Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Deathstork #4

How hard is it to hunt for Batman? Just turn that stupid signal on and wait on the roof of the building across the way with a sniper rifle.

Has there ever been a more earnest generation than the current generation? I mean, I guess the Greatest Generation (dumb title!) was pretty earnest about war and cars and middle class living. And then the Sex Generation was pretty earnest about peace and sex and drugs and The Doors. But then there was the X Generation who never had an earnest thought in their body because the Sex Generation forgot to bond with their accidental children who were total bummers keeping them from enjoying their three day festivals. And then the generation after that, nobody gave a shit about. I think they were called the Y Bother Generation. Or the You Know You're A 90s Kid Generation. And now the Millennials are all super earnest about everything. At least the Greatest Generation understood what jokes were and sometimes said them. Sure, the punch line usually had something to do with a Jap or a Kraut but they still laughed at stuff! That's probably unfair to say Millennials don't find things funny. Everybody finds stuff funny! It's just that Millennials are so earnest that they think intellectual criticism of anything they do (even if that criticism is total cynical bullshit to just pad the introduction to a comic book review) is bullying, if not a complete and utter Hate Crime. You can tell a lot of them don't know how to handle criticism because they swaddle themselves in labels so they can instantly declare that anybody who criticizes the least thing they say or way they act the grossest person in the universe. I totally get it if the person is criticizing them for their mind-boggling complex sexuality or their Myers-Briggs Type. But holy shit do they get upset if you simply point out how Oliver and Felicity was the worst relationship ever created in a television show and probably the biggest mistake made in a television show founded on horrible mistakes by the writers.

Okay! Now that I've gotten the kids to flounce out of the room, let's talk about adult stuff! Lots of adult stuff going on in Deathstork and I didn't want to ruin the adult surprises that Millennials will discover soon enough, like the loss of wonder and the need to piss all over subsequent generations for doing things differently simply because they still have the vibrant, passionate spark of youth that we can barely even remember feeling!

I just figured out how Christopher Priest names his issues! No, I don't mean I discovered some intellectually lofty link that exposes his central themes and rips open the rib cage of the entire series to get a cold, stark look at its pounding heart! I just mean I realized that the first title is the title of the collection of short stories. Then every few pages when the scene changes, it gets a new title because its a new story but then it fits into the theme of the collection! So this collection is called "American Gothic". That's a famous painting by that hick that lived in the Midwest! He's really famous out there, especially in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. And every other city in Iowa, really. If you don't remember the painting, I'll describe it for you: two vampires stand in front of a barn. The male vampire looks like he wants to die which is probably why he's standing out in the sun getting his portrait did. And the female vampire is looking at him like, "You done it again, Hinry."

The first short story is called "Tuh-MAY-toe". That's probably the only word that needs to be spelled phonetically since there's such a huge controversy about the correct way to say it that somebody once wrote a song called "How About We Just Agree To Fucking Disagree, Asshole?"

Rose and Slade are heading to Gotham so Slade decided he probably shouldn't look like Deathstork because he doesn't want Batman to beat him up immediately. He is disguised as a man who used to teach but then fell in love with one of his students and had to go on the run with her so that he wouldn't be judged by society although he would eventually be judged by his young lover who would find a young lover of her own who wasn't a creepy pedophile. And Rose is disguised as a virgin with Daddy Issues. That's not much of a disguise but then Batman isn't on the look out for Rose Wilson coming into Gotham and fucking up his life. The theme of this story is how Slade and Rose are different but the same, much like how sometimes people say tomato and other times people say tomato.

The second story is called "The Code" and I don't know what it's about yet but it might have my favorite moment in a Deathstork comic book since every terrible thing Rob Liefeld did which peaked the needle on my schadenfreude. I'll scan it so you can enjoy that moment too if you've made the life mistake of not reading this comic book. Don't worry if you have made that mistake. That's one of those mistakes that most people would make because Deathstork comic books have been so terrible since they were invented that almost nobody exists who would walk into a comic book store, pass the New Releases shelf, see a Deathstork comic book, and think, "FUCKING YES! I hope there's a new Lobo book out too!"

See? Creepy pedophile disguise! Oh! I just remembered that Slade actually is a creepy pedophile so it's not really the best disguise!

Rose calls Wintergreen to whine about Slade's naked ass and Wintergreen is all, "Oh? Details!" He also tries to explain to Rose and the entire Deathstork Fandom who don't actually understand the character they love that he's a super-villain. He isn't a mercenary with a heart. He isn't a surrogate daddy to cartoon Robin. He isn't an anti-hero taking out the trash. He's a pedophile, rapist, murdering sociopath who likes to rent motel rooms and stick his dick between the blinds as he drinks his morning coffee.

Okay, maybe Wintergreen backs away from the sociopath label. At least he definitely backs away from the term psychopath but I think that's a tomato, tomato situation. Wintergreen tries to explain Deathstork's emotional code to Rose so she can maybe love her father as much as Wintergreen's penis loves her father. Rose learns the code and instantly uses it to call her father an idiot. Slade may or may not notice. It's hard to tell because he doesn't really feel emotion, no matter how much Wintergreen tries to convince himself by convincing Rose that he, at least, feels some.

The next short story is called "The Enemy of My Enemy". It features Dick Grayson! But I don't know why it's called "The Enemy of My Enemy" since it's about Rose and Dick fucking in the woods while Deathstork creepily watches from a nearby tree! Christopher Priest likes using titles which the reader can finish on their own because they're the first half of a common expression. So the full title of this story must be "The Enemy of My Enemy Is the Guy Fucking My Daughter".

The fourth short story is called "Sights". It has something to do with how Rose's precognition is thought of as having the sight and how guns have sights that help you aim. It's this whole thing where they have to be calibrated just right or something and something and a bunch of bikers die. But it brings Rose closer to Slade! I don't think it brings Slade closer to Rose though. He's just annoyed.

The fifth story is called "The Squirt" and I'm a little bit nervous to find out what this is about. Is it going to be about the involuntary sphincter reaction a person has when they first realize that they're going to have to fight Batman? Deathstork summons Batman through a complicated series of electronic rituals. Part of Batman's cautiousness involved using Damian to ride through on a bike to scope the place. While riding through, Deathstork managed to drug him so that when Damian battled Ravager later, she would be able to beat him. In that way, Deathstork could kidnap the Squirt and force Batman to do him a favor. At least that's what Deathstork seems to believe kidnapping Damian would accomplish. I imagine instead of Batman rolling over and doing whatever Slade says to free Damian, Batman is just going to get angry and not help Deathstork at all. In fact, he may even hamper Deathstork's investigation into who put a hit out on Rose.

Rebirth Rankings!
Let's see if I can actually create a new list ranking the DC Comics by quality. It might take some time though since I'll have to add them as I read them.

1. Deathstork (1). That's it for now! It's the best comic of them all based on only it! Also, I mean, it is a pretty good comic book on its own merit.

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