Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Superman #14

Prologue to some kind of crisis of infinite proportions.

• DC Comics has no idea what they want their comic book universe to look like. Infinite Earths? Way too fucking confusing! How about just one? You know what? That kind of hampers Flash so let's give the universe some alternate Earths but not too many. Also, maybe we can call them different timelines which are totally different than alternate dimensions. But altering the structure of the universe alters the history of the characters and even tough we totally embraced having a world where both Wonder Girl and Wonder Woman coexist even if they were originally the same character at different ages, we'd better restructure everybody's pasts with some kind of zero hour re-origining. Oh, you know what? Dan Jurgens still thinks Booster Gold should be super important so lets do something with him and Rip Hunter to make the universe more interesting. Although more interesting also means more confusing so maybe we can fix some stuff by having Superboy punch the fuck out of all of it? There! Perfect! Except, you know what? Maybe we should just scrap it all and start over! We'll hire all of the shittiest writers from Marvel and tell them just one world with no alternate timelines and no time travel! Boom! Totally fixed. Hey. What the fuck are Lobdell and DeFalco doing? We said no time travel, you idiots! Oh? The time travelers are from a different future timeline where they can time travel? Makes sense! Go for it! I mean, Ann Nocenti is making Oliver Queen soliloquize on a rooftop so do we really give a fuck anymore? You know what! We do! We've heard a few vague whispers that maybe some people might possibly miss Wally West and the legacy heroes! Let's bring them back and restart starting over! We'll blame The New 52 on the Watchmen (read: fans) and be all, "Rebirth, bitches! This is the universe we wanted to write about but you all demanded something that sucked!" I imagine this whole Multiplicity thing is going to throw a few wrenches into the already broken machinery of the DC Universe.

• This issue begins with Clark Smith almost running over Russian Superman. Does this have something to do with Trump's presidency?

• The Russian Superman warns Preboot Superman that some guy named Prophecy is collecting Superman the way nerds collect Magic the Gathering cards. I only use that simile so that maybe I can work in how unpleasant Magic the Gathering players are. They totally are!

• To be fair, I should tell this story! An ex-girlfriend of mine (before she was an ex) and I were at the laundromat one day opening up some Magic the Gathering packs. The Dark had been out for quite a while but Fallen Empires had yet to be published. We were pretty new to the game. Some college kid (I say kid but he was about our age (I guess we were kids then too!)) noticed us and I saw him take off. We were near the Santa Clara University dorms and he probably rushed back to his room to get his cards. He came back and engaged us on the hobby. He saw our enthusiasm for this new game and was just as excited to talk to us about it. While checking out our cards, he gave us both a Maze of Ith from The Dark set. So, you know, not all Magic the Gathering players are selfish, unsanitary wastes of space. That Maze of Ith he gave me was the only one I ever owned, even after buying enough Dark pacts and making trades to finish the set.

• I don't like to offer evidence that disproves my broad brush statements! I'd rather just say terrible things and have people think, "What a fucking dick!" It's just more fun to write stuff like that! And if I don't care what my mother and father think of me, why the fuck would I care what some Internet nobody thinks of me?!

• Russian Superman escaped from Prophecy with some information! Not about who peed on what but about Prophecy's search for his next Magic Card: Kenan Kong! Oh no! Not New Super-man! He's my favorite! Asterisk!

• *: Kenan Kong is my favorite Chinese Superman and not my favorite comic book character. My favorite comic book character is Skywise.

• Prophecy collects his Supermen through the use of creatures he calls Gatherers. Like Magic the Gatherers!

You can tell they're from another dimension because they spell list with a y.

• Russian Superman came through the dimensional barrier speaking Russian. The Gatherers come through speaking English. Convenient!

• I bet they actually speak "Englysh."

• The Gatherers helpfully explain what Prophecy does with the people on the lyst. He processes them! He consumes them! He adds them to his deck! But Superman is all, "I have a punch and a hilarious battle retort for this whole lyst thing! Ready?!"

Ah ha ha ha ha! Get it?!

• The Gatherers don't seem confused by the mention of Santa Claus. I guess they know him!

• The Gatherers mention that Communist Superman is from Earth 30. So at least Rebirth is sticking to the Multiversity Guidebook. It's nice to know that the people in charge don't always throw out every good idea they have.

• Preboot Superman and Red Superman defeat the Gatherers just before the Multiversity House of Heroes appear. They have Red Racer from Earth 36 and Thunderer from Earth 7 and Obama Superman from Earth 23 and Lady Aquaman from Earth 11 and Mary Marvel from Earth 5 and Mecha-Armor Batman from Earth 16 and Abin Sur Green Lantern from Earth 20 and some Deathstork looking motherfucker from Earth I Don't Know. I'm happy to see Multiversity being picked up and used in Rebirth!

• President Superman explains that his team is called Justice League Incarnate. They protect the Multiverse from bad guys like the Anti-Monitor and The Gentry and Magic the Gathering players!

Boom! Nailed them all from the double splash page. Except Machinehead who is from the Marvel Universe Parody world of Earth 8.

• Kenan Kong is captured before the Justice League Incarnate can save him. But Preboot Superman manages to gather a Gatherer! They'll probably vivisect it to find the way to Prophecy's home universe.

• Elsewhere, Prophecy is busy constructing his deck. The next card he chooses is Captain Carrot whose power is consumed by Prophecy and Captain Carrot turns into a fuzzy little bunny who can't write comics at all. Probably. Also captured by Prophecy: Kenan Kong of Earth 0; Bizarro Superman of Earth 29; Vampire Superman of Earth 43; Prez Rickard's Pal, Superman of Earth 47; Super-Soldier of Earth 32; O.G. Superman of Earth 2; Lady Superman of Earth 11; Super Fascist of Earth 50; Pirate Superman of Earth 31; Golden Age Superman's super great grandchild of Earth 38; Super-branded Superman of Earth 45; Kingdom Come Superman of Earth 22; and Superman of the Earth One Prestige Format books. That's a lot of Supermen! Oh, and just for information's sake, Captain Carrot is from Earth 26!

• There will be a quiz.

The Ranking!
+1! Yay! I fucking love the Multiverse! DC made the biggest mistake of their lives with Crisis on Infinite Earths, even though it was the most exciting thing ever to be done at the time. The only fault with it is that the superheroes didn't exactly win since they only saved one Earth out of infinity. It was a much better idea (only thought of decades later) to have them save a few more than that.

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