Thursday, October 27, 2016

New Super-man #4

The Chinese Freedom Fighters remind me I need to get my hilarious and totally revolutionary Book Club up and running!

Doom Bunny and I are going to start a Book Club for people who think they're smart! We're going to read the most smarterest books the book store will let us purchase and then pretend we understand them! Mostly Doom Bunny will be all, "Um, duh, uh, Smart Thing I Read About the Book Online!" And then I'll be, "Was Chapter One a metaphor about having itchy testicles?" I think we'll start easy with Edward Packard's The Cave of Time. Although we might get into a heated argument about the meaning of the book if we arrive at different endings. Book Clubs are so complicated!

Until I choose to pick up an actual book and read it, I'll continue reading these funny books I have stacked all over my office. You would think I wouldn't have so many huge stacks of unread comic books because they're so easy to read. Half the time, I just look at the pictures and make up what's going on anyway. I should do more of that just to clear up the stack. Looking around my office, I have a huge stack of unread Ms. Marvel and Daredevil comic books, a huge stack of new DC Comics books, a huge stack of Xena comic books, a couple of variations on The Bible (King James, humongous fancy tome handed down from my grandparents, Boomer), three fat books comprising The Book of a Thousand Nights and a Night, four volumes of collected Secret Six stories, a stack of Fortean Times magazines, a stack of Dragon magazines, a nerd-load of D&D Modules, Charlie Brown's Super Book of Questions and Answers (which probably answers many of the questions incorrectly since it's so old), and a box of Trivial Pursuit cards. That's the edited list of shit stacked around my office! I left out the lunch boxes (Sailor Moon, The Rescuers, Disney, Battlestar Galactica) and Xbox games and boxed RPGs and old PC CDs and a tin of Yu-Gi-Oh cards and my Batman and Robin cosplay Cabbage Patch Kids and my cat, Pelafina, staring at me! I mean, I left them out until that last sentence! Then I included them! Also there's a Cheshire Cat teapot staring at me with an "I just farted" grin on its face. No wait. That's the regular grin that people describe as "Cheshire".

I really did leave out a lot of stuff though! This office is a mess! If you're picturing a normal-sized room at this point, you should correct your mental picturing attempt. It's actually no bigger than a standard walk-in closet with a pitched ceiling which makes it impossible to stand up in if I'm not flat up against the east wall!

I just remembered! This is supposed to be a review of New Super-man and not a review of my office space! I suppose I could change the title of this entry to "Eee! Tess Ate Chai Tea's Office Space" but then who would bother reading it aside from perverts who get off on reading about office decor? And even they might be disappointed! Instead, I'll just start discussing New Super-man, one of my favorite Rebirth titles (if not my absolute favorite because, as I would say if I were one of the millions of entirely too boring jerks on the Internet, Kong Kenan is my spirit animal! Oh my God. I think I just caused several of my own organs to fail by typing that! I'm so distraught and humiliated. How do people say that seriously?! What is wrong with people that they can't come up with their own ways to say or describe things? Why is everything a reblog of something somebody else said or a gif somebody else made where people just attach "ME" or "THIS" or...Hey! I just came up with an idea for a shitty bumper sticker (redundant!): "I fucked your Spirit Animal!" It will go great with my other Bumper Sticker that didn't sell too well: "I fucked your Honor Roll Student!" I don't know why that one never took off. Or the version of the bumper sticker family members where each one has a huge erection. How am I not rich?

So, um, anyway, like the cover of this comic book states, The Justice League of China were busy battling The People's Book Club of Ultimate Freedom last issue. It continues this issue because Gene Luen Yang understands how comic books work and how they tell a story across multiple issues. What I'm saying is Gene Luen Yang is not Scott Lobdell.

This is why New Super-man is better than old Superman. I don't want old Superman to feel joy when he beats up a villain. But I like to read characters with sadistic and bullying tendencies! Representation matters!

I just got to the page with the title and the credits and now have a confession to make (or re-make, as is the probable case): the name, Richard Friend, still makes me laugh out loud.

New Super-man has to be reminded by Chinese Wonder-Woman that the Justice League of China doesn't kill. I think she's just saying that in case any Western spy satellites are tuning in. I'm fairly certain the Justice League of China doesn't really care too much about human rights. How could they truly represent China if they didn't feel the same exact way as their host country?!

I don't really know that much about China's human rights issues and policies. But they must be bad, right? I mean, Communists! Communists are the most terrible monsters on the planet after Dracula and Ghidorah. Unless they're American Communists standing up to the brutality of Free Market Capitalism that isn't really about Free Markets at all but about manipulating the government into creating a market that favors your business and destroys actual free market competition. I'm pretty sure I'm pro-American Communists. But then, America makes everything better! Except health care. And standards of living. And intellectual debate about everything. But we are definitely #1 at putting up our index finger and chanting about how great we are!

I wish Batman got this kind of enjoyment from his job.

Flying Dragon General tries to convince his son that The People's Book Club of Ultimate Freedom is battling a war against an organization called the Ministry of Self-Reliance. You know a Ministry named that is bad news! They could have just as well named it Ayn Rand's Ministry of Justifying Selfish Practices! Speaking of Ayn Rand, Rush's "Free Will" came up on my shuffle last night. I had never really thought much about what the "kindness that can kill" choice was in the chorus until I learned that Neil Peart was early influenced by the writings of Ayn Rand. At that point, the lyric made terrible, terrible sense!

A few of The People's Book Club of Ultimate Freedom have been kidnapped by the Ministry of Self-Reliance and Flying Dragon General is trying to find them. New Super-man knows where they are! He works for the Ministry himself! How is Flying Dragon Father going to treat Kenan over dinner later? "Son, will you pass the chick...WHERE ARE MY COMPATRIOTS, YOU VILE SEX-MONKEY?!" That's an insult in Chinese, right?

The fight ends with Flying Dragon Father getting away on his robot horse, Shecky. I guess that means in the search for his two comrades taken by the Ministry, he just lost another comrade: Blue Condom. I'm not sure what happened to Ghost Girl. She probably dematerialized.

Meanwhile at the Ministry of Self-Reliance's base of operations, O-word Pearl Tower, Laney Lan is doing some Lois Lane style risky investigating! She's not only snooping around for clues; she's breaking and entering! That's totally right out of Lois Lane's "How to Earn a Pulitzer Without Being Arrested or Killed" Playbook. But Laney Lan doesn't have a Get Out Jail Free Card connection with New Super-man yet so she might be in big trouble.

Oh, it turns out Ghost Woman was also captured. So The People's Book Club of Ultimate Freedom really fucked up because I don't think you can have a Book Club with just one member not in prison. I suppose the Book Club can continue in prison!

This is their first meeting with Doctor Omen after realizing she knows they all snuck out.

Doctor Omen has decided to feed Laney Lan a story about The Justice League of China that will make them seem like a good idea for the people of China as opposed to a bad idea for the people of China (which they must be if they're angering Book Clubs all around the country). Her plan is to let Laney interview herself along with Kenan and the others. If not for the part where she's allowing Kenan to go on air and answer questions, it sounds like a solid tactic to manipulate the press.

Meanwhile in Crab Shell Prison, Ghost Woman vomits up Folding Paper Man. I would be so disappointed if I were Folding Paper Man and she chose to hide me in that orifice! Although if she kept me in any of the others, I would totally be Unfolding Paper Man, if you get my drift! My drift is my paper erection!

Folding Paper Man kills a guard in the most vile way imaginable (unless you can imagine worse things than death by paper cuts (which I imagine you can because, let's face it, rape is a thing)) and the Great Crab Shell Escape is on! They begin breaking out all of The People's Book Club of Ultimate Freedom members who have been captured over the years. One of them is named Human Firecracker and he's Kenan's uncle! Probably. I only say "probably" because I don't want people reading this to think, "Tess is so fucking arrogant that I had to use the word 'fucking' like a fucking monster to describe how arrogant Tess is!" I want people to think, "Wow! That Tess is a Grandmaster Comic Book Reader who is always ten steps ahead of everybody else reading these comic books but Tess is still so humble as to pretend to possibly be wrong sometimes!"

The Human Firecracker points out how they can't leave the prison without the Genetically-Modified Starro that the Ministry of Self-Reliance plans on using as their ultimate weapon to control the populace, proving that their title is totally ironic.

Kenan decides to go home and check on his father once he realizes the importance of keeping a secret identity and how he chose not to keep one. But when he gets home, he finds a surprise waiting for him: his father is Flying Dragon Father! Surprise!

The Ranking!
1. New Super-man (*)
2. Deathstork (*)
3. Suicide Squad (*)

The asterisks in parentheses are not emoticons of a person bending over! They're placeholders for where I'll insert the previous month's ranking of each comic book. It doesn't matter yet because I'm establishing the overall rankings this month! Right now, New Super-man is way ahead of the others even though the ranking list doesn't have a good way of portraying that. But that means a lot because I love Priest's current run on Deathstork! It's just that I super love Yang's New Super-man! I love it in the way I loved All Star Western! It's just super fun with great characters and an actual story that isn't just "People are in danger! Good thing there's a super hero to punch the danger! Yay, the people are safe! Wait! A stronger danger is approaching that must be punched! What will happen?!" So boring!

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