Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Swamp Thing #3

Cover Accuracy: Poor. Alec hasn't even become The Swamp Thing yet!

After five pages of a boy who is allergic to chlorophyll story set-up where he lives in a bubble and is beset by a boy with a fork and tumors, we get back to Abigail Arcane. Now unlike Green Lantern, she didn't say she was disintegrating and that the disintegration was complete or anything. She just said she was going to watch Alec Holland die. The scene continues thusly:

Abigail: "Do something or you're going to die." [That's a little bit different!]
Abigail: "I said do something now!
Alec: "Do what? I don't understand--"
Abigail: "If you're who you say you are..."
Abigail: "If you're Alec Holland, the real one... prove it now. Or I'll unload this in your chest on the count of three." [This is a Shotgun.]

Of course she wasn't just about to watch him die. It was sort of a threat to gain as much power as she could over a guy she wasn't sure was the guy she thought he was. But the conversation would only ever be approached this way if you knew a cliffhanger was coming and you had to make an audience believe the story was headed somewhere it was never intending to head. Stupid comic books.

I guess Scott Snyder did this over in Batman as well. Blowing up the building Batman was in and then, next issue, having Batman describe how trip wires were more about fear and less about killing. You know, I really wouldn't mind a comic book that just ended with a to be continued and didn't feel it needed some surprise shocker. Especially when the surprise shocker ending never has anything to do with the reality of the story which begins the next issue.

Right after Abby counts to 3, Alec screams no, closes his eyes, and this happens:

Then he opens his eyes and this has happened:

So Abby believes Alec after that. Although now Alec has to wonder how he has the power to do this. They make a tentative peace and Abby says she needs Alec's help to save that bubble boy in Texas.

This boy isn't just allergic to chlorophyll. He can also control cancer. And instead of using it for good, he's called to Sethe's side to help destroy the world. Now, I understand choosing a guy who is allergic to chlorophyll. It's symbolic. Or maybe it's the only way a person can channel the powers of Sethe. But it seems that if your nemesis is a guy with the power to control plants, your champion shouldn't be a guy whose biggest weakness is plants.

Here he is using his power to explode the bully kid's tumors from inside.

Now, he doesn't actually control cancer. And it seems really odd that he can manipulate this boy's tumors. Alec asks when the reader returns to Abby and Alec, "This boy, he can control dead matter?" Cancer is anything but dead matter. The problem with cancer is that it's so alive it's out of control! But then Abby says he has a connection to the opposite force of The Green called The Rot. I can see them wanting to explain cancer as The Rot. But I'm just saying it doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Cancer would just be an out of control form of The Red just like Kudzu is an out of control form of The Green.

It's starting to sound a lot like The Stand.

The boy who is allergic to chlorophyll is Abby's half-brother, William Arcane. And he's to The Rot what Alec Holland is to The Green. Holland can bond with the Swamp Thing to become a powerful elemental. William can bond with Sethe or The Rot to become a powerful death elemental. And now it's up to Alec and Abby to stop that from happening.

This comic just earned its Teen Plus rating. Ugh.

Swamp Thing #2

The Swamp Thing that confronts Alec Holland at the end of issue one is not a new plant elemental but an old one that has come out of retirement to bring Holland a message. He said he died on May 3rd, 1942 and his name had been Calbraith A.H. Rodgers. He had left his rooting at the Parliament of Trees to find Alec.

This got me curious about the Parliament of Trees and the original DC Swamp Thing, so I pulled out the old Who's Who. Not the old one but the binder one that came out in 1993. It turns out we have a change of history here that isn't very important but could add to the evidence of changes to the New 52 due to legal reasons. Here's an excerpt from The Parliament of Trees entry in Who's Who, 1993:
"In December, 1942, the plane bearing German pilot named Albert Hollerer was shot down. [The awkwardness of that sentence is not a typo on my part. Looks like whoever wrote that sentence did that thing where they change thought in mid-sentence or edited it later. I'm sure 'named' wasn't supposed to be there.] Engulfed in flames, the plane crashed into a bog. The plant elemental that arose as a result had a consciousness based on Hollerer's, but that consciousness was damaged and confused, leading the elemental to wander the Earth purposelessly until it joined the Parliament in 1954."

Incidentally, the very first letter in Who's Who #15 is from Vince Bellizia and he asks, "Why are creator credits not given for recent characters like Dorothy Spinner, Firestorm, Robin, etc.? Are there backstage politics preventing the proper names from being printed?" The editor answers simply, "Certain legal restrictions keep us from crediting every creator. Sorry." What a find!

So the New 52 changes this previous Swamp Thing character in a few non-essential ways. I like that they let him retain his original initials in his new name. Which are also Alec Holland's initials! Previous plant elementals were named Alf Oldland and Alex Olsen. Is there a reason all Plant Elemental names should have the initials AO? Or AHo which is really just the same thing.

Without the quote, this would make a nice, ambiguous t-shirt.

Alec decides listening to Swamp Thing wouldn't be the worst thing in the world as long as the walking plant and his buddies back in South America will leave him alone afterward.

World War II Swamp Thing's message to Alec is, of course, outrageously important! It's about the Force of Rot which is the antithesis of The Green. WWII Swamp Thing actually says that the Swamp Thing was created to protect The Green from this creature. And yet nobody speaks of him. Ever. Not one mention of him since 1972. But, you know, he's the whole reason for a Swamp Thing to exist!

That's okay. I've suspension of disbeliefed far worse than this! Also, it looks like this creature hides in places where The Green is weak and so a human-imbued Swamp Force needs to fight against it. Perhaps that's why it was never mentioned. No need since it stayed far away from the vegetation that would continually spy on it.

And then comes pages 10 and 11. I think there are more words on these two pages than in the entirety of the Supergirl series. Apparently this Swamp Thing reboot needs a lot of explanation to change it around! It seems that Alec Holland's Swamp Thing was not the Swamp Thing that should have been. Alec Holland actually died before he could become the Alec Holland Swamp Thing. Thus the Parliament of Trees tried to replicate an Alec Holland Swamp Thing using Alec's memories. So it was more of an automaton with some Alec bits thrown in. But the Parliament of Trees always believed Alec Holland's Swamp Thing would be their saviour of The Green. So now they want him back as Swamp Thing.

That makes some of the other stuff easier to believe. Why tell the half-assed Swamp Thing you created to replace the one you really wanted about some big Doom Death Rot Thing? But we still don't know why Alec Holland is back. Unless he was given a White Ring in Brightest Day or something.

WWII Swamp Thing dies (because that's what happens when you come out of Green Retirement) with a last warning to Alec to stay away from Abby Arcane. I wonder if Tefé is still around? It also warned him that the rot creature, Sethe, is already looking for him. Alec goes back to his motel room unsure what to do. And then he gets some visitors.

Alec is rescued by a woman on a motorcycle. I'm pretty sure it's a woman because of her body shape. Although it could be Ronnie Raymond, the white Firestorm. She also has on a helmet. Which means it's probably hiding her white hair. Which means it's probably Abby Arcane!

Oh no! Holland has been warned about Abigail and now she seems to be threatening him! But she also just saved his life, so maybe she's actually, um, warning him in a really bad way? Like he's about to be killed by one of those creatures but she's going to blow it's head off? So what she really means is, "I'm Abigail Arcane and I'm about to save you by shooting the creature behind you so that I don't have to watch you die!" Or, you know, something like that.

Swamp Thing #1

As Alec Holland (I'm making an assumption here!) narrates the story, the reader sees Superman, Batman, and Aquaman watching as creatures die all around them in their respective homes.

Superman is represented by pigeons.

Alec Holland rambles on about plants screaming at him. Then a tornado hits an archaeological dig and scatters Mammoth bones everywhere. And Holland throws out a bunch of wood. And then Superman arrives!

For a Teen Plus rated comic, this is pretty tame stuff! Even his origin story, which is one page long, doesn't have any sex or gore! He just narrates an explosion that killed him. Couldn't we at least have a flashback of his head blowing off and his eyeballs melting? Instead, we get a guy in a construction hat looking at wood!

Alec mentions that he woke up from being dead (that sounds more like being asleep!) and suddenly had memories of being a swamp monster. This is beginning to sound like a Lovecraft story. But all of this is background. I don't think the story really starts until Superman arrives looking for Alec Holland.

That's what I was going to ask!

During Superman's conversation with Alec, he basically confirms that he has died. So Superman having died is still canon. I guess I should assume that all of the stories DC has ever told are part of everyone's history but compressed over the last decade or less. The more complicated things get as I read these stories, the more it seems DC decided to do the reboot on the advice of their lawyers. DC is probably just going to shed any history of any character that can't expressly be seen as the property of DC Comics. No more creators wanting some extra cash from their creations! DC is just going to rewrite whatever the writer wrote right out of existence! Boy, I bet Marvel wished they had thought of this before squicking Gary Friedrich's flaming skull.

As an aside about Superman: do you think we'll get to see him killed by Doomsday again in the pages of Justice League? I'm betting that DC puts out a title at some point that reprints (or retells!) the major stories of DC Characters over the last half century. And they can all be squished into a nice neat little five year timeline.

Superman mentions to Alec that it can be rough coming back. He means from being dead like I said earlier. That was the line that tipped me off! But what it means is that Alec died, became Swamp Thing, had a bunch of Swamp Thing adventures in the old DCU title, and then Swamp Thing disappeared or died or withered, and Alec woke up in the swamp. But he retained all of Swamp Thing's memories. DC really likes the two personalities in one body story. Jason Blood and Etrigan. June Moone and Enchantress. Alec Holland and Swamp Thing. All the other ones I can't think of at the moment!

So Supes is just checking up on the newly resurrected Doctor Holland. Holland has gone all Office Space and decided to chuck the whole botany thing since plants were so frickin' violent. So now he was taking a break to not find himself and do some construction.

Meanwhile, the mammoth bones turn into some giant monster that sends out flies to go into people's ears. The people then twist their heads around and walk around backwards. These are probably some sort of threat to humanity.

Doctor Holland is harassed by vines and flowers while he sleeps so he decides to get rid of his formula that allows plants to grow in any environment. But just as he's going to toss it, Swamp Thing appears to stop him.

So Swamp Thing and Alec Holland are two separate entities now. Yeah. We'll see how long that lasts!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Justice League Dark #4

The Enchantress hit by Deadman and June Moone turned out to be an empty shell. But it still had power. It's hunting for June Moone. Perhaps Enchantress can't quite keep her world sane enough to function without June Moone being a part of her. Does that also mean June Moone needs Enchantress? Probably. They probably need to merge to save the world from the destruction Madame Xanadu sees in the future.

Constantine has moved on from Zatanna to Shade and now he finds himself sitting in Deadman's apartment when Dove walks in. It's beginning to look like maybe Madame Xanadu should have approached Constantine to collect everyone. He seems to have a better method of locating everyone than that insane M-Vest that just does whatever it wants. I hate clothing like that.

Meanwhile, while these magick types keep running around and acting mysterious at each other, Enchantress' craziness continues to spread around the country. Kids are killing adults. Songs are driving people crazy. And empty shells of June Moone and Enchantress are killing people in an endless search for the real June Moone.

Enchantress breaks free from her envelope and identifies the solution. Yep. She needs to be reunited with June Moone to regain some semblance of sanity. But she has a problem.

I bet Batman would listen.

Zatanna finally attempts a raid on the envelope farm but it doesn't work out too well. She randomly teleports away and ends up with Shade. Constantine backtracks his way to the source of all of the trouble: Madame Xanadu. And Deadman and June finally enter Shade's Madness Doorway.

Characters Cooler Than Superman is actually a pretty long list.

Unfortunately, June doesn't seem to end up on the correct side of the gateway. That's the funny thing about Magic Portals. June does, however, end up encountering all of the Enchantress and June Moone simulacra joining each other to become a gigantic Enchantress.

While this is going on, Madame Xanadu and John Constantine are busy slapping each other. I think John will come out on top and get Madame Xanadu to admit she did something bad. Possibly she was the one behind separating June and Enchantress. Maybe they'll just end up having sex.

Justice League Dark #3

Issue three is called 'Shibboleths and Alcohol.' So I think it's going to focus on John Constantine. It begins with Enchantress (I don't know if it's The Enchantress or just Enchantress. I'm probably the only one who cares) sitting by the side of the road full of resentment and rotten teeth. Madame Xanadu must have helped her out of the envelope. My guess is that Madame Xanadu understands the world needs these magic loonies to have some gigantic confrontation to save it. So she's helping The Enchantress as much as The Enchantress needs to get back up on her feet and fight the others. I have a feeling the big climactic battle will bring The Enchantress over to the "good" guy's side but she'll still be a loose cannon.

Also, what happened to the Justice League? Did they fly into that tornado of smelly teeth and just give up? Or are they still trapped there? Did Batman actually allow Zatanna to go off on her own without his help? Really? The guy with severe control issues? That whole scene with the Justice League was simply to show that the Justice League, even with its current power levels, can't deal with every disaster. Magic needs to be fought with magic. Magic does not need to be fought with Sonic Cannons and Laser Eyes and Truth Lassos. Except that last one is actually magic. So it would probably help.

John and Zatanna during their Hindu Sex Magick Ritual.

Zatanna refers to The Enchantress as Enchantress so I guess I should have started that sentence with 'Zatanna refers to Enchantress...' instead of the way I did start it.

Here's some of John and Zatanna's sex-talk during the ritual:

John: "I was...runecasting [Hee hee hee] in Brighton. I had a... powerful... intimation... [hee hee hee] you were in trouble."
Zatanna: "I... I was coming [hee hee hee] for Enchantress. The witch."

Okay, that was childish. At least Junior Highish! Moving on to some of their non-innuendo filled conversation, we get this bit of nonsense:

This is one of the following: Ridiculous. Funny. Informative. Maybe it's all of them! I always thought that Zatanna could do anything she wanted just by saying backwards the things she wanted done. But maybe she only has a certain number of spells she can cast with specific backwards phrasings? Or perhaps, John Constantine is just a giant moron and doesn't know how to say words backwards unless he hears somebody else say them. If he had to actually her Zatanna say the spells of hers he now knows, than she muttered, "Ekaw pu," while she was sleeping. That's probably why John woke up to hear the other spells she cast while sleeping. Least surprising of the whole exchange: John and Zatanna are fuck buddies.

Shade is trying to collect the magic people and begins with Deadman. He fails because his method of getting people to come to him is a few rungs below asking a woman to help you put your groceries in your rundown van or approaching a group of school kids with the sad story of your lost puppy.

I was trying to tell Madame Xanadu this back in Issue #1!

Madame Xanadu next asks Shade to find the next mysterious individual on her list. The reader doesn't get to see the card. I'm going to guess that it's Etrigan since Shade says it's insane. And Shade knows insane.

Back at Shade's apartment, he mentions someone named Mindwarp. So not Etrigan. I guess Etrigan is busy in the past in his own title. I have no idea who this Mindwap person is. I wish I had my old Who's Who comics and not just the Who's Who binder! I'm pretty sure those are back in the basement of the family homestead.

Constantine tracks down Shade after a bit of travel.

I like the way Constantine travels. Except the bus part. Never again, Greyhound! Ever.

I'm not sure why Constantine tracks down Shade. Perhaps it was something he saw in his sex magic session with Zatanna. I wonder if he and Shade will now do a circle jerk ritual to find Enchantress.
Constantine doesn't actually talk with Shade. He just watches. And then has more to drink. Shade M-Vests (is that the proper term for the way he travels?) to Mindwarp's apartment.

Comic books from the New 52 Universe. Comics in the DC Universe have usually been windows into alternate DC Worlds. So is Dick Grayson actually Deadman in another world? Makes sense!

He uses the M-Vest to get a link to Mindwarp and encounters him just as he's about to do something untoward (or maybe even vile!) to a young lady. They commence talking. Even after seeing Mindwarp do some thing where he has a seizure and then lifts out of his body in a Seizure Soul, I still don't know who he is. But I now wish their was a DC Character with Tourette's that can change reality by the random things his Tourette's makes him say. He'd be in The Doom Patrol, of course.

Later, Deadman answers a question I believe I asked back when he was riding around on the Roller Coaster with that Carnival Barker Devil's Cousin guy.

Immediately after this, they hit Enchantress who apparently moved her pouting and bitching to the middle of the road. Deadman and June Moone get out of the car to help and, well, you know how these things go.


Monday, February 27, 2012

Justice League Dark #2

After Zatanna immobilizes Batman, she rushes off to find a city filled with vines and glowing green bugs feeding off of humans. The Enchantress speaks to her through a car radio, blaming her for whatever the Enchantress is currently going through. Perhaps in a pre-9-11 society (that's the new 9-11, September '11, when DC flew a bunch of editors into their established storylines), Zatanna trapped Enchantress in that envelope in the barn in the barren field on the log at the bottom of the sea. But it could just be that The Enchantress is speaking crazy gibberish. The kind of crazy gibberish that doesn't cast spells, though, as opposed to Zatanna's crazy gibberish.

The woman who was in the apartment with Deadman at the end of the last issue when amnesiac June Moone came looking for him is revealed as Dawn Granger. I believe that's the name of the original Dove of Hawk and Dove.

I don't know who Joan Armatrading is.

Boston Brand (Deadman) and Dawn Granger are in one of those complicated relationships. He's incorporeal and dead. She's the living embodiment of the Lords of Order. Well, she was at one time. Maybe she's just a normal woman right now. They have a little fight because Deadman wants to fuck Dawn in the body of a stranger he just possessed and Dawn thinks that idea is icky. I'm nowhere near being a prude but I think I might side with Dawn on this one! Who knows where this guy's dick has been?

Oh, that's where it's been. Nice!

And then the action turns to John Constantine.

He's too mysterious to pinpoint!

What's great about the character of John Constantine is not that he's tough and occulty and funny and mysterious and cool but also that he's downright Goddamnned creepy when he's written well.

I'm just going to assume he has a bit of every person he's ever met in his magick case.

So he's trying to find Zatanna. Zatanna is trying to find The Enchantress. June Moone is trying to find Deadman. And Shade is trying to find everyone. Oh, and Madame Xanadu is just sitting around her crystal ball and tarot cards watching them from afar. I bet The Spectre is doing the same thing!

Once in Deadman and Dawn's apartment, June Moone explains her relationship with The Enchantress a little more and it helps with my memory of her time with the Suicide Squad. It's not that they were the same person. They were more like Jason Blood and Etrigan, fighting for control of the same body and needing the other person to give up control once they had it. Although June Moone was far less capable than Jason Blood at keeping her chaotic side in check. June Moone wants Deadman to see if The Enchantress is still somehow inside of her.

While inside June Moone, Deadman gives the getting laid thing another try.

You know, I find this far less creepy for some reason!

This is how well that works:

I think the license plate is predicting the cancellation of Hawk and Dove!

The Enchantress speaks to Dawn through a car radio as well. She blames Dove for helping to separate June Moone from her. Is this something that has already happened that is also going to happen sometime in the future? Or has this happened in a comic book series that I never read in the last ten years? Whatever is going on, it turns out Madame Xanadu finally decides to stop sitting around watching and help out.

Help out The Enchantress, that is.

Justice League Dark #1

Madame Xanadu begins the tale jabbering about the future and some such nonsense. She's throwing her Tarot Cards around the room and blabbing on and on about wickedness and innocence. Whatever! Stop looking into the future and just deal with the present! It's practically the same thing! Madame Xanadu is basically a police woman standing in the middle of a prairie with a police baton and watching fifteen murderers slowly make their way to her. She can't do anything but watch them. Not until they're right next to her, anyway. So stop looking at your dumb cards, Missus Xanadu and get into the action!

Moving on, we see June Moone walking down the street and being attacked by a giant demon. I recognize the name, June Moone. The Enchantress? I'd recognize her and her alias from Suicide Squad. I think. If it is her, she has no idea what's going on and soon has even less idea what's going on when she sees a news report of a multitude of hers being run over on the highway.

And then, Shade the Changing Man. I couldn't be happier about this. Shade back and Milligan writing him. This is going to cause me to reread the entire Shade the Changing Man series and I don't have the time for that!

Shade is in a hotel room with Kathy George. She's pleading with him to stay while his Meta-Vest is calling him away. But he can't. He can never stay when the Vest calls. And then Kathy melts away as he's about to leave. And she's aware of what's happening to her. She suddenly realizes she is just a construct created by Shade because he's lonely. And now the question is, is there a real Kathy George out there? Or has Kathy George always been figment of Shade's imagination? And what about Lenny? It wouldn't be too far-fetched.

Here is a picture of Lenny and Kathy. So cute.

The Enchantress has locked herself away in an envelope in a barn in a barren field. In her madness, she is casting strange spells which are warping reality. Perhaps this isn't June Moone, then. I'm sure I know the name from some character from Suicide Squad though!

Except Zatanna is consulting with the Justice League and they all come to the conclusion that the Enchantress is to blame for the wacky stuff since 34 simulacra of June Moone have appeared. So maybe it is her! Whoever it is, the Justice League realize they need to stop this madness. I bet they fail but Shade helps out somehow!

As the Justice League approach, they're surrounded by filthy flying teeth. Ugh. I can just imagine the smell. When I managed a warehouse at Netscape way back in the early mid-nineties, one of the installers, a short guy named Jason, had rotten teeth. The smell when he spoke to you was horrendous. But what was even worse was the time he gave me a ride to a job site. Climbing into his car was like climbing into a mouth filled with shit and rotting bodies. It was awful. I could barely breathe. And he didn't notice a fucking thing. His whole life, he was driving around in this car that smelled like the inside of a coffin. I didn't say a word to him. I'm sure nobody ever said a word to him. Did he go on dates in that car? So I know how the Justice League feels. Superman says, "My God. The smell. It's insane." Yes, yes it is.

Cyborg, Wonder Woman and Superman find themselves quickly overwhelmed by the rotting teeth. Too bad Batman wasn't there to save their asses! He'll probably save them by making a call to the DC Magick Club.

Zatanna and Batman decide it's time for them to go in so they can capture Enchantress and stick her in Belle Reve (See! Suicide Squad reference!). But Zatanna has different plans. She does her backwards speaking spell trick and ties up Batman so she can go off on her own and take out the Enchantress. But Batman thinks she can't do it alone. My guess is he'll find a way to contact the other Tricksters that were on the cover of this issue and they'll get out there to help Zatanna.

John Constantine soon gets the call by seeing Zatanna in a vision. So he's probably on his way. And then June Moone makes her way to, um, some place looking for Boston Brand, the Deadman. Remember him from the DC Universe Presents comic!

The story returns to Madame Xanadu where Shade has arrived. Madame Xanadu has called Shade to her and told him he must put together a group of half-crazy and dangerous men and women to put a stop to the Enchantress since the Justice League failed. Of course Shade is reluctant. But I suppose he'll get on with it next issue!

So far, I'm really liking this comic. I'm not surprised I am but it's the comics I'm really looking forward to that have the greatest ability to disappoint. I also like that the narration boxes for the most part are Madame Xanadu. Since she can see into the future and keep an eye on everyone's present, it makes sense for her to speak as an omniscient narrator. And it gives her something to do besides just sitting around warning people about the rough beasts that might be slouching toward Metropolis.

I hate that Heroes used that poem. Fucking Heroes. What a messed up piece of shit that television show turned out to be! Too much of a reliance on seeing the future to keep the plot moving. So, you know, Justice League Dark, don't fall into that fucking trap!

Red Lanterns #4

Living on the planet Ysmault is a bit like living in the Big Brother house. When you think you're in control, that's when you become the most paranoid.

Except instead of a pool, you have a blood ocean. And instead of a hammock, you've got the corpse of the Mad Guardian Krona. And instead of voting each other out of the house, you just tear each others' throats out. Okay, in that regard, it's almost identical to the Big Brother house.

Atrocitus can't get any sensible answers out of Skallox (Get it? He looks like an Ox's Skull so his name is Skallox!), so he bites him in the neck. He can read his mind by eating his blood.

I guess that makes Red Lanterns Phlebotovoyant?

The message he receives is unclear since Skallox has one of those febrile minds. But the messages he receives can be interpreted ambiguously, of course. Is Bleez plotting against him? Or is she just trying to explain the whole vengeance mission to the Red Lantern Moron Corps?

Because of Atrocitus's paranoia, he throws three more Red Lanterns into the Blood Ocean! Pretty soon his whole Corps is going to be coherent! This whole thing reminds me of that episode of The Twilight Zone where Peter Falk plays a South American rebel leader who ends up killing all of his closest allies and then himself due to his paranoid thoughts. Oh, and a magic mirror! But Atrocitus doesn't have a mirror. He's only got the Blood Ocean.

The Blood Ocean might give these other three Corps members their intelligence back. Or, Bleez warns, it could drive them permanently mad. I'm not sure what the difference will be if they're crazy or bloodlusty. Seems about the same.

One of the Red Lanterns thrown into the pool is a big internet nerd named Ratchet.

What is a philosophical crime? I think about murder, therefore I'm a murderer? Didn't Jesus say that?

He lives his whole life secluded from others on some kind of alien internet. He's had sex two times and one of those times was with a camp counselor on Stavromula Beta. You wouldn't know her. Actually, I'm pretty sure both times were by DNA Modem. He's finally decided he wants to leave his cellarpod and meet some new people. So he puts on his space pants and heads out the door. Which is illegal on his homeworld.

Ratchet and his new buddies are interrupted in the middle of their meet-up.

Next time I'm at a party, I'm going to yell, "Quick! Put your casings back on! It's the isolation police!"

Atrocitus continues to be mired in paranoia while the three Red Lanterns remember their pasts at the bottom of the Blood Ocean. Atrocitus decides to clear his head with a little vengeance and flies off to destroy a cult that blinds their society's females when they reach puberty. He then flies off to Earth to kill a governor and a wife beater. When he returns to Ysmault, he finds his Dead Sidekick missing!

People are already coming back from the dead in the Rebooted DCU?! Come on!

Red Lanterns #3

I don't think the Red Lantern rings actually do anything except cause the wearer to vomit bloody acid. I guess the rings let them fly and breathe vacuum. Or breathe in a vacuum. Or make Oxygen for the wearer to breathe out of the microscopic space dust that must exist in the vacuum of space for the ring to convert into Oxygen. Or maybe Power Rings just have the ability to make something out of nothing! Oh! They probably make oxygen out of light. Or out of the power that they're juiced up with. Also, do the Red Power Rings need to be recharged in a red Power Battery? I would say yes because that one cover I liked with the ring thief showed a battery for every color.

This issue begins with the bony-winged Red Lantern whose name I can never remember being submerged in a Blood Ocean.

This will make you smarter!

Why was the Red Lantern Corps created? What purpose could it possibly serve? All they're doing is fighting amongst each other while Atrocitus moans and ponders. And Bleez drowns in blood.

While under blood, a memory returns to Bleez. Her Yellow Lantern boyfriend blowing away her mother. And then her wings taken from her because somebody (Yellow Lantern? Ranx?) thought she was too arrogant.

The scene shifts back to Earth where a storyline I've been ignoring has been half-heartedly chugging along. Some brothers' grandfather was killed and these guys are now full of rage. Or one of them is and the other one is busy with college. Unless it was the other way around. I just thought I'd ignore them until one of them becomes a Red Lantern.

Someday soon, you (or your brother) will be puking fiery blood!

The rest of the issue deals with Bleez's past. Atrocitus takes her back to her Homeworld of Havania so that she may bring retribution to the two Havanians who brought all the misery down upon her.

She spits on her mother's grave with a smile. For always trying to marry her off, her mother is to blame for bringing to her the two suitors who caused all of the trouble. These two suitors sent the Yellow Lantern to her after she rejected them callously. In Bleez's mind, she treated the suitors as gently as possible. In actuality, she was cruel and unkind.

Once she catches up to them, she beheads one and decides to let the other one live but knowing that one day, she'll be back for him. Atrocitus does not find this acceptable and kills the other suitor himself. He wants vengeance to be immediate. But Bleez suggests if he didn't want her subtleties, he should have left her like the others.

And then like a good evil genius, Atrocitus considers Bleez's actions while cuddling Red Lantern Cutie Pie.

Oh hai there, Czarnian!

Red Lanterns #2

First off, Kitten Red Lantern did not make an appearance in this issue so I drew some fan-art of him.

Atrocitus is hanging out on the planet Ysmault wondering where to start on his Universal Vengeance Quest.

Atrocitus: "Man. The universe is soooo biiiig! Where do I start?"
Atrocitus: "Does some pain demand greater vengeance? Srsly! Do I start by vomiting all over those Junior High School kids who stole that whiny kids BMX? Or maybe I should just go planet by planet committing Vengeacide on everyone deserving? Or maybe I should just kill the people by order of how many people they've gotten killed!"
Atrocitus: "Hmm. But then do I start with the people who actually have the blood directly on their hands or do I start with the fascists and conquerors who have other people do their dirty work for them?"

"Oh, just get on with it already."

Atrocitus speaks with his sidekick, Dead Mad Guardian Krona, about a planet called Ghan IX that was filled with rage and war and hatred and death. He visited that planet because some soldiers massacred a group of kids but missed one.

This child's scream of rage reminds Atrocitus of his own rage when his family was killed. And he begins to feel that indeed some rage is more worthy of retribution than others. He decides he will help out those voices and screams he hears that lift themselves out of the 'cacophony of rage' which comprises the entire universe.

But he also decides he needs more help than the wild, unthinking Red Lanterns of his Corps can give.

My guess is that he'll choose the bone winged girl except she's running around in New Guardians speaking Rage Speak. Maybe he'll choose da itty bitty kitty Red Lantern.