Thursday, June 21, 2018

The Unexpected #1

You really only have a limited number of times you can use the catchphrase, "Nobody expects...The Unexpected!"

I'm not surprised I don't recognize anybody on the cover because you know why. You read the same title that I just read. Stop playing dumb.

The woman in the front who is about to engage in oral sex with the reader is named Firebrand. I vaguely remember her getting a scene in one of the previous "The New Age of Heroes" comic books (New Challengers, I think). She's a fighter who loves to fight in and out of the ring. That's a secret shortcut to writing a strong female character. You can tell she's strong because in the first page, she knocks out Killer Croc with one punch. You can tell she's female because of the boobies. I know that joke risks alienating the trans community due to erasure but sometimes you have to take risks to become a leading comedy writer known for their third grade humor. Plus it's empowering to the trans community that I think they're way too smart for my stuff, right?

Speaking of society's double standards for boobies, remember that scene in Mad Men when Ginsberg cuts off his nipple and gives it to Peggy? What if Peggy had cut off her nipple and given it to Michael? Would it have been too obscene for television to show the nipple in the box once it's been detached from Peggy's breast? Where is the line drawn between being able to show a nipple on television and not being able to show a nipple on television? What if Peggy had just found a detached nipple left on her desk? Would ambiguity make the nipple offensive to a censor's tastes? Can a trans man's nipple be shown? What about a trans woman's nipple? It can't just be that the nipple on fatty tissue is obscene because remember that show The Biggest Loser? There were a lot of exposed nipples on large breasts in that show but they were deemed acceptable for some reason. Why are nipples such a contentious aspect in the discussion on vulgarity and human body?

Don't misunderstand me! I don't think there is anything vulgar about the human body at all! I mean as long as I'm attracted to the specific human body we're talking about. I don't want to see stuff I don't want to see! You know the stuff! Gross!

I would describe the stuff I don't want to see but I don't want to be called a fat shaming homophobe. Anyway, I just got rid of all of the full length mirrors in my house and solved the problem.

Firebrand was a civilian killed during Metal. But she got a new futuristic heart that only keeps working if she gets into a fight every twenty four hours. Don't ask how it works. That's boring detail that doesn't really matter. Just know that her heart is called "the Conflict Engine" which is the only reason you need to understand why something this stupid would be developed.

Weird Doctor: "We have some good news and some bad news! The bad news: we brought you back to life by giving you a new heart. Welcome back to the pain of existence! The good news? You legally get to beat somebody's ass once per day to keep yourself alive!"
Firebrand:: "Wait. What? Why?!"
Weird Doctor:: "No time to explain! I have to rush off to give somebody a fake rectum who will then have to eat three large linguiça and jalapeño pizzas per day or they'll die! Good luck!"

Firebrand currently explains her life by being so contradictory that I don't care anymore. Not that I cared at all from the beginning. But I needed some way to end that initial sentence that didn't take a lot of effort to construct.

Every scumbag in New Jersey knows where to find her but the CIA and some black ops corporation have no idea where to look. *shrug*

I get it, lazy writer. The heart wants what it wants and what your heart wants is for readers to simply accept the scenario you've created without thinking about it critically at all! Although I will allow myself to be wrong in this instance. Because generally what comic book writers have found is that readers are so willing to accept every idea that they'll do all the critical thinking they can to contort reason and logic until they can explain away anything in a comic book they like. It's just too bad nobody has any reason to like this comic book yet! Unless you're one of those people who read one word from a new character and instantly claim "THIS IS MY FAVORITE CHARACTER!" just in case the character becomes super popular. Then you can claim to be the character's biggest fan! Good for you!

What I'm trying to say is that Firebrand is totally my new favorite character.

An evil guy named Alden Quench wearing a Project Runway outfit comes to take Firebrand's heart. He spouts a lot of stuff that would make people who read Metal think "That sounds familiar!" which ties everything together and satisfies my need for closure. It might not provide the link to Metal that other people need but remember how I said I don't care anymore? That makes me easier to please than other readers of this book.

Alden Quench calls himself Bad Samaritan which is a totally racist stereotype of Samaritans. The only reason Jesus tells a story about a Good Samaritan is that everybody in Jesus's time simply accepted that all Samaritan's were terrible people. He might as well call himself simply "The Samaritan" (except I think that bad guy was already taken by an enemy of The Outsiders (unless he was also called The Bad Samaritan! (double unless this is actually him!))).

A huge fight breaks out between The Unexpected (who arrive to help Firebrand for selfish reasons) and the Bad Samaritan putting everybody in the hospital at risk. So because Firebrand exists, regular people are endangered. I really don't want to be on the side of the argument that claims heroes endanger everybody but come on! I can't get any stories that don't prove the paranoid civilians are wrong!

The leader of The Unexpected is a guy named Neon who is probably an Aurakle like Halo because he gets cut in half and rainbows slosh out. The Bad Samaritan splashes this rainbow blood on Firebrand and then chops her in the heart with Viking Judge's axe (Viking Judge might not be her real name but I sincerely hope that it is). In so doing, he kills himself and creates a new Nth Metal isotope.

Meanwhile beneath the surface of Thanagar, a guy named Onimar Synn eats a dinosaur guy and then settles down for a nice long pout. I guess he wants to eat Firebrand's heart but its too far away. FOR NOW!

Anyway, The Bad Samaritan created something called Destruction Metal. It's going to blow a hole in the multiverse if Neon and Firebrand don't do something about it. Viking Judge and Ascendant (the woman with the horns and the blue guy on the cover) apparently died in the conflict. I'm glad I didn't declare they were my favorite characters!

Rating: You know what? Going against my screaming brain, I'm going to buy the second issue of this comic book. It's interesting even if it's relying on that same old lazy premise that I keep shitting all over: heroes that exist only to be targets of super villains. In this one, people want Firebrand's heart and they'll hurt the entire world to get it. Neon might be trying to save the Multiverse though which is one reason I'll hang around for a bit. I would like The Unexpected to be some kind of multiversal freedom fighters. Apparently they haven't been doing too good a job so far though because worlds keep dying around them.

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