of underwear does he wear? Does he ever watch television? Does he read the funnies? Does he ever smile? What's his net worth? Did he buy you from your parents?" Nobody really seems concerned that Batman has brought a kid into a dangerous situation, either because they trust Batman or they're afraid to say anything that might upset him. So instead Robin gets treated like an equal and told he did a good job and made to feel included. That's probably why Dick became such a great hero, because of his reception from the others. By the time Jason Todd came along, the novelty was gone and nobody really gave a shit. But after he died, everybody felt bad so they were much kinder to Tim Drake which helped make him successful. Damian they were all just afraid of.

Keep reading...

Grayson #20

It's time for the big show ending song!

The Review!
Lanzing and Kelly bring this series to a fine conclusion. They had a few missteps but, overall, they've done a remarkable job remaining true to the vision of Seeley and King. They've taken one of the most difficult jobs in comic books, taking over an established story and not completely fucking it for their own ends, and wrapped it up keeping true to the themes and characters they inherited. Dick Grayson as a spy worked better than a lot of people thought it would. Hell, I think a lot of people sat this series out grumpily and missed out on one of the best comics of The New 52. Well, fuck them! Let's all laugh at those assholes! Ha ha ha! Dum-dums! Things in this world don't just automatically suck because you don't approve of them! If this comic book truly were just full of fan service moments, I would have wanted it to be twenty issues of Dick Grayson slowly taking a huge dump on the chest of all the people who never even gave this comic book a chance! Although they might have been in the right if the comic book actually was what I just described. So then maybe it wouldn't work. Oh well! So what! Human minds are complicated! I can have paradoxical thoughts that don't actually make an rational sense when looked at through the thin prism of reality! I'm allowed that! Anyway, I look forward to Dick's next identity! I suppose it's just back to Nightwing but at some point, he's got to become Owl Dick, right?

The Commentary!
I'd like to begin this sermon praising Jackie Earle Haley for taking on not one iconic comic book role but two! First, he was one of the shining acting spots in Watchmen as Rorschach (although as an actor, one didn't have to shine too brightly to out-act most of the actors in that movie). And now he's Herr Starr in AMC's Preacher. It's a nice divergence from Rorschach who caused a lot of pain and perpetrated a lot of torture because now Jackie gets to endure a lot of pain and get tortured as much as a person can be tortured over years and still be able to think, "My path is the righteous one!" Three episodes into Preacher and I'm plenty pleased by its interpretation to the little screen. I especially like the way it embraces its comic book roots unlike The Walking Dead. Not that I think The Walking Dead has some kind of snobbish attitude towards its roots! It's just that the show had an easy film genre to slip into (you know? End of the world horror with zombies! It's a very specific genre) without having to truly acknowledge its comic book side. Preacher seems to wholeheartedly accept that it was born out of comic books, right down to the overly dramatic location/time stamps. It's brutal, over-the-top, full of mysticism and miracles, has a kid with a face like an asshole, and doesn't bat an eye when it has Tulip build a bazooka out of soup cans and duct tape to bring down a helicopter (off-panel while the camera carefully watches the reactions of two young kids hiding in the cellar, which felt totally comic booky too!). I'm a fan.

I suppose by the end of this issue, Grayson will be ready to step back into the role of Nightwing. I just hope Tiger is ready to step into the role of his sidekick. I don't know what he'd call himself because the first thing that came to my mind was probably racist. Now I have to say what that was because everybody is thinking the most racist things they can imagine and projecting them onto me. You fucking super racists! I'm just a little bit racist and the thought was less a racist thing and more a word association thing. So the tiger part of it was in my head, and then I thought the sidekick name should be a diminutive of some kind, so my head shouted, rather loudly and jarringly, "Lil Sambo!" Fucking brain. You are so fucking racist! Although it's really just a product of the culture I grew up in when it wasn't a big thing to go to a restaurant called Lil Sambo's where the wallpaper featured a small Indian child trying to spread a tiger on top of his pancakes. I might be remembering the design incorrectly.

This issue begins with an improbable scenario wherein Helena's body has been taken over by the mind of a long-dead Otto Netz. It's not that I'm not able to suspend my disbelief to believe such comic book oddities. It's just that sometimes I don't want to. Sometimes I want to point at the Emperor and say, "Holy shit, his dick is huge." Usually because it affords me the chance to go on a rambling, semi-interesting tangent. Like right now! Like how Otto Netz's personality is in no way the real Otto Netz no matter how much anybody wants to believe that somebody's consciousness can be downloaded to a machine. Just like the information on a hard drive isn't the same information on a back-up of that hard drive, Otto Netz's consciousness within Helena is not actually Otto Netz. It's not even Otto Netz's consciousness once removed! It's now been copied twice! I'm not saying it doesn't contain the exact same information. I'll allow that it's a perfect replica of Otto's ego. But how does that help the organic, original Otto Netz? He still died when his body died. The Otto Netz on the computer was probably all, "Yay! I'm alive! I did it! I transferred my personality!" Well, that's all well and good for the copy but that doesn't mean organic Otto Netz achieved immortality. He still fucking died. Poof. Out like a candle! For all intents and purposes for people outside the consciousness of Otto Netz, there's no difference. Even for the Otto Netz consciousness inside Helena's head, it seems like he achieved immortality and there's really no difference between it and the original Otto. The only one that any of this matters to is the original Otto Netz. I mean, it would matter to him if he were still alive. But he's not. He's dead.

Okay, sure! I suppose I can reestablish my suspension of disbelief and decide to interpret the personality replication as an actual transfer of the essential ego of Otto Netz as opposed to just copying data. I suppose I can be magnanimous and allow for that to be a possibility. I suppose I'm that generous of a critic. I suppose.

So, um, anyway, Dick makes a deal with Otto Netz to let Helena go in exchange for Dick's body. Otto is all, "That was the plan, asshole!" And WHAMMO! Dick winds up in the White Room with Helena. The White Room is that place egos go when they don't have any bodies to fuss over. Don't confuse it with the White Album which was full of egos in a different way.

No wait. My mistake. The White Room is just the room they've been standing in all along. It's just Otto has gone back into the computer and left Helena a few moments to say goodbye to Dick before Otto leaps into Dick's body.

Dick comes much quicker than I would have imagined.

The first thing on Otto's To-Do List is make the world forget Dick Grayson. I think he manages to check that one off of his list (at least enough to probably make most of the DC Universe forget Dick but not the people who matter because that would be annoying) and never gets a chance to get to Item #2. Probably because Dick liked the idea of the first thing but really wasn't excited about the other stuff, like the never-ending global conflict between Leviathan and Spyral. So instead of the war falling to Spyral, Otto just winds up battling Dick inside Dick's mind.

Dick and Otto exchange barbs for a bit until Dick says "Tamagotchi!" and it fries Otto's mind. I guess because it forced Otto to realize he was just a simulation of a simulation of the real Otto Netz! Also Dick might have said something else which fried his hypnos or something.

A week later, Tiger kills Agent 8 and takes over Spyral as the new Patron. So his time with Checkmate only existed for about one or two comics to be a super surprise spy thriller twist and didn't matter at all so why did it even happen? That's annoying because Tiger could have done everything he did without betraying Dick by being a member of Checkmate and it would have made more sense for Tiger to take over as Patron at the end. Whatever.

Whew! See? So less annoying than Dick having to make everybody who should remember him remember him! Classic shortcut!

Helena and Dick don't end the issue by fucking like they both really want to because they're the kind of people who deny themselves the things they really want because of obligations. Idiots. Just fuck already.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The Omega Men #12

I haven't been this melancholy about a last issue since...I don't even have an example to give it's been so long.

The Review!
Entertainment in this day and age is bullshit. It doesn't ask anything of its audience. Hell, it doesn't even want its audience asking questions. It just says, "This is the good guy. This is the bad guy. This is the way the world should be, no questions asked." And what boggles my mind is that 21st century people seem to want it that way. They want their no-friction stories of tepid characters who all get along and stick together against the obvious bad people. The tellers of the tale do not want ambiguity. They do not want people making up their own minds. They want to put a finger in the face of the audience and waggle it around a bit. It's all propaganda and we're all blindingly consuming it so that something, anything, can give us a few moments of warm fuzzies in a shitty gray world of gray decisions and moral ambiguities. We ignore the hard conflicts because there are so many easy ones where we can take a side and feel safely righteous in our exuberant patting of our own backs. We express opinions we know have the support of others and secretly, fiercely, guard those opinions that might bring on a mob of holy crusaders. If we take a stand against the easy, popular opinion, we are sure to fall. And we're all too filled with cowardice for that. So instead, we argue about Doctor Who and Sherlock and comic books and Harry Potter. We attack showrunners and writers and artists when their superficial story choices aren't those we would have made. We take our battles to the popular culture because we have no stomach for a real fight. We're all assholes. Every single one of us.

That might not seem like a review of The Omega Men but I assure you it is. It's the highest praise I could give it.

The Commentary!
Today I'm reading the last issues of the best two series of the Prebirth comic books I have left in the stack: The Omega Men and Grayson. I'm still not sure how I'd like this comic book to end. Should it have a happy ending where the terrorists topple the government putting corporate financial matters ahead of the lives of ordinary people? Or should the violent extremists be gunned down by superior forces better at violence than they ever were? Should Kyle Rayner fail to stop tyranny from succeeding because that's a more realistic outcome? My guess is that The Omega Men who are still alive will be driven from the Vega system so that they can have another uncomfortably true story somewhere else in the Rebirth universe later. Oh! I know! Maybe instead of battling the metaphor, they can actually wind up on Earth and go up against the United States itself!

This issue begins with Kyle and the Omega Men closing in on the Viceroy of The Citadel underneath Kyle's memories of first meeting the Viceroy and getting the Viceroy's version of an imperialist's rationalizations. And then...well, I think I'll just finish reading it in silence. You already read my thoughts up there. In fact, right now, as I type this, you know more about my reaction to this comic book than I do. But two pages in and, once again, I just can't make stupid jokes while I read it. I need to immerse myself in this story. I need to be present. It's rare that a writer of comic books cares this much about a story they want to share with others, and I don't want to taint the experience by being distracted.

Edge of Oblivion #6

And they all died happily ever after.

The Review!
This final issue was a good issue. Each subsequent issue of this series just got better and better as it dragged itself further and further away from the terrible reason it exists, Lost Army. My highlights in this issue were Simon Baz saying a thing that a lot of people really need to hear this week, Guy Gardner being the heroic Guy Gardner who can sometimes be an ass but never lets that interfere with rescuing the innocent and helpless, and Xrill's declaration of love for 2-6-8-1-7-9-5.

The Commentary!
Last issue ended with the revelation that Ausras and Dismas were actually Langoliers. Their job is to finish eating the last of Relic's universe so that the next universe has room to come into existence. It's quite an important job on a omniversal scale! Which doesn't make it surprising when the Green Lanterns decide to stop them. Why are they messing with the natural ebb and flow of cosmic life? This is like when Swamp Thing tried to destroy the Rot! If he got rid of rotting things, where would the Green most of their nutrients?! What about the Grey? Without the Rot, the Red's herbivores would never die and consume what's left of the Green! It's all part of the natural system and while everybody can battle to maintain balance, nobody can outright defeat anybody else or everybody dies.

You might be thinking, "But Tess? Why don't you post naked pictures of yourself?" Or you might have actually been paying attention to what you were reading in the previous paragraph instead of fantasizing about seeing me naked and thought, "But Tess! You don't know if the Blackest Knights are part of the cosmic cycle or just parasites bringing this universe to an early end!" Sure, I don't know that! But I'm going to assume it so that I can write about how terrible the Green Lanterns are at their job! They're going to destroy their own universe by defeating the Cosmic Langoliers who are helping to bring the Lanterns' universe into existence! Probably!

You know who hasn't been seen in five or six issues? Relic and Krona! Hopefully they're finding a way back to the DC Universe and not just sucking each others' dicks. I mean, I hope that for the sake of the Green Lantern Corps! If I were hoping for my own entertainment, I would be crossing my fingers for the dick sucking thing.

You know who else we haven't seen for awhile? B'dg and Arisia! Oh, wait. Never mind.

The Oliver Twist of Green Lanterns is the first killed in the battle (I mean, the first acknowledged. Some others may have been swallowed whole). After her faceplant into the planet's surface, her ring rushed off to find Sector 2619 (which totally doesn't exist). But the ring believed it existed for some unfathomable reason, so Simon Baz decided to follow it to whatever wormhole it sensed which led to the DC Universe. My bet the wormhole is the hole at the end of Krona's worm, if you get my dirty meaning!

Eventually, Simon Baz figures out where the rings are going.

I'm going to start referring to my asshole as a tear in space. "Doctor! Your finger's in another dimension!" Other things that have gone into that other dimension: my own finger and the tip of a smooth black cylindrical vibrator.

Simon Baz decides to head into the breach and try to report back to Guy what's on the other side. As he does this, he gives an example of what I appreciate about his character.

In Green Lanterns Rebirth #1, Simon Baz is the guy Johns and Humphries express his hope that Jessica Cruz's ring was Guy's ring because Guy had died. They couldn't have missed the point of Simon Baz more. And Johns created him! I think.

Baz's reconnaissance doesn't go great. But since the space fissure is the only place left to go, the Green Lanterns decide to fly into it. But first they have to save the last city of Relic's universe. I suppose they'll stick it on Mogo and Mogo will become the setting for a Green Lantern: Mosaic Rebirth comic book? I hope?

Oh? A mosaic, you say?!

The Lanterns manage to get the Cosmic Langolies onto the surface of Mogo's new friend, the planet Perduron. She gets them in a continental bear hug and traps them in Relic's universe as it dies around them. The Lanterns, meanwhile, flee into the space fissure and escape. Probably. I mean, Simon Baz was in Green Lanterns Rebirth #1 and all.