Thursday, March 31, 2016

Secret Six #12

Secret Strix?

Rating: In many ways, Gail Simone's Secret Six has always been a spiritual successor to John Ostrander's Suicide Squad. Most of the revamps of Suicide Squad missed what made Ostrander's such a hit. It wasn't about characters possibly dying every month. It wasn't about loading a team full of star villains to attract an audience. It was about bringing to life characters that had been largely one-dimensional up until that point. When people think of Deadshot now, they're thinking of Ostrander's Deadshot. He realized Deadshot so fully that people probably just assume the character was always the guy Ostrander brought to life. But he was just a guy who was really good with a gun who Batman kept running afoul of. Simone did much of the same with Catman and Bane and many others, as well as creating a bunch of her own. The series shines because the characters are not ignored. They're not just fodder for the plot in garish costumes. They are fully realized and enjoyable to read about. I wish more writers would understand that plot is less important than characterization. I'd rather read a bunch of interesting characters sitting around a diner talking than have a bunch of hot, one-dimensional people in spandex hitting each other with heavy objects for twenty pages. Secret Six will be missed after Rebirth. I just realized that I'll probably start calling all of the stories after Rebirth "Afterbirth". DC is about to get gross.

• What is the secret?! No, seriously. What is it? I think I missed it at some point. I have a nagging suspicion that the secret is Mockingbird can't count to six.

• One secret is that I photoshopped a bunch of fake tweets by Gail Simone about "What is the secret?!" and posted them on Tumblr with tags saying "Photoshopped Tweets" and "Let me repeat myself. These tweets are photoshopped!" and "These are not real!" I knew it wouldn't help which is why I wasn't surprised when somebody reblogged them with the tag "This is why I love Gail". No, that is why you love me!

• So what was going on previously? I think Batgirl and Catman were rutting in the park while Goatfly watched. That was so sexy I nearly happy accidented all over myself. Also Sue decided she wanted Ralph back because you can only hear "What two letters keep a car from going?" "M-T!" so many times before your vagina dries up and falls off. And Shiva was hunting Strix for secret assassin reasons.

• The title of this issue is "The Violence of Silence". It rhymes so it must be profound wisdom. Profound wisdom hasn't always rhymed. That's just a modern thing because modern people are easily impressed by people who can think up two words that sound almost identical. I wish Jesus had given all of his allegories in rhyme. With a good beat. He may as well have been a rapper since he had the biggest East Coast/West Coast rivalry of all time. Although the Romans weren't too good at drive-bys. They were better at long-occupation-bys.

• You know what caused the Roman civilization to collapse? Washing their hands of things! You can't just ignore problems by washing your hands and waving the problem away and going off to draw a cock on the wall! You have to fix the problem! And by "fix" I don't mean "affix to a giant cross."

• Oh! I think maybe the Roman civilization collapsed because of the violence of silence! Maybe? No? Am I on to something?

• I actually know a lot less about everything than I pretend to.

• No wait! I meant the reverse of that last bullet point!

• Currently Scandal and Knockout and Stripper Knockout are considering which vintage of sperm to sprinkle on their baby cakes.

• I actually know a lot more about doing it than I pretend to! Like how awesome it probably is!

I just realized how perfect these two are for each other! Not Catman and Batgirl! The pets! On walks, the dog shits and Goatfly eats it! No mess! Okay, the goat still makes a mess. But I don't think you're legally required to pick up goat droppings.

• A cop in Ralph's neighborhood calls Shiva "sweetcheeks". While not technically incorrect, it's probably a bad move.

• In every run-in I've ever had with the police, not one has ever been complimentarily degrading. I think my feelings are hurt.

• The cop also calls Shiva "little dumplin'", "lady", "hot stuff", and probably something else. I think he notices her feet are cute too but I can't confirm that since her feet are hidden in every panel. That's such a sexist move! Framing a woman so that you can't see her feet.

• Catman warns Porcelain to get Strix out of the house. Why? Shiva might be a deadly assassin but Strix is an immortal Talon! I'm confident Strix can take whatever Shiva has to dish out. Unless Shiva's here to taunt Strix for not fitting in and not having a family and being horribly emotionally and physically scarred by life. That might hurt.

• I just realized Strix and I have a lot in common!


• Strix writes a note to Batgirl when everybody meets up on the front lawn. The note is "I hart your yelow boots" and not "Y did u byrds not git me an ipad, cheepsktes?"

• Shiva defeats everybody in one page. Probably to show how good she is and not because comic books are only twenty pages and Gail Simone would rather fill those few pages with more cute notes from Strix. I mean, it could be that! But I think it's more about Shiva's talent at ass-kicking.

• Shiva invites Strix to join the League of Assassins. Usually invites aren't threats against your loved ones but this is the League of Assassins. They like to put on a show.

• Strix accepts the offer to save her friends and new family! Tragedy!

Holy shit! You can print that kind of thi...oh. Wait. Sorry. Misread that!

• Batgirl gives Mary her yellow boots. How is Batgirl going to afford another pair of yellow Doc Martens?! Doesn't she still owe Black Canary a new van and a complete wardrobe and maybe an entirely new dojo too?

• Sue returns to the house and finds it filled with vagabonds, strays, and perverts. Wasn't that a Cher song? Or an Indigo Girls album?

• Ralph calls the Secret Six "strays" after I called them strays. Word stealer! Although he doesn't call them vagabonds or perverts.

• Sue brings Ralph his Elongated Man suit so that the Secret Six can learn how annoying he really is.

• The team decides to go save Strix from the League of Assassins! That fight might take longer than one panel.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Justice League 3001 #10

All women are beautiful in their own way! On an unrelated note, does anybody know how to clean vomit out of a keyboard?

Rating: This is a comic book that works on its own. It's in its own little universe doing its own little thing and not bothering any of the actual DC continuity. That means people who don't give a shit about DC continuity but enjoy a fairly entertaining book loaded with characters they'll recognize from the Preboot days might enjoy this series. But for people who just want to read books that are canon so that they can know everything about the "actual" DC Youniverse, this book can be ignored. Because who needs to read something that won't bolster your knowledge of DC with which you can "actually" your friends whenever they mention any DC hero at all? What a huge waste of time!

• All the male members of the Justice League 3001 have been killed. Probably been killed. Most likely been "comic book killed" which means they'll be back at a later date. Except this future universe has probably run out of later dates due to Rebirth. So I guess they're all really dead.

• Nobody really cares that they're dead because they're not part of any real DC continuity!

• Who saw this week's Supergirl starring The Flash? Isn't it interesting how that team-up basically happened the same weekend as Batman Loves Superman was playing in theaters? And isn't it interesting how it showed the kind of super hero team-up that people enjoy? They were so fucking adorable together! No misunderstandings. No punches. No arguments. Just ice cream and hugs! Why can't Superman and Batman play nice like that?

• This issue is called "To Have and Have G'nort". Uh oh.

• I didn't realize this at the time but Scott Lobdell wrote the G'nort stories in the Green Lantern Corps Quarterly books back in the nineties. They were just as awful as you're imagining they were. And if you weren't just now imagining how awful they were and were thinking, "Really? I need to find back issues of those!", fuck you.

• G'nort appears and he's over one thousand years old. Just imagine how old that is in dog years!

• If you can do math, you don't have to imagine how many years that is because you can figure it out. Although I can't stand the whole concept of "dog years" or "cat years". It's not like they're somehow zipping around the sun seven times faster than humans. And if you're going to tell me that my fifteen year old cat is equivalent to a hundred and five year old person, I'd point out that I've never seen an elderly human jump up on the kitchen counter from a standstill. And most three to seven year old humans can't get pregnant. How about we all just agree to talk about animals in their actual ages. Because I pretty much know what to expect from a thirteen year old cat if you just tell me its thirteen. But if you're going to tell me it's 91, I won't say anything for a bit as I try to divide by seven and figure out the cat's actual, non-stupid age.

• G'nort works for Larfleeze scavenging worlds that Lady Styx has reduced to rubble.

• Supergirl's new costume makes it look like she's wearing a belt to hold up her vagina.

• Meanwhile, Lady Styx has Eclipso working with the Legion of Super-villains to destroy the Justice League 3001. Remember when Eclipso was just a piece of shit nobody but then DC decided they wanted to make him some kind of powerful godlike threat? So they had the big Eclipso Crossover Summer Annual Event and it was...well, it was just about as good as all of their other big summer annual crossover events: not very. Shit, it was so poorly thought out that Eclipso's hideout was on the dark side of the moon and to defeat him, the super heroes had to reflect the sun's light onto his headquarters. In comic book terms, that meant a big plan that was tough to pull off. In real world terms, that meant waiting until the moon orbited the earth so that the "dark side" was facing the sun.

• This issue has a back-up feature starring Lois Lane and Ariel Masters on a pleasure planet! Oh boy!

• Hmm. That's not the kind of pleasure I was hoping for.

Grayson #18

A new creative team? How quickly do they get the butt joke out of the way? First fives pages?

Rating: The dialogue isn't as loose as I'm used to in the pages of the Grayson comic book. But Lanzing and Kelly have continued to tell the story being told by King and Seeley and they seem to have a decent handle on it. Especially since Spyral is fucking crazy cuckoo nonsense. Maybe that makes it easier to step in and pretend like you know what you're doing? I'm not sure I'm a fan of Tiger trying to crack a joke in battle but it doesn't really come off smoothly and it's basically just a variation of one of Dick's slams on Tiger since the insult is directed at Bronze Tiger. All in all, this is still a title worth reading until it ends. Which should be soon, right? Along with all the rest, right? DC really loves razing their demesnes.

• Dick Grayson is now working for The Court of Owls and Spyral and Batman. He has heard the term "conflict of interest", right?

• Because of the Robin War, I'd forgotten what was happening in this comic book. Dick has turned all of the other spy agencies against Helena after she had them all hunting him. Of course, he doesn't really want Helena to be killed. He just wants to teach Spyral a lesson.

• Dick might also want to teach a lesson to Grifter and King Faraday and Father Time and probably Maxwell Lord too even though he got his help for this attack on Spyral.

• Grayson and Tiger show up to save Helena's life. One of the assassins is Bronze Tiger so that could get confusing.

• Remember in Red Hood and the Outlaws how Bronze Tiger had a real tiger head? That was stupid.

• Ding ding ding ding! Page five! We have a winner!

• The hot girls in the horny dorm are recruited by Agent Zero. She wants to save the school from...well, from somebody. The assassins? Grayson and Tiger? Her sister, Doctor Netz? I don't know!

• Otto Netz's entire plan was to create a super confusing evil agency that could fight itself constantly without realizing it's fighting against itself. That's why its spirit animal is the ouroboros. So I don't feel stupid that I'm confused because I'm supposed to feel confused! Everybody is supposed to feel confused!

• Many pages of fighting fill the middle of the comic book. Eventually Dick calls in Midnighter for some even more brutal fighting.

• Dick convinces the skull girls that they've been duped by Leviathan. Oh yeah! Now it all makes sense! Except for the parts that don't. But those parts are probably still supposed to not make sense. Right up until the Netz sisters merge and turn back into Otto.

• Instead of the sisters merging to become Otto Netz, they bicker until Otto Netz's mind enters Helena's body. Ew. Dick's dick is not going to be happy about this turn of events.

Harley Quinn #26

Nobody else is completely sick of Harley Quinn yet? Just me?

Rating: It's a Harley Quinn comic book by Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti. Does it even need a review? Half of the copies sold probably never even get read. Harley fans just pick them up because they can't be the biggest Harley Quinn fan in the world if they don't have a complete Harley Quinn comic book collection! Or a tattoo of Harley within one or two inches of their asshole.

• It doesn't matter what was happening last issue. I think a bunch of sexual innuendos were said and somebody learned a cock's name was Mike. Did you know he also hunts? Oh, Harley probably also spoke to her beaver at least once. And she might have fingered Poison Ivy. Unless that was the previous issue.

• Harley commits some violence against some people on the beach. But it's okay because they were bullying her and one called her a bitch. That excuses Harley for insulting their aesthetic and making them bleed.

• I totally get where Harley's coming from though. I grew up in Santa Clara, California, and spent many summers on the beaches of Santa Cruz. Not the tourist beaches crowded with assholes! No way! We went to the beaches through holes in people's backyard fences spray painted with sayings like "VALLEYS GO HOME" and "LOCALS ONLY". I never had to rip anybody's hair off for my right to be on the beach though. Apparently the locals at Santa Cruz weren't as bad-ass as The Lost Boys made them seem.

• Big Tony reminds me that I'm going to have to purchase yet another fucking Harley Book in April. Egad.

• Harley Quinn has a tasty ass.

• Some Deathstroke wannabe motherfucker with one arm has a vendetta against somebody named "Nutbuckets."

• Harley gets a makeover so when all the fans flock to her comic book after seeing the movie, they'll recognize her.

• Oh wait! I get it! Harley is Nutbuckets!

• The comic really improves when some women get in their underwear.

• The guy in the flashbacks challenges Harley in the Skate Club ring. Rink? Um, anyway, he's a Deadpool parody which everybody else probably already understood with the Wayne Wilkons name thing. I'm so old school that I flew right past that reference and hit on the guy Deadpool was a parody of.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Suicide Squad Most Wanted: Deadshot and Katana #3

Do cover artists often think, "I really don't care if this cover idea has been used hundreds of times before! I've got the definitive version!"

Rating: Two Suicide Squad comic books in one? How can somebody pass up this shit?! I mean, one is technically an Outsiders story starring the Suicide Squad. But I'm pretty sure it's the story where one of the members of the Suicide Squad is finally going to die. Why bother even having a team called "Suicide Squad" if none of them are ever going to die? The squad may as well be called Prison Furlough Playtime Team. This comic book is better than a whole lot of comics currently being published by DC so it's worth the five dollar cover price. I mean that figuratively. Five dollars can buy you an awful lot of stuff that's better than this book. And probably more useful to your life. But people don't make money choices based on what is necessary! They make them based on what is desired! So if you desire buying a comic book that will allow you to escape your nightmarish existence for even the barest minimum of time, you could do worse than this one!

• Deadshot just found out that his dad has died of natural causes so he shot his mom in the face. Probably the face. I may be projecting on that fact.

• If my mom ever reads my commentaries, she'll probably think, "But he often ends our phone calls with 'I love you'?!" Right before she changes the will to leave everything to her stuffed Garfield collection.

• Everybody should change their Tumblr reply settings to "Everyone can reply" because I have got a lot of shit to say to you all.

• Deadshot is angry with Waller because Waller wasn't their for his daughter. Now who's projecting!

• Waller wants the Suicide Squad to battle Deadshot because teammates fighting is usually a cornucopia full of ratings and dollars. It's also an easier story to tell than having to think up a villain's motivation and how the protagonists find out about the villain and why they want to stop the villain and all the other fiddly plot points you have to come up with. It's much easier to have Batman go, "You stepped on my toe, Superman! Apologize!" And Superman would go, "I'm sorry!" And Batman would go, "Not good enough!" Then they fight for twenty pages and all of the nearly illiterate, drooling fangenders eat it up.

• The team arrives at Lawton's parents' estate by helicopter so of course it lands to let them out to do their job. Ha ha! Kidding! Captain Boomerang jumps out of the helicopter and doesn't get extremely killed or hurt at all even. Cheetah also jumps out but that's comic book plausible! How does Boomerang break his fall? Throw a boomerang at the ground?

• Deadshot shoots Cheetah in the face with an elephant gun because he doesn't know his animals. The elephant goes, "RROWRR!"

But you did!


• Harley talks Deadshot into surrendering and he's immediately shot five times by Wannabe-Deadshot. He wakes up in a hospital bed with Amanda leering at him.

But doesn't Floyd really, really want to be a Lenny? Specifically the Lenny that winds up being Amanda's dog.

• Floyd finds out that he stole the Villains Month Deadshot #1 story from Wannabe-Deadshot. Wannabe-Deadshot reveals to Floyd that he gets to be the new Deadshot. Probably because all of the new fans coming over from the movie are going to be expecting a black Deadshot. Although Will Smith is playing Floyd Lawton so that's probably wrong and Evans will be dead by the end of this story.

• Now it's time for the Halo story. I mean the Katana story!

• One of these characters is not like the others! One of these characters doesn't belong! Can you tell me which one of these characters will be dead before I'm done singing this song?

• Prince Brion Markov shows up in a tank to chase away the Kobra army. Boo! Hiss! Go to hell!

Oh my god! Shut up, Deadshot! You're ruining the whole reason for having a Task Force X!

• The cat is injured in the battle because Mike W. Barr is an asshole. Is taken? It's a good thing the Markovian Army enlisted a Veterinarian.

• Sometimes I feel like the Captain Boomerang of comic book critics. Katana here represents [name a writer or artist for DC].

• Castle Markov looks like Doom's castle. Or maybe the castle of Anton Arcane. Maybe they all just work on the same set.

• Prince Markov calls the Suicide Squad and Katana "outsiders." Hee hee hee! HEE HEE HEE! GET IT?! See, he doesn't realize only one of them is! And he's going to be one of them when the experimental geothermic plant blows up in his face! And Halo's host body is out in the woods nearby doing heroin. And, well, I don't know where Metamorpho and Black Lightning are. I guess they'll turn up later.

• Kobra has discovered that the Suicide Squad have bombs in their neck. He's also experimented on Violet. Probably by blasting her with rainbows, right?

• The "Outsiders" invade Kobra's volcanic base where one of them is sure to die. I'm not naming any names but her name is the same as her weapon! Not Katana, you idiot!

• Nobody dies this issue but the Squad and Katana are captured by Kobra. That makes two Suicide Squad stories in one issue where nobody died! At least not anybody of any consequence. Aside from that cat! I mean, I'm sure it's not dead. What kind of horrible monstrous writer would kill a poor innocent cat? Oh, I remember one who did that! Cullen Bunn! Fucking dick. I'm glad editorial told him he couldn't kill Dex-Starr and he had to come up with a tacked-on one page ending which completely made the story he just told meaningless.

Wonder Woman #50

I like how David Finch snuck naked female breasts onto Ares!

Rating: Meredith Finch often tries to get too philosophical for my tastes and she doesn't back off on that tact this issue. She even packs the back end with a story about fate and choices and destiny which really could have just been replaced by eight pages of somebody masturbating. Philosophically, I'm not against philosophy. But in reality? When philosophers start philosophizing? I just want to cut my own throat. Philosophy is like crossing a street by traveling around the world to get to the other side from the other direction. What I mean is when a philosophical premise is brought up, you can see exactly where they're going to wind up in the first few seconds. But then the philosopher has to pad out the argument until they've spoken for five hours about how the point they were getting to is the only conclusion to be made. Then they throw out some Latin words to close the argument before waking you up and asking if they need to repeat themselves. What I'm trying to say is Wonder Woman #50 was actually a fairly readable comic book which doesn't quite live up to its pretensions.

At the end of the last issue, Wonder Woman was carted off, unconscious, by a walking dick with arms. She got into trouble trying to help cure Zeus of Crib Seizures. Normally Diana wouldn't give a shit about helping Zeus but he's currently in the guise of a toddler. He's so cute that when Diana looks at him, her vagina aches. The last issue was also full of allegorical references to the Patriarchy but I think they were all accidental. I bet every time David Finch asked Meredith to write a scene where Diana is in the shower, Meredith subconsciously got more and more angry. This subconscious anger came out in metaphorical representations of the patriarchy and how Diana is being kept down by it. Diana's entire mission is to take care of a baby. First she has to look to the Mother of All Mothers as an example. Then she has to swim up Hera's Fallopian Tubes to steal some of her eggs. Then she's knocked unconscious by a Cyclops which we all know is the least subtle of all mythological penis references. And being that this whole comic book is in a Greek setting, the whole Cyclops dragging an unconscious Wonder Woman back to its lair has to be a critique of the Greek System in our schools.

This issue begins with the Penis fingering Wonder Woman.

Typical guy! I'm fairly certain the clit isn't on the temple.

Wonder Woman wakes up to find herself in a dungeon full of huge Penises. But she's not afraid of them! They're also not being aggressive. And who could be afraid of a flaccid Penis? Wonder Woman even accepts a drink from one of them! I bet it's Pocari Sweat.

The Penises, or Cyclopes as some less accurate people might refer to them, offer to show Wonder Woman the way out of the secret passage she fell into. At least that's what she assumes they're going to do. Mostly they just stare at her and offer stuff to drink. On the way out, Hephaestus arrives to choke and beat the Cyclopes. Wonder Woman begins to feel sorry for them. But not sorry enough to actually try to understand why they find it uncomfortable to sit without their legs spread wide.

Wonder Woman watches the way Hephaestus treats the Cyclopes and wonders, "Was I so desperate to belong, to have a family, that I've ignored who and what the Olympians really are?" When the fuck did she do that?! She hasn't trusted these bastards without reason ever! At least not that I can remember. She sort of trusted a few of her siblings but even when she trusted a god like Hermes or Cupid or Hades, they eventually betrayed her for their own ends. And it's not like she was surprised! And the only reason she trusted Hera was because Hera lost all of her powers and was mortal for awhile! No way Hera would have been able to stay in Diana's flat in London if she'd still been a god!


Diana learns the most cliche lesson to be learned! She learns that the creatures who look like monsters aren't monsters at all! The actual monsters are the people who look just like her! In...the Twilight Zone!

You know who must really hate that "whole monsters aren't defined by their looks" crap? People who look like monsters and act monstrous! Where's their uplifting lesson?!

I think somebody forgot to tell Johnny Desjardins to draw the wrap around Wonder Woman's torso carrying Hera's eggs! That's probably because the first page of the scene that Johnny draws was drawn by Finch (the drinking Penis juice scene) and he forgot the wrap in those panels.

Anyway, Wonder Woman can't free the Cyclopes but promises to set them free of their patriarchal chains after she saves Zeke.

This dialogue made me snicker.

Do you think anybody has yet told David Finch that it was "Iapetus" and not "Lapetus"?

The totally believable and trustworthy Hecate (who looks like a monster which must mean she isn't a monster. I think?) informs Wonder Woman that the Mother of Everything, Gaia, is behind Zeke's sickness! No! It can't be! That would mean the real problem is...the Matriarchy! GASP!

Why do superheroes default to threats of punching when discussions don't go their way? Can you imagine if this was how every conversation in a place of business went down?

Looking at Wonder Woman's crotch in the previous scan caused me to remember flipping the channel to Columbo earlier this evening. I heard a familiar voice and thought, "Oh hey! Roddy McDowall!" Then I looked up and was greeted to the tightest pair of pants I've ever seen Roddy McDowall wear. Apparently Cornelius's penis rests to the left nearly parallel with the ground.

Hecate informs Wonder Woman that to save Zeke, Diana must first save the children of Gaia: the Cyclopes, the Hecatonchires, and Typhoeus. Wonder Woman is all, "I can do that! Because I know that monsters aren't really monsters! The real monsters are men!" There's probably high-fiving at that point.

While Diana is saving Typhoeus, she encounters Ares. He's less the God of Drinking Whisky Barefoot and more Ares the Old Ares That We're All Used To In Preboot Wonder Woman Ares. And he wants to be Diana's enemy again! Mostly because he wants his God of Warhood back. But I think the only way to regain that is over Diana's dead body. So it probably won't happen.

I love all the bullshit philosophy to try to make war seem important. It isn't. Here's an idea! How about getting rid of the gods of Peace and War and setting up the gods of Compromise and Having A Bit of a Row?

Ares and Diana crash through the ice and fall into the lair of Typhoeus. Typhoeus is, of course, a giant Wyrm. I'm seeing a trend in Mother's children! They're all just a bunch of penises! And you know what you need when you have a lot of penises?! A lot of hands! That's where the Hecatonchires come in!

Diana rides off on the father of monsters in a completely non-sexually allegorical way, leaving her father figure in the past. In the next issue, she'll have to save the Hecatonchires. Until then, this fiftieth issue isn't quite over yet because DC needed to charge five dollars for it. I guess even with Johnny's help, David couldn't fill an extra-big book with his art in a single month.

The backup story is about how Donna Troy has low self-esteem and can't make a decision. It's a walk on slippery rocks. It's the talk on a cereal box. It's masturbating in your own face. Edie Brickell didn't describe philosophy in that way but I think she would have if she had time for another verse.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Legends of Tomorrow #1

This would be a cool looking book if it weren't marred by the Batman vs Superman advert at the top (which I cropped out!).

Rating: 26 out of 51 DC Comics? I guess? It's hard to recommend a comic book that costs eight dollars just for one story. But at least the one story I highly recommend in this book is the one story that nobody is purchasing it to read: the Sugar and Spike story! So if somebody is interested in this book because of Metamorpho or Firestorm or the Metal Men, they're going to get an enjoyable bonus story! And the other stories are competent enough to satisfy fans of the characters. I just don't think this book is worth the price if you aren't fans of any of the characters on the cover. Is this format DC's new way of introducing possibly monthly comic books? Are they going to weigh the responses from fans on Sugar and Spike or Firestorm to gauge interest in a monthly? I personally like the format because I don't mind spending eight dollars (six with my local comic book shop discount!) for an anthology title. I am disappointed that more of the characters aren't changing next issue (or any of them, possibly!). I really thought this was going to be a bunch of one and done stories.

• This is a really long comic book which would usually take me a really long time to read. But now I'm utilizing bullet points! So instead of dozens and dozens of long-winded paragraphs of digression after digression, I can get lots and lots of ideas out in record time! That might not be a positive.

• Who at DC Comics thought Sugar and Spike needed retooling? I bet it was Geoff Johns.

• The first story is about Firestorm which means it's going to be professional grade slash fiction! I'm getting my dick out right now!

• Ronnie and Jason are still sharing their lives as Firestorm. Martin Stein is their mentor. All of the other Nuclear Men from the horribly titled The Fury of Firestorm the Nuclear Men have died because they didn't have what it takes to merge long term. I guess they weren't romantic enough.

• Ronnie's racist, dog-dick eating mom makes an appearance! Yay! Although I don't think she's as racist as when I first began claiming she was. I mean, she's probably just as not racist as then! I don't think that dating Jason's dad proves she isn't racist because she might just like guys with amputated limbs.

• Jason and Ronnie are still using the same beard.

• Jason's big academic rival is a cute little egghead named Littman. That's probably her last name. I would so have had a crush on her in high school. But she would probably be dating some super cool guy taking drama who would later reveal he's gay. Even if she wasn't dating anybody, it wouldn't matter. I would never have attempted to speak to her and probably just stared at her in the library during lunch.

• Jason is having issues with entering the Slash Fiction Matrix. Now whenever he goes to enter Ronnie, he gets dizzy and sick to his stomach.

• Ronnie and Jason must not be too experienced with intimate matters because after they merge for a bit, they warn Martin Stein that they're going to explode. Yeah, boys. That's supposed to happen! Then you just grab a towel and clean up.

• The Firestorm story is going to be continued. Next up: Metamorpho!

• It's about time Metamorpho appears in the New 52. Aside from his cameos in Batman Incorporated which wasn't entirely a New 52 comic book so it doesn't count. Although how much does this comic book count since no matter what DC Comics says, Rebirth is definitely going to be a reboot. Not the typical reboot! I think they're just going to restructure the New 52 characters so that they incorporate a bunch of their Preboot history.

• The Metamorpho story is also just the first of a multi-part story. Couldn't DC find a writer who could compress each story into twenty pages? I want a Legends of Tomorrow book that is all different legends every month! I'm starting to think this is just a trick to make me pay eight dollars for a monthly Metamorpho book with a bunch of back-up stories I don't want to read!

• Also starring in Metamorpho's comic book are Simon Stagg, Sapphire Stagg, and Java. I wonder how many times Java has been reported to HR for harassing Sapphire? Not that he knows any better! He's just a caveman! They didn't have sexual harassment in his time. According to every sexual harassment video I've had to sit through at various jobs, sexual harassment wasn't discovered until the eighties. Until then, it was simply known as being a secretary.

• Sapphire has all the right Daddy Issues to become a star in the DC You!

• Kanjar Ro has decided to come to Earth to do some Flea Marketing.

• Sapphire begins Florence Nightingaling all over Rex Mason. Java gets jealous and decides it's time to kill Mason before Sapphire can fuck him. I mean free him!

• I should probably retire the joke where I mistakenly type 'fuck' instead of the word I was really going to fuck.

• Speaking of jokes that have been used way too many times, the next story is by Keith Giffen! It's the Sugar and Spike story. I hope their first mystery is called The Case of The Fatal Face Fuck.

• Sugar and Spike engage in that kind of repartee that Giffen makes all of his characters engage in. You know the kind. One person says a thing which the reader has no context for. Then the next person responds to the thing and the reader still has no context. Then the first person says another thing that confuses the reader. Then the other person says another thing that makes no sense. They do this for a number of panels until the reader finally catches on to what they're talking about and starts the story over from the beginning.

• I can't quite remember all of Keith Giffen's work since The New 52 began so I'm just going to sound confident and hope that what I'm about to say is true: this is Keith Giffen's best work since The New 52 began. It's irreverent and paced well and funny. Maybe not in the "ha ha ha my guts hurt and I just pissed myself" funny way that 8 Out Of 10 Cats Does Countdown is funny. It's more of a kind of Portlandia funny where you watch it and go "That's clever" or "Oh yeah, I've seen white people do that" or "Christ, this show is so on the nose that it's attracting the kind of people it's making fun of to my fucking city!"

• The gist of the story is that Sugar and Spike are detectives who clean up embarrassing pasts of super-heroes. Alfred hires them to take back all of Batman's lamest Batsuits which Killer Moth somehow acquired and has been snacking on. This is a good bridging story for what I figured Rebirth was going to do! This is one-handed, New 52 Alfred dealing with a bunch of crap from Batman's Preboot history. See? Rebirth!

• The final story is about the Metal Men and I'm just going to end this commentary here and read the story. I'll only be back if there is a panel of Will Magnus with a Responsometer up his ass.

• I'm back! I'm sorry to say that it isn't for the aforementioned reason I gave for my eventual return. Instead I'd just like to say something I'm sure I've said before, along with thousands of DC Comics' fans over time: why the fuck would Doctor Magnus make one of his Metal Men out of mercury?! Every time the Metal Men fight, the whole battlefield has to be thoroughly cleaned by a hazmat team!

• The city is currently being attacked by Missile Men and protesters have taken the time to make signs and gather at the edge of town to protest against robots. Christ, Len! You can't even wait until a proper moment in the story to remind the readers that the populace hates the heroes?!

• I'm fairly certain Iron just climbed into Gold's penis. And it gave Tin an erection.

• I guess I should apologize to Len Wein now. It looks like the protesters have been protesting for three weeks. And the reason the Missile Men were dropped on the city under protest is because that's where the government robot lab is located. I guess I jumped the gun yet again! Stupid stories that eventually make sense making me look like a fool.

• Some guy named Nameless can hack into anything in the world except the Metal Men. Which is why he wants the Metal Men so badly he's willing to screw with every military project he can until he's given access to them. But the military knows how to beat him: destroy the Metal Men once and for all! Ha ha!

• The Metal Men's story continues next issue. Does that mean Sugar and Spike get another story too? Or are they the only ones being replaced next time?

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Doctor Fate #10

Doctor Fate isn't quite as imposing as he used to be.

Rating: Still ranked at 43 out of 51 DC Comics. This is one of those DC Comics where I'm just waiting for it to end. The entire premise seems to be "What if Doctor Fate were a boring, risk-averse medical student who lived at home with his parents?" It seems strange that nobody could have answered that question with "everybody would be bored" before putting out ten issues of this slog. How does DC not know that what sells is adorableness? You know the kinds of characters people wind up thoroughly loving? The kind who they either want to be or want to fuck (sometimes both!). And I don't mean "fuck" literally. I suppose I could have said "have some kind of weird crush on" but then I'd still have to explain further that the crush doesn't necessarily have to be romantic either and that sometimes it's just a strange longing to be near the character that you don't quite understand. I figured it would be easier to just say fuck.

• I couldn't remember what was happening in this comic book until I turned to the first page. And then I only vaguely remembered what the current plot was. The things I remember are these: Khalid won't fuck the neighbor who desperately wants to fuck him; Khalid won't fuck his girlfriend who desperately wants to fuck him; Khalid didn't really give a fuck about his cat drowning in the flood. Those are also three reasons why I don't like this Doctor Fate.

• Doctor Fate has discovered that Egyptian ghosts are keeping people prisoner beneath the Egyptian Consulate. Although the way the comic has been going, maybe "discovered" is too strong a word. It's more likely that he believes he's hallucinating the ghosts and the prisoners and the helmet and his entire life. Also he might believe he's dreaming it or he's gone insane. Accepting reality isn't one of his strong suits.

See? Insanity! While I've got a few people's attention, I'd like to point out that color fade in the Narration Boxes of DC Comics? It might be my own ego and narcissistic tendencies but I'm fairly certain DC made that change during The New 52 because they got tired of my photoshopped Narration Boxes making their way around the internet and making their characters look like idiots. Not that it's stopped me. It's just more difficult to swap letters around when the background is a gradient and not a solid color.

• Doctor Fate is battling the ghosts in the basement of the Egyptian Consulate. So when he brings the roof down to crush some ghosts, it shows he hasn't thought about a single aspect of this battle.

• While Doctor Fate battles ghosts to save some protesters, the two women who want to be in his bed are desperately trying to find him. Maybe the earlier flood was a metaphor for the desire of these women? Have I been missing the entire subtext of this comic book?! Is it more fascinating than I realized? Is everything Khalid going through a metaphor for becoming an adult with responsibilities and sexual partners and leaving the toys of childhood behind? Probably not.

• Doctor Fate frees the protesters but is then caught by Roman ghosts and taken before Caeser's Ghost to be punished. I suppose this is probably just another dream.

• I would go back through this series and read it as a young man navigating the path to adulthood but I found it too boring to read the first time through. At one point in this issue, his father says, "[Khalid] is much too busy changing...becoming American...a doctor...whatever he'll be." Later he goes within himself, seeing glimpses of his family's past, and thinks, "But I'm mom too...why isn't any of that in me...or any of my own time, my own world...America...". So see? There's evidence that this is all a metaphorical trip into adulthood and one's own sense of self. I suppose if I were getting paid for this, I'd spend a few work days rereading Doctor Fate and writing about it from this angle. But I'm not so I'll just go back to waiting for this comic book to end.

The Coming of the Supermen #2

Jesus is having a great time in this picture.

Rating: No change. It continues to be ranked at 23 of 51 DC Comics. It's worth reading if you're into a bit of modern writing with a helping heaping of old school charm. Not that this writing is "modern" modern! It's not taking itself too seriously or trying to wink at the audience every chance it gets to show how smart it is. It's just that it's old school without being written down to the audience (mostly because in the old school, the majority of the audience was suspected to be kids (even if it wasn't and DC had the letters to prove it)). And it's a story about Superman that gets a lot of the Superman beats right. That alone makes it a better Superman comic book than most of the Superman comic books DC has published since The New 52 began.

• I have a sneaking and intelligent suspicion that Neal Adams is writing about religion in this story. It's too early to predict what the point is but since he seems to have made Muhammad into a demon and Jesus into a dog that Middle Easterners will not accept, I think it might be pro-Christian. Although the little kid Rafi tells Superman that the demon (you know, Muhammad) isn't as scary as he looks. Not that anybody knows what Muhammad looks like. But, you know, most Americans probably think he's scary anyway. Also try to remember that most of those Americans probably have no idea that Muslim, Judaism, and Christianity all worship the same god.

• It's currently Easter so I should probably lay off all the pornography talk and concentrate on the religious undertones in this comic book. Actually, I'll probably wind up being more disrespectful by talking about religion than by talking about fat cocks. So I'm still up in the air about which way to go with this commentary.

"Bad taste in my mouth"? I guess it's decided which way I'm going to go! Religion because that reminds me of transubstantiation!

• Oh wait! It could also be semen! I'm still confused!

• Kalibak has returned to penetrate Lex's backdoor but this time he brought some Apokolips Dogs! The kind that bite, not the kind with relish. I mean, they probably bite with relish but they don't have mustard. I mean, they obviously must turd but nobody puts ketchup on them. I mean...okay, okay. This routine is getting old!

• Superman and the three new Supermen arrive to stop Kalibak from making more sexual innuendos.

• The "S" on this Superman's chest must stand for synesthesia because I've never smelled a foul-smelling sound before.

• The Kryptonian is probably confused because he's ESL and he meant to say Kalibak has bad breath.

• Steppenwolf is dressed like an elf.

• As you can see in one of the above scans, Neal Adams still thinks it's okay to use thought balloons. What an old fool! Doesn't he know the cool kids are all using Narration Boxes with the main character's voice but from some time in the future where he's reflecting on the story and able to speak directly to the reader? Duh! It's so much lazier. I mean better!

• The new Supermen are from Kandor. I'm not sure where Kandor is in this DC Universe. It sounds like maybe it was placed in a red sun system on a planet now called New Krypton? Was that a thing in the Preboot? Or did the Supermen build a rocket ship that could blast through the cork in the bottled city of Kandor?

• After Superman defeats Kalibak, he and the others are looked after by Luthor's medical team. The medical team take samples of their blood. But when Superman realizes that Luthor is behind it, he destroys all of the blood he can find. But he fails to find the Kryptonian DNA which Luthor swallowed!

• Superman discovers that Darkseid stole some kind of Red Sun technology from Luthor. So that's probably going to get turned into weapons that cancel out Superman's power!

• Kalibak attacks for the third time but this time he's got Rafi and Rafi's dog Isa (that means "Jesus", remember?). Kalibak takes him into a Boom Tube and disappears. Stupid Superman! Why did he allow himself to get close to a kid and his god? I mean dog! Doesn't he know that's what secret identities are for?! Oh! Maybe the nanny he hired was actually Granny Goodness! Never trust a nanny you find on Apokolist.

• Rafi didn't appear enough to get any religious undertones so I'm still not sure what all the religious shit was about or why the Muslim kid has a dog named Jesus.

Superman: American Alien #5

Clark knew he could have spray painted a skull, right?

Rating: +3 Ranking to 10 of 51 DC Comics. This comic book reminds me why I like comic books. At least, why I like comic books that are written the way I think comic books should be written. The stories have a reason for existing. The characters are true to themselves, or at least true to how I think they should be (which is really everything, right?). There's action but it isn't the main reason for the story. There's human moments. There's great dialogue. And there's humor. Good fucking humor and not stupid lines like "I've got your meatball sandwich right here! *PUNCH!*" I want more comic books like this. Forget about big blockbuster crossovers! I want stories about the characters! I'd love for characters to have guest appearances in each other's books to keep the whole universe feeling shared but they don't need to all take a back seat to some universal threat that eats up the majority of the pages with a shitty end of the universe plot. I want heroes being friends and helping each other! I want supporting casts who have their own identities and who have personalities or abilities the hero finds valuable. I want writers who plan scripts around the characters instead of putting the characters into plots the writer wants to tell and will tell no matter what character DC lets them write. Oh, and I want comic books that look as good as Francis Manapul makes comic books look!

• I've heard it said (or just made it up in my own head right now) that Max Landis writes as if he wants people to talk about how Max Landis writes. I know that's how I write! I mean, so people talk about how I write and not how it's painfully obvious I've stolen everything I write from Max Landis. All I know is that Max Landis writes the perfect Superman in the first three pages of this comic book. It's simple. It's text book. How is it that other writers miss the entire point of Superman and Max Landis can whip out a three page story that says, "This is Superman. Write Superman stories like this but longer."

• Some people are probably thinking to themselves, "What the fuck are you on about, Tess? How about actually writing something coherent instead generalizing and sucking off Max Landis.

• In the opening scene, Superman stops a crime. He stops people from getting hurt. He does it without using violence. He destroys weapons that might eventually hurt somebody. And he gives the criminals a second chance. He's more compassionate than Jesus. Or maybe just as compassionate. I can see Clark nitpicking shit about Lois and Jimmy and Perry over dinner too. "Perry denied my articles! Lois betrayed my love! Jimmy neglected his pet dog!"

• Lois and Clark have lunch where Lois explains copyright law to Clark and how the "superman" is going to lose out on all of his rights to the name he eventually chooses if he remains anonymous. I bet Bruce Wayne winds up with the trademark.

• Superman makes a note to never save the deli that put too many onions on his sandwich from robbers or vandals.

• Superman comic books need more interactions like this. It continues on the next page and it is adorable. Superman needs to be seen as adorable more than he needs to be seen as a violent bad-ass.

• Parasite begins attacking a mall and Superman flies in to help. Instead of the cops mistrusting him and acting like they don't need his help, they accept him as another tool to help stop the violence. Imagine that! Good people working together to stop a disaster!

• Superman stops Parasite by dropping him in the bay where he loses all of his energy and reverts to a naked human. Before the guy passes out, he tells Superman that Luthor did this too him.

• Okay, it's time to spit Landis's dick out of my mouth and point out where he went wrong. When Superman goes to confront Luthor, he throws the poor naked guy through the window of Luthor's office. Superman might be naive (like in how he trusts the guy's word that Luthor was behind it (Max gets that right when Luthor questions Superman on accepting anything he hears)) but why would he figure Luthor victimized this guy and then use the guy as a battering ram to break Luthor's office window? What a dick! Oh wait! Landis got that part right too! Superman, even when he's being written well, always winds up doing something totally dickish! Let me put Landis's dick back in my mouth.

• Fsh maad me lurh--SPITTOO! Sorry. This made me laugh!

• Luthor hands Superman his verbal ass and Superman slinks off to think of a comeback hours later that he should have used.

• Lois gives Clark a pep talk which he really needed after Lex shit all over his Superman idea. And now he's ready to be the good guy Metropolis needs! You know, until they all act like xenophobic jerks and pretend they don't need him anymore.

Sinestro #21

Someone bought this comic book because the cover looked exciting and now they're questioning every decision they've ever made.

Rating: It's Easter morning so I'm going to pretend I understand what it's like to have the compassion of Jesus and not lower the ranking of this comic book. Although, how compassionate was Jesus really? He fucking ruined the last supper he had with his closest friends by calling them out on future bad behavior. How fucked up is that? "Dudes, I've got some bad news. Some of the people sitting here are going to wind up being real huge dicks later." I wonder if Jesus had a whole list of really petty shit that was cut from the Bible in editing. "Judas is going to betray me. Peter will deny me. Mark will neglect his pet dog. Luke is going to write some fanfic about my birth. James is going to carve his and my initials inside a little heart on that tree over there. All the other ones are going to suddenly remember my thing about being fishers of men and not resorting to violence when they have the chance to save my life."

• Thankfully, this comic book is finished at Issue #23 and Cullen Bunn has no part in DC's Rebirth. Now if only Scott Lobdell would manage the same deal. How did Lobdell get handed the keys to Jason Todd and Roy Harper? Why does DC want to punish their fans so badly?

• Soranik is now leader of the Yellow Lanterns because Sinestro forgot how to recharge his ring.

• Everybody on Earth loves the Yellow Lanterns now. Which is totally believable because the people of the DC Youniverse are complete morons. They hate Superman who has never done anything to harm them but who could. They love Sinestro and the Yellow Lanterns because they've saved them this one time and all the other shit they've done to the Earth can be explained away by the Reboot. Maybe.

• This line is a good example of a hack writer.

• Does Cullen Bunn know what comic books are? He does know that pictures are added to his script, right?

• Lyssa has prophesied the fall of the Sinestro Corps not because she's a prophet but because Cullen Bunn is a hack. Prophecies create easy tension! They're lazy plot devices. It's why the television show Heroes was such a piece of shit, especially the second season. Because they relied on glimpses of the future to motivate the people of the present. It's a lazy way to cause conflict.

• Lyssa tells Sinestro that she knows the future and she knows a way for him to change the future to his liking. How about she just tell the reader everything she knows right now so the comic book can end here and now?

• Mongul returns to his senses and begins murdering Yellow Lanterns. Once again, power rings, the most powerful weapons in the universe, have no effect on an enemy when the plot calls for it.

• Mongul heads to Earth to hide because there are currently too many lanterns. Even though the yellow light just bounces off his face? What a coward.

I know how hope relates to fear: "I hope I don't die!"

• Cullen Bunn is allowed to write a small scene with Superman and Wonder Woman. It's a mistake. Instead of writing them in character, he simply makes them say things in service to Sinestro and the yellow lanterns. "Oh! Oh! I loved having a Yellow Ring! The power!" "I want to fuck Bekka!" "Me too!"

• Cullen Bunn also writes the people of Earth as sycophants pleading for the Yellow Lanterns to protect the Earth because Superman fucking sucks and Batman is a cop and Wonder Woman is being written by the Finches!

• Soranik appoints Arkillo as the Yellow Lantern of Sector 2814 (although, really, she's telling him to stay on Earth). She allows Saint Walker to be his sidekick.

They would just shrug and say, "Yeah, yeah. What super hero group doesn't cause the threats they save us from? Yawn!"

• The Sinestro Corps heads home to New Korugar to await the super special ending of this comic book. I don't actually know if it will have any kind of special ending. I just know it'll be awesome to read "The End."

Poison Ivy #3

Poison Ivy is about to breastfeed this man.

Rating: Worth reading if you're a Poison Ivy fan. I think. I mean, obviously Poison Ivy fans are going to pick this book up. And if they love Pam, they'll mostly ignore the plot. I'd say the next issue should be fun because Poison Ivy will be working with Catwoman. But in an earlier issue, Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn hung out and it was a total cock-up. They wound up yelling at each other and deciding to take a break from their relationship. I don't think that's something Poison Ivy fans would find worth reading! It was probably infuriating! I know I hated it when DC decided to make Power Girl and The Huntress enemies in one of those horrible Earth-2 books. And what about that movie at the theaters right now? Where Batman and Superman are battling! Why are so many characters in the DC You not allowed to have a friend?!

• Poison Ivy has recently hatched a few babies from a plant. I would love to say I didn't think there was a market for this but I grew up during the Cabbage Patch Kids craze. I know this market is insatiable.

• Some other stuff was going on but I can't remember what it was because I haven't been finding this story very interesting and I haven't been keeping careful notes on the comic books I've been reading the last couple of months.

• How do you take care of a plant baby? Splash a little water on it and leave it out in the sun?

• Poison Ivy is proud of her hybrid babies instead of disgusted. I find that an odd reaction because I'm disgusted by all babies.

• The babies might not be where Poison Ivy rakes in the cash. She also developed some Plant Nannies to take care of the babies. Now those would probably sell out in minutes! Just shove your baby in a flower and leave it for the day? Who wouldn't want one?

• Poison Ivy murders the guy who's been sexually harassing her at work. Apparently you can't have a female lead in a DC Comic without having her kill or beat the shit out of some sexist pig. Pretty soon there won't be any guys left in the DC You!

• Ivy needs to get into a secret lab at her work because somebody stole her research plans. Somebody is always stealing her research! She should stop working for the man and just start her own business. Catwoman can fund her.

• Speaking of Catwoman, she arrives to help Ivy break into the lab. Too bad she pissed off Harley in a previous issue. The whole gang could have been back together.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Batman #50

These fucking variant covers have ruined my entire New 52 collection of comic books!

Rating: Remaining steady at 5 of 51 DC Comics. I certainly have problems with some of the crap happening in the current Batman story, "Superheavy" (which is ending now so I'm going to start forgetting the problems immediately), but at least this comic book is telling atypical stories. Not that a Riddler story followed by a Joker story followed by an amnesiac Bruce Wayne are atypical! But Snyder is coming at them in imaginative ways. New 52 Batman has been all about telling big stories about Batman and his most iconic villains (as well as some new ones that became even iconicker than some of his most well-known enemies!). The only problem with this comic book is that it's been too consistently good. By comparison, DC has been serving up a lot of fucking crap every month. It would be nice if the people running DC would look at the Batman title and think, "Hey look! Well-written, thoughtful stories sell! Maybe we should hire more writers who actually have something to say!" Instead they just kept on the same old thought train and said," Hey look! Batman sells well! Let's put Batman in every other fucking book we publish!" Lazy bastards.

• Bruce Wayne has regained his memory via a method that we're just not going to talk about anymore. I've boxed it up and put it in the attic behind the spooky full length mirror with the musty sheet over it. Now we can simply move on and when anybody asks, "What did you think of that story where Batman and the Joker died and then Bruce forgot he was Batman while Alfred gathered the children of Gotham so he could put them all in danger?", we can stab them in the throat and stuff them in a box and put it behind the mirror too.

• People really like to read things that let them say, "Ooh! Meta-textual commentary! Smartsies!" And Scott Snyder likes to fill his Batman comic book with that kind of thing. But you know what is also smart? Writing a story about Batman that's just a fucking story about Batman that says something about Batman and doesn't have to also be a story about how the fans have been desperate for Batman to return. Subtext doesn't have to be meta-textual. John Steinbeck's books are chock full of subtext and not once will you catch him winking slyly at the reader. Well, maybe Chapter Thirteen in East of Eden. But that's it!

• The narration in the previous scan is Jim Gordon speaking to himself and not Bruce. So that's clever, right? Except, you know, he's still talking about the reader! It's just the reader gets to be fucking disappointed all over again! "What?! Jim Gordon still! Fuck this shit! Hurry up and get dressed, Bruce!"

• Bloom vented Gordon's spleen so Gordon needs to calm down or he'll die. In the meantime, The Batman Brigade has entered the fight to stop Bloom.

• Bloom gains control of the Robot Batman's and everything is going to shit and Jim Gordon is going to die and Superman is going to say, "Ha ha! I told somebody so! About something. Or whatever. Metropolis is still standing! I win!"

• And then Batman returns! Sorry! I didn't mean to remind anybody of the movie Batman Returns! Although I'm sure some of you still think of it fondly because you haven't seen it in twenty five years.

• Bruce's Deus Ex Machina was obviously defective because Batman came back with a sense of humor.

• That last caption was a joke. I actually think Batman has a great sense of humor. And not just DC Animated Universe Batman who is one droll motherfucker. Batman is like me! His jokes are mostly just things that make him laugh while everybody else looks around confused or offended.

• Batman allows Alfred Pennyworth to resume his job as Penny One even though Alfred was a total dick and tried to keep Bruce from being truly fulfilled. He may have been happy at the community center and fucking Julie Madison but that's not what Bruce would have chosen if he'd been given the choice. So even though he was happy, Bruce was still in prison. Hopefully Bruce will make Alfred feel bad about it later. Or maybe he'll just hug him for the first time since Martha and Thomas died and Alfred will collapse into a lanky ball of tears.

• Jim Gordon kind of sort of quotes "The Second Coming" before Batman cuffs him to the inside of a helicopter where he'll probably bleed out while Batman saves the day. I suppose Batman expects Jim to fly the helicopter to the hospital to get his spleen stitched up. Or Batman is pissed that Gordon stole his job for so long and he's hoping Jim will pass out and crash the helicopter and die.

• Gordon decides he doesn't mind if he dies because he's embarrassed of his role in Fox's Gotham. At first I thought that show was going to be about one incorruptible man standing up against a city of corruption and making a difference. But apparently it's a story about a totally corruptible man without the will to stick to his beliefs who paves the way for a desperately needed and actually incorruptible hero to save the city.

• Duke's cousin Daryl explains how this whole mess came about because he's actually the genius behind the seeds. He just fucked up and created a monster named Bloom.

• Batman embarrasses himself with a line way, way beneath his level of intelligence.

• Batman's plan is to suddenly have access to a fifty foot tall Batman Robot so that he can kick Bloom's fifty foot tall ass.

• Bloom's philosophy about how gardeners are not necessary and yards should be allowed to grow wild and free mirrors my own. Except I think his is metaphorical while I mean it literally. Fuck gardens and proper lawn care. Give me overgrown bushes, ivy, ankle-high grass! That's the yard I like to lounge in.

• With the help of Bruce and Jim and all the citizens of Gotham who were part of the problem but then decided to remove their seeds, Duke defeats Bloom. I'm not sure if he kills him or not but would that matter? Bloom's body was originally on the way to Potter's Field to be buried anyway! And Duke hasn't been told by Batman not to kill yet! Loophole!

• Jim Gordon gives a speech that's pretty much the same speech Bruce Wayne gave back in the Red Hood story and the same article that Karen Page wrote at the end of Daredevil Season 2. It's the same speech about how the people without powers living day to day are the real heroes that comic books keep trying to pretend they're about when they really couldn't care any less than they do about real people. But I suppose I'm supposed to feel uplifted now so I'll pretend I am.

• Gordon gets his job back just like Batman got his job back! And Duke gets a job offer from Bruce Wayne! I hope it's not as a personal assistant.

• Julie Madison realizes she has to die because she's now one of Bruce's lovers who knows his secret. It never ends well for someone in that category.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Batman and Robin Eternal #25

I hope when I bleed out on the street someday, my blood will spill out in the shape of a dick and balls.

Rating: Rank 11 of 51 DC Comics. I guess. I can't wait for rebirth so I can change this whole system of ranking DC's comic books against each other. Mostly I can't tell anymore what books are better than others because so many of them are bland and mediocre. I should just have three categories without rankings. They can be comic books worth reading because they're written well, comic books pretty much only worth reading if you're into the title character, and comic books worth reading if you love train wrecks. This one probably falls slightly in-between written well and reading if you're into the Bat-kids. It's hard to really judge a weekly comic book on its writing merits because the writers change so often.

• I just reread my bullet points on Batman and Robin Eternal #24 to get caught up before reading this issue and found about a dozen typos. So you should probably expect the same kind of quality writing this time too!

• At the end of the last issue, Harper was thinking over Mother's offer to kill Cassandra and I was rolling my eyes so hard that I could hear a clicking sound in my head.

• The battle to bring down the towers receiving Mother's Icthys Virus has been going on for way too long because this comic book has to go 26 issues. So, you know, it's still happening.

• Dick and Azrael don't so much fight as philosophize. It's the same old bullshit about whether or not killing the person destroying the world is right or wrong. Is a country's arbitrary justice system a better way to go than just putting the person threatening the world in the ground? It seems like a shaky argument to make but since comic book heroes have to measure up to some kind of code, the "no killing" thing seems to be a decent measuring stick. It's just that it's so Jesusy! The only reason not to kill somebody like, say, The Joker is because by killing them, you're killing their chance at redemption. But what if The Joker has never shown any sign of redemption? Ever? How many times do you allow him to return to killing innocent people? When does Batman become responsible for all of the people The Joker kills because Batman keeps insisting that The Joker not be killed? I realize that Batman will never, ultimately, be responsible for The Joker's victims. The Joker makes the decision to kill and Batman makes the decision not to kill. There's a scene in the new season of Daredevil where The Punisher gives Daredevil a gun. Then The Punisher points a gun at some scuzzball hitman and tells Daredevil that if Daredevil doesn't kill The Punisher before The Punisher kills the hitman then Daredevil is responsible for the hitman's death. That's obviously bullshit because everybody is ultimately the choices they make. Daredevil choosing not to kill even if somebody else is going to be killed doesn't make Daredevil responsible for the person who gets killed. But let's say The Pnnisher has lined up hundreds of people and is killing them one after the other while Daredevil has a chance to kill The Punisher. At what point does Daredevil become complicit in the murders of the hundreds of people? After the first killing? The second? The thirty-first? At some point, a person has to realize that their ability to say "I have never killed anybody" is the only thing they're really protecting. The argument should never be so black and white that Batman or Daredevil or Dick Grayson can say they will never kill. You've got to allow for extreme situations that arise where killing somebody will absolutely make for the greater good. Although in Batman's case, I think if he ever kills anybody, he's going to get a taste for it! So he should probably just keep Red Hood's phone number close at hand and let him do any killing that needs to be done.

• Let's not be so hasty! Why should Azrael choose Batman's terms, hunh? And what if the terms he thinks through and chooses just happen to be similar to Mother's? Is that truly wrong?

• Mother continues to badger Harper about killing Cassandra. I'm not sure why she thinks her arguments will sway Harper since they're all really arguments for Harper to save Cassandra! I guess maybe Mother's arrogance is blinding her to reality. It's like when somebody on Facebook tells a story that's meant to show how big of a jerk somebody they dealt with that day was but it actually reveals how much of an asshole they themselves are? It's like one of Robert Browning's dramatic monologues! But not as subtle.

• Cullen Row uses Midnighter's Door technology to transport to Midnighter all of the mini-orphans battling the Bat-family. You know, so Midnighter can kick their asses.

• While Mother and Harper argue inside her base and Dick and Azrael argue outside Mother's base, Mother's Icthys infected children all over the world are finally cured by the Bat-family with Midnighter and Cullen's help. Also the other heroes who aren't technically part of the Bat-family. Like Black Canary and Katana and Red Hood.

• Dick finally reaches Mother so he can stop her without killing her. I think he just likes sending criminals through the bureaucracy and humiliation of the American justice system.

• Next issue is the final issue, right? Please be right.

Titans Hunt #6

I still hate the title of this comic book.

Rating: The comic remains at 29 of 51 DC Comics. You know who would really enjoy this comic book? Fifty year old or older fans of the Teen Titans! I'm forty-four and I barely know anything about the history they're referencing. But then, I'm also not really a fan of the Teen Titans. I thought I was but then I reread my old Marv Wolfman comics and ugh. I am not a fan at all! Although I still like Joseph Wilson. Probably because he isn't constantly saying stupid shit like the rest of the group. Marv Wolfman figured out the only way he can write a likeable character! Make him a mute!

• I think this comic book is about the Titans gathering together at their old clubhouse and taking peyote.

• You know what? That would be a better comic book than this!

• Not that this is a terrible comic book. It's just unnecessary! I mean, it's totally necessary! But it shouldn't ever have had to have been necessary! If DC hadn't allowed Scott Lobdell and Tom DeFalco and Howard Mackie and Will Pfeifer to screw up the Titans so horribly, they never would have needed this mystic story of the Titans remembering how there was a universe where they didn't completely suck.

• I'm making a pretty huge assumption about a universe where the Titans never completely sucked. Because I'm rereading Wolfman's eighties revival of them and--hoo boy!--do they stink it up! And they've only gotten worse since the issues hit the 1990s! The editors actually think by taking Jericho's sideburns, they're bringing him into the nineties! He just looks like a right turd without them!

• I just realized that the cover looks like Arsenal and Gronk (or whatever the fuck his caveman name is. I don't care if I'm being insensitive to Caveman Culture!) have actually just taken peyote! I didn't realize that when I claimed that that was what this book was about.

• I recently finished watching the second season of Young Justice and my biggest complaint is that they concentrate on the legacy characters too much.

• That last bullet point is a stupid joke and not evidence of my stupidity. Dum-dum.

• Mal sings a song and the rest of the Titans are all, "Hey! I know that tune! It's awful!"

• Donna Troy doesn't seem to remember that she's supposed to have taken the place of The Fates. I think.

• How is Donna Troy going to remember something that happened five years before she was created from clay? I think it's time for one of DC's traditional Who is Donna Troy/Wonder Girl?! stories!

• A guy with a stupid mustache tells Bumblebee all about the demonic Mister Twister and how the Titans sacrificed their memories and their friendships to stop him five years ago.

• DC should just make Kid Flash time travel to change continuity into something they can live with.

• The guy with the stupid mustache works for some organization called Diablo and he decides they need to kill the Titans to keep Mister Twister from entering their reality.

• Diablo is Team Rocket?