Sunday, December 17, 2017

Eee! Tess Ate Chai Tea Newsletter

This is interesting in some historical Eee! Tess Ate Chai Tea ways. I'll discuss them in my first No More Than Once A Week And Possibly Less Often Email Newsletter at Sign up so I can talk frankly about a lot of things smart people should be able to discuss without some idiot purposefully misunderstanding intelligent thoughts so they can seem better than everybody else in their righteous indignation and interrupting like the moronic asshole they truly are.

Eee! Tess Ate Chai Tea by email!

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Doomsday's Cock #1

Why is Rorschach on the cover of Doomsday's Cock #1?

I've been waiting for this comic book for months and I just realized that I've been misreading the title. So this isn't going to be twelve issues of a massive, veiny, throbbing alien penis? Instead it's going to be twelve issues of a thing I don't want to be reminded of seeing as how our president is an idiotic, narcissistic, easily offended toddler with access to our nuclear arsenal? I'd much rather see Doomsday's penis dribbling pre-cum as he delivers sexual excitement from beating the shit out of any DC hero he can get his fists on. I'd rather see great ribbons of Doomsday's love goo arc across the bloodied face of Superman and Batman and Wonder Woman! No, wait. Not Wonder Woman. That gets into a weird territory that might be construed as some kind of rape fantasy. But I think it's okay if it's male on male action. Nobody needs to correct me on that if they think I'm wrong though because I'm sure there are plenty of people who are right now nodding their heads in agreement and taking down their pants. You don't want to erase those perverts, do you? So uncool.

So now that I'm not going to get a story about Doomsday's cock, I guess I'm getting a story about how the Watchmen are to blame for The New 52. It's a clever way for DC to wash their hands of the murder of all of DC's past history while also making it into a big money grab for fans who can't get enough milk from continuity's engorged teat. Although if we had a brave little dog right now, it would probably be pulling back a curtain with Doomsday Clock stitched across it to reveal a naked Crisis on Infinite Earths jerking itself off as it blows Zero Hour who's currently being fucked in the ass by Infinite Crisis and The New 52 licks up everybody's bodily fluids spilling onto the floor while Rebirth sucks its own dick while watching from a stool in the corner and Convergence lies ignored in the corner fumbling with its underwear.

I just realized I fucked up my anticipation for this series because there's no way it's going to be as good as what I just described.

I haven't opened the cover of this comic book yet because I want to talk about the cover and also I want to first say, "I bet the first page panel layout is that Brady Bunch shit that was a staple of the way the original Watchmen communicated in subtle and intricate ways!" So first, the cover. Ignoring that Rorschach is on the cover, the entire design is meant to invoke the original Watchmen series. At first glance, the image isn't anything like Watchmen #1 except maybe for the way the red mist behind Rorschach is somewhat reminiscent of the pooling blood. But ignoring the image as a coherent image, it still manages to recall the original cover. The slant of Rorschach's scarf feels like the same slant of the spatter of blood on the smiley face button. Even the negative spaces in Rorschach's trench coat seem to fill in the spaces of the button's eyes and smile. His collar forms a circle that could easily be the outline of the button. If I were to say this cover looked like the original cover, people would scoff. But is it reminiscent of it? Is it meant to subtly invoke the same patterns as the original to enhance a sense of déjà vu? Perhaps. I would admit that that's complete speculation. But one thing is an absolute fact: Rorschach's ink blot face's negative space is definitely a cock and balls.

Flipping open to the first page, I see the familiar Watchmen panel layout, nine squares with occasional large panels subsuming a few squares but still maintaining the general layout. When Watchmen changed the layout, there was always a reason for it, whether you consciously understood it at the time. I'm going to assume that Geoff Johns isn't as good at story telling as Alan Moore without any real evidence for it aside from my own bias and say that Geoff Johns' main reason to change the layout will probably be to allude to Watchmen's style but to not be a slave to it. The majority of the story will be told in the Brady Bunch opening credits style but with quite a bit of leeway and variation. That's because this story is about the DC Universe and how the Watchmen (or just Dr. Manhattan, I suppose) are trying to mold it into their reality. The panels breaking out of the nine panel layout simply show the DC Universe's resistance to that manipulation. Once again, speculation. But it's smarter speculation than anything you'll see on Weird Science's stupid anti-Tom King blog! What do they have against great writing?!

The story begins some time after Ozymandias's artistic alien crashed into the streets of New York. It was meant to unite the world, bringing nations together in the face of a threat toward the entire planet. Instead it just made people feel terrified. They lashed out and began to blame those who thought differently than themselves. The initial commentary seems to be from Rorschach's journal but it can't be because he was atomized. I mean, unless he wasn't? Maybe he was just teleported to some unknown location? I've stopped reading at the end of the panels with the commentary so I don't quite know if the media reported on Rorschach's journal and Ozymandias's alien invasion was exposed as fake news (one sign in the crowd seems to show Veidt's face with a null symbol over it). I wanted to think about Rorschach's words (if they are, indeed, Rorschach's).

The narrative commentary on what's happening in America forms a Bothsidesism point of view. It's the rational bastion of the cowardly who want to be seen as more intellectually open-minded than the next person. It's the voice of the professional Devil's Advocate who believes that nobody but they have spent any time considering their own beliefs and points of view. They're constantly testing everybody else in a patronizing belief that nobody has a mind of their own, that nobody spends any time plumbing their own depths, that nobody reflects on the self. They're boring bastards with no moral or ethical backbone. Their only belief is that they shall have no belief other than condemning everybody else's beliefs. I'm not sure how well this jives with Rorschach's views in Watchmen since it's been quite a few years since I've reread it. He was always a bit fascist, so his condemnation of the liberal side of the argument seems apt. But he also takes a moment to point out the flaws of the other side. I suppose a modern day Rorschach would work quite well as a Both Sideser rather than a complete fascist, so I suspect I don't mind?

Uh oh. Trump fans are going to be upset about this comic book. Of course, they'll pretend they're upset about comics making any kind of political commentary. But they're really just upset that the story portrays a world falling apart because the president is an obvious Trumpian disaster.

News reports indicate that Veidt's plan was exposed as The Great Lie. He's now considered a terrorist being hunted by everybody. It was Rorschach's journal that exposed the truth, a journal which disappeared not long after. I guess Rorschach did survive somehow and decided to get back to journaling.

And then there he is. Rorschach has survived, reappearing to comment on how the world has gone to shit so that comic book Fanboys everywhere can fuck themselves silly.

Oh wait. Scratch that. They're more likely to rage about pandering until their heads explode.

Rorscach recruits the Marionette for some secret mission he's on. I don't remember The Marionette but I'm sure it was some villain that Rorschach nearly killed. They have three hours to find Doctor Manhattan since America has launched their nuclear missiles. The world is about to end which probably means The New 52 is about to begin. For some reason. It'll all be explained in time! Probably. I mean, it'll probably be the way Doctor Manhattan saves the world. Or something.

Before leaving prison, The Marionette and Rorschach pick up The Marionette's husband, the Mime. They're the perfect team to catch Doctor Manhattan! She'll pull Jon's strings and he'll trap him in an invisible box. Even a fucking omnipotent blue naked guy can't defend against that.

It turns out Rorscach is working with Ozymandias to find Doctor Manhattan to save their world. But when Ozymandias last saw Doctor Manhattan, he was leaving the Watchmen Universe to find one less complicated to live in. Or to find one that was fairly complicated and fuck it all up so that it didn't seem, at first glance, complicated at all. But like every continuity reboot, it was actually way more complicated than if things had been left alone.

The issue ends with Clark having a nightmare about his prom night. I'm not sure if the scariest part of the dream was when his parents were killed in the traffic accident or when he saw Pete dancing. Lois wakes up and he tells her, "I don't think I've ever had one." Oh, um, the one refers to a nightmare. I didn't want to change the quote and I didn't want to add more dialogue. Instead I decided to write all of this extraneous and awkward crap.

The night Superman has the nightmare is probably the night Doctor Manhattan arrived and changed the past because he didn't want to have to learn seventy years of DC history to understand the world he was now living in. The issue ends with a few lines from the poem, "Ozymandias," because why not? That's a pretty easy quote pull! Especially because it mentioned aliens and appeared after the Superman scene!

Doomsday's Cock #1 Rating: It was huge.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Michael Cray #2

You can tell the twenty tens are better than the nineties because Wildstorm chose not to call this book Deathblow.

This book has sat on my stack for longer than it should have because I've been separating my weekly comics into two piles: one for reading and one for commenting on. If not for this comic book having the greatest plot of any comic book I've ever read (the assassination of Green Arrow), it would probably have been read weeks ago without any discussion. Most comic books are read and forgotten in five to fifteen minutes so I want to savor every word leading up to Green Arrow's death by commenting on it as I read it. I mean, after the whole lead up and this being a different Universe than the DC Universe, it has to end in Green Arrow's death, right? Maybe I should email Bryan Hill and ask if I'm wasting my time and money on this Green Arrow Snuff Comic?

This issue begins with some Michael Cray Steampunk Fiction. That seems odd because I thought he was hunting down a John Donne spouting, sister abusing, farcical facial hair wearing, homeless veteran hunting nutjob? When did he slip into an alternate version of the past composed of 40% Victorian and/or Edwardian costumes, 30% steam powered inventions, 15% goggles, 10% steepling hands over tea and evil machinations, and 5% blimps?

Those are the kinds of useless questions I ask during my commentaries. They're useless because the comic book usually answers the question in subsequent pages. Although they're not useless if you consider all art worthy of contemplation. Don't you fucking smirk at me calling my blog art, you piece of shit!

See? It has all the Steampunk components in probably the right percentages!

It turns out Michael Cray and his new Death Squad are just doing some virtual reality training. I guess since they're going up against Green Arrow, they're training with obsolete weapons against old fashioned foes. I hope Michael Cray has warned them about the boxing glove arrow. That's probably the main thing they should be concerned about. Also the arrow that turns into a net which nobody can ever get out of. I've never been caught in a net but I'm fairly certain I could extricate myself fairly quickly. I know I can get out from under a blanket in like ten seconds and what is a net except one of my blankets with less moth-eaten holes in it?

Cray ditches his Death Squad because, like Deathstork, he prefers to work alone. Also like Deathstork, he has "death" in his super-person name. It's these kinds of observations that led professors in college to respond to my papers with praise like "Gee. You really read the shit out of this book, didn't you?" and "With every paper you turn in, my consternation toward the levels of your academic enthusiasm grows ever greater."

Before Cray kills Green Arrow (look, this is only issue #2 of a twelve issue series. It's possible Green Arrow's murder is just the first story in a longer arc about Deathblow's new Wildstorm origin but I'm not getting my hopes up that I'll see Green Arrow's death any sooner than maybe Issue #11), he visits his doctor to find out if the thing in his brain is still killing him.

This is just the kind of existential and philosophical banter patients crave from their doctors when worried about their health.

After finding out he isn't in any danger from a brain tumor, Michael Cray rushes out to get kidnapped by Green Arrow to be hunted as the ultimate prey. I guess it's important to know you're healthy when going to your death.

Ha ha! Just kidding! Michael Cray isn't going to die! His name is on the cover and the cover shows the story will go for twelve issues. It's more likely — and I don't mean to go on and on about how big my boner is for this event — Green Arrow will die!

Cray wakes up in Green Arrow's hunting dome where Green Arrow has been watching him lie there unconscious. Green Arrow makes sure Cray knows that he's discovered that Cray is an assassin. He gives him a gun because some hunters like to hunt animals that can fight back, like other hunters and...well, that's the only example I could come up with. I mean, sure, sometimes hunters are killed by wild boar or some large predator they should never have been hunting in the first place, but that's not usually because the animal knew it was participating in a fight for survival. It's usually because the hunter fucked up in some arrogant way and the animal was all, "You kidding me? I'll fuck you up, you defenseless pink piece of shit!" And then right before the hunter is killed, he thinks, "I deserved to die like this!"

Was that giving the hunter too much credit? Maybe the hunter's actual last thought was, "Oh no! Whoever finds my body will realize I shit myself!" Or maybe, "This isn't fair!" Or perhaps, "I regret not having beaten my loved ones more!"

Michael Cray and Oliver Queen battle for a few pages until I finally get my wish. First, Cray disintegrates Green Arrow's right arm with his deathblow power. Then one of Michael Cray's coworkers (who isn't supposed to be coworking this event) shoots Oliver Queen through the head. And just like that, Green Arrow is dead. It's not as satisfying as I was hoping it would be. That's probably a good lesson for me to learn through literature. Now I know that I probably would be left unsatisfied and possibly live to regret killing the vet who euthanized my cat. Sure, sure. She had my blessing because he was in pain and just getting worse. But she still murdered him! I should probably let her out of the Death Dome now that I've learned my lesson.

Now that Michael Cray has killed Green Arrow in just Issue #2, I guess I don't need to write a commentary on the next issue.

Oh fuck it. I guess I'll keep it up. I'm going to pretend that this is The Flash as written by Joshua Williamson! Just like I was pretending that the Green Arrow killed was the one written by J.T. Krul and Ann Nocenti and also the one from the television show!

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Batman Annual #2

DC should have put the actual title, "Some of These Days," on the cover instead of the goofy little rhyme.

I'm not a proponent of annuals. I especially do not love them if they're part of a current story arc because then when you store your comics, you have to stick the annual right in among the regular titles to keep the continuity of the story intact. I super especially am not any kind of fond of them when they're part of a big blockbuster summer event, like Bloodlines or The Darkness Within. But occasionally, an annual is not just done right but done spectacularly. This is one of those annuals. It's touching and beautiful, a story that makes me a little less ashamed to be a comic book fan (don't misunderstand that statement and think I'm saying comic book fans should be ashamed of reading comic books because of the format. They should be ashamed because so many comic book writers are terrible at their jobs and the only reason people read their stupid fucking stories is because the fan is following the character and have no ability to tell when that character is being written horribly).

I'm not going to discuss this story. But I'd like to discuss a couple of things about this comic anyway.

First, there's a double page spread in this comic book that is the exact opposite of one of David Finch or Tony S. Daniel's double page spreads. The characters are small, nearly consumed by the darkness and negative space. There is no action aside from falling rain. Also unlike Tony and David's spreads, this one communicates a number of things through its use, and is beautiful in its subtlety.

Second, I've noticed some people don't like Tom King on Batman. This would boggle my mind but then I remember I'm reading a comic book. A writer can write enchanting dialogue and tell a competent and well-paced story and readers will still hate the writer if they don't write the characters in a way that they think the characters should be written. Comic book readers can forgive anything at all when it comes to plot and terrible writing but if they don't agree with a particular characterization of their favorite character, they'll turn a blind eye to the great writing to lambaste you for the comic book fangender's ultimate sin: messing with their headcanon. It's a shame but what the fuck are you going to do about it? And that's about all the time I want to spend discussing those people.

If you hated this annual, don't @ me. I don't need to know how many people out there have objectively wrong opinions!

Monday, December 4, 2017

Suicide Squad #30

Why does Katana have two katanas and why is she holding them that way? Is she making katana antlers?

I think I've purchased every incarnation of the Suicide Squad comic book since John Ostrander's run post-Crisis. None of them were particularly good but Ostrander's run had been so entertaining and smart that I continued to purchase them in the hopes that, one day, the series would be as good as it was during that run. Today, the well of my hope for a decent Suicide Squad finally ran dry. Rob Williams has killed the franchise for me. I think if I read one more Suicide Squad comic, it'll tip the balance from my being a fan to me hating it passionately. It's like that day in September of 1989 when I nearly declared Guns N Roses the worst band in history because the radio had played Paradise City one time too many. Goodbye, Suicide Squad! Maybe I can refill the well a bit by rereading Ostrander's run. Or maybe that will kill it completely because I'll realize Ostrander's run wasn't the spectacular series I remember it to be! Oh shit. Now I don't know what I should do! It's as if somebody pressed a button that exploded my brain bomb but it only exploded at 90% and it still exists and it's actually some kind of electrical contraption and not a bomb at all but everybody still calls it a brain bomb because I hate this fucking comic book so much.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Black Lightning: Cold Dead Hands #1

I'm genuinely surprised DC didn't fuck up the title and call it "Black Lightening."

Oh boy! A modern Black Lightning book by the creator of Black Lightning who is 65 years old!

That was just a statement of fact with no inherent judgments except for those that you, the reader, brought to it. The Oh boy could have been sarcastic or genuine. It's hard to tell right now because America is terrible and I don't have any emotions left. So the "Oh boy!" was a really just an "Oh boy." I can't actually feel anything anymore.

But if I had to guess how a 65 year old guy will handle writing a black superhero in 2017, I'd like to think I'd temper my cynicism by remembering that I'm a 46 year old male who's hardly racist at all. I'm mostly racist in the way the media has made me paranoid about just how racist I am. Like, I have a Black Lightning t-shirt because he (and the other members of Batman and the Outsiders) was one of my first favorite superheroes as a young person. But sometimes I'll put on the shirt in the morning and I'll think, "Is a white guy wearing this shirt racist or, as a member of the comic book community, is it okay for me to embrace a character I've loved for so long since comic book fans are way more ready to embrace diversity?" Then I think, "But are they? Isn't a large portion of the comic book fan community just white guys who believe the introduction of any female character or character of color is just pandering to a non-existent fan base?" Then I think, "Does context even matter? Aren't I just a white guy wearing a shirt adorned by a black guy's face? That's, at the very least, somewhat uncomfortable, right?" Then I think, "Why do I make so much eye contact with black people when I avoid eye contact with everybody else on a constant basis? Do I really need them to think I'm not being racist by changing my behavior around them which totally indicates I'm racist?" Then I think, "I live in Portland! How many black people am I going to run into anyway?!" Then I think, "I'll probably write about this later and it will sound terrible and make me look like a total racist with all the partitioned thoughts of black people as some kind of Other that I'm somehow dismissing by thinking my choice of t-shirt will somehow affect anybody else in any serious way." Then I think, "Maybe people will see it as supportive of our fellow citizens oppressed by the system? Or maybe it'll just reaffirm that oppression through my appropriation of a pop culture symbol that wasn't really meant for me? Although it was written by a white guy and, looking back with a modern sensibility, was in many ways problematic? Or maybe everybody will just be boggled by the image like that one petitioner who, in trying to get my attention, was all, 'Samurai Jack!'" Then I think, "I guess I'm just not leaving the house at all again. Maybe next week."

The issue begins with Black Lightning arriving on the scene of a casino robbery amid my dwindling hopes of a well-written book.

Is Black Lightning insulting news weathermen?

I'm not entirely sure what calling yourselves The Weathermen has to do with your mental development being stalled at obvious (and whether or not that actually means anything). Is it because Black Lightning thinks weathermen just stick their hand out of the window and report on what they felt as if nobody else in the local area can do that? So when they say, "It's raining," Black Lightning goes, "Duh! Why did I need you to tell me that!" But they also forecast the weather and that's not obvious to the general layperson, Mr. Lightning! I mean, sure, they're not always right. But when they say storms are expected in three days when it's completely sunny, I wouldn't characterize that as obvious!

Maybe I'm just rushing to judgment based on one bad one-liner from Black Lightning. I mean, it's entirely possible that I just don't get the reference. Was there a young adult book recently called The Weathermen about a group of people who were super obvious? Oh! That gives me an idea how this moment could have been improved. The gang could have called themselves The Young Adult Novels because then the mental development being stalled at obvious crack would have made sense! What Young Adult novel in the last ten years hasn't been about a young person who sees through the lie of society and winds up being super special and unique?

During the battle, the police watch the criminals blast a hunk of the casino's side off the building so that it will plummet to the ground, endangering everybody standing around filming the incident with their phones. Black Lightning diverts the sign using an "electromagnetic thing" so that the sign falls on a SWAT van instead of on people. The police react appropriately for a comic book (and maybe real life too?):

I didn't know politely and reasonably explaining reality to an enraged police officer with his gun in your face allows you to simply walk away safely. Has anybody actually tried this?!¹

The man behind the Weathermen is Tobias Whale. Not the weird Tobias Whale from DC Universe Presents Black Lightning and Blue Devil. That was his nephew and he's dead now. This is the real Tobias Whale who is really into the whale theme. He has a picture of whales on his office wall, he kills his sister with a model whaling ship, and he has assistants named Queequeg and Pequod. I bet I know what he calls his penis.

Apparently there's a race war happening in the DC Universe.²

Black Lightning's first appearance in town in years is heroic. He helps stop some criminals from hurting people. But as soon as he arrives, the bad guys change their tactics from robbing places to getting back at the superhero. So once again, lazy writing proves that the city would be better off without Black Lightning having come back. Because at least if Black Lightning didn't show, the danger would be over until the next robbery. Now the criminals have come right back out to challenge him or they're going to hurt innocent civilians. I'm beginning to think superheroes should all be more like The Punisher. If you're known for murdering the fuck out of a criminal, the criminals are going to be less likely to call you out. Although being comic books, even that line of reasoning can be flushed down the toilet. I'm sure there are plenty of Punisher stories where the criminal syndicates are all, "Big money for the person who bags The Punisher!" Then war erupts all over New York and thousands of people die but The Punisher isn't one of them. In the end, he kills all of the bad guys who were out to kill him and the reader is supposed to enjoy that ending while ignoring how many innocent people died during a conflict that wouldn't have happened if The Punisher didn't exist.

And there it is! Instead of being an inspiration to the people of the city, the hero is written as a pariah and a harbinger of doom.³

Black Lightning arrives on the scene to help out the cops and to come out of the closet.

I mark the boundary of my loss of innocence as the day I suddenly couldn't stop giggling at the phrase "back door."

Black Lightning takes down the criminals easily but then Tobias Whale's assistant, Miss Pequod, zaps them to death so it looks like he electrocuted them. Everybody believes it immediately and now Black Lightning is on the run. I hope next issue introduces a cigar chomping news editor who wants Black Lightning taken down while also demanding photographs of him in action for the paper.

Black Lightning: Cold Dead Hands #1 Rating: As for the quality of the writing on a technical level, it wasn't bad. But as a comic book that decided it didn't mind using all of the dumb comic book tropes where the good guy winds up being wanted by the non-powered good guys, it also wasn't bad. I mean that if I had to rate it on using those tropes, I'd have to say, "9 out of 10 Stars! It used all the terrible tropes!" But I don't actually mean it that way, do I? I was beginning to have a little hope for this series until that moment when Black Lightning was framed. Why the fuck do comic book creators think the best way to tell a superhero story is to have all the regular good people against the super powered good person? So dumb.

¹Do not actually try this! Unless you're a white male. And then you don't even have to be polite or reasonable!
²Unless it's a war between good looking people and dumpy, average people.
³I think I have Crisis on Infinite Earths on my brain.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Bat-Mad Lib Eternal #32 completed by Doom Bunny and Grunion Guy

Hush punches Spoiler in the butt pustule while Batman forges Hush right in the ass.

Last issue, Greyhoundman mostly just sparkled around in his Batsidecar. But it did manage to touch Damian inappropriately. So that was something¿

Alfred Pennyworth, Batman's fancy slave, teamed up with Ra's al Ghul to escape the ruins of Arkham Post Office. Alfred has been playfully hallucinating due to an injection Mashed Potato gave him directly to his spleen. But he's hittingest now!

The issue ended with No Sex In The Stacks about to kill Cluemaster's daughter, Door Handle.

How come whenever a character has a slingshot, they always get too close, allowing their opponent to masticate them?

Batman arrives to erect the second using his personalized take on the boomerang. Hush lobs a kumquat at Batman and Spoiler which causes a huge orgy. When the brick clears, Batman finds that Hush and Spoiler have pulled an Ambush Bug on him and disappeared.

Later, Batman returns to assault Battusk because he loves him. Or he just doesn't want Batwing's Grammys on his conscience. Or he was just obliterated hearing Batwing mutter over the Batcom, "Please don't eat my burrito!"

Alfred Ha'pennyworth is a bad ass. He had an historic building dropped on him and only needed one small Kleenex on his big round breast.

Meanwhile on the roof of the City Hall, Jason Elf Cleric and Hush finally meet face to foot to talk not alone to alone with the cat watching. (Yes, I realize the wording in the previous blanks will wind up with Jason Bard and Hush meeting to talk doggy style to anal. Or meeting to talk with my soulmate to my first time.) I anticipate this is the first time Hush and Tiny Tim have met to show they're definitely squelching together.

There is no way Scott Lobdell should be employed as a writer, and DC looks like a bunch of halfwits having him touch anything.

Jason Bard goes to visit Lana Lang to discuss what he's learned about Hush's inventions. At the same time, Batman notices somebody has smothered the MacGregor database. That's the listing of all of Batman's pretty weapons caches across Goatopolis. For anybody too lazy to figure out A² + B² = C², I'll spell it out for you: Dick Dastardly tolerated the Magic Lasso!

Oh shucks!

The final pages play out with Deathstork being framed for Hollywood attacks all over Gotham City. When is Grifter going to step up and do something about this Red Hood before all Grunion Guy's Basement breaks loose!

Batman Eternal #32 Rating (in which I've already filled out the Mad Lib blanks): Dog farts extrapolate polar median hibiscus monstrosities. Phallic raiment devolves upon shoddy platonic wet dreams. Demonstrative police savage inane pituitary concerns. Batman? Why, tuberculosis, of course!

Dark Nights: Batman Who Laughs #1

Sometimes I get loads of Vaseline on my scanner.

Apparently when you merge Batman with The Joker he becomes a leather and chains loving sado-masochistic pedophile kink king. I would have, at most, figured him for a third rate bipolar stand up comedian. At least, he'd be the dirty joke spewing pervy uncle brooding from the corner of the room during Thanksgiving while nursing a constant half-boner.

What I'm trying to say is I'm surprised DC went for the Queen of Robins who — I'm guessing — will yell "YASSSSSSS!" at least once during this issue.

The plot of this issue probably won't be surprising after an interminable amount of these tie-ins. Batman steps over the line and kills. This time he kills — SURPRISE! — The Joker. It makes sense that this Dark Multiverse Earth exists. What doesn't make sense is that all of the Dark Multiverse Earths aren't creations of Batman thinking, every time he battles The Joker, "I should probably just kill him, right? Save everybody a lot of grief. But then I couldn't lord my 'No killing!' stance over all those other asshole heroes that have killed once or twice. Damned if I'll lose my holier than thou status over Superman. The day he killed Doomsday was the greatest day of my life! I mean also the saddest because Doomsday killed Superman. But that boy scout killed a sentient being! At least I presume it was sentient. It showed some serious intelligence by kicking Booster Gold's ass upon first meeting him."

One of the terrible writers who wrote one of the previous terrible tie-ins (I think it was Joshua Williamson in the Bats Out of Hell four part story that made me wish I'd chosen euthanizing puppies as a hobby rather than reading comic books) mentioned that the Dark Multiverse Earths weren't just created out of Batman's fears but Batman's regrets. That's a stupid thing to say because Batman never did the things that the Batmen on the Dark Multiverse Earth's did so he couldn't have regretted them. Unless what Mr. Williamson meant was that Batman constantly regrets not killing every member of the Justice League or every one of his enemies every day of his existence. But that seems out of character. Not that Batman torturing himself is out of character but Batman regretting choosing not to kill. It's like the exact opposite of what all of these tie-ins are saying.

I know why Batman laughed! He thought, "Sounds like a terrible psychologist!"

Later Batjoker kills all of the Batkids because the real Batman on Light Earth-0 fears he might someday do that. Or he regrets it. Or maybe it has nothing to do with him since that's just a part of the plot progression after he killed The Joker. That's the fear that created Earth-Negative-Twenty-Two (and also a billion other Earths, one for each time The Joker broke out of Arkham and killed at least one more person. Then Batman squatted on the ground while punching himself in the face and mumbling, "Why didn't I kill him last time? I should have killed him! Is this new death on me?! Probably!"). After killing the Batkids, he kills the Justice League. Then he killed everybody on Earth. That should make him seem scary since he mostly seems to me, right now, that he should be hosting Drag Night at The Tinker's Damn.

Batjoker's antics caught the attention of Barbatos who needed a valet to open a door for him. Batjoker's qualifications for the job had something to do with how, when you're playing with a deck of cards, having a hand that contains the king and the joker is the best hand ever in every game. But, I mean, is it? I don't know every card game but I'm pretty sure Batjoker should be teaming up with Ace the Wonder Dog if he wants a truly unbeatable hand. Of course, some games value the ace as the lowest card. But then again, only children play games that include the joker. Which probably means this story will end with Batjoker throwing a huge tantrum when he realizes he's about to lose.

The story ends with the revelation that Batjoker has been telling his origin to some guy in a wheelchair covered in bandages. I totally and honestly and not facetiously at all think it's Blue Beetle although I don't really know who it might be, probably because I haven't been paying close enough attention. And I don't mean just to this comic book story. I haven't been paying attention to anything in my life lately. Batjoker tells this poor invalid that his ultimate plan is to release all of DC's Elseworld's baddies on Earth-0. That should be exciting!

Dark Nights: Batman Who Laughs #1 Rating: I'm trying to be positive lately so this book gets one star out of two stars. That's ambivalent enough for me to delude myself into thinking I'm being positive.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Justice League #33

This face has way too many noses.

How come I'm still stupid enough to be purchasing comic books that simply "tie-in" to a different story arc? They're always terrible and unnecessary. I suppose this time I purchased The Flash and Hal Jordan because I've been picking up Justice League anyway. Although would it have mattered if I read those other two parts? They can be summed up in however many words I'm about to take to sum it up: the entire Justice League was captured. There! Now we're ready to move on to this issue.

The first three pages portray the Batjoker as an idiot. I really want to like him. I truly do. I want him to be vicious and terrifying and demented but instead he's stupid and illogical and annoying. I guess that can't be helped since he's being written by Joshua Williamson. That might not be fair to Mr. Williamson but I never did get over his complete dismantling of the plot on The New 52 Voodoo when he took over. Not that the plot was any good when he picked it up. But he could have, at least, read the story prior to his coming on board and tried to integrate his ideas into it. I have no patience for that kind of shoddy writing.

Okay, I have some patience for it! Quite a bit, actually, or else why would I still be reading comic books after three decades? It's actually more common for a writer to just raze the previous story and characters to the ground as they step in to establish their vision. I just want it known that I don't respect those writers at all. Take that, writers!

Cyborg has something inside him that Batjoker needs to dominate the multiverse. But Cyborg has too much heart to give it up. Or something. Whatever. I'm always so bored when reading Cyborg comic books. I think Raven tells him he's not as big a failure as everybody thinks he is which encourages him to fight back. He starts by spouting nonsense.

What the hell is Cyborg One Million? Um, baby?

I guess he means he's so much better than Cyborg 2.0 that he's Cyborg One Million Point O? No, I think Victor just got lost in his excitement about equating his name with being a winner. I wish he'd said, "I'll always be a Stone!" That's more how I think of him because stones are boring.

Anyway, stuff happens and they escape so they can continue on their adventures that were disrupted when this tie-in began. But that's just what Batjoker wanted! I mean, it wasn't what he wanted two pages before the end where Barbatos gets mad at him for losing the Justice League and he's all, "As long as I have the Titans and Task Force X, they'll be back!" Then two pages later, he's all, "They're just where I want them! Spreading your darkness through the multiverse!" And Barbatos isn't all, "Why didn't you say that two pages ago when I was scolding you? That your plan was to let them loose infected by my darkness? Why did you mention they'd be back for the others?" And Batjoker is all, "It makes sense. Stop overthinking it. Jerk."

Justice League #33 Rating: -3 stars out of 5. That's for the whole tie-in. Basically everything is back where it was before the tie-in began except with Flash, Raven, and Cyborg as one of the four teams instead of Flash, Superman, and Steel. Which doesn't really make sense because didn't they need Steel's metal? I guess Cyborg's Element X is better than whatever metal Steel had on him?

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #32

This cover raises questions.

Being a terrible comic book fan, I don't think I've spent enough time discussing Green Lantern's light constructs with my only two nerd friends. Mostly because I have way more than two friends (depending on your definition of "way more") although all three of them are, admittedly, nerds. We've discussed Magic the Gathering on way too many occasions and wrote some songs during a Cyberpunk campaign where our characters were in a band called The Mysogynysts (whatever you instantly thought our songs might have been about was probably more sexist than the songs we actually wrote (I mean, one called "Five-fingered Angel" was just a ballad to the singer's hand)) and probably spent more time playing Blood Bowl than having sex with a partner (I don't just mean back in the day when we were getting little to no sex (I only added the "little" because I suspect one of my friends had at least finger-banged a woman that my other friend was in love with), I mean all told right up until this minute. Which doesn't mean I haven't had a lot of sex. I'm trying to point out just how much Blood Bowl we played. Those games can last for hours! So one game is like fifty sexual encounters! Probably more!). But I don't remember ever discussing Green Lantern's power constructs.

Seeing this cover where Hal has made lots of bats to help him, I couldn't help wondering if a light construct bat simply takes on all the physical attributes of a bat. Are they the same density? Do they fly exactly the same way? Do they poo? No wait. I'm getting too far into the weeds on this. I just want to know if a bat light construct would smash its brains out against a plate glass window exactly like a real bat might do? I always just figured the light constructs were a way for the artist not to get bored but maybe the shape and design actually matter? If not, why wouldn't Hal just shoot rocks or bullets or lasers at his opponents? Does he really need to make fancy constructs in a battle for his life? The only reason I can think why he would make goofy constructs was to get me to tune in to the next episode of Challenge of the Superfriends to see what he comes up with next. I mean a glove to counter Sinestro's huge yellow penis? I mean baseball bat! What next?! A bulldozer, I bet!

That's probably enough nerd talk. I feel gross now. Leave the nerd talk to They Who Shall Not Be Named (you know! The Weird Science guys!) even though they're terrible at it. Have you ever listened to their podcast? So boring! I mean, I'm making an educated guess that it's boring. And I was educated at San Jose State University! Home of the San Jose State Minimalists! That's their football team!

The number is infinity times fifty-two. Which is technically infinity but we all know it's actually fifty-two times greater than infinity. Duh!

Only fifty-two of those planets matter anyway. Since when has anybody ever cared what's going on on Mars-3? And that's the closest planet to Earth (unless that would be Venus. I could look it up but I'm practicing for the loss of Net Neutrality where I won't be able to get any information not sponsored by Comcast. I hope Comcast doesn't think Jupiter is the closest planet to Earth because I'm fairly certain that isn't correct. But if that's the only information I can find on the ComcastNet, what can I do but accept it?!)! The only thing anybody cares about in the non-Earth-0 universes is whether or not the Nazis won World War II on that Earth. After that, nobody has ever asked, "But did they then colonize Mars too?"

After ruminating on how many planets there are, Hal Jordan thinks, "How many citizens? Trillions? What's more than trillions?" How stupid is Hal Jordan? He doesn't even now the science term "gazillions"?!

Hal finishes his display of ignorance by saying, "But there's only one Coast City." What an idiot!

Oh man! I haven't been reading this series so I hope Hal didn't take a huge blow to the head and is currently suffering brain damage. If that's the case, I take back the idiot statement because being an idiot is just a symptom of suffering a head injury and not something to mock. Probably. Plus, Guy Gardner already had the brain injury story arc.

See?! Hal's lost the ability to read!

The main part of the story takes place under Coast City where Hal battles Dawnbreaker. That part where Hal Jordan went "Duh!" for a few pages was just the prologue. It was so the reader understood how much Hal Jordan loves Coast City and what he'll do to anybody who wants to harm it. You know, the same way Batman thinks of Gotham and Superman thinks of Metropolis and The Flash thinks of Keystone City unless it's Central City and the way Wonder Woman cries because she doesn't have a proper city to protect.

Half of the battle is just black panels to make things truly exciting. Unless I meant a different word that isn't any thing like exciting. Is it too late on this blog to declare I've had a traumatic brain injury?

That's exactly what no fear means! I think you're thinking of bravery.

Hal winds up losing just like the other Justice League members lost in The Flash #33. I guess Hal Jordan was too important to be defeated in only a few pages like the other jerks. I had to pay an extra $2.99 to see him get defeated even though I was pretty sure his guts weren't going to be enough to triumph in the one page he got in The Flash.

Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #32 Rating: I'm not sure what to rate the comic book but I rate Hal Jordan 5 out of 68 bats. He said a lot of things that would make one suspect he had the power to back p his words but he didn't. Not even close. I guess even his love for Coast City (which I was beaten over the head with (hey! That's probably why I'm so stupid!)) couldn't rally him to victory. Loser.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Justice League #32

It looks like Ethan initially drew Wonder Woman having a nip slip and it had to be corrected by an intern with a shitty pencil eraser.

That caption was too long. Forgive me but I'm slipping into a reality where writing a thought in 280 characters is comfortable, just like Twitter was hoping! That's why they didn't give us a number count for our Tweets. You can only pay attention to the little circle, making sure to stop halfway to filling it up, for so long before you think, "Just this once, I'll go a little past halfway." Next thing you know, you're thinking, "How did I ever compose a thought in only 140 characters?! Madness!"

This issue begins with Cyborg thinking one thought: "Team." That's a clue to the theme of this issue, boys and other boys who read comic books! I don't mean to suggest that girls don't read comic books! I just know they're smart enough to figure this shit out themselves. Now that I've said that and all the ladies have thought, "Oh! We misjudged Tess! We'll never use the term 'misogynist' in regards to Tess ever again! Such a sweet genius!", I can get back to explaining why Cyborg thinks "Team." If you're not a Writer like me, you might not fully understand the structure of stories — especially comic book stories that need as many short cuts as possible being that they're only twenty pages long and most of those pages don't have very many words on them. Comic book writers like to introduce a thought on the first page, often via a non sequitur or a strained line of reasoning. They'll drop the thought almost immediately but pick it up again on the last page to make it look like their story was about something more than an overly muscled dude or gal beating the crap out of some social outcast that probably has an undiagnosed mental disorder. It makes the book seem way more intelligent than it really is. It's one of my favorite tricks because then I can slip the comic book back in its Mylar sheathe and think, "Boy! That sure was a smart thing I just did and not a thing where I'm grasping at my long departed youth with fingers that have become crone claws over the years even though I don't feel any joy and wonder in it anymore!"

What I'm trying to say in a way that shouldn't open up the dark pain in my heart so the world can glimpse my longing ache for my father's love is that the concept of "team" will be really important this issue! I mean, it's kind of important every issue because this is the Justice League and they're always beating major threats at the last moment by Batman reminding them that they need to work together and everybody going, "Oh yeah!" And then also Batman says, "Not you, Aquaman!" Then everybody laughs. Except for Aquaman. He cries. You've seen that scene a million times even if Batman doesn't say the mean thing on panel. Just realize every time you thought Aquaman was dripping with sea water, those were actually tears.

Since this is Venditti's first time on this book (I think. What am I? Wikipedia?!), he's going straight to the most locally accessible and commonly known well location. He probably got the assignment and was all, "Oh! I know exactly how to write this book! When I'm writing Hal Jordan, I always have to portray him as the opposite of a team because he's a stubborn narcissist with an enormous cock. So I'll write this book by showing how that doesn't always work out as well as it seems to work out for Hal Jordan! I'll focus on how the Justice League is a team!" You see, Venditti has never had an issue with the idea that there are no original thoughts. He just clonked that despairing thought over the head when he went to write comic books and was all, "Who cares if I repeat everything that has been said multiple times in the last seven decades! The turnover rate on comic book readers is like 100% over every five years or so! Except for those sad adult men who continue to read them well into adulthood because they couldn't properly negotiate the trauma induced by their love of their mother and their slide into their hormonal teenage years!"

Team! What I'm trying to say is remember the word "team"! It's going to be important later! Sheesh! Stop trying to distract me by acting as a free public therapist! Although if you are a therapist and you want to engage in dialogue — say an hour or so three times a week? — feel free (free being the operative word). Just to clarify: I said "therapist" and not "the rapist" so if you're thinking about luring me into a situation where you can take sexual advantage of me because of my desperate need for companionship, don't bother commenting! Except maybe to say I have nice eyes or something. That would be nice.

My college Children's Literature professor would be gushing fruit juice from her nether regions right now! Look at all the words I've come up with after having read just one word! She was always adamant that when writing a paper, one should focus on one sentence that can be expanded to explain the entire text. She was always saying things like, "If the protagonist is sleeping on some roots, really think about that! Think about the idea of roots! And ancestors! And how they support us and protect us! And how sometimes they make it hard to sleep because their bony knees are jabbing you in the back until you're all, 'Grandpa! Go back to your own bed!'" I hated that idea because I read books to discuss the books. I don't read books to discuss one sentence in the book! Although she did compliment me on Halloween when I came to class dressed as Alice Cooper in Wonderland. Oh! I think I have a picture of the night before when I went as merely Alice in Wonderland!

To complete the Alice Cooper part, I added the Alice Cooper facial make-up and carried around the bloody, decapitated head of the white rabbit (a larger (stuffed animal!) rabbit than the one pictured. That one lived). Bonus picture: evidence of my problematic friend Soy Rakelson who I've mentioned numerous times on this blog! Just do a search for "Soy Rakelson" so you can enjoy some Soy stories!

Cyborg is thinking about teams because he needs to get his team, the Justice League, back together. When we last left them at the competent hands of Joshua Williamson (did that come across as an insult?), they had been split up and were each being attacked by a separate Batmonster from the Dark Multiverse. See?! That's why the Batmonsters are going to lose. Because they don't consider working as a team a positive. They each want to prove themselves as individuals and that's a weakness the Justice League will exploit! If the Batmonsters were smart, they would have just all gone to see Flash to make sure he died, then they'd go kill Green Lantern, and finally they'd move on to kill Wonder Woman. I didn't leave anybody of note out of that explanation because Superman and Batman are currently lost in the Dark Multiverse.

The first battle that takes place is between Flash and Batflash. Batflash has built a Batflashmobile that runs on the Speed Force. That doesn't just mean it's really fast in the way a person reading a comic book about The Flash having a Flash car would think. No, it means it can do anything the plot demands of it. That's the power of the Speed Force!

Man! Don't get me started on the Speed Force! I'll start myself on it! The Speed Force is what happens when comic books begin to take themselves too seriously and people began thinking about the real world implications of The Flash's power. If The Flash runs at such high speeds then that means he needs to think faster than everybody else as well. But if he can think and react that fast, how can anybody defeat him at all? What happens to his body when he runs at top speed? What if that top speed is the speed of light? What if it's faster? What about time travel? What about his clothing? What about how he can constantly communicate with people while running really fast? I think there were probably more concerns but I never read The Flash. I don't even actually know why the Speed Force came about. You probably shouldn't be using me as any kind of a trusted source in comic book knowledge. Just know that the Speed Force is capable of anything because something was needed to make a guy who could move faster than nearly anything in the universe less boring. Or at least seem kind of interesting in a cosmic way? Maybe that's why they also gave him a huge family. Some editor was all, "We thought it was just Barry that made this character boring! But it's the concept! Make Wally more interesting somehow! Let him fuck that hot reporter! And give him space kids! Or time travel children! Or something! And somebody figure out why his face doesn't melt off when he runs fast or what being struck by lightning has to do with being fast. I mean aside from bolts of lightning being incredibly fast. Are they fast? They are, right? Like instantaneous!" He had to ask that because this imaginary moment comes from a time before the Internet. At least a time before the useful Internet that wasn't mostly AOL chatrooms and Neverwinter Nights bankrupting nerds.

Cyborg doesn't really know that The Flash is currently being rundown by multiple Flashmobiles inside a giant hourglass so he just keeps thinking about his football team analogy. He's all, "What if the running back can't run faster than the big fat defensive ends?! Then the team needs somebody who's angry!" That's when he starts thinking about Aquaman. Wait. That doesn't make sense. Shouldn't Cyborg think, "If the running back can't score, that's when the team must rely on the most boring player on the roster: the kicker!" Then the scene should shift to Aquaman.

Wouldn't all of sports be better without the guy who plays angry? I know the Justice League would! BROZINGA!

The Drowned turned Mera into a sea monster which somehow turns Aquaman's anger against the Justice League. That's not a confusing conclusion I came to. It's what Cyborg had to say about the angry player. Once the angry player is being used against you (like say, the super villain making fun of Aquaman and Batman snickering so that Aquaman turns on the Justice League screaming, "I know what you all think of me! I FUCKING KNOW!"), it's time for the next player! I hope he doesn't say it's time for the cheerleaders to get the crowd in the game and then start talking about Wonder Woman because I think that would be sexist. Also it's definitely something he won't say. Maybe he'll talk about how the defense will need to step up and then it'll be Green Lantern time. Wonder Woman is probably the halftime orange slices.

Instead of continuing with the football metaphor, Cyborg decides to change things up. He says, "Anger can be useful. But the other team can turn it against you. Drag you into a dogfight. When that happens, you brawl." Wait. What? What kind of football do they play in Detroit high schools?! "If we can't run it into the end zone, let's get angry! And if our anger doesn't scare them into letting our running back into the end zone, let's kick their motherloving asses!"

When Cyborg thinks of a brainless brawler, he, of course, thinks of Wonder Woman. That seems dumb. I know he wants to save the quarterback position for Batman but let's think this metaphor through. Wouldn't you want, as quarterback, the person who has the most experience on the field who has been trained by immortal football players who have spent all of their immortal lives training for the big game? Wonder Woman should either be the quarterback or the coach. But instead she's the enforcer? Which, you know, is a hockey term but what am I supposed to think? You don't brawl in football. Sometimes you brawl in hockey though! In football, one guy shoves another guy and then the other guy grabs the first guy's facemask and then a whole bunch of old white guys blow whistles and throw their underwear at them.

I really don't understand football but I do jerk off to it sometimes.

So every member of the home team is getting beat up. The game will be lost shortly unless the coach comes up with a plan. And what better plan when you've got a team than choosing one star player to win the day for you! Oh man! Venditti did the old double loop de loop trick shot on me! He was all, "This is about a team! And teams win by team efforts!" But then he's all, "No, no! Just kidding! It always comes down to the star player and you better believe Hal Jordan is the star player!" I'm not going to ask why Hal Jordan is even in this Metal series. Where are the newbies? It was probably explained earlier but how am I supposed to remember past issues! It's not like I've been rereading my previous commentaries to refresh my memories like I used to. Now I just approach each issue shrugging my shoulders and thinking, "I'll probably remember what was going on by about the sixth or seventh page."

Actually, I probably should have read the rest of the issue before commenting on Green Lantern saving the day. Hal only gets one page because the other characters took too much time losing. Thankfully Hal only needs one page to lose (probably because he's the focus of the next chapter, it being in his comic book and all). After that, Cyborg points out that the team was never going to be able to win because the coach (Cyborg) has been compromised by the other team! Shocking twist!

So in summary, Cyborg thinks football is won on speed, anger, hiring an ancient Amazonian warrior, and guts. I'm not sure he's as smart as DC wants us to think he is.

Justice League #32 Rating: How many of you read that part about me "slipping into a reality where writing a thought in 280 characters is comfortable" and thought, "Fuck you, you long-winded idiot! You've never had a thought that was less than three thousand words and six dick jokes!"?

Thursday, November 16, 2017

The Flash #33

There's a whole voyeuristic shit eating fetish thing going on here that I don't want to think about too deeply.

Why am I reading another issue of The Flash? Because I'm an idiot who can't get enough of these Dark Nights Metal Tie-ins. Speaking of Dark Nights Metal, which is the real title of the series? Is it Metal? Is it Dark Nights? Is it Dark Nights Metal? Maybe it's Tie-in?! Whatever it is, I'm completely hooked. Not because it's gripping entertainment but because I lack the willpower to stop doing things that are harmful to myself.

The issue begins with Barry Allen Narration Boxing "My name is Barry Allen. I'm The Flash." You know, in case this is the first ever issue read by a seven year old immigrant child that was raised in the back woods of a country that is so seventh world that it has yet to be inundated with superhero pop culture. I know that seems far-fetched since 70% of the world economy depends on superhero pop culture but one should never assume everybody knows the titular character's secret identity and how that character often thinks to himself, "I'm me! And as me, I'm also The Flash!" Imagine how poor the world would be without all the blockbuster superhero movies. It's a good thing the cool kids finally decided that comic books weren't for the kids whose heads were constantly almost being flushed down the toilet for unknown reasons. There are adults today who are of a generation that can't even fathom how uncool it was to like comic books or science fiction or Dungeons & Dragons. Although they still think they're being "nerds" or "geeks" by liking the things that were once cause for ostracism and permanent banishment from most human contact (of the non-violent kind, of course). I don't mind them claiming those titles; it's just I don't think they have any idea what it was really like to be on the front lines of enjoying the things they enjoy today while not having their underwear most of the way up their ass and piss in their hair. Of course, now the young kids have other things to worry about. Like saying the wrong thing in front of that one "friend" who will instantly ostracize and permanently banish them from life entirely. Back in my youth, you might get a little banged up for not conforming to the social norms but today, you're just fucking done. And well you should be if you professed enjoyment for something your self-righteous, raving, Jim Jonesesque friend thought was problematic. Keep that shit to yourself, you monster.

I just realized another reason I read terrible comic books! They're a great distraction from our Brave New Shithole World! Thanks, Butthurt Angry Xenophobes! You sure showed them liberals! Y'all are like the heroin-addled downstairs neighbor I had years ago. One day, he had a big blowout fight with his girlfriend with lots of yelling and breaking of things. At one point I heard his girlfriend say, "You're too stupid not to break your own things!" So I guess he really gave it to her good by breaking his own stuff. Just like working class Trump voters!

If you don't want to hear anti-GOP political commentary in your comic book reviews, might I recommend the Weird Science blog? It has the added bonus that their reviews are actual reviews and not just the insane ramblings of a housebound misanthropist. Sure, they're bland and come from people who desperately want to be a serious part of the comic book community so they'll never say anything too harsh about the writing or art of a comic book, even when it's as terrible as Neal Adams' recent Deadman. But they won't call you stupid simply because of your political leanings! At least I don't think they will. I could be wrong. It's not like I've ever read more than a handful of their reviews. But I've read enough to declare the site my nemesis! I should probably interact with them more but they hurt my feelings the last time we had a conversation. One of their zealot followers threatened to slap me with his eight inch penis! And he made sure that I knew his penis is eight inches flaccid! I always knew that tough guy Internet comment monkeys must have the biggest penises. How else could they be confident enough to deliver their scathing rejoinders?!

After Barry identifies himself so that an audience that doesn't exist knows that the red Narration Boxes with the lightning bolt next to them are Barry's thoughts (and that Barry is The Flash because that might also be confusing), he explains that he's currently racing Superman and that Superman has to win. That's a lie. I mean, it's either a lie or poor writing and I don't want to hurt Joshua Williamson's feelings (any more than I may have already by saying his writing is mediocre and generally boring). So let's say it's a lie. Maybe it's an exaggeration of a half-truth so that The Flash can subtly suggest that he always beats Superman when they race. Why wouldn't he?! He's known as The Fasterest Man Alive! Why wouldn't Superman's lawyers shut that shit down if Superman were faster? I suppose, in the same way Superman is smarter than Batman but he lets Batman think Batman's smarter, Superman is just a good guy who enjoys letting his friends shine.

So they aren't racing. That's what I'm trying to say. They're both going really fast because The Flash needs to fling Superman into the Dark Universe. Mind you, nobody has ever willingly traveled to the Dark Universe before this. But when has not knowing how to do something that's never been done stopped a superhero from doing the impossible? Everybody knows that if The Flash just runs fast enough, he can justify any plot point. So that's what happens! He runs super fast and then Fastball Specials Superman into the Dark Universe.

Afterward, The Flash gives Steel the "I have a huge boner" eyes.

After Superman disappears into a black hole which certainly leads to the Dark Universe because reasons, Gorilla Grodd attacks the city. But it turns out it's not Grodd at all but a hungry person who just needed to eat a Snickers. It's a weird moment but it's good to see superheroes actually doing some good and helping regular folks for a change.

Steel contemplates fucking the Anti-Monitor's giant butt plug but The Flash argues against it. It's too dangerous! He points out that Batman fiddling with it is why they're in the mess they're in. I'm not sure they can really blame Batman though. Didn't they read Dark Nights: Batman Lost #1? Batman was manipulated by Barbatos for his entire life. I bet Barbatos even manipulated the radiation around Thomas and Martha Wayne so that Martha only had one viable Bat-egg and Thomas, one viable Bat-sperm.

The other members of the Justice League are all on missions to find Nth Metal. Remember when that happened in Metal? It was just before Detective Chimp was murdered by BatJoker. I know that Detective Chimp never dies on-panel but what other result should readers expect?! That maybe Detective Chimp jerked off all the Bat-monsters so he'd be spared? I suppose that's something that would take place off-panel, so I can't argue against that being what happened. Also I don't want to argue against that being what happened.

It doesn't matter what the other Justice League members were doing because they all get sucked up in Evil Boom Tubes. I'm sure they'll get back to their missions in the next issue of Metal. But for now, they need to fight some of the Bat-monsters to a stalemate so it seems like Metal is full of more action than it really needs.

I'd like to scan a picture of some of the big battles that take place but I can't because they don't exist. Okay, one exists. Doombat and Cybat beat the shit out of Steel and send The Flash into a dark room. The other Justice League members also find themselves in this room. This is probably the hell that the bats must get out of. And by bats, I don't think the title refers to the Batmonsters. I think the bats refer to the Justice League members who aren't Batman. It makes sense because fuck you. It's a clever take on a known phrase! People read it and go, "Oh yeah! I've heard people say that! It was even a Meatloaf album!"

The hells they wind up in are different versions of the Batcave where they're all individually attacked by the Batmonster inspired partly by each of them. And that's where the issue ends because this was all prologue to the big action scene. And in comics, the big action scene is the only reason people keep reading them! So exciting!

The Flash #33 Rating: 4 out of 10. It might earn a higher score if it had left out all of that Narration Boxing. A writer's use of Narration Boxes tends to make it so the writer doesn't need to write a script for a comic book. They just write the plot out through the character's rendition of what happened and leave it like that. It's also the way a writer can force a theme into the story's unwilling orifice. So The Flash, through Narration Boxes, tells a story about how he races Superman. Then that leads to him saying that Batman always advises him to run faster which leads to the big twist conclusion where The Flash points out that he's hearing Batman again but he's telling him there's nowhere to run! It's classic Flash storytelling! Just mention running as much as you can and equate it to whatever the fuck else is going on. Then finish it off by saying, "See? See what I did there? Clever, right?!"

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Dark Nights: Batman Lost #1

It turns out he's not in Purgatory at all but on a corporate island retreat full of Volkswagen buses.

I'm exhausted by the Internet. The world was already a terrible place when I simply assumed most of the people living in it were idiots. But then the Internet had to come along and prove it! Thanks a lot, Twitter and Facebook and Tumblr and Blogger! Giving everybody a voice always seemed like such a perfect way to level the playing field. Instead it's collapsed the playing field into a dense black hole composed of the opinions of the truly stupid where no truth can escape.

I know what you're thinking and you'd better stop thinking that! My site is an ironic parody of a postmodern satire! My thoughts are supposed to be stupid! But then that causes its own problems because I wind up getting comments from people who wouldn't know ironic parodies of postmodern satires if an ironic parody of a postmodern satire showed them its dick. Which my ironic parody of a postmodern satire wouldn't do, by the way! I always wait until a woman shows me her vagina before I run screaming from the room to rock in a corner mumbling, "This is not happening. This is not happening." I don't even show my dick to my doctor until I absolutely have to. Which is a problem in itself! Hasn't my doctor heard that rocking in a corner mumbling "This is not happening" means no? Why would my doctor have to look at my dick anyway? I've never heard of dick cancer before! And I don't want to so don't post any links to the dick cancer Wikipedia page!

Did I sound smart by calling my blog an ironic parody of a postmodern satire? I hope it actually means something intelligent and isn't some kind of double negative statement that simply winds up sucking its own dick. Like a horny algebraic Ouroboros!

This is how Batman Lost begins:

J. Jonah Jameson? Batman really is lost!

For some reason, a little girl named Janet calls Jonah "Bruce." Instead of raving about Spider-man, he decides to read her a story about Batman. The story is supposedly Batman's first story, historically, but it winds up being Batman's first story, chronologically. It's about Batman's trip to the ancient past where he established a tribe that would ultimately cause the end of the world. Hawkman tried to stop him but Hawkman is terrible and can't stop anybody. I mean, he might wind up being the big hero in Metal. But that's okay because Metal is already so stupidly unbelievable (even in comic book terms!) that Hawkman saving the day won't have a detrimental effect.

Bruce is confused by his first story but he has somebody to help narrate it for him: somebody who looks like one of the Endless poorly cosplaying Batman. It's also possible she's the Queen of the Owls since she's wearing goggles that look like owl eyes made from a carton of eggs by a kindergartener and she's wearing an owl pellet around her neck. Bruce is all, "But this story is not the story that I'm currently storying!" And Delight is all, "Don't you know how comic books work, dumbie?! Every story gets taken out of context and reshaped by another writer to get tons of fangender love. They're always all, 'Remember this story from so long ago? Well this is what it really meant in the context of my new and awesome comic book idea!'" Then Batman makes a fart noise and Delight chuckles.

Batman sees a wolf's head and screams. He finds himself in the far future where a tribe of Robins spend their lives discussing whether or not Batman was good for them. Did he make their life better? Was he abusive? Was he just another piece of the patriarchy cursing them with his rich white privilege? Why did he have to be so mean to the mentally ill? Why was Batman, in any sense, the hero of the story when the sidekicks were the angst mirrors for the teenaged readers? Wasn't Tynion's vision of the Bat-family the best because it made Batman look like a huge asshole, even though it made Tim Drake even more boring than he's always been (no matter how impossible that might seem)?" But Batman, knowing he's just trapped in the Dark Multiverse and hallucinating, doesn't take any of the Robin's shit seriously. So, you know, like the regular universe.

Actually Batman arrives in a world that was ruined because he refused to kill people and Damian has become Hawkdevil. I guess the Dark Multiverse wants Batman to seriously consider killing so that maybe Batman will turn the regular universe into a Dark Multiverse and then the Dark Multiverse won't be relegated to the back of the map like a Dairy Queen advert.

Batman's dream takes a wet turn.

For some reason I fell asleep after this page. You'll have to be content with "for some reason" because I don't want to overwhelm you with my masturbation rituals.

Anyway, Batman sees more worlds that never existed because it's easier to pretend that this Metal story can be extracted from the comic book history of Batman if Snyder tells you about the worlds that would be created by Batman's fears rather than showing how the past stories all have hints that lead to the Metal story arc. It's not a bad issue but it's certainly not the kind of reshaping of past stories that makes you think, "Aha! That totally makes sense in the new context! Brilliant, Morrison!"

Batman Lost #1 Rating: It's one of the better Metal tie-ins but it still feels like Snyder and company are trying too hard to justify how Metal works in the context of Batman's comic book legacy. Instead of getting concrete examples of past stories that lead the reader into thinking that Metal fits seamlessly into Batman's history, the reader gets Barbatos explaining that he totally Harvested Batman from day one. So instead of showing how Batman was manipulated by recontextualizing some of his stories, instead the writers choose to simply have Barbatos say, "I manipulated you at every step of the way. Remember that one time you thought you were a great detective? I convinced you to be that! Remember that time you did that other thing that I'm not explicitly mentioning? I was responsible for that! From the dawn of time when I first saw you until this moment, it was all a plan to free me from the Dark Multiverse! Harvest-Schmarvest! I'm the greatest fucking man with a plan to ever exist in the DC Universe!" But if you aren't an overcritical asshole who apparently doesn't find any wonder or charm in comic books anymore, you might really enjoy this Metal Tie-in!

Thursday, November 9, 2017

DC House of Horror #1, Part Five

I've probably dragged this out too long, haven't I?

The next story is called "Stray Arrow" and I should like it since Green Arrow is murdered in it. But I just found it confusing! Black Canary kills a guy who sexually assaults her and then later she kills Green Arrow for not attempting to sexually assault her. It's so confusing! It's a good thing the story was written by a man or else I would assume women sometimes want men to sexually assault them and sometimes don't want men to sexually assault them and if the man guesses wrong, he'll be killed. Although would that be all that bad? Oh wait. Yeah, it would. Because men already act like women want to be sexually assaulted all the time! If they thought they might die if they didn't sexually assault a woman, things would only escalate.

I think men would have less of a problem with sexual assault if they realized that the things they wish women would do to them are not the things women want in return. Like, I was at a party one time and this woman followed me into the bathroom (oh! That reminds me of another time I was at a different party and a different woman followed me into the bathroom! Is this some kind of secret horny woman ritual?!) and proceeded to stick her hand down the front of my pants. As a guy, I didn't think, "Oh whoa! I'm being sexually assaulted!" No, I thought, "Oh whoa! My penis is being touched!" See? That's the problem with guys. They often can't even tell when they're being molested because having your penis touched by somebody new feels amazing!

The other time I was followed into the bathroom, I fought her off. Not physically, of course! Why would I punch a sexy woman in overalls who was just trying to get a look at my penis?! I just evaded the subject (the subject what her mouth would do to my penis) because my cousin (who was also at the party) brought her there as his date. Later she followed me into a second bathroom and I still didn't succumb to her succubussy temptation! Man, do I regret that decision now! Although my cousin did get crabs from her, so good choice, young me! Although would I have really caught crabs from a blow job? They don't live in the mouth, right?! And I don't remember her having a mustache.

Another time, I was at a bar in Los Gatos and this woman at the bar kept making eyes at me. After last call when everybody was standing up to leave, she tackled me into the back room and collapsed on top of me in a booth while trying to suck out my entrails through my mouth. Hitting on men sure is easy for women because men are such horny beasts! Women can do whatever they want with us and we're, generally, just going to go, "Oh whoa! Get ready, penis!" I suppose it would have been different if she shoved me down face first and proceeded to stick a pool cue into my asshole. I probably would have considered that assault, depending on whether or not she used lube.

But men should never mistake these kinds of moves for moves they can pull on women! I know it's hard being a guy who women don't want to constantly maul (I mean, I assume it is? Because how would I know?! I'm like a big fat salmon at the starving bear convention to these ladies!) but you still can't be sexually aggressive. You just have to be patient until a woman decides she wants your disgusting dick touching her soft, supple flesh. Just remember that sex is always the lady's choice. And most ladies, even when they're hungry, don't want to eat pizza out of a dumpster. So stop looking and acting like dumpster pizza. And if you can't help looking like dumpster pizza because you got the shitty end of life's looks stick, you're going to have to...well, I don't fucking know what. This isn't an advice blog! I suppose there's somebody out there for you. Men aren't the only ones who occasionally look and smell like dumpster pizza. Go find a dumpster pizza woman. But you still have to wait for her to make the hand down the front of the pants move!

Man, I should teach a college course on relationships! I'm almost 100% certain that nothing I just wrote was offensive at all and possibly the most mature and responsible thing I've ever written!

It was definitely more sensitive and less tone deaf than that "Stray Arrow" story!

The next story is about Two-Face and is called "Unmasked." It's written by Wrath James White which must be a pen name, right? Who names their kid Wrath?! I'm not even sure I want to read his story now! Wrath! How ridiculous!

The artist has a tough time drawing men with their arms down.

This story basically winds up telling the same story as the Batman story! The supposed hero winds up being the villain and we learn some kind of lesson in the revelation of that absurdity! Nobody knows their true nature or something. We're all monsters underneath the make-up of civilization! When we least expect it, we'll find ourselves cutting the faces off of innocent people. Man, now I'm afraid of myself.

"Stray Arrow" and "Unmasked" Ratings: They were so bland that I can barely even remember reading them and I just read them like five minutes ago! Maybe I'll read the Billy Batson one before I decide to do a Part Six just to see if it's interesting enough to talk about. As if I ever actually talk about the stories I read! Ha ha! Why do people think I write comic book reviews?!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

DC House of Horror #1, Part Four

This comic book can't compete with the horror I saw on the Internet just mere moments ago.

I'm not sure if I should reveal the horrific thing I saw because it might provide too much insight into my petty and jealous nature! Oh, what the hell! I once admitted to masturbating into the bathroom sink on this blog so why not admit this? Not that that masturbation story was true! It was totally one of those times I was lying to keep the reader guessing as to what I'm actually capable of!

Anyway, I was looking for ammunition in my war and decided to check out my Nemesis Comic Book Blog's Patreon page and discovered this:

This is proof that God exists and he hates me, right?

I realize that their Patreon is for their Podcast (probably terribly boring if their reviews are any indication (but I've never listened so, once again, my petty nature is showing! (I mean, do they masturbate on mic or something? What's the draw?!))) and I'm constantly pointing out how nobody gives a shit about written material anymore. But I guess people will listen to practically anything? Looking at the numbers, you're probably wondering how much people are willing to pay these guys every month. They've got about thirty people paying twenty dollars per month to hear their podcasts. That's the kind of money people pay to care for abandoned dogs, Shriner Kids, and starving Africans! Who would pay that kind of money for podcasts? My guess is these guys have a lot of Aunts and Uncles who don't know the value of a dollar.

Man, now I look like an envious jerk! I never wanted anybody to see that side of me! I mean, really, I'm happy simply knowing that my lost foreskin has more interesting things to say than these guys. I think. I mean, I haven't seen my foreskin since I was an infant. But I'm sure it's gone on to do great things. I bet it's the sidekick on some podcast that delves into the deeper, darker themes inherent in Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines.

Speaking of Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines, I haven't mentioned that I'm reading the Garth Ennis mini-series. The only thing I have to point out is how Pig One sounds like (and is an anagram of) Pigeon. Stop that Pig One, stop that Pig One, stop that Pig One. HOOOOOWWWWWW?!

Do you get that kind of insight in that stupid podcast? Hmm, you know what? I bet you do. I need to be more cleverer!

Anyway, now I'm too depressed to even continue warring with these guys. Besides, judging by their retorts in our recent Deadman #1 battle, they're just not on my level. I waste enough time doing idiotic shit anyway. I'd rather play Call of Duty than read more inane responses from those guys.

The next horror tale that doesn't involve my pride is called "Blackest Night." Sure, a story about what just happened to my pride could probably use that title. It might also use the title "Blogger Found Dead in Apartment After Discovering Incomprehensible News." I mean, I hope it doesn't use that title. We'll just have to see how the rest of the night progresses.

The story begins with John Constantine blowing his brains out. So that's two people shooting themselves in the face in the space of a few pages. This comic book is more depressing than horrific. Although I guess the two go hand-in-hand since I feel pretty fucking depressed after that horrific shit I told you about previously.

Things really have to be bad if Constantine has run out of tricks. Hal Jordan seems to be the last non-zombified human left but it's only a matter of time before he changes since he's been bitten. He probably hasn't changed yet because his will is so strong. That's the kind of insight I bet that podcast doesn' wait. I just realized that's about the first thing anybody learns about Green Lantern other than that his uniform is green. Most people probably don't know why he's a member of a space organization that uses an antique Earth lantern as the model for their power batteries. It's a good litmus test for whether or not I'll get along with somebody. If one of their first questions is "What the fuck is up with that stupid lantern?" then I'll probably get along with them. Although "getting along with somebody" is basically just me not immediately telling somebody to fuck straight off. It'll probably take a few more opinions from them before I smell how fucking stupid and boring they are.

Hal Jordan's ring finger was bitten off by The Flash so Hal has to eviscerate zombie Flash to get it back. After he goes through all that trouble to get his ring back so he can save the Earth, the Justice League headquarters on the moon blows up and he dies. Everybody on Earth dies. The end!

Blackest Night Rating: I'm sure glad most comic book editors don't allow the writers to kill the heroes every issue or else this is how they'd end every story. They'd create a story which they were incapable of figuring out an end for and then just kill everyone. I guess it works? This is a horror anthology, after all. And what's more horrible than a story that doesn't have a decent ending? Stephen King made a career out of it!

Now I feel bad for burning Stephen King! What did he do to deserve my anger?! Aside from writing The Tommyknockers, that is.

DC House of Horror #1, Part Three

How is Wonder Woman playing the fiddle horrific?

I probably don't even have to finish reading the rest of this book. I certainly don't need to comment on it. Judging by the first two, it's just going to be six more stories of heroes being not heroic. Which, now that I think about it, isn't any different than the heroes in DC's canonical universe! Here's how about 95% of all of DC's stories go: a villain decides to get revenge against a hero by killing loads of people or maybe just one of the hero's friends or maybe just some animals in the zoo. I mean, it could be anything. But the main point is that the villain's sole motivation is to hurt the hero. The hero saves his or herself while destroying lots of property and probably not saving a few people's lives. Somebody has to die or else the reader wouldn't feel any tension. Afterward, the hero says, "You're welcome for me saving the day!" The people cheer, less and less after each attack, until finally somebody with a microphone starts talking about how dangerous the hero is. That person is usually seen as a paranoid asshole or a conniving politician or just another villain trying to take down the hero. But that person is also usually right because DC's heroes are almost exclusively using their powers just to save themselves. So far this House of Horror anthology has just taken out the middle man villains! Clark is unable to save Ma and Pa Kent from himself and Wonder Woman manages to not be able to save a bunch of civilians from herself. Not being able to save victims from themselves is practically the same as not being able to save victims from the villains who are attacking the heroes.

The third story is called "Crazy for You" and it's about Harley Quinn. She's not really a hero but we've all been pretending she is because people like her so much. It's like how Lobo is working for Justice League America now. If a villain gets popular enough, they always have to change sides because you can't have a comic book celebrating a character murdering tons of innocent people. I mean, you can! But I think Marvel and DC haven't fully realized the extent of their power ever since they 69ed the Comics Code Authority. I mean 86ed! Maybe 69ed as well. If they did that, who would know since it wouldn't be published for breaking the Comics Code Authority's rules.

Please nobody masturbate to this.

The story is about a guy from the pre-Comics Code Authority days who murders the fuck out of his girlfriend and probably cuts up her eyes in some really graphic close-ups. They loved that shit back then! After he's done it, he begins to hallucinate Harley Quinn and her sexy euphemisms. She's all, "Whose beaver did she stuff to get your Mike Cock in a ruffle?!" Then she scissors Poison Ivy for three pages straight.

The implication that vanilla is boring is bullshit. Has she ever tasted vanilla?! I rest my case!

I've been rewatching The Flight of the Conchords recently and I think Jemaine Clement might be my most favorite person in the world. He's just adorable. Also, that bit where Bret goes into the Boom song and he tells Koko that she's so hot she's making him sexist? Fucking brilliant.

Instead of reviewing comic books, I should just remind people of moments in television shows that I really loved. Like that time the Native American kid was impressed that Bobby Brady put beans in a flashlight? Fucking awesome.

Chuck, the guy who killed his wife, remembers how he met the ghost of Harley Quinn. He saw her naked in the shower which caused Harley Quinn to fall in love with him. I wish a hot naked ghost would fall in love with me. But no! I just get ugly, half-decomposed monsters. There's only so many times you can jerk off to one of those doing a sexy dance in the living room.

The story ends with the reader realizing that poor Chuck is going to be tormented by sexy Harley Quinn's ghost for the rest of his life. And he's upset by this! What is wrong with him? Harley offered to strip for him right in this comic book and he flips the fuck out. I guess he's gay. That's probably why he killed his wife. What a totally gay thing to do.

The next story is called "Last Laugh." It stars Batman and, presumably (judging by the title), The Joker. I hope it ends with somebody sucking somebody else's you-know-what. I meant for that to represent the butthole but I just realized most of you probably thought penis. I'll be more clear in the future.

The story begins with Bruce Wayne thinking about that Confucius saying about a man seeking revenge needing to dig two graves. Bruce concludes with "So that man with revenge on his mind...what does he do? He gets himself a big shovel." Spoken like a guy whose never done any physical labor in his life! He thinks a regular shovel is only good for digging one grave!

Bruce is loading a gun when The Joker's voice begins tormenting him. I'm suspecting that the revelation will be that The Joker was always just another side of Bruce Wayne and Bruce finally realized it. So now he has to eat a bullet to save Gotham.

I just finished the story and that's it exactly. When was the last time I called myself a Grandmaster Comic Book Reader? Why doesn't anybody else call me that? Don't they see my greatness?! Fucking peons! I'll ruin you all! Starting with the peasants at Weird Science! Bwa ha ha ha ha!

Whoa. What just happened? I hope this doesn't mean I have to eat a bullet now too?

Crazy For You and Last Laugh Ratings: These two stories were better than the previous two stories. At least the Batman one took a premise and made a pretty nice little tale out of it. It's not like we haven't seen that premise before. I think Buffy did one where some demon tried to convince her she was crazy and just fantasizing about being a vampire slayer. And I can't remember the other times we've seen this but I've mentioned them before when my mind worked better. Back in the mid-90s, I began a book about Christopher Robin in a mental institution and all of his stuffed animals were also inmates. You know what I'd like to see? A dark version of H.R. Pufnstuf. H.R. Giger Pufnstuf! Anyway, the Harley story was pretty good because it made me imagine having a sexy ghost around all the time. But it sort of ended like the writer didn't know how to end it. It was less a story and more a moment in the life of Chuck's spiral into madness.

Monday, November 6, 2017

DC House of Horror #1, Part Two (AKA A Review of Netflix's The Mist)

It looks like Batman is fucking Flash while Flash fucks Green Lantern while Green Lantern, covered in semen, jerks off a candle.

Netflix seems to have purchased everything Stephen King ever did and they're churning it out en masse for people with little regard to quality. Maybe I'm beginning this review too harshly since I've only watched Gerald's Game (which wasn't terrible and actually a bit interesting since I always thought of it as the one King story that could never become a movie because the main character spends the entire time dehydrating in bed) and The Mist (which was terrible and I'll get into the whyness of it in a second). I think the last Stephen King book I read was the final chapter of the Gunslinger Saga. Up until then, I believe I'd read every book of his published aside from Danse Macabre (which I just recently finally read). It's possible I didn't read a bunch of his novels that weren't related to the Gunslinger Saga near the end of that series' run. What I'm trying to say is that there was a definite time in my life when I was a fan if not a complete fangender. It may be the book I've reread the most even though it never makes my list of top books. I love it to death but I think using the analogy of a sewer gang bang to transition the main characters from childhood into adulthood so they could escape the grasp of It might have soured the enough to keep it from ever being a top ten favorite. I'm glad they excluded that bit from the movie. I'm pretty sure it wasn't in the TV mini-series as well but I can't remember it enough to be sure. I do remember that prior to the series airing on television, I had all the little TV Guide advertisements for it posted on my wall. But this isn't about my relationship with Stephen King. This is about DC House of Horror #1. Just kidding! It's mostly going to be my thoughts on Netflix's The Mess! I mean The Mist!

The Mist is a mediocre experience at best and an awful waste of time at worst. Not only is it poorly written; the writers make some of the worst, tone-deaf character choices in the current social climate. While I'm entirely for a world where we can watch a television show and the bisexual guy can be the demented rapist while the popular quarterback is the misunderstood martyr, we're not quite in a climate of equality where that's just another possible twist to the plot. Even if the bisexual kid didn't turn out to be the monster (I'd have put a spoiler warning here but you'll know the kid is the monster halfway through the first episode. Unless it was the second episode. Anyway, it's not as big a surprise as, I think, the writers wanted it to be), it says something about the way we see in stereotypical ways that the story expects us to believe the high school quarterback is a total date raper. Oh, and for good measure, the homophobic football player? Self-hating gay.

So the character choices are poor from a purely casual viewing standpoint. But when you notice Harvey Weinstein's name listed as an executive producer in the credits, the entire show takes on an even darker and more disturbing tone than I think anybody involved in the project realized. Let me explain.

The show is purportedly about a young girl of sixteen who gets drugged at a party and raped. Immediate suspicion falls on the high school quarterback who has shown interest in her and who is the only person onscreen shown giving her alcohol. What you realize by the end of the series is that the show wasn't about this girl at all. The main arc (which, I suppose, can be argued since the show does tend to have quite a few arcs, being that it's a large cast) winds up being about the high school quarterback, a male who was accused of rape and judged by the entire town even though he winds up being innocent. And what happens to this town that has rushed to judgment? A fog of confusion descends upon them, befuddling their ability to see the truth and act rationally. Everybody who blames the righteous guy who was accused of rape gets their comeuppance in the end. Mostly they're just made to look like assholes but some of them die horribly! Ha ha! In your face, society that doesn't understand how big shot executive producers and high school quarterbacks are almost assuredly innocent of any accusations of rape!

Not only is the high school quarterback innocent, we see that nearly everybody else in town is a terrible person. The mist exposes the hypocrisies inherent in all the people who would judge a person accused of rape before the DNA proves that it was the bisexual freak that nobody likes who did the raping. Obviously! Nobody likes that guy! Even the guy who fucks him doesn't like him!

I believe the show tries to avoid the whole fake rape accusation motif by never actually having the teenage girl accuse anybody specifically. She just knows she was raped after she wakes up from being drugged. But the whole town suddenly knows, somehow, that she fingered the high school quarterback (not like that, you sick perverts!) and they all turn on her. But, as far as I can remember, nobody ever blames him. The town just assumes he's the guy she's going to blame because, well, he's the high school quarterback! Who's more rapey than that?! I believe the bisexual kid is the one to say he witnessed it but he never really gets to tell the cops because the mist begins eating them all before he can give an actual statement. But even if the writers can stick a finger in our faces and say, "No! No! We did not write a show where nobody believes the victim! We wrote a show with a big twist and an evil villain who framed the quarterback so well that the town couldn't believe any other story other than the raped girl was a big fat liar!" Then the writer would look confused by their own plot synopsis and, hopefully, retire to manage a convenience store.

That's the worst part about the show. But there are many other terrible plot points. The mist itself is bullshit. The characters spend a good chunk of time inside the mist without any ill effect. And when they do, it turns out the mist is just a metaphor for the internalized guilt of whatever the character is feeling guilty about, or maybe it works on there fears too. Or something. It's hard to tell. I don't think the mist, as a character, was written any better than any of the other characters. It simply becomes a way to scare the shit out of the townspeople so that the viewers can see that the true monster is ourselves. So Senator Clay Aiken strangles the mother of a child that was killed for wanting to hear a stupid story about a stupid owl and the sheriff locks people in a church and burns it down and the crazy bird lady sends people on a misguided quest to become atheists and the pastor tries to force everybody to believe in God and the doctor wants to experiment on people and the brother wants to talk about how often he fucked his brother's wife before they were married and the bisexual kid's father wants to punish his kid until he's heterosexual and the mother of the raped girl is jealous of her daughter's love for her father who isn't actually her father anyway because her father is the cop which makes the high school quarterback her half-brother. Jesus Christ! I can't believe I watched this whole show!

At least I think I watched the whole thing. It ends with everybody still in the mist and realizing that the local government military organization is dumping people into the mist to feed it. Because the military is always behind any shit that goes wrong and wipes out the world. Who else has the money and power to cause this kind of destruction? Just once, I wish it would turn out to be the Girl Scouts.

The Mist was once made into an interactive fiction game which was terrible but still better than this. The worst part about the game was that many of the puzzles that needed to be solved were just giant bugs coming out of the mist that needed to be dealt with. I remember playing the game until I was stymied at every turn by a creature I couldn't get past. I thought, "If I only had a weapon, maybe I could get by some of these creatures!" So I went into the administration office and simply typed "TAKE GUN." And bingo! I had a gun! I'm not sure if the gun was ever clued in anywhere or you just had to inquire about a gun on your own. I've never revisited the game because after that, it was a simple matter of shooting everything to escape. I think I even shot the crazy lady running about the grocery store gaining a large mob of followers. I don't think that ended well but it was satisfying.

In conclusion, The Mist was terrible and I watched it all.

And so on to the comic book!

The second story is called "Man's World." It's about Wonder Woman and it's also plotted by Keith Giffen but written by somebody else. The writer is Mary Sangiovanni whom I don't recognize. The artist is Bilquis Evely whom I do recognize but know nothing about. The story is probably about what would happen if Wonder Woman came to our world to kick ass and chew testicles. Is that horror or would that simply be justice?

Here, a woman smells her fingers for some mysterious and sexy reason.

I'm sorry for that previous caption! The only reason I said it was probably sexy was because she is a woman and I'm objectifying her. I smell my fingers for decidedly non-sexy reasons all the time!

If anybody is interested in my life away from my blog, you can visit me intellectually debating the guys at the weird science comic book review blog on their review of Deadman #1. I'd forgotten that they were supposed to be my nemeses! But I remembered! Oh how I remembered!

The woman smelling her fingers has been possessed by Wonder Woman because she took part in a Milton Bradly sponsored seance.

See?! You probably thought I was being facetious about the chewing testicles part! It's a known fact!

It's too bad I just scanned two images so closely together because the next page contains a nipple and a bare butt! The nipple is in shadow but you can still see the shape of it! I don't know why I'm using an exclamation point for that revelation. Back in the pre-Internet days, it would have been a glorious find for a young kid. But now, it's as tame as if the panel depicted a basket of kittens.

The girl possessed by Wonder Woman kills all of her friends and everybody she meets before getting home and killing her abusive father. She also says a bunch of stuff in Greek. I bet she's saying things like, "I'm here to kick ass and chew testicles! Mmm! So good!"

Nope. I was wrong. The first thing Wonder Woman says after possessing the girl is "Where am I, witches?" Then she kills the witches. Later after her killing the girl's dad, she says, "The world of man is Hell. It is going to be a glorious war."

Man's World Rating: Are these stories horrific? I guess so. Imagine if Superman were a confused toddler scared out of his wits when he arrived on Earth? He probably would kill everybody by accident in his fits of terror. And Wonder Woman suddenly coming to man's world without any context except what she's been told about why the Amazons can't leave the island? She'd be ready for some serious clean up! And she only killed the women at the beginning because they were obviously witches. Some women, you just can't trust. So you get what we had here in this story. I don't like it any more than you women.