Friday, November 29, 2019

Review of The Twilight Zone, S1, E9, "To Be or Not To Be"

In this episode, "Perchance to Dream," a man barges into a psychiatrist's office, lies down, and dies. That's it! That's everything that happens! At least to the people who are not Edward Hall, the man who dies. He manages to have a minor Jacob's Ladder episode before he dies. Or, more aptly I should say he has "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" moment. The majority of the episode is just the man's last dream before he dies from "a romantic heart." I think that means syphilis.

I would love to say this fits perfectly in the "Rod Serling just made a list of ideas to turn into stories" theory that I mentioned in an earlier review except this is the first episode that wasn't either an original work by Rod Serling or a teleplay by Rod Serling from another person's story. This story was written by Charles Beaumont who is not the actor who played Beaver's dad. That was Hugh! But this story idea is so simple I could see Rod jotting down "dying in your sleep ain't as cool as people seem to think it is" for his list of The Twilight Zone story ideas. Stupid reality not making my theory perfect.

I really enjoyed this episode because there was a sexy lady in it named Maya the Cat Lady. She even does a 1959 striptease which isn't as sexy as a 1960 striptease although they're probably pretty close. I don't think stripteases got really sexy until around 1973. I mean stripteases put to film for mass consumption! Real stripteases in 1959 were probably disgusting and humiliating and ended with loads of semen stained Dacron or wool flannel pants.

Edward Hall, the main character, explains to the psychiatrist what's been happening to him and why he won't let himself fall asleep. Remember though, that explanation is just given in the dream before he dies. We never really know the real reason why he went to see this psychiatrist! Sure, Edward explains it in the dream but why should the audience take dream Edward at his word? If he were speaking the truth about how his dreams continue a linear story from night to night then this dream is an aberration that disproves his theory! His next dream is supposed to be jumping from a roller coaster but instead he jumps from the window of a skyscraper. Anyway, Edward explains that if he goes to sleep, he knows he'll die because the dream story is getting really scary and less sexy than when it started. And since his dreams keep telling the same story, the next chapter was going to be so scary that his "romantic heart" couldn't take the strain. Of course, staying up for four days straight is also putting a strain on his heart so, basically, he's a dead man either way.

Or is he? Did he die in the psychiatrist's office because he strained his heart by staying awake for four days even though he probably would have been fine if he just got some fucking sleep? Who knows?! We don't even really know if he'd been awake for four days straight when he entered the office because that was just information from Dream Edward! Maybe he just had really bad gas pains when we see him stumbling into the office at the beginning of the episode.

I love the conceit of this episode because I've thought about this for decades. People always seem consoled by the idea of peacefully dying in their sleep. But I've always thought, "Have you forgotten about dreams?! I bet the dream you have when you die in your sleep is fucking terrifying!" Apparently Charles Beaumont thought so too!

Fifteen years ago, I worked at a place called Academic Book Center. We had a new employee named Kara Zander whom I was training. She was working out really well (which was the opposite of what usually happened with new hires there) until she suddenly didn't show up for work the day before Thanksgiving. My manager, who was mostly a selfish narcissist, was getting pretty upset (because, remember, most new employees turned out to suck and suddenly it seemed maybe Kara sucked (spoiler: she didn't. She was just dead)). And then, suddenly, my manager was super fucking upset because she found out Kara had died overnight from carbon monoxide poisoning. Mostly she was upset that she was being such a fucking jerk judging Kara and then realized she was judging a poor dead woman who never gave my manager any reason to suspect she wasn't anything but a bright and caring and upbeat and competent employee. Right up until she died and didn't phone in to tell my manager, "Hey! I'm dead! Won't be coming in today!" Fucking Barb. I mean, fucking anonymous Academic Book Center manager!

Being that I've always had this thought in my head about how fucking terrifying dying in your sleep probably actually is, I couldn't get Kara out of my head. People said the comforting things about her death and how she probably drifted off and I held my tongue because nobody wants to hear somebody, at that moment, say, "Can you imagine what it must have been like? As the carbon monoxide filled her system, she probably began dreaming she was drowning, unable to breathe. Gasping and struggling to claw her way back to the surface but sinking ever downward, choking with fear. Until finally, just as she was thinking, 'It's all a dream! It must be a dream! I'll wake up any second now!', she simply winked out of existence." Then, jaws agape and tears frozen on their faces, half of the people I'd just spoken to would wander off to kill themselves while the others simply began their new hobby of cutting.

Since Thanksgiving was yesterday, and I watched this episode a few days before that, I suppose I couldn't help but think of Kara. I quit the job fairly soon after that, partly because the whole incident just made me lose any lasting respect I had of my manager (which wasn't much seeing as how she treated some of her work "friends" so shittily while at work and also because she cried during one of my performance reviews because I wasn't "being her friend" and then denied me a raise. I could have complained to HR but her sister was head of HR so why the fuck would I even bother?!) and partly because I couldn't stop thinking, "I don't want to fucking die at this job." Kara, at least, seemed to have an upbeat and joyous attitude about life (while also comforted by her religion), so she probably wouldn't have minded dying at that job. That sounds like I'm being critical but it's a compliment! I'm saying, "I'm a miserable and cynical beast who can't fucking cope with life or death or work," and Kara was somebody who seemed to look on the bright side of everything. Hell, maybe her dying dream was of her running joyously down a dark tunnel to the light of Jesus and his open arms! Man, maybe I need to suck it up and just force myself to believe in all that religious bullshit!

Kara has a fancy grave with one of her journal entries carved into the back of her gravestone (I know this because I looked her up online and found her grave at which isn't morbid at all). The quote is this (and I promise not to make fun of it because she's being earnest and vulnerable and young and religious and I should be so lucky to be any of those things): "Knocking on doors before entering is always a smart thing to do. This is not just for the privacy of the owner of the room, but also for the person who wants to enter. What if someone was creating a surprise for another person and 'hid' in a room to prepare it, and the other one barged in? The surprise and fun would be ruined. God is preparing a room for me up in heaven. The door is shut now, but when it is time for my soul to move, I will knock and discover a glorious surprise beyond description. Lord, thank you for surprises and the fun associated with them. I am faithfully sure that yours will be awesome beyond they always are. Amen."

If there is a fucking God, fuck Him. Did you think he read this entry and chuckled and rubbed his hands together and muttered, "Oh, have I got an awesome beyond words surprise for you, Kara. Do I! Ha ha ha ha ha ha!" God's maniacal laugh then rings throughout eternity, both ways, forever. What a prick.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Grendel: Devil's Odyssey #2

Yay! Grendel hentai!

I would absolutely love this comic book if I gave a shit about Grendel or was twelve years old again and into space stories. So close to my demographic! At this point in my life, I'm into stories about too much ass-play and economic equality for everyone (including horny octopuses). But since this story is about Grendel and space, I'll try to psyche myself up for it. Whee.

I just realized something: I didn't have to purchase this comic book! I'm dizzy from that revelation!

Grendel has found a planet that could have become Earth-2 if it weren't infested with a sentient race called the Gyks. I'd suggest Grendel could easily solve that problem but there must be thousands of them. And I don't think even Grendel could manage to slaughter that many innocent beings without feeling slightly troubled by a nervous, guilty bowel and having to break from the fight to shit where he'll be overpowered and fed to the Gyk children.

Man, if that's what happens, I won't call myself a Grandmaster Comic Book Reader. I'll just call Matt Wagner a weird freak.

Well it seems like Grendel wants to attempt to slaughter them. So maybe we'll get the "Grendel shits himself to death" story I was pretending would be weird but secretly want to read.

I guess Dark Horse doesn't have a rating system for their comic books because I just checked the cover and there isn't a "Suggested for Mature Readers" note of any kind. "Why do you bring that up, Tess?" you're probably asking. By which I answer, "My name isn't Tess." But, um, this is why I bring it up:

Matt Wagner is a weird freak.

I just realized that the previous scan will probably get this review tagged as adult content on Tumblr. Oh well. Fuck you, Tumblr. You've fucked up the layout of my blog anyway by inserting all of your own weird fucking code into the HTML so that now nothing centers and the captions don't sit snugly under the scanned panels. At least Blogger hasn't fucked up their entire platform yet.

Grendel's floating science head reports to him that the Gyk will probably kill him on sight if he interacts with them again. That's because their Queen Priest King has declared he's a cursed Gyk and will bring ruin to the entire hive. Hey! That's what I was hoping would happen! I guess Grendel will just have to find another planet.

Grendel decides to not listen to his science head. He'd rather take his chances on the Gyk than head back into space to find another suitable planet for Earth life. He decides to befriend the Gyk by bringing them water. It doesn't go as well as Grendel thought it would although it goes exactly as Science Head warned (I can't remember the science head's name so it is now Science Head). Grendel winds up incinerating the Queen and dozens of other Gyk as well as destroying their mushroom homes. Grendel says, "Oops! Sorry!", and then heads back to the ship to find another planet.

Grendel: Devil's Odyssey #2 Final Thoughts: It's an adventure in space story. Too bad twelve year old me is long dead. Forty eight year old me hasn't retained the sense of wonder twelve year old me had so he was sort of bored by this. It even had naked alien cock and I was all, "Hmph. I've seen it before." Wouldn't it be great if we, as a species, got more excited about everything and our sense of wonder simply increased as we got older? I don't like the way it really works where the world just beats us down and chips at our optimism until we're cynical husks full of weariness and pain. Maybe I just haven't found enough new things to keep me interested in living another forty years! No wonder there are so many stories about billionaires owning secret islands where they hunt men. Now that sounds like something that could get my heart pumping! Too bad I'm not a billionaire and I'd almost certainly just wind up as one of the hunted. I bet that would still be exciting though!

Monday, November 25, 2019

The Sandman Universe Presents: Hellblazer #1

I just want to see Constantine enter a Magic the Gathering tournament.

Holding this comic book in my hand, it would feel like being on the ground floor of an exciting and comic book changing series if not for the fact that it was written by Simon Spurrier. I'm just kidding (I'm not)! I'm sure he can do a great job (he won't). That Suicide Squad story that he wrote where the narrator was a nobody who figured he would die but then he saved the day. Unless he died. Fuck it, who can remember everything they've ever read! I'm certainly glad that I can't or else I'd have to deal with the whole of Ann Nocenti's Katana comics until the day I die (which hopefully will be soon). On the flip side, I've ready every single thing Kurt Vonnegut has ever written and I'm sure I barely remember ten percent of it. And who has time to reread it just so I can get a few pages into each chapter and say, out loud to the cat, "Oh yeah! I remember this part! This is where the humans who evolved to be more like seals still laugh at farts!"

Aw, don't take this personally, Si! I totally have faith in you! Notice I didn't put in a parenthetical reference there disagreeing with myself! That's a good sign that I'm now being earnest, right?! I've given up on being cynical because where does that get you? Partying all the time with a bunch of people who desperately want to be friends with such a cool guy as myself, really. But who has time for all that! I'm a vulnerable weeper now! I'm going to let this story touch me in ways I haven't been touched since my father first took me to see The Rescuers when I was six years old. That was not a molestation joke, you fucking perverts. My father sucked in a lot of ways but he wasn't a Goddamned fiddler of kids! That Rescuers revelation was me being sincere again! That movie made me cry my fucking eyes out and not just when I watched it for the first time. Every time I thought about Penny being so lonely, I couldn't help losing my shit. And then my mom got me a Rescuers lunch box because, I don't know, maybe she loves torturing small children with their intense feelings that they've yet to bury so deep within them that they lose the ability to wonder at the world and the last thing left to give them joy is shuffling ever faster toward the grave and thinking about the cold comfort of that destination.

What my existential dread and inability to see a vulnerable story through to the end without some kind of cynical disruption is that the original Hellblazer was a tour de force of adult story telling and this one probably won't be. But reality aside, I feel like it could possibly be and I'm starting at Issue #1 and I have to say (despite Spurrier writing it (sorry! Sorry! Won't happen again!)) I'm actually kind of excited! Oh for one wish granted that I could transport myself to the side of a Grecian Urn and retain this feeling! But I am a real life person and, so, I must accept the bitter disappointment that nothing in life is ever as good as we think it's going to be. Except for Sour Patch Kids.

But before I start! Here's a thing I hope Simon Spurrier decided not to inherit from so many past writers of Constantine: magic has a cost. Sure, make being a magician dangerous because other magicians and demons from Hell and avenging angels and cursed items used in rituals are all fucking dangerous. But enough of this bullshit "Let's think this through because magic has such a high cost I'd rather not do the magic until we are forced into a corner!" That whole "Magic has a cost!" thing is just the DC magic-user equivalent of a Green Lantern ring running low on battery power. It's a limiter to make the writer's job of telling a tense story easier. "A Green Lantern has the most powerful weapon in the universe! They can do anything with it! But, oh no, the ring has only got five percent juice left! I'm on the edge of my seat!" Just let Green Lanterns (and Constantine!) be bad-ass motherfuckers with their bad-ass motherfucking weapons! Stop writing easy and start writing well, writers!

The issue begins with Constantine lighting up a fag. That's a good sign, right?! He's allowed to smoke in Black Label comic books! Sure, he was allowed to smoke in all the other comic books he was in as well. But not in the television show! Although they always showed him exhaling smoke or in a haze of smoke whenever anybody came up on him, while he maybe mimed putting out a cigarette. Some executive may have not wanted him to smoke in the show but the writers and producers and directors and actors and grips and cameramen and lighting operators and Crafts services were all, "Let's make sure the audience knows this motherfucker smoooOOoooOOookes!"

Bah! Always a debt do! PTUI!

Years of DC magic-users casting backwards spells and magicking up solutions to problems without a hint of "always a debt do" and then, suddenly, nobody can cast a fucking cantrip without paying out of pocket somehow. I get the "always a debt due" when you're dealing with demons or devils or some other kind of help from a summoned or black magic creature. But why the fuck must all magic cost something insane?! Just let Constantine do magic but occasionally he's got to deal with more powerful creatures or magicians who want something in return. Don't make him need to pay for every little thing he does.

Something has eaten the sun so Constantine writes the word "Fuck" all over a decapitated pig's head. Can a head be described as decapitated? Isn't that the adjective for the body? Or does it only refer to both parts after separation? Anyway, you probably knew what I meant! I mean about the pig's head being separated from its body and not about how Constantine writing "Fuck" all over it will help return the sun.

Wouldn't be Hellblazer without the C-word. Although is it appropriate? I'm reading this prior to the watershed.

That's Chas's brief cameo in this new series. You might wonder how I know it's brief. Well, I read the next page where Chas dies distracting the evil monsters so that the super heroes can get the sun back. It's the quickest way for Simon to let the audience know that Constantine will do anything to save the world, even betray his friends. Plus he makes sure to say, "I've done worse for less," just to drive the point home. It's one of those revelations that would have greater impact over a long run of multiple different story arcs. But modern comic books don't understand that kind of accrued history anymore. Things have to happen quickly and in comic book shorthand, before the comic is cancelled. Plus, who wants to wait five years for sixty issues worth of history and characterization?! Spurrier knows Constantine has years of characterization and history already built up! Why not shove all of that into the first few pages of this new series and move on from there?!

Constantine takes a bit of Chas's taxi cab shrapnel in the side and now he's probably dying. Sure, he could probably save himself by casting a spell that sends five babies to Hell. But first he has to find five babies! Instead, he just runs into young Tim Hunter from the past. John is all, "Oh, hey! Tim! Remember The Books of Magic? Remember Fairie? Remember how we all hated your stupid prat face? Anyway, this is your future and the bad guy ending the world is grown up you. Jerk." Tim Hunter is all, "That's me?! I wonder if I've been laid yet! Man, just think how much my older self's dick stinks!"

Tim Hunter goes off to, I don't know, sue J.K. Rowling or something, leaving Constantine to die. But before Constantine dies, he's visited by old man Constantine. If things seem a bit crazy, it's because Constantine kept mentioning something about the world going mad or everything leading to madness or something that I didn't mention. But now I'm mentioning it so that all of this weirdness makes sense.

Old Man Constantine wants John's soul in exchange for saving him. That's a pretty good deal, really! I'd totally go for it! Give up your soul to yourself way in the future? It's like putting it away for safe keeping! How the hell do you pass up that deal?!

That was my point! Take the deal, mate!

Constantine thinks Old Man Constantine is probably a Constantine from another universe and that there'll be some kind of catch. But he's dying and he doesn't have much time to decide so he takes the deal. That'll probably be important later!

Old Man Constantine heals John, tells him to be the best John he can be, and then transports Constantine to some mental ward somewhere. Another universe without the sun being eaten? Maybe that was just the prologue to describe how Constantine leaped from the main DC Universe to the Black Label DC Universe. And now we can forget all of that Tim Hunter ending the world stuff that was so 1990s DC Vertigo weirdness. Now it's time for Constantine Unplugged! That just means he can say cunt again.

Constantine manages to talk his way out of Ravenscar psychiatric hospital and discovers he's in modern London where Brexit is happening. Or not happening. Or not not happening? I guess we'll find out the next chapter of Brexit after the special elections. Go Labour!

Constantine having a bit of a philosophical thought about his own entanglement in a comic book ret-con.

I feel bad for comic book fans who need a moment like the panels above to justify comic book continuity. Who dreams of having some kind of solid, historical timeline without any errors throughout? Especially when your main characters never age. What the fuck do they want? Magic?! Anyway, I think Spurrier does the best he can here dealing with the audience he knows he need to fucking explain every little thing to. He's just putting it right out front: "Yeah, Constantine has a bunch of memories that don't mesh at all and he's now in 2019 and he's in his thirties or something and yes he was heavily involved in the 70s punk scene and maybe just get over it, okay? You're reading a funny book about magic. Grow the fuck up."

Constantine finds Chas possessed by all the demons that meant to kill him years ago. He's dying of cancer from second-hand smoke and tells Constantine to fuck off and ruin somebody else's life. So John fucks off to go ruin somebody else's life. Or maybe to be a better version of himself. Or just to go drink himself into retirement.

Sandman Universe Presents: Hellblazer #1 Final Thoughts: I guess this is the Hellblazer #1 prologue introducing the new series starting this week in Hellblazer #1. That's going to be really confusing for my image tags if I forget that I labeled these images "Hellblazer1.jpg" and such. If the scans in this review don't seem to make any sense, it's because you're reading this a few months on and I forgot about the image tags and reused the same tags for John Constantine, Hellblazer #1 coming out this Wednesday (but which I won't probably review for another week or two). Sorry!

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Batman Loves Superman #3

Superman rubbing his nipples raw.

Maybe in this issue, Batman will figure out who the infected super heroes are by looking at the Batarang molds. But then again, probably not. Or he could just look at the solicits in Previews to see what special one-shot Infected comic books are being released in the near future.

On the first page, Batman explains to the reader why he's an asshole.

This is why writers should stay out of the heads of the heroes they write. Because they suck at understanding them and can't help projecting their own beliefs onto the heroes.

Have I mentioned that I don't care for Joshua Williamson's writing style?

In this scene, we see Batman explaining (to himself, I guess?) how trying to protect the world has led him down a dark path of invasion of privacy and broken trust. It's not totally Williamson's fault that he believes this is Batman. At some point, Batman became the greatest hero in the DC Universe because fangenders couldn't stop jerking themselves off about how he's just this normal man, you know, but he can defeat Superman! And to believe that, they had to believe that Batman is prepared to destroy every single hero in the DC Universe if it should come to that. Instead of just being this guy who is protecting Gotham and trying to serve justice, he's now this paranoid asshole who thinks he's the only person who can save the world. And being responsible for that means allowing yourself great latitude with your ethical and moral rationalizations. I'd argue that's not Batman though. That's what Batman has become as writers continually try to make sense of the character other writers have fucked up by trying to make sense of him.

The logic goes like this: Batman was just a guy with loads of money and no super powers. That made him pretty bad-ass. Fans loved him and he made DC a lot of money. Fans believed Batman was smart enough to defeat any hero with super powers and that's what made him so great. So writers began portraying him as being so prepared for any situation that he could defeat any hero gone rogue. DC loved to make heroes go rogue because they don't understand the point of their own heroes. But Batman was always there to stop them! Unless it was Batman who went rogue. But that hardly ever happens because who could stop Batman?! Once it was established that Batman was prepared to defeat any hero, writers began thinking, "Wait. That means Batman has a whole arsenal of weapons to use the heroes' weaknesses against them. Who does that?! A big jerk, that's who!" Which means now writers felt they had to deal with the side of Batman that was betraying the trust of his friends by constantly plotting against them. And the next step? To show Batman himself being aware of what a huge asshole he is and dealing with it!

Although if he saves the world, Batman doesn't really need to deal with the implications of his machinations, does he? He can just gloat and say, "I was right all along! Suck it!"

Last issue, I thought Superman had put on some Bat-Make-Up and gone undercover as a fake Joker version of himself. It turns out, he actually poisoned himself to do it because the risk was worth it, I guess? What a great plan! Have the most dangerous man in the world struggle against turning evil! Hey, why not? It's not like anything bad can happen because this is a story written by a writer who can decide, "Superman is stronger than the poison and what makes him so great is his will to do the right thing!" It's not like it's written by a writer who might think, "Why would Superman and Batman choose this course of action? It's way too fucking risky!"

Man, I wish this comic book were written by that writer.

Superman thinks, "Batman hates this plan. Too risky." But Superman was all in on this plan? Well, I'm glad to know Superman is a bigger asshole than Batman in this comic book. Fucking arrogant bastard is willing to risk the entire world because, as Batman states as his reason to go along with this plan, "We're out of options." Are you though? Are you really? The Joker Who Laughs was captured and the only option was to free him? What about looking at the fucking molds to see what other symbols were carved on the Batarangs-That-Laugh?

Okay fine. I guess I'll just accept that the symbols were carved onto the Batarangs-That-Laugh after they were molded. Although I'm absolutely certain that Josh Williamson never even considered it and he actually just fucked up the entire mystery by putting those symbols on the stupid things.

Of course, The Batman Who Laughs knows they're trying to play him because he's an evil genius and that's the only way a mediocre writer knows how to write one. Wouldn't it have been nice to see the plan actually work for once and they get some information they can use out of him and The Batman Who Laughs says, "What?! No! How dare you?!" And then he escapes to try to escalate his plan because now the good guys know some of the extent of it? No? You'd rather have this trite, overdone bullshit? Okay, okay! I guess I'm wrong! Calm down!

Continuing with this intriguing story that has me so intrigued my butthole has been clenched for the last ten minutes, Batman figures out another person infected by the Batman Who Laughs toxin is Commissioner Gordon. He figures this out from a clue given to him by The Batman Who Laughs. I figured it out two issues ago when Gordon laughed. Jeez, Batman. Take a detective course at Gotham Night College.

Batman is shocked — SHOCKED! — to discover somebody on the Batman Who Laughs toxin can be so darn mean.

The size of the above image, when I first scanned it, was 1776 pixels. That made me realize how crippling it must be for all those people who call into shows like Coast to Coast radio who see meaning in every fucking number they come across. I guess the above image was patriotic. Right up until I resized it down to 620 pixels! I know that statement would have had more impact if I resized it to a number that actually meant something (aside from the founding of Cholula, Mexico, of course).

Gordon's stupid argument (it's also crazy because he's on stupid crazy toxin) is that Batman is the cause of all the chaos in Gotham. Obviously that's wrong but Batman's defense composed of jumping on Gordon's van and causing him to careen wildly about the streets and running people off the road before he yanks Gordon out of the van to send it crashing into a small pile of children isn't great. I mean, I don't know if the van hit a small pile of children or not. The point is, Batman doesn't fucking know what it crashed into either. This scene shows why writers blame Batman for causing all of the chaos in Gotham. It's because idiot fucking writers write him causing fucking chaos in Gotham. Then they blame the character they made do those things! Fucking fuckers!

Is this a reference to The Killing Joke? Is Gordon threatening to shoot his daughter in the back, take naked torture Polaroids of her, and then God knows what else? Is Joshua Williamson that disturbing of a human being? Hmm, maybe I finally respect him.

Superman arrives to help by destroying Gordon's Batsuit and Batman is all, "I'd rather die than get help from you!" But even though he says that, he remains alive so I suspect he actually kind of likes getting help from Superman. Gordon reveals his main complaint about Batman is the way Batman leaves in the middle of every conversation. It's an obvious joke to make but I'd suggest maybe this particular moment isn't the time for jokes! No wait. It's exactly the right time for jokes! Man, The Joker is confusing. Am I supposed to be scared and tense or doubled over in laughter? Maybe if Batman just laughed at a few of The Joker's jokes once in a while, The Joker would calm the fuck down.

Instead of throwing Gordon's Batsuit into the bin behind the police station, Superman and Batman decide to overthink it. "Why would Gordon get out his Batsuit?" they wonder instead of thinking, "I guess Gordon needed extra fire power to battle us. But since Superman turned the Batsuit into a pile of metal, who cares? Get rid of it." Instead of assuming the obvious, they decide to take the suit back to the Fortress of Solitude to examine it. Examine it for what? Gordon was infected and he used his suit because he's a powerless old man. And guess what? That's just what the Batman Who Laughs wanted them to do! His plan was to realize that Superman and Batman would think the armor meant more than it does. And because of that, it does! Because hiding inside of it is Infected Blue Beetle! Ha ha! They fell right into his trap! What dumbies!

Don't think I'm infected because I typed "Ha ha." I assure you, I wasn't really laughing. Or amused in the slightest. I was more sort of exasperated and angry that Williamson wrote such an unbelievable plot point just to get Blue Beetle inside the Fortress of Solitude to take it over.

Batman Loves Superman #3 Final Thoughts: I hate myself because I'm going to keep reading this comic book. It is not well thought out at all. Sort of like my life which is maybe why I'm so intrigued by how it makes me feel (which is a kind of mix between self-loathing and horniness).

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Review of The Twilight Zone, S1, E8: "The One with Burgess Meredith that Everybody Knows"

This is the first episode that wasn't an original story by Rod Serling. He wrote the teleplay based on a story by Lynn Venable. But, once again, the idea of loneliness as the most crippling aspect of our existence looms over the entire story. It's almost as if loneliness were an incurable disease which caused an eventual death so terribly painful that a person with the disease always tries to end it all as quickly as possible once they realize they've contracted it. Henry Bemis lasts maybe a day after the world ends and he finds he's the only survivor before he's ready to pick up a gun and shoot himself in the face (possibly exposing that he was a sex robot all along!). Bemis makes sure to mention that he'd be fine except for the loneliness. But he doesn't really go on and on about the other people he hated not being there. He does go on and on about how boring everything has become. So I think he's more willing to murder himself out of boredom than loneliness.

"Time Enough At Last" begins with poor Henry Bemis distracted at his job because he's trying to read David Copperfield while also counting out money at his place of employment, the bank. Everybody hates him because he's a reader. They all despise his love of reading. I guess in the Fifties, reading was worse than showing off. "Oh, look at the smart jerk without the buzz cut! What a fancy boy! Knows words, you know 'em when you hear 'em even if you can't think 'em up!" It's also possible they despise him because he doesn't do anything but read. His boss hates that he can't do his job well. His wife hates that he can't do his marital duties well. She says, "I won't let you lose the art of conversation," (or something like that) but I know what she really meant. You had to use a lot of euphemisms in the Fifties or else somebody would call you a communist.

But all Henry wants to do is read. Too bad real life always gets in the way! Stupid jobs and wives and customers and responsibilities. I get that nobody ever has enough time to do all the things that you want to do once you find them. But some of us organize our lives in such a way that we can do the things we love as often as possible, like working jobs below our capabilities and not marrying vicious shrews who mangle our poetry books. But Henry didn't think about that when he was getting his life together so he had to wait until the world was destroyed during his lunch break.

Henry eats in the vault so when the world blows up, he's safe in his makeshift bunker. Being television in the Fifties, he only sees evidence of one person dead (his boss, crushed beneath rubble) instead of walking around the city seeing the gory remains of everybody he ever knew. He manages to find plenty of food and cigarettes to get him through as many days as he has left (especially if those days are just a couple which is about all he can stomach). But he doesn't have any entertainment. So what's the point, really? Without distractions (or a sex robot), what is life?! That's Henry's point of view anyway so when he finds a gun, he instantly sticks it to his head to end the boredom.

I used to think Rod Serling had some kind of a phobia regarding loneliness but now I think it was just a phobia of boredom. The immortal guy spends five minutes in jail after realizing he's going to spend his entire mortal life in jail and he's ready to end it all. He's definitely not lonely! He's just so bored that he'd rather die. Well, Henry's got some of that attitude in him as well. But luckily for Henry and for all the people who love the twist ending that they all remember, Henry sees the library just before blowing his brains out. Whew! That was a close one! Although that would be a good twist ending too, right? He puts the gun to his head instead of in his mouth and winds up blowing his eyes out and surviving. Then Nelson Muntz pops up and points and says, "Ha ha!" But remember! This was from 1959. That's more of a modern twist!

Henry Bemis, despicable low-life reader (please be sure to read the word reader dripping with disdain), finds all the books he can ever read. And he even gets to say the title of the episode when faced with all the time in the world to read as much as he wants: "The One with Burgess Meredith that Everybody Knows," he says. Then he drops his glasses and they break and he whines, "It's not fair! It's not fair!" Meanwhile all the ghosts of all the people all over the world incinerated by the H-Bomb begin making jerking off motions and thinking, "Oh, why don't you tell us about fair, Henry!" The worst part is that now he won't even be able to find that gun! Also, Nelson Muntz could have popped up and pointed and said, "Ha ha!", for this ending too but that might have been too cruel. Although isn't that why everybody loves this episode so much? Because the fucking reader gets whats coming to him! Fucking readers. PTUI!

The moral of this episode is to always carry an extra pair of glasses with you when you rely on them so heavily. Or maybe,after the world ends, to first find the pharmacy or the opticians before you begin climbing around a dangerous world full of rubble. Unless the moral is reading will always get you into trouble so maybe listen to your wife when she says you're a big dumb homo poetry reader and just go give it to her good already!

Now I'm thinking about a rewrite of the previous episode, "The Lonely Man," but renaming it "The Lonely Woman" and have the hotshot female space pilot bring the prisoner a sentient vibrator to keep her company over the long nights. But when she's told that there's no room aboard the ship when it comes to save her, she just tosses the vibrator as far away as she can and says, "Thank God. One more night of that Goddamn thing telling me about the novel it's working on and I'd have blown my face off." Then the hot shot space pilot would be all, "Well, now that your sentence has been overturned, I can finally see you as a real person and stick my face between your legs." Then they'd make out and the story would end with a big sex scene and I'd be fucking rich.

Friday, November 22, 2019

Review of The Twilight Zone, Episode Seven, "I'm So Lonely. So, So, So, So, So Fucking Lonely. Version 2."

Being forty-eight and watching a television show from 1959, I'm often familiar with the protagonist of each episode but not often familiar enough to know their name or where I've seen them before. Jack Warden stars in this episode, "The Lonely Man," and nobody my age would be surprised to hear that I recognized him. His voice alone is enough to make a viewer think, "How much of my life have I wasted watching television that this old fart is as familiar to me as one of my own grandparents?" In my head, I kept thinking, "I know him from something where he yells a lot. At little kids even!" My initial thought was The Bad News Bears even though that's one of my all time favorite movies and I know Buttermaker was played by Walter Matthau. But my brain kept giving me that image anyway. So I went to IMDB, as often we all do in this day and age because we have to know everything immediately and, because we have a machine that does it for us, nobody ever retains any information what-so-ever because what the fuck do I look like? A pledge for Lambda Lambda Lambda? An actor's credits go from most current projects to older projects so the first thing he was in with which I really connected was Dirty Work. Oh yeah! He was Pops! And he yells a lot in that so maybe that's why I think of him as yelling a lot! But then, lo and behold, there it was. He played Buttermaker in the television series of The Bad News Bears! I don't even have any actual memories about the show but I don't doubt for a second that I watched every episode when it aired. And my brain remembered even if my stupid stubborn brain decided to keep it as privileged information. For whom?! Doesn't my brain know I am my brain? What a fucking jerk.

I know that's a pretty piss poor review of a television show. But have you read my reviews for Friends? At least I didn't say Jack Warden was played by a literal sack of potatoes.

Just reread all of this again but skip the previous stuff and start at the next paragraph if you're actually interested in The Twilight Zone and aren't interested in my brain damage. That's different than just continuing to read from this point on because...well, just trust me. I can't explain everything!

In this episode, a man has been convicted of murder and sent to life on an asteroid. You think the current prison industrial complex is expensive well just wait until Rod Serling's future version! Every felon serving a life sentence must be shot into space and gets their own asteroid all to themselves while getting constant resupplies of free goods every three months. And you know it's a private firm being paid with government money. What a waste of taxes! But at least everybody back on Earth can feel safe knowing that terrible criminals can't escape prison to rape their VCRs in the dead of night.

Believe it or not, this fucked up new penal system isn't the point of the show. It's just the excuse to showcase a man in an environment where he's driven so mad from loneliness that he winds up fucking a machine and falling in love with it. The space pilot who brings him the fuck machine is horrified to find out that the prisoner thought it was for more than just fucking. Sure, the machine looked and acted just like a real woman and not like a toaster with a lubed hole. So maybe it's a little bit understandable that a lonely man would be driven so crazy by loneliness that he might actually find comfort in the arms of a woman. I mean a machine. You have to remember it's a machine or else you'd be all, "What is this episode about? It's about a lonely man finding comfort in another person's intimacy? Is that weird?" But then when the ace space pilot shoots the face off of the robot, you, as the viewer, are reminded that what you were witnessing was a man driven to perversion by the ultimate existential monster: loneliness!

After Jack Warden unboxed the robot, I was all, "Oh yeah! That's pretty hot!" But then the robot cried when Jack Warden kept refusing her advances and screaming at her, "What kind of a man fucks a toaster oven?!" That made me think the situation was more complex than I first thought (which was "Oh! A fuck robot! Nice!"). And once she cries, you wind up thinking, "Maybe the pilot messed up and brought an actual woman in a box! That's quite a twist. I guess it's okay if Jack fucks her now. That's not weird. Maybe she was convicted of murder too!" So then when her face is shot off, casually, at point blank range and the asteroid isn't painted with brains and bone but nuts and bolts, you're left thinking, "Maybe I should have waited until the end before I stuck my dick in this old VCR."

Was this a love story? I think maybe? I think the moral of the story is either "You can find true love with anything as long as nobody else is around to judge you and depending on how good looking you can dress up your air conditioner" or "Loneliness can lead even the most ethically ambiguous man into the delusional dark recesses of perversion!" Or maybe it's just "Cars and chess boards can't replace a good woman. But someday soon, they'll get pretty fucking close! Yee-haw!"

Friday, November 15, 2019

Review of The Twilight Zone, Episode Six, "The Dumbest Guy in the World"

I'm going to shit all over Rod Serling a lot while watching episodes of The Twilight Zone so I should probably say this as soon as possible (which could have been sooner, I suppose. Like in my review for Episode One?): I love The Twilight Zone and I think Rod Serling wrote a fuck-ton (real Queen's measurement in the UK) of memorable and poignant stories. He covered just about every important feeling a person might go through across all times of their lives. It's like he sat down and just began listing human concerns and then wrote stories about each one (sometimes he wrote 50 stories about one of the items (like feeling lonely)). It's just that sometimes he didn't quite hit the mark. Sometimes his stories suffer from the need for a twist ending or a big surprise comeuppance to the protagonist. This episode, "Escape Clause," is a good example of Rod Serling choosing to write a story about mortality and completely fucking the whole thing up because, at some point during the writing process, he thought, "What if you got sentenced to life in prison while being immortal? Ha ha! So good!"

This story is about a guy who fears death so much he barely gets out of bed and never stops complaining that he might be dying. So the devil is all, "Hey! I bet I can get this guy to sell his soul for immortality!" And the devil is right! But not just immortality: invulnerability and the absence of aging! And all for just his measly soul! The deal is so great that the scared bastard goes for it! The devil even allows him an escape clause so that if he eventually lives so long that he finds himself engulfed by a bloated star, he can call on the devil to let him die and the devil will kill him peacefully.

After the deal is finalized, you expect the story to maybe allow multiple time jumps to see how this poor bastard is dealing with immortality. Maybe see the death of his wife and other loved ones. Or maybe have him experience terrible war on a global scale. Maybe have him suffer as the last man on Earth living in a bleak and radiated landscape. You might expect something like that. But what you probably don't expect is for this guy who was once afraid of living to begin throwing himself in front of buses and subways and trains just to feel a little excitement. See, it turns out that life apparently isn't worth living if you don't have the risk of death! I guess? Who the fuck knows! It's totally out of this guy's character to suddenly feel he needs to risk everything for any kind of enjoyment from life. Up until the deal, he was just wasting his whole life in bed afraid of dying.

Instead of being immortal for thousands of years before becoming weary of life, this fucker grows bored with life in the span of a few weeks. A few weeks of knowing he can't die and suddenly this guy is tired of life? He can't find any sort of excitement without the risk of death? What the fuck is wrong with this guy? Can he even read a book or go to the movies? Do those things bore him unless somebody releases a bunch of venomous cobras in the room with him? Can he go to dinner without also playing Russian Roulette between servings? Am I supposed to believe that this guy got off on thinking he was going to die so choosing immortality was the worst decision of his life? "I can only come if I think I might be dying, baby!"

This guy is so fucking dumb that after his wife accidentally falls from the roof of their fifteen story apartment complex, he confesses to murdering her. His plan is to see if surviving the electric chair will finally give him a thrill. I don't know what this idiotic bastard was thinking. When he survives, everybody will just shrug and let him go his own way? Is that how the death penalty works? If the method of execution fails, you get your freedom back? Because this stupid dolt never even considers that he's going to wind up spending life in prison. He doesn't even get the chance to be electrocuted because the judge simply sentences him to life. Ha ha! Big twist ending! Now this fucker is really going to be bored!

But wait! There's more! This guy who was terrified of dying in just forty years decides to take the escape clause a few weeks after becoming immortal because he's bored. Well you know what Piebald says (and other people, like parents and teachers and shit): "If you're bored, you must be boring too!" And this guy is! He's afraid to die and then all he can do after getting immortality is to try to die and then after realizing he can't die, he chooses to die. Fuck this guy. Man, I can't stress that enough! FUCK. THIS. GUY.

FUCK HIM! I hate this motherfucker! And by extension, I hate Rod Serling too! He really fucked up this episode! Who the hell thinks life is only enjoyable because of the risk of death? This motherfucker could have went on a wild sex and drug spree! He could have gotten his excitement by trying loads of new things! Fuck, he could have just decided to eat every single different thing on the planet! He could have tried murdering children, just for the hell of it! He could have hiked the bottom of the oceans! He could have purchased a sprawling estate in Germany with all of the insurance money he was getting from the accidents he was faking and created the first Human Centipede! This fucker had no imagination and I'm glad the devil took his soul and killed him.

Man. Fuck that guy.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Justice League Dark #16

The next Wonder Woman series should just be Wonder Woman tying up Republicans so they'll finally tell the fucking truth about something.

Could you imagine Lindsey Graham or Mitch McConnell having to deal with the Lasso of Truth? Has Wonder Woman ever accidentally killed anybody with her lasso because they were so full of lies that their head exploded having to finally confront reality?

Fuck Republicans.

One thing that brings me great joy in this world is how conservatives can't enjoy the best of popular culture because it all leans toward justice and equality, and they have to ensconce themselves in twenty-four hour news cycles of outrage to feel good about their petty, selfish lives. Seeing them tell a comedian to stick to comedy on Twitter makes their previous cries of "Snowflake!" so psychologically delectable. I'm like a vampire feeding on their lack of self-awareness.

Last issue, Republican Eclipso was trying to get into the head of Kent Nelson by spewing filthy lies with his big fat square Hannity head as Wonder Woman traveled astrally to the moon to speak with some dead witch. This issue begins with Zatanna casting a spell that would really help improve Fox News.

Oh! I should have Photoshopped Sean Hannity's face onto Eclipso's.

Speaking of lack of self-awareness, my high school friend, Soy Rakelson, used to quote Yeats' quote from "The Second Coming": "The best lack all conviction while the worst are full of passionate intensity." Which was a weird thing to quote because he was the one full of passionate intensity while I was all, "Are we going to get this Cyberpunk game going or are you going to try to trap me in one of your theological mind traps again?" Maybe he was just complimenting me!

Eclipso reveals he doesn't need a mouth to talk. But then he makes himself a new mouth anyway because, like, it's easier to talk with a mouth, I guess?

Why am I suddenly horny?

Apparently Wonder Woman is in the collective unconscious and not just on the moon. I don't remember Jung saying that the collective unconscious is where witches go when they die. But then maybe I didn't read the whole book because I fell asleep while reading it and then dreamed that I'd finished reading it and then woke up and thought, "That was probably good enough, right?"

The collective unconscious is haunted by flame-headed Sgt. Pepper.

How do you think Wonder Woman keeps her boobs from flopping out? Probably magic, right?

If this isn't a visual representation of menses then I'm a virgin.

What that caption is saying is that it totally is a visual representation of menses and that I've had loads and loads of sex. With a partner even! Human!

If this isn't a visual representation of an ass and vagina then I'm a virgin? Whatever. I'm definitely still horny.

How the fuck did Simon Bisley get ousted at DC for drawing a penis in Lobo's musculature but this porn-laden issue was acceptable?!

Oh, that's Man-Bat's new form, by the way. The scariest ass and vagina you've ever seen! Which sucks if it's the first one you've ever seen. But this being the Internet age, it would be pretty sad if you hadn't seen one yet. Can anybody send me links to some pictures? Or at least tell me how to disable Google Safe Search?

Detective Chimp, Lame Doctor Fate, and Swamp Compost need to figure out how to stop mutant Man-Bat before he fucks up the whole Eclipso seance. According to the cover, they're going to destroy him but lose their hats and one arm in the process.

Meanwhile on the moon, the artist is plagiarizing Sailor Moon R

Just seeing this image causes "Moon Revenge" to begin playing in my head.

Flame-headed Sgt. Pepper (or "Circe" as some people call her) begins telling the origin story of Hecate. Somehow, Hecate was more powerful than God or something. She was the light of the moon but she had no opposite but you have to have an opposite or there is no balance! That's just stone cold logic. Her real opposite was The Upside Down Man. But since he was trapped in some other dimension, other powerful gods created Eclipso to keep Hecate in check. Circe has taken Hecate's power and now she's going to wield Eclipso's power as well by using the Black Diamond. Then nobody will be able to stop her because she will be all balance! That totally checks out, right? Has Tynion rationalized magic enough for you so that you don't roll your eyes and make jerk off motions about his plot? I was just beginning to think, "This is fucking ridiculous!" But then he explained it so logically and rationally that now I'm all, "This is fucking brilliant!" I love when magic has all the magic taken out of it!

Maybe James Tynion IV is the yang to Snyder's yin! It's the only way either one can exist!

Constantine shows up to help Detective Chimp figure out what's going on. Or maybe he just shows up to drink with him. Has there ever been a Constantine/Detective Chimp team-up series? Because these guys would probably make an entertaining team.

Wonder Woman fucks up and Circe takes over her body, leaving Diana trapped in the collective unconscious. It should be easy to get a message to the others from the collective unconscious, right? Once Circe takes control, Doom takes over the world and everybody is fucked. Next month, every comic should be labeled "Doom Risen," I'm guessing.

Justice League Dark #16 Final Thoughts: I was about to start typing when my cat Gravy jumped in my lap so I guess I'm done here!

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

The Terrifics #21

I don't believe Metamorpho could be affected by the Anti-life virus.

I'm four episodes into doing reviews¹ of The Twilight Zone series and I just realized Hulu is also currently airing The Outer Limits and Alfred Hitchock Presents. Should I do reviews of all three series at the same time, episode by episode?! I'm really² conflicted about this. I suppose it would be fairly easy to do all three at the same time since my reviews¹ don't actually take a lot of time to write. I mean, they're still great and worth reading because I only speak the truth³. If you disagree with me, you might want to do some soul searching to figure out why you're such a Goddamned liar.

Last issue, The Terrifics turned into Voltron4 so they could travel from the 1980s to 1960s. This is a comic book so that sentence makes sense without having to read it more than once.

Voltron was a syndicated cartoon shown daily on weekdays and not a Saturday Morning Cartoon, Mr. Saturday Morning Cartoon Himself.

I suppose time travel is confusing so I shouldn't be surprised that I'm confused but maybe I'm confused?

Let me preface my rant about this panel with this statement: I know next to fuck to nothing about cars. But, thanks to a few family members' obsessions with them, I do know a little something about Corvettes. I think.

These two panels first struck me odd because the speaker is excited about seeing "an '81 Corvette." Obviously car people know how to tell the difference between the yearly models of many types of cars. But I can't help thinking, "Who the fuck notices, specifically, an '81 'Vette?!" Maybe it's a fault with my severely lacking ability to recognize cars but if I saw an 80s Corvette, I'd probably be able to tell it was from the 80s but that's about it. Then due to time travel, the car, in the next panel, has already changed from an '81 Corvette to what I'm guessing is supposed to be a Sixties Corvette. Because we're traveling from the 80s to the 60s. But that's a fucking '56 or '575! Am I wrong?! Wouldn't a 60s Corvette have the dual headlights? I understand that a 1957 Corvette would still exist in the 60s but that would sort of ruin it as a marker of time travel by turning it from an '81 to a '57. But then again, this is a time travel story! So maybe I should follow the clues that the artist and writer are giving me and just think, "Oh! I guess they're in 1957 now!"

I bet when I turn the page, something somewhere will simply state, "The Terrifics are now in 1957! Whoa!", and all my fucking ranting will be for naught. So, like usual.

Judging by the looks of The Terrifics on the next page, I think I'm supposed to believe they're still in the Eighties and that the Corvette pictured is supposed to be an '81 Corvette? No, no! That's too much to swallow! But I can't stop thinking about it! Is it an error?! Is it a visual representation of the year in which The Terrifics find themselves? Is it....

That's not a monster! That's an insemination machine!

I can't tell what year the insemination machine is from because I've never needed to use one, old or new. Being that it's a giant robot monster, it could be from anytime in the last half of the 20th Century.

During the giant robot battle that's exciting because it's a battle between giant robots, Plastic Man crashes into a venue that definitely pins the time period down to the 80s: a dance club slash arcade slash pizza joint6. Just in case you weren't sure that that screamed "EIGHTIES!", there's a poster on the wall that says, "80's!"

The rest of the issue is just a lot of fighting. Lots and lots of fighting. With Rocket Reds and evil Plastic Men instead of giant robots. I think Gene Luen Yang grew bored of writing 80s references and just turned the rest of the issue into filler to get to the 70s. In the 70s, The Terrifics turn into the Scooby Doo Gang and then the Legion of Doom take over the multiverse.

The Terrifics #21 Final Thoughts: I'm still disturbed by the Stephen Segovia's drawing of a 1981 Corvette. I've stopped reading comic books for far slighter errors than that. Luckily for all the creators involved, not reading this comic book means I need to actually remove it from my pull list which means speaking to the local comic book clerks and probably looking them in the eye for a few seconds. I might not be up for that this week and then I'll forget and before you know it, I'm reading the next issue of The Terrifics.

¹ I don't actually write reviews. I vomit genius opinions in vulgar language such that people who think they're smart read them and think I'm an idiot and people who aren't smart read them and think I'm a pretentious twat. It's a curse!
² Not really.
³ I only speak the truth! I only speak the truth! I only speak the truth! I only SPEAK THE TRUTH!
4 I spent so long trying to find an alt code for a superscript numeral four that would work in HTML that I forgot what this footnote was supposed to be. I could not find one so I'm using the HTML SUP tag instead. That's why the 4 looks like a superscript number with gigantism.
5 I'm assuming the two vertical lines coming off of the wheel well are the signature body indentation which is usually painted white and gives that particular Corvette such a distinctive look.
6 You know. Just like we spent all of our time at in the 80s. All of us. All the time. It was totally a thing.

Review of The Twilight Zone, Episode Five: "The Pain from an Old Wound"

The night before Donald Draper pitched his ad campaign for Kodak's new slide projector, "The Wheel," Don must have watched the fifth episode of the first season of The Twilight Zone entitled "Walking Distance." The episode's theme revolves around nostalgia which Donald Draper defines as "the pain from an old wound." The main character gives himself an old wound (which he didn't have before being overcome by nostalgia) by harassing his younger self until that younger self falls off the carousel. "The Carousel" is what Don Draper decides to rename Kodak's "Wheel." The story is about a man time traveling back to his youth and Don Draper describes "The Carousel" as not being a spaceship but a time machine. He obviously plagiarized his entire pitch from "Walking Distance"!

The main character, Martin Sloan, has become weary of the world at age thirty-six. It's probably because he looks like he's forty-six! I mean, Gig Young, the actor playing him, was definitely forty-six. Which is sort of hilarious coming on the heels of the previous episode about an elderly actress (in her forties elderly! You know, Women Elderly) who still looked terrific but, being forty-one, was slated to forever play mothers for the rest of her career. Why couldn't she play a 31 year old woman going through a mid-life crisis? At least she still looked the age as opposed to Gig Young who definitely did not look thirty-six. Although didn't thirty-six year old men just look older in the mid-20th century? When did men stop looking like men? It was the hippies, wasn't it? When I picture a man in my head, I think of somebody like Don Draper or Fred Flintstone or, as it happens, Gig Young. I mean, I wouldn't have pictured him before learning who he was because of this episode. But now I do! He's totally what I think a man looks like. Maybe military service does something to the DNA or bone structure of the male body to make them appear more manly? Or maybe just doing manly things gives them an air of manliness that most modern men just don't project?

Anyway, this super old thirty-six year old has become tired of adulting. Not that he'd ever use the term "adulting"! The only people who use that term are most definitely not men. Or women. Did I unironically use the term just now? Who can tell? I'm not a fucking adult! I can't tell when I'm being serious or cynical or earnest because I've never had to cower in a foxhole wondering if my movie screen was about to suddenly go black while the world moved on without me in vibrant technicolor. I'm just a lazy Generation X fuck that has had everything handed to him on a middle class silver-coated platter. I don't fucking know how to actually feel anything. Our entire lives have just been a terrifying Cold War joke where the Post-Cold War punchline never came. How the fuck were we ever supposed to feel anything when we were shown The Day After as children?! Sure, generations now have to worry about Climate Change but at least that's a long, slow decent into the Mad Max era. We had to deal with the psychological trauma of the end of everything in an actual blink of an eye while those fucking Boomers and the Greatest Generation really taught us about cynicism by casually living in that terrifying world that they fucking created! And how did they deal so nonchalantly with that shit? Probably because they once lost all feelings by having to cower in a foxhole wondering if their movie screen was about to suddenly go black while the world moved on without them!

Whoa. Man. Maybe I am an adult.

So Martin Sloan walks back through time and winds up talking to Richie Cunningham who is all, "You're not Marty Sloan! I know Marty Sloan and you're not him! Don't touch me! I'm so terrified I'm going to leave my marbles in the street!" And then Martin Sloan sees his younger self carving his name on a bandstand like he did when he was eleven. After that, he goes to his old house and talks to his mother and father who think he's a mad man. Then he runs into a kid with a hot rod and the kid is all, "It's a 1934! It just came out last year!" And that's when Marty McSloan is all, "Holy fucking shit! I've traveled through time!" I'm glad The Twilight Zone doesn't want us to think all of the main characters are geniuses. Or even of mediocre intelligence. I mean, what a fucking dum-dum!

Later, after Martin Sloan scares the shit out of his younger self so that his younger self falls off of the carousel and catches his leg underneath the ride (causing Martin Sloan to suddenly have a limp), he tells his younger self, "I didn't want to scare you! I didn't want to be creepy! I just wanted to tell you that you should appreciate being young! That's what all young people need to hear or else they won't enjoy it! They need to hear it from me, a lost old man! Enjoy your youth! I mean, I can see you were enjoying it until I came along. But I really want you to understand that you must enjoy it! Stop enjoying it so much and listen to me! You have to enjoy it! OH GOD, YOU JUST HAVE TO!"

After that, Marty's father comes along and is all, "Hey, dude. Get the fuck out of here. You're ruining your childhood. You had your time. Now maybe go enjoy being an adult. Get a drink. Fuck some broads. Gamble. But, shit dude, stop looking backwards, you maniac." And Marty is all, "Hey yeah! Maybe when I get back to my present, I'll remember to enjoy carousels and cotton candy and climbing trees!" And his dad takes a big hit off five cigarettes while he scratches at the VD eating away at his crotch and he says, "Yeah, yeah. Go enjoy that stuff, you nerd."

Marty returns to the present feeling better than he's felt in a long time. He really learned a lesson by his inadvertent trip to the past! And that lesson was to not wish to be young again but to make the best out of every day you have. Sure, it's the opposite lesson that Miss Trenton learned last episode. But maybe there are different lessons to be learned by men and women? I don't know! All I do know is that this episode did not make me feel wistful or nostalgic in exactly the opposite way the scene from Season One, Episode Thirteen of Mad Men, "The Wheel," did make me feel.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Review of The Twilight Zone, Episode Four, "Kick the Can, Rough Draft"

Rod Serling sat in his leather chair in the den, fingers poised above the keys on his IBM 286 or whatever was available in the late fifties. Probably an IBM 86! What am I, a historian? He sucked on his cigarette and then sucked on another cigarette that was in his other hand and then sighed, "Man, I love smoking! Maybe I should write a story about smoking?" He looked up at the corner of the room in thought and did not think about corners of rooms the way H.P. Lovecraft thought about corners of rooms. Serling didn't even think about the corner of the room at all. He just looked through it the way a person in the late eighties tried looking through stereoscopic pictures to see the 3D image hidden within. "Let's see. I've written about loneliness and the fear of death and the fear of death in the Old West. What should I write about now?" He took another hit from his cigarette and then another hit from his other cigarette and then shouted, "A-ha! I'll write about the longing for lost youth which is totally different than the fear of death!" He then preceded to click and clack at his IBM typewriter invented by Sir Reginald IBM while each cigarette bobbed and weaved, still gripped between the middle and index finger of each hand. But backwards or something so he didn't burn the pages he was writing.

The Sixteen-Millimeter Shrine
By Rod "The Rodster" Serling


Old Broad: "Oh, how I love the movies I made twenty-five years ago! I was so young and beautiful! And my costar was so beautiful and exactly the age that I am now! Why oh why do women ripen so quickly and then over-ripen even quicklier?! Twenty years later, I am still vibrant and beautiful but I have a few crows feet around my eyes and thus my career is over even though I'm now the age of my favorite leading man whom I will meet with later, revealing that he's now like seventy or eighty years old which is the age men finally become unattractive! Also he'll have terrible glasses that make him look like a nerd or Batman's butler."

Older Broad (if you can believe it!): "Miss Trenton? Miss Trenton! I've brought you some tea! Where are you? Oh! OH! Are you in the movie screen?! OH MY GOD! Oh, no. Not yet. You were just behind the movie screen. My, you gave me a fright! Oh, I'd better get the door now!"

Colonel Cathcart: "Hey, baby! Where's Barbie? Hey Barbie, baby! Have I got an audition for you! You're not old news at all! Don't live in the past! Don't worship at the teat of nostalgia! Don't mix your petit fours, baby! It's the part you were born to play!"

Old Broad: "Is it a mother? I won't play a mother!"

Colonel Cathcart: "Oh. Well then forget it, baby! That head of the studio probably wouldn't like your feminist attitude anyway!"

Old Broad: "Well, he's twenty years older than I am now. But just wait until another twenty years and people stop taking him seriously because he's become an old dried up fig too!"

Colonel Cathcart: "Youth is cool! But you should get some sun because you can't get youth! Especially not by sitting in the dark watching your old movies 24/7! Um, baby!"

Old Broad: "Oh yeah? I'm gonna wish and wish and wish and I'll become young again! And I won't even have to run around the stupid yard kicking stupid cans in a story that used this theme way better! Probably because The Rodster got so much better at writing stories after all of the cigarettes he lovingly smoked. Smoke Chesterfields!"

Older Broad: "Now that Archie Bunker's friend has left, I'd better get Miss Trenton more tea! Miss Trenton, Miss Trenton! Where are you? Not in the chair. Not on the couch. OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD! I MUST SCREAM AS IF A BEAR WERE ATTACKING ME NOW!"


Colonel Cathcart: "She's young and in the movie with all her young friends now? By golly, baby! Wishes! Way to go wishes! They work, I guess? You know what I'm wishing for now, older broad?"


Colonel Cathcart: "Let's go fuck with my huge penis now, older broad! Oh wait! What's this?! Look! Look here! The underwear she kissed and threw at me in the picture! It is on the floor here! In reality! What is going on?!"



Those asterisks mean I'm exiting the story about Rod "The Rodster" Serling and now I'm speaking in my own voice! I just wanted to say something about this episode that sounds super smart and potentially sexy. I guess the moral of this story (since we have to examine morals in all episodes of The Twilight Zone, don't we?) is that wishes probably don't often come true but maybe if you waste your entire life wishing for more life, maye your wish will come true! You never know unless you try! So forget about living the thirty years after your 25th birthday which are all just garbage because you're getting older and fatter and grosser. Instead, sit in the dark and wish to be 25 again! But don't wish to be 25 so that you'll start aging again! That would be dumb because then you'll just have to waste your new life wishing to be young again! No, you have to become either super young by playing Kick the Can so you can live it all over again (and don't be the dumb jerk who doesn't believe in wishes or you'll die lonely and bitter and soon!) or you have to become 25 forever by wishing yourself onto a movie screen. I don't know if your life only then plays when somebody runs the movie or what happens to your consciousness when the movie stops. But according to the dirty underwear left behind, I guess you're living in some alternate timeless dimension in the same place or something? With all of your imaginative young friends? Anyway, the moral is to believe in wishes and not to believe in actually doing shit before you die. Keep wishing for things to be better while everything falls apart around you! Hey, it might work! Baby!

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Second Coming #4

One day, I will be the guy missing his middle finger.

I was actually intrigued and interested in Watchmen until that third fucking episode. Silk Spectre's phone call to Mars was the worst joke I've ever heard. Maybe I wouldn't mind so much if she finished the phone call by saying, "I don't know why I keep calling you to ramble about stupid bullshit." But no. She says, "I don't know why I keep calling you to tell you jokes." What you fucking told Jon was not a fucking joke! Hey, Lindelhof! Maybe don't write your "jokes" yourself anymore. I get that the stories she had sort of had joke set-ups. But you know what jokes need? Punchlines! And, no, a punchline isn't fucking up the first joke and then surprising the audience by having the second joke just become part of the first joke! At best, she was telling a Shaggy Dog story because it was definitely pointless and rambling. And it was the kind of Shaggy Dog story that isn't a joke because there was no fucking punchline! I suppose maybe you wanted her to tell a parable and we, the audience, were supposed to suck in our breaths and look at the other dimwit watching this show seated next to us and say, "Whoa! She's not telling a joke! She's really talking about herself! And her relationship with her father! And her ex-lover Nite Owl! And her other ex-lover Doctor Manhattan! And that other guy! The Jeremy Irons' character! Profound!" But mostly we all just sat there not looking at the person sitting next to us because most of us watched this in the dark, alone and ashamed. And we didn't say those things not because there was nobody to say them to but because there's no possible way we would have thought them. I know I thought, "Shut the fuck up! Why are you doing this?! This is fucking stupid! Stop talking already! Can this show just be that background cartoon about the real Watchmen now?!"

And, yes, I'll probably keep watching. I am nothing if not a hate-watcher of popular media.

But enough about media I hate-watch. How about some media that I love-read?

Sunstar has lost Jesus Christ because Jesus Christ was arrested for being an annoying know-it-all vagrant. Man, I wish being a know-it-all were an arrestable offence! I bet my karaoke place would be less full of hipsters every night.

Sunstar enlists Night Justice and Lady Razor to help find Jesus Christ. Row-Bot decides not to help because Row-Bot is an atheist and also because if Row-Bot had too much panel time, the readership would be clamoring for a Row-Bot series. I mean, Row-Bot has only been in six panels in the first five pages and I'm already writing an email in another browser window demanding more Row-Bot.

Row-Bot will never get their own series because the people they rescue will have to sit on Row-Bot's face. Inappropriate.

Now I can't focus on anything except Row-Bot. I'm glad Mark Russell saved Row-Bot for this comic book instead of creating Row-Bot in a DC comic book and giving DC the rights to Row-Bot. Maybe Ahoy Comics now have the rights to Row-Bot but what is a small publisher going to do with those rights? Best for a publisher to just give the creator all rights so that the creator will keep their best ideas to publish with that publisher. Do DC or Marvel ever wonder why a publisher like Image Comics constantly publishes comics of greater artistic merit than they do? The days of giving your work to one of the Big Two simply for the prestige of publishing with them are long gone. If a publisher wants a writer to put forth their best effort, they've got to wine and dine those assholes.

Hopefully in a future issue, Jesus will try to walk across some water and He'll find He's lost the talent. But He never learned how to swim so He'll begin to drown! But then Row-Bot will save the day even though they're an atheist. They're still a hero even if they don't believe in the person they're saving!

Anyway, Jesus gets out of jail before he's Gomorrahed by his cellmate Pinecone. And then God meets Satan in a cafe in Berlin to discuss what they're going to do to keep the world from killing Jesus. Again!

Second Coming #4 Final Thoughts: I know I probably should have discussed more of this comic book than Row-Bot. But I don't like discussing comic books that are smarter and more earnest and kind and pretentious than I am. What am I supposed to write about when Jesus says profound and insightful things? I can't make them more profound and insightful by making a dopey comment about them! This is the kind of comic book that people should just read and stop trying to find out what it's all about by reading online reviews by people who are too dumb to appreciate anything in the story except a stupid robot/rowboat pun!

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Justice League #34

If Doom wins then how come this issue isn't subtitled "Doom Risen"?

Ugh. How long has this Doom event been fucking going on?! My advice to Snyder: next time, make Lex Luthor smarter so his plan comes to fruition quicker!

Some of the Justice League are in the past hiding in Atlantis with the Justice Society as a captured Poseidon tries to destroy it. They need Vandal Savage's help to get the totality to the future so John Stewart convinces him by yelling, "Oorah!" Hourman and Alan Scott jizz their jeans over his masculinity and decide that maybe a negro member of the Justice Society wouldn't be such a bad thing. You might think I'm letting my cynical view of the world reinterpret the scene in a fairly unforgiving way but I assure you it doesn't come across much better than that. I wonder how they'd feel if John Stewart had convinced Vandal to help them using architecture metaphors?

Did I accidentally pick up the extra-gay version of this month's Justice League?

I think I accidentally stumbled into a new way for DC to make money. Forget variant covers and foil card insert. Why don't they put out extra-gay issues?! They could call one version the "Extra-Straight" version and the other version the "Extra-Gay" just so we don't get into the weeds arguing about why one is called the "Normal Issue." Although I think if two comic books existed that were slight variations of each other and one was the "Extra-Straight" version and one was the "Extra-Gay" version, it would totally be more gay to buy the "Extra-Straight" version. It sounds like that one is going to be full of shirtless men wrestling in totally non-boner inducing ways that are actually super boner inducing.

If DC won't take my super great moneymaking idea that will wind up selling a billion issues of Harley and Poison Ivy #1 (Extra-Gay version) then maybe I can trademark the idea of "Extra-Straight" comic books and sue all the Comicsgaters producing comic books. Do Comicsgate comic books have copy on the covers in huge fonts that say things like "No Gay Characters!" and "If a Character is Black, It's Totally Plot Related!" and "This Won't Pass the Bechdel Test. AT ALL!"?

I think I'm making Comicsgate comic books sound more interesting than they really are! I bet most of them are boring super hero punch ups where characters occasionally reference Pepe the Frog and fly through the air in a pose like they're heiling Hitler.

Back to the plot, is Barry Allen really interested in wearing his hair long? Why am I suddenly finding him interesting? I almost wrote "more interesting" but, you know, it's Barry Allen. The most interesting thing he ever did was appearing out of nowhere during Crisis on Infinite Earths and disintegrating.

Unless Barry was actually asking John if John thought he could rip Vandal's hair off of his head. Although that interpretation makes Barry more interesting as well. What I'm saying is this is the most interesting panel Barry Allen has ever been a part of.

Meanwhile in the future (if that makes any sense at all), Kamandi has gathered up heroes from various futures to RRHAAAOOOR! I'm told by editorial that "RRHAAAOOOR" means "kick some ass" in panther. How come it's usually okay to swear in a foreign language in an all ages comic book?

One of the "heroes" he brings is Lobo. So Brainiac is fucked.

An easy way to tell if a comic book fan is a psychopath is to gauge how angry they get at two things I love to write (largely for that reaction): Deathstroke is a pedophile and Lobo is the most powerful and most fuckable and greatest character to ever come out of DC. Along with websites that track known pedophiles in your neighborhood, I think we should also have a database of people who get irate at the idea that Deathstroke is a pedophile. They go fucking crazy defending a fictional character's reputation over something not worth defending! I might agree they have a point that using the term "pedophile" is misleading at best. He's more of a statutory rapist! But even that gets their Quixotic gears turning. Yes, I'm comparing myself to a majestic windmill.

The Lobo thing doesn't get people so incensed but it does bring out a lot of actually nerds who don't understand how much fun I'm having with my hyperbolic love of such a one trick character. My favorite thing about Lobo is that he looks cool in a way that doesn't look cool at all. How did they do that?! He's a hot clown! He's a MILF: mechanic I'd like to fuck! He's so over-the-top that I can't understand people who try to take him seriously. He's the greatest joke DC has ever played on their readers and I love him unironically. Also, you know Lobo leaves you satisfied after he fucks you. And I don't think it matters if you're female or male or space dolphin. He's gonna give it to you fucking good.

Twelve year old me would totally jerk off to this picture.

The pieces of the Totality are secured and all the Starmen throughout time are linked together psychically. It's their last chance! Perpetua is about to be defeated! I will ignore the cover and pretend that everything is going to work out and that Hawkgirl isn't going to fuck it all up with her desire to bash Luthor in the back of the head with her mace. Hopefully J'onn J'onzz will finally assert his will and get her back on track. Or else the multiverse is doomed! You know. Like Luthor has been trying to explain for forty-five issues.

Welp. Kendra fucked it all up. Perpetua is risen. All hail Doom.

Justice League #34 Final Thoughts: Okay, fine. The big plan failed and Doom won and Perpetua can now manipulate the multiverse however she wants. But there's one thing she forgot to do before declaring victory: she didn't kill Batman. What a fucking amateur move! The first villain to actually begin by killing Batman will be the first villain to completely take over everything. I guess that's why The Joker is the smartest villain in the DC Universe. He's doing the real work.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Wonder Twins #8

The British version of Polly Math isn't as clever because her name is Polly Maths.

Only one lesson ever made an impression on me in high school. In Physics, Mr. McFarland had a bonus question on a test. It had three examples of the trajectories and exchange of force between two billiard balls. The math was correct on all three examples and the question was, "Which one is actually correct and why?" The answer to the "Why?" part of the question Mr. McFarland was looking for was simply this: I've observed it. So while the math on the other two examples was perfectly fine, they were ways billiard balls never actually react. So when somebody talks about something like string theory and how it's a mathematical model that provides a theory of everything, I think about Mr. McFarland's bonus question. The math may be right but what does that matter if we can't see what the billiard balls are doing?

I'm definitely not being anti-science! I'm totally pro-science! I'm anti-math! Stupid numbers. Think they can solve everything! But they're as bad as alchemy. Have you heard about three being a magic number? Magic! Fucking math is all made up hocus-pocus nonsense, I tell you what. We think it's some kind of universal constant but remember "Little Twelve Toes"? That taught me that we can't even use math to communicate if we wind up meeting aliens with a different amount of fingers and toes than we have! I mean, I guess the people who understand math and who also write songs for children's television would understand them. But I just learned that aliens only visit hick kids who pretend they get the concept of a base ten number system!

Maybe I'm a poor example of a person who was meant to understand the math in Schoolhouse Rock songs. Hell, I didn't even get the point of "Conjunction Junction." I just liked singing about trains!

Please don't reply trying to explain any of this stuff to me. I play a guy far dumber than I actually am on this blog. Well, maybe not "far" dumber. But somewhat dumber! Which is the opposite of what hoity-toity Mark Russell does! I bet he's not as smart as he seems to be! Although it's tough to pretend you're smarter than you actually are. So it's possible he's a genius who also cares about making some kind of difference in the world, even if he is only writing funny books about the God-awful Wonder Twins.

I also don't want to hear people defending the Wonder Twins because I may or may not have always liked them although I definitely have never jerked off to any of them and that precludes Gleek.

I thought aging was waking up every morning because you didn't take enough pills the night before.

The worst part about aging is being too dead to see the youth who made fun of you for being old grow old and die themselves.

The sad old 48 year old guy typing this wants you to know that the sad old 48 year old guy in the panel is the principal of Zan and Jayna's high school. The librarian is also a sad 48 year old guy except not a guy and maybe not sad. She probably fucked the principal in high school though. This is probably a love story. Not one of those love stories that ends happily. More like one of those love stories where some lonely jerk goes to their 30th high school reunion and tells the person they had a crush on in high school that they never stopped loving them and the person they confess to says, "Did we know each other?"

I'm beginning to think I shouldn't be as proud as I am to guess where comic book plots are going. I'm fucking pathetic.

Don't worry. Principal Adultman doesn't admit to being a chronic sleep-creeper in the panel following the previously scanned bunch. He just says, "I'm a principal!" Although I totally would have been intrigued if he had said, "I was a sleep-creeper!" I would have thought, "Gross! What a jerk," and not, "Oh! I hope we get a flashback!" Because I'm a decent person who now knows sleep-creeping is wrong.

Principal Adultman wants to cancel his 30th high school reunion so he doesn't have to interact with Librarian Lost Love. I guess he's afraid they might play The Cure's "Last Dance" during the reunion which was playing the first time he finger-banged the librarian.

The principal confesses his love for the librarian and his subsequent failure over the years to get over it on the open school announcement microphone. So now the librarian knows things are even more awkward than she realized! Now she has to start preparing her speech about how there's no way he can love her because he doesn't know her and even if he thought he loved her in high school, she didn't love him. She couldn't love him because she didn't even know who she was or what she wanted and should she have to live with the unintended consequences of one moment where she really wanted to fucking cum on some guy's warm hand for the rest of her lives simply because that warm hand belonged to some schlub?! Maybe she's the type of person who doesn't prepare speeches and she'll just tell him to fuck off and get a life. Although she's a librarian so I think speeches probably excite her as much as the album Disintegration does.

Somewhere in the high school reunion drama is a story about Polly Math and her inability to forgive Jayna for putting her in prison and failing to save her dad from eternity in The Phantom Zone. But I don't think that's as important as that old guy still pining for a woman who forgot about him decades ago. Polly escapes prison or something. I don't know. I just skimmed those pages to get to the final embarrassing confrontation between Principal Adultman and Librarian Lost Love that Jayna is unwittingly setting up. She thinks she can prove people will always forgive each other. Ha ha! What a child!

Bah. Stupid Jayna being right.

Wonder Twins #8 Final Thoughts: I guess Mark Russell doesn't trade in cynicism. He's all about earnestness and optimism and hope and shit. Hey, I get that! It's totally the stuff I would aspire to if I wasn't such a lowly, scum-sucking piece of crap. But I'd still prefer for Librarian Lost Love to have been a bit mean. He treats her like a failed conquest for thirty years, making as if she's the reason his world has fallen apart and his time at work has uncomfortable moments, while she was just going on with her life as he grew smaller and smaller in her rear view and he expects her to do the heavy lifting of forgiveness?! Fuck that dude! Although, I suppose, if he didn't matter to her as much as I suspect he didn't matter to her, it's easy enough to just say, "Sure! You're forgiven. Now can you stop making things so awkward, you immature turd?" Anyway, I guess Polly is going to forgive Jayna soon because they're going to team up to save Polly's dad.

Monday, November 4, 2019

Metal Men #1

I only purchased this series so I could discuss how Doc Magnus loves shoving his responsometers up his ass.

Doc Magnus is gay, right? I'm not suggesting that gay people love to shove sentient spheres up their asses! That's just a Will Magnus kink. I'm just asking because I don't know that it's ever been verified canonically although all DC readers know he must be. Platinum has been trying to fuck him for decades and he's always responding, "No time, no time! This pipe won't smoke itself!" Plus, he had the opportunity to build five sexy female robots and one gay one that he'd constantly have to fight off but instead he did the opposite. Plus he's dapper and even though that's probably a stereotype that gay men are better dressers than straight men, I have to admit that I'm not dapper at all. And I would have sex with Platinum in a heartbeat! That doesn't mean it would take a heartbeat for me to consent to having sex with her. It means I would blow my load in a heartbeat if she consented to have sex with me. And, yes, I know she's a robot. And a fictional character. And a drawing. I'm just a very sexual being who isn't embarrassed to say, "I would totally fuck a cartoon character. Especially one named Erin Esurance or Shego."

I just recently reread the Metal Men series from 1993, which was only four issues, and I don't remember being blown away by it. So why did I pick up this one that's going to go for twelve issues and written by Dan DiDio? If I had a therapist, we'd spend a few sessions on why I do so many things that make me hate myself.

Dan DiDio. Di "D" io. Dan DiDDDDDDDDio.

He's talking to the responsometer shoved up his ass.

If I had a conversation with something shoved up my ass, it would go like this: "Mmmm. MMMMM. Oh. OH! Mmmmmm. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm yeah."

Sorry about that mental image. Oh, you didn't have a mental image until I mentioned the mental image? Sorry about that too.

As I was waiting for the above panel to scan, I rewrote Eclipso: The Darkness Within in my head where it ended with Doc Magnus shoving the black diamond up his ass and Eclipso being destroyed.

Oh! I just remembered what the 1993 Metal Men series was about! It was how the Metal Men weren't actually robots but the souls of Doc Magnus's friends transferred into casings made up of different pure metals! Doc Magnus is a monster! And, again, not because he shoves responsometers up his ass. That's just his Goddamned kink.

Some scientists. These gears will never turn!

I should probably blame the artist for the terrible gear layout instead of Doc Magnus. But isn't every bit of visual representation in this book reflective of Doc and his Metal Men? Of course it is!

Doc Magnus is angry at having gotten so many awards for building the responsometer. I'm sure it has nothing to do with somebody leaking why they were really invented and what he does with them. He's ranting at a Metal Person that I don't recognize. She looks like some kind of maid or nurse or nanny from a 1940s cartoon. Except made of metal. Maybe her name is Nth.

Meanwhile in Challengers Mountain, some frackers drilled into a pit of liquid Nth Metal. It doesn't look anything like Doc's psychiatrist robot so maybe she's Palladium. Although she looks more like a Ruthenium.

Doc remembers telling the Metal Men where they came from and it has nothing to do with implanting the souls of his coworkers and friends into machines. Instead, each of the robot's emotions are derived from Magnus as he put a little bit of himself into each creation. Apparently the greatest part of him he implanted in them was his low self-esteem because every year or so, they rise up and question him about what they really are. Geez, Metal Men. You're fucking robots with a fairly sophisticated but not perfect artificial intelligence. How hard is that to understand?! I guess I can't know how hard it is for artificial intelligence to understand since my intelligence isn't artificial. I don't think. Oh man. Is it?! Where's my Doc Magnus in whose face I can scream, "WHAT AM I REALLY?! WHY AM I HERE?! WHAT IS THE POINT OF HAVING SUCH A SENSUALLY SENSITIVE PROSTATE?!"

Oh, the robot Doc is ranting to is named Nameless. Or not named at all. One of those. I think she should be Ruthenium.

The Nth Metal asks for Will Magnus by name so he puts Ruth back in the closet (she's just a soulless husk) and heads off to see a natural example of his total technological failings. And he seems so jovial about it!

Metal Men #1 Final Thoughts: I hope Ruth becomes an important character later. Maybe a responsometer, hastily discarded from Will's ass, will fall off the nightstand and land inside of her. Then she'll power up and have all the memories of everything Will ever said to her, all of his most terrible secrets and shames. Then she'll become his nemesis but instead of inventing new evil robots made out of the more evil elements (like Neon, Xenon, and Seaborgium), she'll just hire a bunch of henchmen wearing cardboard robot outfits. Man, this writing comic books thing is fucking easy.