Monday, August 31, 2015

Justice League of America #3

So nobody told DC that I think this JLA logo sucks because it's the same logo as last issue and it still sucks.

This comic book must be an Elseworlds book because Aquaman is my favorite member of this Justice League of America and that never happens. That didn't even happen when it was just him, Vibe, Commander Steel, Gypsy, and Vixen! And that's a shitty line-up! Although Green Lantern and The Flash haven't really been given a chance to shine yet. Maybe I'll like them even more than Aquaman. Although it'll be pretty tough to beat that scene where Aquaman tells the Missionary of Rao that Rao is the most incompetent "god" he's ever heard of.

Just as the cover shows, this issue begins with Barry and Hal tossed into the middle of a battle between Purple Pointy Skirts and the Gray Straight Edged Skirts. Even if I don't learn any more about them from this point on, I totally get why they're going to war.

Hal charges his ring by pulling his battery out of warp space because that's a thing the Green Lantern's used to do when writers got tired of them never having access to their batteries when they needed them. I guess Bryan Hitch hasn't read a Green Lantern comic book in some time so he never read that story where the Keepers of the Batteries went crazy after losing their jobs when the Lanterns stopped storing them on their planet when they weren't in use. I'm glad the issue begins with the ring being charged though because now it will last the entire issue. There's no excuse now for a scene where Hal is desperately trying to defeat the enemy before his ring runs out of charge.

Speaking of running, Barry runs so fast protecting Hal as he charges his ring that Barry disappears. That's when Hal asks his ring what the fuck is going on and the ring is all, "You're on Krypton, dude. 250,000 years from where you just fought Parasite." At least now Hal Jordan has a chance to be Clark's ancestor!

Meanwhile Wonder Woman finds an Oraculum among the ruins of Olympus and begins asking it questions. Diana and Hal are lucky they have access to objects that can answer anything they need to know to further the plot.

Although the Oraculum isn't nearly as useful as Hal Jordan's ring.

Back on Earth, Rao goes about trying to steal all of Christ's followers. He's all, "Stop praying to that do-nothing! I'm here to change everything for the better! Nothing bad will ever happen again!" And all the Christians are, "Thank Jesus Christ for Rao!" That's when Rao learns how to facepalm.

Rao's doing everything Batman told Superman he shouldn't do! Batman is going to be pissed!

The leaders of all the nations not yet overthrown by Rao begin to get really nervous. How are they going to retain any power if Rao gives everybody everything they ever needed?! What good are happy, content people to people in power?! Rao is ruining everything!

Batman calls in Superman to have a talk with him so after all of this goes to shit Rao turns out to be just another manipulative asshole, Batman can have this conversation in his bag when he brings out the "I told you so."

Batman wants Superman to stop being so trusting and he mentions DNA as he does so. I think he wants Superman to get a sample of Rao's DNA? And I bet I know how he can accomplish that! With a kryptonite cotton swab! Also with a blow job which was what you all knew I was actually thinking. While Batman awaits the DNA test to see if Rao is actually a Kryptonian, he begins his own investigation into Rao. Batman also says "covert" when he meant "convert" because he's always thinking about spy stuff and conspiracies.

The Infinity Corporation apparently set in motion all of the events they needed to set in motion in the present, so they've gone back to September, 1961, to do something else. They're not sure what they're supposed to do because they're letting some magic stone do all of the thinking for them. And the stones have decided that The Flash needs to be in 1961. Great. Here comes another Flashpoint!

Back on Krypton, the warring groups have decided to call a truce for some reason. Maybe they were just out on a picnic when Hal and Barry arrived. Anyway, they know of Green Lanterns even 250,000 years ago which may or may not be how it's always been. I'm certainly not a DC Historian. Hell, according to some mean person on Tumblr who wants me to kill myself, I don't even know anything about Deathstroke! Apparently calling Slade a "psychopathic murderer" was crossing some kind of line! Maybe he's never been officially diagnosed as a psychopath but it seems anybody who can murder as many people as he's murdered might not be the most empathetic person on the planet.

Green Lantern makes friends with the Kryptonians who march him off to Kandor to meet Rao. I'm sure Hal won't be too impressed. Hal might even start a fist fight with him. I can't actually speculate on what might happen because I'm still agog at the Kryptonians having been around for 250,000 years! What a civilization! No wonder they could all leap fantastically across the landscape. I think.

Justice League of America #3 Rating: No change. Not a lot happened this issue. We discovered Wonder Woman learned nothing about her situation from the Oraculum. We learned Green Lantern learned little more from his ring. We learned Barry Allen has time traveled with the Infinity Corporation. And we learned that Batman doesn't trust anybody while Superman super trusts everybody. It's possible Bryan Hitch didn't get the memo that comic books are actually telling stories now (no matter how bad!) instead of being decompressed. But I guess he was kind of a pioneer in decompression, so maybe he's having a hard time letting it go. Although maybe I'm wrong! Perhaps I just stopped being able to tell when a story has been decompressed because I'm just happy I didn't wind up spending two hours writing a commentary on it. I really don't mind slow pacing and lots of visuals but come on! Something has to fucking happen in a comic book when I laid out $3.99 for it! My guess is when this series is collected in trade, you could leave out 90% of this comic book and it wouldn't make a difference to the overall story. Also, Deathstroke is a psychopathic murderer! So there!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Deathstroke #9

Superman: Punching Robot. Deathstroke: Stabbing Robot.

Oh Superman. You shall not find solace from shitty story arcs in this house of despoiled innocence. I once thought solace might be possible. Back in the summer of 1991, I thought I, too, could find refuge from the tempests of newly found adulthood. Deathstroke the Terminator had his own title! Once a month, I could lose myself in the adventures of a man who wasn't limited by the ethics and morality of other people! A man free to solve any problem by eliminating it and forgetting. Imagine taking the head off the rude asshole at the coffee shop! Or disemboweling the neighbor constantly tsk-tsking your yard! Jubilant freedom! All encompassing peace! But, no. Superman, it is impossible. Eventually we all find ourselves standing over a spider, the size of a human hand, soaked in bug spray yet finally crushed to death because it just couldn't be poisoned. We stand there, and we cry. We realize we have no stomach for slaughter, and no defense from feeling the pain of others. We look fear full in the face and watch as solace disappears as easily as chalk washed from a sidewalk. We realize the only true comfort and consolation for life is death. The rest is just hiding from reality. And--listen well, Superman--this comic book is the worst place you could be hiding. Go deal head-on with your problems in your own comic book. You'll find no solace here.

Just so everybody knows immediately how bad this book is going to be, Tony S. Daniel begins by having Deathstroke think, "Back on so-called Paradise Island (not even)." You didn't think only Oscar Wilde could come up with cutting bon mots like that, did you? Let me dissect it for you if you're sitting there drooling on your "I Heart Maury Povich" shirt and thinking, "Dert?" Deathstroke doesn't think Paradise Island is actually a paradise! He makes this apparent by adding the "so-called" to show that he doesn't believe the word "Paradise" actually describes it. And then he adds a semi-camouflaged "Not!" joke to drive the point home that Paradise Island is not an actual paradise! Unless the two jokes cancel each other out which is a possibility. Then I think it means he appreciates the place. Hmm. Maybe I'd think better if I wasn't wearing this heavy "Number One Jerry Springer Fan" sweatshirt.

In the next panel, he puts the word paradise in quotes, so I'm feeling pretty confident that he thinks the island isn't paradise at all! Whew. I'm glad that's cleared up. Although, it's not really some great revelation into his character to have him believe Paradise Island isn't a paradise at all. Historically in fiction, it's not exactly a place that men are supposed to feel comfortable visiting. I seem to remember there was actually a time that men would simply die if they set foot on the place. So if Deathstroke found Paradise Island to be an actual paradise, I'd conclude that Deathstroke was a woman.

I'm disappointed that Tony S. Daniel isn't drawing this issue because why else would DC Comics allow him to write an issue? Doesn't DC Comics only allow him to write so that he'll agree to draw as well, thereby ensuring that fans of his art pick up a book full of his 7th grade level writing (I apologize to any 7th graders reading this)? Who picks up a comic book written by Tony S. Daniel but drawn by a less competent artist (I apologize to Eduardo Pansica if he's reading this. I really am trying to insult Tony S. Daniel here and you just got caught in the blast)? That's like getting the worst of everything! If any 7th graders are reading this, could you please send me an analogy to use next time I choose to call something "the worst of everything"? You know, something like "That's like having your first kiss with a sixth grader who is also the Portuguese exchange student" except less racist. Is Portuguese a race? Or is it just Spanish with linguiça? I think it's actually just a nationality! So be less nationalist when you send me your free 7th grade jokes. Man, I'm laughing already. Nobody's funnier than a 7th grader.

Even though Eduardo Pansica is doing the art, Tony S. Daniel is still writing double splash pages into the comic book. It's possible Tony meant to draw this issue but just couldn't find the time what with coming up with all of Deathstroke's sick burns.

Currently, the ignorantly named Lapetus's army is kicking Amazon butt back and forth all over so-called "Paradise" Island. It looks like they need to be saved by a man! Good thing Deathstroke's here! And I think even Superman will help save all the women too! Although it looks like he's just come to kick Deathstroke's ass for being mean to his girlfriend. This issue had better not end with Wonder Woman being friends with Deathstroke. He's a mass murdering maniac! She's a compassionate queen of hug attacks! That would be the worst writing ever since "Paradise Lost"! Coincidentally, this issue is called "Paradise Lost." Suck it, Milton!

If you're this angry at the pantheon, shouldn't you be ravaging Olympus? The Amazons had nothing to do with locking you up, dude! "Dude"? No, no. "Bro"! Lapetus seems like more of a bro than a dude.

Hessia finds time during battle to remind Deathstroke that they once dated and she totally doesn't trust him at all. Deathstroke reminds everybody how awesome he is by pointing out that the Godkiller sword is super duper powerful so even he has a hard time controlling it. But he does control it which means he's the best ever! He's also the only one with any real sense of the battle since he's the only one who apparently notices Iapetus leave the battlefield (it's so comforting to know that Spell Check doesn't underline Iapetus while it underlines Lapetus because Tony S. Daniel and everybody associated with this comic book are apparently more ignorant than Spell Check).

Deathstroke notices more on the field of battle than the others because he can turn his head all the way around.

Iapetus notices Deathstroke follow him away from the battlefield and declares that "for a mortal," Slade possesses a "sharp, strategic mind." I know! I was just thinking how Sun Tzu once said, "If your enemy flees from battle, it is probably not a trap or a trick and you should totally follow him so you can kill the jerk and maybe even impress him a little bit with your knowledge of strategy." Too bad Wonder Woman isn't a fan of The Art of War or else she would have made sure to notice that Iapetus was leaving the battle.

I just finished eating a chocolate chip cookie and now I have to wonder: Why is most of life the moment after the cookie is gone rather than the moment of enjoying the cookie? Maybe I spend too much time wolfing and not enough time savoring! Or maybe I should think of the "cookie is gone" moments as "anticipating the next cookie" moments instead?!

Iapetus offers Deathstroke a job instead of killing him. What kind of jobs will be left once Iapetus destroys everything? I have to imagine it's some kind of job that starts with "hand" or "blow."

It's refreshing to have the bad guy point out all of Deathstroke's best qualities. I was getting tired of Deathstroke having to point them out himself.

Iapetus knocks Slade all the way across the island and out of his hair in much the same way Wonder Woman didn't, but should have, last issue. He then begins to offer up some Bad Guy Narration Boxes so the reader realizes his true plan is to rescue his sister-wife Themis from Tartarus. Although he doesn't name her so she may very well be called Lhemis.

Even though I was once a twelve year old nerd (when being a nerd wasn't cool at all and all the people who think they're nerds now would never have been nerds then no matter how much they believe their wants and desires can alter reality), I don't really know that much about the Titans of myth so I had to look up Iapetus's lover. But I do happen to know the planets and moons of our solar system fairly decently so when a writer names their Titan character "Lapetus," I recognized the name should have been Iapetus. One of my favorite things is how the Greek and Roman gods have long ago been put away and yet we've resurrected them to still exist in our skies. It's a brilliant system for naming the heavenly bodies in our solar system.

Um, anyway, looking up Themis, I see that she's more of a hugger than a fighter which probably means she'll get free and tell Iapetus to knock it the fuck off. Then he'll shrug his shoulders and go back home to Tartarus. That'll leave plenty of room for Superman and Deathstroke to fight.

Iapetus burrows into the ground after flinging Wonder Woman away. Deathstroke runs up to see if she's okay and guess what happens next? Come on! You can do it! It's a classic comic book trope! Of course that's it! Superman arrives just in time to believe Deathstroke did this to Wonder Woman! I mean, Deathstroke did kind of do this to Wonder Woman last issue. But not this time! This time it's a total misunderstanding and Superman is super in the wrong! Ha ha!

Forget about the probably seriously injured female nearby! There are dicks to compare!

At the start of the next page, Deathstroke Narration Boxes, "This is literally the last thing I need right now." Well, you literally could have prevented this fight from taking place. Perhaps you should have taken the time to explain what was going on? It would probably take less time than the upcoming battle with Superman. Actually, the battle with Superman should take far less time as Superman stands on Deathstroke's smoldering corpse waiting for his regeneration powers to kick in to find out if Slade is suddenly in a more talkative mood. But we all know Deathstroke is going to actually have a chance of beating Superman with his stupid Godkiller sword.

Slade's sword does all the work for him so I'm about to petition to have this comic book's title changed to "Godkiller Sword".

So tell him, you big bag of fuck! I might go so far as to say you are endangering the world by not fucking answering his question when he first arrived! I hate everybody.

Deathstroke completely has the upper hand with his sword and pummels the shit out of Superman right up until the moment where Deathstroke finally decides to start discussing the situation. That's when Superman grabs his throat and chokes off Deathstroke's words. Boy, the drama! The tension! You can't even cut this shit with a Godkiller Knife!

Superman calls Slade a "notorious psychopath and a murderer" which is maybe not 100% accurate but it's at least as close as 99.99% accurate. So of course Slade thinks how Superman is "self-righteous." Oh gee! I guess most everybody on the planet is self-righteous because they don't believe in going around killing people for money. Maybe if Superman were to accuse Deathstroke of those things after Deathstroke killed a couple of people in self-defense, I'd agree that Superman was self-righteous. But seeing that Deathstroke has killed 938 people, and most of those for a paycheck, I'd say that Superman was not being self-righteous at all. I'd say he was being "accurate."

"Slade?! First names...are you fucking him?!"

Now that yet another scene where two people on the same side battle because they don't have time to communicate before throwing a punch, the story can get back on course. Also remember that while Superman battled Deathstroke, hundreds of Amazons were being killed by Iapetus's army. Some hero you are, Superman! Deathstroke Superman and Deathstroke Wonder Woman deserve each other!

Anyway, Lapetus returns from underground and this time he's even scarier for some reason.

I guess it's because he found his polearm?

I can't wait until next issue when Batman arrives and mistakenly believes Deathstroke is the bad guy. Although I guess Batman already had his battle with Deathstroke in an earlier issue. A battle which he totally just got bored of right in the middle of and walked away without bringing Deathstroke to justice. That's totally something Batman would do, right? It's not like he's obsessive about justice or anything.

Deathstroke #9 Rating: No change. It’s hard to call Deathstroke the worst comic book published by DC Comics in a world where books like Twat Lobo and the Teen Titans are being published as well. But it is. It is truly stupidly ridiculous. But what did I expect from a writer who somehow figured that Deathstroke was not doing well in sales not because he’s been poorly written since the start of The New 52 but because he figured Deathstroke was just too old to connect to the potential audience. So the big twist of Tony’s book was that Deathstroke was now young. And guess how much that’s mattered at all? Besides one panel where Slade looks at his cock to notice how young and vibrant it is and a few panels where people say, “You’re not Slade! You’re too young!”, it hasn’t fucking changed a thing. He’s always in his Goddamned mask! Who fucking cares about his sudden youth?! It’s idiotic and makes no sense because he’s still the same old, experienced man that he was before he lost the gray hair and regained his lost eye. It matters zero to this character that his skin is smooth and his cock can get erect. And that describes this book. It’s shallow and without depth. Why are there still people working in the comic book industry who think story doesn’t matter?! Comics have grown the fuck up. Why haven’t they?

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Superman #43

All of the Superman covers shouldn't match when one story takes place before the others. It sends the wrong message. That message being, "Ha ha! You stupid fucking idiots should have waited to read these in the trades so you could get the story in the right order! Jerks!"

This issue begins with Clark waking up in bed with Lois Lane. HEY-O! Except Lois has all of her clothes on (including her boots) and is lying on top of the covers and is facing away from him with her arms wrapped around her body in the universal body language of "I know he's going to poke me in the back with his penis and the instant that happens I'm out the fucking door." Although Lois did choose to sleep in bed with a naked Clark, so maybe she was hoping that might happen and she was just wearing all of her clothing so that if it didn't happen, she could point out how she totally didn't want anything to happen either or why else would she have been wearing her boots and why was the condom in her pocket and not on the bedside table ready to go? I mean, Jimmy could have been the one sleeping next to Clark, right?

Headcanon that Clark has a massive penis proven true. No need to also prove that Clark is uncircumcised because what mohel could have cut through that foreskin? If Superman wanted to convert to Judaism, he'd have to burn it off with his heat vision.

Lois feeds Clark a microwaveable dinner and then asks him all of the tough questions like "Would I suffer internal bleeding if we were to have sex?" and "Do you have to masturbate into your cape to prevent the semen from shooting shotgun like through the wall and accidentally killing a neighbor?" Although I might have to question her journalistic credentials when she asks him if he might someday go rogue. Does she forget the times he's been mind-controlled? Did she not hear about that time he was hopped up on Joker venom? What about when he was infected by the Doomsday virus? She wrote like ten shitty articles about that event alone! She also never even waits for him to answer her questions. Some reporter!

This conversation backs up the idea that Clark gives Lois the okay to print his identity to keep HORDR from using it against him. And then Superman finds out that the regular people of the DC Youniverse are just as stupid and fearful as the citizens of that universe where the X-men live.

Lois tells Clark she'll keep his secret and then admits that she almost fell in love with Clark. Clark's sudden boner spills the Lean Cuisine all over the floor. But since Lois is busy wiping her tears away, she misses it and then Clark distracts her by asking her to stab him with a fork. He's really into some weird shit.

Jimmy Olsen feels sick and throws up through his nose. Ugh. That's the worst. He also vomits a mechanical man! Afterward, he passes by Lois's open door as he and Condesa go to rest downstairs.

See? Welcome to Boner Town, Lois Lane!

Lois's fork sticks into Clark's arm because his powers still aren't back after his last use of the Solar Flare power. That's because some of his power was stolen when he used the flare last issue. That's why he's so powerless in the other titles right now. Although just how powerless he's become is based on how much power Greg Pak needs him to have at any specific moment during the story. It makes for really tense and dramatic moments since the reader has no idea if Clark will die every time he's punched by a shadow monster!

The little robot Jimmy puked up attaches itself to Lois's phone and becomes a super cute way to FaceTime your friends. HORDR appears on Lois's phone to let Clark know that he still has enough files to expose Superman's secret and that maybe Clark should just accept working with him already. So that will probably be reason enough for Superman to ask Lois to write the article so they can control the spin as much as possible. Which, obviously, doesn't wind up working how Clark thought it would.

Clark decides to meet up with HORDR as Lois investigates HORDR to find his weaknesses. I bet his weaknesses are acne and video games and high school bullies and a penchant for popping boners at the most inappropriate times. He also says "sort of" constantly which will eventually give him away.

Clark meets up with HORDR who takes him inside a mountain. Lois sneaks in behind by accessing it with her HORDR_MASK programmed by Condesa last issue. It's up to Lois to save the day! Probably. I mean, what can Clark really do without his super powers? Since The New 52 began, the only way he ever seems to be able to defeat anybody is by punching them as hard as he can. He hasn't had to rely on his smarts before. So now that he's shackled to a chair surrounded by a bunch of "Quarmers," beings who store energy like Superman Solar Flares, Superman doesn't have the skills to escape.

When Lois sees what they're doing to Clark, she puts out her story about his identity. Lois tells the world so that HORDR has no way to manipulate Clark. Also she knew she'd win a Pulitzer for this shit and no way Perry White can deny a hefty bump in her salary after this. No wait. She'll probably be fired since she releases the story into cyberspace as opposed to giving the Daily Planet the exclusive rights to it. No way Perry will forgive that mistake. Pretty much the entire internet's reaction is, "Hrm. I pretty much knew that already."

What has General Lane been doing? Just following Superman around waiting for an excuse to murder him?

Superman #43 Rating: No change. Well shit. I was with this issue right up until the end. I think it would have made for a better story to have Superman realize that he was putting more people in danger by being manipulated by an unknown madman than to have his identity exposed, therefore allowing Lois to expose his identity. I was hoping Superman would be smarter than his usual "I can handle everything myself" way of approaching problems. I was hoping that somehow this story wouldn't just become the story it obviously had to become considering the shitstorms happening in the other Superman titles. Tomasi actually did his best to explain why everybody is suddenly so worried about Superman having a secret identity, and I commend him for at least broaching the subject and trying to explain away the entire world's irrational reaction to Superman keeping a secret identity. It helps mitigate my anger toward DC's belief that everybody in their Youniverse without super powers is a fearful, xenophobic asshole who can't understand why a superhero like Superman might actually want to be a regular person most of the time. Especially when all it takes is one Barbara Walters special sitting down with Superman to find out about his life growing up on the Kent farm and realizing that he's really been a human for more of his life than he's been a super man from Krypton. What I'm asking for, DC, is more characters who approach situations with intelligence and understanding rather than fear and idiocy.

Sinestro #14

I am so sick of your smug expression! I get it! You think you're God's gift to yourself!

You know what character type I'm fucking sick of in comic books? The arrogant bad-ass who can beat anybody and never fails ever. It's why I wish Superman were the Superman of my wet dreams. The sensual one who gives slow rim jobs and has ice cream ready to go after making you come like a banshee. I mean, the Superman who is humble and kind and saves the world with non-violence. The most violent Superman should get is picking up criminals by the scruffs of their necks and dragging them to the police station. If DC Comics willingly gave me that Superman, I would accept the fact that Cullen Bunn is writing basically the same character twice but with one in a Sinestro outfit and one in a Twat Lobo outfit.

Judging by the open mouths on all the characters on the cover, and the addition of "Rising" to the title, I have to believe that this issue is going to be a musical. I would forgive everything Cullen Bunn has bored me with up until this point if this issue turned out to be a musical!

The issue begins with a lone alien stranded on a barren world being drafted into the Sinestro Corps. She asks the ring, "What is the Sinestro Corps?" Before the ring can answer, Sinestro appears to declare, "It would seem, child, that the time for such questions has slipped past." What?! But why? And if that question has timed out, why does Sinestro give an answer to it immediately after saying the time for such questions has slipped past? Telling Nax the New Recruit that she has been "chosen for a greater purpose to sow fear across the universe and, with it, order" seems like a bit of an explanation as to what the Sinestro Corps does. I have a suspicious feeling that whenever a new recruit asks the ring what the Sinestro Corps is, it's programmed to teleport Sinestro into the vicinity so that Sinestro can interrupt the ring with his own, more palatable definition of the Sinestro Corps. Otherwise the ring might say something snarky like, "You're Sinestro's bitch now, hon."

Sinestro also answers the question by saying The Sinestro Corps is the most feared peacekeeping force in the universe.

The words must not translate in Nax's native language because they seem pretty clear to me. Saying "force" and "peacekeeping" don't go together is called the "Look How Clever I Am With Semantics Fallacy." Sometimes you just need somebody to arbitrate disagreements before they become violent, the way parents are a peacekeeping force for siblings. I'd be more concerned with the "most feared" part of the "most feared peacekeeping force." That sounds like fascist bullshit!

Nax points out to Sinestro that maybe she's not exactly right for this job. She never once aspired to be a Space Bully so maybe the ring made a mistake. Sinestro asks the ring itself why it chose such a namby-pamby recruit. The ring chose Nax because Nax is a gray alien who specializes in abductions and anal probes. I'd say that inspires a certain amount of fear in enough cows and rednecks throughout the universe. Sinestro seems to think the ring's explanation proves Nax should stay on as a member, so he continues her tour of the Sinestro Corps, beginning with Warworld.

The surface of Warworld is now covered in a living city called Ranx, also a member of the Corps. I didn't know cities could become members. Why hasn't Gotham received its yellow ring yet?

Next, Sinestro shows Nax the new Manhunter units. Now instead of read and blue, they're completely yellow. Now instead of screaming, "No man shall escape the manhunters," they yell, "No man shall escape Sinestro's might!" I hope that means they'll be defeated by the Zamarons. Although having a woman defeat a being that can "be killed by no man" falls under that "Look How Clever I Am With Semantics Fallacy."

After Sinestro points out the Manhunters have limited usefulness because they are emotionless, Nax asks, "But what about me?"

Well then why did you even bring it up if you already knew you weren't actually emotionless because you failed your "Emotions?! PTUI!" class?! Stop wasting Sinestro's time, you wiseacre!

Sinestro introduces Nax to her new partner, Soranik, and then ditches her. I guess training time is over. Sinestro has to go deal with Twat Lobo now while Nax and Soranik begin discussing ways to give the Sinestro Corps a friendlier, more upbeat vibe. Soranik is all, "Welcome! I'm just trying to figure out why these patients of mine can't feel emotions anymore. Do you like how low cut my uniform is? It really enhances that squishy feeling one gets when they think a nipple might accidentally pop into view at any moment." And Nax is all, "I can do this neat vivisection trick that doesn't actually kill the patient but hurts like hell. Does that help find where the emotions went?" And Soranik is all, "Let's make out!" Then I lose all interest in this comic book's actual ending as I imaging a lot of face sitting and anal probing.

Sinestro #14 Rating: +1 Ranking. This issue found the key to making this an enjoyable experience although I have a feeling the key is immediately dropped down a sewer grate and lost forever next issue. Sinestro isn't the interesting part of this book. In fact, Sinestro is as boring as a character can get. He's a powerful, arrogant fascist. His ambition is to control everything. It's probably a severe form of OCD where he has to be in control of the entire universe to feel like nothing will go wrong. Instead of thinking, "I touched the refrigerator handle three times before opening it so disaster has been averted!", Sinestro thinks, "I'm now in charge of everything so I can breathe easy!" No, Sinestro is not the interesting character here. But he has a whole Corps full of characters recruited pretty much against their will who might not be as single-minded in scaring the shit out of people as Sinestro is. That's where the stories lie! I think. I mean, the annual told the back stories of a bunch of Sinestro Corps members as well and that didn't really make them more interesting. But that's because the back stories were just versions of the characters before they got the ring. All that shit which could make them interesting was really just abandoned once they got the ring, and now they're just terrifying bad-ass monsters that get their kicks by scaring the shit out of anybody they come across. At least maybe Nax and Soranik's relationship will be an interesting background story now.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Teen Titans #11

Get it? Teenagers are constantly having breakouts! Hilarious!

Why is Red Robin throwing a Batarang on the cover? Doesn't he use Robin-Discs or something now? If I were Batman, I would have petulantly taken away all of Tim's Bat-themed items when Tim decided to go out on his own. Then I probably would have had to fire Alfred after he made a joke about "robin leaving the nest." Right after I got done crying, of course.

Red Robin is currently still refusing to allow the law to question Superboy in the deaths of a bunch of Muslims who were actually Durlans. It's not like the justice system has already condemned Superboy to death and Red Robin is buying time to prove that Superboy is innocent. No, Red Robin is simply showing his ass to the American justice system and telling them he knows the truth and how dare they investigate the crime themselves. And yet, Red Robin doesn't know the truth at all. Red Robin is simply trusting his instincts that a teammate wouldn't turn out to be a mass murderer. Red Robin could very well be harboring a murderer. So far, this story isn't making me like anybody in the Titans or the Elite. They're all just a bunch of aggressive, arrogant assholes.

"Accent" on former? I don't know. I would have gone with the tried-and-true "emphasis." If it's meant to be a joke, it fails because it just comes off as awkward usage within a Narration Box which isn't really supposed to have any personality of its own. It's just meant to convey information. It's not as if Will Pfeifer has developed an alternate persona who constantly disregards the proper use of words for his own ends which would allow him to get away with choosing "accent" over "emphasis."

The news in Chicago is already blaming the Teen Titans for the destruction of one deck by a fancy pool, the explosion of a penthouse apartment, the near collapse of a bridge, and hundreds of injuries on a train stopped short by Superboy. I'd say the news finally got something right! Blame those fuckers! Blame the fuck out of them!

Red Robin and Raven confronted Manchester Black at the end of last issue. But after Raven fell unconscious trying to read Manchester's mind, Red Robin was trapped in Black's apartment with The Elite arriving by non-Indigo Lantern teleportation. Manchester points out that Tim has no way out and then Tim jumps through the window holding Raven and flies away on his Inertrite wings. Then the smartest guy in the room, Manchester Black, says, "Oh right. He can fly." I suppose that falls under the category of "too smart for his own good"? Is that what I'm supposed to believe? That the guy who has become the next Harvest, a guy whose plans never fail due to random chance, couldn't remember that Red Robin can fly? Letting him escape must be part of the plan! You see, Manchester Black couldn't remember Red Robin could fly but he does know exactly where Tim Drake is going! He's so smart! Sometimes.

Stop it, Tim. Just stop acting like a teenager who thinks he's always right when he simply doesn't have enough life experience to truly see how wrong he is. You were harboring a felon. Now you're going to break someone out of prison who can exonerate your friend. Who's going to fucking care at that point? Go through the fucking legal system. Let them question Superboy. Get a lawyer to get a statement from the person in prison. Stop willingly becoming outlaws and Red Hoods. And if the legal way doesn't work, call Batman to fix it all.

Red Robin brought the Titans together to help kids with super powers cope. Or something. Maybe he was bringing them together to save the other kids from NOWHERE. I think he knew all that shit that Harvest was up to when the series began because, you know, he is Harvest! So at least Red Robin fighting for his friends isn't really anything new. It's not like the Wolfman series where they were supposed to be heroes but simply got hung up on their own problems on a constant basis. But helping Superboy run from the law seems a bit...I don't know...ass backwards?

This would be an acceptable speech to rally the Teen Titans under different circumstances. Like maybe if Tim had actual proof of Kon's innocence. Or if he knew the government was trying to frame Kon. Or if, you know, actual bad guys were threatening the team as opposed to Robin just trying to get the Titans to break more laws.

Tim is all, "So, if you don't want to break any more laws with me while helping Superboy run from the law when he may very well have murdered twenty Muslims, I'll understand if you stay out of this one." Of course they choose to wade deeper into blood. That's a reference to Shakespeare! Kind of.

Chimera is not a Titan. Nor is she a friend. She's a shapechanger they just met and whom they hardly know! Hell, she could have done the murders while looking like Superboy! Get her!

I guess Raven had recovered enough in the last two days to explain how to save Superboy from what she learned while in Manchester Black's mind. But she's still recovering so she won't be able to help with the prison break. That's too bad and kind of convenient because the team could really use a teleport spell in this situation.

The Titans need to break out Despero to save Superboy. I don't think Despero would do well on the witness stand. If I were Red Robin, I'd think up a Plan B after discovering it was Despero who they needed to break out of prison. Also, I would have gathered that information from Raven before sending Beast Boy in to hack the security system. But then, I'm not smart enough to just fly by the seat of my plot contrivances.

I guess Raven did recover enough to teleport the Titans into a utility closet in the prison. But since she's still laid out, she and Bunker have to remain behind counting mops while Red Robin and Chimera search the prison for Despero. But first, they release all of the prisoners from their cells because putting the guards' lives in danger is totally acceptable. Kon's in danger! And he's a Titan! And they're all friends! The guards? Who are they?! Maybe they should have thought about the possibility of dying in a prison riot before accepting the job. This is totally on them and their poor life decisions. It's not Tim Drake's fault if any of them get hurt at all! And I totally believe Tim believes that because he was trained by the best when it comes to denying responsibility for injury and death: The Batman!

Meanwhile in Manchester Black's apartment, Manchester Black already knows what's going on because it's all part of his plan.

In prison, Blockbuster attacks Red Robin instead of the guards! But that probably wasn't part of the plan! I guess Tim Drake gets better at overly complex plans when he puts on the Harvest costume.

Blockbuster, that's not where the boob window goes! Silly.

Red Robin points out, after Blockbuster is down, that all the cell doors were not supposed to open. He had a code that was only to be used on any individual door he chose. So I guess he's not responsible for all the dead guards then! It must have been part of Manchester Black's plan since he knew what Raven read in his mind so he knew where Tim and his team were going to go. But the bigger question should be why did Manchester Black know anything about Despero being able to help Superboy, right? Again, I think Red Robin is going about this all wrong.

"Stop it! Stop caring about other people! Remember your speech?! We fight for the Titans! We fight for our friends! We fight for each other! Are the guards our friends? Are they Titans? No. Let them die."

Now that Chimera stopped Red Robin from almost acting heroically, they are free to find Despero without any distractions. Superboy also decides to join them because he suddenly knows all about this prison escape for some reason. I'm sure it'll make sense if it's ever explained. And even if it isn't explained, fans of the book will do the heavy lifting on Pfeifer's writing and fill in the blanks for him so asshole haters like me can be put in their places for pointing out how fucking stupid this entire comic book is.

Teen Titans #11 Rating: -1 Ranking. Please, DC. Kill Superboy. Get him the fuck out of your Youniverse until you can figure out how to fix him. First off, I'd stop making him some disaffected teenager who's constantly in trouble through no apparent fault of his own. The only fans who like him are the fans who want to fuck him or the fans who believe everybody is out to get them in their lives as well. Being wanted by the law and being hated by normal people does not make him interesting. He's not elevating this comic book into a story worth reading. Not that it was worth reading before he appeared. I don't care enough about the Teen Titans as characters to feel for any of their struggles. Just because these versions of the Titans existed for two and a half years doesn't mean that anybody has bonded with them enough that they care about their conflict with Manchester Black (who is just Harvest-lite anyway). Nobody wanted these Titans to be tied to Lobdell's Titans anyway! I'm usually not one to call for trashing continuity and doing full blown retcons of established characters but something needs to change if the Titans are ever again going to be likeable (although, were they ever really likeable in comic book form?!). Just start over because all of these characters can eat my poo.

Wonder Woman #43

Whoa, whoa, whoa! Why is there only one "Finch" on the cover?!

So it turns out David Finch didn't draw this issue! How is that going to affect the story? Will Meredith Finch write better when her husband isn't constantly nagging her to slip in two double page splash pages and a scene where Superman catches Diana masturbating?! Will Meredith Finch actually begin to write some complexity into Diana's character without Dave standing around yelling shit like, "Make sure you have Diana beat up an obviously sexist pig so everybody knows she's a feminist! Oh! And how about introducing Baby Rabies into her personality this issue? Women suffer through that shit at her age, right?!" I don't know why I have this intuition backed up by years of evidence that David Finch, even though he's not writing, is the main problem with the current version of Wonder Woman.

It's not really an intuition if it's based on evidence but since most people would rather think their beliefs and conclusions spring magically from thin air than realize that "intuition" is just putting together perception and evidence to predict the most likely future outcome, who am I to think otherwise? How arrogant would that be to believe that my brain puts information together to form a coherent and predictable model of the reality surrounding me? How dare I pooh-pooh mysticism and magic and religion and intuition and psychic powers?! People who rely on science and evidence are such condescending bastards!

You know what I'm sick of seeing posted to Facebook? "It's better to be kind than intelligent." Fuck you assholes and your passive aggressive bullshit. The two aren't mutually exclusive! I mean, I'm a bad example because I'm a huge asshole and a genius! But it's insulting to suggest that if somebody is intelligent then they're mean, or vice versa. Are people saying that all of their kind friends are morons? It's a bit like the old stupid person adage about how smart people lack common sense. Dumbies are always trying to make themselves feel better. Look, just because I will openly state, "There is no God," does not mean I'm being mean. Y'all constantly praise God right in my face. So aren't I allowed to express myself as well? I guess it is a bit mean to point out that my lack of belief is based on evidence and a well-informed opinion and your opinion is simply based on clinging to your desire that your ego will somehow exist for eternity. But those are just facts! Not accepting facts doesn't make facts not true! Look, I want my ego to exist forever too! Who wants to die?! But we must die because the only way for a species to grow and evolve is for continued iterations of two differently-sexed parents combining their DNA into new possibilities. Eventually, maybe, somehow, human beings will figure out the key to immortality. But as soon as that happens, say goodbye to evolution and hello to sterilization! You better hope when that leap is made, human beings are comfortable with everything about the way their bodies and minds work.

Oh, hey! What was all that? Who typed all that stuff? It wasn't me! Gosh darn that jerk who just typed all that stuff on my laptop which wasn't me at all and somebody else who you're probably angry at now! I hope God curses their grandkids! I mean, I'd love it if God would curse that person specifically but if you're familiar with The Bible, you know God has a problem punishing the correct people. I should probably just read Wonder Woman now before I point out how reading The Bible is probably the best way to stop believing in The Bible. No wonder the church fought so hard to keep it from being printed in a language the masses could read and why they still continue to try to interpret it for their flock. When people claim it's a book of instructions for life, I wonder if they even know what instructions are.

The problem might lie with the spacing of those bars.

So far, I like the new art and all the detail but it looks like these women have been sucking on lemons all morning. Can Ian draw mouths that aren't puckered up duck faces?

Strife appears eating a gigantic bag of popcorn leading to Wonder Woman asking the stupidest question she could think of.

Diana. Her name is Strife and she hates you. Figure it out.

Wonder Woman was just being polite and giving Strife a chance to show she has a big old pair of ovaries but instead Strife chickens out and pretends she had nothing to do with Donna's disappearance. Wonder Woman responds with some smug response that allows her to smirk as if she just laid a verbal smackdown on Strife. She didn't though. It could have been better. I give it a four out of ten. But now the hunt is on to find Donna before she meets and marries Terry Long.

Hera's pool doesn't work for finding people made out of clay so Wonder Woman pays a visit to her brother, Wesley Willis. I'm glad Meredith didn't forget that he's a character in this comic book series!

I think Meredith could have done a bit more research on his way of talking though! I would have said, "Diana. You are a very nice sister. I will help you to see. I will go on a hellride for you. You are the nicest sister in the world. You are so nice you would bring me McDonald's." Also, Diana would have shown up with McDonald's.

Whenever Milan shows up, I have to mention that I once met Wesley Willis at a concert in Portland. He sang a song he was working on at the time called, "My Roommate Fucked Me In The Ass." He was a brilliant musician.

Milan's clues lead Wonder Woman back to London and to a place called "A Twist of Fate." You'd think the Fates wouldn't set shop in a place with a name so on the nose. I'd imagine they'd be working at Michael's.

Donna surprises the Fates in their shop where they weave threads and fill growlers.

I guess in this version, you can only tell who's youngest by her breasts.

The Fates don't have Donna's thread so she can't die by their hands. She leaves while some other mysterious presence visits the Fates next and murders them. Diana stumbles upon the scene before the cutter of threads dies and burbles out some ambiguous rhymes that leaves Diana thinking that Donna murdered them. I've said this before and I'll say it again because I'm constantly writing about comic books but when you're saying your last words to somebody, try to be clear and concise! Your vagueness and ambiguity only leads to trouble!

As Wonder Woman exits the shop, she meets a street urchin who would make a better Wonder Girl than that awful Cassie over in Teen Titans! Before Diana can learn her name and give her an outfit, Aegeus and his flying horse (that isn't Pegasus because Pegasus is dead) attack. But he's no better at shooting arrows now than he was last issue.

Eww! That's kind of creepy if she means Aegeus was still breastfeeding at fourteen. I must be parsing this statement incorrectly!

Aegeus eventually gets a lucky shot when Diana thinks he's down for the count and hits her in the shoulder with one of his magic arrows. It causes Diana to bleed from her eyes and, once more, mention how Aegeus won't escape so easily as he easily escapes. Diana collapses in a heap of blood so that she can wake up being cared for in the street urchin's cardboard box next issue.

Wonder Woman #43 Rating: +1 Ranking. This issue was much better than previous issues. I'm going to assume it's because David Finch wasn't a part of it. It's probably just my intuition and not evidence-based at all that I believe Meredith Finch writes better when her husband isn't standing over her shoulder asking for more scenes where he can showcase Wonder Woman's boobs. This feels a bit derivative of Azzarello's run but that's a good thing. I don't mind if Wonder Woman is mostly caught up in the lives of the gods and the other Amazons in her own book. She can save the world over in Justice League. I just want to see her helping other people because it's the right thing to do. I have a feeling she's going to wind up hugging Aegeus and stroking his head and telling him he's well-loved. Then he'll weep and renounce being a dick and become a minor character in this comic book. And maybe his Pegasus is actually Pegasus returned. I said back when he died that he had a strong chance of coming back quickly since young girls and boys love winged horses. Pegasus can't die with all of that junior high school worship taking place. Anyway, I'm cautiously optimistic about the direction of this book right now. I would love to have a well-written Wonder Woman in a comic book I'm buying. I have no idea how things are going over in Sensation Comics since I don't pick that up, what with it not having been a New 52 book and all that jazz.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Lost Army #3

"One...chance...left. Must...fart...straight up...Kilowog's nose!"

The L'army of G'lanterns recently discovered they've been transported to the universe that existed before the current DC Youniverse. I don't mean they're in the Reboot Universe or the Preboot Universe or the Pre-Zero Hour Universe or the Pre-Crisis Universe or the Pre-Flash-fucked-some-shit-up-again universe. No, I'm talking about the DC Youniverse that existed before the current DC Youniverse. Look, I'm not fucking Carl Sagan. I don't know how to explain this shit in that special way which keeps a person interested even though they're wondering why I'm spending so much time talking about the ancient Romans instead of physics and astronomy. See, the DC Youniverse began with a Big Bang. This was represented by Krona jerking off and flinging his semen across the universe and yelling "Thwip!" at the top of his lungs. But before he jerked it and came on Adam-One's face as he also seeded the current DC Youniverse, another universe had just ended. That's the universe the L'army of G'lanterns have found themselves in now! And yes, I'm going to keep referring to them in that shortened, glottal stop way! It's fucking cool.

Now Stewart and his companions have run into Relic because why not? It's not like it's improbable that they would run into this specific being in a theoretically infinite universe! And even if it was improbable (which it totally isn't, things being what things actually aren't), who wants to read twelve issues of the Lost Army as the Green Lanterns search for some clue to what happened to them. I decided not to continue using the shortened forms of Lost Army and Green Lanterns. An eleven year old informed me it wasn't as cool as I thought it was.

Relic is at a point in his life where he has yet to make up his ridiculous, completely-lacking-in-evidence theory about how using the energy of the emotional spectrum depletes the energy of the universe. So instead of battling the Lost Lanterns, he invites them into his ship for tea.

"Peeing in the time stream" is good enough, Guy. You didn't have to add "pool." Because why would a stream need a pool?!

It's about this time that John Stewart is due for a flashback to when he was a marine, so he has a flashback to when he was a marine. Everybody pay close attention to this part because it will develop the theme of this issue! Of course the message will be distorted through the lens of patriotism and how people, especially professional writers of popular entertainment, aren't allowed to criticize soldiers or the military in any way at all. The military is full of heroes who signed on to keep other Americans free and not at all nearly entirely composed of lost souls who didn't know how to live their lives on their own terms, as certain America-hating pacifists might want you to think. There's definitely no reason why the military spends so much more time recruiting at community colleges than four year universities.

Some people who might actually be using community colleges for their intended purposes might try to be offended by that last comment. But that's because everybody views the world through their own perspective and judges things by what they know. Obviously somebody going to community college with plans to transfer to a four year school would want to defend community colleges. I have no problem with them. But even if you're using them planning on transferring (or just only ever planned on getting an Associates Degree), you have to realize that many people only attend community college so that they can continue to live rent free in their parents' house after high school because they don't really know what they're going to do next. A lot of people in your classes at community college don't actually give a fuck about any of the learning going on around them. That's why they're the perfect place to recruit for the military! Recruiters are hunting lost kids who want some kind of direction after high school. It's like recruiting fish in a barrel!

John's flashback is about trusting your enemies or something. It's meant to show that he has experience with working with his enemies to get the job done and that's why the reader can now trust him to work safely with Relic and Krona.

Relic explains his nutty theory so I guess he already believes in the finite nature of the emotional spectrum. He was busy looking for a reservoir of light when he ran into the Lost Army.

Well fuck, John. That's why Relic never needed actual proof! You gave him confirmation of his theory when you lied to him!

Guy Gardner gets pissed at John for lying to Relic. But he gets pissed for all the wrong reasons! I think. I don't even really understand what his reasons are. I think he's angry because John lied so easily? Which is a dumb reason to be angry when dealing with a serious threat like Relic. Maybe Guy is really just mad because John has taken over the role of leader and Guy wants to be leader. Mostly though, I think Guy is angry at John because conflict builds character! And the story would be boring if all of the heroes agreed with each other and weren't constantly about to get into a brawl with each other.

Guy thinks by being honest with Relic, he can help save Relic's universe. That doesn't seem like the kind of thing a character should say after they were so concerned about their piss in the time stream's pool. If he helps save this universe, he dooms the universe they came from! At the very least, he changes it substantially by allowing this universe to exist longer in the space where Guy's universe is waiting to be born out of Krona's self-pleasure.

It's too bad Guy went on this rant about helping Relic because I liked the idea that Relic's theory was wrong but he now truly believed it because John said he was from the future and that the theory was true. But with Guy arguing to help save Relic's universe, it seems Relic's theory is as true in Cullen Bunn's recreation of this story as everybody believes it was during the Relic War in The New 52 Universe.

The Light Pirates attack so the Green Lanterns have to expend more energy to keep Relic's ship safe. I would put another flashback in here so John can think about how the military used up all of the Afghan resources in trying to "save" the Afghans before leaving them to deal with the consequences when the soldiers were finally able to go home.

During the battle, one of the Light Pirates drains Arisia's ring so that she winds up unprotected in space. That's where the issue ends though, so she still might survive. Or DC Comics can just get rid of her so nobody has to be reminded of Hal's time as a pedophile.

Lost Army #3 Rating: No change. I'm not a huge fan of comic books which tell the complete story of something that was mentioned or used as backstory in a previous comic book. I was just fine knowing about Relic's universe and the Lightsmiths and the Dimming and his being laughed at by all of the real scientists because he didn't know how to actually science very well. I did not need any details filled in. The only way I will be happy with how this series ends is if the Green Lanterns wind up being responsible for the death of Relic's universe through their arrogance and belief that their universe matters more than Relic's universe. I also have a problem with this cover because John Stewart was never the last Lantern standing nor did he ever fart in Kilowog's face. That means that Cullen Bunn's story changed since he submitted the solicit for it. Hopefully that means this series has already been cancelled and Cullen Bunn is improvising an ending so it wraps up coherently! Better that this series ends before I wind up hating 2-6-8-1-7-9-5.

Doomed #3

I have no idea why this title even exists.

What do I care if this Doomed-man is hunted? I don't even know him yet! He was just a normal kid until he was bitten by a spider ate a bad germ and suddenly gained super powers. Now he has to deal with being a young kid in college trying to watch over his aunt and dealing with rent and dating and roommates and, quite possibly, an angry boss that thinks Doomed is a super villain. The first two issues have given me no reason to like the kid except that he must be nice because he sort of shrugged his shoulders when he nearly killed his aunt's dog which he hates. Also he pointed out that he didn't want anybody to be hurt when that bus crashed into him. Plus he almost had sex with a beautiful homeless woman and that makes me admire him? I guess?

The kid's name is Reiser or something? I wish Lobdell had just kept calling him Peter because Peter is easier to remember. Plus Doomed-man's transformation only seems to kick in when he becomes sexually aroused. So maybe that's why I should like this character. His story is an analogy about becoming sexually active. At least I think it is. If Lobdell wasn't Lobdell, I'd give him the benefit of the doubt and believe that he meant to develop this theme. But I think I might be reading too much into it. The story is better if you pretend it's about sex though.

The issue begins three years ago when Roman (Reiser's gay superhero roommate) and his boyfriend are shot at the Metropolitan Museum of Oddity. They must have just discovered sex because it really fucks up a person's life if they're not ready for it. Remember how this comic book is about being punished for sex? Roman's boyfriend is dying from a gunshot wound so Roman leaves him to go get help. And since everything is so sad and scary, he makes sure to make a "worst class trip ever" joke. Sometimes you just have to lighten the pain and tension of your loved one dying by laughing and then becoming a super hero.

Mars was gay? That's a beard joke that eventually nobody will understand because homosexuals shouldn't have to pretend to be anything but themselves. I mean, unless they have unlikeable personalities. Then totally pretend to be somebody else because nobody can stand you.

Three years later, Roman's probably still mourning his first love so that DC doesn't have to show any more images of men kissing. Some guy will hit on him and he'll be all, "It's too soon! TOO SOON!" Roman seems happy as he and Peter walk Aunt May's dog in the park. Get this! The dog doesn't like Peter but it likes everybody else. Ha ha! Classic.

It turns out Roman doesn't have control of the Roman who takes over his body when he ties a cute little scarf around his thigh. Note the subtle use of Roman's name to indicate he's the vessel for Alpha Centurion, a Roman. And Peter's name shows that he's a vessel for his penis when it takes over. Neither one of them can control their bodies when thoughts of sex intrude. I can't wait until they battle so I can imagine them slapping their erect penises together.

Apparently Roman was only in the park to find a bush that might suck his dick. Peter has come to meet his co-intern Jayne. She's also super hot because she's a female in a comic book who isn't old or Amanda Waller.

Adorbs. Check. OMG. Check. Totally nailed young people. Check.

Mary Jayne just met Peter once at work the previous day. If I were here, I wouldn't have ten minutes for him at all, and I'm not even a...well, whatever she was going to suggest Peter thinks she is. Unless, of course, I was sexually attracted to the person asking me to meet them in the park. Then I'd find a nice bush and wait for them to stick their...I mean, I'd ask where to meet up and have a pleasant conversation getting to know them.

Peter considers telling Mary Jayne about how he met this chick named...oh, I don't know...Gwen? and almost totally nailed her without any protective gear. But instead he tells her the sex analogy about how he took off his protective gear in the "Clean Room" (which isn't a clean room at all but a quarantine room) and might possibly have gotten an infection of some form or another. Warts, maybe. The best part about thinking about telling Mary Jayne about his near sexual encounter is that he gets to picture Gwen naked in just a towel and you can see like three-quarters of her boobs! I hope just remembering that doesn't turn him into Doomed-Man!

Sure, keep whatever hideous disease you caught just to keep Mary Jayne's job safe. How about not giving a shit what she thinks? How about going to some lawyer and suing the shit out of STAR Labs for putting an intern's life in danger without any training or proper direction his first night on the job?

Peter apologizes for nearly costing Mary Jayne her job. She then declares they'll "figure this out." Figure what out? He said he's fine! What is there to figure out?! I don't think she's the genius she claims to be.

Mary Jayne leaves to go investigate the, ahem, "Clean Room" for any evidence of radioactive spiders. Peter is left to fantasize about graduating and getting a good job and marrying Mary Jayne and looking at Mary Jayne holding a baby while he looks into a microscope because of course he would continue to be a scientist and she would stay home in her baggy overalls taking care of the baby. I'm just glad he didn't fantasize about the only part of the relationship that would actually be worth fantasizing about or else he'd have become Doomed-man! And that would have...well, it wouldn't have done anything, I guess. It's not like he goes into some kind of Hulkian rage. He just becomes super strong and invulnerable and ugly. I can't imagine people at the park would pay him any mind. They'd probably just think he was with the Elmo and the Buzz Lightyear deeper in the park asking for tips for pictures.

After Peter finishes his fantasy where he's successful and married and Mary Jayne has given up all of her hopes and dreams for a baby, he realizes Aunt May's dog is missing. Ha ha! Classic!

Oh, I don't know. Everything?

Good thing Miles knew that Peter would be able to track Aunt May's dog deep into the park and into the abandoned zoo. Because now they can battle without any innocent bystanders getting hurt.

Peter gets a boner (I guess a slight breeze blew across the front of his jeans) and he erupts into Doomed-man. That's when he discovers Miles wants to kill him. Also, Miles can understand his monster language. Which is called--shudder--"Monstre'".

Peter talks the kid into letting him live for now because the kid isn't really a kid but Peter actually is. So Milo takes off for now but he'll probably be back to work with Doomed-man as his genius tech guy. That way whenever a plot gets too complicated, Milo can appear with his new Canis Ex Machina device and the day will be saved.

Meanwhile, STAR Labs has brought some of The Elite over from New York so that they can battle Doomed-man, just like always! Doomed-man is always tangling with other superheroes because nobody knows who he is! Also they all think he's a bad guy but that wasn't every part of the theme song.

Doomed #3 Rating: No change. Remember when you were young and you wanted some Transformers for Christmas and you asked your grandparents and they were all, "Transformers? What are these Transformers?" And you were all, "They're cars that turn into robots! Or robots that turn into cars! They're cool and neat!" But of course you left off how expensive they were because you were crossing your fingers and making your bedtime wishes and pretending to be on your best behavior in the hopes that your grandparents would be suckers enough to pick you up an Optimus Prime. And then you saw the present they got you wrapped up under the tree and it was too small to be Optimus Prime but, hey, maybe they got you Bumblebee, right?! And then on Christmas Eve when your family gathered to open presents, you excitedly ripped into the present and discovered that your grandparents only understood three things when you asked them for the Transformer: robot, car, and cheap. What you were left with was a Gobot. Well, that's what Doomed is. Doomed is what your grandparents got you when what you really wanted was Spider-man.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Secret Six #5

Why did Simone make Alice so young because now I feel the way I feel when I watch Sailor Moon?

The life of a comic book reviewer is pretty sexy. Not from the outside, of course. From the outside, I'm a grumpy dickhole hunched over a laptop in a dark room snickering to myself as I think up new names to call lousy artists. But from the inside, I'm Jesus Christ here to save the world of comic books! No wait! That's not sexy at all! I forgot that I began saying that my life was pretty sexy! Stop thinking about Jesus being sexy! I won't be responsible for your blasphemy! I think I meant I'm Fabio on the cover of an 80's romance novel sweeping a copy of Elfquest #12 into my eager arms. That's the issue where Skywise met Aroree and probably the moment in comics that sparked the most fan fiction I've ever written (unless it was that scene where Skywise puts the moves on Foxfur). And by "written fan fiction," I actually mean "late night masturbation fantasies." This was before the internet so my fan fiction and masturbation outlets were severely limited.

I was going to continue to explain how great the life of a comic book reviewer is but now I can't stop thinking about how every piece of erotic fan fiction on the internet was probably masturbated to by the author. I also kind of feel like a fraud calling myself a "comic book reviewer" when I hardly ever mention the art, barely dissect the themes inherent in most stories, and mostly just type up any random thought that my synapses can fire off. But that's probably just low self-esteem trying to make me its victim. If you look up self-esteem in the dictionary, you'll find a picture of me teabagging it. At least you will in Eee! Tess Ate Chai Tea's Oxfordian Dictionary of The Words I Could Remember While Compiling This Dictionary. Oh! "Compile"! That's Another One I Can Add!

I think this needs to be Jon Hamm's next role.

That page is why Gail Simone and I get along so well in my late night fan fiction. She puts her wieners right out there and dares people to make something of it. Some writers think that dignity is something to maintain, something to be hoarded and cherished. But Gail Simone learned a mighty lesson from Of Mice and Men and Old Yeller and took care of her dignity in the proper way by shooting it herself. People respect their dignity so much that they probably think what I just typed was an insult. Fuck no! I don't even remember what my dignity looked like! I'm pretty sure my dignity didn't survive junior high. All dignity does is hold you back and make you think having a character yell, "Red-hot wieners for everybody!", is sophomoric, silly pap. Which it is! But that's a good thing and not a bad thing! Comic books are meant to be fun, people! Get out your red-hot wieners and enjoy this shit. If I wanted to read War and Peace, I'd shoot myself.

Actually, I do want to read War and Peace and I don't actually want to shoot myself. Which reminds me that I need to replace my two favorite shirts in all the worlds! One had hearts and rainbows all over it and said, "I hate myself and want to die." It was made popular by that Engrish website. The other shirt had a penguin with his arms outstretched and read, "I wish I could fly." One time at a theater in Reno, Nevada, as I handed the ticket taker my stub for Thirty Days of Night, she looked down at my shirt and said, "Aww. That's so sad." I never remember what I'm wearing so I assumed it was the one where I hate myself. But then I looked down and saw it was the penguin and that made me smile. It is a rather melancholy shirt.

It was apparent in his reaction to the weird sex on the couch, but this scene really made me see the genius of having Ralph Dibny in a group like this. You need some kind of "normality" barometer with these psychos.

I put "normality" in quotes up there because some people are offended by the dictionary definition of the word normal. We get it! Everything should be acceptable! But that doesn't mean you have to take the definition of "the norm" behind the barn and introduce it to the concept of glory holes. I think it would be less uptight if you did though. And who knows? Norm might even enjoy the working side of the hole.

At the barbecue, Strix sits up in a tree and nobody knows why because I guess they've forgotten she's an owl. Ferdie is drilling holes in the ketchup. Alice is practicing sleeping five feet above the bed. Shauna's stole is more adorable than it ought to be. And Porcelain is getting drunk. The others will probably get drunk too. I know I'd get drunk if I ever decided to meet the neighbors during the yearly block party. But after twelve years of avoiding them, it's getting harder and harder to make an appearance. Besides, the one time I went to the neighbor's pig roast for a few minutes to get a beer and say hello, I was accosted by two people who may have thought their social game was kick ass but found it wasn't good enough to break through my hermit-fu. One guy told me I should try the chocolate covered bacon. I said, "No thank you." And then he said, "No, seriously. You have to try it. It's amazing." And I said, "That's okay." And he said, "You're really missing out. It's so good." And I said, "I don't eat meat." He then blinked a few times and just turned and walked away. Is that how you socialize? Are people supposed to enthusiastically love whatever I love? And if they don't, I just write them off and walk away? The other person must have recognized me as the neighbor that nobody really knows. And it seems maybe I have a reputation that was earned from speculative gossip because as I came down the stairs of my place and walked the few feet into the neighbor's driveway where the keg of beer was, this person approached me and said, "Is it the Witching Hour?" And I said, "What?" And he said, "The Witching Hour! Time to shut it down?" And I said, "I don't know what that is." And he said, "We getting too loud?" And I said, "I'm just here to get a beer." He then blinked a few times and just turned and walked away. Apparently I rock at partying!

Big Shot tells Catman that he thinks of the Secret Six as family. Whoa, whoa! I think that's coming on a little strong, don't you? Family?! Already? I guess Ralph and Sue were always kind of the parents of any group with which they were involved. And now that Sue's gone, Ralph is probably going stir crazy. Also he's probably horny and at least one of these pervos is bound to put out.

Catman heads up to wake up Alice and get her out of above bed. While he's in her room, she mentions having a dream about Preboot Swamp Thing #50. Except they wanted to destroy Alice instead of going into Hell for whatever they were doing during that story. Saving Abby or something, probably. Catman also notices a picture of Sue Dibny and explains that she isn't dead. He has a memory of her torturing him. Uh oh. It looks like maybe the Dibnys are pricks in the Reboot.

Blake decides to ask Big Shot nicely why he's married to a murderous shrew.

That might not be the best answer but it's an answer, I guess.

Porcelain and Shauna have a pleasant discussion while the boys fight it out on the lawn. Shauna shows herself to be far more intelligent than she's been letting on, and quite the clever little innuendoist. If she keeps coming up with clever explanations of comic book tropes, I might have to break my rules and begin crushing on an unattractive character of appropriate age. Although I really don't know how old she is. She could be sixteen but she looks like she crawled out of a Japanese television set that was currently tuned to a documentary about trash heaps. And the way she eats a hot dog could put a man in traction for weeks. Ooh baby!

I've always thought it was odd the way that men can look at women eating food and turn it into something sexual. The power of the Male Gaze is infinite! You know those schools that try to enforce dress codes because they say girls will distract the boys too much? Well, they should keep the girls from eating anything at all as well. In fact, maybe they should just sew all the girls' mouths shut. Or not even allow them to go to school at all! Problem solved!

Black Alice uses her powers to stop the fight which means she dresses up like Hawk and jumps into battle. Is that how her powers have always worked? She steals the trademark of another hero and gets busy fighting? I know she pulled Zatanna's backwards magic trick in an earlier issue, and I think she did something else at some point but I'll be damned if my brain ever decides to cooperate with me. And since the "me" part of me is a figment of my brain's imagination, I might have some kind of problem distinguishing reality.

Big Shot decides to stop fighting and answer Catman's questions. He tells everybody that Mockingbird is actually The Riddler. So by Issue #5, the Secret Six know who their tormentor is? I don't buy it! The Riddler is probably just Mockingbird's red-hot wiener!

There has to be a way bigger conspiracy here than just Mockingbird and the people he's manipulating. You don't once watch All the President's Men on acid and not learn a little something about conspiracies.

Big Shot decides to come clean to his new family. He loads them up in a van and takes a drive down the coast to explain it all. He begins painting a portrait of a night aboard a yacht where The Riddler was trying to fence a famous diamond, The India Star. It was the night the Secret Six's paths would cross for the first time and the entire reason why they were in the positions they found themselves in now. Ralph and Sue were posing as fences to try to get the diamond for a client. Catman and Strix were working security and/or filming cereal commercials. Shauna and Ferdie crashed the party because Shauna is a starfucker. Or, at the very least, a well-dressed-anybodyfucker. And Black Alice and Porcelain were there to steal the diamond. Maybe. Some of them might be lying. What is the secret?!

Whoa! I almost forgot to say "What is the secret?!" during this commentary! That was a close call.

Little did any of the guests know, the India Star wasn't the real reason they were all gathered together.

Somebody's nose forgot to sniff out this little mystery.

The Riddler's diamond was subsequently stolen and his yacht blown up. The only people left on the yacht when it blew were Riddler, the Secret Six, and Sue. Riddler blamed those on his ship for the disaster and that's probably why they wound up in the bottom of the ocean being asked, "What is the secret?!" I guess the answer to that question would be that one of the six has a huge diamond up their ass?

Anyway, Ralph Dibny says he didn't know Sue was still alive. But as we've seen previously, he's in contact with him so it's more probably Sue is the reason Ralph is working for Mockingbird. Just like the others will have reasons why they are as well. Many layers of this conspiracy have yet to be exposed. Maybe I can figure them out if I drop some acid next month. Although if I do, this commentary will be full of observations like "Triangles are the perfect shape because three is the perfect number" and "Why do you push the pause button to pause a movie and then push the pause button again to unpause the movie instead of pushing play?" and "Jupiter is following me. It won't stop looking at me" and "Books with pictures in them would be a great idea!" and "Am I really typing this or am I just a homeless vagabond desperate and alone and fantasizing in a ditch down by the trainyards?" Acid might be an enjoyable way to pass an evening, like playing video games or a round of tennis, but I don't believe it helps one think grand and interesting thoughts. Especially when you're busy trying to smash those tiny people climbing in and out of the handle on your comic book boxes. I hate those fuckers.

The group arrive at the dock of Edward Nygma's new yacht and Sue appears. At the same moment, Black Alice and Shauna are sedated by tranquilizer darts. It's a trap! Of course! The Riddler captures them all and announces there will be a wedding the next day. I guess Sue has made her choice! Probably just to keep Ralph alive. But still, it's gotta hurt that the woman you love would choose a cheesy Batman villain over your silly stretchy self, right?

Secret Six #5 Rating: +1 Ranking. This comic book contains characters that interact with each other in ways that real people might actually interact with each other. Most people would think, "Well duh! Isn't that how fiction should read?" Well, yes! But you'd be surprised at how seldom that actually happens in comic books. A lot of dialogue is simply written towards getting characters to engage in some kind of physical conflict. Complexity of character is not something comic books have traditionally done well. So it's always refreshing to read a book like this with a bunch of characters sitting around at a picnic which makes you think, "Jesus Christ, this is exactly what Thanksgiving is like with my family." I love the words and the story and the art and the characters. It's a fun book and I'm glad it's on the shelves. One more thing which I didn't mention because, as I did mention earlier, I suck as a comic book reviewer: I love Eaglesham's chaotic covers. Please keep them coming. They're like little mini-posters that I would easily hang on my walls if I were still in a phase of my life where I stapled shit to walls. Maybe I'll get a gym membership simply to tape these covers up in my locker so I can stand naked before them and gaze at their beauty.

Bizarro #3

This issue would have sold more copies if Chastity Hex were on the cover.

Me am not review this book later. Ha ha! GET IT?! I was typing like Bizarro! Ha ha! I just wish I were imaginative enough to keep that up throughout the review. It would be so hilarious I'd probably get a job writing sitcoms for CBS! I think I could write for Mike and Molly! Hey CBS! Read this pitch that you'll probably find when you Google "CBS" to see what everybody is talking about!

Mike: "Hello, Molly! I am doing this thing that everybody does but it is funny because I am so grossly overweight!"
Molly: "Oh Mike! Let me help you because it is even funnier when two overweight people do the thing that people do every day without any trouble at all!"
Mike: "Did we do a joke yet where I mention how much I love food?"
Molly: "Yes, that was the first fifteen minutes of the show. Remember when your African American partner was making all of those fat jokes at your expense because he's allowed to make them because you two are such good friends?"
Mike: "Oh yeah! He is my nigga."
Molly: "MIKE! You can't say that!"
Mike: "But he's my friend and he calls me fat all of the time. Is it not the gentle ribbing between good police friends?"
Molly: "I cannot believe I let you put your penis inside of my vagina, you racist."
Mike: "I am not a racist. I am a cop from Chicago."
Laugh Track: Ten minutes of canned laughter.

So do I get the job or not, CBS? Maybe I should write a scene for The Big Bang Theory too. Just in case!

David: "When are we going to play Halo?"
Laugh Track: Laughter.
Sheldon: "You know we do not play Halo anymore, David. Remember how angry you were that they changed the Battle Rifle to the DMR in Halo Reach and how you just couldn't figure out the special abilities so you'd often quit in complete nerd rage?"
Laugh Track: Laughter.
David: "Oh right. Remember when The Flash ran on his cosmic treadmill and found that alternate Earth?"
Laugh Track: Laughter.
Sheldon: "Of course I do. Everybody remembers that. They also remember when The Joker beat Robin to death with a crowbar and when Katana gave Halo a kitten."
Laugh Track: Laughter.
David: "We should have an argument about the rules of the apartment now before Penny comes in and makes judging faces at us."
Laugh Track: Laughter.
Sheldon: "Bazinga!"
Laugh Track: Canned laughter until the show ends and Chuck Lorre puts up some quote about his butt hurting.

Now do I have a job? Maybe one more scene! This is for the new version of The Odd Couple. I hope that show is also on CBS since I've never seen it.

Chandler: "I am so different than you!"
The Other Guy: "It is causing so much strain on our relationship!"
Chandler: "If only we were more alike!"
The Other Guy: "Is our show not funny or did those nerds break the Laugh Track again?"
Chandler: "You said 'again'! Nice touch!"
The Other Guy: "I wish you were dead."

Now that I'll probably be spending a lot of time working on scripts for CBS, I imagine this Bizarro Review will be one of my last. I just won't have time to read comic books when I'm scripting America's funniest sitcoms!

The first page of the issue is nearly identical to the cover except the characters do not have weapons and Chastity Hex was allowed to join the group for the photo op. Her face isn't as hideous as her name would suggest. Not the Chastity part! That part suggests that her face is hardly ever looked at because she's probably dancing naked.

Jimmy, Bizarro, and Bizarro's cock have found themselves in an actual ghost town where the ghost part of the name is both descriptive of a town that was abandoned and also of the residents living in the town. Either they're all actual ghosts or a whole lot of seedy real estate speculators are trying to scare each other off so they can buy up the property at pennies on the dollar.

All a woman really wants is for a guy to stop farting.

Chastity Hex is bounty hunting some guy named Jeremiah Blackhearse who is not a ghost even though his name sounds like he's been dead for one hundred and fifty years. Jimmy Olsen and Bizarro find him first which means Jimmy Olsen can snap some pictures of him as he gets away. And Bizarro can yell, "He am staying right here slowly!"

After Jeremiah gets away like I pointed out he would not two sentences ago, a ghost outlaw named El Papagayo rides into town with his gang and his parrot. So that shouldn't cause any trouble, right? As living beings, Jimmy and Bizarro can just ignore them and get on with their business. Most of that business is Jimmy trying to get into Chastity's pants because he isn't paying attention to her name. This is a comic book and names are meaningful! Although sometimes names are opposite, like when you call a tall guy Shorty or a fat guy Slim. So Chastity might be a great big whore!

Yes, please! More kisses on my bloodpumper!

Bizarro tries to battle Papagayo but finds it impossible because he doesn't own a Proton Pack. But Papagayo has a whole stable of ghost tricks to try and eventually possesses Bizarro. At least it allows Bizarro to speak normally for awhile.

Papazarro recognizes the name of Hex and figures it should be fun to wipe out any relation of Jonah Hex. Jimmy figures he should call Superman but realizes his Cracker Jacks' Superman Alert Bracelet was stolen a few days ago when he met The Riddler. I guess that means Jimmy will have to remind Bizarro how they're worstest friends ever so that Bizarro will regain control of his body with the power of friendship.

I'm only half Spanish and I know how to conjugate better than stupid Papagayo.

In my tenth grade Spanish class, we had to give an oral report that described our hobbies and aspirations. When I got to my aspiration, the conversation with my teacher Mr. Edwards went something like this:

Me: "Yo quiero dominar todo el mundo."
Mr. Edwards: "¿Como Hitler?"
Me: "¡No! Como Napoleon."
Mr. Edwards: "¿Qué diferencia?"
Me: "¡Más diferencia!"

I didn't know enough Spanish to defend Napoleon's campaign to conquer the world. I'm not sure I know enough English to defend it! But it sounded better than being compared to Hitler!

Jimmy Olsen blows the bugle hanging on the wall of the Brass Bugle Saloon and the ghosts of J. Jonah Hex and Cinnamon and Bat Lash and some other Western DC heroes come riding into town to destroy the ghost of Papagayo! Apparently J. Jonah Hex has a Proton Pack because he sucks the ghost of Papagayo right out of Bizarro's head and hauls him off to ghost jail, earning himself ten thousand ghost bucks in the process.

Chastity Hex hitches a ride with Jimmy and Bizarro as they head into Branson to drop off Jeremiah Blackhearse (who they caught at the end through silly shenanigans) and claim the bounty. Also in Branson? Zatanna! More sexy ladies for Jimmy Olsen to work his barely functioning charm on!

Bizarro #3 Rating: +1 Ranking. Jonah Hex was in this issue so you know it was a racist adventurous comic with an insensitive uplifting tale about a lone white man beating the odds in a savage dangerous world! Also Chastity Hex is a character that should get more on-panel appearances, especially panels that take place at the beach or near a swimming pool. Bizarro has never been better and I mean that either in the literal sense or in the Bizarro sense, depending on which you agree with. Because I don't want to wind up arguing with anybody about my opinions because how am I supposed to convince you that my opinions are right if you're too stupid to agree with them in the first place?!