Thursday, May 25, 2017

Batman #23

This looks like a scene from Evil Dead. Or was it Evil Dead 2?

• This is a team-up story starring Batman (of course) and Swamp Thing. Swamp Thing is the mold part of the duo.

• Just think of all the other team-ups Tom King will come up with now that he has a new theme that isn't the "I am" deal. Now it's Brave and the Bold team-ups with a twist: replacing the word "bold" with a word that rhymes with "bold." The Brave and The Old where Batman teams up with Johnny Thunder. The Brave and the Cold where Batman teams up with Captain Cold. The Brave and the Scold where Batman teams up with Tumblr.

• An old man is murdered in Gotham. That sounds like the beginning of a joke, right? I mean, a joke in poor taste, of course! I would never laugh at an old man getting two bullets in the head even though the first one would have killed him. The second bullet was probably the totally unfunny punch line that I'm not smirking and giggling about at all. The reason this old man's death is important is that he was Alec Holland's father and not that it provided a sense of lightness and levity to a Batman comic book. Two bullets! Ha ha!

• For some reason, Jim Gordon doesn't recognize Swamp Thing even though there was that time that Swamp Thing nearly choked Gotham to death in order to subvert the rule of law and get Abby released from jail. Also, Abby was in jail for fucking a plant monster. How does Jim not remember this?! I guess he hasn't gotten his Pre-New 52 memories back yet.

• After Jim asks Batman if he knows this plant, he asks, "This plant isn't fucking any dirty women, is he? I'll throw those sluts in jail!" Or maybe he just thinks that. Or maybe I just had a mini-fantasy about him saying that while thinking, "I can fucking write better comic books than Tom King! And have you ever noticed how seductive ferns are?"

• Oh! Oh! Get this:

Of course Swamp Thing has Daddy Issues! He is a DC Character, after all!

• I just called my cat Fart Taco.

• After Alec mentions how he didn't really know his real father and took his step-father's name, Batman screams, "You had two fathers you took for granted?! You are a monster!" Then he begins sobbing and runs out of the room waving his fists in the air. Alfred rolls his eyes and excuses himself for a second as he goes after him with a bag of Mother's Cookies. The "Mother's" has been covered over in Sharpie, of course.

• Bruce and Swamp Thing are enjoying tea and artificial light in Bruce's den. Front and center hangs the family portrait painted by Damian of Bruce, Alfred, Dick, Tim, and Damian. Jason Todd wasn't invited for the portrait because, at the time, it was only for Waynes without death certificates. Of course, now all of them have died and come back (okay, Tim isn't exactly back yet. But soon!) since then. So I think somebody should paint Jason Todd back into the family. To the left of that painting is a portrait of Bruce with Martha and Thomas. And to the right is a picture of Napoleon.

• A dog sits in the den with them. It isn't Titus. It looks like Ace. You know, I'd forgotten that Ace was back! After decades of reading comics, my brain has been programmed not to remember anything that happens in an Annual.

• I wonder how Titus feels about Ace taking over the spotlight? I hope Titus is living at Titans Tower now. At least then when Damian ignores him, he'll have Beast Boy and Raven and Starfire to take care of him.

• Bruce notices that Swamp Thing doesn't seem upset by the death of his biological father.

He's a grown ass man, Bruce! Are you saying that even if you'd been 65 when your parents were gunned down, you'd have been so emotionally devastated that you still would have become Batman? Maybe Swamp Thing doesn't care because he's already a superhero. What is this trauma supposed to transform him into? Swamp Bat Thing?

• Chapter 4 of this story is called "Kite Man!" because Tom King is desperate to make Kite Man a recurring character in this comic book. It's not like he's the most ridiculous villain Batman has ever faced. He actually has a pretty good gimmick! I suppose it's his name. Nowadays, he'd probably be Base Jumper. But there's something silly about sticking what is thought of as a kid's toy and activity onto the suffix man. It's a bit too strange to have a villain using the playful term kite as part of his name. Of course, all of Batman's other enemies do the same thing. Catwoman! Cats are cute and fun and you usually don't fuckfight with them. Riddler! Riddles are a child's annoying pastime! The Joker! It's a card you throw away immediately which never pops up constantly afterward gassing your friends and family.

• The last time I flew a kite was in Nebraska. It was a Xena the Warrior Princess kite and, not having a lot of experience with kites, I didn't realize the roll of string isn't always tied off at the end. Who the fuck sells kite strings and doesn't tie it off to the tube its wound around?! I'm supposed to risk string burn to my fingers keeping a constant grip on the actual string? Anyway, I lost the fucking kite when the string ran out and flew up and out of my grasp. Bye, Xena! Bye! You were too good for this world!

• Kite Man! sold a kite to a pawn shop. That kite could have been used by the killer to get through a window on the 84th floor of a building! Wait. What was Swamp Thing's dad doing in an apartment on the 84th floor of a high-rise? That's where people with money live! Is Swamp Thing rich now?

• Batman follows the clues and solves the mystery of who killed Swamp Thing's dad: Headhunter! He always shoots people in the head twice. Nobody knows why the second bullet. I'm telling you! It's a punchline!

• Batman is all, "This guy won't be easy to find!" And Swamp Thing is all, "The grass just told me where he is! The grass knows everything. Usually I don't listen to them because it's mostly screams as people walk across them or bike on them or fuck all over them. But if you can get past the incessant screaming, they usually have the information you're looking for. Fucking grass!"

Wait. Was that a fuck joke? Does Batman need a car to fuck?!

• Alec and Batman confront Headhunter and he boldly confesses. Basically, he did it for the lulz.

• Swamp Thing isn't as cool as he pretended to be about the death of his father. He flips the fuck out and kills Headhunter right in front of Batman. Batman doesn't even try to stop him. Batman would try to stop Superman. Batman would try to stop Wonder Woman. Batman would try to stop The Flash. Batman would try to stop fucking Lobo. But he doesn't try to stop Swamp Thing. Swamp Thing must be more fucking terrifying than I imagined.

• Swamp Thing realizes he must be there because Batman's Daddy Issues are so strong. At that point, Swamp Thing is all, "Oh. Well, that answers that. I can go back to not giving a shit about my father now." He then dissolves back into The Green while Batman weeps, yet again, over the permanence of death. I mean the permanence of death where his parents are involved. Let's not get ridiculous. This is comic books, after all.

• The moral of the story is that Batman really should have gotten therapy twenty years ago.

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