Friday, June 23, 2017

DK III: The Master Race #9

Did anybody else get the Frank Miller Jizzed All Over the Cover Variant?

If somebody were to have traveled through time to tell me thirty years ago that the Dark Knight Returns would shit all over itself in the subsequent sequels, I would have said, "What's the Dark Knight Returns?" That might be a bit of an exaggeration but I certainly hadn't read the series when it came out. I did own at least two of the four books though! Probably because there was so much hype surrounding them! I just never got around to reading them. I mean, I eventually did! But I might have been looking past the comic book at my current crush and didn't really absorb anything I was reading. You know what? I should probably reread that series. Maybe I was wrong to be disappointed by this series! Maybe The Dark Knight Returns isn't actually as good as everybody almost always claims it is! Maybe it's just as poorly paced and boring as this story!

You know what? I should probably reread this story too! Making snide comments while reading comic books doesn't really help one ingest the full meaning and scope of the comic being read. It's like watching somebody you're attracted to do something talented while constantly thinking, "I wonder what that butt smells like?" You know how that is, right? Afterward they're all, "So, how did I do?!" And you're all, "My pants are ruined!" Then they make that face that says, "We probably won't be talking for awhile." And then you go home and change your undergarments while crying a snot river of your own making.

By the way, that never happened to me and if you say it did, I'll delete this from the Internet and say, "Oh yeah?! Prove it!" Boy, won't you look stupid!

Currently in DK III: The Master Race (Kryptonian! The Master Race is Kryptonian! Unless it's the Amazons. Maybe it's just rich white guys. I don't know!), the Kandorians have decided to eat nuclear fuel and explode so that they can destroy Earth. It's possible this is a thinly veiled allegory about Islamic terrorism but I'm not prepared to talk about serious issues here. Let's just pretend that these extremist Kryptonians who are threatening to blow up the world because nobody would acquiesce to follow their stupid rules is simply that. No reason to ruin a mediocre comic book with controversial issues! I don't know what part of the issues would be controversial because I said I'm not getting into that. You can decide what part of the allegory that isn't actually an allegory is the worst part of the non-existent allegory. Me? I'm just going to finish reading this story that's only about Batman saving the world from aliens and that's all.

Whoa, whoa, whoa! Ixnay on the alfhay-eedbray! I'm trying to keep this lighthearted!

Somehow, Batman knew exactly where the Kandorians would blow themselves up after they lost the battle with the Amazons. I probably missed the part where he figured that out. He's the master detective, after all. I'm the guy who gets easily distracted while reading comic books and misses whole chunks of things he just read. When he arrives, he uses the Bat Sonic Cannon to wake up all the bats below the Kandorians. If there's one thing that can easily destroy a Kryptonian, it's kryptonite. So I guess the bats are full of kryptonite!

The Kandorians react to the bats by blasting them with heat vision. Batman is worse to bats than Aquaman is to dolphins. But since bats can't take much heat vision before completely disintegrating, most of the heat ray blasts just hit other Kandorians. They all get hit by some other Kandorians panicky laser eyes and they all wind up beaten and bruised on the desert floor. That was a pretty good plan, Batman! Except for all the dead bats. Kind of a dick move, that.

Most of the Kandorians finally say, "Fuck this bullshit!", and try to leave. They thought taking over the world was going to be easy. It might have been if this comic book had been called "Kandorians: The Master Race." But instead it was called "DICK III: The Master Race." So you know what that means.

It's better just to leave it at that since I don't have anything pithy to say. Besides, you probably came up with a good answer yourself in the hopes of guessing what I was going to say.

Before the Kandorians can fly back into their bottle (or wherever they were headed. I mean, really. Where did they think they were going to go if they couldn't take over the Earth?), Quar and his generals turn them into ash with their superior heat vision. That's convenient! It would have been pretty hard for Batman and Superman to deal with all of those Kryptonians if they couldn't kill them. Although I think Dark Knight Batman is okay with killing when it's needed.

Superman beats the crap out Quar's last soldiers so they decide to set off the bombs in their tummies. Who can save them now?! The Atom? Green Lantern? The Hawkpersons? Wonder Woman? Aquaman? The Flash? Hmm, who else has been mentioned in this comic book so far? That's all I can remember! I don't think Plastic Man has made an appearance although he'd be the go-to guy for throwing himself over a bunch of Kryptonians going nuclear to shield the world from the blast. That guy can do anything. He can even look like a fire hydrant!

The hero turns out to be The Atom! He suddenly grows up around everybody and shrinks all the Kandorians into itty-bitty microscopic bombs that barely exude any radiation at all! I guess. I mean, I don't know how all that shrinking stuff works but apparently it doesn't just make the bombs tinier with the same potential for destruction.

Quar decides it's now time to blow up but Lara grabs him and flies him up into outer space. I guess that's how she atones for being a huge jerk for the last eight issues. Now her parents can be proud of her and Batman can say, "Well, I guess we know who the master race really is now!" Then, to make sure everybody understands, he'll point to Atom and himself.

After the battle, Superman disappears, Batgirl changes her costume so it doesn't look so stupid and then changes her name to Batwoman, and Batman is all, "I'm a less arrogant jerk!" That would be the end of the comic book except DC, once again, decided that we needed a bunch of duplicate pages without the color. Dammit, DC Comics! Fill that space with Frank Miller art so I can laugh at it! I almost thought that was the plan this time with the Frank Miller Lara pinup but then I was disappointed. I wasn't expecting more and I wasn't planning on being disappointed but then you had to put the pinup in and get my hopes up. I hate you, DC Comics.

Dark Days: The Forge #1

Sometimes when I see John Romita Jr. artwork, I think, "What did I ever have against Rob Liefeld?!"

These are dark days, my friend! Although, technically, you're probably not my friend if you're reading this (that includes you, Doom Bunny!). I don't know why they're dark days (although I know why you're not my friend. I only have room in my life for one and he died a couple of years ago. I've yet to reopen my heart for a replacement) but the cover says it right there at the top: DARK DAYS! I added the exclamation point because I don't think the phrase "dark days" should end in a period. I suppose, occasionally, I've run into a wise old biker type who has looked me in the eyes, shaken his head, and said, contemplatively, "Dark days, my friend, dark days." That definitely ended in a period! But this is a superhero comic book so almost every sentence or phrase should have an exclamation point stabbed onto the end of it.

If you prefer "exclamation mark" over "exclamation point," your mother is probably fat.

That was a standard "your mom" joke so I don't think I can be yelled at for fat shaming. Also, if you yell at me for fat shaming, I'll just assume you're yelling at me for being fat so don't do it or else you'll be fat shaming, jerko! Touché!

I mean, I'm not fat! I'm super sexy and hot and macho! Va-va-va-voom is what you'd probably say if you saw me. Then your eyes would pop out of your head and your heart would crash through your rib cage and you'd die. But your last words would probably be, "It was worth it! So hot!"

Four out of the five creators names on the cover do not induce blood flow to the nether regions. Scott Snyder has been a disappointment lately although I still have high hopes when I see his name. Unfortunately, I don't feel we get his best when he's working with the next name on the list, James Tynion IV. It seems that Snyder comes up with an idea and then chains James to an office chair that is bolted to the ground and tells him to write the script. John Romita Jr.'s work nauseates me. As I pointed out earlier, it makes me long for Rob Liefeld. Liefeld's bad art was fun! It was so chaotic and terrible that I could spend days pointing out the problems and laughing at his mistakes. But Romita's art is all straight lines and boredom! Look at Batman and Superman on that cover. Romita basically took a couple of rulers, set them beside each other, closed the lower ends a bit so the characters would taper to the horizon, drew a couple of straight lines, and then drew Batman and Superman as trapezoids. The look on their faces is the bewilderment of just realizing that fart had a bit of liquid in it. And finally, Jim Lee! I truly admire Jim Lee for his dedication to his craft and the work he did to help create Image. I admire him for continuing to grow as an artist and to as a businessman working in a creative field. But I don't admire his penchant for scribbling on everything he draws.

The other people on the list, I have no beef with. Love Klaus Janson. Love Danny Miki. Love Alex Sinclair (I guess?). I'm not sure I really have much of an opinion on Andy Kubert. I bet he's a funny dude.

The comic book starts out promising!

Hawkman's final journal? Hooray! Go to hell, you stupid prick! And I thought these were going to be dark days!

Does anybody else find it weird that Carter Hall records his journal on Swiss cheese?

Many years ago (I guess? There's no time stamp on the opening scene!), Carter Hall recorded the crashing of a spaceship on his lunch. But since he didn't know the word "spaceship," he wrote "sign written in metal." That will probably be important later but for now, it's time to move the story into the present. And where better to begin an adventure story than The Bermuda Triangle! Wait. I should rephrase that. "Where better to begin an adventure story in the 1970s than The Bermuda Triangle!" Oh boy! Eight year old me just came in his pants! I mean if that were possible. Nothing but pee would be coming out of there for at least another five years.

You know you can read and reread the data once you get somewhere safe? Or did you not save your data to the cloud? Idiot. You should use both terrestrial and cloud backups!

That scientist sounds like me in high school after first hearing Mr. Crowley: "There's something in the metal!"

Batman rescues the scientist whose name is Dr. Madison (MADISOOOOOON!). Batman tells Dr. Madison that the only to safety is back through the volcano.

Batman: "The only way out is in!"
Dr. Madison: "Does that actually make sense? I don't think that makes sense."
Batman: "If we don't go back through the lava, we'll be covered in lava!"
Dr. Madison: "Do you ever listen to yourself speak?"
Batman: "Outside will also have flying debris! Inside is just, um, you know! Liquid hotness!"
Dr. Madison: "You mean lava?"
Batman: "If you want to get technical about it! Now get in my Liquid Hotness Proof Bat-mech (trademark and action figure pending!), sit on my lap, and don't ask me if that's a bat-grapple in my pocket or if I'm happy to see you! I'm never happy!"

So they had to go back through the lava to get to the ocean? Batman does know Dr. Madison was standing in front of a window overlooking the water, right? How was just crashing through that not an option? Especially since Batman loves crashing through panes of glass!

Whenever an editor tells Scott Snyder to make something more exciting, he should just say, "Shut. Up!"

Aquaman helps with the rescue and then he and Batman get into an argument about who's keeping bigger secrets. Batman probably wins that one because even if Aquaman had some really juicy secrets to tell, I'd never remain interested long enough to hear them. I'm already bored with this paragraph because I had to type "Aquaman" three times.

Apparently the Blackhawks have some super secret covert black ops shit going on again. Remember how they returned in All Star Batman? Oh, you got tired of reading that series too? Well, believe me. They returned there.

Meanwhile on Mogo, Cornelius the Guardian wants Hal to do something seedy to him.

"Don't tell Guy! I just got him to stop calling me gay!"

Oh sorry. His name is Ganthet. I must be thinking of Roddy McDowall's character from Scavenger Hunt.

Speaking of Scavenger Hunt, I caught an episode of Family Ties the other day when some actor walked on and I was all, "Hey! That's short sleeves, checkered shirt, black sneakers!" Plus his son in the episode was Chunk from The Goonies. Should I mark irrelevant passages like these with asterisks?!

Ganthet having once asked Hal to jerk him off is now canon.

Once again, everybody in the universe is gossiping about how Earth is going to destroy the universe. If only the Justice League would stop saving it already! Just let somebody destroy Earth for the greater good, you hypocrites!

Ganthet has pinpointed the threat to the universe in the Batcave so Hal Jordan decides to go invade it and not radio Batman saying, "Hey, buddy. I've got a possible issue that maybe you can help out with. Let's meet up in the Batcave." Instead he decides to sneak in and start going through Batman's things. I get it. It's the only way to ensure that a couple of heroes fight so all the fangenders can lose their shit over it. This part was probably Tynion's idea. "Hey! You know what I've read in comic books about five thousand times? That part where two heroes fight over a misunderstanding! Can we add that scene?!" And Scott Snyder snorts and wakes up and is all, "What? Whatever. Just write the script already! If I wanted to write it, I wouldn't have purchased you from your parents!"

Anyway, Batman isn't home so Hal has to fight Meadowlark. You know, Not-Robin. Duke!

What is Duke reading to get his Green Lantern information? The Who's Who books from the mid-80s? That's where I get all of my information too!

Is Green Lantern just fucking with Duke or is there something about the yellow flaw that I don't know about? I thought it was completely gone. Is this Snyder and Tynion trying to backdoor the flaw back into the ring but only if the person using the ring is inexperienced and stupid?

In the next panel, Hal Jordan says, "It's good to see Batman's still recruiting teenagers." Hey man. You better be careful with statements like that. At least he's not, you know, fucking them.

Duke Thomas admits to not having a code name yet. That's adorable. All this fucking time and he still doesn't have one. Why can't Snyder just spit one out already? Waiting to find out his superhero name is like waiting for Sting to come in your mouth. Not that I'd know and not that it was the worst sixteen hours of my life.

Meanwhile there's this place called The Campus underneath Philadelphia where The Immortal Men are headquartered. One of them is Immortal Man because of course it is. The other one is a guy in a robe with shaggy eyebrows that might be Carter Hall but I'm hoping is anybody else. Another one of their possible members would have been Elaine Thomas, Duke's mother. But she went crazy from Joker Toxin. They apparently know they need to save the world from something bad that's coming because it's always easier to tell a story about prophecy. It would be too hard to wedge these Immortal Men into the story if they didn't already know some huge Crisis was about to happen.

So the guy in the robes isn't Hawkman because Hawkman gets the next scene. He's been having visions during the times between death and reincarnation. Whew! I thought he wouldn't have some secret inside information to get him right into this upcoming Crisis! In his vision, he sees a gigantic Batman statue with lots of people tied to its legs. I guess somebody is going to have to kill Batman before he becomes evil!

After that scene, John Romita Jr. takes over on the art. I should probably snort some Ativan before continuing.

Mister Terrific is helping Batman with the Mystery of the Dark Days. Hopefully they'll explain it in long, large word balloons that cover up most of the art. Something has been interfering with the harmonic frequencies of Earth-Main-Earth and Earth-2 (which I guess is back to its normal self? Or maybe Mister Terrific just got off before he wound up in that whole World's End mess? For some reason, I can't remember the story well enough to know if Mister Terrific was in any of it. Thank Jesus!) but neither Batman nor Mister Terrific know what's going on yet. To help them figure it out, Batman decides they must let Plastic Man out of his prison cell. They say they agreed to lock him up because he was too powerful but I think they just got sick of his stupid jokes.

Back in the Batcave, Duke and Hal are investigating the Mystery of Batman Investigating the Mystery. It all started when somebody said, "That whole electrum in the tooth thing that resurrects the dead Talons is stupid! It's not scientific at all! Who comes up with such dumb shit?! DC Comics sucks!" Then Scott Snyder was all, "Wait! Wait! You haven't heard the whole tale of that! You shouldn't believe everything you see at first sight! You should wait for the second sight! Or maybe the third sight if everybody on Twitter complains about the second sight! But I don't think they will because this is going to be a huge Crisis! You'll love it!" So instead of electrum being in the teeth, Batman found a metal that shared the same energy signature as the helmet of fate, the quintdent of Aquaman, and the bracelets of Diana. To investigate this metallic mystery, Batman created a team that everybody forgot about. Everybody except me, of course!

Halo's costume is terrible. But Geoforce had better stay away from her anyway!

Duke has no idea who the wobbly speech bubble is. But that didn't stop him from saying, "Dick? Is that Dick? You know, Dick Grayson? Nightwing? Is that you?"

So the metal is probably Nth Metal which would make it more believable that it was resurrecting the Talons. Because nobody is going to say, "Nth Metal can't do that!" I mean, they might. But they'd be wrong because Nth Metal isn't real and it can do whatever the fuck it needs to do when the writer needs it to do it. Although if it were Dionesium, nobody would say, "Dionesium can't do that!" Because that's exactly what it was made for! It's just that Nth Metal works better, plot-wise. Why would Aquaman's five-pronged trident have Dionesium in it?

Deep in Batman's secret Batcave, Duke and Hal come to a door. Apparently the owner of the voice is behind it. I hope it's not The Joker. I hope it's Detective Chimp. I also hope it's revealed before this issue is over!

Batman has also been keeping another secret in Superman's fortress. With the help of Mister Miracle, he unlocks the unopenable room it was stored in. It's a big yellow tower that Mister Miracle recognizes but I don't. Maybe it's Qwardian! It could also be something from Final Crisis which I've never read. Or something from an obscure 1967 Batman story. Or maybe it's something that, when it's explicitly named, I'll say, "Oh yeah. Fuck. I totally remember that thing now!" Anyway, I don't think it's important enough to reveal this issue. Because The Joker needs to be revealed in the Hal Jordan scene!

Oh look! The Joker was the voice! What a surprise! Surprise! Are you surprised? Oh! You should also keep in mind how there were three Jokers, remember? That was a dumb bit that had to be thrown in so that Batman would say, "Impossible!", when he asked the Moebius Chair what the Joker's name was. Remember how that one guy on Tumblr got all pissy with me when I said they'd never reveal The Joker's name and how could I know that and I don't know what I'm talking about and all that shit? Fucking stupid kid. I didn't even get to say "I told you so!" to that kid when the reveal was that the Chair's answer was that there were three Jokers! Well, I'm doing it now! I fucking told you so, kid!

So that's the end of Dark Days: The Forge! Maybe that thing Batman revealed was The Forge. I guess the next stop in this series is the event, Metal. It'll probably be about Dionesium and Nth Metal and how, when combined, everything is destroyed! What will this Crisis be called? Not just Crisis in Dark Days, right? How about Alchemical Crisis on Earths Starring Plastic Man?

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Detective Comics #957

Let's all read a bad comic! Let's all read a bad comic! Let's all read a bad comic! And curse James Tynion V!

That wasn't a typo in the caption. I'm like the Old Testament God. I never fucking waste my time cursing the person who did the terrible thing. Who wants to punish the person who deserves the punishment? No, better to curse the descendants of the jerko who looked at his father naked and drunk, or the jerko who ate the fruit God was saving for himself? I'd rather curse James Tynion's future child. And being that he'll be named James Tynion V, my guess is that the curse will manifest in many, many schoolyard beatings.

Today, I read Action Comics #980 and thought, "Was this written by a robot that has no knowledge of anything past 1986?" Then I read Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #21 and thought, "I totally called that Sarko was Kyle and Soranik's child. I am the greatest comic book reader that ever lived! Is that something that people actually aspire too? Has anybody else that has ever aspired to that been less pretentious than me? I don't mean arrogant! Obviously I'm arrogant since I'm constantly pointing out how I guessed the plot like three pages into the first part of every six part story. But I'm not writing comic books reviews that make me seem like the smartest person on Earth. Quite the opposite, actually!" That was a pretty long thought! I usually don't let them get that long before I lose interest. But later, I had another thought about Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #21! It went like this: "Why is Kyle so fucking sad that his child from a future that will now never happen was killed? Does he cry about every dying sperm whenever he ejaculates outside of a vagina?"

After that, I began reading Detective Comics #957 and I thought, "This is so terrible that I have to express myself!" So I farted onto the comic book. Then I thought, "Oh wait! I have an even better way to express myself! I'll go online!" Then a chorus of angels descended and sang Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah while I retreated to find a flyswatter.

Some of you may not have noticed the trend to portray Batman as complete and utter asshole who does everything wrong because he's ultimately a symbol of the patriarchy. He's been in control of Gotham for far too long and certain mediocre writers (whom I won't name IV!) have decided it's time to make him look bad. Now I've never been a huge Batman fan but I'm still going to try to defend him from the terrible way he's currently being portrayed in this comic book.

This issue begins with Spoiler, a youth (that's important to the story because youths never know as much as they think they know! Oh, sure! They'll argue with me about that and tell me I'm a huge asshole but someday in their mid-thirties while texting their mother an eggplant emoji, they'll suddenly think, "Oh my god. Eee! Tess Ate Chai Tea was right! I was such an ignorant jerk! And I probably should have worn stronger deodorant!") who thinks she's figured it all out. So she's going to explain it to the reader.

Before we examine her theory, I'd just like to point out that her theory is predicated on James Tynion IV's knowledge of DC comic book history and how comic books are constantly telling the middle of the story (the origin gets told and retold occasionally and sometimes somebody will get to write a "fantasy" final arc story. But generally, it's a middle arc story). So Spoiler's theory of Batman is entirely unfair and unwarranted. Anybody can point to Batman being a complete failure if they look at the comic book pattern and apply it as if it's actual Gotham history. Joker is caught. Joker escapes. Joker challenges Batman. People die. Joker gets caught. Joker escapes. Joker challenges Batman. People die. Joker is caught. Between each "Joker is caught and escapes episode," we get the same arcs but with Penguin or Two-Face or The Riddler. So before Spoiler tells us readers what we already know, I just wanted to point out that it's meta-bullshit that Batman cannot be blamed for. Unless you're a writer with a grudge against the Patriarchy. I mean Batman! Who doesn't have a grudge against the Patriarchy, amirite?! Fucking dudes, man! Pshaw!

Anyway, Spoiler believes every thing is Batman's fault because he's fighting crime all wrong. See, he has become so adept at stopping crime the criminals now think they have to battle Batman first to prove that Gotham City is theirs. Not only is this a stupid theory that assumes all of the villains are delusional idiots who think they're going to beat Batman, it also relies on years of lazy writers completely fucking up the idea of superheroes. Of course Batman is to blame if every single lazy writer has decided that the bad guy isn't going to do anything except try to get revenge on Batman. But again, that's not Batman's fault!

Spoiler believes that the Bat-Signal is at the heart of the problem. People see it in the sky, they know Batman is on the job so they stop being responsible for their own lives. I guess Spoiler just believes in a world where everybody is a stupid piece of shit. "Oh! The Bat-Signal! Well, I guess I don't have to worry about my own safety tonight!" I have yet to see The Spoiler that people were so eager to get back into the DC Universe. If this is her, I hate her and everybody who wanted her back.

This right here is at the heart of what's wrong with the modern age of comic books. Superheroes are supposed to be inspiring! They're supposed to save people. Fuck this cynical bullshit where dozens of people die while the hero saves the day after which their relatives become super villains and blame the heroes. Then they attack the heroes and keep the cycle going because writers are lazy and/or think they're being clever by questioning things like "What if Superman had to fight in the real world instead of a stupid made-up world where he saves the day and makes people happy and causes readers to feel better about their lives and the world around them through the hope and inspiration of their actions?"

If I hadn't read so many James Tynion IV stories in which Batman was portrayed as being wrong while his youthful sidekicks all knew what was right and how to do things better, I might just think, "Spoiler will surely learn a lesson here! At the end, she'll be thinking Batman is the bee's knees!" But I'm fairly certain this will end with Spoiler proving something to Batman while Batman eats crow and admits he could probably be a better person. Because that's what the Patriarchy should be doing, right?! Shutting up and listening! Although I don't know how they can shut up and just listen if the shit they have to listen to is akin to the shit coming out of Spoiler's mouth in this comic book.

By declaring she's no longer a superhero, Spoiler decides that her way is better and it'll allow her to save people from becoming innocent victims of Batman's war on crime.

After Spoiler Narration Boxes her speech to whomever the fuck she's speaking, it's time for Wrath to do the same thing! He's also going to explain how Gotham City works and he's going to agree a bit with Spoiler. He agrees that the first thing you have to do as a super villain is to defeat Batman. You can come up with a criminal plan after that!

Wrath is the anti-Batman. He's usually used in Batman comic books to show what Batman could have become if he allowed himself to use the tragedy in his life as an excuse. I bet this time he'll be used to show that there isn't really any difference between Wrath and Batman at all!

Even as I was typing that, I was thinking, "Don't type that! That's such a stupid conclusion to make! There's not way even James Tynion IV would write that story!"

You mean you attempt to solve the hardest problem first and then you spend the next few years in Arkham Asylum wondering why you just didn't rob a bank on Staten Island.

At the beginning of the Wrath scene, he kills one of his own men. Later, he threatens to kill one at random for every minute they go over a deadline he gives them. Who would work for this asshole? The pay and benefits must be unfathomably generous!

So you constantly lose? Because there's no way you got through the level of Arkham Asylum that I grew bored with and quit because you have to be stealthy or you start over! And I'm fairly certain some levels of Thief, even when playing on the "Oops! I've been noticed and have to now murder an entire castle full of guards!" difficulty still forces you to be stealthy on some levels.

That previous caption was where I exceeded my "This comic isn't too bad!" threshold and decided I needed to vent.

Spoiler continues to mention how so many innocents got hurt due to Batman and his Bat-Family stopping crime. She thinks (or Narration Boxes, actually), "Who's there to stop my friends when they go too far?" Um, you could be, you coward. She continues, "To say how many losses are acceptable?" Have you met Batman? Zero losses are acceptable! I mean, you know, in Bat-Theory! If anybody dies, it's not because Batman did something that caused their death. It's because somebody else did something that caused their death and Batman wasn't able to save them. I suppose in the world I described earlier where lazy writers only ever have villains attack Batman directly, you can, if you want to be a dick about it, put the blame on Batman. But once more: that's not Batman's fault! It's the fault of shitty writers!

Spoiler's conclusion is that super heroes brought about super problems. Fuck you, you idiot. This is the worst hot take in comic books and it has continued to hang around for decades. Writers who continue to use this trope should be shunned from the comic book community.

Spoiler is all, "I'm going to use my super training to prove that Gotham doesn't need superheroes!" And Batman will, hopefully, be all, "Fuck you, dummy!"

The last story arc was to show that Cassandra was better than Batman. This one is to show that Spoiler is better than Batman. How is she better? I'm not exactly sure since she takes out Wrath pretty much exactly how Batman would have taken him out. I mean, if Batman were being written by somebody who didn't have a grudge against the Patriarchy. I mean Batman! I suppose Tynion's Batman would have exploded all of the walls and toppled the building with his raging hard-on to battle Wrath and all of the hostages would have died. Afterward, Batman would have been all, "It's a shame that Wrath killed so many and it wasn't my fault at all! I had to stop him by any means necessary!" Which totally isn't a Batman thing to do so I don't actually know how Spoiler thinks her version of stopping Wrath was better than the way Batman, being written honestly, would have done it.

Spoiler's entirely plan is to save the day and let the police take the credit. So she's trusting that the police will be dishonest bastards who lie about their jobs? That's a great message! Anyway, she somehow thinks that if super villains think the cops are stopping all the crime, they won't want to do crime anymore! Especially since — thanks, again, to the lazy writers — all they actually want to do is beat up super heroes. She'll see how stupid her plan is when super villains continue to do whatever they want (even more so!) when they think all the heroes have left Gotham.

Anarchy shows up at the end to be all, "That was great! What a great idea! This story wasn't stupid at all! Spoiler isn't a terrible character with stupid thoughts after all!" That's when I throw up. The end!

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Justice League of America #7

Terrorstrike is a near perfect name for a guy whose super power is teleporting into anal.

Once again, DC Comics screws up by not putting Lobo on the cover. I will admit that there are probably some Killer Frost fans, and there are probably some Ryan Choi fans (mostly because Gail Simone and Grant Morrison created him to be the biggest and yet tiniest sex pervert in history (unless I read his debut story wrong (I don't think I did. I am a Grandmaster Comic Book Reader, after all))). But if you put them all on one side of a scale (it would have to be a really big scale but not for those fans. The scale would have to be big for the next part of this statement. Hold your horses!) and put all of the Lobo fans on the other side of the scale (see? That's why you need such a large scale! I told you it was coming!), the world would end because that comparison is practically like dividing zero by infinity. So good job, asshole. Maybe don't try that thought experiment for real next time.

This issue begins with Batman showing Xeno his penis. He's all, "You see the size of this penis? It's a big fucking penis, right? I bet yours is microscopic compared to this penis." Xenos asks, "Why are you showing me your penis?" Batman smirks and says, "A penis this size? It means you listen to the person it's attached to." Xeno pulls out his penis and it's just as big. "Looks like we're both in charge, buddy!" he laughs. Meanwhile Ray masturbates furiously in the shadows.

The Atom and Killer Frost take a field trip to the Museum of Unnatural History. It's in Manhattan and it's full of unnatural things like sex between two men and uncircumcised penises. That was a joke for my conservative and religious followers. Sometimes they like to laugh too! I know that seems outrageous judging by how none of them seem to be amused by anything whimsical but I suspect everybody likes to laugh. I sometimes think the real anger filling conservatives is that they don't have anybody funny on their side. Mike Huckabee wants to be that guy but the only jokes they know how to make are ones that feature the word "libtard." It's tough when they can't laugh at being caught in the shower by their grandmother with a dildo halfway up their butthole. That's a moment where their life is completely ruined. Whereas if you're on the left, you now have a funny story to tell all of your friends! It's so much more fun being liberal. I really pity those other humorless assholes. I mean, if you found a joke about two men having sex being unnatural funny, you're not actually laughing at a joke. There's no joke there! The joke isn't, "Oh yeah! That's funny because God would kill the fuck out of them for that! So unnatural!" The joke is that some people think that two men having sex can somehow be unnatural! It's not like my dick was made by Big Oil. I was born with it! If I choose to stick it in the asshole of a man who was also born with that asshole, it couldn't be more natural. Now if I fucked a robot's asshole, that would be unnatural and disgusting.

This paragraph is even less about the comic book then the last few paragraphs, so you busy people who don't have time for sidebar bullshit can skip it. Anyway, my Twitter feed is currently suggesting I follow these people: Sue Perkins, Alan Carr, and Romesh Ranganathan. I'm not sure why I don't currently follow them anyway! For once, Twitter, you've actually been helpful with your intrusive bullshit. You're like a little kid constantly vying for attention while I'm busy trying to feed a starving puppy. If you're wondering what the starving puppy was doing in that metaphor, it was representative of my sensitive ego.

I did have to click back to Twitter to make sure I spelled Romesh's last name right but I think I'll remember it forever now. It only uses one vowel! How hard is that to remember?

After I followed them, Twitter was all, "Oh? You like those guys? How about Paul Hollywood?" Oy. Go fuck yourself, Twitter. I'm sorry I ever engaged you.

Anyway, Killer Frost and The Atom are looking for a cure for her body's inability to regulate its temperature. I mean a different cure than lying on a rock in a sun like a lizard.

I don't get it. Why doesn't Killer Frost just get into a lesbian relationship with Fire? Problem fucking solved!

Three pages in and so far Terrorstrike's penis has not teleported itself into anybody's anal cavity. I bet this cover was one of those lying covers that never show the actual truth of the story!

Terrorstrike does arrive but not by anal teleportation (I fucking knew it was too good to be true!). Instead he just walks up to the entrance of the Unnatural History Museum, explains that he wants to see the Jackalope, exposes the cat on his shoulder hidden beneath his hoodie, and murders the guards. No wait! He refrains from murder because he needs to explain his origin story and then his motive for being in this comic book. The guards area all, "Um, hey, dude? Could you back off? Nobody cares about aliens ejaculating into your central nervous system as much as you think they should. It's probably why your wife and son can't stand you." If I were one of the guards, I'd probably just let him see the jackalope. But then I'm a terrible employee who never feels loyalty to my employer simply because they're paying me to expend precious moments of my finite life doing things they want me to do.

The cover lied in another way: this guy's name is Terrorsmith. That's worse than Terrorstrike! No wonder nobody notices or respects him! You don't stick the most boring last name in the English language onto a fear invoking concept if you want to demand respect. Terrorstrike could work. Terrorsmith just means a lot of people are going to respond, "Nice to meet you, Mr. Smith. But I'm kind of busy here."

I suppose if Bloodlines had been more interesting, I would remember more about Terrorsmith. I think I do have his appearance in Showcase '94 but I probably haven't read it since, um, you know...1994.

Terrorsmith turns the guards into monsters. Get it? He creates terrors! Although can you really call two monsters attacking a museum terrors? It's not like they have brown skin and yelled "Allahu akbar!" That was another joke for my conservative readers! Of course, the real joke is that conservatives and the media seems to only think that terrorism is terrorism if the attackers are Muslim. If terrorism is committed by a black guy, it's gang violence. If it's a white guy, it's mental illness or loner who has no fucking connection with other white guys just because he's white and stop being ridiculous because guns are good and shut up. See how jokes work, Internet Scolds? It might seem like I'm saying, "Hey! Muslims are terrorists who are worse than Terrorsmith's monsters!" But what I'm actually saying is, "Hey! Why the fuck do people continue to only use the term 'terrorism' when Muslim attackers are involved? Seems like an agenda there, no?"

I love when people use vulgar in the way most people don't read the word vulgar. Also I love Lobo.

Lobo is busy beating up another alien in a casino somewhere while Black Canary shrugs and sighs and looks askance at the camera as the end credits roll.

Terrorsmith has a whole cadre of monster cats that follow him around. Did I use cadre correctly? Sometimes I wish I had an editor because Googling takes too long. It's easier to just ignore an editor when they say, "You can't say so many offensive things!" But they also know all the words I don't know. So sometimes they're useful.

During the battle with Terrorsmith's monsters, The Atom crashes into an Unnatural History display of Dr. Sivana's fossilized time pills. Oh, that's convenient! I mean, I don't know how it's convenient but I'm pretty sure it will wind up being convenient. I wish he'd crashed into the display just to the right where they keep Dr. Sivana's time suppositories.

Killer Frost moves in to stop Terrorsmith alone. That's because he can't turn her into a monster since she already thinks of herself as a monster. That's like that time that woman touched me and tried to turn me into a God and I didn't change because I'm an atheist and apparently we all believe we're God. Or something. I don't really understand Christians who think they're smart instead of dull when they say that. How does not believing in gods suddenly turn into believing that I'm my own god? I just said I don't believe in God but I do believe in myself! If I thought I was my own God, that would be a paradox, dum-dum!

If the idea that atheists think they're their own God comes down to the fact that they believe they're in control of their lives and their decisions then Christians think they're their own God as well. They make decisions all the time whether or not they point to the sky and wink sexily at God for the help. They especially make their own decisions when they decide that there are certain ideas in The Bible or aspects of church dogma that they can live without acknowledging.

Anyway, I only like to associate with people who can determine right from wrong without somebody else having to explain it to them. I'm fairly certain a good percentage of religious people who believe the only way somebody can know right from wrong is through religion are sociopaths. Because I've never been taught religion but I was raised in a house constantly full of cats and learned a good deal about love and empathy which stand in as pretty good markers for determining whether an action is right or wrong. Sure some actions are ambiguous. And some are judgment neutral, like masturbation. If you don't think masturbation is a right/wrong neutral action, you've probably been told how to feel about it. How can you tell if making and eating a sandwich is right or wrong? I guess it depends on what's in the sandwich and what religion's list of acceptable food products you go by. It's so much easier being an atheist! Nobody ever tells me my peanut butter and semen sandwich will send me to Hell. No wait. Everybody does. That was a poor example.

The Atom never gets to use his time pills because Frost's plan of threatening Terrorsmith with an agonizing death works to get him to change the guards back. Killer Frost is all, "Terrorsmith couldn't hurt me because I already see myself as a monster!" And The Atom is all, "But my penis doesn't think that! I mean my brain! I'm not trying to save you simply because I want to have sex with you! I mean, I want to have sex with you, I do! But I don't want my dick to freeze off when we do it. So I sort of have to save you! But I'd also want to save you if you were a man too! But then I wouldn't want to have sex with you! So you can see how I probably should have shut up and never opened my mouth at all and just went about trying to help you because you're my friend. I mean, we can be more than friends if you want, of course. You know? To do the sex!"

Don't worry, Frost. He's a guy. He's totally interested. I mean, he'd wrap a jellyfish around his dick if somebody said it felt as good as fucking.

Terrorsmith winds up in Belle Reve where maybe — just maybe! — he'll become fodder for the Suicide Squad. I know they generally don't like working with villains who aren't super popular these days. But at some point, they're going to need to kill somebody or the name is going to lose all meaning (if it hasn't fucking already). There's probably a generation of youths who can't figure out why the fuck the comic is called Suicide Squad.

Youth: "So they, like, all want to die or something?"
Elder: "No, no! It's just the missions are so dangerous that it's practically suicide to go on them!"
Youth: "Wait. The missions are dangerous? Since when?!"
Elder: "Well, I mean, that's the premise."
Youth: "You're shitting me, right?"
Elder: "Don't swear. And stop smoking in front of me. And stop having sex outside of marriage!"
Youth: "Well why don't you stop being racist and homophobic?!"
Elder: "Touché, young one! Touché! You have taught me this day!"

This issue did not have enough Lobo for my $2.99.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Kamandi Challenge #5

Kamandi, The Last Girl On Earth, is getting super erotic.

When we last left Kamandi, the Last Girl on Earth, she was involved in a death race style competition with the Kanga Rat Murder Society. It's just what they do with every survivor of a plane crash they find wandering the wastes near the Great Western Wall of Mystery and Awe. It's not surprising since that's what Australians currently do anyway. "Hey mate!" they would say in a really stereotypical and terrible version of their Australian accent (which is the best I can manage, even when I'm just writing it) "'Ow about gittin' a spinggrok on the kill-em-magoo?!" Then they all wave their dicks towards New Zealand, slam a beer, pretend not to see the indigenous Australians nearby, and spit, "I reckon crikey maybe gosswizzers fligarmalarkey!"

Meanwhile as I, an American, poke fun at Australians, they've enacted sensible gun laws.

I suppose the Kanga Rat Murder Society sit and stew in boredom most of the time. If Kangaroos can get hard-ons, I bet the collective "boing" of their rods stiffening when they realized somebody had crashed a plane nearby cracked the sound barrier, shattering beer mugs and didgeridoos all across the Outback. Now they get to chase Kamandi and Fuck Plant all across the Outback throwing boomerangs and whatever other weapons are still legal in Australia. You can't outlaw boomerangs because boomerangs don't kill people because people can't throw boomerangs effectively. I mean people kill people. I mean Kanga Rat Murder Society kills people. Also guns. Guns kill people. Also other things. Lots of other things kill people. But most of them aren't as effective as guns. Or the United States military.

This is Kamandi's friend, Fuck Plant. Excuse me while I research nearby nurseries online with my pants off.

I meant the kind of nursery where they grow plants and not the kind where they grow children, you sicko pervert!

To keep from being Kanga Rat murdererd, Fuck Plant drives herself and Kamandi off a cliff and into the sea. They survive because she turns herself into a protective womb to wrap around Kamandi. Kamandi thinks, "Am I in Fuck Plant's vagina?" They hit the water and Kamandi is knocked out before she can finish masturbating.

Three days later, Kamandi wakes up. For some reason, she isn't hungry or thirsty. Probably because Fuck Plant isn't just good for fucking; she's also entirely edible! She's probably been stuffing pieces of herself into Kamandi. Not in a sexy way! In a nutritional way! I suppose that's still sexy for weirdo perverts who get off on people eating.

Kamandi is eventually plucked out of the sea by Babal Crow, a sea captain who is also a dog. He is the captain of a paddle steamer. Get it? Doggy paddle? That's a good joke, right?! He doesn't call himself and his crew pirates. No, they're "Free Traders" who are loyal to no nation. Kamandi asks about Fuck Plant and Babel is all, "Oh cute. You fucked your raft? Good and proper thing to do. But we left it in the ocean because gross." Kamandi shrugs and gets on with her life.

After the paddle steamer comes ashore on some jungle continent, Kamandi winds up sidekicking with Raja Maccao, ex-wrestling tiger now turned world's greatest detective. But he's too busy to solve Kamandi's Challenge before they (or I!) solve it. They spend a few months wandering the jungle not solving any cases at all while Raja "Mack" Maccao tries to impress Kamandi with stories of all of his adventures. Kamandi continues to refuse to put a shirt on to cover her girl nipples. I continue to read this comic book in private.

One morning, Mack and Kamandi are attacked by panthers riding on the backs of various giant birds. It's like Elfquest Book Three all over again! Sort of.

To escape, Kamandi once again must plunge off of a cliff into water. Did Bill Willingham have a stroke partway through writing this script? I hope the cliffhanger doesn't have anything to do with Kamandi about to be murdered while near the edge of a cliff with water at the bottom.

Actually, Kamandi doesn't escape. But Mack does! He probably won't reappear until the end of the series. He did confess that he was searching for somebody but never mentioned who it was. I bet he was searching for Kamandi! Or maybe Doctor Canis. Or, perhaps, Doctor Vokolo, the lemur who can doctor! Mack was, after all, searching for somebody who could cure some stupid post-apocalyptic disease. Anyway, I suspect maybe he's searching for Doctor Vokolo because that's who Kamandi was just captured by. So the cliffhanger at the end should probably be solved by Mack rescuing Kamandi since Mack was searching for this place anyhow.

I might be getting ahead of myself though! With all the twists and turns these Kamandi Challenge stories take, anything could happen between now and the last few pages.

Doctor Vokolo needs to vivisect Kamandi so his 3-D Printer can learn to print human organs. Why he needs human organs when he's killing the last human on Earth to learn to make them, I don't know. I guess human organs will be used as replacement parts for the post-apocalyptic sentient pig people.

Mack does arrive to rescue Kamandi...but not in time!


I think Bill Willingham wins for best cliffhanger so far! By the way, for those of you wondering how Kamandi is still alive without any organs, Doctor Vokolo explained it all earlier but it was too much technical mumbo-jumbo for the kinds of people who read my commentaries. I saved you a headache! Just know it probably makes sense.

Here's how I would solve this cliffhanger: Mack would force Doctor Vokolo to put Kamandi's brain into the body of a super sexy tiger lady. Then Mack would fuck Kamandi for nineteen pages. Then the cliffhanger would be Mack saying, "Oh no! My erection has lasted longer than four hours! What am I going to do?!"

Instead of having the essay by the previous writer answering how they would have solved their cliffhanger, once again readers are given a pile of dogshit from an artist who basically just says, "I loved drawing it! Whee!" I suppose James Tynion's resolution to his cliffhanger was just too boring and mediocre to publish. Anyway, next month is Steve Orlando! That's where we'll find out somebody is probably gay! Although why nobody came out as bisexual in Tynion's book is a huge mystery!