Saturday, January 31, 2015

Secret Origins #9

Swamp Thing
The Swamp Thing was created when a drunk frat guy pissed on and then vomited into the Greek House's mascot, a four foot tall Chia Pet lovingly referred to as Hervé Villechaize. The Chia Pet was posted outside the room the frat brothers had dubbed "Fantasy Island." Most of the fantasies that took place in the room were unsatisfying, hazy, and most likely criminal. The morning after the Chia Pet had come to life, neighbors complained of an unbearable stench coming from the house. When none of the members of the frat could be reached, a Hazmat team kicked down the front door to investigate. What they found were the half-decayed bodies of every member of the frat, their bodies propped up against walls and furniture with one arm raised to the sky, the index finger extending from the otherwise closed fist. Across the back wall, smeared in blood and faces, was the phrase, "The Plane."

I'm pretty sure that's how Swamp Thing was first introduced in House of Mystery #171 House of Secrets #92!

The account of how Alec Holland became the Swamp Thing is being written by Gaurev the Sureen based on interviews he conducted with Brother Jonah, The Wolf, and Lady Weeds. So I don't think his account is going to be any more trustworthy than my account!

The beginning of the story won't surprise anybody. Alec Holland was the shining star and number one draft pick for the job of Avatar of the Green which meant The Rot needed to kill him before he posed a threat to their power. This ended in the iconic image of Alec Holland stumbling out of his house, on fire, and face planting into the swamp.

Is that iconic? Maybe I just mean familiar!

After he died, some other Swamp Thing only pretending to be Alec Holland bumbled around during the years before Flashpoint. But then Alec Holland was brought back to life by a White Ring and the Swamp Thing realized he was nothing but a husk pretending to be an avatar and it went off to live on Mars. The Parliament of Trees pursued Alec until he was finally forced to take on the role and become the greatest Swamp Thing that ever existed (if you discount Alan Moore's Swamp Thing who might not actually have been as talented (the Thing! Not the Moore!) but fuck did it leave an impact on the comic book world).

Gaurav ends his biography with some overly emotional pap and that's that. The Swamp Thing's secret origin! That wasn't much of a secret at all, really.

Swamp Thing Secret Origin Rating: No change. This was less of a synopsis and more of a finally! Wait, I think I got that wrong. It was simply exactly what you would have expected. Look in the swamp! It's a plant! It's a compost heap! It's a monster! No, wait! It's a human! Applause.

Power Girl
I'm just guessing that this is Power Girl's origin since it's written by Paul Levitz and it begins with Superman finding a crashed ship with a flying blonde toddler in it! She doesn't have her boob window yet but then she doesn't have boobs either, so I guess it would be useless. This is normally where I try to remember everything I know about the character's secret origin but fuck if I know anything about Power Girl's Preboot origin! I never really did follow the Earth-2 kids. Or were they Earth-1 back then? It's all so confusing!

Clark brings the little girl back to his parents' farmhouse to say, "What the fuck do we do with this?!"

And then she kicked a hole straight through Ma Kent's belly.

Kara eventually gets old enough to move to the big city to live with Clark and Lois. Superman heads to the farm to pick her up, they say their goodbyes to the Kents, and then they fly away, Kara still in her civvies. Haven't any of these people ever heard of binoculars?! They really don't give a shit about secret identities, do they? I suppose Superman's whole "glasses are a good enough disguise" attitude says exactly how much he cares about secret identities. Put a little effort into it, why dontcha?

Oh, also, they don't go to the big city. They go to the deserted island because Clark is a controlling asshat.

"Honey, try to see it from my point of view. I don't need a daughter or a sister. But just remember: I love you, weapon."

Eventually Lois was killed and then Catwoman was killed and then Supergirl found her best friend, Robin. Then the world nearly blew up and Superman and Batman died saving it and Supergirl and Robin found themselves trapped in a raging river in their inflatable raft only to head over a cliff and through a portal into another land.

There they met a furry little guy named Chaka and a whole series of pylons which hid altars filled with gemstones. One of the most powerful was in a cave filled with Sleestak, terrifying lizard-like men with huge claws and big black eyes. Eventually, after lots and lots of experiments and some close calls getting home, they did figure out how to open a portal and head back to Earth-2 to see their world burn.

But before Power Girl left, she gave some of her powers and all of her money to Tanya Spears.

Power Girl Secret Origin Rating: No change. Come on, Secret Origins! Tell me some stuff that hasn't been mostly explained in the issues since The New 52 began! The new stuff about Kara being just a kid at the farm was cute but it just wasn't enough to change the ranking. Now if only they had finally included that Helena/Karen shower scene we've all been clamoring for!

John Stewart, Green Lantern
I don't remember if I ever read the Preboot story about how John Stewart was picked to be a Green Lantern. And I'm not even sure if it's been covered since The New 52 began. So maybe I'm finally going to learn some super exciting stuff that I've never known before! Finding things that I don't already know is super difficult because I know just about everything. It can get pretty boring going through life with an IQ of 28. You never miss nothin'! Or something.

Oh boy! It's another "Earth is super fucking special" story!

I'd better be nice while commenting on this story because it's probably been written by my very best almost Facebook friend in all of the world, Van Jensen. What kind of a name is Van? That sounds like a girl's name!

Oh boy! It's another "Stewart kills his friends when he must kill his friends" story!

The Guardians watching him like that he's able to yell at authority figures and design buildings. He's a lot like one of their favorite earthlings ever, Mike Brady.

John gets a job working for Ferris Air. What a coincidence! That's where lots and lots of Lantern activity takes place! What is Guy Gardner's connection to Ferris Air? Did he pass out in every pilot's bar in the area?

The Guardians crash a Manhunter into one of the runways and it begins strutting around saying, "Where is Green Lantern? Where is the one you call the Lantern Green? Where is the being that is Green and carries a Lantern? Kill all men!"

Oh yeah! I totally forgot they say that all of the time!

The Lantern Ring flies down and says, "John Stewart of Earth. You have the ability to kill your best friends. Welcome to the Green Lantern Corps!" And John Stewart is all, "Now we're talking, baby!" John learns that anything he imagines, the ring creates. Luckily the first thing he imagines is a machine gun. If I had been chosen, Carol Ferris's clothes would have instantly flown off in all directions. And I would have been all "Whoops!" because I didn't know it would do that! And Carol would be all, "You knew it would do that!" And I would be all, "What? No way!" And she would have been, "We'll talk about this later in the motel room where you can take my clothes off in private!" And I would be all, "Carol is my centerfold!" And she'd be all, "Piss on the wall!" And I'd be all, "Do you remember when?" And she'd be all, "Angel in Green!" And I'd be all, "Manhunter's stink! Yeah yeah!"

John defeats the Manhunter because "no man" escapes the Manhunters and John isn't a man at all. He's an architect! Then the ring flies him to Oa to be called a Poozer.

See? I should man a psychic hotline. But people can only ask questions that any comic book lover can answer. I'd be awesome!

John Stewart Secret Origin Rating: No change. John didn't even kill any of his best friends! What a let down!

World's End #17

*screams into microphone* "Seventeen issues of disappointment!" *huge guitar riff* "And counting!" *sound like drumsticks falling on drums because the drummer had an aneurysm*

Look at that fucking manspread on Desaad! He's one bad alpha asshole! Oh, and check out the gap in Barda's thighs! She is one hot bitch! Or is Barda knock-kneed with a bit of the old scoliosis? And maybe Desaad has had so many pelvic breaks that he can't close his legs when he sits? Now I feel like an asshole! Maybe I should change the subject.

Well, maybe I'll sort of change the subject. So I checked out the manspreading tag on Tumblr and it is just filled with unintentional comedy. So many angries from both sides! About what is essentially a non-issue that can be dealt with on a case by case basis. Somebody taking up too much space on public transport for whatever reason? Ask them to make room! If they don't, they're fucking assholes! But then I decided to also check out the thigh gap tag on Tumblr and was met with this:

Holy shit! I don't know if I'm in the mood to make snarky comments anymore!

That tag wasn't full of unintentional comedy at all. It was full of unintentional tragedy, I think. Now this is an issue! Most of you probably don't realize that society teaches women to have an unrealistic image of themselves. Yeah! It's true! Somebody should set about to fixing that or something because the thinspiration tag almost made me cry. And that means it affected me and when an issue affects a white cishet man manspreading all over his office chair, that's when it becomes a real issue! Although I suppose I could always heed Tumblr's warnings from now on and then the issue wouldn't affect me and it would have the same effect as if the problem had been solved! Right?

Actually, I don't tend to "manspread" in my office chair. I generally sit cross-legged or I squat on it. Or I'll kick my feet up on my comic book boxes (ankles crossed) and lean back. That's how I sit on buses. Most people don't know what to say when I tuck my feet into their lap to get comfortable, so they just kind of look the other way and ignore it.

Manspread just sounds like the most awful thing you can put on a sandwich. After mayonnaise.

Part of me just thinks I should delete everything I previously wrote because it comes across as facetious and insincere. Which is how it's meant to sound! Why can't I ever take anything seriously? Especially that thing about women and body image? But then I know I can't delete any of it because how else am I going to fill up this commentary? It certainly won't be by commenting on World's End #17 which I'm so totally avoiding reading by writing about all this other stuff.

I really, really dislike this comic book.

This issue begins with Replacement Batman shooting up Helena with Venom to shock her body back to life.

Fucking Power Girl. It's always about herself, isn't it? Screaming her own name when her friend is on the brink of death.

As Helena enjoys the Venom ride, Death delivers her Deathspawn of Apokolips. It's born fully formed with the ability to speak English which really helps to justify screaming, "Bring it down!" I mean, if it were just a mewling infant, Queen Lantern would look like a huge prick blasting it with his Green Lantern ring.

Azathoth continues to be alive after seemingly having died when The Blue broke down in baby tears and gave up on the fight to save the world. And Yolanda the Red Avatar continues to be missing in action after having arrived to not even save the day like she was supposed to. Have I been reading this series out of order?

The Deathspawn of Apokolips flees from the battle and heads into the Earth to devour the Parliament of Colors. Maybe Yolanda foresaw this move and she'll be ready to protect the tree with breasts and her friends.

Big Barda gathers up an army of Protofuries to go destroy the last of the humans.

Is anybody else tired of seeing Barda act like an evil jerko? Why the fuck did this even happen? Was it to surprise the audience with some kind of big twist? Because from the Earth-2 versions of Fury and Barda (as limited as Barda's role was in the series), the story would have made more sense to just leave Fury as the bad guy siding with Apokolips and to let Barda play the role of Earth sympathizer with Mister Miracle. Who decided it would make for a better story to have Barda be the betrayer?

Tornado Lane, Val-el, Power Girl, Hawkcop, and The Streak Starring Jay Gimmick meet Big Barda at the entrance to Atom's Haven to engage in a mighty kerfuffle. It's probably super exciting if you're the half dozen people still interested in this comic book series.

I think somebody forgot, many issues ago, that Val-el is a pacifist.

Maybe punching Protofuries doesn't go against Val-el's pacifism. I mean, I'm a pacifist and I still punch dogs.

And then Kalibak crashes through a wall for some reason. Whatever.

World's End #17 Rating: -2 Ranking. I waste so much time while reading this comic book because I just know the story will hardly advance at all and I'll be left making the most boring comments on the most boringester comic book characters. Can Earth-2 just explode already? Please?

Batman Eternal #43

Fighting crime is only Batman's second reason for patrolling at night. Voyeurism is the first.

Hush was a boring ass boring villain who was boring but he made sense as the main antagonist in this story because he knew Batman's secret identity. A lot of the shit going down is targeting Batman in such a way that the main antagonist must know a lot of Batman's secrets. Therefore the bad guy must be Owlman from the Crime Syndicate. Or Superwoman's baby. Oh man, how great would that reveal be!

This issue begins with Batman and Bluebird on patrol together. Did she pick that name simply so Batman has to think of happiness every time he calls her by name? Did she choose the name to make fun of Batman's depression? "I'm happy go lucky and cute and you're a big sourpuss grumpface!"

Bluebird's second assignment is to keep Stephanie Brown safe. Her first assignment, judging by the eyeball comment, was to read Batman's Big Book of Things You Can Do To Villains That Aren't Technically Killing Them.

Since last issue ended with Catwoman capturing Stephanie and this issue begins with Stephanie in Batman's clutches (in a good way. Not that good of a way, sicko!), Batman #28 must have happened between Batman Eternal #42 and Batman Eternal #43. It mostly makes sense if you go back and read it now. Plus Batman leaves a clue in his dialogue when he says there are 43 people on the floor of Selina's casino! See? He's telling you when to read Batman #28! Unless it was Bluebird who counted the people. I just reread it and I can't remember!

Spoiler has been left with Cullen in "one of the safest buildings in Gotham." Is it the 900 block that was full of Man-Bats some time back? Is it safe because it was built upon an ancient Micmac burial ground? Perhaps it's the most rundown part of Gotham and owned by Bruce Wayne who is keeping it rundown so that none of the crime families want anything to do with it but Batman still cleans out all of the street crime to keep it one of the safest and cheapest places to live in the city?!

Inside the safe house, Cullen and Stephanie pause in the middle of playing Double Dragon to discuss the different flavors of tea like black or the other ones.

Stephanie and Harper don't exactly get along because Harper wanted to be a sidekick so she buys into everything Batman is about but Stephanie was forced into being a costumed person just to stay alive and has also probably seen all of the injuries Batman has given her father over the years so she's a little bit anti-bat. Plus she just spent some time with Selina Kyle who probably dumped all of her Batman problems on her. Now I wish I was tied up in Catwoman's lair listening to her tell me all of her big fuckfight stories with the Batman!

The story is providing some flashback material to fill in the details surrounding the rescue of Spoiler in Batman #28.

Red Robin tells Harper the plan to find Catwoman's casino and to infiltrate it. All the right plot points are touched upon to explain why things happened the way they happened in Batman #28. Harper has to be the one to enter the casino since Catwoman has a scanner that will identify all known associates of Batman. So that explains why Batman went on this mission with Harper whom he chastises in the middle of the battle for having been training with his sidekicks. At least this version of the story gives us some scenes between Catwoman and Spoiler this time. I guess those...hee hee hee...scenes couldn't be shown before because they...giggle giggle...would have been...snicker snicker snicker...spoilers.

God I hate myself.

Selina is correct. As I've pointed out over and over and over and over again, everybody in DC Comics is motivated by Daddy Issues.

And then Batman #28 happens. I highly recommend pulling it out and giving it a jerk reread. It's not like it's needed since this story hits all the beats that need to be hit but I think it makes Batman and Harper's team-up more enjoyable. This whole scene is just lots of fun. I can't wait to see Harper and Damian working together!

Harper's take on the Spoiler rescue.

As we saw at the beginning of the issue, Spoiler goes with Batman. She doesn't plan on telling Batman all of her secrets for some reason but I'm sure she'll cave in time. Probably when she and Harper stop baring their fangs at each other and begin licking each other instead. That was a cat metaphor and not a sex thing, perverts!

Oh, and the licking happens fast once the cats are comfy on the couch.

Earth-3 Owlman! And his sidekick, Superwoman's baby!

Harper Row makes a good sidekick. I hope she continues to work with Batman and Robin as Bluebird. And I hope that she remains "in training" for a long time instead of just suddenly making her just as good at fighting and acrobatics as all of the other sidekicks. Every mission Batman goes on doesn't have to be the most dangerous mission ever. There are a lot of low level Gotham villains that would be perfect for Harper's skill level. Like all of the ones I can't think of right now other than The Mad Hatter who she already beat up. Except he's a fairly dangerous psychotic that may have already killed more residents of Gotham than even The Joker at this point! Harper was lucky she didn't get killed on her very first night wearing her Bluebird suit.

Batman Eternal #43 Rating: +1 Ranking. This issue made a nice companion piece to Batman #28, filling in just the right amount of gaps, repeating scenes with just enough of a different perspective or dialogue to keep it fun and interesting, and it revealed all of the things that couldn't be revealed a year ago. And I, for one, thoroughly enjoyed the manga/anime inspired art and the artist's tips of the hat to the genre. Everybody was just so cute it was disgusting.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Futures End #39

*GASP* The real monster...the real monster is Dr. Frankenstein! Revelation!

Are you one of those people whose underwear twists up when they hear somebody refer to Doctor Frankenstein's Monster as "Frankenstein"? You are? Well stop being a jerk. Unless you're reading an academic paper about the book, just calm down. You do know the difference between "informal" and "formal," right? Well informally, like when you're just hanging out with your friends at the roller rink drinking Slushees and flirting with some cuties, it really is okay to refer to Frankenstein's Monster as just Frankenstein. We all know what you mean. You're a worthwhile and valuable person and not as ignorant as the self-righteous asshole who corrected you wants to make you appear to be! I'm giving you permission to just call the monster Frankenstein!

You do realize that an open flame aboard a pressurized and oxygenated space ship is really fucking dangerous, right? At least I think it is. Is it?!

Firestorm and Superman have a discussion about whether bringing Polaris aboard the satellite is a good idea or the most horrible idea. If Madison realized she were debating a kid named Billy Batson, whose development was probably arrested at about twelve when he first got the Shazam gig, she might not worry so much about trying to convince him. But she thinks it's Captain Marvel under the helmet and everybody thinks Captain Marvel is a grown ass man. Eventually she manages to convince him to let Polaris fiddle with the Justice League's transporter. I doubt it's going to help anybody though. They probably still need Ronnie Raymond's corpse to reenact the accident.

Dungeon Master Justin joins the Lang family as Fifty Sue's Big Brother. This is met with worry and consternation.

That's asking an awful lot of a modern American family, Fifty Sue.

Meanwhile in Smallville, Constantine calls Clark Kent "butt-hurt" over something Batman did to him during the war. Bat-Strap-On?

While Clark and John talk around what Superman actually did that has him so upset that he quit the superhero business altogether, John's friend Midge, the Brainiac Lover, calls forth hundreds of mini-Brainiacs from the cornfield to murder Clark. Clark burns them all up with his heat vision and sets fire to the cornfields. Again! That's probably the fiftieth time in his life, at least, that he's done that. In the chaos, Midge is impaled by a corn stalk. At least she didn't get her hand caught in an augur or chop off the end of her finger walking the beans.

So Brainiac is really just interested in the Marvel Universe?

Superman rushes off to save Spider-man (but first he'll have to fight him for ten pages or so) while Constantine lights up a cigarette and watches another friend die.

Meanwhile in Transylvania, Amethyst chops the head off of Doctor Victor Frankenstein and kills all of his children. That leaves her and Frank alone in a quiet castle where Frank can write his memoirs in peace before he dies. Although we all know he isn't going to die yet because he still needs to have Black Canary's face transplanted into his torso.

And finally, the Justice League Satellite alerts Billy and Madison to an unknown object nearing Earth. It looks like Brainiac is finally here! Let's wrap this shit up soon! Convocation begins in a few months!

Futures End #39 Rating: No change. Death Count: 2+! Midge and Doctor Frankenstein bit the dust this issue plus all of Doctor Frankenstein's monsters which don't really count but I thought they at least deserved recognition which is why I added the plus to the Death Count. Although I highly doubt Victor Frankenstein is going to stay dead. Also, Midge will probably reanimate as well! So I don't think anything important really happened this issue.

The Multiversity Guidebook #1

Yay! I'll finally learn the number for Earth-Main-Earth!

This is going to be the best comic book ever! I bet it reminds me of the days when I was a kid and I'd pick up an almanac and flip to a random page to learn a little something new! For you younger kids, the almanac was basically an analog version of the internet with less porn.

Remember how in Thunderworld, all the Doctor Sivanas across all the universes realized that they all existed and decided to work together? Well, all of them except that one goody two-shoes one that fucked up by bringing the psychotic ones together anyway. Well, the best Doctor Sivana of them all, the one that killed all of the super heroes in his universe and was left nursing a raging hard-on to kill more, seems to have found a map and the guidebook to the other universes where he can satisfy his abhorrent lusts!

Doctor Hannibal Lecter Sivana is sick! Who finds joy in killing chibi heroes?!

This happens to be Earth-42 which I think I already would have known if I'd remembered the numbers to all the Earths that made cameos in Grant Morrison's run of Action Comics. Chibi Batman is saved by Mecha-Armor Batman who steps through a warp from his world. Chibi Batman reveals that he's actually Dick Grayson in order to calm down Mecha-Armor Batman who's totally freaked out by this cute little guy. It turns out Mecha-Armor Batman's version of Dick Grayson is dead and this meeting is going to cause his suit to fill up with Bat-tears.

Chibi Sivana and Hannibal Sivana enter one of those transmatter cubes that we first saw back in, again, Grant Morrison's run of Action Comics. They travel to their own version of the Orrery of Worlds, The Scientific Rock of Eternity. Other Doctor Sivanas have gathered in this ship within the Bleed to plan their takeover of the Multiverse. There is African-Multiversity Sivana and Count Sivana and Mistress Sivana and Hissivana and Robo-Sivana and monitors full of all the other Sivanas who couldn't bother to actually make the trip. Chibi Sivana doesn't last long and is eaten by Hissivana just before the Marvel Family flies in to attack, having found the Scientific Rock of Eternity due to Earth-5's Doctor Sivana and his great big failure of a plan, Sivanaday.

Georgia Sivana was more prettier! At least in the butt and bosom area! Mostly because she was showing so much of each of them!

Chibi Batman picks up Doctor Sivana's abandoned guidebook and realizes it's some kind of map of alternate worlds. He begins reading a story in it about Kamandi on Earth-51. Thanks, Chibi Batman! Now I have to read that story too! I suppose I can skip around if I wanted but that's like breaking the rules. And nobody wants to be a dirty rules breaker!

While Chibi Batman reads about Kamandi and his friends discovering an empty tomb of Darkseid, The New Gods watch Kamandi as well and discuss their take on what's going on. Highfather says that Darkseid is "rebuilding his godhead from shattered fragments" across the multiversity. So is Darkseid really involved or is this a case of Highfather just blaming what he knows?

Anyway, one of Kamandi's friends turns out to be an OMAC connected to Earth-51's Brother Eye. He tears through the rubble and they enter Darkseid's empty tomb to discover an ancient story etched on the walls.

Fucking Flash! Every fucking time!

The story continues following The Flash because as I've mentioned time and time again, all multiverse crises begin with that motherfucker. He's a blight to existence! So the multiverse began way back with A Tale of Two Flashes. This also began the idea which has been the basis for this series that every parallel reality becomes fictional material for every other reality. So Barry Allen took his name from the alter ego of comic book character Jay Garrick. And then he met him and realized everybody was a comic book character, somewhere in the multiverse.

But then the Crisis on Infinite Earths fixed everything in such a way that nothing was really fixed. Infinity Inc. couldn't figure out who their parents were. Donna Troy was all, "What the fuck?" Supergirl was all, "Come on! Why me?!" And the Charlton characters were all, "Whee! We exist! Love us!" Then Superboy punched stuff and Skeets birthed Mr. Mind and The Flash went back in time to save his mother and everything kept getting fucked and fucked and fucked again until the DC Universe lay sore and chafed, cum dribbling out of every orifice.

Well for me, it's the left hand.

Back on Earth-42, Chibi Batman turns to the page which is a map of the Multiverse. You've probably all seen it by now. It's over there on the internet if you haven't and you're curious. I'm just going to move on. But first one thought: I hope Grant Morrison does an issue about Limbo!

Chibi Batman and Mecha-Armor Batman get the Transmatter Cube back up and running. Now they just need to figure out how to travel to specific worlds by whistling the right note. So Chibi Batman does research by reading up on all of the cataloged Earths in the Multiversity Guidebook.

Earth-0: New Earth. Earth-Main-Earth. This is the Earth where super heroes don't wear underwear on the outside of their costumes and where most of The New 52 comic books take place.

Earth-1: The Prestige Format Earth. This is the Earth I've been ignoring, mostly because my comic book store didn't reserve a copy of Batman Earth-1 for me when it came out. And nothing describes me better than "giving up immediately when things don't work out." I should probably pick up all the Earth-1 books at some point.

Earth-2: Kiss my ass Earth. Soon to be wiped out Earth. This is the Earth that brought us the most boring weekly series ever imagined, World's End. I can't wait until it blows the fuck up!

Earth-3: The Earth of the Crime Syndicate where everything is backwards. But not backwards in the way that Bizarro World is backwards! In this world, bad is good and good is bad. Although bad is still bad somehow. And East is West and West is East but North isn't South and South isn't North, for some reason.

Earth-4: The Charlton Universe. Home of Watchmen-lite, the characters that inspired the Watchmen and, in time, were inspired by the Watchmen. It's kind of confusing. Blue Beetle lives here so it's probably a kind of dumb universe.

Earth-5: The home of Georgia Sivana, super sexy Science Marvel. Some other little known heroes exist here as well or something. It's a place called Thunderworld and is home to the most boring version of Doctor Sivana.

Earth-6: Some Earth where Batman is a bat and Aquaman is a Despero-looking monster. Maybe. That might actually be Despero! Green Lantern gets his powers from Yggdrasil so he probably lives in a house with a five and a half minute hallway. Main villain: Reverend Darrk! With two "r"s!

Earth-7: A parody of Earth-8 which is a parody of the Marvel Universe. This world was destroyed by the Gentry and only Thunderer, an aboriginal version of Thor, survived.

Earth-8! 'nuff said!

Earth-9: This is the best Earth so far because The Joker is "an anarchist prankster on the side of freedom." Wait, how is that different from Earth-0?

Earth-10: The universe where Uncle Sam and his Freedom Fighters fight against the villainy of the Third Reich. DC seemed to want to add these guys to The New 52, I guess, as they released The Ray miniseries (which I own but never read) and the Freedom Fighter miniseries which I never bought and never read! So thanks for exposing more areas where I'm completely ignorant, jerko guidebook.

Earth-11: This is gender bent Earth where all the heroes who once had "woman" or "girl" in their name now have "man" or "boy" in their name, and all the heroes who had "man" or "boy" in their name now have "woman" or "girl" in their name! This Earth is much better than Earth-0 because it has a lot more opportunities for Boob-Butt Showcases!

Earth-12: The clock on Earth-12 is sped up a bit so while most other Earths run about parallel with Earth-33's timeline, this Earth takes place in the future. Or something. Anyway, it's the home of Terry McBatman and his future friends.

Earth-13. Okay, this is the best Earth so far! And probably won't be beat because Superdemon!

Earth-14: Unknown. Set aside for strange Monitor sexual experiments, probably.

Earth-15: This universe was destroyed by Superboy Prime, the Superboy of our Earth (and by "our," I mean you and me, readers!). If you think a Superboy of our Earth only exists because Grant Morrison does lots of silly stuff, you'd be wrong. He just remembers lots of silly stuff like how in DC Comics Presents #87, there was a Superboy of our Earth! Let me dig it up for you!

See?! It's kind of hard to tell but one of those Earth's is Earth Prime!

Here are some scenes from Superman's adventure on Earth-33!

Really? Bobby Kennedy? Such a white person's choice!

No! Not Pete Moss! Outrageous!

See? Even more evidence of real super heroes being comic book characters in other realities.

Um, anyway, all that is left of Earth-15 is a broken old Green Lantern Battery, known as the Cosmic Grail, lost somewhere in the Multiverse.

Earth-16: This is the home of the legacy heroes, The Just. It's often referred to as Earth-Me because crime doesn't exist and young people are such self-absorbed narcissists, amirite? I mean, is Grant Morrison right? I don't think he is! Young people are just old people who have yet to realize that they've wasted their best years.

Earth-17: This is where Mecha-Armor Batman is from. He's one of the Atomic Knights who are searching for the Cosmic Grail which they plan to use against Darkseid. Why Darkseid would be interested in a planet ravaged by nuclear war, I have no idea.

Earth-18: Wild West Earth! This Earth's technology was frozen in time so now heroes like Bat-lash and Madame .44 and Cinnamon have to view their porn through typed out ASCII pictures sent via telegraph.

Earth-19: Steampunk World. For some reason, everybody looks like they covered themselves in glue and fell in a crate full of gears from old pocket watches and random pieces of tubing.

Earth-20: The home of the Society of Super-Heroes. We saw it earlier in one of the Multiversity funny books. The Green Lantern of this world, Abin Sur, wound up in the Orrery of Worlds to help fight against the Gentry.

Earth-21: Darwyn Cooke World. This is the happy go-lucky world that was seen on all of the variant covers in December. Possibly the happiest world in the Multiversity.

Earth-22: Kingdom Come World. You've probably read about this world. It was painted beautifully by Alex Ross.

Earth-23: This is the Earth where all the super-heroes except Batman are black. Superman is also president of the United States of America. Bruce Wayne probably spends his days gentrifying white neighborhoods. I bet he's a Gentry sympathizer!

Earth-24: Unknown World. Probably the Monitor's septic tank.

Earth-25: Unknown World. Probably where the Monitor's stash their porn.

Earth-26: The Zoo Crew World. The only Zoo Crew book I ever owned (and still own because who stops owning comic books they once bought? Pshaw!) was the Great Oz/Wonderland War! After reading that, I never wanted to hear another pun ever again.

Earth-27: Unknown World. Probably where comic book creators that have appeared in their own comic books live.

Earth-28: Unknown World. Probably a world where nothing is known.

Earth-29. Another one of the best Earths.

Earth-30: The world of Communist Superman where TV Stop.

Earth-31: Waterworld. Everybody is a pirate! Ahoy!

Earth-32: This is the Amalgam universe without the Marvel heroes. So the DC heroes just had to mashup with other DC heroes. Sorry, no Lobo the Duck on this Earth.

Earth-33: This is Earth Prime where the histories of all the other Earths are printed as comic books. Unless it's the other way around and all comic books printed on Earth-33 become real, tangible worlds in the Orrery. This world has one superhero: Ultra Comics! Hey! He's the guy that's on the cover of that comic book that's been corrupting the youth!

Earth-34: The heroes of this earth formed a team called The Light Brigade. Their leader is Savior from the ancient civilization of Mu. Their version of Superman (Goodfellow, I'm guessing) looks like he stepped off the sound stage of Hee Haw.

Earth-35: This Earth is described as a "pseudoverse" that was constructed by the Monitors. It's team is called the Super-Americans. Isn't that what every normal American calls themselves anyway?

Earth-36: This is where Justice 9 lives. Red Racer has traveled from this Earth to the Hall of Heroes to help battle the Gentry. This Earth was last seen in Grant Morrison's Action Comics run.

Earth-37. Um. There is, um, this Earth.

Earth-38: The Golden Age Heroes. The world is not trapped in the Golden Age though! It's just that this is where the original Superman and Batman appeared to eventually be replaced by their offspring and proteges.

Earth-39: The home planet of the Agents of W.O.N.D.E.R. I don't know what that stands for. Wholly Original Negative Destroying Earnest Rescuers? Some guy named Happy DaVinci designed all of their technology, so is it really any wonder that the technology is addictive?

Earth-40: The home of Vandal Savage, Worlds Conqueror! Also some other villains. But how many more do you need when you've already got Vandal Savage? Stop being so greedy!

Earth-41: Dino-Cop came from this world. He's also in the Hall of Heroes ready to go to battle against The Gentry.

Earth-42: The Chibi Heroes live here so Chibi Batman is currently reading about himself. And what he finds out is that his world "hides a great and terrible secret." Oh no! This world was also seen in Morrison's run of Action Comics.

Earth-43: Vampires. Lots and lots of super vampires. They're not the sexy ones that all the young kids are fucking in love with nowadays. So gross. These are the Salem's Lot monsters that will bite your face off instead of sending you a wishy-washy love note full of ambivalence and insecurity.

Earth-44: The heroes of this world are a combination of The Metal Men and the Justice League, built by the genius Will Tornado! Lead Green Arrow is fat.

Earth-45: This is where SuperDoomsday was created and sent through one of Lex Luthor's Transmatter Cubes to wreak havoc on various other Earths. The story took place in Morrison's Action Comics and was the first story of The New 52 to really explore the other universes in the Multiverse.

Earth-46: Unknown World. Probably a world where they keep all of the extra question marks.

Earth-47: The world of Prez, teen president! This is also the world where Brother Power, the Geek, resides. Although Brother Power did make a cameo in The Green Team as an object purchased by whichever one of the rich kids was into buying super hero paraphernalia on auction sites.

Earth-48: The Earth of the Forerunners, creatures bred to be protectors of the Multiverse. This is the home world of Lady Quark who had a high profile role in Crisis on Infinite Earths, even if I never could figure out what she was supposed to be doing.

Earth-49: Unknown World. Probably the world where the Monitors went to live after faking their own deaths.

Earth-50: The Justice Lords rule here, a fascist version of Earth-0's Justice League.

Earth-51. The last Earth featuring the last boy on Earth!

Whew! That's all the Earths! And now back to our regularly scheduled program!

Nix Uotan shows up on Earth-51 to release Darkseid from his tomb to cause chaos while The Gentry continues to gentrify planet after planet in the name of the empty, grasping, greedy hand.

Chibi Batman escapes to Earth-17 and is confronted by Adam Strange and his Atomic Knights. Mecha-Armor Batman remains behind on Earth-42 to give Chibi Batman time to escape. And maybe, just maybe, he'll discover Earth-42's terrible secret. Or maybe he'll wind up in the House of Heroes as it comes under attack by one of The Gentry!

The secret winds up being that the Chibi Heroes are machines and they're servants of The Empty Hand! Oh noes! And that's, um, the end! Next time on Multiversity: The Freedom Fighters!

Teen Titans #6

I think that's El Guapo in The Flash uniform! Where's his skateboard?

Last issue, the Teen Titans were battling a bunch of drug-crazed teenagers (is that redundant? Aren't they all hopped up on Loopies and Wackbombs?) while Manchester Black and Josiah Power watched. Manchester Black and Josiah Powers are some manipulative bastards who work for STAR Labs and want to have sexual relations with young teenage heroes (possibly! I'm glad libel laws don't extend to fictional characters). Beast Boy, who somehow changed from Red to Green during the Titans' hiatus which may have been explained away somewhere somehow although I'm sure it was changed because it was just stupid that he was red and nobody liked it at all, um...I forgot what this sentence was going to be about after that adjective clause. Maybe I should just get back to the fight!

Oh yeah! Also, Power Girl showed up to try out for the team.

With Power Girl's help, the Teen Titans defeat the drug-addled teens in four pages so I guess the cliff the team was left hanging from last issue wasn't very tall. After the battle, Raven teleports the team away because the crowd starts to get stalkery and weird. I hope Raven remembered to teleport Wonder Girl's mom along with them. Being that I'm an irresponsible lout, I can't tell if leaving the unconscious super powered teenagers behind without making sure the police were there to round them up first was poor form. I mean, one of the teenagers was invisible! When the cops arrive, how are they going to know to arrest that guy? Also, how are they going to know not to run him over?!

Back at Bunker and Beast Boy's apartment, the Teen Titans sit around interviewing Power Girl while nobody mentions Wonder Girl's mom. That's weird. Are we just supposed to forget that she was in the fight scene last issue? Remember how she almost got crushed by a truck but Power Girl saved her? Now nobody gives a fuck about where she went?

Power Girl tells the rest of the Teen Titans how she got her Power Girl powers and when she gets to the part about Desaad killing her mother, nobody says, "Oh, hey! What happened to Wonder Girl's mother?" And nobody even mentions how weird it will be to have a Wonder Girl and a Power Girl on the same team. That's Legion of Super-heroes weird.

After the origin story, Power Girl tells the Teen Titans how to do their job.

Yeah! You idiots should hire Madame Xanadu to tell you who to attack before they commit any crimes! Preemptive super heroing! Don't worry if it looks like you're beating the shit out of innocent people because they haven't done anything wrong yet! You'll know you're doing the right thing! Maybe. I mean, you'll have a little bit of doubt that maybe Madame Xanadu is just getting you to beat up people she has a grievance with. But just put that out of your mind! I'm sure prophecy is a real thing!

Power Girl totally makes sense if I choose not to purposefully misunderstand her though! I mean, all the Teen Titans have been doing (mostly back in Lobdell's run) was waiting for other people to attack them while they just hung out talking about how they were going to change the world or something. They were busy coming up with names and costumes and flirting with Superboy but they weren't ever actually trying to stop super villains. They were busy visiting Dinosaur Island and going into the future and fucking each other and battling Raven's father but they never really helped the world. Which is why it's so strange that they're suddenly so popular ever since this new Teen Titans series began. How is Raven popular enough to have a band based on her? How is Wonder Girl known by enough people to have a whole gang of Faux Wonder Girls running around New York beating up muggers? Why do I even care? I should just be happy Lobdell is off the book!

Meanwhile Beast Boy continues to explore STAR Labs as a little Green Mouse. I bet he gets caught by some crazy doctor and locked in a cage and forced to run a maze for sex cheese.

Then that band that loves Raven? They managed to record her chanting a spell earlier and they're going to add it to one of their tracks. But just like that episode of Constantine where the record summons demons and opens portals to hell and forces people to remember their first broken heart so they spin around the room blubbering like nobody ever blubbered before about the human condition, the Raven's spell track disturbs the neighbors.

This is just like me when the neighbor downstairs begins playing the only bass track he seems to know on his stupid fucking bass because he's probably trying to impress another methed-out lady he picked up at the bar around the corner.

People who love music suck. Look, Never Going To Make It As A DJ: we all fucking love music. It's just that some of us don't divest ourselves of an actual personality for it. Oh, you heard a band that nobody you know knows and they're fucking terrific? Aren't you just the next fucking Mr. Lewis and Mr. Clark of the Music Frontier? Being the first person to love a band is not discovering the cure for cancer. Hell, it's not even helping a friend move! It's not even politely allowing somebody to merge on the freeway! It's next to having done absolutely nothing. Liking a band before they're liked by the masses doesn't make you a super genius. It makes you a person that has nothing to say to anybody except, "Have you heard this?" Okay, you probably know all about the bands as well to prove how much of a super fan you were before the band hits it big. So you can also bore everybody with your in-depth knowledge of the equipment the band uses and the studio they play at and the producers favorite way to fuck wanna-be songwriters. Oh, and playing your music loudly from the porch of your house as you sit amongst a pile of empty Rainier cans impresses nobody except more insubstantial people like yourself! Get off my lawn!

The Girls Wonder and Power head over to Wonder Girl's apartment where we find Wonder Girl's mom safe and sound. Whew! I was worried she'd been written out of existence! I need an older woman in this comic book so that all of my boners while reading it aren't weird and perverse and possibly illegal.

Scott Lobdell had Roy Harper say basically this same thing about Oliver Queen. That doesn't bode well for my impression of Will Pfeifer!

If you bitch about somebody always thinking they're right when they usually are right, you're an asshole. If they're usually right, they don't think they're usually right. They just usually are right. Stop believing it's some random roll of the dice that always happens to be against you and realize that maybe the other person is pretty smart and perceptive and you are an unobservant dolt! Although Tim Drake is supposed to be some kind of super genius so writers have to write lines like this so the reader can understand exactly how super geniusy he is without actually being troubled by writing scenes where he shows his super genius. Much easier to have another character state the fact for us.

Someone knocks at the door and Wonder Girl explains why it's Raven and then it isn't Raven, proving that Cassie is never right about anything ever! I think one example is enough of a sample to make that judgment, right? Science!

If I ever answered the door to find some shirtless fool draped across the doorway with his disheveled leather jacket hanging loose, I wouldn't be able to stop myself from laughing in his face. If it were a woman, I'd probably go, "Ubba ubba ubba duh duh um blork!" Hmm, so maybe this actually works if the person is of a sex you want to rub pee-pees with!

Cassie's mom, Helena, asks Manchester Black where his shirt is and I admire her lawn greatly. Old people rule! Young people go to school because nobody wants them cluttering up the malls every single day of the year.

It turns out Manchester Black is only nineteen. Because even people practically running STAR Labs have to be teenagers in a teen comic aimed at teens whose heads instantly explode if they have to read a scene with two fucking adults in one room. Even if a nineteen year old running STAR Labs really doesn't make any sense, no matter how smart or ambitious Manchester Black is. Unless he inherited the company from a parent and was allowed, for some stupid fucking reason, to run it himself. Maybe he got the job because he's sucking Josiah Power's dick? Josiah Power is an old guy, right? Please let him be an old guy! A big old lemon partyer!

Manchester Black, being the young super genius that he is, manipulates Cassie's belief in preemptive strikes to convince her to join him in battling some unknown group that's driving his surveillance people mad just from snippets of conversation they've detected. I'm sure her and Power Girl will sign on because look at his nipples!

Sex-maze time for mousey!

Some gunmen break into STAR Labs and blow a hole in its securest of secure vaults with a handheld nuclear bomb. They all survive somehow and they expect some of the STAR Labs' personnel to have survived as well because comic books. I guess calling the bomb "an experimental" fission bomb is the explanation for people being able to survive the blast? Manchester Black tells Cassie to get the team together so they can stop these terrorists from stealing all of STAR Labs most dangerous things. Why he had to come to Cassie to convince her to help him fight whatever needs fighting when the Teen Titans are just going to react (again!) to the blast on Governor's Island is beyond me. Even without Manchester Black, the Teen Titans would have gone in to secure the area after seeing a mushroom cloud out in the bay. I guess he just wanted to prance around shirtless in front of the young girls.

Teen Titans #6 Rating: No change. So far, this series feels like the Teen Titans are really doing some super heroing but are they? Once again, they're just being targeted by an enemy (in this case, Manchester Black) and manipulated into doing whatever he wants them to do. Which means, once again (again!), the only reason anything bad is happening in his comic book is because the Teen Titans exist. If they were in San Francisco, New York would be much safer because none of this would be happening. Maybe it would be. I still don't really know what Manchester Black is ultimately up to. But it seems like his plan relies on maneuvering the Teen Titans into a specific position on his chess board, so I'm going to continue to blame the Teen Titans for everything that goes wrong around them. But what else is new, right? Didn't they have this same kind of problem back in the Marv Wolfman and George Perez days? If only I could remember them!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

New Guardians #38

If we could only see in x-rays, we'd never know what that invisible thing in front of our face that constantly leaked all over us was. Also genitals.

Let me just point out that in my last New Guardians commentary, I pretty much guessed the ending of Godhead:

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 faced master of a burning prison planet of death and destruction.

Of course only Hal Jordan had the stone faced cojones to put Highfather in his place. Nobody else in the universe could have done it! Not even Malhedron who sort of tried to do it. And Metron who knew it needed to be done but couldn't be bothered to get out of his chair. And Orion who probably did it but who could understand him when he's ranting and raving and projecting spittle all across the room?

But now it's time to forget Godhead because it is over and already forgotten. Now let's find out how Kyle Rayner dies because who needs him?

This issue is part one of a three part story called "It All Ends Here." That's a good sign! I mean, I know the book actually ends in three issues. But maybe Kyle Rayner will go with it forever and always! At least until he pulls a modern penny out of his pocket and is forced to abandon true love!

I don't really hate Kyle. But he's superlative! No wait! He's not that at all! He's superfluous!

This issue begins with a scene that I might revisit later when it makes more sense. The better place to start is here:

I want to say something lovely and profound and melancholic about this scene but I can't stop staring at the stars inside the dark side of the moon! Maybe they're camp fires?

Carol is contemplating her burgeoning (or dying on the vine?) relationship with Kyle and she's probably wondering why she would want to be with an idiot that can't stop giving his ring away to whoever asks for it. He's a comic book artist so his earning potential is limited and he's probably a slacker who will wind up spending most of his time unshowered and stretched out on the couch watching Judge Judy. Carol is a responsible, powerful, worldly woman and she needs more than just a six foot tall man-child that never seems to engage in a serious manner. She has plenty of arguments for why she shouldn't pursue this relationship but it seems she's going to listen to the only argument she has for this relationship: she's in looOOoOooOooOoove!

Hard, throbbing cock? Slick, pulsing, engorged vagina? Clean, puckered, perfumed anal sphincter? San Dimas?

Turns out she loves flying and being a Star Sapphire. I was close!

Dammit. Kyle is winning me over here! If Carol won't take you, Kyle, I'm available! But mostly just because it would be nice to know a comic book artist that I could take advantage of.

I never wanted these two to be a thing anyway. How come male and female characters who spend a lot of time together automatically seem to pair off? They would have been fun just traveling the universe as friends. Why does there always seem to be a need for a romantic subplot? This is the main problem I have with Season Three of Arrow. Felicity was perfect when she was helping out, having her own life, and drooling, non-romantically, over Ollie's shirtlessness. But of course, she had to wind up in love with him. The only female cast member that hasn't been in an intimate relationship with Oliver Queen is his sister and I have a feeling that story arc is coming soon.

Now is the time to talk about that opening scene! The issue began with a huge monster attacking a planet. Before the monster could kill the woman, Saysoran, whom the story opened on, it's sucked up into the sky by black tendrils. Now the creature has been smashed into Zamaron and stamped with the White Lantern Insignia. Kyle and Carol recognize the creature as one of the beings freed from the Source Wall by Black Hand.

Kyle and Carol head off to investigate where the creature came from but this time they're doing it as friends instead of pee-pee rubbers. That's how I describe sex! Are you interested now, ladies?

Carol and Kyle arrive on a planet that's been nearly destroyed (except for Saysoran who will probably become an important character if she isn't already and I've just never heard of her). They find another White Lantern Insignia, this one composed of dead people nailed to a wall. And then they confront the monster behind it all!


New Guardians #38 Rating: +2 Ranking. The highlight of this comic was Kyle and Carol discussing their relationship. The lowlight was that they didn't have time for an on-panel farewell fuck. I don't think I really care about Oblivion. Maybe he'll win me over as an arch-enemy next issue when he asks Kyle for Kyle's ring and Kyle gives it to him.