Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Black Canary: New Wings #2

"How about a photo-realistic view of Downtown Seattle and then I'll just scribble in some mountains up top?" -- Dick. "Please add some Black Canary Colorforms too." -- Editorial.

Even after giving Issue #1 an "A" rating, I still can't believe this issue is going to be anything but boring. Just look at this fucking cover! This is the kind of image a D-list publishing house puts on the cover of a biographical comic book about David Faustino. Did editors at DC think highlighting the city of Seattle in 1991 was going to move units? It's not even recognizable as Seattle! Okay, okay, you fucking Seattlites. Great, you recognized your city instantly! I guess this fucking comic book was for you then, you know-it-all twats. For the rest of us, we need the Space Needle front and center, not washed out in the pink morass over Black Canary's shoulder! You never see an artist for DC drawing an image of Paris without the Eiffel Tower. I mean, maybe not never, exactly. Sometimes they'll throw in the Arc de Triomphe or the Louvre or Notre Dame. But that's kind of the point! All Seattle has is the Space Needle! I'm not shitting on Seattle for that. I live in Portland and what the fuck do we have? A big pink corporate office building?! Oh, sure, we have some spectacular bridges! I forgot about those! Portland is better than Seattle when it comes to recognizable architecture. Although we don't have a troll sucking off a VW Bug under any of our bridges or a huge black cock jutting out of downtown (Big Pink is the best we can muster).

I don't really care which city has better architecture! I can't stand people who feel pride for living in a specific city and then try to emulate the stereotypical person who lives in that city. If you're wondering who the fuck would do that, just watch any local newscaster in any city and watch how they try so fucking hard to be representative of the stereotypes of people who live there. Local news stations should stop airing promos that say shit like "First. Live. Local." Instead, they should just say, "We have no dignity. But we have the news! Although, to be fair, half of it is composed of viral videos everybody but our oldest of olds audience has seen."

Another reason this cover sucks is that it declares the title of this chapter is "Home is Where Ya' Live." Is that some sage Midwestern non-wisdom that people spout in reply to some other person moaning about some problem? Like how when somebody in Lincoln, Nebraska is all, "I was shot in the leg on my way to Runza's!" And then somebody else is all, "It builds character." In California, we didn't have sayings like that. If somebody said, "I was shot in the leg on my way to Taco Bravo!", you would reply, "Dude! That's gnarly!" And they'd go, "I know, right?!" And then you'd be all, "Like, is this going to affect our, like, trip to the beach?" And they'd be all, "Nah brah! I'mma go, like, run some water on it! Good as new, dude!" And you'd say, "Tubular! Gonna go get my board! Catch ya later!" This is because nothing in California builds character. You just start off as a goofy, one-dimensional caricature of a human being and stick with it until you, like, die.

No white male has ever been called uppity and we all know why.

"Uppity" is a great word by which to judge somebody's character. I mean to say, if somebody actually calls somebody else "uppity," you now know way more than that person wanted you to know about what kind of person they are. Especially telling is if somebody doesn't understand why you're judging them for calling somebody "uppity." I stopped associating with way more people than I would have thought possible when they sided against Colin Kaepernick. Maybe they didn't use the word "uppity" exactly but they sure weren't hiding their feeling that some people should keep in a specific place and be grateful for what they've been allowed to have, so to speak. Unfortunately for them, my sister and my dad fell into that camp.

Obviously they thought they claimed their dislike for Kaepernick was that he wasn't supporting the troops. But we all know how flimsy that bit of moral legerdemain really is. It takes an awful lot of mental contortion to simply disregard Kaepernick's stated protest of police violence against the black community and decide to believe right wing media that has a vested interest in a continued police state backed by corporate money. The whole "I'm a patriot so I find unpatriotic acts disgusting!" is the worst shell game every invented. All those fuckers who constantly thank members of the military for protecting their freedoms support Trump and Republicans who are fucking our freedoms in the ass (non-consensually! I support somebody fucking my freedom in the ass if my freedom feels like getting fucked in the ass tonight). I would thank a member of the military for protecting my freedom if they were ever fucking used to actually protect our freedoms. As a democracy (Don't you fucking representative republic me, you asshole), it's up to us to protect our freedoms and a good percentage of us are failing spectacularly at that job.

Gan isn't just battling the small time crack dealers in his neighborhood. He's got his sights on Senator Garrenger as well.

Gan doesn't realize the opposite is also true.

Senator Garrenger is a white supremacist working with white supremacists to do white supremacy. Some of us have been fighting this shit for a long time. The problem is far more of us have been pretending it wasn't a real thing for even longer. "White supremacist Neo-Nazis infiltrating our police forces? Get out of here! You sound ridiculous!" was probably a thing said a lot in the last forty years. And yet even now that conservatives have found that they don't need to resort to dog whistles because saying the thing out loud that used to cause political backlash doesn't even cause a ripple of concern now. We have learned that a large percentage of our country doesn't give a shit if you're a racist, misogynist asshole as long as you say three things over and over again: "God Bless America," "Owning a gun is a God-given right," and "Abortions are evil." Tick off those boxes and you can dispense with all the dog whistling and just say the racist shit on national television.

Dinah begins to dig up dirt on Senator Garrenger so that Black Canary has an iron clad excuse to punch him in the face. Her and Gan decide to work together to stop him and clean up the California drugs in their neighborhood. Not that they believe the two problems are actually the same problem! Not yet anyway! Dinah suspects it but Gan thinks she's seeing conspiracy where there isn't any. Dinah has more experience with how comic books work which is why she sees the entire forest already and it's only the beginning of Issue #2.

Gan takes his show to the streets in front of a crack house to shame them out of the neighborhood. He doesn't realize it's run by the Senator's son who murders three of his "coworkers" to make his escape when the cops show. Gan is shot in the shoulder by the white supremacist assassin while Black Canary rushes in to help. A crack addict is blamed for the murders but Black Canary listens to his chaotic rambling, leading her to discover a shell left by the Neo-Nazi assassin.

Black Canary: New Wings #2 Rating: B+. All the action is basically the last half of the comic book as a seasoned reader of comic books might expect. If a writer front loads the story with people discussing actual issues, the reader is going to get antsy for some mindless violence! Too bad for some readers the violence in this was't mindless but caused by truly awful people. People think the attitude of Comicsgate is a new thing but if you read the letters pages from the past, you'll see they existed back then as well. A lot of readers didn't want to be reminded that maybe the way they think and the things they believe put them in the realm of the "bad guy." So a comic book where the villain robs the bank or attacks Batman for the hell of it is okay because that reader would never rob a bank or attack Batman. But if you make the bad guy a senator who believes foreigners are stealing the jobs of good white Americans and maybe flooding their neighborhoods with drugs as a good way to fight against their "intrusion" into "white America," some of your readers are going to look up from the comic book and say aloud to nobody, "Hey!" And since most of them aren't in touch with their feelings or have ever really done a good, close examination of their self, they don't know how to deal with hurt feelings in any way but to be angry. It's easier to be angry at the person calling some white people racist than to have a good long think about why you might be upset about somebody pointing out racism.

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