Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Vigilante: Southland #1

I wish saying "not" after a statement to negate it sarcastically wasn't such a stupid piece of shit thing to say because right now I want to say, "This comic book looks fantastic! NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT!"

Which came first? Plans for Vigilante to appear on Arrow or pitch meetings for this egg?

When I first saw that a Vigilante comic book was coming out, I got super excited! But only for like the three or four seconds it took my body to absorb the endorphins released by the nostalgia factor and then I thought, "This comic book was never really very good, was it?" But it was printed on Baxter paper! So cool!

The issue begins with Vigilante beating up some thugs. I don't mean thugs in the conservative media vernacular where they're slyly winking as they say it because their audience knows what they really mean. I mean thugs in the comic book sense! Those are just nameless henchmen or free-range criminals who the hero beats up in the parts of the story that don't really matter. Comic book thugs are the guys Batman beats up at the beginning of the story to show some quick action before he sees the Bat-signal and rushes off to listen to Gordon whinge on about The Joker suddenly being back in town. So that's what Vigilante is doing here! He's beating some guys up so readers can get their violent action boners going before the boring talking parts have to happen.

Also, when I say "boners," I mean both male and female boners, whatever those are. I think they're like elementary school drinking fountains?

Vigilante might have the ugliest costume in the DC Universe, counting Lobo's original pink and purple one.

In the past, Vigilante has been a white male and a white female. Now he's a black male. What will Vigilante be in his or her next incarnation? A little person?

You know, I don't hear an awful lot of clamor from little people about representation in comic books. Maybe that's because I don't know any little people so I'm not around to hear them moan about the lack of representation in comic books. Who was the last little person in a DC Comic book? Oberon?

As I read about the main character going about his business playing basketball and ignoring his girlfriend's texts and smoking dope and playing video games, I realize the first two pages are doing that thing where the comic book has to show the reader the action that will happen in the future before returning to the boring, non-action parts of the story. I fucking hate that shit. It's like the writer has no confidence in the story or the audience. It's as if I can't be bothered to read a comic book that doesn't assure me, right up front, that somebody will eventually be punched in the face. I mean, I did call that part the exciting bit and the non-violent part the boring bit! So my opinion my be radically at odds with itself.

The main character, Donny, might also not be the only main character. His girlfriend, Donny's girlfriend, might be the main character too! She wears another terrible version of the Vigilante costume to do some corporate espionage. Or maybe she's just doing some simple civil disobedience to expose a corporation's criminal behavior. I'm just guessing because I've barely read four pages of this comic book. It's far less interesting than what I might have to say about it. Also, I had to make sure I mentioned, again, how terrible Vigilante's costume is.

Well, at least I don't have to learn Donny's girlfriend's name now! Thank you, evil corporate man in black hit and run driver!

Now Donny can go about his video gaming and getting stoned without being nagged by Vigilante! If she was Vigilante. I was just making an assumption. But she probably was and now Donny will start going through her things and find her suit and all of her evidence proving whatever injustice she was trying to prove! Then he'll have to get off his ass and continue her work! Even though she could have continued the work just fine and the story could have been about her if Gary Phillips hadn't decided to kill her.

Donny begins investigating the hit and run on his own. I guess without his girlfriend to pay the Internet bill, he's lost his online Xbox play. He might as well get out of the house because single player games are boring as fuck. NPCs don't rage quit and send you spiteful messages when you teabag them.

Donny hits up his father--who he has serious issues with, of course--to do his shady underworld investigative shit to find out who might have killed his girlfriend. While Donny waits for that to happen, he begins going through his girlfriend's things. You know, just like I said he would! Behind the box with the vibrator and a stack of Penthouse Forums, he finds her Vigilante costume and her electric mace. I think it's an electric mace. It might also be a vibrating Ben Wa ball.

At this point, the story is almost over and the whole dead girlfriend thing is getting depressing, so the narrative speeds up a bit. Donny and his father get some information they need from a witness of the hit and run but that witness has also been bought out by the bad guy, Spectros. So when Donny gets home later that night, his house explodes on him! I might think he's dead but for those first couple of pages at the beginning of the comic book! Way to ruin the suspense, Phillips!

The Review!
So far there's nothing original in this script. It's basically every 80s movie about some guy who loses a loved one and then reaps deadly vengeance on the killers. It's also got whiffs of a chosen one story where the hero begins as a shitty, crappy, lazy asshole and has to rise to the occasion when the real hero (this time, his girlfriend) dies tragically in the first three minutes. Donny's girlfriend was far more interesting in the scant few pages in which she appeared. Donny is just a lazy asshole. But I guess that's part of the story! He has to prove himself and rise above his flaws to become the hero his girlfriend already was! Although I don't know why he has to do it in an even more terrible looking costume than her already awful one!

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