Thursday, October 31, 2019

DCeased #6

My favorite time of year is movie poster variant month! But now that I buy so few DC comics, this is the only one I bought. I think.

At the end of the last issue, Superman had become a zombie and turned his undead wrath upon Earth. So I'm not sure why this is an extra-length issue. Won't it just be thirty pages of the Earth burning and everybody screaming and zombified Batman saying, "--tt--"? If Batman and Lex Luthor are dead, who else has the kryptonite needed to stop Superman from destroying the last vestiges of the human race? And why is Ambush Bug never even a part of Elseworlds stories?

Oh, I forgot that I mentioned Damian would probably have the Emergency Back-Up Plan B Superman Containment Option left to him by his dad.

Batman knew that if Green Arrow ever turned evil, he'd just eventually be shot by a cop.

Wonder Woman forges a magic sword from Damian's kryptonite and flies off to stab Superman in the face. I'm sure she'll kill him but then she'll turn. Then who will stop Wonder Woman? She should let Cyborg implant a bomb on her so that if she turns fighting Superman, he can just blow her up before she gets a chance to turn Green Lantern or Firestorm. Somebody has to come up with a way to stop this domino shitshow.

The arks were built before Martian Manhunter attacked. Maybe he was too scared of Firestorm's flaming head to attack immediately. Anyway, a bunch of people begin escaping on the two arks (which hold seven million people each) before Superman has been dealt with. I have a feeling seven million people are about to die screaming.

Poison Ivy chooses to remain on Earth and Harley chooses to remain with Poison Ivy. Then they bang for like ten pages. Or they would if DC liked money.

Bye bye giant penis! You're no longer needed down here!

Aquaman sees your giant penis ship and raises one gigantic vagina.

This is what a vagina looks like, right? Unshaved, obviously.

For the record, Mera has the best ass in the DC Universe. I know most everybody is scoffing and shouting "Dick Grayson!" at me. Some of you remember Supergirl's bum as being the best and, at the time, under Mahmud Asrar's watch, it absolutely was the best ass. But at this point, Mera's ass is canonically the finest ass in the DC Universe. And now I must stop writing about it or I'll need to take a secret break.

I still want to see Green Arrow in a foot race against Batman. Why am I the only one who wants that story?!

While the Atlanteans battle the Amazons (isn't that always the way?), Black Green Canary Lantern, Cyborg, and Wonder Woman battle Superman. Dinah begins by creating a huge bullhorn to amplify her sonic scream and, I mean, come on. Look at how eloquent my turns of phrase are in complimenting that attack! "I mean, come on" is like the biggest compliment I can give a writer for one of their ideas. It's like saying, "I didn't want to use any brain power to come up with a compliment because all of my brain power was being diverted to appreciating your idea." My second biggest compliment is offering to jerk off the writer (I am of the firm belief that the term "jerk off" is non-gendered so don't think I'm just willing to pull some puds. I can bang some fingers too!).

The Amazons remain behind to fight off the Atlanteans while the second ark takes off. To keep the arks safe, Wonder Woman cuts off Superman's arm and stabs him in the chest. But of course Superman punches her in the ovaries and bam! She's now one of them! She gives her magic kryptonite sword to Dinah so Dinah can finish him before he destroys the arks. Cyborg remains behind as penance for starting this entire catastrophe. I always knew he was a terrible character. If only Marv Wolfman would have left him as a brainless toaster back in The New Titans.

As Superman nears the arks, Superboy has to leave to battle him to buy the arks more time. Lois is all, "Yeah, yeah. Hurry up. Save your mom now! So sad! Good luck!" Then she begins thinking up a great first sentence for the article she'll write that will win the first Martian Pulitzer.

As Superboy is knocked out by his dad, the entire Green Lantern Corps finally arrive led by Guy Gardner. Finally! A real hero that can stop this disaster from spreading! I suppose if Guy can't end this catastrophe, the world's last hope will be Lobo.

I love him so much. Mostly because I love me and, I mean, he just defined me in describing himself!

Superman flees into the sun and begins devouring it. I suppose that's something I've always known Superman could do. Sure, his big plan to stop the virus from turning him was to fly into space and asphyxiate. But he can also consume an entire sun. I think maybe Batman was right about living Superman. He just wasn't imaginative enough to ever stop Batman. It took the Anti-Life equation to bring out the best in him.

The Green Lantern Corps escort the arks out of the soon-to-be-dead solar system and on to their Earth 2. If only they knew how terrible Earth 2 is! Poor survivors.

Back on Earth, Cyborg learns the cure was in him all along. So he clicks his heels together and Wonder Woman snaps his neck. Oh well! Goodbye, Earth! Goodbye, Sol! Goodbye!

DCeased #6 Rating: This one time, I ate half a bag of hallucinatory mushrooms and went out to a club. While at the club, I had to pee. At least I felt like I had to pee. Sometimes when you're on mushrooms, it's hard to tell if you really need to pee or not. While waiting for a urinal to be free, I realized how awkward it was to wait to pee while not watching other people pee but also needing to sort of watch them pee so you don't miss out on a free urinal. Reading this series wasn't anything like that.

Review of The Twilight Zone, Episode One: "I'm So Lonely. So, So, So, So, So Fucking Lonely."

If you're old enough, you'll remember a time when space exploration was less about trying to find a way for our species' continued survival because we were too stubborn and stupid and super stupid to stop making our planet an unlivable hellscape and more about how lonely we were as a species to find somebody else to talk to. I guess we could have tried talking to the dolphins since our main problem with finding another intelligent species is going to be the language barrier anyway. Although it seems we've always just expected the other species from space to be so superior in intelligence that they'll have figured the language problem out for us. And dolphins are kind of weird and off-putting. We needed to find some race out there that looked like us! Our species was so lonely that the only foreseeable problem with searching the universe for other sentient species that looked like us was surviving the loneliness of space travel while doing so. That's the problem Rod Serling tackles in the first episode of The Twilight Zone (as well as about seventy percent of the other episodes he wrote), "Where is Everybody?"

A man wakes up to find himself in a familiar small town landscape but with no memory of who or where he is. And by "wakes up," I mean he "suddenly becomes conscience of his existence in the middle of a road while walking toward a deserted diner and wearing nothing but his Air Force coveralls." He's frustrated not simply because nobody is around but because he seems to just be missing them as they disappear: a jukebox playing mid-song, a coffee pot boiling on the stove (and pies baking on the other burners. Is that how pies are made? There are some in the oven too which is the more conventional way, right? Or maybe it's just the protagonist's desire for a good pie that causes pies to be everywhere), a cigar still burning on a desk, a phone ringing in a phone booth. What the hell is going on here?!

Well, let me tell you before I discuss the episode any further because in this early episode, the audience actually finds out what's going on. That isn't always the case in later episodes which are probably more effective than this one. He's an astronaut in training that's been trapped alone in a box for nearly three weeks while a bunch of army officers sit in a warehouse watching him go mad. They don't go mad because they have each other for company. I'm also assuming they're not covered in piss and shit because the warehouse probably has a bathroom. The small box the astronaut-in-training has been shoved in definitely does not have a bathroom. It's possible the reason he went mad wasn't because he was lonely but because his blood had filled up with toxic levels of urea.

At the end of the episode, the astronaut realizes he'd been hallucinating and is assured by his higher ups that his torture is only beginning. For even though this test was almost certainly not successful, he'll still be trapped alone in a small cube as he visits the moon sometime later. Maybe the point is that they've yet to figure out how to keep a man from going crazy from loneliness and so they can't quite send somebody on a moon shot yet. But it seems to me, the guy in charge is all, "Get used to it, man! It'll be the same on your next trip around the moon!" And the astronaut probably said, "Can I at least have a toilet?!"

This episode is probably the reason Ripley gets to have a cat when she travels to Saturn. Sure, the official explanation is that he's there for rodent control. But I'm sure he's meant to keep the crew from going crazy. I know, I know: "Why would the crew go crazy from loneliness if they have each other?" Well, people suck and people will eventually stop speaking with other people. The cat, at least, won't judge. Probably.

During the protagonist's hallucination, he occasionally figures he's dreaming and will wake up. So he's, at least, got that right. Maybe that was a conscious set-up so that in future episodes, Rod Serling could make the audience think, "Surely this is just a dream like that first episode!" But then Rod could pull the rug out from under them and be all, "Ha ha! No! It's not a dream at all! They're dolls in a Santa's charity bin!" And the audience would be all, "Oh! Of course! Why didn't I think of that?!" Although sometimes it's still a dream! But generally the dream is only being dreamed because it's more pleasant (or worse in a better way?) than the reality the dreamer experiences while awake! I just found it odd that the protagonist nails the whole dream thing. I guess because it's actually a delusion brought on by high levels of urea in his blood and also loneliness, he wasn't completely correct.

At one point, the deluded astronaut quotes Ebenezer Scrooge from Dickens' A Christmas Carol. When he's trying to convince himself it's a dream, he recalls the speech Scrooge gives to Jacob Marley's ghost about how he's probably not real and just the results of something he ate. He ends his speech with something like "You've got more gravy about you than the grave." Which makes me have to ask: is Ebenezer Scrooge a gay icon and if not, why not? That's a great fucking read right there. That line alone is better than all the reasons the Babadook became a gay icon which are, um, well I don't know why the Babadook became a gay icon. Because of his snazzy dress style and because he liked to hang around with lonely boys? Obviously the only thing I know about gay culture, I learned from the song "Y.M.C.A."

This episode says a lot more about Rod Serling than it says about humanity. I get it: the guy was fucking afraid to be alone. Maybe I wouldn't normally make that statement after watching just one episode of some guy's writing but I've seen them all before and if the end credits said, "Written by Rod Serling," you can bet it was about how terrible loneliness is. I watched this episode and wasn't moved a bit by the astronaut's breakdown nor by the General's impassioned speech at the end about how mankind has broken every barrier but the loneliness barrier! I thought, "These fuckers are military?! What is wrong with these cry babies?! Maybe just find somebody less pathetic to send to the moon! Fuck, I'd love to spend three weeks by myself! But maybe throw in a cat too?"

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

DCeased #5

I can't remember. Is Superman a zombie or Wonder Woman?

I've had pretty bad headaches over the last few days so I'm probably dying. But before I do, I'd really like to finish reading all of these comic books I've already paid for.

Theoretically, I love Elseworlds stories. I like the potential in Elseworlds stories. I love a writer taking something the audience is familiar with and losing all of the continuity fencing which keeps some really entertaining stories penned in. But realistically? A lot of them fucking suck. Just like stories that remain in continuity. DCeased lives in the theoretical realm in that it's a story I love. I guess it's also in the actual realm of reality because it exists. But it probably only does both of those things because Tom Taylor is writing it. Why hasn't DC just given Tom Taylor carte blanche to do whatever stories he wants? Sure, Earth 2 fucking sucked but that wasn't his fault! He was just the relief writer brought in after James Robinson allowed five thousand home runs against him. Did Tom invent pacifist Superman? If so, that was a great idea. But not long after that, pacifist Superman showed he wasn't much of a pacifist at all. Did he remain a pacifist during Taylor's run? I can't remember. Anyway, I shouldn't hold Earth 2 against Tom Taylor, no matter how boring and confusing and enraging it was.

DCeased began when Cyborg caught a sexually transmitted Apokoliptian disease and spread it all over Earth via social media. Now the only heroes left are ones that never look at screens, like Jonah Hex and Etrigan the Demon and Doctor Mid-nite. That was a joke but now I want to read a comic book where those guys team up.

Last issue ended with Captain Atom blowing up, destroying DC, Baltimore, and Metropolis.

Oh sure. Now that it's a smoking hole, it's suddenly "our" city!

Flash, Wonder Woman, and Superman wage war on the Internet by attacking its foundations. That's the only way to win: by disabling servers, satellites, and underwater transatlantic cables. Otherwise you're just feeding the trolls. Imagine if Superman left a comment telling me I needed to stop blogging because I was endangering the lives of everyone on Earth. He'd be met with a harsh "Go away, dum-dum!" and it would serve him right!

The world's survivors need a place to survive so the heroes choose Paradise Island and Gotham City. Sure, Gotham City was going to be covered in nuclear fallout soon but it was currently a jungle safe haven built by Poison Ivy. I'm sure she has plants that can protect against radiation, like sunflowers, Black Orchids, and Swamp Things.

Oh, there was one other place that was a safe haven: the Fortress of Solitude.

But it's apparently only for VIPs.

Imagine being the Amazons of Paradise Island and reluctantly allowing refugees of man's world onto the island only to find out that Superman wasn't letting any normals into his home. I'd be fucking pissed! And for good reason even if a bunch of Magic the Gathering playing, turd licking, Watchmen-series dissing hatebeards were all, "Oh! Look how emotional the women are getting!" Poison Ivy makes some rules about not harming plants for people to stay in Gotham Jungle. I hope the Amazons have rules about not arguing about how a Maze of Ith interacts with a Serra Angel and shutting the fuck up about not-all-men.

While arguing about whether or not the humans need to flee Earth, Lex Luthor claims he's the most intelligent person on the planet. He then double checks to make sure Batman's dead before repeating the claim. I don't think this is Lex admitting that Batman is smarter than he is. Sure, it's Tom Taylor trying to admit that! I just think Lex Luthor knows there are several people smarter than him but only Batman could figure out who they are. Like Doctor Smarty Pants the Omniologist that Scott Lobdell created during his Superman run. Why can't I remember her name?! She must have been smarter than Luthor! Although everybody Scott Lobdell wrote was supposedly a genius. Imagine thinking you're smart enough to write a realistic genius! Only a dum-dum could be that dumb!

Lex is just the kind of guy to blame a baby for the loss of its homeworld. Dick.

How many tacos do you think Lex could eat in one sitting? I bet it's something embarrassingly small like three. Sans salsa too.

Of course Lois Lane punches Lex in the face on the next page. I was totally going to predict it because I totally expected the woman to get super emotional. Also, because the Maze of Ith targets an attacking creature, even though it explicitly states the creature untaps, the attacking creature doesn't have to be tapped for it to work on it.

Everybody jerks off while Lex's nose bleeds and Superman fucks Lois softly because he's so turned on by her show of power. Also, fucking softly is the way Kryptonians fuck Earthlings hard. Lois usually can't walk for three weeks after a good soft Kryptonian fucking.

Eventually, after feeling safe, zombie Martian Manhunter decided to show up to remind everybody who the most powerful DC hero really is. Sure, his weakness is super common. But nobody thought to bring any Oreos to the Fortress of Solitude. The Flash is turned into a zombie before Firestorm remembers he can make Oreos out of anything lying around and defeats J'onn easily. But now everybody is screwed because the fastest man in the world can now turn people into zombies. Also the smartest man in the world because Lex was attacked first. Mister Terrific should really think about getting his own series now that he's the smartest person on Earth.

Superman flies off to stop Flash. He can't outrun him (unless it's for charity, I guess) so he flies around the world the opposite way and smashes right through him. Superman winds up with a few of Flash's fingers stuck in him so now he's infected too! He goes to the Fortress to say a bunch of insipid goodbyes to his family at super speed (Wally connects them to the Speed Force to make it possible. Or whatever) and then tries to fly into space to die in a vacuum. But before he can make it, he turns into a zombie. So I guess everybody is fucked, right? Unless Batman taught Damian how to kill Superman. Unless the last page of this issue, where Superman turns back to Earth and blasts it with his heat vision, is Superman doing the smart thing and incinerating Damian from a safe distance.

DCeased #5 Rating: This series is so good your mama wouldn't stop reading it while I carried her groceries in from the car. Zing!

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Superman: Up in the Sky #4

Best DC cover ever or greateast DC cover ever? Those are the only two choices.

You can joke about whatever you want. But what you choose to joke about and who you choose to laugh at reveals something about you. And after that revelation, some people are going to dislike you.

Here's a joke that I will always love even if some people would label me ableist or sexist because of it:

Why can't Helen Keller drive a car?
Because she's a woman.

I think this is a good joke even if it's sexist because it takes a surprising turn. You think I'm being ableist and then BAM! I steer us over a sexist cliff with the punchline. I also understand that telling this joke says something about me that maybe others won't like. I'm fine with that and even if people shout at me about it, I'll still agree with those people on most social, economic, and political philosophies because I'm not a tantrum throwing idiot who uses other people as an excuse to be a terrible person.

Do I believe women are worse drivers than men? No. Does this joke rely on a systemic bias inherent in our social beliefs that is sexist at its core? Yes. Does that make it not funny? I don't think so! But while loving this joke, would I tell it to an audience that I didn't already know understands who I am? Definitely not.

My main issue with jokes which rely on systemic racism or sexism for the listener to understand the punch line is that they feed that systemic bias. The people who will laugh at the Helen Keller joke are probably mostly people I would disagree with in many other ways. They do believe women are worse drivers. Why would I want to be a part of that? And why would I feel sexism is less concerning than racism. I like the Helen Keller sexist joke but I don't like this joke and would never tell this joke (except as an example of a joke I wouldn't tell) because I feel it is, ultimately, harmful: What do you call a black man in a suit? Defendant. That "joke" says so much about our society that it fucking hurts. The only way that joke makes any sense is if we as a society assume black men are typically criminals. Every single joke made that assumes black men are dangerous or criminals makes the world a little bit unsafer for black men.

You can say you're just joking and feel good about yourself that you don't believe the biases needed to understand the humor of these jokes. But when a joke relies on racist or sexist tropes to be funny, you can't deny they're feeding those tropes. Kids learn those tropes through people just joking. They present the biased views of society in an easily digestible manner which, without introspection, simply become a paradigm of reality for people hearing them. To understand a joke with a racist punchline, you must have already incorporated those systemic racist biases into your personal ideology.

Yes. I get it. It's just a joke. But everything has consequences. And, anyway, the people who constantly claim you can't joke about anything anymore often continue to joke about whatever they want. As I think they should! But while you can joke about whatever you want, other people can judge you on your choice of jokes. It's called personal responsibility, the rallying cry of people who generally don't actually want to take any.

I'm getting back to the comic book now because I want to discuss this cover! I've always hated the fascination with the question "Who would win in a race between The Flash and Superman?" Because the answer is so obviously The Flash. It has to be The Flash. If it isn't The Flash then fuck The Flash. Who the fuck needs him? This cover reaches out to me and it says, "Grunion Guy? Or Tess? Or Jeff? What the fuck is your name, anyway? I have heard your lonely wails in the furious snowstorm covering the sparse tundra of existence and I have come to give you sustenance. I bring you life-giving potables to slake the existential dread dehydrating your confused and weary soul. More importantly, I bring you a mirror to reflect your thoughts back upon you so that you can look out into the universe and think, 'I am recognized. I am seen. And thus, I exist!'" If I were a writer at DC, my obsession would be with a race between Batman and Green Arrow. And on the day of the race, maybe Batman was a little bit hungover from a Bruce Wayne kegger the night before and Green Arrow had a black eye from a broken bowstring incident a few days previous. Just to make it more exciting! Also maybe Bruce still had a hard-on from the Viagra Alfred slipped in his tea. Most people wouldn't think Bruce needs Viagra but his constant ruminations on justice often interfere with his ability to get erect. Even when he's touching a woman's thingy and his finger parts the stuff and he suddenly encounters the smushy goop hidden within, he still can't get it up because he's thinking, "Is this a clue?"

I'm so good at romance talk!

Die Tasche. Die Tasche? DieTasche! Die Tasche. Shtop.

The story begins with somebody talking about a race for charity between Superman and The Flash. They say it was televised and that people bought tickets to sit along the route and watch it. Seems like a huge scam to me. How long could it actually take Flash to run around the Earth ten times? Like fifteen seconds? I could probably do the math on it but I don't want to show off. But this story assumes that Flash and Superman didn't run so fast that people couldn't at least see them blur by.

So this kid telling the story says that Lex Luthor offered to double the money to charity if Superman loses. And Superman heard it with his super-hearing which meant Superman was going to just have to win no matter what! He'd just have to believe he was faster than The Flash and then be faster than The Flash. Because that's how comic books work. What makes a hero is the secret reserve of strength and will and confidence that only appears when the hero is about to be defeated. People who are defeated aren't heroes because they don't have that reserve. They are losers. Big stupid losers. Did you die from your cancer? Not a hero, jerk. Did you fail to get that promotion at work because you didn't complete the project a hero would have completed at the last minute? Total loser. Did one of your kids drown in the pool because you gave up on the CPR like a big jerko loser dumb-dumb? Yeah. Not a hero. Maybe even a villain!

But Superman, being a hero, now had to win the race for charity! And The Flash apparently isn't a hero because where were his secret reserves to beat Superman? What an idiotic failure.

Although I haven't finished the story yet! Maybe Superman is still going to lose just like the cover implies! I bet the point of this story is that Superman loses sometimes but nobody ever gives up hope in him! And he always tries his hardest! And maybe even before the race, he made a bet in Vegas that Lex Luthor would bet a billion dollars against him which would pay off like a billion to one!

Lame. Superman wins.

Superman wins but the dumb kid telling the story doesn't explain how. The kid just goes on and on about contradictions but totally uses the word incorrectly. Like saying "Superman is faster than a speeding bullet" is a contradiction. Is it? How? If Superman is faster than a speeding bullet than he's faster than a speeding bullet and that's not a contradiction! Stupid idiot kid. The kid is so dumb I bet the kid got the story wrong and just made it up to make herself feel better. Because the kid telling the story is the girl that Superman is looking for and she has to believe that Superman can do the impossible (like win a race against The Flash) or else she's just going to rot on whatever planet she's lost on.

So the story is about hope or something. Superman hopes and so Superman does. It's kind of like Oprah's Secret, I guess? It doesn't make any sense but since it's Superman, you always know he's going to win. Even that time he died, he won by killing Doomsday as well. So see? Blade was wrong. You should always bet on red! And blue!

The second story is also about hope. Hey! Are all these stories about the hope Superman gives people?! I've been duped! I thought this was going to be a bunch of stories about how hard Superman can punch bad guys! Stupid DC Comics hiring some intellectual namby-pamby like Tom King! Writing stories that are all, "Superman shows how faith and hope can inspire us to be better than we are!" Whatever! I hope the next issue is about Superman punching a gigantic space monster!

Superman: Up in the Sky #4 Rating: Oh yeah! The second story was about Superman interacting with Clark Kent because they were struck by magic space lightning and separated into two unique people. As if that's a thing! Somehow Superman's Kryptonian DNA makes him all logical and shit while his human upbringing makes him all emotional and valiant and sacrificial and awesome! Isn't that the way it always is? Humans are the greatest beings in the universe because they know how to cry while reading Shakespeare! Everybody else in the universe is a boring old rational Vulcan! If another alien species is allowed to be emotional, they only get one emotion. Like how Klingons are angry and Ferrengi are sneaky and Romulans have huge cocks and Guardians of the Universe are assholes. Only humans have mastered the spectrum of emotion and that makes them the best! Go Clark Kent! You teach that Superman a thing or two about hope! Now merge with him again for next issue and get to punching shit!

Thursday, October 24, 2019

The Green Lantern #12

I don't know why I'm writing a review of this comic book when I know I won't understand it at all.

This series has been running for twelve consecutive issues and every issue, I'm completely confused. Every issue feels like I've dug a random Green Lantern comic book from the 60s out of an old cardboard box in the attic. Every issue feels like I'm jumping into the middle of a story in which I missed the first four parts. And yet I'm certain that it's telling a coherent story. It's beyond me as to why I continue to read it. It's probably the same urge that drove me to read found comic books before I realized you could buy them sequentially at convenience stores and specialty shops. Part of me loves the far out fucktackular wackiness of these Green Lantern stories even as another part of me (the brain part) screams, "How dumb are you that you can't understand this? Morrison is a genius which means, if you can't understand him, you must be a fucking dolt!" But my brain isn't woke so it used a different word for dolt. You know the word. You're thinking it right now, you terrible person.

The weird part is my inability to understand the story in The Green Lantern isn't a negative critique. There's something about my being lost by the sheer cosmic craziness of it all that I love. It's like when I watch pornography. My mind is all, "Is that what sex is? But that's so different than the last pornography I watched! And I think that was sex too! What is going on?!" But inside my pants, it's a huge party! So see? You totally understand what I mean now, right?

Sometimes before opening up the current comic book I'm about to read, I write a short summary of the previous issue. I can't do that here. The cover isn't any help. I have no memory at all of what was happening in the previous eleven issues. I think Hal Jordan was acting like a rogue cop and the Guardians were all, "You're out, you rogue cop you! We can't support your behavior!" Then they all winked and Hal Jordan gave them a big thumbs up and ran off to pretend to be on the outs with them. Then maybe he became a Blackstar? And maybe the Earth was sold in an auction but then saved? I think there was a fantasy world too? And I guess the Qwa-man was the bad thing from Qward that was being smuggled into the positive universe to wreak havoc? How much of that seems right? Any of it?

Spoken like a ring that has been shoved up Hal's ass as punishment for talking back previously.

That's all you need to know about Hal Jordan's characterization: nobody tells Hal Jordan what to do! Oh wait! Maybe you need a little bit more: sometimes somebody does tell Hal Jordan what to do and then they get punched in the face. Then Hal's ring probably says, "Nobody tells Hal Jordan what to do!"

Hal Jordan's anti-matter universe counterpart (who is the Qwa-man, right? No? Maybe?) has been beating the shit out of some second-rate Green Lanterns. One of them can't feel emotions so he's all, "I am dying but super coolly and logically. This is a real matter-of-fact death here. Don't care because I can't. Are these good last words? I can't tell because nothing moves my emotional meter." But Hal Jordan descends on the fight to save the day and not be thanked if he saves the unemotional Green Lantern. "I guess I'm still living. Who cares? I see the world through cold eyes which reveal none of the majesty nor the mystery of the multiverse. It is a compliment when my people yawn in your presence because it means we feel about you the same as we feel about every mote of dust disturbed into motion by every other mote of dust in the universe. In our eyes, you are equal to the most majestic star. Because we couldn't give two fucks about either of you."

More Green Lanterns that don't matter being dispatched to save the other Green Lanterns that don't matter.

I do recognize one of those Green Lanterns as Medphyl although I know nothing about him except he's plant-like.

The Guardians of the Universe are discussing the plan to save the universe from Controller Mu and his Qwa-matter Man. That plan is this: "For the first time in your life, we need you to do exactly as you are told. The rest, Lantern Jordan, the rest will be up to you." Based on what Hal's ring said earlier, I think I sense a flaw in their plan!

Sinestro arrives to help Jordan defeat the Qwa-man. Being that I have no idea where in DC Continuity this story takes place, I don't know the specifics of Hal and Sinestro's current relationship. I guess they're reluctant allies? Or Hal is reluctant and Sinestro just gets off on making Hal Jordan need him.

It turns out this Sinestro is from the anti-matter universe which means he's the Ace Rimmer of the Sinestro set. And the Qwa-man is the negative Hal Jordan. Everybody tells him what to do and he's pissed.

Anti-Sinestro gets wounded giving Hal enough time to get a plan together: punch the Qwa-man in the face over and over and over again. It's the old Hal Jordan special! Before Hal's shield runs out and he and his opposite explode due to anti-matter/matter contact, the Green Lantern cavalry arrives. The Superwatch cavalry also arrives. Plus some creature from the anti-matter universe who's supposed to take the Qwa-man back. But Hal Jordan is as sufficiently confused as I am about how everything is coming together. Maybe he's less confused because he hasn't read dozens of other comic books between each issue of this story, obfuscating the plot because my brain can't keep all the separate threads of all the different comic books separate.

Whatever is about to go down, Hal Jordan finds it suspicious. Nobody is getting punched in the face to end the story so something must be wrong! It's totally a trap! But before Hal can save everybody with a bunch of punches, he's caught in a zeta-beam taking him back to Blackstar headquarters. I think that means Grant Morrison was confused by his own story as well and wasn't sure how to end it.

Whatever else happened up until this point, it was mostly a scavenger hunt. Hal Jordan helped the Blackstars and Controller Mu collect a bunch of items to create the Miracle Machine. By inserting Hal Jordan into it, he just needs to make one wish to change the universe. And he's supposed to make Controller Mu's wish. I don't remember what that wish was, if it was even ever said. But whatever it is, Hal needs to make it soon or he'll die from injuries sustained battling the Qwa-man. Maybe he's wishing the Green Lanterns away so that the Blackstars can rule the universe? I don't know! Will I continue to read this story in Blackstars #1? Fuck it. Probably.

The epilogue shows that the Qwa-man leads a corps of Weaponeers that are the opposite of the Green Lanterns in the anti-matter universe. They're gearing up for war. I guess that's supposed to make me excited for the next chapter of Hal Jordan. It might but I'm a lot like that Green Lantern from earlier that can't feel emotion. I just want to read comic books to pass the time. It's not like I get emotionally invested in them! Unless they star elves and wolves.

The Green Lantern #12: If I could sacrifice some extra time I don't really have, I'd reread this entire series until it made sense. Because if I had to bet money on it, I'm sure it makes sense. If my opinion doesn't cost me anything except maybe my reputation, I'd say it doesn't make sense and Grant Morrison is a fucking hack and because of this series, I now believe everything he's ever written was complete nonsense and I fucking fell for it! I'm so fucking gullible and stupid! I bet Alan Moore's writing was just verbal vomit too! And Ellis! Heck, why limit my newfound understanding of the nihilism of writers to just comic books? I bet Danielewski's work has been utter nonsense garbed in profundity! And fucking Steinbeck, that clown! If I read things merely to pass the time and don't give a shit if I get anything out of it, I bet writers write the exact same way! I've been duped my entire life into believing shit mattered! Ugh! I'm such a jerk.

Justice League #33

I hate variant covers based on other current comic book stories.

You might think that if I hate a cover like this, I wouldn't buy the comic book with this cover. But that kind of thinking assumes I look at the comic books that the retailer shoves in my pull box before I buy them. That's a level of attention I rarely pay to anything in my life so why would I start with the comic books I'm buying? I also hadn't really noticed that all of DC's comics have crept up to five dollars. How is that fucking realistic? I'd rather they just shove more ads in! If the comic costs less, won't more people purchase it meaning more eyes will see the adverts meaning DC can charge more for ads?! I'm pretty sure I understand capitalism perfectly and that's the way it works. I also understand another aspect of capitalism which says I'm going to have to drop even more DC Comics from my pull list because my wallet has begun wailing intermittently and dripping blood.

I've been reading a lot of my newer comic books lately because I want to get to where I'm reviewing comics the week they came out and also because Eclipso is on the top of my old comic books to review stack and I wasn't impressed by the first issue.

This issue begins with the Monitor, the Anti-Monitor, and the World-Forger holding hands. Is it weird that the Anti-Monitor, who destroyed an infinite number of universes, now wants to save one? I suppose it's less about saving the universe and more about sticking it to his mother. I can totally get behind that.

I know you're supposed to say how much you love your mother and how your mother did everything for you and how she sacrificed and toiled and loved unconditionally so that you could be the person you've become. But can't we also acknowledge the hard times and the resentments and the screaming matches and the time you called her to thank her for the Christmas gift and she was all, "I know it's not what you wanted," and you were all, "No, no. It's totally what I wanted," and she was all, "But it's not the main thing you wanted," and you were all, "But it's totally what I wanted too," and then she was all, "You always have to be right, don't you?" and you were all, "What the fuck just happened?" and then you politely ended the call and didn't talk to her for another year or so. Because if you can't talk about the hardships, then where is the heart and meaning in letting go of the resentments and growing to appreciate that even if she started some seriously weird fights over nothing, at least she was there. Unlike that big fake, your father! Where the fuck were you, asshole?

Um. *cough* So.

Due to holding hands, they morph together to become the Omni-Monitor.

Is Scott Snyder suggesting children should band together and rise up to overthrow their parents? Even if it were to save the world, there's no way you'd get me to merge with my sister. Gross. Why is Snyder even suggesting such a possibility?! Weirdo.

John Stewart finally mentions he's an architect while speaking with Alan Scott. His days as an architect have been overshadowed by his days as a marine pretty much since the New 52 began. Although I'm not sure he's really concerned with his days as an architect when he follows up "I'm a soldier and an architect" with "Both work on the belief that every fight, every founding struggle, serves an overall climb." Maybe he's confusing a career architect with the more metaphorical use of architect when discussing the framers of the constitution or the founding fathers attempting to build democracy. I don't ever remember Mike Brady discussing his work as if every job were a fight or a struggle serving an overall climb. Mostly he was just desperate to impress his boss with new designs of theme parks as he pulled out posters of Yogi Bear.

The plan to defeat Luthor and Perpetua needs impeccable timing so of course one part of the plan fires off before it should. That part is Hawkwoman. Lex Luthor gets in her head and she flips the fuck out just the way a good Hawkperson always does. Now she might burn out all of her energy before Starman can set up a cosmic link between the Justice League in the past using the Conch of Arion to establish their position and the Justice League in the future getting their ass kicked by Brainiac One Million as Kamandi comes up with a plan to link with Starman. The plan is so complex I figured it needed an equally complex sentence to explain it.

Everybody in the past and everybody in the future are acting as if what they do is urgent. Why? Why is it urgent? The action happening in the present isn't happening at the same time as the action happening in the future and the past. The guys in the past can take years to get the job done and it wouldn't matter! Just because I, as an independent observer, am reading all of these story arcs at the same time, it doesn't mean the stories are happening at the same time. Starman can just contact the people in the future and the past exactly at the point they're ready for him whenever he thinks it's convenient to contact them! He doesn't have to wait until they accomplish whatever they're doing. Whatever they need done has already been accomplished! Especially the deed in the past but also the deed in the future, by the way all of this shit works. I mean, the future still exists for the Justice League to travel to so Starman must be successful in the present. Right?! Is that how time works?!

I know I'm discussing comic book time travel but I'd still like some kind of structure to the logic of it all!

It's always a bad idea to introduce more interesting characters as second stringers or background actors into the middle of an epic. Because now I don't give a fuck about Luthor and the Legion of Doom. I want more Vandal Savage and the Legionnaires Club stories!

Apparently everything is going wrong and the multiverse is going to succumb to doom. And only one kid can save it all: Kamandi, the last girl on Earth! But she realizes that she can't save the multiverse by herself because the multiverse can't be saved by just one person and also it can't be saved by just however many people compromise the current Justice League and Justice Society. No, the exact amount of people to save the multiverse includes Batman Beyond and his Justice League! Why they weren't helping before or why they exist in Kamandi's world, I have no idea. Maybe Kamandi jumped from one Brainiac jar to the next to find them? You know what, I don't care. I don't even care that Batman Beyond is entering into this comic book. I was never that interested in it and was even less interested in it when it turned out he was Tim Drake just before Tim Drake became a vampire and time traveled back to the twenty-first century to become Harvest.

Justice League #33 Rating: I don't know. Who am I to rate somebody else's work? If you enjoy comic book writing and art, this is probably an A. Unless you only like the specific comic book writing and art paid for by Marvel and then this is probably a big fat F unless you can think of a lower grade. Maybe you just love Snyder's work because you're James Tynion IV and then this is an Omni-A+. But then again, you might be a comicsgater who hates that there are so many female and black characters in this comic book which is obviously just pandering because when you think like a comicsgater, what else is there, in which case this is a big Cuck-F-Doodle-Doo! I don't fucking care what anybody thinks and I don't know why anybody cares what I ultimately think. Just read the stupid jokes I made about the comic and my parents and fucking be happy with that! I'm not here to tell you what to think otherwise! I'm probably even going to drop the rating part so that you jerks can start thinking for yourselves!

Monday, October 21, 2019

Batman Loves Superman #2

Hey DC! Stop portraying people who laugh as pure evil!

Now that I've just read this cover as Fatman/Pooperman, I can't get the thought out of my mind. I think my life is a version of The Matrix but I'm actually five years old in a kindergarten cubby hole dreaming my entire adult life. Man, I can't fucking wait to wake up and play another round of "Button, Button, Who's Got the Button?"

When playing online multiplayer games, I often think, "I would have been happy to simply play Halo 2 year after year." But I think what I really mean is "I would have been happy to play Button, Button, Who's Got the Button? year after year." Maybe every now and then, I wouldn't mind taking a break to play Four Corners for a bit.

The only proof I have that I'm not dreaming the life I'm currently leading is that I don't have the imagination to come up with Ann Nocenti dialogue. That's purely from outside my own head. Philosophically, that means I know the universe consists of at least two people: me and Ann Nocenti. Does that also mean I have a responsibility to mate with her? Not that it would be possible. Her sex talk is almost certainly a boner killer.

I don't know what genius centrist character speaks first in this comic book but fuck them.

People love to make statements that make them sound above it all. Statements that let them get away with sounding like a logical and rational person while really exposing the terrible things they believe. "Weapons are only tools." The "only" in that statement speaks volumes. They're defending weapons. Weapons are neutral. They're beyond blame. They're innocuous. Their follow-up statement providing evidence to bolster the first statement, "means to an end," shows that they don't give a fuck about context. What "end" are you trying to reach if your tools are weapons? Silverware are only tools as well, a means to an end, but we know that the end reached by silverware almost certainly is simply an empty tub of ice cream as opposed to a school full of murdered children. Oh no! Look at me bringing up murdered children to play on the emotions of the audience! How dare I bring in a real world example of an end that the means of these mere tools brings about! If your defense of weapons are that they're simply tools to be used to reach a particular end, you can't just ignore that the "end" you're discussing in the most general terms is violence. Weird that people who can't wait to be attacked so they can kill somebody and prove that their choice to carry a weapon was the right one often try to distance themselves from the inherent violence of their beloved weapon.

The person speaking is Commissioner Gordon who laughed last issue so he's obviously a monster. I guess he's trying to point out that the real evil has been locked away at Arkham and the tools the evil people used aren't dangerous on their own which is why they've been locked in an armory outside Gotham City. He's come to liberate them with the help of a mystery person who has a sort of claw hand (Black Condor?!). A good writer would reveal who it was because they know that would get the reader really excited about Batman and Superman's confrontation with them. A good writer continually gives up surprising information. A mediocre writer hides as much as possible from the reader because it's the only way they can make a story suspenseful.

Meanwhile, Shazam has begun calling himself "Earth's Mightiest Nightmare." See, he usually calls himself "Earth's Mightiest Mortal" so you can see how hilarious his wordplay is. But don't laugh because you don't want to appear wicked to the people around you.

Bullshit. Batman absolutely wants to fight him.

Shazam uses his magic lightning to try to destroy Batman but Batman just dodges because he probably trained with Himalayan Lightning Dodgers years ago. When Shazam uses his magic for evil, The Phantom Stranger's nose bleeds and Zatanna gets severe cramps. I guess magic in the DC Universe is like the Force in Star Wars. It's disturbing and shit.

Superman almost gets the upper hand but, as I pointed out how the exciting battle might go last issue, Shazam turns back into Billy Batson to remind Superman he's fighting a child. So Superman is all, "Aw, shucks! I didn't mean nothing! You can fight it, Billy! Stop finding things funny!" But then Shazam is all, "SHAZAM! Fooled you!", and Superman is all, "D'oh!", and Batman is all, "SMDH."

But remember! Batman is the king of the DC Universe! So he's definitely got a way to stop Shazam. I bet he's got a Bat-Monkey's Paw in his belt with two wishes left on it. Batman doesn't like to talk about the first wish and why Alfred now has to care for that tiny pianist living in the terrarium in the study.

Batman doesn't use his Bat-Monkey's Paw to save the day but if you thought that idea was completely ludicrous, you'd better prepare your mind for Joshua Williamson's solution.

Batman finds the Batman Who Laughs Batwing, flies it up in the sky where Superman and Shazam are battling, and then, um, I don't know. He launches himself out the cockpit window against the g-forces of the accelerating Batwing? I suppose Batman learned to do this while training with the Sheep Hoppers of Aberdeen?

Um. Wait a second. Is Batman the greatest detective or am I because I think I just solved the mystery of the six heroes turned into Heroes Who Laugh.

The poison batarangs all have the symbols of the hero they're meant to infect on them! Just look more closely at the molds you found, idiots!

Shazam escapes because Superman held back and because Superman had to save Batman after Batman thought he could beat Shazam by crashing through the sturdy glass of a jet's cockpit while it was accelerating while only having a boomerang as a weapon. I guess Batman is only as smart as the writer writing him. He should have used his fucking Bat-Monkey's Paw.

Later at the Bermuda Triangle Fortress of Solitude, Batman and Superman note that each Batarang Who Laughs has been infused with a specific Batman Who Laughs Juice based on the DNA of the intended victim. What they don't notice is that the Shazam one was a lightning bolt on it and the Superman one has the Kryponian symbol for hope (I know. Lame back story on the "S" on Supe's chest) on it and that they found the fucking molds for six Batarangs Who Laugh. Which means the answer to who else has been infected is in their stupid hands! Unless I'm supposed to believe that the symbols were carved onto the Batarangs Who Laugh after the fact. Which I totally don't even though that would probably be the way to do it seeing as how you're probably going to want to eventually make more than just six heroes laugh. My real opinion on this situation is that Joshua Williamson didn't actually think it through very well.

Batman and Superman don't know what to do so they decide to pretend Superman was infected by Shazam. Shazam knows he didn't infect Superman but I'm sure he won't say anything to the Good Guys Who Laugh and ruin Batman and Superman's surprise when Superman goes undercover to work with the Batman Who Laughs. I'm sure failing to infect Superman so that Superman would have to pretend he's the Superman Who Laughs and thus free the Batman Who Laughs so he can find out the Batman Who Laughs plans is totally the Batman Who Laughs' plan. Because whatever the heroes do to stop the bad guys in the beginning of a story is always exactly what the bad guy knew the good guy would do. They're evil geniuses, remember! And Batman and Superman fell for it!

Batman Loves Superman #2 Rating: C. If you didn't read this comic book yourself for a real world example, let me tell you how a mediocre writer writes a comic book: first, the bad guy attacks the heroes rather than doing something criminal or evil while trying to avoid the attention of the heroes. That's because a mediocre writer doesn't know how to write heroes discovering crimes being committed and instead need the villain to wave a lot and shout and say, "Hey! Jerks! I'm doing crime!" Or, better yet, have the criminal's entire plan simply be "I will antagonize the heroes for petty vengeance!" After that, the heroes will fail to stop the criminal. Depending on how long the story is, the heroes will either have to redouble their efforts and super believe in themselves to rally and win the day or the heroes will begin plans to defeat the villain. If they begin plans which make them seem like they're getting the upper hand, those plans will always be exactly what the villain wanted to happen in the first place. The heroes will then be defeated again just when they thought they were going to win! At that point, they'll probably need to do the rallying thing where they just fight a little bit harder than they did before and believe a little bit more than they believed before to show their strength of character and will. Because good always has stronger will and greater strength of character than evil!

I really wish a writer would simply come up with a genius plan by the villain that isn't simply the villain saying, "They're falling right into my plans," after whatever the fuck bullshit the writer wrote. How these evil geniuses can plan such complicated and intricate plans that rely on knowing exactly what every hero is going to do is beyond my limited comprehension. I might even say it's contrived bullshit!

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Dial H for Hero #7

It's for You, God.

In the mid-90s, I worked with this dude Doug who was on capitalism's side in a debate we were having. He said, "What's a hobby you're really into?" And I was a big old stupid virgin so I said, "Magic the Gathering." And he said, "Well, if you lived in a socialist or communist country, you wouldn't have enough money for Magic the Gathering." I don't want to get into the weeds on this argument or how to defeat it (but I totally could and it involves two Black Vises and a Shivan Dragon). I just want to point out how now, in the twenty-tens, people's argument for defending capitalism's health care system is to tell everybody to stop spending money on their hobbies and the things they love so they can afford it. So I just want to say, "Fuck you, Doug."

As an aside, I'd also like to say "Fuck you!" to that guy in the Magic the Gathering sealed deck league who once cast the sorcery Winter Blast as an instant. Sure, it was my fault for not realizing it at the time but he was still one of those assholes who tried to get away with whatever he wanted whenever he could. Fuck you, dude. Oh, and also, "Ha ha!" Because I beat him with the last card in my draw pile: Ball Lightning. In your face, motherfucker!

I brought the Doug thing up because the first thing I thought when I picked up this comic book from the top of the unread stack was, "Could I afford health insurance if I stopped buying this comic?" If anybody knows any good health insurance policies for $3.99 a month, I'll be saving enough each month after dropping this title.

Why is Robby Reed in a vagina?

If you don't get the premise for Dial H for Hero, I'm not going to explain it to you. Because I don't get it. The title says "Dial H for Hero" but it seems like people are constantly dialing the entire word. I think there was even a time when you could dial HERO backwards to become a villain. But Dial O for Villain is a stupid name for a comic book (please don't use that statement as evidence that I think "Dial H for Hero" is not a stupid title for a comic book. I never fucking said that). I feel like one of the dials I saw in some version of this comic book only had the letters H-E-R and O or else why would I have tried to come up with all the other weird things you could dial, like OREO for a quick snack or HORROR for Cthulhu or HOHOHO for either presents or a quickie or EEEEE! for comic book reviews that often forget to review the comic book? Although I think this current series just has a normal dial on a normal rotary phone that's quickly becoming mysterious technology to young people.

The main reason I kept purchasing this comic book was for the fun origin stories in different art styles every time somebody used the phone. But it feels like that part of the comic isn't as prevalent now that the plot has really started rolling along. That's why this is my last issue. That and the need to afford health insurance!

This issue does practically the opposite of what I liked. It highlights a number of different new heroes but doesn't give their secret origin at all! Instead it's like a modern game show where the audience gets to learn all about the contestant when what the audience really wants is to see the contestant play a fucking game for money. I don't care if Tony had low self-esteem and was dating a jerk before he became Sir Prize. Tell me how Sir Prize became Sir Prize, you stupid fucking Howie Mandel of a comic book! Later we learn the girl who becomes Phantasma was tired of dealing with her Lex Luthor Healthcare provider. But I don't care about that! I want to know how Phantasma became Phantasm! This fucking comic book betrayed me! I can't wait to spend my extra $3.99 on corporate health insurance that will try their hardest to not have to pay my medical bills so they can reward their CEOs with more big bonuses.

Throughout the stories, a silent hero has been saving everybody without waiting for a word of thanks. In the end, it winds up being a dog. Boo! BOOOO! The problem with some writers is that they get all of their ideas from the Internet and this was absolutely the story thought up by somebody who has seen the "Dogs are too pure for us" bullshit all over the Internet. As if a starving dog wouldn't eat your face! Dogs aren't pure. They're just needy assholes!

This panel proves this comic book should be called "Dial H-E-R-O for Hero."

Dial H for Hero #7 Rating: C. I'm not anti-social justice story arcs in comic books. Hell, what else are superhero comic books supposed to be about?! Heroes fighting to keep corporate America and the patriarchy in power? Of course not! But what does irk me and it's why I'm no fan of writers like Humphries who seem to take most of their plots directly from Tumblr threads or Twitter memes. In this comic book alone, we have a gay guy in a slightly abusive relationship who eventually finds a group of weirdos who accept him for who he is, a woman angry at a health care provider not providing proper healthcare to protect its own bottom line, an angry youth who tries to use violence to get revenge and winds up being killed, and a fucking hero that's too good to be true because of course it's a fucking dog. It's like a comic book ticking all the boxes for maximum Tumblr reblogs! My issue isn't that somebody decided to write a comic book like this. My issue is that Sam Humphries only writes comic books like this. His Green Lantern with social anxiety was pure "Tumblr is going to love this character!" fawning bullshit. Most of my problem with the character (and this issue) comes down to execution. Just like when I pick up an Ann Nocenti book and know immediately that the characters are going to speak nonsense but still being open to a well written story if it happens (it never happens), I'm all for Sam Humphries impressing me with his "I'm writing for Tumblr" style. He was successful for six issues of this series (which it's too bad I wasn't doing reviews of at the time. So sorry, Sam!). I really enjoyed the style of this series. But this issue just reminded me why I was hesitant to buy a Sam Humphries comic book.

On the other hand, the dog meme translated into this story wasn't that bad! And how can I be angry at the health care story when I began this thing ranting about health care! And, ultimately, I approve of stories in which one person tells another person to be themselves. What better paradoxical advice is there (other than don't fuck your grandmother when you time travel)? It's just that I'm just a hyperbolic bastard who can only respond to how long of an eye roll a comic garnered from me. And let me tell you, that dog reveal was a pretty fucking hefty Liz Lemon eye roll.

Justice League Dark #15

Don't worry. This review won't concentrate on Detective Chimp's butthole. Probably.

It always surprises me when somebody criticizes my comic book review site as being biased. I mean, yeah! I never claimed it wasn't going to be biased. But the people who accuse me of bias always do so when I critique something they love. Nobody ever stands up for the things they hate when I shit all over them in an obviously biased and subjective way! At times like that, they simply respond, "Yeah! Ann Nocenti's mother's vagina was a portal from some hell dimension where random statements with no thematic connectivity are regarded as high art! Now Tweet directly at her and call her a nasty name!" What I'm trying to say is that I understand how people think. I once listened to that one Simon and Garfunkel song that says, "A man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest. Mmmm mmmm mmmm mmmm mmmmm mmmm mmmm mmmm mmmmm mmmmmmmmm." How come the music producer didn't tell Si and Gar to not enjoy their delicious packed lunches in the middle of recording?

I'm sure I'm not the first to notice this but it made me laugh out loud for quite a while when I cropped the cover of Bridge Over Troubled Water.

I should publish all of my reviews in a manner that shows a side-by-side comparison of the review I set out to write and the review that winds up getting written. Because everything after the first sentence of the first paragraph was the train already derailed. Instead of bitching and moaning about the bias of people complaining about my bias, my brain immediately had to admit to its own bias! Stupid brain. You're supposed to hide my vulnerabilities and weaknesses to help me survive in this travesty of an attempt at polite society! How I didn't get the shit beaten out of me every other day in junior high I'll never know. No, wait. I do know how that happened. The few times people attempted to tease me, they were frustrated by either my lack of notice that they were making fun of me or my super aggressive flip-the-fuck out whirl of arms and fists and tears and screams. There were victims out there who both reacted appropriately and weren't deadly tornadoes of incomprehensible rage built up by an inability to understand how all of this human interaction was supposed to work! Sure, point out that I'm picking my nose in front of everybody but I didn't realize you were saying it to humiliate me! My nose needed picking and what was I supposed to do? Pretend, just like everybody else, that nobody picks their nose?! Okay, sure, maybe I could have realized I could have picked it in the bathroom or used a tissue or cared at all about how it looked to do it right there in front of everybody. I had the capacity to understand that because I certainly didn't jerk off in public! Usually.

See that? Did you witness my brain's betrayal just when I was calling out my brain's betrayal?! Don't tell people about my habit of picking my nose in public, you stupid squishy Judas! Just do what I tell you to do, asshole! No offense, asshole. You do everything just right. You're my second favorite body part.

Goddammit, brain. If you ask me to Google "chimpanzee butthole" one more time, I will stab you through my eye! I am not doing it!

Who am I kidding? I'm only human. I'll definitely be Googling "chimpanzee butthole" at some point today.

So Justice League Dark! Some paladin character I don't remember from the previous issue notices that there's an eclipse happening and he was just reviewing "astrological charts" which didn't reveal an eclipse was due. Bobo decides to argue with him.

I don't think Occam's Razor states, "If I can think of anything at all that's a way more mundane explanation than the one you have, my explanation must be the correct one." It's a little more complicated than "That sounds crazy therefore Occam's Razor states you're crazy or incompetent."

I'm not an expert on Occam's Razor so Occam's Razor states my explanation of it is probably incompetent or crazy.

Oh, the paladin was Doctor Fate sans helmet. I wish I hadn't been circumcised so I could call my unerect penis Kent Nelson and my erect penis Doctor Fate.

Anybody who follows me on Twitter is going to think they've already read this review because I just keep tweeting out all of my jokes from it. Oh fuck you! There have definitely been at least three actual jokes so far!

Man-Bat looks at the eclipse and begins thinking up a new formula. Occam's Razor says he's incompetent and crazy but I bet he just came up with a new Eclipso transformation formula just by looking at the dark moon. Is that how science works? You come up with a crazy idea first and then it's just a matter of mixing a few stupid chemicals to make that idea reality? Because if so, Eureka! I just came up with a serum that will allow me to suck my own dick!

Diana gives Zatanna and Doctor Fate a tour of her underground archive of magical objects.

I often give James Tynion IV a hard time but he can't be all Snyder-toadie theater nerd if he included the Ace of Winchesters in Diana's treasure hoard.

Diana's most dangerous item is Eclipso's black diamond. I'm currently rereading the 90s Eclipso comic book which was touted in the letters pages as being the first open-ended comic book focusing on a villain. I guess Deathstork didn't count even though he was an unrepentant pedophile. The series ran for 18 issues but I think I gave up on it around issue #6.

Swamp Things heads off to find Circe via The Green but instead he finds Jason Woodrue, the new Flower Elemental, making a deal with the Parliament of Flowers to make the world pretty. Swamp Thing tries to stop him but Woodrue infects him with The Rot. So now he can't do anything but decompose while Detective Chimp and Doctor Fate Lite (Khalid!) try to find Abby Arcane to help him. But before they can even begin that quest, Man-bat walks in with the new serum he easily invented because the hard part of science is the imagination to come up with the invention. His new invention is a Man-bat-bat-bat-bat-bat-bat-bat-bat-bat-bat-bat serum and it works terrifically!

Or terribly? I think it's a success. But maybe not.

Everybody seems to think Man-bat is under some kind of spell but they seem to have forgotten that he's insane. Unless we can't trust Batman's judgment on who is insane and who isn't. I mean, according to Batman, every villain that runs a gang is crazy and every thug in a gang is a criminal. Man-bat was kind of a lone criminal so maybe he's only crazy in the way all scientists are crazy? Is that a thing? I mean, Beakman was pretty fucking loony but Bill Nye seemed sane. Those are the only scientists I know.

Diana, Doctor Fate, and Zatanna begin a ritual using Eclipso's black diamond to teleport Diana to the moon where she can find the center of Hecate's power. I don't know if the creative team remembered how the 90s comic had Eclipso existing between panels to narrate or if their rendition of the ritual was just a happy accident because showing him trapped in the Black Diamond just translates into Eclipso stuck between borders.

Either way, kudos. Love this page. And I don't often mention when I love art and layout so you know I'm being completely earnest here!

Wonder Woman makes it to the moon but it's haunted by something terrible. I don't know what that something is. I guess I'll find out next issue if I remember to purchase Justice League Dark #16.

Justice League Dark #15 Rating: B. I like a lot of stuff going on this comic book because I like the characters so much. The creative team is doing a decent job although I'm not blown away. I'm not sure I get blown away by many comic books anymore. It's especially hard to think, "Justice League Dark really makes an insightful impact in the comic book landscape" when I'm also reading Chris Ware's Rusty Brown in which that kind of thing is happening every few pages. Maybe I shouldn't even compare the two! Just because they're using the same medium to tell their story it doesn't mean they should be given equal weight. One is mainstream entertainment and one is high art! I think. Maybe the mainstream comic is just telling a tense and action packed story and the high art comic just makes me feel like shit. So it's obvious why I think it must be high art! Anyway, go read Rusty Brown! It's terrific! And if you want to read this, it's worth it at 1994 comic book prices. So see if you can haggle this shit down to a buck seventy-five or so.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

The Terrifics #20

Most of Plastic Man is up Mr. Terrific's butthole.

I love the word butthole. Some people think buttholes are gross but I think they're often adorable enough to be called buttholes. I'm not saying all buttholes are cute and adorable because as an Internet denizen, I have seen The Butthole That Shall Not Be Named. You know, But I've also seen many, many beautiful and adorable buttholes too! What I'm trying to say is I hope we get to see Phantom Girl's butthole this issue.

Some people think it's weird and immature to be sexually attracted to cartoon and/or comic book characters. But I think it's a totally natural instinct for sophisticated and adult art lovers. Do you think cavemen weren't jacking it to cave art? Please. Half the markings on the wall are probably dried cum. I'm not ashamed of saying I would totally fuck Phantom Girl! I wouldn't say it to somebody I know. Or somebody I don't know. Or anybody in public at all ever. But I'll write it here!

I know what some of you are thinking: you're a gross pedophile. But Phantom Girl is actually quite old. Remember, she spent like seventy years in the Dark Multiverse. Also, even if she wasn't older than I am, she's a fucking cartoon character! I also wanted to fuck Sailor Mars! Unless I wanted to be Sailor Mars. It's hard to fucking tell sometimes! I think it was more that I wanted to be Sailor Mars so I could go around fucking guys like me. Man, to be a hot woman! I'd suck so much dick! I'm not saying I want to suck dick now, as myself. It's weird that that doesn't appeal to me. But being a woman and going around sucking tons of dick totally does appeal to me. That's probably a fairly normal fantasy, right? I bet part of the fantasy stems from the fact that there's nothing more overtly sexual than a rock hard veiny penis straining to be shoved in any opening it can find! So making a bunch of dicks cum has to be like everybody's number one fantasy, right? Also maybe putting two in your butt at the same time while sucking those dicks. Hey, I'm just as normal as the next guy!

All of that is to say I took The Terrifics off of my pull list. This will be my last chance to see Power Girl's butthole. Fingers crossed!

The Terrifics begin this issue by battling their Bizarro opposites, The Terribles. It's terrifically confusing. Or terribly not confusing? Jeez, I used to like Bizarro so much but I hate him more and more as I grow older. That wasn't me speaking like Bizarro. It's how I really feel. I'm speaking seriously. Believe the things I'm writing. I am not doing a Bizarro impression. If I was doing a Bizarro impression, it would sound like this: "Me totally joking when me not say me hate Phantom Girl's butthole." See? You can't even parse that, can you? But at least it's there in writing for everybody to plainly see my true feelings on fucking underage cartoon characters when I appear before a judge on whatever charges can be charged to somebody for that. "See, judge? I'm totally innocent of perversion! As you can see, me was totally joking when me not say me hate Phantom Girl's butthole!" And then when the judge looks confused and says, "Guilty!", I'll say, "Real guilty or Bizarro guilty?"

This is exactly the same sex speech I prepared for my butthole sex with Phantom Girl! Me am not rock hard right now!

It's weird seeing Mr. Terrible acting as if he's Mr. Terrific's opposite. I thought Mrs. Terrific was Mr. Terrific's opposite. He has T-spheres while she has T-cubes and he has T-balls while she has a T-box. Totally opposite!

The Terribles are trying to power a time machine with something from The Terrifics' headquarters. They get away with one of Phantom Girl's trinkets that allows her to contact The Phantom Zone. That's how she accesses her powers. It makes sense because they both have "phantom" in their name.

Is smell the opposite of sight? I would have guessed touch was the opposite of sight and taste was the opposite of hearing while smell was its own opposite.

The Terribles use their time machine to move themselves and everything around them (maybe the entire planet?) back to the Image 90s. The Terrifics wind up in more extreme uniforms with more pouches and tighter, more dynamic buttholes. It's a fucking dream come true!

You might be wondering how I know the buttholes of 90s Image heroes were so tight and dynamic. Just ask Rob Liefeld, Jim Lee, or Todd McFarlane. It was the number one reason they began Image! DC and Marvel were adamant about Batman and Spider-man having totally loose buttholes. But the fan reaction to Todd McFarlane's new and improved Spider-man butthole sent shockwaves through the comic book industry. Who knew fans would be so rabid about heroes with tighter buttholes that they'd crash the entire market years later due to speculation! Everybody thought those foil butthole covers were going to be worth thousands of dollars thirty years later. Of course now we know a comic book will only become valuable if the character introduced in it somehow breaks out of the comic medium and becomes a film superstar, like Deadpool or Donatello Turtle.

Talk about tight buttholes! Those mutant turtles' buttholes were watertight!

The Terrifics spend a few pages reminding everybody how ridiculous life was in the 90s. People watched television on televisions that were totally different and they engaged in physical activities except ridiculous ones like rollerblading and they wore clothes but clothes that can be mocked by people thirty years down the line unlike the clothes we were today which will never be mockable. They also drink sodas out of glass bottles instead of different glass bottles and they said things like "Cowabunga is my butthole tight!" and collected things but dumb and valueless things like Beanie Babies instead of super valuable things like Heroclix and 90s comic books. Man, we were so dumb in the 90s! Ha ha! Idiots!

Look, I'm not saying I came in my pants at this shot of Phantom Girl's butt and her saying, "You want a taste of my dark matter touch." I'm just not saying it. In print.

The Terrifics continue to go back in time with The Terribles where their costumes keep changing by the decade. Phantom Girl is, of course, adorable in her Molly Ringwald look that you can barely see in the background of one panel but which I know by heart for reasons I won't go into but you can probably guess at. Why am I so fucking honest on this blog? Um, that was me being Bizarro! I'm totally not honest at all on this blog! It's all hilarious jokes!

The Terrifics #20 Rating: B+. I love Phantom Girl's butthole but I just don't love this comic book enough to keep paying for it. Even if I kind of want to finish this story. If a future issue does happen to show Phantom Girl's butthole, somebody please contact me and let me know! Thanks!

Inferior 5 #1

Hopefully this will be like when Giffen made the Legion of Super-heroes super fucking dark.

I have no fucking idea how the Inferior 5 fit into regular DC Continuity. They have to be from a different Earth, right? Earth Number This Is Fucked Up, probably. Dumb Bunny, Awkwardman, Blimp, White Feather, and Merrymaker make up the main roster of a team nobody was looking to have rebooted. I get it. They're so terrible that even they accept that they're terrible and so they came up with a self-deprecating name. I would have had Dumb Bunny come up with the name and they would be called the Inferior 4. But then I like jokes that are often seen as confusing or mistakes on my part when the reader, being so fucking smugly intelligent, isn't able to resist correcting everything they fucking read.

After their initial appearance and follow-up stories in Showcase back in the Sixties, the Inferior 5 never really took off. They had a maxi-series and then a few odd appearances that didn't last for more than a panel. I probably have a few of those appearances since one of them was the Oz-Wonderland war and another was in Grant Morrison's Animal Man. But DC, being so far up their own ass, was probably too afraid to touch the Inferior 5 for decades because they were too silly. I know DC tried to "make comics fun again!" in the 80s with titles like Booster Gold and Blue Beetle and Blue Devil. But those were real super heroes that weren't complete embarrassments. You can add humor to real superhero action and still feel like you've retained your dignity. But how can you publish something with a dumb blonde named Dumb Bunny who probably fucks like crazy (because of the rabbit theme and not the dumb blonde theme!) and a guy named Awkwardman who inherited a trait from his mother, a water hero, who had to "get wet" occasionally to stay alive? I know that's also an Aqualad trait but I just wanted to mention how the Who's Who explicitly mentioned Awkwardman's mother needing to get wet. So hot.

One of The Inferior 5's appearances was in The New 52's Bat-Mite #5 which I reviewed exactly inferior five years ago ("inferior five" is four).

The issue begins in a desert landscape on Earth Number This Is Fucked Up with some oddly shaped landscapes.

How many dicks can you find, kids?!

"How many dicks can you find, kids" is the least quotable line I've ever written.

The Kamandi just out of surgery cosplayer winds up getting exploded by the kid in the canvas sack face mask. You know the kid is bad news because he can make people explode with his mind. Although if you ran into him in the desert, you wouldn't know that immediately so I should have stated the other ways you can tell he's bad news so as to maybe avoid exploding. First off, he's a kid out in the desert alone. Kids by themselves are creepy. Plus he's wearing a canvas bag on his head. Canvas is always a warning sign that you might be dealing with cannibal hillbillies, especially when it's covering an almost certainly mutilated face. Also, the kid's canvas bag mask has a big red X on it. Anybody who's been through the American educational system has a strong aversion to red X's. Also spooky: the kid recites nursery rhymes. When you hear one of those, you know you're either about to die or laugh hysterically because did you hear how the Diceman said "cock" instead of "clock"?! How did we never stop laughing in the Eighties?! Oh, one more clue that not all is right with this kid: he lives in Dangerfield, Arizona. That's almost as big a red flag as some sweaty, long-haired kid in overalls from Back Swamp, North Carolina.

The story picks up with some nerdy kid (probably Merrymaker since he's the big virgin of the group) whining about how his dad died in The Invasion of Metropolis (what was that? Is that a reference to the beginning of The New 52 when Darkseid attacked Earth? Or is this a reference to the Invasion by the Dominators which was compiled in three way-too-long comics?). After the Invasion, he and his mom moved to Dangerfield, Arizona. Because who wouldn't feel safer in a place with a name that causes constant anxiety over a place where the greatest hero in the world lives?

According to the date on this calendar, the Invasion mentioned was the Dominator one which created the Meta-Gene explanation of superpowers which we recently learned was a computer jargon shortening of the term "metal-gene."

The calendar isn't the only proof that this invasion was by Dominators and not Parademons! By turning the page instead of trying to ferret out what's going on by examining every panel carefully and spending an inordinate amount of my short lifespan trying to guess what's about to happen instead of just fucking turning the Goddamned page and letting the writers explain it to me, I discover the Dominators are leading an invasion of Earth Number This Is Fucked Up. At least I think it's Earth Number This Is Fucked Up because the invasion seems to have worked. Superman is dead and most of the other heroes have been placed in a space gulag. Plus that kid in the canvas bag marking X's on houses seems to play an important role in the Dominator's invasion force.

Unless this is all just a comic book on Earth Number Main Earth?

Maybe I should turn some more pages!

But first, I just need to Google "Lisa Loeb's boobs."

The kid complaining about the Invasion comic book is named Lisa (no relation to Lisa Loeb's boobs) and she points out to the suspiciously bloody comic book seller with a light sensitivity named Vlad that the Invasion really happened. So I guess DC is simply profiting on everybody's pain and misery. I bet just to make the series even more painful and miserable, DC hired Scott Lobdell to write it.

Justin, the whiny kid from Metropolis, is being observed by some outside observers (as opposed to inside observers which would be, I guess, parasites?). He heads downtown where he's about to make contact with Dumb Bunny and Awkwardman! Except he doesn't. Man, I should probably read more than two panels at a time before writing anything. It would save everybody a lot of wasted effort, me with writing sloppy synopses of comics and the three people reading this having to fucking read this. But then I don't have any responsibility to anybody to make these "reviews" shorter. It's not my fault if somebody wanted to Google "Lisa Loeb's boobs" but found they didn't have enough time because they were reading this shit. That's their own fault for not prioritizing their desires! Googling "Lisa Loeb's boobs" was so important to me that I did it in the middle of this review! Come on, people. It's the modern age! You can view Lisa Loeb's boobs any time you want (through clothing, that is. I'm not advocating for searching for nude pics of Lisa Loeb's boobs which probably don't exist anyway and if you think they do, it was probably just Lisa Loeb's head photoshopped onto a naked torso).

Lisa has been uncovering clues to the weirdness of Dangerfield, Arizona because she dresses like Velma. Unless she dresses like Velma because she searches for clues the way her hero, Velma, searches for clues. I don't know enough about Lisa's backstory to say. It's possible Lisa isn't even aware of Velma and it's just Giffen spending some easy pop culture capital so readers associate Lisa with Velma and understand her more simply by looking at her image.

Here are a bunch of the clues she's uncovered that I didn't want to try to parse through my digressions and fascination with Lisa Loeb.

Billy Shanker, the kid with the canvas bag who says things like, "Oh! The three little kittens! They fucked their mittens! Oh! Look at the way I hold my cigarette! Boom!", murders Justin's mom and takes her corpse to some guy in a hazmat suit that might be a Dominator but also might be, seeing as how Giffen is writing this, Ambush Bug. Man I hope it's Ambush Bug!

Justin returns home to find his mother gone and the interior (five?) of his house covered in red X's. Oh no. That's a really bad sign! Not one black check mark in the bunch!

Some people might think Keith Giffen isn't the best artist in town because he's a writer and his art isn't for everybody. Plus he never puts any thought into his panel layout and just goes the same size boxes every time (sometimes in the six variety, sometimes in the nine). I happen to love his art so I'm not one of those people. But in keeping with a guy whose art isn't what people would call great (although those people usually love mainstream great garbage art like John Romita Jr or David Finch or Tony S. Daniel), Jeff Lemire draws the back-up story. I don't think that was an insult at Lemire's expense. If it was, I'm sorry because I was really just trying to insult John Romita, Jr and David Finch and Tony S. Daniel. The back-up story features Peacemaker whom I only remember by look.

According to the Who's Who, Peacemaker is a guy who loved peace so much that he realized sometimes he'd have to use extreme violence to ensure it. Also he suffered a head injury during Crisis on Infinite Earths which seems like a weird thing to mention in the Who's Who. "Trillions of lives were extinguished during the multiversal extermination event! Billions and billions of worlds destroyed! People's pasts erased in the blink of an eye! Supergirl and Flash and some other people nobody remembers killed! And Peacemaker suffered some head trauma." I suppose it's important to the character. Maybe it was meant to make him more extreme so he'd be relevant in the post-Crisis era.

Peacemaker is on a mission for Amanda Waller to find some super weapon that the Russians want. His search leads him to a bunker with a dead Dominator, a mysterious capsule, and a map leading him to Dangerfield, Arizona!

Inferior 5 #1 Rating: B+. I'm a sucker for Giffen stories and Giffen art. And Giffen stories backed up by Lemire's writing are probably even better. This one was pretty good so consider it evidence that my previous statement is almost certainly correct. One thing I like about Giffen is that he doesn't mind writing things that can be confusing on their first (or even second!) read through. He tells the story, makes the jokes, slowly unveils the plot, and to hell with anybody who doesn't want to invest a little time in making it all out. Seems to me, a lot of modern comic book readers could learn to love ambiguity. But they're all so desperate for the interior monologue of the main characters so they know exactly what to think after reading something. They're so coddled that they think subtlety is when a story explicitly shows them what's happening without the main character also explaining it in a monologue as they experience it. They wouldn't recognize subtlety if it...well, I mean, it's subtlety. It should be hard to recognize so I don't know how to finish that statement. Now go read Inferior 5 and hate me for recommending it when you're finished.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Eclipso #1

Remember the early 90s when DC desperately tried to make Eclipso a serious threat?

How often has DC given a villain a comic book series of their own? Deathstork doesn't really count because even though he's a murderous pedophile, he still tends to be portrayed as somehow ethically chaste. Why else would Superman and Batman continue to let him run around murdering people? It's because he always murders bad people whom Batman and Superman don't find worthy of their protection. I'm assuming Eclipso works differently but I can't fucking remember what his motivation as a super villain is. The cover says "The Face of Vengeance" so I'm assuming he darkens the souls of people who feel wronged so that they can claim their revenge. And while that sounds like a motivation that can make Eclipso an anti-hero, I'm hoping he doesn't give a shit if the person feeling wronged actually was wronged. He's practically the face of evil in the DC Universe in 1992 so he'd better get up to a whole lot of evil! Besides, isn't The Spectre the good guy who helps people get vengeance for being wronged? Or murdered? Eclipso can't step all over The Spectre's territory.

This series is by Giffen and Fleming so I'm expecting evil Ambush Bug. At least, that's what I'm positive I was expecting back in 1992 when I purchased this. I feel like I remember being disappointed in that it wasn't funny at all. I hope I'm re-disappointed in realizing my disappointment was a false memory.

Okay. Motivation spelled out pretty clearly on the third page.

According to this comic book, Eclipso killed the dove Noah sent out of the ark that time it never returned. This comic book doesn't mention the raven that Noah sent out and then refused to let back on the ark even though it was trying to warn him of the psychopathic asshole wading through the receding waters waiting to murder everybody on the ark. Does that mean Eclipso has some kind of relationship with God? Maybe Eclipso is the one who created the flood because God promised him everything would die in it. And then God fucking betrayed Eclipso and allowed a whole bunch of creatures to survive.

Although the most probably explanation of this moment is that Giffen and Fleming needed a quick way to portray Eclipso as some kind of legendary evil. What better way than to make him practically immortal and associate him with the greatest massacre in the "history" of mankind (perpetrated by fucking God himself, the diabolical monster!)?

In the present, Eclipso has taken possession of a South American guy with a grudge against his village. He was cast out for unknown reasons (probably really fucking good reasons!) but it was enough of an excuse for Eclipso to possess him to grant him vengeance. So I guess that's Eclipso's thing, just like I speculated based on the cover pretty much telling me exactly that. I'm good at understanding! Eclipso possesses people so that they can get revenge then helps them murder as many people as possible so that everything will eventually be killed. But can Eclipso really kill everybody on Earth during the finite amount of time during eclipses? I bet more babies are born during an eclipse than Eclipso can kill!

As Eclipso thinks about his recent past, the editor makes sure the readers know he's talking about the big blockbuster Eclipso event in the annuals. But he also mentions something that happened in Valor #1 and my initial reaction was, "Like fuck I'm going to read that." My second reaction was, "I'm pretty sure I own that comic book and it's in the current stack of old comic books to read." I hate myself.

Eclipso discovers that the people of the village he just murdered have stockpiled tons of cocaine. So now he's going to run a criminal drug enterprise to fund his murder spree. I suppose he can possess more than one person at a time with the use of his black diamonds. And I think he can continue to possess them even if there's no eclipse? But if that's the case, why the fucking stupid name? Maybe he's just more powerful during an eclipse. Or maybe the only way somebody can shake his possessing spirit is by exposure to sunlight. So he's really just kind of a shitty vampire.

Eclipso gives a little Eclipso history lesson for the newer readers.

"The dark side of the moon" doesn't actually mean it never gets sunlight, you stupid turd. The entire concept of his name comes from an event where "the dark side of the moon" is bathed in sunlight!

It could be I'm not parsing Eclipso's speech correctly. Maybe he means that by being banished to the dark side of the moon, he was forever having to hid from the sun whenever the dark side was turned toward the sun. Maybe he means he wasn't susceptible to sunlight until he was banished to the dark side of the moon. But then the assumption, I think, is that he was in the dark for so long that sunlight became his greatest weakness. There's a few possible interpretations here and while some people might like to give Giffen and Fleming the benefit of the doubt, I would rather rake them over the coals and call them fucking idiots.

Fucking idiots.

Eclipso abandons his possessed man in the hopes that the black diamond will pass on to The Count, the man who was using them to grow and process the cocaine. In works and The Count is an angry man who easily falls victim to the darkness in his heart. Now Eclipso is the kingpin in an international drug smuggling operation. Seems like a weird and boring place to start his super villain career but maybe drug smuggling stories weren't as played out in 1992 as they seem to be today. Or are they? People fucking still eat that shit up, don't they?!

Eclipso murders The Count's wife just in case any readers weren't sure if they should root for him or not. Certain readers almost certainly only began rooting for him after he threw The Count's wife out of the second story window. Here at Eee! Tess Ate Chai Tea, we prefer to pretend that those kinds of readers don't exist. Oh, sure, sometimes I'll reference them if I want to mock their weaselly little beta cuck beliefs. Mostly though, I only remember they exist when one of them becomes irate because I called Deathstroke a pedophile. Imagine that being the thing I wrote that finally crossed a line for you!

Eclipso kills all of the drug lord's bodyguards and then takes over the town's sheriff when he stops by to investigate. The sheriff kills all of the cops so now I guess Eclipso has nearly conquered the South American country of Parador? What a dumb fake country name! I would have gone with Uruzil.

The next issue blurb just says "Eclipso for president." Man, that sounds like a dream compared to what we have now.

Eclipso #1 Rating: C-. I'm not impressed. Apparently in 1992, I was impressed enough to keep buying it. Or I was just intrigued by a comic book about a brutal villain. Either way, I kept buying it even after this mediocre start. Maybe I was supposed to be impressed by the way Eclipso sort of rules the minds of these men from between the panels. Or maybe I was supposed to appreciate his dark humor in the narration. At least I think it was dark humor. He did say "Not!" at one point. That was funny in 1992, right?