Friday, September 30, 2016

Justice League #5

How is Batman helping? Get the fuck out of here.

The Commentary!
Oh! First page: "The Extinction Machine Finale"! I'm as excited as the first time my mom dropped me off at school in kindergarten and I thought I was free from her forever! That's actually a lie. I wasn't excited about school at all. In fact, I refused to participate for months. Mrs. McFarland would try to get me involved in the "curriculum" and I would throw a fit and refuse. So she finally just let me sit alone at a table with some crayons and shit until I felt comfortable enough with the daily routine to join in. I think it was playing "Button, Button, Who's Got the Button?" which finally sealed the deal and made me realize school wasn't entirely bad. Also my friend Judy who was probably the first friend I ever made.

Here's the report card assessment from Mrs. McFarland. It's interesting because forty years later, I still recognize the essential me in this report. Mrs. McFarland was an incredibly astute, compassionate woman.

11-9-76: “Jeff is a fine boy. He does have his ‘problems’ but I see progress every day. He has an excellent mind.” 1-28-77: “Jeff continues to make great progress. He is entering into nearly all activities willingly now.” 4-14-77: “Jeff has days when his ‘mood’ affects the way he participates.” She gave me a minus (as opposed to a check which is good, I guess!) in the following categories: Interacts positively with others, Accepts guidance from others when necessary, Feels good about himself, Has self-discipline, Is emotionally able to cope with problems, Demonstrates an attempt to solve his own problems, and Uses time to good advantage.

I'm fairly certain the school year began just after Labor Day at the beginning of September. So it took until January of the next year for me to begin to participate. Mostly. I'm sure in this day and age, I would have been diagnosed and tested and medicated and labelled. But in the seventies? You know what the answer was? Patience and hard work. Treating each individual child like an individual and not like a disorder. Mrs. McFarland had to deal with every kid and their peculiarities with kindness and patience and, when needed, a stern and unyielding demeanor. I don't say this to take a shot at children with disorders that, knowing about them, will help the child have a better shot at surviving the system. I say this to point out that Mrs. McFarland was a fucking saint. How the fuck she dealt with five year old me (I was four during September! I guess my mom couldn't wait to get me out of the house!) and a dozen or more other fucked up kids, I'll never know! I would have been demanding something to sedate these little fuckers. Like maybe a really slow carbon monoxide leak? Not enough to put them out and kill them all but maybe just get them drowsy and lethargic for the entire day!

Although, teachers today are probably bigger saints. Now they have to treat each child with a list of particular demands from the parents that are simply asshole parent demands which interfere with the teacher's business. Probably. I have no evidence to support that assumption except for my observations of most parents being assholes. They're worse than dog owners who don't leash their dogs! Or vapers who think it's okay to vape wherever the fuck they want because laws haven't caught up with them yet! Hey, all of you assholes I just mentioned?! Have some fucking respect for other people and stop being such selfish pricks!

This issue begins with Aquaman declaring he's going to save the world. Ha ha! Good one! What he's actually doing is taking his bag of crystal Precious Moments Zodiac figurines to show to the other Justice League members. I'm guessing they won't be impressed. Oh, sure. Wonder Woman will be polite about it. But her vagina will dry up so quickly that Aquaman himself might dehydrate and die.

Aquaman is actually seeding the Earth with his figurines. They say they're related to him. Oh yeah, he hears them speaking to him. So Aquaman is either saving the world or going insane. Insane for Precious Moments Figurines! Who hasn't been there, amirite?!

The Green Lanterns are an unknown amount of light years from Earth and yet they can still communicate instantly with Cyborg. That's impressive! Not wait! The word I wanted is impossible!

Who is editing Bryan Hitch's Justice League? Oh wait! I can check that for myself: Brian Cunningham. Oh boy. He's one of those editors who got super upset at fans when fans pointed out Cullen Bunn's Aquaman was the biggest shit ever shat by an Aquaman writer. At least now I know why he defended such a bad idea for an Aquaman story: he doesn't know anything about the DC Universe. Why else would he not tell somebody to fix the "Kent Farm, Metropolis" label on the previous scene? I'm not going to argue whether the farm is in Metropolis or some rural suburb of Metropolis or Smallville or wherever. What I will argue is calling it the Kent Farm. Clark and Lois haven't used the name Kent since they came to Earth-New-52! I wouldn't even feel the need to mention it if it had been called the "White" farm even though they now go by "Smith" because at least that would be closer to the truth! This is just shoddy work, Brian Cunningham. Don't you care about your job? I bet you never make a mistake when cashing your paycheck!

Meanwhile, Superman seems to be doing just fine inside the outer core of the Earth. Seems about right. No oxygen. High pressures. Intense heat. No yellow sunlight. Just another day being a poorly thought out character that can do virtually anything the writer needs him to do because his name is Superman! Although there had better be a story after this one showing how his powers aren't that great and he's actually not as overpowered as haters think he is!

Just in case the threat to the world was beginning to seem abstract and non-existent, here's a scene where the heroes acknowledge the world is getting fucked in the ass (nonconsensually!) while they're busy elsewhere. It's a good thing Aquaman is on the job! I wonder if I just opened a portal to a secret kingdom by typing a phrase that's never been typed before?

Across the world, newscasters are asking the question, "Where is the Justice League?" Oh, grow up, you fucking dicks. Fix your own goddamn problems! Save yourselves! Shit happens and people die. You can't expect a team of self-involved, narcissistic assholes with super powers to be there to save every single person in the world from every fucking disaster, can you?! Fucking comic book reporters and comic book journalists are the fucking worst. I mean, I guess they're better at their jobs than actual reporters and journalists. But that still doesn't make them anything more than assholes who think they're somehow more important than they really are. How shitty must a local news anchor feel after they report what's been trending on the Internet? I wonder how many of them are cutters?

The Justice League realize that they've been fighting against the forces that were trying to stop The Kindred. So now they've decided to stop fighting the things that have been destroying the world (you know, the Ben Wa balls and the Alien Bed Bugs) and fight against the giant meat puppets singing in Canada. I don't know. I'm not saying I'm a genius (I'll let other people point that out) but what have the Giant Singing People Puppets done that was so bad so far? The other things are destroying the Earth. The Singing Giants have only borrowed the Justice League's powers for a few moments here and there. Oh. That just answered my question. I almost forgot the whole narcissist part of the description of super heroes. They don't give a shit about stopping the threat to the Earth when there's a threat to their super powers!

Without having any knowledge of what the singing giants are up to, the Justice League decide to join forces with the Alien Bed Bugs to destroy The Kindred. So the Green Lanterns now decide to import more of the disastrous buggers to Earth in the hopes of stopping The Kindred from singing. Simply because the Justice League can't stand to not stop everything that seems alien to them. I hope Aquaman plants the figurines and saves the day by empowering The Kindred and embarrassing the rest of the Justice League.

Aquaman plants the final crystals and Superman manages to stop the Earthquake balls so the world isn't destroyed. Which is a good thing for everybody on Earth but also a good thing for The Kindred because now they get to finish their song without being interrupted by a destroyed Earth. Nobody still knows why they need to sing though. But if the Justice League thinks they're singing for a bad reason, I suppose I should think that as well! Go Justice League! Stop those singing fucks!

I've been telling Superman from the start that he should be pushing these things out of the Earth and not deeper inside!

Just before the Giant Singing People Puppets are stopped by Superman and his final Ben Wa Ball, they reveal that their song was going to begin the Forever Crisis. Fuck you and your Crises, DC! Besides, you already had an Infinite Crisis. How is a Forever Crisis really any different?! You fucking topped yourselves out with Infinite Crisis. You blew your load! You have no way to outdo yourselves now! I think it's time to go smaller. Your next crisis should be the Quantum Crisis.

So Superman zaps the Singing Giants with the final Ben Wa Ball and they fall apart and become just people named Tiny and Jason and Princess again. But apparently they achieved their song and Forever Crisis has been loosed. Maybe it was loosed throughout all time though and we've already witnessed how it affected the DC Universe in the past. This song, Forever Crisis, is exactly why DC has had so many crises and reboots and Armageddons. It's because these fuckers sang their fucking stupid song. Anyway, the Justice League congratulates themselves on stopping whatever the fuck they just stopped by basically just stopping everything that seemed out of the ordinary and getting lucky. Too bad they're the Justice League so the next threat has to be even more massive than this one!

The Ranking!
+0! Poor fucking Aquaman. This story humiliates him far more than any story I can remember since the four issue mini-series where he got a new costume and was psychoanalyzed by the antagonist. Bryan Hitch had to figure out a way to make Aquaman part of the world saving story arc and all he could come up with was Aquaman swimming around the Earth playing with dolls? Not that Batman did much better but at least he got to interact with the others and pretend like he was being insightful and helpful by telling everybody that they had to stop the bad thing quickly! Aquaman was basically given a distraction so that he didn't get in the way of the story. And then he gets a Narration Box at the end where he speaks directly to the reader: "Magic crystals and you scoffed." Yeah? I'm still scoffing! Because what the fuck did they do?! Sure, you say they saved the world from breaking apart but isn't that what Superman was doing? You say they stopped the Singing Giants' song but it actually wasn't stopped! You did nothing, you fish fucker. Bryan Hitch tried to make you seem important and he actually just shined a light on how useless you truly are. Eat a dork!

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