Saturday, April 30, 2016

Legends of Tomorrow #2

This thing is thick like a proper magazine.

The Review!
This is a weird book. What is DC thinking publishing a magazine like this? Who besides me is going to keep buying a book that costs eight dollars and might only have one character they're interested in? Are fans of Firestorm, Metamorpho, and The Metal Men big enough fans to pay that price for one regular sized story about the character they love? Maybe with an eight dollar cover price, DC can afford to put out a book like this even when it doesn't sell many units. Even though I'm a huge Metamorpho fan and I love the concept of Giffen's New 52 Sugar and Spike, I'm still disappointed with this book. I was really hoping for a format that brings at least two new characters to the table each month. But we're headed into the third month with the exact same lineup! If I'm going to read some kind of throwback super-sized anthology series for more than one dollar, I at least want some fucking variety! Or maybe just fucking! I'll forgive everything if Rex and Sapphire have a sex scene next issue. Although I'll also accept a sex scene between Ronnie Raymond and Jason Rausch. And maybe Sugar and Spike. And definitely Platinum and Superman! Or--and this is my last exception to the Rex/Saph fuckfest--a full page panel of Doc Magnus shoving Responsometers up his ass. Do you want my eight dollars or not, DC Comics?!

The Commentary!
It's fat books like these that take up all of my time and energy so I'm not going to digress much with this one. This one is going to be bullet points all the way down!

• The Firestorm issue begins with Martin Stein forbidding Jason and Ronald from engaging in homosexual sex. He explains that it's unhealthy for them and their community. What an ignorant bigot! He's as bad as Ronnie's mom!

• Jason and Ronnie discover that their beard is gay. Great! Now maybe they can accept their obscene desires for one another! I don't mean that gay love is obscene. I just mean Ronnie and Jason are into some weird Matrix Merging Firestorm shit.

• Jason blows his internship interview because he decides to reenact that urban legend about Rod Stewart. You know the one involving the stomach pump! Being younger, you may have heard it about Bon Jovi, or maybe one of the Backstreet Boys. I wonder if it's been resurrected about Drake yet. He seems the type that people would believe would collapse at a concert with his stomach full of semen.

• Because Jason's stomach is full of Ronnie's cream filling, he can't become Firestorm anymore. Martin Stein was against two teenage boys having sex so he takes away Jason's power. Instead he gives it to himself because I guess he's a member of NAMBLA where it's okay for a teenage boy to consent to sex as long as it's with a grown man.

• I'm disappointed that this might be the end of Jason Rausch and Ronnie Raymond's love story! Now I've got to read about an icky old pervert scientist slobbering all over the high school quarterback? No thanks!

• The issue ends with General Eiling sending Major Force to take care of Multiplex and probably Firestorm too.

• The Metamorpho story begins with Rex Mason calling Java a super derogatory word for a caveman! It's the M-word, if you're not sure which word I'm talking about. If you're still not sure, don't fucking blame me. I'm not the one that decided adults should speak to other adults like they're speaking to children because a bunch of people are afraid of language. You'll just have to be perplexed because nobody is going to trick me into saying "Monkey"!

• By tricking Java (which is easy because he's such a stupid M-word), Rex escapes from Simon Stagg's clutches. Sapphire decides to escape along with him. Probably because of his titanium cock.

• The Yeti story is true.

• Kanjar Ro has come to Earth to retrieve the power source he loaned Simon Stagg. It may or may not be the Orb of Ra. If it is, I'm guessing it should actually be called the Orb of Ro.

• The power source is actually Metamorpho. Kanjar Ro wants to pour him in his ship's gas tank.

• Rex and Sapphire return the Orb of Ra to its original resting place in the pyramid in Egypt and are taken back in time with the other Outsiders. I mean, um, they're transported to another planet. Probably the one where the ancient aliens who built the pyramids are from!

• Do you realize there are people in this world who both believe the pyramids were built by ancient aliens and believe we never actually went to the moon. Pretty much anybody who calls into Coast to Coast AM or is named Clyde Lewis believe everything that is opposite what anybody of any kind of authority believe. So a scientist says something? Bullshit! He's got an agenda! An expert on ancient architecture explains in a rational way how ancient civilizations built things? Bullshit! She's got an agenda! Anybody says anything that doesn't have anything to do with the paranormal or aliens or hoodoo? Bullshit! It's a great big disinformative lie to obfuscate, inveigle, and deceive.

• The next story is the Sugar and Spike story! It's the one I've been waiting for because I love the premise! Two detectives run a business doing jobs for superheroes to clean up possibly embarrassing (and probably Golden Age) past situations in their lives.

• Come on! How can you not love this concept?! Plus it's reintegrating all of that lost Preboot history! You thought the story about Superman creating an island that looked like himself where he hid all of his Kryptonite was obliterated from the canon?! WRONG, MOTHERFUCKER! And if that story is still true, why can't they all still be true! ALL OF THEM! EVERY SINGLE STUPID FUCKING ONE! YES!

• Sugar and Spike is Keith Giffen's next Ambush Bug and Cheeks the Toy Wonder. Frankly, this idea is genius and I don't think I could ever get enough of it.

• Superman Island has been taken over by a young girl and her evil robot toys. And Sugar and Spike's weapons only shoot tranq darts which probably don't affect robots.

• See?

• Sugar and Spike defeat the toys, get the Kryptonite, and escape from Superman Island. But not before they've made a mortal enemy of the robot toys boss, Toywoman!

• The Metal Men are the last story and I've said everything there is to say about them like how they all want to fuck Superman and how Doctor Magnus keeps the Responsometers up his ass and how Mercury covers every field of battle in toxic waste. I think I'll just end my bullet points here. Unless, of course, somebody gets fucked by a Metal Man.

• Or if a fantastic guest star manages to worm his way into the story!

• Red Tornado also guest stars as a villain since he was hacked by the bad guy. Which I probably didn't need to state because isn't Red Tornado constantly getting hacked by the bad guy? It doesn't really matter since he's going to end this story with his limbs torn off. Just like always! Only losers like Red Tornado!

• No offense meant, The Angry Hero!

Friday, April 29, 2016

Aquaman #51

Pickle Boy Comic Book Fact #1: Covers with Aquaman being beaten to a pulp sell more copies than covers where he looks triumphant.

The Review!
I hope Cullen Bunn's friend doesn't comment on my review of this comic book because he's so fucking boring! He's always all, "Pretentious bullshit, pretentious bullshit, defend Cullen Bunn's version of Twat Lobo and Aquacarter of Mars." It's like he doesn't understand satire, sarcasm, parody, and whatever the fuck I'm actually doing which isn't any of those things I just wrote but I'd like to think are those things because they sound intelligent. He's a total bummer! Not a bummer like a UK Slang bummer! I mean a bummer like an American Slang bummer which is a downer! Every time I see he's commented on a commentary, I groan really loudly and kick my feet and roll my eyes and yell, "I don't wanna read this garbage!" Then I usually don't respond because I did respond once in a funny manner but he took it totally the wrong way and flipped the fuck out in the way that online commenters love to do! You know, I don't even have a proper review of this issue because I expect the boring fuck to tell me what I should have thought when reading this. Which will probably be something like, "This story is nowhere as exciting as Cullen Bunn's story! His ass tastes so good! Mmmm!"

The Commentary!
If I were the editor of Aquaman at DC Comics, I would insist that he be left in a worse position than he was in when the comic book began every fucking issue. It would be editorially mandated that Aquaman never have anything go right for him. I bet it would be a terrific seller! People would begin picking it up because they couldn't resist seeing how far Aquaman could still fall. Not every month would be something hugely dramatic though. Sometimes he might just have severe diarrhea while trying to attend a Justice League meeting. Maybe one issue he would be proudly sporting a new fedora while everybody snickered behind his back. What I'm saying is Aquaman shouldn't pretend to be anything but the laughingstock he was meant to be! Bad-ass doesn't look good on Arthur. Riding on the back of a gigantic seahorse does!

This issue begins twelve hours before it should since on page three the narration box says "Twelve Hours Earlier." It begins in the future with Scavenger and his gang of scavengers scavenging on the bottom of the ocean. But they get news that Aquaman is hunting them which totally sounds like an exciting time! But then the whole twelve hours earlier thing happens and now I have to slog through a bunch of boring prologue before getting back to the chase. Come on, comic book! If I wanted boring story and setup, I'd be reading a real book!

The first half of the comic is just Aquaman questioning the guy who transforms into the sea beast, Dead Water. If you're into Aquaman being boring like he usually is, this is totally the comic book for you. But at least he doesn't have every super power in the world and traveling into outer space! At least Mera looks hot in her new Aquaman costume.

Although she's acting really boring too!

Ten pages of boring conversation with the man who can transform into Dead Water later and the comic book returns to the present where all of the excitement was about to happen before it was interrupted by boredom and more boredom. That's the problem with flashing back to the beginning of a story! All of that explication was unnecessary! I don't care what Dead Water's motives were for killing the people he killed! Aquaman could have simply found out the name of his previous employer, realized it was The Scavenger, and begun the chase! Maybe I really should be editing this comic book!

The chase is pretty boring too. Basically Aquaman searches Scavenger's old bases until he finds him and then the comic book ends with the cover image. Also Dead Water got out of the dehydration chamber by crying. See, he wasn't really able to cry but he finally got so sad that he managed it. So Aquaman is having trouble with Scavenger and Mera is having trouble with Dead Water and I'm having trouble liking Aquaman.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

The Flash #50

Come on, DC. The Flash should at least make the cover of his own comic book.

The Review
The Flash is still considered a bad guy because The Riddler is apparently such a genius that he manipulated all of the time travel events in such a way that it turned everybody against The Flash. Or maybe he's just decided to take advantage of the fact that Captain Frye is a huge idiot and doesn't know the difference between criminals and heroes. I realize that line is super fuzzy in the DC You (and possibly other comic book universes but these commentaries don't focus on those universes). This comic book is still bad and relies on tired plot points and stupid readers. I may be stupid in a lot of ways but I'm not a Stupid Comic Book Reader at all! I'm a Grand Master Comic Book Reader and I declare this is a terrible comic book.

The Commentary
I have a feeling I'm going to be buying a lot more comic books than usual in May thanks to some of these titles being so far behind. Issue #50 on April 28th?! Looking up the release dates of the last two issues of PreRebirth Flash comic books, I see another one is due next week and Issue #52 is due the day Rebirth begins. I suppose that'll be the same for all of the other books that are way behind, like Justice League and Batgirl and Black Canary and Cyborg. Although maybe Black Canary and Cyborg have caught up by now. And also, they don't have the same amount of pressure on them as the comics that need to get their 52nd issue published, so maybe they'll just wrap up whenever. Not that it matters to me since Cyborg really could have wrapped up before it even started. Such a boring comic book!

When we last left The Flash, Central City's Police Department was acting like it was Backwards Law Day. They decided The Flash needed to be arrested while they began paying known criminals to help catch The Flash. I get that superhero comic books have been published for so long that there just aren't many new stories to tell, especially if the writer isn't very imaginative, but can we stop writing this story about how the law turns against the good guys so desperately that they ignore all the wrongdoing super villains have done? From now on, when a writer walks into a pitch meeting and says one of the following, I would like the editors to just shoot them in the head:

"Get this...the superhero loses all of her powers!"
"Imagine, if you can, the framed by the bad guy and everybody loses trust in him!"
"You're going to call me crazy, but how about this for the next Superman story: he faces an alien that is more powerful than he is!"
"The theme of our Wonder Woman run will be how Wonder Woman has time for both a social life and a working life! Plus she should be seen in the shower a lot!"
"The hero falters but the people rise up to do the heroes job and the hero acknowledges that we are all the hero!"
"I don't know if this has ever been done but how about a Justice League story where they're beaten down for four issues and then, in the fifth issue, they rise up and win the day through sheer force of forcefulness!"
"What if we have some thing...I don't know what to call it...maybe a crisis? And it will involve all of the heroes and change continuity in critical ways and maybe renumber the comic books too!"
"Have we ever considered lobbying congress to demand a law be passed that forces people to buy our products the way that Obamacare forces people to buy corporate insurance or face severe tax penalties? Fucking geniuses, those guys!"

There are hundreds more like the story where a bad guy kills a female second cousin of the protagonist and the protagonist has grief. Or the one where the female hero is raped by the bad guy and experiences grief. Or the one where the male protagonist's mother is raped and killed so that the male protagonist grieves. Or the one where the sidekick is killed so that Batman gets a chance to grieve.

How about telling your aunt to stop publishing untrue articles about how dangerous The Flash is when all of the death and destruction was caused by other people. She's a lousy fucking reporter.

Iris is on scene as The Flash is arrested to ask Captain Frye one question: "What the hell are you doing?" Am I wrong? Did I remember things incorrectly? Didn't Iris write an article with a headline that was like and probably not exactly "FLASH: MENACE OR BIGGER MENACE?!" which questioned the safety of The Flash operating in Central City after the police headquarters were destroyed? I suppose if she did, it was enough issues in the past that nobody is going to read this bit about Iris and think, "What a fucking hypocrite she is!"

Meanwhile, The Trickster reports back to his new boss who I guessed was Ron Howard with Heat Wave in a fish tank. But judging by his green suit and gloves, it's obviously The Riddler with Heat Wave in a fish tank. He has plans to take over Central City in the same way that he could never take over Gotham. But first he had to get the law to turn against The Flash which was totally easy because he lives in the DC Universe where everybody simultaneously hates and loves superheroes, depending on which way the plot needs them to feel.

Flash's dad calls in a favor to help his son break out of prison before he gets unmasked. That means Girder and Overload take a hit on their sentences simply to help out. Maybe they're good guys too and I didn't realize it because of Central City's Backwards Law Day.

This is another horrible comic book trope. If there's a power outage, all of the prisoners go free because DC Prisons can't afford manual locks or electronically controlled locks that simply remain locked if the power goes out.

The Flash saves all of the cops and prison guards before Overload causes a massive explosion. This brings us to the next example in what seems to be a comic book meant to showcase lazy plotting: Captain Frye once again trusts The Flash because The Flash saved his life. I mean, The Flash saved his life when the Police Department exploded as well but I guess that was just normal Flash saving lives life saving. This was extenuating circumstances Flash saving lives where he saves the lives of people actively incarcerating him for no fucking good reason at all.

Flash now has to stop a massive prison break and riot at Iron Heights because that's just a thing that heroes have to deal with now that cell doors can't seem to stay locked. But at least maybe Iris will write an article with a new headline: FLASH CAUSES PRISON RIOT WHILE ESCAPING CUSTODY! Hmm, maybe that isn't the direction she should go with this story.

Flash saves all of the guards but doesn't attempt to stop the inmates himself since they're stuck on an island for a bit. I mean, the ones who can't fly are. Unless they pay the ones who can fly to fly them off. Anyway, forget about the prison! It doesn't matter anymore. It's time for The Flash to battle the Rogues again because Captain Frye hasn't had the chance to tell them they've been fired. Although if they can save his life, maybe he'll rehire them and begin mistrusting The Flash once more.

It's during the battle that The Riddler makes his big reveal and explains his motivations. You see, he noticed The Flash has never been beaten and he wanted to take a crack at beating him. Christ, Enigma. You're supposedly super smart but you can't figure out that there are cities in the world that don't have resident superheroes? You couldn't beat Batman who has no superpowers so you decide to go against the one that has arguably the greatest super power of all? You really are a delusional megalomaniac!

The backup story is about Wally West playing dodge ball but I stopped reading it when it was revealed the fat kid's nickname was Chunk. Go fuck yourself, Van Jensen.

I lied! I kept reading it! But then I stopped when it was revealed the red headed kid is a mean bully. Go fuck yourself, Van Jensen!

Okay, I lied again! The story is about Wally West meeting a future dead version of himself who time traveled to explain the changes Wally's body has been going through. Do I even need to say it a third time? Yes, yes I do! Simply because it feels good! Go fuck yourself, Van Jensen!

I probably shouldn't be writing such mean things to my theoretical best friend Van Jensen (according to Facebook in which we share one friend in common!) but The Flash really has been terrible with all of this time travel stuff. Van Jensen is at least acknowledging that it's a bunch of bullshit when he has time traveling Wally West say, "Time travel, dude. Don't even get me started." It's possible all of this time travel crap was editorially mandated because Brian Cunningham has a sexual fetish for horribly contrived time travel stories. Also he might just find the time travel stuff the most fascinating thing about The Flash. It's actually the worst thing. Even DC themselves tried to stop all of that bullshit with Flashpoint and The New 52 and putting a moratorium on time travel. But that didn't last because horrible writers decided it was still okay to have people time travel from different non-Flashpoint timelines into the Flashpoint timeline. Those horrible writers were Fabian Nicieza, Scott Lobdell, and Tom DeFalco. Also possibly others.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Robin, Son of Batman #11

Why is Robin's doublet covered in semen?

The Review!
Tom Napolitano just nails the lettering in this issue. Every "A" looks like an "A"! And his "C"s look totally like "C"s! Not once did he make an "L" and an "I" run together so that they look like a "U"! He did his job so well that not once did I think that somebody was responsible for the lettering! His word balloon placements were par excellence! At one point, he even managed to use lowercase letters! I fucking thought that was impossible in a DC Comic! My mind was fucking blown! If you're into lettering as much as I am not, you will love his use of letters. They're just all over the place! It made me think, "You know? Without letters, how would the story be told?! What an important job Tom has!" Then I realized there's probably a sexual fetish where people become aroused when they see certain letters and I began to wonder if Tom would work in the porn industry. Then I searched the NSFW tag on Tumblr. Then I had a nap. This was an entertaining issue well lettered! Kudos, Tom!

The Commentary!
I'm angry that I have the John Romita Jr. cover for this issue because the regular cover has a gorilla and a pun on it and that pun is not "Gorilla Warfare"! It's "Gorilla in the Midst". Ha ha! So good. Although it also brings to mind the death of Dian Fossey so maybe it isn't the funniest pun. Perhaps DC should have just gone with Gorilla Warfare.

Last issue ended with Damian off to Gorilla City. Is Gorilla City still something fans find exciting? That seems like something that should have been left to the Silver Age when kids were still fascinated by talking Gorillas. Now that science has taught at least one of them to use sign language, the world has discovered how boring and kitten obsessed they are. They're just like us! How about if Gorilla City were invaded and destroyed by a bunch of Magic the Gathering playing nerds who masturbate to their Chandra Nalaar cards? Now that would be a scary and mysterious city. It would also be full of boring arguments about rules by people who think they're consistently logical but are almost always simply interpreting rules to favor their style of gameplay. God how I don't miss playing Magic the Gathering with strangers. Especially the assholes who would play all of their cards super fast so that if they played a card you weren't familiar with, they might be able to get past your hand full of counterspells. I suppose that's my fault for never finding the time to memorize every fucking card and what that fucking card does. Fucking Feldon's Cane. Piece of shit asshole should have lost if I'd known what that card did but the fucker was already shuffling his graveyard into his hand and by then I didn't want to have to punch him in the face in the argument that would ensue if I declared I countered it. Dick.

You know what? I'm going to say it! All Magic the Gathering players are dicks. They're fucking piece of shit monsters who should not be allowed out in public! Win at all costs nerds are my bane! No, they're my Bane! They may not have broken my back but they definitely broke my spirit. I'm a white male and they drove me away from their tournaments and their collector's shops backroom gaming tables! Christ they're assholes.

I suppose I could chalk up most of my bad experiences playing Magic to my own ignorance. Like when a player cast Winter Blast, a sorcery, as an instant to tap and kill my flying creatures that were about to attack on my turn to win the game. I only had one card left in my deck at that point so I was sure to lose. Except my final card was Ball Lightning which was able to attack the same turn it was summoned and trampled all over his cheating fucking ass! Once again though, I should have memorized every fucking card and I wouldn't have been manipulated like that! This was back when The Dark had just come out, so there weren't nearly as many cards to memorize. But this was also in the early days of the internet so even finding out about all the Legends and Antiquities and Arabian Nights cards that were out there was a bit of a chore. Which explains why I'm being so sarcastic about having to memorize every card, and yet not being sarcastic in that it's the only way to make sure your fucking asshole opponent doesn't take advantage of you.

I shouldn't act as if Magic the Gathering and its players are the problem. The problem is playing against strangers. Also the problem is assholes. Also the problem is asshole strangers who love to play Magic the Gathering.

I know, I know. I know what you're all thinking: #notallMagicplayers. But in this case, yes, yes indeed. All Magic players. Every last one of the stinking twats. And probably all the Yu-Gi-Oh players too!

That gorilla really hates it when somebody touches his weapon!

Robin has gone to Gorilla City to stop the Lu'un Darga from destroying the world. But he's trying to stop them from doing exactly what he was doing during the Year of Retribution. I'm not sure if Ray Fawkes completely understood the story he was taking over.

But isn't that exactly what you were doing during your Year of Retribution? Undoing your Year of Blood work? And, I might add, helping the Lu'un Darga while doing it! I guess once Damian's brothers were killed, he realized undoing the Year of Blood was ultimately a bad thing?

Also in the raid on Gorilla City? Talia and Nobody's Daughter!

Worst human in the world? Talia plays Magic?!

Damian, son of Batman and Talia al Ghul, discovers that his enemy is Bad Son, Son of Lu'un Darga and Mrs. Lu'un Darga. I wonder if the Bad Son's real name is Naimad! It would help make the point so ridiculously unsubtle that it ceases to be annoying for how unsubtle the whole "Damian versus a version of himself he could have become" plot is. I suppose Batman has had about five gamillion of these types of stories, so Damian needs a few too.

I don't know if this scene is supposed to show that Naimad is less witty than a high-schooler who thinks constantly quoting Oscar Wilde is the height of wit, or it's merely Ray Fawkes who has been exposed.

I already forgot that Naimad had mentioned his name was Suren earlier. I'll probably just keep referring to him as Naimad.

As Damian bickers with his new little playmate, Bruce arrives to send somebody into a timeout. A Bat-timeout!

I think Damian's dialogue should read "Faaaaaaaatheeeeeeer...!"

I suppose since this is the first time Damian has seen his dad since he became Batman again, he's toning down the whining and just trying to be happy to see him. Although Batman is still interrupting Damian's big day.

Naimad completes his task which means his family will soon be resurrected and the world will end. He disappears but not before Maya can hop on his back and go with him. Damian witnesses his mother and father getting along (a bit) and has sitcom dreams of his parents getting back together. As if Alfred would allow Talia to live under his roof.

Naimad has one last Year of Blood item to replace before Damian's Year of Retribution can be complete. Although by completing it, the world will end, so Damian needs to kind of stop it from happening. Even though he did most of the work himself. The last item to be replaced is something from Dinosaur Island!

Gorilla City? Dinosaur Island? Ray Fawkes does know he's writing modern comic books, right?

Lois and Clark #7

This reminds me of a skin tag story I've yet to tell but probably won't have time to get to in this commentary. So forget I even mentioned it.

The Review!
Are we still pretending that I actually give a damn about reviewing these comic books?! I'm just an old person trying to remember the plot of fifty or more comic books every month and this is how I do it! But some people think review sites should actually review comic books so I keep up the fucking pretense! Here I go. This comic book is about Superman and Lois Lane and their son, Stupidfuck. It is probably not worth spending any amount of your finite life reading but then what actually is? If you like comic books with Superman written by a robot built in 1986 that hasn't been updated since, you may feel this is adequate distraction from your helter-skelter, headlong sprint toward the grave. I do know that I won't regret having read it if I'm given any time to have regrets because I'm languishing with some mortal illness. But that's just because I also read Ann Nocenti's Katana. That will be the thing I'll be regretting on my day of death. That and probably not dropping more LSD.

The Commentary!
My battle with the Weird Science Comics Blog is really heating up now! One of them has come at me really aggressively with all of this "Let's Play Nice" bullshit that I'm totally seeing right through! He saw that my plan was to forget about them and then he followed me on Twitter and commented on some of my Tumblr posts just to remind me that he exists and to pretend that he's a nice guy! And yet he purposefully and consciously foiled my plan of forgetting about them! What an evil genius mastermind of evil! Now I must forget about my plan to forget about them and work to destroy them forever! But first I'm going to read Lois and Clark #7!

Although do I really have time to read comics now that I must work to wipe pure evil off of the face of the Earth? Oh, of course I do! Even the mightiest of paladins must take the occasional break from their righteous quests! And who's a more mighty paladin than me?! So I'll take some really mighty breaks! After I read Lois and Clark #7, I'll probably play some Call of Duty!

Why must parents always lie to their children?

Two of the stupidest things DC has tried to convince their readers are unanswerable questions are who's fastest between Flash and Superman and who would win in a fight between Batman and Superman. We all know that Flash is faster no matter how DC wants to present Superman as the most powerful person ever and in every way imaginable. And we all know that Batman could never actually match Superman. Sure, Batman might reduce his heart rate and respiration and fall to the ground as if dead and Superman will be all "No! I didn't mean to kill you!" as he rushes to Batman's side where Batman proceeds to shove a Kryptonite shiv into Superman's liver. But if it were a life and death battle for Lois Lane's life, Superman might just have to fry Bruce with his heat vision from orbit. Better not to take any chances. And now that I think about it, I suppose if Superman were allowed to run the race against Flash in the same way Dick Dastardly was always allowed to run in the Wacky Races, he could probably beat The Flash. Right before the starter gun goes off, Superman can use his FWASH power to incinerate The Flash. Sure, Superman would lose his powers for 24 hours but at that point, he could just walk to the finish line. Although if The Flash is paying attention, he can outrun the FWASH explosion (by running backwards so he doesn't get a false start and get disqualified) and then run back to beat Superman easily. So I think The Flash would win no matter what. Or he could just time travel after losing, put some Kryptonite Marshmallows in Superman's breakfast before the race, and then beat Superman because Superman is dead.

I guess what I'm trying to say is it depends on the writer and the editor telling the story but if Superman beat Flash or Batman beat Superman, readers that day would set the world record for most people doing the Hand Jive at the same time. Although technically they'd just be making jerking off motions but nobody would have to tell Guinness that.

Jon agrees with me that Flash should be faster but for stupid kid reasons like things being fair and shit. What a little jerk! I hope he's forced to go on a play date with New 52 Danny Chase.

So, Jon discovered he has super powers last issue because he's got to be ready for joining the Teen Titans in Rebirth. He should fit in great because I already hate the little noseminer. Just to be clear, I don't hate him for any actual reason. It's pure bias on my part.

Meanwhile, Superman finally deals with the reality television drama that was only in the plot to delay him so that Jon could show off his powers and he's off to help save his family.

Welp, the Superman is out of the bag.

While Clark and Lois explain where they're from to their son, Clark mentions that their old universe is gone. Well, that can't be right! I thought they went back in time with Parallax and Flash and they stopped the Crisis on Infinite Earths from happening. I figured they chose to live in the New 52 universe because Golden Age Superman, after surviving Crisis thanks to the current retcon, decided to take up living on silver age Superman's Earth. Oh, who can tell! Hopefully Rebirth #1 is just a long note telling the fans that all of the stories ever told by DC are true and if any of them contradict any others then it's the fault of the reader's inability to see how they don't actually contradict.

The issue ends with Hyathis searching for half of the Oblivion Stone which is in Superman's Prison of Semi-Solitude. I guess that fight should end this series and then it's on to Rebirth where bearded, experienced, acts-like-Superman Superman will take over for fresh corpse Superman?

Monday, April 25, 2016

Action Comics #51

In this issue, Superman borrows The Atom's technology to learn what it's like to be a spermatozoa.

The Review!
This month's issue is a bit light on story but it gets across everything it needs to before bringing Wonder Woman into the story since the next installment takes place in Superman Loves Wonder Woman. Since Tomasi is handling every aspect of this story, it's been consistent and well-paced which is something the Superman titles have sorely lacked. Although some might argue the "well-paced" part since there wasn't any punches thrown this issue. Which is weird because Supergirl hasn't seen her cousin in some time. You'd think she would have greeted him like she used to with a nice right cross to the jaw.

The Commentary!
Last issue ended with Superman planning a trip to famed National City in search of his cousin, Supergirl. This issue begins with him immediately finding her shoved into an overly complicated La-Z-Boy recliner inside a secret lab of the DEO (Department of Extra-Normal Operations (which is a pretty stupid name, really. And for what? An acronym that doesn't have any kind of wink-wink meaning like ARGUS?)). I know the Supergirl television show decided to go the Martian Manhunter as director route but this being a comic book, can we please get Mister Bones back? He was still running the thing in Batwoman but Batwoman was one of those weird New 52 titles that clung heavily to Preboot history and material. Plus a lot of it seemed to have been scrapped when Blackman and Williams had their falling out with DC.

Superman doesn't ask anybody why Supergirl is in the chair. He doesn't think, "Maybe she's hurt or sick and the DEO are helping?" He just kicks in the door, says, "Fuck you, assholes!", destroys their equipment, and flies off with Supergirl. I suppose I don't blame him since Supergirl has been missing for so long and the DEO doesn't have the best reputation. But he is Superman which means he actually can take a moment to consider that his actions might hurt Supergirl more than help her. Although the DEO is so shitty that that moment could turn into Superman being enveloped in a cloud of Kryptonite dust. Double although, maybe that would cure him? Oh! Or maybe the DEO is curing Supergirl of her Kryptonite poisoning that perhaps was worse than she thought! Maybe she's in some kind of Kryptonite Dialysis machine! I'm not exactly clear on what Dialysis does but I think it takes the pee out of people and puts in not pee. Or something. So it might be analogous to a Kryptonite Removing Machine.

Oh Supergirl's bum, how I've missed you!

Supergirl explains where she's been and how she was losing her powers too and how that led her to team up with Cameron Chase (no relation to Danny Chase. I think? But also played by Charisma Carpenter in the Supergirl television show! I think) and the DEO.

Meanwhile, the Wanna-be Superman decides to also pose as Clark Kent. Well, it's less of a decision and more of a can't help himself from doing it. So he invades the Daily Planet and winds up killing a few security guards before Lois Lane takes him down with a Taser. Perry decides to send the guy to ARGUS to figure out what the hell's going on.

Superman wills the Fortress of Solitude over to Supergirl just before Wonder Woman shows up armed for a fight. She's a bit miffed that Superman found out he was dying and decided to tell Batman first. As if Batman doesn't get to find out everything first!

Wonder Woman #51

What is it with Wonder Woman posing with allegorical penises on the cover of her comic books lately?

The Review!
Zola dies at the end of this issue. That's not a spoiler because I don't know if she's really dead or not. Plus I don't think anybody needs to read the rest of this issue only to eventually get to that revelation. The story spends a lot of time reminding the reader that Wonder Woman loves too well and that parents can sometimes fuck up their children. But none of that matters because everything that gets Wonder Woman to contemplate love and children and parents was a lie. By the end, Wonder Woman can forget all of the philosophical bullshit she's been contemplating since she met Hecate because Hecate turned out to be an evil liar. Although maybe it's still pertinent to the theme since Hecate was supposedly working for Gaia and thus is an allegory for how mothers manipulate their children. Fucking mothers! What jerks! Meredith Finch sure nailed that one in a totally not sexist way at all! It's also possible I'm projecting my own childhood onto the story at this point. Anyway, Wonder Woman learns that maybe she shouldn't trust people she doesn't know and has no reason to trust instead of not trusting the people she loves and trusts. I think there was some lesson about monsters being the most human of us all as well but it was so trite that I barely noticed it. This continues to be a pretty sexist comic book about the greatest feminist icon in comic books. What the fuck is DC thinking?! Just go read The Legends of Wonder Woman instead if you care about Wonder Woman at all.

The Commentary!
Wonder Woman is currently on a quest to save Zeus. Why she wants to save the symbol of the patriarchy, I don't know. No, wait, I do know! It's because he's currently a cute little toddler which is the one form he's ever chosen in which Wonder Woman is pretty sure he can't rape. Plus he's so cute and googly and drooly! To save the Patriarchy, Wonder Woman must help the Matriarchy. So she's on a quest to rescue all of Gaia's children. Apparently Meredith Finch decided the greatest role of Wonder Woman's life would be as an au pair to the Olympians.

Wonder Woman is currently in Tartarus to free the Hecatonchires when she remembers the last time she visited when Slade freed Iapetus. Oh, sorry. She still remembers the titan being named "Lapetus." I guess Meredith has decided to stand in solidarity with her husband who completely fucked up the Titan's name in Douch├ęstork.

Wonder Woman doesn't mind freeing these monsters from their prison because she's learning that not all creatures who look like monsters truly are monsters! What a fucking revelation! Although she's now gone too far to the other side and seems to believe that all creatures that look like monsters aren't monsters. So I hope she's surprised when she finds out the Hecatonchires are just super grabby assholes.

Wonder Woman continues to insist on thinking of Zeke as somebody separate from Zeus. That's mostly so she can keep up the theme of children being damaged by the conflict between their mothers and fathers. But since Zeke is also Zeus, it seems a bit of a stretch to keep thinking of him as being hurt by Zeus.

Wonder Woman runs into Zombie Zola and Dead Baby Zeke in Tartarus because it likes to torture people. Tartar must mean torture because tartar sauce is disgusting.

Zombie Zola accuses Wonder Woman of killing Zeke because Wonder Woman didn't save Zeke fast enough. That's a tried and true philosophy in DC Comics! If somebody failed to save somebody else, it's always the fault of the failed savior and not the person who actually caused the problem in the first place. So good job, Tartarus! You're just like every other jerk in The New 52 stemming back to that cop in Gail Simone's Batgirl #1 who pointed her pistol at Batgirl instead of the bad guy and blamed her for the death of some other person. I don't remember all the details! And I can't go back to remind myself because I took a black Sharpie and blacked out the offending panel.

Wonder Woman remembers being teased and called Clay by the other Amazonian girls. Dang Hippolyta and her lies! Diana suffered because of her mother's actions! Ew! I'm so angry at parents right now! They ruin everything! Except for those parents holding up their toddler at an outdoor concert which everybody on Tumblr tagged as "Parenting. You're doing it right." I guess those were good parents and they weren't harming their child at all by turning it into an accessory.

Diana runs into Superman next and remembers how she's always wanted to be a mother! Of course! What woman doesn't constantly yearn for motherhood! Even Wonder Woman can't escape the call of her uterus!

I can't stand stories or articles or people who cannot believe that some people simply do not want children. There's too much projection going on in society. Just because you couldn't imagine a world without your precious shitty bundle of noise, it doesn't mean everybody else would feel the same way about having one. I've never wanted a child for any reason ever. Got a reason for wanting a child? I don't have that reason. Got a reason for not wanting a child? Just add it to the list of mine. Don't fucking care. Some people think I have some kind of obligation to be a father. I admit, I'd be a great father. Probably. I mean, I'm the best uncle and although there's a vast chasm between those two jobs, I'm fairly confident that if I had accidentally become a father at some point, I would have done the job well. But being fairly responsible in my choices, it has never happened (almost once! But, thank Jesus, he took care of that problem on his own! Who needs doctors when Jesus provides the most spontaneous abortions of anybody ever?!). But even if I were a great father, the Non-Certified Spouse, who doesn't want children as much or more than me (I only say "more" in that I don't want them at all and she doesn't want them at all even more somehow. It's weird math and I don't have a calculator with the proper buttons to explain it correctly), would be a terrible mother. Just awful. I don't think she'd be offended by my saying she would just completely suck as a mother.

Next Hera runs into the Mother of Olympus because the theme! Remember the fucking theme!

This is really Hera. Really, really!

Characters in comic books constantly mistrust the people they've grown to love and trust as soon as some Iago whispers any fucking thing in their ear. Everybody loves too well! Is this something people actually deal with on a constant basis? I'm guessing they do since Othello remains a popular story even though I read it and thought what I think every time I read the same ploy in a DC Comic book, "Why the fuck is the protagonist believing somebody they barely know over somebody they completely trust?!" I think I'm too full of esteem to understand that this is a thing. What's really going on is the bad person tugs at a string of self-doubt already inherent in the hero and carefully pulls it until everything unravels. So Wonder Woman already mistrusts the Olympians so when a stranger tells her somebody she loves is in danger from the Olympians, she decides to fuck everything up. Another option would have been asking the people she trusted if any of it was true. But, of course, she had to save Zeke in secret for plot reasons.

Anyway, now Wonder Woman knows she was set up by Hecate! Hecate is in for it now!

Is Batman as afraid of Wonder Woman as he is of Superman? Because Superman can destroy the Earth if he's possessed or magically controlled or given Joker Venom or infected by the Doomsday virus or mind-controlled. But Wonder Woman simply needs to have her emotions manipulated and WHAMMO! She's turned against everybody! That statement may be sexist but it's not my sexism. That sexism is courtesy of Meredith Finch and this story of hers!

Wonder Woman and Hera escape from Tartarus but find it was too late! While they were gone, Hecate escaped with Hera's "orbs", Zola has died, and Zeke is missing! Whoops!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Superman: American Alien #6

Where's Waldo Joke.

The Review!
This issue is about Clark discovering who he is and what he wants his place in the world to be. It's also a story about friendship. I didn't really understand the friendship part. There was hugging and saying nice things and feeling scared for the safety of others and empathy and sympathy. What are those things? I thought having friends was having somebody you could call a huge turd while making fun of their kids. Once again, it's the kind of Superman story that I enjoy, presenting Superman in fairly mundane situations and showing how they affect him. Usually these kinds of stories have a B Story that involves a lot of punching but this one decided to use that space for a bit of an argument between friends and then a space encounter with Green Lanterns. It was better than punching.

The Commentary!
This has been my favorite Superman comic book since The New 52 began. I should probably state how much I like this comic book in more specific terms because I could pretty much hate this thing and it would still be better than just about every other Superman story that's been published since The New 52 began. That isn't to say that the Preboot Superman stories were always magnificent. Fuck no! I don't want people thinking I'm one of those New 52 haters who don't understand how quality works and believes there's some kind of magic chronobarrier set up between August of 2011 and September of 2011 which has kept quality in the past. Although it was right about the Reboot time when all of the worst writers to ever work at Marvel were suddenly given jobs at DC! Now that was a shitty decision.

This issue is called "Angel" even though an angel isn't a kind of bird. But it does have wings, so I guess I have to not complain too much about how it fucks up the gossamer theme stringing these issues together. It begins with some of Clark's old high school friends visiting him in Metropolis. They know he's Superman so they're concerned that he's going to be acting like a big shot Hollywood movie star. I bet he does act that way! But not because he's a secret celebrity! I bet he acts that way because he's now had sex with a bunch of prostitutes!

I'm going to pretend I understand aeronautics as well as my grandfather who worked on the SR-71 Blackbird and nod emphatically. Talk about needing a cape! The SR-71, not me. Or my grandfather.

Clark's friends are trying to figure out why nobody recognizes Clark as Superman when he only has glasses to hide his identity. But that's not all he has! The real secret in maintaining a secret identity is to cultivate a personality that nobody would ever believe could be Superman. So Clark is clumsy and naive and nerdy which is totally the opposite of Superman. It's how Bruce Wayne used to keep everybody from guessing who he was as well! Nobody would expect an unfeeling playboy who spends most of his time carousing from one society function to the other might be Batman! At least that used to be the case. Now most comic books just allow Superman to seem cool and well-muscled and confident and everything Superman is. So it's no wonder people scoff at the idea that his whole costume is "glasses." Bruce Wayne is the same way. He no longer really puts forth the image of an unsympathetic rich playboy. He puts himself out there as somebody who is trying to help the community and also as a guy whose company creates all of Batman's gadgets. Because of the close ties and the similarities (right down to the young ward/son), Batman's cowl should be less effective than Clark's glasses. Apparently the only thing keeping the people of Gotham from guessing Bruce Wayne is Batman is their low intelligence quota.

Clark and Pete and Kenny go to an art gallery. I guess Clark wants to embarrass them by putting them in a place where they won't fit in! What a jerk! The gallery is presenting "Super-Villains!", Jimmy Olsen's photos of costumed criminals. He even has a picture of Count Vertigo that's totally in focus! He really is a good photographer!

Pete suggests Clark should meet all of the other people with powers appearing around America but Clark is all, "Those guys are dweebs!"

Pete should, I don't know, start a website about Superman's dickery or something.

Peter oversteps his guest boundaries and calls out Clark on a bunch of stuff that he really didn't need to call Clark out on. I'm not sure what Pete's motivation is but he seems to want to light a fire under Clark so that Clark becomes the Superman Pete thinks Clark should become. It's probably one of those doing it out of love things where he thinks Clark is wasting his potential and he wishes Clark would just live the life Pete and Kenny wish they could live. Or maybe Pete is just an asshole who would be using his super powers to get laid all of the time. Clark takes it in stride trying to explain his perspective right up until Pete tells Clark that Ma and Pa Kent are disappointed in him. Ooh! Pete's lucky to not be a pile of ash after that!

Not really. Superman probably hasn't begun killing yet.

Superman decides the best thing to do after ditching his friends is to fly to the moon. His mission fails spectacularly for reasons I don't quite understand based on the art and my previously mentioned lack of understanding of aerodynamics. I'm sure it had something to do with pushing too much air together too quickly so that the air doesn't have time to move out of the way and instead builds up a ton of pressure which causes the air in front of Superman to super-heat up and burn off his clothes and then Superman's in space and suffocating. But Abin Sur is there to save his life!

Also there is an advert for Preacher on AMC. Shitballs, that ignites some of that joy and exhilaration with life that I'd thought I'd lost!

Tomar Re is with Abin Sur and they mention Krypton in front of Clark which gets him all riled up to find out what the hell that means. But Abin Sur decides to pull the old "Green Lantern Memory Lapse" move that I suppose they do all of the time when they don't have access to one of the magic heroes or J'onn J'onzz to erase minds. Clark wakes up back in his apartment with his hungover friends.

The next morning, Pete reveals his real reason for getting on Clark so hard. It's just that Clark is his best friend and Pete feels powerless to help him, and he's afraid for his friend's life. They hug it out and everything is okay again. Also, Clark remembers his encounter with the Green Lanterns and the name of the planet he's from, so I guess Abin Sur went easy on him.

Harley Quinn and her Gang of Harleys #1

This "3D" cover is all fucked up.

The Review!
I was prepared to be super duper bored by yet another typical Harley book when I picked this book up. Which I was! So it's a good thing I was prepared for it! No, no! That was a dumb joke! I actually kind of enjoyed this issue because it's got a bit of a real, if a bit trite and cliche, plot behind it! And the Harleys all look super sexy which goes a long way to keeping me interested. Plus you'll never guess the risque nature of one of the jokes about Harley Quinn and Bernie, her burnt beaver! Oh my! It's so delicious! Some of that was sarcasm because I don't think you're actually so stupid that you couldn't guess what the risque nature of the joke might be. Anyway, as far as Harley books go, this one was better than average. So there. Take that compliment, Frank Tieri, and shove it up your ass! Or put it wherever you enjoy putting your compliments. I probably shouldn't assume that you're into butt stuff.

The Commentary!
I put this comic book on the bottom of the stack the week it came out because I'm sick to death of Harley Quinn. It's also possible I'm sick to death of comic books. It's more than probable I'm sick to death of life. Being a cynical bastard isn't all it's cracked up to be. I would like to take joy in things! I want to once again feel wonder! I want to be dwarfed by the majesty of creation! Instead, I'm stuck in a constant state of eye rolling, jerk-off hand motions, and growling. I'm slowly drifting further and further away from all contact with other humans. What's the point? Maybe if other people were as entertaining as me, I'd seek out their company! But instead they're all just a bunch of bores who think I'm an asshole because I sometimes run around the street yelling, "Gi'bert! Gi'bert! Find me!" Why would anybody be upset about me actually squeezing the slightest bit of joy out of something?!

I wonder if alcohol is the answer! I sometimes think about doing LSD again but I imagine doing LSD at 44 is just asking to spend twelve hours contemplating my eventual demise. Taking LSD when I was young and immortal were some of the best times of my life. I imagine taking LSD now when I'm over halfway through life's labyrinth will just wind up with me constantly hearing snorting and huffing and the shuffling of hooves somewhere behind me as I start and look over my shoulder and scream, "WHAT WAS THAT?! WHAT'S COMING FOR ME?! PLEASE LET JESUS BE REAL!"

For now, I suppose I can only hope that Frank Tieri completely shits his pants on this script. Pouncing on a writer's mistakes and discussing nonsensical plot points might be the last thing that truly makes me happy. Although reading really good writing also makes me happy! Perhaps I should take it as a sign that I found a copy of Catch-22 on the street while walking to the comic book store last week. It's been a long while since I've read it and it's one of my top five favorite books. Maybe I should reread One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest as well. Maybe I should reread all of my top five favorite books! Although rereading House of Leaves may have a similar result to dropping acid at this stage in my life.

My Usual Top Five Favorite Novels (in no particular order (list subject to change depending on if I'm trying to get laid or not)).
1. Catch-22
2. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
3. House of Leaves
4. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There
5. The Grapes of Wrath

I don't need to list the authors because duh! Stop being stupid. Also you're on the Internet if you don't know. Take advantage of it.

I once saw Ken Kesey perform his weird Wizard of Oz slash Earth Day play at San Jose State. It was a huge clusterfuck that never seemed to end. The best part was when my friend Aaron Voorhees waddled across the front of the stage with his pants and underwear around his ankles. I don't think that part was in the script though.

So none of that had to do with Harley Quinn, probably because I'm not that interested in reading this comic book. But as an adult, I've learned that sometimes I have to do things I don't really want to do. So I'm going to have to suck it up and read this fucking comic book! Although if that's the worst thing I have to do as an adult, maybe I haven't actually learned anything about being an adult.

Christ, Tieri! This is a fucking comic book! Not a...whatever you call a book with too many words in it! A wordopedia, I guess!

I think the Gang is supposed to be diverse and not racist. But it's hard to tell when you're a cynical bastard that can't just appreciate things for what they're supposed to be. So instead of reading about Harlem Harley and thinking, "Oh yeah! Bad ass bitch knows shit!", I read, "Oh? So she's too smart for a black neighborhood, hunh? Harlem is 'inhibiting' her with all of its constrictive black urban culture, is it? It's one thing to say somebody was bored out of their mind because they were so smart if they were living in a small town full of redneck farmers because everybody knows they're dumb as shit (even if it isn't true. At least it's acceptable to say!). But how can you say, 'She was a brilliant young black woman who was too smart to be living with all of those other black people who were just dragging her down?!' So racist!" It's also quite possible (although improbable because I am a Grandmaster Comic Book Reader) that my cynicism is more racist than the actual text that sent me off on a rant because I thought it was racist.

Oh, and Bolly Quinn's parents own a restaurant? Really? Is that all Indian immigrants are capable of?! I wish it were because I, for one, would certainly enjoy having a lot more authentic Indian restaurants closer to my home. And of course Bolly Quinn is spiritual because she's obviously Hindu and how can you not enjoy being spiritual when you have monkey and elephant gods and a god who can't stop eating butter? I may be an atheist but sign me up for some of that action! Not to mention they have female gods who generally go around topless. Can you imagine if Jesus had been a woman? I might have been more interested in church if that were the crucifix hanging on every wall.

Harvey Quinn's motto is "Be who you want to be" although I suspect there are some caveats to that. Like don't be a dick even if you really want to be a dick. And being a gay basher is right out even if it's the only fulfilling thing in your life. And probably don't be a sexist even if sexists have some of the funniest jokes. And definitely don't be a prejudiced scumbag because nobody likes to be around their dick grandson who can't stop going on about the Jews.

I think Harley Quinn's tits have gotten bigger since last issue. Eee! Is there something Harley wants to tell us?!

The story begins with the Gang of Harleys beating up on the Hipster Mafia. Oh please. As if a Hipster would ever be seen trying to accomplish something. Where does a Hipster Mafia get its muscle? From lifting cans of Pabst and Rainier? The men the Harleys are beating up aren't skinny enough to be hipsters. Although what's a hipster, really? Is a hipster merely a scenester trying to make themselves into the cool scene? I think it's just a label that many people want to fall under but don't want to admit to because admitting to being a hipster means you're not being your authentic self and actually just following somebody else's trends. One thing I do know, if you want to vomit, you might just want to read the top definition of hipster in the Urban Dictionary. Holy shit, the person who wrote that entry doth protest too much! Or something. Did I use that quote right? I bet if I were a hipster, I would know! According to that definition, they're the smartest and bestest at everything! I didn't realize how much we all depended on them!

Harley defeats the Hipster Mafia by poisoning one with milk and threatening the others. I didn't realize milk was to hipsters as garlic is to vampires. Of course, I'm still just confused by what a hipster is. That Urban Dictionary definition really didn't help. I think a hipster is just anybody you find annoying.

Harley gets kidnapped after the battle and after accusing her teammates of trying too hard to be like Harley, even though Harley is the one who gave them all Harley-themed names. The kidnapping is just a big fake-out to get the Gang of Harleys to prove themselves.

Obligatory beaver joke. Also, remember how her rooster's name is Mike! Ha ha!

But wait! There's a big twist where the fake kidnapping becomes a real kidnapping! And then the new and real kidnapper reveals herself NO! I can't bring myself to say it. It's too stupid to mention. I'm going to go drink some Clorox drain cleaner now so I can forget that I ever read it. Is drinking Clorox good for forgetting things? I forget.

The Legend of Wonder Woman #4

Etta Candy pulls off the most realistic Butt-Boobs Showcase ever presented in comic books.

The Review!
I know a number of people who think regurgitating other people's opinions of things is dialogue. Instead of consuming some kind of media (book, movie, sexual act), they'll read a critic's opinion of that thing and later express it as their own opinion, as if they actually experienced the media first hand. I would rather they just say, "I have no experience of that thing." I hate it when somebody tells me, "Thing A is terrible because of all the reasons I've heard expressed by other people." Then I will say, "Really? I thought Thing A was all of my opinions I formed after having experienced that thing." Only then will the other person reveal that they have no first hand knowledge of Thing A. I would say I hate those people but my friend Doom Bunny is one of those people and I'd hate to slag him off behind his back. I usually do that directly to his stupid face. Although if they're expressing my opinions, I'll give them a pass because my opinions are better than 98% of all other opinions that have ever existed (or will exist). And that other 2% is probably just statistical error. The reason I bring this up is because I don't really have a review for this comic book. It's just this book about Wonder Woman, you know? You'd find better reviews on sites that consistently deal with feminist issues. The only feminist issue I'm currently dealing with is that the female avatar I created in Sunset Overdrive is so cute that I think I've fallen in love with her. Although I don't think that's really a feminist issue. Anyway, I wonder if I can get a screenshot of her so you can fall in love too!

You can't see her adorable freckles in this picture but it's all I could manage since I'm stuck in some long-ass learn how to play part of the game.

Anyway, this Wonder Woman comic book is the Wonder Woman comic book fans of Wonder Woman comic books should probably be reading (and probably are!). It's well-written and looks great. Although I did have one minor complaint this issue.

The term "flying saucer" wouldn't be coined until 1947, not to mention the depiction of beings from other worlds as grey aliens! Also, the Nazis would be more apt to recruit Yetis than Sasquatches.

Other than that, terrific issue! Although Diana won't be taking a bath until next month. I can't wait!

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Batman Loves Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #5

Does The Penguin really belong in Arkham?

The Review!
You know. It's Batman and the Ninja Turtles. This issue includes Damian and a bunch of Furry-Flavored Arkham Inmates. So if any of those things are up your alley, you probably already know about it and have purchased this book because you're a nineties kid. I don't have anything smart to say about it because when do I ever have anything smart to say? Even when I know the smart things I want to say, I can't say them! Like today on the way to the coffee shop to get some iced tea, one of the Project-Cloverleaf, Blood-Transfusions-For-AIDS-Patients, chalk drawing vagabonds on Hawthorne saw that I was wearing my X-files "I want to believe" shirt and said, "So why don't you just believe?" I rolled my eyes pretty heavily and muttered and growled but I didn't tell the person to shove their agenda-filled comment up their fucking ass for simply ignoring the nuance of the phrase "I want to believe" and believing that the only reason I won't believe is because I don't have some kind of shit-eating faith. Stupid people believe just to believe, asshole. Some people want to believe in things that they know are complete and utter nonsense but are still attracted to the idea of it. I would love to believe that my ego will transcend death and I will live forever. But guess what? That's fucking bullshit. Believing it doesn't make it real. It just makes the person believing it delusional and missing out on the beauty of the truth of the world. So no, Mossad Chalk Lady, I won't simply believe. Go fuck yourself.

Starfire #11

I find John Romita Jr's covers boring and I'm upset that my comic book store gave me so many of them.

The Review!
This comic book is like belly button lint. I can live with or without it. Sometimes it just sits there and I don't even care it's there and sometimes it provides me a moment's pleasure as I pick it out and give it a sniff. Some people might be more into belly button lint than I am, so they might appreciate this comic book more than me. It's not bad but it's the kind of comic book that winds up at the bottom of the stack each week because I'm not super interested in what happens.

The Commentary
In this issue, Starfire accidentally procreates with an overly sexually aggressive chipmunk-man whose species only lives for two days (which is why he's so insistent about getting his penis in something (I mean, getting the top of his head rubbed (if you get my meaning (actually, you don't have to 'get my meaning' because I meant it literally)))). That's the kind of wacky hi-jinks that take place in the monthly Starfire series. I should also mention, since it's cropped up in the zeitgeist again and since I'm one of the few reviewers I know of who constantly mentions it anyway, Sweaty Grabbyhandza...I mean, Eddie Berganza is the group editor of this comic book and he's almost certainly a serial sexual harasser. I wonder if somebody rubbed the top of his head, his back would explode with spawn and he'd keel over dead? Has anybody tried it?

Don't think of them as babies. Think of them as tomorrow's crop of sex offenders. And I mean "tomorrow" literally since these things will be dead by the day after tomorrow.

Starfire is worried that the life she's living and enjoying will one day be Rebooted and she'll lose it all. Ha ha! It will!

Starfire learns that she's a dangerous pest that is making life in Key West unsafe for everybody. At least that's what Stella tells her. Although Stella isn't wrong because the Teen Titans have a history of making things around them unsafe while never actually helping anybody ever. They're the worst.

Starfire decides to leave Key West for the safety of everybody living there. But then she decides to stay because Key West is having a ten day long party called Fantasy Fest. So her belief that leaving is the safest thing for everybody is only as strong as her desire to have a good time. It's good to know she still has the heart of a Titan.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Bombshells #11

Big Barda's weapon is a flute?

The Review!
As a "critic," I usually concentrate on the writing and the story and the characters. I talk about the art rarely. I talk about the lettering even less. I suppose those are important parts of critiquing comic books though whenever anybody praises the letterer, it just comes off as being polite. It's like acknowledging that the right fielder on a baseball team did his part to win the championship even though everybody knows he mostly just ate sunflower seeds for three hours. But this time things are different. I have fallen in love with Mirka Andolfo's art. The Bombshells are genuinely adorable in this issue. Maybe I've noticed it and mentioned it before but I don't remember because I've been slacking in my reviews over the last few months. So great job, Mirka. And great jobs Bennett and Braga as well, as usual. This is a fun comic that looks terrific. But everybody probably knows that already, right? This comic probably outsells Batman, right? Okay, maybe that's a stretch. But I bet it would if DC would just stick a centerfold in it already!

The Commentary!
Instead of being a completely cynical jerk and ranting over everybody's responses to the death of Prince, how about I just add one of my own inconsequential to anybody but me brief summaries of how Prince affected my life. Here are a number of memories I have of Prince: crying to "When Doves Cry" because of that whole parental relationship stuff, roller skating to "Little Red Corvette" until I finally understood that he wasn't singing about a car at all, masturbating to the Lake Minnetonka scene in Purple Rain, and singing along to "1999" for seventeen years thinking how fucking awesome it was going to be when I could finally sing it in 1999! I wasn't the kind of fan who bought Prince albums. I think the best testament to his talent is that I was into metal in the eighties and still never hated any of Prince's singles. They were just too fucking catchy.

And with that out of the way, I'm ready to look at hot women in skimpy costumes!

Granny Goodness invented timeouts. And probably roller skates.

I don't think this comic book needs any commentary and I'm not in the mood. I just want to look at all the sexy pictures.

I don't know what the 'FWOOM' and 'SSSSSSS' sound effects are for but I think they're sexy.

After this kiss, Mera tells a sexy story about how she was Diana's first kiss. But Diana interrupts the story before Mera can reveal what other of Diana's fists she was. I mean firsts.

I know something that's not a first: my current boner!

Batgirl is also in London now. I guess she got done fucking Catwoman. Like I mentioned previously (although the mention may have been in a previous commentary), I haven't been keeping decent notes on the stories for the past few months so I sort of forget where exactly every Bombshell was last seen. It's easier now knowing that they're all mostly in Europe. I guess Zatanna and Harley are still in Germany and that's about it.

Okay, now I can't decide if Braga's or Mirka's Bombshells are the most adorable.

At the end the Bombshells unite into the best looking Justice League ever.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Black Canary #10

Is this the cover of Black Canary's new album, Zombie Batgirl?

The Review!
I'm not forgetting that you owe me four pages of Black Canary comic book, DC Comics! Until then, I refuse to give a proper review of this comic book which is aimed at the type of people who describe every musical act with a hodgepodge of terms to make themselves seem more knowledgeable about music. "Tattered Cumrags is like a synth 80s basement pseudo-rockabilly post-prepunk skat (that's a type of ska scat, of course!) garage funk-jazz combo death-ballad deal with the most authentic stage act I've ever been seen enjoying. You should read my review on my music blog!" In much the way that I like this new hip style of comic book in the pages of Batgirl, I can't stand it in the pages of Black Canary. I might still roll my eyes whenever Batgirl's creative team tries to make the comic book like a video game or shows her shopping at artsy toy stores full of anime and record albums, or expresses how social contact through technology is literally the most important thing to young people, or overuses the word literally, but I still enjoy the characters and the stories. Or should I say "story" since every story has been somebody trying to steal Batgirl's mind or identity. But when this comic book does any of those things, I just can't stop making jerking off motions with both hands and maybe even one of my feet. This comic is like a man who cultivates a beard and uses oils on it and feels proud of it when all he's really done is not fucking shave. I resent young people with beards. It makes my appearance seem calculated and pretentious when it's really just that I can't fucking be bothered with staying kempt anymore.

Okay, fine. My facial hair is on point. Or are we still saying on fleek? Okay fine. I've never said that in my life. I'm sorry I even brought it up.

The Commentary
This issue begins with Babs and Grumps checking out Black Canary videos on whatever the DC You calls YouTube which I would never acknowledge even if I could remember what they call it. So right from the start, I'm making jerking off motions all over the place. Although in the video, Black Canary's boobs are fleeking the fuck out, so I'm enjoying that much, at least. Plus the comic begins to read like a Batgirl book anyway so maybe I'm coming around on this Black Canary thing. As long as she stays away from the music scene, I might be able to enjoy reading this comic book (even though it still owes me four pages).

I can't even imagine how that mistake in the last panel comes about. At first glance, it seems obvious that the word balloons are on the wrong characters. But why would Moritat have drawn Grump Canary so happy and Barbara looking so pissed? Except wait! The one in the back actually is Grump Canary! You can tell by her lack of lips and her cuffed trousers. But then why is she suddenly wearing Barbara's shirt and sporting Babs's hair color? It's not like Moritat was using an inker who might have fucked it up and sketched in some changes. Can the colorist make changes like that? Is this Lee's fault completely?! Not to mention the editors who let this panel through!

Oh wait! I found Grump Canary's lips!

How did she do that? Was she just sucking them in the entire time?!

Just when I thought I was going to enjoy this Batgirlized version of Black Canary, the duo go to stop some guy named Mad Wax who is robbing a record store. OH MY GOD THIS COMIC IS SO COOL IT TAKES PLACE IN A RECORD STORE FUCK ME ARGLE BARGLE!

Mad Wax recognizes Grump Canary as D.D. and flips the fuck out because it allows him to use words like "amazing" and "E.P." I hate him. I especially hate Mad Wax because how does he afford henchmen when he's merely stealing records? It would probably be more profitable if he worked alone and instead of stealing records, he just used his encyclopedic knowledge of them to find rare tracks being sold in record stores that don't know any better and then selling them online for a huge profit. I guess that wouldn't be cool enough. Who would take his weekend DJing gig seriously if he was just a record buyer and not a Gotham super-villain!

Grump Canary is in town to do some research with Batgirl's help. It's all in the name of figuring out what happened to Dinah's mom and why Dinah's aunt is now the leader of a Ninja Death Cult and how Vixen might be tied into it all as well. And then Moritat's six pages of art end and I lose about 30% of my interest in reading the comic book. No offense to Sandy but I fucking love Moritat's art.

The rest of the story is a fight between Grump Canary and an electric ninja looking to learn the Five Heavens Palm technique created by Dinah's mom. But Dinah doesn't know it so the electric ninja kills herself for nothing. Afterward, Dinah discovers her band is in Berlin and playing in a club that's owned by some guy who is tied into the mystery of Dinah's mom's death. So it's back to Germany next month!

Edge of Oblivion #4

I never realized what a high percentage of Guy's costume was turtle neck and collar.

The Review!
I don't really care what happens in this comic book. Reading this comic book is like watching somebody mop up after a drunk asshole pisses all over the bathroom floor. Basically something occurred that should not have occurred and now Tom Taylor has to clean it all up before people begin to think that the bathroom floor has always been covered in Cullen Bunn's piss. Eventually the Corps will get back to the proper universe and everybody will forget that this little side adventure was ever pitched and somehow received as a good idea. On the plus side, Tom Taylor does the best job he can with a mop and a floor covered with piss. He even manages to wring one more twist out of the Green Lantern Mythos by making the bad guys who the Lanterns thought were the good guys into the super bad guys known as...The Blackest Knights! I bet Geoff Johns heard that and was all, "What?! Why didn't I think of that!" Of course Johns may have thought of it since I didn't read any of his ten year long run (Preboot, of course). Also, the Blackest Knights are a thinly veiled analogy of the United States foreign policy of constant war and imperialism while Marniel represents the powerless resorting to terrorist acts to do what they think is right. Of course, it all leads to a big fight between the Green Lanterns, some who have been brainwashed by Western propaganda and others who see the truth! Not that I'm judging anything in any way! I'm just describing what this book is about!

So basically, if you hate America, you should love this book! There might be other reasons to love this book too but I wouldn't know what they are. I just know this book keeps reminding me that Lost Army was a thing. A horrible, horrible thing.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Earth 2: Society #11

Superman just looks like Captain Atom with his "S" torn off the chest.

The Review!
Perhaps a comic book about a contrived global conflict is the kind of book that makes certain dicks hard and certain pussies wet but it does neither for my dick and/or pussy. This is a story about a society that doesn't trust superheroes and blames them for all of their troubles. Yawn. Double yawn. Triple yawn, even! I don't even know why superhero comic books continue to be published if the main thing modern writers have to say within them is that people don't like authority. Unless they're saying something else with the whole allegory of the misplaced trust in power that I've become too numb and bored to care about figuring out. I don't care what it might be like if a superhero had to deal with the bureaucracies and red tape and public mistrust of public figures extant in the actual world. What I wouldn't mind is an accurate representation of the real world but where superheroes are an added element that just makes the world a better place. What a daring fucking concept, no?

The Commentary!
The less control a person feels they need to exert on the world, the happier that person will be. That's why I'm always so angry when I read shitty comic books! Because I wish I could lock the writer up in my Secret Room of Secret Things and teach them how to write. Not that I know the secret to writing interesting things! I do know the secret to writing popular things though. You write something cliche that appeals to a broad base, hope that the cool young people feel that liking your thing will give them some kind of cultural cache, and then all of the other lemmings (also known as "young people") will like your thing too, desperately trying to portray themselves as having liked it years before anybody else did. But even if I can't really teach a bad writer how to write in my Secret Room of Secret Things, I can at least take out my frustrations on them in horribly demeaning ways. Like I might say, after having them sit in the chair with the broken spring, "How is your mother?" If they reply with anything that isn't "My mother is dead," then I say, "I already knew that because she screamed it while I was doing her hard." I would also be sure to make dramatic hip motions while saying that and maybe do some vulgar thing with my fingers and tongue. Then I would ask, "How is your father?" If they replied with anything that wasn't "My father is dead," I would say, "I know! Who do you think was running the camera while I gave it to your mom!" Then I would ask if they wanted some lemonade and if they said yes, I would tell them I was all out and that they would have to leave now. Boom! Lesson learned, bad writer! Now I just have to hope Cullen Bunn answers "Yes" to my evite!

In my first draft, I had Scott Lobdell as the bad writer but then I thought, "What has Scott Lobdell ever done to me? It's not like he ever posted a picture of a guy flipping the bird and directed it at me!" So that's why I replaced him with Cullen Bunn. I will also be making Cullen Bunn my honorary go-to whipping boy for no other reason than that he once acknowledged that I existed. He should have gone the Gail Simone route and acknowledged my existence in a pleasant way so as to avoid my hate-attention.

I suppose the opposite of my initial statement is also true: the less control a person feels the world is trying to exert on them, the happier the person will be. This is why white cis males should be happy all the time. All of those angry white guys with the man-tears are really blowing their big advantage! Why argue with somebody who attacks white men for simply being white and men? Just ignore them like you've always done prior to that point and live your life the best way any individual can live it: by being recognized by the majority of society that you are, indeed, an individual! When somebody makes a crack about white men, I just laugh and go, "I know, right? Fucking white men are ridiculous!" Because I don't think of myself as a white man! I think of myself as Tess! Or Grunion Guy! Or my real name which you can easily find out but I won't write it here and make it that easy for you. Then I go get a free massage and basket of french fries at one of the many secret White Guy Speakeasies located in every major city.

Oops! Forget I said that! Especially the part about the free french fries and how they're the most delicious I've ever had. Oh wait. I didn't say that. Just forget that too! Oh look over there! It's an Earth 2 comic book!

I was hoping to find an intriguing panel as the distraction but I'm seven pages in and all I've got is this.

Jesus Christ has a line in Jesus Christ Superstar where he says, "To conquer death, you only have to die." That's what I think of whenever there's any backlash to some pop piece of entertainment where the characters or the casting isn't up to White Male Nerd Expectations. What the fuck are you arguing for? You're railing against normalizing things but you think you're somehow keepers of the gates of normalcy. And every time you argue, you're proving that you're ultimate reason for not wanting to change is based in bigotry and superficial bullshit. Instead of allowing the rising tide to drown everyone lift every boat, you're trying to keep all the boats with short anchor chains anchored to the position they've been in for decades while your boat has been without an anchor for centuries. Do you want to stop having this constant discussion about diversity and inclusiveness and privilege? You only have to die. You only. Have. To die.

I know the previous paragraph will be completely misconstrued (which, lucky for me, I won't ever be popular enough to matter) but what do I care?! It's art! I don't have a mandate to explain everything I say in a way that the stupidest person can understand it! That's like asking David Lynch to explain Lost Highway to a large percentage of the audience. I've told this story before but with close to three thousand blog posts (most of them about me and only peripherally about the comic book I'm reading at the time), I should be allowed repeated story tellings. So I was with my old high school friend Soy Rakelson years ago and we were discussing Lost Highway. He thought that it was too confusing and that the auteur had a duty to try to make his or her work understandable. As we talked, he noticed I had John Barth's Lost in the Funhouse nearby and he said, "Oh man! I loved that story in here about the Swimmers!" And I said, "Oh, the one about the sperm." And he looked at me quizzically and said, "You know, the one with the Swimmers?" And I said, "Yeah. The one with the sperm questioning the whole point of his seemingly pointless existence." And his jaw dropped and he was all, "Holy crap." And I was all, "Don't you think an auteur has a duty to try to make his or her work understandable?" For Soy, the story was fascinating because of the philosophical quandary of the narrator. But to me, I couldn't imagine the story really meaning anything if you didn't walk away from it realizing that the Swimmer was a spermatozoa. It definitely changed Soy's take on the story after that.

I don't know if we actually used the word "auteur" that night but seeing that we were both in the same Lit Theory class at the time, we probably did. Although we weren't wearing sweater vests or sipping espressos at the local coffee shop (which was called City Lights, by the way).

I don't think the auteur was very clear about which character is supposed to be speaking which thoughts. I'm fairly certain the little arrows are pointing at all the wrong people. Another possibility is I'm just too stupid to get the gist of this conversation. Is Giffen writing this?

Speaking of Soy Rakelson, he was one of those white guys who constantly felt like he was a victim. He was also Catholic and so he felt under attack all the time on that front too. Plus his family was from Chicago and he was defensive about that as well! One time he wrote a letter to the San Jose State Student Paper arguing about the proposed Black Student Union. At the time, he didn't realize that it was just another group and not, as he thought, a completely new building that would be just for black students. Fuck I wish I'd kept that paper! I'm pretty sure he invoked out of context quotes from people like Benjamin Franklin and Abraham Lincoln to defend his position (a position, I remind you, that was totally based on his misunderstanding of the situation).

I proposed getting a Mortal Kombat video game cabinet for non-Asians but my letter was never printed. I was just tired of getting my spine pulled out by the Asian students and figured I could probably beat a white person or two if only I could get the opportunity to play one!

I should probably begin discussing Earth 2: Society since it's beginning to get interesting. And by "interesting," I simply mean it's beginning to irk me enough to start ranting.

The various cities that have sprung up around Earth Too are ready to go to war over the planet's resource rights. The only problem is that the planet doesn't have any resources. Except for, you know, the two suns. And probably wind. Maybe water. Possibly geothermal. But even though the people of Earth 2 had the technology to build escape ships for a small chunk of their population (I'm not talking about the slipships that Mister Terrific and whoever found for the eventual escape from Darkseid), they apparently can't figure out solar power. It was explained earlier that somehow solar power doesn't work with these suns but I'm pretty sure that explanation was so that people like me would just shut up about it and simply deal with the plot as Dan Abnett wants me to deal with it.

During peace talks with the leaders of the cities, Green Lantern lets it slip that the planet has no natural resources. This leaves the leaders to draw the only conclusion possible: they have to all go to war to steal the other people's resources. I guess everybody has really bonded with the other people who just happened to wind up on the same escape ships as they did. I bet they think twice about going to war when they realize that two of the armies they'll have to battle are composed of Amazons and Atlanteans! I bet they start crying peace all over the place when they learn that little morsel!

I don't think I truly hated this comic book until this panel.

It's not that I'm annoyed that some asshole politicians aren't accepting any kind of responsibility for their own actions or are looking for somebody else to blame. I suppose that's fitting. But what I can't stand is how the "Wonders" just pull down their pants and take it. I don't know what "it" is but it's not any kind of rape, just in case you were about to feel triggered. If Green Lantern's response isn't, "Well, fuck it. I tried. Let them fucking sort it out," I'll be disappointed. Why superheroes feel the need to keep helping when all they receive in return is shit and more shit is beyond me. Oh, I get it. Because they're heroes and they do what's right no matter how popular it is. Although if that were the truth, then Superman really would be a fascist dickface, wouldn't he?

Fury of Amazonia wants to save the world for their own sake and believes they'll thank her for it later. Green Lantern wants to save the world even though they hate him and don't want his help. I say let Fury take over and Green Lantern can save the world if they all write really polite letters to him asking for his help.

The best part of the story is probably the part I won't spend a word on because that's no fun! I'll be all, "And then Ted Grant gets punched in the face and Red Arrow is all, 'My boxing glove arrow doesn't work on mist people!' But Batdick is all, 'Guys? Guys? Status, guys? Guys?' And then Ted Grant is all, 'What's gonna work?' And Red Arrow is all, 'Teamwork!'"

Anyway, Green Lantern is a big hippie failure so Sandman, Sato, and Steel (the S.S.S?) decide to impose martial law and kill anybody who doesn't do what they say. Serves them right!