Thursday, December 31, 2015

Red Hood Loves Arsenal #7

This issue is off to a promising start!

That caption up there? I hate it. I hate saying things that people say. But how is anybody going to understand me if I say things people don't often say? Which I often do! Then the person reading my blog sits there on their core strengthening balls with their mouths agape thinking, "Why am I reading this bullshit when I could be Candy Crushing my way to literal enlightenment?!" Is that something people say? I do sometimes like to type things that people say but only when I'm trying to write a believable hypothetical character. And speaking of believable hypothetical characters, let's take a look at the exact opposite of that with our guide, Scott Lobdell!

I don't know why he says "nien." Was he going to talk about Nien Nunb?!

Speaking of Nien Nunb, today I saw Star Wars Episode VII: Episode IV But Against A Bad Guy With Big Ears. Don't worry, I won't spoil it for anybody who hasn't seen it already (even though if you're on the internet, you've probably already seen it because you're obviously a huge nerd). I just want to say this about Kylo Ren: I totally get why you're wearing the helmet, dude. I mean, Darth Vader wore the helmet because it was some form of life support. Sure, it made him look bad-ass as well which, understandably, is why you, Kylo, are wearing the mask. Because underneath that mask you're just a huge dork who couldn't stand being told what to do by his parents and moved out to live with a bunch of other nerds that were big time into playing Magic the Gathering (that's a dorky metaphor for The Dark Side).

About twenty years ago now (yeesh!), I went to play Magic the Gathering at a coworker's house with his equally nerdy roommates. It was a huge mistake. I have a feeling they had one guy read the rules and that guy probably always scored about third grade level on comprehension tests in high school. The whole fucking game was house-rules and they didn't even know it! They just trusted this dimwit to explain the rules to them as he understood them (which wasn't very well). I gritted my teeth through a few games with them and then left them to play their super exciting decks that were all 50% lightning bolts. Fuckers.

This issue is called "All's Fair in Love and Robin War!" and I don't know how I got through typing that without busting my guts laughing. I might have shit myself but there were other factors to consider there and I, most likely, can't blame it entirely on Scott Lobdell.

Do you think Eddie Berganza actually finds these scripts funny or does he just pretend to read them as he jerks off under his desk watching cosplay videos?

Roy Harper built a holographic arrow com. Did you see that? I scanned it in so you could see it and read it. Did it pain you as much as it pained me? If not, look at it again! Look! It's an arrow standing on end with a holographic image coming out of the tip! Why?! Why does that have to be arrow-themed?! It makes no fucking sense! He's Arsenal! He's a Rockabilly Genius! Why didn't he make some Holographic Pants Cuffs?! Or Holographic Hair Grease?! Or Holographic Banjo Versions of AC/DC Songs?! He does know he can drop the arrow-themed gimmicks, right?!

Jason Todd doesn't want Roy Harper and The Joker's Daughter interfering in the Robin War. And since they never show up in The Robin War, my guess is that they don't interfere. But they probably get into some other kind of trouble! Really stupid trouble! The stupidest fucking trouble ever!

Is this stupid enough for you?

If I were looking for orphan boys in their early teens, I'd probably hit up an orphanage. I certainly wouldn't attack a circus because what would orphaned teenage boys be doing in a circus? Circuses are family gigs!

Roy takes out Phosphorous Rex with an Asbestos Foam Arrow because he's not allowed to kill anymore. But Jason Todd didn't say anything about forcing a guy with a fire head to breathe in filaments and fibers of asbestos so that he winds up getting lung cancer in thirty years! What is asbestos foam anyway? I realize you can make it into a fiber but a foam?! That seems to be pushing the limits of my credulity! Although I wasn't a science major so I'll allow it this time.

Roy then takes out Siam with a goo arrow that he calls a goo gun because he's a Rockabilly Genius. I was going to say "because he's not very smart" and then I remembered he was a Rockabilly Genius so that must be the reason he thinks an arrow is a gun.

He doesn't take out Big Top because Joker's Daughter needs to prove herself to Roy.

Fat villains only have this one move.

The Joker's Daughter saves Roy by nearly killing two of the members of The Circus of the Strange. She then pulls a shotgun out of her skirt to finish off Big Top but Roy stops her with a taser arrow. Later she points out how she wasn't actually going to kill anybody although she did smash a wheel into Big Top's skull and pierced the abdomen of Phosphorous Rex with the rest of the wheel. And then there's the matter of how she was running around with a shotgun stashed in her underwear. She might be a little bit too crazy to not kill no matter how much she says she doesn't want to. But this is the team for her because they "kill" villains constantly! It's just that Red Hood and Arsenal's victims always wind up alive at the end of the comic because they somehow survive the bullets and arrows in their brains and spines.

Roy decides to give Joker's Daughter a chance at redemption. Immediately after that, he and the Joker's Daughter are dragged under the streets of Gotham by lava zombies. It's no big deal. The Joker's Daughter recognized them and everything. They're probably just inviting them down for tea. I just hope that some asshole in Hollywood doesn't somehow think they'd be great in a movie leading to Scott Lobdell making more money on his shit ideas. I saw the trailer for Age of Apocalypse today and immediately got depressed. People still remember that shit fondly, don't they? If any of y'all out there do and you haven't read it since it was out, I'd recommend leaving it be. I've been revisiting the 80s New Teen Titans recently which I always remembered fondly and it is garbage. Mostly. I've gotten to the Who is Donna Troy? story arc and some things seem to be improving a bit. Maybe it's all the bits where Danny Chase was left behind!

Red Hood Loves Arsenal #7 Rating: No change. This was my worst New Year's Eve ever! Why did I think reading a Scott Lobdell book was a good idea?! Oh! I know why it was a good idea! Because the new year can only get better after the ending to this year! Thank you, Scott Lobdell, for lowering the bar! Happy New Year everybody!

Justice League #47

Is this a redesign of Finch's Wonder Woman costume? I miss the "V for Vagina" skirt.

It's almost as if Geoff Johns has created an entire DC Universe to play in that's his alone. Nothing he writes in this comic book has anything to do with any of the other comic books in the DC You. Damn it must feel good to be Chief Creative Officer!

Previously, the entire Justice League became gods. I mean, if you think of the entirety of the Justice League as the white males because certainly Cyborg, Wonder Woman, and Power Ring didn't become gods. I think Hal Jordan didn't become a god either because he refused Mother Box's seductive offer. He was all, "Mother Box? Are you trying to seduce me?" And Mother Box was all, "BOOOM!"

Speaking of Hal Jordan, he's headed to Gotham to tell Batman that he's going to develop clots in his legs if he doesn't get out of the Batchair occasionally and walk around. But Batman is suddenly obsessed with sitting. It's like his ass is tapped into the universal internet and he's going to use it for justice. Okay, maybe not for justice so much as for sating his own curiosity, which is totally close enough. If you're Batman.

Why don't you mind your own fucking Bat-business, Hal?

The Batchair lets Batman know that Superman is being a huge dick and Batman doesn't respond with "I could have told you that, you stupid know-it-all chair!" Because Batman is currently trying to slap Wonder Woman around because she said she doesn't love him and also he noticed with his supervision that she was sexually aroused by Steve Trevor.

I know it's funny to laugh at Superman because he's often a dickhole but usually he's a well-meaning dickhole and most of his dickholery is due to being a somewhat naive farmboy. But lately he's been a different kind of dickhole. Lately he's been Earth's biggest enemy because he's constantly being mind-controlled or possessed by magic or infected with Doomsday Spores or getting his power stolen by bad guys to use against a xenophobic and mostly racist populace. Now he's been fundamentally changed by absorbing the power of Apokolips so that he's not even a pale shadow of his former self. Now he's just the villain that everybody on Earth-You already believes he is. Good job, Superman! I hate saying it but Batman was fucking right. The world is better off without you. I hope Ben Affleck kicks your ass in the upcoming movie.

While Diana tries to calm down her soon to be ex-boyfriend, Mister Miracle's Mini-Justice League are infiltrating Belle Reve so they can interview Ultraman and Superwoman. But their plan is going tits up because Jessica can't control Volthoom, her power ring. And Owlman is probably right around the corner biding his time! And Ultraman may have a small rock of Kryptonite ready to grind up and snort for one last burst of power. Since this comic book is akin to a blockbuster movie, a whole shitload more things need to go wrong before the good guys can win through. I hope somebody gets space madness next issue.

Wonder Woman is able to pacify Superman with her lasso before Green Lantern and Batman arrive.

Batman annoyingly finishes his thought on the next page which is "You're dying."

Who cares? Superman doesn't have to worry about dying because The Flash is now death! And why would The Flash kill his buddy Superman?!

The next shit to be dumped unceremoniously on the fan is the Anti-Monitor finally getting his act together. He was out of it for a little bit so that the Justice League members could tell their godlike new origin stories. But now the Anti-Monitor has returned and he's dying to sit in the Batchair. Also Cyborg is possessed by Grid just like Jessica was possessed by Volthoom. Superwoman blasts Mister Miracle and Big Barda with her Death to New Gods Vision while Ultraman's crying ass limps over to Superwoman's cell. That means only the one other living member of the Crime Syndicate is missing!

I knew he was fucking lurking around a corner. Creepy motherfucker.

Justice League #47 Rating: No change. There's a lot of flash-bang bedazzle going on in this comic book but The Darkseid War plot is just barely crawling along. Except technically that plot ended almost immediately because Darkseid died issues ago! Since then, it's all been set-up to get the Justice League ready to battle their--apparently--greatest foe ever: The Anti-Monitor! The League needed some power upgrades and some allies who were defeated by the Anti-Monitor once already. Johns was smart to bring in the Crime Syndicate because now the Anti-Monitor will be battling some people he can kill. My guess is Ultraman, Grid, and Volthoom will die in the coming battle. That way Jessica can stop having to fight her ring (although a piece of him will come out at a later date when more drama is needed!). And nobody cares if Grid never returns. Ultraman is the wild card because it's always nice to have an evil Superman that snorts Kryptonite hanging about in the DC Youniverse. But he's really not needed since Superwoman's baby's father is Owlman. I'm guessing this story arc ends in Issue #50? Will there be another company-wide reboot at that time?

This has been a free taste of my wonderful reviews! This one is free to, you know, try to get people interested in spending one dollar per month to read the rest of my commentaries. As Distractedbyshinyobjects said once around the time I was a better writer than I currently am: “I also hate Scott Lobdell’s writing. But your reviews of his books are superlative comic book criticism.” That was probably before my hatred for Lobdell's writing had turned my brain into jelly and I stopped even trying to offer salient points of criticism. If you’d like to support me, please head on over to Patreon and sign up for one dollar (or more!) per month. It’s totally worth it for the email notifications of new posts alone!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Batman and Robin Eternal #13

I wish I had a mark of Cain!

Who doesn't want a mark of Cain?! If I'd had a brother, I would have totally murdered him so that I would fall under God's protection too! Lucky Cain! Not only was Cain given God's protection, he was also driven out from under God's sight so that he didn't have to worship him! So he got out of going to church too! And that's just the beginning of the gifts Cain got! Cain was also "cursed" to not be able to do farm work! I wonder how many people you have to kill to be cursed to not have to do any labor at all?! Can I just declare that I did something so bad that I'm cursed even worse than Cain the way Lamech did?! "Oh shit! I totally took God's name in vain like a billion times! I'm cursed seventy-thousand fold more times than Cain. Now I need to go on disability!"

Maybe the assumptions I just made about The Bible are part of the reason the church didn't want any old stupid piece of shit peasant reading and interpreting it on their own. How angry must the church have been at John Wycliffe when he first translated the Latin into English and they began hearing the same stupid questions from ignorant dolts over and over again. Questions like "Where did Cain's wife come from if it wasn't totally his sister and since I haven't read Leviticus all the way through because--let's face it, guys--it's ficken boring, it's totally okay to bang my sister because it had to have been Cain's sister, right? Can you give me an answer quickly because the tip is almost in and I don't want to go to hell in...oh god yes it was worth it!" Also "How angry must the church have been at John Wycliffe?" is totally a question that can be answered because they were this angry at him: 44 years after Wycliffe died, the Pope ordered his bones dug up, crushed into powder, and tossed in a river. You might be thinking, "Holy shit! That's horrible!" But look at it from the church's point of view: now people like me are reading The Bible and pointing out how silly it is. I would never have taken the time to learn Latin just to make fun of The Bible!

Too bad for the Church (capital "C" because it's the one that killed millions to keep itself all powerful. We know which one that one is, right? *huge manga wink*), desecrating Wycliffe's body wasn't warning enough for the many people over the following centuries who continued his work of making The Bible accessible to the masses. It's a long list of people banished, excommunicated, burned at the stake, martyred, and discredited in an effort to keep people from realizing that the story of Abraham and Sarah scamming Pharaoh out of his donkeys in Egypt was repeated at least two more times but in different places and with Isaac and Rebecca as the con-artists. Oh, they were also trying to keep people from knowing a lot more than that! The things in Genesis that make no sense according to Church Doctrine is just the tip of the conspiracy. The part I'm most angry about is where Onan's sin is said to be attributed to spilling his seed on the ground when the real issue is that he broke a contract. Isn't that always the way though? Let the corruption of big business off the hook while blaming the few and simple pleasures of the common people.

I should find some illustrated Bible comics and do commentaries on those! That would be fun! Until then, maybe I should stick to Batman and Robin.

Cassandra Cain begins this issue by reprogramming an ARGUS spy plane to fly over Mother's nursery, stowing away aboard it, and then bailing out when it flies over a Russian pit to Hell. The ARGUS pilots recognize the pit because James Tynion IV was all, "I once heard about how a Russian diamond mine dug too deep and let loose Durin's Bane which killed them all but not before one of them recorded the sounds of the damned because the pit reached Hell unless that was a totally different thing but anyway I'm going to mention it in a comic book because it's so fucking cool, Scott!" And Scott Snyder was all, "Mmmpphhh-ffumffle-mmmbble-fummfffle!" I don't know what that means because Google Translate doesn't have an option to translate "James Tynion's Dick In Your Mouth" into English.

I kid! I know Scott Snyder is a happily married heterosexual who only spent a small fraction of his life dressing up as Disney characters and hanging out in the men's showers at Disneyworld. Besides, if I was really being serious, it would have been James Tynion IV sucking Scott Snyder's dick because Snyder is the one that was hired by DC for his ability and it was James who was hired because of whose dick he knew.

I hope Snyder and Tynion never read this! Or if they do, I hope they have as good a sense of humor as Sterling Gates and not as poor a sense of humor as Cullen Bunn.

Oh! Pictures! I should distract everybody with pictures after that doubly horrible start to a comic book review!

Is Mother supposed to be an accurate representation of all mothers because she's almost exactly like my own!

This is the part where everybody has to forgive me for all of the horrible things I constantly say because they realize I was raised by a horribly manipulative woman who constantly showered love upon every child around her except her own! That's why my heart is a shriveled piece of turkey jerky! Unless it's like that because of all the horror movies I watched and horror books I read and all those things I hid under the front porch.

Oh! Look at this! I don't know which one to rub my dick on first!

You've got to think that after nine seasons and two movies, maybe the truth isn't fucking out there after all, hmm?

What the fuck is television trying to do to me?! I don't have this much time! I'm going to have to give up comic books if television is going to spend this much time turning them into shows.

Cassandra Cain has come to save Mother's children before they're all purged in the move. While she runs about, she remembers learning how to hug a person. She hugs The Sculptor who is appalled because Cassandra wasn't made for hugs. That's Wonder Woman bullshit. At that moment, The Sculptor should have known that Cassandra wasn't right for The Orphan's project. I would be better suited because I not only hate hugs, I also hate shaking hands and nearly every other form of human contact ever invented by humans who, for some reason, need more themselves!

Cassandra does not find any children. But she does find her father, The Orphan! He's got a new bionic arm and possibly a new foot since Harper mentioned he'd lost his leg even though that was probably just her misremembering what happened because the writer of that script didn't really fucking care about the comics written by the other writers.

Cassandra is captured and dumped in a pit full of the corpses of Mother's murdered children. So I was totally wrong that the comic book wouldn't lie to me last week and try to make me believe something that wasn't true! I totally and completely fell for it and super believed that Cassandra had just murdered all of the children! How could I be so dumb?! How could anybody be that dumb as to believe that Cassandra had killed the children or that Batman had murdered some kid's parents?! I mean, who am I? Dick Grayson?

The Orphan reminds Cassandra that the death of these children is on her shoulders because she left Mother and ran to tell Batman. But Batman was too busy battling The Joker so he had to give his Batgum to Cassandra to give to Dick if he died. Which he kind of did. But first he had a message of hope for Cassandra that ended with this vile act.

Ugh! Batman is so fucking touchy-feely!

Cassandra attacks The Orphan but before she can prove to him that she's a better fighter, Dick and Harper show up to help out. Cassandra hugs Harper because she's weak and then a hologram of Mother appears to set up the cliffhanger ending!

Look at it this way, Orphan. You've now earned a chance to redeem yourself now that Mother's betrayed you! Die with the thermonuclear device as you delay it long enough for your daughter to escape and we'll all pretend that the murder of thousands of children and their parents can be forgiven!

Batman and Robin Eternal #13 Rating: No change. I'll say this about this weekly in comparison to the Batman Eternal weekly: at least each week seems to be giving up a piece of the story. Batman Eternal was all about red herrings and rungs in some bad guy ladder leading up to Lincoln March (or, um, the actual villain who wasn't Lincoln March if you haven't read it yet and don't want it spoiled. It was totally somebody else and not Cluemaster at all). It's been a bit of origin overload the last few weeks but at least it all has to do with the main plot of Mother trying to take over the world and Batman trying to beat her by pretending to order a personalized Robin and Cassandra being at the center of it all. And now as I say that, next week will probably be an issue where Alfred deals with getting Titus neutered.

This has been a free taste of my wonderful reviews! This one is free to, you know, try to get people interested in spending one dollar per month to read the rest of my commentaries. As ConfusionGrows said once about some comic book I actually quite liked for some reason (probably because I was on Vicodin): “If Tessatechaitea says this much good about a comic it must have something going for it.” I think the subtext of that is that I'm usually a huge asshole. If you’d like to support me and maybe get me to offer even more freebies (sure, why should you pay when other people will get them for free? Probably because you’re a totally terrific and swell person!), please head on over to Patreon and sign up for one dollar (or more!) per month. It’s totally worth it for the email notifications of new posts alone!

Gotham Academy #13

I'm considering getting drunk.

I'm not really in the mood to read more comic books tonight but I'm not really in the mood to do anything else either. I tried playing a little more Temple of Elemental Evil but Zuggtmoy kicked my ass and then I made a deal with Hedrack not to fight but as soon as the conversation ended, he was all, "Hey! Let's fight!" Fucker. I'm going to get drunk and kill you, you piece of shit! But first I guess I'll read this Robin War tie-in.

This issue is called "Robins vs. Zombies" and I already know what's going to happen because Riko spilled the beans all over the other Robin War comic books. A Talon is going to enroll at Gotham Academy and nobody is going to let him sit with them at lunch because Gotham Academy doesn't really have an undead clique. And Maps was probably busy writing a dungeon crawl for her role playing game, Serpents and Spells, or else she totally would have invited the zombie to sit at her table.

Now I'm not sure if I want Olive to make out with Pomeline or Riko!

Maps is upset because Riko has the same backpack and because Riko is taking Olive's open roommate slot (that isn't an innuendo unless you want it to be and you're a total pedo (oh, who am I kidding? They're only fictional characters! Imagine them doing whatever you want to each other!)). I totally fucking knew Riko was going to try to be the new Maps! I called it last issue because I'm super overprotective of my Maps! Fuckin' Riko. You can go to hell, Riko! Or better yet! You can go to the hell that people in hell go to when they die in hell! You go to hell's hell, jerko!

Later that night, Pizza Detective Club begins investigating the Case of the Greenhouse Zombie! They set up a trap to catch the zombie but since they're practically the Scooby Doo gang and they've baited the trap with food, one of them is going to get hungry and fall into the trap themselves! Now which one is the most like Shaggy? Colton, right?! Although Riko isn't with them and she needs to get involved so she'll probably get caught in the trap while doing some Robin work.

Or she'll just get invited to join. Don't they all look adorable?!

Maps's plan doesn't quite work out the way she thought it would, probably because she was flirting so hard with Riko. But it does get Kirk's Langstrom's attention which is when I begin yawning and trying not to fall asleep. I don't know how anybody stays awake reading a Man-bat comic book! I was only just able to stay awake because Kirk Langstrom is just a tad bit more interesting when he's not Man-bat. He's also just acting as an adviser to the Pizza Detective Club and I really like those guys. So while barely holding my interest, I'm able to continue reading about their second plan to catch the zombie. This one involves mumbo-jumbo comic book bullshit that almost sounds scientific enough to be fictionally plausible! And guess what?!

Hey! Wake up! I said, "Guess what?!"

It works! The zombie comes back to the lab to--cross my fingers--murder Kirk Langstrom!

The Talon must be an ancestor of Olive's!

The Talon introduces himself as Efrem. Kirk Langstrom decides to keep him on in the lab to sterilize tools and sweep up. The Pizza Detective Club shrugs and decides to put this mystery in the solved column. Then Olive calls the cops on Riko and gets her ass thrown out of Gotham Academy for being a Robin. See, Olive isn't exactly on the best of terms with the Batfamily. Probably because they threw her mother in Arkham.

Maps tries to tangle with the cops but Damian stops her. She doesn't know it's Damian because he keeps his identity hidden by standing in a tree a few feet away from her totally exposed. Then he explains that he's going to start a war and that maybe she and her friends should order a pizza and go play some Serpents and Spells and ignore the awful screams of Robins being torn to pieces by Talons outside the dorm windows.

Gotham Academy #13 Rating: No change. At first I thought I wasn't going to like the art because it wasn't Karl Kerschl's art. But then I was like "Oh my God! They're so cute!" and "Look at that face Maps is making!" and "Olive has never been more adorable!" So I think those exclamations meant I liked it after all. I'm glad Riko didn't take Maps' place in the Pizza Detective Club but I'm fairly certain this story would have been better if Pomeline and Riko had kissed a little bit. Mostly on the mouth, of course! I don't expect any fisting to take place on a first date! At least not a first date between young people. Forty year olds going on a first date? Holy shit, things are going to get fucking weird.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Gotham Academy #12

Why isn't the main character on the cover?

Hopefully at the one year mark, we'll get an ending to the Sybil Silverlock story. Then Olive can get serious about her school work and Maps can take over the lead. Unless that jerk Riko thinks she's going to get the lead! If she winds up at Gotham Academy for good, she'd better know her place! Maps is the leader of Pizza Detective Club and she's more of a real Robin than Riko ever will be! Maps had the approval of two separate Robins before this stupid We Are Robin movement even began!

While Maps and Olive were off looking for clues as to the identity of Calamity, Kyle Mizoguchi disappeared. Now Maps is upset because that was her brother but Olive is probably sort of glad because he was her ex and it's always easier when your ex just mysteriously disappears and you can breathe easy knowing you'll never run into them again.

Maps isn't actually upset either. She wants to keep looking for Kyle but she knows the school is going to send her home to be with her parents while the search for Kyle goes on. So Maps and Olive recruit Katherine Karlo to mimic Maps so Maps can lead the Pizza Detective Club to victory.

I think Katherine took a huge blow to the head during the Hamlet fiasco. Has nobody thought about getting her some medical attention for a possible concussion?

The Pizza Detective Club have a key to Arkham Asylum so that's the first place they go to look for clues. I guess it's been rebuilt since The Spectre sent it to hell! Alfred has Wayne Manor back and the crazy people have to go somewhere other than the streets of Gotham.

Hmm. Maybe I imagined the asylum going to hell. Am I the only one who read Batman Eternal? Was that just a dream?!

The problem with reading all of DC's comic books is I don't have the luxury to think, "Oh, maybe it was magically restored in a book I didn't read!" Of course, it's quite possible it was magically restored in a book I read and I've completely forgotten about it! Although that's not a luxury; that's a possible symptom of something awful. I have a feeling the destruction of Arkham has simply been retconned so that it's merely sort of broken down and abandoned rather than "completely gone and replaced by a crater reaching to the bowels of hell."

Olive remains outside because she'll probably need to have a confrontation with her mother while alone. The rest of the Pizza Detectives head inside to find Kyle almost immediately, thanks to Maps's super sleuthing skills. Kyle was dragged to Arkham by somebody other than Calamity. He doesn't reveal who it was because he almost falls to his death while he waits for the Pizza Detectives to figure out how to use their Arkham Key. Maybe the hole Kyle almost falls in is all that's left of the crater that I must have dreamed swallowed the entire building previously.

I think Arkham lies on reality distorting field and that's why it exists differently than I remember! That's why Colton was able to grab Kyle's hand even though there's no way he could have grabbed Kyle's hand if I trust the upper right panel!

I was hoping that right in the middle of this issue, we'd get a scene of Katherine just shoving slices of bread into her mouth.

Olive has followed a voice calling to her and wound up in an upper room of the old building. It's there that she meets the jerko who kidnapped Kyle: Hugo Strange! Well, duh! That's what happens when a school lets a loony like him counsel the kids! Although it's possible he hasn't really done any crazy shit yet in The New 52. He was teased in Teen Titans (or was it Red Hood?! It was a Lobdell comic) but nothing ever came of that. And he was counseling Roy Harper in Red Hoods (when Tynion was writing, I think?). And he may have taken part in a back-up story in Detective Comics a long time ago but I think that was his just his son, Eli. Also, that was the most horribly written Poker story I've ever read. Thanks, Tony S. Daniel! I think the "S" stands for "YOU SUCK!"

Professor Strange has been dressing up like Olive's mother because he's a weird pedo. Also it's pretty typical for the villain in a story about young people acting like detectives for the villain to be an old guy dressing up to scare people so he can find the treasure or buy the real estate cheaply. In this case, Calamity has hidden something in the tunnels beneath Arkham. Hugo Strange has been trying to scare the Calamity out of Olive so that she'd channel the villain and maybe show him where she hid the treasure. Instead, Calamity chases off Hugo Strange and Kyle is saved. Calamity may or may not have appeared through Olive. It's a Pizza Detective Mystery!

Or it's not. Olive feels whole so I think that means Calamity has become a part of her. Which means Olive now feels closer to her mother. Although she's still not sure how her mother died! It was probably Strange!

Gotham Academy #12 Rating: No change. The art in this comic book is simply adorable. Or beautiful if adorable is too patronizing. I'm also a huge fan of the characters and the setting because it's something different that DC isn't really used to doing. Plus it feels a bit like Degrassi Junior High which is a show I grew up with and which I loved a lot. I suppose Maps is a big reason as to why I like this comic as well but I'm always singing her Dungeons and Dragons praises so I'm just going to ignore her this time.


Batman #47

Will Batman ever learn that roughing up The Joker merely results in a clown erection?

I haven't quite figured out this Mister Bloom story yet. Mister Bloom must be Commissioner Gordon's nemesis in much the same way that the Court of Owls were Batman's nemesis. Snyder went all in with Gotham City itself being one of the major character's in this comic book rather than just the setting. Batman's main nemesis was The Joker for more decades than I can count (without a calculator, of course! I'm great at counting with a calculator!). But when The Court of Owls came along, I believe they easily replaced him. I'm not going to debate the matter with anybody who disagrees with me because they'll win the debate so fuck them. They'll never outdo The Joker on personality and likeability and stupidly insane Bat-traps. But they struck at an aspect of Batman that has rarely been touched on: his absolute love affair with Gotham. It's no wonder Catwoman can barely crack the surface on this guy when he's got such a hard-on for the city. The Court of Owls provoked jealousy from Batman because he realized that he might actually be Gotham's extra-marital affair and not its spouse. To find out that not only did he not know something about Gotham but to learn that the thing he didn't know knew Gotham better than he ever knew it fucked him up. I'll always love the Court of Owls for that reason alone. They'll always have a piece of Gotham's heart that Batman will never have access to and it drives him fucking crazy. But what can he do? They're basically an entity that has existed alongside Gotham for its entire existence while he's just a thirty-something year old man. I suppose he can over-identify with his Wayne family roots the way that fucking Dumas guy has over-identified with his family on Gotham but Batman has too many other things to obsess about on his calendar.

What I'm trying to get at is how does Mister Bloom relate to Commissioner Gordon in the same sort of way that The Court of Owls related to Batman?

I'm just not sure. I don't know enough about Commissioner Gordon to truly understand his conflict with Mister Bloom. It must have to do with "growing" ideas for helping the city. Gordon wants to make Gotham a better, safer place to live as much as Batman does but he wants to do it by the book. He believes in people doing their jobs to the best of their ability which feeds the best interests of the city. What does Mister Bloom want? A more chaotic city? Planting seeds in people so that they grow wild and rise up against the best interests of Gotham? I just can't catch the thread of thought that lead Snyder down this path. It must be an issue that doesn't matter to me so I just can't see it. Now if Commissioner Gordon were battling Mister PiƱata, I'd totally understand what was going on because it would be about hidden candy and how a person beats the crap out of something to get at that candy!

Stupid name for a card game, Harvey, but I get the sentiment. Gotham will always be a major factor in Snyder's stories!

Commissioner Batman is currently battling the Honey Bunny Bat Armor because it's always a treat for fans to see superheroes fighting each other. Fighting themselves? Although who's really worried about Gordon losing this fight? The Honey Bunny Bat Armor has become immobilized within a page or two of every appearance it's ever made in a comic book. So this battle should be over fairly quickly so Gordon can deal with Mister Bloom. Except Mister Bloom will have probably fled because this story can't resolve for a few more issues.

Or not. Mister Bloom actually sticks around to finish Gordon off. Not keep him alive to humiliate him. Or to tell him his entire plan.

Well, maybe he could tell him just a little bit?

Is this it? Does Mister Bloom represent the inevitable changes of any city? And Gordon represents the longtime resident weathering the change and minimizing its negative effects on a city he's loved for so long? In that way, Mister Bloom isn't evil at all. He's natural and quite flexible. He represents the evolution of a space over time. Growth. But he's growth out of control. He's apartment buildings with no parking rising up in every place a contractor is able to knock down a hundred year old home that used to house only a small handful of people so that now the streets are overflowing with parked cars. He's failing infrastructure ignored for superficial improvements to attract an influx of new residents to fight for limited job opportunities. He's gentrification lauded for improving poorer areas while really just spreading the problems about to different parts of the city while young, upwardly mobile slackers learn how to DJ. Gordon is simply fighting for the livability of his city. Mister Bloom and his seeds give no thought to Gotham. It's a plan that doesn't give a fuck about Gotham. It's a plan that no Batman can abide.

Commissioner Batman's blocker kicks in at just this moment to cancel out Mister Bloom's powers. His seeds are destroyed. His powers are gone. It might be time for Commissioner Gordon to do a little gardening.

Meanwhile Bruce Wayne shows up outside the Iceberg Casino to help Duke escape from The Penguin. I guess he's pretty serious about helping these wayward youths. And we learn that Duke didn't just figure out Dick Grayson's identity. He's figured out Batman's as well.

I was hoping Damian would have this moment but I'll take Duke's version. Fuck yeah, I will.

Alfred is going to be pissed.

Mister Bloom has been caught but not for long. Gordon can't do it all himself (even if he has Daryl and Julia Perrywonth helping). He needs Bruce. So Mister Bloom escapes with the help of dozens of other Mister Blooms. And Bruce is forced to acknowledge the secret he's been denying so he could keep banging Julie Madison without interruptions. But just before he says it out loud. Just before he says it--that line which my best friend once uttered after nearly drowning because he suffered a concussion while jumping off a railroad trestle into a river and I asked him if he knew who he was and he answered, "I'm Batman"--an old friend appears.

So what's The Joker been up to? Did the Dionesium fuck with his brain too? Has he been doing open mic nights at the Iceberg Lounge?

Batman #47 Rating: +1 Ranking. This is why you continue to trust writers that have always rewarded your trust. Even if you weren't into Commissioner Batman, you can't just drop a book that Snyder and Capullo have been killing it on since The New 52 began. I mean, sure, you can! But then you just have to pick it up again when somebody tells you fucking hard the story rocked them a few months later! Granted, the least interesting parts of this book were about Commissioner Batman! The real story that everybody has been interested in has been taking place in the background. But holy fuck is that story compelling! This is the kind of shit I was eager for at the end of last issue! Revelations that leave me wanting more rather than trying to leave me wanting more by continuing to not tell me anything! This fucking book right here is the way to keep people coming back! Can writers make revelations like this every issue or will they spontaneously combust from the sheer awesomeness of it all?!

Monday, December 28, 2015

Prez #6

I'm all for Corndog Girl on the twenty dollar bill.

Some people have been wondering why I put my reviews behind a pay wall so I thought I'd answer them now. Because they're worth it. Oh, and actually they're not--and never have been--real reviews. I'm not concerned with pointing out how the letterer perfectly captured the feeling of a vampire growling out sex commands. Or how the colorist created a cheerful and bright tone which contrasted poignantly with the sorrow and despair of the characters in the book. Occasionally I'll point out how David Finch somehow fucked up so badly that he put six fingers on Wonder Woman (not hyperbole!) or I'll defend Rob Liefeld's ability to draw feet by pointing out they're just as good as everything else he draws. I definitely do concern myself with the writing though. But is that really much of a review when I'm discussing a comic book? That's probably not even 50% of the final product! So, no, I am not writing reviews. I'm writing spontaneous essays based on whatever the fuck digressions the comic book's plot points send me spiraling into. If you're into reading fucked up ephemeral tidbits loosely based around DC Comic books, you might actually be interested in getting your ass behind the paywall. If you're not, well fuck it, right? You've got an infinite amount of free internet to peruse at your leisure. Hell, even most of the porn is free!

But if you're interested in discovering just how big my crush on Corndog Girl is, you might want to keep reading!

It's pretty fucking big, I tell you what.

Corndog Girl thought the biggest crisis of her presidency was apologizing for America's bullying, Imperialistic, self-righteous, know-it-all, narcissistic attitude! But she was totally and completely wrong if she thought that which she might not have actually thought because I may have just assumed it. The next big crisis on her plate is the Cat Flu! It's killing thousands of Americans a week because good for it! I'm pro anything that has cat in the name! Go cat flu! You're so fucking adorable! Although have you thought about maybe changing your name to Kitten Flu because, seriously, come on? How cute would that be?

These assholes are actually a bigger problem than the Cat Flu.

This paragraph is where I discuss why people who hate the government but are okay with big business doing whatever the fuck they want are complete and utter morons so if you're one of those morons, you might want to skip this paragraph and pretend I called you all geniuses instead. I feel living with lies is probably the most enjoyable way to get through life anyway. The basic premise of government is that it is of the people. People have the means to participate in government (no matter how shitty those means currently are because corporations have convinced the government to stop listening to people and, at the same time, have purchased dozens of talking heads to convince people that the government is evil and corporations are good) and to change it. No matter how crappy the system seems to work, it's at least possible to change the government. It's actually quite possible and reasonable to change local government which is how you begin to change state and national government as well. But people are allowed zero participation in corporations. No, I don't count owning a fucking stock as participating and you shouldn't either, you--what did I call you earlier? Oh yeah!--utter moron. The more you hate government and try to destroy it in favor of corporations and rich people doing whatever the fuck they want, the less ability you have to change anything. Don't trust the government? Try to change it. If the government changes in a way you don't like because other people have convinced it to change for the better, whine and pout. Oh, and try to change it, I guess. Whatever. I mean, does voting even work? Maybe the utter morons are right! In that case, I guess the best way to change the government is to start a small business, then grow that business into a bigger business, then keep growing that business into a major corporation, then avoid being bought out or subsumed into another business or destroyed by your investors, then become a nationally renowned corporation, then hire a lobbying firm, then donate millions upon millions of dollars to politicians who will reside in your pocket, then ask them to piggyback all the really shitty and selfish changes in laws to bills that the opposition party really needs to pass and voila! You've changed the system! Congratulations, you bastard.

Meanwhile Tina (formerly known as--and I only bring this up for clarification with my readers and not to try to pin her to her past--War Beast) is being harassed by the government because they want her back in their armory.

President Corndog Girl decides to seek help in finding a Cat Flu Vaccine from Fred Wayne.

The cat e-mail thing is a good gag but absolutely not the reason I scanned this page. My lust is squarely to blame.

Fred Wayne has a top secret project that he says can help save the world. He hasn't revealed it to anybody yet because Corndog Girl is the first politician who seriously wants to change the world for the better as opposed to changing the world for the richer (and by "richer," I obviously don't mean everyone! Don't make the tiny few who profit from most of the government's decisions laugh!).

President Corndog Girl's horrible congress override her veto and give Boss Smiley and his stupidly nicknamed cohorts everything they want. Once again, it's a win for nobody! I mean, it's technically a win for some people but that portion of the population for whom the win matters is so small that it's effectively zero. Therefore nobody wins. Nobody.

Well, maybe the cutest person in this futuristic version of America wins because she's as smart as she is fuckable. That was supposed to be a compliment!

This story makes me giddy and not just because all of my blood flow has been redirected to a certain area of the body due to fantasizing about my future life with President Corn Dog girl. I constantly wish logic were being used in courts and congressional hearings and house votes all across this nation. I'm tired of the answer to any ethical dilemma being determined by which side throws the most money at something. When Monsanto was suing small farmers for stealing their patents because some of Monsanto's patented soybeans were found on their farms due to natural pollen distribution, I couldn't understand how the small farmers didn't have a suit against Monsanto for contaminating their farms! I mean, logically I couldn't understand it! Monetarily, I knew exactly why the farms were getting screwed by Monsanto. I get that there are strict controls in place to keep judges from having too much power but I think we need some kind of common sense law where a judge can simply look at a suit and proclaim, "Fuck you!" Then he'd bang his gavel and the bringer of the offending lawsuit would have to pay a bajillion dollar fine.

Maybe the answer is to stop having judges who are voted into power or appointed and have a jury system for judges. But the judge jury pool would only be full of accredited scientists who are fucking smart enough to not listen to lawyers when they're entire case amounts to four truckloads of manure.

President Corndog Girl's maneuver works and congress repeals the law that gave Boss Smiley and his friends the rights to whatever DNA they could register. Her new plan to stop the spread of Cat Flu is to airlift all of the cats into New Mexico where they'd remain quarantined for a number of weeks. People are predictably angered at their cats getting a vacation while they continue to have to work fifty-two weeks per year.

Bad comic book! Bad! Pulling the putting a pet down scene is tantamount to terrorism!

Prez #6 Rating: +2 Ranking. I fucking love this comic book! I hope DC Comics doesn't forget to publish Part Two sometime in the future! Although if they don't use the same creative team, I don't really care if they never publish it again. At that point, it'll be a crap shoot as to whether it's worth reading or not. I think Mark and Ben have created a really special six issue mini-series here with potential for more wild satire and cute Corndog Girl predicaments. Plus Boss Smiley is only getting started! He was practically just a bit player in this series. I'm sure he's going to be real trouble in the near future! I bet he and his cohorts do really wild and unbelievably greedy things like maybe Pharmaduke will raise the price of prescription pills by 7000%! Oh man, that would totally be hilariously unrealistic! I love you, Corndog Girl!

All Star Section Eight #6

This could have ended DK III before it begun thus saving me a load of money.

I probably won't have much to say about this comic book. I never really have much to say about All Star Section Eight. It's Ennis and McCrea having a goof about superheroes. Again. Although Superman stars in this one and Ennis gets Superman. Which is weird when you realize Garth Ennis doesn't really give a shit about superheroes and seems to find them patently ridiculous. And yet he's one of the few writers who consistently does a good job writing Superman. Probably because he doesn't view Superman as his superpowers but as his heart, motivation, and ultimate kindness for all people. Weird how that concept frustrates so many writers.

At the end of the last issue, Superman walked into Noonan's to rescues Sixpack. Superman's probably just a hallucination but what does that matter, right? Since he's already a fictional character, a hallucinated version of the fictional character really won't be that far off from the real thing. In fact it will be better than 95% of The New 52's portrayals of the real thing, probably.

Sixpack is having an existentialist crisis brought on by dying in the snow in an alley. Unless it's been brought on by drinking too much. Or maybe it was seeing his friends die horrible deaths because he told them they were heroes. Maybe he's just mentally ill. Is Sixpack freezing because he's lying in a snowbank or is it because he's visiting the Fortress of Solitude? And how can Superman help him figure it out? Or, um, how can a hallucination of Superman help him?

Sixpack's been asking himself if he's a hero or a loser lately. That's probably why he's finally worked his way up to thinking he's meeting Superman because Superman is the heroiest of heroes. Sixpack needs his advice.

Okay, okay, Ennis. Pull it back a little! Stepping on a lot of toes here!

That being said...I think this comic book is going to make me cry. Garth Ennis is ultimately going to defend superhero comic books. Sixpack will be seen as heroic simply because he believed in it and made the attempt to be so. And Superman will help him reach this realization by being uplifting and kind and understanding.

One time, I believed I had dreamt my life. I was on mushrooms in the parking lot of a strip club and I suddenly felt with absolute certainty that that had been my life and I had dreamed the person with the college degree who would be soon be driving a VW Bus across the country followed by a trip to Asia. I had simply believed that those things were in my future because my reality was like Superman's arctic panorama...too bleak to comprehend. Interestingly enough, I also believed that I came up with the concept of comic books during that period of mushroom induced madness.

Later, with Sixpack believing he's lying in the alley dreaming it all, Superman explains that maybe he is, and that maybe they should all be thankful for it. He mentions a story about a god dreaming it all and, if that god were to awake, reality would disappear. Here's another common thread I have with this story. The Red King of Carroll's Through the Looking-Glass always fascinated and scared me. When I first went online in the mid-nineties, I took the online name The Red King because the online world only existed while I was logged on. When I logged off--Poof!--out it would go like a candle.

Superman takes Sixpack to a park in Gotham where a statue has been erected of Sixpack claiming he's a superhero and savior of the world.

Superman then hands Sixpack some whisky to ensure that Superman will continue to exist.

Okay. I now see where I went wrong in assuming a hallucination of Superman would be equal to the regular old fictional Superman. It depends on whose doing the hallucinating, doesn't it? In Sixpack's mind, Superman gives people what they need and so Sixpack's Superman is an enabler!

Meanwhile, Grappler has realized he's in the most disgusting place in the DC You (Noonan's toilet) and decides to hang himself. Dogwelder almost returns to normal but then decides to weld his son's dog to the rest of his family. Powertool fries himself and Baytor heads back to hell. That just leaves Guts and Bueno Excellente and they're off honeymooning in the ladies' room. So Sixpack rushes off to torment passersby in the streets with a broken bottle of whisky as he battles an evil only he can see.

The issue ends with Sixpack either running around crazy or sleeping in a snowy alley wrapped in Superman's cape. It's ambiguous because none of it is real. But let's say the sleeping Sixpack in the alley is real. Then Garth Ennis got New 52 Superman exactly right! He's a fucking selfish dick who has decided that it's too risky to wake a dying drunk man to get him help because he might be dreaming the DC You!

All Star Section Eight #6 Rating: No change. What more could you expect from this comic book than commentary on the ridiculousness of super heroes, disgusting and offensive characters, and loads of drinking? I won't miss all the vomit and soiled pants, I tell you what.

Gotham by Midnight #12

The orgy from last issue's cover has gone horribly awry.

At the end of the last issue, The Spectre was about to get laid. It's about time. That angry asshole has really needed it. But who wants to fuck an angry asshole, right? That's why they get angrier and angrier until their testosterone builds up to lethal levels and they go on a shooting rampage. That isn't a joke. It would be a pretty shitty joke if it was! Angry assholes who can't get laid and somehow think they're nice guys are the most dangerous people in America (after cops (who might also be angry assholes who aren't getting any sex)). America would be much safer with a well-regulated sex industry and a softening of the stigma of "having to pay for it." What's wrong with paying for sex anyway?! It's not like guys who see women as objects are going to stop seeing women as objects because other people tell them it's wrong to do so. It's better they have sex with a professional who only has to deal with them between payment and coming than have them harassing amateur objects in bars and clubs and libraries and on the street and in coffee shops. Why would any guy who sees women as objects want to spend any time wooing an object anyway? No wonder they're so angry! If I knew I had to somehow charm my torch lamp by convincing it I wasn't the insane monster I really was just to get it to light up my room every single day, I'd get more and more pissed, week after week! Stupid torch lamp! I control you! You have to do what I want by giving me what I need!

Also have they not heard of masturbation? It's great! Now I want to read a comic book where The Phantom Stranger walks in on The Spectre jerking off.

Inappropriate! Because now I'm going to wank to a picture of a sexy nun.

I guess in comic books, even nuns need to be sexy. Especially if they want a nice guy to consider them as an object! What do women who can't get laid do when their efforts fail? Do they suck it up and go home with the homely guy in the cape with the dice bag attached to his belt? Or do they just call it a night and write in their diary about all of the guys who would have gotten their brains fucked out if they hadn't been complete assholes masquerading as nice guys? "Dear Diary. I met a guy tonight whose face could have totally been converted into a vagina rest if he'd simply bought me a drink and begun a conversation instead of asking if I'd buy him a drink and then railing about how unfair it was that men always had to buy the free drinks and then never get anything in return for their minimal efforts at getting to know a stranger. He might as well have been wearing a badge that read 'I am lousy at sex!' Was that seriously his game or did his game just go off the rails right from the start? Oh Diary. I wish you had a penis! Oh? You do? It's in the nightstand?! You smooth talker you!"

Here's an exciting twist that happens in this story: Commissioner Batman's Honey Bunny Bat Armor locks up! Wow! That's never not happened before! Seriously. It's never not yet happened. In other non-double negative words, it always fucking happens. Always. Every time. The Honey Bunny Bat Armor is an utter failure and should be retired immediately before Commissioner Gordon is killed not by a super villain but by a simple malfunction.

Sister Justine, the Nun of the Narrows, calms the Spectre down enough for Jim Corrigan to clear his head and realize what's going on. Gotham broke its truce with Angry Mister Toad and it's come back to say, "Hey. White guys? Could you maybe--just, you know, one time?--keep your fucking word? I mean, I understand it's hard to not do whatever you want to fulfill your own desires no matter what the cost to other people. But, like, when you say one thing and do five thousand others that completely disregard the one thing you said you'd do? Kind of hurtful, man."

Drake has become maudlin.

The Spectre declares that Gotham is sick and cannot be cured. Good thing Bruce Wayne isn't around to hear this declaration! He'd punch The Spectre in the face until Gotham was healed. Sister Justine asks, "What do you do with the sick?" Um. You say, "I see that you are sick and I acknowledge your sickness. Now please go in the other room where I don't have to look at you"?

The Spectre's answer is that you comfort them. Isn't that what I just said? Wasn't what I said you say comforting? Should I rethink my bedside manner?

Corrigan's answer is to ask Angry Mister Toad for forgiveness and to never forget the unjust dead. Sure. Like that'll happen. I give Gotham one more week before Angry Mister Toad is back bitching about the truce being broken. Again!

So basically Corrigan could have just played "Message in a Bottle" on some loudspeakers and everything would have worked out just fine?

The issue ends with the sun finally rising up over Gotham for the first time in 75 years. Hooray! Is it now time for a sexy Nun of the Narrows monthly?

Gotham by Midnight #12 Rating: +1 Ranking. The ending was a little bit cheesy but I've got to put aside the cynicism and appreciate some things sometimes, don't I? Due to the cancellation, the story felt like it didn't have as much time as it needed to wrap things up. The whole bit with Jim killing the cops was obviously going to go in another direction. But now the Gotham Police have to live with Corrigan getting away with a double homicide because he just saved the city. Commissioner Batman pointed out it was their fault anyway, right? Plus at one point last issue, I think somebody said to call the governor? That was probably to pardon Corrigan for the cop killings. The part where everybody in Gotham was now possessed by an angry spirit had better come back to haunt The Spectre because that's just fucking creepy. Just because The Spectre made the deal with Angry Mister Toad doesn't mean every citizen of Gotham agreed to it! Get this dead person out of my heart! There's no room in there because it's filled up with cats!

Seriously though. Overall this has been an entertaining series that has always looked great, even after the change in artists. DC could do worse than fifty monthly series of this quality. No, wait. DC is doing that already. I mean to say DC would be lucky to have every book be as good as this was. Was that better?

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Gotham by Midnight #11

Gotham By Midnight has finally stopped being about the Spectre and turned into the late night adult television channel it sounds like it should be.

Last commentary I completely skipped doing a proper commentary and instead wrote an offensive screed by Death Rock. I guess I was in the kind of mood to simply say "Fuck the world." It happens sometimes. Plus it was less offensive than it actually seemed on the surface. I sometimes wonder if the people who say my writing isn't subtle are missing the subtlety in my writing?! Anyway, it was entertaining and made fun of Bon Jovi which goes a long way to making it palatable. And I made sure to point out that the soundtrack to Young Guns II was the best thing Jon Bon Jovi ever did. I hope the rest of his band doesn't feel hurt by that. I mean, Runaway and Love is a Social Disease are pretty good too! This week I'll actually try to discuss Gotham By Midnight since I'm going to read the last two issues in succession.

You know what comic book I just realized I want to read because my subconscious kept adding to the name of this comic as I typed it? Gotham By Midnighter! You think Batman's books contain a lot of fuckfighting?!

This issue begins with the quote "Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it." I don't normally fall back on "quotes" or "research" or "well-established philosophical suppositions" when writing but the doomed to repeat it quote reminded me of a recent adorable Tweet by Jemaine Clement. Somebody Tweeted at Jemaine, "How are people so stupid not to see history repeating?" And he responded with "Because as we have learnt from history, people do not learn from history." That makes me want to hug him in a non-stalkery way (which means I actually keep my dick in my pants).

At the end of the last issue, Corrigan and Drake exploded in a car or something. I only vaguely remember it because I didn't write it down. Instead I was writing about Death Rock calling his fists Bo and Luke Duke. This issue begins with the aftereffects of The Spectre suddenly not watching over Gotham.

Well hello there, Mister Angry Native American Toad Guy!

Angry Mister Toad is composed of corpses of all the victims of the crimes of the people of Gotham. It was talked out of murdering Gotham a number of issues ago by a nun who sacrificed herself to sate it. But I guess she was just an appetizer because Angry Mister Toad is back and Gotham needs to pay!

Gotham quickly turns into the New York of Ghostbusters when the city turns off the power to their ghost storage system. When will people in power learn not to tell paranormal police who are most likely scam artists that they're not allowed to do their jobs anymore? Because every now and then, one of them isn't a scam artist and by shutting them down, you're turning the city into Disney's Haunted Mansion. I've seen it way too many times to not believe in an afterlife! No wait. It's exactly opposite of that. I've never seen a paranormal expert who wasn't a scam artist. But this is a work of fiction and fictional people in power have seen this happen too many times to count!

I just pointed this out!

I'm about two steps ahead of everything I'm reading here because Ray Fawkes has written a story that makes fucking sense. So when I pointed out that Angry Mister Toad was composed of all the victims of the crimes of the people of Gotham, that was based on what I'd read in the past and not on the Narration Box that I read after writing that which read "Everyone who ever died unjustly in Gotham City is joining the army of Ikkondrid the Betrayed." Just like I wrote about the Ghostbusters thing before Lieutenant Weaver pointed out the city fucked up by screwing the Midnight Shift! This happens a lot as I read commentaries and I rarely point out that I beat the comic to the punch by a page or two and just let readers assume I'm writing a synopsis as opposed to writing fucking prognostications! But in these cases, the real hero is the writer. Like here. Ray Fawkes has built a coherent world that makes sense. Actions lead to predictable consequences. Also--I mean, let's face it--the issue began with the whole history repeating itself thing and this story line is basically repeating an earlier one. But this time The Spectre isn't around to save Gotham! And neither is Batman!

Okay fine. I got that bit wrong. I forgot about Commissioner Batman!

Commissioner Gordon earns more respect from me in one panel of this comic book than he's ever earned from me in over twenty years of reading comic books. Maybe that's because I never really paid him much mind. But when he finds out the Midnight Shift were probably killed in a pursuit by the police, he says, "You were supposed to leave Precinct Thirteen alone!" Such magic words! A manager who knows how to manage certain types of people by not managing them at all! When I ran the office supply warehouse at Netscape in the mid-nineties, my manager Mark once told the owner of our company, "Just leave Tess alone. He's got it covered." This was in response to the owner once stopping by and noticing I wasn't in our company's official uniform. Mark got it. Don't micromanage me and I'll keep everything under control. Some people don't need to constantly be monitored to ensure they do what they're supposed to do. And some people don't want to wear fucking uncomfortable clothes when they're hauling office panels and overhead bins around a warehouse all day!

In the middle of the chaos, Doctor Tarr is going about possessed by Spectre Lite when the Spectre explodes out of a crack in the ground. Corrigan and Drake clamber out as well. But not all is right with Corrigan.


The Spectre joins forces with Angry Mister Toad so I guess Gotham is fucked. Goodnight, Gotham! Goodnight!

But wait! Gotham has a new savior and her name is...well, I forget the name of the nun. But I think the Nun is the new female Spectre who really is an agent of God and working through Doctor Tarr! Now she's come to tell patriarchal Spectre to fuck off back into Corrigan's head. I guess I'll find out later when I read the final issue of Gotham By Midnight.

Gotham By Midnight #11 Rating: +1 Ranking. I'll repeat myself because we've got a doomed to repeat history motif going on here: Ray Fawkes is writing a story that makes fucking sense which is always about fifty percent of the work in writing a good comic book. I'm sure he had to change some stuff up since the book was cancelled during a story arc but a good writer will find a way to wrap that shit up logically and based on the world already presented so far. A bad writer will just point out that Voodoo wasn't really Voodoo because she was a clone of herself or whatever the fuck that mess was. I think the Blackhawks ended all fucked up too after being cancelled. I just want to reiterate that I like stories that make sense more than I like stories by Scott Lobdell who is obviously just writing down whatever the fuck comes into his head even if it contradicts something he wrote just three Narration Boxes earlier. What I'm asking is that writers just put some fucking effort into their work, you know? Is that too much to ask for in my comic books?!

Twat Lobo #13

Twenty years ago, I'd have rooted against Hal Jordan. Not today!

Well Twat Lobo! You had a good run. I mean, it wasn't exactly "good" at all, really. It was practically the definition of horrible. But keep your chin up! If you ignore all of the critics who were completely right in saying this was a bad comic book, and disregard the constantly plummeting monthly sales, you were actually fairly successful! Some people who wanted to fuck you decided to ignore the shitty writing and awful dialogue and tone deaf rape scenes so that they could laud the series. And fans of whatever Cullen Bunn has written that has apparently been good--I wouldn't know what that was since none of it has been at DC--have also managed to convince themselves that this series was a truly novel horror title. And I think it was loyal Lobo fans who don't have it within themselves to criticize any version of the Main Man who thought maybe this was a parody of James Bond? Plus if I had to choose the best book of all time and it was between Cullen Bunn's Twat Lobo and Ann Nocenti's Katana, you'd win hands down, Twat Lobo! So anyway, what I'm trying to say is you had a successful run if you squint a bit and lie to yourself and manipulate all of the data and ignore reality. Congratulations!

Twat Lobo has recently let himself go. He's looking more and more like Real Deal Lobo which could mean that Cullen Bunn stole my idea about making Twat Lobo the younger version of Real Deal Lobo and introducing a time travel element into the story which leads to Twat Lobo killing his older self. That totally works for me and makes the series just a tiny bit better overall. He also took a huge overdose of drugs last issue which could explain why his older self has no memory of the details of his earlier life. The drugs have also sent Twat Lobo on a murderous rage across the universe killing other bounty hunters. But not because they're bounty hunters! It's because he's hallucinating Czarnian faces on all of them.

The issue begins with Twat Lobo hallucinating one of those faces on Hal Jordan. That's a good idea because it means Green Lantern fans will pick up this issue and Twat Lobo might end on a less depressing financial note.

Compare this page to the cover. Since the cover was commissioned, DC has obviously backpedaled on the Twatiness of Lobo.

Hal Jordan points out that this isn't his fight. I'd like to argue the point, Hal. It's all very well to describe being mugged or attacked at random as "not your fight" but it kind of is. You may not have chosen the fight. You may not be the type of asshole that goes around getting into fights (that's a hypothetical person in that statement since Hal Jordan actually is that type of asshole). But once a fight is brought to you, it's your fight whether you want it or not. Because the only other option at that point is to take the beating that, with your logic, wasn't your beating. I'd rather engage in the fight that wasn't my fight than simply take the beating that wasn't my beating.

Twat Lobo hallucinates his old partners from Earth who died. The drugs Twat Lobo took really shouldn't be causing him to hallucinate people trying to help him get the drugs out of his system. What kind of self-destructive drugs are those?! They should be making him hallucinate hot young sex monkeys chirping at him to take more drugs and do weird things with bananas. I wonder where I can get some drugs like those? And some bananas?

Hal Jordan flies Twat Lobo into space and then hurls him back to the planet so he burns up from whatever causes a thing to burn up during atmospheric reentry. Air pressure or something. I don't want to get too technical with my readers so we'll leave it at that instead of having me explain it in detail which I totally could if I wanted to.

See? It's a horror comic book full of sexy ghosts! I mean scary ghosts!

Hal Jordan flies down to talk to Twat Lobo after "checking around" to discover that Twat Lobo was on drugs. Where the fuck did he "check around"?! I was really getting into the story up until that part! Now I've been pulled out of the narrative by some ridiculous bullshit thrown in simply to have Hal Jordan put together pieces of the story he wasn't privy to! And don't say his glove told him because his glove isn't tied into the same World Wide Green Lantern Web that the rings are tied into! Hal pointed that out himself in Green Lantern #47!

Some purple guy from The Citadel picked up Twat Lobo to explain what's been going on. The drugs were made from dead planets because obviously. Duh. Best drugs you can get! The only problem is that Twat Lobo snorted some Czarnia! Oh noes! That totally explains everything somehow! Especially if you want to fuck Twat Lobo! Poor guy! I totally get it! I mean, um, whut's going on?!

Twat Lobo decides he doesn't need The Citadel's help and that he loves the idea of his planet being inside him because it's a cool idea if you're drunk and have a serious concussion, I guess.

Also he's back to being Twat Lobo thanks to the atmospheric reentry makeover.

I cut off the threat on that last page that told people to watch for Twat Lobo in Batman Loves Superman #29. That was the most horrific part of this horror story. Or was it a parody of James Bond? I forget what I'm supposed to think.

Twat Lobo #13 Rating: No change. What a cool ending...I can hear idiots saying. With the drug in Twat Lobo's system and the variance in his looks, my guess is that the first issue battle between Twat Lobo and Real Deal Lobo was an Edward Norton/Tyler Durden Fight Club deal. So there's not difference between Twat Lobo and Real Deal Lobo at all. They're just unaware of each other inhabiting the same body. I don't know if that makes anything better but at least I can imagine Twat Lobo will one day be completely suppressed and I never have to read another comic book about him ever again. Although, I suppose, my mind could easily be swayed if a good writer took on the task of writing Twat Lobo! Until then, good riddance, Twat Lobo!

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Robin, Son of Batman #7

Damian is my hero.

Damian Wayne is my hero because he doesn't suffer bullshit gladly. I understand people of less than or average intelligence are desperate to claim niceness as a quality far more important than intelligence but it drives me nuts. Do we have to lie about so much for the purposes of being nice that we become saddled with dozens of crappy traditions that nobody really wants to take part in?! I just mentioned on Facebook that my favorite Christams tradition is shredding the photos of my friends and family's children two seconds after I've glanced at them. Yes, this statement is hyperbolic. Usually I just throw them in the "to be shredded" basket. But why is that a bad thing? Shouldn't I acknowledge the truth of what I do with pictures I don't really give a shit about? Is there an appropriate amount of time I'm supposed to pretend to cherish them before I destroy them forever?! Or are my friends and family seriously asking me to hang on to these pictures until I die?! They must know that nobody fucking wants this shit cluttering up their lives, right?! I can understand this tradition when things like fucking social media, email, and texting didn't fucking exist. But now I see pictures of your stupid fucking kids every day! Why do I need a hard copy of them?!

Other than that (and the smugness of people giving me gifts I told them I didn't fucking want), my Christmas was pretty good! I got my Kill/Death Ratio in Call of Duty up to 2.12 so that it equaled my Score Per Minute of 2.12! It's almost orgasmic seeing those numbers lined up so nicely! Also I ate a lot, read DC Comics Presents: Titans Hunt #1, and played Apples to Apples Junior with the Non-Certified Spouse, her sister, our niece (her sister's daughter! Just in case some of you internet trolls don't know the definition of "niece"), and the girlfriend of some step-something or other. I wish all these holiday interruptions were over already but now I have to have dinner at my dad's on Sunday! Christ, he's still alive?!

Um, anyway, this issue begins on the roof of the Gotham Police Department where some Talons have ambushed the Robins. It's a good thing three real Robins are in the crowd of Robins or else they'd all be dead in the amount of time it takes for me to shred a Christmas card.

Here's where the whole "no killing" rule really falls apart.

Batman and the Batfamily do not kill. It's practically the first rule, as Dick pointed out over in Batman and Robin Eternal. But apparently the rule has a whole list of clarifications and exceptions. Aliens are generally okay to kill if they're monstrous and don't speak Interlac. They might be sentient and have their own grunty language but to Batman they're fair game. Apparently it's also okay to kill the Talons because they've been reanimated. Does that mean it's okay to kill Damian or Jason Todd? What about Superman and Batman? Superman "died" once, right? And Batman is currently only alive because he's a partial Toymaster video game construct! I think. Holy shit that story was awful! No, don't get distracted by remembering Greg Pak's failures! Must list more reanimated heroes that it's okay for Batman to kill! Here's one: Swamp Thing! A monster and reanimated!

Some people might want to argue the semantics of "resurrected" and "reanimated" but have you read The Court of Owls story arc and it's tie-ins? The Talons are as sentient as any of the heroes I've mentioned who have been resurrected. Calling them "zombies" or "reanimated corpses" is just ignoring a lengthy philosophical debate on what makes something sentient. And I'm not even touching the rabbit hole we'd fall down if we brought stupid fucking animals into the equation!

The debate is actually moot since the Talons regenerate at room temperature. Luckily, more of those flammable barrels that were in the prison are also on the roof. As was sort of seen in the ambiguous art of the last chapter of Robin's War, the barrels contain some kind of freezing chemicals used to power the air conditioners! I think. Some of my jumps I take to conclusions are Olympic level. But if they are freezing chemicals, we know what they're going to be used for, right?! No, not huffing, cheeky monkey.

Oh. These ones actually explode as opposed to the ones stored inside which...well, they did something different.

Elsewhere in Gotham, Councilwoman Noctua continues to prepare Gotham for a Court of Owls takeover. And beneath the city in the layer of Gotham above Nocenti's Stupid Gotham Underground but beneath Killer Croc's sewers and the Gotham subway system, Dick Grayson has entered the Court of Owls' labyrinth. He's gone to find answers but he's really just going to find a trap because he's the one the Court really want. Tonight is the night Dick Grayson once again becomes Nightwing! At least that's what they're hoping for. I doubt that will happen because Dick is already in a really successful comic book that isn't called Nightwing at all.

But this is a Robin, Son of Batman comic book so Dick fucking Grayson can hold his giblets. Back at Gotham PD, Damian blows a hole in the roof and the Talons drop to their temporary deaths. All of the Robins (being smarter and more agile than the Talons, I guess?) manage to grab on to the hanging jail cells and not plunge to their permanent deaths. Riko mentions how she saw a Talon at Gotham Academy (probably in the Gotham Academy Tie-In I haven't read yet) so the Robins figure it's as good a lead as any. During the ruckus, Damian has disappeared because that fucking idiot must have forgotten about this being a Robin, Son of Batman comic book. I guess Jason Todd and Tim Drake need to fulfill their roles in this comic since their monthly comic books are ass.

Tim, Luke, and Jason send most of the Robins home because no reader is going to remember dozens of different names. Plus it's a pain in the ass to draw so many people. So now it's just a handful of Robins going after the Owls living at Gotham Academy: Tim, Jason, Luke, Riko, Dax, Dre, and Izzy. I think.

I append "I think" to a lot of my sentences because fuck if I can remember anything, especially names.

They stumble upon the Talon's hatchery when help arrives.

Elite Talons!? What the fuck are those comprised of?!

The Robins and Batman somehow defeat a room full of Talons without the Elite Talons waking up. Batman calls in the cops and sends the kids off to the next chapter.

Meanwhile Dick Grayson meets the new leader of the Court of Owls...Lincoln March! Oh shit. So he is going to be behind all the shenanigans in Batman and Robin Eternal, isn't he?!

Lincoln March declines to invite Dick to be the Court of Owls new superstar because Damian already accepted the position. That must make Lincoln March the dumbest supervillain to ever take an oath of supervillainry! Damian Wayne is playing you, you fool! You shouldn't be throwing Dick Grayson away because you think Damian is honestly on your side! You should use Damian's attempt at sabotaging your organization through treachery to help convince Dick Grayson that he has to be the new Gray Son or the Elite Talons will tear Damian apart! Maybe Lincoln March's stupidity is proof that the reanimated Talons aren't as sentient as I thought and it is okay to kill them. At the very least, Stephanie Brown is technically not a murderer.

Robin, Son of Batman #7 Rating: No change. I'm actually quite enjoying this Robin War no matter my tone while writing about it. I'm not really sure of my tone since I've already forgotten everything I typed on this page and am ready to move on to working on my Cribbage Role Playing game that I'll be sending to all of my Patrons as an end of the year bonus. So you should learn how to play cribbage or you won't be able to enjoy it. Although I'm having Pickle Boy write an addendum to the rules which are just the rules for cribbage. Mostly I've asked him to take care of that part so when the game is inevitably delayed past the end of the year, I can blame it on him not having gotten his part finished.