Monday, November 28, 2016

Batman Beyond Rebirth #1

When did Todd McFarlane start doing covers for DC?

This week, DC Comics' New Talent Showcase #1 hits the shelves. While I enjoy writing about how badly other people write, do I really want to spend $7.99 to break the hearts of young writers getting their first big break? Unless this isn't their first big break at all. Or they're not young. Or they don't have any hearts to break because they're cold, calculating Scott Lobdell types who conned their way into getting a comic book gig. I probably won't buy it but it's a question mark on my list of comics to pick up on Wednesday. It's unlikely that I'll buy it because it's a talent show and none of the writers are related to me. Why should I waste my time?

Is New Talent Showcase #1 like those poetry collections that accept poems from everybody who sends one in because they know each poem published means a certain number of sales from that person's family and friends? Oh, and Harley Quinn is on the cover! So that will cover the other costs of publishing what, I'm guessing, will be, essentially, garbage.

The way Batman Beyond Rebirth #1 begins makes me thankful that I decided, before reading it, to strike it from my reading list. It begins with the caption "Several decades from now." But it's not the caption that made me cringe! It's the font and style of the caption box! It's Futures End! Is that the name of the style? Like Helvetica or Jokerman? Probably!

This story is called "Escaping the Grave, Part 1." What's wrong with Dan Jurgens? This is a Rebirth issue! It's not supposed to have more than just the one part! Unless the other parts are also in this issue, I'm going to be upset. I mean, I'm already upset because I can't help assuming that the other parts won't be in this issue! This isn't my usual, irrational anger either! I have evidence that proves Dan Jurgens doesn't know the conventions of comic book serial storytelling! The final five issues of the regular Batman Beyond comic book made up the story "Wired for Death." But it was a four part story with an epilogue. I wouldn't have a problem with that except the climactic fight took place in the epilogue! That's not how fucking epilogues work, Dan Jurgens! I suppose that evidence might not mean Dan Jurgens doesn't understand how to write stories. It could also just mean that he's terrible at planning and thought "Wired for Death" was only going to take four issues. But then editorial probably threw some mandates at him and he had to scramble to change some stuff and needed one more issue to make it all work. Which is probably why the final issue of the story has a Guest Artist and Guest Inker! Because the contracts for Bernard Chang and Marcelo Maiolo were up at the end of the original length of the story.

Why am I rationalizing this for Dan Jurgens?! He's a grown robot! He can defend himself! I'd rather just believe that Dan Jurgens can't handle the basics of writing conventions! Although, since he's a robot built in the middle of the 1980s without any extra memory or input ports to learn anything new after he was built, I should be blaming his programmer.

Also, the previous paragraphs were about Dan Jurgens and his inability to understand writing conventions! Leave me out of it!

Being that this is Rebirth, it's time for a new take on Batman Beyond! Which, of course, is the old take! I can't really blame DC Comics for ditching The New 52 to try to recapture their old universe. Mostly because DC Comics never took advantage of The New 52! It was supposed to be a time for trying new things and really changing things up! Instead, they just offered bland recyclings of the same old characters but without any history or legions of supporting characters. I won't admit to typing this and will later delete it and deny its existence but Ann Nocenti might have been the most cutting edge writer of The New 52. By not understanding any of the characters she was allowed to molest, she wrote the most drastically different versions of old characters in The New 52! I mean, could anybody recognize her Green Arrow as being DC's Green Arrow? Or Catwoman? Or Katana? Or even Klarion! Wow, was she terrible! But fuck was she fun to discuss! I'll miss her terribly!

Like the narrator of Robert Frost's "Birches", I hope I'm not misunderstood by making that statement! I don't want her back! I just want to acknowledge how much I enjoyed it when she was around!

Oh, back to the new take on Batman Beyond! This time it's Terry McGinnis battling the Jokerz in Neo-Gotham! See? Everything new is old again! Or is that statement supposed to be the other way around? Whatever!

Terry McGinnis tells his origin story right off the bat because this is Rebirth! Best to get that out of the way for all of the new readers who picked up this book because they thought it was the new issue of Venom.

Bruce Wayne was out walking Ace. Except he forgot Ace.

Somebody on my Facebook feed just posted something called the Saran Wrap Ball Christmas Game. I'm sure most people who have no life and actually have a Facebook account have seen it by now! But I just wanted to point out an idiotic alternate rule of the game. In the game, somebody rolls two dice. When they get doubles, the Saran Wrap Ball is passed to the next person who gets to begin unwrapping it. The alternate rules state that you can "maybe use just one of the dice and pick a number that has to be hit to pass the ball." If they've added this rule because they think that might make the turns go faster then they've got another think coming. It's the same odds to role doubles on two dice as to role a specific number on one die: 1 in 6. If that's not the reason for the alternate rule, why even use two dice in the first place? Just use one die because you're less apt to lose one off the table. It's much easier to control one random element than two! Especially when, I'm assuming, everybody is drunk and half-naked!

Terry walked Bruce home to his mansion where he slipped him some drugs. While he was passed out, Terry fiddled with his clock and suddenly found himself in Bruce's batcave. Charges were never pressed. Instead, Terry became the next Batman! This way of finding an apprentice is even worse than touring Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory of Death.

Bruce normally wouldn't take in an apprentice with such a normal family life so he had to rush out and murder Terry's father before Terry got home. You can't have a sidekick who discovers your secret identity and doesn't have dead parents! That would be the worst sidekick ever! So boring! So bland! So not sexy at all! So annoying! The worst! Awful! Terrible! Are the Tim Drake fans angry at me yet?

But now, years later, Batman must be dead. I mean, he's probably not dead since his death in Futures End never happened. But he's currently not in the Batcave helping Terry. So Terry has to work with Barbara Gordon and probably his brother Matt. That stuff will probably be cleared up in the next half of this comic book: "Escaping the Grave, Part 2!" I'm still assuming that will take place in this comic book! I haven't abandoned all hope for Dan Jurgens' writing ability yet!

Terry begins to believe The Joker might actually still be alive. Of course he is! And so is Batman! And this comic book will eventually stage another final fight between Bruce and The Joker! I don't think Dan Jurgens has gotten to write that story yet, unlike every other writer ever. That's probably because Dan got to write the Death of Superman! The real one and not one of those What If stories or Alternate Timeline fanfics!

Dana Tan, a social worker and most likely suspect in the taking of Terry's virginity, has ventured, unknowingly, into Jokerz Town! With a Z!

I hope The Boss is senile Bruce Wayne in face paint!

Terry decides to suit up and shut down Jokerz Town now that it's become personal! Dana is currently being kept in Terminal's club, No Laughing Matter. He reveals to her his big secret: he's trying to resurrect The Joker! OMG! WTF! BRB!

Okay, I'm back! I just couldn't get over the shock of that huge revelation! I mean, I'm going to assume it's actually The Joker who is being resurrected because that's a big deal for a Batman book. But the body in the hospital bed is pretty fucking ripped. It looks more like Lobo than The Joker! Has Ryan Sook never seen The Joker before?!

Wouldn't it be a great twist if Terminal really was resurrecting Lobo?! I'd read that comic book, even if Dan Jurgens were still writing it!

The Review!
Even if this comic book had done something super interesting as opposed to something super typical and expected, I probably wouldn't keep reading it. I just can't keep up with all of these comic books anymore now that I'm seriously working on other projects. Also, I've never been interested in Batman Beyond. And they aren't going to make me more interested by bringing back the actual Joker. Enough of that guy! I'm fairly certain he was played out years ago. Just like his moll has been played out in recent years! I'm starting a petition for no more Harley Quinn and Joker stories! Just write your name on whatever bathroom stall you're sitting in while reading this. If we get enough signatures, something will happen! Right? Politics!

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