Sunday, November 19, 2017

Justice League #32

It looks like Ethan initially drew Wonder Woman having a nip slip and it had to be corrected by an intern with a shitty pencil eraser.

That caption was too long. Forgive me but I'm slipping into a reality where writing a thought in 280 characters is comfortable, just like Twitter was hoping! That's why they didn't give us a number count for our Tweets. You can only pay attention to the little circle, making sure to stop halfway to filling it up, for so long before you think, "Just this once, I'll go a little past halfway." Next thing you know, you're thinking, "How did I ever compose a thought in only 140 characters?! Madness!"

This issue begins with Cyborg thinking one thought: "Team." That's a clue to the theme of this issue, boys and other boys who read comic books! I don't mean to suggest that girls don't read comic books! I just know they're smart enough to figure this shit out themselves. Now that I've said that and all the ladies have thought, "Oh! We misjudged Tess! We'll never use the term 'misogynist' in regards to Tess ever again! Such a sweet genius!", I can get back to explaining why Cyborg thinks "Team." If you're not a Writer like me, you might not fully understand the structure of stories — especially comic book stories that need as many short cuts as possible being that they're only twenty pages long and most of those pages don't have very many words on them. Comic book writers like to introduce a thought on the first page, often via a non sequitur or a strained line of reasoning. They'll drop the thought almost immediately but pick it up again on the last page to make it look like their story was about something more than an overly muscled dude or gal beating the crap out of some social outcast that probably has an undiagnosed mental disorder. It makes the book seem way more intelligent than it really is. It's one of my favorite tricks because then I can slip the comic book back in its Mylar sheathe and think, "Boy! That sure was a smart thing I just did and not a thing where I'm grasping at my long departed youth with fingers that have become crone claws over the years even though I don't feel any joy and wonder in it anymore!"

What I'm trying to say in a way that shouldn't open up the dark pain in my heart so the world can glimpse my longing ache for my father's love is that the concept of "team" will be really important this issue! I mean, it's kind of important every issue because this is the Justice League and they're always beating major threats at the last moment by Batman reminding them that they need to work together and everybody going, "Oh yeah!" And then also Batman says, "Not you, Aquaman!" Then everybody laughs. Except for Aquaman. He cries. You've seen that scene a million times even if Batman doesn't say the mean thing on panel. Just realize every time you thought Aquaman was dripping with sea water, those were actually tears.

Since this is Venditti's first time on this book (I think. What am I? Wikipedia?!), he's going straight to the most locally accessible and commonly known well location. He probably got the assignment and was all, "Oh! I know exactly how to write this book! When I'm writing Hal Jordan, I always have to portray him as the opposite of a team because he's a stubborn narcissist with an enormous cock. So I'll write this book by showing how that doesn't always work out as well as it seems to work out for Hal Jordan! I'll focus on how the Justice League is a team!" You see, Venditti has never had an issue with the idea that there are no original thoughts. He just clonked that despairing thought over the head when he went to write comic books and was all, "Who cares if I repeat everything that has been said multiple times in the last seven decades! The turnover rate on comic book readers is like 100% over every five years or so! Except for those sad adult men who continue to read them well into adulthood because they couldn't properly negotiate the trauma induced by their love of their mother and their slide into their hormonal teenage years!"

Team! What I'm trying to say is remember the word "team"! It's going to be important later! Sheesh! Stop trying to distract me by acting as a free public therapist! Although if you are a therapist and you want to engage in dialogue — say an hour or so three times a week? — feel free (free being the operative word). Just to clarify: I said "therapist" and not "the rapist" so if you're thinking about luring me into a situation where you can take sexual advantage of me because of my desperate need for companionship, don't bother commenting! Except maybe to say I have nice eyes or something. That would be nice.

My college Children's Literature professor would be gushing fruit juice from her nether regions right now! Look at all the words I've come up with after having read just one word! She was always adamant that when writing a paper, one should focus on one sentence that can be expanded to explain the entire text. She was always saying things like, "If the protagonist is sleeping on some roots, really think about that! Think about the idea of roots! And ancestors! And how they support us and protect us! And how sometimes they make it hard to sleep because their bony knees are jabbing you in the back until you're all, 'Grandpa! Go back to your own bed!'" I hated that idea because I read books to discuss the books. I don't read books to discuss one sentence in the book! Although she did compliment me on Halloween when I came to class dressed as Alice Cooper in Wonderland. Oh! I think I have a picture of the night before when I went as merely Alice in Wonderland!

To complete the Alice Cooper part, I added the Alice Cooper facial make-up and carried around the bloody, decapitated head of the white rabbit (a larger (stuffed animal!) rabbit than the one pictured. That one lived). Bonus picture: evidence of my problematic friend Soy Rakelson who I've mentioned numerous times on this blog! Just do a search for "Soy Rakelson" so you can enjoy some Soy stories!

Cyborg is thinking about teams because he needs to get his team, the Justice League, back together. When we last left them at the competent hands of Joshua Williamson (did that come across as an insult?), they had been split up and were each being attacked by a separate Batmonster from the Dark Multiverse. See?! That's why the Batmonsters are going to lose. Because they don't consider working as a team a positive. They each want to prove themselves as individuals and that's a weakness the Justice League will exploit! If the Batmonsters were smart, they would have just all gone to see Flash to make sure he died, then they'd go kill Green Lantern, and finally they'd move on to kill Wonder Woman. I didn't leave anybody of note out of that explanation because Superman and Batman are currently lost in the Dark Multiverse.

The first battle that takes place is between Flash and Batflash. Batflash has built a Batflashmobile that runs on the Speed Force. That doesn't just mean it's really fast in the way a person reading a comic book about The Flash having a Flash car would think. No, it means it can do anything the plot demands of it. That's the power of the Speed Force!

Man! Don't get me started on the Speed Force! I'll start myself on it! The Speed Force is what happens when comic books begin to take themselves too seriously and people began thinking about the real world implications of The Flash's power. If The Flash runs at such high speeds then that means he needs to think faster than everybody else as well. But if he can think and react that fast, how can anybody defeat him at all? What happens to his body when he runs at top speed? What if that top speed is the speed of light? What if it's faster? What about time travel? What about his clothing? What about how he can constantly communicate with people while running really fast? I think there were probably more concerns but I never read The Flash. I don't even actually know why the Speed Force came about. You probably shouldn't be using me as any kind of a trusted source in comic book knowledge. Just know that the Speed Force is capable of anything because something was needed to make a guy who could move faster than nearly anything in the universe less boring. Or at least seem kind of interesting in a cosmic way? Maybe that's why they also gave him a huge family. Some editor was all, "We thought it was just Barry that made this character boring! But it's the concept! Make Wally more interesting somehow! Let him fuck that hot reporter! And give him space kids! Or time travel children! Or something! And somebody figure out why his face doesn't melt off when he runs fast or what being struck by lightning has to do with being fast. I mean aside from bolts of lightning being incredibly fast. Are they fast? They are, right? Like instantaneous!" He had to ask that because this imaginary moment comes from a time before the Internet. At least a time before the useful Internet that wasn't mostly AOL chatrooms and Neverwinter Nights bankrupting nerds.

Cyborg doesn't really know that The Flash is currently being rundown by multiple Flashmobiles inside a giant hourglass so he just keeps thinking about his football team analogy. He's all, "What if the running back can't run faster than the big fat defensive ends?! Then the team needs somebody who's angry!" That's when he starts thinking about Aquaman. Wait. That doesn't make sense. Shouldn't Cyborg think, "If the running back can't score, that's when the team must rely on the most boring player on the roster: the kicker!" Then the scene should shift to Aquaman.

Wouldn't all of sports be better without the guy who plays angry? I know the Justice League would! BROZINGA!

The Drowned turned Mera into a sea monster which somehow turns Aquaman's anger against the Justice League. That's not a confusing conclusion I came to. It's what Cyborg had to say about the angry player. Once the angry player is being used against you (like say, the super villain making fun of Aquaman and Batman snickering so that Aquaman turns on the Justice League screaming, "I know what you all think of me! I FUCKING KNOW!"), it's time for the next player! I hope he doesn't say it's time for the cheerleaders to get the crowd in the game and then start talking about Wonder Woman because I think that would be sexist. Also it's definitely something he won't say. Maybe he'll talk about how the defense will need to step up and then it'll be Green Lantern time. Wonder Woman is probably the halftime orange slices.

Instead of continuing with the football metaphor, Cyborg decides to change things up. He says, "Anger can be useful. But the other team can turn it against you. Drag you into a dogfight. When that happens, you brawl." Wait. What? What kind of football do they play in Detroit high schools?! "If we can't run it into the end zone, let's get angry! And if our anger doesn't scare them into letting our running back into the end zone, let's kick their motherloving asses!"

When Cyborg thinks of a brainless brawler, he, of course, thinks of Wonder Woman. That seems dumb. I know he wants to save the quarterback position for Batman but let's think this metaphor through. Wouldn't you want, as quarterback, the person who has the most experience on the field who has been trained by immortal football players who have spent all of their immortal lives training for the big game? Wonder Woman should either be the quarterback or the coach. But instead she's the enforcer? Which, you know, is a hockey term but what am I supposed to think? You don't brawl in football. Sometimes you brawl in hockey though! In football, one guy shoves another guy and then the other guy grabs the first guy's facemask and then a whole bunch of old white guys blow whistles and throw their underwear at them.

I really don't understand football but I do jerk off to it sometimes.

So every member of the home team is getting beat up. The game will be lost shortly unless the coach comes up with a plan. And what better plan when you've got a team than choosing one star player to win the day for you! Oh man! Venditti did the old double loop de loop trick shot on me! He was all, "This is about a team! And teams win by team efforts!" But then he's all, "No, no! Just kidding! It always comes down to the star player and you better believe Hal Jordan is the star player!" I'm not going to ask why Hal Jordan is even in this Metal series. Where are the newbies? It was probably explained earlier but how am I supposed to remember past issues! It's not like I've been rereading my previous commentaries to refresh my memories like I used to. Now I just approach each issue shrugging my shoulders and thinking, "I'll probably remember what was going on by about the sixth or seventh page."

Actually, I probably should have read the rest of the issue before commenting on Green Lantern saving the day. Hal only gets one page because the other characters took too much time losing. Thankfully Hal only needs one page to lose (probably because he's the focus of the next chapter, it being in his comic book and all). After that, Cyborg points out that the team was never going to be able to win because the coach (Cyborg) has been compromised by the other team! Shocking twist!

So in summary, Cyborg thinks football is won on speed, anger, hiring an ancient Amazonian warrior, and guts. I'm not sure he's as smart as DC wants us to think he is.

Justice League #32 Rating: How many of you read that part about me "slipping into a reality where writing a thought in 280 characters is comfortable" and thought, "Fuck you, you long-winded idiot! You've never had a thought that was less than three thousand words and six dick jokes!"?

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