Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Justice League #11: Drowned Earth, Part 2

In this issue: the Justice League vs. water!

After my review of Drowned Earth Part 1, Internet user darksammieknite asked, "How…the…FUCK did you accurately describe this event from the first issue?!" Aha! The kind of question I love! The kind where I get to toot my own horn!

First off, I don't know how much I got right or wrong since I haven't read the series yet. But history suggests that I fucking nailed every single detail. After all, I was the one who first guessed that Red Robin would become Harvest! But the serious answer is this: I'm a fucking Grandmaster Comic Book Reader! You don’t waste thirty years of your life reading comic books and not learn a little something about, well, actually you don’t learn much. But I know comic books!


Man, I hope darksammieknite wasn't being sarcastic! I don't want to look like a fool on the Internet yet again.

Although if I guessed the entire story in the write-up on the first chapter, what's left to say about this one? I suppose I could drag Aquaman some more. That's always fun. I know people hate it because they always come at you with an argument they stole from somebody else because they can't think up their own unique thoughts and say, "Let people be happy about the things they love!" Well fuck you! Because I love dumping all over Aquaman! Let *ME* be happy!

Seriously. It's not like I look up AquamanLover6969 on Twitter and direct message them my degrading insults about Aquaman. This is my safe space to shit straight down Aquaman's throat! If you take away my safe Aquaman hating space then I'll have no other choice but to grow a beard (a longer and messier one!), move out to the woods (deeper and thicker ones!), learn electronics and chemistry, buy an old typewriter that has three specific flaws that will eventually lead back to me, write (more) threatening letters to DC (and Marvel! Namor fucking sucks too!), and eventually be nicknamed "The Dumb Unabomber." Do you want that on your conscience?! I didn't think so. Let me feel the joy of hating Aquaman!

It would be fun to troll Aquaman fans though. They think they're so much better than the people with brains who know Aquaman is stupid. They're all, "He's super dense from having lived under the sea!" But they don't ever say, "I wonder how he became so dense when he was born on land and raised on land and he never exploded like other sea life that's brought up from the deepest deep!" But now they're probably saying stupid things like, "He's just super dense because of his Atlantean heritage! And before you say he talks to fish like all the normies who think they're so cool when they shit on Aquaman, he's actually a minor telepath who excels in communicating with aquatic life! He can probably also 'speak' with spermatozoa!" And then I would be all, "Oh? Now I'm intrigued! Is Aquaman the gay hero the gay community has been waiting for?!" Then I glance at a poster of Jason Momoa and gasp, "Oh, why yes he is!"

What was I saying? Oh yeah! Aquaman is a dumb hero who speaks to fish! Take that, Aquaman fans!

I think I'm tapped into the spinal fluid of the universe because after writing that Unabomber stuff, I refreshed my Twitter feed and the top tweet was from Andy Richter saying, "Let Ted Kaczynski host the Oscars," and linked to an article about "The Unlikely New Generation of Unabomber Acolytes."

Let me translate: "Aquaman doesn't speak to fish, you stupid rubes! He's cool because he can plagiarize the abilities of people cooler than him! Idiots! Aquaman is the new Batman!"

You know how we all know that Aquaman sucks because all he can do is speak with fish? It's because every time a writer tries to show that Aquaman is cool, they say, "He's more than just speaking with fish!" It's like they realize all that we ever see is him speaking with fish and riding seahorses and so us idiots just seem to think that's all he can do. The only way I would enjoy this comic book and have any respect left for Snyder is if Aquaman saves the day by speaking with fish! Then everybody could accept Aquaman for who he really is and he can stop trying to desperately impress everybody! Just control a bunch of sharks to eat everybody's faces again so you can earn another edgelord meme, Arthur!

Great! So your powers work in super specific scenarios! Try saving this same day if it happened in Lincoln, Nebraska, you fishy twat.

Being that this is only part two of Drowned Earth, we're still in the "everything is going to shit" phase of a comic book story. So by the end of it, Aquaman has been impaled on Poseidon's trident, Batman is under attack by the Legion of Doom, and Mera, Flash, and Superman are being beat down by supersized Black Manta. Things will probably begin turning around late next issue!

Grade: B+. What the hell? It's kind of fun and feels fairly old school (aside from the threat to all life on Earth. But then that's kind of an old school threat too since nobody is actually dying. They're just turning into fish people for a bit!). Aquaman is a turd.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

The Green Lantern #1

I guess somebody challenged Grant Morrison to plumb the depths of the most shallow character in DC comics because we now have this title. Not that there's anything particularly wrong with being shallow! I don't want anybody thinking I'm just sitting around insulting myself at the same time I'm insulting Hal Jordan. At least Hal Jordan is shallow in a good way. He's shallow in that he's not complex. He has a simple moral code: do the right thing no matter how many people you have to punch in the face. He'll punch a whole damn planet if he has to.

It's also possible Dan DiDio just said to Grant Morrison, "How much would it cost us to get you to write the next Green Lantern book?" Then Grant shrugged, said a number that would probably blow my mind, and shook hands with DiDio while pretending he didn't see DiDio's boner.

The first ten pages of this issue are a confusing mess of hokey old cop serial dialogue and hard-to-follow panel transitions. The bottom line is that some anti-matter creature killed a Green Lantern while a space beaver, a robot, and a vegan spider alien escape from a Green Lantern paddy wagon (casual racism!) with a Venturan luck dial. I suppose all of this will come into play at some point, especially since the anti-matter creature seems to be merging with Hal Jordan on the cover.

Hal Jordan is currently moping down on Earth. He's probably on paid leave from the Green Lantern Corps for punching a Guardian in the neck. It only takes a few pages to discover Grant Morrison is on the same page as I am regarding Hal Jordan's character.

The panel before this has Hal saying, "You wanna fight? See, I like fighting. Aliens, humans...".

The crystal meth Green Lantern crashes the police transport on Earth after freeing the space beaver and his friends. Hal tells his horribly wounded coworker not to worry because Hal Jordan can get the job done in twenty minutes whereas other Green Lanterns, terrible at their job, almost die and crash on Earth attempting the same thing. I wonder if Hal knows you can be confident without being completely insulting at the same time? I guess it doesn't matter because being polite isn't going to save the universe.

After capturing the space beaver and letting it know that its luck dial is a fake (because the guy with the anti-matter creature, Commander Mu, has the real one!), Hal is accepted back into the Green Lantern Corps full time. And his first case is the Case of the Anti-Matter Killer! Apparently this guy Commander Mu is creating an Anti-Hal Jordan to defeat the Green Lantern Corps.

Rating: C+. Grant Morrison begins this series by saying, "Look, I know what y'all want from me. Big cosmic connections between modern ways of thinking and all the nostalgic history you nerds can't let go of! But first I'm going to write a bunch of terrible sounding dialogue that makes people think of old police radio dramas! Oh, sure, nobody reading this knows what those sound like so maybe this issue will completely miss the mark and people will think, 'Did Grant Morrison suffer a head injury?' But then I'll say, 'Did you read Batman Incorporated? Remember some of the fucked up weird shit in that? I tested your suspension of disbelief a lot more than asking you to believe space aliens speak like cops from the twenties!'" I wonder if Dan DiDio's boner shrunk three sizes the day he first read this script?

Monday, December 3, 2018

Drowned Earth: JLA/Aquaman #1

I'm guessing they're not a bunch of misunderstood ocean beings whose powers don't exactly mirror those of Justice League members on a one-to-one basis?

I haven't read a comic book in two weeks because this was on the top of the stack. Fuck you, Aquaman. Why haven't you been killed yet by DC? Oh, wait! I know why! Because it wouldn't have been a huge event because nobody fucking cares about you. Die in an underwater fire.

This issue begins with a flashback to Aquaman as a youth hanging out with his dad in Amnesty Bay. Ever since Geoff Johns began The New 52 in this exact manner, it has become the de facto method for beginning an Aquaman story. This is because comic book writers and editors aren't as smart as people who spend too much time writing comic book critiques online for no money at all. They saw that New 52 Aquaman had more success than Aquaman had had since he put on the blue waves suit, so they held a meeting to discuss why that happened. Was it because Geoff Johns decided to work into the DC Universe the knowledge that Aquaman sucks? Or was it because Ivan Reis (if he was, indeed, the artist. Why should I spend ten extra seconds checking facts when I can just plow ahead pretending I'm some kind of super intellectual expert? I went to school as a white male, so I'm sure I know what I'm talking about here!) painted some beautiful art for the flashbacks? Or maybe 2011 was peak concussive head damage in the comic book reading community? I guess we'll never know. Except we do know one thing (because I'm stating it as fact): Aquaman's success was not because the story opened with a flashback. Although you'd be right to think that's what it was by the amount of Aquaman stories that begin with young Arthur Curry learning some kind of lesson about the sea from his father. Like, "Kid, if you ever meet a mermaid, fuck her. Fuck her hard!"

Here's how the story opens: "Tom Curry knew the sound of waves." Wow. Brilliant. What a human specimen! Whenever I hear waves, I think, "What was that?! Did I just shit myself?!" And I'm fairly certain I'm pretty smart! So to be able to differentiate waves from shitting yourself must make a person a Goddamned super genius. Tom Curry: the man who could hear a wave and say, "Hey! That was a wave!"

The entire Earth has been flooded by space Aquamen because they're tired of being jokes. But people don't drown in the water because regular people in the DC Universe have been dying too much lately. Since every threat to the Justice League has to be a universe ending catastrophe to prove the Justice League's power, thousands (if not millions) of people need to die every time. It would be nice if the Justice League could save everybody but that wouldn't be realistic and realism is the most important thing in comics since Watchmen and it keeps comic book readers from losing their suspension of disbelief. If nobody died, comic book readers would never stop rolling their eyes or making jerk-off motions when discussing the Justice League. "Can you believe they saved everybody?! I mean, they're good. The best even! Better than the Avengers. But saving everybody?! Come on! So unrealistic. It's like when Ripley defeated the queen alien in Aliens. It just exposed the movie as the fiction it was! So unrealistic!"

So instead of killing people in this catastrophe, the writers have decided the water turns them into fish people. Also the water probably doesn't do any structural damage since it's flooding the entire world and it would be too difficult to have to deal with the repercussions of that kind of destruction. I bet the water isn't even really wet since it's magic. I'm sure once it all dries up, nothing will have changed at all and it will be like the story never even needed to be told.

Oh! That means I probably don't even need to read it! Or any comic books at all! Am...am I free from this obsession?! Did I just make a breakthrough?! I'll think about it after I finish reading this entire Drowned Earth story arc.

Jim Gordon turns into a fish monster in the first few pages which guarantees that every fish person will be back to normal by the end of the story. Am I supposed to continue to feel the dramatic tension knowing that Jim Gordon can't be a fish monster until the end of time because of this story? Stupid writers. Stop telegraphing the entire story. I bet Aquaman winds up saving the day as the only person left not an aquatic monstrosity by the end of this. I mean, he is an aquatic monstrosity but he's not the same type of aquatic monstrosity that this water would turn him into if he wasn't immune which he probably is.

Anyway, you know the story without having read it (which makes you smarter than me (and I'm pretty smart! I'm sure of it!)): the chips are way down and the Justice League are in their underwear (because it's both real poker and strip poker, I guess) and the poker table is on fire and a news report just came on the radio saying that Trump was still president. Things were looking bleak! How was the Justice League going to win this time?! But then a ray of hope: Wonder Woman appears! She'll save Aquaman and bring him back to Earth to save Earth while Batman saves Earth at the same time Mera saves Earth! But will we learn the secret of how The Flash survived the touch of the magic water?! I bet we will! I bet it will reveal the secret to saving Jim Gordon! And, I guess, the other billions of humans turned into aquatic monstrosities.

Grade: B. There's only one real reason to tell an Aquaman story in the DC Universe. And that's to scream, "Aquaman is more powerful than you fucking mocking fangenders realize! And the proof is in this story!"

See?! Black Manta just told us how powerful Aquaman is! And made a "speaks with fish" joke to boot! I mean, we'll probably never really see how powerful Aquaman is in the course of the story. Easier to just have somebody say, "Holy crap! Aquaman is so powerful!"