Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Batman #37

I don't think this cover is in continuity!

Oh my god! I was planning on being caught up by January 7th but there's no way I'll keep to my three comic books per day schedule with New Year's Eve happening! Why didn't somebody warn me about this shit?! Now I have to go up to Seattle and get drunk and not read any comic books and then have a hangover the next day and then drive home and then not read any comics. The new year is already off to a horrible start!

The problem with falling behind my intended schedule could also just be my fault. Today wasn't a holiday or anything and the only comic book I've read so far was Teen Titans! I have to get through Batman and Trinity of Sin before I go to bed. My wish for 2015 is that a meteor hits Earth and fucks up its rotation so that days wind up having more hours in them. But it slows down the Earth's orbit so that a year is still 365 days! Just the days are now longer and everybody can get more done and everybody's life expectancy drops about ten years. It might be more or less. I haven't actually done the math on that. Also, I hope the meteor hits Europe or South America or Australia or Antarctica or Africa or Asia because I don't want to die and then not experience the benefits of my New Year's Wish!

Scott Snyder truly Lobdell's this opening.

Comic book begins with a full page static image? Check. Narration Boxes all over the place? Check. The character tells the reader (or himself, but, you know, same thing, really) who he is? Check. Congratulations, Scott Snyder! You have achieved the rank of Scott Lobdell!

Batman awakens in the Batcave under Arkham with Julia and Alfred already working The Joker case (actually, the Batcomputer is probably doing most of the work. It just never gets the credit it deserves, you know?). The Joker has released a toxin into Gotham. Surprise! I bet nobody saw that one coming! The Joker must have been a biochemist in a previous life.

To combat the toxin, Batman needs to find Patient Zero to draw some blood and hopefully create an anti-toxin.

Didn't I already read this comic this month? I think this is more proof that this is some kind of fever dream brought on by the Scarecrow's Piss and Tears Fear Formula. Otherwise why isn't Batman mentioning how similar this is to the Justice League's battle with the Amazo Virus? Or, if that took place after this, why isn't anybody mentioning The Joker Toxin while battling the Amazo Virus? It's too similar not to at least mention in some off-hand way!

Superman: "We've got to find Patient Zero so Lex can find a cure!"
Batman: "He got that idea from me, you know. That's what I did to beat The Joker last month."

James Gordon has barricaded himself in his house in Gotham and is waiting on Batman to send him the cure.

I hope they call it The Fremesis Toxin!

Wait a second. Was that Babs at the window?

As Batman searches Gotham Presbyterian, Gordon does research on it. And just like Mike Hanlon found archival photo after archival photo featuring none other than Pennywise the Clown, Gordon begins to find pictures from the past with The Joker always in the background. Even in his own picture of his kids on the day they got their tonsils out, there is a creepy white arm just inside the doorway to his kids' room. But before he can report to Batman that he's suddenly hallucinating because these pictures can't be true, the Bogeyman appears in his closet.

They did the Knock Knock joke all out of order!

While The Joker torments Gordon, Batman discovers Patient Zero is Joe Chill. And the ward he's in has been set up to look like Crime Alley. And a poor, innocent family has been set loose to help Joe Chill reenact Batman's most cherished memory. So I guess if this isn't a dream, The Joker did know Batman's identity all along! And probably all of the other Batkids' identities too! Which would mean that Scott Lobdell's writing on Death of the Family was perfectly adequate and not a complete and total screw up after all!

No, no. This must all be a dream because that's too much to bear.

Batman keeps everybody from being shot but the parents turn into Joker People. He runs off with the kid while Gordon tells him on the phone that Gordon has just killed The Joker. Well, he did shoot him. But killed might be a little bit optimistic.

Oh! I bet Lex Luthor told him! Or maybe The Joker was the second person to realize Bruce was Batman after Nightwing's secret identity was blown.

I suppose The Joker never cared about anyone but Batman in the past. But now that he feels betrayed by Batman, he's decided the masks are off and it's time to hurt Bruce. Although I thought the whole point of removing his face previously was to show that the masks were off?

The back-up story is one of the possible secret origins of The Joker. It's a cross between Stephen King's It and A Nightmare on Elm Street. The Joker is the ghost clown of Gotham who haunts the city and grows stronger with every laugh! That's probably why he hates The Batman because The Batman is terrible at telling jokes.

Batman #37 Rating: No change. I wish The Batman would stop finding so much in common with all of his nemeses! Now he's on a first name basis with The Joker? Obviously The Joker's first name is Pennywise. Batman will probably start using it next issue. Sheesh. Just get a room, guys.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Teen Titans #5

Is the New Power Girl going to be the New Superboy?

Last issue, Red Robin made a deal with Manchester Black that probably involved oral sex. No way those two aren't fucking each other's faces. I bet they even sing Les Mis during foreplay.

Manchester Black: "Red! The dick I want to suck!"
Red Robin: "Black! The cock inside my butt!"
Manchester Black: "Red! The young and tasty jizz!"
Red Robin: "Black! Jerk mine while I jerk his!"

I just realized while singing that song in my head how fucking lazy the writer of "Do Re Mi" was. "La, a note to follow so"? Seriously? That's the kind of shit writing that I usually resort to! Not that I know how I'd describe "la" myself. "La! A Spanish article!" "La! The first half of lamé!" "La! 'L' followed by an 'A'!"

So now the Teen Titans are working with STAR Labs' resident bad boys, Manchester Black and his friend whose name I can't remember. It seems like Manchester Black has conned Red Robin but since Red Robin is the smartest kid in the DC Universe, I bet he wants Manchester Black to think this team-up was Black's idea when really Red Robin set it up so that he could have access to all of STAR Labs' technology! They have all sorts of great weapons and time travel devices that will be useful once Red Robin becomes a vampire and takes on the name Harvest.

First off, I already like the comic book better with Scott Hepburn drawing it. I might be in the minority but fuck Kenneth Rocafort and his Rock and Roll Art Style! I like my Teen Titans to look cartoony and goofy because then maybe they'll be written cartoony and goofy and then maybe I can enjoy the comic more! Enough with all that fucking teen angst bullshit! Stupid teenagers and their stupid teenage angst. Get with the program and conform already! I've had it up to here with your little rebellions! Nobody fucking cares! You're just being annoying, not avant garde! You're not pushing any limits or buttons or breaking new ground! The only people who are disturbed by your behavior are assholes that none of us other adults like anyway!

I know, I know! It's not fair for me to ask you to not be angsty. What else is there to do at your age with out of control hormones and a ton of free time? Plus, it's lots of fun! Get away with being a total selfish dick for as long as you can because as soon as you're in your twenties, people will stop excusing your behavior as growing pains and start thinking you're just a fucking asshole. Also, if you go to college, you can extend that shit for a good four to six more years. But not community college. If you're in community college and you're still acting like you did in high school, you're the worst prick of them all. Nobody's buying your "full time student" act!

I should clear up one more thing (it seems like every time I express an opinion, I've go to try to preemptively put out fires started by my poorly thought out comments): I'm not against community college. It's a good place to go if you're worried about spending too much on four years at a University. But realize you're going to be in classes with a lot of people that don't fucking care about academics and are just using the school as an excuse to live rent free with their parents for a few more years. People know the serious students at a community college and the fucking layabouts (also: nothing wrong with layabouts! Love those guys!), so don't think I'm calling out everybody in a community college!

Oh no! Not teens doing drugs! *FAINT*

My favorite teen angst song, probably because I was fifteen when I first heard it and it has the lyric "I thought that fifteen was gonna be a breeze," was Teenage Lament '74 by Alice Cooper. I prefer angst songs that aren't full of rage and anger but are more about being lost in an existential miasma created by a world the teenage barely has a foothold in. So Cooper's "I'm Eighteen" works for me as well.

See? Tim Drake is a smart cookie!

Kris, the girl with the drugs, falls off of a building and is saved by Wonder Girl. But Kris isn't grateful because she's a super villain! She's become the Johnny Storm of her own little evil Fantastic Four. And now they've got a chance to beat the crap out of Wonder Girl because...well, their motivation is a little bit lacking. I guess just for shits and giggles? Wonder Girl decides she should probably call for help.

I was willing to chalk it up to a mistake by the artist the first time, but it really looks like Wonder Girl knows Red Robin's identity now. I guess Cassie and Tim did hang out in the first few issues of the first run of Teen Titans. But in those early days, Tim also made reference to a group of Teen Titans that existed before the first New 52 Teen Titans. So I should probably completely forget Lobdell's run anyway. I'm sure, at the very least, my mind would be at ease after jettisoning that crap.

Should Wonder Girl really have Tim Drake's contact information on her phone? Red Robin is so careful with his identity since it can easily be traced back to Bruce Wayne and a simple matter of deduction to realize Batman's secret identity. Although when Nightwing was exposed as Dick Grayson, only the world's smartest man made the connection. So I guess it's okay if somebody were to get hold of Wonder Girl's phone. They'd never realize all of her contacts are her fellow Teen Titans, right?

So the Fantabulous Four seem to want to kill Wonder Girl because they're sick of her and the Teen Titans being all over their social media feeds. That makes sense. I've killed for less. I mean, I've thought about killing for less.

While the Teen Titans battle the Fantabulous Four, Manchester Black and his buddy, Josiah Power (oh yeah! That was his name! He's definitely gay!), watch the battle via STAR Labs city surveillance systems. And Beast Boy watches them over tiny mousy eyes surveillance systems.

Hunh. Who knew mind bricks could conduct electricity?

The Fantabulous Four take more drugs but they somehow retain the same super powers as before even though Kris told them each time was random. I suppose if you like the power you have, you can just keep piling on the drug and you'll maintain the current power? That's cool, I guess. But what if you get a shitty power like Bouncing Boy? You have to wait until you come down off the drug to try again?

Purple Thing throw a trash truck at Cassie's mom who is saved by one of the Wonder Girl Wannabes. She's crushed by the truck but survives because she's actually Power Girl! Oh! She's rich and has access to all of Karen Starr's old labs and technology, right? She can back the Titans so they don't need to make a deal with Manchester Black. Of course, the Titans will still make the deal with Manchester and that will all blow up in their faces and lots of drama will take place. And then when the dust clears, Power Girl will say, "Oh? You guys need a headquarters? Why didn't you say so! I'm fucking rich, bitches!"

Teen Titans #5 Rating: No change. I don't know that a whole lot happened this issue. I guess they decided to work with STAR Labs and Power Girl has almost joined the team. That's about it! Plus, we learned that Beast Boy can't lay eggs. Even if he decides to become a chicken instead of a rooster? He can change into different animals but he can't change the sexual equipment? I guess there go my plans to fuck him when he's a female panda!

Catwoman #37

Fucking new highbrow Catwoman comic book! First historical quotes and now ballet?! How am I supposed to understand any of this?!

Why is this comic book still rated Teen Plus? Selina Kyle is almost always fully clothed now and she's too busy with her crime family business to be horny the way women never actually are! I have to lie about women and their levels of hornyness on my blog because my blog isn't rated and children might be reading it. And the worst thing American children can learn, it seems, is that women like to fuck just as much as men do. Sometimes more! And sometimes men like to fuck less! Remember Married With Children? Al never wanted to fuck Peggy even though she was constantly pawing at his cock. And that show was practically a documentary about the American family. At least my family, anyway.

The Bundys and the Conners were probably the only families on television that I identified with. My mom could barely stand to watch Roseanne because the explosive fights between Roseanne and Becky reminded her too much of her blowouts between her and my sister. I was Darlene. Our family didn't have a DJ. Come to think of it, our family didn't have a Dan either!

This issue begins with Selina's cousin, the one that was passing information to Alvarez, dumped at her door by Black Mask's men. He's wearing a note which says, "Might want to seal your leak." But what if Selina liked the leak? Some leaks serve good purposes, like valves that vent pressure to relieve stress on a system. You know, like Nick was doing for Selina!

Come on, Catwoman! If anybody can change the rules of the game, it's you! Cats don't follow rules. They say, "Rules? What is this rules you are talking about? Can it be eaten? No? Then take it away."

Everybody in the Calabrese organization minus Antonia and Selina want Nick's head for squealing. But Selina would rather have information from him. The whole kidnapping was orchestrated by Black Mask so that Selina would know Black Mask put her in the position to have to deal with a family member turned traitor in front of the entire organization. It's a move to make her look weak in the eyes of the other Gotham crime families, and Black Mask wants her to know he's behind it.

Black Mask uses this opportunity to try to get the Hasigawa Family to partner with his new venture which, if I remember correctly, currently has an exclusive contract with the city of Gotham for reconstruction. Or something. Business is boring. I wish Catwoman would steal something!

But since that doesn't seem like it's going to happen anytime soon, I guess I have to wait with everybody else to see how she punishes Nick.

Ouch. Maybe Selina knows she won't be able to go through with it and she'll escape with him and they'll live happily ever after in Metropolis? Maybe?

Actually, what do I care what happens to Nick and Antonia? I can barely even remember their names!

Eiko Hasigawa has arrived just in time to hear Selina's ultimate decision on the Nick situation. So maybe Catwoman will save him! Catwoman has to do something. Her name is all over the cover!

Or maybe Batman will save Nick! Doesn't Batman usually save people? Isn't that what he's supposed to...

Oh. Well. Um. I guess that's it for whats-his-name.

So family, right? What's up with that?!

Catwoman #37 Rating: +1 Ranking. Now that Selina Kyle has proven she's got what it takes to keep a crime family in control by sacrificing a close family member, she's going to own Gotham City in no time! Plus she might just kill Black Mask for this. I think it's long past due that Black Mask was stricken from Batman's recurring villains roster! Besides, Roman Sionis can always be replaced by the next guy to pick up the mask and imagine it's talking to him.

Leaving behind my typical blog voice, I just want to say this about this issue: Genevieve Valentine actually made me care about the death of a character whose name I couldn't even remember when I started reading this issue. Some writers could kill a major character and it wouldn't faze me! So kudos, Genevieve, on some really good shit happening here in Catwoman. I miss Catwoman doing Catwoman adventures, and I think we still need more Batman especially since I already trust you to do their relationship well, but fucking hell if this isn't ten thousand times better than what Nocenti was passing off for scripts. And even calling this ten thousand times better than a Nocenti script feels like I'm insulting you!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Batman Loves Superman #17

These two spent so much time fucking, the bomb almost went off!

Last issue, a whale exploded and a man in a Superman costume who was entertaining some children was shot in the chest by a bug. The inevitable conclusion that must be drawn from these two events is that Superman has a Joker! Well, that's the conclusion Batman came up with. And if any of the Batkids had been in the Batcave when Batman was revealing this to Superman, they would have been able to tell Superman, after Batman went up to get some hot milk, that that's always Batman's first hypothesis. Then they would have told him about that time when the tidal wave devastated Malaysia when Batman had Aquaman convinced it was the work of Aquaman's Joker. Or the time Gotham City seemed to be completely out of Earl Grey and Batman shook his head slowly and said, "Looks like you've got yourself a Joker, Alfred." Batman's perspective on most situations might be a little bit wonky.

Just before last issue ended, Superman's Joker lashed out at three different areas of the world: South Korea, Khandaq, and Metropolis. Guess which one Superman thinks needs him most! Wrong, not the two volatile areas that can erupt into an instant World War! He goes to Metropolis! And it's to can't be right.

I hope Lex Luthor's list of suspects is better than Batman's.

Lex Luthor's list is just as dumb as Batman's and it's composed of only one person and that person is the joke suspect that I was going to say and then thought, "Why would he blame Superman himself?" And yet, he does! He says Superman has the knowledge and power to be doing the things Superman's Joker is doing.

So basically, whoever Superman asks, they're not going to put any thought into the problem at all. They're just going to think, "Who would I blame?" and then use that as their answer. Great. Perfect. Everybody in Greg Pak's DC Universe is a narcissistic buttplug.

Oh Lex! None of that would happen. Maybe, in the short term, people would panic and LexCorps stocks would drop. But once your sister took over and she began sharing LexCorps knowledge with Bruce Wayne and Ted Kord, and all of your secret knowledge is used to help the world instead of simply focused on killing Superman, LexCorps stocks will triple in value! And all the risk-takers who hung onto their LexCorps stock will be incredibly wealthy! Although going by what Lex said would happen to America and Southeast Asia, it's possible LexCorps is just a front for sex trafficking.

Lex goes on to not just speculate but confidently forecast exactly what his near assassination will do to the global economy, as well as the global effects of the assassinations of a general in Khandaq and a South Korean Pop Star. I don't know why, but the entire thing makes me hate Greg Pak just a little bit more than I was already hating him for all the memory wipe stories. I guess some people equate genius with mere prognostication. "He's so smart that he knows everything that will happen before it happens simply by observing the world around him!" I wonder if this kind of thinking about intelligence formed from early readings of Asimov's Foundation series in which the far flung future is predicted by a man who worked out equations based on social, cultural, economic, and political variables. I'm sure it made some young, impressionable teens think that all you needed to work out the future were enough numbers to plug into enough variables.

In reality, the best reaction you can predict is that when something bad happens with a company, the stock price will drop because people are out there thinking, "Shit! I better sell because this is going to cause the stock price to drop!" Self-fulfilling market crash!

Superman realizes his Joker (or his Superman?) is killing targets that Superman has saved in the past. But they're people nobody should know he saved. So who could know Superman's own thoughts? Let's see...Krypto! I'm sure Superman tells Krypto everything. And while he's talking to Krypto, the Phantom Zone prisoners are probably listening in. And isn't The Bottled City of Kandor still missing? Maybe one of them got out, driven mad by Superman's hairy sack swinging by the bottle every time he got out of bed to take a whiz. Also, Zombie Lana Lang that lives in his head. But everybody has probably forgotten about her. Queen Bee and Hector Hammond who both possessed Superman's mind and probably know everything about him. And if that's true, then they could have sold the information to the entire criminal underworld! So, I think everybody knows Superman's thoughts?

Hey! I actually thought like the World's Greatest Detective because they go to visit Hector Hammond in a secure STAR Labs facility under the ocean!

Really Batman? He's already been in Superman's head! Don't give him access to yours too!

Batman gives Hector a memory of the Joker laughing. Boring! I wanted some salacious Catwoman stuff!

Hector helps Batman and Superman track down the most deranged mind on the planet but also capable of the assassinations that have been taking place. And the mind he comes up with is Twat Lobo's mind! Who is currently in Metropolis. I think when last we saw Twat Lobo, he was about to head to Metropolis to hunt down one of the assassins of the Earth who was hunting down some super-weapon. Possibly the same weapon used to in all the killings. Twat Lobo's obviously not the killer but I guess it'll be a bit of a distraction so Greg Pak can keep everybody guessing as to who the real Superman's Joker is.

Superman deals patiently with Twat Lobo.

Poor Twat Lobo! Already getting his ass kicked by other heroes to show they can defeat the deadliest assassin in the DC Universe!

Superman continues to be taunted by the voice of his Joker. He's no closer to figuring out who it is. So Batman's next plan is to dangle Lois Lane on the end of a stick to lure the villain into the open. Lois seems okay with this plan.

Batman Loves Superman #17 Rating: No change. Everybody's memories are still intact (mostly!), so that's a good sign. Although the pay off on this villain had better be pretty damned clever or I'm going to find a picture of Greg Pak's face on the internet, print up a full color, life-sized version of it, cut out the eyes and mouth, put it on myself, look in a mirror, and say, "I'm so sorry for wasting your time, Texx. I'll do better next time." Then I'll remove the mask and say, "It's Tess! Not Texx!" And then I'll quickly put the mask back on and say, "Oh! Sorry, sorry! Tess! I'm sorry, Tess!" Then I'll wink and lick my lips and say, "I love you, baby."

Supergirl #37

Best cover of the entire New 52 ever.

Can you imagine a DC Universe based on Darwyn Cooke's variant covers? I suppose that would be a kind of Golden Age era where the heroes mostly enjoyed their lives and smiled a lot. But Golden Age comics are so hard to read! I want a modern writing sensibility with writers that know the majority of their audience are intelligent adults (or, at least, adults) but with happy heroes that enjoy doing what they do! Like a Batman that revels in breaking bones and giving his enemies internal injuries! Okay, maybe he revels in it now. But he never smiles! I want to see him smile while he dislocates The Mad Hatter's jaw!

Last issue, Supergirl found herself in an exclusive school called The Crucible. They'd given her the pitch and she was ready to sign up but they never did tell her how much tuition was. She's going to be buried in loans when this is over. And she'll probably be living off of a Galactic Credit Card which she signed up for outside of the student union. I suspect by the time she completes her courses and makes it back to Earth, Superman is going to give her yet another of his interminable lectures.

Have you noticed how Superman can't stop telling Supergirl what she's doing wrong and how she should be acting, and Batman does the same thing to Catwoman? There should be a word for when a man thinks he knows better than a woman and treats her like a child. Some man should tell a woman to get on that.

This issue begins with Supergirl writing in her diary. The comic book doesn't say anything about a diary or a journal, but her Narration Boxing has increased to Scott Lobdell levels and the only way I can deal with it is to read it as if she's writing down her experiences at the end of the day. Maybe I should read it as if she's telling me her story because we're a couple and she's sitting next to me in front of a warm fire telling me about her experience at the Crucible!

Luckily Kara has been teamed up with some other students so they can have hilarious adventures in Study Group. And she's quickly pegged her companions so the audience knows exactly what their quirks and foibles are! Maxima is smart but emotionless so Kara guesses that she "doesn't play well with others." Tsavo, being animal-like, is "quick to pounce" but he's sometimes misguided by his emotions! And Comet is "clever and thoughtful, but preens far too much."

How long has Supergirl been around these students since last issue? She's either quite perceptive or she simply makes up back stories to everybody she meets and subsequently ignores the real person. I think Kara is one of those shallow assholes that don't really pay attention to the world around them but they wholeheartedly believe they're some kind of an old soul with amazing intuition and an incredible ability to read people. Meanwhile they spend an awful lot of time nodding their heads at everything everybody says while grunting out noises that show they're interested, all the while thinking up things they think the other person is really trying to say.

Ugh! Forget Mike, Kara! You're at school! Long distance relationships are fantasies! It'll never work out now! Dump him!

At Tactical Class, Kara shows up her know-it-all teacher and puts him in his place while teenagers everywhere cheer. Good for you, Kara! Standing up to that teacher that isn't listening to a student that offers no proof to go along with her contrary account of the teacher's lecture! Don't let the patriarchy continue to spread its bullshit lies! Let the young people spread poorly fact checked "truths" that sound great and back their positions so thoroughly that there's no way they could possibly have been made up or twisted in some way! Go young people! Fight the power!

Of course Maxima's account is going to be correct because this is a fictional account making a point about how teachers don't know everything and a good teacher listens to everybody instead of staunchly refusing to veer from the same old way of looking at things. Especially since the story of Planet Y57 is a story about indigenous peoples being removed from their homes by an invading force because the indigenous people's home was full of resources that the invaders wanted. It sounds vaguely familiar. As if it were the invaders Manifest Destiny and Y57's natural resources already belonged to them. Totally understandable! What older person doesn't believe in Manifest Destiny? Stupid young people losing their futures by believing they have to endure debt to get a proper education! Maybe they should have paid more attention to that Manifest Destiny thing instead of becoming victims of the old loop de loop reversal stolen future Manifest Destiny perpetrated on them by greedy old people! Ha ha! Naive suckers! You thought you were learning to think and gaining knowledge for a future career but instead you were being pickpocketed by your parents and grandparents!

I'm actually much more sympathetic to the plight of young people trying to get an education in a greedy, everything-for-profit nation state that they're currently living in than that previous paragraph might suggest. I think children need to learn at a much earlier age that adults constantly lie to them and that the world they live in is not one they simply have to accept. By the time they're in college, they're already like a rat deep in the trap. Even by the time they're in high school, it's very nearly too late. They learn to be full of sound and fury but they've already become entrenched in the system. Actually extricating themselves and making real changes is tough when all the trappings you're used to are pieces of the trap containing you. That's why I'm writing adaptations of college level novels for elementary school children! Those are the years kids should be learning the lessons taught by One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and Catch-22 and The Grapes of Wrath! But even elementary school might be too late by now! Because one of the biggest hooks the trap employs is attached to one of the most irresistible lures: the cell phone! Before kids can even understand what a contract is, they're hooked to phones that, generally, demand contracts. By the time they learn about the monthly bill and the contract, they can no longer do without their phones. And no matter how full of sound and fury they are against the system, it fucking signifies nothing because they're already inside the trap. And it's just a matter of time until the trap dulls their edges and they become a complacent adult just trying to get by and raise their children and pay their mortgage and pay their car payments and pay their (for the first time ever and possibly more insidious than the rest since you cannot opt out of this one by just not living (okay, you can, I guess)!) mandatory health care payment.

Oh yes, young person, you think I'm deluded? Look at how passionate your hippie grandparents were. And look at what happened to them.

Seriously though, I'm rooting for you. But I fear the trappings of capitalism are just too much to battle against. And I fear you also will fall to them, and fail.

Not that I ever fell! I'm still fighting the good fight! Fuck, um, corporate America! Fuck, um, things! Bad things especially! And, um, fuck -isms! I mean the bad -isms like racism and, um, the other ones! And fuck people afraid of being -ismed by the very people they fight alongside so they quell their rage when they should be, um, even more ragingier! Fuck censorship unless it can theoretically prevent rape and then I, um, guess it's okay, right? Stick it to our parents, man! They never fucking understood us anyway! Fuck our parents right in the buttholes! Mmm, yeah! Take it, mom! Take it, dad! Yeah! Individual rights! Freedom from oppression! Unless it's the good kind of oppression teaching me the proper way to act and the right words to say! In your face, everything I should be against! It's about time we should all believe in everything in which we should all believe! Freedom!

Later, Kara has Sparring Class with Comet.

So now Kara thinks he's "cleverer and more thoughtfuler"?

Kara has some other classes with members from her study group and it's just as hilarious and wacky as Community has taught us to expect from study groups!

Later, the Preceptor and Vice-Preceptor meet with Crucible's Alumni Benefactors. Or the High Council. Something like that. It's a secret meeting that the study group isn't privy too so I bet it will be full of crazy secrets about the true purpose of Crucible! I bet all these elite super heroes are being trained for nefarious purposes! Wouldn't that just be typical?!

So the Crucible is like Mormonism (is that one of the bad -isms?!)! The students here have to go on missions! And they're going to be cloned! That's what goes on in all of those Mormon temples all over the West Coast that look exactly alike, right? They clone people there?

Later Supergirl is shocked to find that Maxima is only at college to find a mate. That is shocking! I thought people went to college to find lots and lots of mates on a near constant basis! And to even experiment with mates that they normally wouldn't mate with!

Supergirl hugs herself in her dorm room. I did a lot of that in college too!

While the Preceptors discuss plans to kidnap Superboy and turn him into a living weapon, Kara and her study group head to Tsavo's home planet to help quell a rebellion. Or start one. One of those! It's a war and they're on one side of it and it might not even be the right side because the Crucible is shady!

Oh no! The rebels! I hope they don't teach the study group what they're really fighting for and turn them all around on the civil war and make them unsure about trusting the Crucible any longer! I sure hope that doesn't happen!

Or maybe the rebels really are the bad guys even though that seems ludicrous because they're fighting against the traditional powers that are almost always guilty of oppressing certain groups for the benefit of others!

Or they're just led by a super villain with Daddy Issues. That was my second guess!

How come the old school last page reveal of the evil super group is still so satisfying?

Supergirl #37 Rating: +1 Ranking. At first, I thought I wasn't going to enjoy Supergirl being yanked off of Earth to have college adventures in space. But this is kind of what Supergirl has been doing during her entire run. She's shuttled off to one unfamiliar environment to the next as she backpedals and tries to figure out how she fits in. This is just another one of her fish out of the barrel stories! And so far, I think I like it. Do I like it? Can someone please tell me if I should like it?

New Guardians #37

Geese cream fat sheep when it's cold outside! Every moment I'm awake, prefer their lemonade!

I just looked at this cover and it made me think Kyle must be dreaming which is why I quoted that Heart song in the caption. I love how the lyrics don't make any sense! They're so dreamlike!

Last issue, Kyle lost his White Ring because he's a huge idiot. While everybody else has been stubbornly fighting the New Gods because it's painfully obvious that they're not going to help the universe at all (and, even if they somehow do something right, at the very least they're not giving back the rings), Kyle just walked up to Highfather and said, "Here! Take my ring!" Then three seconds later, Kyle said, "Hey! Give me back my ring!" But by then it was too late. Stupid Kyle had doomed the universe to doom of the doomiest kind. And now Carol's lady boner for Kyle probably wilted.

Yes she's mad at you! She wanted to fuck you! And then you went and showed her that you're not only a wussy baby puss-puss, but you're stupid too!

Carol probably doesn't mind that Kyle is a wussy baby puss-puss because she was with Hal for a long time and he was the opposite of a wussy baby puss-puss (a tough senior mutt-mutt?). But a smart lady like Carol can't be wasting her time with an idiot that falls for the second oldest scam in the universe. The first oldest scam in the universe is that one where you pretend your wife is your sister and then you get her to marry a king or a pharaoh. Then you accidentally find a way for the king or pharaoh to find out that she's your wife and that you have the meanest, angriest God on the block so he quickly apologizes and sends you away with half of his wealth and cattle and camels because he doesn't want God striking him down. That one was so good that Abraham used it twice! And his son Isaac used it too! On the same guy, Abimelech, that Abraham used it on! That Abimelech sure was a horny idiot!

As Kyle and Carol pretend that maybe they can find a way out of this, Metron stops by in his comfy chair to declare that they have not yet fulfilled their roles!

He gives up too easily and he's wrong. He tries throwing rocks at Metron's head and he's wrong. Cut him some slack, Carol!

Just imagine if Black Racer came by for a visit! Kyle could get the comfy chair and Carol could strap on the skis and they could storm New Genesis!

So now, after Highfather makes a huge mess of everything, his underlings are starting to have second thoughts about all of this shit. Maybe if they all had backbones as big as Orion's, they would have stood up to Highfather earlier and pointed out how he's acting an awful lot like a certain stone face master of a burning prison planet of death and destruction.

Metron drops off an ancient Mother Box for Kyle and Carol to use. It has to be ancient because the newer models are attuned to their users. Anybody can use this old one but that means it's also likely to have just one use left in it. Also, if they both grab it and sing the proper song, they can turn into Infinity Man!

Elsewhere on New Genesis, Malhedron heads off to rescue Guy Gardner and Simon Baz, leaving behind John Stewart and that dopey sperm-headed cunt Saint Walker to fend for themselves. But they're not alone for long.

Great! Now they have three useless people, one Green Lantern, and a squirrel.

The reunion is interrupted by some of Highfather's Divine Guards. But Kyle has a plan! And I think his plan depends on his belief that the New Gods won't kill him. For some reason, Highfather didn't kill him or turn him into a good soldier. So Kyle might still have some kind of link to the Life Equation that Highfather would lose if Kyle were to die. Maybe. It's all comic book nonsense so it's kind of hard to speculate in any kind of logical way!

Kyle and the gang manage to steal the Divine Guards' weapons and turn them on the Guards. Now that they're all equipped with some kind of firepower, they head off to find Highfather and tell him he's acting like an idiot.

They actually find him surprisingly quick. I thought they'd have to wait for Red Lanterns or something. During the five or so minutes that it takes them to walk to Highfather's location, the Bohemian Guardians escape the Singularity Stockade. I guess the New Gods haven't quite perfected the technology to imprison beings older than they are.

Kyle manages to get his White Ring back but it does him little good. It's got no juice left! And I don't think a White Battery exists, does it? Anyway, it seems Highfather has all the White Juice locked up inside of himself now. And he decides to spray it all over his rivals.


New Guardians #37 Rating: No change. Just three more issues of Godhead! I bet it ends like every other Green Lantern Cosmic Crisis! Which is...well, um, actually...I kind of forget how they all ended. I guess the Green Lanterns discovered they had more willpower reserves than they had before or something and beat the crap out of the bad guys? Oh, who cares, really. Another Cosmic Crisis is probably already right around the corner!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Wonder Woman #37

I think this marks four months in a row that I received the Wonder Woman Variant Cover.

Last issue, I was pleasantly surprised that I didn't hate Meredith Finch's writing style. I was not surprised at all by David Finch's art style because it was exactly the same. Immaculately rendered women who actually look like teenaged girls with clear skin and beautiful eyes and full lips and sexy bodies standing next to horribly disfigured men with fishy lips, covered in shadows and dirt and grime and maybe not even completely sketched all the way because David grew bored drawing them due to their lack of boobs.

How many shower scenes do you think will take place in this issue? Probably zero since we had a good one last issue. But I'm sure Meredith will have thrown in at least one scene where Wonder Woman is wearing less than usual, just to keep her husband interested in drawing the book.

The most important thing that happened last issue was that the Amazons held an emergency meeting to declare that men are stinky.

Currently, huge robot hawks are attacking Paradise Island. It's such a momentous event that it obviously needs a two page splash to cover it. When artists write their own scripts, I tend to expect at least two to three double splash pages per issue. And that's even more expected with artists like David Finch and Tony S. Daniel. I forget to take into account that this comic's creators are a husband and wife team, so David Finch is always nearby lobbying for more double splash pages to be written into the script. Especially if they contain lots of barely clad women.

Meanwhile, Fox News of Paradise Island Lady decides that a baby needs to be sacrificed in order to rid Paradise Island of men.

Don't ask me where they got the baby! Maybe the Brothers and Sisters have already begun fucking!

I could be wrong but I think people willing to sacrifice babies are usually the bad guys. Is this woman with the speech impediment and the tail the New 52 Circe? Or have we seen her already in Forever Evil? I don't remember!

While sparring in as-close-as-you-can-get-to-a-double-splash-page, Clark tries to get Diana to talk about her feelings. Maybe you should save that shit for later when you're not trying to defend yourself against a better opponent. I guess having a discussion sitting somewhere drinking coffee would have been too boring for Dave. Also, this affords Diana the chance to smack Clark in the face with a stick as soon as he pushes too hard while trying to get her to open up!

After the sparring, somebody mentions a shower! But then Diana decides it's yelling time because shut the fuck up already, Clark!

My favorite part of her "breaking point" list is how she almost lost Clark. Yeah, that's a good one to throw back at him. "You almost died! You know how much that would have hurt me?!"

Back on Baby Slaughtering Hill, it turns out the baby wasn't the person sacrificed. It was the woman holding the baby which she must have ordered online.

The Amazons decide to offer Wonder Woman a choice. She can remain on the island and lead, or she can go gallivanting all over the world playing superhero. I don't see why she doesn't just leave the throne for somebody else who lives life daily on Paradise Island. But she doesn't have time to make a decision and nobody mentions anything about a baby or a hissy lady with a tail because the robot birds attack! Time for another double splash page!

The Amazons have been killing Diana's pets!

Cyborg's call is about another village that vanished. Aquaman is probably standing hip deep in water where the village used to be and thinking, "What could have caused this? Where did the village go?!" Diana decides to go help the Justice League while the Amazons once again fend for themselves.

And finally, the spell by the hissy lady with the fresh new baby that's the talk of the underworld finally resolves.

There's David Finch's signature mostly naked lady page!

Well so far, Donna Troy's origin isn't completely convoluted! She was born in a cauldron out of magic and clay!

Wonder Woman #37 Rating: No change. I didn't enjoy this issue as much as I liked last issue. I guess Wonder Woman is going to get spread so thin that she'll eventually due something stupid like murder an innocent or something. Then everybody will turn against her and she'll lose it all and she'll, oh, I don't know, do whatever Oliver Queen and Bruce Wayne did after they lost everything. And Superman will look at her longingly with that look that says "I tried to help but you wouldn't let me in" and then, when she really needs him, he'll turn his back and walk away from her because he's really just a super dick.

Red Hood and the Outlaws #37

Drink up, asshole.

Trigger warning for poorly written characters using addiction to represent dealing with the pains of their pasts because God forbid anybody in this day and age can figure out how to deal with their own problems. Dealing with your problems is bullshit because then how will everybody else know that you're in more pain than they are due to life being what it is (you know, bullshit. Like dealing with your problems!). It's better to spiral out of control to prove a point than to care about yourself and figure out your own shit. Better to slap labels on yourself to declare yourself off limits from being criticized because you've been diagnosed. Better to fucking hide and blame everybody else for the shit you don't want to deal with because it's too much and nobody in history has ever had to deal with the shit you're dealing with now. There's really only one trigger warning that matters.

Trigger Warning for the existential pain brought on by the loneliness of never being able to make a real connection with anybody in your life. Not because there is something deficient in you but because there is something deficient in all of us. The greatest sin is to believe your sin is without forgiveness. And the greatest source of loneliness and despair is to think that you're the only one full of loneliness and despair. Unless you possess some kind of telepathic power that enables your mind to be fully encompassed in another mind, you'll never connect with anybody as closely as you'd like. Even when you think you've found a partner that you're completely open with and with whom you share everything, you'll wake up one morning from a dream in which they were acting contrary to what you thought you knew about them and it'll eat away at your heart for the rest of day, hopefully becoming less and less terrifying as you engage in your daily mundane, rote existence until the fear of their betrayal becomes just more cobwebs in the corner of your brain, easy enough to ignore and which you can, probably, live with.

Hi Roy!

I said, "Hi Roy!"

Oh right! Right! And I'm just reading a comic book. Why am I responding to it?

If this is a memory, who are you talking to? Why are you explaining things to yourself? Are you drunk? No, wait. Do you know I'm here?! Can you see me, Roy Harper? Do you understand that you're in a comic book?

Oh, Roy! Don't be so hard on yourself! This is probably why you're an alcoholic. I bet this poor kid put too much pressure on himself to be perfect so that his parents would stop fighting, amirite?!

Why so defensive? I believe you! Now get on with projecting your telepathic memory so that I can watch it as you tell me what's going on, or whatever is happening here. Oh right. I'm reading a poorly written comic book.

I bet the volcano was set up by some kid super proud of his great science experiment, quivering in anticipation as he pictured the judges who would excitedly watch it smolder and then overflow with fake lava that was really just baking soda or something. And then the kid with the Cyborg Dinosaur walked into the room and volcano kid's shoulders sagged, a small tear came to one eye, and he slowly walked outside and threw himself in front of a bus.

Yes you do. This is a memory. That's what you get when you remember. And your dad, in this memory, is in a suit. So, quid pro caveat emptor, you big dumb dumb!

Of course that's all you wanted, Roy. Of course. You needy fucking prick. Do you think you're the only character in DC Comics with Daddy Issues? Get in fucking line.

Why does the reader need to catch up? We already read that part of the story. Are you sure you're not drunk?

You know, I don't have to be reminded of who you are every issue, Roy. And is Ollie really a millionaire? I think he either lost all of his money and his corporation in his own comic. Unless he got it back and then the statement is still wrong because then he'd be a billionaire.

These Narration Boxes serve the same purpose as having no Narration Boxes.

Roy is definitely drunk because I don't think New 52 Oliver Queen actually had anything to do with any business decision at Queen Industries ever. Unless it was an event with an open bar. I guess there was that small window of time during Giffen's short run where Ollie tried to make a go of being a business person. But then he was on a short leash and his handlers never would have let him get away with shit like this. And anyway, Scott Lobdell, since it seems you want to get "meta" with your characters and allow them to speak directly to your "audience" for "you," a better way to answer your critics than being a huge baby and flipping them off? Concentrate on writing better stories. Believe it or not, critics don't hate you just because you're you. They hate you because you suck at what you do. Stop worrying about the naysayers and concentrate on improving your crap. I mean craft!

I hate when people offer helpful advice.

Yeah, wouldn't want a guy who always gives you good advice hanging around with you. Oliver is such an asshole.

He didn't ask you to apologize. It's gauche to assume everybody wants you to apologize for being rich.

So Roy goes to work for Marvel Comics and loses the rights to all the great characters he created and stories that were turned into Saturday Morning Cartoons.

That's not an equation. It's a court case.

Anyway, it goes on like this for a lot more pages with Scott Lobdell feeling the incessant need to comment on his own story in the "voice" of Roy Harper. He might as well just be masturbating on every page. Splotches of semen would probably detract less than the constant Narration Boxing.

What happens is Roy enjoys his life working for Queen Industries. But maybe he enjoys it too much and so he constantly gets drunk and embarrasses himself and works his hardest to destroy the first real happiness he ever had. And then after it all comes crumbling down, he begins to lie to himself that it was never actually good in the first place and he was better off not being a part of Oliver Queen's life.

Oh, but first Roy finds out Ollie is Green Arrow and, just like Madison over in Futures End and everybody else that is a narcissistic asshole that doesn't understand that nobody owes you everything, he's hurt that Oliver didn't tell him who he was and that he was using Roy's inventions for his Green Arrow gig. Like that matters? Roy agreed that whatever he invented wasn't his anyway. This is why you never hire a kid with Daddy Issues.

I guess this is the icing on the cake? That Roy's superhero name is taken as a reminder of how betrayed he felt by his new father figure? Just another sad sack that can't believe in himself without being told by somebody else to believe in himself. Just another asshole that needs to be inspired by some other asshole that was once inspired to be inspiring. Fucking Speedy would have been a better name at this point.

This is one of those stories people tell about themselves which they think portrays them in a good light but really just shows how big of an asshole they are. I love when people tell stories like that.

I didn't think it was possible to hate Roy Harper any more. I guess I was wrong! Poor fucking Roy. I wonder if this is the same tantrum Henry Fyff threw before he left with Naomi? Or that other kid whose name I forget but he died before he could storm off upset that his technology was the only thing that made Green Arrow "Green Arrow." Fuck you, Roy Harper.

I'm going to go build myself a big bonfire to keep myself warm at night after this! And I'll be using all of my Red Hood comic books!

The issue ends with Roy thanking Oliver for still wanting to have something to do with him even though he's been a right spoiled piece of shit "Poor Me! Poor Me!" asshole that I can't fucking stand.

Red Hood and the Outlaws #37 Rating: -1 Ranking because of the incessant Narration Boxes. Holy shit. This comic probably reads better without reading the Narration Boxes. I don't know for sure though because I'm not about to try rereading it. How did I come away from this comic book liking Green Arrow more than I ever did?! I guess if Scott Lobdell was trying to write Roy as a despicable human being than kudos! But I have a suspicious feeling that this story was meant to make Roy a sympathetic character. And I don't doubt it worked for some people. But I probably don't like those people either.