Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The Hellblazer #1

This is the look John gives you right before you wind up in Hell.

The Commentary!
I was going to say this is John's look right before he sucks your dick but I think I've used up my quota on using dick sucking to replace sincere thoughts and feelings. Now in my forties, it seems to be my go-to move. Back when I was a teenager, everything I wrote was filled with my over-dramatization of my feelings of unrequited love. In my twenties, my writing was full of philosophical quandaries about my direction in life. In my thirties, I began to fill my writing with a lot more whimsy and began sculpting the pretentious bullshit so that it could fit within the confines of the story or essay. And in my forties, it's all just pretty much about dick sucking. I can't wait to see what I'm writing about in my fifties! I hope it doesn't get me arrested.

This issue begins with the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Some guy named Marid tries to stop the assassination but he's stopped by some other guy. Hopefully this Simon Oliver hasn't decided to steal my detectivanting idea! That's where a few upper class British men and women form a club where they gallivant around the world doing detective work. My idea was that it would become all the rage in Edwardian times and the young people who did it would be so careless and narcissistic that they would cause more trouble than good. And eventually their idle shenanigans would start a world war. Just like these miscreants in the opening to this comic book! I hope they aren't Detectivanters! I'll sue Simon Oliver for sure!

But before the reader is allowed to know any more about this great big mystery, the narrative turns back to the present where Swamp Thing is calling on John Constantine for a favor. How hard could a favor for Swamp Thing be? Water? Sunlight? Mineral supplements? Easy peasy!

John decides to talk directly to the reader to tell the story about how he came to owe Swamp Thing a favor. Twenty-two year old me is all, "Shit! Cool! So postmodern!" Forty year old me is all, "Suck a dick."

That's every time in your life if you give it about five years!

Being that the person you are in the present no longer truly resembles the person you were five to eight years ago, it really changes the perspective on going to prison for life. Eventually, you hardly recognize the version of you that committed the crime and yet you still must pay for that person's acts. A lot of people are unsympathetic to this because they have some weird belief that people don't change at all. I believe that there's an aspect of our personality that we really can't change. My first grade report card reads like a person describing who I essentially still am today. But I've also done really stupid shit when I was younger and, looking back, I can't even understand who that person was that would choose to do those things. In a real way, it's not me. It was a person who became me but it's not the me I am today. It's possible only flawed people can understand this. It's generally the people who claim they've never done anything horrible in their life who cannot forgive those who have. I'm not saying we should do away with life sentences! I mean, we should probably do away with life sentences for quite a few crimes, probably! No, what I'm saying is that I, at least, feel terrible when I see somebody who is being incarcerated for life at a young age knowing they'll never be free again. It's a strange idea that one mistake can ruin the life of the future you who will no longer resemble the person who committed the crime. Maybe we need a justice system where the victim or victim's families are in control of the sentence. Not that they get to set it! But maybe they alone can one day forgive the crime and end the sentence. Or is there just no place for redemption and forgiveness in the American justice system?

Judging by the way people on Twitter want to fucking destroy everybody who says anything they think is beyond the pale, I'd say there probably isn't.

John's story begins with Swamp Thing asking John for a favor. So John must mess up pretty royally for this to wind up a story in which John owes Swamp Thing a favor!

Oh wait. It's just that Swamp Thing did his part of the favor exchange first. He kept Wonder Woman and Shazam at bay while Constantine nearly damned everybody in London. Now it's John's turn to pay up. Swamp Thing wants Constantine to help him find Abby because she's disappeared from The Rot. I'm not sure Swamp Thing should be looking for Abby if she's missing. She's probably missing for romantic reasons and he's just going to wind up walking into a room in hell to find Abby sucking demon dick.

Constantine decides to recruit Mercury into the search because of her psychic abilities. Plus she was introduced in Rebirth and she can't just be forgotten already. She needs to have a big role in this comic book. Bigger than Chas's even, I hope, because she's cute in that way Moritat makes the women he draws cute. They're like little fuckable cartoons. I mean, they're drawn with great personalities and tons of agency!

Oh, who am I kidding? I don't care if Mercury has any agency! As long as she looks cute and acts adorable, I'm pretty happy with her characterization.

"Abby who?!"

I fucking love that look John gives the reader in the above scan. Maybe I don't mind that John interacts with the reader. He's kind of the Ferris Bueller of the DC Universe.

Mercury agrees to help Swamp Thing but sends Constantine away. That's too bad! At this point, I'm more invested in the Swamp Thing story than whatever situation Constantine is going to get into involving the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand!

Constantine goes off to pout because Mercury is more interested in a plant than his cock. Not that she'd be interested in his cock anyway because he's so old. Unless, of course, she has Daddy Issues! Hell, maybe John is her daddy! She'll fuck him for sure if that's the case.

The issue ends with the two guys who didn't stop the Great War when they had a chance. The good one who didn't stop the events that led to millions of deaths over the next century is killed by the bad one who wanted to prevent those deaths. I mean, I guess the bad one used to be the good one. Or maybe I'm using the wrong adjectives. The good one was actually the selfish one who didn't want their presence to be discovered by "the creator" which is what would have happened had they stopped the assassination. The bad one was actually the one trying to help the humans even if it risked revealing himself to "the creator". So apparently they're angels on the run. That's totally what I figured they were. Masonic angels from outer space disguised as reptilian creatures from another dimension. Totally nailed it. So anyway, the bad one who was once good has decided that it's time to completely interfere with the humans because they are ruining everything with their free will.

Deathstroke #1

Am I the only one who hopes Slade and Rose have sex in this series?

The Commenatary!
Douchéstork has already done so many horrible things, incest really wouldn't matter. It's like dropping a kitten in a lake. Nothing changes! At least not for everything that isn't the kitten or the little girl the kitten was taken from or the lucky fish that gets to taste kitten for the first time. Usually the kittens come in hard to open sacks.

The issue begins with Congressman Hasgrove deciding that jumping off of a balcony and killing himself is better than having his constituents know that he loves being fucked in the ass while chained up and dressed in leather. That seems odd because I don't think Heaven allows that kind of activity. And if you go to Hell, why would they torture you like that if it's your kink? Earth is the place for sado-masochistic butt stuff; I don't know where it's likely to go better (to quote Robert Frost! I'm nothing if not literary!). I guess he just doesn't want to be humiliated which is a shame because he shouldn't feel humiliation over his sexual desires! But it's his own fault for representing a constituency who thinks sado-masochistic butt stuff is shameful and not erotic and super intriguing. I'm not sad to see him die because he obviously only cares about his own feelings otherwise he wouldn't kill himself with the pictures still in his hand so his family have to live with the shame and complicated erotic feelings of being super intrigued by his lifestyle.

I don't know what is about to happen on Page Two but since it involves Slade, Wintergreen, and Slade wearing butt-explorer gloves, I love it!

This is my original ship before people called it shipping. I just thought of it as my Fictional Fuck-buddy Fantasy.

This is the best comic book I've ever read because it's divided into multiple short stories. My attention span has the biggest hard-on!

Speaking of my attention span, the Non-Certified Spouse is on the road for work this week and she took this picture in a Grant's Pass Safeway women's restroom:

This is the saddest short story ever.

The story so far (even though this is Issue #1 so you wouldn't expect there to be a need for a "story so far" synopsis but then you might have forgotten about that whole Rebirth #1 issue): Clock King was betrayed by a genocidal African despot who hired Deathstork to kill Clock King but Deathstork betrayed the despot to get information from Clock King about the whereabouts of his lover Wintergreen. So Deathstork has found Wintergreen and Clock King has decided to get some revenge on the African despot.

When Wintergreen is found by Slade, Wintergreen shows Deathstork that his captors also wound up with Slade's family home videos and photos as well as Slade's old super costume. Slade is all, "Give me that!", as he steps all over the family video tapes and wipes his ass with the photos and spits on the grave (and future graves!) of his children to grab the old suit and put it on. The suit has some kind of kinetic technology that allows Slade to be shot multiple times at point blank range without being hurt. Oh yeah! And Wintergreen manages to say "Bob's your uncle!" so you know he's from New Zealand or Australia or the United Kingdom or whatever.

I actually know where Wintergreen is really from because in the old Deathstroke comic book, a toy company puts out a line of Deathstroke action figures and mistakenly label Wintergreen as "Slade's Australian Fuckbuddy!" The "fuckbuddy" part was not the part where they were mistaken. Oh, I also know where Wintergreen is from because there's a Union Jack on his grave which he isn't actually in. Some guy who was impersonating Wintergreen is apparently buried there.

Wintergreen and Wilson (their ship name is "Wintergreen" or "Wilson" if you prefer the stupid ship name) escape on a motorcycle they drive underneath the story's title: "Deathstroke the Professional: Part One: Among Thieves". Did Prince ever name one of his albums "Among Thieves"? Seems like a missed opportunity, especially when his name was a symbol. That would have really driven people crazy! He did, however, name one of his albums "Plectrumelectrum" which makes no sense because he was a genius. Or I'm just stupid. Unless it's the other way around which it probably is, actually.

Wintergreen says a lot of geopolitical stuff that reads to my American brain as "This isn't about popular entertainment so blah blah blah blah." Does Chris Priest know he's writing a comic book? Usually comic book writers have characters say things like, "I've been in that cave so long, I missed the last season of Lost!" Then Slade would be all, "Don't worry, Insert Writer's Opinion of Lost's last season here rather than trying to think about how Slade may have actually felt about it!" This whole "Turkish Kurds and Syrian borders and religious conflicts and genocide" makes Chris Priest look like an amateur comic book writer. And yes, I just said somebody who writes intelligently is an amateur comic book writer. Get a grip, Chirs! This kind of thing isn't what the kids want! This is the type of stuff that gets you hired by Vertigo!

So, anyway, Slade needs to stop Clock King from killing the African Despot for some reason. Maybe it has to do with making sure the check clears.

Clock King refers to the clock on his crotch as his Cock Clock. Probably.

After being hit be Clock King's Nostalgia Ray, Wintergreen remembers a time when he dropped by while Grant and Joey were playing video games and Slade and Adeline were having a huge fuck-fight.

At first glance, I thought Slade's right shoulder was one of Adeline's breasts. Enh, I'll still probably jerk off to it.

The fuck-fighting has something to do with Adeline being irresponsible with her uterus. It's resolved in the way most fuck-fights are: the guy comes prematurely and the woman finishes with her vibrator. Grant takes off before he has to hear the ravaging while Joseph just wishes he were deaf. He'll almost get his wish!

I guess Wintergreen remembers this moment in particular because he gets to interrupt Slade and Adeline in their post-coital bliss. He comments on Adeline's bosom but you know he's checking out Slade's cock. Why else would he use the made up word "velociraptorous"? Definitely not talking about Adeline. That's totally an adjective for a cock.

Wintergreen sprays the room with bullets until he blows up Clock King's oxygen tank because Clock King is really just a sick old man hiding behind a machine that creates the illusion of his mastery of time. He's really just like the rest of us. Sitting bored on a bus trip that takes about eighty years to get to its destination.

After the mission is over, Wintergreen is all, "You saved thousands of lives on purpose in some convoluted scheme, you big softy you! Now we can all forget about your tendency toward pedophilia and indiscriminate slaughter!" I guess even this Rebirthed Deathstroke is the version of Deathstroke where he only does ethical things in somewhat unethical ways. Boo! Boring!

Wintergreen assumes he's having another hallucination from living malnourished in a cave in Africa with the daily threat of death but Slade convinces him he's finally been rescued. Which is when Wintergreen flips the fuck out.

Now kiss!

The final page epilogue makes sure that the reader knows that not only was Deathstork's plan super convoluted and involved and it still worked, some villain behind-the-scenes had an even more convoluted and involved plan that needed Slade's plan to work to work and it worked! The plan was for Slade to change his clothes. Seems like there may have been an easier way to go about it.

The Review!
I'm not doing this review part anymore! You're all adults! You can figure out if a comic book was good or not. Oh, and if you aren't an adult and can't figure out why Deathstork is a good comic book then maybe you shouldn't be reading my commentaries since I often say things like "motherfucking cunt" or worse. Sometimes I even describe how babies are born! Here's a hint: carelessness!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Action Comics #962

The Review!
The problem with Superman stories where he battles somebody who is physically stronger than he is (because far too many people think that's the only way to make somebody a threat to Superman) is that Superman has only two options of truly dealing with those threats. Kill them or put them in The Phantom Zone. He rarely kills the threats unless they're non-sentient aliens (and sometimes he doesn't even kill those! Wuss!) so it's usually The Phantom Zone answer. Which means any story in which Superman battles a physically superior foe winds up being the same comic book story with the same conclusion. The only difference is the palette used by the colorist for the costume of the bad guy. What I'm trying to say is Superman stories where he beats the shit out of the enemy are boring and say nothing at all about the Man of Steel. I think we already know he'll give his life to save the world. But what else will he do to save the world? Will he cheat on Lois? Will he lie to his son? Will he prank Batman?! Let's explore some other avenues of this motherfucker's personality, please!

The Commentary!
Apparently I never have to listen to Les Misérables ever again because I listened to it in its entirety last week and now all of the fucking songs are stuck in my head and will not get the fuck out. It's like being haunted by a bunch of sad sacks and angry men! At this point, I'd welcome demon possession to simply put an end to this torture!

Maybe reading comic books will distract me in much the same way it distracts me from contemplating the impending grave.

Superman is still battling Doomsday in that particular way which got him killed last time. So you can probably guess how this fight will end! Superman is not a smart man. I guess then he'd be called Smartman. Luckily for Average-Intelligenceman, The O League has arrived to deal with Doomsday. While watching the battle in safety aboard the Watchtower, Wonder Woman calls Doomsday "the ultimate weapon." Am I the only one disturbed by the fact that the "ultimate weapon" wears green cargo shorts?

Too bad the members of The O League are about as smart as Superman.

You have a ranged weapon, idiot! Why did you get within Doomsday's reach?!

By the way, you don't have to answer that question in the comments with some guessed at explanation of how The O League soldier's Shove Gun works. It was simply a rhetorical, jokey question. Not everything you read on the Internet needs a response, especially when it's a joke about a comic book and your answer is nothing more than your own guess at comic book logic. In fact, don't answer any questions I ask in my blog because there is a 99.9% chance that I either already know the actual answer or I am just making a joke, or I just wish I were dead already.

"I am the master of hundreds of workers they all look to me!" SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP!

Dr. Oz(yman(hattan)dias)'s O League starts getting killed one by one by Doomsday. I bet Doomsday has been killed like this before so now he's immune to it!

Up on the Watchtower, Lois asks Wonder Woman who would be crazy enough to want Doomsday as a weapon and Dr. Oz, watching from his Cockpit of Media Mastery, feels the need to defend himself to nobody by answering her question. That makes me think he actually is crazy! Some person I assume I played on Call of Duty messaged me last week telling me to sell my game. I think the argument was that I was terrible. I have no idea who the person was but it was either one of two things that got his goat: I kicked his ass or he kicked my ass one game and decided to taunt me because my stats make me look amazing (I am!). So I just responded with "Virgin?" because I am an articulate genius who knows the exact right thing to say to somebody to make their head blow up. He responded with "Thanks for the offer, I appreciate it. But I'm married to a gorgeous and sexy woman! I have kids and a great job making over 100k/yr. maybe there is someone out there for you though... Keep searching and I'm sure you'll find HIM!!" Wow! His life is really going great! Although, I mean, sincerely...if your life is that great, do you really need the feel to berate a person on the Internet for no reason and then feel the need to justify your existence to that person when they respond to your nonsense? Although calling me gay at the end was a great burn!

After all of Ozy's soldiers have been killed, Superman goes back to Plan A: punch Doomsday to death and then die as well. Although you would think Dan Jurgens has had enough time now to come up with an ending to this story that doesn't involve merely fisticuffs. Because we've already learned that Doomsday can't be killed by anything that killed him previously. And one of those things was Superman's fists! Unless what really killed Doomsday during The Death of Superman story was Booster Gold's face smashing repeatedly into Doomsday's fists.

Ew. Somebody outside is coughing up both lungs, their liver, a kidney, and possibly their pancreas. I think I'm now sick just from hearing that.

Superman makes mention of his plan in bits and pieces. He points out that Step One is to get Doomsday away from Metropolis. Apparently Step Two is to get Doomsday even further away from Metropolis. Hmm. I wonder what Step Three is going to be?! My guess is it's either "Get Doomsday even further away from further than Metropolis" or "Die while punching Doomsday in the face."

"You're here...that's all I need to know! And you will keep me safe..." SHUT UP! "...and you will keep me close..." SHUT THE FUCK UP! "...I'll sleep in your embrace..." AAAAARRRRRRRGGGGHHHHHHHH!

This issue is called "Path of Doom: Conclusion." It's the "conclusion" part of the title that's my favorite part!

The third part of Superman's plan is to open the door to his Himalayan Fortress and invite Doomsday inside because Superman has anti-Doomsday weaponry inside. I guess activating the deus ex machina is always a better plan than punching yourself to death.

This might be the most passionless and dull I've ever seen Wonder Woman! "Clark say stay! Me stay! Watch die from here!"

Jon convinces Wonder Woman that his name isn't stupid without the "h". It's a totally acceptable version of John! Then he asks her to go help his dad and Diana shrugs and says, "Whatever. Me go, me guess."

Diana teleports into Clark's Himalayan Fortress and begins beating Doomsday with her shield. Is that some kind of metaphor I'm missing out on? "The best offense is a good defense but used as offense"? Hopefully Superman accepts her help and gets his deus ex machina up and running instead of arguing with Wonder Woman about why she left Lois and Jon unsafe miles over the Earth where nobody can harm them.

Superman's ultimate plan--which he eventually pulls off--is to send Doomsday to The Phantom Zone. Damn! It's been so many issues of Superman punching things in the face to quell them that I forgot that his favorite Plan A was to send shit to The Phantom Zone. Can't solve a problem? Send it to The Phantom Zone! I wonder how many loads of dirty dishes and piles of dirty laundry are scattered about The Phantom Zone? I think I if I had a Phantom Zone Gateway Generator, I would probably jerk off into it a lot. I wonder how angry Zod would be after escaping The Bukkake Zone? At least his skin would probably look nice.

Oh damn. You better nip this shit in the bud as soon as possible, Lois.

Back in Metropolis, Lex Luthor is busy saving children. It's a total waste of time because Jimmy Olsen isn't around to snap any photos. But Clark Kent is there with his sleeves ripped off looking super muscular. Ugh. If this Clark Kent isn't actually Superman than I don't accept his massive pecs and rock hard abs and rippling biceps and throbbing cock. Oh wait. That's my throbbing cock.

Superman and Lex leave Clark Hunk to go speak in private on the top of the Daily Planet Building. They decide to call some kind of truce where neither of them really trust the other and both of them are going to dig into each other's backgrounds until they feel a tentative peace with each other. So it's exactly like Batman's relationship with Superman.

The epilogue to the story shows Dr. Oz has captured Doomsday during his transmission to The Phantom Zone. Maybe he's starting a collection of all of DC's villains. Dr. Oz's Who's Who Zoo.

"By the passion and the flame...empty chairs and empty tables where..." HOLY FUCK DOES ANYBODY KNOW HOW TO TREPAN?!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Detective Comics #939

Tim stole this move from Dick.

The Review!
First off, I want to get one thing straight: I didn't cry almost immediately while reading this comic book. That is a slanderous misconception of what actually happened. And even if I was crying (which I wasn't), Kate Kane said it was okay to cry if I wanted to! Although who made her the arbiter of allowance?! Bruce didn't need her permission and he didn't seem to have the same old fashioned ideas about crying as I expressed when I lied about crying because I was ashamed of having done it. He's just out there in the front row at the funeral letting the tears flow! Giving him permission is simply putting voice to the concern that people think men shouldn't cry which could possibly humiliate Bruce when he wasn't thinking about that aspect of his sadness at all!

Blue Beetle Rebirth #1

Now that Ted Kord is in this comic book, I can probably stop superimposing his Blue Beetle face on Jaime's Blue Beetle face.

The Review!
Keith Giffen is back to writing Blue Beetle. I suppose he was writing him in Justice League 3000 but that felt like cheating. I wonder how long before Ted Kord is fat again? Or how long before Booster Gold arrives? Maybe Booster Gold will visit with a young sidekick too, Boosterina Goldess, and she can have a romantic fling with Jaime. But Jaime will probably be disappointing and she'll move on to more popular superhero boyfriends and Jaime will never recover because he believes she's his one true love and why can't she see that and how dare she break his heart and she's a total skank jerko to boot! Or maybe Keith Giffen won't mire this book in the nostalgia of his Justice League of America run from many decades ago.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Doctor Fate #15

The Review!
This issue begins by making the reader think the real threat is a bunch of mummies. But in actuality, it is woman who is the enemy! I suppose "mummy" is a play on "fucking bitches, amirite?"

Exhibit A: Khalid believes women are mind-controlling manipulators who demand constant attention!

Exhibit B: Kent believes they are fearful, wrath-filled monsters who will make your life hell if you fail them.

Batman #5

The Review!
The metaphor (meataphor?) of this book is readily apparent to anybody who knows what a metaphor is and can read and has made the connection that Gotham the super hero has the same name as Gotham the city. If it's a bit subtle for some of you, you're probably writing for Comic Book Resources. I don't have anything against Comic Book Resources but I feel like I should really hate anybody I can identify as a rival. Often I'll stand in line at Taco Bell thinking what a fucking slut the person ahead of me is. I don't even have anything against sluts! I think maybe I'm just angry. But then who isn't angry inside a Taco Bell? There's a reason every one of us is under that roof and it's not because we have control over our lives. Especially that slut.

So, um, that metaphor! Let me walk you through it slowly. Gotham is a city and that city has problems. Batman tries to fix those problems. And that's the synopsis of seventy-five years of Batman. But wait! Tom King has come along and thought, "What if...wait for it...wait for it (that first wait for it was asking you to wait for the second wait for it!)...Gotham was a character! But not in that way too subtle and overly finessed way Scott Snyder did it in his incomprehensible run on the comic! I say we make Gotham an actual person! And he can totally represent Gotham in every way and now Batman has to fix him or punch him or put out fires on him or buy up pieces of his body at rock bottom prices and then patrol those neighborhoods to drive out crime so that the value of his properties rise! Okay, yeah, you're right. I'm getting a little bit too literal on the metaphor! But you get where I'm going with this, right? Gotham City is broken and then comes this guy Gotham who is majestic and awe-inspiring and a great place to raise your kids. But then he gets broken too! Now we can watch Batman fix Gotham City by fixing Gotham Dude! Who wants to be the first to shake my hand and pat me on the back?!"

It's actually more complex than that but I'm a lousy critic who is probably just jealous of professional writers and needs to tear down everything they make to feel better about my lousy existence, so how am I supposed to understand the complexity of the metaphor? I suppose I have to remember that Hugo Strange is part of this and, just like all of Batman's villains, Strange is trying to control Gotham. But not the city! The dude! Get it?! But by controlling Gotham Dude, Hugo can now destroy Gotham City. So the metaphor sort of begins to bleed into itself like a Dali painting running from the rain and dripping all over an Escher print.

At one point in the story, Alfred dresses up like Batman to confront Gotham merely to detain him. Gotham says, "What...who are you?" Alfred responds, "I'm Batman." Then Gotham is all, "'re just a man in a mask." See?! It's still all metaphor for how the city reacted to some idiot tying a towel around his neck and running about the yard hitting his friends with sticks. Gotham City's first reaction is, "How can a man in a mask help?! We're all dying here!" And, well, the city must be right because Alfred turns and runs away once Batman arrives. Which is the continuation of the metaphor! I think. Maybe it's a different metaphor. Or perhaps I'm wandered into thematic discussion? Anyway, the point is that the city doesn't need somebody in a mask to save it. The city needs the Jeezly Crow Batman! And it can recognize when the pencil mustachioed man with the ill-fitting onesie draped over him isn't Batman.

So now that you've got all that metaphor in your head--don't be distracted by the Monster Men who are coming!--it's time for the big twist: Batman is actually Gotham! No wonder he was so upset when he realized he was infested with owls. Batman is such a huge control freak that he blames himself for everything that is wrong with Gotham because it's everything that is wrong with himself. His failures and his flaws are Gotham's failures and flaws. And with that revelation, Gotham is no longer needed and the metaphor is allowed to run its course and die. But Gotham Girl gets to stick around because she needs to marry Duke Thomas and kill Bruce Wayne later. You can't have a Batman series without a Death of Batman story being wedged in there somewhere, apparently.

So I guess this is becoming a Gotham Girl comic book and not a Batman comic book. I bet David Finch was excited about that! I have a feeling Tom King just finally broke down from Finch's incessant emails asking King to write in more scenes where Gotham Girl can wear a bikini or maybe be in her panties getting ready for bed or perhaps barely covered up by the steam of a shower while naked in the bathroom or perhaps just have her cosplaying White Rabbit! And Tom King was all, "Fine! Gotham Girl Year One! Bone up on your female underwear drawings!" And David Finch was all, "Boned and ready!"

Somebody, somewhere, at some point in time is going to point to this panel to show how much stronger and more powerful Gotham Girl is because she doesn't look hurt at all while Gotham is now dead. But it's really just the only way David Finch knows how to draw women and men. Women are always somehow under good light with clear skin and men are lit by flickering florescent bulbs with old, tattered wrinkled skin (and usually fish lips).

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Green Arrow #5

Intimate contact with another human being is overrated.

The Review!
If you like Green Arrow, this comic book is good enough for you to keep liking Green Arrow. I don't know what else to say! This isn't the place where I discuss the themes of the series intelligently so that strangers I'll never meet think I'm some kind of comic book reading genius! I mean, I am that but I'm not going to dance like a comic book reading genius monkey for no peanuts! What is the point of comic book reviews on the Internet anyway? This site is for people who have already read the comic book and just want to check to see if they read it correctly (most likely they didn't). But I can't tell you if your tastes are as refined as my tastes! What if I said this comic book was the best Green Arrow comic book and that caused you to pick it up and you were disappointed? You might think I was a huge liar when, in fact, you just didn't read the comic book correctly! See? I don't want that happening! I don't want people thinking I had an incorrect opinion. That's practically blasphemy. Oh! I wonder how I can get God status so that having differing opinions from me would literally be blasphemy?! I want that!

Aquaman #5

At first I thought the soldiers were named after various whiskies but then I saw "Eltaeb" and I thought, "Oh! These must be soldiers who graduated from the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley!"

The Review!
In this issue, Aquaman and Mera prove to the United States government that they shouldn't go to war with Atlantis. Two Atlanteans (well, one and a Xenian or whatever) basically dismantle the entire marine corps during their escape from the detention cell where Arthur was being held for resisting arrest or terrorism or looking at the president side-eyed. Events have completely spiraled out of control to a point well past my usual limits of credulity (even for a comic book!). But for some reason, I don't really mind. Aquaman is finding out how America tends to go crazy when too many people say the word terrorism. And Atlantis isn't really known for their patience or reluctance to mobilize for war. So every event is doubling down on the initial misunderstanding and it all stemmed from Black Manta's attack on the Atlantean Embassy. He must be pretty damn proud! What I'm trying to say is Dan Abnett's telling an enjoyable Aquaman story that could maybe use less troops attacking Aquaman and less Mera going directly to the belief that her marriage is over before it begun. This isn't about your future nuptials, Mera! This is an international incident!

The Commentary!
Sometimes when I complain about a comic book, I complain about the writer's decisions. And other times, I complain as if the character were making stupid mistakes and completely ignore the writer's involvement. I like myself best when I'm pretending to be unaware of the artists behind the art. I like to get so wrapped up in a comic book that I scream at Aquaman when he does something stupid (almost always) rather than let Aquaman off the hook and blame the writer behind his actions. Plus I probably shouldn't be so mean to people just trying to earn a living when they're obviously struggling so hard to be competent at their work. I'm not naming any specific Cullen Bunns here! I mean names! This revelation is more about me anyway. I should be a kinder person! It's okay to mock Aquaman as much as I like (which is really, really, really, really a lot!) but I probably shouldn't enjoy mocking the struggling artists giving about 30% of their all to entertain the masses. Seriously though! Why should I expect them to give 100%?! I can hardly ever muster 100% even for things I'm enthusiastic about!

Last issue, Aquaman was trying to solve problems by diplomacy. But his main problem with solving this problem diplomatically is that he's trying to use diplomacy with the United States of America. Their entire playbook for diplomacy involves making power plays. The number one rule when America goes into a diplomatic situation is to make sure the other person knows who is in charge! Aquaman was playing by their rules for the most part, allowing them to prove they're in charge by locking him up so they can exhibit the only other part of their diplomatic plan: control! First you show people who is in charge! Then you control the entire situation and shit all over the word compromise! It might not make you the most likeable or seemingly intelligent country on the block but it definitely lines your pockets with the lunch money of all those other nerd countries.

Aquaman was playing the part like a great king does. He bent over at all the right times and he spread his ass cheeks at just the right time and he made sure to keep saying America's name in pleasurable moans. The American government was confused by his willingness to submit because that screws up most of their power play. When they bump against some Atlantean squirt at the bar, they hope the Atlantean squirt will say something like "Excuse me!" or "Oh, sorry I was standing here!" that will give America a reason to bust their chops. Hell, even just looking annoyed that America bumped them and caused them to spill their drink is reason enough to invade the fuck out somebody. So when Aquaman just kept taking it without giving America a reason to get violent, they weren't sure what to do next. Luckily they had a plan! Bump into Mera!

Mera, of course, is no Aquaman. She does not bend over. She does not spread her ass cheeks. What she does do is immediately being buckling the strap on because she's about to do some good old fashion pegging on America! She immediately flips the fuck out and breaks Aquaman out of prison. America breathes a sigh of relief because they know how to handle this kind of terrorist uprising! They send the entire military to meet Aquaman and Mera as they try to escape the detention center to kill the fuck out Aquaman and Mera. Yay America. Yay. Ya...oh god. I'm so sorry, the rest of the world! I'm so fucking sorry! Most of us can't apologize enough for the twats running the show and their obsequious lackeys coming in their pants at the thought of dropping bombs or long, protracted invasions.

Mera is strapped on and ready to teach the Marines a new tactic.

Mera throws a tank at a helicopter and half the marines shit themselves. But Aquaman makes sure to save everybody who should be dead due to Mera's wrath. Luckily for the marines, he believes in non-violent solutions. Or, at least, non-lethal solutions! It's not like he's going to try to stop Mera from punching every single one of them in their stupid faces. I mean, he eventually drags her away but he seems to take his time.

It would be nice to imagine this as a fictional, hyperbolic attitude of the government of the United States, wouldn't it?

I realize I'm being too hard on these fictional government entities (and by extension, the non-fictional ones) when the Chief of Staff points out that Aquaman is the least important member of the Justice League and just the fish guy. This guy is actually all right and I'm beginning to see his point that Aquaman needs to be killed.

Although I think I'm being way too lenient on the marines! Who are these guys who just unthinkingly follow orders?! Man, it must be such a sweet life! You never have to worry about your own ethics or desires! You never have to worry about being responsible for anything (until somebody higher up needs a patsy, of course!). You can just sit back, shoot whomever you're told to shoot, and collect that sweet, sweet government paycheck! And now you don't even need to worry so much about horrible civilian attitudes coming back from war like in the Vietnam days! People are wearing shirts that say shit like "Home of the Free Because of the Brave" and think of every soldier as a hero and sing songs like "Freedom isn't free!" And nobody ever argues how those attitudes are harmful because you can't have a thoughtful conversation about patriotism and imperialism and warmongering without coming off as unsympathetic of the plight of the soldier in this day and age. I will say this though about that stupid fucking t-shirt I mentioned: if you think America is free due to our overseas violence, you're probably a moron.

On minor disagreement and Mera goes straight to the wedding being off!

I realize calling people who believe something other than I do a moron isn't ever helpful. But sometimes a person just becomes exhausted with everybody who thinks they're smart or hold well-considered opinions but they just aren't and they just don't. And anything I say will just produce the exact result from the other side, where I'm called a moron because I might think that doing nothing after 9/11 would have been better for the world than demanding more blood from any country we could paint as the source of the problem. Just looking at it from the American side alone and ignoring any casualties from other countries, we would have had far less American deaths from 9/11 had we reacted less violently. Rushing out and murdering other people because some of us were murdered is gangland tactics. Protecting citizens from another catastrophe like this? That's what governments are supposed to do.

I've said enough! This is about that fish guy and not about pissing off my dumb-dumb conservative readership!

Meanwhile in Atlantis, Tula, the current regent while Arthur is above water, decides de-escalation is what is called for in this trying time! But then she gets a report that the United States military is trying to kill their King and his fiance and Tula decides maybe de-de-escalation is the better way to go!

I think this situation is properly fubared. Which is probably why the president calls in Superman to handle the situation. Although, judging from Superman's past, this encounter isn't exactly going to break out in an intelligent conversation.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Green Lanterns #5

Can DC Comics please retire Atrocitus already?

The Review!
I'm not a fan of this comic book. It's all idea and no substance. The idea is to have two rookie Green Lanterns learn to overcome their flaws so they can save the world. Also they're quite different but they're also quite alike! And by learning to work together and lean on each other, they'll have the strength to be greater together than they ever could be alone! It would be nice though, being a comic book, if the pictures and words would work together. Maybe that's on purpose! The art and writing are like Jess and Si! They need to learn to integrate so that they can protect the world from unholy monsters like me! Now if I could just convince myself that that was the plan, maybe I could be happy about this series.

Superman #5

The Eradicator gives the worst happy endings.

The Commentary!
I didn't mention the sodomy going on on the cover because I've decided to repress the memory of finding it arousing.

Last issue, Superman took his family on a road trip to the moon (minus the road). He loaded them up in the camper submarine and took them to see the sights. Or is it sites? I suppose both work so get off my cases. I used the plural of case because I had two possibilities there that I didn't wanting you getting on. So, um, the first site he takes his family to sight is the American flag planted on the moon! Proof that America actually went to the moon which everybody who listens to Coast to Coast AM sorely needs (although they'll ignore anything that proves America went to the moon). Well, conspiracy radio nutjobs, check out this proof:

See? The American fla...wait a second! That's not the American flag! The stripes are all wrong! What is going on here? Why would America plant a forgery on the moon? Is it a literal clue that the moon landing was a false flag operation?! Ignore the definition of "false flag" and just believe my wordplay conspiracy!

Justice League #3

Aquaman's trident is looking a bit impotent.

The Commentary!
This issue begins by teaching me that Australia is the south of the world, Japan is the east of the world, and Russia is the north of the world. But what's the west of the world? I bet it's Cuba, right?

All over the world, humans are climbing on top of each other to become giant Voltron-versions of human beings. It's not just stupid when I type it or when I read what I've typed or when you read what I've typed or when I say it out loud to myself over and over again. It's also really stupid when it's read straight from the pages of Justice League. I suppose when hundreds of people stand on each other's shoulders, they become stronger than normal and can resist Wonder Woman's Bolt of Zeus better than when if she threw it directly at a lone human who would probably just explode. I wouldn't take that chance but Wonder Woman is more proactive than I am and apparently also doesn't mind explaining to the other Justice League members why she killed a bunch of innocent people.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Nightwing #3

I don't think this is how Dick usually squat-jumps.

The Commentary!
This issue begins with the aftermath of a scene that causes Batgirl to rethink how horny she is for Nightwing. Mostly she's probably still up for doing it to him but she knows if he's no good, she now has a ready excuse for why she never wants to see him again after. Because apparently Raptor killed an innocent man and Nightwing just let him. It must be tough living the kind of life where everybody always depends on you never failing at your job so that, one day, when some villain actually gets away with killing somebody, everybody blames you. But Batgirl should know better! She was once accused of this same thing by a stupid cop who pulled her gun on Batgirl for not stopping the murder instead of the murderer who was standing right beside her! That was in The New 52 Batgirl #1 and it wasn't the comic book to be introduced to Gail Simone. What a terrible ending! I chalked it up to editorial interference. They probably demanded that the first issue end in a crazy cliffhanger. I bet Simone's first draft just ended with the bad guy throwing the person out of the window and everybody looking shocked. But editorial was all, "Not good enough! Make this policewoman make the worst decision she's ever made! It'll be brilliant!"

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Harley Quinn #2

I guess it's okay for Amanda Conner to sneak a zombie finger sliding up Harley's clown car. But it would be wrong if Frank Cho drew this, right?

The Commentary!
Tumblr has that "Recommended Blogs" column off to the right on the home page which I sometimes click on but mostly ignore. But I think I need to ignore it forever now because just looking at it depresses the fuck out of me. Thanks, Tumblr, for recommending Monster Man's blog so that I could click over to see some "Monsters Forever" and be greeted with this post:

Hi all, on Sunday, June 12th, the Monsterman passed away. He leaves behind his beautiful daughter and me his loving wife. Running this site gave him so much joy. We will miss him and love him always.

I suppose I shouldn't complain. It's a loving note of tribute and more than anybody will get on my blog when I'm found lying face-down in the cat's litter box, bloated from the gasses of decomposition. It's not like it's Tumblr's responsibility to post warning signs all over the place that life fucking sucks and, to top it all off, it just ends in the complete erasure of your existence. It's not like there aren't little reminders all around us every day which we desperately try to avoid although, when we can't, we frantically try to figure out a way to repress the reminder and get back into our heady, daily denial of the Faustian deal we unknowingly made with the universe! Because don't get me wrong! I'm glad I somehow, improbably, exist to experience all of this! But if the universe had an identifiable set of testicles, I'd definitely kick them as hard as I could.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #1

I didn't realize Batgirl was only twelve.

The Review!
Who else thought the scene where Black Canary screamed at The Asp and drove him off was a reference to Crowther and Woods text adventure game, "Colossal Cave Adventure"? It totally probably wasn't, right? Although it'll be super exciting if Batgirl finds a black rod soon, if you get my meaning! If you don't get my meaning, you're probably too young to understand or too polite to acknowledge it. And I only mean you're too young to understand in that you don't even know what a text adventure game is let alone that the black rod was an item in the game much like a magic wand. If you're too young to get my double meaning, you probably only thought, "So you're hoping she gets some dick from a black guy?" Boy, times sure have changed! And speaking of change, Batgirl and the Birds of Prey has hardly changed at all! Batgirl is still battling female villains or villains that have stolen her identity! And she's still hanging out with Black Canary and pining for dick! I mean Dick! But now she's not being drawn as cutesy as she was when she lived on Burnside. Now she's drawn all punk rock and roll! Or something. I don't know how to get into the conversation about the art without sounding totally sexist so I'm just going to say: I love it! Whew! That totally proves I don't rely completely on my male gaze to inform all of my opinions!

The Commentary!
I was listening to Les Miserables (the musical, not the audio book nor my pet turtle, Les Miserables) last night while working which means I was also crying uncontrollably most of the time while working. But I decided (that means I thought something and just automatically assumed it's the truth because who has time to be wishy-washy in their own belief system?) that the academic upper middle class people love the song "Master of the House" so much because it's one of the few times they get to titter at lewdness. The lyrics in that song would normally be the kind of thing they'd refer to as lowbrow and turn up their noses at while stuffing caviar in their stupid judgmental faces. I'm currently shoving Sour Patch Kids in my stupid judgmental face! I wish fewer people weren't so afraid to be seen as stupid for liking lowbrow humor. Although I think the fact that somebody is afraid of looking stupid for laughing at lowbrow humor marks them as somebody who is stupid due to fearing to look stupid. When you're super smart like me, you look stupid all the time because you don't give a shit who thinks you're the genius you actually are!

This issue begins with Black Canary telling a story about her past where she stole lines from movies to seem cool.

I guess this is what the kids today call "referencing" and it's the height of wit. That was sarcastic unless your first reaction to it was "Don't you do shit like this all the time, Tess?"

Black Canary is remembering this old mission so Oracle can get some on-panel time and all of the Oracle fans can fangasm in their underwear which they'll subsequently have to sneak into the trash to avoid any embarrassing questions. I wish Suicide Squad #1 would have begun with Amanda Waller remembering back to the time Oracle helped the Suicide Squad with their missions! I only wrote that to show that I remember when Oracle was first created and that it wasn't with the Birds of Prey like too many people think. Also I'm stuffing caviar in my mouth right now and scoffing at everybody's ignorance.

But Batgirl's spine is better now so she can physically hunt down the bad guy with Black Canary now which is totally more exciting. Unless you're somebody who liked Oracle for representation reasons and would rather have Babs back in the wheelchair for your own issues and preferences. Seems kind of selfish to me! Us walkies have it so much better! Aside from the having to walk everywhere. What a hassle! And always being invited to join the neighborhood kickball team with all the way too excited people who think they're living the dream by playing a kid's game once every two weeks (while getting super drunk, of course!). And when I take the bus, it doesn't lower way down to the ground and drop a ramp for me! Stupid bus. People in wheelchairs have all the luck.

Batgirl and Black Canary are currently hunting for somebody who has stolen the Oracle identity because Batgirl can't stop battling people pretending to be her. But their one lead is currently being assassinated by Helena Bertinelli, aka The Huntress! So now they're engaged in an exciting motorcycle chase through the streets of Gotham which will probably wind up with their lead, Terroni, not assassinated and The Huntress joining their Birds of Prey project. Because you can't have a comic book called Batgirl and the Birds of Prey when you only have one Bird of Prey!

When they catch up to Terroni, he's dead from bites to the face. Nobody can tell by glancing in the car window what bit him to death so they just shrug their shoulders and leave his corpse in the crashed car to go find another lead. Maybe they're going to hack into the police morgue files later to get the autopsy results to find out if Ratcatcher had anything to do with this. Or Kobra. Or Squirrel Girl. Or maybe the lead just doesn't matter anymore because, you know, dead! But Helena leaves before they can tell her she's hot and she should join their hot girl club. Except their hot girl club isn't as hot as usual because Claire Roe is making a point to draw the characters in a totally punk rock way that makes them more real or something. I think Helena is actually too hot to hang out with these Birds.


Later that night, Babs and Dinah notice Bab's realtor breaking into Birds of Prey headquarters. But the realtor and the guy she's going to fuck in the clocktower she sold are frightened away by Bab's phone ringing from the bushes nearby. Dinah then shames Babs for using the default ringtone which isn't even a funny thing to tease a friend about. Am I just too old or clever to think that it's hilarious to rib your friends about not changing the ringtone? Especially since maybe it was a telemarketer calling and who changes their default ringtone to acknowledge calls you don't want to answer? Don't you want your phone to sound like every other phone when somebody you don't want to speak to calls so that you might not even notice it's your phone ringing and simply fail to answer it?

Babs didn't get a phone call anyway; she got a text. So what the fuck was Dinah going on about the ring tone for? Am I supposed to believe that people refer to the text alert sound as a ring tone as well? I have no idea! The only phone I carry with me is my work phone which is a twenty dollar burner that I someday hope to ditch when I never have to talk to clients again! I would never carry a cell phone on me, not because I'm old and hate technology. I love technology and, um, I'm not old! I just never want to be in immediate contact with anybody ever.

I should probably stop rambling about cell phones since I know nothing about them. I mean, I know how to catch Pokémon on them and how to feed Nekocats. But that's about it!

The text message Babs receives is from Oracle and it's the most terrible clue a super villain has ever sent to a super hero.

The Riddler should be personally offended by this message.

At least Dinah and Babs forgo the conversation where they point out it's probably a trap and then walk into the trap anyway. It's refreshing to see super heroes just go, "Fucker gave us a clue. Let's go kick his ass."

I don't know what to call them but you know those narration bits which declare the time or the location? In this issue, they've got a sidekick: the trying to be witty caption!

You did not say anything about tacky! You did mention there would be a petting zoo which made me envious so now I think you're calling me tacky?

Batgirl has chosen the role of vigilante and yet she still feels the need to voice her reasons for probable cause of entering the property unwelcomed! Batman would be so disappointed in her. You put on the mask for justice at all costs, not just justice by the rule and law of the land! You might as well leave the mask at home if you're concerned with jaywalking, speeding, breaking and entering, assault, and treason! Don't half-ass being a vigilante, Batgirl! It just gives a bad name to Vigilante!

I've noticed a lot of comic books love to have people add "so-called" to the front of words to turn them into insults even when it doesn't really make a lot of sense. But I think it's okay if I add it to "petting zoo" when I say this mob boss's "so-called" petting zoo has lions and tigers in it. I suppose that can still be regarded as a petting zoo but you probably won't be able to pet anything on your next visit to a petting zoo. Unless you allow "rubbing something with the stump of your wrist" as a legitimate definition of petting. I'm not ableist so I say sure! Why not?

Batgirl and the Bird of Prey discover that the Huntress has arrived at the zoo well before them and is already busy drowning the mob boss in the peeing boy fountain. Of course they have to stop her for her own good. It's okay to have an off-the-rails violent crazy person on the Birds of Prey but only if they keep her from committing murder directly before their eyes.

During the good guy scuffle, it's revealed that Helena knows Dick Grayson which causes Batgirl to go right off of her game because it's tougher to kick with swollen labia. I think. I don't know! I know I have a hard time kicking with a boner! I think. I'm not sure I ever tried it!

Black Canary must sleep on a George Foreman grill

A new player enters the fight who goes by the name The Asp. He travels around with a bunch of serpents and seems to be killing the same mob guys Helena wants to kill. Between Batman, the Bat-Competition, other crime families, and super villains, it's got to be tough being a mobster in Gotham.

The Asp is screamed away which is totally the way I handle encounters with snakes too! So I guess I've been doing it right. Everybody then finds out that some guy named Fenice is causing trouble in the Gotham crime scene and he's a client of Oracles. So The Huntress asks if Batgirl and Black Canary want to work alongside her murdering ass. I bet they say, "Sure! But no more murdering! We can forgive attempted murder which probably means you've murdered in the past. But since we didn't see actual murder, you're probably a good enough good guy for us! Besides, we need a second bird for our Birds of Prey. Can you maybe change your name to Swallow? *snicker*"

Batgirl and The Huntress discuss their terms for working together.

Batgirl: "You're a doody faced doody eater!"
Huntress: "At least I've had Dick in me!"
Batgirl: "So what if I'm a vir...wait a second! Was that dick capitalized?!"
Huntress: "Fifty Shades of Grayson!"
Batgirl: "Why did you...that doesn't even make sense?!"
Huntress: "But it's a reference! The kids love references!"
Batgirl: "Well if I'm going to work with you, you can't look hotter than me or Grump Canary!"
Black Canary: "Hey!"
Huntress: "Even on my worst days, I can't help looking better than you!"
Batgirl: "Well, if I say 'dibs' on a guy, you can't try to take him from me!"
Huntress: "Fine! Like I'd be so desperate that I'd take the one guy you dibsed!"
Black Canary: "Actually, she dibs every guy she sees. No, wait. She 'batdibs' every guy she sees."
Huntress: "Whatever. Fine! I promise not to fuck any guys you've ever laid eyes on (since that's all the laying you'll get anyway), and you promise to not lay eyes on the people I kill!"
Batgirl: "Um, deal!"

Oh hey! Here's the advertisement for the new Cyborg comic book. In my commentary for Suicide Squad Rebirth #1, I said, "Speaking of heroes, there's an advertisement for a twice monthly Cyborg book starting in September. DC Comics is still trying to make Cyborg interesting?! Hasn't Cyborg been given enough chances?! Unless this new book is about how he's sleeping with tons of women due to his new wrist attachment, I'm not interested!" I don't remember if this was the same picture in that first advertisement but if it was, how did I not notice that he does indeed have the new wrist attachment?!

Cyborg? More like Cyborgasm, amirite?!

Black Canary's argument for Huntress joining the team is that she's an extra set of fists. Ooh la la! My male gaze just came in its pants!

Black Canary tells Huntress that she has to tell them her name to join the team but Huntress refuses and Black Canary decides to just call her The Cuntress. I'm sure Babs can just call Dick and find out. Then she can call Huntress "Helena" in the middle of a fight and Helena will become flabbergasted and get punched in the face by Oracle and everybody will laugh. Except Huntress! And the people still angry that I called her The Cuntress!

The Asp goes running back to Fenice who is a woman in a dress that looks like feathers. That's probably because Fenice means Phoenix or something in some language I'm not interested in. That's not an insult to whatever language it is! I'm just not interested in any language! I wouldn't even bother with English if I had my druthers! Although English has some great words like "druthers" and "cunt". So the Birds of Prey are already getting thematic enemies as well as enemies acting like Batgirl and all of them being female to boot! It's just like all the Batgirl stories since The New 52 began! That wasn't a positive or negative criticism. It was just a fact!

Suicide Squad #1

Okay! That's about my threshold for Jim Lee's art! Hopefully the cover was all he could finish before the issue was ready to ship.

The Commentary!
I was recently asked what I feel nostalgic for and one of the main things is probably my twenties. Not for any particular experience alone but for the general mindset of being in one's twenties. It's probably the best decade for an atheistic existentialist. I was an adult in full control of my life and yet, even though I didn't necessarily feel immortal, I knew I could defer mortality for my thirties. My twenties was a time when I knew I would have a whole lifetime ahead of me even after they were over, so why not spend them doing whatever the fuck I wanted? Some people probably get hives reading that attitude toward a person's twenties and think, "But you could have gotten started on your future financial security!" I suppose when I'm in my sixties, maybe I'll think differently about the way I spent my twenties, but I'm more of an eat dessert first and then don't eat the shit you don't want to eat and then maybe have dessert again later kind of people. My twenties were there to do as much acid as I could without the knowledge of my mortality turning every trip into a spiraling disaster of self-pity. My twenties were for traveling, across the country and across Asia, because after leaving home, I didn't have any kind of responsibilities anchoring me to any specific place. But mostly there's a kind of openness to a person's twenties. It's the last time your future is going to be composed of infinite possibilities. When I entered my twenties, I had no idea what my life would be like in my thirties. But as I entered my thirties, I was fairly certain I knew quite a bit about where my life would be entering my forties. And as I entered my forties, I sure as shit know where I'll be when I enter my fifties, unless something completely tragically random happens. That's, you know, always a possibility! Which is why I figured spending my twenties like a rock and roll vagabond was my best bet! I feel like my twenties could have been a disaster and I'd still be nostalgic for the philosophical mindset that I had during that decade of my life. There was a freedom to being able to put your life on hold because there were still many more decades to follow. Being unencumbered, in every sense of the word, meant I was as free as I would ever be. I suppose I could head back up to Snoqualmie and sleep outside on top of a picnic bench in a campground in the mountains while watching a meteor shower to try to relive some memories of the time but it wouldn't be the same. Because back then, I had nowhere to go and nowhere to be and nothing driving me in any direction. Now, I'd be lying there thinking, "Well, I have to get back to work in a few days and probably feed the cat and maybe let the Non-Certified Spouse know that I haven't died and then there's rent and bills and fuck me why aren't I dead already?" Hmm. That turned darker than it should have. I just meant to point out that it's the particular mindset of my twenties that I feel nostalgic for because I can never have that kind of freedom from responsibility and my own mortality ever again.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Supergirl Rebirth #1

This is not the end I'm excited to see back!

The Review!
Tonight while playing Call of Duty, a friend of my cousin's thirteen year old son joined our chat. His gamer tag was Marshall Law or something. At one point, he said, "Reading Rainbow," and my friend KCBlueGal began singing the theme song. So he said, "Ha ha! You're old! It was an old trap! You're old!" Which is, you know, annoying because he joined our party and should have some manners. So I said, "You already fell into the young trap by being an idiot." So then he kept bothering everybody to play another game and my cousin's son told him he'd play with him after the game we were playing. So finally we finished and my cousin's son said, "Okay, let's go play whatever," and he left the party leaving his friend. So I said, "Yeah, go sit around and say 'der' to each other." So Marshall said, "You're mean and I don't like you!" before leaving the party. I wanted to tell him, "You started it!", but then remembered I was supposed to be the old one. So instead I felt some accomplishment in knowing the lyrics to Reading Rainbow's theme song. Also in mocking a young kid! I think I probably mostly felt accomplishment in that! He was pretty fucking annoying. And ageist too! Oh, um, Supergirl is going to be totally awesome because it takes place in high school and high school drama is the best drama. Often it involves teenagers mocking adults which is totally hilarious! I mean, um, when it happens to other adults. My feelings are still hurt even if I put up a tough front. Oh! Marshall also said he'd rather be an idiot and young than old! I can't wait until he's an old idiot! Ha ha! Except then I'll probably be dead. Dammit! He wins again!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Abra Kadabra! (as seen in Titans #1)

Alter Ego: Unknown
Occupation: Former Stage Magician, now Professional Criminal [Really? Now? As if it isn't a crime already to pay people to watch magic.]
Marital Status: Unknown [Come on! He's a magician! Obviously unmarried. And a virgin.]
Known Relatives: None
Group Affiliation: None
Base of Operations: 20th and 64th Century Earth [He might have the biggest base yet!]
First Appearance: FLASH #128
Height: 6'6" Weight: 195 lbs.
Eyes: [Magical! Um, I mean] Blue Hair: Black

Frustrated by a lack of audience acceptance in his native 64th Century, since the superscience of that time made his magic tricks commonplce, Kadabra stole an experimental time machine and journeyed to the 20th Century to become a star. After failing to attract an audience in the traditional manner [Annoy the fuck out of people on the street until you can get a membership to the Magic Castle?], Kadabra used his futuristic scientific knowledge to commit a series of daring robberies [So instead of using his knowledge of futuristic science to perform what our limited knowledge would think of as magic, or instead of using his knowledge of futuristic science to patent a shipload of technology that could help the world, he uses his knowledge of futuristic science to rob convenience stores?], forcing his victims to applaud his criminal actions [Oh, okay. I get it now. Totally makes sense.], thus providing Kadabra with the acclaim he so desperately craved. Originally, Kadabra stole merely to gain attention [but now he needs to pay rent and shit too?], but he now devotes much of his time attempting to gain vengeance on his archenemy, the modern (Barry Allen) Flash (see The Flash).

Kadabra uses 64th Century science, specifically in the areas of teleportation, telepathy, and telekinesis, the science of the mind over matter [Or, you know, bullshit.], to perform acts which seem truly magical. He often channels his powers through a slim magic wand, but this is merely an affectation [Hipster!] and is not necessary. Kadabra's forte appears to be effecting bizarre physical transformations on his foes (i.e., turning The Flash into a living wooden puppet).

Clock King! (as seen in Deathstroke Rebirth #1)

Alter Ego: William Tockman
Occupation: Former Clock Repairman, now Professional Criminal [Because apparently, hee hee hee, time isn't actually money! Hee hee hee.]
Marital Status: Single
Known Relatives: Beverly Tockman (sister, deceased [She ran out of time! Hee hee!]
Group Affiliation: None
Base of Operations: Star City
First Appearance: WORLD'S FINEST COMICS #111
Height: 5'10" Weight: 173 lbs.
Eyes: Blue Hair: Black

Told by a doctor he had only six months left to live, William Tockman became distraught, worrying about who would take care of his invalid sister after his death. Refusing to have his sister turned over to a state nursing home, yet having no insurance [Which is probably the main reason for not putting her in a nursing home. Although I guess in 1985, the state still operated a few of these generally horrible places.] or savings of his own, Tockman decided to turn to crime to provide money for his sister's future, reasoning that even if he was [Were!] caught, he'd never live long enough to serve any time. Since time was running out for him [And his sister! Although let me guess: he's accidentally responsible for her death! I hope that wasn't a spoiler!], Tockman was determined to make use of every second. Taking the clock, the symbol of time [Holy shit, that's deep!], as his own symbol [and face], Tockman used his expert knowledge of clocks to become the Clock King. [That revelation didn't even warrant an exclamation mark. Seems about right.]

The Clock King's series of time-related crimes quickly brought him to the attention of Star City's resident crimebusters, the Green Arrow and Speedy (see individual listings), and after a series of dangerous encounters, the Ace Archers [That's just...terrible.] finally defeated the Clock King [This makes it sound like it was difficult! You'd think one of the few things arrows wouldn't be outmatched by is a clock!] and turned him over to the authorities [As opposed to putting him in Arrow Jail? Or, you know, a grave?].

While in prison awaiting trial, Tockman suffered the ultimate irony when he learned that he wasn't dying after all [Why wasn't this in Alanis's song? "Thrown in jail for life and found you weren't gonna die! Wanted dessert but all they had was a pie!" I know that's not ironic but what the fuck else in that song is anyway?]; his doctor had accidentally switched Tockman's lab reports with those of another patient [So Tockman got the money he needed after all in the malpractice suit that followed, right? Isn't it ironic? Don't you think? Maybe? You know? A little bit?]. Since Tockman was no longer free to care for his invalid sister, she was placed in a state nursing home where she eventually succumbed to her illness. Tormented by his sister's death, Tockman swore to avenge himself on his incompetent doctor and the Green Arrow, and he has escaped from prison several times over the years in a vain attempt to carry out his threat.

At this writing the Clock King is serving a life term at a state penitentiary [Or, you know, dying in Africa. Whatever.].

An average athlete and hand-to-hand combatant, the Clock King prefers to use his devious mind to accomplish his goals, all based on his predilection for clocks and time. He has no special weapons or powers [or any interesting traits or any personality to speak of whatsoever.].

Suicide Squad Most Wanted: El Diablo and Boomerang #1

I'm sad that DC has decided to lose Captain Boomerang's rank. Now he's just a normal, civilian shlub like the Marvel version.

The Commentary on El Diablo!!
Hopefully these Suicide Squad Most Wanted books won't just be about the members of the team who have plot immunity to death. I mean, I know El Diablo died recently and then died in the movie as well, but he's the kind of guy who will almost certainly escape from Hell to return as a bigger bad-ass than before. But this is where comic book companies don't think enough outside of the box because their main goal seems to be creating a character popular enough to sell a book no matter how shitty it is written. But they have an opportunity here to have a really exciting story about a villain who gets caught up in crime way over his or her head, winds up in Belle Reve, and thinks maybe he or she can take the chance to join the Squad and turn his or her life around. It could be a real tragedy where we learn all about the villain's humanity and missteps and his or her chance at redemption. And then he or she could die. And I don't think he or she should die heroically but cowardly and unredeemed and in a way that shows the character we have been conditioned to root for actually was a complete piece of garbage all along.

Maybe that'll be El Diablo's story!

Friday, August 19, 2016

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Wonder Woman #4

I can't believe Greg Rucka approved this cover!

The Review!
I know I joke about jokes and stuff (the stuff being serious things that people think shouldn't be joked about, like the death of a kitten or, well, I can't think of anything worse than that) but I want to not joke about anything for this review. I just want to say this is a story that regular people will enjoy with their regular emotions because it exhibits some sort of hypothetical love between a mother and her child. I know that's the stuff of fantasy but it's done really well here. I can almost believe that mothers can love their children and do not want to see them hurt or disappointed. It was touching! But the best touching was when Diana and Steve touched! Ooh la la! I mean, she was just consoling him over the death of his friends but it was still pretty hot. You should probably be reading this book if you're into feminism and also if you're into sexy women.

The Flash #4

Godspeed can create wormholes!

The Review!
In this issue, Barry Allen he learn anything? I wonder if I would have noticed he learned anything if I were reading this comic book seriously instead of looking for opportunities to make stupid jokes about it? I know what I've learned while reading it! I've learned that other people try so hard to figure out who they are that they pour a sort of foundation of ethics and beliefs to stabilize the house of themselves. So when I say something that I totally don't mean because I think it's funny--or because maybe I do mean it, to a certain degree, in that it's a thing that makes sense which is what makes it funny, whether or not it's true--people read it as my final statement on the subject. When I say superspeed is a stupid power for assholes who always think of themselves as too busy, that's just a thought I had at the time that was funny and made sense. But it doesn't mean I can't or don't have other thoughts about why people would want superspeed. It just means I made a statement, not that I live by that statement. I find many people seem less malleable about the things they say because they want other people to know exactly who they are. Their statements express their selves. I suppose the more secure somebody is with who they are, the less they care about saying something which might be misinterpreted by somebody else. And boy howdy do people love to purposefully misinterpret everything said by everybody else forever! And I just realized something else that I learned! Or maybe something that I've just reconnected with that I knew all along and have probably mentioned once or twice before: this blog isn't about reviewing comic books! It's about reviewing me! So it's apt that I don't know what Barry learned in this issue (except maybe how to kiss somebody while in spandex and then hide the subsequent boner) but I know what I learned from it! Is that a good review of Flash #4? "I read it and learned something about myself"? I suppose it's better than "Joshua Williamson writes yet another mediocre Flash story where The Flash battles other speedsters and hangs out with other speedsters. I'm sure there will be time travel soon too!"

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

New Super-man #2

I'm glad Greg Rucka isn't in charge of the length of Chinese Wonder Woman's skirt!

The Review!
This is my favorite comic series of Rebirth so far. And I'm not just saying that this is the one I like best because it just happens to be somewhat better than the other ones. No. I like New Super-man in the way that I liked All Star Western and Demon Knights. It's fun and entertaining and smartly written and telling a cohesive narrative that has something to say. Isn't it crazy that all of those things can be done by a comic book? And I love that the hero is a big jerk that I'm totally falling in love with! It's like looking into a mirror and kissing that mirror and asking that mirror if it wants me to take down my underwear. So hot! Your mileage may vary though. Kenan loves to call people fat, so fat losers probably won't like this comic book. And Wonder-Woman is constantly calling Kenan a dummy, so big dopes will probably get angry, you know what? The best part about being a big dope is that you don't know you're a dope! Stupid people are so cute how they don't know they're stupid and, in fact, actually think they're smart! Sometimes when I'm at the mall, I feel like I'm walking around inside a petting zoo. Sometimes I'll catch myself saying things like, "Aww! Look at that one try to eat ice cream!" Or, "Oh! That little one has little ones of her own that she can't control! How adorable!" And sometimes I'll catch a glimpse of myself in a mirror and think, "Look at that one! It's the biggest idiot of them all!" Then I'll wave and when it waves back, I'll be startled, pretend I was waving at somebody inside the store, and go back to get another Hot Dog on a Stick.

Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #2

I'd be pissed too if I'd been yanked out of my regular life to be written by Cullen Bunn.

The Review!
I'm not sure how I feel about this comic book. It's not bad and it very well may be good, actually. But I have no emotional investment in it. I also don't have any intellectual investment in it. I do happen to have a $2.99 investment in it which I think was probably a poor investment. One thing I find disappointing is that DC Comics keeps covering the same ground over and over again. Perhaps that's what their company-wide overhauls are all about. The New 52 alienated current fans so that DC could repeat the same old stories for five years without too many people noticing. And now with Rebirth, they get to repeat all of their stories again while painting them as something entirely new. But you can't fool me! I mean, you usually can fool me but sometimes, you totally can't! And this is one of those times! What makes DC think readers want to read yet another story about the Green Lantern Corps battling the Sinestro Corps? We've seen it! We've read it! Well, I mean, some people have read it! But I didn't read it the other times and I don't want to read it now! I'm already rereading the Death of Superman in Action Comics! And I think Tom King is sort of writing the Azrael story again in Batman except different somehow! And Wonder Woman! Christ! Wonder Woman is just reminding everybody that she has had a lot of stories and she's going to remember them all and figure out which ones are true! But while doing that, do I have to sit back and just reread all of her old stories?! Ugh! At least New Super-man is new! Chinese knock-offs are always quirky and entertaining!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Action Comics #961

Since I called the Superwoman comic book "Superwomans", does that mean I should be calling this "Actions Comics"?

The Review!
This issue is terrible. I say that because Doomsday is boring as fuck and Superman is an idiot. He can't think of one way to deal with Doomsday that doesn't involve punching Doomsday in the face one thousand times until he dies? And the "he" in that previous sentence was a pronoun substitution for Superman. It might be time for DC Comics to kill Doomsday once and for all. Doomsday must be the character approximation of DC Comics getting its prostate massaged. What I mean is that I think they're the only ones getting any pleasure out of this character. Apparently a writer who doesn't have any better ideas can just look at their editor and ask, "Doomsday?" Then after everybody comes in their pants and smokes a cigarette, the editor is all, "Yeah, yeah. Definitely!" Meanwhile DC's audience just yawns as they watch the finger get shoved way in and wriggle around a bit. Watching prostate stimulation doesn't really make for good porn. Doomsday is a really weird choice as their go-to monster when they need an unstoppable force which is too bad because Doomsday has no personality at all. Have they ever tried Gray Hulking Doomsday? Maybe give him a neckbeard and a Fedora and have him act like the smartest guy in the room? I think DC should try that next time! Or, you know, my first suggestion. Just fucking kill him.

The Commentary!
I wonder if Clark and Lois are sorry for having a child yet. They're almost certainly sorry for coming out of hiding because since then, Jon has been targeted by both Eradicator and Doomsday. Also he killed their cat and got their dog killed. He's a little troublemaker.

You might remember that this comic book has been all about battling Doomsday again. Look, DC Comics. I get it. Doomsday killed Superman once so you think he deserves some kind of trophy in the Super Villain Hall of Fame. But he's just not interesting. He beats stuff until it breaks. That's it. I don't care that he has a bio-babble evolutionary background that Dan Jurgens thinks is the smartest origin ever written. It's terrible! Nothing about Doomsday is cool except maybe the way he looks. Except for those green shorts. Does he have to keep the shorts? He'd be cooler swinging around a big pronged dick, don'tcha think? I could understand why you'd want to keep bringing him back if he was missing the shorts but it boggle my mind that he's your go-to character for a big, tense action story. Here's an idea: create some new characters! I guarantee at least half of them will be better than Doomsday.

Currently Doomsday is trying to beat Superman's son until he breaks. But Superman and Wonder Woman will die before that happens. Which, according to how powerful Doomsday supposedly is, should be the statement I make at the end of this fight. Superman and Wonder Woman died before Superman's son was beaten until he broke. If that happened, I'd be impressed! Or at least astounded! Because one thing everybody knows while reading this is that Doomsday is not going to kill Superman again. The audience understands how comic books work and so know that it won't happen on that level alone. But remember when Superman died last time? It was a huge news story! Everybody knew Superman was going to die and in what issue. So if that were going to happen again, we'd already know about it.

Although Damian's death somehow took a lot of people by surprise, didn't it? Oh no! Maybe Superman is going to die!

If Superman thinks the way to defeat Doomsday is the way he tried last time, Superman is in trouble.

Superman continues to not use his brains to defeat Doomsday. He even decides using his brains less and less as the fight goes on is the best course of action. So while he's getting his ass kicked even with Wonder Woman's help, Superman sends Wonder Woman away with his family. He also says there's no time to get the Justice League involved. I'm fairly certain The Flash can be there in two shakes of a lamb's tail. Oh! That should be August Heart's name: Two Shakes of a Lamb's Tail. Although I guess he already went with Godspeed.

Meanwhile, Doctor Oz(yman(hattan)dias) is scheming some scheme about opening a gate. It's either part of his plot against the DC Universe or he's having trouble with his dog getting out of his yard.

Superman finally decides it's time to make a plan!

Weird. He's saying he's doing things different but this still looks a whole lot like punching.

Superman is the worst at plans and realizes he's going to be killed yet again. But then Doctor Oz(yman(hattan)dias)'s army of Big O's come flying in to save the day! They have weapons that easily control Doomsday (or maybe not so easily but, I mean, they're in one panel and they've pretty much got things under control) and begin shoving him toward some gate. I guess Superman failed the test, whatever it was.