Saturday, October 31, 2015

Teen Titans #12

Good. It's about fucking time.

I admit it! When somebody says they enjoy something written by Scott Lobdell, I immediately assume they are idiots. You know what? I get the feeling I've admitted that before! At the very least, I've ranted and raved and screamed on and on and on about Lobdell's horrible version of the Teen Titans so many times that it should have caused everybody to infer that that's the case. I suppose I don't mind if people enjoy it so much. Everybody has a right to enjoy whatever they want, no matter how stupid or idiotic or horribly written it is. But I do assume a person doesn't get much use out of their brain if they defend Lobdell's work as good. Or decent. Or even competent.

So now Lobdell fans (who are obviously morons (unless they enjoy his comic books simply because they allow them to turn off their brains for the three minutes it takes to read one. I suppose we all enjoy some of that kind of lovely garbage for destressing our lives)) have reason to celebrate. He's back on the Teen Titans! Hooray! More idiotic Narration Boxing! More crappily defined characters! More panels of Wonder Girl being punched by Superboy as she thinks, "I wish his dick were in my mouth!" I guess whoever loves Lobdell at DC figured he'd need some additional money each month after the cancellation of Doomed (which, by the way, wasn't cancelled fast enough). I'm surprised Doomed ran long enough to be cancelled due to poor sales rather than ending with a cease and desist from Marvel because they own Spider-man.

What kind of life have you led that you want it back now? Are tired of not being a living weapon anymore? Do you want to go back to working for NOWHERE? Superboy's life has pretty much been exactly what it is now: constantly running and fighting. Although he did have that brief period where he was dating Bunker.

This opening page doesn't quite feel right for a Scott Lobdell Jam. It's got the boring full page panel. It's got the inane dialogue. But where are the fifteen Narration Boxes?! I guess the lack of the boxes must be Pfeifer's influence.

After turning the page, I breathe a sigh of relief. When the story begins at a place that wasn't where the last story ended with lots of characters missing and nobody really concerned with the plot that had been chugging along the last twenty pages, I realize Scott Lobdell is definitely back! I was afraid maybe somebody at DC just added his name to the script so he could get a bump in pay. But that would have meant I don't get the enjoyment of tearing down his hard work. And by "hard work," I mean rush to get the script done at the last minute while scarfing nachos and guzzling Shirley Temples in some seedy hotel lobby bar.

I think I'd really have a good time hanging out with my imaginary version of Scott Lobdell!

Instead of still being in the basement levels of the MAW with Despero behind him, Red Robin is now in Dayton's destroyed penthouse (I think). Instead of the Elite having teleported in to shut down the prison break, they've completely disappeared (except for Wonder Girl). Superboy was doing the same thing he was doing at the end of last issue which was screaming to have somebody give him back his life. So that's going to be great in the collected edition. I always like having two nearly identical pages lined up one after the other. I suppose I'll have to wait to find out what happened to the others. I'm sure it's either a Despero alternate reality where the core of the Teen Titans will get to talk about how much they love each other, or Manchester Black decided the best way to end the prison break (which was part of his plan) was to just teleport everybody out (which was probably always part of his plan). He does have an Indigo Lantern with crazy powerful teleport powers which he hasn't been using at all for some reason. Why else have an Indigo Lantern on the team?!

The Titans notice that their powers are gone. Red Robin can feel somebody watching them because that's a thing that isn't real but everybody believes. You know when you think you feel somebody watching you? That just means you think you feel somebody watching you. If somebody happens to be watching you at that moment, it's just a coincidence. Believing every thought that enters your head is true? That's schizophrenia.

Was that ever a thing? When they were all Titans? And Superboy was trusted?

Here's a question! Why did DC Comics finally cancel Scott Lobdell's awful Teen Titans run only to reboot it with a change of attitude that never actually changed only to wind up shoving Lobdell back on the title? The only conclusion I can reach is that DC Comics hates fans of the Teen Titans!

Superboy remembers killing the Durlans which makes Red Robin say, "Whoops! I suppose if Superboy is going to turn himself in for murder, I'd better turn myself in for breaking into a prison and hampering a police investigation." Wonder Girl lies to Superboy when he pities himself and tells him that all she ever wanted was to get him help and to have his dick in her mouth. Oh, sorry. The last half of that sentence wasn't a lie.

Bart begins to whine about how if Superboy has to pay for killing twenty Muslims or aliens, then he should probably have to pay for starting a war that killed millions of people who have yet to be born. He even admits that he started the war because he was a stupid teenager who thought he was right the way stupid teenagers always do. He says, "Because I thought I was right. Whatever the hell that means." And Kon answers, "It means everything, Bart." Oh, okay. So any lives taken due to somebody doing something which they thought was right should be forgiven because they intended to do the right thing even though it was the wrong thing because they were acting like an idiot. All is forgiven! Next up, Wonder Girl needs to pity herself so the others can say, "No! No! You're a good person and we love you and that's all that matters! If only the stupid adults would get off our backs!"

Fuck everything. I probably got the Despero part wrong and it's probably Manchester Black but here we go with the "Despero alternate reality where the core of the Teen Titans will get to talk about how much they love each other" bit.

To top it all off, Bart's favorite memory is the moment from Lobdell's run of Teen Titans where Bart borrowed Tim's shirt without asking. What a great life he's led. Weren't we supposed to forget about that landfill? Didn't we cover it up with a golf course and forget about it? No? And now I have to relive it?! Argh! I already paid for this crap once!

Cassie's favorite memory was when she was defending her life against Superboy and thinking about his dick in her mouth.

Superboy's favorite memory was when the Titans saved his life because they're idiots.

Red Robin's favorite memory was probably the night he fucked all the female members of the Teen Titans but he doesn't reveal it to the others.

And then the Titans discover that Red Robin had been keeping tabs on them and researching them before he met them because he had to develop a plan to get them to all work together! The kind of plan only one person in the entire Omniverse could ever come up with:

Harvest! See? Tim and Harvest make plans in exactly the same way because, like I said three or four years ago, Harvest is future Tim Drake after he's become an immortal vampire, lived for one thousand years, and then traveled back in time to make sure the Teen Titans were created so that Tim could become Harvest! And so forth, and so on.

Red Robin is still under the delusion that Harvest is just a guy from the future who lost his son because of a war against superhumans or something. But that's what Harvest needs Tim Drake to think or else Tim Drake might avoid becoming a vampire and ruining his chance at becoming Harvest! Look, Harvest's back story has changed a number of times so don't think I'm crazy sticking to the Red Robin is actually Harvest hypothesis! It all fits if you know where to look! It's all just part of Harvest's ultimate and best plan ever!

Harvest says Kon was meant to be with him and not the Titans. The Titans deny it because they love him! But then Kon finally gets to tell everybody what he thinks. Bah. Why would they care? Who asks their gun if it wants to shoot the intruder?!

Cassie is totally thinking about Kon's dick in her mouth.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha! A-ha ha ha ha ha ha! Oh my god. I can't breathe. Ha ha ha ha ha! This is meant to be funny, right? I knew Scott Lobdell liked to write comedy but I never realized he could be so good at it! This is hilarious stuff!

Tim forgets about that thing where all the Titans have done horrible stuff because they thought they were doing the right thing and declares he's going to do the right thing and go against Kon's wishes. He's going to make sure Kon fights against Harvest instead of giving in and going with him. I really wish he wouldn't. Whenever Superboy is in a comic book, the comic book becomes all about Superboy. That might not be a bad thing except Superboy has no story and no character. He's just a guy who ruins everybody's day while they try to hug him. Just let him go already. He's an albatross!

Some friend! He wouldn't even tell you that his name was Tim! I have no idea how everybody eventually learned it.

To illustrate my point how Superboy is a parasite who just keeps ruining this title, I just realized that I've been saving all of my scans for this critique as "Superboy12a.jpg" and "Superboy12b.jpg"! As I was writing the HTML, I was linking to "TT12a.jpg" and "TT12b.jpg". But I just noticed after saving the last scan that I was saving all my scans as Superboy images. Reading Scott Lobdell comic books causes brain damage!

Superboy flies away and hopefully out of the DC You forever. He needs some serious revisions before he attempts to come back. And Harvest tells the Teen Titans that they joined together out of fear of each other which totally makes sense for no reasons but still makes them all feel bad and angsty and pouty.

And that's the end of this issue. What happened to The Elite and Manchester Black and Raven and Bunker and Changeling and the prison break and Despero and that Powers guy and Klarion and the last eleven issues of this comic book? Fuck you. Don't worry about it.

Teen Titans #12 Rating: -2 Ranking. I guess the celebration of the end of Scott Lobdell's Teen Titans run was premature. But at least I celebrated every single day over the last year and a half, never once taking for granted my time without a Teen Titans comic book with Scott Lobdell at the helm. I pity all of those fans who took the time for granted and never embraced the beauty of that time. I have a feeling that I might be to blame for Scott Lobdell's return to the Teen Titans. Somebody at DC probably missed my scathing critiques of Lobdell's work on this comic book and realized they couldn't live without them. So I'd like to apologize to everybody. I'm sorry I'm so good at tearing apart Scott Lobdell's writing on the Teen Titans. This one's on me.

Bizarro #5

I hope this issue breaks into a music video chase scene.

Here's something to think about: consensual sex among citizens of Bizarro World would look like rape to us.

Somehow Bizarro, Jimmy, Chastity, and Bizarro's Penis have wound up in Area 51 jail since the end of the last issue. Maybe it happened at the end of the last issue. Look, I read an awful lot of comic books every month. Take into account I'm also watching all of the super hero television shows, trying to finish reading the six thousand plus page Richard Burton edition of 1001 Arabian Nights, working through a fuckton of 20th century poetry, not to mention (although mentioning) whatever books I read to relax, and snorting a lot of synthetic cocaine (or possibly Styrofoam beads?), I have a hard time remembering everything I've consumed from month to month. Which is a total shame because what are we other than our memories and experiences? If I can't remember anything I experience then who the fuck am I?

Right now I'm the guy who wants to go roller skating and eat cotton candy with Michalie Portenberg!

Isn't she adorable?!

The Non-Certified Spouse just spent three hours morphing different celebrities with each other or herself on I decided she should morph Natalie Portman and Michelle Trachtenberg together because I knew it would be super cute.

Oh wait! I'm feeling a little bit better about my memory because the comic book flashes back to three days ago when Jimmy and Bizarro first met Spooky-not-SPOOPY-you-fucking-idiots Mulder and I-Won't-Believe-It's-Alien-Butter Scully. Although I feel bad about my memory again when I realize I should have known there would be a flashback scene because this is a comic book and comic book writers have yet to realize that that trick is so old and stupid that I should probably think of a joke denigrating Republicans to finish this statement but I'm being lazy so....

I remember when Area 51 was super mysterious and exciting! Especially Hangar 18!

My grandfather received a mysterious commendation from Kelly Johnson, the man responsible for Area 51. My grandfather worked at the Skunk Works but it was all hush-hush secrecy so the only thing I know for sure that he worked on was the SR-71 Blackbird. He probably helped reverse engineer anti-gravity technology from the crashed space ship at Roswell!

The team accept the job to get their asses shot breaking into Area 51 and head to Las Vegas.

This dealer is terrible. Bizarro said not to hit!

I guess there are only like two or three jokes you can write about Las Vegas so the action returns to Area 51. They still have at least one autopsy joke left to make there. Maybe they'll even make a "What happens in Area 51, stays in Area 51" joke, right? That's something people who have been anally probed like to say, right? Anyway, in Area 51 prison, Jimmy points out that they have to anally probe the toughest alien in captivity to show their prison dominance. They might also have to mutilate a cow, depending on which aliens they're trying to impress. Those gray aliens sure have some weird hobbies.

It turns out Bizarro's Penis, Colin, is the scariest thing in the prison. That makes sense.

And then the story is back in Las Vegas! I guess they forgot to make a dead hooker joke because those are always hilarious. It's like "Oh no! I paid to have sex with a woman but that isn't the horrible part because sex workers in many situations are competent businesspersons who should not be made to feel shamed for the choices they have made. The horrible 'oh no' part is that I killed her (probably on accident) and now she is in the trunk of my rental car! This will surely break down into a series of dramatic events in which I'm almost caught but escape through quick thinking and clever dialogue. Finally I will never wind up having to pay for killing the hooker because she was just a hooker, right? Also it is Las Vegas where this kind of thing is expected and probably hilarious."

Oh! This is the part of the story where the one best friend discovers the secret being kept by the other best friend about how the best friend isn't really the best friend of the best friend because the best friend secretly doesn't even like the best friend! But later we'll learn that the best friend has learned to love the best friend and they'll reconcile and probably fuck.

Back in Area 51 prison, Bizarro gets in a fight with a sentient squirrel. I mean, a H'lvenite! It's wrong to call alien lifeforms by words describing the Earth thing they look like. Although that didn't stop Guy Gardner when he was partnered up with Zilius Zox.

The fight was pre-planned so that Munk the H'lvenite could detach Bizarro's power draining collar. Then once Bizarro was back to normal, the group could escape Area 51 Prison! But first the soldiers drive a tank into the prison and shoot Bizarro with it at point blank range.

Why do people keep building prisons with fairly easy access to destructive weapons and technology?

Bizarro chooses an old Superman outfit, Jimmy picks up some Thanagarian wings and a mace, and Chastity Hex does not find crotchless lace underwear like I was hoping. She winds up flying around with a jet-pack and a couple of lasers. I hope she gets her own series after this series ends. But I hope it's written by Neil Gaiman.

General Lane stops the brawl and insists that everybody do everything he say immediately because he's a general in the United States Army! That's practically the ultimate authority. If you're human, of course. Our Lizard Overseers wouldn't give a shit about General Lane. But Lane learns of a bigger authority than himself when Jimmy points out that he's been recording everything and sending it to Lois Lane! She'll blab anything! If General Lane wants to keep any secrets, he's going to have to do what his daughter wants! Although if Lois refuses to publish what she's learned in exchange for something she desires, she's doing a disservice to her readership!

All of the aliens are set free and Lois doesn't publish the story for some reason. Or maybe she'll just publish it later. Chastity goes off into space with Kilowog's cousin. And Bizarro's Penis catches a lift with some gray aliens. I guess that means everything worked out how it was supposed to! Or not how it was supposed to. Or maybe it all just ended the way life just ends. Although one issue is left so that's the issue where Jimmy is going to have to apologize to Bizarro for hurting his feelings.

Bizarro #5 Rating: No change. DC Comics should remember how convenient four issue miniseries were. They were just enough to get a story told without overstaying their welcome if they weren't the most interesting things in the world. Don't worry about how a four issue series doesn't quite hit the sweet spot on the page length and pricing chart for a collected edition. Instead, realize that a lot of people will commit to a four issue mini-series without even caring about the overall quality! This Bizarro miniseries was interesting enough with one or two funny moments per issue but it's really running long at six issues. We get the joke. I say not only forget doing six issue series but forget doing open-ended series altogether! Stop giving writers who have nothing to actually say a book that is expected to run for as long as it can (for example, Scott Lobdell with Doomed). Instead, give more writers who pitch a coherent, intriguing story four issues to tell it. Seriously though, I have so many four issue miniseries in my collection that I've probably never read because I just picked them up to read after they were all out and then never got to them. Four issue miniseries are potential goldmines!

Friday, October 30, 2015

Superman Isn't Sure If He Loves Wonder Woman Anymore #22

I hope this is the breakup issue.

The worst part about being heterosexual is not being able to arrive at a location and yelling, "I'm here and I'm queer!" I mean, I guess you can if you want to tease all of the local gay people. If you still want to yell it and don't want to be a tease, I suppose after you have sex with all of the gay people, you can say, "Oh, I just meant I'm eccentric!"

The last three comic books I read were Doomed, Doctor Fate, and Lost Army. The subtext of that rather boring sentence is "I am one more shitty comic book away from killing myself." Now, I could have dug through the stack and picked a comic book I know I'll love. But instead I'm taking my chances with Superman Loves Wonder Woman. This is like a game of Russian Roulette. It's written by Peter J. Tomasi which probably means there's only one bullet in the chamber. But even he hasn't been enough to save the mess that has become Superman which probably means that lone bullet is about to get ass raped by the firing pin. Maybe I should put some tarps down before I read this because I have a feeling it's going to get messy.

The issue begins with Superman teleporting up to the Justice League satellite and it might be the most terrifying thing I'll read over Halloween. It takes--get this!--thirty freaking seconds for Superman to be transported from one location to the next! He thinks about it as if it's thirty seconds of peace and quiet. But what it really is is thirty long seconds of non-existence! Although judging by the way transporters work, it's probably not thirty seconds at all. It's probably fucking eternity! Transporters are little more than suicide machines! Once the original Superman is taken apart molecule by molecule, he's dead. Done. Gone! That thing that arrives at the other side? The one that looks like him because the transporter arranged all of his bits back into the proper structure? That's not Superman. That's a monster!

Oh! Maybe that can help me explain why he's been acting like such a jerk!

The way this is beginning, it feels like the Convergence Sneak Peek. I hope not. That's where all these awful powerless Superman stories began! Before that, they were mostly crap. After that, they were all crap. I'm surprised anybody still buys Superman comic books. I suppose lots of readers think they're reading good stories because shitty comic book reviewers talk about this depowered Superman story line as if it's exciting and well-written. I wish they could all be fired from doing something they all do for free anyway. Most of them are probably just a bunch of sweaty assholes dying to get their Pro-Superman blurb on the next collected edition. They trade their dignity and honor for a spoonful of silver coins and a song from Pontius Poppins. Bastards.

Superman tracks blood all over the satellite as he heads to the shuttle bay. I guess this is the extended version of the Sneak Peek. Superman is going to fly into the sun and Wonder Woman is going to go after him. I will try my hardest not to wonder how fast the Justice League Shuttles can fly as he goes from the Earth to the sun in probably less than an hour.

Back on Earth, this happens because why not?

The way she's been written lately (the way they've all been written!), I'd say Lois Lane probably deserved to get smacked in the face by somebody. Superman wasn't going to do it. Wonder Woman probably wanted to do it and may have actually paid Lana to do it. But I guess Lana did it because she's angry that Lois Lane endangered her friend and brought all of this bullshit down on his head. Although did she really? How did things go from Superman being mostly loved by everybody except General Lane, Lex Luthor, and the United States Government to everybody hating him simply because people learned his name is Clark Kent? The only person who doesn't believe Clark Kent is Superman is Lex Luthor which is stupid since Lex Luthor was the only one smart enough to figure out Bruce Wayne was Batman after the Dick Grayson/Nightwing reveal. I have a feeling Lex Luthor is going to be set up by Batman and Superman so that he gets proof that Clark isn't Superman. Then he'll expose the secret to the world and everybody will breathe a sigh of relief and go back to pointing out what a clumsy four-eyed jerk Clark Kent is.

Wonder Woman ditches Lana and Lois to go after Clark herself. She finds The Flash groggy from having been sucker punched by Clark. That's appropriate. Everybody punching everybody else for the most negligible of reasons! Even if they had good reason, it's still idiotic. For being good people and super heroes, they sure do rely on violence an awful lot.

Diana flies out to bring Superman back before he burns up or suffocates in space or dies in any number of horrible ways now that he's not even close to being invulnerable anymore. The Flash teleports them back and then Superman drops the bomb that really should have been Wonder Woman's bomb about sixteen issues ago.

Remember all the dead-eyed stares from Wonder Woman last issue? I'm pretty sure she knows she doesn't love Superman anymore. Although it could have just been Doug Mahnke not giving a shit about his job.

Clark decides to hold a grudge against Diana because she didn't do as he told her in the last few issues. Plus he's probably just trying to push her away in a lame attempt to keep her safe. But if he is, he's doing it in one of those ways that, if you're Diana, should be unforgivable. Telling somebody you're supposed to love that "you don't think you love them anymore" is the fucking end of it. If not for the person saying that, definitely for the person who was told it. Because either they don't love you anymore and you should just move on because they're trying to end it, or they do still love you and they're playing fucking games and trying to hurt you. Either way, fuck it. Dealbreaker. Done. Walk away from that shit, Diana.

Wonder Woman takes this petty garbage like the only adult in pretty much any Superman comic book right now. She just gets on with the business of finding the enemy kidnapping powerful beings to use as a source of energy. She's determined to do League work no matter how Superman's acting. So if he said the thing about not loving her to push her away, it didn't work anyway.

Superman and Wonder Woman decide to kidnap Parasite to use him as bait for their unknown stalker. They board the helicopter transporting him and actually take over without punching the shit out of a bunch of people just doing their job.

Although if I were one of the guards, I'd hate to have to face Amanda Waller after this. Maybe it would have been better if they were all knocked unconscious.

And so they kidnap Parasite and are ready to use him for bait next issue.

Superman Loves Wonder Woman #22 Rating: No change. This was just the Convergence Sneak Peek with some extra pages and a breakup. At least I hope it's a breakup. It had better fucking stick. I want Diana to run into Selina and have Selina tell Diana to just forget about Superman. It's such a waste of time trying to have a fuckship with these do-gooders who think everything out of their face-holes is righteous wisdom. I guess the bad guy still hasn't been revealed either. I mean, aside from him being called Mr. Bend. Too bad I didn't read this earlier so I could have advised everybody to just skip it! Although if you're into women punching other women in the face, I guess this was worth the cover price.

Loser Army #5

Yes, Loser Army. Not Looser Army, you numbskulls.

Has Arisia ever spoken to a professional about the abuse she suffered at the hands of Hal Jordan? He was a father figure whom she mistook for a romantic interest. Hal betrayed her trust and ignored her confusion to take advantage of her. Normally I wouldn't believe a character's costume reveals anything more than just skin but I have to think her choice of cuffed gloves, dickey, plunging neckline, and ascending skirt might have a little something to do with the sexual abuse. You don't see B'dg's little ding dong hanging out as he goes around fighting crime. But then he sought professional help after what Hal did to him.

The story begins with John Stewart having a memory of the military. It in no way should be taken as showing a foreign, imperialistic invader callously murdering a citizen of the country simply trying to defend his homeland. If that's what you saw when you opened this comic book and read the first page, you should probably stop attending those weekly Communist meetings in your disgusting friend's basement. The first page shows John Stewart not giving up the way marines never give up! He's outnumbered and outgunned by people in their own country who were not at all simply in the wrong country at the wrong time. They are obviously monsters and it's hopeful and uplifting to see John Stewart break some guy's neck because that guy was obviously about to kill lots of American children at the first opportunity. The man should not have raised a gun to the American invaders. What an idiot. Doesn't he know that he should let foreign invaders do whatever they want since there may or may not be terrorists in their country? If another country invaded America because America housed terrorists (which it totally doesn't and you should look up hypothetical in the dictionary you were thinking about buying that one time you heard somebody on the news say "mendicant"), obviously all of the Americans who hate terrorism would put their guns down and allow the invaders to do whatever they wanted in search of those terrorists.

Would this story be as exciting if every issue John Stewart flashed back to a dilemma he suffered through as an architect?

John Stewart: "Our rings have lost all charge and are useless! I remember a time the tips of all my pencils broke and Harry from two floors up had absconded with my sharpener!"

I bet the non-terrorist people of the nation being invaded had a similar thought about American soldiers ransacking their homeland!

I wish I were a naive, bloated bag of barely digested McDonalds and Krispy Kreme so that I also believed that "soldier" was a synonym for "hero." If I were a journalist in the twenty-first century, I would only do stories on Wounded Warriors because then I would be rich and nobody would ever criticize me or the subjects of my stories. I would write things like "sacrificed for our freedom" and "true American hero" and "noble choice to forgo safety and money for honor" and not write things like "lost in the choices presented by adulthood and free will" or "economic factors played a major role in choosing a military life" or "found comfort in being told what to do." I would say trite things like "They were hurt protecting your freedoms!" and "Freedom isn't free!" and "Freedom! Hero! Freedom! Hero! Freedom hero!" Man, I could get so rich if I didn't care about reality and just told people stupid bullshit that they want to hear! See also: Unitarian Minister.

Anyway, John Stewart's rousing speech about making a choice to live makes Salaak pump his fist in the air and yell "Yes!" while everybody else stands around blinking incomprehensibly. I suppose the rousing prison escape speech would have been better with some kind of interpretation device. Arisia reassures everybody in her cell as well as they stand around wondering why she's making all those weird little noises.

Great. B'dg is the only person to do anything of value and then John shits all over his accomplishment. Did you learn that in the Marines as well?! Come to think of it, he probably did.

John's lucky the rings have any charge at all! Hell, John's lucky that the prison cells were somehow connected to the storage space where the Light Pirates lock up all of their dangerous contraband!

I'd rather the Lantern Rings not announce their charge at all. I'd rather they just ran out without any warning. Or just let them stay fucking charged and get rid of this plot contrivance where the greatest weapon in the universe is constantly proving to be the most overrated weapon of all time.

B'dg also managed to find the power grid which possibly makes the Light Pirates Prison the worst designed prison of all-time. I wish John Stewart would have an architectural flashback right now. Or maybe he could have had one earlier to help out B'dg! He could have been all, "I've designed a prison or two during my architect years! The secret to designing an efficient prison was to connect all the cells to all the weapon storage areas and to all of the security rooms and to all of the power grids. We can use that to our advantage!"

Anyway, B'dg set off a time bomb that destroyed the power grid so that everybody could escape and begin a prison riot. Nobody thanks B'dg or sucks his dick even though they'd all be dead before the end of the issue without his help. Hopefully that'll come later. For now, the Loser Army needs to fight for their lives with only four rings each with just one-fifth of a charge! It's going to get tense as those percentages keep getting closer and closer to zero!

This is funny because Guy Gardner is talking about Salaak's penis. Get it? He is an alien so he might have a four pronged organ of generation!

B'dg saves Arisia's life and she's as ungrateful as John Stewart.

Nothing's ever enough to impress you assholes! Next time, I'd just let Arisia plummet to her death.

It turns out Salaak wasn't updating his online dating profile at all! He was looking at the schematics of the prison in much the same way an architect could have if he wasn't so busy remembering how he was a marine. Salaak has a plan to charge all of the rings they can find by using the prison as a power battery. But some rings have been destroyed, so I guess some of the Green Lanterns are going to have to wield the Lightsticks. Guy Gardner will probably make a Lightstick go in and out of a Lantern ring a few times while smirking lecherously.

The rest of the Lanterns have to hold off the guards while Salaak does his thing. 2-6-8-1-7-9-5 points out that she can come up with the exact odds of their survival because she doesn't have any personality. She's just a creature from a planet of math nerds. Then Jruk is killed because why not? He's a fairly new character that enough fans have embraced so that his death gives fake weight to the story. Then Kilowog looks up and says, "Heads up, Lanterns! The cavalry has arrived! What is that--" The very next panel, all of the Lanterns have rings and sticks and are back in their uniforms (or their new Lightstick Variant Uniforms). I guess John Stewart remembered how the Marines used to take a long time gearing up for battle and he thought, "Wouldn't it be better if everybody could change into their uniforms in the space between panels?!"

Once the Lanterns have the upper hand, Relic and Krona blast a hole in the side of the prison to try to steal all of the credit for the escape away from B'dg. Bastards!

Once they escape, Relic tells them that he thinks he's locked onto Mogo. They rush off to find their friend before Guy and John can have another stupid conversation about John lying to Relic. Just shut up, Guy! It doesn't matter! Stop taking stupid stands just to cause a rift in the group! Guy tries to start the conversation but John tells him to shut up. That's how that should have been settled earlier!

Meanwhile, Mogo is being attacked by Old Universe Power Batteries. And the issue ends without anybody giving the squirrel a nut.

Loser Army #5 Rating: No change. Overall, this wasn't a bad issue if you chose to read it without being a nitpicking bastard. I didn't make that choice. But it did feel as if some of the shit I usually complain about was absent. The charges of the rings constantly being the main focus of battle was left out. Guy's ridiculous stance that they not lie to Relic was curtailed. This issue didn't lose the military flashback meant to show the positive attributes John learned from being in the military but which usually just shines a light on what a dick move invading another country is. But I can't expect Cullen Bunn to care about a DC Comic book overnight, right? Hopefully he'll take my suggestion and let John Stewart be helped by memories of being an architect next issue.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Doctor Fate #5

I don't want to read about any of these Doctor Fates. Unless he's breaking up with Shaya in the lower right panel.

Paul Levitz must be really good at pitching comic books to have gotten the green light on this comic book. How did he make a story of a guy who never accepts being a hero, whines constantly about how hard school is, and believes he's been drugged sound interesting? Unless Paul Levitz ended his Doctor Fate pitch meeting with Round Robin Blowjob Time, I don't see how anybody was interested in this story. Although I think Quentin Tarantino has pitched practically the same thing multiple times although he makes it sound exciting by having every character yell "nigger" as many times as possible. Was there some secret Black Panther Illuminati NAACP meeting where Tarantino was given a lifetime pass to use that word that I typed earlier but probably shouldn't type again because I don't have one of those passes?

I'm quite aware of this need that modern comic book writers have to call attention to aspects of comic books that the audience used to just accept. Why would a normal kid with a scientific mind accept a magic helmet at face value? Why would he just suddenly wear it and think, "Cool! I can do neat stuff!" That doesn't make sense, right? So how about four boring as fuck issues of the character failing to cope with his new circumstances? Maybe it's more believable but so is a medical student trusting his observations instead of constantly wondering how he got on so many drugs and who might have clandestinely slipped them into his Yoo-hoo. Plus Doctor Fate's archenemy is a stray dog. Yippee. I'm trembling with excitement! Unless that's syphilis. Does syphilis make you tremble?

And the very worst part? He doesn't fucking care that his cat is dead.

The cat tells him to put the helmet on, shut the fuck up, and save the world. Hopefully that will finally put an end to all the nonsense since this issue is called "Confrontation." I'm pretty sure that by using that word as the title, something exciting has to happen by the end of the issue.

Doctor Fate is still not entirely sure he has the magic figured out so he decides to start his new career slow and boring. He catches some guys looting a television. So now his enemies include not only a stray dog but some looters as well. It's just as boring as it sounds. Although imagine if this scene were written by Tarantino! Heads would be exploding! Time wouldn't flow in chronological order! N-words would be raining down all over the place! Teenaged white male readers would be jerking each other off over that comic book!

This is usually where I'd say some interesting and possibly funny stuff but why bother? Paul Levitz isn't really trying, so why should I? I'm nothing if not petulant!

Oh, by the way, here's where the sex scene would go if this comic book were interesting.

And this scene where nothing happens ends just before she puts her hand down the front of her pants.

Meanwhile, Khalid has made it home from stopping looters and prepares for bed. He gets in his pajamas. He brushes his teeth. He thinks about how he isn't really a hero and can't save the world. He ignores the texts from his horny neighbor. I'm not saying my life is any more exciting than this but at least I'm not charging anybody three dollars to hear about it. Would that work? Would anybody pay three dollars to hear about what I did last night? It's actually more interesting than this comic book and I don't even own a magic helmet.

Luckily before Khalid goes to sleep and dooms the world, the helmet tells Khalid where Anubis is so that a confrontation can take place. Finally! Currently Anubis is threatening Khalid's father. But it's time for the big fight! It's going to be so exciting! Here it comes! The moment this comic book has been building super slowly to! The magic battle of the century!


Khalid's not sure what to do with his father. I don't think it matters because no matter how many panels Khalid speaks to him and calls him dad, his dad doesn't say a word. But the helmet suggests that Khalid maybe try sticking around and fighting the stray dog. Which, once again, makes Khalid question reality.

I get it, Paul! I fucking get it! He's fucking reluctant and this is too crazy to believe!

The stray dog gets really big and blames all the world's evil on man's love of technology. And then Doctor Fate gives up. He offers to give Anubis the helmet if he'll restore his father's eyes. Anubis decides he'd rather take Khalid's eyes instead.

Doctor Fate #5 Rating: -2 Ranking. So that was the big confrontation with Anubis? Khalid runs, gives up, and then trades away the helmet and his eyesight. You keep saying you're not a hero, Khalid? Well congratulations! You're not! You're a boring piece of shit who really should be fucking his neighbor right now. I suppose if your life is so boring that reading about a boring person's life would actually keep you entertained, maybe you'd like this comic book. But anybody who has Bagel Bites or Tater Tots in the freezer already has more entertainment value ready to go. Just pop those suckers in the oven and stare through the window to watch them cook for forty minutes. Fun! To increase enjoyment, masturbate while watching.

Doomed #5

Wouldn't that be great if this kid did turn into Doomsday and killed Superman again? And it was all written by Scott Lobdell?!

Remember when The New 52 was too new and fresh to have any serious errors in its past? The only thing readers could roll their eyes and scoff at was how nobody at DC Comics knew the difference between The Arctic and Antarctica! Now DC Comics has collected so much baggage (full of turds, of course) over the last four years that it's practically crying out for the next big company-wide reboot: Eternal Crisis on Infinite Multiverses! Or--and this might be a better idea because it only involves one step to fix everything--DC could fire Scott Lobdell! Okay, that wouldn't actually fix everything. Greg Pak is still over there ruining the Superman part of the franchise (although if I want to feel charitable to Greg Pak, I suppose I could blame Eddie Berganza for that failure since every book he edits is a big enough turd to clog a Las Vegas hotel toilet). And Cullen Bunn spends most of his time taping dingleberries to pieces of paper and handing them in as his Lobo scripts. And let's not forget Tony S. Daniel although you probably wish I would have let you forget Tony S. Daniel. Sorry! Looking at the ten worst comic books that DC publishes, they're written by those four guys! Oh, and Will Pfeifer. I think I was kind of letting him off the hook because he's just making "snow" angels in the filth that Lobdell left behind.

This issue begins with Superman Narration Boxing while he's about to be smooched by Doomsday. It's a totally Lobdelled first page in that it's a boring image with lots of Narration Boxes. Most writers try to start off their comic books by catching the reader's attention and making them interested in turning the page to find out more. Lobdell would rather make the first page as boring as possible so that the reader can eagerly look forward to more interesting pages as they work their way to the final page where they realize the interesting pages are in different comic books.

I'd ask who thought it was a good idea to let Scott Lobdell write Superman again but I already know it was that jerk Eddie Berganza. One time at a comedy open mic night, one of the "comedians" spent his entire time on stage wishing that I would get cancer, so I know how funny it is to wish cancer on someone (even if the guy stole his entire "I hope you get cancer" two minute act from Howard Stern who did that bit for like ten years). I mean, I would never wish a horrible disease on anybody no matter how good the act is. But I think I can wish that Eddie Berganza would win the lottery and choose to retire from comics! Now I just need to find a Wiki-dictionary where I can change the definition of "lottery" to "the act of getting hit by a bus."

Can't comic book editors return a script to a writer and say, "No. This is bad. Do it over"? I'm going to ask Gail Simone!

Superman is explaining Doomsday to Mary Jayne. Except Superman doesn't know what he's talking about for some reason. I'm not sure what that reason is. I mean, he's Superman. He should be at least somewhat intelligent! But instead he's all, "If Doomsday is killed, somebody else becomes Doomsday because that's a thing now! I totally know because I was in this event called 'Doomed' which was different than the comic book we're in now. But since I was Doomsday, you just have to believe that I know what I'm talking about! And I'm here because I broke into STAR Labs because I can't use my Fortress of Solitude which is in either the Arctic or the Antarctic and I probably haven't stolen all of Batman's Batcomputers yet, I guess. So I needed STAR Labs' computers for something inconsequential and I just happened to walk around the right corner and find you researching Doomsday! Now I'm here to help!" And Mary Jayne is all, "Please don't kill me!" That's a typical reaction to Superman in all of the poorly written DC Comics because suddenly nobody trusts him because they just realized he's an alien after knowing he's an alien for years.

Mary Jayne spills Peter Parker's secret to Superman and Superman leaps over to talk with Peter. Hopefully Roman doesn't decide to turn into the Gladiator or whatever and beat on Superman because Superman is an alien.

While Clark and Peter hug, Roman gets a cramp that will turn him into Alpha Centurion or whatever. It had to happen because somebody has to start a violent misunderstanding.

Of course he is, Clark. He's a teen character written by Scott Lobdell. That means he's better than adults at all the stuff.

Peter decides he can't trust Superman because...well, do I have to keep explaining how awful writers don't know how to write Superman? So everybody just mistrusts him which completely subverts the whole reason for him. He's supposed to be a beacon of hope. Instead, he's become a monster to fear. I suppose Peter can blame his Doomsday Virus on being such a mistrustful jerk but he was just scanned by Superman and he's fine! So it's really just the same thing that makes everybody else in the world an asshole: fear. Which, remember, is stupid because only stupid morons fear Superman and I'm sick of reading stories where people fear Superman. Boo! Hiss!

After Doomed-Man punches Superman, he flees. But Superman catches up to him and says, "You have one chance! Let me help you!" And this time, Peter is all, "Okay! I totally trust you!"





FUCKING BULLSHIT GODDAMN PIECE OF FUCKING FUCK FUCKER FUCK! If somebody gave me a time machine to go back in time to kill Baby Hitler, I would instead use it to go back in time and murder Tom DeFalco. Sorry, Tom. I suppose I could kill Baby Scott but he's not the real villain in his own story. He was just a guy who couldn't write who had the tenacity to keep trying and the sociopathic ability to spot a weak editor that would actually allow him into the business. Seriously, if you ever want to take the time to hear how Scott Lobdell got his big break in comic books, click on the first linked footnote in his Wikipedia page. Basically he got into comic books because Tom DeFalco was too fucking lazy to do his job.

I hope I don't get arrested for Thought Time Crimes now!

Anyway, Peter has to turn into Doomed-Man and punch Superman (even though he trusts Superman three seconds later) because Alpha Centurion has to come upon Superman hanging out with Doomed-Man. Now Alpha Centurion has a good reason to misunderstand everything and commit violence against Superman!

See?! Who doesn't know Superman is from Krypton! And they've known forever! But they're just now afraid of him for being an alien! I wonder if all this time the idiotic populace of the DC You just thought Krypton was a nation in Russia?

I wonder why Alpha Centurion speaks like a modern person who's trying to sound like an Elizabethan thug? Were most of those guys Romans?

Alpha Centurion beats the crap out of Doomed-Man for a bit. Doomed-Man equates Centurion's hitting power to that of a mountain if it had fists. So he's pretty strong if he can knock Little Doomsday around. But not stronger than Lost-His-Powers Superman because Superman grabs them both by the fists and stops them from fighting. Once again, Superman's current power level is determined by what he needs to accomplish in the plot.

Actually they weren't tearing up the city. They were just destroying a single ship. A ship which you, Superman, first threw Doomed-Man into anyway. So it was already broken before they began fighting.

And then a fifty foot tall monster erupts out of the ground so that the heroes can finally work together.

Doomed #5 Rating: -2 Ranking. Wasn't this some kind of Marvel formula in one of the earlier decades? Two heroes have a misunderstanding that erupts into violence. They battle for a bit saying things like "No time to explain!" and "J. Jonah Jameson's editorial said you were an asshole!" before they both realize they're actually hunting the same villain. Then they team up to defeat the villain and they become good friends until the next time a writer is feeling lazy and needs an easy conflict for his story. Maybe that's just a normal plot contrivance and I shouldn't blame it completely on Marvel. If it was a Marvel idea, DC stole it like they steal everything Marvel does, according to Marvel Fangenders. This story was so formulaic that it was almost competently written! How could Scott Lobdell fuck up a story that he's written about five hundred times already?! But being Lobdell, he screwed it up anyway. I mean, since when do Roman's speak like Elizabethans?! Aside from Spartacus, of course.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Martian Manhunter #5

Oh, I get it. No wonder I never have anything clever to say about these recent Martian Manhunter covers. Because they're just snapshots of J'onn as he's revealing some of his secret identities. Last one, we discovered he was a Haitian cop named Daryl. It's also possible all of the information in the previous sentence is wrong and he was not Haitian nor a cop nor named Daryl. I don't think it really matters since he was ultimately just another piece of Martian Manhunter. Just like this old white dude who is in some kind of Explorer's Club. I bet he smokes pipes in studies with other old white dudes and they talk about how great the Empire was back in the day while enjoying some poetry by Rudyard Kipling.

At the end of the last issue, Phobos (Mars's moon) was headed toward Earth to eat all of the cookies. If you want to try to get a glimpse of Phobos right now, you should get up early in the morning, a few hours before the sun is up, and look in the eastern sky. See that bright light that looks awfully suspicious? That's Venus. Now see that other light that is pretty bright and stable but nowhere close to as bright as Venus? That's Jupiter. And see the little red light that's really trying to impress but being totally outclassed by its neighbors? That's Mars. Now if you look really, really closely and squint just right, you can pretend to see Phobos.

Here's a fun fact: I didn't need any fucking Facebook news articles to tell me those planets were the planets they are. I just like to walk at night and listen to podcasts and when I head down my driveway at the right time of the morning, I see Venus, Jupiter, and Mars and think to myself, "Hey! It's Venus, Jupiter, and Mars." It's probably one of those 10,000 hours things where I've spent that much time of my life looking in the night sky. I should probably get my dick out of my mouth now and start the comic book. Or maybe I'll just suck it a little bit longer.

You people see that list of comic books off to the right? That list is as close to perfect as you're going to get. Sure, you might argue with me about a few relative placements. And, obviously, some of the spots are going to be a little out of whack because, um, statistics and not a flaw in my system. The bunch at the top? Guaranteed good comic books. Those at the bottom? Awful shit. The ones between the top and bottom? Probably decent enough if you're into the characters otherwise not a big deal if you skip them. Now, you're probably asking yourself, "Tess, why did you just cram this paragraph into your confused and chaotic narrative?" Well, my answer to you is that I just had a little bit of proof that my comic book opinion is the best opinion. Not just because it's mine but because it's also other people who probably know what they're talking about (I mean, they do agree with me, ya know?). Now, how long have I been telling y'all that Shade the Changing Man is my favorite all time best comic book ever in all dimensions? And how many of you took me seriously enough to go out and find all of the back issues since the series hasn't really had enough love to be printed in trades (at least no more than like the first arc or something)? Well, here's probably definitive proof that I was right about this.

See? One other person corroborates my belief!

About three years ago, I wrote this: "I’ve been slowly rereading my all-time favorite comic book series, Shade the Changing Man." Hmm, that's not as exciting as I thought it was going to be. I just wanted to mention again that it was my favorite series. That was also when I began to read all of my old comic books. I can't believe it's been three years. Fuck you, Time! You're the worst. Anyway, after Shade I read Doom Patrol, Planetary, X-Force, Batman and the Outsiders, DC Comics Presents, and probably some others I should have made note of so I could remember how I've been spending my limited time alive. Currently I'm rereading the eighties revival of The New Teen Titans. It's the first series that has really caused me trouble because I'm not enjoying it that much. And it's so long!

Currently the Team of Martian Manhunter's Body Parts are headed toward Ghana to regroup with Mr. Mould.

Mr. Mould is the white guy on the cover (probably). He's probably J'onn's brain for a racist reason. Mister Biscuits is J'onn's heart as I've mentioned before. Leo must be J'onn's flaccid penis which is why he's in the wheel chair. Daryl is J'onn's courage. Pearl is J'onn's emotions for a sexist reason. And little Alicia is J'onn's inner child. Unless she's his lungs or his aversion to fire. Even if I'm wrong, just remember that they're all aspects of J'onn and they're all just metaphors. Eventually J'onn will reconstitute himself out of all of these people which will kill them so that will be sad. But they'll still live within J'onn whenever he needs a disguise!

Meanwhile in Ghana...

No wonder Mera is pissed at Aquaman! He's having a homosexual affair! I think.

Aquaman has delivered Pearl to Mould. Mould claims he's the head so that's one metaphorical persona I don't have to guess at anymore. But he hesitates and decides not to tell Pearl what part of J'onn she is. I see. It must be a really embarrassing part like the sphincter or the clitoris or the left ear. Aquaman offers to help J'onn in any way he can. Probably because he just wants to spend some time in a well written comic book. J'onn promises to call Aquaman later once he's put himself back together. Maybe they can get an ice cream cookie sandwich and give each other hand jobs. Aquaman just stands on the beach staring.

He really doesn't want to go back to his terrible fucking comic book.

Mister Biscuits has to say goodbye to Alicia because she's not part of J'onn and he doesn't want to see her hurt. He leaves her a bag of cookies and gold coins so she can buy a monkey and a horse and a big house where she can live all alone and mop the floors with scrub brushes tied to her feet. But after the Team of Martian Manhunter's Body Parts fly off to Africa, Alicia is beset upon by White Martians. They're the worst kind, of course. Especially the cis male ones. Which these are! Also, they're the Martian Man-eater. So Alicia is probably never going to get that monkey, or that horse, or that house whose floors she can scrub while skating about in bubbles.

Back in Ghana, Mould and Pearl watch as Phobos barfs the avatar of Mars back down on Earth. It needs to kill Earth so that Mars can live because this Solar System seems to have a lease with a one planet of pets maximum.

Martian Manhunter #5 Rating: No change. J'onn J'onzz is sad because he wants Mars to live again. But for Mars to live, Earth must die. I say go for it! This world had its chance and all it did was develop a bunch of selfish, narcissistic assholes. They're so awful that I don't even care if every other species that has nothing to do with them dies because of their sins. Except for the cats. Can maybe the cats be transported to Mars? Mars needs cats! And if there's any room after that, how about the raccoons? You can't have a planet full of trash cans and not have raccoons. So, side note, Mars is going to need trash cans. And don't worry about what will happen with all the trash that has to fill the cans to give the raccoons something to do. The goats that can surely be saved as well will take care of the trash. Although Mars will probably need a goatherder/kitten-wrangler/raccoon-appreciator, so I'll volunteer to be the last surviving human in much the way J'onn was the last Martian. It'll mean hard work and sacrifice and so many purrs I can't even not stop myself from saying "I can't even," but I think I can handle it.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Secret Six #7

This is puppetist. Ferdie shouldn't be the symbol for The Ventriloquist. He should get his own symbol. Which would be a dildo.

I mentioned that I really liked the first episode of Supergirl and somebody replied with "I had some problems with the S - the 'what's wrong with being a girl' bit from her boss particularly, was absolutely horrible reasoning and completely missing the point - I don't mind that she's Supergirl and not Superwoman, but it was handled terribly." At what point did people stop believing that characters in shows, films, and written works could have unreasonable opinions? Can't an argument made by a character completely miss the point without it being seen as a flaw in the writing? Kara has an opinion about the name she wants to choose for her new persona. She doesn't like Supergirl and objects to it. Cat Grant has already been made out to be a horribly selfish person only concerned with her business and naming the new superhero reflects that. Her arguments for the name barely matter in this scene. Maybe some see it as the defense in the show for using girl instead of woman. But I saw that scene as an unreasonable human being choosing to fire somebody rather than be criticized. In a world of trending hashtags (ugh. What a shit world!), being the source of that hashtag proffers huge cultural capital. It's in Cat's best interest to defend the new name as vehemently as she can. I imagine Cat will wind up being more and more likeable as the show progresses but for now she's a fairly shallowly defined trope of the horrible boss (Lady Edition).

I get the feeling that some people put so much effort into pointing out how horrible the show was going to be from the trailers that they're going to have a hard time backing off of that position and realizing the show was fun, upbeat, and has the potential for an onscreen Director Bones! Also Superman was portrayed better than he's been in a long time. Although Supergirl's adoptive parents being Superman and Supergirl weirded me out a bit.

What is the secret?!

I should also point out before I continue that having a difference of opinion with somebody who comments on my blog which then gets me to go off on a slight mini-rant is not an attack on that person at all, no matter how strange their lightning is. Huge Manga Wink! I had to add this statement because I don't get angry at anybody ever but any time I do some hyperbolic rant based on somebody else's opinions, they always seem to think I've become their nemesis or something. The internet has created a lot of thin skinned people so I have to be careful! I don't want to accidentally piss off any more of my fifteen readers.

Speaking of projecting all things in a written story onto the beliefs and attitudes of the writer, I hate Gail Simone for how she starts this story.

Gail Simone is a capraphobe (not to be mistaken for coprophobe (although she's probably that as well. Who isn't?!))

So now we know Gail Simone is a huge fan of turning goats into flies. I bet it's a fetish from growing up on a farm.

I just took a break to watch tonight's episode of The Flash. When Patty found the Man/Shark teeth, I texted my friend Xan, "I'm a shark! I'm a shark! I'm a shark! I'm a shark!" I'm disappointed King Shark was one-shot by Harrison when he finally appeared. I hope Yo-yo is already inside his stomach. Also, is it just me or do all Firestorm stories always have a gay subtext? This is an appropriate place to mention this since The Flash episode seemed like a backdoor pilot for a Firestorm show and since Gail Simone was co-writing the most gay subtexty Firestorm comic book that I've ever read. I can't think of the Firestorm Matrix as anything but the Slash Matrix now.

That goat that was abused by Simone earlier? It walked into a place called The House of Strangers. It's some kind of mystical outpost defending the world from whatever the universe has got. It's the kind of place where people like The Phantom Stranger, Deadman, and Felix Faust like to stash their mystic pornography. Sometimes they run into each other and embarrassingly engage in small talk which doesn't have anything to do with the weird things they were just doing with their dicks behind closed doors. Instead they act like they're protecting the world from ghosts and goblins.

Although sometimes they discuss their bodily emissions and aberrant behavior explicitly.

Don't misunderstand me! I don't think masturbation is aberrant. But you have to admit that traveling to a secret sex dungeon called The House of Strangers to whack off while a corpse eats your butthole and fairies cream and jizz in your face while several gods watch and create new universes based on how hard you come might be a little bit aberrant.

They don't always come here just to masturbate though. It is called The House of Strangers for a reason. When you can get anything you want via magic, sometimes it's just nice to suck the huge dick of some guy you don't know and will never ever see again. And then sometimes it's fun to get together with all of your famous friends and really ruin the carpet.

Everybody should really be topless here.

I'm really writing myself into a corner with all of this sex stuff. It's not like this comic book is called Secret Sex. Dammit. Now I wish this comic book were called Secret Sex. What's the secret?!

This convocation probably has something to do with Black Alice falling into a coma at the end of the last issue. That's an educated guess which most readers probably didn't make because most comic book readers aren't Grandmasters like I am. It takes a special kind of perceptive ability to remember that last issue ended with Black Alice (who is a magic user!) falling unconscious and then to realize that this issue probably begins at some point after that moment (or before! The convocation might be about how she keeps borrowing their powers!) and that the two are somehow linked. I know, I know! Most of you were just left going, "Der! How do dem stories work?! Duh!" But that's why I'm here to help make sense of them! You can trust you Uncle Tess! Or Aunt Tess. Whatever.

See? That something is a little girl, right?

If whatever is stealing the powers of these magic assholes keeps stealing their powers, The White Gate will fall! Great! Big deal. It's about time that fucking privileged white gate got some comeuppance. How about letting some Gates of Color have a chance, hunh? How about letting people dream of a beautiful house surrounded by a proper fuchsia picket fence? Why doesn't somebody shove a shiv in Tom Sawyer's fucking throat so he stops convincing everybody to whitewash it all?!

Currently Black Alice is in the hospital confusing all of the doctors because those jerks spent their lives believing in science. Don't they know they're in a comic book?! Science is the last thing I'd believe in if the real world were like a comic book! Ralph is with her trying to pretend that Sue didn't just leave him for The Riddler.

The rest of the Secret Six are outside playing basketball. They're probably playing Jungle Rules. That means if the ball goes out of bounds and winds up on the grass, the game turns into a no holds barred wrestling match for possession of the ball.

I'm more concerned about the whereabouts of Shawna's cat than I am the arousal I'm feeling from seeing Ferdie's underwear.

Before I turn the page and find this entire episode deteriorates into chaos, it's nice to see Catman attempting to keep his cohorts in shape by playing a physical game. Why the hell do superheroes think it's smart to smash up billions of dollars of technological marvels in the name of "training"? STAR Labs should be the richest company on Earth selling training robots and simulation chambers.

On the next page, Strix knocks out Catman, takes the basketball up a tree, and proclaims herself winner. It's not the worst game of basketball I've ever witnessed. If this had been a professional game, I'm not even certain Strix would have been called for fouling or travelling if this were her home court.

Meanwhile back in The House of Strangers, the discussion has turned to murdering Black Alice. Apparently she's going through "arcane puberty" and it's a danger to the entire world. Well, if they're going to murder young girls for suddenly wanting to rub up against every door jam in the house, they'd better take a look at Batgirl because she's going mental from lack of penis. Although I think she might be getting some soon now that she's hanging around Luke Fox.

Jesus Christ, Alec! I'm currently drinking tea and now it tastes like scrotal sweat!

Look, you cheeky monkeys, it doesn't hurt my feelings if you just began thinking, "So, Tess, you know what scrotal sweat tastes like, hunh?" I actually pity you and your limited life experiences that you don't know what it tastes like! Take that!

Zatanna is against killing Black Alice. Didn't she just read Gaiman's The Sandman: Overture? If they don't kill Black Alice now, they'll just have to try again two more times and then be forced to have a bunch of people dream up a new universe. Easier to just make an anonymous call to the Suicide Squad and then go wash your hands in the bowl Pontius Pilate used. I'm sure it's lying around the fortress somewhere.

Thank you, Gail, for rescuing Teekl from that horrible Nocenti universe that I'm currently paying a hypnotist hundreds of dollars per month to help me forget!

I bet Klarion's plan is to let him fuck Black Alice so that her sexual energies don't wind up sapping them all dry. Although that's a poor plan because there's no way a youngster like Klarion can sexually satisfy Black Alice. Although an older magician would be too gross to suggest, right? Even worse than suggesting killing her? Right? Wrong and not sexy at all? Yeah. Totally agree with that position completely. Besides, that's a dumb plan anyway. Big Shot probably has a shotgun named Bigger Shot that he'll use to protect Black Alice's virtue (whether or not Black Alice wants it protected (how come fathers never ask their daughters if they want the boy to fuck them? Shouldn't the father comply with his daughter's wishes rather than oppressing her with his own traditional mores and values?)).

Meanwhile back at the ranch, Catman has regained consciousness and decides to take his mates to the weirdest mini-golf course in the world. It has 52 holes. They'd better all be themed on a different DC Comic book.

It is based on DC's comic books! Also, I will be writing an entire book of sonnets to Ferdie which people will study hundreds of years from now and refer to the subject of the sonnets as "The Dark Pervert."

As Catman mumbles some bullshit about feelings, Strix straddles the car being lifted by the Superman statue and I'm reminded (not for the first time during this issue) how much I appreciate when writers inject lightheartedness and fun into what could otherwise be a really dour and serious comic book. You can tell Gail Simone actually enjoys writing these characters and is free to write them the way she wants (I added that last bit because I didn't always get the same sense from when she was writing Batgirl. At least the moments were far fewer when they came). It makes a huge difference when a comic book writer is writing comic books because she wants to write comic books. I can name a bunch of writers who I really don't have to name if you've read much of this blog at all who obviously don't actually care about the characters or the stories. For whatever reason, they just wanted to be known as comic book writers and couldn't care about much else. It really shows in the finished product.

And then Etrigan appears in a fart of sulfur. My guess is that he could please Black Alice sexually. Plus he's a demon so I don't think he's breaking any human laws by having sex with a minor (a sixteen year old minor! I'm not advocating he have sex with a two year old! Christ. Calm down! Maybe try to get angry about something that actually matters and not an idiotic blowhard writing about comic books on the internet!).

Etrigan seems to just be a distraction because back at the hospital, Cheetah, Faust, Klarion, and Black Orchid have come to visit Black Alice.

Or not a distraction? Etrigan trying to help? I bet that barn owl Madame Xanadu asked him nicely. And, yes, by asked, I mean rim jobbed.

The plan to take care of Black Alice is to exile her to Limbo. Well, that's not so bad! At least she'll be able to hang out with characters like Cheeks the Toy Wonder and Jonni DC! Blake warns Ralph to get Black Alice out of the hospital before her visitors arrive. Except they arrive. Ralph's battle with Cheetah, Faust, and Black Orchid wakes up Black Alice who begins channeling all of DC's magic users at once. It looks like that White Gate is about to open if Klarion can't pitch woo quickly enough! Well, not too quickly, of course. But what are the odds Klarion isn't going to blow his load immediately?

Secret Six #7 Rating: +1 Ranking. This has been my favorite comic book in the last month as long as you don't count some of the comic books I might have liked better in that time frame. I can't remember any offhand so I'm probably not exaggerating. It had a lot of my favorite components: Blue Devil, Teekl, Etrigan, Ferdie, Mini-golf, a ruined basketball game, a goat (even though it was abused), tea bag tea, a pipe that is also an hourglass, and King Shark. Okay, King Shark was just in tonight's episode of The Flash but I did watch that during a break from reading this, so I think that counts. This comic book is highly recommended by the best comic book reviewer on the internet, so you should probably read it. I won't say who the best comic book reviewer on the internet is but you can probably guess wrong until you guess me and then you'll be right.

Justice League #45

Whoo whoo!

The first page of this comic book is three black panels. Two of the panels have some red blotches and one panel has a "ping" sound effect. I'm not happy with this beginning. If I wanted to feel like a jackass by reading crap I resented paying for, I'd get a book of Rudyard Kipling's poetry.

You all owe me eighteen cents.

You know what? I'm also going to write a Rudyard Kipling poem!

Brown People Need Help

White people make things better! We have the best skills of all nations.
Brown people are like, "Duh?! What is cities? Gorp! Der!"
Rule Britannia! Rule Britannia! We have the best civilizations!
Brown people can't rule because they are full of torpor!
Read my children's books, impressionable youngsters! Kipling out...of opium! Yoink!

Shit. I didn't even get to the second page before I complained! It's just a full page image of a dripping horseshoe! If I'd known I was going to be ripped off two full pages, I would have been angrier! Although being angry enough to write a parody Rudyard Kipling poem which might be misunderstood or taken out of context was already pretty angry. I should be more careful about what I write because some unintelligent readers who think they know enough about everything to deconstruct anything might Youthsplain some things to me.

So last issue, Darkseid was killed by the Anti-monitor using The Black Racer as a weapon. Also the Black Racer is now The Flash.

Or is it Steve Urkel?

Mister Miracle points out that The Flash is now cursed to be The Black Racer until he dies. And The Flash is all, "This is a curse?! No way! I'm the God of Death! I've got a cool black costume and I know how to ski! Iris will totally open her legs for me now without having to pretend I love her nephew!"

On Apokolips, Superman is still an asshole. He's full of Apokolips energy which totally makes sense because Geoff Johns came up with it so it must make sense. Although is Superman really any different than he's been since The New 52 began? He really has been a grumpy puss lately. But now he's a weird polarized version of himself. He and The Flash are going to look great together. Superman destroys Lex Luthor's armor and strands him on Apokolips before heading back to Earth. That's probably going to be a mistake. I give Lex five hours before he's the next ruler of Apokolips.

Batman decides that he and the Batchair are going to go back to Gotham City and save it because that seems like a reasonable use of a chair that gives you all the knowledge of everything forever. Use it to make one city safe from maniacs. Classic Batman!

Apparently the Parademons are mostly moth.

Lex Luthor meets the Forgotten People on Apokolips. I guess they're the opposite of the Forever People. It's exactly the type of clever nameplay Geoff Johns likes to come up with when he's reinventing the DC Youniverse. It's also possible the Forgotten People have already been invented but this has Johns' semen all over it. The Forgotten People are all, "We're in comics so of course we have a prophecy that tells us the future and helps us react appropriately to keep the plot moving. Are you the farm boy orphan hero from Smallville that's actually a super awesome person or something?" And Lex is all, "Yep! How'd you know? Totally me. If straw existed on Apokolips, I'd be chewing on some! Yee haw! Boy howdy!"

Back on Earth, Barry begins to argue with himself and then runs away, just like always. I guess I'll see you in your special One Shot, Barry! Bye! The next person to flee to their One Shot is Shazam when he becomes the God of All of the Gods. I think that means he just committed blasphemy in every single religion in the universe.

Darkseid is dead and the Anti-Monitor has disappeared with his forces. The parademons have rushed off to fly erratically around the Green Power Battery on Oa (or Mogo (or wherever it is in Geoff Johns' version of the DC You). But Kalibak, Lashina, Steppenwolf, and probably some other jerks are still hanging around thinking they can beat the Justice League. But seriously, who takes Kalibak seriously now? Everybody heard about that time Alfred Pennyworth the Cat devised a plan which relied on Kalibak slipping on cow manure and which totally defeated him.

Meanwhile the Omega Effect returns to Apokolips and chooses a new leader.

Yep. I'd say that was about five hours.

Justice League #45 Rating: No change. This issue was basically a prologue for the One Shots coming out across the next few weeks. I'm not sure why I knew there were six of them coming out but while reading this book, I couldn't figure out who the sixth book was going to focus on. I actually thought Cyborg and Shazam were going to merge because wasn't that in one of the visions of Myrina's midwife? I had no idea that Lex was going to actually become the next Darkseid. I just figured he'd manipulate everybody and talk them into letting him rule. I do still have one question after reading this issue though: who thought Arrow, Deadman, and Mister Miracle were good figures to begin the DC Comics Icons action figure toy line?