Sunday, March 31, 2013

Aquaman #18

Nobody likes me! Everybody hates me! Going to eat some woooor...Holy fuck who put a hook in this thing?!

Aquaman has become an emo sad sack because he has to live with the fact that he fucked his brother big time just to impress a handful of super land dwellers. The other land dwellers are now all afraid of him. His Atlantean guards don't trust him. He's just a big fat mess and the only people left that will talk to him are fish. I'll move this comic book to Rank #1 and shove Batman down to #2 if it's just twenty pages of Aquaman pouting on the ocean floor.

Instead of pouting, Aquaman and his aquamen have been traveling around the world confiscating Atlantean weapons from humans who purchased them in suspicious circumstances from a fence named Scavenger. I'm pretty sure Aquaman confiscated Atlantean technology legally owned by people as well since Atlantis doesn't give a shit about Land Laws.

So Aquaman is going around attacking legitimate business people like the whalers from last issue and sketchy assholes all over the world because he feels he has a reason for doing so. Just like his brother had a reason for attacking the Land Nations because they attacked him. I think somebody is a gigantic hypocrite who owes his brother an apology and a nail file inside of a delicious crab-cake. I think Aquaman gets away with his attacks because most of the Atlantean technology has fallen into the hands of criminals. But what if another Land Nation got their hands on a bunch of the technology? Aquaman would feel justified attacking that nation to get the weapons back, right? And then he'd start another internoceanal incident.

I don't think the rest of the world knows what he's doing though because Aquaman stories always get buried way in the back of the newspapers.

Oh! Oh! I know what they say! "Joke. Stupid. Dumb. Ridiculous. Useless. Impotent. Fish fucker. Octopus diddler. Mollusk Molester. Bitch. Cunt. Did I say joke? Jerk. Poop head. Worst member of the Justice League ever. Dumb powers. Silly. Ugly costume. No reason for existing. Stupid piece of shit. Disappointing. Should I go on? Boring. Really boring. Super duper boring. Unimaginative. Waste of space. Douchebag. Crumb cake. Pool piddler. Way too interested in butt stuff with fish. Tarter sauce dumpster. One of the best comic books of The New 52. That's about it."

Now Tula, Orm's sister and Aquagirl, is waiting to speak with Aquaman in the throne room. I'm sure she has some reasonable questions for him about his part in Orm's incarceration.

Orm's father was Tula's father. Aquaman's mother was Orm's mother. So that makes Tula and Aquaman strangers. Tula wants to know if Orm is going to be killed.

Don't worry about Orm. He'll be a member of the Secret Society of Super Villains soon enough. Although they probably don't need two Ocean Villains, do they? And they're already trying to recruit Black Manta. I guess he'll have to hope for a spot on the Suicide Squad.

Meanwhile on land, Mera is being hassled by the police. Even though she has some huge beef with Atlantis, it won't be long until the surface dwellers chase her back into the ocean. Although I don't know what she's going to do with Aquadog if that happens. Perhaps Atlantis has medical procedures to outfit animals with gills. Can you just add gills to normal land lungs and cross your fingers and pray to Poseidon? Is that enough?

Here's a picture of Mera in her natural state of righteous indignation.

Aquaman visits Vulko in Underwater Prison and learns that the person selling Atlantean Technology to thieves, murderers, and whalers is most likely The Scavenger! That's what I said last issue, Vulko! Sheesh. I should be Aquaman's adviser.

Me: "Aquaman, sir! I just wanted to report some sharks have killed some tuna nearby. Should we send out some patrols to go shake down those fucking Cartilage Heads?"
Aquaman: "What? God no! What is wrong with you? That's in the shark's nature. It has to feed."
Me: "If you say so. But I don't like it. So many sharks moving into the area. I think we should make a sweep before real estate prices fall."
Aquaman: "Will you calm down about the sharks? They're just like all the other sea creatures. They just want to live their lives and be left alone."
Me: "Sure, sure. But you can't blame me for crossing to the other side of the current when I see one swimming my way, can you?"
Aquaman: "Who the fuck hired you? Get out of my throne room!"

Meanwhile...oh look! Big surprise!

Dun dun DUN!

And then the weird old crusty guy that woke up beneath Antarctica because he was totally envious of Arthur claiming to be the King of the Seven Seas ends up in Maine in time to keep Mera from being arrested. He does this by freezing all the police and nearly killing Mera as well. I have a feeling this isn't going to help Mera's relationship with the Land Dwellers.

Aquaman #18 Rating: No change. I still have no idea who this crusty old Atlantean king is but if I had to guess, I'd say it was Orm and Tula's father. Of course if this were Preboot continuity, Orm's father would be Aquaman's father after Aquaman's dad grew tired of waiting for his first wife to return from the ocean and married some land dwelling whore. But now instead of Orm becoming a bad guy because he was always jealous of his older brother's not-that-cool-at-all powers, he gets to become a bad guy because his brother acted like a complete dick by giving him up to the land dwelling authorities! I think I like this version of Orm better.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Justice League #18

I think deadend spoiled this issue when he said, "Cyborg handles all cell phone narrative bullshit. For everyone." That has to be what this is about!

The Throne of Atlantis story is over so now it's time to get back to less boring stories about fish and the ocean and more fish. I'll get enough of that in the next comic book I'm going to read. If you're really stupid, let me tell you what that comic will be: Batman Aquaman! I sometimes expect too much out of people but not anymore! From now on, I'm going to treat everyone as if they're really dumb so that I don't make them feel dumb. And that shouldn't bother the smart people reading my commentaries because they probably won't even notice a difference.

Smart Reader: "Ugh. Another review by that moron Tess Ate Chai Tea. I have to slog through all of his personal anecdotes and unintelligible jokes so that I can find out what's happening in the comic books I'm too cheap and/or poor and/or smart to buy on my own!"
Dumb Reader: "You're right! His jokes are unintellichable! Way over my head! Der!"
Tess Ate Chai Tea: "The phrase "Duty. Honor. Country." always makes me giggle because all I hear is "Doody on her cunt" and then I crack up."

This issue begins with two kids at Pittsburgh High in a computer lab. Since it isn't Walton Hills High School and the characters aren't acting like Ronnie and Jason, I don't know who they are.. Also, Jason is interested in his new lab partner named Blythe instead of faking interest in Tonya while actually being interested in Ronnie. So they can't be Firestorm, right?

Wrong. But what do I know? Maybe I forgot that Walton Hills burned down or something.

I like that Geoff Johns can basically take any characters in the DCnU and write them however the fuck he feels they should be written. I guess as long as Jason cares about school and Ronnie cares about sports, their characterization is pretty much dead on. Not that it matters though. The only good thing about the Firestorm comic book is the budding romance between Jason and Ronnie and I think that might just be in my imagination. So if Johns can make Firestorm fun and interesting, what do I care how he changes them?

Except for the romance thing! Keep that!

While they bicker (cute!), Jason and Ronnie receive messages from Cyborg telling them he can help them with their future plans if they're willing to help him. Wink wink. This romance just got cyber interesting!

Next to be recruited by Cyborg is Black Canary who is fighting Copperhead in Gotham. I mean Baltimore. What the fuck is up with all the incorrect locations? This isn't an omniscient narrator! It's an amnesiac narrator! Not that Black Canary is limited to fighting crime in Gotham. But I wanted to pretend that everything was fucked up. Intentionally misunderstanding is fun and it makes other people look stupid while you look smart! Except you don't look smart at all, I guess. I probably looked pretty stupid thinking Black Canary isn't allowed to set foot in Baltimore to take down Copperhead. The Birds of Prey were probably the right group to take him down though since his weakness is apparently seeing a vagina.

This misrepresentation of the story is for readers that keep up with my Supergirl commentaries.

Next, Zatanna has apparently made it back from Faerie alive and is getting the brush off from Constantine. So she's off Justice League Dark because Justice League needs some magic. How does Amanda Waller not know that the Justice League is hiring? Her whole plan of matching one member of her team with one member of her other team is going to need some updating already! She's going to have to make sure Green Arrow becomes a full time member to combat Black Canary. And she'll need Captain Atom on her team to combat Firestorm. And she'll need Annataz to combat Zatanna.

And then it finally happens! One of those big Justice League interview issues! Crowd the satellite with a bunch of familiar faces and give them a moment to answer Batman's questions correctly or incorrectly, and we've got new members! Although the best interview ever probably goes to Hitman.

Don't get too excited about New 52 Hitman! This is from Grant Morrison's run. That was a reminder just in case you forgot that Martian Manhunter won't be conducting the interviews today.

The potential candidates (beginning with the coloreds) are Black Canary, Black Lightning, Blue Devil, Goldrush, and Platinum. The non-coloreds are Element Woman (yes, please!), Firestorm, Nightwing, Vixen, and Zatanna. I wonder what the Justice League can offer for full time members? Benefits? A salary? Or do they just try to fool them into the "making the world a better place being its own reward" bullshit? These people all have rents to pay!

The person I'm most interested in at this gathering (besides Element Woman!) is Platinum. I'm pretty sure this is the first time a Metal Man has been seen although they were mentioned in **mumble mumble mutter** back in **mumble mumble mumble**! Why would she be interviewing alone? Did she finally get sick of all the sexism in a group with "men" in the title? I imagine she finally got fed up being the only one doing the dishes, screamed, "Fuck you all!", turned briefly into a gigantic platinum middle finger, and flounced the fuck out of their headquarters. Or she's simply here to spy for Will Magnus.

Looks like Dr. Magnus has yet to perfect his super duper wacky A.I. personalities.

Zatanna declines because she needs to find her father's killer. Nightwing declines because he's still mad at Batman. Blue Devil and Black Lightning decline because they're a team and Black Lightning is a teacher and wants to stay close to his local district to help the troubled youths. Flash doesn't want Goldrush because he's afraid of her strength. And by strength I mean libido.

Element Woman mentions Rex Mason, Metamorpho! I think that means all of the original Outsiders have cropped up. Sort of. Black Lightning is here. Looker and Halo have been mentioned and seen very, very briefly in Batman Incorporated. Metamorpho mentioned here. Katana has her own book. That leaves Geoforce but I count him as being mentioned simply because Terra exists. And because she was kidnapped by N.O.W.H.E.R.E. and had her memory fucked with, I imagine Geoforce will come looking for her some day.

And then Platinum freaks out because she suddenly doesn't know where she is. And she shows her love and concern for Will Magnus. Looks like her personality is kicking in! Too bad she begins kicking ass at the same time. Cyborg is in contact with Will and Will tells him about her Responsometer. Oh yeah! That was what the Wacky A.I. Personality mechanism was called! Since Platinum's personality resides solely in the Responsometer (although I think it reacts to the metal it's encased in to give the different personalities of the Metal Men, so technically the personality is a combination of the two), Magnus informs them that if they can separate the platinum from the Responsometer, she'll be stopped. Firestorm turns her platinum into water and her Responsometer crashes toward the floor! Oh noes! None of these super heroes have any abilities at all that can react in time to save it! Not The Flash! Not Superman! Not Batman! Not Wonder Woman! Not Cyborg! Not Firestorm! Not Element Woman! I can't think of any way at all that the Responsometer can be saved now!

Look at The Flash and those other dicks! Just standing there watching the thing crash to the ground. Fucking jerks.

Batman is looking for members to join the League full time because the other heroes have so many of their own commitments. So I understand why they choose Element Woman. I'm pretty sure she just sits in her apartment dreaming she had friends. I'm happy to see her on a team and interacting with people. But then they also choose The Atom who's currently in college and Firestorm who is currently in high school. How does that translate to being able to commit full time?

As soon as the League decides on the new members, their system crashes, their files are stolen, and a skull and crossbones pops up on the computer monitor. Somebody hacked their system during the interview and it looks like it may be the same person that kidnapped Ronnie Raymond's mom! I have a feeling Cyborg hacked himself. Not because he's a traitor but because he was probably infected with some kind of Trojan Horse virus. I wonder if he has anti-virus software installed?

Meanwhile in the back-up story, Black Adam is destroying New York looking for Shazam since he doesn't know that Shazam is currently hiding inside of a young boy. Um. Anyway, Freddy realizes Black Adam is looking for Shazam and tells his brothers and sisters all about Billy and Shazam because Billy needs their help. They find Billy hanging out at the zoo with Tawny and then they all set out to once again find the wizard and figure out how to give the Shazam powers to somebody else. I think they'll find that but not in the way they expect! It looks like the Shazam Family will be here soon!

Which is good because Dr. Sivanus has a super team of his own.

Justice League #18 Rating: +1 Ranking. I'd really like to know what incentives members get for joining the Justice League. Giffen's League all received paychecks, right? But it seems like whenever Superman and Batman are involved, it's gauche to bring up payment. Jerks.

Justice League of America #2

I believe Catwoman has Katana's sword up her ass.

Now that we've gotten to know all about the members of the Justice League of America, it's time to see them in action! And by "see them in action", I mean punching each other in the face and bickering. I also wonder if Martian Manhunter has a Jones for Oreos in the Reboot.

Issue Two begins by making sure the reader remembers that the Justice League of America's main reason for existence is to defeat the Justice League. And it begins with the Scarecrow locked in a chair. Are they going to get information from a bunch of villains that will help them defeat the Justice League? Because David Graves the cancer-ridden author already did that.

Oh yeah! I forgot it was the bad guys that were hunting down the Scarecrow, not the "good" guys! The mystery man with the cane is interviewing the Scarecrow. I wonder if Super Villains have a website like Linked In where they can tout their skills and attempt to get a sweet Legion of Doom gig.

Mr. Mystery is going to summon Cthulhu?

Green Arrow tried to infiltrate the Secret Society of Super Villains as Dark Hunter but they sussed him out and nearly killed him with Professor Ivo's Justice League robots. Now Green Arrow is in surgery and being saved instead of being put out of his (and the reader's) misery. Trevor wants to know more of what Green Arrow knows before they attempt to stop the Secret Society of Super Villains but Amanda Waller wants him to prep the team and send them out without any information. Hey! That's how she runs the Suicide Squad! And people die all of the time (although they do tend to come back). You'd think she'd want to try something different with a bunch of heroes! But she's more interested in pushing Steve Trevor around than keeping the team safe, so Trevor goes to brief the team on their first mission. I don't know why they don't just bring Martian Manhunter in to read Green Arrow's mind and get the information they need. The leadership on this team sucks. Utilize your members!

Now I sound like a Porn Director!

Who said he was trying to look at your eyes? Sheesh!

At the first meeting of the Justice League of America, they all have chairs with symbols on the back indicating who gets to sit where. I have no fucking idea what Catwoman's symbol is or why Vibe thinks it might be for Captain Atom. It looks like a cotton ball with two lines through it. Maybe it represents a cat playing with a toy. Or a cat having sex with a bat.

Everybody is being prepped for their press conference to be introduced to the public. Except for Catwoman who must remain behind because she didn't dress appropriately. I'm also surprised that Martian Manhunter isn't being kept secret. It's not like anybody will know who he is anyway since he erased everybody's minds. They'll probably all just be afraid of the giant green man with the Oreo crumbs all over his face. Before they leave Catwoman behind, she has one last thing for Trevor.

I think this completes the circuit so that Superman basically kissed Batman. Superman--Wonder Woman--Steve Trevor--Catwoman--Batman.

Steve Trevor is manhandled by a legendary thief and he doesn't check to make sure he still has his wallet after this. Because he doesn't. As I said earlier, the leadership of this team sucks. Does he know what any of the members of the team are capable of? I don't think he actually read all of the files!

Inside the wallet, Catwoman finds a picture of Wonder Woman with Steve Trevor and she grows melancholy because she understands never getting to have sex again with a member of the Justice League. Fucking teases.

At the press conference, Stargirl gives a speech written for her by Waller's goons. The speech talks about Johnny Appleseed and how he was a selfless hero and humanitarian that helped shape our country with his selfless apple planting. I think the speech writer needs to read a fucking biography on Johnny Appleseed and stop spreading ignorant lies! Or it's an apt analogy because the Justice League of America also wants to be seen as heroes even though they have ulterior motives and selfish interests.

Meanwhile, Steve Trevor brings Martian Manhunter in to read Green Arrow's mind. Okay, so maybe the leadership isn't as horrible as I thought. And maybe Steve Trevor allowed Catwoman to steal his wallet so she'd find the picture so she'd feel a connection to him. Perhaps Steve Trevor is a super genius! Martian Manhunter discovers that Green Arrow fought against a robotic Batman. Although he may not have made the connection that this Batman was a robot since he simply tells Steve Trevor that Batman was there. I don't know who's playing whom in this drama!

Once Steve Trevor gets the information, he tells Green Arrow, "You suck!", and tells him he can't be on the team. According to the cover, I'm pretty sure that will change. But for now, the Justice League of America is off on their first mission! I wonder how many of them will die?

By the end of the story, none of them have been killed but several of them have disappeared, Martian Manhunter can't use his telepathy (of course!), and Steve Trevor's neck ends up in Robot Wonder Woman's noose. I guess I'll have to wait until Issue Three to see who dies.

The back-up story is an analogy about the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001. Starring some unnamed assassin as the terrorists, Martian Manhunter as the government, and President Obama as the American Public!

Justice League of America #2 Rating: +1 Ranking. The worst part about this comic is that every time Catwoman is on the page, I picture David Finch's boner as he was drawing her. I feel dirty!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Birds of Prey #18

No more Turds of Prey! That was Duane Swierczynski's mark of shame. Christy Marx needs to earn a Shame Title on her own!

Last issue didn't matter because the one constant in Duane Swierczynski's writing was that nothing that happened ever affected anything else. That being said, I hope Christy Marx clears up what happened to Poison Ivy!

I read somebody's thoughts on Christy Marx's version of Birds of Prey and she said, "I just finished reading Christy Marx’s first issue of Birds of Prey, and you know what? I barely noticed a difference." That's a fucking insult if I ever read one! It also has me worried! I sure hope Christy Marx doesn't treat the Birds the way Duane was treating them! I think she meant that Christy is going to run with the story and history that Duane put down. That's fine. That's actually a good-writer thing to do. And since Amethyst in Sword of Sorcery has been a lot of fun, I'm really looking forward to this change in writers.

I'd say it can't get any worse but DC has burned me before!

The issue begins with Mr. Freeze torturing a well mustachioed Talon. He's not limping or anything, so this story must take place before Batwoman. When the Talon won't tell Mr. Freeze what he wants to know, Mister Freeze has his unknown partner dispose of him however he'd like. The unknown person would like to put a couple of barrels of buckshot in the Talon's head. Oh, which he does! Just in case that wasn't totally clear.

So Mr. Freeze is actually cleaning up some of these Talons and Batwoman goes and fucks with him when he wasn't actually doing anything else? Plus he helped fight against Medusa (or so he claims!). Plus he helped fight against The Rotten Justice League in Rotworld! Doesn't that count for anything? But that's all over. Now Mr. Freeze is going to go after Strix for answers. And that will cause trouble which might give Batwoman a good reason to have gone after him, even if Batwoman doesn't know that that reason exists.

The first scene with the Birds of Prey feels right. This book might be on the right track! Even the Narration Boxes act as Thought Bubbles instead of weird out-of-time commentary!

Why does Batgirl have that chin thing?! That isn't normal, is it? Get rid of it! It's ugly! Is she slowly stealing Midnighter's look?

Things slowly get worse. But mostly due to the art, I think. Strix throws Condor into a mirror during a sparring match. The art shows Condor fifteen feet away from the mirror according to his reflection when he's actually only about three feet away from it. Then Black Canary lectures Strix for being out of control which pisses off Strix and they tussle. The punching bag that ends up spilling sand all over the gym is shown all over the place and at crazy heights in every shot. Maybe the artists are still drawing to Duane's world where no panels relate to any other panels. And then Batgirl still wishes Strix can talk to them even though Strix can write. Get her an iPad already!

Instead Strix has to write "hungry" on the wall with a piece of her own shit.

Condor offers to cook omellettes for everyone. Yay! Condor has found his place in the group as the chef and caretaker of the Birds of Prey secret headquarters! I would really love that. I don't actually like him being on the team. But as the Chef/Butler/Maid/Manservant/Security of the team? Perfect fit!

Afterward, Starling gets angry at Black Canary and storms out. Oh, she'll be back! Amanda Waller isn't going to let her go that easily.

Black Canary also takes off so that she doesn't have to deal with anybody. I'm beginning to wonder why she started this team in the first place? She doesn't get along with anybody! At least not for more than a few pages. Dinah ends up in a coffee shop where she meets an elderly woman who mentions that she used to order her coffee in this place during Prohibition when they'd sneak hooch into her drink. My first thought was, "What the fuck? Is she a hundred years old?" Turns out she's ninety-nine years old! I hope she's the newest member of the Birds of Prey! And luckily she's a black woman because Dinah Lance needs some advice!

There's nobody wiser than a really elderly black woman! Except maybe a blind elderly black woman! I'm pretty sure the reason Luke didn't recognize Yoda on Dagobah was because he was expecting an old gray haired black woman in a rocking chair sipping her tea.

After Dinah's lesson in inner peace and tranquility, she returns to the Birds of Prey Secret Headquarters. Everybody is there, even Starling, because they all got texts from Black Canary to meet back at Headquarters. But Black Canary didn't send a text! And then it becomes apparent that I was entirely mistaken when I've been calling the headquarters secret!

Black Canary and Strix seem to be getting along just fine now.

Mr. Freeze obviously wants the Talon. Silly rabbit! Strix are for kids! I told you I'd eventually say that! But the warning was a long time ago, so you probably weren't adequately prepared for the awfulness of it. I'll give you a moment to recover before we get back to the story.


Okay then! Starling also has some really horrible jokes to share as well!

You've got to admire her horrible joke ability! Mr. Freeze interrupts her first crack and she doesn't miss a beat thinking up another!

Mr. Freeze must not know anything about Starling or he wouldn't have wasted his time attacking her first. Her bullets weren't going to hit anything except the wall behind him anyway. Black Canary gets frozen next because she has the ability to scream her way out of the ice. You know, if she was encased with some air in her lungs. Oh man. If she just got finished breathing out, she's fucked! But Condor is on it! He's done sweeping up and mopping, so now he can do some security! He uses his telekinesis to smash the punching bag (the one piece of gym equipment Black Canary can apparently afford) into Mr. Freeze's head.

What is wrong with these heroes?! They do see that he has a helmet on, right? Do they just assume it's easy break glass? As if he would wear something on his head that would shatter from anything less than Batman's fist? Amateurs! In this book and Batwoman!

Mr. Freeze sprays his misty load all over the room and then escapes with Starling since she was the only Bird unable to defend herself. But he sends the Birds a text message on Starling's cell phone she left behind, demanding they meet him later and to bring the Talon. I have a feeling he needs some information on resurrection to help his wife Nora.

Birds of Prey #18 Rating: +1 Ranking. This comic deserves a boost simply because Duane is gone. But I don't care about that shit. Let's talk about super heroes and their cell phones! Do they all have two cell phones? One for the secret identity and one for the super hero? In one Superman issue, Superman answered Clark Kent's phone while in Smallville when he was supposed to be in Metropolis. Isn't that careless? And how else do super heroes get in contact with each other? Where do they leave their super hero cell phones when they're in their secret identity. That can't keep it on them or anywhere near their real home, right? Can't people trace those things or track their GPS? I liked my Super Hero Universe better before cell phones!

Batwoman #18

Excuse me for a moment, Batwoman. I need to piss in some mouths really quick. Even though he doesn't need it and won't ever read this, I just wanted to take a moment to defend Wil Wheaton before kissing Batwoman's ass.

Tonight on Tumblr, somebody sent a message telling him he sucks (couched in the "I'm disappointed" language of the utterly offended) because he reblogged Louis C.K. and because he has earned a paycheck for being on The Big Bang Theory. I'm not going to argue whether or not somebody might be offended by Louis C.K. He's a really smart, cutting edge comic and that's always going to step on a few toes. But life steps on toes and comics don't shy away from talking about life. So let's talk about the problem of Wil Wheaton on The Big Bang Theory.

It's not a problem. I don't watch the show mostly because I still can't believe shows use laugh tracks and that show seriously overuses the laugh track. I've seen the show and will watch it for a few minutes here and there in syndication because I think it can be funny. I think it would be funnier from a nerd perspective as opposed to the way it slyly winks at the non-nerds watching the show and whispering, "Can you believe these guys?" But I'm not here to defend what the show does right and critique what I think it does wrong. The person seemed to think it was a problem that Wil Wheaton was drawing a paycheck from being on the show. Wil told this person to fuck off in a more polite way than I would have but in an offensive enough way to piss off a lot of other people who suddenly decided Wil was an asshole.

Wil, be an asshole. Fuck the people that want to take the piss out of you because they expect you to be what they expect you to be. You follow me? If we could all only take jobs that wouldn't offend a single person on Tumblr, we'd all be unemployed. But I guess we'd be incredibly enlightened and totally unoffensive! I guess that's a thing!

One of the truest posts I ever read on Tumblr went something like this: "The quickest way to lose followers on Tumblr is to be yourself." Of course the corollary to that is "Fuck them." I've learned there are two signs that I'm writing my commentaries really well: when I gain a lot of followers in quick succession, and when I lose a lot of followers in quick succession.

Was Wil's response appropriate? Should it even be judged as such? Sometimes a person reacts to an individual more harshly than he would have because he's reacting to the many people that came before with the same exact bullshit. So the response might seem heavy handed or over the top in the small moment others are allowed to see. Perhaps Wil was responding to more than the one person. Anyway, why can't Wil be upset? Because people expect more from him? Because he has a soapbox and should "be better" than other people? Wil's critics seem just fine to react to his anger with their own anger. I suppose celebrities aren't allowed to have outbursts. When you're surprised that a celebrity shows him/herself to be human, it isn't a fault with the celebrity. It's a fault with your initial perception of the celebrity. Perhaps that's why so many people were angry? They were angry at themselves for somehow being duped into believing a role model was something other than just another person.

Anyway, Tumblr allows for everyone to voice their opinions. I'm all for the cacophony. But remember this: the person that makes a stupid joke (often me!) or reblogs some insensitive thing on Tumblr (probably me again!), for whatever reason, might just be the biggest champion of social justice when things really fucking count out in the Thunderdome of society (, sorry. Not me this time. Fuck everyone that isn't me!). This was my voice added to the howling moan. And now, Batwoman! Finally.

The comic opens with Hawkfire and Batwoman punching Mr. Freeze in the helmet.

I like that Jacob Kane (Kate's dad! Bette's uncle!) is anti-snark. I shouldn't be surprised though. He is military and Bette is currently in the line of duty. Get serious, Private!

Let's consider Bette's decision to put flamethrowers in her costume. In what way is that a good idea? As a law enforcement agent, if you're resorting to fire, you've already decided that death and destruction is acceptable. She can't set criminals on fire! Okay, occasionally she can if they're Urban Legends, I guess. But she's really walking an ethical tightrope if she refuses to kill bad guys but putting them in the hospital from serious burns is a tactic. At that point, it's just a toss up as to how injured they'll be. They could need amputations. They could easily get serious infections and die. Or end up with a future of plastic surgery, skin grafts, and physical therapy. And even if she doesn't use her flamethrower on the criminals, why bother? The only thing she'll be doing is setting buildings on fire and causing more problems than the criminal! I think Hawkfire needs to go back to the drawing board and brainstorm a new name.

While Hawkfire fights, she has Colonel Jacob Kane watching via a camera attached to her costume and giving her pointers via wireless communication. Batwoman has the same set up but with Cameron Chase at the other end of her microphone. Both voices seem to be a bit more of a distraction than a help but I suppose neither one actually had much say in the set-up. I'm sure Uncle Jake wouldn't let Bette out in that suit if he couldn't watch her and try to keep her safe. And Batwoman is the tool of the DEO, so she's stuck as well. It doesn't much matter though because Mister Freeze is quickly taken down with a nice big ice chunk jammed through his leg. At least he didn't get third degree burns over forty percent of his body.

Uncle Jake has a few questions about why his daughter is hunting Mr. Freeze. But neither he nor Bette can ask her because they seem to be keeping their communications secret from Batwoman. But they're not the only ones wondering why she's after Freeze.

By the way Batwoman fingers his gun after the fight, I suspect the DEO sent her in to grab up some of his technology.

Batwoman's response to Mr. Freeze basically amounts to, "You're a doody head!" And then Batman arrives to scare the crap out of everybody. The layout of the panels when Batman arrives is really nice, showing a blue half of the bat symbol on the left-hand page and a red half of the bat symbol on the right-hand page. And the layout isn't just nice on this page! The previous pages have retained the playfulness and beauty of the layouts when J.H. Williams was doing the art himself. I was worried about the change of artists on the book but I've been quickly won over (I first typed "run over") by Trevor McCarthy's work here.

Anyway, Batman is here!

I know, right?

Batman wants the Freeze Ray but, as expected, Cameron freaks out and tells Kate to tell Batman to go to hell. Very brave, standing up to Batman way on the other end of that wireless tether! Batman also has a few tips to pass along to Batwoman about fighting bad guys. Well, one tip actually.

Okay, it's not so much a tip as a critique!

Hey Batman! Take your advice and shove it! Some people might think causing a Catwoman to crash a motorcycle going at 100 miles per hour might be a bit of overkill as well! Sure, wah wah wah. You were out of your mind from grief. You still nearly killed your midnight fuck buddy, you bastard! At least Batwoman only took advantage of an icicle that accidentally went into Mr. Freeze's leg as opposed to purposefully trying to cripple him. Catwoman (and Ann Nocenti!) were right: you are a bully!

Batwoman gives Batman half of Mr. Freeze's weapon and all of Mr. Freeze. She then heads off, probably to be yelled at by Cameron Chase and Mr. Bones.

Instead of chastising her, Mr. Bones decides to torment her. He's desperately trying to keep her on the line and working for the DEO. Now that it looks like she's about to break free, Mr. Bones figures it's time to release Alice back into Gotham.

And then it's time to build some sub-plots!

Sub-plot #1: Uncle Daddy Jake's wife (new wife? Did I know he had a wife? Oh memory, you frigid whore!), while looking for the cat, has found Bette's Flamebird costume stuffed under Bette's mattress alongside her porn.

Wait. They have a cat?!

Sub-plot #2: Maggie Sawyer is looking for an apartment to share with her fiance, Batwoman!

Sub-plot #3 but not really since it was already touched upon in the Mister Bones scene: Cameron Chase meets with the fish that they'll be releasing back into Gotham just like my tortured fishing analogy paragraph mentioned!

I don't know for sure it's Kate's sister Alice but judging by the ending of Issue #17, I'd say that's a good guess.

Batwoman #18 Rating: +1 Ranking. I was worried things would fall apart when the new artist came on board but I like it! Still a good looking book. And do I have to add that it's still well-written? I think my "+1" already said that.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Legion of Super-heroes #18

How's your Level 12 Intelligence going to get you out of this mess, hunh?

The only thing you need to remember about last issue was how Sun Boy was eaten by aliens.

Oh, I guess The Fatal Five were up to no good and caused a massive power outage across the entire universe. That seems to be an issue back on Earth at Legion Headquarters. A huge crowd mob has assembled outside Legion HQ to blame the Legionnaires for the problem. They threaten them. They throw rocks at them. They act really surly! But Harmonia tries to talk them down. Almost hit by a rock? No problem! She remains calm and assures them Legion is on the job. But when a Futurecast Blogger begins asking probing questions about Brainiac's involvement in this disaster?

"No more questions!"

The Legion know who the truly dangerous citizens are! They aren't the ones that resort to violence. They're the ones that begin asking questions. And questions can only lead to answers! And answers are, well, answers are pretty good, actually. Unless the answers portray you in a bad light! If I were these citizens, I'd be even more suspicious of Legion now than I was before I was trying to kill them!

A group of Legionnaires have decided to travel to the planet in the center of the Federation to investigate the power outage. The group is composed of Cosmic Boy whose role is to shout orders, Lightning Lass whose role is to power the ship, Shrinking Violet whose role is to question orders, and Shadow Lass whose role is to constantly point out how much shit they're in. It sounds like they have all the important jobs covered, so it's time to see how everyone is doing on Rimbor.

Rimbor's a total loss and Chameleon Boy, Ultra Boy and Glorith ditch it to head to Glorith's homeworld for some advice from her Magic School Teacher.

Back on Earth, Dream Girl is no help because her power has a major problem.

How many Legion Man Hours are spent researching whether her dream was simply a nightmare about her teeth falling out or a prophecy that they were all going to die from radiation sickness? You suck, Dream Girl.

Still another group of Legion members were fiddling about on the "organic stone" skin of a Promethean Giant. This group was composed of Phantom Girl whose main tactical advantage in battle is to not be hurt, Polar Boy whose possibly the most useful in this group since Sun Boy has been eaten, and Invisible Kid whose main tactical advantage in battle is to not be seen. I have a feeling this group wasn't on a mission in which they thought they'd have to do battle. Perhaps they were on an interplanetary mission of Hide and Seek?

Goddammit! They weren't cannibals! Just like eating a dolphin wouldn't make you a cannibal, Polar Boy! It would make you a dick though. So these aliens were dicks! But they weren't fucking cannibals!

The Promethean Giant they're on must be ticklish because it almost kills them with its giant finger when they start walking about. Good thing they can go intangible! Well, good thing one of them can go intangible! The other two guys are fucked.

Back on Earth, Dream Girl is going to be really sorry she spent all that time having sex with Star Boy instead of dreaming a dream that might have prevented what happens next.

Oh, he'll be okay. The one guy you don't have to worry about when a building falls on him is the guy that can change the density of the building that fell on him.

And finally it turns out that Tharok is controlling the Promethean Giant.

Legion of Super-heroes #18 Rating: No change. Another boring issue. I really liked the last issue a lot and now it just went back to the erratic pacing of a half dozen uninteresting stories. Because there are so many characters to follow and so many threads, the pacing is really important in a book like this. While the creative team nailed it last issue, this issue was just too many boring threads of everybody dealing with having no power. I was almost a fan last issue, Legion! You almost landed me! But I fought too hard and got away. Good luck getting me to fall for your bait a third time. I'm pretty sure last time was only the second time I almost liked the Legion of Super-heroes!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Red Hood and the Outlaws #18

How can Jason Todd have a Requiem issue? Hasn't he forgotten who Damian Wayne was?

According to the beginning of this issue, Jason Todd did not lose his memories from the Joker trapped Red Hood Mask. Even though The Joker's super technological hologram trap (when did The Joker begin using high tech gadgets?) supposedly started Jason off with "a clean slate", Jason Todd begins this issue lying on a slab remembering his past.

Perhaps Lobdell realized if Todd had no memory, Lobdell couldn't fill up the pages with tons of Narration Boxes.

The explanation for the non-blank slate Jason Todd still gracing the pages of this comic book is this: Jason Todd has retreated into his memories to hide from the pain of The Joker's attack. I get the feeling Scott Lobdell didn't have any idea what he was going to do with Jason Todd after last issue. And then he probably sat down to write Jason Todd without having access to any of Jason Todd's memories and he was dumbstruck. How do you write Jason Todd's voice if it isn't Jason Todd's voice? Can you still make him a snarky jerk with a crappy attitude? Or has he forgotten even how to act like that? But if Lobdell sent Jason Todd back into his past, he can have it both ways! Jason Todd's mind has retreated into his past to deal with whatever issues Todd needs to deal with. And in normal reality, Alfred is probably doing CPR on Todd and giving him an Earl Grey enema.

Jason Todd now finds himself back on a set right out of his All Caste years being tormented by The Joker. Since Jason Todd was killed by The Joker (and now near-killed by The Joker?), Scott Lobdell must have felt he needed more time to tell the tale of Jason Todd and his Joker induced mental illness.

Why is Jason Todd so angry at The Joker and Batman for his death? He should be angry at comic book fans! They're the jerks that called for his death. Perhaps that's why this comic book is so bad. Scott Lobdell is using it as Jason Todd's tool to punish the readers. It's genius! First, Jason Todd is resurrected. Then he has to get insanely popular through cartoons and other comic book projects. And finally when a shit-ton of people can't stop buying any book with his name plastered on it, turn the comic book into a monstrous vault of compost! That'll teach comic book readers! Stop being dicks and voting for Robin to die! It's probably that exact attitude that caused Damian to die! Grant Morrison probably realized that what the fans really wanted was more death of Robin stories! And you know how Grant Morrison can't resist giving the readers what they want! Shame on all of you jerks that called that phone number and voted for Jason Todd to die! Now I have to read this shit!

While in a coma, he's somehow aware of the fact that he's in a coma. And he's aware that Alfred is hovering over him.

The above panels are some of the best evidence for why I hate these types of Narration Panels that are somehow a combination of thought bubbles and DVD commentaries. Bad writers don't know how to utilize them. I'm fucking sick of them being used as if the main character is sitting next to the comic book reader and giving that person a tour of the characters and story. JASON TODD DOES NOT KNOW THAT THEY'RE THERE AND THAT THEY'RE TRYING TO SAVE HIS FACE! HE'S IN A FUCKING COMA!

Why is he talking?! He shouldn't be aware of this scene! SHUT UP!

Even if Jason Todd were watching this scene develop from on high instead of being unconscious, why would he say Bruce is the last guy on Earth who should ever use the word "family"? Before Jason Todd put on The Joker's mask, he was beginning to feel okay with his position among the other members of the Bat Family. Or is it just Lobdell's play on the "Death of the Family" title of the horrors that The Joker perpetrated?

Stop telling me what everything Alfred says means! Stop explaining why Alfred is such a good guy! Let your fucking readers experience the comic without telling them how to interpret each of the character's dialogues or actions! Stop getting in the way of your own fucking comic book, Lobdell!

And then he died. So, how did not worrying about him work out for you? Of course, you over-worried about Damian. And then he died. So, how did worrying too much work out for you?

Batman's memory is one where Jason basically informed Batman that Batman needs to allow Jason to make his own mistakes or he'll never learn. I hope he learned something from the huge mistake he made going out on his own and getting whacked by The Joker! Oh wait, he didn't learn from that, did he? Ducra can explain.

This is the best part of the comic book so far! I don't know why Lobdell didn't ruin it with some Narration Boxes explaining what Ducra meant.

I like what Ducra has to say here. It's one of the problems some people have when they don't really know what they want or who they are. Like when somebody rebels, they're allowing the thing they're rebelling against to dictate how they act, even if it's opposite of the thing they're "supposed" to conform to. But if they know what they want and it's opposite of the thing, it's not thought of as "rebelling"! It's just a person doing the thing they want to do. So Jason has been letting The Joker determine who he had become. In essence, The Joker did create the resurrected version of Jason Todd even if The Joker himself didn't realize it. And The Joker was kind of upset that he came back and ruined his big trick on Batman.

Somehow Jason is convinced by Ducra's advice that he needs to open up and accept help from others and allow others to love him before he gets himself and everybody that cares for him killed. She uses words or logic or something. The last memory Jason has before waking up from his coma to hug Batman and make everything okay is a memory from his time as Wingman (or Knightbat or Manman or something) in Batman Incorporated.

How did Jason Todd fail Batman in Batman Incorporated? Everything was going perfectly well up until the night Damian died. And Damian hasn't died yet since he was right there playing catch with Roy when Jason Todd ended up in this coma. And Damian Wayne couldn't have died until Jason Todd was back up on his feet since he gets betrayed by Batman Incorporated's Red Hood on the night Damian dies. Perhaps he's just generally apologizing for being a righteous dick?

Red Hood and the Outlaws #18 Rating: No change. I like that Batman and Jason Todd are growing closer again. I like (though I suspect others won't) that Jason Todd may be putting his anger and over-the-top violence behind him. I still do not like Scott Lobdell's reliance on Narration Boxes. Once again, the comic would have been much better without them.

Wonder Woman #18

Who would be destroyed by the Gods?

Get your Amazonian Wonder Bracelets ready, kids! It's time for The Bullet Point Review! That's where I get to relax and read Wonder Woman and just list the essential plot points for my future self next month! See? I told you to get your bracelets ready so you could deflect the bullet points I'm going to throw at you!

There may also be pictures.

  • Wonder Woman and War travel to Demeter's Realm hoping to find Zola's stupid baby that's causing all of this trouble. Why doesn't she just get a kitten?
  • Hermes ambushed them while saying, "Go, I say, go away War. Ya bother me."

"That's a joke son! See? He's got, I say, he's got rooster feet!"

  • Wonder Woman battles Hermes and isn't instantly killed. That's impressive, right? He's supposed to be pretty fast! Wonder Woman must get a lot of practice blocking quick hands since she's currently dating Superman.
  • The First Born battles Poseidon. I don't know the statistics of either of these characters. My guess is The First Born will defeat Poseidon or else the whole First Born story arc will end with a gigantic whimper.
  • Hermes wants to keep the baby because the baby was put under his protection. The whole maternal bond doesn't seem to be a decent argument as to why the baby doesn't belong to him.

This attack by Hermes seems like a bad idea. Aren't Amazons trained to destroy male genitalia on sight? And he's just offering his up on a figurative silver platter here! Man, I'd like to see him offer them up on a literal silver platter. I wonder if Hermes has a rooster penis?

  • Using DNA from Diana's ass to locate her in Demeter's Realm, Orion Boom Tubes in and rescues Hermes' genitals by yanking Wonder Woman out of the battle.
  • Hermes calls Orion a dog.
  • Orion wants to kill Hermes but Wonder Woman pulls on his leash and keeps him on track.
  • Wonder Woman and Orion run from Hermes while looking for Zola's Baby, Little Zeus.

Technically Orion doesn't know absolutely that he's supposed to kill Zola's child.

  • Hermes is crippled yet again when Wonder Woman cuts off one of his foot wings.
  • War makes his way to Demeter, rips open her wooden belly, and pulls out Zola's baby.
  • Should I be calling War "Ares"?
  • The last night of my work week, I sometimes repeat this over and over: "I am Jack's Grecian Urn."
  • My work weeks generally only run three days. And about five hours a day.
  • Now that I own my own business, I have this desperate feeling that I can't continue to keep it going. Mostly because I despise having to do things for money. I just want to be "UNLEASHED!" from it all!
  • Those bullet points were the part of the commentary where I wedge in something about my personal life.
  • This is the part where I go back to talking about the comic book. Maybe ease back into it by beginning with a picture.

Poseidon makes the classic big monster mistake: he swallows somebody with invulnerability and super strength. Chew thoroughly before you swallow, Sir!

  • Wonder Woman comes upon the wounded Demeter and shows compassion. What kind of a warrior is she?! She keeps winning all of her battles with hugs and warm fuzzies!
  • Wonder Woman kicks herself for trusting War. Orion points out she didn't trust him; she took a calculated risk.
  • Wonder Woman feels consoled. Orion feels her up. Well, not exactly. I imagine he would be a neuter right now if he'd tried. But he does flirt with her! Diana walks away disgusted.
  • Diana returns to the apartment to find everybody in a good mood because War brought the baby back to Zola! Surprise! War is a big softie! Except he probably just did it so that some people would be in his debt.
  • This last page I'm about to scan in made me laugh out loud.

What a great family shot. Thanks Cliff Chiang for being the awesomest.

Wonder Woman #18 Rating: +1 Ranking. I love reading this comic book and I hate writing commentary on it. It's a book I should be really talking about and pulling apart and dissecting. But I just want to enjoy reading it. I can't believe how much I'm enjoying the Big Three and a Half Heroes (Aquaman is the 1/2, if anybody was wondering).

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Catwoman #18

Why does Catwoman need a Requiem issue? Does Batman need some "consoling"?

Alfred's tea isn't helping Batman's grieving process as much as it helps mend broken bones and stop internal bleeding and unbruise essential organs. Batman has found solace and peace of mind by cracking skulls in too many other comic books, so he's got to find a new way to deal with his pain. Now he's decided to visit the museum and find peace in the paintings there. Of course he goes in full Bat Costume. Maybe he has a special membership pass that lets him visit after hours. Or maybe he's simply investigating the crime and in a bit of an emo mood so he's extra sad that the paintings are gone.

Whatever the case, he's so mad even the editors don't want to correct him on his messed up sentence structure.

This month we have a special featue: Ann Nocenti's Knowledge Fun Farm!

She actually wanted it to be her "Knowledge Cornucopia" but I didn't know how to spell that and I thought a farm would be a fun place to learn stuff! So Ann Nocenti's first Farm Fun Fact (the fact actually has nothing to do with farms! It's just a fact from the Knowledge Fun Farm!): "When paintings hang on a wall for a long period of time, the wall around the painting fades, leaving a noticeable non-faded area when the painting is removed! I bet Sherlock Holmes has solved at least one case because of this Fun Farm Fact!" Now if only she'd helped out little Rafa Sandoval with her drawing of the museum, Rafa might have made the areas where the paintings had hung the non-faded areas instead of the other way around! But that's okay, Rafa. You draw a really nice Catwoman hiney! Keep up the good work and we'll see you soon for another episode of Ann Nocenti's Knowledge Fun Farm!

Batman figured that Catwoman knew stealing those paintings Batman loved would draw him out so it makes sense that Catwoman knew Batman loved those paintings and that stealing them would draw him out. So it's a good thing Batman was drawn out or this comic book would never go anywhere.

Having been drawn out, Batman knows exactly where to find Catwoman. I should probably thank Ann Nocenti because who needs to see five pages of Batman darting through alleys going, "Here, kitty kitty kitty!" Even worse, he might have spent a few pages making Missing Kitty Posters and pasting them up all over Gotham.

Catwoman is riding her motorcycle so Batman chases her down at one hundred miles per hour and kicks her off her fucking bike. Sure! Don't kill The Joker! He's just a homicidal maniac that's killed thousands of people. But Catwoman steals some paintings you like and you turn her into road pizza.

Yes, that's her helmet flying up in the air. She landed on her face without a helmet.

Catwoman's brains are splattered all over the road while Batman stands looking shocked at what he's done. Officer Bullock is first to arrive on the scene and he offers Batman a chance to get away but Batman quietly gets in the back of the police cruiser. He's hauled off to await his day in court. What does he care? Damian is dead and now Catwoman. Both are really his fault. Eventually Batman is convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to six years in prison with no chance at parole. During his first month, he hangs himself with his bedsheets.

No, no. What really happens is Catwoman sits right up and says, "Hey! What was that for?" She follows that mildly inconvenienced dialogue with this whopper: "You're a bully, you know that, Batman?"

Luckily Batman takes out most of his anger on Catwoman's helmet. She realizes he's pissed off about something else and assumes it's the shit that went down with The Joker. She eventually calms him down and he attempts to fix her helmet for her.

Good enough.

Batman and Catwoman hug while Trip Winter watches from afar realizing he was just the replacement fuck. But Batman pushes Catwoman away since he can't open up to her about Robin's death. So she ditches him. Or he tells her to go away. One of those.

I really wish she'd just dump his ass completely. I want Batman to not be able to have Selina because she's moved on. And then Batman can start acting weird and stalkery, following her around and calling her continuously. And that will just drive her further and further away. I want Batman to be heartbroken by Catwoman and for Catwoman to not give an Almond Roca about it.

Later (or the next day (or something)), Selina decides to check out the Gotham City Police Department looking for Gwen since she never showed for the painting heist. She decides to pretend she was mugged since Batman smashed her face into the highway at eighty miles per hour. While in the station, she plans on planting a camera so she can keep an eye on Alvarez.

Catwoman uses "slight" of hand because she's so dainty.

Later still, Catwoman steals the paintings back and puts them back in the museum. Batman hears of it on the news because that's something Batman would do: waste his fucking time watching local news reports. He might as well watch his toilet clog.

And to catch up on a couple of other plot threads really, really quickly: Gwen seems to be working for Volt's boss, Emperor Penguin. Unless it does turn out to be The Cane. Or Mr. Formal. And Joe Pazzo, one of Mr. Formal's gang members, steps on the page from the demonic book from The Black Room. It's got the Escalator on it and it was stuck to the bottom of Selina's foot after she stole the Eclipso Diamond. I don't know if it remained stuck to her foot all the way back to Gotham or if it just blew to Gotham from Washington, DC. However it go here, Joe Pazzo is now possessed by The Escalator and The Escalator does not like Catwoman!

Catwoman #18 Rating: No change. I'm sorely disappointed that there was only one episode of Ann Nocenti's Knowledge Fun Farm this issue! Oh well. Maybe next issue we can get some more! I should write a theme song for her new show!