Saturday, October 14, 2017

Deathstork the Terminator #23

Janissary would have been a terrible name for a death metal group in the 80s that the group would have used anyway. You know, like just about all of them.

I had to look up Janissary because I'm not into tabletop miniature war games that deal with the battles of the Ottoman Empire. I thought maybe the Janissary was the adversary of Janis Ian. He definitely looks like what I expect that to look like: the front man for a Prog rock group that's decided he's going the glam rock route. You know, so he can still sing about Ayn Rand but also score the chicks with some ballads that talk a lot about love cutting like a knife.

I probably shouldn't have glossed over what the Janissaries actually were because — holy shit! — it made me say, "Holy shit!", after reading it. From the Wikipedia entry:

[The Janissaries] began as an elite corps of slaves made up of kidnapped young Christian boys who were forced to convert to Islam, and became famed for internal cohesion cemented by strict discipline and order.

It sounds like they were the real life inspiration for The Unsullied. But what's really intriguing me is why did this Deathstork enemy take that name?!

I thought Issue #22 was a standalone story but apparently this is the conclusion. See, Deathstork pissed off some people who were using him because it backfired and he killed the people trying to manipulate him (as well as some neo-nazis). This issue begins with the government man responsible for pissing off Deathstork hiring a mercenary (probably the Janissary, right?!) to kill Deathstork.

He's paying you in outdated thousand dollar bills! Of course it's a set up!

I can't tell if the cover artist fucked up on Janissary's gloves or the regular artist did. I'm kind of hoping the cover artist did because fingerless spiked gloves fits the glam rock model better.

The Janissary doesn't explain why he took the name in his introductory scene. My guess is that once in junior high, he read a bit about how bad ass they were as a military unit and it stuck with him. So when his life fell apart as an adult and he desperately turned to killing people for money, he recalled the Janissary and took it as his own. It's not like he's made any real effort to model his uniform after them. At least as far as I can tell from the page of images Lord Google dumped in my lap when I did the least amount of research I could possibly do. You know, typing "Janissary uniforms" into Google and glancing quickly at the results.

The Janissary and Deathstork beginning fighting fairly early in the comic. But that's the least interesting part of the book. Eventually you're going to get to a paragraph in this "review" and it will go from me bitching about some minor detail to "Deathstork beats Janissary and we never find out why Janissary chose that stupid name."

By the way, here's a minor detail that bugged the hell out of me:

Did somebody forget they only have one eye?

If you only have one eye, do you blink? Or is just every blink a wink? Or is it the opposite? Can you never actually wink when you have one eye because it's just a blink?

Janissary catches up to Deathstork on a train after their initial fight is interrupted by the police. At one point, Deathstork says, "What did you say your name was again? The Janissary? Let's finish it." How does he ask him that and not ask him why he chose that name?! I'm so angry at Deathstork right now for not sating my curiosity!

Deathstork beats Janissary and we never find out why Janissary chose that stupid name. But Deathstork doesn't kill him so maybe Janissary made another appearance eventually and we learn why he chose it then! Looking him up on the DC Database, this was his only appearance. But apparently the name was taken up by a woman in later years. She's a Muslim woman so in one sense it fits the name better. But in the other sense that The Janissary began as kidnapped Christian boys forced to convert to Islam, it doesn't fit at all!

Deathstork the Terminator #23 Rating: Five Christian boys out of fifteen Muslim boys. I'm not sure what the exchange rate is between Christian and Muslim boys so you're going to have to figure out the math on whether I liked this issue or not. I'm fairly certain you can make a more than educated guess.

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