Friday, June 28, 2019

Team Titans #23

Redwing must have been furious when she didn't make the Birds of Prey roster.

The good news is that I'm almost done reading all of the Team Titans comic books I own. The gooder news is that I'm almost done reading all of the New Titans comic books I own! The most goodest news of all is that I'm still alive somehow. Although that's only good news in the sense that, by being alive, I can appreciate being alive. The news that I were dead would be just fine with me as well because I wouldn't have to hear it. The good news about the bad news of my death is that none of you would hear of it either! You'd all just believe that I got bored of writing comic book reviews and went off to live on a beautiful tropic island full of kittens.

After I finish reading Team Titans and New Titans, I'll have to dig out another old series to reread. I'm excited to find out what it will be!

I was on Twitter earlier and was perplexed by this person's response to a Tom King tweet. If a smarter reader than me could explain what he meant, I'd truly appreciate it!

My current theories: 1. He's just a Trumpist and knows Tom King isn't a white supremacist asshole so he simply assumes this tweet is somehow mocking Trump. 2. The Tweet didn't delve inside the mind of the protagonist thus relying too much on the reader using their own mind to form conclusions of the protagonist's intent, making it a 'difficult' read. 3. The person replying probably just responds this way to all of Tom King's tweets because Batman isn't punching enough villains these days.

This issue begins with Jensen practicing some of his beat poetry.

Snap! Snap! Snap!

Snap! Snap! Snap!

Snap! Snap! Snap!

Audience nods smartly while puffing nonchalantly on long cigarettes.

Redwing has transformed into a woman with the head of a bird and huge talons on her hands. If any of these Team Titans had a romantic interest in her, they'd probably be thinking, "Did her anus, vagina, and urethra just merge into a cloaca?" But apparently none of them do have that kind of interest because none of them are currently throwing up the way I am after having that thought. But now I'm also thinking of Hawkman and Hawkwoman's sex talk. "Let's kiss cloacae, baby!"

While everybody tries to pretend Redwing is still the same person she's always been (except grosser), Chimera reminds the Team Titans that other totally-not-monsters-just-because-they-look-like-human/animal-hybrid creatures are trying to kill them.

For some reason, Redwing attacks the other Team Titans. Maybe she's just trying to get them to admit that they all think she's a monster now. If that was her plan, it works because Lapidus is all, "If you're intent on proving you're as much a monster inside as well as out, then you'll have to go through me!" Idiot! You're not supposed to say she looks like a monster to her face! You're supposed to act more like her brother Prester Jon and avoid eye contact and tugging at the inside of your shirt collar and mumbling things like, "Yikes!" At least that allows you to deny your true feelings when she confronts you about why you're acting so weird.

Me at prom.

Sometimes I completely understand that I'm reviewing comic books that never wanted me as an audience. I don't care what young person is infatuated with what other young person, or how much bullshit drama one member of the team can create for no reason at all. If I was, I would be a fan of the Legion of Super-heroes. So if I hate this comic book with such passion that I've certainly spontaneously created at least five kidney stones within me, it really shouldn't reflect on the comic book at all. I'm sure somebody cares that Killowat has a crush on Mirage but he's also a racist piece of shit. I'm sure somebody cares that Terra has littered the Troy Family Farm with stone dildos because Changeling won't fuck her. I'm sure somebody cares that Prestor Jon has an issue with his sister because she doesn't look as human as she used to (while it's okay for him to look like Stretch Armstrong). But that someone is not me. I don't think it ever was me. Half the comic books I own were purchased because of simple momentum. I bought the first issue and felt compelled to buy the second issue and, well, fuck it? Why not just keep buying them no matter how terrible they were?! I know that doesn't say anything positive about my decision making but then I've also never claimed to be good at making decisions. The fact that I read every comic book of The New 52 for six or seven years proves that!

Prester Jon refers to Qurac as "hell on Earth" which Chimera has opinions on.

"Hell! What a western concept! But, I mean, you're right and I'm going to go along with that characterization so I don't even know why I pointed that out!" I didn't say she had strong opinions on it.

Chimera mentions that she last met the Team Titans in Team Titans Annual #1. Fuck! I didn't review that issue! I'm sure I own it but it might be stored with all of the Bloodlines Annuals. Well, I guess I can review it whenever I find it during my reread of all of my thousands of comic books from the last forty years!

It's true that I never expected Peter David's Aquaman but I certainly wasn't waiting for it.

Prester Jon tries to discover what caused Redwing's transformation (as well as that of the human/animal hybrids outside) while a young Quraci girl looks at Redwing and cries. I think it's supposed to be touching how the little girl can't communicate but she can feel emotions. Although it would be better if she could communicate because, for some reason, she knows the entire backstory as to how and why people became mutant animal monsters. Something about how aliens crashed in the desert and Circe saw they could be used to make human/animal hybrids but some of the aliens died in the desert and when Cheshire nuked Qurac, the aliens were atomized and everybody breathed in cremated alien space DNA. It's totally the kind of thing a little girl would know all about.

Chimera shows Killowat and Terra that the Americans have come to Qurac to save the oil and not the people. That sets off Killowat's Angry Right Wing Logic Centers.

Oh? Is criticizing America's foreign policy of protecting investments considered politically correct? Although doesn't this anger and argument seem tame from a 2019 perspective?

Anybody who begins an argument with "I refuse to believe" is a person with whom I immediately stop arguing. It's a great opening tactic because I appreciate your desire to not waste my time by immediately revealing that you won't be listening to facts and evidence. Also, "I refuse to believe America would rape a country of its resources at the expense of saving the people" may as well be a declaration that you spent most of your time in history class yelling, "Nyah nyah nyah nyah! I can't hear you!"

Not that America's public educational system was particularly great at exposing America's imperialistic abuse! There's definitely a reason right wing thinkers believe college educations turn people into leftists. Because it does! Leftists are just rational people who aren't viewing the world through the lens of preconceived opinions! College educations are less about broad generalizations and more about trying to put history in as much context as possible. Patriots are often as blind as people of faith. One of the conditions of being faithful is to not question your faith. It's right there in the word! So any examination of your faith is questioning that which you shouldn't question. Being a patriot is the exact same thing. If you question our government, you're against our government. There's no belief in trying to improve our government because it's an acceptance of flaws in the United States. Of course now that's simply become a way to not ever question anything a Republican does because obviously everything any Democrat does is completely wrong. It's believing in tribe over anything else. I am not a Democrat because I believe whatever the fuck every Democrat believes. Hell, I'm not even technically a Democrat! I am liberal, sure. But I don't support any idea or belief from what would be considered my tribe.

And neither are a lot of liberals which is why you have trouble with Democratic voter turnout. Every Republican nominee is practically interchangeable. As long as they spout the handful of talking points important to the accepted base (2nd amendment, anti-abortion, Christian values, white supremacy...I mean states rights!), they'll do. But Democrats have the constant fight over whether a candidate will lose voters if they move left away from center while hardly ever acknowledging how many votes they'll gain as they move left. I've always said they should abandon all those assholes at the center. If you're only voting Democrat because you support their social views but don't want higher taxes maybe you're actually a Republican. Because if the Democratic party moves further left and you abandon it because of taxes to side with the gun toting fetuses who support locking up refugees on our southern border, who the fuck wants you at that party anyway?!

Back to the comic book, the Team Titans speculate that the cremated alien DNA has combined with the tainted oil in Qurac and the metagenes in certain individuals to transform them into monsters. So now they've got to destroy all of America's profits by making sure the oil isn't sold all over the world. Killowat is all, "I can't believe we're going to save the world at the risk of America's profits!" I mean, he doesn't say that explicitly. But I can read between his racist and xenophobic lines.

Finally an argument that wins him over!

Look, I get being resistant to truth! Whenever I brush my teeth, I can't help thinking about the Barney song where they mime brushing with huge toothbrushes and sing, "While I'm brushing my teeth and having so much fun, I never let the water run!" And then I just let the water run! I know, I know. I'm a fucking monster!

Terra and Killowat solve the problem by putting the contaminated oil back into the ground. That seems scientifically sound enough that I won't bother questioning it like a college-educated leftist. But Killowat assures Chimera that she hasn't won the argument even though her argument was simply, "Maybe you should question your government sometimes, idiot."

Meanwhile the animal people attack the other Titans upstairs. The Titans can't kill them because they were once people (although I guess if they had always been sentient monster people, it would have been okay to kill them? Sometimes I'm not entirely sure of comic book superhero rules). They solve their problem by sending them into a Fairy Land via one of Chimera's portals. She was hesitant to do it earlier because she didn't know if what transformed them was catching. But now that Prester Jon somehow did science and figured out what happened, everybody agrees it's okay to banish them to a world where they'll never see their loved ones again and nobody will work out how to save them and they'll probably just turn on each other when they get hungry. Superman throwing every villain into the Phantom Zone has left a terrible example for young heroes to follow!

Oh the 90s! When every time anybody said anything, you had to wait a few seconds to see whether or not they really believed what they just said!

Later Killowat acts like a total jerk. But he acts like a different kind of total jerk than he usually acts like. So after he's done, he says, "Whoa! What just happened?! Is that shadowy person on the ground hiding behind the tree controlling me?! And who might it be?! ZERO HOUR!"

Team Titans #23 Rating: B-. They sure used to pack a lot of story and words into comic books, didn't they?! And for only $1.95! That's two dollars less than the crappy comics DC puts out today that have four less pages and far less story every month! And it's three dollars less than Marvel books! No wonder Marvel is more popular. People probably look at the price and think, "Whoa! I'm getting a whole dollar more quality out of this comic book than that stupid DC comic book!" It also might help that Marvel doesn't mind having synopses of the story to help new readers or old readers whose memories aren't that great anymore. DC refuses to do the same, instead relying on the writer wasting two or three pages of actual story where characters think about what happened in the previous issue. A lot of DC books suck in collected formats!

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

New Titans #113

In Dick Grayson's memories, Starfire and Cyborg were Christ figures while Aqualad spent 100% of his time trying to suck his own dick.

When my beloved cat Pelafina died a few months ago at eighteen years old, my eulogy was simply this: "She was the best gift I was ever given." And then the Non-Certified Spouse just sent me a picture of some Lobo socks that our friend Xan wants to give me and I just said, "Now Pelafina was the second best gift I was ever given!" Just in case anybody was wondering just how dedicated I am to my hyperbolic love of Lobo!

How do I show these off? Shorts while wearing long socks?! How gauche!

And just for comparison so you can truly understand the infinite limits of my hyperbolic nature which can declare those socks better than Pelafina, here is Pelafina for comparison. I am not responsible for your hearts melting.

I just ordered Koji Suzuki's Loop, the third novel in the Ring saga. Spiral was so fucking yo-yo bananas that I figured they could never make a movie of it. But I was wrong, being that I think like an American and no like a Japanese. Because they audaciously made a film of it (Rasen) and I watched it a few days ago. Inexplicably, the movie remains completely true to the book. I say "inexplicably" because this is the first time I completely expected a fuck-ton of changes to the premise and the plot. I naively thought, "There is no way they're going to make a film where the curse of the video tape jumps into the journal of the reporter from the first movie because it somehow senses the report will be a more virulent mode of transmission. But then almost immediately, the virus will be all, 'You know what? What if I infect this guy and have him fuck this chick? That means I could spread to her in a much more normal virus-y way!' And because that might make the entire premise of the Ring series less supernatural because now the virus has suddenly decided to spread like a normal virus instead of like some techno-virus spawned in the dank and smelly recesses of some 4channer's basement lair, the story will have to introduce a new twist! Now the virus won't just kill! It will cause the woman infected by the virus to give birth to a clone of themselves except possessed by Sadako, the woman who climbs out of the television in The Ring. Which is a premise no movie audience would ever be expected to swallow! Especially when the plot also asks you to believe the virus can clone anybody one Earth through the Sadako clone as long as you possess their DNA and understand in vitro fertilizaion! Oh, and also the clone is birthed at the exact age the person died? Or the sample was taken? I don't know, it's all so confusing that nobody would ever make that fucking movie." So, anyway, good for you, Japan! You did it! You win again!

Seriously though. How is Loop going to be any crazier than Spiral?! I can't wait to find out!

This issue begins with Dick Grayson helping to rebuild the Amazon village where Kory broke up with him. He's showing some emotional growth as he contemplates the naked chest of one of the villagers, Maria-Theresa. If you're now thinking, "That's an odd name for a native of the Amazon," have you done any reading on missionaries? Whenever anybody tells me all the good religion has done for the world, my entire rebuttal is the word "Missionaries!" screamed at the top of my lungs. I've finally decided to embrace the phrase, "Brevity is the soul of wit." Why should I have to explicate my missionary argument to another grown-ass adult who should understand the whole bullshit idea of spreading their religious dogma to other cultures? How does that help anybody?! Oh wait, I forgot. It lets Jesus collect more souls so he can stick his tongue out at the devil and say, "Nyah, nyah! Hallelujah! Amen!"

Dick realizes that he's been a selfish child and constantly expected Kory's emotional support for his problems while always sighing and rolling his eyes at all of Kory's problems. Which might be a step up from his paternal role model who did all of those things but to a butler because he thought women were just for fucking. Is that a step up? At least Dick was trying not to treat all women as penis cozies? At least all non-red-headed women!

I've lost my train of thought. Again.

Oh yeah! Dick was learning to forget about Kory through emotional growth and new boobies.

The rebuilding of the village ends with a big celebration after getting the cross on top of the rebuilt church. That makes me super sad. How many Amazonian Rain Forest Gods were displaced due to this incursion of Christian bullshit?! I hope they become super villains.

Dick loves how quickly the villagers manage to rebuild the village without somebody taking control as leader. Maria tells him, "Yeah, dumbie. Is that the right word? 'Dumbie'? Anyway, we all know what we need to do and we do it without anybody standing back and judging our every movement like some dark controlling knight!" And Dick is all, "Yeah! I wish that would work with the Titans! But how can I trust Changeling to turn into the right creature without me telling him? And how can I make sure Cyborg will synchronize using his white noise cannon while saying 'Booyah'?! And I'm just supposed to trust that Raven won't rape and impregnate everybody we meet with her father's demon babies?! Pshaw! No way!"

What I'm trying to say is that Dick hasn't really fucking learned anything. At least not yet! I'm still just a few pages into his journey!

Dick takes a canoe down the Amazon while contemplating his life. I think maybe Maria slipped him some hallucinogens. Although most of his thoughts are on his friends and loved ones and how they've always been there for him and how he hopes he hasn't let them down and how maybe he should celebrate those who died as heroes while none of his thoughts are about how he's lived five thousand years or how that monkey keeps looking at him or how the number three seems to connect all of reality and explain the meaning of everything and why the fuck is that monkey still looking at him and have you ever wondered why you push pause on the remote to pause a show but then can push pause again to unpause it? Like, is it its own antonym?!

Seriously though. In 113 issues, did Dick ever lead the Titans into battle? Weren't the battles all just relatives and/or old villains attacking the Titans directly, without any say from Dick? Also, I kept in the Starfire side boob for you perverts.

Dick eventually blames his self-absorption for why he was raped by Mirage. He blames himself for not realizing he was with another woman who just happened to be able to shape herself like any woman. I guess maybe when she was all, "I'm going to put this strap-on straight up your asshole, okay?" he could have wondered why Kory didn't realize she was shoving the bat-grapple gun up his ass. So, yeah, maybe it was kind of his fault. I don't think I'm victim blaming when I'm just shrugging my shoulders and letting the stupid victim blame his stupid self. Some son of the world's greatest detective he turned out to be! He couldn't even tell his dick was in the wrong vagina!

Dick's navel gazing causes him to plummet off of a waterfall which pretty much sums up his entire situation over the last hundred or so issues. I'm not sure if Marv Wolfman meant for it to be the case but I guess I have to assume that he did, no matter how much I don't want to.

Oh, also, he doesn't die. He just has a revelation as he falls that maybe he didn't cause Jericho's death or Terra's death or Cyborg's death or Kole's death or Danny Chase's death or whatever other Titan deaths I'm forgetting since there have been so many. Also maybe Kole didn't die. She might just have been super boring.

At the end of Dick's journey, the Narrator declares, "Dick Grayson was once The Boy Wonder. But today he has become a man!" Maybe this was the beginning of the end of my hatred of Dick Grayson! Marv was all, "I'm done writing Dick Grayson as the angry kid trying to live up to Batman's legend! From now on, he'll be his own man, compassionate and thoughtful!" Also, maybe Marv just continued to write him as a bitter asshole and I was right not to like Dick Grayson until the 21st Century.

The prologue features Starfire on a satellite in a garden throwing a snake back to Earth from orbit. Maybe she's the one on hallucinogens?

New Titans #113 Rating: C. I like that Dick Grayson supposedly grew up in this issue but I'm not sure how he really changed. The entire premise that he considered his life and what he should be doing distracted him from the waterfall ahead was just Dick repeating all of his life's errors. But somehow this time, he had a revelation? Whatever, Marv! I guess I just have to accept when you tell me through the narration boxes that Dick is now a man!

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Team Titans #22

Team Titans is an anagram for "this could have been a good comic book but the execution was completely fucked up from the start."

The issue opens on Qurac which has become a nuclear holocaust. I'm sure I read the comic book where Qurac was nuked but, just like every other comic book I've ever read, I can't remember it. The ephemeral nature of comic book (at least within my own sphere) makes me wonder how shocked comic book editors were when they first began to realize readers cared about continuity.

Editor #1: "Why the fuck are the majority of our letters complaints about Batman's admission to loving rhubarb?!"
Editor #2: "Apparently we showed him spitting out one of Alfred's rhubarb sandwiches seventeen months ago!"
Editor #1: "Oh fuck! We need to fix this! What's the best way to explain it away?!"
Editor #2: "How about we say the original story took place on an alternate Earth?"
Editor #1: "Brilliant! That'll fix our entire universe! If we make a mistake, we can just create a new Earth! Crisis averted!"

Even at the time this comic book was published, I bet if I were reading another title that simultaneously stated Qurac was a thriving 20th century Garden of Eden, I wouldn't have fucking noticed. No, wait. I'm sure I would have noticed and my friend Brent and I would have joked about it and laughed at DC's incompetence. What I meant to say is that I wouldn't have fucking cared.

Some hero named Chimera (not the Quraci villain Chimera from Jihad! Probably!) lands a pegasus amid the radioactive rubble to save all of the innocent children. She opens a doorway to a wonderful world (probably the Garden of Eden version of Qurac as seen in Adventures of Superman #42 from the same month) but they refuse to flee the people who need their help. It might be a noble decision (although not too realistic. What kind of kid makes noble decisions?! Farty twatty nerds, that's who!) but it's the second worst decision of their lives (the worst decision of their lives was choosing to be born in Qurac). A pack of wild were-animals descend on Chimera and the children. The creatures devour the pegasus in front of their shocked or entertained faces.

If you can tell whether this kid is shocked or entertained, you're a better comic book reader than I am. And I'm a Grandmaster!

Meanwhile in New York, I'm faced with a similar conundrum.

If you can tell whether Killowat shit himself or had a wet dream, blah blah know the rest.

Little kids enjoying cannibalism (sort of? Were-creatures eating a Pegasus counts, right?), Killowat blowing his load so hard it wakes up the rest of the Titans, and now this:

I'm glad Fredric Wertham wasn't alive to see this debauchery!

The Team Titans have been put up in an old YMCA because they knew Prester Jon would fit in. The place is falling apart and there are *GASP* sex workers right outside! They're all disappointed that they survived the black hole because what kind of life is this? What did they expect, a mansion that's also a secret school for heroes from the future? A crumbling old YMCA should be exactly what they expected seeing that Terra describes their new gig working for the government as indentured servitude. Maybe there's a dictionary definition of "indentured servitude" that I missed?

It's a good thing I learned how to type decades ago because I've just removed my eyes with some fabric scissors. Thanks, Urban Dictionary Rabbit Hole, for teaching me about My Little Pony crotchboobs!

The drama between Redwing and Prester Jon continues because it's always nice to have drama that doesn't make any sense in a comic book and drag it on for several issues without explanation. Finding out that my sister could grow huge claws, pointy ears, and wings would be the least unsettling revelation I've ever received from her. Why the fuck is Prester Jon making such a huge deal out of it? In a world where Prester Jon dealt with hundreds of different superheroes on a daily basis, why would this change be so unsettling? Unless...of course! Prester Jon is sexually attracted to women with huge talons and pointy ears! Oh yeah! This is going to get incest! I mean good!

The Team also manages to discuss earthquake preparedness because I guess some of DC's funding comes from Public Broadcasting grants?

Over on Titans Island, the CIA have gathered a group of Team Titans together for their first black ops mission. The team will be lead by Aqualad and is composed of Mirage, The Human Mystery, Shockadelica, Wonder Boy, and Green. I can't believe I just listed a group of characters that include names like Shockadelica, Wonder Boy, and Green, and I'm mostly upset about Aqualad.

Hopefully Mirage will tell somebody what she did with Deathwing! That's the only mystery I care about solving before this series ends.

Hmm, apparently the mission is just sticking them on the Titans sub to wait for orders. Stupid comic book misleading me into repeating the "black ops" lie!

Meanwhile in Seattle, Bumblebee and Herald will be leading another team composed of Metallik and Hero X. Maybe others but they're not named.

A team in Torrance, California, learns how much people in the DC Universe hate super-heroes because editors at DC Comics have no clue what the whole medium has historically been about. Forget about inspiring heroes dedicating their life to helping make the world better. It's much easier to add drama if people hated and feared the heroes! So many assholes decided that the X-Men worked and thought the mutant premise could just translate to regular super-heroes. Plus it doesn't help when every other Superman story involves Superman being manipulated by a villain to use his powers against the people of the world. Stop giving the people of the world excuses to hate the heroes. Even I would hate Superman if his ego wouldn't allow him to leave Earth because he was a danger to it. Get the fuck away from humanity until you find a way to stop being hypnotized by magic villains, you fucking piece of shit!

Um, Flamebird leads the Torrance team, composed of Nightrider, Battalion, Murder Master, some Judge and Jury member, and some other blockhead. No wonder everybody in Torrance hates the Team Titans (and the democrats, apparently)! They've shuttled all of the terrifying characters to the Torrance team!

I guess I missed something over in the Darkstars comic because Donna Troy has decided to leave Terry and her baby to join the Darkstars. I can't say I disagree with that decision. Fuck Terry!

Terra, Redwing, Prester Jon, Lapidus, and Killowat head to Qurac because remember how the comic book started there? They discover Chimera who must be a Team Titan because she knows their names and they recognized her dead pegasus. The Were-Creatures overpower them and they escape into a fortified building. But once inside, they discover Redwing has completely mutated too. The worst part is that Prester Jon calls her a hideous thing. She's going to remember that comment for sure.

Team Titans #22 Rating: C-. Ignoring all of the plot stuff that annoyed me, I'm simply grading this comic book on one point: one of the Titans is called Murder Master and they held a press conference to introduce this guy to the community he'll be living in. And that community was already up in arms about the democrats taking away all of their military jobs! "Hey, angry people of Torrance! Here's your new local superhero team that will help protect your community! Battalion, a big gruff grizzly bear that probably hates you and would love to punch you in the face! Nightrider, a vampire that has just recently remembered he loves the taste of human flesh! A member of Judge and Jury, the bad guy Team Titans team that kills other Team Titans! And Murder Master, the master of murder! Don't you all feel safer now?!"

Monday, June 10, 2019

New Titans #112

Don't you worry your pretty little head about Red Star's right leg.

I keep trying to organize my life so that I can read more actual books (as opposed to comic books which I'm not judging. I'm just differentiating) without having to sacrifice any of the other things I enjoy doing. What that generally means is that I wind up reading about ten pages every morning before going to bed (I work nights!). Which realistically means I need to do improve my time management if I'm going to be serious about reading. I have managed to read the first "book" of Alan Moore's Jerusalem but it's taken me a fucking long time to do it. I thought it would take me a long time because I was expecting a difficult read but I'm finding it enjoyable. Plus by the time I've finished, I'm fairly certain I'll be able to navigate Northampton with ease. I'm also wondering if all the descriptions of the characters' movements through the city are an encoded treasure map! Or, being that Alan Moore wrote it, it's more likely a spell to summon some sex demons.

While organizing (and by organizing, I mean the main definition of organizing: moving shit around in a way that makes you feel like you're accomplishing something but really you're just engaging in an activity to forget about your mortality for awhile. Plus you can generally get some really fucking good dusting done), I managed to place all of the books from various book shelves that I have yet to finish reading (or that I simply want to reread) on the top shelf of the row of bookcases in my office. Jerusalem is first on that list followed by some books by high school friends (Rogue's Curse by Jason Beymer and Soy Rakelson's children's books that I'm willing to bet everything I own as well as my life and my mother's life on that they're black and white morality tales with a super conservative and possibly Ayn Randian view of the world). After that is There Is No Year which Doom Bunny gave me because it's supposedly a terrible book that I'm not sure he even finished and which I wanted to make fun of (but, hey, maybe I'll love it!) and the rest: Inside the Yellow Submarine, Trixie Belden Mystery-Quiz Book #1, Don Quixote, Gravity's Rainbow, Lost in the Funhouse (reread!), A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, And the Ass Saw the Angel (by Nick Cave!), King's The Wind Through the Keyhole (A Dark Tower book!), Crime and Punishment, Hey Nostradamus!, The Best of H.P. Lovecraft, The Lore and Language of Schoolchildren, The Boomer Bible (re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-read), Six Volumes of The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night (finished with one and a half volumes after owning this set for twenty five years!), The Holy Bible (currently reading for my Patreon), The Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry (Second Edition) (because I need poetic context for the 20th century!), Only Revolutions, The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick, and The Familiar (currently just book one but there's going to be like nine hundred of them, so maybe I won't even bother!). Oh, and I just added We Learn Nothing (reread) and I Wrote This Book Because I Love You, both by Tim Kreider. I'll probably start with those because funny essays are easier to get through than anything by Dostoevsky, Danielewski, Pynchon, Cervantes, Barth, Joyce, or Sakelson! I mean Rakelson!

Oh man. Rakelson would have a stroke if he knew I listed his name with all those postmodern authors! Not that they're all postmodern. You can figure out which ones are and aren't on your own. I'm busy reading New Titans #112 which must be good since Starfire is naked on the cover. Okay, almost naked. She is wearing a dickie and a belt.

I know a lot of you just skipped that big paragraph while thinking, "Oh, la dee da! What a fancy book reader you are! Fucking virtue signaler! Or whatever the term for listing or showing off your reading list full of classic literary texts is! Seems like virtue signaler works well enough! Better even than what idiotic fuck nuggets use it for on Twitter anyway!" But maybe you missed the part about how those are books I haven't been able to get through yet! I've owned some of these books for over a decade! And I didn't even put The Collected Works of Gertrude Stein on this shelf because do I need to be reminded that I used that book more as an address book than something to read? Although I carried it with me everywhere I went for a year or two (which is why it's full of phone numbers and addresses!). And I really did want to read it. I didn't carry it around so people could think, "Look at him with that book! Who the fuck is Gertrude Stein? What a ponce!" Although to be fair, I did leave off a few books on my "to-read" shelf! But it wasn't because they weren't smart enough sounding! It's because they were comic books and also pornography and also also fucking hilarious.

One of my friends in the state department who learns a brand new language every four years or so bonded with me over Oglaf last time he visited. He was all, "I'm glad I know somebody I can share my love of Oglaf with and not be looked at like a completely demented perv!" Although I do look at him like he's a completely demented perv, I didn't need to admit it to his face!

I embrace my delusion that readers merely skipped "one" paragraph of my comic book "reviews"!

This issue is called "A New Home" and my brain continued to add to that title with "o-erotic Journey." Mostly because of this panel:

Fairly certain "bamming" a baby is illegal, even in space.

The Titans (and I use that term loosely since the characters encompassed by that shorthand are Changeling, Red Star, Pantha, Baby, and Starfire) have been stranded on The Terraist's space station. That name probably could use a hyphen so you don't first read it as terRAIST twelve times thinking "What the fuck does that mean?" before your brain finally sees the God-awful pun and you give up, finally letting go of that last gossamer thread that's been connecting you to the reality you just discovered doesn't fucking matter. How can there be any meaning to existence when an editor greenlights the name "Terraist"? I'm sure Wolfman's pitch contained at least two dozen "Get it?!"s. Anyway, maybe most readers never even noticed, shrugging their shoulders at every single moment in which a comic book doesn't make sense because at least Starfire is practically naked throughout the last few issues!

I have a theory that most people don't really absorb much of what they're reading in comic books. They tend to just love a character for some magic reason and stick with loving that character no matter what terrible writer winds up writing them. And at that point, they just ignore plot holes and inconsistencies and terrible dialogue and whatever the fuck Ann Nocenti does with her typewriter. They simply go star-eyed and gape lovingly at the drawn images of Dick Grayson's throbbing buttocks. That was a hypothetical sentence and not a memoir. Here's a panel with evidence that might lead to proof of my theory if I could actually interview anybody who read this comic book in 1994 and ask them, "Did you even notice this panel?" To which they would all probably respond, "No, I was distracted by the opposite page where you can see tons of Starfire's side-boob and I think one of her outer labia." Um, anyway, the panel I mentioned:

Damn, Marv. Beyond the Forest was nearly fifty years old at the time this comic came out.

To be fair to Wolfman and Changeling, I did an Internet search on "Whatta dump" (and, yes, I spelled it differently than Marv did) and the first hit was video of the scene where Bette Davis says the line. What's odd is that she delivers it flatter and straighter than anything I would have expected out of Bette Davis's eyes...I mean mouth. Gar's rendition of it is terrible! The way Bette says it, I would never think to spell it any way but "What a dump."

But that's not the point! The point is how is "What a dump!" a immortal words?! Granted, you're probably now thinking to yourself, "Well, how did X and Y and Z become oft-quoted movie lines?!" (where X and Y and Z are actual phrases from movies and not just letters. But I'm not psychic so how should I know what terrible oft-quoted movie lines you were thinking of? Mine would have been "Seven schools in seven states and the only different is my locker combination" or "William H. Bonny. You are not a god?" "Why don't you pull the trigger and find out?" or "Ziggy Piggy! Ziggy Piggy! Ziggy Piggy! Ziggy Piggy!") I suppose one can't help what phrases the zeitgeist picks up on. According to the YouTube video of Bette Davis, "What a dump" is Bette's famous bitchy line from that movie I'd never heard of. I guess I just haven't traveled in the right circles! Although I have heard the phrase "What a dump!" Has everybody in the world been quoting Bette Davis all this time and I just didn't know it?! Was this movie the first time that phrase was ever uttered?! To think I could have known all of this if I hadn't been distracted by Starfire's side-boob and — I'm fairly certain — one of her outer labia.

To shut Gar up, Starfire admits that she doesn't remember any of them and then she punches Pantha in her vagina.

Starfire punching Pantha in the vagina is funnier than anything that Pantha has said in the last forty issues.

After punching Pantha in the vagina, Starfire knees Red Star in the balls for no reason. Unless the reason is that she's been wanting to do that for a long time and her pretend amnesia allows her this moment! I suppose I'd fake amnesia too to get away from being a Titan.

I've been joking about seeing Starfire's outer labia but is this it? Is that one of those things?

Is my boner proof that it's her labia or is my boner proof that I'm a comic book reading virgin nerd?

I can't wait for everybody to message me telling me how that can't be her outer labia because that's not where it would be and anyway this photographic proof I'm sending you is what one looks like! Then I can actually them and say, "Well, you can't know that for sure! She's an alien and maybe her outer labia is fully engorged due to Pantha back-fucking her!" Also I'd really enjoy some of that photographic evidence!

This is not what I would do with those photographs.

Garfield turns into another monster because he can't do birds and rhinos anymore. He lies on top of Starfire and then reveals something that destroys every moment in DC canon where Garfield turned into a rhino to knock some hugely muscled bad guy on their ass. He tells Red Star, "Hey, I may be big and ugly but my mass doesn't change! I'm not as strong as she is!" Well fuck me! The whole concept of Beast Boy has been based on a huge lie! Or at least scientific principles that make the character utterly worthless. Why the fuck would he ever change into a huge beast if his mass doesn't change? Wouldn't he always change into something small and fast to be most effective?! This revelation is one of those moments where DC tries to make their universe more logical but only winds up fucking up the entire multiverse.

Red Star and Changeling knock Starfire unconscious and then tie her up which probably isn't totally rapey at all, even if the artist draws it that way.

Yep. Everything is just fine here! Move along.

Meanwhile on Earth, Arsenal, Aqualad, and Flash consider a proposal from the United States government to get the Titans to work for them. They consider it over a couple waters at a local strip club named Ding Dong Daddy's." I mean, the comic book calls it a "retro club" but everybody either gets a private lap dance or laid. It's hard to tell what Marv Wolfman was going for with this scene. Proof that the young cool Titan men fuck? Proof that women are only to provide relief for men's sexual desires? Proof that Aqualad should maybe think twice before saying "Hey guys! We came together!" when women are throwing their vaginas at them?

How long does Aqualad think a lap dance takes?

Back in space while the reader was away, Red Star and Changeling have managed to put a gag on Starfire and tie her legs together. That makes things less rapey, right? If not, I'm sure Marv will improve the situation in a sensitive and professional manner!

Oh come on!

Starfire remembers everything while Changeling whines about how he didn't get to kiss Starfire while she was tied up and scared and beaten and suffering from amnesia. Poor kid! Maybe next time!

After regaining her memory, Starfire says, "X'hal! That was dick I saw in South America!" and I snicker like a twelve year old.

The first decision Starfire makes after regaining her memory is that she and Dick should get their marriage annulled, if it even took which I'm pretty sure it didn't. If you were a fan of reading the letters pages, whoever the letter answer person was constantly kept pointing out that they couldn't be married because the priest blew up before he could say they were man and wife. But now Wolfman provides more evidence like how no paper work was filed and nobody signed anything (although don't you sign the papers before the ceremony?) Anyway, they're not married and probably never will be if the last twenty five years of reading comic books has taught me anything!


Baby has an idea to use The Terraist's satellite as their new headquarters and the government is all, "Okay! But you have to work with us on a minimum number of yearly missions!" And Roy Harper is all, "That number is zero!" And the government is all, "Yes sir! What a deal! We will pay you a salary, give you the satellite, and get nothing in return! Let's shake on it!"

Who the fuck is wearing The Flash's costume?! First appearance of New 52 Wally West?

The epilogue reveals Raven needs to rape the Titans so that they'll all give birth to Trigon's children. So it should be a fun few final issues before either this comic book was cancelled or I finally recovered my sanity and simply stopped buying it.

New Titans #112 Rating: B. It was all kinds of stupid but I enjoyed making fun of it!