Sunday, February 2, 2020

Eclipso #5

Oh, it's happening!

Actually, it's probably not happening seeing as how the copy at the top of the comic book says "Illusions of Vengeance!" Although I wouldn't have minded if DC suddenly had a new super hero called Tower of Pisa Arms Man. The Doom Patrol would have hired him. Or fought him.

Discussing Eclipso with King Beauregard got me thinking about our current state of politics. The only way I can imagine that nearly half the country are losing their minds to support a doddering, mentally unfit, racist, narcissistic imbecile is that their minds have been clouded by Eclipso. Has anybody noticed any of them wearing black diamonds? This has all just been a huge stunt for an upcoming Eclipso movie, hasn't it?

Everybody is enjoying the Super Bowl right now, most of them in communal gatherings of joy and good cheer, so I figured I should sit alone reading an old Eclipso comic book while my blood pressure shoots through the roof and I curse every choice I ever made that led me to this moment.

This issue begins with Bruce Gordon recalling the moment he first became Eclipso. It's totally not racist and imperialist at all. Take my word for it. I will not be providing evidence with a scan of the totally non-racist origin event because that's apparently the new bar for justice. Evidence just makes getting the preconceived conclusion take longer. Why prove to you that the conclusion I've already come up with is true? You probably won't believe me after witnesses and evidence anyway which would be your stubborn and stupid fault because I've already told you how things are. Bruce Gordon's Eclipso origin story doesn't have one problematic moment at all! It's a perfect origin story.

You can't arrest Bruce for this murder because it was a perfect murder.

Every time I run somebody over in traffic, I just keep driving because I think, "Did I just smash into that pedestrian? Or did he jump in front of me?!" Then I pick up something they dropped and say:

My collection of right shoes and broken sunglasses is enormous.

I'm not saying it's right to invade an indigenous tribe, refuse to acknowledge their cultural beliefs, take photographs they expressly forbade me to take, gotten angry because they destroyed my camera, threw the shaman off of a cliff, and then stole an obvious religious artifact to keep as a souvenir of my perfect murder. I'm saying you have to appreciate the context! And the context is that Bruce Gordon is a white man from Western Civilization which means he can get away with whatever the fuck he wants!

Bruce Gordon wakes up from the dream about his origin and then claims that he's a scientist while expressing thoroughly unscientific theories.

"The scientist in me knows that the evil I did was caused by a cut by a magic diamond which allowed a vengeance god who lives on the moon to take over my body! Science!"

As a "man" of "science," I know that nobody ever wakes up from a blackout tied to a bed and still has their pants on. Whoever put him there would have at least taken off his muddy boots! Yeesh.

My first dog's name was Fucky.

I'm not sure what kind of vibe Giffen and Fleming were going after when they decided Bruce Gordon would wake up tied to a bed with a kid nearby watching Bruce sleep but I think it was somewhere in-between horror and reverse pedophilia.

Bruce winds up shackled to a chair at a large dining room table sat across from Mona. He asks her what happened and she says, "When that gong sounded, two women appeared, dressed me at gunpoint and brought me here! You?"

Yes. Two women dressing Mona at gunpoint is pretty much the same as some creepy kid telling you that the noises you make when you sleep are the same noises that his pervert dog makes. Practically twinsies!

The more I think about the current state of the world compared to this Eclipso comic book that purports to be a study of evil, the more I realize a real world Eclipso would make sense of everything. I wouldn't have to believe that Jeffrey Epstein was murdered and made to look like a suicide if we knew Eclipso was a thing! Everybody would just go, "Oh, did you find a black diamond on him? Yeah? That explains it! Possessed by Eclipso, got caught, abandoned by Eclipso, and then killed himself when he realized what he did while Eclipso'd! End of story!" Then later when we discovered that all the MAGA hats were lined with Black Diamond dust, we'd all go, "Fuckin' hell. Well, that explains that mess!" Then in Great Britain, you'd discover that all the hard candy had traces of black diamonds in them which is why all the old people voted for Brexit. Or at least that's what people would claim instead of wanting to admit that all the old people are fearful racists.

Not to let all the young racists off the hook for voting for Brexit! But I'm sure if people died at much younger ages than they actually do, young people wouldn't continually get handed a fucking shit future that old people keep voting for even though they have no future themselves.

Chained to the table with Mona's extreme cleavage staring him in the face, Bruce Gordon comes to the realization that this is all his fault. While I want to agree with him, I'd lay some of the blame at Madame Xanadu's feet as well. How come that barn owl didn't see this coming and tell the Justice League that the end of the world was coming if they didn't get off their asses and do exactly what she says without proof or evidence? Maybe if Bruce Gordon had visited Madame Xanadu instead of going straight to the Justice League, everything would have worked out okay. Which means, I think, I can agree with Bruce Gordon! It's entirely his fault! Also, he did murder that shaman who cursed him to become Eclipso which brought Eclipso back which led to Eclipso murdering 85% of Parador so he could run drugs and kill off all the coke sniffers in the U.S. And, I mean, is that so bad? I think maybe I'm on Eclipso's side here. At least for the first part of his plan.

Although after imagining how many people are going to think I'm racist after that fact because I just remembered that most of Eclipso's coke will wind up as crack and distributed to poor, urban locations which are comprised of majority black populations due to decades of systemic racism in the United States government, I take back my endorsement of Eclipso's plan. It's as racist as Bruce Gordon's origin story! I mean, it's as racist as Bruce Gordon's origin story totally wasn't!

It's hard to remember the reality I'm supposed to be sticking with in my reviews because I absolutely don't give a shit or pay attention to what I type.

See? You can see how I might side with Eclipso's plan! If we could just forget the way the U.S. treated the crack epidemic as a failing of the people who wound up addicted to crack as opposed to an 80s pushback against civil rights by conservative politicians to help undermine (or strengthen, in way too many cases) white America's attitude toward black Americans, it's a good plan, right?! I mean, you probably shouldn't forget those things I just said. Never forget that conservative politicians did that. Fuck Reagan and Bush and their toadies forever and ever.

And then the comic book finally does something so perfectly perfect that I can't believe I stopped reading after Issue #7 (especially since Ted McKeever began doing art in that issue!). I mean, nowadays, I would have given this comic at least another six months for this perfect moment. Let me set the scene: earlier, the little boy wouldn't untie Bruce Gordon because if he did, his mother threatened to kill his dog. Now at dinner, Bruce and Gordon were served their dinner under silver serving trays. When Bruce's tray is lifted, he discovers the boy's dog roasted with an apple in its mouth (because that's how you roast things!). This is how the scene then plays out:

This moment is such a great nod to early EC horror titles and — for me at least — the first really horrific act of genuine evil. All the rest of the shit Eclipso has done has just been mindless violence.

Later, Eclipso decides to eclipse The Creeper.

How do you get this close to an anus joke so many times and never deliver?! It's not like this is a Comics Code Authority backed comic book!

It's times like this when I have to admit that the critics of my criticism who say I'm not subtle must be right. Because Giffen and Fleming's entire plan in this scene was probably to make the reader think, "It's going up his ass, isn't it?!" And in that way, they never had to go so low and vulgar because they knew his readership would do it for them. But still. I wanted to see Eclipso reference suppositories.

Eclipso stuffs black diamonds into Bruce and Mona as well before taking them and Creeper out for a drive through Parador. It's now become a living Hell with terrific new sightseeing destinations like the Shitting Demon, the Burning Crawling Lady, and the Pile of Dead Children on the Side of the Road. None of them get angry enough to become possessed by Eclipso so he drops them off at the border and tells them to get out of his country. It must be part two of his infernal plan! Have them shit out the diamonds in a U.S. toilet so that the rats and alligators become possessed, killing the next million people who don't do cocaine.

No, that's not the plan because they all vomit up the black diamonds before heading off down the last 20 miles before crossing the border of Parador into, I don't know, Urazil. I've done that one, haven't I? I can't think of any more South American countries to mix up!

Eclipso #5 Rating: B+. I really did enjoy the dinner scene. And letting Eclipso make reference to a pile of dead children was a nice touch too. A god who kills children?! Why, that's the very worst kind of God there is!

I know Christians can be naive so, yes, that was a shot at your God. Boom!

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