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!

I assume Bruce is crying because he has so much money now and that's a heavy responsibility.

Anyway, that's how this comic chooses to begin: depressing the fuck out of me! How dare it show a child at his parents' funeral when I'm 44 years old and my parents are both still alive! The lucky little bastard.

After the funeral, the comic book returns to the present which is the real story people want to read about because it's the part of the story with Stephanie Brown and Cassandra Cain who people really like for some reason.

Jeez. You depend on Superman one time and now he's on speed dial!

What is Batman's "Black Line"? Does that connect him to the Dakotaverse? Or is it a secret connection to one of the DCU's five hundred black ops organizations? Or maybe it's just Jason Blood's home number. You never know when you're going to need a demon fighting by your side.

Tim plans on going off to university after the battle with The Colony is over but he doesn't want to tell Batman yet because Batman loves acting hurt and disappointed when his kids don't choose to do exactly what he wants them to do. Hopefully Tim remembers how he kept something secret from Batman the next time Batman reveals something he's been keeping secret from Tim. Although I doubt Tim will because one thing characters in comic books who aren't Batman never fail to do is pout when they find somebody was keeping something from them, even if it were for a good reason. And speaking of people keeping things from other people, Batwoman tells Batman that if she's going to work with him, he has to stop lying to her. He agrees just like he always agrees with everybody who says that to him which is always just a lie! But they buy it and he gets some good work out of them for a bit until they get their feelings hurt by him again and they storm off into their own comic books series. But they have to admit that justice always prevails when pursued the Batman Way! The Batman Way is just a lot of lying, skulking in shadows, and breaking bones.

Alfred gets the Black Line ready and connects it for Batman.

And I thought my Dakotaverse line might be insensitive! Who seriously calls their phone line directly to President Obama "The Black Line"?! I suppose my first two guesses as to what it was were sort of correct. Kind of. In a way.

Bat-School learns about The Colony's Machine Gun Drones coming to murder six hundred innocent people so Batwoman declares it's time for another field trip. The assignment: nobody dies in Gotham tonight! I wonder who is going to be assigned all of the hospitals and old folks' homes?

Jacob Kane believes the League of Shadows has a bunch of sleeper agents within his list of six hundred potential terrorists. Batman doesn't believe in the League of Shadows because Batman forgot that he also didn't believe in The Court of Owls. I suppose he also doesn't remember eating all of that crow when it turned out the Court of Owls existed and he wasn't really prepared for their celebration, The Night of the Talons. Well, he's soon going to discover that he's two for two on being completely wrong about secret organizations within Gotham. Maybe he's not as Gotham as he thinks he is.

The drones are headed to Spoiler's section of Gotham so Tim Drake reprograms the drones to hunt him instead of a bunch of innocent people who are all around Spoiler and might get her killed. Sigh. He's so romantic!

And that's it! It seemed a bit light on story since most of the story was just the threat of imminent drones and who would be on the other end of the Black Line and how much Batman lies to everyone. I sort of wish the funeral scene had gone on longer because that was the best bit. The final page has Tim Drake surrounded by hundreds of Machine Gun Drones with just a staff to protect himself so I'm predicting he's killed next issue. Or at least turned into a vampire!

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.

I suppose we're just going to ignore the fact that Ted Kord is back and running around as the Blue Beetle? I guess his mini-appearance in Forever Evil is good enough to explain where he came from? Although this falls under the Rebirth Label which means anything within the story trumps anything you might think you already knew of the DC Universe.

This issue is a better than average typical Keith Giffen comic book. I mean it's both a better than average regular comic book and a better than average comic book written by Keith Giffen. First off, he does that dialogue thing that he does where everybody sort of has the same way of bantering no matter who they are. So Brenda and Paco banter in much the same way that Ted and Jaime banter in much the same way that Rack and Ruin banter in much the same way that every character in The Heckler banters with every other character in The Heckler in much the same way that every member of Giffen's Suicide Squad banter with every other member of Giffen's Suicide Squad in much the same way Sugar and spice banter in much the same way...I don't know how to get out of this sentence! Oh wait! I did it! Whew. I think I made my point.

Keith Giffen begins by giving this comic book an easy reason to exist. Jaime Reyes wants the Blue Beetle off of his back because it's taking over his life and, apparently, it itches. He reaches out to Ted Kord because Ted is a nice guy billionaire industrialist who knows a thing or two about Blue Beetles. That's the simple premise and it would be good enough to launch this book. But Giffen adds another layer in that Ted Kord's top priority isn't removing Jaime's albascarab. Ted Kord would rather live vicariously through Jaime since Kord has a severe heart condition that limits his ability to fulfill the Blue Beetle role. Add to this Giffen's willingness to keep the previous world-building of Jaime's world relatively intact to include his family, Brenda, Paco, and even Aunt Amparo who is still after his scarab for her magic collection. Add to this Doctor Fate and some imbecilic bad guys and you've got an entertaining Blue Beetle comic book. Plus it has the added bonus of appealing to the only Blue Beetle fans that matter: Ted Kord and Jaime Reyes fans. Fuck all the Dan Garrett fans! And super fuck all of the Dan Garret fans! Although most of them are probably dead from World War II.

Brenda is still as feisty and sexy and hot and underage as I remember her! And fictional! Remember she's fictional so her age doesn't matter and I'm allowed to have a crush on her no matter how gross and problematic that seems to judgmental jerkfaces! She's a drawing of a nonexistent person! I'm pretending she's a thirty year old narc working with Checkmate to uncover underage metahumans. So she totally does it and stuff.

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.

Now that readers unambiguously understand the metaphor at play in this issue, I will assume that any comment about mummies is simply Paul Levitz and Sonny Liew's thoughts on women. Khalid first describes them as inarticulate. Just a bunch of blabbering monsters with nothing important to say! I mean, I suppose if Khalid would open up his male ears and really give what they were saying a listen instead of listening to the women around him while his mind screams "Blah blah blah blah blah!", maybe he wouldn't think women were just stumbling around the city going, "Unnnnnhhhhhhhhhh!" Maybe if their mouths weren't wrapped up and gagged by the bandages of the Patriarchy, Khalid would be able to hear what they were saying! Maybe they're the most articulate and men are just cavemen who language not good for. Oops! Sorry! I didn't mean to swing the pendulum that far to the other side and begin bashing men just to uplift women. We're all in this together! We need to lift everybody up together! You know what they say: A rising tide lifts all boats! Except, of course, for the boats with really short chains on their anchors. Those boats just get swamped by the rising tide and sink. I don't think you're supposed to think about that though when you hear the rising tide advice.

Khalid does mention that the "mummies" are "not ineffective." That's a compliment, right? I should use that one next time I see a woman accomplish something great. I'll be all, "Wow! You're totally not ineffective!"

Exhibit C: Just in case you didn't get the analogy from Exhibits A and Exhibits B! We can't all be Grandmaster Comic Book Readers! And by "we," I mean "you."

The women are completely overrunning the park while Dr. Fate tries to find Shaya, his girlfriend who won't have sex with him. That might be why he's so angry at women. She's all, "We need to be responsible and concentrate on medical school and we don't want any life choice mistakes messing up our plans!" And Khalid is all, "Come on. Just touch it!"

Meanwhile his neighbor Akila who can't think of anything but touching it is worming her way into his parents' hearts. So manipulative! She's pretending to be concerned about racism and organizing a march which she wants Khalid's parents to be involved in but it's so transparent that she's just trying to get Khalid's parents to like her so that they convince their son that she's the one he should marry. These mummies are so inarticulate and manipulative and frigid and whores too! Um, is what, um, Paul Levitz probably thinks based on what I'm reading here.

See? "Very adult work!" That's porn! Also note how sexist Mohammad Nassour is: "In these difficult times, we must be grateful to you women! Even if we don't want to be! Ptui!" He, um, was probably thinking.

Khalid, as Doctor Fate, saves Shaya and she's completely ungrateful. Not that she needs to be grateful or owes Doctor Fate anything like sex or whatever else women have of value. But it certainly shows Khalid's attitude toward Shaya. She treats him like shit during the entire rescue (perhaps because she finds him a bit presumptuous? And who needs to have some guy presuming shit right after you almost had your head ripped off by a mummy (or another woman, if I keep to the metaphor? Analogy? Transposition?) and all he can think after dropping her off is, "Well, she would have been sweet and not a total dick if she'd known it was me!"

The real Dr. Fate arrives to turn the women into dust which seems really misogynistic so maybe they were just mummies all along. Maybe I was just reading this story through the lens of my own sexism. Maybe I should work on my flaws instead of trying to point out those same flaws in other people. Maybe I should...what am I saying?! I'm an Internet denizen! The main reason to be on the Internet is to ignore your own flaws while pointing out or just plain making up flaws in other people! I'm fine!

And speaking of fine, this comic book has gotten way better than when it began although I still wouldn't really recommend it. Maybe if you're into Dr. Fate or you hate women. If you are, this comic book still hasn't ended. It's totally defying Rebirth!

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!

The Commentary!
Black Canary has been captured by the leader of The Inferno, Captain Meltyface. His main concern is making money running his criminal banking empire but he has some other hobbyhorses that he's totally into and he really wants Black Canary to be into them too. So he explains to her how cool fire is. He's all, "Don't be afraid of it! If we didn't have the sun, everything would freeze!" Oh yeah! That's a good point! But if that was his only good point about fire, I might be skeptical. Luckily he has some more pro fire facts at his disposal!

I'm sold! Fire is the best and I shouldn't be afraid of it at all. Excuse me while I go jump in one!

I have an inkling that Captain Meltyface's Ted Talk on fire is a bit one-sided so maybe I'll hold off jumping into a fire. He's just so charismatic that I'm having trouble thinking of any counter arguments against fire. Maybe later Green Arrow will debate him so I can learn why fire isn't as great as Black Canary is learning it is.

Surprisingly (if you haven't been paying any attention at all and your knowledge of literature amounts to having read The Cave of Time three different times and wound up with the same ending twice), Captain Meltyface's real name is Dante. Luckily my knowledge of literature extends past The Cave of Time to several different endings in each of the following books: Journey Under the Sea, By Balloon to the Sahara, The Mystery of Chimney Rock, The Third Planet From Altair, The Holy Bible, Deadwood, and Who Killed Harlowe Thrombey?, so I probably would have guessed that his name was Dante if somebody had put a gun to my head and said, "Guess Captain Meltyface's real name!", and then gave me a hint.

Dante has a big corporate meeting or auction to attend to so he leaves Black Canary with Shado and Emiko. He doesn't know that's a bad idea but he'll probably realize it later when he's sitting in prison trying to figure out where he went wrong. Was it telling Black Canary his plans or trusting Oliver's sister or pissing off Green Arrow? Maybe all of those things?

Green Arrow and Diggle have captured one of the people attending the meeting and, since they all wear fantastic masks, Diggle has decided to go undercover as the CEO they've captured. While Diggle figures out what's going on with The Inferno, Green Arrow will be searching for Black Canary and Emiko.

Diggle wants to blow up The Inferno's battle cruiser but Oliver wants to liberate their funds. Judging by the cover, he's going to have to make a choice between love and money. Again judging by the cover, he's going to make the wrong decision.

Green Arrow finds the vault while Diggle tries to guess the most inconspicuous seat at the big banker table. Oliver's first thought when he sees the riches hoarded by The Inferno is that he can use it to fund his little Green Arrow playtime thing. I knew he cares more about running around playing hero than helping the needy.

Green Arrow eventually finds Black Canary already loose from her bonds with Emiko's help and Shado unconscious from a Canary Cry. Emiko explains how she's been working for Ollie the entire time (well, most of the entire time) and then Black Canary slaps Oliver for not telling her that he was alive. Green Arrow is all, "What the fuck?! I'm reporting to you now?! I almost fucking died! You know whose life I think of first in times of trouble? Mine, you selfish crow!"

Oh, I see how it is. Their relationship is just a game to Black Canary. I was working on the assumption that "I need space so don't come after me" means "I need space so don't come after me."

Diggle leads the bad guys right to Oliver so they can have the big fight scene. Although the big fight scene really only consists of Black Canary pushing Dante into the face-melter and Shado tranquilizing and kidnapping her daughter. The odds are overwhelming so Oliver makes the tough decision to blow up and sink all of the money to save their lives. What a dum-dum!

Everybody makes it off of The Inferno's battleship except for Oliver because he needs to be knocked unconscious, dropped into the sea, and washed away to that stupid fucking deserted island. Again.

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.

The Commentary!
Do comic book writers ever consider why they're bringing a specific villain into the series or are they just ticking the boxes on their run of a certain title? "I've got Aquaman so, of course, I'm going to need a Black Manta story. Just have him come int to try to kill Aquaman because, well, he hates him! Then maybe I'll do a Trouble is Brewing in Atlantis story about how people are disgruntled with a land dweller ruling them! I think I can drag that out about six issues because that's how long I'm supposed to make each story for corporate reasons that have nothing to do with the writing process. Then maybe I can bring back Ocean Master because his confidence will be up in the wake of the Atlantis trouble and because he hates Aquaman. After that, maybe there will be some conflict between the land and the sea because they mistrust each other. After that, I should probably do some environmental stuff because the king of the ocean needs to keep reminding people not to throw garbage in the ocean. Then if nobody is really paying attention because this is just another typical run of Aquaman, maybe I can sneak in my erotic story of forbidden love between Garth and a dolphin." That makes it feel like I'm picking on Dan Abnett when I'm really just picking on most writers in general. Aquaman is actually doing fine right now! But Green Lanterns? I don't know, man! I just don't know! Why are Atrocitus and the Red Lanterns the villains? Is it because we need to see Simon is angry at how he's been mistreated for being a Muslim American? Or how Jessica is angry because she never wanted to leave her apartment and now look: she's in space! Or did Sam Humphries just decide this was a good place to discuss how angry the entire world is?

I would like to point out that if you don't watch the news and you avoid Twitter and comment sections online, you would have no idea there was any anger in the world at all! Oh, you also probably shouldn't read my comic book reviews because I hate comic books so much! The only time I realize there are angry, impotent, frightened people in the world is when I destroy them in Call of Duty and they have to send me a message telling me how they don't approve of my style of play or my guessed at sexuality! I guess I'm not supposed to kill them over and over again? Or suck cocks?

If you're tired of reading comic books that make you do all the work, might I recommend Green Lanterns?

It does all the thinking for you!

Simon and Jess can even manage to talk to each other in their Narration Boxes while giving the readers a quick personality study. Simon is the tough car loving man-dude with a chip on his shoulder! Jessica is the anxious one who is also totally cute and into Pokémon but against Oxford commas! I'm not sure but I think Sam Humphries would have a difficult time tightening up their codified gender roles.

The Green Lanterns are trying to shut down Atrocitus's Hell Well but now Atrocitus is trying to shut them down. He's brought his crew of Red Lanterns to help out. Jessica, who mentioned how Simon has to face the prejudice of the world on a daily basis, proves that she's one of those assholes he has to deal with.

Yeesh! I'd hate to hear how she describes the rest of the Green Lantern Corps! She's not going to be welcome at the Annual Picnic on Mogo. Also, Zilius Zox should be dead. See Red Lanterns Annual #1.

Si and Jess decide that they should "just do it" which means punch things until they're all punched out. When that's the extent of the conflict, I feel like just taking a nap with the help of a bottle of aspirin and a bottle of sake. This is the level of comic book writing that is held as top notch? Why do people dream about working for one of the big two when this is the bullshit they think is entertaining? You know what the problem is! Well, I know but I swore I'd stop ranting about it because it's all I rant about. But I think I have a new take on it, so maybe I can rant a little bit in this paragraph! The problem is all of these first person Narration Boxes! Because now an big fist fight without any plans or twists or interesting aspects can be the big exciting action sequence because during the fist fight, the writer shoves in a bunch of Narration Boxes so that it seems like some thought is going into the battle. The protagonist can think, "My opponent is too strong to just go toe to toe with! So I've got to use my brains!" But the visual will simply be fists thrown back and forth. The fights have no personality anymore because all the work is going into the thoughts of the hero. And the thoughts don't need to have anything to do with the battle. As long as Jess says things like, "I've got to overcome my anxiety and learn to stand up as a Green Lantern!", readers are fooled into believing Jess is overcoming her anxiety! Why else would she say it if it isn't true?!

I'm probably getting ahead of myself. Just because Jess and Si's Narration Boxing moved straightaway to a double splash page action shot, it doesn't mean the fight won't be choreographed in an interesting way. It doesn't mean Jess or Si will think up a clever way to defeat the Red Lanterns. I don't know for sure that this fight will be no better than a couple of drunks beating each other down over a perceived slight.

During the battle, Dex-Starr is given the Rage Seed to plant at the bottom of the Hell Well.

It's the most adorable evil scheme I've ever seen!

I can easily turn around on this series if Sam would just write more scenes with Dex-Starr! I'm not that down on the book! I get what Sam is doing with the two halves of the whole character arc of Simon and Jessica. I just wish he would do it more how I want him to do it and less how he wants to do it! Am I supposed to be some kind of unbiased critic who can't mention the flaws simply because the flaws and what I don't like overlap?! Please! I'm just as human as the next person as long as the next person is often called an unemotional robot by the people who know her.

Oh! Guess what happens after the adorable Dex-Starr scene? Simon and Jess continue to throw punches while the Narration Boxes do all of the work! Although I'm not sure what kind of work they're trying to do. I think they're trying to do the same kind of work that the Grifter Narration Boxes were doing way back when.

You mean it's not in the top ten things people would associate with them? Because I'm pretty sure that's wrong!

If we were to do word association and you were to say "Red Lantern", I'd be all, "Anger! Rage! Vomit! Red! Lanterns!" But then if you said "Fourth of July," I would never in a million years answer with "Lemonade!" Is it a regional thing?

Jessica continues to spray green light at the Red Lanterns in images that mean nothing. How is the fight going? Is she winning? Losing? Who knows because, as I guessed earlier, the punching doesn't matter. It's all about her Narration Boxing. Instead of showing how she doubts herself and how she overcomes that in the fight, the reader is just told that she's feeling anxious and that she doubts her ability. But while she thinks that, she continues to blast Red Lanterns as well as any Green Lantern who can't make a gigantic green boxing glove (which is none of them, by the way).

Simon gets his page as well where he thinks about how he overcame nearly getting his brother-in-law killed which means he can overcome this brawl. But then he also has to take a moment to have some Emerald Sight which is possibly even worse than the incessant Narration Boxing. Now he gets to see a glimpse of the future which means nothing. He sees the Justice League being angry and Atrocitus saying, "Red Dawn is coming." Who the fuck cares?! Why is this a thing? Is this like the local news teasing a story to keep you interested? Is this Sam Humphries thinking, "I know my story isn't good enough to keep people reading. But if they only knew I planned to bring in the Justice League, there's no way they can drop the book, right?!"

No. I can mention a Green Lantern making a boxing glove because I'm expressing my disdain at how the battle isn't even on that low of a level. As the author, you cannot go there because it's lazy.

Jessica's anxiety and fear take over and she runs and hides and thinks over and over again, "I can't do this!" No, you can't. Give the ring to somebody else because at this point, it makes no sense that you were given one. There's only one rule and that's the ability to overcome great fear. You have the great fear so fucking overcome it already! I suppose I can give you one more issue to overcome it but if this becomes a regular part of the series, I will...well, I don't know. Roll my eyes more?

I just remembered! The last issue had Atrocitus telling Simon and Jess that he would let the one that kills the other one live. But there's been no acknowledgment of that ending at all! I guess I'm just supposed to assume that he was speaking figuratively or that that speech was code for his Red Lanterns to attack?

The issue ends with Jessica curled up into a fetal position because she's representing for the terminally anxious. And Simon Baz has just got his ass kicked because he's representing for those who constantly get their asses kicked. I wish this issue were one page longer so the Red Lanterns could have just finished them off and saved me $2.99 next month.

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.

"I want you to answer some questions while I smash you in the face with this weapon of the gods!"

I cropped the panel above so that if Greg Rucka happened to see it, he wouldn't be offended because Tony S. Daniel decided to draw Wonder Woman's ass with barely any underwear. I'm pretty sure the underwear was only added by the colorist and even then, it's barely there. It's like her ass is devouring her undergarments.

Since The Kindred does not immediately answer Wonder Woman's question in the half second before her Rod of Lightning smashes it in the face, her Rod of Lightning smashes it in the face. That's the kind of writing a real Writer writes right there!

Wonder Woman decides the way to beat Kindred is to dismantle his people sculpture. But the people sculpture decides she should be part of it.

When I first turned the page and glanced at this panel, I thought it was a hand holding a penis.

Gigantic Kindred people are popping up all over the world. It's still a mystery why because Wonder Woman is terrible at interrogations.

Flash is busy running around Earth squishing Space Bed Bugs while Batman is busy trying to tell Superman that the Justice League is terrible without him. Cyborg is cleaning up the Watchtower and the Green Lanterns have gone through a wormhole to find the source of the Alien Bed Bugs. It's not a seedy motel in New York like you probably guessed. It's a mostly destroyed planet that should probably burn its wardrobe.

The scene where Batman gathers up Superman to join the Justice League is sexist garbage. Hitch apparently thinks Lois Lane can't stomach having Superman rush off to save the world without thinking he's going to die and she gives him a hard time about choosing to help Earth. It's like Bryan Hitch doesn't know anything about their relationship and simply believes women are there to stand in the way of men with their tears and guilt trips! I don't think he's had enough therapy discussing my mother. I mean his mother! Superman, being a man trying to calm down a woman, simply says, "Lois...", as if she's being irrational (as opposed to simply just being out of character) and it's the only argument he needs. "Lois" as in "Lois, you're being hysterical" or "Lois, stop being so emotional" or "Lois, you fucking idiot, the world is ending!" But that isn't the main reason I think this scene is sexist! It's just a freeway with a sign reading, "Sexism: Next exit". Because in the next panel, Bryan Hitch tries to do the thing where Lois is all, "You wouldn't be Superman if you didn't do this!" But she says, "I know. You have to. I know the man I married. The man I love You wouldn't be him if you didn't do this." See, it's the "you have to" thing that's getting me with the emphasis on the "have". It's like Lois is saying he shouldn't. It's like Lois is saying, "Yeah, yeah. Whatever. Just leave me and Jon and go do your stupid thing fighting bugs where we all know you're going to die." It's like Lois is accusing Superman of abandoning her. As opposed to what Lois would really be doing: giving him his jacket and maybe packing a bag of snacks with an extra serving of Goldfish and hurrying him out the door and telling him to go kick ass and save the world. If anybody would be dragging their feet in this scene, it would probably be Superman!

You know, I'm surprised Tony S. Daniel didn't put the cherry on the sexism cupcake (damn, that sounds delicious) and draw Lois in a towel for this scene.

While Lois cries and manipulates Clark into thinking maybe he shouldn't be rushing off to save the entire world, the entire world continues to need saving! There's another bit of writing a real Writer writes right there!

Oh! So this is why Lois is probably worried! Superman is rushing off to work with incompetents. "I can BOOM Tube you in but I can't BOOM tube you out!" What a lying dick.

Superman enters the core of the Earth without any kind of plan except "I'm Superman!" and immediately regrets the decision. So I guess he's going to die trying to remove Earth's Ben Wa balls which--come to think of it--might have been put there to keep the Earth structurally sound! Maybe the Justice League is simply interfering with a plan set in place thousands of years ago to keep the Earth safe and manageable. Maybe it's the Ben Wa balls that kept Earth from falling apart after those earthquakes! It's like the Justice League is trying to evacuate a burning building and the first thing they do after rushing in is begin knocking down support beams!

Oh, it turns out Atlantis is the West of the world. I guess that makes sense since it was probably Lord Arion who set this plan in motion and why would he make America the West of the world when it hadn't been discovered yet? I mean discovered by people who shove their history down everybody else's throats. In the end, those are the only people who matter!

Aquaman, realizing that the gigantic Kindred thing is composed of his people, decides not to try to destroy it and instead talks to it. He shows it his Precious Moments Zodiac Crystals which have begun to sing and The Kindred is all, "Ooh! Let me see!" And Aquaman is all, "You don't see with your hands!" The Kindred is all, "Whatever. My other people sculptures are calling so I should go do the thing we're supposed to do where we gather at Ayer's Rock (probably!) and sing the bad things away. Toodaloo!"

Oh, they decide to meet in Canada. That's the Australia of the North, so I was close enough!

The Kindred begin singing. One of them is all, "I'm a Green Lantern!" And one of them is all, "I'm The Flash!" And one of them is all, "I'm a Darkstar! No wait! They sucked! I'm, uh, Superman!" And then the last one is all, "Dammit! I'm Aquaman again?! Fuck!"

The Review!
Bryan Hitch is a terrible writer. Was he once not a terrible writer? Why is DC treating him like his dick can't be sucked enough? Why does he get to writer Justice League stories when he writes terrible Justice League stories? Although to be fair to Bryan Hitch, I've never read the end to one of his stories, so maybe he always knocks them out of the park and I'm just jumping the criticism gun! Although to be fair to me, the reason I haven't read the end to any of his stories is that he never finished Justice League of America! I think the next issue of that might be coming out next week unless that's just another fantasy DC Comics is engaged in to keep people thinking that they'll get an end to that story. I really hope the ending is terrible so I don't have to retract my statement about Bryan Hitch being a terrible writer. I might even go so far as to say he's worse than Cullen Bunn! No, I won't say that. Cullen Bunn is a bad writer and a whiny baby man! I hope Tony S. Daniel can salvage this story by drawing a bunch of females in towels next issue.

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.

I wonder if during the years Carl Sagan was battling with cancer if he ever just went into his backyard at night and flipped off the stars. That guy was way too optimistic and chipper. I'd feel better if I knew he had some bad days where he felt the full weight of the universe's mocking betrayal of his curiosity and wonder. Fuck you, universe! Fuck you!

I wish I believed in God because screaming "Fuck you, God!" is so much more satisfying than screaming at the universe. It's like calling the coffee table in the living room a cunt after stubbing your toe on it. I'd rather yell at the person who put it there.

I wonder how many people who believe in God just switched into their own issue after that and started yelling at me, "That's proof! Proof of God! Who do you think put the universe there? Hunh? Hunh? Hunh?!" I'm not falling for your simplistic arguments! If you can believe in a magical being who can do anything (but seemingly does nothing!) who has existed forever then maybe you can imagine matter that has, somehow, existed forever and isn't magical at all. It's just, you know, a mystery! Not God's mystery! Enough with God! Shove God!

At this point, you might be thinking, "Tess? Do you have anything to say about Harley Quinn?" It's a fair question! And a good one to since the answer is "No. No I do not. It's the same fucking comic book every month and I really don't have anything new to say about it!" I suppose I'll try anyway but I'll warn you: my Carl Sagan bit was the best part of this entire entry. It's all downhill from here! Probably. I mean, I haven't written anything else yet (or read the comic book, for that matter!) but I can't see myself being clever from this point on.

How cute! The BLAMs look like a little mushroom!

Hopefully an out of context panel of Harley firing off round after round from her AK-47 wasn't too disturbing for people constantly thinking about the next mass shooting. She wasn't doing anything intentionally horrible with her gun. She was just shooting out the windows of three floors of a hospital and endangering everybody within just to save Redtool's life. She's so thoughtful when it comes to people she knows!

Meanwhile, zombies are ravaging her neighborhood. But it's okay because her Gang of Harleys and all of her friends are safe. The people getting their arms ripped off and their faces bitten off and their legs torn off don't matter. You know how it is! Writers don't have time to write fulfilling conclusions to the story of everybody who just marginally appears in their stories. If they had that kind of time or interest or writing ability, why would they do what they did to Barb Holland in Stranger Things? Sometimes fucking a character in the ass and tossing them in the garbage is the only move an auteur has left, time and money being what they are. You know, time and money!

Luckily for the rest of the DC Universe, the zombies won't go further than a half mile away from the source of the infection: Nate-Man's Hot Dog Stand. I guess the alien that's infected them can't spread itself too thin.

Harley winds up falling off of the roof and into the horde of zombies. Previously, she didn't want to kill them because they're the people in her neighborhood, in her neighborhood, in her neigh-bor-hoooooood! But now she doesn't mind kicking their heads off because remember what I said about non-essential characters? Fuck 'em! They're like the Monster Men in my life! Their deaths only exist to remind me of my own mortality! Although, really, I just wish they'd stop with all of these reminders. But just like me, Harley decides she needs to do whatever she can to survive! In her case, that means having a great time killing her neighbors. In my case, that means playing video games until the constant thoughts of my eventual demise disappear into a flat hum in the background of my brain!

Harley's tits looked pretty good while she fought the zombies though! I didn't want to type that but I've decided to allow my Male Gaze at least one sentence per commentary. I have to pay a daily tithe to my masculinity or it'll go toxic!

Harley gets a few pages of crazy scenes like this as she Dead Risings her way across Coney Island.

Harley is rescued by her friends but then they all wind up trapped in the Bumper Car ring because apparently Nate-man's is a popular place to eat. They're surrounded by hundreds of zombies! It's the end for the heroes! Which is fine because why should they get to live when everybody else is dying? Seems so unfair, not to mention totally contrived.

But wait! One last savior appears and she's really doing the Dead Rising thing! Poison Ivy appears with a table saw blade attached to a weed whacker! Unless maybe it's just supposed to be a weed whacker but since when do those have blades in them? Maybe it's some kind of tree branch trimming tool! I might be able to tell the difference between a spade and a shovel but that's about where my gardening expertise ends. And speaking of endings, this is where the issue ends! What a smooth conclusion! It's like I'm back in high school writing another shitty paper that I was way too proud of! And I was probably just marked down right there for not writing "of which I was way too proud!" Mr. Borror was a dick! May he rest in peace. Probably. I mean, no way he can still be alive, can he?

Apparently he is! 82 years old! I actually really liked him but the dick thing wasn't too far off if you were a piece of shit who wasted his time. Check out his ratings at Mission College (I had him as my high school AP English teacher)!

The Review!
Just because I don't really have much to say about this comic book except that it's formulaic and repetitive, it doesn't mean it can't be enjoyable. It's just the no-calorie rice cake of writing! If you love Harley, you probably love this book. You get to spend twenty pages with her silly antics and cute tush and violent tendencies. It can be a fun ride! It's just a ride that maybe I've been on one too many times and I'm beginning to feel nauseated by it!

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!