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?

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