Monday, October 7, 2019

Black Condor #5

Five issues and five pure cheesecake covers.

It's possible this was the sexiest comic book series in 1992 but nobody noticed because comic book fans in the 80s and early 90s didn't understand the term "homoerotic." Remember that volleyball scene in Top Gun that all the dude bros wanted to emulate unironically? Although that's unfair to the gay and female comic book readers in 1992 who probably realized this comic book was a spectacularly little gem of a jerk off magazine. It also had the added benefit of the hot and sexy Black Condor being a genuinely good guy, if not a little gruff around the edges (of course that just adds to the sexy! Meow! Can I saw "meow" when I'm talking about Black Condor? Or should I say "Squeeeawk!"? (Here's a fun and/or boring look into my writing process: normally I would go back and edit out everything after the first sentence of the parenthetical reference and replace the "Meow!" with "Squeeeawk!" Then readers may or may not understand what I'm doing there. This time I decided to keep it more explanatory for my less astute readers. You never know when you've got a Soy Rakelson in the audience whose motto is "Don't you think writers and directors have an obligation to their audience to make their work understandable?!")).

This issue is called "Firefight in Sherwood Forest." That probably means those guys on the cover are actually good guys doing the wrong thing for the right reasons! Black Condor will probably meet them, hear how they're just protecting their neighborhoods from drugs and violence, and then beat the shit out of them anyway because those fucking uzis can hurt somebody, the dumb dicks!

Crud-for-brains? I'd wager my life savings that Brian Augustyn was an early Adventures of Pete and Pete fan.

The guys on the cover are just four young dude-bros stealing from drug dealers. They burn the drugs and take the money to give toward good causes. And probably also to buy cool shit for themselves. They're only human! Probably. I haven't read far enough along to know what they're really doing with the cash. Black Condor will find out after he beats the shit out of three of them.

Sorry. I've been gone for awhile. You wouldn't have noticed since my long absence fell between writing the previous paragraph and this current one. And unless you ran off to take a desperate shit right at the same moment, the time between these two paragraphs was negligible, minuscule (I decided to use both words because I'm so proud of my ability to spell my native language (I considered misspelling "native" and "language" but decided that was a boring old joke which has carried more water than Capri-sun (that's a new joke and it's not very good because it doesn't make sense. But at least it's new))). But I was caught up in playing a stupid computer video game about dungeon delving dice trapped in a horrific game show. Spoiler: the dice never get to fuck. But I'm back now because this is blog is the only thing that keeps me sane anymore. You might think that because this blog was my link to sanity, I'd be more earnest. You might think I'd want to be grim and serious and discuss political, social, and environmental matters with the gravity and seriousness they deserve. But that's all the stuff that's doing my head in. So I'd rather pretend that I'm angry at comic books.

Here's a secret for the few of you reading this who made it to this specific paragraph out of all of my paragraphs: I wish I were friends with Scott Lobdell. I bet he's kind of an asshole but he's the kind who, if he was getting his ass kicked at a bar for being smarmy and pretentious and smug (smug because he's a rich writer whom a lot of thirteen year old boys (and men with thirteen year old boy minds) think wrote some of the seminal X-men stories), he'd completely understand if you didn't step in to defend him. He feels like the kind of guy who knows what he really deserves (a righteous ass beating) and wouldn't think the world unfair should he ever receive it. Then he'd probably buy drinks for the people who beat his ass, and I'd look him in the eye and shrug, and he'd laugh, and we'd continue to not mention that time we jerked each other off when we were fucking wasted on single malt scotch and peyote.

Black Condor and Ned decide they need to find the girl with humongous afro before she hurts people who don't deserve it the way the color changing white supremacist Nazi rapists did.

What does he mean by "completely autistic"? In 1992, I'm guessing that meant nonverbal with loads of stimming and maybe the ability to play any piano concerto immediately after hearing it once.

Karin was experimented on by Black Condor's grandfather's Society but she failed to gain the ability to fly. She did, however, gain mental abilities as powerful as his own. He's concerned that, being autistic, she'll hurt people with her mind rage. Please. She almost certainly just wants to be left alone by everybody in society expecting her to think and act in a specific way that she can't think and act, nor would she want to if she had the ability. Just leave autistic people alone, normals! They don't need help. Just because your autistic kid isn't giving you the kind of unconditional love you were looking for when you decided to have a kid that you would eventually love only conditionally based on how they loved you doesn't mean the kid needs to change. That's on you and your needs. Maybe just find a way for the kid to express themselves (or not! Who knows sometimes?!) and let them do and act as they please. Unless what they want to do is fuck the dog. I'm not saying autistic people fuck dogs but I am saying we're all individuals, you know? Use your common sense! And if your kid is fucking the dog, autistic or not, don't let them near the dog!

The Merry Men on the cover (oh hey! There were Merry Men in the Sky Pirate issue! Brian Augustyn either loves old tales of daring adventure or LSD) have been robbing drug dealers to help fund a homeless camp run by a priest named Gamble. The priest isn't involved in the theft; he chastises them about their plans to get money illegally. But they assure him the money isn't tainted and he decides to believe them when they dump thousands of dollars on his desk. Doing the right thing is hard when doing the wrong thing will solve all of your money issues. If you're a weak minded jerk, that is! I totally would never sell out for thousands of dollars so hopefully nobody embarrasses themselves by offering me loads of money to write positive comic book reviews for their publications.

Father Gamble refuses the money because he just can't be sure it was honestly come by. I would be less suspicious of the money and more suspicious of the white college kids trying to donate thousands of dollars to a homeless camp. What's really going on in this camp?! Why are these young men so interested in keeping it funded so it doesn't get shut down? Four probably rich white boys risking their lives to help the downtrodden? Sorry but this is the most aggressively fantastic comic book I've ever read. And I'm not using the informal definition of "fantastic."

"Which member of this organization could possibly be giving all of this information to these white boys and why am I exposing my plan to kill them before plugging the leak?!"

Maybe that's racist suggesting that the white guy in the gang is giving the information to other white guys. But this comic book has already asked me to believe too many fanciful plot points so I'm glad Augustyn decided the white guy was absolutely the inside man.

The white guys name is Herbie and his boss, Mr. Soto, already knows he's the leak. I'm glad Mr. Soto is as smart as I am. Or as racist. Probably smart though! They follow him as he's trying to meet up with the college Merry Men to warn them that they're in danger. Luckily for Herbie, Black Condor happens upon the scene as he's searching for Karin. And even though Black Condor doesn't give a shit about this guy and his problems, he figures even a reluctant hero wouldn't just stand by and watch some jerk get what's coming to them.

After Black Condor saves Herbie, he has to take him to the hospital because he was pistol whipped. Meanwhile, the rich white kids aren't warned that they're about to die so they drive off into the trap to steal more money that Father Gamble won't be accepting for his charity.

What a dumb asshole! Even the most ignorant of ignorant jerks knows there were only three musketeers! Unless he's so familiar with the book that he's including d'Artagnan along with Porthos, Mythos, and Harpos.

I never read The Three Musketeers because I was born in the late 20th century and exciting stories to thrill young boys wasn't a popular genre anymore because we had Batman and Green Lantern. Although I did once play the text adventure version of the book. When I did that, I poked fun at the idea that the author of it was writing the game so that people would remember Alexandre Dumas and yet it's the only reason I know anything about him! Although now I know a little bit more about him because I Googled his name to make sure I was spelling it correctly and now I know what a fancy lad he was!

Now I want to listen to an audio version of his book where every few sentences, the person reading it just says, "Oooooooh, my!"

The Musketeers (maybe I was wrong to assume they were more like the Merry Men?!) manage to get away with only one of them shot in the ankle (the others weren't shot at all, if that wasn't clear). They decide the best way to save their own lives is to lead the gun men on a chase through New York back to Father Gamble's homeless camp. They already know he doesn't want any trouble so why are they taking this gunfight back there?! What is Father Gamble's hold over these young men?!

Luckily for everybody in the homeless camp, Black Condor is there still searching for Karin. He'll save everybody's lives reluctantly!

Unluckily for everybody, Karin is also there and the gunfire and chaos freaks her out so much that she has a mind-storm! That's the thing she had before that killed four of her attempted Nazi rapists. And that's where the comic book ends! Lucky for older me, younger me bought the next issue so I wouldn't be stuck with this cliff hanger! Lucky for younger me, older me doesn't have a time machine so that fucker has gotten away with some pretty abhorrent behavior which I couldn't correct by going back in time and punching him in the nose. Unlucky for him, he's going to be a virgin for a long, long time! Ha ha! Take that!

Ow. Older me just hurt older me's feelings.

Black Condor #5 Rating: B. A solid rating that I probably wouldn't have given this comic book back when I was twenty-one. I don't think I understood just what this comic book was doing and wound up only remembering it as a comic book about a reluctant hero. I didn't realize how much of it was Black Condor trying to live his now much more complicated life while also continuously doing the right thing. Even when he just wants to hole up in the woods and say "Fuck it!" to everybody and everything, he still shows the heart of a hero when he's needed by people nearby. And he's fucking sexy hot too.

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