Monday, February 27, 2017

The Lost Boys #5

There's nothing wrong with being aroused by cleavage even when it's on a vampire being burned at the stake. Especially when!

There are an awful lot of females in a comic book called The Lost Boys. It must be part of the feminist agenda. Since I'm pro-feminist agendas, I don't have a problem with it. I was just pointing out the oddity of it. Don't yell at me!

I'm mostly a feminist because I believe in the Free the Nipple Campaign. Also the equal rights thing.

Why are you still yelling at me?!

In the current political climate where a bunch of stupid old white men are doing seriously dangerous things, I shouldn't be so facetious concerning feminism. What good does it do anybody? The people I agree with (feminists) don't want to read somebody treating feminism as not important and acting like feminists are shrill. It's really the MRA sea lions that are shrill although they do it in their calm "M'lady" voices that are supposed to appear logical and rational but really just expose their seething rage hidden behind their unending attempts to wear down their perceived enemies. I definitely don't want those sea lions thinking I agree with them so that they start clapping their big meaty flippers and barking wildly in agreement. That's kind of a metaphor for their failed lives: agreeing with somebody who doesn't really agree with them while they rant into the void of a world that cannot hold I'll escape now from that world from the world of Jean Valjean there is nowhere I can turn there is no way to go oooooooooooooonnnnnnnnnnnnnn!

I just woke up on the ground in a puddle of drool and blood. I think I hit my head on the coffee table enacting the Javert suicide scene. Pro tip: don't stand on an office chair with casters while singing Les Miserables at the top of your lungs.

I forgot that this story is called "The Lost Girl" which is why there are so many women in it. Although isn't that fucking typical of comic book boy culture? There are multiple lost boys but only one lost girl.

I'm not sure if I haven't been following this series closely enough or if I just don't have enough knowledge of previous Lost Boys stories to comprehend it because I'm sort of lost now too. Maybe that's the only point Tim Seeley has! Write a story which makes the reader feel lost so that the reader connects with everybody in the story who is either a lost girl or a lost boy. Well, Tim, you've succeeded! I'm thoroughly confused!

The Ranking
-1! That negative rating might be more my fault than the fault of the comic book. I just can't be bothered with investing more time into this series to try to figure out exactly what's going on.

Scooby Apocalypse #10

I didn't know they made one piece chain mail tunics for women.

On their podcast, Athletico Mince, Bob Mortimer and Andy Dawson do this thing every episode where they imagine what Steve McClaren has been up to during the week. Since it always makes me laugh, I thought I would try it out myself! But nobody reading my comic book blog would know who Steve McClaren was, so I decided to do one of Cullen Bunn. Apparently Cullen Bunn's jerk friend who always sends anything I write about Cullen Bunn to Cullen Bunn sent the thing I wrote about Cullen Bunn to Cullen Bunn because Cullen Bunn had a reaction to it.

I can't believe I nailed it! I mean, he certainly didn't deny any of it. His wife even Tweeted about how they keep plastic spoons around the house because they don't stick as well. Which, frankly, seems like a huge lie (probably to cover up some sordid conspiracy). I would think the plastic spoons would stick to a penis much better than the metal ones!

I just want to clarify one thing: I don't love Cullen Bunn so much that I hate him. I neither love nor hate Cullen Bunn. What I did hate was Cullen Bunn's writing on Twat Lobo and Aquaman. You know, just to clear things up! I would also like to point out that I never @'d (is that how you say that?!) him via Twitter and only tagged his name on my reviews for archival purposes. I have done the same for many other writers and artists. Occasionally if I say something positive and I also think it's incredibly clever, I'll tag the writer on Twitter so they know I'm available at any Portland Con if they need a little digital and anal manipulation after Con hours. I'm not looking at you at all, Tom King. I'm looking at your cock.

I almost wrote my Steve McClaren bit using Scott Lobdell but at the last second, I thought, "Scott Lobdell never flipped me off via the Internet!"

More clarification! Cullen Bunn had every right to flip me off via the Internet and even in person! I was not kind to his writing. But I assure everybody involved, I would never be not kind to his face. Just ask Scott Lobdell when I had him sign my Big Book of New 52 First Issues! I totally didn't tell him I was saying horrible things about his writing on the Internet!

Hopefully, judging by the tone of Cullen's tweet, he understands that I harbor no ill will to any writers or artists of comic books and he'll apologize to me for writing Twat Lobo.

The Review!
Aha! I knew that chain mail on the cover was historically inaccurate!

Much better!

My knowledge of medieval armor consists mainly of three dozen Red Sonja comic books. But don't think I know better than to trust a single source for my information. I've also researched the topic in the pages of Cerebus where it completely backs up the facts from Red Sonja.

Velma ran away from the Scooby Gang last issue and now she's the warrior queen of Monstrovia. Did I miss issue 9.5?! This must be somebody's wet dream. I have theories about who that somebody is but I'm a little embarrassed about having that dream. So it's, uh, probably Fred.

Oh, before I wrap this up with "Yep! It was just a dream! A really good dream because I got to see so much of Velma's butt and underboob!", I should also mention that Magilla Gorilla makes a cameo.

Definitely a dream. I don't think Velma is actually this fit or well shaven. Don't get me wrong! This Velma is great! But I still prefer the one I had to conjure in my head because she wears about six yards of orange cloth made into a turtleneck. Although I suppose when you wear chain mail against your naked skin, you'll be hairless before long. Ouch!

Yep! It was just a dream!"

"A really good dream because I got to see so much of Velma's butt and underboob!"

The Ranking!
No change! What? You think I'm going to approve of a fill-in issue?! Even with Velma in a chain mail bikini, forget it!

Sunday, February 26, 2017

All Star Batman #7

This series makes me question past me's love of Snyder's New 52 Batman.

• I spent last issue staring at a bartender I had a crush on while Scott Snyder yammered on in my ear about bats and viruses and melting ice and Robert Frost. I hope he didn't realize I wasn't listening. I'm pretty sure I said all the right things at all the right places like "Yeah, yeah. Great poet to choose for a Mr. Freeze story. Frost. Genius!" and "Yeah, yeah. That makes sense since there were like three dozen X-Files episodes about that" and "When are you going to have another idea even half as good as the Court of Owls?" and "Scott? SCOTT! Where are you going?! Don't be mad, bro!"

• What do you think Cullen Bunn is up to right now? I bet he's scuffling around his kitchen in ratty old dandelion yellow slippers wearing an untied robe without anything on underneath. He's probably listening to a Podcast about frogs while pouring himself a bowl of Grapenuts cereal. He carefully measures out four tablespoons of milk to pour on top which is an absurdly small amount for such a tough, dry cereal. Then after sucking the last drops of the milk off the spoon, he glances down at his flaccid wiener and chuckles softly as an idea comes into his head. He takes the spoon out of his mouth and then tries to hang it off the tip of his penis the way people hang spoons on their noses. It stays for a couple of seconds and then clatters to the ground, filling the empty space of the house with the sound of metal on cracked and broken linoleum. From the bedroom, his wife groggily mumbles, "Cull, honey, stop hanging spoons off your dick." Cullen picks up the spoon, wipes it off on his robe, and puts it back in the drawer, picking out a clean one to use for his breakfast. He then walks into the other room to learn about frogs, although how much will he really learn with the podcast playing so low and eating such a crunchy cereal. He'll definitely have to replay it later in the day.

• Instead of beginning with another poem, this issue begins with a terribly written speech by Pamela Isley.

Poison Ivy has the worst romantic anecdotes. "One time I was with my lover and I was all, 'Let's count backwards together!' We both came so hard."

• That speech that makes no sense was written to justify the way this story is being told. It's counting backwards to the beginning! All those other boring writers write stories that go from past to future. But not Scott Snyder! He's an innovative rebel smashing all the rules of linear time!

• 13: Poison Ivy tells some redneck wasteland trader that a word he uses which he never would have used in his life if this weren't a Scott Snyder story ("stigmatize") is "from stigma, a botanical term." I thought it was from "stigma, a Greek word." But who am I to think things? This is a Scott Snyder story! He thinks up the thing he wants to say and then writes the story around that. So he wanted to make a point about stigma because it's a word which was taken from the Greek and used in botany and Snyder thought up a way to make it thematically relevant. Which is why the guy who would never in his life use the word "stigmatize" uses that word.

• 12: Poison Ivy is hanging out in Death Valley because it has the word death in it and the world is dying because of Mr. Freeze's ice bat virus. Also it has the word valley in it which reminds me how much I hate Jean-Paul Valley. She's probably working on a cure for that ice bat virus that ended this imaginary Batman world. Unless this is the real DC Universe. I think after the first story arc of this comic book, editors at DC held a conference and decided to just give Scott Snyder his own little pocket DC Universe to play in so that he doesn't ruin the regular one with his nonsensical stories where Two-Face somehow knows the secrets of everybody in Gotham and everybody in Gotham has such terrible secrets that they decide to hunt down and kill Batman to stop those secrets from being exposed. Also he offered a lot of money to kill Batman, so that probably helped.

• 11: Batman stops by to ask for Poison Ivy's help. Maybe she's working on a cure for something else, possibly the Y chromosome. Maybe the world hasn't ended at all yet and Batman needs a cure before it does. It's hard to tell because that Mr. Freeze story was fucking weird. Batman's appearance is so hot that Snyder counts down extra fast for a bit.

• 10. 9. 8: Batman explains how this story relates to the last story which also relates to the Two-Face story. Well, I'm thankful some editor forced Snyder to put that in because I was pretty confused. Especially since this whole counting backwards thing isn't really changing the linearity of this story. It's just showing the story of the little girl who first caught Mr. Freeze's disease (which Batman will explain in the following scan) from her body being burned backwards to her contracting the disease.

Lilly is into plants just like Poison Ivy. And probably frogs like Cullen Bunn.

• 7. 6: Poison Ivy tells a story about some trees of life which she heard from the mysterious "them." They said some stuff and since they said it, it's totally believable and probably true. I mean, it's definitely true because Poison Ivy has based most of her career around discovering the trees and their secrets. Now some bad men want her scary secrets and Batman wants her curative secrets. But first they have to fight the bad men because there's been way too much science talk and comic book fans are getting bored.

• 5. 4: Batman defends Poison Ivy not because she controls him but because he wants to help her and save a bunch of people. He didn't get controlled by her because he was wearing wax lips. How the hell did Poison Ivy not know she was kissing wax lips?! If the Non-Certified Spouse has even a hint of any kind of lip balm or lipstick on, I can tell. Scott Snyder was probably counting on comic book readers to not know anything about kissing.

• 3. 2. 1: Poison Ivy gives Batman the cure and he saves the world. Or maybe he doesn't save the world yet. Maybe he needs the Mad Hatter's help for the next part. Whatever happens, Batman will still have to figure out why people are still trying to kill him.

• 0: Apparently "The Cursed Wheel" backup story is still happening. The Riddler is wooing Duke by counting backwards while Duke tries to solve a riddle. But it's actually just Duke messing around in the Bat-Danger Room.

• -1: Since this story is about Duke and nobody has yet given me a reason to give a fuck about Duke, I don't give a fuck about this story. It's like math!

The Ranking!
-2! Ha ha! See what I did there?!

Saturday, February 25, 2017

The Fall and Rise of Captain Atom #2

"I've got it!" screams the mistaken artist believing he's come up with a dramatic comic book cover.

Imagine, if you will (because it's not hard. Just fucking go along with this. Stop being so stubborn), driving through the American Southwest in the 1950s. You've got the top down in your huge steel car that steers like a child's spring-loaded rocking horse and is painted the colors of a football team that hasn't won a homecoming in twenty years and whose mascot is a fish nobody has ever heard of. Don't try too hard to figure out what that reference might be because it isn't a reference. It's just a colorful turn of phrase to get your imagination going but in a way that isn't directing it too narrowly. You're free to imagine your own world, baby!

Dammit. Stop interrupting. Now I need to start again.

Imagine, if you will, driving through the American Southwest in the 1950s with that car and stuff. The stifling wind blows back your hair and tastes slightly of electricity and cancer. You've passed through half a dozen small two gas pump towns where old fellas greet you at the pump and their wives greet you inside at the register. Too many stray dogs to count have sniffed at the cuffs of your pants or the hem of your long skirt, depending on what you've decided to be wearing in the fantasy. Maybe you're naked. What do I care?

Are you still imagining? Okay good! You're getting a bit weary from the road (unless you're just dizzy from the radiation in the atmosphere) and you see a town up ahead in the distance. It'll probably have a small motel where you can unwind by masturbating frantically in the shower as you wash the dirt of the road and the gamma rays of the air from your tangled hair. But what you don't know is that this town hides a secret. You might be too self-involved when you arrive to notice how it's different from other communities. Like antelope at a watering hole, the residents glance furtively about them without even realizing they're doing it. They're kinder than the people you've met previously who have been far kinder than the people you left behind in the big city you're imagining you came from. If you imagined you're from a smaller place, fix that! That's a part of the fantasy that you don't get to control, jerko!

You pull into the motel parking lot (The Setting Sun Inn) and laugh audibly. Not the kind of laugh you'd emit upon hearing a neighbor's anecdote about somebody at work making a huge fool of themselves but a kind of relieved chuckle. So many motels along this stretch have entered the atomic age by cutely referencing the testing of nuclear weapons that it's a slight comfort to be staying in one that decided to keep the old fashioned charm of a name that represents the end of a long, weary day and the promise of a restful night's sleep. Of course you only feel that way because you don't yet know this town's secret.

Perhaps you get lucky and your rest is fulfilling and peaceful. You wake, masturbate again, grab a quick breakfast at the diner across the parking lot (Also The Setting Sun but a Diner instead of an Inn. You might remember later how you thought it should be The Rising Sun Diner as you strode across the already too hot asphalt on your way to grab some hash browns and gravy), and drive out of town without ever learning why the town was different from any other town you've driven through on your journey. You eventually make it to wherever you were headed for whatever reasons spurred you on to that destiny. Hope for a better life on the West Coast? A chance at romance? Running from the bodies you buried in the crawl space under your neighbor's house. Who knows! None of that is pertinent to this fantasy.

But in the end, you aren't lucky. Because if you were lucky, I would end this fantasy and you would be sitting there thinking, "What the fuck was the secret?! The secret, goddammit! What was it?! You can't end your story like that!" So even though the secret might not be pleasant and most likely will end in the death of the main character (which is you, remember), you can't bear to not know it. You would sacrifice the safety and happiness of your alternate timeline self simply to satiate your curiosity. What a fucking bastard.

So instead of having a restful sleep, the clerk at the front desk grabs your wrist as she hands you the key to your room. She still smiles at you but there's an urgency in her grasp and you feel her desperate need to articulate something to this stranger who thinks they're just passing through. And, again, you might be one of those. But the clerk feels she can't take that chance. She's been complicit in the death of too many strangers who weren't let in on the town's secret. Her fingernails begin to dig into your wrist and you pull back, maybe a bit too frantically. She's caught you by surprise and your heart rate skyrockets. For the first time since you've entered this town, somebody's smile falters. Her lips tremble and her eyes go glassy and distant. "Don't stay," she croaks in a voice straining to not break into a sob. You almost bolt out of the front office but that curiosity that resides in your actual chest also lives in the chest of your alternate persona in this story. You have to know. What's going on. Why should you leave? So you ask.


But before the clerk (Ms. Waverly. Her name was Ms. Waverly. The black and gold nameplate near the little bell read Ms. Waverly) can answer, the air around her shimmers. You hear a muffled roar that seems to echo down from above as if you were at the bottom of a deep canyon and somebody was yelling from the top of the cliff's edge. The air around Ms. Waverly streaks red and black and shimmers like the air over a desert road. A blast of warm air punches your hair back and stings your face. It only takes a second or two but in the end, Ms. Waverly is gone. The shock of the incident keeps you from noticing, at least for a few seconds, an intense pain in your right foot. You were standing back on your left heel and your right foot was still stretched out ahead of you, where you were standing when Ms. Waverly grabbed your wrist. You look down and notice blood gushing out of the front of your shoe. Not the front, exactly, but what is now the front after having lost about an inch of the toe. Your big toe has been sheered in half, and maybe the tips of several others. If you hadn't fallen back violently when Ms. Waverly grabbed you, what happened to your right foot might have happened to the rest of your body.

You stumble out the door away from the incomprehensibility of whatever the hell that was. You run, limping heavily, toward the diner across the parking lot where two old men sit smoking on a bench outside. Their eyes open wide with fear as you stumble toward them and they do that thing you noticed earlier...that bit where they glance back and forth quickly and tense up, like rabbits having seen the shadow of a hawk. They know you've seen it. Their secret. You don't yet understand it and maybe that's a good thing. But, once again, you have to know. What just happened in front of your eyes? What took your big toe?

"Ms. Waverly!" you stammer. "She just...she...she's gone!" One old man stands up and puts an arm on your shoulder.

"Come on, kid," he says, possibly saying son or daughter, depending on your vision of yourself and how you present yourself to the world. "Take a seat. You're still here, by God. You'll be okay." You slump onto the bench next to the other old timer who nervously chews on the end of an unlit cigar.

"A mighty shame," he states, unemotionally and with a voice like irradiated gravel blown across the potholed asphalt of a long Southwest road. Your breaths come hard and fast and you feel like passing out. The first man, the one who stood at your approach, kneels down in front of you and begins removing your shoe. He pulls a handkerchief out of his back pocket and wraps it around your bleeding foot. The other man pats your knee and gently takes your hand in his surprisingly smooth grip.

You win the fight to stay conscious because you have to ask: "What was it? What did I see?" The old man tending to your foot looks up at you, makes eye contact, then looks over at his friend. You glance over at his friend and see him biting his lower lip, the cigar now in his free hand. He begins to speak in that voice which reminds you of a motorcycle throttling low.

"Imagine, if you will, an ocean. In that ocean float millions and millions of plankton. What they know, who can say? They're just little creatures and their entire world is simply drifting en masse towards whatever destiny has in store for them. For what is an inconceivably small fraction of them, being that whales are so large and eat so many at a time, death awaits. There one moment. Peaceful, tranquil...or whatever the feeling of just being is to a goddamned plankton. And just gone the next. Imperceptible to the others, really. The whale is on a scale so large that the plankton, if they were sentient, couldn't articulate what was happening. They couldn't know the scale of the world they lived in. Imagine only knowing a world of plankton. And imagine you're the plankton at the top of the plankton food chain. What do you have to fear? You eat them little veggie bastards getting their energy from the sun. You have nothing to fear. Except...there's this thing that happens. This thing where your mates just up and disappear for no reason at all. Just huge swaths of them...gone."

Your foot is throbbing but your heart has stopped racing. The old man's story has distracted you from the terrible sight you saw earlier, even as his story offers a vague kind of explanation for what you saw. He's telling you the town's secret the only way he knows how. By parable. Because what you've quickly understood from the story is that the people of the town are not, like they thought, at the top of the food chain yet have no concept of what terrible whale engulfs them one at a time. The only evidence? The occasional organic matter that comes slightly too close to the feeding but not close enough to be consumed.

These men have obviously told this story before. They recognize the moment you understand what they're saying, and they grow quiet. You want to know why they don't leave. You want to know how they have survived to the age they are. You want to know how they live with this terrible knowledge that their lives aren't in any way under their own control. But what you don't want to know is the real secret they have yet to tell you. It's the secret they keep to themselves, and it's the secret they won't pass on to you as you race out of town in the middle of the night. Why burden a stranger passing through with the truth, one of them will say to the other long after you've fled. Why let them know that this creature...these creatures, for surely the laws of nature work the same on whatever plane this predator exists...doesn't merely hunt in this one small irradiated town in the American Southwest. They feed across the world.

The old man with the cigar pulls another from his shirt pocket as he watches the dust roil around your car as you back out of the parking lot across the way. He hands it to his friend and they light their cigars together as they watch your taillights disappear down the perfectly straight highway that connects their little town to the rest of the world. They inhale deeply and, as they do, they shift their glances quickly to the right and to the left, unconsciously, and constantly, keeping an eye out for something they'll almost certainly never see coming.

The Review!
• This issue is called "Past Imperfect" and can I get a fucking memo passed around every comic book office across the world that reads: "NO MORE FUCKING VERB TENSE PUN TITLES!" How many fucking stories are there now called "Past Imperfect" or "Present Perfect" or "Past Perfect Continuous." Okay, that last one doesn't really work. But enough already!

• Captain Atom went back in time to 1994 last issue. This issue begins in 1997 so I guess Zero Year wasn't a big deal. Especially considering there were no superheroes. Yes, Captain Atom points out that in 1997, there are no superheroes. So now that's fucking continuity. Have fun fucking that one up, future writers who wind up mentioning somebody doing superheroics twenty years in the past! I mean, Superboy must have been around doing some shit, right?

• Captain Atom is 27 years old in 1997. So I guess he's going to be doing some more time travel soon since there's no way DC Comics is going to have a forty-seven year old hero in the current DC Universe. Hopefully Captain Atom will still fuck things up so badly that the DC Universe's old continuities will somehow fold over onto the current one and they'll all, somehow, coexist.

• Captain Atom goes about his life, dating and working and pretending to write science fiction so he can learn about time travel from professors of physics who only have speculative and theoretical ideas on how it works and so can't really help him out. Not that he really wants help. He just wants somebody to basically say, "You know what? It's okay to enjoy yourself without fear of fucking up the future. You deserve it, man!"

• In the year 2000, Captain Atom's wife Takara becomes pregnant. Okay. So that would make a seventeen year old new Captain Atom. Got it! I can probably wrap up the review on this entire series now, right?

• On his way home from being tested, Captain Atom is shot by some carjackers. The bullets force his body to go critical (since he still has quantum traces of his powers inside him or some other technobabble bullshit). And since Captain Atom never existed in the year 2000, he's sent back through time! He winds up back in 2017. I think. There are clouds over his head that read, "Give to 2017 super hero fund." So, you know, I guess that's a clue?

The Ranking!
No change! Next issue, Captain Atom probably meets his son! I hope they don't have sex. That would probably cause a time paradox.

Shade the Changing Girl #5

Make your own damn bird joke.

The Review!
-1. If I wasn't so enamored with the original Shade the Changing Man, I would probably drop this book. I don't have anything clever to say about it because I've already forgotten everything that was in it this issue. Even the trip to the zoo! And the return of Megan from the Madness Zone. Those parts of the story were so uninspiring that they just didn't stick in my brain and now I don't remember them. Hopefully this review was helpful because it certainly wasn't entertaining (which is backwards from the usual way I write these things: entertaining but not helpful at all).

The Flintstones #8

Are those the only options? What about Slackers?

• The first vignette (that's a little vig. Unless it's a female vig) is about how women do work that's unappreciated while men do work that is over-appreciated. That's because men need all of that appreciation due to their tiny penises having caused serious ego problems as they grew to adulthood. This causes them to need more appreciation for the slightest of accomplishments. Women are just used to getting shit done because men are oblivious dickfarts who can't even be bothered to notice when a female they see every single day changes up her look. I mean, he'll probably eventually notice which is pretty good for a man. But don't expect him to notice immediately! If it doesn't make their dick move, it can't really penetrate the thought centers of the brain.

• If you're a guy with low self-esteem (probably due to your micro-penis (which I'm not making fun of! I'm just pointing out how that condition can cause a lot of psychological trauma to a male individual (or so I've heard from a friend!))), that previous bullet point was probably pretty sexist. But if you're a guy who gets laid all of the time because you're a super famous comic book blogger (or some other thing that is so hot women's panties fall off around you all the time (or men's panties! I don't want to seem homophobic as well as sexist right out of the gate! I need to lure you deep into my web before I reveal all of my flaws)), you probably read that first bullet point and thought, "Ha! Some guys have small penises."

• Oh, also the first vignette (that sounds delicious, right?) shows how smart women are and how totally bro guys are. You know what I mean by bro. Fucking bros are ruining this world! Go read a fucking book, bros! I mean a real book like Catch-22 or something by that Kurt Funnygut guy! Harry Potter might be an entertaining read with some inspiring messages (Or not. Who can tell? I haven't read it!) but you bros need to read something more substantial. Maybe when the ping pong ball lands in the plastic cup full of beer, how about you have to read a book instead of getting so drunk you do a bunch of stupid shit that completely embarrasses your mother (she doesn't need to know exactly what you've done but, you know, she knows).

• Betty and Wilma are ditching Fred and Barney to go visit Wilma's mother at her farm. Hopefully the farm is in a sunny place which will cause Betty to invent the bikinirock.

• Steve Pugh is back on art duties this month so I'm super happy. Not boner happy! I mean, I will be if that bikinirock thing happens. But I'm just aesthetically pleased (is a person who appreciates aesthetics an aesthlete?) because the faces of Pugh's characters are fucking great. That's as descriptive as I can get because I'm not J.R.R. Tolkien. I don't have the patience to write five pages of flowery nonsense to describe a hobbit's bunion caused by walking halfway across the world. Would it have killed Gandalf to learn the teleport spell?

There's more social commentary in this one sign than in the entire run of most comic books.

• In Bedrock! Twist! Twist!

• In school, Pebbles and Bamm Bamm learn about economics. Apparently it's a scam. Fucking Adam Smith! I knew he was a huge asshole! I'm taking my econ paper from twenty years ago where I said just that back to my professor and demanding he change the F to an A! I have a Flintstones comic book to back me up! Take that, Mr. Whaler!

• In the realm of politics, Clod the Mayor wants to go to war against the lizard people. Damn right! Fucking lizard people. But he doesn't have enough money in the budget. Nobody in the government has the foresight to see the kinds of problems these lizard people are going to cause if they go unchecked. Fuckers will rule the world one day! And for want of a few extra dollars, Clod could have destroyed them centuries ago!

• To get some support for the Lizard People War, Clod hires celebrity Stony Danza to do some Pro-Lizard People war commercials. You remember Stony Danza! Star of Who's the Mastodon? and Taxi (But A Dinosaur Taxi and Not a Car Taxi).

• At the farm, Wilma has some cathartic discussions with her mother and Betty never even contemplates the bikinirock. My boner is so sad.

Are you trying to make me angry, Flintstones comic book?!

• At the Town Hall meeting to discuss closing down the children's hospital so Clod can afford his war, Fred makes an impassioned plea to the men to get them to understand that one of their most critical roles is protecting the children. Since most men are stupid, they take his speech as being a clear reason for destroying the Lizard People. Got to keep those kids safe!

• Betty and Wilma return from the farm and there's a lesson learned or something. I can't really parse the emotional messages!

The Ranking!
+1! Look at that! A positive ranking even though Betty never got into a bikinirock! That proves this comic book is special!

Friday, February 24, 2017

Kamandi Challenge #2

I solved the mystery! Kamandi is actually David Lee Roth!

• The cliffhanger at the end of the last issue involved the stupid Tiger-Men deciding to set off a nuclear missile so they could absorb all of its power. Why would a race of tigers need a radioactive source to become more powerful? They're tigers! Just suck on each other's dicks and you'll be more powerful than they could ever imagine. And their boners will be so hard! It's like a positive feedback loop!

• Okay, so I guess I need to take a crack at solving the cliffhanger first. Kamandi has five minutes to disarm the nuclear bomb or everybody is going to die. He doesn't have the knowledge to disarm a bomb so he'll have to use all the tools at hand. One of those tools is Doctor Canus's erect dick slathered in peanut butter. Kamandi will probably suck him off and catch the load in his mouth. Then he'll run over to the timer on the missile and snowball the fuck out of it. Doctor Canus's semen, still sticky from the peanut butter and highly acidic from all the pineapple pizzas he eats, will adhere to the mechanism and short it out. Everybody will be safe! But Caesar will be upset that Kamandi ruined the ritual, so he'll probably throw him back in the arena. Or maybe he'll say to his son Tuftan, "Haven't you always wanted a pet that sucks dick? Take him!"

How does Doctor Canus get any sciencing done when he's constantly trying to buttfuck everything that moves?

• My second theory about how Kamandi solves the cliffhanger was that he'd simply run away and let the tigers die in the blast. But then I thought, "How far can he really run away? He'd be dead too! I know this is a comic book but that's so illogical!" By the third page of this issue, it seems Tomasi has opted for the Kamandi runs for his life solution. It seems a little bit like a cheat but at least it wipes out a lot of characters that don't matter. Just have Doctor Canus and Tuftan survive and call it good. Even Caesar doesn't have to live!

• Tuftan catches Kamandi before he can get away and drags him back to the missile. All of the idiot tigers stand around anticipating the moment the bomb blows so they can all scream "It's greeeeeeeaaaaaat!" together in a fiery, apocalyptic ending.

"I'll never even get to kiss a girl who isn't a robot or my grandmother!"

• It looks like Peter J. Tomasi is choosing the easiest way out of this cliffhanger: the bomb's a dud! I feel so cheated! Hopefully Dan Abnett, in his brief at the end where he explains how he would have solved the cliffhanger, uses the dog semen trick.

• Instead of blowing up, a sentient ape double fisting pistols pops out of the top of the missile. It was a Trojan Missile! And those stupid tigers fell for it! Although the ape is even dumber since his plan relied on the tigers setting off the bomb to free him so he could kill them. He could have just let them have a real bomb, I suppose.

• More apes descend on the city so Kamandi uses the chaos to steal his shit back from Doctor Peanut Butter Dick. He then rushes off to the Museum of War to find a weapon. Or to be killed by Jackdaws.

• I still don't know what the mystery is that I'm supposed to be solving before they do!

• The Jackdaws pick up some of the ancient artifacts housed in the museum to help fight the apes. The relics are all weapons of DC superheroes! I wonder if Cheeks the Toy Wonder is in the museum somewhere.

• Crashing down through the floor and into the Basement of Forbidden Jack Kirby Objects, Kamandi discovers Metron's Chair underneath an old tarp. I guess the cliffhanger will be how quickly Kamandi's head explodes after sitting in the chair.

• Doctor Canus and Prince Fuzzy-pants show up just in time to see Kamandi hop in Metron's Chair. They chase after him to try to stop him before the chair disappears. And even though Kamandi has been trying to get away from these guys, he decides to reach out, grab them, and pull them along for the ride. The chair takes off and I start singing, "All my life I've wanted to fly like the birds that you see way up in the sky! Making circles in the morning sun flying high in the sky til the day is done! I CAN'T BREAK AWAY! Like a child in his fantasy punching holes in the walls of reality! All my life I've wanted to fly but I don't have the wings and I wonder why. I CAN'T BREAK AWAY! I CAN'T BREAK AWAY!"


• I hope Tomasi doesn't think the previous page will be used by the other writers! What writer is going to think, "Oh shit! Tomasi stuck that phrase into that Metron Chair bit that read 'If the Red Riders catch us, we're doomed!' I've got to incorporate that into my story! And remember he had all those comic books appear. What was that about?!" More likely, everybody will go, "Yeah, yeah. Fuck you Tomasi. I'm writing my own shit over here! Stop trying to be cute."

• Kamandi, Doctor Peanut Butter Dick, and Prince Fuzzy-Pants wind up in San Diego. That's where the big Comic Con happens! I bet they run into cosplayers in the Wild Human Reserve.

• Apparently the guards of the Wild Human Reserve are Manhunters. Even though they're called Manhunters, they shoot the dog and the tiger immediately. Then they say their trademark saying, "No man escapes the Manhunters," which alerts Kamandi to the danger he's in (just in case he thought the Manhunters were only interested in not allowing tigers and dogs to escape). So to get away, Kamandi throws himself over a cliff and presumably dies. Unless the next writers, Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner, can think up a way to keep Kamandi from dying! I just don't see how they can. He's as good as dead!

• Finally, each issue includes an essay by the previous writer explaining how they would have solved their cliffhanger. This essay is by Dan Abnett and he describes how he would have had Kamandi survive the nuke. Hopefully he just says, "I was going to kill him. Let's see the next writer get out of that!"

• Dan Abnett's solution would have been to have Kamandi flee while the nuke obliterates Tiger City. I pointed out that was an option but the laziest one of all! At least for coming up with a clever solution. I would have also allowed the bomb to blow because it's a post-apocalyptic world where bad shit happens. But Abnett also solved DiDio's cliffhanger with a lazy solution, so I think Abnett just likes to take the easy way out when writing. That's probably why I'm not reading his Titans book anymore.

The Ranking!
No change! I'm grading this on a curve and Tomasi's solution was less creative than my sticky dog semen solution.

Justice League of America #1

Lobo tries to catch Ryan so he can shove him in his urethra.

• Now that Batman has his own Justice League of B-list heroes (and Lobo!), he gets to make the rules. He was tired of Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern, and Cyborg thinking his rules were just "suggestions." And no, I didn't forget to leave Aquaman off that list. Fuck Aquaman.

• Now that I've said "Fuck Aquaman" (again), I have to wonder if Aquaman wasn't the entire reason Batman moved on to form his own Justice League. As the leader of the Justice League of America, he gets to recruit the members which ensures that no useless, fishy heroes will embarrass and dilute the brand.

• This issue begins with Batman justifying his new League to Vixen. "The Justice League watches from above. That's not good enough anymore. The crime needs to be spotted from below! And at eye level! That means regular people! Common folk, like gays and blacks and women and migrants and super cool bad-ass alien assassins. I'm the only straight white American-born guy on this team so nobody will outshine me!" Vixen listens and channels whatever animal is best at side-eye. Probably a housecat, right?

Stop exaggerating for dramatic effect, Vixen! You know the only people causing problems on the team are Killer Frost and Lobo.

• If I take Vixen's statement literally, I have to assume that The Atom is a homophobe, Vixen is a Hong Konger hater, Killer Frost is racist, Black Canary hates men, and The Ray keeps rubbing his boner on Lobo. Fine, I don't have to assume all of that! But I'd like to.

• Batman is all, "People need to see heroes are human! That's why I created this team!" Then he scoots in front of Lobo and opens his cape wide so Vixen can't see him. "See? Humans!"

• While Batman and Vixen discuss the philosophy of the team, Black Canary and The Ray are rescuing people from a burning building in Vanity, Oregon.

Batman just got done discussing how these heroes are human and here's one of the most human of them jumping out of a second story window clutching two people in her arms. I guess her Canary Cry helps with landing safely?

• Lobo is off on his own rescuing dolphins from magma sea trolls because, as I pointed out in my last review, he loves dolphins. Technically, does this make him the Aquaman of the group? If so, Aquaman should just retire forever.

• Frost and Atom are busy fixing up The Sanctuary in Happy Harbor. They're working on something Ryan terribly named The Troubalert. Get it?!

• While all of that other shit is going on, the team's first main threat appears in Saratoga, New York. And this threat isn't just a bunch of chumps! They took down the Post-Crisis Justice League International! Although, to be fair, a bunch of chumps probably could have taken down the Post-Crisis Justice League International.

The Extremists!

• Lord Havok announces that he and his crew have come to save Earth before it burns like his Earth. Some police immediately pull up, profile them as super-villains, and pull their guns. What kind of a welcome is that? Peace officers, my ass!

• After reading a couple more pages, I should probably apologize to the police officers and my ass. The Extremists idea of "saving the world" seems to be that one where they destroy everything and kill everybody before they can do it to themselves. It's not the greatest interpretation of the definition of the word "save," but at least it makes for an exciting comic book.

Lord Havok isn't saying anything I haven't already said in this blog. It's just that I don't burn down a city every time I publish another blog post.

• Lord Havok and I differ on our reactions to the reality that civilization is constantly just one step away from chaos. He sees it through the eyes of fear, the way a lot of American citizens see it. Too much freedom leads to too many possible chances for bad people to do violent things. I see it through the eyes of a cheerful optimist who thinks, "I could stab my neighbor in the face any time I want but I don't. And even more likely, he won't do it to me. I can live with this agreement."

• The Extremists have decided the only way to save Earth is to rule it themselves. That sounds like maybe they're not really too concerned about the Earth and maybe just a teensy bit more concerned with power.

• Thankfully, the Justice League arrives so I can make a stupid joke!

Especially if they're metric!

• The big fight doesn't start after Vixen has her say. Batman has to mouth off first! He's all, "I'm the Batman!" No wait. He doesn't say that this time. I guess that's too cliché, especially when the bad guy directly asks, "Who are you?" After that, the big fight starts! There are so many different characters that it might last six issues.

• According to the big first panel splash of the battle, Lobo is going against Gorgon. That's the only fight I care about. Hopefully it doesn't take place behind a bar and then Lobo's hand appears to grab a cigar and to indicate who won.

• The fight ends abruptly just as Lord Havok is about to decapitate The Atom. Batman calls a halt to it and trades his life for Ryan's. Not that Batman gets decapitated at the end of this issue. That probably won't happen until the beginning of the next one.

The Ranking!
Plus a jizzillion! That's as many pluses as there are sperm in one spurt of semen. Maybe a few less because Lobo wasn't the focus of this issue. But he was still in it so this is still the best comic book your money can buy. Also, this was one of those issues where the name of the story appears on the last page and I'm glad it did. This story was called "The Extremists" and that would have spoiled the surprise for me when I turned the page to see Lord Havok and the gang standing there.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Detective Comics #950

Great. An extra long comic book. I fucking live for these.

• Being a superhero must be a huge pain in the ass. The older I get, the less time I want to actually spend on maintaining the life support for my brain (you know, my body). Why fucking bother? I mean, except to keep it in good enough shape to keep the life support running longer so the brain can experience years more existential dread and worry. I suppose the eroding of wonder and passion is a necessary evil. If things still ratcheted up my emotions to teenage levels, I'd be fucking exhausted. Plus, life wouldn't be dragging me down more and more every year so that when I'm finally about to take my last breath, I'm more apt to say "Finally. Good riddance!" than "NO! It was too short!"

Who am I kidding? No matter when I die, it's going to have been too short, no matter how fucking miserable I am.

• I think I was about to make a different point in that last bullet point when the specter of my mortality gripped me by the throat with its skeletal hand and whispered...well, I'm not going to tell you what it whispered! It's personal! And terrifying!

• Oh! I remember what I was going to say! I need to exercise! I gained way too much weight after my cat Judas died because I didn't fucking care about anything and now I've got to figure out how to lose it all. But I don't want to spend extra time doing physical things! I walk all the time but apparently not enough to seriously counteract the mournful gluttony I went through for about a year or more. I suppose I could run but I can barely remember the last time I did that! Aside from occasionally sprinting down the driveway after getting the mail barefoot in the rain. Come to think of it, that usually feels exhilarating. Maybe I should do sprints for my exercise regimen?

• The other day, I heard somebody say regiment when they meant regimen.

• This issue is probably too long for me to care about reviewing in bullet points. Just look at the cover with all the names of the artists who worked on this. It's so long that they had to split their time across all those people. And they got paid for it! Yeah, I'm definitely not putting effort into this review. So, you know, it'll be like most of my reviews! But at least that doesn't make my reviews any worse than any of the others on the Internet. Holy shit, people who review comic books are boring assholes.

Well then Christine Montclair is an idiot because she lives in a fucking comic book where all kinds of supernatural things happen on a near constant basis.

• Does anybody remember the haunted Toys "R" Us in Sunnyvale, California? It was on That's Incredible or one of those weird shows of the early 80s. Maybe Ripley's Believe It or Not. But not Real People since that show was about real people and not fake people like ghosts. Anyway, that was the Toys "R" Us where I got all of my Atari cartridges and Star Wars Figures! I never saw the ghost. Probably because (Spoiler Alert!) it wasn't real.

Well, now it's certain she's an idiot. She doesn't even believe in creepy stalkers! Come on, Christine! Smarten up! You live in Gotham! Four out of every five guys are creepy stalkers lurking in the shadows watching young women dance!

• It turns out the creepy stalker is Cassie just trying to learn how to dance. When she's caught by Christine (who still gets to not believe in ghosts and creepy stalkers because Cassie wasn't either. Maybe I'm the idiot!), Cassie doesn't want to scare Christine so she just throws a smoke bomb and runs away. That seemed like a reasonable reaction.

• The Omniscient Narrator (who is rarer than ghosts in DC Comics) turns their attention to Cassie Cain and is all, "Cassie believes in ghosts! Oh, you better believe it! Boy howdy, does she! So real, ghosts are!" And that's the prologue to the prologue!

• James Tynion IV seems to have chosen to use an Omniscient Narrator this issue so that he could write lines like this: "Every gesture, every twitch of muscle in her face, forming words in a sentence that Harper doesn't know she might as well be shouting at her." Pee-yuke! If you want to write Young Adult Literature, write Young Adult Literature, Tynion! This is a comic book! Utilize the medium you're writing in to the best of your ability rather than writing a short story and sticking it in Narration Boxes and letting the art be the sidekick to your masturbatory wordsmithing!

• "Cassandra envies the way the emotions just bleed from her friend's body." Gross! It's like full body menstruation!

• "Even more, the way they can just tumble out of her mouth without effort." So evocative of barfing!

• The conceit here, if I may act like I know how to use the word conceit in a critique of another person's writing, is that Cassie can't articulate what she's feeling. So while her responses are short and clipped, Tynion has decided to contrast her stifled expression with the overly expressive Narration Boxes. They're the things Cassie would say if she could. Although she'd probably fill Harper with revulsion using all those disgusting body function metaphors. But then when you're raised to know only death and killing, what other metaphors are at your disposal?!

• Cassandra is sad that she didn't get to be a regular girl and was instead made to grow up as a weapon of destruction. Bah. First world problems!

• After visiting Harper and finding she cannot express her needs to her, Cassandra seeks out Batman. She defeats a drug ring and saves some children but he does not hug her. Not like the time before. That one time. That time she seeks desperately. Now, he treats her kindly but warily. He sees the potential threat she could be if she lost control, and it hurts her. She cannot express what she needs to Batman, so she moves on.

• Um, anyway, Cassie runs from Bat-family member to Bat-family member thinking, "I wish I could say the things I want to say to them! Boo hoo!" Then she goes home to dance which is the way she shouts back at the city because body language was her first language. On a rooftop across the way, Shiva spies on her and says, "I hear you girl! I'm coming!" Sexy! Also, I didn't know Shiva was that good at reading body language.

• There's a second story but it's about Azrael and I hate Azrael so I'm going to pretend it doesn't exist.

Plus there are Bat-Sentinels in it. I really want to pretend those don't exist.

• At least the Bat-Sentinels were part of the Clayface Danger Room. So it's not like anything was really stolen from the X-men.

• Azrael isn't just a religious nut whose secret identity is basically Cousin Oliver from The Brady Bunch. Apparently, he's also a twelve step junkie. Ugh, I can't stand him! I'm ignoring this story!

• Luke Fox is one of those atheists that people who aren't atheist think all atheists are. He's all, "I need a reason to believe shit! Proof and what not! I am super logical!" But some atheists are just all, "I can live with doubt. I can live with heaps and heaps and heaps of doubt. I don't need to know how the universe began or why people exist. I can live with no meaning. I'm an atheist because even though I don't know even a small percentage of the mystery of everything, I know that God doesn't exist. It doesn't fit anywhere inside the model of life and the universe. It is an outside idea that nobody studying the theory of everything would ever come up with. God is outside the system and thus not an answer as to why the system exists or works. The whole creation has to have a creator argument is legerdemain and misdirection. It's an assumption that our own lives are a reflection of the rest of reality. And it's expressly ignorant of the idea that if something needs to be created then what created God? As soon as you suggest God didn't need to be created, you are allowing that a thing can exist that didn't need to be created (at least in the way our minds can process the idea of creation). And if you can believe that, why can't you believe the universe itself is that thing that didn't need to be created by a creator? I'm really just one step away from agreeing with Creationists."

• As Atheistwing and Friend of Billzrael have their philosophical debate, the Azrael mask watches and learns. Maybe. I don't know. Anyway, the Order of St. Dumas have created a new angel to do their revelatory bidding: Ascalon!

• There's still another story! This one about Batman and Red Robin. Basically it's just Red Robin asking Batman why he's preparing for war and Batman not answering him. Typical!

The Ranking!
+1! Okay, this issue had some good shit in it. I can admit when I was being disingenuous in some of my earlier critiques in the bullet point portion of this review! I mean, can I? Really? I'm always disingenuous in my reviews! I think I'm usually honest about that though, right?

Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #14

People relied too much on hoping things would work out. And guess what? Things didn't!

• This issue begins with Guy Gardner catching Space Cabbie. Did I have a stroke? Am I imagining Pre-Crisis comic books that never actually happened but could have happened? My head has been feeling a little weird today but I chalked it up to having eaten too much carrot cake and not enough of the other stuff. You know the stuff. The stuff that grows out of the ground.

• Based on all the hullabaloo surrounding people's diets in this country (this country being the United States of America, if you couldn't tell by my brash confidence, pockets bulging with probably money, and the constant pretension that my cock is huge (have I not been pretensing that? Sometimes, as a United States Citizen, I forget to keep up with the rules and regulations of being a citizen. It's like never visiting tourist attractions in your home town. Anyway, huge. So large. Like, ten centimeters or something (also as a U.S. Citizen, I don't do the metric system so that measurement might be an exaggeration))), I decided to ask Lord Google about modern cases of scurvy. Apparently they still happen on occasion even though some doctor named Churchill in some Slate article has this advice: "You can have a handful of McDonald’s ketchup packets a day, and that’ll give you enough vitamin C to keep you from contracting scurvy." I knew McDonald's could be healthy!

• At least that solves the mystery of why I don't have scurvy. I put ketchup on everything!

• Guy Gardner is hunting down rogue Sinestro Corps members. Maybe. I don't fucking know! Just read the stupid comic book if you need to know all of the precise details without any of my embellishments and digressions.

• Hal Jordan and Kyle Rayner embark on their own mission to find Hope. Judging by Kyle Rayner's attitude, he's been performing stand-up at open mic nights across the galaxy. Judging by his jokes, he's terrible at it. He may have mastered fear, love, anger, will, hope, compassion, and the other one but he's worse than a beginner at humor.

• Guy Gardner brings Space Cabbie back to Mogo where he tells them everything he's heard from fares about the rogue Sinestro Corps members. John's plan is to round them up and give them a choice: prison or enslavement. I mean, technically it's not enslavement. He calls it redemption. But the option to go to jail or to work with the Green Lantern Corps to protect the universe isn't much of a choice. How long do they have to spend in the Space Corps before they've been redeemed? Can they retire at that point?

• On a lava planet full of dragons (which might be Ysmault), Kyle and Hal discover Saint Walker being devoured by the Misery Mound.

You'll find artists often cover up a character's feet. Not because they can't draw feet. Feet are easy! What's difficult is drawing the full body of a character at the right size on a comic book page, either because it's easy to misjudge how much room you're using when you start drawing the head or because they don't want to bother with horizon and perspective to get the footing correct. There are absolutely no other reasons!

The Ranking!
No change! I guess it's time to get the Emotional Spectrum Machine up and running again. More colors equals more problems! And more problems equals easier to write stories!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Wonder Woman #16

Imagine the chimera. At one point in the ancient world, a goat was bad-ass enough to stick on a lion to make it tougher.

• I bet the legend of the Chimera began when a drunk guy was walking home and he saw a lion off to the side and in the distance behind the lion was a goat so that it looked like the goat's head was sticking out of the back of the lion. Then he told people about the creature and they were all, "Bullshit! Didn't happen. Pics." But instead of admitting he was drunk and maybe he didn't exactly see things clearly, he doubled down on his story and was all, "And there was a snake coming out of its butt! And it breathed fire!" Then everybody was all, "Oh shit. Now that sounds plausible!"

• The Chimera on the cover is totally based on the Dungeons and Dragons Monster Manual Chimera. But the Chimera Wonder Woman wrestles on the first page is the more historically accurate Chimera. What I'm suggesting is that Jenny Frison plays Dungeons and Dragons.

• Veronica and Adrianna of Empire Business and Hand Soap Solutions discuss Wonder Woman and how great or not-so-great she is. Adrianna is all goofy in the pants for her but Veronica remains distant and aloof to the possibility that maybe Wonder Woman is the greatest thing to ever happen to immigration. They're busy working on a thing that will cause Wonder Woman no end of problems in the odd numbered issues. But right now in these even numbered issues, Empire Business and Hand Soap Solutions still don't know how much they despise Wonder Woman or how much the hand soap is hurting the rest of their business.

• Meanwhile in Geneva, Switzercountry, Veronica's daughter, Isadore, meets a couple of men who seem to be the same man. They begin using all the regular chat-up lines on Isadore like "This painting is called 'Kill Your Father' and 'We're twins' and 'Have you ever seen a man's stick this big and fancy?' and also, the best, 'Gaze into my magic gem of secrets!'"

• After her encounter, Isadore loses her face.

This is probably some kind of metaphor for sexism, right?

• The twins who stole Isadore's identity are Phobos and Deimos. Those are the gods of Vietnamese Soup and Gay Gods, respectively. That doesn't explain why they would need the face of a little girl. Maybe I got the translations of their names wrong.

• Phobos and Deimos are, of course, the moons of Mars. Apparently they've taken human form and this is going to wind up being a Martian Manhunter crossover. Maybe they needed the little girl's face so they could build more face art on the surface of Mars.

• The Phobros believe that Empire Business and Hand Soap Solutions can meet their needs. They would like to know the location of Themyscira but they can't seem to find it in Diana's head. So they need Veronica's not-quite-ready-to-go technology. It will probably be ready in about five or six years. Once they get the information, Isadore will be freed from some tartar sauce.

• Adrianna volunteers to hook herself up to the CyberWalker machinery. That probably explains why she's a hologram in the odd numbered issues. Unless they were, at one point, the even numbered issues. It's hard to say since there was that stupid Barbara Minerva Cheetah Origin story smack dab in the middle of everything.

• Being that the technology is in that not-quite-ready-to-go status that I so scientifically detailed earlier, it fails to provide the Phobros with the information they need. But it does manage to kill Adrianna! I mean, trap her mind inside a computer. That's the way things work when you attach brains to machines and then turn switches and run currents and all the other technological stuff that I can't be bothered to explain to dullards. Not that you, the person currently reading this right now, are a dullard! It's all those other people reading this.

The Ranking!
No change! When I was a teenager and way too naive for the age I was, I wished the local zoo had been full of creatures from Dungeons and Dragons. That's not a great chat-up line in junior high. I can only tell you the not great chat-up lines from junior high since I never figured out the successful ones. That's no great surprise though since one time, Marilyn Mendoza, the girl I had a crush on for nearly my entire junior high school life, was writing notes back and forth to me in the library. Her final note to me said, "I love you anyway," and I instantly went into a fugue state. I would explain how Marilyn reacted but, as I pointed out, I went into a fugue state! Totally botched that one!

Deathstork #12

I got the half-finished variant cover!

• I fucking know, Actually Nerd! Shove your actually up your fucking ass!

• This story is called "Twilight" so I'm pretty excited about that. I love vampires. Especially vampires who are super fucking old but look so young that nobody blinks if they go around fucking high school girls. Those vampires are the creepiest kind.

• I wonder if Vampire Tim Drake from the future will appear in this story!

• The issue begins with wheelchair bound Pat (a former Vigilante) being visited by Slade Wilson. He's got a message for Pat: Luis will live! Well, thank somebody for that! The readers were all kinds of worried about what was going to happen to Luis. Maybe not all of the readers. Most of the readers probably thought, "Who the fuck is Luis?", before shrugging their shoulders and turning the page. The other handful of readers knew Luis was Pat's kid who almost got into gang violence because Pat wasn't around to make sure the maid didn't let him get into gang violence. You can bet that maid lost her job!

• After Slade delivers the news, he runs into the wall instead of exiting through the doorway. Pat realizes he's blind and the readers are all, "What the fuck?" At least some of them were! Most of them probably remember how comic books work and just turned the page expecting the story to flash back in time so we could see how Slade lost his eyesight (which is probably temporary because DC Comics doesn't need their own Daredevil knock-off. Especially when that knock-off is the knock-offer of Deadpool. That's just making things way too complicated).

• Jeromy Cox did the colors on this issue so I expect a bunch of poorly colored flags.

• Just kidding, Jeromy! Ha ha! We have so much fun, right?! Hey, did you ever color any of Cullen Bunn's stuff? He's a big jerk, right? Let's get the gossip!

• The first page of the comic is always wasted. It's like dipping your toe in the bath before getting in so you don't burn off your genitals. Now that I've gotten a feel for the temperature of the comic book with the bit showing Slade run into a wall (although why would he do that? His reflexes and senses should be honed to such a super degree that he'd never walk into anything while blind! He must have done it on purpose so Pat would sympathize with him), I can dunk my bag right into the thick of this story.

• Deathstork is breaking out of the Coast Guard's Supermax prison in Florence, Colorado. That sounds like a made up place. I've never heard of a Florence in Colorado before! And if I haven't heard of it, I'm pretty sure it doesn't exist. That's just simple philosophy!

• Deathstork wasn't the brains behind the escape. That would be The Red Lion. I once went to a high school party at a Red Lion Inn. My friend Aaron and I wound up dropping all the little glass crystals that hung on the bedside lamp out the sixth story window and into the parking lot. That wasn't one of those stories where I'm bragging about my youthful experiences. If I were going to tell those kinds of stories, they would be filled with sex with lots of hot sexpots who were so totally into sex that we would sex all over the places people have sex. A lot. No, that was just one of those stories which are an example of why minors should never be tried in court as adults. The person I was at seventeen shares a lot of similarities with who I am now. But I would fucking beat that kid for shit he did that was way worse than vandalizing the Red Lion Inn. Young people do stupid shit and they shouldn't have their lives ruined forever because of it. And, yes, I even think that if they've ruined somebody else's life. Punishment without the possibility of redemption is simply cruel vengeance.

• Although I'd probably change my mind if some assfuck teenager maliciously killed a pet of mine. Then I would wreck that person so hard, they'd feel my wrath twenty generations down the line.

• What I'm saying is, I don't know everything! Maybe not even anything, really! But at least I know the colors of the stripes on the United States flag! Ha ha! Just kidding, Jeromy, buddy!

• Meanwhile in Minneapolis, Hosun (Slade's ex-dispatch guy) confronts Rose so that they can explicate some of the more confusing parts of the plot so far. I was going to scan that page so that I'd have all of the pertinent information in case I was confused by the story later, but then I turned the page and thought, "I should scan that!"

Slade loves staring at his grown kids in post-coital slumber.

• In Joseph's scene, the readers learn Joseph needs to rush his marriage because that should cure his gay headaches.

• Slade returns to Florence to interrogate Dex, the man who interrogated him when he was thrown in the supermax. Slade wants to know who else was freed from the supermax when he was because he figures Red Lion was just using Deathstork as cover. It turns out Raptor was currently in the supermax too! And now he's gone! Hooray! I hope he's talking to an agent about getting a biweekly anti-hero series of his own. At least his would come with a catchy theme song.

• Slade realizes Raptor and Red Lion are off to steal an aircraft carrier in dock ready to be turned into a casino. Red Lion needs it to get his country back. Slade might not care about all that anymore since nobody is paying him. But he needs to stop Raptor for another reason: Raptor took Deathstork's Ikon suit from the prison and painted a hawk on the front. Right over the dildo!

The Ranking!
No change. A good portion of this story feels like a not too intelligent editor read the previous eleven issues and said to Priest, "Dafuq?" So then Priest was told to write this issue and have a bunch of the characters explain what actually happened in the previous eleven. It still told its own story and moved a bunch of plots forward but the amount of exposition and explication in this one probably quadrupled what came in the previous ten issues.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Suicide Squad #11

So nobody else is going to do it? It's up to me to tell John Romita Jr that he is a terrible artist? Fine.

• I was so happy when I realized John Romita Jr. wasn't on All Star Batman anymore that I forgot that would free him up to shit all over a different comic book. I guess Jim Lee finally remembered that art deadlines were a pain in the ass and he just went back to doing whatever the hell other crap he does at DC Comics. His main job right now is probably telling Warren Ellis all about how he has to hit his monthly deadline on The Wild Storm, the hypocrite.

• Based on the first page with Amanda Waller sitting in the shadows and drinking scotch, I'm going to theorize that John Romita Jr. does not know how to draw fat people. Which means Amanda gets to be skinny again, I guess. That's probably easier than somebody having to say to Romita, "I read your father's comics. I jerked off over his art. I played that stupid Scott Adams Incredible Hulk adventure game for his art. Johnny boy, you're no John Romita Sr!" I'm sure if anybody criticizes Romita's art, even if they're paying him and have a right to, he probably just mutters, "I fucking did Kick Ass. KICK ASS, MOTHERFUCKER! I don't need this shit!" Then enraged, he probably scribbles all over the art he was working on and the person criticizing him glances at it and thinks, "Hmm, better!"

• Suddenly Amanda Waller is really into chess analogies. Does she know she doesn't work for Checkmate?

• Apparently, Justice League vs. Suicide Squad isn't over. Now the Suicide Squad has to deal with an angry Rustam looking to get even with the Suicide Squad. That's disappointing. This was one of the few books that consistently had the team actively pursuing an agenda instead of just falling back on their heels and defending themselves from an outside attack. Although, in the end, don't all of these Suicide Squad stories simply amount to Amanda Waller manipulating a bunch of people to pursue her own needs? Like now! She'll use the Squad to protect her from Rustam.

• The Squad is currently in Tibet pursuing one of those agendas I mentioned they're constantly pursuing. I can't think of any reason they'd be in Tibet. Maybe they need Yak fur?

Why work on an interesting or convoluted plot when you can just break it down into its simplest component parts? Killing people for freedom! America!

• Look at Deadshot in that above panel. How the hell does he see out of the scope on that mask? Who has eyes placed that far on the outside of their face?! Has John Romita Jr. ever actually seen the face of a person?

• Everybody's costume is different. The pretend reason is that they're all wearing their Tibetan Attack Action Figure outfits. The real reason is almost certainly that John Romita Jr. decided he didn't need any reference pictures and maybe even threatened to quit if the editor didn't stop criticizing his work.

• As the Suicide Squad begins killing the bad guy bastards, one of them yells, "They've found us! Wipe the hard drive! Do it now!" I guess they're busting a Tibetan child pornography ring.

• Nobody is close enough to the computer to wipe the files. Seems like a mistake since yelling "They've found us!" suggests they knew somebody was looking for them. Luckily, the computer was built with a "Delete Hard drive?" section with two big buttons, Y and N. Although why would you need the N? The question and buttons would still be there waiting for somebody to press the Y! Unluckily, the guy trying to wipe the hard drive knows too much about the Suicide Squad for his own good.

I don't think the whole Task Force X philosophy is working. Everybody knows they work for the United States government. And even if they can't prove it, the results of Squad missions always seem to be advantageous to the United States.

• Harcourt is currently in charge of the Squad because Romita can't draw fat people.

• I don't know what has happened to Rob Williams but he's decided the Suicide Squad is a farce. Killer Croc is shyly admitting his love to Enchantress. Enchantress is spouting over-the-top semi-intelligent death metal lyrics. The souls in Katana's sword are dying to go shopping. And Harley is still acting in that trying too hard whimsical way to show that her insanity places her outside of fear. I don't mind if the Suicide Squad becomes a dark comedy. But this writing with the tongue firmly in the cheek is as terrible as Harley's solo comic book. I love a comic book that makes me laugh. But I abhor a comic book that tries to make me laugh and doesn't even come close.

• Meanwhile, Rustam blows one wall on Blackgate Penitentiary and all of the criminals go free. Serves Blackgate right for letting all of the inmates hang out in the outer courtyard of the prison at night.

• Even though Jim Lee isn't currently doing the art on this book, it's still split into two stories. The next story gets to focus more on Amanda Waller because Eddy Barrows is doing the pencils and he can sort of draw a slightly larger than skinny woman.

• The second story begins with Amanda telling her sad story to General Zod. Zod, for some reason, has been removed from his Phantom Zone Sphere. There will probably be plot reasons later that necessitated this change.

• This second story takes place after the first one. The Squad has been given a night off and they're spending it in New Orleans. Amanda decides to go join them.

"Been sat here." Rob Williams just outed himself as a Brit! Not that he was probably trying to hide it. But Flag would never say "been sat here"!

• Waller takes a walk down a dark alley and gets shot by some guy wielding two pistols. I guess she just got killed by Grifter. Does he still exist in this universe? Bah, it was probably somebody else. So I guess she's dead now. She totally seems like a good candidate for the first character to die and stay dead in the Suicide Squad. No tricks here!

The Ranking!
-1! The writing was not enjoyable and the art was terrible.

Action Comics #973

Is he a pervy stalker with severe anger issues?

• Superman discovers that his Fortress of Solitude (the new one in the Himalayas and not the old one in the Arctic. Or was it Antarctica? You know what? For awhile there, it was both because a lot of the New 52 writers were stupid) has been breached! I also could have used the word probed there because his Fortress looks like a huge butthole in the side of a mountain. I'm feeling a little bit like DC Comics'd me.

• When did Patrick Zircher begin going by "Patch"? If my name were Patrick and somebody tried to nickname me "Patch," I would be on death row right now.

Move aside, World's Greatest Detective! There's a new challenger in town!

• While searching for the intruder, Superman passes through his illegal prison. Inside are Blanque, The Shaggy Man (who he must have rescued from floating in space), and some super hot woman posing in a window. There are several others but Patch and Steve-o were too lazy to draw any details. Superman's ability to imprison dangerous criminals without any due process has always troubled me. Not a lot! But it just doesn't jibe with his supposed super-ethics. I guess in the same way he learns to control his super-hearing so that it doesn't drive him crazy, he's also able to manifest a certain amount of denial to help keep the world safe. Throwing people into The Phantom Zone and locking them up in his private prison seem like greater good choices. But they also seem like the actions of a man who doesn't really believe humans are capable of handling their own problems.

• Has Superman ever been sued by somebody who escaped The Phantom Zone? That seems like it could have been the plot for one of the 80s Superman movie sequels.

• The person who broke into his Fortress of Ancillary Solitude is Steel. He's super-smart so it makes sense that he could break into Superman's vacation home. He's brought Superwoman Lana Lang because she's dying. She probably has a lethal case of Comic Book About To Be Cancelled.

• You're probably wondering why this story is about Superman when, according to the cover, it's supposed to be concentrating on Clark Kent. I am too! Is that a coincidence or was I just projecting my feelings onto you? Oh who cares?! It probably means we should kiss though!

• Clark Kent is overseeing Lois Lane while she does some kind of investigative journalism shenanigans. She's pretending to be a waitress so she can bug a table with a crooked cop conducting crooked business. You can tell he's a crooked cop because he paws at her and leers at her and suggests she sit on his lap like a big girl. Clark, listening in, is all, "We should go in there and save her before she touches his boner!" That's when everybody is all, "Oh how cute! Clark thinks Lois needs his help destroying creeps!"

• The crooked cop and councilman and paid off witness all conveniently say the things they're guilty of right into Lois's hidden microphone. But then they start to laugh and Clark is all, "They're probably looking at her tits!" as he runs out of the stakeout van to fuck up the entire sting.

• Maggie Sawyer has also been invited along to arrest the bad guys once they conveniently incriminate themselves. When the sting falls apart, she blames Clark Kent for running out of the van and into the bar. But the sting falls apart long before that because Maggie keeps getting Lois to talk into her hidden microphone and one of the bodyguards notices. Who's the real amateur, Maggie?!

Sad trombone.

• After the mostly successful journalistic undercover operation, Lois Lane decides to continue her undercover work. She follows Clark Kent home to try to figure out who this guy really is.

• Some of Lois's early clues to his identity: he says words like "hoosegow," he offers her a ride home even though he's walking, he doesn't notice the rain, he eats only dessert foods, and he still lives in the apartment Clark Smith live in before he and Lois were married. Maybe he's one of Superman's sperm come to life after masturbating on an alien relic that rolled under the bed. Then it grew quickly to adulthood so that it acts like a little kid and also still like a sperm (the not noticing rain and the incessant need to fertilize Lois).

• Lois follows him into the building and the lobby guard acts like he hasn't seen Clark in months. Clark must be paying him off in Big Belly Burger Apple Pies!

• Back to the Alt-Fortress of Solitude, Superman and Steel remain baffled by Lana's sickness. But Superman knows somebody who might be able to help her! He doesn't tell Steel he just says, "Follow me! As best you can since, you know, I'm even faster than The Flash." And Steel is all, "I'll track you but wouldn't it be better to give me an address?! Are we going to the Earth's core to visit Dr. Veritas?"

• As they leave, some mysterious figures are all, "Look! The clues we needed to find the place the clues are coming from! We'll be rich! Probably!" It's just one of those panels setting up a future story that Dan Jurgens may just forget about.

• Remember how Lobdell used to write in plot threads that never went anywhere because he was always just writing whatever came to mind and the best way to make a story seem exciting is to present a mysterious thing that will surely be a great story in the future (but never, ever actually was). Remember when Superman found that door floating in the air? Nothing came of that. Remember when Superman had a zombie Lana Lang living in his head? Nothing ever came of that. Remember when Superman did some thing with H'el that totally went nowhere but then Scott Lobdell remembered he was going to bring back Krypton with that story but he ended it differently for possibly editorial reasons (or boredom (or forgetfulness)) and then like a year later, he just rewrote the story so he could tell it the way he was trying to tell it the first time?

Meanwhile, Sperman has decided it's time to step up his fertilization game.

• Lois agrees to have dinner with Clark. Probably not because fucking him doesn't count as cheating. Does it? I mean, she's probably doing it so she can figure out who he is. Preferably before sleeping with him. But anything for the story, right?

• It turns out the person responsible for tracking flying men in and out of the Himalayas is Doctor Henshaw. He must have left his keys in the Fortress.

The Ranking!
No change! Why does this have to be a mult-part story?! I just want to know who this Clark Kent really is so he can be rubbed out or sprayed with bleach or whatever you do to clean up semen stains.

Death of Hawkman #5

Is this some sexist commentary about how women are easily manipulated? Or just some fan service Hawkman nipple?

The Review!
My friends and I once wrote a Galactic Hero Corps story called "The Death of Mr. Mystic." The joke was that during the mission, Buck the Ogre was the one who died. Mr. Mystic just died of old age at the end of the story. The tone of the Galactic Hero Corps was always stupid whimsy so you might expect that kind of thing when reading it. But I'm not sure if the tone of this comic book is supposed to be so ridiculous that it's okay to kill Green Lantern Isamot in the middle of a Death of Hawkman story. I suppose it does fix one thing that always bothered me since Isamot's ring flies over to the finger of a winged Thanagarian. That makes more sense for a Green Lantern of Thanagar than Isamot ever did! Sure, Thanagar is made up of several different races (or something. What am I? A scholar of the Polaris solar system?!) but nobody thinks of Thanagar when they see a Lizarkon (or whatever! Remember that thing about not being a scholar?!).

Also, Hawkgirl wasn't in this issue at all so I don't know why she's beating up Hawkman's nipples on the cover.

Aside from all that, Despero just keeps making trouble. He's definitely controlling Alanna so I guess she's not as huge a dick as I've been speculating.

The Ranking!
No change!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Midnighter and Apollo #5

It doesn't look like the fight against Neron went too well for Midnighter.

• At the end of the last issue, Midnighter and Neron were about to fight over ownership of Apollo's soul. You'd think Apollo would have some say in that arrangement but forget him. He's in a bottle right now and people in bottles have no rights. Some people buying this issue might be thinking, "That cover is a fucking spoiler!" But to those people, I'd say, "Aha!" I'd begin with "Aha!" because that's how I begin all conversations with people. Coincidentally, I've been in conversations with at least six people who have immediately died of heart attacks. So, anyway, I'd say, "Aha! But comic book covers have never exactly been paragons of truth, have they? You can never trust the cover! This one shows Apollo getting ready to wrestle or get fucked, depending on if Neron's penis is out or not. And how many times have you seen a skeleton that just happens to be wearing the clothes of a friend you saw earlier that day? It's a common enough occurrence. And those dinosaur bones in the background are...well, I don't know why they are there. I guess all of the dinosaurs went to Hell because they didn't have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ."

• The issue begins reminding the readers that Gregario (Extraño) placed a powerful being inside of Midnighter before Midnighter went to Hell. The comic book didn't go into details about how this was done but you know how. With a thing that's bigger than a breadbox: a black candle. Also black magic. But Gregario doesn't state explicitly who this powerful being is that's now waiting inside of Midnighter to give Midnighter seven minutes of heaven in Hell. I hope it's Etrigan. Although it's probably not Etrigan. But I would love it if it were Etrigan.

• Back in Castle Epistolarious, Neron decides to point out all of Midnighter's disadvantages before the fight begins. Just so readers know exactly how Neron might stand a chance. Midnighter has no access to his fight computer in Hell. He has no enhancements. He has no healing. He's already terribly wounded from his fight with The Mawzir. But he's still willing to fight for Apollo's soul because he loooOOOooooOOoooves him.

• Meanwhile, Apollo is inside a soundproof bottle screaming, "I already beat Neron with a trick question, dum-dum! Don't fight him! Besides, you don't have a right to fight for my soul, you arrogant, big-dicked bastard!"

Midnighter is what happens when somebody asks the question, "Does Batman pop a boner when he punches criminals in the face?"

• Midnighter releases the being inside of him and it turns out to be...I don't know who. It looks like Pacific Islander OMAC.

• Apparently it's some kind of angel and it's power and energy and life-force is just propping up Midnighter so he can do the actual fighting. According to Gregario, it hurts like a motherfucker. I probably could have been more descriptive about the way it hurts but from my experience, nothing hurts more than a motherfucker. I mean, you hear it all the time so it must be true. Do motherfuckers really hurt more than kidney stones?

• Technically, I'm not a motherfucker. Never fucked a mother in my life.

Is this because they kill people or because they engage in sodomy? Because I have an issue with one of those.

• I'm not going to say which I have an issue with, killing or sodomy. I don't want to lose conservative readers by saying I'm against killing.

• I also don't want to loose semi-illiterate readers so that's why I just used "loose" instead of "lose."

• Midnighter beats the crap out of Neron but then collapses when his seven minutes of heaven are up. Luckily Neron remains unconscious while Midnighter recovers from the being leaving him.

• Apollo breaks out of his bottle to cradle Midnighter in his arms. It doesn't last long before Apollo disappears. Neron explains that he destroyed Apollo's soul before Midnighter got there and it was all a lie because everything is lies in Hell. Especially the thing about Apollo having lost his challenge to Neron and is now non-existent. That's the biggest lie of all! Obviously Apollo won the challenge and now Neron is bitter and angry and he's going to take it out on Midnighter.

• What actually happened is Neron set Apollo free after Midnighter won because Apollo won the challenge as to why he was called Apollo. So now Apollo has to rescue Midnighter! Damn forlorn lovers. Always being all forlorn and shit.

• Don't worry! Next issue is the final issue. Everything will almost assuredly and most probably with a definite persistence of likelihood work out fine!

The Ranking!
+1! Hopefully the final issue is ten pages of Neron being pound into a fine paste and ten pages of Apollo being pounded into a fine orgasm.

Doom Patrol #4

This cover is trying too hard to be incomprehensible.

• This issue begins with a guy way too old to be sleeping in the room he grew up in sleeping in the room he grew up in. It's obvious it's his childhood room because there's a poster of a Trans-Am on the wall and a poster of Bruce Lee on the wall and a lamp made out of a baseball and bat and a globe (only a kid's room ever contains a globe (unless it's the study of an explorer of Africa who's about to tell the story of his travels in Africa and the camera zooms in on the spinning globe and suddenly there's a plane heading to Africa and then the story begins)) and a bunch of trophies and a hamper full of socks that have probably been jerked off into.

• This guy, who might be Casey's coworker (although I'm not sure because I haven't read an issue of Doom Patrol since the beginning of January and I'm not sure her coworker was even in that one), has been awoken (unless he was awakened) by somebody chanting "Come back!" backwards. He thinks it's his son Lucius so that means he's living in an even more awkward situation than I thought. He passes his mother who fell asleep watching television while sitting in a recliner in the living room.

• Look. I understand the compulsion (and probably necessity, I suppose. If I wanted to be generous) to live at home because it's easy and cheap. But you' know...still living at home! With your fucking parents! In the room where you learned to masturbate quickly and quietly! In the room where you fantasized about your secret crush who sat across the room in Algebra but you never had the nerve to approach! In the room where you fucking cried because that one song on Disintegration (okay, all the fucking songs on Disintegration) reminded you that the person you love just spent the previous night mouth to mouth with one of your supposed best friends! Living at home past a certain age seems to have a number of benefits but you'll never know until you leave how none of those benefits are fucking worth it!

• I have a story that I've never told on this blog. I'm telling it now but know that what you should be thinking while reading it is "this is an analogy about getting the fuck out of the house you grew up in." It will begin in the next bullet point.

• When I was about eighteen, I noted a tiny little skin tag on my back. I had no idea what a skin tag was at the time but I noticed it and it was weird and it seemed like some kind of out-of-place hangnail. So I got some clippers and I tried to clip it off. It was awkward (being nearly the center of my back) and I couldn't really do it and the thing was hardly noticeable anyway. But I guess I damaged it in a way that made it say, "You know what? I'm going to grow into the most disgusting, vile, nasty bit of barf-cancer that you've ever seen." Which it totally proceeded to do. But it didn't happen quickly! It slowly grew over time. At first, it just looked like a small mole hanging by the tiniest little bit of skin. It was gross enough that it kind of embarrassed me when I'd go swimming. But I had long hair back then and it mostly kept it covered and I just didn't pay it a lot of attention. Throughout my twenties, it just got a little bit bigger by the year. Somewhere in my early to mid-thirties, I noticed it had gotten big enough that I could feel it under my shirt. People could see it protruding from my back, a little lump of disgust pushing out the fabric of my shirt. It's rough surface would catch on my thermal shirts. It finally went from being fairly innocuous to being unendurably noticeable. Late one night, probably a few hours past midnight, I decided to do something about it. I went online and began looking into removing skin tags.

Let me pause here to explain why I thought maybe I could remove the skin tag myself. For a short time, there was a television show on Fox whose name I can't remember. It was one of those shows adapted from British television, like Coupling or one of those shows with a large cast of young friends. A woman on one of the episodes had a massively grotesque skin tag on her upper shoulder that looked like a fried shrimp. She didn't mind hers though. She may have even called it her lucky shrimp, possibly because her grandmother had one too or something. I probably shouldn't remember this much of a show that I don't even really remember watching but I could identify with this thing on her back, and so I guess my mind was cataloging the entire thing. The resolution to the skin tag plotline happened when one of the characters tripped and, as he fell, he managed to grab her skin tag and rip it from her body. I don't remember what happened after that. I'm sure the skin tag flew onto a buffet table and somebody dipped it in sauce and ate it. That's the kind of joke American television would shove into a sitcom stolen from the BBC. But what I did remember was the skin tag was removed cleanly and, practically, effortlessly.

So back to the night I finally decided to do something about it. I found an online forum where people were discussing how to remove skin tags. People would ask about it and there would be responses of how to do it (lots of suggestions of using rubber bands to kill the blood supply to it so it would just fall off, like a farm animal being castrated). Inevitably, the initial person would post again expressing their success at removing the skin tag. I don't know if those replies were as euphoric as I now remember them being or if my memory has been colored by my own experience. Anyway, I read a lot of posts getting up the courage to do it. But each successful post I read gave me a little more inspiration to go ahead with the home surgery. I nervously went into the bathroom, got the scissors for cutting hair, and promptly realized I wasn't going to be able to use scissors on a skin tag in the middle of my back while looking into a mirror. I considered waking up the Non-Certified Spouse for help but abandoned that thought almost immediately. I would do this alone or not at all. After a number of attempts at contorting my body in the right way and figuring out how to guide my hand with the scissors while looking in the mirror, I maneuvered the sharp instrument into the correct position. All I needed now was the will (and a little more strength than I was expecting) to snip the tag off of my back.


The little hunk of flesh fell to the ground and my back immediately began to bleed all over the fucking bathroom. I didn't care. The skin tag was gone! It was...well, it was an awful lot of blood, actually. I grabbed a towel, pressed it to the wound, and leaned up against the wall feeling the greatest sense of relief and peace of mind I've ever felt. The bleeding eventually stopped and my back was smooth again. I flushed the skin tag with barely a thought of keeping the putrid thing as evidence. And I've been better off every day of my life for taking that extraordinarily difficult step. I freed myself from a thing I didn't realize was sapping so much of my confidence and happiness. It was so easy ignoring it and not dealing with it that I never would have expected how euphoric it would make me when I finally did do something about it. It's always better to make the effort to change something that you've convinced yourself isn't really that big of a deal, simply because it's just too hard to deal with.

• This is Lucius:

Death metal bands in the Doom Patrol universe seem to have a common theme.

• Lucius is a fifteen year old sorcerer who feels like a nobody and has Daddy and Mommy Issues! Sounds perfect for the Doom Patrol!

• Meanwhile, Cliff and Larry have touched the face of N'ihil (or whatever the Lord of Negative Entity Land is called) and entered into the negative courtroom where they'll be tried for their negative crimes. Man, I would be so guilty of negative crimes!

• Double meanwhile, Casey and Fugg have found themselves in Space Jail (Casey's words...although they probably would have been mine as well if she hadn't called it that so quickly). There they meet the Niles Caulder Robot that Niles Caulder made during last issue's Intermission (there won't be an Intermission this issue because I've already skipped it. Niles met a dog or something. Also, he was watching Casey through his robot's eyes). They also meet Ricardo, the friend of Danny's who has been searching for him so he can warn Danny that he's about to be invaded by an Evil Fast Food Franchise. They easily escape Space Jail using Casey's new powers which she luckily discovers just in time to escape.

• Back at Negative Court, Larry Trainor pleads "Make me Negative Man again." And so the court is all, "Cool! Way to be a good guy! You're a true hero, unlike some ex-racecar drivers who hate to be called by their superhero alias and are constantly going on about not being able to have a normal life, one of which might be in this room and listening to me and rolling his robot eyes.

So every time he lets the Negative Spirit loose, he'll get an extra Picard lifetime?! Awesome!

• Back in Vectra Space Jail, Casey and company discover Danny the Ambulance hooked up to a meat grinder so all of the people living inside of him can instantly be turned into fast food hamburger when he expels them. Casey finally realizes that maybe she shouldn't be upset about the way Danny created her. Although I'm still upset about the way my mom and dad created me. How dare they! I could have remained nonexistent and happy! Well, maybe not happy, but ignorant of existential terror. Well, maybe not ignorant, as I would never have existed to feel anything whatsoever. My father wearing a condom on that particular Christmas morning would have been the greatest Christmas gift of all time!

• To try to bond with Casey, Danny tells her about the last time he tried to evade evil people who would exploit him and how he was destroyed then as well. All that was left that time was Danny the Brick. And that brick was saved by...oh. Oh my. I'm having the tears.

My dear, dear Crazy Jane!

• I bet they completely drop the "crazy", society being the thing full of scolds that it is today.

• Danny went on space adventures with Jane until one day, they met a person who was only a white silhouette in a red cape. That person befriended them...up to a point. Eventually the friendship ended the way all friendships tend to end: one friend bashes somebody's brains out with the other friend. After that, Danny lost touch with Jane.

• Casey accepts her role as the hero Space Case so that she can save Danny the World. But to do that, they need to do a little bit of time traveling. That's because Danny the World has already become burgers.

• After Casey drives Danny the Ambulance away through space, it is revealed that her current nemesis is Torminox! He was also created by Danny to be Space Case's archenemy. He doesn't seem to mind that Space Case is getting away and might stop the whole Evil Fast Food Franchise thing because he has some other plan up his sleeve. It's probably super complicated. It definitely involves a synthetic being!

The Ranking!
+1! This version of Doom Patrol has my full approval! Although that could change at any moment! I'm one fickle motherfucker.