Friday, January 31, 2020

Eclipso #4

The only joke Giffen gets to write in this series is the one on the cover where he writes, "The X of Vengeance!"

That caption isn't completely true now that Giffen added The Creeper to the story. Now Giffen gets to write terrible jokes blurted by a sane man pretending to be crazy. I prefer The Creeper when he's actually a crazy person not pretending to be sane. I super prefer The Creeper when he's written by Ann Nocenti, a crazy person.

The issue begins with Eclipso quoting Matthew Arnold. I don't know why Eclipso is quoting Matthew Arnold. I'd be less surprised if he were quoting Tom Arnold. Eclipso, being an immortal vengeance god, apparently enjoys the art of humans, having previously quoted Shakespeare's Othello. So now I have to wonder why he's so keen on killing them all. Perhaps Eclipso will be defeated when Bruce Gordon approaches him and says,

"It is to suffer this,
And feel but half, and feebly, what we feel,
Deep in our hidden heart
Festers the dull remembrance of a change,
But no emotion — none."

Then Eclipso will collapse and begin to weep dramatically, sobbing, "'Tis true, 'tis true 'tis pity and pity 'tis, 'tis true!" He'll apologize to everybody present and return to the moon to read "On an Infant Dying as Soon as Born" by Charles Lamb after which he'll never kill again.

Just in case you were wondering, the moon is still full.

Exploring caves might seem like a fun activity but it doesn't translate to a fun story. It's not like Cave Carson and his group are going to run into an owlbear family reunion or a troll lemon party. They're just going to wander through a bunch of dark caves for fifteen pages. Judging by the cover, they will have one exciting moment when they disturb some bats. But since that's the only exciting moment that ever happens in caves, it sort of dulls the edges of the excitement thingy. I didn't know what object to use as a metaphor for excitement that would have an edge because I'm too stupid to know what knives are.

Although the one spelunking expedition I've always found super exciting was the one in which Tom Hanks kills the Gorvil. I've loved the movie Mazes and Monsters ever since I was a kid. I was actually surprised when I got older and learned that it was supposed to be a critical view of role playing games. I thought it made role playing games look awesome!

Eclipso bats! Now I'm on the edge of my knife!

Eclipso's bats capture Carson and his crew while Eclipso quotes John Donne. How come Eclipso only quotes old English poets and playwrights? You'd think an immortal god of vengeance would have had a broader education. But I guess he's like my friend Soy Rakelson and only believes the Western Canon matters.

Eclipso continues to try to reform on the moon but he's probably severely hampered every time the moon swings around to show its ass to the sun. While he struggles to regain his composure, Darkseid visits. Apparently they play chess on a regular basis and it's always a draw. I guess now the audience is supposed to take Eclipso seriously. I'm pretty sure when I first read this 27 years ago (UGH. Fuck time), I let out a sharp exhalation of breath and said, aloud, "Whoa! Eclipso is as smart and powerful as Darkseid! I can't wait to talk about this with my huge nerd friends Doom Bunny and Upright! I wonder which one of them is the bigger nerd? No, no time to think about that now! I have to sit in stunned silence at the revelation that Eclipso is this powerful!" After that, I probably reread Elfquest, especially the part where they engage in an orgy.

Eclipso #4 Rating: C. Cave Carson doesn't make this story any more thrilling. The Creeper doesn't make this story any funnier. And Bruce Gordon is just a boring idiot who was lucky to be chosen as the guy who could defeat Eclipso in The Darkness Within. Oh yeah! And I can't ever remember Mona! Who the fuck is she again?!

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