Monday, October 17, 2016

Wacky Raceland #4

I guess it's Peter Perfect's time to shine! Oh, and his car, the Boner Special.

The Commentary!
• This issue begins at the finish line which is so postmodern that I just put my copy of Tristram Shandy in a blender with some ice cream and blueberries so I could drink it while reading this issue. It's not very good. I probably shouldn't have added the blueberries.

• No, I really don't know how postmodern it is to begin a comic book about a race by telling the readers who just won the race! It was the Slag Brothers, by the way. Here's the current Wacky Races Tally for the season:

Dick Dastardly: 1!
Penelope Pitstop: 1!
Professor Pat Pending: 1! Maybe!
The Slag Brothers: 1!
The Other Chumps!: 0!

• Most comic books wouldn't be able to stand the strain of beginning in the middle of a story, let alone the end of the story. After narrating the middle of the story for about three pages, they'll jump back in time to explain how it all began. Usually that explanation is boring bullshit that any intelligent reader could have figured out on their own. I'm only saying all of this because I'm fairly confident that since last issue pretty much explicitly stated that the winners of the races don't matter, Ken Pontac won't force a flashback on us. Although he might be doing one of those stories that's told backwards. I hope not! I hope the story just continues with the Racers after-race orgy.

• The Slag Brothers have killed a gigantic octopus which they call an Elder God. Speaking of Elder Gods, I'm going to take this moment to admit that I actually adore H.P. Lovecraft's writing style. It's not much of an admission, to be sure, since I've said it before in my commentary on Red Hood and the Outlaws #33. Here's what I said about it then so I can lazily fill up more space in this commentary:

Anyway, I said I wanted to say something about Nabokov's writing, didn't I? Let me start by saying something about H.P. Lovecraft's writing! When I read Lovecraft, he makes me want to write. I tend to begin writing projects in my head spurred on by Lovecraft's prose and then realize I've read a page or two of Lovecraft without any memory of what I'd read because I was lost in my own writing projects. But Nabokov's writing makes me want to destroy all the typewriters in the world and hang myself. He's just so fucking good at the words. He make me hate mine ability to put things. Bad Nabokov! BAD!

Why does Dick care about clues?! This isn't Scooby Apocalypse!

• The race they just raced ended at the Hoover Dam and you know what that means! Well, maybe you don't. I guess if you're not familiar with the local geography around the Hoover Dam, you might not have realized that ending a race there is the perfect time for a trip to Las Vegas! This issue is called "What Happens in Vegas..." which is a pretty good title because we all know that stupid fucking tourism saying that's just another way of saying, "You will be doing a lot of drinking, drugs, and fucking of prostitutes here." But the pretty good part is that it's also a good title about the Racers in Vegas because this story is literally about "What Happens in Vegas."

• The Narrator explains all of the gangs running Las Vegas now. There's the Pharaohs (unless I spelled that wrong and then it's different somehow), the Clowns, the Comb-Overs, and the Caesars (unless that's spelled differently too! What's with all the words with strange vowel pairings coming out of the Mediterranean? Oh, I get it. Everything is hard to spell in that area).

• Forget Peter Perfect's backstory this issue. This one is all about Red Max! It's really hard to tell what any of these old cartoon comic books might be about by relying on the covers since they always have so many variants. And it's not like they tell you on the cover if they're a variant or the regular cover. DC really should have some kind of code. Maybe they do have one! I just don't know how to crack it!

• Red Max was a gambler in the past and he seems to have cheated the wrong people. They're the wrong people because they still exist in Las Vegas and he's been identified by the Caesars.

• The Red Max is still being called The Red Baron in this comic book. I refuse to call him that!

• Because of the Red Max's past debts, all of the Racers are captured and thrown in the arena. Meanwhile their sentient cars, led by Muttley, are breaking out of the parking garage. This is just the kind of exciting thing that happens in Las Vegas that you're not allowed to tell anybody about after you leave! Worst travel destination ever!

• So, anyway, the Racers have a great vacation in Las Vegas and nothing out of the ordinary happens at all and they go back to their normal lives. And if you ask them about the two-headed tigers or being chased by an army or escaping thanks to a flood created by a bunch of intelligent cars, they'll just look at you and smile and say, "Where'd you hear that malarkey? We just hit a few buffets and played some craps!"

• After escaping thanks to that flood that didn't happen, The Red Max quotes Genesis. But, for some reason that must have to do with his intense homophobia and racist attitudes, he quotes the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah instead of some quote about Noah's flood. I mean, both events happened because God wanted to wipe out sinners, so either one would work. It's just that the flood seems more appropriate to this specific situation! I guess if I don't want to be argumentative simply because I'm an asshole, I could accept that the Red Max is a hatemonger, and everybody refers to Las Vegas as a modern Sodom and Gomorrah. So it's fitting enough. Besides, the flood of Noah seemed sort of relaxing compared to the firebombing of the Twin Cities of Sin.

The Ranking!
No change. One of the things I really like about this comic book is that it's telling one and done stories. But that's also the reason for my biggest issue with this book. It feels like there are gaps in the story which I imagine is because of the limited pages to tell the story. And it's not like the art helps when something in the story has me confused because a bit seems to be missing. A little more clarity with the art, and fewer rough jump cuts to the story would do wonders for this book. As it is, I'm still enjoying it but then I come from a background where I loved the Wacky Races. So how could I not love this book?! I suppose if Cullen Bunn were writing it, I might have some trouble with it.

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