Saturday, December 3, 2016

Detective Comics #944

Batman lurks in the baths of every citizen of Gotham.

Do you think it would be appropriate to write a sequel to The Diary of Anne Frank? Just asking for a friend! A really insensitive friend!

This issue begins with Harper Row revealing that she's into hover cars. I don't mean she wants to work on them and build them and drive them. Not unless all of those things are euphemisms for fucking! Then I totally meant that! Would that mean she's autosexual? That's probably a confusing term! I mean, I'm autosexual and it has nothing to do with cars!

Luke Fox's Me! Me! Me! Gala has gone tits up and sideways! I should probably have described it in some other fashion because now I have a boner.

The Victim Syndicate have attacked because they feel that's the best way to tell Gotham City that Batman isn't wanted anymore. He's a danger to the city and if people don't turn against him, they're going to be a danger to the City! And Batman will probably defeat them, proving that he's not a danger to the city at all but a help! I don't think they thought their plan through very well.

Since Luke Fox is Batwing, Batwing is going to help beat up the Victim Syndicate.

For fuck's sake. Just give everybody super powers because I'm sick of geniuses who can build any ridiculous gadget the writer can think of and the artist can draw. That's not how genius and technology works! If it were, my toaster would be a ray gun that transforms into a motorcycle slash dick sucking machine.

Also at the Gala are Renee Montoya and Harvey Bullock. Renee decides she should act like a cop and stop these jokers while Harvey decides they should wait around for Batman, maybe? But Renee pulls two of the craziest revolvers out of her ass and walks right up to the leader of the Victim Syndicate. You know how people do when they're wielding guns because they seem to think they work like knives and should be used by putting yourself within striking distance of the person you're trying to subdue with them.

I meant it literally when I said she pulled them out of her ass. Where else could she have been keeping them? Oh! I know! Her vagina!

Apparently those goofy guns are part of the new technology Luke Fox was trying to sell to the Gotham police at this gala. So this is actually some kind of Tupperware Party for weapons? That means Renee must have scooped up the display models. No way those will actually fire, right? If they do then I've got to think Luke Fox staged this attack to sell more guns! Of course he'd want to put Batman out of business. Batman doesn't buy his weapons from anywhere but Wayne Enterprises! Foxtech's only way to compete is to convince the police force that they need new fancy weapons like Batman's!

Batman arrives but finds he can't punch the leader of the Victim Syndicate. That's the guy's genius idea to defeating Batman. He created a suit that keeps Batman from punching him and, thus, Batman can't win! Because how does Batman defeat somebody he can't punch? I mean aside from the way he defeated Hugo Strange two issues ago when he couldn't punch him. Never mind that. Forget that story. This is new and interesting and not recycled from a story two months ago!

The leader of the Victim Syndicate introduces two of his cohorts, Mr. Noxious and The Mute. Mr. Noxious makes people sick by calling them gross and disgusting. And The Mute makes everybody shut up and listen. I'm starting to suspect that the leader's name might be Tumblr. Although I hope it's just Mister Victim! The Blame would also be acceptable!

Oh! I know who the leader is! It's Councilwoman Alderman from Marv Wolman's 80s New Teen Titans!

The two other people who remember Councilwoman Alderman will probably agree with me!

Batman decides that The Blame's deal isn't to his liking so he punches The Blame in the face instead. I'm not sure that was the best response. I mean, The Blame did challenge Batman to punch him by telling Batman that Batman would never be able to punch him! But The Blame also basically said that punching was all Batman could do, so does Batman really want to prove The Blame right? Also, The Blame's unpunchable suit was taken offline by Batwing because remember how Batwing can do fucking anything because he's so Goddamned smart? I can't wait until he's removed from the DCU by Doctor Oz(yman(hattan)dias) too!

I suppose if I had to choose between Tim Drake and Luke Fox, I'll take Luke Fox every day of the week except Friday which is a day I refuse to make any decisions. But it's a little bit annoying that Tim Drake can be replaced so easily. I'm pretty sure Luke Fox could die horribly on the next page and Batman could still fill the position on his squad of Young Technological Genius. Just using characters currently in this story, he could still fill the slot with Harper Row!

Batman takes a huge gamble knocking out The Blame. After all, he did see how Mr. Noxious filled Spoiler with poison in the space of a few seconds seemingly by thought alone. Should he really risk the lives of everybody in the room? Oh wait! It's Batman! He probably instantly figured out how Mr. Noxious's powers work and then pulled some kind of gadget out of his bat-belt which negated them. Or he instantly threw dozens of tiny Batarangs with vaccines in them that inoculated everybody in the room against every disease known to the medical community! That one sounds like the most implausible and the coolest, so that's probably what he did.

The Orphan kicks Mr. Noxious in the back of the head, causing him to faceplant into the floor and probably lose most of his front teeth. Now he'll be an even better poster boy for the Victim Syndicate! "'Batman musht be shtopped!' says Mr. Baby Talk Noxious! Join the Revolution today!"

Even if she did talk, how is The Mute's muting power supposed to help in a physical confrontation?!

The short woman in the sunhat on the Victim Syndicate is named Mudface. Apparently Clayface ruined her life and she thought, "I know! I'll take on a name similar to his but worse!"

The Blame reveals that he or she was the first innocent victim whose life Batman ruined. So I guess The Blame actually goes by the name The First Victim? Is this that author who was dying of cancer who blamed the Justice League for the death of his family who died in Darkseid's attack? Or maybe it's the kid who was turned into Magog by Circe because he blamed heroes for not saving his family? I suppose it could also be Glorious Godfrey! I suppose it could also be Dick Grayson, right?

Edwina Hypodermic Needle Hands paralyzes Batman by injecting him with something that Batman isn't immune to for some reason. I thought he always planned ahead! At least it doesn't paralyze his diaphragm so that he suffocates standing in the middle of the room unable to move. Although how is he still standing if he's unable to move? I guess it's the rigid Bat-armor! After injecting Batman, Edwina Hypodermic Needle Hands has another trick up her wrist gadget!

How does Edwina know what the police are feeling?

Does it really make sense that Luke Fox littered the gala with operable versions of his new technology? Isn't that something that should have been tested in the safety and privacy of a police training center? And anyway, who cares if the police begin shooting the guns off like crazy people?! They're non-lethal technology, right? That's the whole point!

So the next page confirms that the police shot up the place like lunatics simply because they suddenly had no fear. It's weird because fear usually makes people do stupid things! But in this case, not being afraid made them do something stupid! Nobody is harmed though because Luke Fox's weapons only fired rubber bullets. I guess they can fire real bullets too if needed. They're like Star Trek phasers with different settings.

Later at The Belfry, Luke explains how he thinks the entire night was a win and Batman gets suspicious because the only real winner was Foxtech! They probably just sold a shitload of Smart Guns! Batman probably just heard WayneTech's stock fall through the floor.

Batwoman, Batman, and Batwing discuss the members of the Victim Syndicate so that the next time they appear, I'll know what to call them all. None of the other members of the team are invited to this debrief. I guess it's only for the members with Bat in their names.

The Mute was a victim of The Joker's toxin. So, obviously Batman is to blame. Madame Crow, aka Edwina Hypodermic Needle Hands, was experimented on by The Scarecrow. Again, obviously Batman's fault. Mr. Noxious was poisoned by Poison Ivy. Again, Batman. And Mudface we already know about. All totally Batman's fault for existing. Also totally the writers of Batman's fault for being lazy and writing so many stories where the only reason the criminals were up to no good was to defeat Batman. I've always been vocal about my dislike of superhero stories where the villain's sole purpose is to destroy the hero. It's why I have such a strong dislike of Marv Wolfman's 80s New Teen Titans. But what I hate even more than that are stories like this that are a reaction to that. Now people hurt by villains actually have a reason to blame the heroes because the villains do nothing but try to kill heroes. Heroes in the DC Universe apparently only exist to get beaten up by villains who dislike them for some reason. The reason has long since passed "the hero keeps stopping them from committing crime" because no villain in the DC Universe ever tries to commit crime anymore. They do one of two things: try to kill the hero or try to take over and/or destroy the Omniverse. Nobody robs a fucking bank anymore. Probably because that's boring!

Later, as Leslie Thompkins scolds Batman for putting children in danger but doesn't do anything about it, The First Victim visits Spoiler. I guess Spoiler is about to take on the name The Last Victim!

The Review!
-1 Ranking! I think I made my feelings clear in the commentary section! While I sort of like the vibe of this comic because it just feels like classic Detective Comic stuff, I'm annoyed by the entire premise. Enough with the victims of supervillain attacks becoming supervillains themselves because they blame the heroes. And what that means is enough with DC superheroes only existing to protect themselves from supervillains! They have no purpose and no need to exist if all they are doing is fending off attacks by people who want them dead. They're now in the Second Wave of those attacks where people who almost died because of the people who want the heroes dead now want the heroes dead! It's all getting a bit too meta for me!

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