Sunday, November 12, 2017

Dark Nights: Batman Lost #1

It turns out he's not in Purgatory at all but on a corporate island retreat full of Volkswagen buses.

I'm exhausted by the Internet. The world was already a terrible place when I simply assumed most of the people living in it were idiots. But then the Internet had to come along and prove it! Thanks a lot, Twitter and Facebook and Tumblr and Blogger! Giving everybody a voice always seemed like such a perfect way to level the playing field. Instead it's collapsed the playing field into a dense black hole composed of the opinions of the truly stupid where no truth can escape.

I know what you're thinking and you'd better stop thinking that! My site is an ironic parody of a postmodern satire! My thoughts are supposed to be stupid! But then that causes its own problems because I wind up getting comments from people who wouldn't know ironic parodies of postmodern satires if an ironic parody of a postmodern satire showed them its dick. Which my ironic parody of a postmodern satire wouldn't do, by the way! I always wait until a woman shows me her vagina before I run screaming from the room to rock in a corner mumbling, "This is not happening. This is not happening." I don't even show my dick to my doctor until I absolutely have to. Which is a problem in itself! Hasn't my doctor heard that rocking in a corner mumbling "This is not happening" means no? Why would my doctor have to look at my dick anyway? I've never heard of dick cancer before! And I don't want to so don't post any links to the dick cancer Wikipedia page!

Did I sound smart by calling my blog an ironic parody of a postmodern satire? I hope it actually means something intelligent and isn't some kind of double negative statement that simply winds up sucking its own dick. Like a horny algebraic Ouroboros!

This is how Batman Lost begins:

J. Jonah Jameson? Batman really is lost!

For some reason, a little girl named Janet calls Jonah "Bruce." Instead of raving about Spider-man, he decides to read her a story about Batman. The story is supposedly Batman's first story, historically, but it winds up being Batman's first story, chronologically. It's about Batman's trip to the ancient past where he established a tribe that would ultimately cause the end of the world. Hawkman tried to stop him but Hawkman is terrible and can't stop anybody. I mean, he might wind up being the big hero in Metal. But that's okay because Metal is already so stupidly unbelievable (even in comic book terms!) that Hawkman saving the day won't have a detrimental effect.

Bruce is confused by his first story but he has somebody to help narrate it for him: somebody who looks like one of the Endless poorly cosplaying Batman. It's also possible she's the Queen of the Owls since she's wearing goggles that look like owl eyes made from a carton of eggs by a kindergartener and she's wearing an owl pellet around her neck. Bruce is all, "But this story is not the story that I'm currently storying!" And Delight is all, "Don't you know how comic books work, dumbie?! Every story gets taken out of context and reshaped by another writer to get tons of fangender love. They're always all, 'Remember this story from so long ago? Well this is what it really meant in the context of my new and awesome comic book idea!'" Then Batman makes a fart noise and Delight chuckles.

Batman sees a wolf's head and screams. He finds himself in the far future where a tribe of Robins spend their lives discussing whether or not Batman was good for them. Did he make their life better? Was he abusive? Was he just another piece of the patriarchy cursing them with his rich white privilege? Why did he have to be so mean to the mentally ill? Why was Batman, in any sense, the hero of the story when the sidekicks were the angst mirrors for the teenaged readers? Wasn't Tynion's vision of the Bat-family the best because it made Batman look like a huge asshole, even though it made Tim Drake even more boring than he's always been (no matter how impossible that might seem)?" But Batman, knowing he's just trapped in the Dark Multiverse and hallucinating, doesn't take any of the Robin's shit seriously. So, you know, like the regular universe.

Actually Batman arrives in a world that was ruined because he refused to kill people and Damian has become Hawkdevil. I guess the Dark Multiverse wants Batman to seriously consider killing so that maybe Batman will turn the regular universe into a Dark Multiverse and then the Dark Multiverse won't be relegated to the back of the map like a Dairy Queen advert.

Batman's dream takes a wet turn.

For some reason I fell asleep after this page. You'll have to be content with "for some reason" because I don't want to overwhelm you with my masturbation rituals.

Anyway, Batman sees more worlds that never existed because it's easier to pretend that this Metal story can be extracted from the comic book history of Batman if Snyder tells you about the worlds that would be created by Batman's fears rather than showing how the past stories all have hints that lead to the Metal story arc. It's not a bad issue but it's certainly not the kind of reshaping of past stories that makes you think, "Aha! That totally makes sense in the new context! Brilliant, Morrison!"

Batman Lost #1 Rating: It's one of the better Metal tie-ins but it still feels like Snyder and company are trying too hard to justify how Metal works in the context of Batman's comic book legacy. Instead of getting concrete examples of past stories that lead the reader into thinking that Metal fits seamlessly into Batman's history, the reader gets Barbatos explaining that he totally Harvested Batman from day one. So instead of showing how Batman was manipulated by recontextualizing some of his stories, instead the writers choose to simply have Barbatos say, "I manipulated you at every step of the way. Remember that one time you thought you were a great detective? I convinced you to be that! Remember that time you did that other thing that I'm not explicitly mentioning? I was responsible for that! From the dawn of time when I first saw you until this moment, it was all a plan to free me from the Dark Multiverse! Harvest-Schmarvest! I'm the greatest fucking man with a plan to ever exist in the DC Universe!" But if you aren't an overcritical asshole who apparently doesn't find any wonder or charm in comic books anymore, you might really enjoy this Metal Tie-in!

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