Friday, December 2, 2016

Detective Comics #943

"Decades after Batman's secret identity was revealed, scholars would say, 'I mean, were we all fucking idiots? The Wayne Building was shaped like fucking Batman, for Christ's sake!'" -- Excerpt from Clark Kent Was Superman and Other Facts That Will Make You Feel Stupid.

Last week, Clyde Lewis, ex-Portland's own ex-Sunday night paranormal radio show host turned asshat right-wing conspiracy theorist (although don't call him right-wing if you call in or he'll lose his fucking mind and scream until he hangs up on you) did a show on whether or not Google as achieved consciousness and can now read our minds. Right now, if you've never heard Clyde Lewis, you might be thinking, "Come on! It was definitely some kind of metaphor or analogy, right?" No. According to the definition of consciousness he kept using and forcing the way Google works into that definition, he had already laid to rest in the premise of the show that Google was sentient. His main question was whether or not it can read minds.

Before I finish this anecdote, I'd like to tell you this one. When I visited the Great Wall of China back in the late nineties, I purchased a long, thick communist style jacket to keep me warm. As I walked about the dozens and dozens of vendors crushed around the base of the wall which you never see in travel shows, other vendors would ask me how much I paid for the jacket. When I told them, they would then offer me two of the jackets for the same price! Apparently whatever trendy book about marketing swept through China in the seventies or eighties, its main tenet was your biggest customer was the one that already owned what you were trying to sell. I don't know if it actually works on other people but I did not come back from China with dozens of Communist coats. Just the five. No, no! Just kidding! I only bought one! I would have ended this paragraph on the joke normally but I just remembered it's an anecdote to help out another anecdote and I shouldn't embellish it with false details added because they make me laugh.

Back to Clyde Lewis and his mind-reading Google robot! My only response to his belief that Google was so good at predicting what you were looking for that the only explanation was that it could read minds was that Clyde Lewis is an idiot. Google can't fucking read minds! Google is a Chinese vendor at the base of the Great Wall of China! All Google fucking does is show me ads of things I've already shopped for on Amazon or searched for on Google itself! "Oh, hey! Remember when you searched for Freudian Slippers because you thought of them and then realized there's no way they didn't already exist? And they did exist? Did you want to buy those? I'm going to show them in Google ads for you for the next five months!" "Oh, hey! Tess! I saw you were checking on what issue of Shade the Changing Man a certain plot point occurred in. Did you want to read that comic book again? I mean, you just read it but maybe you want to buy it! How about buying it and then reading it in these comfy Freudian Slippers?!"

It's possible I just don't use the Internet correctly and Google has a hard time reading my mind with its algorithms. It probably feeds in the data and begins trying to work out what it all has in common so that it can figure out what to sell me. "Let's see. Tess used Google to find the Tumblr about Montana and skinny dipping after which he spent about two minutes before entering a bunch of random letters and numbers, as if he were wiping down his keyboard. Then he looked up Bat Penis and wound up on YouTube for about an hour. Then he searched for statutes on walking around in public with an obvious erection under clothing. Then he looked up Howard Mackie and I think his computer speaker picked up crying for the next five hours. Later he searched for back pain caused by kidney stones. What the fuck can I try to sell him? Do we have any thick pants with built in back braces that feature patterns in bat penis motifs in stock?" Currently on my Facebook sidebar are ads for something called Yeti Butting, Hyatt Motel, and Hallmark cards. If Google is reading a mind, it certainly isn't mine! Although that Yeti Butting seems intriguing! Especially since there's a half-naked woman in the advert!

I was just about done with this anecdote when my Xbox friend BigWeesel posted to Facebook that he checked out the Battleship game on Amazon and now he's getting loads of emails asking if he wants to buy the game! Goddammit Google! Stop reading our minds!

The new story in Detective Comics is called "The Victim Syndicate. Part One: I Saw the Devil." It begins with a couple of lesbians looking at some street art.

Is it still street art if it's in the lobby of an office building?

The graffiti is the only evidence left of a group of Doom Patrolesque villains who exited Wayne Tower that morning after killing a bunch of cops with some kind of poison power and freaking the fuck out of Lucius Fox and the woman at the front desk. They're probably the Victim Syndicate! I think they're wannabe Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse come to judge Gotham City! One guy causes disease so he's probably Pestilence. And another one looks like the Devil so he's probably War. And one is death because his throat is slit and he has a hollow, vacant stare! And one of them has a hand composed of hypodermic needles so she's probably Drugs. And the last one is short and wears a sun hat so that's probably the other one.

Renee tries to find out why Kate won't fuck her but Kate is all, "I can't talk about my father being captured by Batman right now!" Then there's a scene where Batman fails to interrogate Batwoman's father. I hope that means that the next scene is Renee in a bathtub getting out some sexual frustrations!

Dammit! The next scene isn't that! Instead it's a reminder that Tim Drake died and that doesn't do anything for my libido! I mean, maybe I'm a little bit hornier than I was before remembering that Tim Drake died but that could have been caused by anything! A breeze. A picture of a peach. The magazine called Women Who Eat Cum sitting open next to me.

Spoiler has gone missing because Tim Drake selfishly got himself killed. Why is she hiding away? This is her opportunity! You know how many male superheroes would kill to get a chance at fridge characterization?! Dead loved ones is practically 90% of what makes Batman Batman! Spoiler is on the road to super stardom with the death of her love interest and now she's hiding out in Thompkins Free Clinic! I wonder if they do abortions?

I thought Harper was off at some smarty pants elitist college?! Maybe making beds at a shelter is part of one of her socially responsible classes, like Be the Change 101 or Calculus.

It looks like James Tynion IV feels the same way about Harper Row as my Sensei Grandmaster Comic Book Reader, King Beauregard: Harper Row should be Batman's citizen on the street who doesn't wind up in a costume. I mean, it's a bit late for that! The genie is out of the bong on that one. But I guess James has decided to rectify the situation.

Hee hee. Rectify!

Apparently Harper is going to school. She just decided to go to a shitty state school in Gotham because Bruce wouldn't pony up the cash to go to an Ivy League school. Not that Harper would be caught dead at an Ivy League school! She probably should have gone to Berkeley. Or Santa Cruz where they don't give you grades! I think you get a box of cookies at the end of the semester. If you did well, the cookies have pot in them.

As Harper comforts Stephanie, fucking asscrack dickhole shitstain Jean Paul Valley makes an appearance. I think I'm going to be sick. He's the worst character ever created! He even looks like the feeling a person gets just before they throw up!


Meanwhile, Clayface has decided to look like a normal asshole. It's a shame that he's denying who he is and trying to pass! How is he supposed to be a role model for Katherine if he hides his true self? I mean, I guess it wasn't always his true self. But it is now so he should embrace it!

Later, everybody goes to some Policeman's Ball or something. It's being picketed by protesters who want Batman out of Gotham. Ugh! More of this bullshit? When are comics going to move on and stop trying to make every hero an anti-hero by having the populace against them? I guess the real world populace would first have to stop proving that they're stupid idiots who fall for the shittiest propaganda by the stupidest people. Now I'm blaming the never-ending X-men theme of people fearing heroes on Trump voters! It's nice to have a scapegoat!

Luke Fox arrives at the gala in a hover car with two dates. What the fuck has gotten into Batplane? I mean Batwing! He's more Bruce Wayne than Bruce Wayne has been in a long time! I'm loving it! Luke's also the main reason Bruce has come to the Gala. He needs somebody good with electronics and technology to take Tim's place in the group. Who better than a guy who drives a hover car?

The Victim Syndicate crashes the party because they hate Batman and people who support Batman and people in general. I guess they're like that silly group of villains from Batman and Robin who were all victims of Batman's violence, like Batarang Head and Boot-print Face. But the Victim Syndicate is serious and not a joke like those other victims! I guess James Tynion IV didn't like the idea of people laughing at victims so he had to rebrand these jerks. Although most of them look just as stupid as the other group of Batman's victims.

The Review!
If I were a better writer, I could describe exactly why this comic book works. But I'm not. So all I can say is this comic book feels like picking up a Detective Comics book from the eighties or nineties and just getting a good Gotham City under attack story. And even though I just got done criticizing the Teen Titans for only battling villains who are simply after the Teen Titans, I'm going to ignore the part of this story where the villains are simply going after Batman. Just like Night of the Monsters. And probably every story before that. Hmm. Maybe I should just suck it up and apologize to the Teen Titans now, right?

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