Thursday, March 5, 2020

Black Canary: New Wings #3

I'm suddenly hungry for cheesecake.

A friend of mine on Twitter has been retweeting #PitMad tweets and I'm losing my mind. If you don't know what Pitch Wars is, it's a thing that takes place on Twitter. Specific days are set aside for up and coming writers to Tweet out short synopsis of their novel idea in the hopes that an agent will love their unique vision and turn them into the next...well, I don't know anybody that ever became a famous writer thanks to Pitch Wars. I'm sure it's happened because there's no way agents could pass up some of these terrific pitches! Especially the ones that begin with two pop culture media hits, implying a wacky mash-up of the two ideas! "PULP FICTION X 101 DALMATIANS! Can Jules convince Vinnie that dog's have personality before he decimates the local Dalmatian population? 'What do I look like, motherfucker? Dead motherfucking dog motherfucking storage?!'" How come the agents are knocking down my door after that pitch?!

It seems the majority of pitches my friend has retweeted have been of the "Teenager discovers magic secret about their family!" variety. "Bartlett doesn't find themselves fitting in at school so they go online to discover a magic tumble blog where everybody's wishes come true. But when porn is banned from the site, are the granted wishes even worth bothering with?!" Here's my other young adult novel pitch: "Randall, a syphilitic werewolf, doesn't believe in science. But when an asteroid heading toward Earth threatens to destroy everything, he teams up with eleven year old science fair winner, Bethany Hateswolves, and a box of raccoons to save humanity." I know that was a joke pitch but I kind of want to write it now.

I probably shouldn't be tweeting joke pitches with the #PitMad hashtag because how will prospective agents be able to tell the real ones from my totally awesome ones?

I wonder what this Black Canary pitch might have looked like? "Black Canary ditches Ollie to fight side-by-side with Vietnamese radio jock Gan Nguyen against white supremacists infiltrating the U.S. government. If that's too on the nose, maybe make the white supremacists werewolves!"

This is some absolutely beautiful and insightful writing. I can't wait to read the letters of butthurt 90s readers!

These panels finally got me to Google Sarah Byam and it turns out she wrote some stories for Elfquest and, at the moment I read that, I thought, "Oh! I felt like the name was familiar." Even though before that moment, I hadn't really thought that the name was that familiar! I think my brain is gaslighting me. She also wrote something called Billi 99 (the tag line for the 4 issue series: "It's 1999... Do You Know Where Your Civil Rights Are?") which I'm almost certainly going to have to dig up, even if Tim Sale was the artist on it. I don't have anything bad to say about Tim Sale! It's just his style (which he has in abundance and which is a good thing to have!) isn't up my back alley.

Last issue, I said the guy running the crack house was the Senator's son. That was my mistake. It looks like he's just some renegade dealer whose going to fuck up the Senator's plan to destroy minorities with crack cocaine. Somehow. I'm not sure how. You'd realize I'm too dumb to understand the plot if you'd remember that thing I said earlier about not comprehending what I was reading last issue. I blame all the acid I took in my twenties even though I don't mean that. I can't be mad at you, acid trips in my twenties. You were the best!

Also, I think the guy I've been calling Senator Garrenger is actually Senator Garrenger's son. Now it makes sense why he looks like a child in a man's suit! That was probably a clue as were the narration and dialogue use to explain the plot which I'm fairly certain I read but who knows? Maybe I was having a flashback.

Black Canary explains the plot to the Seattle Chief of Police which helps my brain go, "Oh! Okay! I'm following this now!" Maybe my complaint that it's hard to follow comic books when there's a full month between each chapter has been wrong this entire time. Because I've just read two issues of a comic book in two days and I'm still confused by the third issue! Has it been my stupid brain all this time? Fucking idiot. You're making me look like a jerk, brain! If only you were as smart as I tell people you are!

I want to make clear: my inability to follow the plot is not a fault with the writing. It's totally me and whatever distractions and inherent biases kept me from comprehending the story. Maybe I shouldn't be reading political twitter posts between every page of the comic book. Hell, sometimes I even put the book down for an hour or so while I play a little bit of the super cheap computer role playing game, The Quest, that I bought on GOG. It's so terrible in so many ways but not in any way that makes playing it not enjoyable. Do you understand what I mean?!

A lot of superhero books purport to be about how you don't have to have super powers to be a hero. They inspire us and we inspire them. But few have ever done it as well as this scene from Black Canary:

How much has been written about super heroes as gatekeepers? Maybe all the Green Lanterns where Hal Jordan is all, "Fuck you, Guy Gardner! You're my shitty back-up!"

All these reviews on this series aren't my usual style. I feel like I'm edging into actual reviewer territory.

With that ass, she can keep my gate any time!

Ah, I feel much better now! Welcome back to the front, acid-brain-damaged me!

I would have only scanned her ass so y'all could get a nice, close-up view of it but then I thought I'd be doing this panel a disservice. Notice how Black Canary's entire body is drawn, exploding outside of the panel lines? It's like this panel is declaring, "Black Canary is more than just her ass! I know! That's quite a claim to make but look! She is also a head and feet, you sexist pigs!"

Man, I'm really getting political!

Here's another take about the panel above that proves I'm an actual reviewer and not just a dumb online jerk who doesn't mind people thinking he jerks off to comic book pictures: Black Canary's ass looks like it was drawn by Chris Ware.

Black Canary hunts down the drug dealer, Drake, whom I thought was the Senator's son while also thinking the Senator's son was the Senator! He almost kills both Black Canary and Gan but his gun runs out of ammunition due to shooting rats in the sewers. That was a scene from earlier that I didn't think was important and now I know why it was important! To show that Drake is a fool who doesn't do the smart gun owner thing: always reload!

While Drake is being taken to the police chief by Black Canary, he gets shot in the head by the white supremacist assassin. He escapes but Black Canary and Gan find clues that link the drug operation to a Neo-Nazi camp outside of Seattle. They go to investigate in hopes of finding a link to the Senator. But before Black Canary can find one, she and Gan are caught by the racists! And no Green Arrow in sight (or on site!) to save the day!

Black Canary: New Wings #3 Rating: A. For a comic book that I could barely get excited about reading because the covers are so uninspiring, it's really surprised me! Hopefully there will be some letters from a bunch of "I'm not a racist but" racists soon!

Not the exact letter I was looking for but good enough! "Too much talk about things that matter!"

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