Sunday, September 11, 2016

Justice League #4

Come on, Front Cover Blurb! There's no "Superman" in "Team"!

The Facts!
• The world is coming to an end and nobody actually cares. Mostly because they've all formed up into gigantic human meat puppets and gone on a trip to Canada. But even though it looks like humans have joined together and decided on taking some kind of action to defend the Earth, the Justice League has decided they don't like how regular folk are going about it and they're going to stop them. I suppose whenever somebody does something that you think is wrong, it's best to simply assume they've been mind-controlled. Usually Batman would advise the Justice League to stay out of international politics. But then Batman is better at judging situations than I am. He probably noticed how everybody was suddenly speaking with the same voice and a light bulb exploded over his head and he was all, "This seems fishy!" Then Aquaman was all, "What was that? You wanted me?" And Batman was all, "Wonder Woman, tell Aquaman I will never speak to him ever."

• If mind-control really existed, our courtrooms would be full of prosecutors throwing their hands up and screaming obscenities every time the defense made their opening statement which would, of course, begin, "Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I wonder if you're familiar with...mind-control!" Then when the prosecutor is being warned about outbursts in court, they can just say, "Sorry, judge. I was just mind-controlled." Later when everybody breaks for lunch, they can all head out to the taco truck, order some tacos, and then run away without paying while yelling, "Mind-control!"

• I wonder if parents would be proud when their child first used mind-control to excuse their shitty behavior? Or would they just yell, "I'll show you mind-control!" Then they'd start undoing their belt with the belt buckle that says "mind-control" on it. Then when they're arrested for child abuse, they could just say, "Mind-control!" And since the police knew the case would be thrown out like all cases involving mind-control, they'd beat the shit out of the parent and tell their superiors they were suffering from a temporary case of mind-control.

• You would think my ruminations on a world with mind-control would end in some jokey manner where the last example I give doesn't end in mind-control but that would be a disservice to my serious thoughts about a world full of mind-control. I don't want to turn it into a huge joke. Mind-control is serious business.

• I don't remember why I brought up mind-control and I'm too busy to reread what I just wrote. So instead, I'll start discussing Justice League #4! According to the cover, this is the issue where Superman makes everybody question the need for a Justice League if he's going to be the one saving the world all by himself on a regular basis.

• I almost ended that last bullet point with "on the regular" but then I remembered I'm old. And it's a risky affair to use slang as an old person because the slang we know probably has already changed by the time we know it and then young people scoff at our attempts to use it. Which is totally ageist but ageist in the direction that isn't gross and problematic, apparently.

• I eschew most slang and trendy phrases anyway because I tend to just come up with my own ways to describe things, being that I'm an individual and not a needy piece of shit desperate to prove that I'm in the know!

Yeah, Jess! So just let them all through the wormholes and take a fucking break. Flash has this!

• Simon actually continues his thought which is just restating what Jess just said. Stop the freaky things from getting to Earth so that The Flash doesn't have to do it all himself. I suppose Jess is specifically talking about the Space Bed Bugs and Simon is talking about the Space Mattresses. But it takes a lot longer than the two seconds anybody is going to spend reading this page to figure that out.

• Comic books are easy to write because even if you feel you're being unclear as a writer, you know that the readers are just going to breeze past anything that doesn't quite make sense, especially when it happens on the first page and they can't quite remember what was happening in the story since they read the last issue a month ago. Or two weeks ago, I suppose.

• The Green Lanterns have apparently stumbled upon the Alien Bed Bug Mattress Factory. So their job is to stop it at the source. Meanwhile, The Flash is killing the Alien Bed Bugs that made it to Earth. Cyborg is burning clothing on the Watchtower. Wonder Woman is arguing with the Kindred. Superman is readjusting Earth's Ben Wa balls. Aquaman is showing off his collection of crystal Precious Moments Zodiac figures. And Batman is mumbling under his breath about how they're all doing a terrible job.

• The Alien Bed Bugs not only have the capability of rewriting a person's DNA but they can also hack computer systems. So Cyborg is, in the Victorian parlance, "buggered like an unchaperoned orphan."

• No wait! Cyborg is more the buggerer! His Firewall is apparently so big that the Alien Bed Bugs couldn't put it out. Or climb it. Or climb down it and back up the other side? No wait! That's more of a firebreak! Anyway, Cyborg uses the Alien Bed Bug's language against them and knocks them offline. So I guess they're Alien Robot Bed Bugs. As if the threat couldn't get any more confusing!

I prefer the Victorian phrase. It just has more character.

• The Kindred begin singing their song to the universe to save the world. I'm still betting that they're some sort of world defense set up by Lord Arion millennia ago. Now that was a hero Atlantis could be proud to call their own!

• Aquaman hears and understands The Kindred's song. Probably because it's in Altantean! Their song reveals that the world will end if they don't get their hands on a complete set of crystal Precious Moments Zodiac Figurines! Especially the Leo with the really big, sad eyes! So Aquaman rushes off with his toys to save the world.

• That's a laugh, isn't it? Aquaman saving the world? The only way that could reasonably happen is if a writer sat down with an editor and they brainstormed a story in which Aquaman would be allowed to be the big hero. It was probably a terribly difficult day in the office but occasionally you have to put in the long hours. Figuring out a story about Aquaman saving the world though? That was probably a long weekend. With a lot of alcohol and cocaine.

• The alcohol was to help loosen them up and think outside the "Aquaman is useless" box. The cocaine was to keep them from falling asleep thinking about Aquaman for hours on end.

A worldwide earthquake that was off the Richter Scale? I guess that's the end of everything! The Justice League didn't save the world! The end!

• Instead of assuming that every single building in the world just collapsed onto every single person in the world, I choose to believe that Cyborg's Richter Scale software was fucked up in the Space Robot Bed Bug attack. The quake was probably just a 2.4.

• Cyborg gets a nice information dump from the Alien Robot Bed Bugs which isn't as Two Girls, One Cup as it sounds.

• Should I italicize Two Girls, One Cup? Or would it be considered more of an "in quotations" kind of story?

• Oh, um, Cyborg's explication! It turns out the Alien Robot Bed Bugs were built to purge the universe of humanoids. But instead of killing them, The Purge just turns them into something else. Like Humanoid Centipedes, maybe? That part is unclear! The part that is clear is that Earth's Ben Wa balls are a fail-safe to prevent The Purge from turning everybody into Humanoid Centipedes. Whoever placed them in the Earth would prefer everybody die before they're claimed by The Purge. That's weird. So way before Earth had humanoids on it, somebody installed a method of destroying the Earth just in case it developed humanoid beings and was subsequently targeted by The Purge. That seems like an awful lot of work and planning for something that might never happen. I suppose whoever placed the Ben Wa balls in Earth were working from a prophecy, or information from a time traveler.

• Meanwhile inside the Earth, Superman impotently beats against one of the three gigantic earthquake machines (you know! The Ben Wa balls! I decided maybe I should describe them more accurately. Although, to be fair to Ben Wa balls, they do make things quake). Superman can barely stand the heat and the pressure inside the Earth and his punches do nothing to the single ball he's attacking. Even if he finds a way to stop this ball (probably with his freeze breath or his disintegration semen), how is he supposed to travel around the world to the next Earthquake Machine? He doesn't have a portable Boom Tube and Cyborg already said he can't help Superman out once he Boom Tubed into the core.

• Why am I speculating on how Superman can't win? That's a hurdle Bryan Hitch needs to jump! I can just sit back in the stands watching him hurdle and waiting for the hot dog guy to come by while holding my piss because I'm not pissing in the fucking trough shoulder-to-shoulder with all the other drunk assholes splashing their piss everywhere!

• Batman has nothing to add to the world saving.

• Wonder Woman, on the other hand, is busy interviewing The Kindred. She finally stopped smashing lightning bolts into their face long enough to have a conversation with them. It's not much of a conversation.

Wonder Woman: "Who are you?"
The Kindred: "Who are you?"
Wonder Woman: "I'm Diana!"
The Kindred: "No, no. Who are you?"
Wonder Woman: "I'm an Amazon!"
The Kindred: "No, no. Who are you?"
Wonder Woman: "I don't know! I seek truth! Am I truth? I'm truth!"
The Kindred: "Seems reasonable."

I'd push it the other way. It would be like popping a huge zit! Plus once Superman breaks through the mantle, he can get Cyborg to Boom Tube him to the next Earthquake Machine!

• Superman shoves the ball deep enough so that it's crushed. Now he has to figure out how to get to the next one. This issue is almost over so Superman's problem probably won't be solved until next issue. That would have given Bryan Hitch some time to think about how to solve the issue. I hope it has to do with Aquaman's adorable new collecting hobby.

• The Flash has once again had his speed stolen by The Kindred and now the last of the Alien Robot Bed Bugs are devouring him. Sorry, transforming him! Not into a Humanoid Centipede like I was thinking! No, Simon and Jess discover exactly what it is The Purge is turning humanoids into: copies of Cyborg. So what is this? A new origin story for Cyborg? The unknown Red Room technological contraption Silas Stone used to save his son must have been something from The Purge, right? And then it was hooked up to a Mother Box so Cyborg could have some individuality and distance from The Purge (also, since The Purge wasn't a thing when Cyborg was created or when he was retooled multiple times or when he was rebooted or, even, when he was rebirthed, it's no wonder it's never been mentioned before!).

The Opinions!
To sum up: The Purge has been turning humanoids all across the universe into Cyborg replicas for eons. Something has installed World Breaker technology into planets to destroy the planets before The Purge can Cyborg everybody. But The Purge still always manages to Cyborg everyone even while the worlds shake apart and are destroyed. During the World Breaking and Purging Events, The Kindred try to sing a song. They've never been able to complete their song in time and so who the fuck knows what it does. This time though, thanks to the Justice League delaying The Purge, The Kindred are going to finish their song. As long as Wonder Woman fails to stop them, of course. So I think that all makes sense? Sort of? It's a bunch of shit happening that was set in motion so long ago that nobody knows why it was set in motion. It's just too bad for Earthlings that Earth was targeted long before Earthlings even inhabited it. You'd have thought that maybe whoever created the World Breaker Balls would have come for them to place them in another world when dinosaurs were ruling for millions of years. They would have been all, "Well, I guess that planet isn't going to have sentient humanoids. It'll be sentient gigantic lizards for sure. Let's grab the World Breaker Balls and stick them in another potential planet!" Maybe the World Breaker Balls' creators are long dead. Or on strike! Or maybe just on break. Who knows how long it takes an ancient probably omnipotent being to smoke a cigarette?

The Ranking!

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