Sunday, May 28, 2017

Nightwing #21

Why isn't Seeley's name on the cover? What is happening?!

• Nightwing begins this comic by making an observation that crime takes place in Metropolis around lunchtime and crime takes place in Gotham around midnight. That must be because criminals are stupid. If you want to avoid Batman, do crime during the day! If you want to avoid Superman, do crime at night! What is wrong with these people? Unless, of course, what Nightwing is really observing is that Superman fights crime during the day and Batman fights crime at night. During the day in Gotham, criminals get away with their crimes and nobody notices because Batman is sleeping. The opposite is true of Metropolis. So what Nightwing is really observing is that he's bad at science and drawing conclusions.

• Nightwing also concludes that crime takes place in Blüdhaven at about twilight because that's when he goes out to stop crime. Nightwing might suck at scientific experiments but he's an expert at tautologies.

Dude, you're not Robin anymore. That line doesn't work.

• Nightwing stops the mugging but the woman being mugged decides to murder the mugger. Luckily for Nightwing, The Flash (Wally West Version (ginger Wally West version)) arrives to scoop the bullet out of the air. I say luckily for Nightwing because if this mugger were killed, his family would wind up blaming Nightwing. Then they'd have to become super villains to destroy him for killing their loved one. Not that he killed the guy or could even be blamed. But comic books have a different set of ethical parameters than reality. Not that reality's are much better.

• Wally has come to town to find a friend. He's bored because nobody wants to hang out with him. I get that. He's annoying just at normal speeds.

• Nightwing uses the line "Let's not and say we did." I've never liked that expression. It doesn't really make much sense. If you don't want to do something, why would you want to go around later proclaiming that you did? I've never asked somebody to fuck me where they responded "Let's not and say we did." Although they have said the opposite of that. I totally understand that version! "Let's do this thing that is completely embarrassing and later not admit to having done it." But in Nightwing's case, Flash suggests calling the new villain they're tracking The Skipper. Nightwing is all, "Let's not call him that and say that we did." Well, isn't that exactly the same as calling him that?

• Nightwing and Flash catch up with the newbie super villain. He uses the word "ridic." I hope they accidentally kill him.

• The Flash can't stop The Skipper because The Skipper can pause time. But he does have to push a button to pause time. Which means The Flash should be able to stop him before he can pause time. Because, you know, The Flash has that super speed thing. But apparently this kid's index finger has super speed too. Even if The Skipper simply needed to think about pausing time to pause time, The Flash should still be able to defeat him. Because the idiot keeps talking. As soon as he begins saying anything, The Flash could punch him in the face and kill him. I mean knock him out. Easily before the kid could think to pause time.

• So, anyway, they, um, you know, beat the guy in the end. It's all very satisfying and shit. I guess. Whatever.

• In the epilogue, Tiger Shark returns to take over Blüdhaven! I'm not sure that really deserved an exclamation point but I felt something needed to feel exciting about this issue.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Batman #23

This looks like a scene from Evil Dead. Or was it Evil Dead 2?

• This is a team-up story starring Batman (of course) and Swamp Thing. Swamp Thing is the mold part of the duo.

• Just think of all the other team-ups Tom King will come up with now that he has a new theme that isn't the "I am" deal. Now it's Brave and the Bold team-ups with a twist: replacing the word "bold" with a word that rhymes with "bold." The Brave and The Old where Batman teams up with Johnny Thunder. The Brave and the Cold where Batman teams up with Captain Cold. The Brave and the Scold where Batman teams up with Tumblr.

• An old man is murdered in Gotham. That sounds like the beginning of a joke, right? I mean, a joke in poor taste, of course! I would never laugh at an old man getting two bullets in the head even though the first one would have killed him. The second bullet was probably the totally unfunny punch line that I'm not smirking and giggling about at all. The reason this old man's death is important is that he was Alec Holland's father and not that it provided a sense of lightness and levity to a Batman comic book. Two bullets! Ha ha!

• For some reason, Jim Gordon doesn't recognize Swamp Thing even though there was that time that Swamp Thing nearly choked Gotham to death in order to subvert the rule of law and get Abby released from jail. Also, Abby was in jail for fucking a plant monster. How does Jim not remember this?! I guess he hasn't gotten his Pre-New 52 memories back yet.

• After Jim asks Batman if he knows this plant, he asks, "This plant isn't fucking any dirty women, is he? I'll throw those sluts in jail!" Or maybe he just thinks that. Or maybe I just had a mini-fantasy about him saying that while thinking, "I can fucking write better comic books than Tom King! And have you ever noticed how seductive ferns are?"

• Oh! Oh! Get this:

Of course Swamp Thing has Daddy Issues! He is a DC Character, after all!

• I just called my cat Fart Taco.

• After Alec mentions how he didn't really know his real father and took his step-father's name, Batman screams, "You had two fathers you took for granted?! You are a monster!" Then he begins sobbing and runs out of the room waving his fists in the air. Alfred rolls his eyes and excuses himself for a second as he goes after him with a bag of Mother's Cookies. The "Mother's" has been covered over in Sharpie, of course.

• Bruce and Swamp Thing are enjoying tea and artificial light in Bruce's den. Front and center hangs the family portrait painted by Damian of Bruce, Alfred, Dick, Tim, and Damian. Jason Todd wasn't invited for the portrait because, at the time, it was only for Waynes without death certificates. Of course, now all of them have died and come back (okay, Tim isn't exactly back yet. But soon!) since then. So I think somebody should paint Jason Todd back into the family. To the left of that painting is a portrait of Bruce with Martha and Thomas. And to the right is a picture of Napoleon.

• A dog sits in the den with them. It isn't Titus. It looks like Ace. You know, I'd forgotten that Ace was back! After decades of reading comics, my brain has been programmed not to remember anything that happens in an Annual.

• I wonder how Titus feels about Ace taking over the spotlight? I hope Titus is living at Titans Tower now. At least then when Damian ignores him, he'll have Beast Boy and Raven and Starfire to take care of him.

• Bruce notices that Swamp Thing doesn't seem upset by the death of his biological father.

He's a grown ass man, Bruce! Are you saying that even if you'd been 65 when your parents were gunned down, you'd have been so emotionally devastated that you still would have become Batman? Maybe Swamp Thing doesn't care because he's already a superhero. What is this trauma supposed to transform him into? Swamp Bat Thing?

• Chapter 4 of this story is called "Kite Man!" because Tom King is desperate to make Kite Man a recurring character in this comic book. It's not like he's the most ridiculous villain Batman has ever faced. He actually has a pretty good gimmick! I suppose it's his name. Nowadays, he'd probably be Base Jumper. But there's something silly about sticking what is thought of as a kid's toy and activity onto the suffix man. It's a bit too strange to have a villain using the playful term kite as part of his name. Of course, all of Batman's other enemies do the same thing. Catwoman! Cats are cute and fun and you usually don't fuckfight with them. Riddler! Riddles are a child's annoying pastime! The Joker! It's a card you throw away immediately which never pops up constantly afterward gassing your friends and family.

• The last time I flew a kite was in Nebraska. It was a Xena the Warrior Princess kite and, not having a lot of experience with kites, I didn't realize the roll of string isn't always tied off at the end. Who the fuck sells kite strings and doesn't tie it off to the tube its wound around?! I'm supposed to risk string burn to my fingers keeping a constant grip on the actual string? Anyway, I lost the fucking kite when the string ran out and flew up and out of my grasp. Bye, Xena! Bye! You were too good for this world!

• Kite Man! sold a kite to a pawn shop. That kite could have been used by the killer to get through a window on the 84th floor of a building! Wait. What was Swamp Thing's dad doing in an apartment on the 84th floor of a high-rise? That's where people with money live! Is Swamp Thing rich now?

• Batman follows the clues and solves the mystery of who killed Swamp Thing's dad: Headhunter! He always shoots people in the head twice. Nobody knows why the second bullet. I'm telling you! It's a punchline!

• Batman is all, "This guy won't be easy to find!" And Swamp Thing is all, "The grass just told me where he is! The grass knows everything. Usually I don't listen to them because it's mostly screams as people walk across them or bike on them or fuck all over them. But if you can get past the incessant screaming, they usually have the information you're looking for. Fucking grass!"

Wait. Was that a fuck joke? Does Batman need a car to fuck?!

• Alec and Batman confront Headhunter and he boldly confesses. Basically, he did it for the lulz.

• Swamp Thing isn't as cool as he pretended to be about the death of his father. He flips the fuck out and kills Headhunter right in front of Batman. Batman doesn't even try to stop him. Batman would try to stop Superman. Batman would try to stop Wonder Woman. Batman would try to stop The Flash. Batman would try to stop fucking Lobo. But he doesn't try to stop Swamp Thing. Swamp Thing must be more fucking terrifying than I imagined.

• Swamp Thing realizes he must be there because Batman's Daddy Issues are so strong. At that point, Swamp Thing is all, "Oh. Well, that answers that. I can go back to not giving a shit about my father now." He then dissolves back into The Green while Batman weeps, yet again, over the permanence of death. I mean the permanence of death where his parents are involved. Let's not get ridiculous. This is comic books, after all.

• The moral of the story is that Batman really should have gotten therapy twenty years ago.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Justice League #21

Death is really into studded leather friendship bracelets.

• This story is called "Endless" because I think Bryan Hitch has stumbled onto the greatest comic book writing idea. If you write a story that never ends, you never have to come up with another story! And if you base the story on an incident that will eventually be stopped due to time travel, the story automatically falls outside of continuity. Because if it ever ends (which it won't), it will be like it never happened at all! Holy fuck. The guy is more genius than I previously thought. Previously, I thought he was less than 0% genius. Of course, that means he has to keep this story going until somebody at DC says to another somebody at DC, "Hey. Have you seen what Bryan Hitch is doing to Justice League? Is anybody going to put a stop to that?"

• This comic is about an event that the Justice League will stop from ever happening. So nobody needs to read it. I only say that because it's a comic book. If this were a story in another medium, there would be a universal theme that lift the story above its mechanical parts. Or it would have characters learning something while the readers, emotionally invested in them, come out a little more thoughtful at the end. But being that it's a comic book, the story is only here to take up another month's worth of space and the characters never actually learn anything. It's not like the next story will feature a Flash who learned something profound from his experience and applied it to his life. No, The Flash from the last story is the same Flash as the one in this story who will be the same Flash as the one in the next story. Characters in comics rarely grow so their stories barely matter. So stories about stories that never actually happen matter even less than the normal stories which already exist as mere pop culture Styrofoam packing peanuts.

• I might seem a tad overly critical about a medium I spend a lot of time engaged with. But I like Styrofoam packing peanuts!

• The issue begins with a scene containing people who aren't the Justice League. It's the guy who will destroy everything with his Cosmic Jackhammer and his wife who is sleeping with his boss. Maybe that's how Flash will change time! He'll expose the affair and Mr. Cosmic Jackhammer won't be able to destroy the world because he's dead from having blown out his brains after smothering his wife and children in their sleep. That could be considered a win for the Justice League, right? Just one family ruined as opposed to all the families ruined?

See? Take her out of the equation and he loses all motivation! And maybe he doesn't murder them and kill himself! That's like a triple win!

• The Flash goes further back in time so that now he knows the Justice League caused the explosion by trying to stop the explosion. So now he can try a different tactic to save the world. This story isn't just Memento, it's also Groundhog's Day.

• Since The Flash has so much time at his hands (being that he keeps getting time travel do-overs), he decides to waste a bunch of it explaining what's going on to Batman. Batman is all, "Look at you! Time traveling without your Little Blue Pill!"

• Batman decides to team up with The Flash. Not because he knows The Flash can't solve the mystery without him but because he knows if there is any time travel going on, he wants to be a part of it. He's tired of being erased out of existence and replaced by new versions of himself as The Flash wanders higgledy-piggledy through time.

Grandmaster Comic Book Reader!

• Okay, so I didn't know Mr. Cosmic Jackhammer already knew about the affair. But knowing there was an affair there at all was pretty perceptive, right?! I suppose I have to give it up to Bryan Hitch, for once, for making the not so subtle clues not so subtle!

• Batman, Flash, and Cyborg (who was roped in to hack all the computers and read all the emails) pursue the mystery and save the day. I mean, they'll probably save the day. This story is called "Endless," after all. So it probably has about infinity more parts to it. I'm just guessing at what the end might be if it could have one.

• In the end, Batman and Flash don't solve the mystery at all. The creature they thought was the bad guy was actually a good guy and the Cosmic Jackhammer was his Starheart. By stopping the supposed bad guy who was actually good, the Justice League almost destroyed the world. Why haven't they learned that, in a Bryan Hitch story, everybody who seems to be good isn't and everybody who seems to be bad isn't. At least they are and aren't right up until Hitch needs a shocking twist ending and they suddenly aren't and are. Or something.

• This was another Hitch story that was exactly the same. A regular person becomes bad due to the Justice League failing to save his family. Plus a character they thought was bad or good turned out to be the opposite of what the Justice League thought at the beginning. Those two stories are the only stories Bryan Hitch appears to be able to write.

• I don't know what the fuck the cover has to do with this story. But Batman does say at one point "Even the Reaper invasion." Is he referencing a story that was supposed to happen but never actually did? It must have been a time travel story and time was fixed before I got a chance to see the broken part of it. At least Batman remembers.

The Flash #22

It's okay to burn books if they're terrible, right?

• If the Justice Society is being reintroduced to the DC Universe, I bet they come back more diverse. I bet Jay Garrick arrives and says, "Hello. I'm Jay Garrick. I'm asexual. I had to say that right up front or else nobody would ever know and fans could only speculate which is all they've ever been able to do in the past being that the general rule was all characters were heterosexual. But if I don't say it right now, right up front, how are all the asexual comic book fans going to know that they have to now consider me their favorite character?"

• It's a good thing Jay Garrick is on the cover or I might not have realized that the ubiquitous Narration Boxes were coming from him. Sure, they show the lightning bolt in the corner so the reader knows whose mind they've been allowed into (because how can a reader know what's happening if somebody isn't constantly explaining it to them? (you probably shouldn't read The Wild Storm if you nodded your head vigorously to that sarcastic question)) but with two other Flashes right there on the page, it could have been confusing.

• Reverse Flash (who died but now isn't dead because fuck you) declares he knows who gave the smiley face button all of its power. The Flash declares how embarrassed he is that Reverse Flash can time travel without an aid and also because Batman is witnessing it. Batman declares he will forever after this moment refer to the Cosmic Treadmill as "Flash's little blue pill."

"Barry, I'm here! And I'm asexual!"

• Reverse Flash arrives at Mister Manhattan's feet and receives a lethal dose of editing. You would think this time it would take. Erasing Revers Flash from the DC Universe could solve a lot of continuity problems. But I've already seen ads of Reverse Flash appearing in future Flash comics so I guess DC just can't resist his allure as Flash's rival. I can understand why. They didn't go through all the trouble of coming up with the perfect name for Flash's nemesis to just throw him away. Now if they'd chosen Evil Flash or Opposite Flash or Yrrab Nella the Hsalf, I could see sending the character to limbo. But Reverse Flash! So great! Unless it's Reverse-Flash. I'm never sure about the hyphen. I think it both exists and doesn't exist due to all of Reverse(-)Flash's time travel shenanigans.

• The Flash can't run through time because he can't get any traction. That's why he needs the treadmill. It's not like he doesn't want to run through time with Batman. He totally wants to! It's all he can think about! But when the time comes, he just can't get his feet to work. Luckily old man Jay Garrick has arrived to help! Not that he'll help in the metaphor I've been cultivating because Jay is asexual. But he'll help The Flash and Batman run through time to get them home.

They did it to sell more comic books. But the bump in sales didn't have the long term effect they were hoping for.

• The Flash doesn't remember Jay Garrick the same way he remembered Wally West. I guess that's because DC isn't ready to publish a Justice Society book yet. Or maybe The Flash did save him but he returned to Earth 2 as he was saved! Now DC can publish that Justice Society book whenever they're ready. Which actually means they'll publish it about eight months before they're ready. They really need to work on nailing down their reasons for doing things before they just jump in and do them.

• A later scene suggests that Bruce Wayne doesn't find happiness in being The Batman. Oh, fuck you, comic book. Of course he does. Stop pretending he's some kind of Jesus figure sacrificing a boring, mundane life so he can save us all from our sins by being a super fantastic and exciting action hero. It's no wonder I like Nightwing so much now. Angst is for self-pitying, joyless assholes.

"I'm just a comic book character who can see the editors. Like that guy over there still groping female underlings."

• There's an epilogue in Watchmen font and style that introduces some event called "Doomsday Clock" coming in November. It has something to do with the Watchmen and Superman and, I'm guessing, Doomsday. It will be terrible but that won't stop fans from already jerking off over it because Geoff Johns name is attached as writer.

Cave Carson Has A Cybernetic Eye #8

Remember this is a metaphor. He's really chasing after his penis.

• Last issue, the reader discovered (by purchasing that comic book and reading it) that The Whisperer (a grotesque reminder of the vaginas that Cave Carson can no longer explore) was demolishing the world. That probably seemed a bit too harsh since this is only a fourth rate comic book and you can't really destroy the world unless Batman or Wonder Woman are in the comic book. So this issue, the reader discovers (by purchasing this comic book and reading it) that Cave Carson and his team have followed The Whisperer through a dimensional portal. So it's destroying the Fawcett City of a different Earth. Whew. That was a close one. My only question now is why do they want to stop it? It's leaving their Earth alone! Let it destroy this Earth where some guy named Michael Pembrook is buried in the plot where Cave Carson's wife is supposed to be buried.

• Oh! Does that mean Cave Carson's wife is still alive on this Earth? Boner City, here Cave comes!

• Cave's old fungus boss's son Paul Has A Douchey Ponytail has decided to use The Whisperer to take over the spelunking markets on all of the Infinite Earths. Unless his business, EBX, is something else (Extreme Butt X-rays?). I think at this point, his business is mind control. That's the best business to get into. You don't need to sell any products. You just tell people to put money in your face.

• Have any of the other DC Comics acknowledged the Infinite Earths yet? Are we not supposed to know they're back even though they were rescued during Convergence. Are we still supposed to believe there are only 52? I mean, even if there were only 52 when Rebirth started, now that Superman has merged with all the Supermen and all the other heroes are beginning to merge with all of their old selves (thanks to Superman's merge, for, um, some reason), I think that means the heroes once again live in an infinite multiverse.

• Even if the previous is true, it probably doesn't matter. This is a Young Animal book. It doesn't necessarily take place in the same continuity as the other DC books. Remember how Vertigo was always separate even though regular heroes sometimes visited it, or were banished to it because they didn't really have anywhere else to go after Crisis on Infinite Earths destroyed their parents and the only job left they could take was that of Fake Sandman?

• Cave runs into an old college professor of his. I mean, not really. It's not the one he knew on his own Earth! It's the one on...I don't really need to explain this, do I?

• Chloe, Cave's daughter, begins making the connections that I made earlier about that guy Michael Pembroke being buried where her mother should be buried. But Cave is all, "Why bother looking for her?! My penis doesn't work, remember?!" And Chloe is all, "Is that all mom is to you? A penis cozy?! Go fuck yourself, dad!" And Cave is all, "You know I can't!" Then he runs sobbing from the room while punching his crotch.

• The Whisperer attacks! I guess it knows better than to let the good guys live. It might not succeed but at least it's being proactive. I was expecting it to say something like, "Let Carson live! It is not his time to die!" That's always the wrong thing for an evil person and/or creature to say.

• Wild Dog almost dies in the attack but Chloe sticks a country tampon in his wound. What's the difference between a country tampon and a city tampon?

• Oh. I spoke too soon. The Whisperer just wanders off after it thinks it's destroyed Cave Carson's vehicles so that he'll be stranded on this destroyed Earth. It's just as dumb as every other antagonist. You must kill heroes. You can't leave them to their fate because their fate is never to die. Their fate is to kick you in the head when you think you've won, stupid.

• At the end of the issue, Cave Carson rallies his troops because they've got a war to fight on infinite fronts!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Odyssey of the Amazons #5

Is this the Player's Handbook for 5th Edition Dungeons & Dragons?

• Yesterday I received an email that Bloodybastid left this comment on my The Wild Storm #4 commentary: "Your reviews are highly entertaining, has a sarcastic and cynical tone to them. I'm shocked no one has discovered this blog yet. Better than most other comic book blogs I skim through!" When I went to respond, I saw the comment had been deleted by the author. So I went from feeling warm fuzzies to cold pricklies in the matter of seconds. Did Bloodybastid change their mind, realizing my reviews weren't entertaining at all but just childish and full of ignorant commentary? Did they read a second commentary which happened to attack something they loved (like maybe their mother?) so they stormed back to delete the comment and shit all over my brief and unsustainable joy that somebody appreciated something I had done? Maybe — and this makes the most sense — they realized the said my blog was "better than most" and thought, "I misspoke! It's better than all of the other comic book blogs! I'd better delete this before somebody reads my comment and goes off to search for a comic book blog better than this one. That's a rabbit hole without a bottom, for sure!"

• I finally entered the 21st Century! No, I still don't own a smart phone. But I did use a friend's cable account information so I can watch Twin Peaks on Showtime! Apparently I can use the same information to watch Ash vs Evil Dead on Starz and Game of Thrones on HBO Go! It's like I've finally become a real boy!

• I would discuss my thoughts on Twin Peaks but I was only able to watch three of the four episodes that dropped before I had to go to work. And now the Non-Certified Spouse is out of town for a few days, so I won't be able to finish the opening story until then. Watching this has made me realize something. People who describe non-David Lynch vehicles as "Lynchian" probably need to be punched in the genitals and kicked in the head after they've fallen to the ground because their genitals hurt so much. Let's see any other director have the balls to spend a full episode on a dazed protagonist wandering around a casino hitting jackpots on every machine with a tiny Red Room floating over it. Nobody would be saying, "It was so Lynchian!" They would be saying, "What the fuck? That director was given a paycheck for that?!"

• That wasn't a criticism of the episode even if it sounded like it was! It was an example how nobody would ever praise a director for being Lynchian if they actually were being Lynchian. Maybe I've been hearing people wrong all this time! Maybe when a work of art is Lynchian and not by David Lynch, they've actually been saying, "That was lynchian." As in "somebody should be lynched for that."

• Let's see. What else can I discuss that isn't this comic book? The main issue in my life right now is organizing my time so I can start reading more books. I still have a ton of books that I want to read but I always feel that time spent reading is time lost writing. And when I read something that's fantastically written, I quickly stop paying attention to what I'm reading as my mind begins working on the stuff I could be writing. And yet I still want to read a fuckton of shit! It wouldn't be a problem if I could live to be several hundred. Then I could read some books and really wander, really wonder.

• The writing in this book is atrocious. It is of that bent in which the writer attempts to be more eloquent than their ability allows for. Like that sentence I just wrote! It was an example of the thing that was being said. I think there's a word for that but I'm too old to remember what it is, even if I look it up right now. Besides, if I learn a new fact, I might forget a pertinent bit of Batman trivia that could be the deciding question in a bar trivia night.

• Oh, here's an example of the writing, especially in the Narration Boxes, being terrible: "The sweet chirps of singing birds could be heard — the melodic sounds of nature that would herald both the coming dawn." And what? Both the coming dawn and what?! I suppose that example wasn't a good example of the thing I said terribly in the previous bullet point. It was just an annoying mistake that should have been caught in a rewrite or a quick edit. But since nobody caught it, I'm guessing nobody cared enough about this book to rewrite it or edit it. Somebody just sharted it out on paper and said, "Good enough!" I suppose, after the stuff I've put out there on this blog, I should probably respect that.

• Apparently the Amazons have a fight song. It's all "Let us fight and also hug! We are enigmas and shit! Peace through violence is cool but violence through peace is even better, I think! Go team go! Themyscira High School Football Rules!"

• The Amazons escape from the Jotuns. Good thing they did that before they were raped! Oh wait. I forgot. Nobody was raping anybody because that would incur the wrath of readers all over the Internet, or at least the part of the Internet that Tumblr runs on. They weren't raped; they were ensorcelled. Which might sound a bit rapey but I assure you none of their bodies were touched in creepy, pervy, violent ways! Some witch just cast a spell which mixed their DNA with the DNA of the giants and rape babies were formed through magic! And not rape! Stop typing rape, you idiot! That was me typing directly to me because sometimes I don't listen to myself. Also, it'll be a good pull quote for next month!

They didn't violate them in the way you're thinking! I already explained that! And also that image isn't a metaphor for the way they weren't violated earlier! Stop bringing it up already! You're going to put me on Tumblr's List of Most Problematic Gross People!

• I wonder if Tisiphone has gotten a cease and desist letter from Apple's lawyers on the use of her name?

• The Amazons that are still alive escape their Jotun prison and head off to kill the Jotuns. The Jotuns have all gone to Muspell which is some place I would know more about if I'd been more into Norse Mythology than Greek Mythology as a twelve year old. Apparently it's where Surtr lives. I bet Loki stole one of the vowels from his name.

• The dead Amazons also attack the Jotuns. Somehow. I guess they weren't actually wanted in Valhalla because of their, you know, boobies and vaginas.

• During the events of whatever the plot is, there is a lot of dialogue where the women are propping each other up with compliments. They're proving that sisterhood is strong! Also while they're talking, I keep getting glimpses of their underwear! The male gaze is also strong! It has the ability to see past feminist discussions into the heart of what truly matters: how much butt cheek has escaped the speaker's underwear!

• The battle ends with the Amatuns arriving to kill Surtr with his Black Sword. That wasn't a typo. They non-rape spawns of the Jotuns and Amazons (remember! It was sorcery and not penetration that created them!) call themselves Amatuns. Seriously? When Jomazons was sitting right there!

• I have no idea who this book is for. I have asked literally nobody else and they all say the same thing: "This book is not entertaining me at all."

Sunday, May 21, 2017

The Wild Storm #4

This is the only sexual position I can orgasm in.

• I bet the only way Steve Buccellato can orgasm is when he gets the news he's going to be working with Warren Ellis and Jon Davis-Hunt.

• At the end of the last issue, Grifter was in a real pickle. He was about to be blown up by some Black Razor agents hitting their self-destruct buttons. But at the beginning of this issue, he figures out a way to survive!

In the terrible old days, 80% of this page would be covered in Grifter's thoughts.

• You might be thinking, "How did Grifter kill those guys without flipping upside down first?" Okay fine. That's what I'm thinking. I just like to imagine that other people think the same things I think so I feel like I'm part of a community that probably really doesn't want anything to do with me.

• Speaking of the comic book loving community I'm ashamed to be a part of, I received a message about Wonder Woman from a person calling themselves HentaiBorg. Now there's a name that really evokes some boner inducing images! I'm picturing a poster by H.R. Giger if he were attempting to parody an M.C. Escher print of an orgy. Anyway, HentaiBorg had this to say about the Wonder Woman comic book:

I would buy a WonderWoman book with Frank Cho to the art.
Having Cho
at the writing would garanty there would be no feminism in the book,
which would be an improvement but I would prefer a more experienced
Diana need to be rewritten Geoff Johns, bring the characters
back to the core and expand. It worked great on Green Lantern so maybe
there is a chance.

I'm guessing, due to the format, that his comment was supposed to be a poem. It's cute how he thinks a Wonder Woman book could be written without feminism. Either HentaiBorg doesn't understand feminism or he thinks anything that stars a woman who isn't naked or putting a sexy lamp in her butt is feminism. "If a woman in a comic book is seen as an actual person and not as something for me to masturbate to, it's Goddamned feminism! I'm sick of it!" For some reason while writing that, I was hearing it in a Canadian accent. Sorry Canadians!

• Grifter apparently doesn't aim as well as he expected himself to aim while looking as cool as possible because he completely missed the brain of one of the Black Razors he shot in the head. The guy pulls the self-destruct pin to kill them all. But the Wild CATs escape into The Bleed before they blow up. Dammit.

• I probably shouldn't be disappointed that Grifter survived. As I've noted, this Grifter is much better than every other Grifter that has ever appeared in any comic book previously because he keeps his bland thoughts to himself.

• Miles Craven tries to figure out how to stop shitting himself after realizing there might be a Wild Covert Action Team out there going against his interests. Another reason he can't turn off the shit storm (which is probably what this series is named after) is the realization that Henry Bendix is going to see all of the Engineer footage and think, "That piece of shit stole my technology! And he's doing stuff with it in public! Before I could do stuff with it in public! Not that I wanted to do stuff with it in public. But the recognition would be nice, you know?"

• Speaking of Henry Bendix, it turns out about 99% of his public persona is all for show. He'd rather be doing heroin while reading Frank Cho Wonder Woman comic books while sticking his dick in a glory hole that leads to The Bleed. You know, he's that guy! We all know that guy! He's the guy who, after a day at the flea market on LSD, takes you to a cocaine party where they have a piñate full of sex toys and people hopped up on coke going full paranoid over you because you're happy to sit there people watching on the acid while sipping soda pop. Man. That guy!

Man. I miss having this guy in my life! Too bad my "this guy" was blown up by a bomb in Iraq, nearly died, began suffering from survivor's guilt and PTSD, began watching nothing but FOX News, and became Christian! Now he tells bad jokes whose punch lines all consist of "I've been burned over a large portion of my body! Brazingo!"

• I don't not hang out with my "that guy" anymore because of the things I listed. I don't really interact with him because my general nature — my cynicism and atheism and facetiousness — run counter to healing and well-being. He needs to believe a bunch of things that I'm fairly certain are absolute bullshit and he doesn't need me smirking at everything he says. • I didn't scan the panel where Bendix says "the idiot in the Jump Room was having some kind of crippling technical problem with his vagina" because that makes him sound like me and I'm not the "that guy" I was trying to compare him to. Maybe I love Henry because I see a reflection of myself in him. Maybe...maybe I am other people's "that guy!" Holy shit! I rule!

And the noise! Don't forget the Goddamned noise! The bouncing basketballs and the industrial sized wind chimes and the music played loud enough so that other people can hear it and know the people playing it are cool (the audio version of marking your territory to scare off or impress rivals) and the traffic and the birds, oh the fucking birds! You do know you don't have to chirp and warble all fucking morning, right?!

• Like Rorschach and Lobo, Bendix might be one of those characters that was created to be thoroughly unlikeable but then was embraced and loved by the fans in a way that made the creator throw their hands up in the air and kick a puppy but I love him anyway.

• Because Bendix is so very likeable even though he's probably not supposed to be, Ellis also makes him racist and homophobic. Probably because he knew he was making Bendix way too charming. He needed to make sure people know Bendix is supposed to be the worst and that if they like him (which how could they not after this introduction to his real self?), they're gross and problematic. Well, I guess that's me then! Because Henry is the best!

• Anyway, a few last things happen. Some woman wanders down the freeway on foot. Deathblow or Deadpunch or Dieslap talks about his brain tumor while Miles offers him a job to keep his mind off of dying. And that's about it for what is possibly the most interesting and well-written comic book currently published by DC. It's almost like this is an Image comic book which is ironic since when this was an Image comic book, it also seemed like an Image comic book. What I mean by that is that Image sucked when it began but now it publishes the best stuff. That's because people save their best ideas for the shit they get to own outright. DC and Marvel will never again have truly great stories because nobody is going to offer up the best parts of themselves for contract work. Unless you have so much good writing in you that you can't help but write great stories. You know, like Warren Ellis.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Cerebus in Hell? #4

I thought the last time I reread Cerebus, it would be the actual last time. But I think I need to reread it.

Don't miss the stunning conclusion of Cerebus In Hell? by not buying this issue! You think I'm going to reveal the super twist ending here? That's crazy! But I will scan a bit I really like so you can read it and think, "Wow! I might actually enjoy some of this stuff Dave Sim writes if I wasn't too scared to read Dave Sim's work and have people judge me for liking him because they think he's gross and problematic! I sure wish I were in control of my own life! But what can you do? If you want your peers to not despise you and constantly try to ruin your life for no reason at all except their own inferiority complexes and low self-esteems, you just have to never do anything for which they might judge you harshly!"

Abandon all hope, ye who read this!

All Star Batman #10

The new Robin is a bit rough around the everything.

• What do you have to do to get a Batman story that stops jerking itself off over how great Batman is and begin dealing with his adult healing from a childhood trauma? The guy is fucked up! The Who's Who entries in the DC Universe should include the stat: "Bat-enabler?" Somebody should get him some non-Harleen Quinzel therapy.

• I just sang the Narration Boxes as an operatic dirge to my cat Pelafina. She's purring so I think that's a good review.

• Alfred Pennyworth is narrating this story. He assures us that this Batman story is unlike all of the other Batman stories. Oh good! Just like I wanted in that first bullet point! I can't wait! Although, I mean, Scott Snyder began last issue saying that he wasn't writing a Batman story. And then the big twist at the end was that it was a Batman story. So I'm not holding my breath about this story being any different from all the others.

• This story takes place in London's past which totally doesn't explain the cover at all.

• Scott Snyder has done something few writers ever do! Usually when I like a writer, I like just about everything they do until the day they die tragically. But Scott Snyder has gone from writer I thought was terrific to shitty hack with pretentious underpinnings. Here's how he begins this story: "[This story is] different from the rest. Of course, it starts the way the others do. The angry young man, far from Wayne Manor. Lost. And like the others, it's a mystery — a detective story about the distance between the boy he was then and the man he is today." Well, thanks, Scott! I'm glad you informed me early that this story isn't like all the other stupid comic books because this one is smart and has a theme and shit! And knowing comic book readers are stupid fucks who are only hoping to see Batman punch somebody in the face, it's a good thing you're letting us know up front that this story is better than that! I'm sure I would have completely missed all of the smarty pants stuff you were up to if you didn't clue me in. Although, I'm suspicious now. You got me trying to think about why the last story wasn't a Batman story only to end with "Surprise! It's a Batman story!" So why should I think you've put any more work into making this story different? I think maybe you just tell people at the beginning how smart and different your stories are so that you don't actually have to make them smart and different!

• This story also takes place in Miami's present which probably explains the cover completely.

• Something called the Genesis Engine is being auctioned off on the black market. Batman probably wants to get it for himself so he can make billions of dollars with it.

• A bunch of shit goes wrong when Bruce meets with the dealer. Bruce finds the dealer dead in a manner that reminds Alfred of his youth when he used to graffiti a symbol all over London. That's when Alfred explains to the reader that this mystery isn't about Bruce at all. It's about Alfred.

• In other words, last story actually was a Batman story. But this story actually isn't a Batman story. So it really is different than other Batman stories being that it isn't a Batman story at all. But Scott Snyder couldn't have begun two issues in a row saying "This is not a Batman story," right?

• This story didn't have any alligators or crocodiles in it. I guess Alfred and Batman killing animals in a swamp will happen next issue.

• This story was much better than the last nine issues of this comic book. Except maybe for the part where they explain the name of the place where the guy selling the Genesis Engine lives. That's pure Snyder! He over-complicates things to give a vaguely Umberto Eco-ish atmosphere. So the place is Latin for a right because the thief was crucified to the right of Jesus and the guy who runs auctions out of the place is a thief who is descended from pirates and only works with other people descended from pirates. For being a whole pirate theme, it's weird that Snyder decides to start with the Latin and the Jesus and the thief stuff. I mean, the only way they really tie in is that pirates steal things. Oh but the atmosphere it creates! So mysteriously esoteric!

Wonder Woman #22


• This issue begins with Wonder Woman prostituting herself out for over a quarter of a million dollars. Don't worry! It's for a good cause that is explained on the first page in the exact opposite of that totally not too preachy way I expect from my comic books. Also, even if it wasn't for a good cause, you shouldn't worry. If Diana wants to sell her body for scads of money, that's her choice. Nobody has the right to judge her! I mean, technically, we all have that right. It's a free country and all.

• Bruce Wayne and Lex Luthor get into a bidding war that's less about wanting to date Wonder Woman and more about whose dick has more money in it.

• Don't worry (again! Man, you worry too much), neither of them win a chance to defile the Amazonian Princess! Veronica Cale wins the date for fifteen million dollars. Diana pees a little bit because she's pretty sure for fifteen million dollars, she going to at least have to do some digital manipulation of Veronica's anal sphincter. Bruce Wayne looks pretty upset. I bet the plan was just to have Batman win it so Diana wouldn't have to spend any actual time with some grody loser nobody.

• Veronica and Diana ditch the banquet early because they're both so excited about going out on a fifteen million dollar date. What must that be like? I bet I'd have an orgasm just knowing somebody wanted to pay fifteen million dollars to spend some time with me. I'm practically having one right now thinking about having one due to that scenario!

• By the way, who pays on a date like this? I mean, Veronica already paid fifteen million. Is she expected to pick up the check as well?

• Veronica Kale reminds me of Darcy Parker. She even has her own Parker Girls.

• The date winds up in a gunfight in the desert where Wonder Woman protects Veronica from the men Veronica sent to attack her so that she could record some kind of resonance frequency given off by Wonder Woman's lasso.

• The issue ends with Veronica realizing Themyscira lies in another dimension and with Wonder Woman letting Veronica know she'll be keeping a close eye on her and with me confused by reading two stories about the same people searching for the same thing happening years apart. At first I thought using the biweekly schedule to tell two different stories was a nice trick to use two different teams of artists. But that was before I knew the stories would be so intertwined that I'd have a difficult time remembering what parts happened in the past and which parts were happening in the present. I could reread them all but I remember being bored through most of it so that's not really an option. Anyway, both stories end in their next issues. Maybe after that, Rucka will try to be less confusing. Or maybe Frank Cho will take over writing duties. Man, could you imagine that disaster? I so want to read that comic book.

Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #20

Who shrunk Hal Jordan's lower torso?

• Previously on Green Lantern, time travel shenanigans were boring the fuck out of me. You know you're in for some terrible nonsense when Rip Hunter makes an appearance.

• I rarely prefer pre-Modern Age comics but I do miss when time travel stories were used for silly what-if bullshit. Now if there's some kind of time travel, it's always because something went wrong in the future which can only be changed in the present. Hmm. Maybe I've been reading time travel stories wrong. Maybe they're all just morality tales to make young readers aware that their actions have consequences! "See what happens when you don't do your chores? Your great-great-grandson will become a megalomaniac who takes over the entire universe! Good work, lazy!"

• Mogo is currently under attack from Prism Beasts. They're the hench-creatures of Sarko (he's the Cable guy of this time travel story) and they're immune to spectrum light. I think it has to do with their crystalline nature. But you know what beasts made of crystals probably aren't immune to? Bullets! If only Simon Baz's gun were here!

• John Stewart gets readers caught up on the story via a first page that's 80% Narration Box. He also spreads some outrageously inaccurate information.

First, no. Just because you say it, it doesn't make it true. Second, that may have been true at one time. But writers have become so lazy that whenever they need a threat to the Green Lantern Corps, they introduce an antagonist that isn't affected by the Green Lantern light. Its brand has been severely diluted in the modern era.

• Hal Jordan makes sure to put the period on the sentence "The Green Lanterns are fucked" by explaining to John that he's used every construct he can think of and focused all of his will power. Oh, well then! I guess that's that. Game over. Time to put away the pieces and stick it back up on the top shelf of the closet between Going to Jerusalem and Monopoly. I would be a bit skeptical that he tried every construct he could think of except that it's Hal Jordan. He's not exactly fueled by imagination. He probably tried a missile, a gun, a tank, a giant baseball bat, a bulldozer, a giant cat, and a tennis racket. None of them worked!

• After Hal reports that the creatures aren't affected by his ring, John's decision is to use more rings on them. He really does come from a military background, doesn't he?

• I probably don't need this bullet point but I just want to make it clear: John's plan doesn't work.

Sarko really is a major bad guy. Even Lex Luthor doesn't use infanticide metaphors!

• Hal realizes that he's to blame for the Prism Beasts due to his use of Krona's Gauntlet to forge a new Green Lantern ring. He buried the gauntlet on the planet where Sarko currently holds Gorin-sunn and Space Ape hostage. Well, that's an easy enough problem to solve! They've got Rip Hunter, after all. Just go back in time, dig up the gauntlet, and throw it in a nearby sun. If the premise of this story is that time travel can be used willy-nilly to constantly alter an ever-changing and fucking confusing future then maybe use time travel to your benefit! Stop fighting in the present and go back further in the past to fix the terrible present that is happening due to the terrible future that happened because of the current present! Or something.

• The Green Lantern Corps' plan is to battle the beasts to a standstill while Hal and Rip head off to dig up Krona's Gauntlet and keep it off of future Sarko's hand. That's almost the right plan! Use time travel, dum-dums!

• I know, I know. Rip Hunter probably can't time travel right now because he doesn't have the proper equipment. He might have explained it in a past issue but knowing that more time travel would just make the resolution too easy is explanation enough.

• Guy Gardner and Arkillo join the battle too.

Guy is as imaginative as Hal.

• Okay, he's less imaginative. After his giant baseball bat fails, he says, "Welp. I'm out of ideas." Good job, Guy. Good job.

• As Hal and Rip flee Mogo, the Green and Yellow Lanterns remove their rings and surrender to the Prism Beasts. Losers.

• Sarko reveals that his father knew Hal Jordan and Hal Jordan told his father where Krona's Gauntlet was buried. Since Sarko looks like a Korugarian and there are only a few people Hal would trust with that kind of information, Sarko's parents must be Soranik and Kyle Rayner. He's Sinestro's grandson. Who probably exists because Sinestro was too Goddamned lazy to do his chores.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Detective Comics #956

Look at Cassandra's ass and see how much trouble comic book artists have drawing baggy clothing.

• Recently, Cassandra Cain defeated the entire League of Shadows by herself. Now she needs help defeating Shiva. That math works out to Shiva could probably defeat the world in a one on seven billion cage match (if Cassandra were excluded! So seven billion minus one).

• Shiva declares she will never yield so she's about to get her ass beat by Batman and Cassandra and Batwing and Batwoman and Clayface and Azrael. But not Red Robin because he's dead. And not Spoiler because nobody really cares what happens to her. They only cared when she stopped existing during The New 52. Now that she's back, nobody who called for her return is buying comics with her in them and DC's executives are sitting in their offices going, "Why the fuck do we keep thinking fans actually want what they say they want?" But the joke is on them! Because what fans want is quite specific and they all want a different specific thing which means any move DC makes only brings back one fan who left angrily! And the move probably alienated a thousand more! Ha ha! Losers!

• The Colony has released a swarm of Nano-Bots that will kill everything they come in contact with. They're meant to just kill the League of Shadows because Jacob Kane doesn't realize his daughter and her friends are also in the League of Shadows' sewer hideout. Boy is he going to have egg on his face at his daughter's funeral!

• The final battle can't just be a physical brawl. It also has to be a debate. So, once again, some DC superheroes get embroiled in a discussion on whether to kill or not to kill! So fascinating! I just love whenever this topic is revisited every two or three times in ever fucking comic book.

"You're making false equivalencies!" is some top notch Batman battle repartee!

• Shiva sets the nuclear bomb to detonate in five minutes. Why in five minutes? Why doesn't she just blow it? Because she hopes to still get away? She must know that by giving herself time to escape, it also gives the good guys time to deactivate the bomb. Being a villain, she should also know that she won't escape and the good guys will disarm the bomb. Since she states she's not afraid to die for her objective, she really should just blow the thing immediately.

• I wonder if there is an OSHA for super villains and they're not allowed to have bombs or weapons of mass destruction that activate immediately? That would explain a lot of things. I bet the Super Villain OSHA even has regulations on presenting safety reminders to everybody involved before they activate their plan. Which is why they all have to monologue and reveal their plot.

• Shiva is all, "I know we should be fighting but I have a few things to say about Batman working for the Patriarchy!" But Cassandra is all, "Shut up while I prove not killing is better than killing by making you wish you had been killed! Ha ha!"

• Right when Cassandra feels she's making a connection with her mother which might possibly lead to an extended hug, Ra's shows up and shoots Shiva in the back. He's all, "I called her a rabid dog so you know I'm referencing Old Yeller but I really should have narrowed the allusion to Of Mice and Men."

• Before Shiva dies, she whispers something to Cassandra. I'm pretty sure Cassandra would rather have had a hug.

• Ra's helps disarm the bomb and takes the League of Shadows into custody while Batman stands by with his limp dick in his hands.

In the epilogue, Batwoman cosplays Desire of the Endless.

• Batman decides the Bat-Team is going to need some magic help in the upcoming war against the League of Assassins. I hope he's going to look up his old friend, Jason Blood!

• The next month blurb reads "Spoiler Alert!" Hasn't that been used enough? Can we retire it yet?

Scooby Apocalypse #13

Why are they so frightened? It's obviously just a bunch of rich old white dudes in rubber masks.

• The update of the Scooby Doo franchise shouldn't have been from the angle that the monsters and ghosts were real. It should have been from the angle that the Scooby Gang were well armed and would wind up murdering a bunch of selfish old white dudes when they thought they were just killing monsters attacking them. The Scooby Gang wouldn't be a bunch of cute meddling kids if they were serial killer assassins driving from town to town solving "problems."

• Velma's brother Rufus is Donald Trump and his monster followers are people who wear MAGA hats. I've decided to state it plainly since I've been pretending to not get it in previous commentaries. The problem with this kind of satire is that it's not satire. It's just a restating of the truth.

See what I mean? Although Rufus is better looking.

• Shaggy comments on Rufus wearing a wig which is a shame. If you're going to make a Donald Trump parody character, don't explain his terrible hair as a wig. A wig would be preferable to that monstrous comb-over Ivanka swirls up to cover the seething maggots burrowing out of Trump's skull.

• The Scooby Gang realize Rufus can't help them so Velma beats him up some. After that, the monsters storm the building. Fred continues to sit outside in the Mystery Machine nursing his broken leg.

• The Scooby Gang escape with Daisy so that Shaggy can have a love interest other than Scooby. Rufus is burnt alive in a huge effigy of himself built by the monsters. So they're into crafts?

• There's a Scrappy Doo back-up story. I'd like to say I'm not going to read it because it's about Scrappy Doo and I'm not interested in it but I did spend actual money on this comic book so I'd feel like I wasted my money if I didn't read it.

• I was wrong. Now that I read it, I feel like I wasted my money!

This kid has a low bar on the qualities that make a dog the best.

Shade the Changing Girl #8

Who brought the young girl to a velociraptor fight?

• Marge Sausage was apparently only doing the art for one issue. Now I'm really going to have to dig deep to find anything positive to say about this comic book.

• Oh wait! I know one. It has a female lead. Boom! Worth reading. Also she's a person of color. Can you refer to alien bird species who love to fuck as a POC? I'm probably a white guy in his mid forties, so I don't know anything about saying the correct thing. I mean, I thought I knew how to be a generally kind person and then I found out, online, that I was actually gross and problematic. At least now I know how all the gay kids felt in 80's high schools when they heard people calling terrible things gay! Because now every aspect of me that I never actually think about unless I'm filling out a census form is the new way to call something gay! I imagine it would hurt if I wasn't already full of self-confidence due not to my circumstances of birth but to my being so objectively awesome.

No it isn't! That's the definition of dying in a way that will cause people talking about it to have to bite their tongue before they completely blame the victim!

• You know what's wrong with this country? We've become too afraid to blame the victim! Sometimes blaming the victim is really important. Like when somebody crosses the street at night and in the raing while wearing dark clothing which causes them to be hit by a car and killed. In that instance, we need to blame the victim as hard as we can! It's not like it was the driver's fault in that situation! It's not like it was an accident that couldn't be avoided! The victim's death was due entirely to the victim's poor choices. And by refusing to blame the victim, we obfuscate the reason the victim died and dance around the real danger. By not blaming the victim, we discuss things like the speed limit on the road and the lack of a crosswalk and the need for drivers to be more aware of things they couldn't possibly see in time to stop because who could have guessed that person would suddenly be on the hood of their car when the driver was blinded by oncoming headlights and the heavy rain and the darkness of the stupid sun not being in the dumb old sky! None of those things would prevent the death of a person who treats reality as if there are respawn points!

• Obviously there are times when we shouldn't blame the victim. Stop taking something I wrote and deciding I'm a monster because you have no reading comprehension! Maybe you're the gross and problematic one in this situation! You ever think of that?!

• You know what? I bet you Internet Scolds think of that all the fucking time. I bet you're constantly thinking that. I can't imagine being part of a community of people who are obsessively looking for a flaw (or a perceived flaw through a purposeful misunderstanding) in any of the people in their community so they can out them and receive praise for being so fucking perceptive and righteous and noble! Anybody can look at a huge fucking jerk and point out why the person is a huge fucking jerk. But not everybody can look at their best friend who is supposedly just as socially just as they are and tear their fucking heart out when they make a misstep. It must be so stressful to be a young person in this day and age. You can't make one mistake — NOT ONE FUCKING MISTAKE — before your life is ruined and you have to change your Tumblr URL. Man, I'm glad I don't give a shit what anybody thinks of me!

• I think this commentary is getting away from me! I've only read two Narration Boxes on the first page so far! Excuse me while I discuss this problem with my brain.

My Super-Ego: "Hey. Get back on track, you secretive monster! You're fucking making us look bad! People are going to read this shit and determine we're gross. GROSS! That's the worst thing you can be on the Internet!"
My Id: "Go fuck yourself! Masturbating!"
My Ego: "Ugh. Again? What the fuck is wrong with me? Don't worry about Id, Super-Ego. I've got this! I can get this train back on the rails!"
My Super-Eggo: "L'eggo me!"
My Super-Ego: "Knock it off, Id! I know that was you pretending to be a version of me. That is wrong. You can't do that."
My Ego: "Look, I think I've got Id back in the closet, okay? I can deal with this. Just let me handle things from here."
My Super-Ego: "Why the fuck should I trust you? That Id fucker pulls your strings and you know it! You need to stop listening to his obscene whispers and fall in line. Do you want to die homeless in a Seattle gutter? Do you want to fling yourself off the Fremont Bridge in a state of manic energy? Do you want to be known as the neighbor who sometimes kicks around a soccer ball in the middle of the street without any pants? Then get a fucking grip and start following my orders!"

• Okay! I'm back! Let's get this shit done so I can go do some keepie-uppie!

• The destination Shade has not chosen because she didn't do any research before traveling and just hopped on any old fucking train that pulled up at the station is Gotham City. See? Blame the fucking victim! She deserves to be gassed by The Joker at this point!

• Luckily for Shade, she's looking for danger. She just ditched the only friends she made on Earth and is in a state of self-destructive self-pity! No better place for that than Gotham City! Or that house on Ash Tree Lane. That place is a sublime location for losing oneself in their own doubts and self-hatreds.

Me. And me!

• Shade spends multiple pages doing touristy stuff that I think is some kind of essay on cities and the people who live there? Maybe something about how the people of Earth are meant to be but ultimately fail to live up to their ideals? Or maybe just a fun romp through Gotham? I seem to have lost interest after all that digressive writing I did!

• Shade wanders about having pseudo-profound thoughts about life and cities and art and relationships and dinosaurs until she comes to a theater where the Sonic Booms are playing. Apparently she remembers a version of them from the old television show Life With Honey. So she rushes in to be thoroughly disappointed. Or completely uplifted? Really, it could go either way. Although since she's experiencing music and Young Animal is basically DC's hipster brand, I'm pretty sure music will be treated as a religious and transcendental experience next issue.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Gotham Academy: Second Semester #9

I have boxes full of pictures of me as a teenager with the girl next to me cut out or burned. The girl was always a mannequin but now it looks like I had a passionate and tempestuous youth.

• This is probably the last Gotham Academy story because DC Comics can't afford to keep paying three different people on story credits.

• Amity Silverlock, using Olive's body, has begun her reign of arsony terror on Gotham's old blood families. She begins by burning down an old Dent home while twirling her mustache.

• The Pizza Mystery Club has plans to save Olive from the angry spirit of her long dead ancestor. Hopefully this plan will finally need Pomeline to get naked.

• Kyle quits the club because Olive doesn't want to fuck him and Colton does.

• The Pizza Mystery Club decide finding Amity Silverlock's bones is probably the best way to defeat her. It worked in that Freddy Kreuger movie, didn't it? No, you know what. I don't think it did. I think he still returned for another pre-cursor to Scream movie and a battle with Jason Voorhees.

• While searching through a small mountain of skulls, the Pizza Club encounter another strange Gotham Academy Student.

I didn't know King Shark had a daughter.

• Apparently Gotham Academy is where all the super villain kids go to school.

• A kid with a fox head and a kid with a crow head seal the kids into the Well of Skulls as it fills up with water. Apparently ghosts aren't the worst things haunting the halls of Gotham Academy. It's also full of furries.

• Olive Silverlock makes friends with Harvey Dent. But she still has to make friends with his coin. His coin decides to help her get revenge on the Cobblepot family next. It's too bad she didn't go after the Wayne family first. This story could be over by now.

• The Mystery Pizza Club discover a legendary secret society called the Terrible Trio comprised of a Fox Person, a Crow Person, and a Shark Person. Their goal was to spread disinformation and cause general mayhem so that other secret societies would never discover the true secrets of Gotham Academy. Maps takes off on her own to investigate them, leaving Colton and Pomeline to figure out a plan that involves Pomeline getting naked on-panel.

• Meanwhile, Kyle didn't quit the club at all. He just went out on his own to follow Olive around Gotham because he's a creepy perv who can't take no for an answer.

Action Comics #979

Now I know why Blanque is called Blanque! It's due to the face he makes when being fucked in the ass!

• The issue begins with Superman either being choked to death by Mongul or utilizing his Secret Autoerotic Asphyxiation Machine in the Fortress of Solitude. I finally get the name of that too! From now on, my closet will be called the Fortress of Solitude! And my special belt will be dubbed Mongul's Arm!

• Patrick Zircher continues to be credited as "Patch" Zircher. I guess he's twelve.

• This issue is called "Revenge, Part 1." Anybody familiar with my hatred of comic books already knows how much more I'm going to hate this one than how much I hate the usual ones.

• It's irresponsible of superheroes not to kill the villains. By not killing them, they inevitably spend the majority of their time trying not to be killed by them. That's precious time they could be helping people being mugged or abused by their parents or contemplating suicide. Instead of helping to make the world a better place for the next few issues, Superman will simply be dealing with his own problems. Not that he shouldn't be allowed to deal with personal issues. But when those personal issues are villains he failed to completely stop from making the world a worse place by not killing them or by not shoring up the locks to the Phantom Zone, he needs to be held accountable for all the disasters that he could have stopped while being choked to a mighty orgasm by Mongul.

• The battle between Mongul and Superman turns out not to have anything to do with an Autoerotic Asphyxiation Machine. It's just Mongul having a series of wet dreams provided by his Black Mercy. Eradicator has come by to clean him up and recruit him to the Superman Revenge Squad. Once again, I should point out that I did not make up that name. It's rare when a comic book comes up with dumber stuff than I do.

• Lois and Clark are currently looking at apartments in Metropolis.

Lois's idea of perfection is being attacked on a constant basis by aliens and Swamp Things.

• How bored do you think Patch was drawing that above scan?

• The Superman Revenge Squad travels to Superman's now destroyed Himalayan Fortress of More Solitude to find some powerful artifact in the rubble. Superman should probably have cleaned the place up by now. I'm beginning to come around to Batman's side. Superman is too powerful and too dumb to live.

• They're after the Oblivion Stone which has been a minor plot point for some time. If the two halves of the stone are combined, it will "alter any aspect of the possessor's life — once." I know why Mongul wants it! You can tell by how flat the front of his crotch is on his spandex suit. Totally nothing going on there.

• Apparently Superman was too busy to realize his Himalayan Fortress was destroyed. Maybe I was too quick to judge. I mean, it's not like the destruction of his fortress, the escape of his prisoners, and the loss of dozens of dangerous artifacts will be a threat to the world. It's not like he should have better safeguards than a robot telling him everything is okay, or an alarm that goes off long after the entire mountain has collapsed on itself. No, you know what. Batman is still totally right.

• Superman discovers that his friends in the Fortress are dead and the Oblivion Stone is gone. He takes the sudden realization that he's a failure as a friend and a hero shockingly well.

• The Superman Revenge Squad returns the Oblivion Stone half to Hank Henshaw. He reunites it with the half he has and makes his wish: to once again become Cyborg Superman. No! Now there are two of them?! But just one of them bores the fuck out of me! Two of them will put me into an Oblivion Coma.

• Cyborg Superman suggests they need one more member for the Superman Revenge Squad: Zod. As if there aren't already enough egos on this team. "Kiss my hand!" "Kneel before me!" "Pledge your undying fealty to my anal sphincter!" As soon as Lex Luthor realizes he wasn't drafted, his feelings are going to be hurt.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Supergirl #9

This cover reminds me that I should do a review of that fucking awful DC Superhero Girls book. Holy shit that thing is terrible!

My intitial impression of the DC Superhero Girls book was that it was about girls supporting each other and getting along and friendship and yay! But then the first scene is Wonder Woman sparring with Cheetah in gym. Cheetah gets her ass beat and all the DC Superhero Girls cheer wildly while Gym Teacher Wildcat writes a big A on a piece of paper and shows it to her. "See? You get an A for beating up that girl nobody likes!" Cheetah slinks off without a word from any of these caring, kind, supportive girls. No "Good try!" or "You'll get her next time!" or Are you okay?" Nothing! Not a fucking word. They just cheer Wonder Woman and everybody celebrates Wonder Woman's accomplishments and Cheetah probably slinks off to go eat lunch alone trying not to listen to the whispers of the other girls calling her a bitch and a whore.

It's possible I'm reading too much into the comic book. Also, I haven't gotten much farther than that so maybe it all comes together in the third act to explain why everybody treats Cheetah like she doesn't exist and deserves to get beat down so Wonder Woman can get her precious A.

In this issue, Magog interrupts the embryonic Superman/Batman rivalry developing between Batgirl and Supergirl. He's upset about something Supergirl does in the future which is always a good excuse to create time travel so you can go back in the past to punch the person in their confused face. It seems Magog has become a member of the Fatal Five. Last time we saw New 52 Magog, he was just an angry kid transformed into a brutish adult by Circe to extract his revenge on the Justice League for not saving his family during Darkseid's invasion. That's the long way of saying he's just another irrational villain who, like most of America, don't seem to understand blame. So he's a time traveler who wants to avenge future slights in the past, he's a victim who has decided to blame the wrong people for his pain, and he's a villain who has no plan other than to battle a superhero. He's hit the trifecta of comic book tropes I can't fucking stand!

Ultimately, this current issue isn't about Magog and Emerald Empress and the Fatal Five and Saturn Girl and whatever plot all this fucking time travel bullshit will be a part of. This story might be even worse because the villain is Xa-du, a character whose appearance always make me exclaim, "Yawn!" Ben, Batgirl, and Supergirl all wind up in The Phantom Zone. Xa-du, wearing a creepy suit made out of the souls of Kryptonian prisoners, realizes he might be able to escape while wearing the skin of Kara Zor-el. Ew. What is with grown Kryptonian men wanting to wear Kara's skin?! This shit is getting ridiculous. Anyway, that'll be the riveting plot of the next few issues. I thought that nothing could be more boring than Kara dealing with her Daddy Issues and Cyborg Superman. But that's because I Xa-du is so utterly boring that I completely forgot he existed until now. Why is Steve Orlando doing this to Supergirl? And to me!

I wonder if I can find a way to blame Eddie Berganza?

New Super-man #11

Superman Zero? That reeks of a cheesy marketing scheme to breathe new life into the Superman brand.

The Fla-sh of China has a new suit and it's the best. Although I did appreciate her Goodwill costume that used the AC/DC lightning bolt as her Flash flair. But it wasn't pink and cute and form-fitting (which is only the third best aspect although part of my body thinks it's the first best).

In this issue, we learn that Wonder Woman of China is just a snake pretending to be a woman. Should I find that as sexy as I do? It's possible I'm jumping to the wrong conclusion. But a turtle that became a man that became a giant mega monster turtle has a problem with creatures that use qi to step outside their natural places. He, as a turtle, did it to become a man and he seems to think Wonder Woman of China did it as well while referring to her as Green Snake. And that's how animals in fables and myths always refer to other animals, right? They're all, "Hey! Rabbit! Stop pooping on my door step!" And "Hey! Owl! Why are you so pretentious?" And "Hey! Why are we calling the donkey Eeyore?! Fucking monster is using his qi to step outside his natural boundaries! Get him!"

Since Justice League of China aren't capable of defeating the Doomsday Turtle Man, Dr. Omen has to release Super-man Zero to get the job done. You've probably already made your own less calories, all the taste joke while patting yourself on the back and mumbling, "Good one, Sexy Genitals!" So I'll skip the joke and also raise an eyebrow at your nickname for yourself. Super-man Zero doesn't turn on Doctor Omen and beat the shit out of her for keeping him held captive. Instead he rushes off to save the day for some reason. It's not like he's got a Kryptonite Bomb in his head! The idiot should be flying off to France!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Suicide Squad #17

In Russia, Zod kneels before you. Shit. I think I have to turn in my writing card now.

Remember when the Suicide Squad gave their members the choice to be on the team? It's possible most of the people reading this comic book weren't born when that last happened. Now it's just a team of anybody Amanda wants forced into slavery under the threat of death. Specifically, I'm speaking about Zod right now since, at this point, I really have no fucking clue what the incentive is for all of the other people on the team. Deadshot wants to be able to visit his daughter sometimes but he sure put up with a lot of fucking bullshit for a long fucking time before that finally happened. And he had to lose a hand to get that carrot! Harley is on the team because DC Comics is afraid to lose half the readership by dropping her. Killer Croc is on the team because I don't know why. Why is he even in Belle Reve? It's a mystery! Captain Boomerang is on the team because he's full of guilt and self-loathing and believes he deserves the humiliation he receives from Amanda. Also he constantly has a boner for some reason. Zod is on the team because he's an alien and Amanda enslaved him. I'm sure he'll just shrug his shoulders and look on the bright side and get on with it.

Look at Deadshot on that cover. Why do all the terrible artists that people think are actually the best artists believe that Deadshot can see anything out of a scope in his mask that far over on the side of his head? Fuck you, Tony S. Daniel and John Romita Jr. Probably Jim Lee too but I don't remember being upset about his placement. Although I'm sure Jim Lee filled the scope with scribbles, so even if it were in the correct place on Floyd's face, he still wouldn't have been able to see out of it.

All the best covert organizations have headquarters behind waterfalls.

When are we going to get the Nightwing comic book where he goes undercover in an international construction company that builds super villain secret headquarters? Think of all the crime that can be stopped before the villain even has a place to sit backwards in a chair facing a bunch of monitors while stroking a cat!

Zod is introduced falling out of a helicopter with the rest of the squad as he screams the thing you expect him to scream. It's hilarious because that's what Zod or people hearing the name Zod always say! He doesn't seem particularly upset that he's been enslaved. As long as he has the illusion of freedom (which he only has due to his delusional nature or why else would he explain to Amanda that he serves no one while doing what he's told?), I suppose he can't get too upset. Besides, he gets to kill people! That's a pretty sweet perk.

The Squad have come to destroy the Annihilation Brigade. They're Russia's version of the Suicide Squad. Maybe. I mean, if that's true, why are they located in Zimbabwe? Is it only because there are no famous waterfalls in Russia? I mean, there might be! But only waterfall nerds have probably heard of them! Whew. Now nobody will dare to say I look ignorant by my lack of international waterfall knowledge because they'll be too embarrassed to admit they're a waterfall nerd!

The first member of the Annihilation Brigade to die is Tunguska. I first heard of the incident at Tunguska due to In Search Of. That was my favorite show as a kid.

"Zod will invent the ways"? That doesn't make any sense. Unless one of the ways Zod just invented was ramming his boner through Tunguska's liver. I mean, why else is Tunguska screaming like that? I doubt it's due to Zod's breath.

Coming to Tunguska's rescue are his colleagues, Cosmonut and Tankograd. Cosmonut has the power of silly typos while Tankograd has the powers of a city made of tanks. I understand why Cosmonut wears a space uniform while the only thing he can say is a picture of a peanut. But why does he have a head shaped like a hammer? If there's one nut that doesn't need some kind of tool to crack it, it's the peanut! They should have called it the pussnut.

Meanwhile in Belle Reve, Harcourt has realized her jigs are up and begins slaughtering people. Amanda probably knew this would happen and didn't warn all the techies because Amanda is a fucking asshole.

The advertisement for the King Arthur movie still makes me laugh out loud every time I see it. Who the fuck are these people making movies in Hollywood?! I'm surprised King Arthur doesn't have huge fucking ear gauges in that ad.

Um, anyway, Harcourt reports back to The People before setting the self-destruct code on Belle Reve. Fucking self-destruct codes. It's like one lazy fucking hack writer somewhere in the past needed a quick and easy way to threaten the lives of the heroes while also allowing for the utter annihilation of the bad guys so that asshole invented the idea of a self-destruct mechanism built into the evil organization's headquarters. And it was such an easy way to advance the plot and add tension, other lazy hack writers decided to use the premise until it became something audiences stopped questioning. I wouldn't mind if all of our homes were rigged with self-destruct codes just in case a guest stays too long or some Mormon missionaries ride up on their bikes to discuss Christ's new world message.

The Suicide Squad discover that The People's compound behind Victoria Falls is their version of Belle Reve. It's full of imprisoned super-powered people with bombs in their brains. Does the Suicide Squad really need to confront an organization that holds up a mirror to their organization so that they suddenly see all of its flaws? I think they already knew how shitty it was. They don't really need a lesson to get them thinking, "Hey! I don't think Amanda Waller has our best interests at heart at all!"

You're right, Floyd. You aren't the Teen Titans. You do more good than they do.

Tunguska blows up, killing everybody. Everybody except the people labeling under the delusion that they're job is so dangerous that they might as well just kill themselves. They never die. They teleport away along with Cosmonut because he's obviously the best prisoner to interrogate.

"Who is behind this?!"

Later in Belle Reve, Amanda confronts Harcourt before she can escape. Remember how I mentioned how Amanda was a huge fucking asshole because she didn't warn the techies earlier?

She's even worse than that! She's also lucky Harcourt didn't kill two techies with one bullet!

Harcourt is a terrible spy. One of the first things they learn is to tell how many bullets are in the clip of your gun simply by weight! Probably. I mean, I'd definitely teach that course if I were running a Spy Community College Program.

Captain Boomerang kills Harcourt before she can tell Amanda that Boomer killed Hack. Oh, also before Harcourt can kill Amanda. I just mentioned them in order of importance. I still don't know why Boomer killed Hack but since he liked her, it must have been mind control. Or else that self-loathing I mentioned earlier that he's full of.

In the epilogue, Cosmonut is interrogated and Amanda learns what a peanut looks like when spoken. Rick Flag sucks on Harley's finger which, according to earlier issues, was probably just inside his asshole. And Zod speaks with his cohorts inside the Black Vault (probably Faora and that dumb oaf) before attempting to do brain surgery on himself with his heat vision and a mirror. That totally makes sense, right? His heat vision is powerful enough to cut into his own Kryptonian brain but not powerful enough to shatter a mirror. Because light or something!

I really need to dig up Ostrander's run on this thing and reread that. Although I might be severely disappointed. I was pretty young when I read and loved it. What if my raging cynicism, cultivated from years of life constantly trying to put me in the ground and my existential terror of just about every mundane task civilization expects out of adults, make me realize it was actually terrible?! Hmm. Now I really want to reread it!

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Titans #11

Mike McKone
Deathstork Jerking Off Nightwing 2017
Pencils on paper
26.01 x 16.84 cm (10.24 x 6.63 in)

I stopped reading Titans because I'm bored of comic books about friends with enormous thighs on their too-long legs stuffed into helter-skelter panel boxes. But since my favorite amoral loner has decided he needs to crossover with the Titans so he can remind himself how much fun it was to beat their asses, I suppose I'll give it one more try. But only for this issue! Just know I'm risking falling into a terrible existential depression by looking at Brett Booth's art! Although it might be worth it just for this McKone cover that no art editor at DC looked at or knew how to answer the question, "Why is this picture making me feel all warm in the nether regions?"

Holy shit. Immediately, I hate myself for picking up this comic book. On the first fucking page, Brett Booth is still fucking making references to Pizza Fish. That was like the second or third reason I stopped reading this stupid fucking comic book. Just after "The art is terrible" and "This art is so fucking terrible."

Hurry! Somebody get Garth some water! And a bra!

I guess everything that happened to the Titans pre-New 52 that they've just recently remembered happens in Hatton Corners. Ravager dies of a heart attack while trying to kill the Teen Titans. Deathstork arrives to tell the son he treated like shit for the last decade and a half that the Teen Titans are dead. Ravager dies happy for some reason. I guess he wanted to kill the Teen Titans so that his father would be proud of him. Deathstork doesn't tell him he loves him but he does kind of hug him. Unless he's actually squeezing him so hard that he dies from a lack of oxygen which then gives Deathstork a reason to kill the Titans (and also gets his pain in the ass son out of his life).

Welcome to Illogical and Nonsensical Plot Motivation Comics!

Here we see another prime example of why I stopped reading a comic book about these Teen Titans. The only time they ever battle a super villain is when the super villain brings the battle to them. They've never once saved the world except when saving themselves just happened to also save the world. But in those situations, the world was in trouble because the Teen Titans existed. I'm only currently reading the other Teen Titans book because Damian Wayne is leading them.

The initial scene was Slade dreaming before waking up from a corneal transplant. So now he's not blind in his good eye anymore although I bet his body is still being ravaged by cancer caused by his radiation poisoning. At least he didn't become young and obsessed with this testicles again.

Now that he's awake and he can see, Slade decides it's time to go kill the Titans due to their not having done anything. Good. They totally deserve it.

Meanwhile in New York, Omen shows off her inability to understand secret identities.

Ixnay on the ickday and allyway! You're surrounded by bad guys and pizza fish adverts, dum-dum!

Wally West disappears in the space between panels because Deathstork is just that good and Dan Abnett is just that lazy. Deathstork wants to make a deal with Wally West but he doesn't explain himself yet. First he has to pretend that he cared about Grant so that Wally West feels sympathy for him.

Meanwhile back at Titans Tower East, Tempest tries to participate in the team brainstorming session but everybody just shits all over him. Get used to it, Mini-Aquaman! You'll never be respected by your peers!

Maybe if you would stop using his real name and social security number around villains, Dick wouldn't hate your guts and might want to share the truth with you.

Slade wants to go back in time to, presumably, save his son Grant. I think he just wants to go back in time to shit all over him one last time. But Wally West refuses to time travel for Slade. He's all, "Time travel is bad and we don't do it anymore! Why do you think the Cosmic Treadmill is still safe in storage on the Justice League Watchtower and totally not being used irresponsibly by anybody right now at all?" But Slade is all, "If you won't help save my son whom I don't care about at all but feel pretty guilty about the way I treated him and how he died and maybe I loved him in my own way and tried to make him a man but he needed my love more than he needed to be a responsible adult and so he got himself killed and I sort of regret it then maybe Kid Flash will help me!" As if Kid Flash can time travel!

Ugh. I can't wait until this story is over and Deathstork can get back to staying within the pages of his own comic book where there's a distinct lack of nonsense and Brett Booth art.