Sunday, July 28, 2019

Teen Titans Spotlight #6: Jericho

Who are all the chubby children? The Quraci Newskids Legion?

I'm so angry about having to read a fourth Jericho comic book that I'm going to invent time travel so I can go back in time and punch my teenage self in the face. "This was your favorite Titan?!" I'd scream in his zitty face. "You're never going to get laid! I should know!" Then I'd...hey! I remember that happening! I kept wondering, "Who is this fat fuck and why does he care about my love of fashion and facial hair?!" Then I cried for a bit while mumbling, "I'm never going to get laid? You're never going to get laid!" I guess I was right!

I realize I'm utilizing time travel incorrectly. I should be going back in time and convincing Marv Wolfman not to do a four issue story arc about Jericho. Or killing his mother. But, really, what did she do? She got pregnant and now I have to suffer through reading a Jericho comic book for ten minutes. The retaliation might be a little disproportionate. I should kill Marv's father too!

Forget going back in time to kill Baby Hitler. How many people would go back in time to abort Baby Hitler? That's the more interesting philosophical conundrum. Some people would want to go back in time to get Hitler's mother pregnant before Papa Hitler got her pregnant but that's just asking for the person to realize that they're sperm is evil and they always fathered stupid Baby Hitler. Maybe I'd go back in time and step on whatever the fuck sprang to life in the Primordial Ooze. Just get the whole fucking thing over with.

This issue is called "Conflagration" which is an anagram of "con flag ration."

If Joseph is lucky, Penny is totally hot for her father.

Arthur and Penny's plan is to destroy Qurac and replace it with a H.I.V.E. franchise. If I were Jericho, I wouldn't bother stopping them until after they destroyed Qurac. And I wouldn't feel bad about civilian casualties because according to DC's Who's Who, every single person living in Qurac is a vile terrorist. It makes it easier for writers to avoid political pitfalls! You don't just want kids in America thinking, "Fuck those Quracis! What devils!" You also want your Middle Eastern audience to be all, "Fuck those Quracis! What devils!" And since Qurac doesn't actually exist, you aren't losing any money from Quracis offended by their portrayal!

Curt finishes telling Addie everything he knows even though I thought he already did that back when Joseph was still alive (wink, wink!). Adeline discovers that Lord is on his way to destroy Qurac so she rushes off to help. That leaves Curt alone to star in a wacky one page story that should probably end with fruit pies.

Apparently Marv's script was one page short and he needed to add some filler.

On the way to bomb Qurac, Penny's father regains consciousness and says those words that always make me giggle: "Penny, he's inside me!" Penny answers, "What?! Why didn't you use the warm potato salad trick?!" Penny realizes the only thing she can do is shoot her father in the head. I would probably try bluffing first but then I'm not H.I.V.E. material for a reason. But before Penny can pull the trigger, Joseph makes me laugh again:

Who forgot the potato salad now?

To save the capital of Quarc which is I have no idea, Jericho switches back into Arthur (and of course Arthur screams, "He's inside me again!") so he can attack Arthur's squadron of helicopters. Joey fails to blow up all the other helicopters so he just ejects the gas in Arthur's copter and bails out of the helicopter to hide inside some children. None of the children say, "He's inside of me!", because that would be inappropriate.

Lord's helicopters begin destroying the Quraci buildings and even the narrator doesn't give a fuck about all the innocent deaths.

Because there are no innocents in Qurac!

Once again, Arthur and Jericho face off in hand to hand combat. Arthur tells Jericho, "I've beaten you once, son. I'll do it again!" Apparently Arthur doesn't quite remember his last fight with Jericho. To be fair, he was unconscious for the end of it.

The fight ends when Penny shoots her father thinking that she'll somehow kill Jericho while he's still in the body. Maybe she's not as stupid as this moment makes her out to be. Maybe she secretly loved Joseph this entire time and was just waiting for the chance to kill her father!

Nope. Just stupid. And really fucking angry!

Arthur Lord manages to survive but he's left crippled. And Jericho returns to making lewd signs.

"I fuck butts now. I'm gay for cock."

Teen Titans Spotlight #6: Jericho Rating: B. I liked Jericho when I was younger because it was odd to see a sensitive hero who tried his best to resort to pacifism. Not wholly against physical violence when he had to engage in it but he definitely used his powers to try to deescalate situations. That seemed heroic to me when I was younger. And dumber, apparently, because I think comic book fandom is about loving huge fist fights! I'm totally getting on board that train now. Whoo whoo! No wonder so many people hated Tom King's run of Batman. What is the point of Batman if he's not breaking jaws and cracking skulls?!

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Teen Titans Spotlight #5: Jericho

Princess of Gemworld

This meek, sensitive, golden boy has finally been pushed too far, dammit! Look out because he'll possess your body and make you do embarrassing things in front of your loved ones! He'll absolutely humiliate the fuck out of you!

Come on, DC! Nobody is taking this dandy seriously! Puffy sleeves. Draped cape. Purple vest. Spandex pants. He's practically the epitome of Prince Adam and who the fuck was afraid of him?! Oh wait! I know the answer to that! It was Cringer! Cringer was afraid of Prince Adam!

It's weird to think He-man became manlier when he took off most of his clothes to run around in Ugg boots, a fur loincloth, and armored suspenders. That entire show was a gay power fantasy, wasn't it?! Whoever developed it was all, "G.I. Joe is a big hit with all the kids and it's kind of gay, right? I'm not the only one who thinks Shipwreck has blown Roadblock, am I? Anyway, what if we make a super duper gay cartoon?!" I got into He-man before the cartoon because the Skeletor action figure reminded me of the Conan book I was reading at the time. Which must mean Conan the Barbarian is the gateway to homosexuality. What's weird is I'm probably just having a laugh (not at the expense of homosexuals! At the expense of, I don't know, something else!) but I bet there are plenty of thesis papers out there detailing the homoerotic nature of fantasy pulp fiction and its ensuant offshoots. With Conan at the forefront, of course!

Did using the word ensuant make my discussion sound scholarly enough to distract people from the possibility that I might have made (but didn't!) some jokes in poor taste? I hope I used it right!

At the end of Issue #2, following the letters page ramblings, Mike Gold (or whoever was writing the end column at the time) mentioned that Issue #3 would be the start of a three part Jericho story. So imagine how angry I am right at this moment after having picked up Issue #5 from the stack (which is the third Jericho issue) to see that Issue #6 was also a fucking Jericho issue! Are you fucking kidding me?! Who needs a four part story about this asshole whose mind we're never in because Marv Wolfman uses omniscient narrators instead of the modern first person narration and who never fucking says anything! Okay, he says one or two things per issue using sign language. But that's practically like not saying anything because I'm a big dope who thinks every sign is dirty!

But in 1986, Jericho was, for some fucking insane reason, my favorite Teen Titan. I said "some fucking insane reason" as if I don't know what the reason was. Well, I do and I'm going to regret telling you about it in the next sentence. I fucking loved the way he looked. Are you happy now? I admitted it! I love everything about this dandy motherfucker! Look at that sharp vest! And the sparkling belt! And the fucking pink boots! And those sideburns! I've probably spent more than half my life with big bushy sideburns which I almost certainly owe to loving the fuck out of this clown for so many years!

The issue begins with a serious crime being committed.

How will he not know when he finds his fingers have been Crazy Glued to his cock?

With Jericho's powers, I don't know why he needs Garfield's fingerprints. Why not just possess Steve Dayton himself, knock him out so he can't scream for help, and just walk in to grab the promethium? Or hire his dad to get the shit! He could probably guilt Deathstork into doing loads of illegal stuff for him.

Why would Steve Dayton allow Garfield Logan access to his promethium?! Yeah, I fucking know Logan's his son. It still doesn't fucking make sense!

Jericho takes the promethium back to Arthur Lord so he can trade it to the Quraci government and save his daughter's life. But it's only after Lord leaves Addie's place with the promethium that she says to Jericho, "I think we just got scammed!"

Jericho responds, "I think you're a loser."

Sure enough, Penny and Arthur were just using Joey and his mom to get their hands on the most destructive non-Lobo thing in the DC Universe. Penny is all, "That dupe actually thought I loved him! But we didn't even fuck! I just held a tin of microwaved potato salad between my legs and let him fuck that." That's what sex feels like, right? Fucking warm potato salad? I mean, I totally know that's what it's like. I hope!

I mean, I don't hope it feels like that in that I love the feeling of fucking warm potato salad! I hope that's what it feels like so people who have fucked don't think I haven't fucked because I described it poorly. We all have different experiences anyway! You can't invalidate my description of what it felt like when I totally had sex all those times!

Joseph, being the biggest dupe of them all, didn't replace the promethium tablets with Sugar Mamas like I would have expected him to do. So now he and his mother have to break into Arthur Lord's secret laboratory and resteal the promethium tablets! If only they had consulted Nightwing, they could have been done with this adventure already. He would have been all, "Man, Joey, you smell like potato salad ! Did you fall for the fake lover with the potato salad between her legs trick? You better not trust her, buddy!"

Oh, I was wrong! They don't break into Lord's place at all! They think their smartest move is to break into Qurac and kidnap Curt, Penny's husband! I guess they can use him as leverage. Although couldn't Joey have lifted Penny's fingerprints off of his prostate to gain access to the secret lab?

If Joey had the ability to sneak into Qurac to rescue Penny without risking the entire world by giving Qurac promethium, why the fuck wasn't that the plan from the beginning?! I'm starting to sense that maybe Marv Wolfman was on Quaaludes when he wrote this script.

That would be Joey's crotch.

There's an advert for NBC's Saturday morning line-up in this issue and it just makes me wonder: if modern conservatives are so pissed off about everything in our culture that they see as emasculating the kind of man they think every guy should be, where the fuck were they in 1986 while I was watching Kissyfur, The Gummi Bears, Smurfs, Punky Brewster, Alvin and the Chipmunks, Foofur, and Kidd Video?! The most manly cartoon in that list is Alvin and the Chipmunks and they wore dresses!

Stop doing the math and trying to point out that I was fourteen or fifteen in 1986! Gummi Bears had one of the best cartoon theme songs (right after Ducktales)! I'm going to go listen to it right now!

Joey and Adeline take Curt to Tokyo where they finally begin interrogating him. Even though he spent multiple days being tortured by the Quraci government, he wouldn't tell them a thing. He spends two minutes alone with Adeline and Joseph and he begins spilling the beans. The only threat they used was that Joey was going to put himself inside hi...oh. I see what he's afraid of! Dude, it's nothing to be frightened of! Just relax, man! Joseph's a sensitive poet. He'll definitely provide a reach-around.

Joseph infiltrates Lord's secret base and discovers he's resurrecting H.I.V.E. (which stands for Hierarchy of International Vengeance and Extermination which is fucking stupid. Just spitballing for a few seconds and I already came up with a better one: Higher Institute of Violent Extremism!). Joseph's movements are described as catlike which is why he's noticed freaking the fuck out, bouncing off walls, and yowling at the top of his voice. Arthur Lord, leader of an organization full of soldiers who are only in the organization because they killed a bunch of other master fighters, decides to fight Joseph himself. His mighty warriors (the best of the best!) just stand around in robes watching.

What good is your invaluable edge if you're not going to use it?! Kill the little creep, you idiot!

Arthur Lord tackles Joseph straight through a wall where they both disappear from view. Then he emerges and he's all, "He's dead! And since Joseph can't control the host's talking, I must be myself and telling the truth! Ha ha ha!" But I know better! Remember how I already saw there's another issue in this stupid story arc? Joseph is totally still alive! And probably possessing Arthur! And probably able to speak because Arthur was knocked unconscious! Pshaw! Marv Wolfman, you need better twists!

Arthur and H.I.V.E. take off from their secret base to go take over the world. And they won't need the base anymore for some reason, so they just blow up the island on the way out. Ugh, he's the worst kind of tenant.

Teen Titans Spotlight #5: Jericho Rating: B-. So much betrayal! So many twists and turns! Not much fucking though. Which makes it a mediocre Teen Titans story. And yes, the B- factors in the fact that this whole conflict is, once again, somehow driven by family.

Teen Titans Spotlight #4: Jericho

Jericho is from Gemworld, isn't he?

As a person who has wasted forty years of his life reading comic books, I think I know enough about Jericho to declare his powers aren't going to save Penny in this situation. If the people with the guns want to kill her, she's dead as soon as he enters somebody else's head. Unless...let me check Jericho's Who's Who entry! Nope, it doesn't say that somebody holding onto his cock goes with him into his opponent's mind.

When we last left Jericho, he was practically naked discovering that the woman he loved at, I don't know, fourteen? fifteen? was still alive.

Do comic book artists know how penises work? Jericho had better only be drawn from the waist up in subsequent panels.

Some people might think Jericho should be mad because Penny didn't let him know she was alive. But if I were Jericho, I would just be thinking about all of the fucking I was about to do. Humans are weird, right? How many people, after discovering that the person you love is actually alive and well, would ruin that shit by pouting and being upset and selfishly thinking only about how they had been abandoned?! I mean, it's almost a miracle! A person you thought was dead isn't! How can you not be ecstatic about it?! Plus the imminent fucking!

Penny had better hope there aren't any signs in sign language for "You hurt me!" and "How could you do this to me?" and "Two years? I get to put it in your ass, right?!"

I dislike making "women need added incentive to put a penis in their butt" jokes because have you met women? They're filthy dirty perverts! But I figured Joey, being the sensitive type, never really attempted anal with Penny. But I bet some of his poetry was totally about doing anal.

The Snail

Taut antenna gently poking;
Slimy trail drips behind.
Ever slowly, slight withdrawing.
Hides its head so deep inside.

Joey acts happy that Penny is back. Right up until he tries to fuck her and she's all, "No, no! I'm married now! Alas!" But then she explains that her husband has been kidnapped and Joey's spirits rise once again! Maybe he'll be killed! Sometimes stories do end happily ever after!

Fucking Addie. Take some personal responsibility, will you?!

Joey agrees to help Penny find Curt because Joey is the sensitive type that is totally into Devil's Triangles. Penny explains that Curt was kidnapped because of his knowledge of promethium. Not the promethium that exists in the real world but DC Universe promethium. Apparently promethium in the DC Universe can explode forever. Using my knowledge of the DC Universe, I must now conclude that Cyborg has the greatest orgasms in DC continuity. Although after doing some minor research because I know my knowledge of the DC Universe is spurious at best, it seems Cyborg's metal is made of depleted promethium. Which means Cyborg is impotent.

This is the sign for "Can I we fist now?"

Penny's father (whose name I should know but I never really thought his story arc would be in the foreground) threatens Qurac if they don't stop interfering in his interests with their Goddamned terrorism. He then slaughters some henchmen just to boost his aging self-esteem, with which none of his other henchmen seem to have a problem. And since even after killing some youthful men, he still feels old, he goes to bang a bunch of young women in the pool.

This comment is definitely directed at Deathstork. "I might be one of H.I.V.E.'s greatest monsters but not on the level of Slade Wilson!"

As Penny, Joey, and Adeline do some research at Searchers, Inc., they're attacked by more guys in jetpacks. I'm not fluent in super villain evil plans so I probably shouldn't tell them how to do their jobs. But flying around in jetpacks in a small office room doesn't feel like it confers much of an advantage. And I'm probably right about my supposition because the jetpack guys get their asses kicked by Joey and Penny. Plus Joey manages to sneak in one of those probably unintentionally sexy mind control panels.

The other henchmen, so intrigued by what might come next, stand rooted to the stairs.

Penny winds up being kidnapped because, in the end, the advantage of jetpacks is too great to overcome. I was wrong after all. Which I totally knew I was! So, technically, I was right all along.

Surprising only those who voraciously tore into the comic book without glancing at the cover, Penny has been taken to Amsterdam. I bet they're about to have some kind of showdown there!

The big showdown is more of a big letdown as Jericho once again fails to rescue Penny. She's carried off yet again by the Quraci terrorists. Arthur Lord (that's Penny's dad's name! I finally committed it to my brain!) decides the only way to get her back is to give Qurac some promethium. But the only way to get it is for Jericho to break into STAR Labs! I guess that won't be a problem for him, seeing as how he's Wildebeest and an enemy to all Titans! Oops! That was probably a spoiler! Sorry!

Teen Titans Spotlight #4: Jericho Rating: C. Mostly it gets a C because I didn't really pay attention to the story. It's fairly standard villains playing each other while a hero gets caught up in the middle out of love story. And the main character barely gets to express himself across 24 pages! It's mostly Adeline putting words in his mouth and Jericho responding with an obscene gesture. So it could have been better than a C comic book. Who knows? Not me! I don't actually review these things! What kind of fool thinks they're getting subjective critiques from this asshole?!

Friday, July 26, 2019

Teen Titans Spotlight #3: Jericho

I've always loved Jericho's look. Nothing says "I'm a superhero!" less.

Judging by the cover, I think this story was based on an Alfred Hitchcock movie.

Being a swearmonger, I have no problem with any kind of cursing in any situation ever. But I know people exist who can't stand even the slightest swear. Do those people avoid talking about Alfred Hitchcock movies to avoid embarrassing themselves? What about when they say words like class, assassin, acetate, dictator, and country? What really confuses me is how people who don't swear constantly swear but they've replaced the socially unacceptable words with words of their own making. It's really the same thing! "Cheese and crackers!" is always weirdly said at the exact same moments that blasphemers would yell, "Jesus Christ!" If the words are providing the same essential cathartic outlet, has the non-swearer really improved the situation? Even the words often used to replace swear words acknowledge the replaced word in their similarity. And if the only thing I know about religion is correct (that thing where Jesus says if you thunk it, you done already sinned it), these people are all fucked. Unless swearing isn't really a sin. I suppose the only real sinful swearing is the taking the Lord's name in vain. Which means that people who won't say words like "fuck" and "shit" and "asshole" must believe those are alternate words for God. Weirdos!

I don't give a fuck about swearing because swearing doesn't make the world a worse place. Who needs decorum?! Decorum can go spindle itself in the granny basket!

Dammit. That was satisfying. I think I've just moved into the "Cheese and Crackers!" camp.

Look at that outfit! No wonder he spends the majority of his time inside other people's minds.

This issue is called "The Past is Prologue" and I just went into a profundity coma. Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck.

How much prologue can a teenager have built up? I suppose it depends on your life experiences. Joseph had his throat slit by one of Jackal's henchmen, developed the ability to enter a person's mind and take control of their body, had a father who was the greatest mercenary in the world, and was able to grow fantastic facial hair at an early age. He's probably got some good prologue. But take another teenager like Rebecca Black and you realize sometimes there's not a whole lot of prologue. I mean, I guess she learned the order the days come in the week, how to eat cereal, and the ability to count seats in a vehicle. Not that I'm taking a shot at Rebecca Black! I was probably one of the only people to defend her when it was all the Internet rage to shit on her song "Friday." Sure, the lyrics were inane. But she was young and the song was as catchy as any hit pop song. Sometimes people are just generally assholes. I guess they needed to prove their intelligence by pointing out how they couldn't be fooled into enjoying a song with insipid lyrics. Fuck them. Rebecca Black, I'm a fan!

The story begins in Paris so obviously the scene opens on the Eiffel Tower. Sure, the characters could have been at the Louvre or the Moulin Rouge or Notre Dame or the Arc de Triomphe but how many readers would instantly realize the characters were in Paris then? Aside from the narration box saying, "You can actually feel Paris come alive at night." Which is kind of a gross sentence when the scene opens up on a huge phallus straining to fuck the sky.

Now, now! Don't be hurt that I assumed most people wouldn't recognize Paris by famous Paris landmarks other than the Eiffel Tower. I didn't mean you, of course! I meant all of the other readers! Try to remember that the main audience for this story are comic book readers and Americans. If the third circle of that Venn Diagram is "ignorant," it would subsume the other two circles.

Ha ha! Just kidding, comic book readers! Just yanking your Yankee chain, Americans! Ha ha! Good times.

This is Curt and Penny. They're, I don't know, international spies or something.

Penny's help comes in the form of Adeline Kane and her investigative agency, Searchers, Inc. But there's a dramatic love problem! Joseph (Jericho, for you know-nothings!) was in love with Penny two years ago but it ended when he thought she died. Marv Wolfman does remember Jericho is a teenager, right? I guess that's why, two years later, he's still pining over his dead girlfriend. Love seems more love-y when you're young! But sheesh, Joey! Get over it! It's not like you lost your cat!

Listening? He's been signing "Let me fuck your titties" for the last twenty minutes!

Penny likes Jericho because he doesn't speak, he apparently listens, he paints, he writes poetry, and he can grow underwear soaking facial hair. And since he can't say anything, they just go out to the garden and fuck.

Meanwhile, Penny's dad pays Adeline to fake his and his daughter's death. Adeline sees her son fucking Penny and says, "Yeah, whatever. Cash is awesome."

But that's all prologue! In the logue, Penny's father is amassing an army for some shenanigans he's getting up to. But instead of hiring a bunch of warriors, he's making the warriors all fight to the death so that he's only left with a few warriors who are the best warriors from dozens! Or the luckiest, maybe. I don't know. I'd rather have a bigger army with a bunch of guys ready to fight to the death than a small army of guys cocky from fighting other guys to the death and somehow surviving. But then, I've never considered myself arch-villain material.

Penny's father tells her to get to Searchers, Inc. to help find Curt. He's busy watching dozens of perfectly good soldiers die for his cause. She has a bit of unbelievable trouble on the way to the airport that I don't want to talk about. Seriously, you don't want me to talk about it either. Especially since I know nothing about how cars work so even though I feel like a car wouldn't suddenly go out of control if a person in the back seat managed to aim at and hit the gas line while shooting through the floor, I can't be sure and I'm not willing to watch any YouTube videos on the subject. Plus after she shoots the gas line, the driver says, "You're crazy! We'll both die!" as the car heads for a cliff which he drives right over. Because somehow shooting the gas line means the brakes and the steering suddenly don't work? I suppose it's possible since, as I said, I know nothing about cars! She shoots the lock on the back door to get out but the driver can't open his door because she shot the gas line. Man, I'm glad I know how to completely disable a car and trap the driver in it now! I'd better memorize where this deus ex gaslina sits in every make and model of car! I'll never be kidnapped again!

Back in the prologue, Penny learns that Joey can enter people's minds and take over their body's actions. But the person he controls can still speak because, lacking vocal cords or something, he can't control their vocal cords. Penny gets super excited thinking about all of the sex stuff they could do with that power. Or, I guess, the one sex thing where he takes over her body and jerks her off while she moans loudly.

Does this sign mean "Mom, I fucked my girlfriend's tits!"?

On the night Adeline intends to fake Penny and her father's deaths, Joey proposes to Penelope. Adeline sees him propose and thinks, "Yeah, whatever. Cash is awesome." Adeline blows up Penny's father's boat with Penny and her father on it just as she and Joey leave. I guess that was to really twist the knife in the son she apparently hates. Or at least doesn't love as much as money?

So that's the prologue and the past! Moving on to the logue and the present, Joey still mourns for his lover. But he's going to be in for a big surprise when she shows up alive at the door to Searchers, Inc. Especially since she didn't think he died and has been mourning him for two years. No, she knew he was alive and she was off getting finger-banged by Curt.

Penny is probably thinking, "Curt who?!"

Teen Titans Spotlight #3: Jericho Rating: C. Oh, the teenage sex drama! The longing! The pining! The fake deaths! The strange fucking way gas lines work! This is more like the Marv Wolfman I'm used to!

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Teen Titans Spotlight #2: Starfire

Did Starfire end Apartheid?!

I remember in summer of 1986 when the news broke: "Apartheid is no more! Fictional character ends world's currently most racist and despicable government!" But then later that same year, she was killed by a bomb in Northern Ireland. I guess she just couldn't fix all the world's problems.

Maybe the troubles in Norhern Ireland will be solved by Jericho next issue. But first, we need to read about the end of Apartheid! I wonder if Starfire blasts all the bad guys with her starbolts or she writes a pop song and gets all the heroes to sing it?

At the end of the last issue, Starfire was gaslit into believing that she'd accidentally killed the one man that could bring an end to the systemic oppression of black South Africans, Father Nelson Mandutu! Hopefully she only believes that lie on the opening splash page because it makes the story seem super exciting to kids checking it out on the rack. They flip open the book and think, "Holy shit! This fucking bitch killed that asshole! I've got to motherfucking read this Goddamned rag!" The kids I knew were foulmouthed bastards.

At least Starfire doesn't fall on her sword and allow herself to be arrested by the South African government. She flies off, promising to return, so she can think about her next move. It probably won't be shooting starbolts willy-nilly. I think it will be rending her garments remembering how Dick Grayson, the love of her life, always chastised her for being a violent psycho. Then she'll fly back to turn herself in only to hear somebody discussing how she was set up. Then maybe she'll kill some people unaccidentally!

After gnashing her teeth and pulling out her lovely, weird hair, Starfire decides to investigate the death of Mandutu. When she realizes she's a lousy detective who couldn't find a clue if it were hidden somewhere on her skimpy costume, she flies to the morgue to hug Mandutu's corpse and apologize to it. While acting weird, she discovers a bullet hole in his head. And she doesn't fire bullets out of her hands! She only fires starbolts! Mystery solved! Take that, Dick Grayson! Starfire's passion and temper didn't make her into a murderer like you always said they would (and probably secretly hoped for so that you could scold her and say, "I bat-told you so!").

From Mandutu's corpse and his still living wife and WOPR, Starfire learns that the only way to win is not to resort to violence. Although passive resistance has its own problems (like the amount of concussions and dead friends you're going to rack up while somehow continuing to have the will and fortitude to maintain the passive resistance), Starfire learns that it effectively puts the Spotlight On: the monsters abusing their power to hurt, belittle, oppress, and destroy certain people. It's often the only way to disarm the trap the people in power set up. They declare certain people are violent monsters and subsequently use every tactic they can to bait those people into violence. The only way to fight back is to refuse to rise to the occasion so that the world sees through the lies and falsehoods. But the other half of that trap is that before the world sees the lies, the powerful assholes are going to beat ass on a bunch of innocent people just trying to make their lives better. Sure, they fall into their own trap and expose themselves as the monsters but not before a whole lot of innocent people get killed. Still, what choice do the oppressed have?! Aside from rising up and murdering all of the powerful jerks! I guess that's an option but as the last powerful jerk dies, he'll probably cough up some blood and say, "See? I knew you were violent! I win!" Then that asshole dies and maybe nobody cares? I think maybe that's a good ending too?

Starfire, coming from a planet of warriors who punch first and punch questions puncher, sees the power of the people to enact change through non-violence. It's a good use of her character because any other Teen Titans would be all, "Yeah! Duh! I learned about Martin Luther Gandhi too! I totally already knew about this stuff!" But Starfire gets to look confused and be introspective. Maybe she thinks, "Dick Grayson was right! I am a violent jerk!", a few too many times. But it's nice to see her come to respect a view where less violence is better through her own experience instead of being lectured by Dick and Donna.

Teen Titans Spotlight #2: Starfire Rating: B-. This issue wasn't as intriguing as the first one, mostly because it wasted a lot of time on Starfire doing lousy detective work and sitting on a mountain crying about being guilty of murder. But it was still far more satisfying than I expected it to be. There isn't a third part but there should be. It should involve Starfire flying to Superman's home and bothering him non-stop until he fucking does something about this Apartheid bullshit.

Teen Titans Spotlight #1: Starfire

Comics in 1986: "Let's begin our new series with Starfire battling Apartheid!" Asshole Fans in 2019: "Comics should go back to the good old days when they weren't political!"

You may have noticed I changed the name of the comic in the header. That's because I refuse to acknowledge the word "on" followed by the colon. It may be grammatically correct; I have no idea of knowing for sure because I don't give a shit. But it's certainly inelegant. And I'm a fancy lad who has no time for inelegant things.

I know I was shitting all over Comicsgaters in the caption for the cover (and, believe me, they could use more being shit on) but I might just have to side with them for one moment. It's probably a spurious decision that I'll soon regret. But even though I wouldn't have been a fan of Apartheid if I'd known what it was at fifteen (which maybe I did but I'm going to err on the side of me being a self-absorbed ignorant twat), I'm certain I wouldn't have been excited about reading a comic book where Starfire battles it. Not knowing what Apartheid is is probably the only reason I purchased this comic book. Instead of thinking, "Holy shit. This is going to be depressing!", I thought, "Oh! A new villain named Apartheid! Sounds exciting!" And then I read this comic book and learned a little something about how fucked up this terrible world can get.

On the plus side, I immediately went out and helped end Apartheid by purchasing whatever pop song by dozens of artists was created at the time to bring attention to it. Hopefully something like that existed or else I'm going to be caught in a lie here.

Here's the advert on the back cover:

Really, M&M's? Everyone? Haven't you heard about Apartheid?!

So far the craziest thing about this comic book to modern audiences is how boring M&M colors were in 1986.

I suspect I don't have the maturity to comment on a story about Apartheid. Oh well! Let's do this!

The story is called "Black and White" because, you see, Apartheid was about how whites and blacks experienced two disparate South Africas. It's also a play on how "black and white" is a way to describe issues that have easily recognizable positive and negative sides. It's probably racist that we automatically assume the black side is the negative side. Maybe that also plays into the title! Chess pieces are black and white too so maybe the title alludes to chess. Maybe something about pawns versus the gentry. Marv might even work in some bits about The Beatles seeing as how they're using that zebra crossing on the cover of Abbey Road.

Starfire has just returned from Tamaran where she married that dweeby Prince Karras guy. He was Tamaran's version of Terry Long. I'm surprised more panels didn't show Starfire and Donna in the background giggling and holding their index fingers and thumb a teeny, tiny distance apart.

Starfire didn't spend eighth grade on Earth so she never learned Earth geography. So instead of flying in from space and looking at Earth and going, "Okay, that's New York right there!", she winds up in South Africa. I bet she came at Earth upside down and got confused. It's easy to get confused in space where up and down don't exist in any objective way.

Starfire descends upon a group of black people chanting "Informer" at a woman they eventually soak in gasoline and light on fire. Holy fuck! This comic book just got more real than all 114 issues of New Titans I just recently reread! Except maybe that part where Raven raped Starfire during Starfire's wedding. That was pretty heavy.

The white police arrive to commit some justice. Unless I meant "racism" instead of "justice." Sometimes, living in America, it's hard to see the difference.

I bet this guy has a MAGA Twitter account.

How many of your racist family members often bring up black on black crime when discussing gun control or cops shooting unarmed black men? How many of those idiots don't think they're being racist when they bring up that argument and just think they're being logical? It's fucking racism, dudes. Cops killing unarmed black men has nothing to do with black men being killed by criminals who happen to share their same skin color. Nobody ever talks about "white on white" crime. That's just crime perpetuated by criminals against innocent people! But somehow a black person shooting another black person belongs in some kind of special category? Of course a black person is probably going to be the victim of a black criminal because America had this thing called white flight. It caused places to become poor black neighborhoods because white people couldn't handle having even one black neighbor. So people and businesses moved out, local governments ignored infrastructure of those areas (or purposefully simply just built freeways straight through them), and constantly sent the police in to hassle innocent people just trying to live their fucking lives. Systemic racism (and racists!) segregated the races in a fairly efficient manner. So when a black criminal looks for a victim in their neighborhood, of course they're going to almost certainly find a black victim! That's simply crime, not black on black crime. Maybe I would think differently if anybody ever at any time in any of these debates brought up white on white crime. Y'all realize that's the most prevalent crime there is, right? Which means whites are the biggest criminals of all. If you're, you know, going to argue that way, you stupid racist asshole.

Plus saying black on black crime is just a way for people to intimate that most crime is caused by black people. "Even though they keep criming us whites, they still have time to crime up their own people!"

This comic book taught me that South African police would use purple dye in water cannons to stain people during protests so that they can be identified later as people who participated in the riot that totally didn't erupt later due to the police being overly aggressive and also racist. Wolfman says people "affectionately" called it Purple Rain which led me down a rabbit hole to figure out which came first, the racist ploy to arrest as many people as possible or the Prince album. Apparently the dyed water was named after the Prince album. That's probably why it was an "affectionate" sobriquet.

I'm a little bit worried that Wolfman is about to "both sides" Apartheid.

Starfire winds up with the South African police who tell her all about how terrible South African blacks are and how she's going to get a medal for helping quell the protest. They also call the woman who burned to death a bitch so I'm getting the feeling that they're not really interested in any kind of justice or peace. It's quite possible that — hear me out on this — they just want to oppress the black citizens and make sure they know their place. But I don't want to jump to conclusions! I should wait until I hear their arguments in a frank and logical debate. "Please, white South Africans, explain to me how South Africa needs your violent tactics and racist attitudes to maintain peace and order. Also explain how peace and order aren't different from justice for everybody. I might be convinced to stop calling you racist if you debate well!"

This guy doesn't realize how true it is that he's teaching these black South Africans how to behave.

It would have been easy to read this, at one time, from a privileged position as a citizen of America and think that the white South Africans in this story were caricatures of racist monsters, playing up their terrible qualities to get the reader to sympathize with the plight of the black South Africans. But these caricatures of despicable and horrible systemic racism using tactics to dehumanize a segment of the population are absolute mirrors of Trump and his deplorables. "They're animals." "They're not like us." "They do not think." "They are like children." "They fight amongst themselves." "We are just securing the peace." "This is God's country." "They need to be taught how to behave." "Their flagrant disregard for the law must be stopped." And all of these statements are simply excuses to treat certain people as less than human. "They get what they deserve."

I'm so fucking disappointed in so many Americans right now.

Starfire is completely confused by everything she's seeing. In her confusion, some journalists get her to sort of say she's for Apartheid. Uh oh! The Teen Titans are going to get worse press than when they destroyed New York City while arguing with their parents about their curfew.

Starfire's response is me on Twitter every fucking day.

The South African leader, Racist McRacisthole, tells Starfire not to worry about the journalists because they're always asking terrible questions and lying about how awful everything is. But Starfire is all, "Just because I have big hair and big tits and my ass is hanging out, don't think I'm a fucking idiot! Not that I'm trying to say people who look like that are idiots! But I know terrible people like you, Mr. Racisthole, think like that! So I just want you to know that I see you! I see what you're doing and how you're trying to snow me with all this fucking dehumanizing garbage! You remind me of the Gordanians!" Then Starfire gets so angry and delivers such a passionate speech that her nose falls off.

"I'b not gobing do libben do yub liebs aby lobber!"

Starfire declares she never cared for politics and tells Governor Racisthole that she's leaving. But instead of going, "Good! Stop interfering with our terrible government!", he says, "I won't let you leave which will probably cause you to stay and help the oppressed!"

Starfire hears a prisoner screaming in pain before she leaves and decides to stick around to help him. While doing so, she realizes that maybe she show these government officials real power! No, I don't mean she's going to flash her tits. Jesus. Some of you comic book nerds just don't stop, do you?! Sure, DC panders to your boners by putting Starfire in her underwear. But you do have the choice to stop being such creepy little fucks, you know?

Imagine reading this and instead of thinking, "You tell 'em, Starfire! Way to go!", you think, "Virtue signaler."

Starfire has some more thoughts from 1986 for us here in 2019. She just won't stop!

Virtue signaler!

I swear the rest of this commentary can just be scans of Starfire saying important shit.

I mean, if this 1986 comic book is an example of older comics that Comicsgaters want to go back to, I'm fucking up for that shit.

In the next panel that I'm not going to scan because I'll never finish reading this comic book if I scan every fucking panel, Starfire says, "Unwittingly, my father helped ruin our world by caving in to our enemies rather than fighting for what was right. I won't do that here on Earth. I've got to care." I should probably send that panel to Nancy Pelosi.

Starfire frees all of the political prisoners and escorts them back to where they're forced to live outside the city. She tries to figure out what Apartheid means and Father Nelson Mandutu, the rebel leader the police have been searching for, tells her, "Ah, I see — you are trying to make sense of madness." It's as good a reason to dismiss people always pressing you to debate their terrible ideas and worthless topics. How can you win a debate against twisted logic and racist madness? Just ignore them when they call you a coward or an elitist when you refuse to debate. I was always taught that the best way to get shit off of your shoe is to scrape it off, not to get in an argument with it.

Starfire follows Mandutu around for the day except for the one moment when he's kidnapped. When she goes to rescue him, she destroys an armory and discovers that Father Mandutu has been killed. BY HER! And there are cameras rolling! Totally not suspicious or anything!

I bet we discover she was framed next issue! That's the kind of intelligent speculation you get from a Grandmaster Comic Book Reader like me. I can't be fooled even by the most subtle of plot twists!

Teen Titans Spotlight #1: Starfire Rating: A. I should probably apologize to Marv Wolfman for all the insults I've made about his Teen Titans books. This was a well-written infotainment issue putting precisely the right character at the heart of an international travesty. And I thought a story about Apartheid was going to be boring! It's almost as if I forgot that every panel would have tons of side boob! Oh no! I just realized I'm one of those creepy little fucks!

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Batman #442

Can you believe thirty years ago, DC was trying to convince a bunch of adults that it was okay to read their kiddy mags?

Why the fuck would DC even put that copy on the front of this comic book? Were they worried adults would suddenly stop purchasing Batman comics when a little boy appeared on the cover? I mean, who is DC fooling? Of course their comics aren't just for kids! They just murdered the previous kid in this costume a few months ago! What kind of children's story was that meant to be?!

At best, people would read the copy and think, "No shit, fuckmongrels!" At worst, people would see that copy underneath the barely dressed young boy and think, "Finally! A magazine for us pedos!" Maybe they simply thought it was in a subliminal font that most people wouldn't even notice.

At two in the morning, Tim Drake becomes worried that Batman and Nightwing haven't reported in. He tells Alfred, "They should have checked in by now! What do we do?!" Alfred responds by rolling his eyes and saying, "You're not as smart as you think you are, are ya kid? Batman checking in? Two A.M. being late? Using the pronoun 'we'?! Get the fuck outta here!" But Tim doesn't get the fuck out of there! Tim has a better idea!

There wasn't this much sexual tension in the last porn I watched.

This is my reputation on the line so I'd just like to point out that the above scanned panel is all off-kilter because the entire stupid page was wonky. I fucking scan like a champ!

Meanwhile, Two-Face struggles to set off the explosives in the basement where Batman and Nightwing are trapped. First he needs to argue with himself about how to flip the coin. Does he catch it and flip it over onto the back of his hand? Well, to decide that, he's going to have to flip the coin. But if he's yet to decide how to flip the coin, how does he flip the coin to decide how to flip the coin?! It's a wonder Two-Face ever comes to any conclusive decision at all! I'm suddenly realizing he's Batman's least believable nemesis! And Batman sometimes fights a guy with eyes on all his fingers!

Two-Face flips his coin (I suppose he's long ago figured out the procedure for coin flipping. I bet getting stuck on how to flip the coin meant he got his ass beat by Batman one too many times. Being a lawyer, he realized he needed to be prepared for pressure situations like this). The results allow him to blow up Batman and Nightwing. But he still has to wait until 2 in the morning. Or 2:02? Maybe 2:20? 2:22? I guess this time, 2:00 A.M. is fine. And being that Tim mentioned earlier that it was almost two, it looks like it's over for Bruce and Dick!

But wait! Help is on the way!

If Alfred and Tim are doing what I think Alfred and Tim are doing, who's driving?!

Tim puts on Robin's suit not because he's been stalking Batman for six years and he's desperate to become the new Robin but because he has to! To save Batman's emotional psyche! It's the most unselfish thing Tim Drake has ever done! It's not like he knew at this moment that he'd eventually get to fuck Stephanie Cluemaster! That was just a reward for being so selfless! I mean Stephanie Cluemaster has agency and her sexuality isn't anybody's trophy! Also Tim is just thirteen and it's 1989 so he probably doesn't know how to have sex. You can only glean so much from MTV and the occasional nudie magazine dredged up in the bushes outside the local high school. I mean, I was pretty sure I knew how to have sex when I was thirteen from watching Lionel Richie's video for "Hello."

Seriously though, I have no idea when I went from not knowing what sex was to knowing what it was. I remember seeing Clash of the Titans at the theater when I was ten and not knowing what a virgin was. So I probably didn't know what sex was at ten. It's also probable I knew at ten but just didn't know there was a word for what I am. I mean was! At ten! But by twelve, my friend Hobby Benline had had sex, so I must have known what it was by then. Unless he did it wrong and I got the information from him! Really though, I just don't know where the information came from. I think it must have just sort of condensed inside my head from a whole bunch of disparate notions and experiences.

This fucker is crazy.

Some of you Internet denizens who probably overuse the word "meh" (overuse constitutes a single use) are probably furiously typing, "You just realized that?!" Obviously I knew Two-Face was crazy! That's the whole point of all Batman's villains or else why would Arkham Kiddy-Care be a thing? But that little speech he just gave is really fucking overplaying the whole double thing! I thought maybe he was going to get all excited about the two nines in 1899 or how 1899 is sort of two 18s or maybe he was going to marvel about how he has two grandfathers! This fucker is finding twos every Goddamned where! You can tell Marv Wolfman doesn't write too many Two-Face story because across three Batman issues, he's really blown his wad on finding ways to incorporate the doubling theme.

Alfred and Tim arrive just in the nick of time to see the house explode. Tim punches Two-Face in the jaw but only once so it doesn't hurt him. That's what happens when you jump right into the Robin costume without learning about the criminal you're after. Two-Face manages to pick up a crowbar to swing at Tim's head while Alfred can only watch while shitting himself and thinking, "Why the fuck can't I keep the number of a child psychologist on hand at all times?!"

The face of a man culpable for the deaths of too many children's innocence. And also just their deaths. Real deaths. Of children. One at least. Maybe now two. Fucking monster.

Robin manages to jump out of the way without mouthing off which makes Two-Face suspect something is different with Robin. He's all, "Where are all your terrible jokes, Boy Wonder?" And since we know there's an afterlife in the DC Universe, Jason Todd hears Two-Face's critique of his one-liners and his heart hardens. That's why he comes back willing to kill.

Alfred finally jumps in to stop Two-Face from killing Tim while yelling, "He's only a boy!" No fucking shit, Pennyworth. Maybe you should have considered that before you allowed Bruce to never get therapy so that he eventually begins wearing a batsuit which eventually leads him to bringing in a young boy to help fight murderers which eventually led him to bringing in another young boy who was killed fighting murderers which eventually led to you driving this "only a boy" to the feet of a murderer while also lending him a superhero outfit to die in. Fuck you, Alfred! You fucking suck.

I actually really like Alfred! But fuck is he problematic!

Jesus Christ, Alfred! Code names, you putz!

Alfred is making me so angry this issue! I hope Batman fires him at the end of this. He needs some time off to get his head together. Enough with being an accessory to child endangerment!

Tim helps dig out Batman and Nightwing who both survived Two-Face's terrible explosives. I guess BOGO explosives aren't too reliable. And since it was Two-Face, if one of them survived, both of them had to survive. It's part of Two-Face's rules of conduct.

Batman sees Robin and tears the mask off of his face, declaring there is no more Robin. But Dick and Alfred are all, "You should have seen him! He's so smart and agile and he's got terrific legs!" But Batman is apparently the only sensible one in this fucking bunch of child-murdering lunatics.

Look, I know how this ultimately turns out. But at least for one panel, I can think, "Way to go, Batman. Good decision! I'm proud of you!"

Tim is all, "Batman needs a Robin!" And Batman is all, "Fuck you!" But then Tim counters with, "What if The Joker brags about killing Robin and everybody is all, 'Hey, yeah. Where is Robin?! Man, we can kill anybody now, I guess!'" And Batman is all, "Well, I mean, it's dangerous work!" And Robin is all, "I know! That was your initial reason to not let me be Robin!" And Batman is all, "Well, I'm not hiring right now! I need to catch Two-Face! He's gotten away!" And Robin is all, "I put a tracker on him!" And Alfred and Nightwing are smiling and elbowing each other and winking and not saying at all, "Batman is going to get this kid killed!" Finally, Batman relents and agrees to discuss it because he's argued against it long enough to make it seem reasonable. Fans can't say Batman just gave in! It was an emotional debate that sorely tested my reading comprehension. Such powerful arguments on both sides!

With minimal help from Robin (but enough for Batman's heart to melt), Two-Face is captured!

Later in, presumably, Alfred's bedroom.

Batman eventually relents and decides to train Tim on a trial basis. I guess all of the arguments convinced me as well. Batman totally needs a Robin! How else would, um, Batman do the, um, thing or the other, um, I mean, he just needs Robin! Duh!

Batman #442 Rating: C. This issue wasn't really any worse than the others but somehow I can't bring myself to believe Dick and Alfred would be so excited about getting Batman a new Robin. I guess it's like when a friend loses a pet and you have to watch your friend spiral into a severe depression and you don't know how to make them feel better and finally the only thing you can think to do is to buy them a new pet. Then you're happy and giggly and excited when you see the way your friend's eyes light up even if they act like they resent the attempt at making them feel better. And you know the pet is going to quickly worm its way into their heart and you don't care that your friend often throws their pet off of high bridges attached to home-made parachutes because you're not thinking about the safety of the pet at this moment. Your whole purpose is just to make your friend feel better. And that's whey Alfred and Nightwing are so happy putting Tim's life in danger. Because they love Batman that much!

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

The New Titans #61

Jericho is about to jerk off Speedy in the lower right hand corner.

A Lonely Place of Dying hasn't been as terrible a series as I expected. I figured the title itself would be my favorite part. It kind of makes me sad because it makes me think of a wounded cat going off to find somewhere peaceful to die. So I'm already emotionally invested because the saddest thing I can think of is a cat dying. The second saddest thing I can think of is an old man weeping about how he should have shot his own dog. Especially when that lesson is extrapolated to your best friend. That's pretty sad too, that George would just give up and shoot Lennie in the head before the murder squad chasing them does it. I wish Quentin Tarantino would remake Of Mice and Men so that it could end in a bloody shoot-out where George and Lenny blow the shit out of all the redneck farmers. He'd probably have to make a few other changes to make it palatable, like have Lennie framed for killing Curley's wife and maybe have her kill all of the puppies with the boot of her high heel. That way there's no arguable reason to put Lennie down! Of course then the ending has to be the failure of George and Lennie's rabbit farm. The final shot would be of the farm with an out of business sign and a pile of mangled rabbits.

Tim continues to try to get Dick into a Robin costume but Dick just yells at him and tells him to fuck off in the most Comics Code Authority way possible. He then rides off to find Batman.

I wish Judd Winick had believed this.

The entire story doesn't simply revolve around Batman's reaction to the death of Jason Todd and some punk kid presuming to think he can fix Batman because this chapter is in The New Titans. So the Titans get a few pages where they deal with a crank phone call.

Also Jericho comes on to Speedy. And judging by the cover, it works.

After not being able to find Nightwing last issue because the only thing they tried was paging him, Raven tracks him down instantly when Jericho needs to get rid of her to have some privacy with Speedy. She tracks him down using her powers of, um, feelings? and teleports directly to him. She has a recording of the message the crank phone caller left that can only be played on Dick's wrist computer (which I guess didn't have email in 1989? Not even Eudora or Lotus Notes? What good is Waynetech if they can't even make that shit portable?!).

Meanwhile, Speedy spurts all over Jericho's face. Don't worry, it's off-panel. But I pictured it in my head!

Nightwing figures out all the clues left him by Batman's crank phone call and meets up with Batman. No wonder Dick feels like Batman doesn't give a shit about him. What kind of a way is that to contact your son?! You can't just page him like everybody else? Oh! Nightwing's pager was presumably off. That's why the Titans trying to contact Nightwing was important! But Batman knew an alternate way of contacting Dick that wasn't too sappy or seemed too desperate or would end in some kind of intimate hug. Although the two do smile at each other when they meet up so I think that means they've reconciled?!

Batman crashes into the building to capture Two-Face (or fall into two traps) while Nightwing goes around back to block off Two-Face's retreat. I bet if Two-Face knew that Robin had recently died, he wouldn't be poking at the Batman like this. When Batman finally catches him, Two-Face will be glad that Nightwing was brought in so he can save Two-Face's life.

Nightwing turns on his homing beacon to let Alfred know they need help when he and Batman can't figure out Two-Face's plan. He's more responsible than I am. I'd never ask for help because I know Batman would yell at me afterward. I'd rather be dead in the collapsed building like Batman and Nightwing than have to face Batman's wrath. Oh yeah, Two-Face collapses the building on them! They're dead!

I mean, obviously they're not dead. But they need to be saved! And I'm sure Alfred will dress up like Batman to save them and not send an inexperienced young Master Drake in a Robin outfit instead. Right?!

The New Titans #61 Rating: B. Seriously, I don't know what's going on but Marv Wolfman's telling a pretty good story here. Although I wish it had a little more angst-ridden Batman rending his garments over poor dead Jason Todd. I know he's not prone to showing emotion but he can cry at least once, right?! I guess when he tells Dick, "I nee...I could use your help," that was him saying, "I'm so fucking lost right now, Dick. What the hell do I do now?! I can't even protect my sons!"

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Wonder Twins #6

Every comic book series needs one cover where the bad guy becomes over-sized to crush Earth in their hands.

Being a totally sexually active male who's totally into having loads of sex and doesn't misspell "sexuality" four or five times before getting it right at all, I feel uncomfortable reading comic books with young women in them. And it's almost certainly because I find them attractive and not because I would cry watching Sailor Moon during college because it would make me think, "That's what life would have been like for me if I'd been a girl!" Although sometimes it's really hard to tell while reading The Terrifics if I want to bang Phantom Girl or I want to dress up like Phantom Girl so that people want to bang me. Now that I've forced myself to think about it a bit more than "Am I gross for being so into Jayna?!" (and then instantly flagellating myself), I realize it's their attractiveness to others that I yearn for. Who doesn't want to be an adorable little elfin waif in beautifully constructed frilly clothing and smooth satin underpants? I bet 100% of everybody reading this has their hands up their own rectums right now yelling, "Me! Me! Yes! Yes! OH GOD YES!"

I should probably delete that and start over. Especially because now everybody thinks I'm turned on by cartoon drawings of fictional characters! Let's get this straight: I lie a lot in these commentaries (I almost called this a "review" but that's not accurate because I'll probably barely even discuss the merits or failings of this comic book. Not that it will have any failings seeing that it's written by Mark Russell!). I haven't been attracted to a comic book character since Elfquest! And not the fan-fiction Elfquest of Elfquest's later years! I'm talking about the original twenty issues! I know I read a lot of comic books but that's not where my perversions lie!

I probably shouldn't delete that first paragraph because it was a fitting way to start talking about the Big Scramble. I totally wouldn't mind if my personality were scrambled into another body! Sure, it's a crap shoot! But I'm a 48 year old guy who really stopped caring about his looks five years ago! I'm apt to get the better end of a personality swap! Let's do this! And I apologize to the poor fool who winds up in my body. On the plus side, it's comfortable and broken in nicely!

Looking at Zan and Jayna here, I just realized I could wind up in my sister's body. Gross. Please stop The Great Scramble!

I'm not saying my sister's body is gross (I'm also not saying it isn't! I'm not choosing sides on that debate!). I'm just saying I would be profoundly uncomfortable forever if my mind wound up in my sister's body. I would never be able to masturbate again!

But what if I could get my sister, in my body, to jerk me, in her body, off? That isn't weird, right? She's just doing what she always did and I don't have to touch my sister's naughty place (which is now my naughty place?). That's probably the only real solution to this problem!

Anybody grossed out by my sex talk can go suck on a dog turd because Mark Russell makes sex jokes too!

LOAD "Load",8

Superman is super worried about The Great Scramble because he could wind up in Aquaman's body. He calls for the Justice League to stop helping victims of natural disasters and concentrate on stopping The Great Scramble. I don't know what his plan is but I know it's not "give The Scrambler what he wants and make the world a fair and just place for every Earth citizen" because Batman would just shoot it down. He just wants to stop random violence in back alleys not upset the status quo which serves rich people.

The Scrambler is hiding out at Polly Math's place because she loves his plan. Plus I bet she gets immunity as his sidekick. Superman doesn't know the hell Polly Math is so he has no chance of figuring out where The Scrambler is hiding. He contacts the president to let him know the world probably isn't screwed but maybe be prepared for the worst?

I applaud Russell and Byrne's choice to let the DCU have a different president.

Zan uses his powers to become a disgusting fly to learn where The Scrambler is hiding rather than working a deal with the League of Annoyance. I wonder if Zan craves shit when he's a fly? Probably. But even though all the clues point to Filo Math's place, Zan can't figure it out.

Jayna does figure it out though and she goes to talk some sense into Polly and The Scrambler. But Polly logically suplexes Jayna's argument into the hospital. It's one of those scenes Mark Russell does really well where he explains social problems through character and plot in much the way good comic book writers have been doing for so long that Comicsgaters never really noticed until they felt their frail white masculinity threatened. I'm sure they'd read this, scoop out their eyes, roll them around the room, and then tweet death threats to Gail Simone. But if you gave them Denny O'Neil and Neal Adams early seventies run of Green Lantern/Green Arrow, they'd probably say, "Fuck those faggots too!" Hmm, that sentence really got away from me. I was going to point out that they probably wouldn't have had a problem with those stories even if they were absolutely non-abstract social justice stories but then reality slapped me across the face and said, "You know how those fucking assholes would really react, right?" So sorry about saying the f-word but I just got too into the character of a Comicsgater. It was worse than when I contemplated having to masturbate in my sister's body.

Seriously though, I can't understand the argument about comic books ignoring character and plot to simply put forth social justice agendas because when I think back at all the comic books I've read for the last forty years, the majority of them by a large margin were stories about increasing social justice. What the fuck were these Comicsgaters reading all these years?!

"With our bank accounts!"

If I knew the exact time The Great Scramble was going to happen, I'd leave my body sitting naked in a tub of chocolate pudding with The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick wrapped around my penis.

Lex creates an app called Lexema that will allow family members to stay in contact after The Great Scramble. I just figured everybody would stay in contact because they're still the only ones with their names and passwords on their social media platforms and emails. Unless most people don't know how to use computers in libraries and/or use those password apps to create passwords that their computer remembers for them. I guess Lex probably has a good point with that program. It's not like anybody memorizes phone numbers anymore (which would be useless, of course. I'm just using that as evidence and an example of how people probably won't remember all the passwords they need. I would expect, in The Great Scramble world, the first few months would be all about proving who used to be who and just setting everybody back up in their old lives. Lex's app should be a place where everybody locks in a secret password which they can use to prove who they were prior to The Great Scramble! Man, that would have been the better idea! I think I'm smarter than Lex Luthor!

The world governments actually are instituting laws to protect people all over the world when The Great Scramble goes into effect. So The Scrambler's plan is sort of working! Jayna realize that they can stop The Great Scramble and all of those laws will still happen. The Scrambler will be a hero! But before she can reach Polly and The Scrambler, the Justice League arrives and captures them. Because Zan did some detective work as a water molecule to find where The Scrambler was hiding. And with the capture of The Scrambler, the president and the rest of the world decide not to sign all the laws that would improve the world. Stupid meddling kid!

Wonder Twins #6 Rating: It's still being written by Mark Russell, right? So A+! And that Stephen Byrne guy didn't do too bad a job, whatever it was he does. Draws the boxes the stories go in or something. They were pretty straight! Good job!