Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Darkstars #8

Worst homecoming theme ever.

This is the last issue of Darkstars I own. I'm a little bit sad that I own this one because this cover is poo on fire. I suspect that Past Me, much like current me, never looked at the covers of the comics as he bought them. He just saw the title and grabbed the magazine, adding it to the pile to take to the register. Usually when the cashier is ringing up my comics is the first time I'll really look at the covers and I'm not the type of person to grab the cashier's hand as they pick up a comic book to ring it up and yell, "Whoa, whoa, whoa! Not so fast! This comic book looks like runny diarrhea! I'm putting it back." No, I'm more the kind of person who notices how awful the comic book looks and simply lets out a nearly inaudible, haunting moan from the deepest part of that part of me my old friend Soy Rakelson would probably call a soul. I just call it the part of my brain that's going to get the skewer first when I finally decide none of this Goddamned pain is worth it anymore.

Look at this fucking terrible cover. This 90s art is the kind of art that was (and often still is) hailed as dynamic by critics and fans who never seem to know the difference between "dynamic" and "posed." This doesn't look like a shot of these idiots having just finished a battle with a mechanical bull. It just looks like they stood in line with their prom photo tickets until they were waved over and told to look at the camera and smile before being hustled off the stage for the next couple's chance at a shitty memory.

It's been a few days since I wrote a comic book review because I've been busy with my other project. I set up an Artificial Intelligence program to come up with new names for Xanth novels. These are some of my favorites:

Centaurs Can't Masturbate
The Boner Tree
Titillating Minors Makes Money
The Word Bosom Fifty Thousand Times in a Row
No Matter How Many Naked Women are Described, Never Mention Their Genitals
Whoops! That Scene Was Too Sexy
In This One, A Dragon Fucks a Duck
The Human Nickelpede
Seriously Though. They Can't Fucking Masturbate!
Seventy Unfunny Puns and Sixteen More That Don't Make Any Sense
This Book is the Merriam-Webster Definition of Chauvinism
Convicting Somebody of Rape is Embarrassing for Both Parties So Maybe Just Forget About It?
Whoops! I Gave a Ten Year Old Female Centaur Huge Boobs. Can We Fix This in Post?
If You've Read Piers Anthony's Other Books and Enjoyed Them, Maybe You'll Like This Book That He Put Way Less Effort Into
Magic Doesn't Recognize Same-Sex Relationships But a Human Can Fuck a Goat and Produce a Mutant Offspring

Oh no! Are they planning on destabilizing a region so they can send in the military and take control of its oil?

Eight issues in and I haven't discussed the Darkstars uniform. Ignore the one on the cover; the artist completely fucked that one up. Just check out the one on the panel scanned above. What's with the piano keys theme? Will we eventually learn that they're powers are tied to music in the same way the Green Lantern power is tied to emotion? Did Grant Morrison ever use the Darkstars in his Multiversity lore as the movers and shakers of the harmony of the spheres which allowed for the different universes vibrating on different musical frequencies? But most importantly: can you play Chopsticks on a Darkstars' chest?

Another great (?) aspect of the Darkstars uniform is the huge arrow pointing at the crotch. Whenever I wear super tight material that hugs my junk and exposes my intimacy, I love to call attention to it. "Hey hey hey! Ladies and Gents! Have you ever wondered exactly what my cock and balls look like? Check it out! Also this isn't vulgar because you're looking at cloth and not my skin even if the cloth hugs every wrinkle and vein. So please stop trying to have me arrested."

It turns out "The American Way" isn't destabilization of countries who have resources that Americans want but don't want to pay for; "The American Way" is advertising jobs for needed positions. Man, that's so boring. And yet, it's the most interesting part of this comic book series so far!

In 1993, what does "some familiarity with computers" mean? That you've used Koala Pad and wasted tons of meat by killing bears on The Oregon Trail?

I know, I know! By 1993, people no longer even remembered Koala Pad and The Oregon Trail. It's just I don't really remember what was big in 1993. AOL Chat and Myst, maybe?

You might also be wondering why Carla is dressed like a lunatic. Turns out, she's taking the Darkstars to a Country Western Bar. Yee haw! I'm pretty sure the first bar I ever went to was a Country Western Bar, The Saddle Rack, in San Jose, California. It was my 21st birthday and we were there because my friend Bob and I had made a pact when we were ten that when we turned 21, we were going to ride a mechanical bull. Bob turned twenty-one 23 days before me and he also remembered that stupid pact for eleven years. I also opened some presents that night and the woman I was dating gave me a Lobo t-shirt.

Geez, we get it, Darkstar. Your entire race was murdered. Don't make us feel guilty about having fun just because your people "used to have fun too."

What a dumb question, Carla! Obviously he knows what music is. He's got a fucking piano painted on his chest.

While Darkstar hits the bar, Homeless Mo hires an office manager and K'lassh destroy's Darkstar's ship in orbit. Also, I should probably stop calling Mo Douglas "Homeless Mo." He lives at the office now!

Ugh! What's with all this political correctness and virtue signalling?! Why can't this old comic book be more like, um, older comic books and just stick to bank robberies and punching bad guys? I mean super villain bad guys bent on taking over the world and not white supremacist bad guys intent on taking over America! I mean, well, you know what I mean! Just have the good guy punch the obviously bad guy who doesn't need to espouse terrible social beliefs that I might also espouse! We know he's bad! Just make him generally bad or you're going to alienate your readership! I know racism is bad! But shoving it down my throat like this just makes me think, "Maybe it's not so bad?"

That previous caption was satirical and not actually my personal feelings. See, the thing about writing is that you can write whatever you can imagine and it doesn't make the thing you've written some secret insight into the truth of the writer. It's just shit that was typed in half a second without any thought at all behind it. Except, I mean, there was a lot of thought behind it. And a lot of that thought was less about Comics Gaters types currently spouting a lot of that kind of garbage and more about comic book fans writing letters to old comics that were saying the same kinds of things twenty and thirty years before it got a stupid "Let's append -gate to another word!" name. Also, it did not take half a second. Mostly because my brain is broken and it took me forever to pull the word "alienate" out of it even though it was the word I wanted to use and I knew the definition and could almost hear the word in my head but my brain was all, "Fuck you. Why should I give you this word you're seeking? You know how many hits of LSD you rammed through me, you careless asshole? Get fucked!"

Darkstar takes an interest in the mechanical bull and is all, "Aw, that doesn't look so tough! Not like this space mechanical bull from this place in space I know!" Some drunk and tough cowjerk hears Darkstar's comments and simply assumes, like I assume he always assumes, that Darkstar is emasculating him with his words.

Beau is the Lobo of the Country Western Bar.

Darkstar decides the best way to calm the situation is to ride the mechanical bull. Beau watches him and yells, "He's the best I've ever seen!" It begins to look like Darkstar's plan is going to work until some other rube tells Beau, "That guy ain't human!" Beau goes full redneck and is all, "Yeah! He ain't! That means I have a duty to try and get him killed!" He then throws the switch on the mechanical bull to "Do Not Attempt This! Dangerous! Why Did We Even Add This Setting?!" Carla cold cocks Beau to help save Darkstar even though he doesn't need help. Wasn't she listening when he told his story about the space mechanical bull in space and how it was way harder than the Earth version? Darkstar breaks the mechanical bull with his crotch and will now have to pay for the damages. It's a good thing he's saved all that gold by firing Flint last issue.

I don't know if it ever happened because this was the last issue of Darkstars I ever read but I hope Beau came back as a villain and called himself Low Beau.

Dammit. Now I want cake.

Carla writes a check to pay for the damages to the bar just as K'lassh arrives. Carla decides to keep her checkbook out.

Darkstars #8 Rating: B+. I don't know if this issue was better than the rest because I knew it was the last issue I was going to read or because it objectively was better. At least I didn't have to suffer through Travis Charest's 90s art. This issue was done by guest penciller Patrick Zircher! Basically that meant it looked like 80s comics which I never mean to defend when I say 90s comics art was terrible. There was a lot of 80s comic art that was fucking awful as well! But it was standard awful! 90s art was unbearable because it was objectively terrible in so many ways (anatomy, asymmetry, overuse of specific tropes) but people proclaimed it the greatest art they had ever seen. I wouldn't have minded so much if everybody was all, "Well, this isn't great but it's different. Let's see what happens with it for awhile!" Anyway, in my world, Darkstar was murdered by K'lassh and there was never another issue.

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