Saturday, August 31, 2013

Birds of Prey #23

Oh my God! Regulus is actually Gene Simmons!

Regulus is dead to me ever since Deadshot killed himself to make sure Regulus died. Who's the fucking genius at DC that decided that multiple ways of resurrecting characters was a good thing? How about not killing characters for some kind of fake tension? If you have the means to resurrect everybody then killing people means absolutely nothing. How the fuck has Damian Wayne been dead for so long when everybody has a formula for bringing back the dead? Here's what you need to do, DC: bring back Damian and then knock it the fuck off. Stop killing people willy-nilly. It serves no purpose unless you're going to let them remain dead.

Not that any of this death and resurrection bullshit is Christy Marx's fault. She's just using a character that was ruined for me over in Suicide Squad. Hopefully he'll end up buried under a mountain of stone at the end of this issue along with Condor. And then Uplink will join the Birds of Prey where Black Canary will come up with some sort of reason for The Birds to exist, and the entire comic can begin with a fresh start. Sound good?

This is where we left off last issue:

Hammerdown just looks like a parody of a 90s super hero. Maybe he's from an Eastern Bloc nation that only had access to counterfeit issues of 90s American comics when he was growing up. So he actually modeled himself after a parody of a parody of a superhero.

While everybody is being controlled by Uplink, they're dreaming very unrealistic dreams that had better never come true ever or I'm going to chop off one of my feet and post it to Christy Marx, care of DC Comics.

Hopefully Dinah's dream is the exact opposite of this bullshit!

Ugh. It isn't!

Stop seeing stuff in him! Condor is awful! He has all the charm of Scrappy Doo and Cousin Oliver combined!

Condor might be the worst character ever created. He has to be using his tele-powers to convince Dinah that he's not the lamest character from Lamestonshire. I now know what super power I would choose if I could have any super power! It would be the ability to enter into a comic book and punch a character in the face.

Batgirl dreams that her family was a happy Seventh Heaven piece of crap family that had never fallen under the influence of that jerk, Batman. I'm not sure why, in her fantasy, her father wears his trench coat to the dinner table. What a weirdo.

Strix's dream is pretty much just a remembrance of the day her family was bombed by the Japanese. The pain of the dream causes her to fight back which causes Uplink to pass out, freeing Strix and Batgirl. Condor and Black Canary were already sealed away for delivery to Regulus before this happens.

This is the same thing I say every time I wake up.

Fifteen pages in and Condor is still alive! I'm so angry!

While Strix and Batgirl battle Whipdown and Hammercrack, Condor and Black Canary are loaded up on a helicopter and taken away. Tsiklon retrieves her beat up teammates with her ass tornado power and they all flee to South America where they'll be sure to kill Condor nice and quickly.

Meanwhile in South America, I forgot that Regulus kidnapped Kurt Lance for some nefarious plan. I suppose this is part of his nefarious plan!

Reuniting Dinah and Kurt so that Condor's heart will break! Ha ha ha! Great plan!

Birds of Prey #23 Rating: No change. I bet Amanda Waller is going to be totally pissed off about this! I wonder when somebody will introduce Amanda Waller and Kurt Lance's love child, Havana Waller Lance? Hopefully soon!

Batwoman #23

Stop being so hallucinogenic, Batwoman.

I have nineteen new comic books to read before Wednesday so that I can begin reading Villains Month as soon as the comic books come out! I don't think it's going to happen. I hate myself and my failings. If only I could be more like Linda Mann! I'm so envious of her abilities.

Three or so issues ago, Batwoman and her family and friends decided they would learn Batman's secret identity. It was the only way they could get Kate and her sister free from the clutches of Director Bones and the Department of Extranormal Operations. But then Killer Croc had to have an issue all to himself. And then Batwoman had to learn how to defeat Batman by questioning his biggest rivals. This issue begins with Kate sitting on the edge of the bed trying to convince Maggie that she's ready to face Batman the next day. So are we finally going to get to the showdown I've been waiting for since Issue #5?

Nope. First Kate needs to trip her fucking balls off.

Sure, Kate. Maggie might believe that you're doing this because you love her and you want to show her how sorry you are for being such a huge dick to her as Batwoman, but I know better. This is one of those Shamanistic ritual things, isn't it? A little sweat lodge wisdom before the big battle. A battle I thought would happen around Issue #11 according to my Issue #5 commentary. Boy was I a bit off on that one!

Meanwhile, Firehawk (is that her name? Why can't I fucking remember her name from month to month? Firehawk? Flamebird? Oh! Flamebird! Maybe?) is running around with The Murder of Crows kidnapping DEO bureaucrats so they can torture them for inside information on the agency. That's probably a good back-up plan because what are the odds Batwoman is going to figure out Batman's secret identity? She's no Lois Lane!

Is it just me or does Flamebird look like the baddest ass in this room? She's got a real Terry Moore Parker Girl thing going on here.

I really don't have much to say about Kate's hallucinations because McCarthy really just nails the visuals on this shit. It's not about making sense of the images. Their revelations are in the experience of them and not the story of them. I sometimes wonder if it's at all possible to really describe the experience of hallucinogenics to a person that hasn't experienced them. Which, of course, means the person wouldn't need the experience described! It really widens perception and narrows it at the same time. Everything becomes connected in the most earnest, meaningful way. I suppose it could all be connected in seriously terrifying ways as well but I wouldn't know having never experienced a bad trip. Whenever any of my friends asked me what acid or mushrooms were like, I'd just tell them that I can't actually recommend it to anybody because I don't really know what's going on in their head from day to day. I'd say, "It amplifies whatever mood you're in, or whatever emotion you're feeling. It's up to each person if they feel up to doing it and I can't be the one to make that decision." Also, I never really liked tripping with a virgin because I always felt I had to babysit! Although babysitting while on mushrooms is probably not the best idea ever.

Kurt Vonnegut's son Mark wrote a terrific book called The Eden Express: A Memoir of Insanity about how taking acid tripped his schizophrenia (which he didn't know he had although his family has a history of mental illness). I didn't realize until I read that book that an acid trip was really like taking a detour into schizophrenia. Once I realized that, I could see why schizophrenics often forgo taking their medication. It's like cutting themselves off from being connected to everything. But being in that state all the time must be so fucking exhausting, it's also probably a relief to have that link severed. I highly recommend the book for anybody curious about how schizophrenia can make a person see the world. If you've done hallucinogens, you'll really connect to the way he describes the world once his schizophrenia is tripped. If you haven't, you'll at least get a pretty fucking good explanation of the way things change; you just won't have that visceral feeling of having been there.

Anyway, I really love this page here:

Aww. So sweet! Except for the blood.

Back at The Murder of Crows' loft, Bette has decided punching the DEO Agent in the face isn't making him talk, so she tries a new tactic. Apparently the guy isn't just some nobody bureaucrat. He's Agent Asaf, the DEO's best profiler. So Bette profiles him to figure out what he most wants and how to get him on the same page as her and Batwoman.

It's the Daddy Issues. It's always the Daddy Issues.

Over in downtown Gotham, Cameron Chase is setting loose a small contingent of Arkham's best psychotics: Bane, Poison Ivy, Tweedle Dee, Mad Hatter, The Riddler, Tweedle Dum. She's calling it Operation Batfrack and leaving Bane in charge. You think Batman's going to fall for some mini-Knightfall Flashmob? And what the fuck did the DEO promise these guys to taunt Batman? Tweedle Dee just had his fucking chin sewn back on and The Mad Hatter was nearly killed! Of course, these people are nuts.

I still think they enjoy Batman beating on them.

Later after the fear toxin wears off, Kate attempts a proper proposal. Unless the fear toxin hasn't worn off yet. But asking somebody to marry you is usually done out of every day normal fear of loneliness and being unlovable anyway, so I'm pretty sure the toxin is out of her system.

This is where I usually make a cynical remark about refrigerators. But I think this relationship will last a long time. Hmm. That's exactly what Williams and Blackman would want me to think so that I'll be horrified when Maggie winds up in a Frigidaire! Jerks!

Then some place in Gotham blows up while Director Bones watches and Kate dons her costume and heads out to beat the crap out of Batman.

Batwoman #23 Rating: +1 Ranking. Should I start a pool on how many issues Maggie has left alive?

Friday, August 30, 2013

Legion of Super-heroes #23

I'm already forgetting all of their names! Yay! More open memory!

It's time to say a fond farewell to the Legion of Super-heroes! So long, guys! It was nice knowing you! Don't let the door hit Uranus on the way out!

That was a space joke! I'm really good at space jokes!

What did the American astronaut say to the Russian astronaut?
Speak English, motherfucker!

I just made that up! I bet I can make up some time travel jokes too!

How many time travelers does it take to change a lightbulb?
Why? The light bulb doesn't need changing!

Maybe I should get serious seeing that Brainiac is looking a little bit depressed. Maybe I should take a personal moment to say goodbye to each Legionnaire.

Polar Bear, as the least of the Legionnaires, I hardly knew you. Now, I'd never say this in front of other people so as not to be as insensitive as that fucking cunt Dorothy Gale, but I'll miss you the most. You have the ability to drop temperatures to Absolute Zero like nothing else in the universe. Literally! You'll probably be useless now without Sun Boy because I'm pretty sure both of your powers break some Law of Thermodynamics unless you somehow steal energy from each other. Maybe you can get a job making ice cubes for some Space Truck Stop somewhere. Hey, if you see Invisible Kid around (ha ha! Get it?!), tell him I thought he was pretty cool even though he was French.

Dreamy Girl, you were the most inadvertently sexy of all the Legionnaires. Even when you're doing a Naltorian Farewell, you make my dick hard. Look at you! Why are you kissing your middle finger like that?! I suppose I'm going to feel bad thinking of you as Wet Dream Girl from here on out because your man was killed in The Fatal Five's attack. But let's face it: it was his own stupid fault. He had the power of density and he couldn't make the rubble that fell on him less dense? Or made his head more dense? That's just poor training on his part. I'm also not sure just how useful you were to the team, what with not knowing if you had a premonition or a dream. And also how you'd have to take a nap to be of any use. But you added to the cheesecake and what's more important to the comic book fandom than cheesecake?

Sensor Girl, I just met you last issue and judging by your costume, I'm really sorry you weren't around more. But why would you be? What the fuck is your super power? "Manipulate Sensory Information?" Can anybody really trust you? Does your cleavage really look like that or are you fucking with my sight? Can I touch them to see if they're real? Oh wait. That wouldn't tell me anything because touch is sensory information as well! You might not even be humanoid! You know what? I don't trust you even though you look fucking fantastic and I'm ruining my chances of sleeping with you by not trusting you. But holy fuck I can just imagine being fucked by you! Manipulate my sensory information already!

Wow! I'm off to a good start treating all the females like sex objects! But what do you expect? I'm in a stable, loving, sexually fulfilling relationship. When I see an attractive female, I don't think, "I sure would like to get to know her and see what she's like and where life takes us!" I don't think, "I wonder if we'd have intellectually stimulating conversations over coffee and pancakes!" I think, "My penis is intrigued!" Monogamists of both sexes are the greatest perpetrators of sexual objectification there are! They're happy and fulfilled in their relationship but they're still going to be sexually attracted to other people. They just aren't going to act on it which means they don't give a shit about getting to know a person who turns them on so they just see a body that they think might be a fun night to romp around on. Thinking sexy thoughts is not wrong! Especially when Paul Levitz never gave me a chance to think sexy thoughts while pretending I actually like Sensor Girl's personality!

Although I love everything about Emerald Empress! She's my dream girl! Don't tell Vampire Tig!

Colossal Boy! Have we met? There are just so many Boys, Girls, Lads, and Lasses, how am I supposed to keep you all straight? I don't remember making any giant dick jokes during this series, so I have a feeling if you appeared anywhere, it was only for the briefest of moments. You must be the most useless Legionnaire when battling aboard a space ship. Although when you need a good prank, you're the guy I'd call! I wonder how many Legionnaires have walked out of their apartments in the morning to see a gigantic shit on their space ship? I have to ask: can you also shrink? Because if you can grow and then shrink back down to normal, how do your powers know when to stop the shrinking? Or is it just like getting an erection? You sort of puff up and then when you release your power, you shrink back down to normal. Although now I get the feeling you shrivel up in the cold.

Oh Ultra Boy! Your power is such a gimmick! How sad to have powers equal to a Daxamite but the ability to just use one at a time! Did you know the other Legionnaires call you "One Hit Wonder" behind their backs? No? Well, maybe it's just me. But I bet at least one of them does! Weren't you having sex with Tinya Wazoo? Do you ever think of her name and just laugh while you're going at it? I bet she laughs thinking about how "having an erection" makes you lose the ability to do anything else! I'll probably miss you least of all because I really got sick of how you had to shout, "Have to time this just right!" every time you switched powers. Go douse yourself in radiation so maybe you can get a new power that you can use with one of your other powers. You're the worst.

Brainiac Five. The Fifth Brainiac in the series. "I'm sorry. The User Name 'Brainiac' is already chosen. Might I suggest 'Brainiac Five'?" Have you fixed that Flashpoint Paradox yet? For somebody with 12th Level Super-Intelligence, you haven't actually gotten much done in this series. I do understand why you're usually so standoffish though. It's so hard for people like us to communicate with people with lower than Level 7 Normal Intelligence. And you've got Super Intelligence! And I bet the scale is exponential. Or logarithmic. Or something. Okay, so I don't have super intelligence! But I think I might be Level 12 Below Average Intelligence! So at least we can bond on the not being able to get along with others because their intelligences are so vastly different than our own! Right?! Oh, I have to go! IT'S YOGUHT TIME!

Duplicate Damsel, you are the most intriguing of them all! I would like a series completely about you and your duplicates. How does it work? Do you manifest the same personalities each time you split? Do they all have names and individual egos? And if so, what happens when you incorporate them all back into your being? If Duplicate Damsel #9 loves Bouncing Boy, do you also love Bouncing Boy when she merges with you? And do you lose your love of Bouncing Boy when she manifests? If that's the case, who the fuck are you, Duplicate Damsel Prime? What makes you you? Are you simply a cypher and the other ones are the individual and real beings? Their feelings make up your feelings only when they merge? Or do you suppress their personalities and retain only your own thoughts and feelings? If that's the case, isn't it like imprisoning them when they merge? Jesus Christ. So many ethical and philosophical questions surrounding you! You need your own fucking title!

Bouncing Boy, you are proof that the Legion will allow anybody into their ranks. What was the recruiter thinking? "You know what? We don't have enough members with overly comical powers! Let's recruit that kid that puffs up like a marshmallow and then sproings off of the walls like a drunken high bouncer." I know this next statement is going to make me sound shallow and judgmental but Duplicate Damsel's Duplicate that is in love with you must have some chromosomal damage. I suppose she could just have some sexual kinks. Who wouldn't want a go at a guy that can inflate and bounce around the room before penetration? Can you inflate your individual body parts? Because that would probably feel pretty amazing. Also, why would you come bouncing crazily into the room? Walk like a normal person, douchebag. There's already enough damage around headquarters as it is! Holy fuck, the other Legionnaires must be so sick of you.

See, Chuck? People like Element Lad here might take you more seriously if you walked into the room instead of bouncing off the fucking walls! Element Lad, you have one of those overpowered powers that are never used appropriately or else you'd probably end every comic book problem by page five. The power to transmute anything to anything else? I'm sure you have some limitations like not being able to transmute organic material like Firestorm or some other contrived flaw to keep you in your place. But between you and The Catalyst Kid, I can't see how you guys don't just ditch the Legionnaires and go off on your own! You turn shit into explosives and he sets them off! Every problem solved in one move! Sure, sure. You might accidentally kill a lot of hostages and innocent people. But I'm an American! I can hardly see the point in being concerned about collateral damage! Did you see the new Man of Steel movie? Superman representative of a Modern America! Just get the fucking job done and forget about who gets hurt and what gets destroyed! The bottom line is stopping the bad guy!

Shadow Lass, I know nothing about you. Although I'm beginning to think getting the right Legionnaires together would make for a fun drinking game. Shadow Lass can darken a warehouse. Then Bouncing Boy inflates and begins bouncing around the darkness. Colossal Boy grows really big and begins stomping about. Then everybody else runs around crazily trying not to get stepped on or hit by Bouncing Boy. I don't know where the drinking comes in. Maybe that happens beforehand so that everybody agrees to this stupid and dangerous game. I think everyone needs to be naked as well. For some reason. I think I was supposed to say goodbye to Shadow Lass in this paragraph but I barely even remember meeting her. And why does she wear a bikini? I'm almost positive not one male member wears a speedo. Even though that would probably be appropriate for Chameleon Boy.

Look, Legion, if you're not going to take this serious, I'm going to cut my farewells short. Harmonia? Why the fuck is that her name? Shouldn't she be Elemental Woman? Oh wait. I guess that one is taken. Well, she could be Elemental Woman Five. I've never liked Harmonia because I just feel like somebody is taking the piss when they list her abilities as "natural elemental." That doesn't make any fucking sense! It doesn't explain anything! How am I better prepared for having read that? She does have a really gorgeous dress though. And I do like her hair. Perhaps Natural Elemental is her shampoo?

While I'm trying to get all of my farewells in, some Science Officer Skank drops by to inform The Legion of Super-heroes that the Legion of Super-heroes have been cancelled disbanded. And now I know why Kevin Maguire was tapped to do the art for this issue.

Because this is his favorite expression to draw. It's called "Our Team Book Was Cancelled?" look of shocked bewilderment.

I think I've spent enough time saying goodbye to the Legionnaires. I have comic books to read that weren't huge failures! These clowns are just a bunch of unemployed losers at this point and they're bringing my mood down. There's still eight pages left to go and probably a dozen members that will make an appearance! Just get to what happened to Phantom Girl already so we can put a fucking tombstone on this sucker!

Interesting I should have decided this shit was over at Page Twelve because the Epilogues begin on Page Thirteen. There are so many fucking members and plots that Legion needs seven pages of Epilogues to close the fucking door behind them!

The first epilogue allows for Dream Girl to contemplate the last twenty-something issues and declare, "It's as if it were all a bad dream." I wonder how many fucking times she's dropped that line. Get a new schtick, Molestar! That should be her new name because of the Star shaped mole on her face. Molestar! Although she probably wouldn't be allowed within one hundred feet of schools or birthday parties.

The second epilogue drops a New 52 bombshell on all three Legion of Super-heroes fans!

Legion takes place in the future of Earth Two! Or not. I mean, it doesn't really make sense seeing that Legion Lost wound up on Earth Prime when they went back in time. Although maybe that's why Brainiac could figure out how to get them back! And Legion Lost ended up on a planet where the future was Harvest's future and not Legion's future. Except Harvest's first origin was as Captain Adym who was part of the Science Police of this Legion which means the future was this future. Oh fuck it. The only thing this proves is that DC Editors have no idea how the whole New 52 works when writing about future timelines. Y'all need some better understanding of your dimensions, fuckfucks.

I couldn't think of anything appropriate to call DC's editors so I just went with fuckfucks.

Karate Kid gets a cameo in Epilogue Three but since he's had less impact on this title than Sensor Girl, I'm not going to fucking say goodbye to him.

The final Epilogue ends with Saturn Girl having read the minds of the people in the other Epilogues and pointed out how dumb they were to ponder what might have been or what might be or what might be have been elsewhere when or what may be then but now in there over yonder in the future or who might have done that thing if that other thing had already been done. She just decides to live in the now which is all I've ever asked of this stupid group. It's about time you came to terms with time!

Legion of Super-heroes #23 Rating: +5 Ranking. It gets +5 for finally ending. Fuck me. I'm not having a go at any fans of Legion of Super-heroes in these commentaries. I think y'all understand how somebody that has never read Legion ever really probably shouldn't have been following The New 52 Reboot series! I get the allure of having a team that seems to have an infinite membership. But with so much previous history, it's hard to start them up again while taking the time needed for new readers to empathize and bond with any of them. My last and final comment on Legion is this: give me a Duplicate Damsel book!

Wonder Woman #23

I just reread my commentary on Issue #22 where I completely deconstructed myself. I think everything after that commentary is just quietly spooning and glancing at the digital clock glowing in the dark across the room while trying to figure out how quickly you can make an exit without being insulting.

It's not like I planned on fucking all five hundred or so of you only to disappear back into the anonymity of the internet. But we both knew when our eyes met across the URL that it wasn't going to last. You saw something in me that really lit your fire and I saw in you a few sweaty nights of sexual gratification. Sure, it would have been less complicated if I'd just used my hand. But you were sitting there at your keyboard, so cute in clothing and sipping on a hot beverage. I just had to know what was under that rumpled, slightly oversized shirt you were wearing. And you wanted...well, we know what you wanted, right? It's all over your face. Would you like a washcloth? Anyway, we both used each other. I think we can live with that, can't we? I mean, I know I can. You're just going to have to see a therapist or take some sedatives because neither of us wants this to get weird once I tell you I never want to see you again. Right? Please just go.

That's my break-up speech to you if I ever suddenly disappear from this blog. So you should bookmark this page or save it in a notepad file or something so you can have some closure when the day comes that I get hit by a bus and no more updates are forthcoming.

Hey, I'm just being realistic here! I love running in front of buses and quitting things. So I'm bound to disappear. It's best that we're all just prepared for it beforehand. Whew. That feels so much better. Now that we both know our best times are behind us, the pressure has lifted. I feel like I don't have any reason to impress anybody anymore. It's sweat pants and loud farts time!

This issue begins with Wonder Woman and her party in Room 41, The Lair of The First Born. It's filled with Gnolls which shouldn't be too rough a fight seeing as how Wonder Woman and eighty percent of the rest of her party are Epic Level.

I'm including the baby in my calculations.

Although I didn't include War's army of dead soldiers from across time. Which puts the odds at, oh, about the same as they were before since they're only fighting Gnolls. Seems like a waste of resources to me. Although Wonder Woman and her party still have to battle The First Born, so it's better to have an army of henchmen to battle the low level monsters that are really just wasting everyone's time and burning resources.

As Hera and Zola try to find somewhere to hide in the middle of the battlefield, I realize I fucked up my calculations because I'd forgotten that Hera was made mortal. But they'll be okay since they have Zeke the Epic Level Infant That Is Probably Zeus to take care of them. But now that War's army is distracting the Gnolls, Wonder Woman and Orion can take care of The First Born.

Orion's opening move is the Superfly Splash.

Let me interrupt the action for a quick recap of the Gods and their Prophecies (filtered somewhat through my horrible memory). Apollo received a prophecy that said a God would kill a God for the Throne of Olympus. But long before that, Zeus had a prophecy that The First Born would take the Throne. So I believe that Zeus gave up the Throne to become his own child leaving a vacuum that could be filled by The First Born. Subsequently, The First Born will end up being the God that is killed by another God thus fulfilling Apollo's prophecy. And then the status quo will return to normal in Olympus and Wonder Woman will be free to date boring shits like Steve Trevor again.

There may have been more details to the Prophecy but it's best not to concentrate too hard on the details of prophecies or else you just end up outwitting yourself and being the catalyst for the prophecy to come true.

Now let's return to the action!

The First Born's finishing move is the Ringside Folding Chair Blindside.

Now that the exhibition match is over, it's time for the title match! I suppose Wonder Woman is going to open up with the "I'll Kick Your Ass" attitude. But that, as always, will die down and she'll try to finish up with her Compassionate Clutch. She'll probably begin to feel sorry for The First Born since he was abandoned by his Daddy, unloved and banished from home. She'll want to hug and comfort him. But since next month's Wonder Woman comic book is The First Born #1, I have a feeling the Compassionate Clutch is going to backfire and The First Born is going to pull out the Figure Fuck You and defeat Wonder Woman on the final page.

Whoa. I sense some serious sibling rivalry here.

Wonder Woman doesn't get a chance to use any moves in the first round. She's out for a long count as The First Born goes after Zeke next. He chokes out Hera and then goes toe to toe with War. As they battle, Diana comes to. She sees that The First Born is about to kill War and take his place as The God of War. Then War vomits blood all over The First Born's face. Probably because Wonder Woman killed him to keep his power from transferring to The First Born.

I suppose that makes Diana Prince the God of War?

Well isn't that a doozy? The most compassionate character in the DC Universe is now also the God of War! I guess it's just a matter of time until Diana is driven to drink like her Uncle. Superman is going to be so pissed when Wonder Woman shows up at the next Justice League meeting sloshed out of her mind.

Superman: "Everybody's here now. We can get things started once we figure out where those empty liquor bottles are and clear them out of here. It's like there's a refinery up my nose!"
Wonder Woman: "Think you're sho cool. You're not cool. Goody two-shoes ish what you are."
Superman: "Excuse me? Are you okay, sweetie pumpkin?"
Batman: "Here's the scoop, Clark! Hot off the presses: she's drunk. Some fucking investigative journalist you are."
Superman: "No! Not my supremely virtuous sugar bosoms! Are you sure it's not Cyborg?"
Cyborg: "Man! I knew you were racist! Bitch."
Wonder Woman: "He's sho rashisht. Totally hatesh Earshlingsh."
The Flash: "Hal is going to be so pissed he missed this."

And after The First Born has taken out all but one of his Epic Level opponents, the Zero Level NPC Baby Bearer finishes him.

Critical hit, bitch! Although it is with an improvised weapon. So she couldn't have done more than D6 Damage, really. Good thing Wonder Woman put him down in the single hit points with her blow.

With the battle over, the little squidgy fellow in the ebony armor and the candlelight helm shows up to escort War down to Hades. But first a mother must say goodbye.

Oh! That's so poetic and touching! ... Wait a second! What is Hera gaining from this?!

Wonder Woman allows The First Born to live as they all head off to ferry War to Hell. But then Apollo shows up with a big batch of up to no good in his eyes.

Wonder Woman #23 Rating: +1 Ranking. With Cliff Chiang at the helm, this book has some of the most beautiful, stylistic art of The New 52. And with Brian Azzarello writing, this series has some of the most well crafted dialogue as well. It's a treat to read and it really does stand somewhat outside of The New 52 which is a really welcome thing at times. Wonder Woman doesn't have to deal with her stupid relationship with Superman over here or the whining, pouting Facebook posts from Steve Trevor hoping she'll take him back. She can just be a compassionate bad ass doing her thing in her own story. I haven't read much Wonder Woman over the years but I have a feeling this is going to go down as one of the best runs of Wonder Woman ever.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Supergirl #23

Supergirl's bum has made me a fan of Mahmud Asrar for life. Not that you can see it here. Just saying. Fucking internet nerds are so critical and literal, I feel like I've always got to qualify my statements!

This cover is terrific. I think it might be the last bit of Asrar art from DC. Hopefully that will change in the future because this guy is solid. I suppose I could start reading Ultimate Comics: X-men if I really need a fix. But I can't afford to start purchasing Marvel comic books too! Who do you think I am? Scrooge McDuck?!

Scrooge McDuck is the only capitalist I respect.

Speaking of sanctimonious, only a sanctimonious tart would spell "poseur" correctly in a speech bubble while fleeing for her life. Just to rub it in the face of everybody who would like to forget about that stupid "u" in there.

I bet Supergirl even pronounced "poseur" in a phony upper class accent just so everybody chasing her knew she could spell it correctly. Even if she sounded like an idiot pronouncing it that way. Sometimes it's important to seem like an idiot in one way so that you can make sure everybody knows you're better than they are in some other way. Whenever I'm on an elevator filled with people, I like to point out that I once had sex. Just so everybody knows where we all stand.

Apparently Cyborg Superman is having a tiff with Jesus.

The figments of Supergirl's imagination rationalize the way you'd expect figments of the imagination to rationalize: poorly. They somehow think Supergirl is acting like a child because she won't allow Cyborg Superman to steal her flesh. I suppose as a creature made from Imaginatron (that's imaginary Inertron. Which is weird because Inertron is imaginary!), flesh doesn't mean anything to them. To them, it's as if Supergirl doesn't want to throw away a candy wrapper. What good is her skin after all the yummy meaty, bloody bits are licked off? She might as well let Cyborg Superman use it. Then Supergirl will be free to find a jar of peanut butter to fall into and make her life complete. I'noxia is the jar of peanut butter in that metaphor! The metaphor is a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup!

You know, if those Reese's commercials were based on reality, nobody would have ever discovered the delicious taste of chocolate and peanut butter. Because nobody roller blades while eating out of a jar of peanut butter! And even if someone did and some asshole on a ladder dropped their chocolate bar into the roller blader's peanut butter, I'm fairly certain the roller blader wouldn't pull out half of the asshole's candy bar and begin eating it. The roller blader would probably just scream, "Ugh! Herpes!" and throw the jar of peanut butter at the asshole's head, killing him.

Here's an old Reese's commercial. It just oozes sexual tension. Except for the weird old man at the end that hands them condoms. "Stop trying to be a part of our sexual fantasy, dude!" "You got your dick in my vagina!" There was a futuristic one with a spaceman and his robot that had even more sexual tension than this one.

Yes, because sewage leaking from an upstairs apartment is so much worse than dying from Kryptonite Poisoning. Seriously. I wasn't being sarcastic. That sewage thing was gross.

Supergirl continues to argue with her imaginary friends when she should be running and/or beating them to death. I think when one side of a debate is "give us your skin," you technically don't need a rebuttal. At least not one that doesn't involve a Taser or a shotgun.

This is the only rebuttal you need to the voices in your head. Or to your brother when he catches you eating dog food.

Supergirl eventually succumbs to her past memories and the Kryptonite Poisoning. Cyborg Superman scoops her up while she's helpless and takes her off to the Skin Removal Lab. Supergirl's reaction is to give Cyborg Superman the nickname of "Cy." Seems like an appropriate time for something like that. You don't want to have to spend most of your time pleading for your life saying, "Cyborg Superman." It doesn't really roll off the dying tongue very well.

I hope Cyborg Superman's creator is revealed by the end of this issue because I'm getting sick of everybody taunting me with knowledge I don't possess! How dare you use lack of information as a means to create tension! Tell me who he is so my mind can run wild with the possibilities! Unless Cyborg Superman's creator is Supergirl's dad. I don't want to know that because then things begin to get weird. Hopefully it's one of the Brainiacs.

We all die alone, dumb dumb. Unless you die in a plane crash.

Luckily for Supergirl, Delacore cleanses her of the Kryptonite Poisoning before giving her flesh to Cyborg Superman. Unluckily for Supergirl, he does this by dissolving her into teeny, tiny particles. The Kryptonite Poison is isolated and Cyborg Superman gets ready to be injected with Supergirl when Cyborg Superman's creator attacks!

Castle Grayskull! I mean, Brainiac!

And then things get weird anyway as Cyborg Superman is reconstituted from Supergirl into Zor-el, Supergirl's father. Whoops! Is it really that big a surprise, Cyborg Superman, when I'noxia itself gave you the error message about redundancy last issue? But this is what happens when people get amnesia! Just ask Jason Todd. It's all well and good to not remember stuff until you start wanting to re-remember that stuff! And then everything goes to shit. So now you didn't just kill your daughter, asshole. You are your daughter! That's fucking weird shit man.

Supergirl #23 Rating: +4 Ranking. This book just keeps getting better! Anybody who gave up this book because it may have been moving too slowly and erratically should start picking it up again. Because the character of Supergirl has really been terrific across the whole run but now the story telling has really tightened up. It's a lot of fun!

Vibe #7

"When you're running down the hall and your balls hit the wall, it's called Rupture! When you're sliding into first and you feel something burst, it's a Rupture!" Wait a second. Who slides into first? What was wrong with that kid?

Rereading the entry to Vibe #6, I noticed that Spell Check didn't like "anilingus" so I clicked on it to see its spelling recommendation. Spell Check recommended "cunnilingus." Oh, Spell Check. You're so vanilla.

Hmm. If cunnilingus is vanilla and anilingus is chocolate, would that make cunnilingus during menses strawberry?

This might not have been the best way to begin my Vibe commentary!

Last issue, Vibe discovered that a villain named Rupture was responsible for driving Gypsy and her family from her homeworld. He also discovered that Rupture was his brother Armando who disappeared in a Boom Tube five years ago. He was the first victim of Darkseid's invasion. Now he's the strong right arm of some horrible dictator that has conquered Gypsy's home.

This is the first panel on the second and third pages (spanning them both) and I love it. Although it's effect is much better in real size.

I love ARGUS agents trying to contain the gigantic robot thing in the background amidst the explosions and chaos while Rupture stares at his brother, confused and unsure. Gypsy behind Vibe ready to bolt. And Vibe ready to defend Gypsy and hug the fuck out of his brother, whichever seems most appropriate in a minute or so.

Rupture's need to catch Gypsy for his master, Mordeth, overpowers his love for his brother because hugging doesn't sell comic books, Goddammit! Unless you're one of those Independent Writers! And then isolation and ostracization and not fitting in sell better than hugs in those stories anyway! Excuse me while I go reread Ghost World and Box Office Poison and Jimmy Corrigan, The Smartest Kid on Earth, and all those other comic books that seemingly never wind up portraying physical violence for some reason. I guess they don't like selling comic books!

I'm going to start a new web comic where Vibe uses his powers to open a portal where he winds up in the Tomb Raider video game. It will be a romantic comic and I'm going to call it "Vibe Raider." It'll mostly be long, protracted sex scenes of Vibe using his powers to please Lara Croft.

The fight between Vibe and his brother lasts exactly one panel. Although that one panel is two pages! So that's exciting! I think. I just don't feel as overwhelmed as I think I'm supposed to feel.

It's Phantasm from Team Titans! I know I already pointed him out last issue. Fuck you. I'm excited!

Didn't Phantasm turn out to be an already established DC Character using his or her powers to simply float a mask and rags around? I'm fairly certain it was something like that. I want to say it was Jericho but he didn't have those kinds of powers. I wish my memory worked better!

Vibe gets his head straight after being thrown across The Circus only to realize Gypsy and Dante are gone. He also notices that his vibe energies and Rupture's rupture energies have begun to commingle to create a portal to another world. That other world apparently has dragons in it. Because one comes through the portal. Fucking dragons. They're more curious than ferrets. Although ferrets just seem to want to answer the mysteries of the universe in their explorations while dragons are simply looking for more treasure they don't need. I suppose a dragon's treasure hoard is like a bowerbird's nest. It's all about attracting a mate rather than any kind of dragon economic system based on how much of other people's money a dragon can own.

Meanwhile Agent Gunn is busy creating super villains.

Just like I said! Injection with nano-particles. Just a matter of time before they turn him into Purgatorio! I mean, Inferno!

As Agent Gunn tries to get Dante to safety, he's suddenly attacked by a twenty foot tall Parademon. Is this Omni, Darkseid's daughter? I don't know why I thought Darkseid's daughter was going to be a smoking hot babe in a thong and pasties. I am disappoint.

On the next page, Agent Gunn shoots the parademon in the face and kills it. So there's still hope! Being a Master Comic Book Reader and all that, I probably should have realized that Darkseid's Daughter isn't going to be revealed in the middle of an issue. She'll have the presence of mind to only make her appearance in a last page splash.

Gunn loads up Dante into the Dog Soldier Suit and programs it to take him to the nearest hospital. Even though The Circus is in full lockdown and nobody can leave. Gunn points out that Dante is a nobody so he can leave. That's the dumbest bit of semantic nonsense to get Dante out of the comic book that I've ever seen! I don't know what Sterling Gates diet consists of to give him that kind of nerve! Now I need to discover his secret dietary powers so I can become a great writer of bullshit plot contrivances!

Not that I really care! Dante needs to get sent out of this current issue. I really can't follow the plot with three brothers interacting! Two at a time is about all I can handle. Plus with all of these side characters running around like Gunn and Gypsy! Hmm. That's kind of sad that my limit of characters I can follow in a comic book without losing my mind is four.

Although if Phantasm gets some lines, I'll try to manage five characters at once!

Eventually Vibe catches up with Rupture.

I hope this doesn't mean Dante can't be a super villain too. I suppose he'd be okay as Vibe's shitty sidekick.

While Vibe and Rupture do some family counseling, the rest of the ARGUS installation has turned into the final act of Cabin in the Woods. Breachers are tearing the place apart and Gunn is about to find out what it's like to be a feeder mouse. Lucky for Gunn, his superior is Amanda Waller and she's not just an administrative asshole in The New 52. She blows the Snake Lord of Quonos's face off with a gun that's about the same size as she is. Carried in one arm. Although I have a feeling the Preboot Amanda Waller could have taken care of the snake as well just by giving it one of her "you going to try my patience?" stares.

Back to family therapy, Vibe continues to talk out his problems while Rupture puts his sickle through Vibe's chest. I'm not an expert but I'm sure one of those approaches should bring these two together. I would have preferred the use of puppets though. But Mordeth's hold over Rupture is too strong and he grabs Gypsy to bring her home. Since she turns out to be Mordeth's daughter.

Dammit! Does that mean Amanda Waller knows what she's doing? Is this prison actually a good place? Are they really containing actual threats to humanity in The Circus? Or did she just get lucky with this one? Of course keeping the daughter of some psycho war-mongering dictator on Earth probably isn't the best way to keep the world safe.

Rupture drags Vibe along with him to help break through the dimensional wall as he drags Gypsy home. The power burst from their leaving kills the electrical grid in ARGUS, allowing Omega, Darkseid's daughter, to escape. But she still hasn't been shown because capturing her will have to wait until Vibe comes back triumphant from Gypsy's homeworld.

Vibe #7 Rating: +1 Ranking. I'm enjoying this comic book although I hope the title will change soon from "Justice League of America's Vibe" to "Vibe and Friends" when he gains a retinue of Breachers like Gypsy and Phantasm and that Scissorman.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Batman and Nightwing #23

Surprise! Damian was only kidding!

Before I knew there would be a Damian mini-series beginning in October, I called this issue being the last issue of guest stars before Damian came back. It just seemed obvious that the final team-up would be with Nightwing because that's going to be the most meaningful of the bunch. Bruce shedding some tears with his first ward. Although if Damian is really coming back for October, I am a little disappointed that there won't be a "Batman and Alfred" or a "Batman and Batcow" issue.

Okay, I've got a bunch of Kleenex, so I'm ready to read this thing. I'm hoping you took that as I'm going to masturbate because that's less embarrassing than the fact that I'm going to weep like a motherfucker while reading this shit. I just know it. Fuck you, Tomasi, for making me feel things!

This issue begins with Batman locked in the safe at the bottom of the pool atop Wayne Towers with Talia taunting him via radio. I don't know why it's beginning here or what's going on but being completely ignorant of something has never stopped me from speculating before! While it could be Batman just trying to relive the past in that way heroes do to torment themselves when they couldn't save somebody, I hope it's just Tomasi rewriting Batman Incorporated #9 now that Grant Morrison is gone! Because now Grant Morrison can't trap him in the stairwell and give him a super wedgie for fucking with his story! And Batman Incorporated really had a vague, strange place in The New 52 continuity anyway! Why not just rewrite this bit, right?! RIGHT?!

But it's probably just one of Bruce's Ecstasy-induced fantasies as Alfred gives him an all over body massage.

And then I turn the page and read the title and I get the stupid Goddamned tissues ready.

Is this a joke? Bruce still hasn't accepted the death of his parents!

Batman is running a simulation on his Internet 3.0 trying to replay the day Damian died so that Damian can live. Why? Who the fuck knows? If he saves him, does he plan on living the rest of his life online? Dick and Alfred watch him struggle with the 447th iteration of the simulation. It might be that time of year when Dick Grayson gets to call Bruce a selfish bastard and punch him in the teeth. Just call it a tradition.

Maybe Nightwing will reprogram the simulation as Batman is in it to show Batman that even if he made it in time, Robin would still have died. I think Tomasi stole this plot from Wargames! Nightwing just has to program Tic Tac Toe into Internet 3.0 now and Batman will have a WOPR of a revelation! That revelation is that nobody should ever try because life always ends in a Cat's Game.

I think Alfred is just against video games.

It seems the tiniest bit of an insult to Nightwing to believe that he, Batman, could have saved Damian while stuck in a safe at the bottom of a pool while Nightwing was right at Damian's side and couldn't save him. But Nightwing is one optimistic and upbeat bastard, so he'll show Bruce that Damian's death was inevitable. Once Alfred let Damian out that night, his fate was sealed. So Alfred should be running the simulation to see how he could have kept Damian from leaving!

But with Player Two's help, Batman manages to complete the level!

But what does this prove and how the fuck does it make Batman feel better? Oh yeah! Acceptance! Or something.

Of course they know that if they don't fight Batthing to the death, Robin could die. But what if they didn't know Robin dies? Wouldn't they be trying to just fight Batthing into submission? Or does a half-whale, half-human creature born in a test tube not qualify as "life" in Batman's eyes? If they're willing to battle Batthing to the death here, they're throwing away all of their Bat-morals! They should be running the simulation without killing. That's the only real way to win.

But of course the simulation was only ever to prove that Batman, at the time it actually happened, did the best he could for his son. He tried to keep him safe. And then when he couldn't lock him away, he tried to keep him alive.

Now that that's settled, they can go make Alfred happy by drinking his tea.

And later, after Batman and Nightwing are done with the video games, Alfred takes his turn and I use up all my fucking Kleenex.

I was just joking earlier! I don't want you to feel bad, Alfred! I'm sorry! It's not your fault!

Bruce catches Alfred running the simulation.

Fuck you, comic books! I don't care about any of these people at all!

Is that the right reaction to being emotionally invested enough in these characters that they make me cry? Yelling fuck you at an inanimate object? Why did my mom raise me on horror movies instead of hugs? I don't know what I'm feeling!

Batman and Nightwing #23 Rating: + Whatever Amount It Takes to Put It at #1. This is my favorite fucking New 52 comic book. Hands down. Tomasi has such a great handle on these characters. Just brilliant.