Monday, September 30, 2013

Black Adam #1

Totally makes sense that Black Adam takes over Justice League of America. If we were on Earth 7!

The top five selling DC Comic books in August all had one of two things in common: Batman and Superman. Which tells me something nobody else needed to have told to them: comic book fans aren't interested in interesting or well-told stories. They're only interested in their favorite characters. But how do you get fans interested in other characters when they're spending all of their Comic Book money on all of the Batman and Superman titles flooding the stands? Oh, that's right. You don't. You just keep publishing comic books without Batman and Superman just to watch them slowly fail as comic book stores order less and less copies every month because they're not all selling which means less copies on the shelves for new fans to find which means the comic quickly begins circling the drain. I'm just a stupid fan of comic books that tell entertaining stories (like books not written by Ann Nocenti), so I don't know how to fix the problem so that book sales reflect quality. Perhaps it would help if comic book reviewing sites were honest about the quality of every comic instead of trying to get free advertising by being quoted by the comic book company for the trade paperback advertisements. Every comic book reviewing site that had an "It fucking rocks!" blurb associated with The Red Hood and the Outlaws collected trades should be labeled. I just have to determine what the labels say!

"We Will Suck DC's Cock for Page Views!"
"Shittiest Review Site on the Web Web Ring Member!"
"We Tongue Kiss Our Mothers With Mouths That Praised Red Hood and the Outlaws!"
"Sometimes Our Local Comic Book Shop Puts Dog Turds in Our Pull Boxes and We Don't Even Notice!"
"We Write Ambiguous Reviews That Fool Consumers Just to Get Free Advertising!"
"We Are Truly, Truly Sorry That You Can't Trust Anything We Say."

Maybe review sites don't help sales anyway. I'm not saying that I'm a review site but I do know I sang the praises of Demon Knights for pretty much its entire run and it didn't fucking help. And now All Star Western is nearly at the bottom of the sales charts. And The Movement is barely higher than Katana. Are you fucking kidding me?! If there's any proof that sales aren't linked to quality, it's that. Katana is the worst written comic currently in The New 52. And The Movement is exciting and full of interesting characters. But they're selling equally as well. It's all just so depressing. Why did I ever get back into reading comic books? The fans are a bunch of illiterate heathen Batman groupies!

Maybe DC could license Wolverine and they could have him star in comic books with low sales and grab up all the Wolverine groupie money! Holy shit! That would be a bonanza! Get your lawyers on that, DC!

Anyway, on to Black Adam, the greatest comic book you'll read this year! If you haven't been reading Geoff Johns Shazam, you've been missing out on the greatest serialized story since Tristram Shandy! Or maybe something by Dickens like Bleak House. Was that one serialized? Probably. It's so fucking long! I'm fairly confident the art in this comic book will blow your mind! I haven't actually looked at it yet but when DC uses my quote, they can just ellipses off the beginning of that last sentence!

Here's another blurb for the Villains Month Omnibus: "The art and story combined create bodily juices you never knew you could secrete! Although why the editor's didn't notice that Kahndaq is spelled wrong, I don't know. Perhaps they were distracted by their new bodily fluids!"

Kahndaq has this legend, see? About this superman? With a lightning bolt on his chest? Have you ever noticed how many seemingly literate and competent people type "lightening" when they mean "lightning?" They should stop doing that. I don't even consider it a typo. It's just plain ignorance. Man, I wish I had the guts to have typed "plane ignorance" there and leave it. But then I'd be the only one to get the joke and everybody would simply go straight to the comments section to correct me and point out what a fucking hypocritical moron I am. But I just don't have the strength of character to pull off a joke like that without feeling judged by everybody on the internet. How come everybody on the internet is so judgmental? Am I the only earnest, sweet, lovable, kind person left on the internet?

Speaking of earnest, sweet, lovable, kind people, Black Adam is not one of them. He is the mythical champion of Kahndaq but he's also a vicious bastard. But he's only an asshole to people that would harm Kahndaq. And to Shazam, of course! But Black Adam was turned into a pile of ashes when Billy Batson tricked him into returning to his mortal form that couldn't keep its shit together being that it was thousands of years old. But he might not be completely dead because he's on the cover of this issue! A terrorist group has an ancient scroll and they're ready to figure out what it says because it's probably a spell to bring back Black Adam. And by terrorist group, I mean oppressed people in trouble with the law who are just trying to make their way the only way they know how.

Every ancient scroll either comes from The Book of the Dead or the Necronomicon, depending on if the author is going for realism or complete insanity. Since this spell is about resurrection, I would have chosen the Necronomicon. Or the Necronomicomicon.

In the comic book world, nothing happens in secret. Somebody always knows something no matter how super secret something is supposed to be. And the Sons of Adam know that Shazam turned Black Adam to dust and that he collected the ashes and that he dumped the ashes in Kahndaq. And now they're at that exact location to cast the spell. I suppose the Sons of Adam have an ever-present news broadcast running in the background of their headquarters so they can keep up with everything that happens no matter how many people weren't there to see it. If people know that Shazam turned Black Adam to dust then they know that Billy Batson is Shazam since he was Billy Batson when he convinced Black Adam to say "Shazam" and transform into skin and bones (mostly bones. Very brittle bones).

If I want to be less cynical, I suppose if I were living in a country that believed in a great mythical champion with a lightning bolt on his chest and I saw a superhuman with a lightning bolt on his chest smash an urn full of ashes over Kahndaq, I might begin suggesting it has something to do with Black Adam. But that's only if I wanted to be less cynical. And I don't really want to be since I'm still pissed off that Task Force X is a super secret government organization that everybody fucking knows about.

Anyhow, it doesn't matter what kind of vitriolic pablum I spew onto the internet in a narcissistic need to make my ridiculous opinions known (which I'm not very good at anyway because who can tell when I'm serious or when I'm just making a joke? Maybe I need two blogs!). Black Adam is resurrected and all is now right with the world.

I think what I meant to say was "Black Adam is resurrected and all is now right with Black Adam."

Black Adam overthrows the current leader of Kahndaq and declares the people free. He shall protect and watch over them. But doesn't he feel the need to get vengeance on Billy Batson? What happened to his passionate hatred for Shazam? I suppose he'd rather just forget about that unfortunate incident in his life. Why would he want to repeat that encounter and get his ass kicked all over again, right?

And that's when Black Adam reads a message that appears on a tablet nearby that says, "This World is Ours." He completely flips the fuck out. Calm down, asshole. How do you know the tablet's owner hadn't just been playing a video game before you crushed him with a statue? Why am I always questioning comic book characters on their actions? They obviously have better instincts than I do because they always jump to the right conclusion and very rarely waste any time.

Black Adam #1 Rating: Aren't you all just loving the Reboot? The longer it goes, the more things return to the old universe! Here go again with Black Adam protecting Kahndaq! Just like it was before The New 52. My guess is everything will be absolutely back to how it was three years ago in five years time. But DC will have probably made more money than they would have otherwise and everybody else will just feel like nearly a decade of stories were lost as everything needed to be retold to get to where everything was when it was thrown away. Other than that, it wasn't too bad!

Black Adam! (as seen in Justice League)

Alter Ego: Teth-Adam
Occupation: Would-be conqueror
Marital Status: Presumed single
Known Relatives: None
Group Affiliation: None
Base of Operations: Ancient Egypt, later mobile
First Appearance: MARVEL FAMILY #1, (current version) SHAZAM: THE NEW BEGINNING #1
Height: 6' Weight: 198 lbs.
Eyes: Brown Hair: Black

The wizard Shazam (see Shazam) was, in his prime, a great champion of justice who helped the people of ancient Egypt in their rise to civlilization. Around 3000 B.C. Shazam sought to create a new champion to carry on in Egypt in his place.

The wizard chose an Egyptian named Teth-Adam, whom he correcly believed to be a good man. Shazam mystically endowed Teth-Adam with powers possessed by six Egyptian gods. Hence, upon speaking Shazam's name, Teth-Adam was transformed by a bolt of mystic lightning into a superhuman costumed being, whom Shazam named "Mighty Adam."

Mighty Adam possessed the extraordinary stamina of the god Shu, the great swiftness of Heru, the vast strength of Amon, the wisdom of Zehuti, the superhuman power of Aton, and the courage of Mehen.

Shazam commanded Mighty Adam to serve the first pharaoh of Egypt, Menes, who had been trained by Shazam himself, and to battle evil throughout the world. Then Shazam departed, intending never to return.

For a time Mighty Adam served the pharaoh well, and acted as the protector of ancient Egypt. He even helped in building one of the first pyramids. But it was while Adam stood atop that pyramid that he began to contemplate becoming the ruler of Egypt himself.

Later, Adam killed Menes and declared himself pharaoh, launching his tyrannical rule of Egypt. Shazam returned but was unable to kill Adam. Instead, at the cost of great physical strain to himself, Shazam cast a mighty spell that banished Adam into hyperspace. Shazam intended that Adam would be trapped there for eternity. Adam was now known as Khem-Adam, which is translated into English as "Black Adam."

Recently, knowing that Black Adam would soon be freed, Shazam transformed the teenage Billy Batson into super-powered Captain Marvel to battle him (see Captain Marvel).

Soon afterwards, the scientist Dr. Thaddeus Bodog Sivana (see Sivana) used his advanced technology to bring Black Adam to Earth. Black Adam attempted to dominate the world but clashed with Captain Marvel, who succeeded in trapping him in hyperspace once more.

On saying the name "Shazam," Teth-Adam was transformed by an enchanted bolt of lightning into a superhuman being with the powers of six Egyptian gods, including super-strength, virtual invulnerability, super-speed, and the ability to fly. If Black Adam says "Shazam" again, another bolt of mystic lightning will return him to his original human form.

Man-Bat #1

How come there was never a Boy-Robin?

I'm not sure when I really began to hate Man-Bat. It might have been yesterday after reading his Who's Who entry. He can transform into a bat and control it! But not he can't control it and he's insane! But now Batman gave him the antidote! Now he can control his bat transformations! Oh no but he went insane again! Now he wants to fuck his wife as a bat! Now she's gone insane! Now they're both sane! But their child is dying and it drives them insane! I think they also went insane from a vampire bat bite at one time.

Or my hatred for Man-Bat may have started earlier. It could have been when every fucking package of Heroclix had a useless Man-Bat figure inside of it so I had to field three Gotham City Cops, two Checkmate Agents, six Man-Bats and Desaad. Stupid useless garbage game.

Why must DC keep every character some jerk created and then keep them around for decades? You guys realize you can kill the shitty ones, right? Just because some writer was up against a deadline for a Batman story, threw a bunch of Batman comics on the floor in anger so they lined up and said "ManBatmanmanBatBatBatman," and was suddenly inspired to write a shitty story about a man that wants to have sonar for some idiotic reason, it doesn't make that a go-to story for future Batman epics. I'm sure somebody can point out a good Man-Bat story somewhere in DC's history and all I have to say to that someone is, "Go fuck yourself."

Man this story better suck ass or I'm going to be eating crow stuffed with my words in an hour or two.

The issue begins with a 3rd Grade Oral Report on bats and I'm suddenly thinking, "Rob Liefeld? Are you back, Rob?! Is that you!?" Alas, it is not. It happens to be Frank Tieri who co-wrote some of the crappiest New 52 books so far with Mr. Liefeld! It's good to see some of Liefeld's ability rubbed off on Mr. Tieri.

It begins, "Bats are like most animals. They prey on the weak. The vulnerable." Yeah! Fucking cows and deers and giraffes and shit! Preying on all the weak leaves and grasses! Fucking turds. And bats are the worst! Total fucking bullies, going after insects and fruit! Why don't you eat something your own size, you jerko bats!? How dare you eat those poor, weak loquats! And preying on the elderly and the wise! Animals are the worst!

Small children are probably the opposite of venerable, so they must be wea...oh! Vulnerable! Never mind.

It's okay for Woman-Bat to be around children because she doesn't have nipples. Although she does enjoy killing and eating them, so that's a bit of a downer. At least the parents don't have to explain titties to the kids. They'd probably get it all wrong anyway and point out that boobies are sex objects and should be covered all of the time instead of saying, "Boobies? You mean the things that were in your mouth for most of your childhood but now I'm teaching you to sexualize? Yeah, you can't see those fucking awesome things, kids."

Woman-Bat is completely insane which is a problem as I pointed out earlier. But Man-Bat is currently sane so it's his job to stop her from eating the children. It's also his job to constantly lament the fact that she used him and never loved him and their marriage was a sham and poor, poor fucking Kirk Langstrom! Abused by life! Treated shabbily! Without worth! The worst character in the DC Universe!

Man-Bat battles Woman-Bat until she transforms into a sexy topless woman.

Sure! Now the panels are just face shots! Stupid Teen Ratings. I should be doing a blog about Heavy Metal! Weren't you just listening to me when I said boobies aren't sex objects?! Now show them to me!

The cops arrive on the scene because I don't know when the fuck this takes place. I guess Batman is busy or dead or napping or something. But this doesn't appear to be Gotham City after the Crime Syndicate appeared unless the criminals have all declared the kid's parks off-limits. Except for feeding, of course. So Man-Bat flies off before he's accused of man-bat-handling a lady.

Kirk's next journal entry (Day 7!) states that Woman-Bat was charged with a bunch of murders so I guess the police recognized her in her hot topless form since, well, let's be honest. She was pretty fucking sexy as a Bat as well.

Oh, but by Day 7, Batman is gone and Gotham has gone crazy. Man-Bat believes it's up to him to fight crime in Batman's absence. But I read the same Who's Who Entry that I bet Frank Tieri did! Man-Bat was in control but now he's going to lose control before Batman has to return to put him back in control! It's about the only thing you can do with this character, I guess.

Oh, you naive Bat-Bastard.

I bet Frank Tieri didn't even want the job of writing Man-Bat. I bet he pulled the shortest straw in the office! Although if he'd given DiDio a hand job, he probably wouldn't be stuck with this task! That was a "pulling a small penis" joke! And the penis was Dan DiDio's! Not that there is anything wrong with small penises! I don't think. How should I know? I'm not a doctor of small penises?!

Man-Bat goes out to protect Gotham and massacres a bunch of street thugs in front of a child and his parents. So cool! Now that kid has an awesome story for Show and Tell! And it'll be the best story if he brings one of the thugs severed limbs or detached heads!

Eventually Kirk loses total control and goes insane. Fucking waste of time. Why did I even read this thing?! Man-Bat is crazy then he's not crazy then he's crazy then he's not crazy. I don't know whether he's crazy or not but I do know he fucking sucks.

Yep. I guess the playgrounds are off-limits to hoodlums. Unless they're hungry.

Man-Bat #1: Has this story just not been told enough? Is it a morality tale that still rings true? Is it about drug abuse? Loss of self-control? Arrogance? Bitter marriages? I know one thing it isn't about: entertainment! Thanks for being just as stupid as you've always been, Man-Bat! Now instead of crow stuffed with my own words, I'm going to go eat pancakes stuffed with victory!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Man-bat! (as seen in Batman and shit)

Alter Ego: Kirk Langstrom
Occupation: Zoologist, former Detective
Marital Status: Married
Known Relatives: Francine (wife), Rebecca Elizabeth (daughter), Britt (sister)
Group Affiliation: None
Base of Operations: Gotham City, formerly New York City and Chicago
First Appearance: DETECTIVE COMICS #400
Height: 6'1" Weight: 201 lbs.
Eyes: (as Langstrom) Brown, (as Man-Bat) Red [Why do all "monster-types" have Red or Black eyes?]
Hair: Brown

Dr. Kirk Langstrom was the resident authority on nocturnal mammals at the Gotham Museum of Natural History. Inspired by his admiration of The Batman (see Batman II), Langstrom hoped to give himself a natural sonar power like a bat's by taking increasing doses of a compound he extracted from a certain gland in bats [Anal.]. Langstrom succeeded, but to his horror, the compound also turned him into a grotesque bat-like creature. In this form Langstrom fought The Batman and turned increasingly insane. Finally, Langstrom forced his fiancée, Francine Lee, to let him turn her into a bat-like creature so they could mate. The Batman succeeded in injecting both Langstrom and Lee with an antidote [Batman Semen!], restoring them to human form and sanity.

Later, after being bitten by a vampire bat, Francine would uncontrollably become a vampiric bat-like creature under a full moon. Eventually, however, Francine was apparently permanently cured, and she no longer changes into bat-like form.

Able to change back and forth between his human and bat forms, using serums, Lamgstrom [Not my typo!] became a crimefighter as Man-Bat, emulating his hero, The Batman. Langstrom and Francine were married and had a daughter, Rebecca.

Rebecca became deathly ill, and what Langstrom thought was the only serum that could cure her was spilled in a fight between The Batman and a criminal. The Batman knew that the serum had been contaminated earlier, and Rebeccca was later curd by other means [With the help of Superman in DC Comics Presents!]. However, unjustly believing The Batman had nearly caused Rebecca's death, Langstrom sank into a severe depression. Accidentally taking an overdose of his bat-gland formula, Langstrom went insane upon next becoming Man-Bat. The Batman restore Langstrom to normal, but by forgetting to take the antidote regularly, Langstrom reverted to being the insane Man-Bat again. Once more The Batman restored him to human form [This entry is just a bunch of sentences comprised of "turned into Man-Bat" and "turned back into Langstrom." It's super exciting!].

Today Langstrom again appears to be in control of his transformations and remains sane when in his Man-Bat form.

By taking his bat-gland formula, Kirk Langstrom can transform himself into a bat-like creature. He can return to human form by taking an antidote.

As Man-Bat, Langstrom possesses superhuman strength, super-sensitive hearing, and the ability to fly at great speeds.

Like a bat, Man-Bat has natural sonar. He emits high-pitched sound waves and can hear the echoes they make when they bounce off nearby objects. Thus Man-Bat can navigate perfectly even in pitch blackness.

Parasite #1

This just looks like an advert for a Mexican candy called, "For, yes, you!"

I wrote a script for Parasite for Villains Month but DC rejected it. So I'm going to publish the first two pages here. I have no idea why DC rejected it! Jerkos!

Page One, One Panel
The Parasite is naked in a bathtub clipping his toenails with hedge clippers.
Narration Box #1: My name is The Parasite.
Narration Box #2: I was created from the burning worry of millions of apoplectic American citizens concerned about the sanctity of marriage.
Narration Box #3: Religious marriage, of course, although it didn't hurt my power levels that the idiots fucking thought that a religious definition of marriage should be upheld by the laws of the land.
Narration Box #4: Especially a land built upon a strong foundation of keeping religion out of the law books and the law books out of religion. Unless your religion called for the sacrificing of young children to your loving God by means of not giving them medicine that could easily cure fatal fungal foot infections.
Narration Box #5: That's just how I was conceived, though. There's much more to me than that.
Narration Box #6: As I said: My name is The Parasite.

Page Two, Four Panels
Panel One
A tiny purple cloud hovering over the head of picketers with signs like, "There's no 'gay' in Monogamy!," and "A penis's place is in the vagina!"
Narration Box #1: Consciousness! So sudden and beautiful! To be aware! To be bathed in self-knowledge! To be happy that I had yet to grow aural organs and have to listen to the inane chanting that brought me into this world!

Panel Two
A small, bald purple toddler with a big round mouth full of teeth wandering a suburban cul-de-sac.
Narration Box #1: Born from withholding, I grew up quickly in the sprawl around cities, feeding off the hatred of the desperate and the poor.

Panel Three
A bald, purple teen obviously wanking in the bushes as a man and woman pass by in conversation.
Man: "We need more government spy programs to keep foreigners from blowing up our children's daycares!"
Woman: "But where will the money come from when the poor are taking it all in government handouts for food and shelter?"

Panel Four
A bald, purple man lighting a cigar with a fat wad of cash.
Narration Box #1: I grew might on America's fear and hatred of the Other, those they blamed on the decline of family values; the poor and sick they saw were to blame for bankrupting our country; pacifists that dared point out that their heroes were dying in vain in corporate wars; anybody different from them for any reason, they called a Parasite, and I fed and my cock grew large and powerful.

Pretty fucking good, hunh?! I filled it with Narration Boxes because DC loves those! And I couldn't help but begin it with an homage to Scott Lobdell since DC loves him! I think I probably should have edited Page Fifteen before sending it in though since I portrayed DC Comics' editors as deformed, inbred miscreants that fucked stacks of money all day long while reading Marvel Comic books. Oh well. I wanted to keep my artistic integrity intact more than I needed fat money from DC.

Well, let's see what script they decided to go with since they didn't seem to like mine for some reason.

Great! They chose an artist's script over mine! And an artist I've met so now I'm going to feel bad when I point out how awful it is out of bitterness, envy, and jealousy!

Three weeks previous to The Parasite diving head first off of the roof of a building in Suicide Slums in Metropolis, he was the greatest character in the history of characters created in Villains Month!

I just can't put my finger on why I like him so much.

I'm fairly certain that Aaron Kuder based this character on Puck from Real World San Francisco. Why? Because he's an Artist and not a Writer! No way an Artist could come up with this character straight out of his head! Maybe he could draw a guy on a bike but then when it came time to turn him into an actual character, he'd be all, "DUH! How make good character ization? Is that two words? Probably should be three words! Char actor ization. That make lot more sense. Tired now. Words hard." I'm almost positive that's how Artists write because I know that's the word version of how I, a Writer, draw! And no way in hell anybody is good at both! The chances of that happening are like 2 to 1 or even worse odds probably.

The Parasite is the worst bike delivery person of all time. I guess he isn't based on Puck because Puck was a messenger between businesses and massage parlors and bookies and shit instead of a guy that delivers packages. Editorial probably forced that change so that Puck wouldn't show up out of the blue demanding compensation for likeness rights like how Bill and Silent Ted did to Daredevil and Banksy in that Chasing Amelie movie.

Eventually The Parasite is hit by a car because that's what happens when you ride a bike like you own the road and are immortal instead of riding a bike as if you could die at any second. I'm not putting the blame on either the car or the bike in any given situation! All I know is that when I used to ride the Santa Cruz Hills, I didn't give a fuck about who had right of way! All I knew was that if a car and I tussled, I was probably going to be too dead to claim the driver was at fault.

Oh. Apparently there was no car. And Giant Booger Monsters always have right of way.

The Parasite gets lucky and defeats the Booger Monster by zapping it with a downed electrical wire. Which, luckily, doesn't kill him; he just winds up with a broken leg. Meaning he loses his job. Which leads to his girlfriend dumping him. In other words, he loses everything because he was a big jerk that called Metropolis "Jerk-o-opolis." He really should have just called it "Jerkopolis." That's where he went wrong in this time line. His life would have been amazing if he'd just gotten his derogatory name right.

His girlfriend calls him a Parasite when she walks out the door which, if you've been reading the Who's Who entries I've been posting, you know was a bad idea. Whenever anybody is dehumanized and called a name, they always rise up to claim that name as their evil moniker as they claim their revenge on a world that treated them a little bit shabbily.

Now that he's out of a job, he'll probably (like the original Parasite!) have to get a job with a research lab where he'll try to steal toxic waste and become a super-villain!

Joshua Michael Alan (that's his name for some reason! Probably because the original Parasite had three names) goes in to STAR Labs for testing (and because they're going to pay him) because of the contact he had with the Giant Booger Monster. They're not calling it that though. They call it the Humongous Mass of Alien Smegma. Anyway, the tests go about as expected and he turns into The Parasite!

After the Origin Story is complete, the comic book returns to The Parasite plunging to his death. But Superman doesn't respect people's choices and decides to save The Parasite's life because Superman obviously knows better. At least Batman would have stayed out of it. Of course when Superman catches him, The Parasite feeds a bit too much.

Oh! I get it! He's a parasite!

No wonder The Parasite wants to infect Superman. Parasites have the best life when they can find a host that they don't kill while sucking up its energy. Although this also seems a bit like the food chain where Superman is the plant getting energy from the sun and The Parasite is the meat eater taking the energy from Superman's meat. Loads and loads of it! Except in my analogy Superman was a plant so if The Parasite is going to feed off of Superman, that makes him an herbivore. Stupid analogies. Why can't I ever get them right?!

Fuck analogies anyway. Anybody who has ever used an analogy in a serious discussion is an asshole that's just trying to avoid the actual topic.

Superman should allow The Parasite to live in his bathtub back at the Fortress of Solitude. The Parasite wouldn't be hurting anybody and Superman has lots and lots of excess energy. He could just visit from time to time and let the Parasite suck him off a bit. No harm done! Of course it might be a bit embarrassing if Superman ever lets Batman use his bathroom.

Batman: "Hey Clark. There's a naked purple guy in your bathtub. You know what he tried to do to me while I was in there?"
Superman: "Oh yeah. Um. Sorry about that. That's just Josh. He's my, um, uhh...Alfred!"
Batman: "Hmm. I'm going to have to have a talk with Alfred if he's attempting to blow guests when they come over."

The Parasite learns he can steal Superman's powers.

The power doesn't last long when Parasite uses it though and he's quickly back down to skinny purple guy. Superman freezes him with his Cold Breath (why is his breath cold? Mine isn't cold! He's a freak!) and The Parasite winds up in Belle Reve. But we all know what happened to Belle Reve this month! Break out! After the breakout, The Parasite was last seen hitching a ride into Metropolis to find Superman to feast on again. He must not have heard that Superman is dead.

The Parasite #1 Rating: I don't fucking know what I want anymore! My favorite comic books are being written by Artists lately! This is a confusing and complex situation! I love well-written comic books. I can't get enough of those (which makes one wonder why I'm reading so many of The New 52!). But I also love comicky comic books! I enjoy something that's silly and whimsical and just fucking entertaining. Which this was, possibly because I liked the Bike Messenger so much. But this book reminds me quite a bit of Chris Burnham's stories when he was writing Batman of Japan. They're funny and whimsical and full of comic book goodness. I think some Writers are just trying too hard. Dark and disastrous and dramatic don't necessarily make for good story. Whatever Aaron Kuder put into this issue of The Parasite, he needs to share that amongst his fellow creators. Especially how even though it was rather goofy origin story, it actually ends on a page of pure malevolence as The Parasite threatens to kill a woman's child so she'll give him a lift back to Metropolis.

This wouldn't make my "favorite comic" list but it was light and entertaining and I liked it. I often mention how possibly the funniest movie I've ever seen in a theater was Jackass. But I'd never claim it was one of the best comedies ever made. I can only attest to the fact that it had me crying in laughter throughout. Comic books like this one are a rare find and I miss them.

The Parastie! (as seen in Superman and crap)

This might be the first ever picture of somebody getting teabagged after being defeated.

Alter Ego: Raymond Maxwell Jensen
Occupation: Professional Criminal
Marital Status: Unknown
Known Relatives: Lorna Jensen (wife) [I'm sure this "unknown" and "Lorna" situation will be resolved in the HISTORY! Perhaps it's just not known if Lorna served the divorce papers after Raymond turned into a raging purple exhibitionist.], Trini Jensen (daughter), Troy Jensen (son)
Group Affiliation: None
Base of Operations: Metropolis [Specifically, "Marv's House of Gloryholes." Because he sucks out people's essential juices and his mouth is perfectly shaped!]
First Appearance: ACTION COMICS #340
Height: 6'3" Weight: 240 lbs.
Eyes: Black Hair: None (originally brown)

Maxwell Jensen was a real loser, having been fired from three jobs in one year [Holy fuck, that's a harsh and judgmental thing to say to somebody down on their luck! He just hadn't found his calling yet. Until that day he walked into "Marv's"!], when he got a position at a government lab as a handyman. There was larceny in his heart even then, and this led to the accident that transformed him into The Parasite [So he's a Larcenous Heart Grub?].

Superman (see Superman II) had been there, conducting experiments with radioactive elements from another galaxy. These concluded, the Man of Steel decontaminated himself and sealed the wastes securely in a radiation-proof container. Jensen was then ordered to take the wastes to the disposal center.

Jensen, having heard payrolls were sometimes shipped in such containers to fool criminals, took a peek [Okay, the introductory assumption was correct: loser.]. As a result, he was hideously burned and turned into a human atomic furnace, burning up energy so swiftly that he would have perished in minutes if he had not had the power to absorb energy from others just as quickly. He also absorbed their mentality, and thus became a genius.

He quickly conceived the idea of stealing Superman's powers, thus making himself the mightiest man alive. But this went awry because his body could not contain so much power at once. As a result, he disintegrated [This might be the most loose use of the phrase "went awry" in comic history.].

And this might have been the end of the Parasite had it not been for an alien geographer who was mapping Earth when he found his instruments blocked by a strange purplish cloud. Analyzing it, he found it registered a life force. Curious, the alien reconstructed it in his revival chamber--and The Parasite lived again.

Eventually, Jensen set out to steal Superman's power gradually, so as not to overload himself. He was helped by having previously used his powers to learn his foe's secret identity.

But this time, Superman was aided by others from the planet of the now-dead alien. He helped them capture The Parasite so they could bring him to justice, giving him a life sentence on a prison world.

It was not easy to keep a man with his powers confined, however, and he escaped. In the process, he was struck by a blast from a guard's ray weapon. This altered his molecular structure so that, even when he was again disintegrated, he was able to return to normal, as his cells automatically regrouped themselves [In other words, Science!].

Jensen was captured and sent to prison. However, he had a good lawyer--a woman who fell in love with him. He finally got paroled and married her, and they had twins.

Xviar, an alien, using the Earth name of Mr. Xavier, gathered together a group of Superman's foes to fight the Man of Might--including The Parasite. Thus it was that Jensen's power was restored. Now he could not return to his loved ones for fear of killing them by draining their energy.

When captured, The Parasite has been imprisoned in the Mount Olympus Correctional Facility (popularly known as Superman Island), in a cell designed to drain off his excess energy.

The Parasite needs no weapons, since he can absorb any powers and has thus used Superman's abilities against him. He also has abosrbed enough scientific knowledge to make himself a genius [Scientific knowledge alone does not make one a genius! It might make you boring or able to make incomprehensible small talk but it does not, in and of itself, make you a genius. Dumb dumbs!]. As Jensen, he was of average build and strength, but as The Parasite, he has become a mass of physical power [But how good is he at hand-to-hand combat? This Powers & Weapons section is useless.].

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Killer Croc #1

I'm pretty sure Waylon is vomiting those bones into the air. And I can just hear the sound he made. You know that sound? The one you make when you vomit and the vomit catches you by surprise and comes exploding out of your mouth with a kind of ratchety raspy croak?

I wish I could remember a time I looked forward to reading comic books. Now it's just work. Especially since I've run out of funny things to say. Oh well. Back to the coal mine with Killer Croc. *sigh*

Killer Croc begins by defining a word as if I were some dumb bloke that didn't know what "atavastacism" meant! When did Waylon Jones get so smart that he thought he would act better than me using big words. I know better! He's just a big dumb thug! He probably received that word in his email today from's Word of the Day email self-improvement program. The Word of Today is "lucubration." That's an abrasion you get when you stumble after cheering because you won some money in the lottery.

When did Waylon Jones become better at languaging than me?!

If a great big stupid drop out like Waylon Jones is beginning to sound like a Modern Day Mickey Dolenz compared to me, I've got a problem! I'd better bone up on the books! I think reading nothing but comical books is rotting my think organ. Just a second while I sign up for the Merriam-Webster Sound Pretentious One Word at a Time Email Course. I don't really have time to read every email they send me though so I'll probably just read the word and guess at what it must mean. Then I'll use it all day with my made up meaning and see if anybody notices. Okay! I signed up via Twitter. Wow! Education is easy! I can't believe so many young people are whining about their enormous debts from college. I just signed up for a daily class for free! Ha ha! Who's the stupid person now?!

I can't believe DC is sexualizing this little boy. See? He's naked in a tub which automatically means he's being sexualized. Disgusting.

I don't know about how sexy the boy is in the previous panel because I'm not a weirdo pedophile that likes lizard boys. But man is his aunt sexy! I'd let her scrub me with a gigantic piece of coral! Or pink kryptonite! Or her vagina! I haven't declared a new favorite character in quite some time so I'm going to do that now! Auntie Flowers is the best character DC has created so far! I can't wait until Birds of Prey gets a new roster with Auntie Flowers, Tig the Vampire, Alysia Yeoh, Sleen (Captain K'rot's Raccoon/Kitten friend) and Ferdie. Holy shit that comic book would give me a lucubration!

Too bad that scene was from twenty-six years ago. That probably would put Auntie Flowers in her forties which might not make her a very popular hero according to DC's stupid managing editors that make stupid decisions all of the time and really don't know what sells. If they knew what would sell, they'd call themselves Marvel Comics with Batman! I think a black woman in her mid-forties would make for an awesome team leader. She could probably kick Black Canary's ass.

This issue is written by Tim Seeley and I'm not sure he's every read a Killer Croc story in his entire life! Why else would Killer Croc sound like he just walked out of a college course on not speaking like a drop out thug flunky? Killer Croc is really pissin' me off with his eloquence and his not droppin' letters! Fuck you, Killer Croc! You can't fool me! You're a stupid sewer poop face that doesn't know words and things. You probably found a dictionary floating in some feces and now you're trying to better yourself. Well stop it. Everybody knows better. You're just a dumb monster!

Back to Killer Croc's time spent not learning anything, he wrestled Alligators (I can tell it's an alligator he's wrestling because it's name is "Al!") during a sideshow rock festival. But that ended when he didn't get paid enough. So he decided to rob jewelry stores in Gotham. But that didn't pay off because of The Goddamned Batman. And his annoying sidekick!

Jason Todd should really be worrying about his own flaws!

Some Gotham City Police Guys have been wandering the sewers looking for something that they lost that will get them in big trouble if they can't find it. But they're in Killer Croc's home now and he makes them pay for trespassing. Killer Croc kills all but two of them and then his followers show up. It looks like Killer Croc has an Underworld Kingdom just like all the assholes in Ann Nocenti's comic books! But at least Killer Croc's tribe lives in actual sewers and not some fantasy kingdom. And they look like people living off the street instead of High-tech Survivalists or Baron von Flamehead Cultists and Goat Ranchers.

Killer Croc was leading other were-creatures down in the sewers so I'm going to just pretend that these followers of his are more of them. I wouldn't want the Killer Croc stories from Batwoman to be erased from Canon. I'm not saying they are although I've read different! I just know I'm going to believe them for as long as I'm able and the comic books actually tell me something different.

The last two dirty cops find what they've been looking for: a key on a good cop they killed a few days earlier. But it's a little bit of a trap.

And I'm glad it was because it set up this panel which I simply adore!

It turns out Waylon is busy killing all of these crooked cops because of the man they killed. The man was a caring adult friend of Waylon's when he was a young child. And he was always there with ice cream when that fucking spooky ass Shauna would make fun of him because shit rolls downhill and she had to find the only person that was being teased more than she was. It's also interesting to think that the Ventriloquist is in her thirties.

Hey! Your Auntie Flowers wanted nothing but the best for you! You should respect her word instead of this weirdo pedophile that likes lizard boys!

Killer Croc holds a funeral for his dead one-armed friend and says some words that are probably inspiring but I'm not listening to him anymore! I'm bitter and angry that Killer Croc is being portrayed as smarter than I am! First Clayface proves he's smarter than me! And now this? It's untolerable!

Killer Croc #1 Rating: This was a pretty good story although Killer Croc's voice was nothing like Killer Croc's voice in Batwoman because his character was much better over in Batwoman. He was more vulnerable in his desperation and his average intelligence. And he didn't make me feel stupid! I wonder if maybe it's not him that's making me feel stupid but my being stupid that's making me feel stupid? OH SNAPS!

Killer Croc! (as seen in Batman and shit)

Alter Ego: Waylon Jones
Occupation: Professional Criminal
Marital Status: Single
Known Relatives: Unnamed Aunt
Group Affiliation: None
Base of Operations: Gotham City
First Appearance: BATMAN #357
Height: 6'5" Weight: 268 lbs.
Eyes: Red Hair: None

Born in a Florida slum to an unwed mother who died giving birth to him, Waylon Jones was raised by a deadbeat alcoholic aunt. Cursed with a hideous hereditary disease that gave his skin a scaly, reptilian look, Waylon was tormented by his playmates until he fought back, crippling one of them.

Abused even more in reform school, Waylon soon became a habitual criminal, spending the rest of his adolescence in and out of juvenile hall until he was 16, when he killed with his bare hands a fellow inmate who had insulted his bizarre looks. Condemned to death for the crime, Waylon was sent to state prison, where his sentence was eventually commuted to life imprisonment.

Parole after eighteen years behind bars, Waylon found a job at a carnival sideshow wrestling alligators while billed as "Killer Croc." Eventually, Waylon left the carnival and disappeared into the criminal underground, surfacing months later in Gotham City, working as a small-time extortionist.

When the criminal mastermind known only as Squid (see Squid) attempted to unite Gotham underground, Croc saw his chance to move into the big time. Murdering Squid in cold blood, Croc used his brute strength and animal savagery to unite Gotham's criminals under his own rule by promising to eliminate their greatest foe, the caped crimefighter known as The Batman (see The Batman).

In the course of his efforts to eliminate The Batman, Croc was responsible for the murders of circus aerialists Joe and Trina Todd, parents of young Jason Todd, who would later become the new Robin (see Robin II) [Did Batman just continually stalk young male circus aerialists?].

Despite his gathering a small army of the Batman's greatest foes to assist him, Croc eventually ended up back behind prison bars, where he is currently serving a life sentence, this time without hope of parole.

Though possessing no true super-powers, Croc is a savage and abnormally strong hand-to-hand combatant, easily capable of killing an opponent with his bare hands. A conscienceless killer blessed with almost limitless stamina and leather-tough skin, Croc is one of the fiercest foes The Batman has ever faced.

Joker's Daughter #1

I have never read a Joker's Daughter story before. I'm glad it's going to be written by such a skilled auteur.

Here's my prediction about this story: misfit, rebel, outside society's norm girl hates her parents and everybody and stomps around in big boots being angry. She finds The Joker's Face floating in the Gotham Reservoir, puts it on, and gains her new identity! Nobody is going to tell her how to live her life now! Fuck 'em all! Plus, she decides to go live underground because why the fuck not? At least nobody down there will keep asking, "Why are you wearing a mask made out of human skin?"

Score! Girl that didn't fit in in the suburbs runs away to the sewers. That was an easy one, though. Cliché and Nocenti go hand in hand.

At least the artist on this one is attempting to make Ugly Cat look ugly! Although it might be a bit too Gollum-like here. And where the fuck did she find a C-3PO head? Is it actually a Star Wars figure carrying case? I preferred the Darth Vader head carrying case myself. But that's because nobody ever bought me the AT-AT so I could just shove them all inside that.

Even though I already knew Ann Nocenti would be writing this issue, I would have been able to guess just from her writing style in the dialogue between Joker's Daughter and Ugly Cat. I'm not sure how to describe Nocenti's dialogue style except as "not human." It's as if somebody programmed a Commodore 64 to try to make small talk with strangers and it's really doing it's best be understood.

I'm not sure The Joker's Daughter actually knows the real history of The Nethers or she just believes the rumors she's heard. She seems to believe that The Nethers was flooded to make way for the Gotham Reservoir while citizens who refused to move were still just going about their daily lives. Although it is Gotham. I suppose if I wanted to believe it, I could easily believe some corrupt officials gave the go ahead knowing that people were still living down there. But it just feels like The Joker's Daughter is the kind of person that lives their life via their confirmation bias. Flooding innocent people is the sort of thing Up Worlders would do because they're shallow, selfish assholes. She wants to believe she doesn't fit in not because she's regularly snotty and a jerk to most people but because they're clique-loving dicks that have never given her a chance.

My confirmation bias is that I don't like Ann Nocenti's writing so I'm not going to give The Joker's Daughter the benefit of the doubt with regards to the truth of anything she says. She's just a spoiled brat that probably got grounded from Facebook for a weekend and she wasn't going to put up with that! Fuck them all! They'll see how wrong they were when she disappears underground with her ugly cat and they never see her again!

Score! Big boots! But what rebellious young girl doesn't wear big boots, right? I love them!

Only Ann Nocenti could get me to turn on an anti-social young teenager just trying to escape the system and stick it to the man. I'm not even giving The Joker's Daughter a chance because I can't stand Nocenti's writing! Although I do like Ugly Cat. But I hate that The Joker's Daughter calls it Ugly Cat! I thought she was above judging things by their appearances?

Score! She hates her parents! I wonder if Nocenti believed she was writing a character that would be a Champion for Young Girls everywhere who didn't feel like they fit in. As if anybody feels that way.

After Joker's Daughter surfaces, some kids throw rocks at her and call her ugly. The Joker's Daughter believes that they'll stop being cruel to her if she finds a mate. Then nobody will think she's ugly! But for once, one of Ann Nocenti's female characters doesn't want a partner in her life! Maybe there's hope for The Joker's Daughter after all! Unless she decides that she wants Catwoman as her partner so that she'll be accepted among the shallow, rock-throwing assholes.

And, lastly, score! These correct speculations all feel so hollow, though. They were all just so obvious.

One thing I'm glad to see is The Joker's Daughter didn't disappoint me with just how shallow she is. Rejecting conventional society does not automatically make a person more profound, more insightful, or smarter than those that don't reject it. Sometimes it just makes you a different kind of asshole. There's a difference between being oneself and acting in a rebellious manner. With The Joker's Daughter's declaration that "ugly is the new beautiful," I see that she is just another shallow twat.

The Joker's Daughter was just coming up to the surface to trade or look for some food or books. But now she's suddenly ready to hold a bloody revolution because she sees one dick treating his partner like shit. Obviously that means everybody else acts in the same manner because she's the only person capable of breaking out of society's shackles and thinking on her own.

I hate her so much!

But not as much as I hate Nocenti's plots!

So now apparently enough fairly normal people escape Arkham on a continual basis to create this tribal society where women are handed out like gift bags.

I have a feeling that the editors gave Ann Nocenti this mythical Gotham Underworld to fuck around with so that she wasn't fucking up Gotham at street level with her stupid Penguin and Rat-Tails Gang Wars. Once Ann Nocenti stops writing for DC, Gotham can have another cataclysm which will collapse the Underworld for good and destroy anything that Nocenti had created.

The Joker's Daughter's story that she's going to tell this man is The Lysistrata. I think that means she's going to institute some kind of plan that results in the men walking around with gigantic erections and the women going out of their mind from lack of sex. Or something. But the first part of her plan is to use her half-moon to burn a gigantic smile on the man's face. So that was why she just had to pick up the crescent moon on the way to the surface! It was awkwardly placed in the narrative that I really didn't know what the fuck to say about it.

The Joker's Daughter tries to overthrow Charon the leader but winds up being beaten by him because he's good looking.

Christ. It's like Nocenti is making excuses why one sex should rule over another.

Patriarchy. Matriarchy. Who fucking cares? Nocenti has already set up the history of this place as if the women couldn't possibly have built the tunnels or done the hunting or fixed everything up. "Naturally" the men did that! So now they get to sit back and relax and have the women wait on them. How about not switching from the rule of one sex over the other but just allowing people to do the things they're best at and the things they want to do. Can a guy cook in this society? Can he raise the children? Why can't a woman go about fixing things? Who the fuck cares who does what? Stop with the pendulum swinging, Charon! It doesn't have to be one way or the other.

Fuck it. I don't know who to be angry at anymore. I think I'm just mad at Ann Nocenti for constantly writing stereotypical, cliché bullshit.

The Joker's Daughter (Duela is her name. I remember that from somewhere. But damned if I can remember any previous encounters in my comic book life with The Joker's Daughter) lies to Charon about her childhood. She was a lot like The Ventriloquist in that she was ugly as a baby and it shocked everyone. I have no idea how people tell when a baby is ugly. They're all fucking ugly for the first few weeks. Maybe longer! But she did weird and impossible things like trapping spiders in light bulbs. So it was off to the insane asylum to try to make her normal! Goddamn fascist parents trying to cure her of her mental illness where she believes she can trap spiders in light bulbs! Crazy! She also loved to cut up her face and that's not really very healthy. She also brought in stray dogs that probably had more rabies than love. So I guess her parents were assholes because they wouldn't allow her to keep putting her own life in danger. Jerks.

Duella's mom was twelve years old.

None of Duella's story matches up with her first declaration that she only survived her idiot parents by hiding in books. I know she's offering lies to Charon but it feels like these are lies that she tells because she wants to believe them (and maybe even does believe them). Which make her earlier statement about her parents being idiots incongruous.

Oh, it's probably just me and my Anti-Nocenti bias! I bet this is actually a really terrific story on its own!

The Joker's Daughter gives Charon his Joker Face after he goes all Jesus on her. And then the men appear to declare they want the women to run things because they're tired of fighting to hold on to their power. Oh bullshit. They just want the women to do more work! Now they'll all just sit around and shrug their shoulders and say, "Hey, you're in charge. You fucking deal with it." And The Joker's Daughter thinks she's changed things! Ha! Ha ha! Ha ha ha!

I hate this comic book.

The Joker's Daughter #1 Rating: I already told you I hate this comic book! Now leave me alone!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Deathstroke #21

Hey DC! We already had Deathstroke #1! This is Issue #21!

I suppose this could be New 52 Deathstroke #1 Volume 2, or New 52 Deathstroke #21 Volume 1, or New 52 Teen Titans 23.2. I've been completely ignoring which series the Villains have been usurping because it hasn't always made sense. Plus I just don't want to put extra periods in the names of my jpg files. You never know what's going to screw up some internet code somewhere down the line! I just try to avoid all punctuation in my file names. I'm going to refer to this issue as Deathstroke #21 even though nobody else will notice after this paragraph in which I had to point it out for no fucking reason at all.

The issue begins with Deathstroke interrupting a group of mercenaries (or soldiers (or Wildstorm goons (or Image jerks (or 90s comic book bad asses)))) as they stand in a line on a roof in a basement for tactical advantageousness.


How ridiculous must both of these guys feel to be calling each other by a "death" name? You can tell Deathblow is more embarrassed by how stupid their names sound when heard one after the other than he is upset that Deathstroke is about to take his job from him. My other favorite moment from this opening page is that one of the writers names is Dooma! Perfect!

I think Anonymous would want me to make a penis joke here even though most penises don't spring directly from the kidney.

Deathstroke: "Come on, Deathblow. You were in fucking Grifter. We both know how this encounter is going to end."
Deathblow: "If you hadn't noticed, Deathstroke, I have seven ridiculously named compatriots to help put you down."
Deathstroke: "I'm not going down. You are going down."
Deathblow: "Really? We're really talking about making each other go down?"
Deathstroke: "Look who's talking, DeathBLOW!"
Deathblow: "As if "stroke" after Death is any better! Where'd we get our names? 'Shittiest Innuendos Я Us'?"
Deathjob: "Ha ha. You were in Grifter."

After Deathstroke knocks down Deathblow and his Death Cronies, Slade hops in the elevator and a page of confusing shit takes place. Being that I'm not as dumb as my fourth grade teacher testified to, I know that Deathstroke and Deathblow end up fighting in an elevator shaft. But the whole scene is poorly plotted and drawn since Deathstroke begins in an elevator shaft barely as big as his body which then widens to allow Deathblow to throw a flying kick at him. Also (and I just had this thought), wasn't Deathblow black in Grifter? Now I need to go back and check!

Yep. He definitely was. Maybe this building just has really strange lighting.

Anyway, Deathstork Deathstroke makes it to the roof of the apparently only building in which the target can be sniped from. I'm not sure why Deathblow needed seven other people to come along with him to watch him snipe the target. Those sniper rifles can be pretty big. Perhaps Deathblow needed the extra teammates to carry all the pieces while Deathstroke managed to fit all the pieces of the gun in one parcel on his back.

That is a big fucking gun though. Don't feel bad, Deathblow. I'd probably need a few extra people to help carry it as well.

Unless Deathblow and his buddies have been paid to keep Deathstroke from killing the target! That might be why Deathblow was a little bit pissed when he realized he'd have to defend against Deathstroke. I guess with a name like "Deathblow," my first reaction isn't that he's going to be some guy's bodyguard.

While Deathstroke's bullet is traveling through the air, Slade has enough time to think about his first mission with Deathblow before they were super-heroes. He remembers delivering an Atari Jaguar to a children's hospital during a battle only to find out that the Atari Jaguar was a bomb. The children were heartbroken although if he'd have delivered Aliens vs Predator at the same time, they probably would have forgotten all about the war as they battled each other endlessly. Instead, Slade quit the Army vowing never again to cause children pain. Or maybe he just didn't like taking orders.

After that memory, while the bullet is still flying because Slade uses 90% of his brainpower and can think almost as fast as a regular person, Deathstroke thinks about his son Grant being born. Slade begins to remember how he needs to forget what Liefeld did to him and begin to remember some new stuff that makes more sense.

Like how Grant was killed in North Korea at the same time Slade lost his eye.

It's not just Liefeld's stuff that's being rewritten; DC apparently didn't like what Kyle Higgins did either. Because here Slade is treating Grant as if he was the best that ever was and did everything for his son because he loved him so much. As opposed to the way Higgins wrote the relationship where Slade treated Grant like a coach constantly berating the best kid on the team for not being better than the best. Also Ravager was killed by Midnighter in a an explosion instead of being gunned down by North Korean soldiers while Slade lost his eye. Oh well. It's not like I didn't expect Deathstroke's history to completely change seeing as how DC gave the character to Liefeld to sodomize as he pleased.

Slade realized that the soldiers knew where to find him because Adeline let them know so that she and Joseph could be safe. Still no sign of Rose Wilson though. She must be a clone of Deathstroke or Ravager since her history was never told in Superboy or Team 7 or Deathstork Deathstroke. Except the rest of the family recognize her back in Team 7 when they have to fight Majestic. Maybe her story will be told next while the bullet still hasn't exploded the target's head.

Except it isn't because the bullet finally hits the target and blows off his arm. Close enough. Immediately after, Slade stands up and a man in a suit hands him a briefcase. Really? The guy was just hanging out on the roof waiting to pay the killer? The man escapes by helicopter just as Deathstroke has to fight Deathblow and the Murdernauts once again.

"Noooooo! Why am I fucking white?! I'll be baaaaaaaaaaaa--!"

And finally, after two years of mostly shitty Deathstroke comic books, DC decides to introduce a little bit of Rose Wilson back story.

Although there's still a lot to be told. Like who is the mother? And how does Rose share so many memories with Joseph and Grant if she was raised separately and was so much younger? I suppose that's not really much of a question since this issue was simply to show that Deathstroke is getting a Rebooted Reboot.

Deathstork Deathstroke #21 Rating: I get that Deathstroke's history needed some serious straightening out. But if DC's go-to method is going to be rebooting a character every time they realize editorial didn't think things through enough while a writer was putting some stories together, they're just going to fuck up the whole reason for a Reboot. Yeah, yeah. The Reboot is all about money and getting more people to throw money at their products. Which is also why they Reboot a character that has received shitty treatment since the Big Reboot. Not enough people were paying to read Deathstroke, so DC kept changing the character until nothing made any sense. Although, really, it was just allowing Liefeld to write whatever the fuck he decided to write that really made no sense. When a writer comes onto a series and gives the title character's motivation as something that directly contradicts that character's motivation as seen in the previous issue, you've got a shitty writer that just doesn't fucking care about the characters and his fans. And you've got asshole editors that allow that kind of thing which seems a bit disrespectful of the previous writer (you know, Higgins).

Anyway. I didn't hate this issue or anything. It's just I feel the need to rank it really, really poorly because it's simply here to clean up a character that DC has handled poorly from the beginning. I'm also not a fan of just changing everything about a character with not even an attempt at an explanation. At least Twat Lobo makes sense in the grand scheme of the Reboot. It makes even more sense if Lobo still has his power where he can generate clones of himself from (while maybe not a single drop of blood since that could get too crazy) hemorrhoids or burned off genital warts. And maybe Lobo doesn't realize he has that power, so now Twat Lobo and Magenta Lobo and maybe other Lobos will start crawling out of the Universal Woodwork!

Deathstroke the Terminator! (as seen in Deathstroke)

Alter Ego: Slade Wilson
Occupation: Mercenary/Assassin
Marital Status: Divorced
Known Relatives: Adeline Wilson (ex-wife), Grant Wilson (son, deceased), Joseph Wilson (son)
Group Affiliation: None
Base of Operations: Africa
First Appearance: New Teen Titans (first series) #2
Height: 6'4" Weight: 225 lbs.
Eyes: Blue Hair: White

After lying about his age to get into the Army, Slade Wilson distinguished himself by becoming the youngest decorated soldier in the Korean War. He was then sent to a special combat training program (similar to the Green Berets), at Camp Washington, where he first met his wife-to-be Adeline Kane, who was one of his instructors. They were married six months after Slade's graduation. Soon afterward, Slade left for Vietnam, and Adeline stayed behind to care for their new son, Grant. Slade later volunteered for an Army medical experiment involving Adrenocorticotropic hormones (ACTH) designed to increase the subject's resistance to truth serums. Instead the treatment seemed to have had the effect of crippling Slade, who was hospitalized for some time. As his condition stabilized, the effect changed drastically, and Slade developed almost super-human strength and reflexes. He tried to return to active duty, but was refused on the grounds that his condition wasn't stable. During this period his son Joseph was born, inheriting the chemical change that would lead to his powers as Jericho (see Jericho). Slade then discovered that his old friend Winter-green had been captured by the Viet Cong, so he commandeered a plane to rescue him. The Army discharged Slade for his actions.

Restless, Slade became first a big-game hunter, then a mercenary: Deathstroke, the Terminator. He kept his mercenary actions a secret from his family until his son Joseph was kidnapped by agents acting for an international terrorist known as the Jackal. In rescuing Joseph, Slade was just seconds too slow, and the boy's vocal chords were severed, leaving him alive but mute. Slade later lost an eye when Adeline, in anger, tried to kill him in retaliation for their son's maiming. Because of his love for her, Slade didn't retaliate, but the two divorced soon after.

After Slade refused a H.I.V.E. (see H.I.V.E.) contract on the Teen Titans (see Teen Titans), it was taken on by his son Grant, aka the Ravager, who died trying to complete it. The Terminator vowed to destroy the Titans and complete his son's contract. After failing to capture them directly, Slade worked with Tara Markov (see Terra), using her as a mole to discover the Titans' secrets and weaknesses. The Titans were caught and delivered to H.I.V.E., but the presence of Joseph Wilson as Jericho allowed the Titans to escape. Terra died trying to recapture them, and Wilson was captured. He went to trial for kidnapping, but the case was thrown out when the prosecutor failed to prove that the Terminator who did the kidnapping was Slade Wilson.

The Changeling (see Changeling) challenged the Terminator to a final battle, but when Slade showed up in civilian garb, it squelched Gar Logan's anger. The two parted on truce terms, and the Terminator hasn't been seen since.

The Terminator is capable of using 90% of his brain capacity, making him [10% worse than most humans?] a master tactician. The same experiment that gave him this extra brainpower also gave him heightened strength, agility, stamina and reflexes. As an ex-soldier, he has years of combat experience, both bare-handed and with all kinds of weaponry. He carries with him a small arsenal of weapons including a sword, explosive grenades, daggers, a revolver and a power battle staff. His mask contains specialized targeting equipment, and he has other specialized weaponry available at his Manhattan townhouse--which functions as his command post--with a vast computer network of information [You know. Google!].

Dial E #1

Least threatening cover of Villains Month.

The issue begins with some young kids that act as couriers for some gang members stealing a Dial from them. One of them dials 0,8,3,3 to transform into Suffer Kate. Get it? She suffocates things and her name is Kate and people suffer when they suffocate! But I don't know what 0,8,3,3 is supposed to spell! ZUDE? OPERATOR TED? OBEE?

After Suffer Kate, the kid turns into a racist Russian Folk Legend.

The youths are just using the Dial to commit petty burglaries and to cause a bunch of chaos. The original thugs give chase and more forms are taken as they all battle for the Dial. It looks like a different artist on every page. Is it Dial E for Everybody? Maybe every page has a different writer as well although I'm fairly certain it's just China Mieville.

I think it's Dial E for Exquisite Corpse. Exquisite Corpses are when one person begins a drawing and then hides all but the scantest of an edge. The next person takes over the drawing basing their drawing on the lines and colors that they can see from the previous artist. It's possible this version in Dial E just had Mieville send out one page of the script (each one with a new Dial Character) to a whole bunch of different artists with some character designs for the main kids running through the issue so the reader wouldn't be thoroughly confused. But I'm not so certain that the story is going to be all that important to the overall New 52. It's just a little artsty fartsy fun being had.

After a bunch of nonsense, a familiar face shows up to retrieve the Dial.

Aha! The guy the Dial Evil Dial was created for!

The Human Centipede eventually gets the Dial away from the kids when the last one is unable to use it because she isn't bad enough. Turns out the Dial is Dial Q for Qued because is a Middle English word for Evil. Which is why this issue is called Dial Q. Oh wait. Whatever. He's stopped on the last page because The Human Centipede with a Dial is just way too fucking powerful now, isn't he?

It's Rescue Jack's teammate! But is it really her? Or is it a Dial Version? It is a mystery to discover in Dial H, Volume 2!

Dial E #1 Ranking: Um. Yeah. Let China have his fun since he did a terrific job on the regular series. But this didn't really have much of anything to add except a couple of pages of bridging story for whenever Dial H returns. If ever.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Scarecrow #1

Those must be self-hating Crows to be working with the Scarecrow.

I'm going to start with something that has nothing to do with anything because I've had this quote in an open notepad note for about a week now. And every time I want to open an old notepad file, I have to copy it before opening the file. Then I paste it back in to notepad after I'm done with the old file. Mostly because I don't need to save this quote for any reason but I did want to talk about it. So now I'm talking about it!

This is from the comment section from the CRPG Addict's blog after he wrote about why he likes crossword puzzles rather than sudoku:
When you get to Might & Magic's Xeen series, you will get your crossword puzzle in one of the dungeons. Of course, I forget if it is in Clouds or Darkside at the moment :) When you complete it, be ready for an "Interesting" reward.

It's comments like these that boggle my trying-to-live-a-spoiler-free-life mind. I know the commenter is just trying to connect and engage in dialogue. But the need to ruin even the surprise of a crossword puzzle being encountered in an RPG hurts my non-existent soul. It's a well-meaning comment but ruins so much of what makes discovery enjoyable. And to top it all off, he adds the "be ready" part of it. It's like going to see Empire Strikes Back and somebody saying, "Hey, you like twists? Be ready for a good one about Luke's father near the end!" Actually, it's really just like every movie trailer that says, "You won't believe the shocking twist ending!" Great. Now that you told me there was a twist, I'll have it figured out in the first ten fucking minutes. Assholes.

I know I'm being overly sensitive to this shit. But it's a truly ruinous comment in innocuous clothing, so I felt I needed to say something to somebody. You were the lucky somebody!

I don't know yet who's writing this issue but the "self-delusion is underrated" is a pretty fucking accurate statement. Ignorance is bliss for the person bathed in ignorance. Obviously if fucking sucks for everybody who has to put up with that asshole. But sentience is definitely a curse.

I recently mentioned how I don't go in for that whole "dissatisfaction with getting all you ever wanted" crap. I'm more of the Willy Wonka type and the living happily ever after once you've gotten everything you ever dreamed of. It's too fucking American to always want more and to think ambition has no ceiling. It's a travesty to teach people that they must continually grow or need more. Don't you know that happiness is being happy your needs satisfied? If you're dissatisfied with getting everything you've always wanted, you obviously have yet to get everything you've always wanted!

On the next page, I see Peter J. Tomasi is writing. That's a good thing because I really liked some of the shit coming out of the Scarecrow's mouth here and I didn't want to accidentally praise a writer I can't stand! That would have been embarrassing! I already feel like I failed my readership by liking Tom DeFalco's Shadow Thief story and actually giving a thumb's up to H'el's origin!

There sure are a lot of words in this comic book!

The panel above made me happy. Sometimes things just make me giddy and make me smile and make me love comic books. I love the idea of the lunatics of Arkham splitting up Gotham under the auspices of The Penguin. Sure, there's no way this peace can last. But I'm sure they'll all have fun trying to pretend for a day or two. And then Bane will think, "Why the fuck am I not kicking Cobblepot's ass?" And Poison Ivy will need another few acres to grow some gigantic Venus Flytraps on. And Mr. Freeze will accidentally flood Zsasz's killing fields as his ice melts in the noon day sun. Except there is no sun because the eclipse has eclipsed the entire world in the way comic book eclipses do. But the ice will melt anyway because Gotham City really isn't that fucking cold.

The Scarecrow is visiting all the districts to spread some gossip that will, hopefully, cause fear in the people that hear it. The news is about Blackgate Prison so I hope the news is that Emperor Blackgate is going to try to take over The Penguin's job. Again!

According to The Scarecrow, I must be insane.

I don't really think of dealing with the world as it is or as I think it should be. I just deal with my life as I want to live it and fuck all to what anybody else thinks.

Apparently "Would-Be World Conqueror" is still a regular occupation in The New 52.

The Scarecrow wanders about Gotham discussing the New World Order and how his peers fit into it with his new buddy Hudson, a guard from Arkham. As I said before, there are a lot of words. It's a very dense comic book as Scarecrow wanders about psychoanalyzing everything. And it's pretty fucking entertaining shit. Example time!

Hamlet: "Veggie or Meat-lovers? That is the question. Whether tis nobler to the stomach to suffer the pangs and bloating of Little Caeser's or link arms and forgive the shitty policies by patronizing Papa Johns?"

The Scarecrow visits The Riddler next who, like Mr. Freeze, declares that he's not crazy like all of the others. But unlike Mr. Freeze, he declares that he will remain neutral in any upcoming battles because he has everything he wants. But he does mention "bane" in a Riddler sort of way, so it's possible he already knows something is brewing and Bane is at the heart of it. Or I'm just acting paranoid trying to make sense of all of the crazy crap The Riddler says.

While The Scarecrow is looking for Poison Ivy, Hudson's cousin from Blackgate that he tried to kill attacks them.

And he's pumped up full of Venom! Looks like The Riddler was dropping a hint about Bane.

I forget what all the Forever Evil tie-ins are going to be but it seems like this is building up to some kind of Forever Evil Gotham War. I know there's an Arkham one and a Rogue's one. This must be the lead-in to the Arkham War or whatever it's called.

Killer Croc shows up long enough to put down the Venomized guard and then disappears back into his turf: the sewers. Although the Sewers now has to contend with Ann Nocenti's fantasy realm, Under-Gotham. I supposed I should get some of that in the Joker's Daughter issue later. And more Croc stuff in the Killer Croc issue. And Bane's plan over in the Bane issue. I think Gotham City has more escaped lunatics per capita than anywhere else in the world. Even Los Angeles!

The Scarecrow finishes his rounds and kills off Hudson because Hudson was just standing in as The Scarecrow's therapist. And The Scarecrow doesn't need him any more because he's talked through all of his problems and he's ready to take over Gotham. Just like, I'm sure, every other inmate is ready to do as well. Like I said: none of them are actually going to be happy with their tiny parcel of Gotham.

Scarcrow #1 Rating: This issue was really quite entertaining even if it was merely a prologue to Akrham War. I really hate writing this last paragraph where I sum up my thoughts on an issue because reviewing these things isn't really my intention here. So let me just end with one more piece of good advice from The Scarecrow instead of a coherent rating:

Just don't be a dick about it.