Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Flash #30

In this issue of The Flash, The Flash runs.

I'm practically Van Jensen's best friend in all of the world but that won't stop me from criticizing his new take on The Flash if it demands criticism! I'm nothing if not objective even if I hurt the feelings of a really close and personal friend! It's true that I may have been lobbing softballs at Green Lantern Corps but he was new to the industry! I didn't want to discourage him as soon as he began taking his first steps on his own without the loving, guiding, softly stroking hand of Robert Venditti. Sure, Venditti is back to help Van Jensen out with The Flash but I'm sure Venditti's credit will be either "emotional support" or "adult back rubs." I just hope Van Jensen is ready for my unfiltered criticism of this month's Flash! I can be brutal! According to Gail Simone, I'm "mean and hilarious." According to most people in my life, I'm mean and hilarious. Gail is a good judge of character!

This issue begins five years in the future where The Flash is being blamed by a detective for the death of some kid (probably Wally West) because The Flash wasn't there to save him. According to this detective's logic, I'm responsible for every death in the world for the last forty two years. Why the fuck wasn't I there to save them?! Where was I? Why was I playing so much Cyberball at 4th Street Bowl in San Jose?! I'm such an unfeeling bastard!

The portrayal of this detective as an idiot is a masterful display of character creation by Van Jensen. I also sense in it a playful parody of Batgirl #1. He's taking the ridiculous trope of law enforcement blaming the good guys for not stopping all crime and turning it on its head before putting it back on its feet so it looks like he's not parodying it at all. It's so subtle in its elegance! Placing it inside the cliche opening in the far future that presents a situation that The Flash wants to change just magnifies and exposes the crutches that most comic book writers are forced to work with by editorial that demands stories open with a moment that grabs the reader and that they end with a super surprise twist no matter how "Call me One-Face!" dumb they are! Excellent skewering of the medium, Van Jensen! Brava! Err, bravo! Bravura! Or whatever!

Back in the present, Patty and Barry decide not to fuck on work premises and simply talk instead.

How does Patty interject when Barry is speaking at super speed? How does she even understand him?! How does Barry not go fucking insane waiting for everybody else to finish even just one sentence?! "Bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr..." "WHAT?!" (imagine the letters in "what" all smashed up together and spoken so quickly it just sounds like a fart that blows out eardrums)

Where does Barry buy clothing that can withstand the enormous wear and tear he puts it through when running at super speed? What kinds of shoes does he wear? Imagine slipping or stumbling at super speed! He might bring down a building and kill thousands of people! I once jumped up from a lying position, got dizzy, and stumbled off in the wrong direction in my house bouncing off the walls down a hallway I'd never meant to be in. Why doesn't that ever happen to Barry?! He'd probably run right through people, exploding them into patches of red mist!

Patty bought Barry a watch because he's always "losing time." The name of this issue is called "Lost Time." The watch on Iris five years in the future where she was in an accident is the same watch that Barry is putting on his wrist now. Barry's powers have more to do with time than speed, actually. Or, more to be formulaic and exact, they have to do with speed multiplied by time equaling distance.

So right off the bat, Van Jensen is setting up the theme of Barry and his inability to deal with time properly. Which means Barry doesn't have very good control of his powers. Perhaps he doesn't quite understand his powers either. Also, Patty seems to be trying to control him by attaching a time leash to him, one that will always remind him of her. That seems a bit manipulative! By setting up these themes in the opening pages, Van Jensen is showing that he, unlike Barry, has complete control of his writing powers! Not since Alan Moore have I seen a writer do so much in so few pages! Not since I found my first porn magazine in the bushes of my elementary school have I felt such an overwhelming tingling sensation in my lower abdomen! To call this Flash writing debut impressive would be to shit all over words and the entire human experience in which the concept of language was formed.

I feel kind of ashamed that I can't think of anything bad to say about Van Jensen's writing so far since I'm looking at Brett Booth's terribly cartoony art and Brett Booth is the one that said a real critique uses both good and bad feedback! He says it's an attack when there is only bad feedback. So what if I only have orgasmic, jubilant, intensely positive feedback?! What do you call that? A canonization?!

Don't forget how important time is to this story! Well placed reminder, Van Jensen!

Barry goes to see his shrink but he doesn't stick around to listen to her. Whenever she says anything, he runs off to pick up trash around Central City. I suppose she looks down at her pad and he takes off and he comes back before she can look up. And he's lucky she never looks up while he's gone. I suppose, if I were a tiny child, I could believe that he's in and out of her office before she can even notice he's gone. But to simply leave the office at that speed would cause a sonic boom and hurricane winds! Instead, nothing in the office is ruffled or disturbed. I suppose I could stop looking at it as speed and see it as Barry slowing down time. But since speed times time equals distance, it's all really the same thing. I guess if I can believe a man can run at near light speed, I should be able to believe that he can have a therapy session and clean up his city without the therapist ever noticing. I should be able to. But I can't! Not even for my best friend in all the world!

I might be willing to believe it if Brett Booth wasn't drawing Barry Allen with a tiny pinhead on top of an overly muscled body.

I used to judge The Flash comic on how many running and speed puns it had. But after thirty issues, I think I'm finally sick of them!

I really wanted to fill this commentary with lots of over the top raving and lines to Van Jensen like "Is that my penis in your mouth, or are you just happy to see me?" But I just can't do it when Barry's psychiatrist, an older lady, uses terms like "a buck seventy" when referring to Barry's weight. Also, Brett Booth can't help drawing her like he draws every other person as if they've painted their bodies to look like clothing and then put on a tie or a jacket.

Barry's psychiatrist heads into the bathroom partway through the therapy session because she probably needs to change into her super villain costume. Her name is Dr. Janus and that's a dead giveaway super villain name! She's probably the female version of Two-Face! Oh wait. McKillen is the female version of Two-Face now! I guess Dr. Janus is somebody else then!

Dr. Janus! Your super villain costume is the same as your therapist costume! You obviously don't get the point of a secret identity.

After Barry has run all over town, he notices his watch is two minutes slow. He decides it's broken because he doesn't know about the Theory of Relativity, I guess. The issue ends twenty years in the future where Barry is lamenting how his watch has fallen behind by two years and eight months and some other smaller time units as well. He seems to think he's somehow lost that time somewhere and that he could get it back somehow by saving Wally West's life fifteen years ago. But he didn't lose that time! He didn't lose any time! His watch just ran slower when he was running near the speed of light because time slows down. But he's still running around doing tons of shit across the time that he supposedly lost. Bah. Why am I even thinking about it?! It's all speculation at this point as to how he lost the time he lost anyway. I suppose the Annual will explain it all.

The Flash #30 Rating: No change. Once again, The Flash is fucking around with time! Is he going to be the catalyst for Future's End? It wouldn't surprise me since he's always fucking up continuity forever and ever. If DC really wants to never have continuity issues ever again, they should have kept The Flash character in the grave! I suppose they keep him around so that they can use him to fix up their universe whenever they think it needs to be overhauled. Although they've done the stupid Superboy's punch thing too, so I guess they don't need The Flash.

All Star Western #30

Since Gina's death, did Jonah stumble into a campfire face-first?

This issue begins with Hex digging a grave and the Narrator getting unduly philosophical on the nature of time and ding dongs. Well, maybe the Narrator doesn't talk about ding dongs. But I was thinking about ding dongs. Not the delicious, capitalized and trademarked Ding Dongs! The ding dongs that men have between their legs! Don't ask me why I was thinking about their veiny, throbbing, pre-ejaculate glistening, orifice seeking existence! It's too disturbing to even contemplate being that Jonah Hex is digging a grave for the sexiliciously sexy but now dead Gina. I wonder if he buried her with her clothes on? Dusty red dirt flung on top of her pearl white skin, settling slowly into every crevice and fold and pouty, bluing lips....

Maybe that should be my epitaph? "Tess always thought about inappropriate things at the most inappropriate times." Unless that's a stupid epitaph because when is an appropriate time to think about inappropriate things? A better epitaph would read, "Why the fuck did anybody ever read anything Tess ever wrote? Sicky weirdos!"

I imagine sassy, smart-mouthed clerks didn't last very long in the Old West. Randall and Dante would have been riddled with bullets in the first five minutes of the film.

Tallulah comes into town murdering thieves and thieving keys off of their corpses. Except it's just one thief she murders and one key she thieves, so I don't know why I pluralized everything in that last sentence. I suppose it could be that I don't know what I'm doing! I wish I was into math instead of nothing! Then I could have a math blog and post things like, "Isn't it cool that 2 + 2 = 4 all of the time, every time!" And people will go, "Like! Like! Like!" And then one asshole will go, "Actually, that only works if we're dealing with a base ten system and we agree on the signifiers used to communicate the equation." And then I'd shoot myself in the face rather than deal with some jerk that begins every single one of their sentences since they learned to construct sentences with "actually."

Jonah reintroduces himself to Tallulah because Gina died a week ago and Jonah hasn't had sex now for six days. So he's all, "Hey Tallulah Black! Remember how much you like the friction caused by rubbing our thingies together?" And Tallulah is all, "Hells yeah! Wait. Who are you?!" And Jonah is all, "Hey baby! It's me! Jonah Hex!" And Tallulah is all, "Why doesn't your face look like a raccoon trampled by a stampede of wild buffalo?" And Jonah is all, "My face might look different but little Jonah is exactly the same! Except I might have brought back Chlamydia which will totally change history somehow!"

I wonder if in the future, teenagers will study a famous book that uses the Californication "is/was all" instead of says/said? Is that even a Californian thing or just a generational affectation? It's hard for me to tell seeing as how I grew up in California and, at times, I've wanted to stab people in the face for the amount of times they shoved the word "like" into a sentence. I find myself, like, doing it sometimes and I, like, despise myself for it. Anyway, "is all" is just one of my favorite ways of shoving a full conversation into a single paragraph!

For an audience to accept a writer breaking traditional rules regarding writing, grammar, and language in general, the writer usually has to have previously proven that they understand the rules that they're breaking. The readers often need to understand that there is a battle going on inside the words and language being used or else they'll just abandon the written piece due to their belief that it's ignorant twaddle. Of course, you'll never win over the pretentious assholes who feel the constant need to prove they know more than everybody else. But what are you going to do about them anyway? Fuck those prigs!

Gina who?

Jonah's story about traveling through time is interrupted by the Clem Hootkins Gang. Who should be mostly dead. So it looks like Booster wasn't too specific about when he sent Jonah back in time.

The Jonah Hex part of the story was short to make way for a Madame .44 story because DC Comics hasn't had enough Madame .44 stories in the Reboot. Especially ones drawn by really old men!

Madame .44 is a dumb name. Also, I just decided to create a superhero named Madame Edamame.

The story is about demons and gold mines and manipulative whores and paranoid sons and rattlesnakes and dynamited mines and betrayal and dead whores and supernatural underground glowing lakes and corsets and such. Typical old west stuff.

All Star Western #30 Rating: No change. I miss Moritat! And full length Jonah Hex stories! And my youth!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Teen Titans #30

This looks fucking awful.

The issue begins by reminding me that Gar Logan is in love with Raven McTrigon because Scott Lobdell declared it was so. I suppose we're supposed to just remember the Preboot history between these two characters. Unless I'm thinking of the PreCrisis history of Gar and Tara? Oh, who the fuck cares. Lobdell writes romances like an Algebra equation. X + Y = LOVE! Where X is Beast Boy and the plus sign is Raven and the Y is lack of romantic detail across time and the equals sign is being used incorrectly.

I just told you! Her last name is McTrigon!

As you can see, Beast Boy is making no sense. Beast Boy usually makes no sense. That's because he thinks every situation can be made better by shouting a pun based on his current animal appearance. He did that on the first page but he made less sense this page, so here we are discussing his idiocy. Is he saying Raven is not a cool code name? Because even though her costume is a piece of shit, her name is aces! Batman would have done well (or even weller!) had a Raven smashed through his parlor window. I've always thought that if Batman really wanted to inspire fear, he should have made a whole bunch of gadgets that tended to get caught up in people's hair. Let's be true to the actual source of our fear of bats, Bats! Number One: they will get stuck in our hair. Number Two: they might poo in our hair. Number Three: rabies.

Dammit, Red Robin! Stop thinking like me! It's fucking embarrassing to comment on this comic book and then have something Scott Lobdell wrote echo my sentiments!

Fuck. I wish I could begin this paragraph saying, "I'd forgotten that the antagonists were called The Light and The Way," but I cannot because I did remember. It haunted my wet dreams for weeks. First off, you should never base your Super Villain name on somebody else's Super Villain name. You're just asking for trouble. You create all of this branding to go with The Light and The Way, build up this incredible religious theme to your antics, and then one of you winds up dead or in jail. Now what the fuck are you going to do? Your branding message has just gone down the shitter and you have to start over from the bottom! Remember Lime and Light? I know Adam Glass killed Lime but just imagine if he had killed Light (something I've imagined since it happened. I only refer to Light as Lime now. Such a spectacularly missed opportunity)? What the fuck do you do now if your Super Villain name is Lime?! I suppose you find some jerk that named themselves Lemon and rob a bank. I hope The Way is killed and The Light teams up with Light. "Look out! It's Light and The Light!" Although Lime and The Way would have been brilliant.

I'm pretty sure, judging by this adorable smile and Beast Boy's word balloon, that Tyler Kirkham doesn't actually read the script while drawing the panels. Fuck it. I don't blame him.

Yesterday I watched the Unions episode of Morgan Spurlock's Inside Man on Netflix. A bunch of Walmart employees are striking and explaining their grievances against Walmart so the masses can empathize with them and, if not help their struggle, at least passively support it. I'm all for better conditions for workers (I've also explained the exact reasons behind America's current problems with economic inequality in a past commentary of Batman and Robin. It's a pretty solid interpretation of the facts and the most objective analysis by anybody ever) but one of the guys that kind of takes on the role as one of the spokespeople for the employees is wearing a Washington Redskins cap while arguing for people to empathize with his position. Sorry, kid. I can't take you seriously when you're ignoring another group of downtrodden people's grievances against corporate bullshit and lack of respect of your fellow human beings. I know, in this case, one really doesn't have anything to do with the other. But you really need to understand how you're representing yourself when you're trying to get other people to care about your problems. It's hard to do that when the image on your head says you seem to only give a shit about your own issues.

Also, I saw a coyote last night crossing a freeway offramp. He stopped and looked back at me, watching as I passed. So fucking cute! And probably vicious! But only because it's in his nature to eat things when it's hungry! We would look pretty vicious too if our food wasn't so thoroughly processed before we stick it in our gobs! Especially the meat eaters, amirite? Hell, just watching people eat chicken on the bone is halfway to being a scene from a nature documentary.

Magically (unless it's so scientifically complex that I can only perceive it as magic), Raven has lost the influence of Trigon during their time travel escapades! In just a few panels, we learn that Lobdell has dropped all of his scary subplot for the team being betrayed by Raven because this comic book has been cancelled! No need to keep the Raven Bomb primed when DC has told you to get the fuck away from the Teen Titans! That was a pretty stupid, boring, cliche subplot anyway.

Where are Beast Boy's other six tentacles?

See what just happened in that panel above? Also what has been happening is Bunker telling a joke and Red Robin doing whatever he did in that panel I scanned earlier. That's all that has happened so far! Happiness, joking, and a leader getting his crew in line. So it would make sense that The Light would assess the situation thusly:

Unless this is The Way. Oh! If The Light is killed, The Way can always find some partner named The Curds.

I guess just because Lobdell thinks this comic book should be about Teen Angst (just like The X-Men probably was!) and Lobdell thinks he can adequately write teen angst (he can't!), The Light categorizes everything he saw as Teen Angst. Even when it wasn't even close. But that's not the worst bit of writing on the page! We also have this confusing little gem that is making me question my intellect and my reading comprehension skills!

Nobody called them people! Nowhere! Not in any word balloon on any previous page ever in the existence of humans across all space and time! I don't think the editors read the script either. Fuck it. I don't blame them.

Instead of battling The Light and The Way with soulselves and punning gorillas and Lassos of Truthiness and Purple Bricks, Red Robin seems to imply they should sit back on their heels and defend against The Light and The Way. Then Beast Boy says something sarcastic. Then Beast Boy says something to let us know that he was being sarcastic. Then I stopped reading for a moment to catch my breath.

Holy shit God fuck me. I hate Scott Lobdell's writing so much! But I'm sure it's just me, right? He's actually really competent, right?

By "about a century" is probably the worst guesstimating I've ever seen.

I'm not sure why I read Ann Nocenti's Catwoman followed by Scott Lobdell's Teen Titans each month. I suppose I'm trying to strengthen my brain against the chance of a stroke.

While the Teen Titans struggle under their sudden ineptitude and inability to go on the offensive, The Light (or The Way?) is sliced open. This causes The Way (or The Light?) to fade from existence. The person doing the slicing and the saving and possibly the killing?

Skitters! She finally figured out how to be useful!

Along with Skitters comes the woman that I thought was Amanda Waller way back in some horrible issue of this comic book. She comes riding in standing on a tank. It's also revealed she's Skitters' mom. She packs up The Light and The Way, lets Skitters stay with her friends, and leaves through a portal. Is that another shitty subplot wrapped up?

Then Skitters recounts her Secret Origin and her Metamorphosis into a Super Hero that might actually be of some use to the Teen Titans. Before, she was either a raging monster or a silky bean bag. Now she's always Skitters but she gets to be in control. Also, she's the smartest person ever or something.

Next shitty subplot to wrap up! The idiot known as Grymm!

Instead of letting Grymm have the dignity of remaining on the loose to possibly wind up battling Batman or Nightwing or Spider-Man, Lobdell has to drag him back into this comic book to take the worst, half-hearted revenge of any character ever. "Aw shit! Did I just hear you say you might not be the Teen Titans (quote at least not in the current incarnation unquote) anymore? But I was going to blow you all up? I suppose if you're not going by that name anymore, why should I bother? That makes you different people from the people that didn't even know I existed previously! Shucks! I'll just be on my way."

Gar knocks him out and then the Teen Titans' Yacht blows up. The Narrator says, "Curious to see who lived--and who died? Don't dare miss the Teen Titans Annual #3 by Scott Lobdell and Kenneth Rocafort!" The image above the Narration Box shows the yacht exploding and everyone hiding behind Bunker's Purple Bricks. So nobody dies, you stupid blurb. Also, nobody is going to buy your stupid Annual if you advertise that it's written by Scott Lobdell! Except for me. I'll be buying it.

I hate myself so much.

Too bad that's not the end of the comic book. But I'll keep the Solstice and Kid Flash stuff short. Let's just see how it begins!

Get ready, kids! Earth is going to be a destroyed prison planet called Takron-Galtos in merely 100 years! Also, it will somehow wind up on the other side of the galaxy! In 100 years! A century. 100 years. One. Hundred. Years. One Century. One.

Let's review what we've learned about Scott Lobdell in the last two and a half years of his writing the Teen Titans. He doesn't know the difference between a century and a millennium. He doesn't know the difference between The Arctic and Antarctica. He sucks at writing words and stuff. The end!

Kid Flash and Solstice hug and declare they will do something or other. Who fucking cares?

This comic book has already gone on long enough so I don't think I'm going to comment on the Bunker and Beast Boy story that concludes the issue. Even if the first group of Narration Boxes have serious errors in them. I will use all of my willpower to refrain from pointing out the errors!

Teen Titans #30 Rating: As if I need to go on any further about how much I hate this comic book.
“You know how hard it is to read this horrible Teen Titans comic book when I have so many other things to do? It’s fucking torture, people! And guess how much money I make taking this bullet for you good-for-nothing slackers?! Let me see. Hmm. How do you work a calculator when you’re drunk? What is money multiplied by zero? Is that anything?”

Monday, April 28, 2014

Catwoman #30

And now here they are! The most daredevil group of bungling burglars to ever twist their picks in the Race of Thieves competing for the title of the World's Wackiest Burglar. The thieves are approaching the starting line. First is the hostess of the race, Roulette. Oh, and here's the lovely Catwoman, the glamor gal of the Batman. And right on her tail is Volt. And there's the Central City Chuggabug with Glider and Mirror Master. Sneaking along last is the Blue Crew with those double detective do-gooders, Carlos Alvarez and his sidekick, Tammy Keyes. And even now, they're up to some legal trick. And...they're a standing start. And why not? They've been handcuffed to a post by shifty Detective Alvarez who shifts into the wrong gear. And away they go on the way out Race of Thieves!

Don't you wish all employers could be as trusting, loyal, and faithful as DC Comics? Just imagine if your doctor didn't know what any of his surgical instruments were called and often mistook the liver for the pancreas while spouting old wives tales and folk medicine as the means to cure you of your ills? And no matter how many patients died at the hands of this incompetent buffoon, wouldn't it be sweet if the hospital continued to employ him, month after month, trusting that he'll eventually get it right? That's a world I'd like to live in! A world where everybody sucked at their job and nobody was ever fired! Somehow that world exists for Ann Nocenti alone! Except she's the doctor if you didn't follow my analogy very well because you're of limited, Disciple-type intelligence.

The most miraculous thing about Jesus Christ is that he didn't just give the fuck up in the face of incompetence! His only disciple smart enough to see what was happening and understand Jesus's message was Judas! Maybe if the others had understood, they would have helped Judas try to stop the maniac!

This issue begins with Selina Kyle burning the Catwoman suit because she never wants to be Catwoman again!

I think Ann Nocenti just finally realized that she has no idea how to write Catwo Man, so she's decided to start over!

Hey Selina Kyle! YOU ARE CATWOMAN! You're the idiot making the decisions that are hurting your life! You know who you should really get rid of? Ann Nocenti! She's the real problem!

And now, Scenes from Ann Nocenti's Catwoman!, I, the omniscient narrator, would have to stop thinking like that. Selina Kyle. That's how I meant to start. Selina Kyle stood in the dark alley amidst the urine puddles, and the bums passed out in the urine puddles, and the bums creating urine puddles after they've passed out, smelling the acrid stench of motorcycles popping wheelies. No motorcycles were currently popping wheelies and, let's face it, even if they were, they probably wouldn't be creating the smell of burning rubber that Selina Kyle was associating with popping wheelies on Catwoman's motorcycle. Maybe if she were doing doughnuts or exhibitioning her speed, she'd smell the smell she's smelling now that's being created by the burning of her Catwoman costume. Behind her, a man with a head injury and the kid from mask stood by their own fire, burning their hands off at the wrists. A mother and child rummaged through a nearby dumpster, the child throwing a tantrum because her mother wouldn't let her have the large cardboard box with the Amazon address label. "You know we can only afford the small first class post office mailing box, honey." Her mother was a model of restraint in her moth and rat and possibly homeless person eaten sweater.

The memory of her motorcycle caused Selina Kyle to, yet again, think of Catwoman as a separate entity from herself. The registration may have been in Selina Kyle's name but the bike had cute little cat ears over the headlight which meant it actually belonged to Catwoman. And if Selina Kyle was going to get her life back together, she was going to have to sell the bike for scrap metal. Sure, she could probably sell it on Gotham Craiglist but somebody might notice the cat ears and guess her secret identity. Safer to just demolish the bike completely.

"Hey gorgeous. You free?" Selina turned to see a plumber in a dirty car, made even dirtier from the blood of the bums he'd just run over as he trundled through the crowded alley, leer at her from underneath his Gotham Knights baseball cap.

"Me? Get lost," she said dispassionately. Selina was shocked. She was taken aback. She couldn't believe her cat ears. I mean, her human ears! Here she was in one of Gotham's dirtiest alleys dressed in only a low cut trench coat with six inch heels and some guy thought she was a streetwalker that would give it away for free? Can't he see this is a Coach Bag and a Burberry Coat with Manolo Blahnik pumps? "Creep," she thought, calculating how much she would have fucked him for as she ducked into the smelliest, dirtiest, foulest gym in all of Gotham. "Catwoman would train in a fancy place! And I'm Selina Kyle!"

End Scene One

Later Selina Kyle, trying to distance herself from the persona of Catwoman, adopts about twelve cats for her apartment. She also wonders what kind of writer would write a thief who lives in a penthouse apartment that's simply one big window. Oh, don't think of it that way, Selina! Think of it as wanting a 360 degree view of Gotham so you can catch sight of Batman while practicing playing the double sided diamond studded dildo.

No, Selina. Catwoman stole library books. Anyway, was that copy of Leaves of Grass based on the action packed adventure movie?

Selina Kyle is still working for the suicide hotline where she worked during Gothtopia. I wonder if Ann Nocenti realizes Gothtopia is over? Is this Selina's reaction to Batman telling her he doesn't want to stroke her fur any longer? She's just going to throw everything away and turn back toward her fake life that she dreamt up while under the Scarecrow's drugs? That sounds reasonable!

Excuse me, I got a fact wrong earlier. Selina is working for the Gotham Police Crime Hotline! It just seemed like a suicide prevention call center because she took the job during Gothtopia when the only "crime" was suicide. Anyway, Selina heads back to that job where all of her office mates apparently have nothing to fucking do but stand around and listen to Selina do her job incorrectly.

Why is she answering "friend speaking" on a crime hotline? I think she still thinks she's doing suicide prevention or abuse counseling!

I love how Selina's office mates high five and celebrate as Selina solves crimes over the telephone. Or they think she does! Instead the guy pulls the old twisteroo on Selina and kills himself using her words against her! Ha ha! In your face, Not Catwoman! Now you're hurting people no matter what persona you've chosen! Is this going to drive you back into Catwoman's arms?! One warning: Catwoman's arms currently smell like popping wheelies on your motorcycle.

Selina recognized the voice on the phone, so instead of telling the police in the other room to head to the address of her friend Gwen who might be dying of a gunshot, Selina races from the building and runs across a bunch of rooftops to get to Gwen. Luckily Gwen is a lousy shot and missed her face nine times, judging by the amount of shells on the ground. I guess Gwen has become so broke from Catwoman not fencing stolen products through her that she decided to end it all.

I guess the ten women she works with are too dowdy and supportive to think of as friends.

Gwen, being a true and disloyal rat of a fink of a friend, talks Selina into taking a look at the Race of Thieves invite she found in her purse, a gift from Trip Winter. Remember Trip Winter? He was the guy Catwoman fell in love with before she fell in love with Rat-Tails (woo woo!). He sent her on some job to play giant chess on Gotham rooftops or something. It doesn't matter since that story was interrupted by Death of the Family which caused it to make no sense. That's me being charitable because even if Death of the Family didn't interrupt the rooftop chess game, the story was still written by Ann Nocenti and, thus, would still make no sense.

The invite is from somebody named Roulette who claims to be the World's Greatest Thief. Selina cannot allow her to take that title since that title's keyhole fits perfectly with the World's Greatest Detective's key. Keyhole and Key are metaphors for vagina and penis.

Selina is properly outraged by this woman believing she's the one that should be fuckfighting The Batman, so she decides right then and there that Catwoman shall live again! She also discovers that Roulette is holding children hostage and that Gwen seems to want to live again. But those two things are entirely incidental. That bitch Roulette had better not be calling herself World's Greatest Thief!

Later Catwoman investigates The Foundling Hospital to see if the teeth in the invite were from the children at the hospital.

Of course he's her secret friend! She did give him a jewel studded dildo, after all!

See? The jewels are on the testicles. Probably.

If you want to read some of the shittiest shit of The New 52, just pick up this comic book and read the page where Selina visits Alice Tesla. Fascinating garbage!

Selina picks up some gear from Alice Tesla and a costume to attend Roulette's Party. The party takes place the same night that Selina learns of it which means Alice Tesla must have super speed. She also makes Catwoman's masquerade costume a Cat Mask with a Cat Charm Bracelet and a Cat Belt Buckle. Hopefully Selina doesn't mind being made by everybody at the party.

Selina shows how intuitive she is.

Roulette appears and gets the games started. Trip Winter is on her arm and a mechanical dog is by her side. She has a billionaire with fiery hair tied up and on a leash. It's his money backing the game and his child being held hostage. I bet the kid is inside the mechanical dog!

The game begins with a contest of Dexterity! Everybody rolls a D20! Or something. I actually have no idea what the Dexterity Challenge is because Roulette just says, "Let the games begin!" And then her dog attacks Volt and Mirror Master begins mirror-blasting shit. And Selina winds up in Mirror World spouting Ann Nocenti nonsense.

I guess the Contest of Dexterity was simply about not getting punched in the face by the other thieves? Roulette is definitely not the World's Greatest Gamemaker.

Catwoman #30 Rating: -2 Ranking. Here's my review via a conversation I had with Pickle Boy, my ex-assistant:

Me: "This comic book is so awful! How does she do it?"
Pickle Boy: "Dart board?"
Me: "Maybe if the dart board had different kinds of drugs tacked to it! Nocenti: 'Okay! Today I script under the influence of downers and LSD!'"

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Larfleeze #10

How did Dan DiDio lose control of his comic book company?! He would never have approved of G'nort being a part of The New 52!

I think Giffen and DeMatteis got DiDio on a technicality. I'm sure DiDio was all, "No fucking way is that joke going to return to my super serious universe where no hero ever gets to be fucking happy ever! Not until I'm fucking happy, you assholes! So forget it! G'nort will not appear! Not even in your silly piece of shit funny book you've been putting out behind my back!" And then Giffen was all, "Actually, Geoff Johns already had G'nort appear in his super special swollen sized issue of Green Lantern about a year ago." And DiDio was all, "GODDAMMIT! I can never say no to that man! If only he could never say no to me!" And then he ran weeping back into his office and Giffen and DeMatteis high-fived each other like two drunken male sports fans watching a foosball goal while their wives satisfy their own sexual needs with toys and professionally published fan fiction.

I think sometimes my similes go a little further than they actually need to.

Currently in Larfleeze, everybody wants Stargrave the Butler for themselves. Larfleeze does not want anybody to have Stargrave the Butler but himself. That takes care of the conflict! I suppose the resolution is going to involve a lot of fighting and lot of panels of Stargrave saying sarcastic and annoying bullshit.

Get ready for twenty pages of panels like this!

Dyrge takes Stargrave to the Planet of the Sad Robots where her brothers and sisters have gathered. They all want to see Larfleeze dead which is why they needed Stargrave as bait. The Wanderer is the only sibling that wants Larfleeze alive because she'd rather not fuck a dead space dog on her honeymoon. She wants Stargrave as a dowry for the wedding. She wants to marry Larfleeze because she's mentally ill and needs to marry a male that can beat her ass. It's a whole satirical take on Red Sonja's character. The old Red Sonja's character and not the current Red Sonja's character! I'm sure the first part of Red Sonja's previous incarnation that Gail Simone flushed down the toilet was the thing where she'd only marry a man that could best her in combat.

The good thing about the House of Tuath-Dan gathering on the Planet of Sad Robots is G'nort is on his way there right now! Good old G'nort! He'll make this comic book funny if he has to pull his dick out!

See? You thought I was joking! I'm fairly certain when he says "ringy ding" he means "penis." He might mean asshole but it would be just as funny if he pulled that out too!

Larfleeze arrives on the Planet of Sad Robots but doesn't fall into the trap set for him because G'nort is bothering everybody. The Wanderer has arrived with Larfleeze and finally gets her message across to him that she is going to be his wife. You'd think that a person telling Larfleeze that they belong to him would go over gangbusters because Larfleeze loves to own things. But instead, he's a bit ruffled by the declaration.

Cooties are just more things you can own, Larfleeze!

The issue ends with even G'nort needing to get his paws on Stargrave because the Sad Robots point out that the butler might know a way to stop Larfleeze. So I think I jumped the gun when I said everybody was after Stargrave at the beginning of the comic. NOW everybody is after Stargrave.

Why would that have mattered? Fuck high school! That place is full of assholes!

Larfleeze #10 Rating: -3 Ranking. When Larfleeze began as a back-up feature in Threshold, I mentioned that I wanted a full length comic book of Larfleeze almost immediately. But I also mentioned that was probably a bad idea because what was fun and whimsical for eight or less pages was probably not going to translate well to a full twenty page comic book. I think I was correct. Shit is not really going anywhere and it just keeps recycling the same jokes over and over. The characters are one dimensional. And the plot goes nowhere, as you can see from my declaration before the thing even begins that everybody wants Stargrave and then the comic book ends with the revelation that everyone wants Stargrave. Even G'nort can't save this comic book! Technically, G'nort can't save anything which is why the Guardians always used to send him on bullshit missions. So maybe that's why he was sent to "save" this comic book! Because it can't be saved!

Justice League Dark #30

I'm disappointed to see Constantine on the cover. Hopefully that's a mistake.

Don't misinterpret my caption! I love John Constantine! I just don't think he should be part of a group like this. Occasionally, Constantine can get caught up in some kind of DC Magic Crisis on Infinite Planes or something. But he really should be obsessing over whether or not anybody likes him while locked away in a dark cellar somewhere in London. Oh wait. This is The New 52. He's tied to New York now. Whatever.

Swamp Thing probably shouldn't be palling around with a bunch of magicians either. At least not flesh magicians! What makes Swamp Thing any more magical than Animal Man? Why can't Animal Man be on this team and Swamp Thing be on Justice League Canada? I bet it has to do with his looks!

At least the issue begins with John exactly where I said he should be! I'm going to raise my Comic Book Reader Level for that!

Deadman possesses a waitress so he can kick John's drunk ass. Partly because John trapped him in the body of Evil Aquaman, but also partly just because Constantine is a dick and ran away at the end of The Blight and because he's always fucking blowing smoke in everybody's faces. But there's no joy in kicking the ass of a man that's busy kicking his own ass, so Boston Brand leaves John to stew in his own gravy.

Oh Boston! That's the only way you can tell if you're John's friend! If he uses you for his own ends!

The House of Mystery finally decides to earn its name. While The Nightmare Nurse hits on Zatanna, neither notice a young girl appear behind the mirror trying to escape. The most important part of that last sentence was the part I didn't mention where Asa and Zatanna were naked! The House of Mystery seems to enjoy creating rooms where its occupants get naked and have sex. The House of Mystery is kinky!

Deadman tries to prevent Frankenstein and Black Orchid from leaving the group. I wouldn't mind Frankenstein getting his own title where he's not an Agent of SHADE and is allowed to roam the world doing his own thing. I also don't mind Black Orchid leaving the group because she really needs her own mini-series. She needs some alone time to establish her character and her mystery before being relegated to the background in some group comic book. Boston Brand doesn't feel the same way as I do. He's a bit hurt by their need to leave, Black Orchid to find herself (hopefully in a mini-series!) and Frank because he just likes to be alone. He also needs to travel the world telling people to stop acting so pretentious and stuffy by correcting people when they refer to Frankentstien's Monster as Frankenstein. Most people know this and don't give a shit because popular culture has proclaimed it an acceptable method of referring to the monster.

I'm only scanning this panel because Black Orchid is incredibly cute in it.

That doorbell is Constantine drunk doorbelling the House of Mystery. He's come to speak with Zatanna but he doesn't mind fighting with his old teammates if they stand in his way. Which they do. So, you know, a fight breaks out.

Constantine easily puts the others in their places because he's a man that works with knowledge and secrets. He knows enough about them to put them down easily, one at a time. But they just want to blast him, stab him, or punch him. Zatanna arrives to break it up even though John has already mopped the floor with her team. She agrees to speak with him in private and everybody pretends that Constantine didn't just beat Justice League Dark single handed.

See John?! That's exactly what I said you should have told Zatanna in my commentary on Justice League Dark #29! I'm going up Comic Book Reader levels like crazy here!

John and Zatanna break up much more nicely and then Constantine leaves. Finally! Don't let the House of Mystery hit your ass on the way out!

Justice League Dark has now been left with three members. So Zatanna calls Swamp Thing to the House of Mystery to see if he'll join. He says, "No." And "Stop pulling me into this house against my will." And "Fuck off." But before Zatanna can make an offer or send him back to the Swamp, Nightmare Nurse bursts into flames. After the flames die down, she claims her name is Alice.

Justice League Dark #30 Rating: +1 Ranking. The group is a little short on members but maybe that's for the best right now. The members who left probably shouldn't have been on the team anyway. I still don't think Swamp Thing should be with the group either but that's kind of up in the air right now. Hopefully the team will get some good paranormal characters in the crew in the future. Maybe Blue Devil. Or Detective Chimp.

Red Lanterns #30

Dex-Starr should be the most powerful creature in the universe. I can't think of anything I'd want to piss off less than an angry, stray tomcat. And this one vomits lava and has a Red Lantern ring.

I guess everything in my life and everything in the world is perfect because I can't think of anything to bitch about. Hallelujah! Praise Allah/God/Yahweh/Ganeesha/Odin/Zeus/Buddha/Me!

So last issue, Bleez had just face-planted into Ysmault. From orbit. So she's all kinds of fucked up. But she was able to warn the other Red Lanterns that Atrocitus was behind her fall from grace. I mean space. Good thing the Red Lanterns have Supergirl on their team now! Although Guy Gardner has already beaten the shit out of Atrocitus once. Why is everybody so scared? Why is everyone so frightened? Why is every one of them terrified?

To explain why I just typed that last sentence three separate ways would be to describe the last five minutes of my life in excruciatingly boring detail. And since I'm simply not going to assume that everybody (or everyone (or every one of you)) wants to experience the peaks and valleys of my interminable existence, I shall leave it at this paragraph and be done with it.

This issue begins detailing the daily life of the Judge Judy and Burt the Bailiff of the planet Primeen.

This issue begins with Charles Soule writing more legal shit. Doesn't he get that out of his system over in She-Hulk? He's also writing about the incredibly boring legal process in Swamp Thing as well! Hey Charles Soule! Not everybody is interested in the excruciatingly boring details of your legal career! Write about when you were living on the highways of America, getting your money and your meals as a lot lizard! Writing poems on the streets for change in downtowns all across the states! Write about that time you fell in love with an elephant at the Portland Zoo, snuck in after closing, and fucked it in the ass! Only to realize afterward that it was the wrong elephant and the one you loved was watching from twenty feet away with a tear in its eye? No, you'd probably rather write about the legal process that you went through after getting caught banging elephants, right?! Boring!

It turns out that whatever Charles Soule writes about is interesting (as if we all didn't already know that). Judge Sheko realizes, year after year, until she's wrinkled and grey and yellower, that justice means nothing on Primeen. The judge has no power but to judge according to the wealth and power of the accused. Her job is nothing but ritual and tradition devoid of any true justice. Primeen may well have placed a goldfish on the judge's bench and the system would not have been bothered at all. Except that a goldfish can't bang a gavel, so how would anybody know when any case was over?

The King is not happy with this injustice!

Sheko's bailiff isn't as loyal as Burt is to Judge Judy, so instead of shooting the Prince, he turns and shoots Sheko. And that is the end of justice on Primeen! I suppose this story will relate to the Atrocitus getting vengeance on his old partners somewhere down the line. Probably having something to do with this story being called "Judgment Day" or something! Sheko is probably pretty pissed off about all this injustice and shit. But for now, let us return to Ysmault where Bleez eats Jello in her hospital bed.

Bleez wants to go rescue Rankorr but Guy Gardner wants to search for the seven Red Rings and the hosts they may have found. But since Guy Gardner made it clear that the Reds have no leader, Bleez tells Gardner to fuck off. She's going to do what she wants. Seems like a stupid idea to me. Rankorr stayed behind so she'd have a chance to warn the others. But just warning them and then going back to die makes it seem like she hasn't thought this through very well. I think she has a concussion from slamming her face into Ysmault. But then Bleez meets Supergirl and decides to stay and do her nails with her. And by "decides", I mean realizes that she can't get past a Kryptonian since she doesn't happen to have any Kryptonite on her, so she gets back in bed to answer Kara's questions.

But first, a new Red Lantern is born!

Meet your newest Red Lantern, Lantern Judge Judy of Primeen!

Sheko seems pretty coherent for a brand new Red Lantern. Maybe it's because she's older and wiser than most people that attain a Red Ring. Or perhaps it's just that her rage, focused like a laser on righting the wrongs of a terribly unjust legal system, is easily controlled and directed. Personally, I suspect it has something to do with becoming a Red Lantern while submerged in the waters of the Water Court acting much like the Blood Lake on Ysmault. She's granted a kind of clarity that even the other Red Lanterns won't have because she regained her sentience by a different means.

Judge Red Lantern finds everybody in the Water Court guilty and sentences them all to become puddles of blood. Whose team will she wind up on?!

Zilius Zox fixes up the Red Lantern Bar (which is also a ship) so it has the capability to hunt down the seven new Red Lanterns being created. They locate one in Sector 775 and it seems to be one of the most powerful Red Lanterns they've ever encountered. I wonder if they'll refer to her as Judge Red? I'd smell a possible lawsuit forming but I'm sure Charles Soule has taken every precaution under the law to distance himself from the fact that he's just recreated Judge Dredd. Damn it feels good to be a lawya!

The Red Lanterns immediately head out to catch this new Red because they've gotta catch 'em all. They also brought a big vat of blood from the Blood Lake to dunk the new recruit in to make her sane. Looks like they're in for a big surprise! Let's hope none of these Reds are guilty of anything!

As Guy and the others descend on Primeen, Charles Soule, once again, shows just how much violence a comic book needs without wasting six pages on a battle that doesn't fucking matter. He gets the necessary amount out of the way before getting right back to writing. Don't worry! He's new and enjoying the act of writing tons of comic books a month. Pretty soon he'll realize he can make just as much money by writing "five pages of battle" on a script as he does writing five pages of dialogue.

I actually hope that day never comes but, well, I don't trust anybody when it comes to, well, anything, really.

Here, Soule writes Guy Gardner how people should be writing Superman. Why the fuck does Superman constantly get pulled into battles when he's fucking invulnerable? This should be every scene with Superman? Antagonists: "POW POW POW!" Superman, yawning: "Are you done yet?"

Atrocitus and Dex-Starr have only just arrived. They have yet to make contact with Judge Red, so Guy and his gang aren't completely out of the running yet! Next chapter will be the fight to convince Judge Red which team is least guilty.

Red Lanterns #30 Rating: +2 Ranking. How many times do I have to stick my tongue up Charles Soule's ass? This fucker can write. If you see his name on a book, just pick it up because it's good. I'll simply end this with a picture of my boots because as I took a break to go get some iced tea while reading this, I realized I basically wear Red Lantern boots.

You can't see the shoelaces very clearly. The pattern on them is a pink star followed by a skull and crossbones with a little pink bow on the skull.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Justice League United #0

Here's hoping this title can find its own voice before it's yanked into a bunch of DC crossovers where it plays second fiddle to the crossover's plot, loses all semblance of its own identity, and crashes in a burning, flaming, toxic heap of suck. You know, like what DC did to Justice League of America.

Judging by this cover, it looks like Justice League America is simply going to keep a few members while it acknowledges that it isn't the only nation on the North American landmass. It's going to begin representing Canada as well. But fuck Mexico. Can you imagine anybody reading this comic book if a brown person were on the cover?!

Although that woman that looks like a refugee from the Legion of Super-heroes might be tinted a bit brown. Or else she's slightly pinker! It's hard to tell. I guess J'onn is green, so that's diversity, right? Except have you noticed that when he disguises himself as a human, it's usually a Caucasian? Probably because he doesn't want to be hassled by the cops when he's in disguise.

This issue's story is called "Justice League Canada" and it's part one of a five part story. So it seems like Justice League United will be about Justice Leagues all over the world? Each time a new one is spotlighted, we'll get a new little flag image in the "D" of United? That seems like a pretty good idea. And starting with Canada, it eases people into the idea since most of the members of a Canadian Justice League will be Americans and/or aliens and/or hockey players.

This issue introduces Adam Strange for the first time to The New 52, and his wife Alanna. I mean his girlfriend! No way is DC going to allow two members of Team Canada to be married, right? For some reason, Green Arrow was still wanted and Supergirl is not a Red Lantern. Also, everybody is alive, so I guess Forever Evil ended on a happy note.

The issue also begins three days in the future and millions of light years away from Earth. You know what that means, right? Time to flash back to the present!

Why the fuck did this series begin with Issue Zero?! Especially since it's Part One of Five? Stupid!

Adam Strange barges to the front of the line because he thinks he's more important than adults in brightly colored tights. He has "real" business. It involves his grad student, Alanna, disappearing. What appears, though, is Alanna is a grad student of his! Hey, Adam, have you maybe thought about keeping your Professor dick out of your student vaginas? No matter how much it seems "love" is blossoming, you're actually exploiting a student's feelings of respect and infatuation with a trusted, authority (and let's not leave out father) figure. Not that I know anything is currently going on! But knowing Preboot history, I have my suspicions!

Dr. Adam Strange found an oddly shaped skull (which Stargirl immediately judges as "gross" because she can't help judging everyfuckingbody by their looks) and a device that he knows nothing about. So a device that he probably shouldn't have brought with him to a convention full of people! Also a device that probably shouldn't have gotten through security unless it had been under the arm of an attendee in a Tank Girl cosplay. The device, of course, turns out to be dangerous. Or at least unpredictable.

The Sleestak cosplay is the best cosplay ever.

Animal Man and Stargirl decide they'd make the best Brave and Bold or World's Finest team up ever, so they decide to help out Adam Strange. They travel to the archaeological dig where Alanna disappeared. That's when Animal Man decides, with a person missing, to make fun of the Canadian's accent. Perhaps that's part of an Arctic Fox's abilities. Or inabilities! The inability to refrain from smart-ass comments.

That isn't sweet at all! It's a breach of trust! It's an abuse of the teacher/student relationship!

Meanwhile over on Moose Factory Island (possibly the best name of anywhere ever), the woman that looks like an outcast from the Legion of Super-heroes battles a creature called the Whitago. Maybe that's the Moose Cree First Nation equivalent of the Wendigo! Also, this woman, Miiyahbin, is Moose Cree First Nation! So she isn't pinkerer on the cover at all. She really did have more of a Korugarian hue than a Native American, so you can understand my confusion. Or you can't! Whatever!

While Keewahtin (or whatever her super hero name will end up being if she's more like Apache Chief and less like Shazam) realizes she just hallucinated the Whitago (or had a vision or something), Animal Man, Stargirl, and Adam Strange are attacked by aliens speaking gibberish. They're saved by Green Arrow and Martian Manhunter, as unlikely as Green Arrow saving anybody sounds.

Buddy Baker and I have things in common.

Green Arrow says mean things about Animal Man which I personally take offense to. Why do people have to be so mean sometimes?! If you can't say something nice about a character I like then don't say anything at all, you stupid bow-wielding useless piece of shit scumbag bastard fuckfaced fuck.

After Buddy proves he's too civilized to respond to Green Arrow's comments, the super heroes discover aliens beneath the surface. They're planning bad things! I think according to the beginning of this comic, they plan on birthing a destroyer of worlds! Isn't that always the way? That's why I'm guessing it! Because it's always the way!

The villain behind it all: BYTH!

According to the Ancient Parchment of Who's Who, Byth was once the greatest thief on the planet Thanagar. Which is probably why he's stationed on the Thanagarian moon of Thalsalla. He also has the ability to transform into any creature he's ever seen with access to all of the creature's abilities. Does that mean he'll be a good match-up for Animal Man?

Alanna has been captured by Byth and placed in a cell with dozens of other captives. Byth sends his main man to dispose of the captives. That main man is actually the Twat Main Man, Twat Lobo. And before he can kill all of the prisoners, he'll have to kill the biggest prisoner of them all!

Twat Hawkman.

Justice League United #0 Rating: I think I'll rate this one a little higher than better than half the other DC titles. It's still a bit early to tell but I like the make up of the group so far. Buddy Baker is a bit of a joker but mostly a nice guy that might be slightly naive. Perfect for Team Canada! Green Arrow is an arrogant young stud that continues to think, for some reason, his bow and arrows are an efficient weapon against super villains. Stargirl is inexperienced but willing to give everything to help those in need. She is a bit superficial though. Martian Manhunter is the steady voice, the experience leader. He's perfect to keep this young group under control without being grim and overbearing. I don't know enough about Mii. It's possible she's a new incarnation of an older character but I don't recognize her. Maybe she's Whitago! And Adam Strange is an interesting character to bring into the mix. I can't say I was ever truly excited to see him team up with Superman but they always wound up having exciting adventures in space. So with him on the team (and judging how this book began), I'm hoping Justice League Canada winds up fighting across space more often than across tundra.