Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Dark Nights: Metal #2

I could tell this cover was by John Romita Jr. because of Batman's stupid batarang. I believe that's the specialized batarang used for attaching trees to super-villains¹.

Here's a recap of the previous Metal episodes: Scott Snyder saw a show discussing dark matter and screamed "Eureka!" so loudly that Scott Tynion IV stopped sucking his dick long enough to ask, "What the hell?" Scott was all, "Remember that idea I had..."

"WE had!" reminded James, lovingly fingering Scott's butthole.

"Yeah, yeah! That's what I meant! Don't worry, James. You'll always get credit on almost every story you help brainstorm with me. And you know what I mean by brainstorm, right? Wink, wink. I'm winking right now but I dubbed it so that you would know what I was doing seeing as you're kind of busy down there. Anyway, that idea we had! The one about Nth Metal being the meta gene and how it got all confusing to the scientists because the file was named META.TXT instead of METAL.TXT for reasons that I decided not to linger on for too long because they don't really exist? Well guess where I just decided Nth Metal comes from?! The Upside-down! I mean, the Dark Universe! Which is the same as the Upside Down but with scientific reasons involving dark matter. And since the word 'dark' is in the term, it will be a place of evil! Just like the Upside-down!"

"That's great, Scott. But you're going to write this story yourself, right? I'm kind of busy over at Detective Comics making sure that the young heroes treat Batman like he's the Patriarchy. Because, you know, he totally is. He's the worst!"

"Sure, of course I'll...wait a second. What are you doing? Are you fucking out of your mind?"

"No way! Millennials love this take! They tweet at me and tumbl at me all the time about how they've been reading my stuff via torrent and they love what I'm doing!"

"Whatever. Finish me off already. Just try not to turn Detective Comics into Batman and Robin Eternal."

That's the end of the recap! If you wanted the money shot to be included, go write it yourself! You can say something like, "Scott groaned meaningfully while mumbling 'Geoff Johns sucks donkey balls!' under his breath. Then surprise came across Tynion's face as Scott Snyder came across it too."

This issue begins with another entry from Carter Hall's diary. It's just to remind all the Fangenders (who don't actually need reminding except when something will be integral to the plot) how Krona created the Multiverse by opening a viewing window to see God masturbating. God's jizz flew through the viewing portal and seeded the universe with dozens of baby universes (maybe even an infinite amount of dozens, depending on when you began reading DC Comics). But the entry is interrupted when Superman notices Bat Symbols all over the Earth. He calls the Justice League to hunt down and kill Batman.

The Justice League tracks a half-dozen Batman's to the Amazon. Robin is also with them driving a VW minibus through the jungle. I don't know where all the Batmen have come from. Perhaps they're paid actors from Gotham Community College getting a few credits for this excursion? Anyway, I'd just ignore the Batmen on the Bat-cycles and go for Robin. He's obviously carrying something important inside that minivan and I bet that something is the real Batman!

The alterna-Batmans turn out to be other members of the Bat Family who have nothing better to do than jump when Batman says jump rather than asking why they should jump and what is Batman up to and why is he pissing off the entire Justice League and, you know what, I don't fucking want to be a part of that, Batasshole! Not only do they fuck with the Justice League, their entire plan is to piss of Swamp Thing so he'll keep the Justice League busy!

This is just cruel. Stop manipulating Swamp Thing into doing your dirty work, Batman!

Now that I know the Batmen were all members of the Bat-family, I want to know which jerk was captured by Aquaman. So embarrassing! I bet it was Red Hood.

It turns out Batman was in Robin's VW Minivan which is what they all should have guessed because I guessed it but forgot to mention it. Now you're probably thinking, "Oh right! I bet you did! What a liar!" But you should know I'm telling the truth because I could have just as easily (and more believably!) gone back and edited the review by saying what I was going to say before I got distracted! You know what? I'm going to do it anyway! Fuck your sense of reality!

Anyway, Superman figures it out and swoops down to threaten Batman. He picks him up and flies him into the sky saying, "All I have to do is barely squeeze. You can't even imagine how little pressure I need to add to my grip before your torso just rips like wet toilet paper. I mean, it's difficult not to explode you! You realize how many mathematical calculations I'm doing every minute just so I don't destroy everything I touch?! Imagine walking around a world built out of tissue paper and trying to navigate it without destroying it completely?! To me, you Earthlings are less substantive than a jelly doughnut!" But Batman is all, "If you squash me, you'll die because I drank a gallon of Kryptonite after getting out of the shower this morning! I'm like a deadly piñata!"

Fun Fact #1: To get the "n" with the tilde on it, I looked up "jalapeno" on Google so I could copy and paste the ñ. I don't know why I didn't just look up piñata!"

Fun Fact #2: When I just went to past in the ñ in piñata in the previous sentence, instead of typing CTRL-V, I typed CTRL-N and just about shit myself when my entire review disappeared! Luckily I realized pretty quickly that I'd just opened a new browser page.

Batman finally decides to explain everything to Superman instead of being killed by him. It's a simple choice, really. But it's not a simple explanation! On no! The explanation is going to go pretty deep into Scott Snyder's previous story arcs to try to explain the most glaring errors in each of them.

This is even more convoluted than I was expecting! Perfect!

Now it's time to speculate on the fifth element! I bet it's Plasticmannium! Or maybe whatever shit the Orb of Ra is made from. Oh! Maybe it's Kryptonite and Batman doesn't realize he's already become the doorway because he drank that gallon of it earlier!

Wonder Woman arrives to make Superman doubt Batman is being honest with him. Only Superman would ever believe anything out of Batman's mouth! He's so credulous! Even Ma and Pa Kent were fond of saying, "That boy'll believe a sack of worms if they told him they were a vagina!" That is so a Midwestern saying.

Since Batman is obviously lying, Superman takes a drastic measure.

Superman didn't do this to save the world. He just did it because he's fucking sick of Batman.

Before you start sucking your own dicks (both figurative and literal ones so that all genders are included!) everybody at Marvel thinking DC has just flushed itself down the drain by killing the only one of their characters anybody really cares about, it turns out it wasn't actually Batman. Superman just killed Clayface. Although Clayface can't really die, I don't think. He's like an Oompa Loompa: immortal and weary of life.

Meanwhile in Antarctica (unless it's actually the Arctic, seeing as how DC has had some poor history with keeping the two places straight), the Legion of Doom's headquarters rises from a lava pit. The Legion of Doom is currently staffed by all of DC's immortal characters. There's Vandal Savage and The Phantom Stranger and the other immortal guy and that other one plus the one that's immortal and also Cain and Abel and Lady Blackhawk and Morgaine le Fey and Shazam's wizard and all the other ones I can't think of. Their plan is to shoot the astral brain of the Anti-Monitor through the Rock of Eternity and into the core of the Multiverse. I don't know if that will save the world or it's just something they want to do for the lulz.

Superman and Wonder Woman finally track the real Batman to the tomb of Prince Khufu. Just before they get there, Dream gives Batman a little advice about how to find his way home when this shit all goes wrong. And it all goes wrong pretty quickly. After Batman pulls Baby Darkseid out of his backpack and threatens Superman with it, I think, "Wait. What?" Um, anyway, it's all a trap! Batman knows everything except where to find the tomb of Khufu because he actually entered the tomb of Hath Set! I know, right? What an idiot! Now the Strigydae are about to mantle the fuck out of him!

It's not as confusing as I make it sound, I assure you!

I mean, sure, the Court of Owls shows up and some black squiggles take out Superman and Wonder Woman after which the Court pours a substance called Batmanium all over Batman so that the doorway can open for Barbatos. But that's not technically confusing! It's just, um, ridiculous!

Batman turns into a cosmic doorway through which steop out eight Dark Batmonsters. One is Aquabat. One is Doomsbat. One is Cybat. One is Wonder Bat. One is Flashbat. One is Green Lanterbat. One is Jokerbat. And the last one is probably BarBATos. Unless he's The Phantom Strangebat. In other words, the Earth is fucked. Because if the Justice League can't even beat one Batman, how are they going to beat however many I just said stepped through the gate? What was it? Seven? Eight?

So that's the story of Metal! I bet you all wet your pants over it like I did, right? I mean, I think I just wet my pants because I took too long writing this and didn't get up to go to the bathroom. But I probably would have from the excitement and intrigue and Batman's ultimate failure! That part was really great!

¹I didn't just make that up. See whichever stupid issue of All Star Batman had that bit in it.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Deathstroke the Terminator #21

Deathstork fingers Vagilante in her vagina. I think. Is that where the vagina is? Or is the vagina under the 'V'? Is that what the 'V' stands for?

The only way Deathstork can get it up is if he has a gun pointed at his face. And the only way Vagilante can lady get it up is if she has a gun pointed at Deathstork's face. So you'd think they'd be compatible, right?! Well, wrong! I mean, kind of wrong. But a little bit right too! See how the cover mentions love? I guess that means they love each other.

While you're rereading the cover and thinking, "Oh yeah! It does say love! You're so observant, Grunion Guy!", check out Deathstork's sword. I think it's swollen. Hee hee! Penis joke!

What would happen if you were a guy and you were feeling sexy and your were allergic to bees and then a bee stung your erection? I bet you could really impress some ladies, right?!

This issue is written by Alan Grant so I'm going to predict that it's better than the last time Vagilante appeared in a Deathstork comic book. That time, it was written by Marv Wolfman and the less I say about Marv Wolfman, the less ammunition I'll give his lawyers when he sues me for libel. Maybe I should only review comic books written and drawn by artists that are dead.

The inside cover has an advertisement for the 1993 movie Fire in the Sky and I have a problem with the copy.

How can you say "based on the true story"? It's just based on a story some guy told! If I told a screenwriter a story about how Marv Wolfman wouldn't stop telling me his rape fantasies at urinals at Comicon in the year 2000 and he turned it into a script, could he proclaim it's based on a true story? It's based on the true story that I told the story! But I don't think that's a defense against libel. Unless this time it was slander.

This issue begins with a prologue that puts Slade back in his ugly orange and blue outfit with the garish boots and flared gloves. He doesn't look as cool as I remember him looking when I first saw him in the early eighties. Other people I thought were cool back then: Doug Henning, Charles Nelson Reilly, Scatman Crothers, Richard Mulligan, and Roddy McDowall. I was an awesome kid.

Deathstork has just finished a disastrous job for The Company (I think that was some black ops U.S. government agency. It's hard to remember since I read Issue #20 months ago) so he's looking for something a little less stressful. He takes a job from an alcoholic breakfast drink that hides behind darkened mirrors. It's all very mysterious but it'll probably put him at odds with Vagilante and her sexy vagina. Unless her vagina is deadly.

I wonder if I say "Bloody Vagina" in front of a mirror in a darkened room, one will appear before me? I'm too scared to try it.

Deathstork is a self-hating criminal.

Vagilante attacks some criminals guarding a cardboard box warehouse. She's looking for Bloody Mary because Bloody Mary killed some cops and killing cops was wrong in 1993. Killing cops makes you a criminal. That's why Deathstork doesn't like Bloody Mary. But he likes Bloody Mary's money, so what can he do? Deathstork shows up to show Vagilante that his hands are practically welded together on the matter.

Ew! Stop using the "L" word!

After calling Vagilante his lover, he punches her in the face, bloodies her nose, and threatens to kill her if she interferes. I guess if murder doesn't make him a criminal, beating the shit out of his lover doesn't make him an abuser. It's tricky being Deathstork the hero! You have to have to redefine ideas, rationalize inconsistencies of character, and live in a deep well of denial.

Not that Vagilante is much saner. Later, she tracks down Slade in his apartment so she can fuck him. She's only doing it to get information out of him, of course. And of course Deathstork falls for it because he has a penis. His penis isn't any smarter than anybody else's penis. I bet it's dumber because it's quicker to react than other penises. As soon as Vagilante pops her tits out (which she totally does! She can show them in the Deathstork the Terminator comic book because they don't have any nipples on them), Deathstork's penis is all, "Hey hey now! What's this?! Sproing-doing-doing!" That means it's now erect and not that it has dementia.

I knew you'd be curious about the tits so here they are.

Deathstork apparently tells secrets about the job he's currently on when he sleeps so Vagilante now has a lead on Bloody Mary. That seems awfully convenient! Maybe Vagilante's vagina is full of Sodium Pentathol. Or maybe Slade was just pretending. Which Vagilante would totally know he was doing. And he's totally know that she totally knew! But that's as deep as that mind game goes because Slade is smarter (but only because of the military experiments performed on him).

So Vagilante is gone when Slade wakes but he knows she knows he was just fooling her so he knows she'll follow him when he leaves the hotel. She does follow him but she doesn't come after him directly. Maybe she's smarter than he is after all! Instead she calls the cops so that Deathstork has to beat up some police just doing there job which doesn't make him a criminal, exactly. It just makes him an asshole, I guess?

Deathstork catches up to Vagilante at the hospital where she's tracked down Bloody Mary. The two of them fuckfight for a bit before Vagilante discovers Bloody Mary just wanted to have her baby outside of prison so that it wouldn't become Bane II. Plus she wanted Vagilante to adopt it! Vagilante is all, "What am I supposed to do with a baby?" And Deathstork is all, "Ha ha! You have to take care of it now because I called it!" And Vagilante is all, "Damn! I guess I'll raise it to be a gun!"

This story wasn't written by Marv Wolfman (at least the non-Prologue part of it wasn't) so it's the greatest Deathstork the Terminator ever written. At least in this series from the 1990s.

The letter column is called Deathstorks which makes no sense. At least one letter shit all over Marv Wolfman's writing and terrible way the Deathstork books were part of the Total Chaos crossover even though nothing in Deathstork ever affected that story.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Nightwing: The New Order #1

Where the hell has Kyle Higgins been? Writing for a better comic book company or playing too much Overwatch?

Everybody likes to think that they never let their emotions cloud their intellectual decisions. Obviously most people are wrong about this because most people aren't robots disguised as humans or cars or comic book bloggers. I've come up with a good test to know if you're one of those people who make bad decisions based on your stupid human feelings. Not a lot of people will get the chance to take this test unless MTV decides to pick it up and make it into a hidden camera show. Here's how it works. Most people have friends (I say most people because I post my commentaries on Tumblr as well as Blogger and I don't want anybody responding with "How dare erase people who don't like to make friends!" Although I suspect people who say things like that are just justifying the reason they have no friends because they say things like that) and they would do anything to defend their friends from physical assault. They've got their friend's back or whatever nomenclature the cool kids use. I would know but a cool kid has never once spoken to me. Anyway, most people (see previous parenthetical reference) also have that one friend who deserves to get punched because they're a provoking asshole. Now here's how you can tell if you're a reasonable person or not. If that asshole friend gets punched in the face by some stranger, do you get up and help them or do you shrug and continue your inane conversation about Joss Whedon (feminist or chronic virtue signaler? (that's your inane conversation and not mine. Remember that I'm a writer, dum-dum))? If you defend your friend even though you know they deserve it, you're the kind of person who would make excuses and apologize for a terribly stupid person in power (who I won't name because if your in the United Kingdom, that gives you an opportunity to think maybe I'm talking about one of your dumb people in power like May or Johnson or Farage (does he still have any power? It's hard to stay connected when all of your panel shows are on hiatus or unavailable on YouTube)). But if you let your friend take a punch or two (you can step in if it goes much further because, remember, you're supposed to be a reasonable person), it shows you are a perceptive and thoughtful person who is able to see all sides of an issue. Sometimes your asshole friend deserves to get punched in the face. Maybe they'll learn something.

I have a feeling that Nightwing might be punching some assholes in the face in this series. Although I'm also feeling a bit of trepidation about reading this book. I've had enough of comic book stories about groups of people who rally around a leader that wants to destroy a particular group of people simply because they're different. You might think I say that because I'm tired of the real world but I don't care about what's happening in the real world when I say that. I'm just sick of reading this story over and over again in my fucking comic books. Didn't the X-men say it well enough fifty years ago? Do we have to keep revisiting this shit? How about superhero comic books stop holding up a mirror to our real world prejudices just to show how one hero stands up for what's right and maybe show a whole world of people who choose to do what's right rather than acting like scared, idiotic children? How about being truly uplifting rather than depressing and, well, repetitive?

This issue begins with a scene from twelve years ago where Dick has murdered the Justice League and Doomsday and Captain Cold and Cheetah and, I think, Gorilla Grodd. I guess everybody with superpowers. I don't remember that happening twelve years ago so this comic book must take place in the future. Superman is all, "Dick! Why did you kill me and Hawkman? Well, I mean, I get why you killed Hawkman. What a provoking asshole! But why me?! I gave you your name, you ungrateful cocktease!" And Dick is all, "I had to save the world." That's really what he says in the comic book. The Superman stuff I mostly made up. Surprising, right?

So there you have it! A story about how normal people feel people with super powers are a threat to the world instead of a being the inspiration they were meant to be! It really is the worst take on the superhero genre. I don't want to be reminded that most people have negligible self-esteem and a sense of inadequacy so dense only Stephen Hawking could truly describe it to a layman.

The narrator mentions parents so the story will probably be told from Nightwing's kid's point of view, since this takes place in the future's future. Nightwing's kid is probably a closeted superhero who can't be their true self because their father is a fascist asshole. Why Nightwing, of all the heroes in the DC Universe, would become a person who thinks superheroes are dangerous, I have no idea. I'm sure I'll find out though if I keep reading! I bet he lost somebody he loved or at least respected as a father figure who couldn't quite give him the love he needed because he was aloof and dressed as a bat.

According to Nightwing's kid (who is almost certainly a lesbian. It's like those television court shows. If the judge is a white female, the bailiff must be a black man. So Nightwing has the hetero white male covered. That means his kid needs to be the opposite. Although is lesbian the opposite of that? Or is gay male the opposite? Maybe an asexual would be the opposite of Nightwing because I bet he gets so much pussy!), Nightwing saved the world in 2028. That means, according to my calculator (which is on my watch because I'm fancy), this story takes place in 2050. I mean 2040! Stupid fat fingers and tiny buttons.

Really, Nightwing? I figure we allow the people we care about the most to make their own decisions, even if we disagree? But then, that's just me. I guess in the eyes of The New Order, I'm just an apathetic apologist!

That quote will come back to haunt Nightwing because Nightwing's kid is going to be, "I really care about my dad! I care so much about him that I have to make the hard decision of punching him in the face while his friends stand by and think, 'Yeah. He deserved that.'" Basically in 2040, the pendulum has swung back and Dick Grayson is, once again, the worst character in the DC Universe. Marv Wolfman would be proud.

The story is about how good people can come to believe in terrible things. I'm pretty perceptive to have figured that out so quickly. Also the kid says, "Eventually, I learned how even good people can come to believe in really terrible things." It's kind of like that time I found out that my friend Doom Bunny liked Ally McBeal. I should have written a comic book about that.

In 2040, cities don't have police. They have Wings! It's not as delicious as it sounds unless you enjoy night sticks and super power suppressants.

He's talking about the original Dr. Light. Who cares about his light powers! Maybe worry more about keeping him away from kids?

After dealing with work and celebrity life and ignoring how he's become an asshole, Dick heads back home to Wayne Manor where Alfred is making dinner with his son Jake. I know Jake isn't a lesbian but that's because this is probably a red herring. There's no way a kid Jake's age develops the voice that the narrator is using. That kind of bitter disappointment in one's parents only really comes from an adult perspective (or late teen, most likely. Since she'll probably be leading the Teen Titans against this fascist police state Grayson has set up. I bet she's the child of Dick and Helena). Jake is like twelve.

See? Lesbian daughter! How dare you doubt a Grandmaster Comic Book Reader?

Since nobody says "daughter" or "sister" in the entire conversation (just the pronoun "she"), that bit is probably another red herring to make the reader think he's talking about Jake's mother and the voice is still Jake's. But I don't fall for red herrings! Herring is gross.

Alfred tries to point out that Richard is being an asshole. I would have said "being a dick" but he has that stupid name and it would have sounded like I was punning. But Dick is all, "I have to put people like Superman and Wonder Woman in stasis! It's the only way to make everybody safe! Safety first! Freedom worst!" But Alfred is all, "Bruce's death may have turned you into a fascist fuckmonster but I will never agree with you! Or respect you! Or make you waffles!"

Okay fine! I was wrong about the lesbian daughter! The narrator is Jake! It's just it's Jake from even further in the future than 2040. And his mother wasn't Helena because, apparently, she was hurt by Dick Grayson's anti-meta(l)-gene bomb that took away most of the powers. I guess she's the "she" he and Alfred were talking about. I'm not shocked that I was wrong. I'm just shocked that Kyle Higgins would give a white male superhero a white male son to rebel against him. What year is this? Nineteen-whitety-white?

Oh! I hope Jake's mother was Starfire! I mean, he's not brown and doesn't have green eyes or red hair and his boobs are pretty small. But maybe?!

I figured it out when I read the cover! Except for the lesbian daughter part. Based on DC's apparent mission statement, I should have known it was about a son dealing with his daddy issues.

So it turns out that in 2040, Jake gained super powers. That's why the narrator sounds like an adult because he's speaking from the future future's future. He probably, as I said earlier about the lesbian daughter who apparently doesn't exist (dammit), founded a new group of Teen Titans to bust his father's ass. I still don't know who Jake's mother is though. Jake's power manifests as red eyes that make red squiggly lines. So maybe Jake's mother was Darkseid? I mean Grail!

What Did We Learn?
I feel when I read something, I should learn something. And if I'm going to write about things and make stupid jokes (like the joke about how I thought Dick had a lesbian daughter which you totally fell for. As if I really thought something that was eventually proven to be wrong. Ha ha! You're so gullible! Also credulous! And naive!), I should probably walk away a little wiser than I began. It's tough to learn things from every issue of a comic book you read though because the story takes a few issues to finish. How am I supposed to know the lesson I should learn after just the first issue? Well, that's another benefit of comics! They really fucking telegraph where they're going. Maybe it's because we, the audience, are idiots and they don't want to lose any of us. Or maybe it's just that no matter how hard comic book writers try to make a good book, an editor will walk over and stick a dick in their notepad and be all, "Write it this way, dum-dum!" Anyway, here's what we're going to learn from this title (I'm telling you so you can save twenty bucks): prejudice cannot survive in the face of love of family! Dick might feel a little bit bad that he's hurting people with his terrible laws but he won't really understand how badly he's harming them until he has to punish his own son for simply being who he is. At the end of the book, Dick's son apologizes to Dick for having superpowers. See? Dick should already feel awful that he caused his son to feel shame simply for being who he is! Dick will try to get his son to go on the inhibitor medication but his son will rebel. They'll battle in the good ole Oedipal way which will end in the collapse of Dick's police state and the freedom of everybody! But Dick will not be allowed to live after this transgression. He'll die in his son's arms as he repents his sins. Also Jake's mother will appear at some point and hug Jake.