Monday, October 31, 2016

Lumberjanes Love Gotham Academy #5

Holy shit! Will somebody just fucking fingerbang somebody else already?!

The Review!
This is what people want from comic books nowadays? A bunch of nice people getting along and solving problems?! Ugh! I know I'm always complaining when heroes don't get along so now I sound like a hypocrite. But since I'd never experienced a comic book (or real life situation) where people got along and actually cared about each other, how could I have known how utterly boring and nauseating it would be?! From now on if I ever feel I'm getting along too well with another person, I'm going to punch them in their stupid face. Not even the flying skullheaded ghost monster drama can make me care about any of these Lumberjanes! This comic book also just broke a record for being the first anything with a raccoon in it that didn't make me scream, "OH MY GOD I LOVE THE RACCOON SO MUCH GIVE IT TO ME!" Instead I found myself wishing the raccoon really had been killed and made into a hat so he wouldn't have to suffer the insufferableness of all of this good-hearted cooperation! Somebody please tell me that the reason the Lumberjanes are popular is because that comic book has a lot of fingerbanging in it?

The Rankings!
1. The Sheriff of Babylon (*)
2. New Super-man (*)
3. Deathstork (*)
4. Wonder Woman (*)
5. Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps (*)
6. Suicide Squad (*)
7. Scooby Apocalypse (*)
8. The Flash (*)
9. Lumberjanes Love Gotham Academy (*)
10. Earth 2: Society (*)

I probably shouldn't even include this comic book in the overall rankings since it's obviously not for me. I'm way too immature for something put out by Boom! Box Studios.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Scooby Apocalypse #6

I wish the reflection in the glasses was totally different. And adult.

The Review!
This issue tells Velma's secret origin. The Four responsible for everybody in the world turning into monsters are her brothers. And she's a huge nerd with anger issues. She also has Daddy Issues but I'm so bored of Daddy Issues in DC Comics books that I'll never mention it again. One thing that I'm disappointed to find out is that she doesn't sit around her room in her underwear when she's alone. She's always wearing the same skirt and sweater!

Velma's main character trait is being an introvert through an extrovert's eyes. So she spends a lot of time alone because she doesn't understand other people and doesn't really care to try. But since Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis are probably extroverts, they decide that, deep down, Velma is in pain and hates being alone. Oh, fuck off! Let an introvert be a Goddamned introvert already!

Anyway, Velma is still lonely and upset and thinks that nobody likes her. Mostly because she pushes them away. I would push them away too! Most people are fucking idiots who say the most boring, mundane, obvious things! I'd rather sit in the dark and talk to somebody interesting: myself!

This issue contains a Scrappy Doo back-up story. Ugh. Fuckin' Scrappy Doo? Seriously? I think there was a drinking game rule about this somewhere. I think when there's a Scrappy Doo back-up story, everybody has to drink until they fuck somebody. Have fun!

The back-up story explains why Scrappy Doo can speak better than Scooby Doo and why he walks on two feet. He also says "Lemme at 'im!" for the first time. I think that was also a rule in the drinking game. That one means you have to do a shot of tequila up your asshole. Enjoy!

The Rankings!
1. The Sheriff of Babylon (*)
2. New Super-man (*)
3. Deathstork (*)
4. Wonder Woman (*)
5. Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps (*)
6. Suicide Squad (*)
7. Scooby Apocalypse (*)
8. The Flash (*)
9. Earth 2: Society (*)

I'm already questioning why I placed Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps over Suicide Squad! This is the problem with rankings: they're never correct! Even when you do them yourself!

Earth Too: Society #17

Inconceivably, after the Pandora Casket was opened, Power Girl's breasts got bigger and Val-Zod now has an invisible penis.

I thought last issue was the final issue because Earth Too was written over by Fury opening the Pandora Casket. But I guess that would be an unsatisfying ending for most people. Those people are desperate jerks who probably think after they die, they're going to get some kind of eloquent epilogue to wrap up their life in a pretty little bow of meaning. Look, I understand why people choose to believe in some kind of afterlife. I get it. Why not believe in the thing you want to believe in and whistle blithely into the void? But there's a reason Fox Mulder had a poster that said "I want to believe." That phrasing is quite specific. Some of us would love to believe! We'd love to think it's all kittens and roses rather than nonexistence! I was going to say "kittens and roses rather than blackness and earthworms." But even blackness and earthworms is too much of a description for what it's like after one dies. I suppose I could use the old standard of it being exactly like before you were born. I mean, you didn't exist then either! Isn't that also a terrifying notion?! I mean, billions and billions of years passed (and probably even more than that!) before some gross dude stuck his penis in the purest woman ever's vagina and created me! It actually seems more plausible that the universe never existed until I came into being and was able to perceive it! When I die, I'm shutting this shit down!

This issue begins with a red line zipping around a white city just starting to come into focus. Or go out of focus. It's hard to tell. Anyway, it's probably The Flash. I only added the "probably" so as to not seem too arrogant. I'm told that acknowledging my perceptiveness is a total turn-off to stupid readers. And I can't lost half of my audience because they think I'm an arrogant jerk! So I totally wasn't sure it was The Flash even though nobody reading this book thought anything else. Does that make me seem more relatable?

This issue is called "After the End: The Final Fate of Earth 2: Part One." NO! Part One!? Come on! I thought for sure this thing was done. Now I'm intensely worried that the Doctor Fate #17 in my stack isn't the last stupid issue of that stupid comic book!

The Flash finds Fury sad about destroying the world. But doesn't she see? She's just erased the hard drive! Now she gets to reinstall whatever history she wants! Fury and Flash can think up a world where super heroes constantly fought the Nazis! A world where the super heroes could use totally racist terms against their enemies because those enemies were the greatest enemies ever! And anybody tsk-tsking calling a Nazi a no-good Kraut could go jump off in a lake! Jerko Nazi sympathizers!

Elsewhere, Tornado Lane, Power Girl, and Hawk-cop have also survived the erasing of the world. I guess if you're an important character, you get to live. Nobody should worry at all about all of the unimportant people who no longer exist.

Tornado Lane tells Hawk-cop that she heard a voice talking about imminent cohesion. Hawk-cop is all, "What is cohesion? Der!" And Tornado Lane, the robot journalist, is all, "No idear! Der!" I guess they don't want to spoil the surprise for the stupid readers who haven't already figured out what is happening! I mean, readers like me, of course! What is going on? Der!

To keep the process timely (the world should coalesce in a little over an hour), the Pandora Casket's programming must rid the area of all extrinsic creatures. That probably means the Wonders! And to do the ridding, the Pandora Casket has created some Langoliers out of Sandman. Flash and Fury group up with Tornado Lane, Hawk-cop, and Power Girl after which they're attacked by more Sandmen. But Superman arrives to save the day right before this issue ends.

This story should have just ended last issue. I don't see the point in extending it at all! The New 52 Earth-2 was a huge failure! Couldn't DC just allow it the dignity to disappear into nonexistence without another word?

The Rankings!
1. The Sheriff of Babylon (*)
2. New Super-man (*)
3. Deathstork (*)
4. Wonder Woman (*)
5. Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps (*)
6. Suicide Squad (*)
7. The Flash (*)
8. Earth 2: Society (*)

Saturday, October 29, 2016

The Sheriff of Babylon #11

Finally! A cover blurb that makes sense and really fucking nails this book!

Usually I offer a bunch of alternate blurbs for Tom King and Mitch Gerads to use for the cover but I don't think I can come up with one better than this. Besides, they've probably already picked which one of my blurbs they're using for the cover of Issue #12. I can't wait to be surprised by my blurb appearing on the cover!

I just reread the entire series before reading this issue and Holy Spicoli! This shit is crazy! As an experienced Comic Book Reviewer, I wonder if I should come up with more descriptive phrases than "This shit is crazy!" and "Holy Spicoli!"? I suppose just saying that this story is a well-written military fudge-up full of characters who have been so screwed by every side of the conflict that they can only trust the burning vengeance inside of them guiding their actions. Nassir probably wants to end the NCIS for killing his wife. Sofia wants to take out whoever was responsible for the rocket attack which caused her to miscarry (probably not Abu Rahim although that's what everybody is suggesting. More likely NCIS too!). Chris just wants to punch people in the face because they're all making his life really fucking difficult. And I'm probably wrong about everything because what the fuck do I know? I've said it in every previous commentary: this story is too smart for me!

This issue begins just after Bob's confession that his first attempt to kill Abu Rahim ended in the massacre of a Christian family. He then hints that they had to kill Ali for that. Which works since that would mean Nassir, Sofia, and Chris all have a beef with Bob and his crew. I'm not sure how Chris is going to kill Bob but I'm certain that's a thing that is going to happen in the future.

Here comes the truth bombs!

Bob tells Chris how they made sure Ali would be killed by jihadis while Abu Rahim is telling Sofia how he knows nothing of the rocket attack. So, that's going to pile more fudge on this fudge-up! Especially since Abu Rahim isn't really any threat at all! So what? What is it all about?

Sofia keeps asking if it's real. If any of it is real. And at this point, who the fuck knows? The military are chasing ghosts, or bogeymen of their own making. It's like a middle manager trying to prove they're doing a good job by constantly yelling at their underlings and finding fault in their jobs. The military needs bogeymen. And they make them, constantly, and the fudge-up keeps going on and on and on. And money keeps flowing and flowing and flowing. And everybody caught up in the cesspool just keep doing whatever they need to to keep from swallowing too much shit. I suppose this story will have some kind of conclusion next issue but, well...will it even fucking matter?

The Rankings! 1. The Sheriff of Babylon (*)
2. New Super-man (*)
3. Deathstork (*)
4. Wonder Woman (*)
5. Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps (*)
6. Suicide Squad (*)
7. The Flash (*)

Tom King knows how to write a story. A real story. One with a beginning, a quiet scene drinking by the pool, and an ending. Plus Mitch kills it on art.

The Sheriff of Babylon #10

I finally found Issue #10!

How is it that this Vulture person gets a blurb that doesn't make any goddamn sense while I've written up dozens of blurbs that totally make sense and also talk about putting my tongue in Tom King's ass? Who wouldn't want to pick up this comic book after reading "So good I owe Tom King a rimmer at the next nerd meet-up in San Diego! -- Grunion Guy!"? Of course that's predicated on if he's taken a shower recently! You can tell by the funk of the convention center how terrible everybody's asses must be after a few hours of walking around that place. I wonder how long it takes to air that place of the stank of nerd ass?

I mean, is that really the best use of "comprehensive", Vulture? I suppose what Vulture is trying to say in Vulture's convolutedly succinct way is that the story takes into account every aspect of war and not that it's a complete record of every war ever. Maybe the "of our generation" caveat is supposed to make me feel better about using the term comprehensive since "of our generation" basically means "war in the Middle East." But still, is it really comprehensive in its examination of everything that goes on in war? I don't think so. I mean, I haven't seen any reference to the Ether Bunny who uses ether on other soldiers to knock them out and have his way with them.

Last issue ended with Sofia and Chris and the other guy who shit himself's plan falling apart when Abu Rahim came to the ambush wearing a suicide vest. Now they can't just kill him! They have to actually talk to him. Ugh! Doesn't Tom King want this comic book to be successful?! Fill it with punches, not words! Tom King must hate popularity. Although he seems to be doing good work writing a comic book so confusing that it must be super intelligent! Have you seen all of the great cover blurbs he's garnered?! Like, so many! Even Warren Ellis says this book is good! He probably really loved the part where the guy shit himself. So funny!

Oh! I just thought of a good cover blurb that Tom King could use! "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold. -- W.B. Yeats"! Because shit is falling down all over the place in this story. Especially now! It's like Tom King was all, "This is a twelve issue story. It would be good to start the climax at about Issue #10." And his publisher probably responded, "You know you're writing comic books, right? Don't think about it so hard! Just think up conflicts and have the hero punch their way out of it!" I can't wait to see Sofia punch her way out of this mess with Abu Rahim and the Americans with raging kill Abu Rahim boners!

Look, I'm just not smart enough to do justice to this comic book. So here are some panels that show how terrific it is and how smart it makes you feel when you pretend to understand it and recommend it to your friends.

That previous scan is how I feel most of the time! I'm Nassir and comic book fandom is Abu Rahim. I'm all, "Aquaman upskirts dolphins!" And the Aquaman fandom are all, "Is that a joke?" And I'm all, "Maybe! Although maybe heavily weighted in truth!" And then they're all, "SLAP SLAP SLAP SLAP SLAP!", where the slaps are messages that say awful (but true) things about my mother. And just like how I double down on anybody criticizing me and become an even worse monster until they realize I'm not worth the aggravation and I go on with my life pretending I accomplished something by driving them off in frustration and anger, Nassir continues to get in Abu Rahim's face while Abu continues to slap the shit out of him.

While Nassir loses the pissing contest to Abu, Chris is busy talking to the American guy who got this whole mess started by recruiting one of Chris's police trainees to infiltrate Abu Rahim's organization. The murder of that recruit is what got Chris started on his investigation. While Sofia is busy telling Nassir and Abu Rahim that this shit isn't a game, the guy who started it all keeps telling Chris how everything was Game On this and Game On that. I think there's a point to all of that somehow.

The pissing contest between Nassir and Abu Rahim becomes a pissing contest between Sofia and Abu Rahim. But Abu Rahim is all out of piss and Sofia has buckets full. And Abu Rahim drinks it all, willingly. He sees the light through Sofia's piss and knows that she is getting shit done. Of course, he's still the guy who caused Sofia to lose her baby so he's probably fucked. It's hard to tell because everybody is on every side based on their own agendas! Post-war fudge-ups are so confusing!

Meanwhile, that guy who fucked up the first mission to get Abu Rahim finishes his story about killing the people the police trainee led them to. But those people were kids and women and Christian. And so Bob, the guy whose name I've been forgetting to use, probably went and killed Ali, the police trainee, for using the Americans to kill some family for Abu Rahim. And that's how shit got started. Well, some of the shit, anyway.

The Ranking!
1. The Sheriff of Babylon (*)
2. New Super-man (*)
3. Deathstork (*)
4. Wonder Woman (*)
5. Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps (*)
6. Suicide Squad (*)
7. The Flash (*)

Is it really fair to judge this comic book against mainstream superhero comic books? Of course not! This comic book is saying things! At least I think it's saying things. It should mean something.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Wonder Woman #8

Remember in junior high school how learning the different types of Greek columns seemed super important? Was junior high simply preparing everybody for the day they might appear on Jeopardy?

Here are the three most important things that happened in my 7th grade history class: I tried a date for the first time; my teacher told me a terrible story about keeping your arms inside the windows of moving vehicles lest they get sheared off at the elbow; and Midori Moody took off her sweater in front of me and her shirt went up with it. Also I guess I learned that there was some kind of superficial difference between Ionic, Doric, and Corinthian columns.

I hope this is the issue that sets down in canon that Diana is bisexual. I hope it sets it down for like seven or eight egregiously detailed pictures. I'm using the archaic definition of egregious! Also, possibly, some of the modern definition.

Cheetah is a polyglot?! Sexy!

Apparently biweekly comic books make it difficult to tell a coherent story with a cohesive look. So not only has every other issue been about Wonder Woman's past, and every other other issue has been about Wonder Woman trying to figure out her past, now it's time for an interlude so everybody telling those other stories can catch their breath! This issue is about Cheetah. But since the cover said Wonder Woman and not Cheetah, I'm still hoping that eight or nine pages of it will star Diana Prince's tongue and fist and Amazonian strap-on.

Early in Cheetah's life, her father forbade her from using her imagination. From that point on, it was all serious business! That's the only real defining moment of Cheetah's childhood, so the story move on to many years later when Cheetah is much older and has much more polyglot experience. It's also possible that Cheetah had some other formative moments from her childhood but this is only a twenty page stories and eight or nine pages of it have been reserved for the sex scene.

In these early years, Cheetah wasn't Cheetah yet but I'm going to keep calling her Cheetah because fuck you. Sorry, sorry. That was probably more aggressive than it should have been. It probably shouldn't have been aggressive at all! It sounds like I know I'm doing a disservice to the character but sticking defensively to my guns because I'd rather double down on ineptitude than admit that I'm being disrespectful to the character of Barbara Ann Whatever.

Anyway, Cheetah believes the Amazons weren't myths at all but a real civilization that threatened the patriarchies of their day. Amazons were so good with bows that suddenly men couldn't show their erect penises in public for fear of getting an arrow through their shaft. They probably went around grumbling how women were ruining everything with their vocal demands for individual respect! I bet they were all, "Women are ruining our leisure activities! All of the games down at the Greek Game Spot were always about fucking as many women as possible! But did you see what was on the shelves last week?! A game about women having successful businesses! How am I supposed to enjoy Vagina Tallies or Breast Who or Titillation Town when I know there's a game that doesn't treat women as prizes! Outrageous!" Cheetah's peers are all, "You're probably wrong for man reasons. Also, how did you get a degree in man's work?"

On this expedition where another man was telling her, yet again, to stuff her imagination, Cheetah discovers the tomb of a queen of the Amazons. But immediately after discovering the tomb that only her eyes saw, the mountain collapses on it, sealing it forever. Her peer, Dr. Martin, is all, "That's too bad! I told you the Amazons were a myth!"

Dr. Martin scolds Cheetah for trying to fake up evidence and then clears the camp and leaves the site. But Cheetah wasn't the one to break into the tomb first! Somebody else broke in before her! Unless they broke out? The rubble was lying in the wrong direction for somebody to knock the wall into the tomb!

Cheetah spends the next few months trying to learn more. She realizes part of the one picture she took showed a star map and so she spends more time looking for the place on Earth where one could see the stars in her map. Eventually she discovers Paradise Island but finds no Amazons upon it. So they disappeared after Diana left. But at least Cheetah knows where the island is, so she can help Diana get back to find out what happened to the Amazons. It also might help Wonder Woman figure out her own history. Are the Amazons missing because of Crisis on Infinite Earths? Infinity Crisis? Identity Crisis? Convergence? Zero Hour? Bloodlines?! The New 52?! Rebirth?! What's real?!

The Rankings!
1. New Super-man (*)
2. Deathstork (*)
3. Wonder Woman (*)
4. Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps (*)
5. Suicide Squad (*)
6. The Flash (*)

I don't think this book is much for me. I recognize that it isn't terrible but I'm just not quite interested in the story it's telling. I suppose at this point, I just want DC to figure itself the fuck out and stick with something. Of course, that will never happen. But they really screwed up by erasing their entire history with The New 52. Now they've got to figure out a way to sneak it all back in while continuing to tell stories in The New 52 universe.

The Flash #8

This is how toddlers stand when they're pooping themselves.

I had a dream last night that I was putting together a Peter Sellers/Inspector Clouseau tribute band called Dead Ant. The singer I was trying to lure into the band suggested the name and it was the greatest A-ha! moment I've ever experienced. I hate to include that part because it feels like somebody else came up with the name even though that somebody was created by my brain which thought up the name. Another band somehow associated with the dream was called Mad Mechs.

This issue begins with Barry Allen remembering a conversation he had during lunch with August Heart where August was all, "If I had your speed powers, I'd probably kill the bad guys and get away with it!" This conversation took place after Barry knew August Heart had manifested speed powers. Barry Allen is the worst investigator in the world! Hell, I knew August Heart was the bad guy as soon as I learned his name was August Heart! Also he was introduced as having a huge vengeance boner for the killer of his brother. That's always bad news! But he practically confesses to Barry and Barry is all, "Mmm, this shake sure is thick! So good!"

Now, The Flash is trying to stop Godspeed from killing all of the prisoners in Iron Heights. But The Flash is too slow! Oh no! Drama! The one thing that makes The Flash interesting suddenly has no impact on the story! Now he's got to use his brain to figure out how to stop Godspeed! But how will that work? He can't call for back-up because everybody will be dead before the message even arrives! Maybe he can fire a gun at Godspeed as they're both running and the bullet will be able to overtake Godspeed! Or maybe he can go back in time so that he's waiting for Godspeed at the prison! Or maybe he can yell, "Oh no! I totally tripped! I'm not chasing you any more so you can totally slow down if you want so that you conserve energy!" Oh! I know what I would do! I would definitely use time travel to go back to however long before this moment it takes for Ex-Lax to kick in and stick some in August Heart's lunch! I bet you can't run at top speed while shitting yourself!

Here's Barry's take on the situation: "I can't outrun Godspeed...but I can outsmart him!" Oh, can you? I'd like to see how you do that without pulling the Ex-Lax trick! Maybe he will use the fake tripping scheme I came up with!

Barry outsmarts Godspeed by drafting him to catch up. So dumb! How does drafting work when just running at the speeds they're running they're breaking every single law of physics in the known universe? If I'm to believe that using the Speed Force still creates the same kind of wake behind a runner as a race car then I also have to believe that the atmosphere in front of a speedster isn't able to displace itself fast enough and would build up into incredible pressures causing intense heat which would make every speedster into a fireball racing through the city. But just catching up to Godspeed by drafting him isn't the only trick in Barry's book! The other trick is to scrape his feet along the carpet and build up some static electricity so that when he touches Godspeed's shoulder, both speedsters will short-circuit!

Oh, fuck you. Just run faster.

Remember when The Flash was just about running really fast and wasn't also an analogy on batteries and electrical systems?! Maybe The Flash should change his name to The Human Defibrillator?

Godspeed is aghast that Barry would hurt a friend and Barry figures there isn't enough time right now to bring up all of the "friends" Godspeed has killed in his pursuit of more power. Instead, Barry just watches as Godspeed turns into two separate people because speed force powers weren't already ridiculous enough. I guess if you're fast enough, you can just become two people now! Totally makes sense.

Luckily Wally West shows up. Unluckily, Wally West didn't bring a gun.

It turns out Flash and Kid Flash don't need a gun because they're faster than Godspeed and Kid Godspeed. They run around the Godspeeds really fast until Wally West gets a stupid uniform and the fight is over for some reason. I guess Flash outsmarted me too! What just happened?!

Apparently Wally earned his ugly yellow Flash suit by, um, using the speed force correctly or something. Anyway, Godspeed is sent to Iron Heights where he'll probably never go to trial because the guards at Iron Heights trust that The Flash would only bring them people who were totally guilty of whatever The Flash said they were guilty of.

Barry goes to see August in prison a few days later to hit him with a super shocker: Billy Parks didn't kill August's brother. August--GASP--killed an innocent man in his zealous pursuit of justice! August looks upset for one panel and then just goes back to being fine with everything because he's a supervillain. Also because he can be in two places at once. So while he's in prison, he's probably also out of prison. I know we're supposed to believe that he can't do the two places at once thing for long but he's probably mastered it by now. So his other self has probably taken over the Black Hole Gang and he'll return in another few months to bore the fuck out of me again.

The epitome of shitty cop work: bragging about ignoring the evidence in favor of making assumptions about possible suspects and jumping to unsupported conclusions.

Later, Wally tells Iris that she's his hero because we're all supposed to accept that she's a crazy great investigative journalist who wants to help people by discovering the truth instead of relying on the evidence from past issues that she's really just into selling papers. I mean, that whole time she helped turn the citizens against The Flash with her unsubstantiated stories of rumor and cop gossip? I suppose that was Pre-Rebirth Iris and I should cut her some slack. Maybe she will prove to be a shining beacon on a hill of decaying corpses and dog shit that is journalism today.

The issue ends with Meena running into Flash's training facility and whispering "Thank you" into Barry's ear (and probably blowing out his eardrums too). Barry doesn't catch sight of her but she leaves gouges in the floor and all of that shitty lightning that apparently has to surround speedsters constantly now.

The Ranking!
1. New Super-man (*)
2. Deathstork (*)
3. Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps (*)
4. Suicide Squad (*)
5. The Flash (*)

The Flash is terrible and boring. This was eight issues of The Flash learning a lesson about needing a sidekick. In other words, the first eight issues have been used to integrate Wally West into the world of The Flash because DC Comics decided five years ago that Wally West shouldn't exist and then they rethought that because people got so angry and they reintroduced a new Wally West which didn't make anybody any happier and who never really fit into the Flash's world. So now that this story is over, DC Comics is probably patting themselves on the back and thinking, "Finally! All of the Wally West nonsense is sorted!" Except I guess it isn't because the next issue is about "The Wally of Two Worlds" which will probably be about how Wally West and Wally West need to get to know each other. Hopefully original Wally West will just say, "Do we really need you?" And then new Wally West will pop out of existence. Not that I really care! But DC Comics definitely cares! They just don't know it yet. But pretty soon some higher up who isn't that creative will enter a meeting saying, "What's with the two Wally Wests? Isn't that confusing for fans? Here's an idea that can sort that!" And he'll write "CRISIS ON INFINITE CENTRAL CITIES" on the white board and smile smugly.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #6

Hal Jordan pulls off a negligibly sexy Butt/Boobs Showcase.

I considered trying to be more earnest while discussing the comic books I read because does the world really need another cynical voice to add to the cacophony? Sure, my cynical voice is the best cynical voice when it comes to comic books and putting your penis inside of things (that's a different blog! A secret blog!). Although it's a written cynical voice so technically, in this day and age, it isn't even better than even the most boring voice posting YouTube videos about the stupid comic books somebody jerked off on earlier in the day. Plus, whenever I see anybody raving about how awesome a terrible or mediocre comic book was, I involuntary start making the international sign for jerking off. Sometimes with both hands. I realize that too many earnest voices want to somehow ingratiate themselves into the professional comic book community by putting up videos where they show the comic book they read and then measure the erection it gave them (or the amount of vaginal juices it got flowing. I'm not sexist! I mean, I probably am. But right now I'm pretending I'm not!). People get so excited when a professional comments on the undeserved glowing review they may have given them. I'll tell you what I felt when I first realized comic book professionals knew about my blog: fucking terrified! I was all, "Wait. These are real people who actually search the Internet for comments about their work?! What are they? Masochists?!" And then my next thought was, "Oh shit. Most of them won't feel good about what I've written! Especially Cullen Bunn!" I didn't really mind if it hurt their feelings. I did mind that they might respond in a way that hurt my feelings! So, you know, maybe I should be nicer? And more earnest! Really get into a mindset where I feel the comic books are speaking to my sense of wonder and hope! Except, since those are dead, I realized fairly quickly that it just wouldn't be possible.

In other words, Robert Venditti's mother? If you're reading this? You probably shouldn't. I might not say any terrible things about your son! But it's also possible that I might say the most terrible things about him! Sorry!

Currently, John Stewart is ready to wage war on Sinestro's Warworld. Already, I can see the flaw in that plan! One side seems a whole lot more ready to fight a war than the other! You can probably figure it out if you think about it a little bit. Also, John Stewart isn't really known for winning wars. He's more known for committing genocide and failing himself over and over again.

Also waging war on Warworld? Hal Jordan and his army of light constructs! Now there's a guy who might possibly be stubborn enough to defeat Warworld single-handed.

Sinestro has to remove his dick from the Book of Parallax and turn his attention to Hal Jordan's attack. Lyssa is all, "The Book of Parallax told me I wouldn't be reaching climax tonight! Why did I even bother?! Oh, that's right. Because the Book of Parallax said I would! And then it said I would grumble about it! And then it said I would say how I said it said I would say it said I would grumble about it saying the thing it said I would say! Somebody kill me!" But Sinestro is all, "Darn it! It's my best friend and worst enemy! Hal Stupidface Jordan! That can mean only one thing: I'm about to be utterly humiliated! Again!"

If a woman ever said "What purpose would you have me serve, my lord?", I would say, "Hee hee hee hee hee! Hee hee hee hee hee! HEE HEE HEE HEE HEE HEE!" There's probably a reason I'm a virgin.

That last caption was fictional! It was just a joke! I've totally done it with at least two ladies! Possibly even three!

While Sinestro tries to shake the last of the semen out of his penis before putting on his uniform (otherwise he'll wind up with a sticky, slippery patch that smells like a blooming Callery Pear tree), Lyssa heads down to the Fear Engine to make sure it's pumping out enough fear to beat Hal Jordan. While down there, Guy Gardner gets a glimpse of her Parallaxes and hits on her. He uses words to hit on her but he's also hanging there naked, so I'm sure Lyssa would have noticed other clues as to Guy's interest in her.

I had to ask Lord Google for the name of the trees that smell like semen for that last paragraph. I first noticed the smell in my home town when I was in my late teens or early twenties. A neighbor had three of them growing on the patch of ground between the sidewalk and the street. I started referring to them as the semen trees. So when I asked Lord Google about the "trees that smell like semen," Lord Google responded with these great headlines from around the Internet: "Your Street Probably Smells Like Semen Right Now," "Meet the tree that's making your neighborhood smell like Semenville," "Spring is here! And so are the semen trees," and "the blooming of the jizz trees." I feel so much better knowing that everybody is walking around with the realization that trees are spooging all over their faces.

Here is a David Mitchell and Robert Webb skit about semen trees!

Guy Gardner is baptised in fear and shoved inside the Fear Machine. The reason is that Lyssa and the Administrator believe the fear of a Green Lantern will make it all the more powerful. But I have a feeling they're simply putting a wrench right up inside next to the most sensitive gears and whatnot. It might be different if they were powering an Asshole Machine or an Arrogance Machine or a Male Chauvinist Pig Machine. I don't see how Guy Gardner is going to help fuel a Fear Machine!

The Fear Engine powers up Sinestro to 1000%. That's a lot of percents! He then sends the rest of his army off to watch the battle between him and Hal Jordan. I don't get it! Sinestro always loses to Hal Jordan! Every single time! Doesn't he remember all of his humiliating defeats at Hal's hands? Why would he risk another one?! Just let your army defeat Hal as you take pot shots with your 1000% powered ring from the sidelines, Sinestro! Don't be a huge dum-dum! Bah. Oh well. Sinestro is sure to lose now. He might get close to defeating Hal but then Guy will probably rebel and screw up the Fear Machine and John Stewart will arrive with Mogo and the other Lanterns and the posse of intergalactic citizens. It's all going to fall apart! I mean, of course it is! You can't write a story that contradicts age old wisdom like "Pride Goeth Before Offal!"

The Rankings!
1. New Super-man (*)
2. Deathstork (*)
3. Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps (*)
4. Suicide Squad (*)

It's going to start getting hard to really rank the comic books as I read them. Is this comic book really better than Suicide Squad? It's a tough call although Suicide Squad is basically a twelve page comic book while this one is more or less twenty pages. So it's doing more work and maintaining a coherent story while doing so. It probably has too many characters but when has that ever not been true for a comic book with "Green Lantern Corps" in its title? But both comics are doing things I like and also doing some things that bore the shit out of me. By the time the rankings are fully filled out, I imagine this comic will be right smack dab in the middle, maybe a little bit on the better than most side.

New Super-man #4

The Chinese Freedom Fighters remind me I need to get my hilarious and totally revolutionary Book Club up and running!

Doom Bunny and I are going to start a Book Club for people who think they're smart! We're going to read the most smarterest books the book store will let us purchase and then pretend we understand them! Mostly Doom Bunny will be all, "Um, duh, uh, Smart Thing I Read About the Book Online!" And then I'll be, "Was Chapter One a metaphor about having itchy testicles?" I think we'll start easy with Edward Packard's The Cave of Time. Although we might get into a heated argument about the meaning of the book if we arrive at different endings. Book Clubs are so complicated!

Until I choose to pick up an actual book and read it, I'll continue reading these funny books I have stacked all over my office. You would think I wouldn't have so many huge stacks of unread comic books because they're so easy to read. Half the time, I just look at the pictures and make up what's going on anyway. I should do more of that just to clear up the stack. Looking around my office, I have a huge stack of unread Ms. Marvel and Daredevil comic books, a huge stack of new DC Comics books, a huge stack of Xena comic books, a couple of variations on The Bible (King James, humongous fancy tome handed down from my grandparents, Boomer), three fat books comprising The Book of a Thousand Nights and a Night, four volumes of collected Secret Six stories, a stack of Fortean Times magazines, a stack of Dragon magazines, a nerd-load of D&D Modules, Charlie Brown's Super Book of Questions and Answers (which probably answers many of the questions incorrectly since it's so old), and a box of Trivial Pursuit cards. That's the edited list of shit stacked around my office! I left out the lunch boxes (Sailor Moon, The Rescuers, Disney, Battlestar Galactica) and Xbox games and boxed RPGs and old PC CDs and a tin of Yu-Gi-Oh cards and my Batman and Robin cosplay Cabbage Patch Kids and my cat, Pelafina, staring at me! I mean, I left them out until that last sentence! Then I included them! Also there's a Cheshire Cat teapot staring at me with an "I just farted" grin on its face. No wait. That's the regular grin that people describe as "Cheshire".

I really did leave out a lot of stuff though! This office is a mess! If you're picturing a normal-sized room at this point, you should correct your mental picturing attempt. It's actually no bigger than a standard walk-in closet with a pitched ceiling which makes it impossible to stand up in if I'm not flat up against the east wall!

I just remembered! This is supposed to be a review of New Super-man and not a review of my office space! I suppose I could change the title of this entry to "Eee! Tess Ate Chai Tea's Office Space" but then who would bother reading it aside from perverts who get off on reading about office decor? And even they might be disappointed! Instead, I'll just start discussing New Super-man, one of my favorite Rebirth titles (if not my absolute favorite because, as I would say if I were one of the millions of entirely too boring jerks on the Internet, Kong Kenan is my spirit animal! Oh my God. I think I just caused several of my own organs to fail by typing that! I'm so distraught and humiliated. How do people say that seriously?! What is wrong with people that they can't come up with their own ways to say or describe things? Why is everything a reblog of something somebody else said or a gif somebody else made where people just attach "ME" or "THIS" or...Hey! I just came up with an idea for a shitty bumper sticker (redundant!): "I fucked your Spirit Animal!" It will go great with my other Bumper Sticker that didn't sell too well: "I fucked your Honor Roll Student!" I don't know why that one never took off. Or the version of the bumper sticker family members where each one has a huge erection. How am I not rich?

So, um, anyway, like the cover of this comic book states, The Justice League of China were busy battling The People's Book Club of Ultimate Freedom last issue. It continues this issue because Gene Luen Yang understands how comic books work and how they tell a story across multiple issues. What I'm saying is Gene Luen Yang is not Scott Lobdell.

This is why New Super-man is better than old Superman. I don't want old Superman to feel joy when he beats up a villain. But I like to read characters with sadistic and bullying tendencies! Representation matters!

I just got to the page with the title and the credits and now have a confession to make (or re-make, as is the probable case): the name, Richard Friend, still makes me laugh out loud.

New Super-man has to be reminded by Chinese Wonder-Woman that the Justice League of China doesn't kill. I think she's just saying that in case any Western spy satellites are tuning in. I'm fairly certain the Justice League of China doesn't really care too much about human rights. How could they truly represent China if they didn't feel the same exact way as their host country?!

I don't really know that much about China's human rights issues and policies. But they must be bad, right? I mean, Communists! Communists are the most terrible monsters on the planet after Dracula and Ghidorah. Unless they're American Communists standing up to the brutality of Free Market Capitalism that isn't really about Free Markets at all but about manipulating the government into creating a market that favors your business and destroys actual free market competition. I'm pretty sure I'm pro-American Communists. But then, America makes everything better! Except health care. And standards of living. And intellectual debate about everything. But we are definitely #1 at putting up our index finger and chanting about how great we are!

I wish Batman got this kind of enjoyment from his job.

Flying Dragon General tries to convince his son that The People's Book Club of Ultimate Freedom is battling a war against an organization called the Ministry of Self-Reliance. You know a Ministry named that is bad news! They could have just as well named it Ayn Rand's Ministry of Justifying Selfish Practices! Speaking of Ayn Rand, Rush's "Free Will" came up on my shuffle last night. I had never really thought much about what the "kindness that can kill" choice was in the chorus until I learned that Neil Peart was early influenced by the writings of Ayn Rand. At that point, the lyric made terrible, terrible sense!

A few of The People's Book Club of Ultimate Freedom have been kidnapped by the Ministry of Self-Reliance and Flying Dragon General is trying to find them. New Super-man knows where they are! He works for the Ministry himself! How is Flying Dragon Father going to treat Kenan over dinner later? "Son, will you pass the chick...WHERE ARE MY COMPATRIOTS, YOU VILE SEX-MONKEY?!" That's an insult in Chinese, right?

The fight ends with Flying Dragon Father getting away on his robot horse, Shecky. I guess that means in the search for his two comrades taken by the Ministry, he just lost another comrade: Blue Condom. I'm not sure what happened to Ghost Girl. She probably dematerialized.

Meanwhile at the Ministry of Self-Reliance's base of operations, O-word Pearl Tower, Laney Lan is doing some Lois Lane style risky investigating! She's not only snooping around for clues; she's breaking and entering! That's totally right out of Lois Lane's "How to Earn a Pulitzer Without Being Arrested or Killed" Playbook. But Laney Lan doesn't have a Get Out Jail Free Card connection with New Super-man yet so she might be in big trouble.

Oh, it turns out Ghost Woman was also captured. So The People's Book Club of Ultimate Freedom really fucked up because I don't think you can have a Book Club with just one member not in prison. I suppose the Book Club can continue in prison!

This is their first meeting with Doctor Omen after realizing she knows they all snuck out.

Doctor Omen has decided to feed Laney Lan a story about The Justice League of China that will make them seem like a good idea for the people of China as opposed to a bad idea for the people of China (which they must be if they're angering Book Clubs all around the country). Her plan is to let Laney interview herself along with Kenan and the others. If not for the part where she's allowing Kenan to go on air and answer questions, it sounds like a solid tactic to manipulate the press.

Meanwhile in Crab Shell Prison, Ghost Woman vomits up Folding Paper Man. I would be so disappointed if I were Folding Paper Man and she chose to hide me in that orifice! Although if she kept me in any of the others, I would totally be Unfolding Paper Man, if you get my drift! My drift is my paper erection!

Folding Paper Man kills a guard in the most vile way imaginable (unless you can imagine worse things than death by paper cuts (which I imagine you can because, let's face it, rape is a thing)) and the Great Crab Shell Escape is on! They begin breaking out all of The People's Book Club of Ultimate Freedom members who have been captured over the years. One of them is named Human Firecracker and he's Kenan's uncle! Probably. I only say "probably" because I don't want people reading this to think, "Tess is so fucking arrogant that I had to use the word 'fucking' like a fucking monster to describe how arrogant Tess is!" I want people to think, "Wow! That Tess is a Grandmaster Comic Book Reader who is always ten steps ahead of everybody else reading these comic books but Tess is still so humble as to pretend to possibly be wrong sometimes!"

The Human Firecracker points out how they can't leave the prison without the Genetically-Modified Starro that the Ministry of Self-Reliance plans on using as their ultimate weapon to control the populace, proving that their title is totally ironic.

Kenan decides to go home and check on his father once he realizes the importance of keeping a secret identity and how he chose not to keep one. But when he gets home, he finds a surprise waiting for him: his father is Flying Dragon Father! Surprise!

The Ranking!
1. New Super-man (*)
2. Deathstork (*)
3. Suicide Squad (*)

The asterisks in parentheses are not emoticons of a person bending over! They're placeholders for where I'll insert the previous month's ranking of each comic book. It doesn't matter yet because I'm establishing the overall rankings this month! Right now, New Super-man is way ahead of the others even though the ranking list doesn't have a good way of portraying that. But that means a lot because I love Priest's current run on Deathstork! It's just that I super love Yang's New Super-man! I love it in the way I loved All Star Western! It's just super fun with great characters and an actual story that isn't just "People are in danger! Good thing there's a super hero to punch the danger! Yay, the people are safe! Wait! A stronger danger is approaching that must be punched! What will happen?!" So boring!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Suicide Squad #4

Jesus Fucking Christ, DC Comics. We get it! Harley Quinn is in this comic book!

Saturday night, my mother called because she was excited about the upcoming The Walking Dead premiere. Once again, she wanted to know who I thought was going to be killed. By this time, I couldn't even remember who all of the choices were! I just knew it wouldn't be a black character because The Walking Dead might not survive killing off yet another black character. Here's the scenario I suggested to my own mother: Negan would bash Maggie in the stomach, pull out her fetus, toss it in the air, and bat it into the woods with Lucille. The Walking Dead did not go with that scenario. Too bad for them. I think that would have made great television!

The previous issues, the Suicide Squad had found themselves in a hopeless battle against Zod. If Amanda Waller knew that Zod was the target (which she must have because she's Goddamned Amanda Waller), she chose the worst team in the world to battle him. A clown with no super powers with an Australian accent. A clown with no super powers with a Brookyn accent. And some other people who aren't clowns but also do not have super powers. The only person who might stand a chance against Zod is Enchantress but she's crazy and uncontrollable and just as likely to kneel before Zod as she is to turn him into a toad.

As if battling Zod wasn't a big enough challenge, the Suicide Squad must now also battle several Russian metas with terrible names. Usually that means they've been created so that the Suicide Squad can kill them.

Isn't the Phantom Zone a place without time? How did Zod grow such a fancy mustache in a timeless place? Maybe the timelessness is why it's such an out of date style of stache.

The Russian metas are called Tunguska, Tankograd, Gulag, and Cosmonut. One of them is unnamed unless the leader simply calls himself The Annihilation Brigade. Also, I didn't typo "Cosmonut". That's the idiot's name. He looks like a giant hammer in a space suit who can only say the image of a peanut. I don't know what that sounds like but I assure you it's what he says.

Speaking of the walking dead, Amanda's new "assistant", Harcourt, comes to the conclusion that the Russian facility the Suicide Squad has invaded is Russia's own version of a Suicide Squad. Does that mean that every Russian meta who dies counts as a Suicide Squad death? Of course it doesn't! DC Comics can't fool me that easily! It might look like they're killing characters but it doesn't really count when they're made up for the story in which they die. It is possible the Annihilation Brigade have made an appearance somewhere in the past. But I've never heard of them and their names are just things that make you think of Russia. Tunguska is probably the most interesting because I can already imagine her backstory. And Cosmonut seems like the kind of character Garth Ennis would come up with so that he could torture him for sixty issues.

Flag and Hack manage to get Zod back in his Phantom Zone Sphere and Flag says, "For Boomerang." Why would he say that? Boomerang doesn't need Flag imprisoning Kryptonians for him! He could probably have done that himself if hes wasn't...wait. Where did Boomerang go? Oh, he probably ran off to hide in the bathroom during the fight.


Hack manages to pull everybody out via the Internet before the Russian Metas can reveal the name of their ghostly female member. The Squad pops out of the Internet back at Belle Reve with the Phantom Zone Sphere containing Zod. Apparently that was the plan the whole time. The only thing that went wrong was Captain Boomerang releasing Zod from the Sphere. However he managed to do that. Hack didn't remember to bring Captain Boomerang's smoking boots (which he totally jumped out of just before the heat vision almost hit him), so I imagine the Russians are going to clone Captain Boomerang and send the clone back to infiltrate the Squad. The real Captain Boomerang will just go retire to a tropical island in the back of my mind.

Once again, Jim Lee managed to get his twelve full pages done! Don't worry. He'll fall off pace soon enough and wind up doing the back-up stories. I don't know why DC thinks it's so important to have Jim Lee do the Suicide Squad. More often than not, his art is terrible masquerading as great. What I mean by that is he has a lot of fans who are terrible at art criticism.

The back-up story is about Flag and Harley Quinn. Rick Flag has decided it's time to test Harley's loyalties. Mostly she's proven loyal to the Squad because DC Comics can never again have a Suicide Squad that doesn't feature Harley Quinn because they've seen how much more money they make on this book with her in it. So what this story is supposed to do, I guess, is to justify her existence to the people who know she doesn't fit in this book at all. Although I thought Tim Seeley did a really nice job of making her an asset at the end of the last run of Suicide Squad. That must not count now since everything was Rebirthed.

In the story, Flag sacrifices half a dozen Suicide Squad Red Shirts to prove that Harley Quinn won't betray the Squad to The Joker. Or else the mission was real and just happened to be a perfect set-up to test her loyalty. Maybe the Red Shirts weren't actually killed and Harley just doesn't know how to properly check the vitals on suspiciously dead people. Anyway, Harley proves she won't betray Flag even if The Joker himself asks her to. I guess that's good to know. I'd say she still doesn't really fit on the team but Tim Seeley explained her role on the team. She's good at analyzing other super villains which makes her an asset in understanding how the opponents will react in combat. It didn't do much good on the trip to Russia though because of the cultural differences.

The Ranking!
1. Deathstork (1)
2. Suicide Squad (2)

Deathstork #4

How hard is it to hunt for Batman? Just turn that stupid signal on and wait on the roof of the building across the way with a sniper rifle.

Has there ever been a more earnest generation than the current generation? I mean, I guess the Greatest Generation (dumb title!) was pretty earnest about war and cars and middle class living. And then the Sex Generation was pretty earnest about peace and sex and drugs and The Doors. But then there was the X Generation who never had an earnest thought in their body because the Sex Generation forgot to bond with their accidental children who were total bummers keeping them from enjoying their three day festivals. And then the generation after that, nobody gave a shit about. I think they were called the Y Bother Generation. Or the You Know You're A 90s Kid Generation. And now the Millennials are all super earnest about everything. At least the Greatest Generation understood what jokes were and sometimes said them. Sure, the punch line usually had something to do with a Jap or a Kraut but they still laughed at stuff! That's probably unfair to say Millennials don't find things funny. Everybody finds stuff funny! It's just that Millennials are so earnest that they think intellectual criticism of anything they do (even if that criticism is total cynical bullshit to just pad the introduction to a comic book review) is bullying, if not a complete and utter Hate Crime. You can tell a lot of them don't know how to handle criticism because they swaddle themselves in labels so they can instantly declare that anybody who criticizes the least thing they say or way they act the grossest person in the universe. I totally get it if the person is criticizing them for their mind-boggling complex sexuality or their Myers-Briggs Type. But holy shit do they get upset if you simply point out how Oliver and Felicity was the worst relationship ever created in a television show and probably the biggest mistake made in a television show founded on horrible mistakes by the writers.

Okay! Now that I've gotten the kids to flounce out of the room, let's talk about adult stuff! Lots of adult stuff going on in Deathstork and I didn't want to ruin the adult surprises that Millennials will discover soon enough, like the loss of wonder and the need to piss all over subsequent generations for doing things differently simply because they still have the vibrant, passionate spark of youth that we can barely even remember feeling!

I just figured out how Christopher Priest names his issues! No, I don't mean I discovered some intellectually lofty link that exposes his central themes and rips open the rib cage of the entire series to get a cold, stark look at its pounding heart! I just mean I realized that the first title is the title of the collection of short stories. Then every few pages when the scene changes, it gets a new title because its a new story but then it fits into the theme of the collection! So this collection is called "American Gothic". That's a famous painting by that hick that lived in the Midwest! He's really famous out there, especially in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. And every other city in Iowa, really. If you don't remember the painting, I'll describe it for you: two vampires stand in front of a barn. The male vampire looks like he wants to die which is probably why he's standing out in the sun getting his portrait did. And the female vampire is looking at him like, "You done it again, Hinry."

The first short story is called "Tuh-MAY-toe". That's probably the only word that needs to be spelled phonetically since there's such a huge controversy about the correct way to say it that somebody once wrote a song called "How About We Just Agree To Fucking Disagree, Asshole?"

Rose and Slade are heading to Gotham so Slade decided he probably shouldn't look like Deathstork because he doesn't want Batman to beat him up immediately. He is disguised as a man who used to teach but then fell in love with one of his students and had to go on the run with her so that he wouldn't be judged by society although he would eventually be judged by his young lover who would find a young lover of her own who wasn't a creepy pedophile. And Rose is disguised as a virgin with Daddy Issues. That's not much of a disguise but then Batman isn't on the look out for Rose Wilson coming into Gotham and fucking up his life. The theme of this story is how Slade and Rose are different but the same, much like how sometimes people say tomato and other times people say tomato.

The second story is called "The Code" and I don't know what it's about yet but it might have my favorite moment in a Deathstork comic book since every terrible thing Rob Liefeld did which peaked the needle on my schadenfreude. I'll scan it so you can enjoy that moment too if you've made the life mistake of not reading this comic book. Don't worry if you have made that mistake. That's one of those mistakes that most people would make because Deathstork comic books have been so terrible since they were invented that almost nobody exists who would walk into a comic book store, pass the New Releases shelf, see a Deathstork comic book, and think, "FUCKING YES! I hope there's a new Lobo book out too!"

See? Creepy pedophile disguise! Oh! I just remembered that Slade actually is a creepy pedophile so it's not really the best disguise!

Rose calls Wintergreen to whine about Slade's naked ass and Wintergreen is all, "Oh? Details!" He also tries to explain to Rose and the entire Deathstork Fandom who don't actually understand the character they love that he's a super-villain. He isn't a mercenary with a heart. He isn't a surrogate daddy to cartoon Robin. He isn't an anti-hero taking out the trash. He's a pedophile, rapist, murdering sociopath who likes to rent motel rooms and stick his dick between the blinds as he drinks his morning coffee.

Okay, maybe Wintergreen backs away from the sociopath label. At least he definitely backs away from the term psychopath but I think that's a tomato, tomato situation. Wintergreen tries to explain Deathstork's emotional code to Rose so she can maybe love her father as much as Wintergreen's penis loves her father. Rose learns the code and instantly uses it to call her father an idiot. Slade may or may not notice. It's hard to tell because he doesn't really feel emotion, no matter how much Wintergreen tries to convince himself by convincing Rose that he, at least, feels some.

The next short story is called "The Enemy of My Enemy". It features Dick Grayson! But I don't know why it's called "The Enemy of My Enemy" since it's about Rose and Dick fucking in the woods while Deathstork creepily watches from a nearby tree! Christopher Priest likes using titles which the reader can finish on their own because they're the first half of a common expression. So the full title of this story must be "The Enemy of My Enemy Is the Guy Fucking My Daughter".

The fourth short story is called "Sights". It has something to do with how Rose's precognition is thought of as having the sight and how guns have sights that help you aim. It's this whole thing where they have to be calibrated just right or something and something and a bunch of bikers die. But it brings Rose closer to Slade! I don't think it brings Slade closer to Rose though. He's just annoyed.

The fifth story is called "The Squirt" and I'm a little bit nervous to find out what this is about. Is it going to be about the involuntary sphincter reaction a person has when they first realize that they're going to have to fight Batman? Deathstork summons Batman through a complicated series of electronic rituals. Part of Batman's cautiousness involved using Damian to ride through on a bike to scope the place. While riding through, Deathstork managed to drug him so that when Damian battled Ravager later, she would be able to beat him. In that way, Deathstork could kidnap the Squirt and force Batman to do him a favor. At least that's what Deathstork seems to believe kidnapping Damian would accomplish. I imagine instead of Batman rolling over and doing whatever Slade says to free Damian, Batman is just going to get angry and not help Deathstork at all. In fact, he may even hamper Deathstork's investigation into who put a hit out on Rose.

Rebirth Rankings!
Let's see if I can actually create a new list ranking the DC Comics by quality. It might take some time though since I'll have to add them as I read them.

1. Deathstork (1). That's it for now! It's the best comic of them all based on only it! Also, I mean, it is a pretty good comic book on its own merit.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #3

I wish DC Comics had a Batgirl and the Birds of Prey Battling in Their Underwear Variant Cover.

My biggest laugh of the month so far was reading this headline from the sidebar of Facebook: "Undiscovered moons may lurk around Uranus." Holy shit. I'm still giggling about that. This anecdote brought to you by the number 69 and the letters "How fucking mature am I, right?"

Holy shit! I just remembered that I thought Supergirl was going to lose its charm by going to CW where they seem to think lying is the greatest sin anybody can commit except that everybody in their shows lie all of the time and only care about lying when they've caught another person lying to them and they can judge the other person because of it! But after that 3rd episode, I'm just as in love with the show as I was last season! Wonder Woman is president?! Come on! I mean, she's actually an alien so that was a misstep. Couldn't they have just kept hinting at the fact that she was Wonder Woman like they did with her "you should see my other jet" line?! And Mon-el?! And Maggie Sawyer?! I mean, I guessed who each of them were immediately but that's what's so cool about the show. Technically what it's doing is a low-rent virtual reality version of jerking off comic book nerds as they watch the show. I know I came in my pants upon the revelation of M'gann! It's so good that I'm hoping the writers of Arrow will take notice and think, "Maybe our show should be more like their show and we should give up this theme of 'Everybody Lies and It's Not All Right At All To Ever Lie' that Guggenheim came up with because of that terrible experience he had at the Junior High School Sadie Hawkins Dance where the girl who asked him out never showed because she asked a better looking guy out and went with him without telling Marc. I mean, probably because of that.

Anyway, I should probably get to the Birds of Prey before I begin whining about the changes in the timeline in Flash and Arrow and how Legends of Tomorrow has gone the nonsensical Voyagers! route of "saving history". Sure, I still like the show! I liked Voyagers! too! But I was less sophisticated about time travel when I was eleven so I didn't judge the show for how stupid the premise was. Now I sit and watch Legends of Tomorrow between fits of joy at seeing the Justice Society and fits of anger at how time must constantly be fixed! I can't wait until the Legends wind up in a moment in time that's so crucial to about twenty different timelines that they run into versions of themselves from nineteen other timelines who all insist that the changes they want to make are the correct changes!

The issue begins in the past when Tiny Dinah decided to run away from her Foster Parents because all Foster Parents are terrible people. Not that I've ever met any of them but I've seen all of the movies and television shows. Foster Parents are the worst! Like Mr. Drummond! What a fucking dick that guy was. And the football player who took in Emmanuel Lewis! Ugh! So awful! And the white guy on that The Brady Bunch back door pilot who took in the black kid and the Mexican kid and the Asian kid! What was up with the seventies and early eighties airing shows about white families taking care of minorities? What kind of imperialist propaganda was that shit?! Was the message that minorities needed white people to set them on the right path?! Although they also seemed to think white kids needed some kind of multicultural experience too which is why a lot of families had black maids.

The Birds are researching Fenice in the Clock Tower and they're looking quite realistic. No male gaze allowed here! They're drawn so realistically that I can smell the sweaty superhero funk that must be wafting out of their dank leather costumes. So gross. My male gaze never thought it wouldn't be interested in a Birds of Prey comic book!

The Birds of Prey find some information that leads them to a Mexican Restaurant where they believe Fenice's next hit will be dining. They should have read the final page of their last issue! Then they'd know where Fenice's snake gang really are.

Batgirl ignores the door of the poor, innocent, family restaurant. What the hell? Does she get a cut of every Wayne Window and Wall Repair job she creates?

Oracle texts Batgirl another Riddler Would Be So Fucking Embarrassed Clue as to where the Birds should really be focusing their attention. Oracle must be annoyed that the Birds are so terrible at figuring stuff out. Although shouldn't the bad guy be happy that the good guy got the wrong location?! I'm not sure I'll ever understand the self-destructive nature of bad guys in comic books. It's always, "My success wouldn't mean anything if the good guy didn't have a fair chance of stopping me!" Although they never have success because they constantly insist on playing fair so maybe they should rethink their methods?

Oracle really must want the Snake Gang to fail because Oracle had them wait for hours before attacking Gordon and Santo. So after Oracle texts Batgirl to make sure she knows where to go, Oracle sends the Snake People up from the cellar to kill Gordon and Santo.

When has a mudroom ever been an indicator of wealth?!

The Birds of Prey arrive just in time to save all of the lives. Not that Gordon was in any danger but Gordon did have a few Red Shirt cops hanging about who are lucky to still be alive. Now that the fighting has commenced, so can the Battle Non Sequiturs! After Asp calls in a bunch of snakes to attack, Batgirl says, "Too bad your backup doesn't have legs." That doesn't make any sense because they have fangs and poison! Although Batgirl is kicking Asp (hee hee) at the time, so I guess that's where the wit comes in. Then Lady Viper is all, "I like a woman not afraid to hit a lady." I don't know what that's supposed to mean although it does give Huntress the chance to say, "You're no lady." Well, she's half-lady! The other half is snake. The bottom half is snake. I bet if I dated a snake lady and we hit it off and went back to her place and began to get busy, I would completely embarrass myself by not being able to find her cloaca.

Dinah, not wanting to be left out on the horrible battle one-liners, says to Copperhead, "Not so fast. Guys usually buy me dinner before the hugging part." Black Canary is such a hug prostitute!

During the fight, Lady Viper, Asp, and Copperhead escape with Santo. But Huntress kills Cottonmouth to save Jim Gordon's life. Batgirl is all, "Why did you do that?!" And Commissioner Gordon is all, "Thanks a lot, Batgirl! I love you too!" And then Jim Gordon slaps handcuffs on Huntress and arrests her for murder. Just kidding! That added bit of stupid comic book drama actually doesn't happen this issue! What a relief!

Oh, that Little Dinah growing up on the mean streets of Gotham story has been going on in the background but I've been ignoring it. It turns out that she became an expert at some kind of martial arts by the time she was sixteen and, when she finally let the pain of abandonment go, she developed her Sonic Scream. So I guess she didn't get it from Team 7? Maybe they just enhanced it by making her fuck Kurt Lance who had Super Power Enhancing Semen.

The Huntress leaves because it's always better to spend way too many issues on building trust between teammates than to have them trust each other too quickly. That would be too unbelievable! It makes more sense to spend five or six issues having the characters hate each other before they hug at the end. Or in Dinah's case, before she gets dinner bought for her and she hugs at the end.

The issue ends with Santo finding out that Fenice is an old lover of his. Not old as in elderly! Just old as in from the past! I guess that's a good enough shocker to end the issue on although it's mostly a big yawn for nearly everybody who isn't Santo.

The Ranking!
0! That means it's average! Not great. Not terrible. Just a comic book that people will like if they want to like it. Nothing spectacular going on here!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Superwomans #3

Stupidly happy while reclining on a cloud? Shouldn't she be sitting on Lois's corpse?

Knock knock?
Who's there?
Another female superhero with anxiety!
Another female superhero with anxiety who?
Another female superhero with anxiety who is also ashamed of taking medication for a mental issue who also has a judgmental boyfriend who constantly admonishes her for the choices she makes!

The Ranking!
-1! Well, it took longer than I thought for me to stop giving a shit about a super-powered Lana Lang comic book. Three whole issues! I was probably too distracted by the super-powered Lois Lane in the first issue and then I was too overwhelmed by the onslaught of words in all of the issues to realize how much I never wanted to read about super-powered Lana Lang. It's already bad enough that she's just another genius (along with her boyfriend and her niece) in the DC Universe. Nobody seems to know how to write a really intelligent character. They just label the character genius so that they can get away with the character being able to do anything the plot demands if the character is to succeed. Hell, Jason Todd even hacked LexCorps in just a few minutes in Red Hood because he knew a genius! And if Lana Lang, her boyfriend, and her boyfriend's niece aren't enough geniuses for you, have I got good news for you! Lex Luthor is also in this comic book! But mostly his genius is used to show how even more genius his sister, Lena Luthor, has become! Geniuses everywhere! Oh, plus that thing about Lana Lang suddenly developing some kind of mental disorder. Oh! And she's dying! So major drama there, I guess?

At least Atomic Skull wasn't a genius! I felt bad for him though because Lana called him weird. That was rude. I was hoping she would kiss him on his lips. I mean the part of the skull where his lips should be. What's going on with the rest of his body? Is it normal? A purple flaming skeleton? How does he get busy with the atomic ladies?

Oh! P.S. Lena Luthor is now bald and wearing Lex's green and purple battle suit. Plus she's constantly surrounded by a battalion of Bizarronesses. So this comic book is at least trying to be somewhat sexy.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Red Hood and the Outlaws #3

I bet Scott Lobdell would sell his soul for a time machine so he could go back in time and introduce a fresh audience to his old jokes.

The Commentary!
• The issue begins with Jason Todd remembering his first night as Robin. He doesn't know why he's remembering it but I think it might have something to do with looking up at a huge glass tube containing Bizarro. In his memory, he's looking at a huge glass tube containing the costume of Robin. Except Dick Grayson's Robin costume was never retired and put on display, no matter how much Bruce Wayne insisted Dick was dead to him for abandoning him to go off with the Teen Titans. I suppose this is now the Post-Crisis Flashbirth 52 Universe, so whatever Scott Lobdell wants to pretend happened in the past, happened. That's not an encouraging thought. Remember how Scott Lobdell tried to make The Joker completely responsible for Jason Todd becoming Robin? And remember how Scott Lobdell changed history so that Tim Drake didn't figure out Batman was Bruce Wayne but then the fans reacted so strongly against that idea that it ate at him for months until he was able to tell that story again but with Tim Drake thinking, "I know Batman's secret identity but I don't want to hurt his feelings by revealing how easy it was to figure out! So instead I'll act like I didn't know!" He also did some terrible things to Superman that we don't speak about anymore.

• Black Mask crawls out of the helicopter and into the train car so he can be present as Artemis and Red Hood are gassed. I would expect one of his henchmen to do something that dangerous but maybe they all refused. And Black Mask respected them for refusing because he likes henchmen who don't follow his orders if they go against the henchman's ethics, beliefs, and safety protocols.

• Jason Todd wakes up in a strange place the next morning and exposes his terrible powers of observation.

Actually, you still have your pants on and you aren't tucked in.

• Jason Todd wakes up wondering if Black Mask is playing him better than he thought he was playing Black Mask. Let me answer this for you, Jaybird: OF COURSE HE IS! Why the hell would he hire you when you wouldn't even kill a coworker for him?! And why would he see everything you did to betray him during the Artemis Encounter and still think you're his Number Two?! Get the fuck out of here! No wonder Batman didn't take revenge on the Joker when you died. I bet Batman actually sucked the Joker's dick for getting you out of his hair!

"Oh! Thanks for waiting until I was awake to show me this, Boss!"

• Up until now I've been mostly trying to ignore how much I can't stand Scott Lobdell's writing. But after Black Fetish Mask takes Jason Todd downstairs to view the hatching of Bizarro, I can't help remember all of the pain Scott Lobdell has put me through for the last five years. It's just a simple trigger that brings it all rushing back: omnium. Black Mask calls the glass securing Bizarro "omnium glass." Why is he so fucking in love with the prefix "omni"?! It doesn't even make sense in this context!

• Jason Todd bonds with Bizarro because Jason Todd knows what it's like to come back to life. Not that Bizarro was dead and has now come back to life. But it's a close enough fit that it doesn't take a lot of pounding to wedge it in thematically.

• Things really take a turn for the worse when I remembered how much I loathed Scott Lobdell's writing. I rushed through the rest of the comic book because there was a scene where Jason Todd reached out to Bizarro and I was all, "WHO FUCKING CARES?!" And then there was a scene where Jason Todd goes to buy Bizarro a toy and I'm all, "OH MY GOD JUST GET IT OVER WITH!" And then there was a scene where the Black Mask had dinner with Jason Todd so that he could tell Jason Todd that he loved him so much he was like family and I was all, "WHAT DID I JUST DO?! I HAVE NO MEMORY OF SLITTING MY WRISTS?! OH MY GOD!"

• Anyway, Bizarro ends the comic book saying, "ME AM BIZARRO!" I think that means he's not Bizarro. I guess he thinks he's Superman then!

The Ranking
-1! Look, I can't be fair to this comic book because it is attached to five years of Lobdell mentally torturing the fuck out of me. I should probably read some reviews of this comic book from people who like Scott Lobdell. I bet they were able to concentrate on the story. Maybe they can clear up all of the questions I have. Like why does Black Mask want Bizarro? Or why doesn't Black Mask retire if he's got the kind of wealth that allows him to furnish a cutting edge laboratory staffed with the best scientific minds in the world? And why didn't Artemis use one of her terrible metaphors that was undoubtedly going to be one of her trademark personality quirks? I bet Lobdell simply forgot he was doing that!

All-Star Batman #3

What was Duke's superhero name again? Meadowlark? It's not like anybody has ever mentioned it.

The Review!
Whatever Batman is trying to prove had better be more spectacular than learning the meaning of life. Because a lot of people are paying a pretty high price for Batman's stubbornness. Batman might feel good about himself because he doesn't kill but he should feel bad about himself because he never takes responsibility for the consequences of his actions. Batman could have chosen to let Harvey Dent go so that Harvey Dent wouldn't ruin everybody's lives. But instead of realizing his friend might not want help and that maybe it's time to just let his friend go, Batman chooses to accept the lives of everybody in Gotham being ruined as well as all the death and chaos that comes from every villain in the DCU chasing him down in exchange for his friend getting better. If I were Alfred, I would just hand Bruce a pistol and a copy of Of Mice and Men with a Post-It Note that reads, "Harvey Dent Problem Solving Kit".

This issue guest stars KGBeast, The Royal Flush Gang, Harold Allnut, and a band of ex-Arkham inmates called Batman's Asshole. Or Batman's Testicles. Or Batman's Fucked. Or Batman's Cunt. I think Batman's Asshole is my favorite choice for whatever Batman's @^$&@ actually stands for.

Batman manages to ease everybody a little further on down the road before trouble once again rears it's ugly two-faced head in the guise of, well, um, Two-face. I kind of blew that reveal, didn't I? Anyway, Two-Face gets the jump on Batman and Meadowlark (in his lemon outfit) and winds up pouring acid all over Batman's face. Well, over his cowl, anyway. Which means that Batman's cowl's lenses have been destroyed and Batman will be blind unless he wants to take off his cowl! Which he totally probably won't! Although I'll be severely disappointed if Batman can plan ahead so well that he keeps a Batarang strapped to his back whose sole purpose, it would seem, is to attach a tree trunk to Killer Croc's chest but he doesn't keep a regular, run-of-the-mill spandex cowl underneath his high tech cowl.

I'm fairly certain I'm going to be severely disappointed next month.

The Ranking!
No change! The story might be fun if you can get past how ridiculous the entire premise is and also that Batman would put this many people at risk for whatever he's trying to do. It might be less ridiculous if Batman could articulate why doing what he's doing is so important. Also, John Romita Jr's art is terrible. There's a back-up story that helps to justify the inflated cover price but I don't really find it's worth mentioning.

Supergirl #2

When Superman does this, everybody screams, "IT'S SUPERMAN!" When Supergirl does it, everybody screams, "BREASTS!"

The Commentary!
Have all of Marvel's superheroes been given a teenage girl version yet? Supergirl was so far ahead of her time! I'm holding out for Young Female Punisher and Young Female Moon Knight. As long as they aren't the most intelligent teenager to ever teenage in an intelligence contest. I'm so tired of that myth! A super smart teenager! Come on! So unbelievable.

Supergirl has recently run away from home because she's the only girl on the planet with a mansion made of crystal in the Arctic. Although Ma and Pa Danvers are super spies working for the DEO so it's not like they don't have access to a supersonic snow copter which they could requisition to be able to fetch their daughter. Supergirl thought being alone while writing entries in her diary that featured the phrase "so mean to me" over and over again would help her move past just another moment of teenage drama. But instead, she has flown smack dab into the middle of even more teenage drama! Because her cybernetic dad is waiting for her! He's all, "Daughter!" And she's all, "Suck my butt!" What she means by that is "You are not my father! You're just a crazy robot that thinks it's my father who just wants to wear my skin!" It's true. He does want to wear her skin.

It doesn't take too many panels for the punching to start. Usually Kara begins the punching but this time, her father shoves her into a wall because she touched his shoulder. That's fair. It's not like she asked for consent to touch his shoulder. That's his personal space, Kara, not your funzone playground of tender time touches.

Cyborg Superman ends the encounter by exploding all over the inside of the Fortress of Solitude.

I have a suspicion that nearly every teenage girl has uttered these words. Minus the "by Rao" bit.

After her psychosexual experience with her father, Kara heads to National City's prison, The Ditch. Every big city in the DC Universe gets their own prison! That's because prison breaks are exciting comic book events which are mandated by editorial. Supergirl visits not to taunt the guy she captured in the first issue but to counsel him in the hopes he can be rehabilitated. Is counseling prisoners a school project? On what authority is a sixteen year old with no counseling experience allowed to enter a prisoner's cell to counsel him?

Supergirl: "You know what you did was wrong and totally mean, right?"
Criminal: "Just touch it. Come on! At least look at it!"
Guard: "All right! That's enough! Get her out of there!"

Later at school as Kara tries to erase the sight of a flopping prisoner's penis as it strains to become erect, Cat Grant hosts an assembly where she picks a student for her Young Innovator's Program. That student is, of course, Ben Rubel, the smartest kid in the DC Universe (tied with all of the other kids in the DC Universe). But since this comic book isn't called Ben Rubel, Cat Grant chases down Kara Danvers to offer her a chance to be part of the program too. It's because Cat Grant understands that girls need the extra help since society has taught them to not speak up as loudly as boys. Of course, Kara Danvers grew up on Krypton so that doesn't apply here. This was just a case of Ben Rubel being one of those loud dicks who thinks pushing people out of the queue in front of you is just a smart tactical decision to get what you want. Although, to be fair to nobody, Cat Grant really shouldn't have asked a question to an auditorium full of students expecting some kind of fair and equitable response among the crowd. Besides, Kara began speaking and Cat noticed. But then when Ben said, "Miss Grant! Miss Grant!", Cat called on him to answer instead of Kara. So, you know, Cat's kind of a dick.

I hate Cat Grant.

Basically, Cat Grant's idea for the next big movement in news is to water it down even more with amateurish, emotional stories about individual experiences that are expected to be extrapolated to everybody's life but really don't mean anything to anybody except to give them a quick jolt of sadness, happiness, or anger that will dissipate and be forgotten quicker than their shot of morning caffeine. What it sounds like she's trying to do is to set up Tumblr but advertise it as a legitimate news source. I mean, really, "open source news available to anyone"? Isn't that just the Associated Press?

On her way out, Kara runs into Ben and they almost have sex right there in the elevator. Actually, they bicker and argue but I know what that's code for in comic books! And television shows. And movies. And literature. And in everything, really, except real life. I know the women I've constantly bickered with because they were pretentious idiots who never actually knew what they were talking about just annoyed the fuck out of me! Guys, too, but then there was never the societal expectation that if I constantly bickered with another man that we should "get a room."

Later, Kara's Fake Mother Boss asks her how her interview with her Soon-To-Be Other Fake Mother Boss went. After that, Cyborg Superman once again speaks to Kara to tell her that Argo City is just about ready and guess who's waiting for Kara there? Her Fake Cyborg Zombie Mother! Kara really has too many parents in her life.

The Ranking!
No change. This comic book is concentrating on the worst drama in a teenage girl's life: parental drama! I don't care about the adults in Supergirl's life! Especially Cat Grant! Oh, and Cyborg Superman! Oh, and the Danvers! I want to read about her dealing with Degrassi Junior High type shit! Also, she should be allowed to battle villains other than Cyborg Superman. Why do comic books feel they need to keep going over the same conflicts? What better way to drive people away from reading the comic books than to tell slight variants of the same story over and over and over? I think the constant repetition of "iconic" conflicts is making me nostalgic for Ann Nocenti. At least her shit was so fucking weird and nonsensical that I couldn't accuse it of borrowing too heavily from the past.

That being said, I like the look and tone of this comic book. It's just...Cyborg Superman again? It just feels like every new writer who comes onto a book brings a hot take on an old story. But it's still an old story! Plus it's Cyborg Superman! On the scale of villains I don't want to read about, he ranks right between Doomsday's left testicle and Doomsday's butthole.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Action Comics #965

That clock is way too flaccid for what's going on here.

The Review!
In boring news for the bored, Lois Smith has decided her best next life course of action is to impersonate Lois Lane and commit serious fraud, breaking and entering, theft, and probably some kind of sodomy. She does such a good job, she even fools the Narration Boxes into putting little LLs into themselves. Everybody is either completely fooled or pretending to be completely fooled since nobody knows Lois Lane was turned into a pile of dust by a female Bizarro. Well, nobody except that other Superwoman, Lana Lang. She guest stars in this comic book along with Perry White, Jimmy Olsen, that Meathead Football Lunk Reporter, and Lex Luthor. Overall, nothing exciting happens and I'm a little bit sorry I spent time reading this issue and a lot sorry I spent time writing this bit that points out that I wasted my time reading it. Lois never even takes any clothes off. So disappointing.

The Ranking!
0! That title, "Action Comics", is seriously misleading.

Detective Comics #942

This is how the world ends: swallowed by a vagina with teeth.

The Review!
Some of you are probably thinking, "Oh sweet Christ, Tess! Have you ever seen a vagina?!" That's a personal question that I don't have to answer! Also, "vagina with teeth" isn't redundant, right? No! Don't answer that! I want to be surprised!

Remember that one time Nightwing drove his motorcycle up the side of a building and nobody went, "Fuck you, DC Comics!"? Remember that? Remember how you all just sat back and shrugged your shoulders and thought, "Sure. Okay. Whatever"? Remember?! Because this issue is your fault for not making a fuss! This issue is on you! YOU! Stupid Batman comic book written by Steve Jerkorlando and James Jerkon IV. The last five parts were bad enough with the Japanese Godzilla monsters running all over town doing less damage to Gotham than the Teen Titans do to New York when they go out for a slice of pizza. But this issue is all, "Oh! You think you have a great poker hand with all your hearts and clovers and Jacks and Jills?! Well, let me up the ante and bluff and other poker lingo! I'll show you what a great poker hand looks like!" And this issue does! It shows you a great poker hand! But only if you remember that "poker hand" is analogous to stupid, idiotic comic book moments that are so much worse than Nightwing driving a motorcycle up the side of a building that I just declared bankruptcy on my sanity.

First, DC Comics had Green Arrow hunt down YouTube stars for no reason and nobody said anything because they're intellectually lazy. Then, DC Comics had Superman date Wonder Woman and, well, I mean a lot of people said stuff but it's not like it helped or anything. Then DC Comics had Nightwing ride a motorcycle up a building and nobody said anything because they were too busy shrugging their shoulders over the quality of the comic books. After that, DC Comics put out five hundred Harley Quinn books per week and everybody was all, "Is this diabetes?" And then they finally put Hugo Strange in a Batman suit so he could sit on a throne of psychology books as he psychoanalyzed Batman using kaij┼ź and there was nobody left to speak out for some reason. Also, this isn't the worst part of this issue!

By the way, Hugo Strange's Batsuit is a "Suicide Suit" which will blow him to pieces if Batman so much as stabs him in the face with a batarang. And since that's Batman's go-to move, Batman's totally stymied! I guess Hugo Strange hasn't read Batman's Book of Reasons Why It Wasn't My Fault That the Criminal Died. I'm fairly certain that Batman can rationalize how Strange's death wasn't on him after Batman beats the crap out of him. I can already think of several! "I didn't hear him when he warned me! I mean, you know, I'm sure that that thing I didn't hear was him trying to warn me. But I didn't hear it! Can't prove I did!" Here's another one: "He chose to wear that suit when he knew the first thing I would do is put a Batarang in the air! It was already flying at him when he told me about the suit! His own fault! Should've known better!"

During Hugo Strange's Standard Supervillain Declaration of Intent, he uses the term "cro-magnum". Is he punning?

If I were writing this comic book, the first panel on the next page would be Batman saying, "What's a cro-magnum?" Then Hugo's whole scheme will fall apart as he blubbers and grows increasingly frustrated, insisting that he most definitely did say Cromagnon!

So the next worst part of this story is how the Bat-family battle the huge fifth psycho-mind monster (which must represent Batman's urge to sleep with his mother, right?): they each step into the cockpit of one of the Wayne Towers which have turned into battle stations. Whoever said an intense sense of paranoia coupled with a boundless imagination could move monsters? Was that Mohammad? Because he was right on! Batman made the ultimate Rampage Defense System! I might not know who said that thing I just made up but I do know who said the thing that will help in this situation: Vyvyan of The Young Ones! "This calls for a delicate blend of psychology and extreme violence."

Actually, it's almost as if Steve Orlando planned this whole story based on hearing Vyvyan's quote! I mean, Vyvyan was talking about catching some dirty socks that had escaped the hamper. But I think even though this story is off the charts comic booky, having Hugo Strange sick dirty socks on Gotham to defeat Batman is a little too Ambush Bug off the comic book charts.

Lucius Fox never quite got around to building the Voltron System into the towers, so the Bat-Family don't get to merge them into a giant attacking tower robot. That's too bad. I would have been back on board if only the comic book had gone so far past my suspension of disbelief that I couldn't believe it, thus creating a double negative disbelief loop which would cause me to totally buy into this story. Instead of Wayne Voltron, Nightwing decides the way to end this monster is to dive into its mouth. But only after he realizes that this monster represents Batman's ego! You know, I've often thought to myself in those quiet moments when the technological world isn't slowly eating away at my psyche and inner peace, "Batman's ego probably looks like a hundred foot monster with a tooth-filled sphincter for a mouth."

Batman defeats Strange by having Clayface encompass the floor of the building Strange and Batman are on so that they eventually run out of air. Hugo collapses to the floor and, presumably, dies due to the "thump" of his Suicide Suit hitting the floor. But Batman doesn't have to take blame for that one! How could Batman have known Hugo would fall over when he ran out of oxygen?!

Oh yeah. And Nightwing survives because the monster vomits him out before it reverts back to its regular size.

Later, the Justice League come by to help clean up Gotham which is like the most unbelievable part of this entire story. They can't think up an excuse to get out of this work? It's not like Batman ever invites them over just to hang out! He always wants something. What a Bat-jerko.

The Ranking!
0! Here's something I don't need to read ever again: an evil villain psychoanalyzing a superhero whom they know only through that hero's public persona! I guess it's fine this time because Hugo Strange is a maniac who doesn't actually know how to do his non-super-villain job. So it's okay if he makes sweeping generalizations and Evel Knievel sized leaps of logic and monstrous assumptions while mistaking them for a brilliant bit of psychoanalyzing. Also, I mean, this finished much better than the rest of it. Except Hugo really should have died. I guess his Suicide Suit was just a bluff!