Saturday, February 29, 2020

Swamp Thing Annual #7: The Children's Crusade

Tefé meets Jimmy Savile.

I don't know why this comic book isn't with all of the other Children's Crusade comic books. I guess I'm terrible at organizing my comic books (I say as if it's a debatable opinion while two stacks of random comic books sit on the book shelf next to a comic book short box empty of all but envelopes and bills to be shredded). So now this comic book won't make much sense and when I finally find the box with my other Children's Crusade comic books, I'll have forgotten this story and will become confused by the missing chapter. I'm a little bit upset about this. But I won't be upset for long because earlier I noticed I have some Kid Eternity comic books in this stack and guess who wrote Kid Eternity? Ann Nocenti! Holy shit, I can't wait to read that oubliette full of earnest confusion.

This is the exact middle chapter of the story. But I don't think I'll be too confused because I remember how the Dead Boy Detectives were searching for the Free Country where all the endangered and abused children wind up. It was easy to remember that once I read "The Story So Far..." bit at the beginning.

Tefé has found herself alone in the swamp because Swamp Thing and Lady Jane and Abby Arcane are all on adventures. Unless they're dead. I wasn't reading Swamp Thing back then. I don't think I ever read Swamp Thing. I know! I'm like the greatest comic book reviewer on the Internet and I've never read Alan Moore's "The Anatomy Lesson." It's possible that in another blog post somewhere in my thousands of blog posts I pretended that I read it. But that would probably have been early on when I was worried that people wouldn't take me seriously if I started announcing having not read a bunch of the landmark comic book series. I also never read that Green Arrow where Speedy was caught sucking dick for heroin. And I never read Miller's Daredevil or Batman: Year One. Also I never read any major Marvel moment prior to the late 90s. Unless Wolverine and Kitty Pryde was one of those titles. My friend Philip Newby had the limited series scattered all over his living room floor and I scrounged them all up and read them. It should go without saying that I don't remember them. I'm like that. Why should I remember the genius things I read when I can't even remember all of the genius things I write?!

Puck arrives to take Tefé to the Free Country because he's a nice guy who only wants the best for all the children of the world. Roland and Paine, the Dead Boy Detectives, arrive moments too late to follow them. Looks like they'll have to try following Dorothy Spinner over in the Doom Patrol annual.

Speaking of Dorothy Spinner, I can't wait until the second season of DC Universe's Doom Patrol! Bring on the Candlemaker!

Seems like a decent place, housing kids from the Holocaust, kids working out of coal mines, kids being sexually abused. Why then am I so suspicious of it?!

Like most annuals and stories about children, this tale has bored the ever-living joy out of me. Hopefully nobody is reading this and just thought, "Oh yeah? Cry me a river! I just got diagnosed with cancer!" Because then I'd have to admit that I care more about my level of boredom than somebody else's life and death situation.

The washed-out kid with Mark Buckingham face explains how Free Country began during the Crusades which isn't surprising because the entire idea of the Crusades should have been enough to cancel Catholicism. I tend to get annoyed with people who infantilize homo sapiens from hundreds or thousands of years in the past, as if our ability to understand the world around us only kicked off some time around the Industrial Revolution. But then I think about some of the atrocious things people did in the name of religion and I think maybe those people should be seen as less formed than modern people. But then I also think about how beautiful works of Gothic architecture were created by these people and I reach this conclusion: homo sapiens have always had the potential to create great and beautiful works while simultaneously having the potential for great cruelty fueled by greed, selfishness, and paranoia. It is only the coming together of those two things that could have built Notre-Dame. At least the cruelty toward "lesser" men was focused to create something beautiful in the cases of cathedrals whereas sometimes the cruelty was as simply front facing as sending as many people as possible to die in a foreign land for nearly no other reason than to kill as many different people as they could who already lived there. And then I remember that modern homo sapiens aren't really any different but when is the last time we built a fucking magnificent cathedral?! Oh, sure, we sent people to the moon! But I can't visit the moon while simultaneously being scolded by a German or French priest to remove my Goddamned hat.

This spoon sent me down a YouTube rabbit hole beginning at the opening theme to Vegetable Soup (because it had a funky cartoon spoon as host) and ended at The Banana Splits credits where I learned in the comment section that in 2019 there was a Banana Splits horror movie. Now I'm mad at everybody I know for not telling me about this.

Tefé and Maxine go on some mini-Lord of the Rings journey to destroy some goblin and save Free Country. They use their powers over vegetables and animals to save the day and everybody cheers. I don't know why Free Country, a safe haven for children, also includes an evil land full of evil Gobble-You-Ups. I guess you need some sort of conflict to distract the child populace from whatever true evil is going on in this place. The leaders of Free Country probably drink children's blood to survive.

It turns out it was all a game and then Tefé almost dies because she's been away from the Green too long. The kids reluctantly send her back home so that she doesn't die but Maxine decides to stay so she can have an adventure with Dorothy Spinner.

Swamp Thing Annual #7: The Children's Crusade Rating: I don't rate annuals. If I have rated an annual in the past, it was a mistake and/or a hallucination. Also there's a second story after the first one that I haven't read yet because I forgot about it. And since I've already stopped this review with the ratings paragraph, I will not be discussing it even if it has street walking flowers in pumps and bell bottom jeans wearing flower Johns and ends with Flower Superbaby being sent into space. Also there is a third story that I didn't forget about because I just realized it exists. It's a retelling of The Beauty and the Beast.

Speaking of The Beauty and the Beast, I was recently told that Gaston in the live action Beauty and the Beast was gay and my reaction was, "So he wanted Belle as a beard?" And the answer was, "Yes. That is the plot." And now I can't bare to watch it because if that isn't true, I will be devastated.

Friday, February 21, 2020

Anima #1

Oh, the sweet memories of actuallying anybody in range of me buying this comic book as I discussed Jung's concept of the anima.

At first glance, you might think I, a 22 year old male, purchased this comic book for the titties. But I totally purchased this comic book because I wanted to fuck Carl Jung. I'd like to say it's a coin toss as to which guy is more annoying (the sexist or the Jung enthusiast) but I absolutely fucking know. It's not like I was one of those philosophy turds that has to turn every discussion into an ever aggressive series of the question "But how do you know?!" I was just into literary theory and psychoanalysis was a huge part of that entire scene. Another huge part of my life at the time was my friend Soy Rakelson and I walking out of our Critical Literary Theory class after learning a new and conflicting theory while Soy's head turned red and he exploded, "Why doesn't he just teach us which theory is correct!"

Also, I mean, her tits are pretty nice.

Anima was one of those characters that came out of Bloodlines. I'm always pointing out how Hitman was the only one that every took off and made any money. I can say that because most of what I write is hyperbolic and factually inaccurate. I think there were a couple of others that took off a little bit. But none the way Hitman did! Maybe all of the other Bloodlines heroes should have been more interesting while refusing to use their powers. Not that Hitman completely abstained from using his powers. Occasionally he had to look at Wonder Woman's boobs through her top.

I don't remember what Anima's powers were but it always struck me as odd (remember me being that actually nerd) that Anima wasn't a male hero. I suppose the trick was how she was in contact with her animus. Maybe she was the manifestation of the Animus personality inside her subconscious? So the real character was Animus and she was just a projection? Maybe I'm getting ahead of myself! It will all probably be explained in this series! Although if it isn't explained in Issue #1, I'm never going to learn it.

The issue begins with Anima sleeping on the streets of Gotham City on Christmas Eve. Her name is Courtney Mason and, for some reason (probably something to do with her meta(l)gene being activated by the Bloodlines crossover), she's been separated from her hippie family. Her brother and father are celebrating Christmas and crying because they miss her. Anima's mother is being experimented on at a dream clinic.

I don't know why her suit had to have breasts built into it nor do I know why there is a tube sticking into the left cup. Do boobs dream?

Courntey's dad is sad and wants to get the feds involved in searching for her. Hopefully that ends the "What is the situation with Courtney and her family?" part of the comic book so we can learn all about Anima and her powers and what her favorite track on L7's "Bricks are Heavy" album. It's a good bet that "Pretend We're Dead" is her favorite but it's got some competition with "Shitlist," "Monster," and "Mister Integrity." Although it's not my favorite song, "Scrap" has the great line about a skinhead huffer who has a brief foray into Christianity before returning to huffing: "He dug Metallic Gold more than Luke and John." Doesn't all philosophy come down to just that? Simply put: what do I dig more?!

At the risk of becoming a total mansplainer, I'm pretty sure that the flannel shirt you have wrapped around your waist could act as a lightweight coat!

Anima heads to a Xmas Rave in the hopes of getting something to eat. That's usually at the bottom of my list of things I hope to find at a rave. At the top of the list are acid, mushrooms, MDMA, acid, acid, more acid, mushrooms, water, and instructions on how to untie a flannel at my waist so I can wear it.

Outside the rave, she meets "Judy", Alison Hell, Liv, and Slam Shiner. They're probably in a band called "Judy" and the Jerks. Oh wait! Obviously they're "Boojum" because that was the name of the band on the rave flyer.

At the rave, an initiate of a gang called The Scorpions tries to rape Anima. But she has super powers so she doesn't get raped. Also, a bunch of people at the rave have Professor Dred Brand Stun Guns. Those are to show that people who don't have super powers can also protect themselves from rapists because Batman can't be everywhere. Also, I don't know if Batman prioritizes saving people from being raped. He is kind of a huge patriarch.

Shit. Now I'm wondering what kind of a huge monster Batman would be if his mother and father had been raped in Crime Alley. I'm sure he'd be more like the Punisher in that case if the Punisher decided to dress as a scary bat instead of as a go-go dancer with a skull t-shirt.

The Scorpions raid Boojum's squat but Anima summons Animus, her asshole male counterpart, who throws a few of them out of the window. Boojum chant, "One of us! One of us!" and ask her to go on tour with them. She's hesitant because she's so dangerous but what else is she going to do? At least being part of a band on the road gives the series some movement. They'll be like The Lone Ranger if The Lone Ranger were a riot grrrl band.

Anima #1 Rating: C. An average grade for what I feel was an average plot for a young teen suddenly turned hero story. Just like every member of the Titans, her parents will wind up being a large part of the conflicts in her life. Her father wants to find her because he misses her but he approaches his employer, Dayton Industries, to help with the job. And we know how terrible those guys can be! Meanwhile her mom's coworker wants to exploit the unconscious connection Anima has with her mother for their dream therapy experiments. I figure that's why I didn't pick up Issue #2, seeing as how I'd already read that plot too many times in the pages of Wolfman's New Titans. Plus she has one of those powers that she can't really control so she's reluctant to use her powers. That means she and her friends are just going to keep getting caught up in dangerous situations where she has to use her powers to save herself and her friends. Again, more of the same Teen Titans' crap I was sick of by 1994. Maybe I'd rather see a young kid who realized she hurt people she loved with her powers and then decided to make amends by using those powers to help others. Too goody two shoes, right? Although with her reluctance to use her powers and her finding a large cast of oddball characters, it does seem she was trying to replicate Hitman's success (which wouldn't have even started for another two years. So maybe Garth Ennis read this and thought, "Hey! Hitman could work with this plot! But a goofier cast of characters and a more cynical reluctance to use his powers because who needs them when you're already the best fucking hitman in the world?!).

Review of The Twilight Zone, Season 1, Episode 18: "Back to the Past"

Having seen a near infinite variety of time travel stories, it's hard to be impressed by a time travel story told in 1960. I mean, Huey Lewis was only ten years old and even if he'd written a song about time travel which could have been used for this episode, he certainly hadn't recorded one. So how is the audience supposed to get excited about the out-of-time RAF pilot getting back to his own time? I had a really hard time caring if he made it back without hearing Huey singing "Gotta get back in time!" or Big Pig's sweet synth bass notes leading into the jangly pop lyrics of "All my life I've wanted to fly like the birds that you see way up in the sky, making circles in the morning sun flying high in the sky 'til the day is done (I can't break away!)". Hell, just typing those lyrics and hearing them in my head has me more excited than this episode of The Twilight Zone, "The Last Flight" (even if it was written by Richard Matheson).

I suppose I could act like a proper critic and judge it by its individual merits instead of writing things like, "This was no Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure!" or "Timecrimes makes the version of time travel seen in 'The Last Flight' seem like one of those messy wipes where you didn't realize you still had a bit of shit clinging to your sphincter so instead of beginning with the pick and pull, you just wiped nonchalantly, smearing feces all over your own backside" or "If the guys who made Primer had been inspired by Richard Matheson's quaint little time travel story, Primer would almost certainly not be my favorite time travel movie of all time." Although now that I mention Primer, it has more in common with "The Last Flight" than I realized which is maybe making me feel a bit better about Matheson's story. In a way, Primer isn't just about guys accidentally inventing time travel and then using it to profit off of which inevitably leads to a big fucking shitstorm of time- and doppleganger-based mishaps! It's also about a couple of guys who are fucking cowards who try to play by the universe's rules but when they realize they've just made their own rules, decide to cheat at life. Sure, you might argue with me about the characters being cowards but how else am I supposed to segue into talking about "The Last Flight"? It's not like the RAF guy traveled to the past and wrestled himself out of his own plane, throwing his old self to his death and not causing a paradox because Primer's time travel logic is that of ever splitting timelines. Basically in the original Primer universe, the guys who go back in time simply disappear from the timeline at the point they go back in time. Their families would just find a weird tin foil wrapped cardboard box in the storage shed they were last seen going into and never figure out what the fuck happened to them. "The Last Flight"'s time travel rules are more like those in Timecrimes where everything that happens, happens, and has always happened. So even in the first pass through the timeline, the person who came from the future is there doing what they always did. So maybe I should have said "The Last Flight" was more like Timecrimes for my segue!

The premise of this story is that a cowardly RAF pilot accidentally flies into the future to discover that his fellow pilot he left to be killed by Germans survived. He can't understand how his fellow pilot survived without help and decides to finally not be a coward so he can go back in time to save his fellow pilot. My problem with the story is that for a coward, he sure gets brave fast! Maybe he's just too dumb to realize that he doesn't have to go back in time to die. He never sees his fellow pilot get killed. He simply assumes that he is going to get killed. So when he gets to the future and discovers his fellow pilot actually survived, he can't get past his initial assessment of the situation and the assumption that his fellow pilot was killed. He insists that he has to go back in time to be the one to save him. Too bad there weren't more time travel stories in 1917 so the cowardly RAF pilot could think, "Well, it would be a time paradox if I came to the future and stayed in the future when I was supposed to save my fellow pilot. So somebody else must have saved him because I'm not fucking going back to 1917 to die saving him! I suppose if some guy were singing loudly right now 'Gotta get back in time!', I might be tempted. But that's not happening so I'm going to stay here in 1959 where it's safe!"

But no. The cowardly pilot decides to go back in time. My theory is that he's such a coward, he can't face the man he abandoned to die and so he races back into the time travel cloud to escape that confrontation, only pretending that he's going back to save his fellow pilot. But instead of going further into the future like he had hoped, he actually does wind up back in time and in the middle of the dog fight where his fellow pilot was sure to die. That makes the most sense, both in terms of the coward's actions and neatly avoiding the possible time travel paradox.

If I were a better critic who wasn't judging this television show in ways it was never meant to be judged because I don't know the meaning of "unbiased", I might have concentrated on the redemption story which is the heart of Matheson's tale. The time travel is just added Twilight Zone flair! But I'm not a good critic at all and I never want to be! If I can't shit on something simply because I don't have the emotional capacity to be touched by it then I don't want to live! Besides, people who claim to be unbiased are simply shouting, "I have no capacity for self-reflection!" And I can't stand people who shout.

The Last One #1

I took the title of this comic book literally and never purchased the second issue.

I don't remember this comic book but it's of the era where I probably picked up every first issue of a Vertigo book in the hopes it would be the next Shade the Changing Man. I guess this one wasn't that. If I were forced to guess what this one were about or else my parents would be dropped into a vat of piranhas, I'd say, "I refuse to guess!" And just like that, I'd own a million dollar property in Silicon Valley! Unless my mother changed her will since the last time we spoke. She's been dating a slightly younger man and even though he's a nice guy, I can't help but think the only value in dating my mother is her Bay Area property! I mean, there's no way he's fucking my 70 year old mom, right? Ugh! Oh. Ow! The horror of that thought just made my appendix burst!

Now I'm probably going to go bankrupt due to medical bills! How much money do you think I could earn with a GoFundMe campaign that reads, "Need help paying for appendix which burst after picturing my 70 year old mother bent over her antique stove while getting fucked from behind!"

Fuck. I was just pretending to picture my mother getting fucked by Ron but now I've gone and actually done it! Ow my tummy! I really need those funds!

Let's try this again: If I were forced to guess what this comic book were about without any threats to me or my family because it was just some really insistent comic book fan, I'd say, "Wasn't it about the last ancient god wandering the Earth? Yes? No? Can you please back up a foot or two?"

My main hope is that I don't thoroughly enjoy this issue because I don't want to feel a desperate need to hunt down the other five issues so I can finish the story. Please, please, please suck!

The issue begins by explaining that the last One is the final angel born of a nameless God long before anything existed. Probably best to keep an aesthetic distance between the angel and God of this story and the angels and God of Christianity. Plausible deniability of Biblical texts is my favorite way to avoid arguing with Christians. They'll point out that something I said or did was utter blasphemy and I'll say, "I don't know what you're talking about!" Although it usually comes out "By bomp bo but bour bocking bubbob!" because my mouth is wrapped around Satan's dick.

The Last One gives twenty dollars to a kid on the street who says they're starving. The kid then rushes off to buy some drugs which doesn't seem to please The Last One one bit.

The Last One must be a goat angel.

The Last One's name is Myrwann. They're the last of the angels simply because they decided not to kill themselves. The other angels were all, "Fuck this living shit! Flesh? Limited perception?! Flatulence?! I'd rather not exist!" And so they stopped existing. But Myrwann was all, "I think I'd like to smell my own farts." And boom! Myrwann walked the Earth for thousands of years. Their hobby became convincing lost souls to become their roommates. So now Myrwann lives with a bunch of starving artists. If I had to predict Myrwann's motives, they'd be that Myrwann wants to make a movie and is gathering all the talent needed to do so. It's quite possible they Myrwann is actually Tommy Wiseau. It would explain the accent.

Having only read half of the comic so far (and not remembering anything from when I read it almost thirty years ago), I have a theory. Everybody in the house is all, "Myrwann has made my life bearable! They're making my dreams come true! I can be the person I've always wanted to be!" And the new kid, the one that spent the money on drugs who Myrwann seems intent on making into a movie director (so maybe he's Tommy Wiseau and this is Tommy's origin story?), will be all, "Oh wow! I'm going to like it here!" But then he'll be approached by one of the roommates who will be all, "You have to get out of here! Sure, I'm a best-selling novelist now. But every night, Myrwann cuts off my dick and does depraved things with it! In the morning, Myrwann reattaches it and my dick's memories flood my brain and I have to live through all the wretched things it lived through the night before! It's a horror show here!" Then the new kid will be all, "Oh no! I must escape!" because the new kid isn't me who would be all, "Oh boy! My dick is going to go on an adventure!"

The new kid, Patrick, spills his guts to a few of his new roommates. He had a sister who kept him sane even while their father molested her every night. But when she got married young and fled the house, Patrick turned to heroin to keep him sane. Or at least not conscious. At times, they feel quite similar. Personally, I just slept for over 12 hours because I wanted to feel sane for a little bit. At one point I got up and ate and then I thought, "What the fuck am I doing? Perception and being aware are terrible attributes we have been gifted. I'm going back to bed to loll in and out of consciousness for another six hours." Of course I brushed my teeth first because I'm not an animal. Was that redundant? I think I just described how my entire problem with consciousness is that we're not animals. Sentience is a fucking curse.

I just listened to David Bowie's "Life on Mars" and have you ever thought, "My entire life doesn't measure up to four minutes of this one person's entire existence?" I should go back to bed.

Mitchell only figuratively gets his dick cut off in this scene but I think it's close enough to what I guessed.

Mitchell doesn't seem super upset that he was just castigated and thrown down the stairs. I bet Myrwann emits some kind of angel pheromone that keeps everybody upbeat and positive. Patrick will probably discover a way to make himself immune to its effects and one by one, he'll cut everybody else from Myrwann as well. Myrwann will become so enraged that they'll do something unforgivable, after which they'll have a true moment of introspection and realize that the other angels were correct. Better to not exist than to be what Myrwann is amid human flesh and minds. And since I only have the first issue of this series, I'm just going to assume that I guessed correctly after I put this comic book back in the box and forget about it forever.

Oh fuck. I understood what was going on too well. Apparently what I need is to have my dick cut off every night only to be reattached in the morning with the knowledge of all the depraved things it was used for the night before.

The good news is that once I find somebody to cut off my dick every night after which it is reattached in the morning with the knowledge of all the depraved things it was used for the night before, I'll finally become a Real Writer!

Patrick decides to stay and Myrwann retires to their room to sit in front of the fireplace and place their head in their hands, spent. It's possible I have the story entirely wrong and its the common people who will teach Myrwann what it is to be human and save Myrwann's life. But who can tell? Nobody really since this is the only issue I have!

The Last One #1 Rating: B. I was only twenty-one when I first read this book and I can see why I didn't keep reading it. What did I know about the exhaustion of existence at twenty-one?! Nothing makes you feel more alive than possibility. And here is a comic book about an immortal exhausted and confused by existence simply trying to offer those possibilities to young people. Maybe by the sixth issue, the young people will have all succeeded in their endeavors only to learn that even having their greatest dream come true was just another trap. It was the end of possibility and the lesson that even a dream life can turn into the drudgery and obligations of an existence bereft of other possibilities. Twenty-one year old me would have read this and thought, "What kind of Vertigo comic book was that?! That angel was fat and ugly. Where were all the titties, yo?!" It was the early 90s. We were obligated to say "yo" after every question.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Young Heroes in Love #7

Sex, Lies, and Pierced Nipples.

Young Heroes in Love ran for 17 issues and this is the last issue I own. I'm enjoying it enough that maybe I'll pick up one back issue per week until I complete the collection or it takes a turn for the worse. I'm kind of hoping that this issue is terrible so I don't feel the need to purchase any of the remaining issues!

I'd rather read "Young Heroes Butt-plugged."

In this issue, the characters all get a week off. So they finally get civilian names. Except for Frostbite because he's fucking weird. And probably some kind of elf. Maybe he's from a race of elves where they're all named for human maladies, diseases, or injuries. He's gone off to the Arctic, probably to meet up with his brother Leprosy and his sister Stomach Cramps.

Bonfire spends her week getting shot down by editors at the magazine "Meta." Hard Drive spend his week ruining small countries through fiscal shenanigans. Monstergirl spends her week telling her parents she isn't going to marry an old family friend they want her to marry (probably because he's a Monsterboy). Thunderhead and Junior spend their week stealing from vending machines. Off-ramp spends his week getting dumped by somebody named "K".

Oh wait! A week takes a lot longer than a lot of those actions I just described. I guess those experiences are just how their weeks started.

Zip-Kid spends the week letting the readers know her boyfriend is a stereotypical goon so we don't judge her when she finally fucks Junior.

It's only 22 pages and eight characters doing different things so how their weeks start is pretty much all that happens. Junior plays some chess and reveals he's in love. Thunderhead works some gigs as a bouncer and refuses to tell Off-ramp that he fucked Bonfire (although he actually fucked Monstergirl). Bonfire decides to write a story about the Young Heroes. And Off-ramp teleports to Italy to check on a baby that he claims is his.

Young Heroes in Love #7 Rating: B-. Weird that an issue where the characters all get some down time feels like it had less characterization than a regular issue. Usually that's the opposite of how comic books work! I guess having to separate all the characters into their own little mini-stories rather than having them interact cuts down the amount of characterization opportunities. It still might be worth picking up Issue #8. We'll see how I feel on Wednesday. Or if I even remember to check the back issues while I'm at the comic book store.

Young Heroes in Love #6

I was expecting Monstergirl to spin webs but not from her fingers.

Growing up, I thought the word "betrayal" was a command so every kid in my class named Al hated my fucking guts.

Also, I'm constantly confused by the name Al because whenever anybody named Al accomplishes anything, I first think that some super smart robot AI just accomplished it.

This issue is called "You'll Never Walk Alone into the Furnace of Unstable Molecules." I have not been discussing the names of the issues. You might be able to guess why. They're all like that.

Issue #1: "Your Lips! Your Eyes! Your Nuclear Breath Vision!"
Issue #2: "Look Before You Leap into the Telekinetic Proto-Bomb!"
Issue #3: "Two Hearts Beat as One Giant Undead Guy!"
Issue #4: "Cry Me a River of Nigh Irresistible Beams!"
Issue #5: "Out of the Frying Pan and into the Trans-Universal Galacto-Storm!"

They're probably secret messages which need the Young Heroes in Love secret decoder butt plug to decipher. Sure, I own it so I could decipher the messages but it's kind of being used right now for its other intended purpose.

The issue begins not with Bonfire exposing Hard Drive's manipulations of the Young Heroes but Bonfire waking up in bed having been mind controlled to forget that she was exposing Hard Drive's secrets. Or she did expose them and later, after Hard Drive recovered his spent powers, he simply mind controlled everybody to forget it and now everything is back to normal. At least until Tara realizes what Willow has done and then sings a duet with Giles about how she was violated by Willow and then everything will fucking just fall apart. Seriously, just stop watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer after the musical. Just pretend it all works out for the best. Because it eventually does! At least until Angel brings about the end of the world. With dragons!

With sexual applications!

I mean, I don't have a clitoris but I'm just going to assume that doing anything to it is good. Yeah?

Meanwhile, a villain team known as The Ratpack are busy extorting a school for three thousand dollars. The members of the Ratpack: Mongoose Lord, Doc Ferret, She-Weasel, Flying Squirrel, King Rat, Gerbil-Girl, Whiskers the Living Hamster, and Captain Kangaroo Rat. It's like a meta(l)gene bomb exploded in a pet store. Being that I'm a fucking weirdo who isn't afraid to admit that he has sexual fantasies about comic book characters, I'd just like to say that I've already imagined three different sexy scenarios involving me and Gerbil-Girl.

Also, what the fuck does Whiskers think Hamsters are? Zombies? Why is he the "living" hamster?

Gerbil-Girl is so mad at my dick.

The school contacts the Young Heroes because even though they don't think the money is too much of a hassle, they fucking hate filthy rats. Nobody likes rats! At least not the metaphorical ones. You know the saying: whiskers get stichers. But real rats are adorable. At least the ones that pet stores sell and not the ones that climb out of your toilet in the middle of the night.

While the team stakes out the school waiting for the Ratpack, they get to discuss relationship problems! It's the entire reason for this comic book to exist. Bonfire is all, "I want to fuck Thunderhead but I'm not sure I'm ready to fuck Thunderhead, you know?" And Monstergirl is all, "I love fucking Hard Drive but I'm not sure I want to be with Hard Drive!" And Bonfire is all, "I don't even remember that I want to fuck Frostbite!" And Monstergirl is all, "I know, right?!" And Grunion Guy is all, "Our initials are exactly the same! I know Gerbil-Girl and I will be happy together forever!"

Before any of the better drama can happen, like Off-ramp telling Frostbite that he wants to kiss him in a really bad place, the Ratpack crawl out of the sewers! And they almost instantly get beaten up by the Young Heroes. That's because the Young Heroes are on Issue #6 which means they're basically Level 2 or 3 and battling rats in the sewers is a total Level 1 adventure.

"Insert two fingers, Gerbilgirl! Insert two fingers!"

After the battle, Bonfire takes Thunderhead to the library because Bonfire doesn't know what libraries are for.

Outrageous! Throwing their chewing gum wrapper on the floor!

Oh no! I just read the last page of this issue and it turns out Bonfire wasn't Bonfire at all! It was Monstergirl pretending to be Bonfire! That's like, um, rape or something! Am I not allowed to like Monstergirl's ass now that it's the ass of a rapist?! I hope Bonfire doesn't treat Thunderhead the way Starfire treated Nightwing when Mirage did this to him! That was some totally unfair blaming the victim shit. Not that Nightwing was much of a victim. Look, I know this is a controversial thing to say but getting fucked by a shapeshifter who is pretending to be the person you want to fuck isn't the worst thing that can happen to a person! I wish I were friends with some horny and unethical shapeshifters right now!

Young Heroes in Love #6 Rating: A. It's too bad I can't continue to like Monstergirl anymore because she was my favorite. I could say she's even more my favorite now but that would look bad so instead I'm saying, "Gee. What a terribly unethical person. Doesn't she understand consent? She not only violated Thunderhead but Bonfire as well! In fact, now that I think about what she did to Bonfire, I'm really beginning to not like her as opposed to just saying I don't like her so that people don't tell me I'm gross. Poor Bonfire! Now her relationship with Thunderhead is tainted before it even had a chance to begin? Also, what if Monstergirl made her vagina look horrible?! Monstergirl really is a monster!" In summation, I think what Monstergirl did was super wrong so don't judge me! But Thunderhead still got laid so, I mean, was it that wrong? I mean, it was! So wrong! Terrible! The worst even!

Young Heroes in Love #5

I don't often see the "male raped by tentacle monster" version of Hentai.

I have no memory of DC's Genesis crossover event. It's possible I missed it because I was living in a Volkswagen bus traveling across country and sneaking into KOAs to shower. My reading material on that road trip was composed of issues of Stephen Seagle's House of Secrets, various Astro City graphic novels, Moore's Watchmen, and the entirety of Gaiman's The Sandman collected editions. I probably have a lot of comic book series that just stop right about the November/December 1997 cover date (which were probably on the shelves around August). If a comic book managed to make the cut, it was only because it burned itself into my memory and I eventually hunted down the issues I missed. I guess Young Heroes in Love, while I'm really enjoying it, didn't make the same impression as something like Transmetropolitan (which I got the first and maybe second issue of and then only restarted reading at Issue #13, going back later to pick up the collected editions for the first 12 issues). I should probably start paying more attention to which of my comics end right about this time.

The Genesis mini-series has something to do with a cosmic wave bouncing back and forth around the DC Universe. I guess the wave boosts power or grants power or powers meta(l)genes or something because the wave hits at the beginning of this issue and everybody's powers start freaking out. Thunderhead begins power farting all over the headquarters while Frostbite's hands turn to ice. Off-ramp self-portals and Bonfire...well, I don't know what Bonfire's hopped up powers do. It must be internal like, um, the dainty parts of women? Is that a biologically correct thing to say?

Oh wait. There she goes. Good thing it was a FWOOSH instead of a FWASH.

If you didn't understand the previous caption, just go read my Supergirl reviews. Don't think of it as homework or research. Think of it as getting to see lots of scanned images of Supergirl's bum.

Zip-Kid's power begins to fluctuate so that she grows huge zippers.

Oh shit! While reading the part where Zip-Kid grows super big, I began thinking about how everybody who reads about a metahuman like Zip-Kid or Giganta has to think about them having sex with a normal sized companion. You'd absolutely use an entire person as a dildo at least once if you could grow that big, right? And then I thought about how readers almost certainly think about how big the cock is on somebody like Apache Chief. Even if it's just a passing thought, we think those things! But they're never acknowledged in comic books because we just have to pretend that thoughts like that don't exist. And then I remembered why I love DC's Harley Quinn cartoon so much. In a recent episode, they were battling a giant and Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn actually began discussing how big the giant's penis must be. And that episode at the bar mitzvah where Harley kept bringing up finger banging with all the young boys! It's almost as if Eee! Tess Ate Chai Tea paved the way for this kind of shit being acceptable! Hopefully the next cartoon will be a Batgirl cartoon based on my Batgirl diary entries where Batgirl is super horned up to get laid but it just never happens.

Hell, the DC Universe channel is killing it with most of their shows anyway. From Dick Grayson saying, "Fuck Batman," on Titans to having a Doom Patrol episode where Flex Mentallo flexes just the right muscle and causes everybody, including Danny the Street, to orgasm while Cliff Steele fakes his to fit in, they've won me over in so many ways. Swamp Thing wasn't bad but it was definitely the hardest to get through. This is why so many people love fan-fiction over the actual canon stories. Because fan-fiction isn't regulated by traditionally prudish attitudes which tend to desexualize all adults. It's one of the reasons I love British panel shows so much more than anything on American television. Because they understand that conversations with adults will contain adult material. Just the simplest of things that American television wouldn't allow make me giddy, like in a recent episode of QI when Aisling Bea has a stuffed giraffe in her lap and begins to pretend its a boner.

Hard Drive realizes people's powers are surging so he needs to go check on his brother. His brother is a more powerful telekinetic who could destroy the world if he were to wake from his coma. But Hard Drive makes sure he's never going to wake by using his mental powers on him. Off-ramp, who teleported Hard Drive to the mental hospital, realizes that if Hard Drive is doing that to his brother, he's probably fucking with the entire team with his powers.

Off-ramp him into the sun, Off-ramp!

Of course Hard Drive uses his mind control powers to get Off-ramp back on his side. He even admits to Off-ramp that he might have caused the car crash on the race course which caused Off-ramp to realize he wants to be a hero. So the Young Heroes is like the Doom Patrol if The Chief were a hot guy with actual mind control powers and Cliff, Negative Man, Rita, Josh, and Crazy Jane were all fucking each other.

Part of the Genesis story has to do with Darkseid so Kalibak is rampaging on Earth. All of Earth's real heroes are battling Darkseid by the Source Wall in deep space so its up to the Young Heroes to stop Kalibak. Unfortunately, they're all fucked up from the cosmic wave's super juice. So Hard Drive goes out on his own to defeat Kalibak. In doing so, he runs his powers dry and he isn't able to keep up the mind control lies he's been using to coerce his teammates into doing his bidding. Bonfire remembers that he convinced her to fuck Thunderhead rather than Frostbite and she decides it's time to tell everybody what an asshole Hard Drive really is.

Young Heroes in Love #5 Rating: B+. A comic book like this really exposes the major failings in a lot of other mainstream comic books. Comic book fans are used to extremely serious or gritty comic book plots coming along and changing the way readers think about stories that can be told in comic books. But rarely do we see a comic book that shows readers how much story and characterization can be stuffed into a super comic booky comic book. This comic book isn't doing anything different. It's not a commentary on super heroes; it's not satire; it's not an intelligent dissection of any grand moral themes of existence. It's just a book about amateur super heroes trying to figure out how to be super heroes and doing it somewhat successfully. It's also about young people and the drama they can get into due to romantic entanglements and colliding passions. But it does it to such a high degree that can easily go unnoticed as "just a silly young person comic book." Even the art plays up the whimsical attitude in such an attractive way that it's easy to miss how on the mark this book is in super hero terms. A 22 page comic book about eight separate characters and it finds time to give them all substantial roles to play, and nice moments of dialogue. It might be light on action but when are the action scenes anything but filler, really? It provides just the right amount of action to supplement the real drama that is the character interaction. It's just really fucking well done and I might have to pick up the rest of the series.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Young Heroes in Love #4

If Junior hits it off with Zip-Kid, he can stop fucking mice.

I don't want to assume that Junior and Zip-Kid are going to become romantically involved just because she's got the only vagina he won't drown in. Certainly she has her own agency and wasn't specifically created so that Junior can have a romantic love interest, right? Right guys? Tell me I'm right. Please?

I don't really remember Zip-Kid too well because she isn't gay and I didn't have to write a letter to DC that purported to be about her sexual identity but was in fact about me and how lonely I was. But I think she can actually adjust her size which it seems Junior can't. So why would she want to fuck Junior when she can bang Hard Drive? I bet Zip-Kid comes so hard when she's small and wraps herself around a regular sized dick. Now everybody who likes dick is probably thinking about how awesome that would be because it totally would be awesome. I'll let you think about it for a few more seconds.

Okay! That's enough! Get your mind back on comic books, you disgusting perverts!

Everybody is sad because they're being drawn by a guest artist.

Hard Drive has run off crying so Superman is all, "That guy don't seem so hard." Blushing little lightning bolts, Superman clarifies, "In the British sense and not in the erotic sense." I wonder what Superman Red was doing while Superman Blue was fighting Tottenjaeger? That might sound like a stupid question to people who actually knew what was going on with electric Superman after he returned from the dead. I never read any of those comic books. I'm sure one of my friends explained it to me at the time but it must not have been interesting enough for my mind to retain it.

Superman questions Hard Drive's leadership skills because Superman can't remember a single time Batman ran out of the room crying. He never even did that when Kevin Smith was writing him! But Zip-Kid appears for the first time and is all, "I'm Zip-Kid! You don't know me or my huge tits (huge for a tiny woman, that is!) but let me explain what just happened." She then provids a stupid excuse as to why Hard Drive lost his temper and ran away crying which Superman readily accepts because he's a naive and gullible idiot. Unless he's just too kind to question anybody's honesty and simply knows when a person is lying to save face on all sides. Maybe Superman is the opposite of a naive and gullible idiot. Maybe I'm the naive and gullible idiot!

No, no way. My mom certainly would have yelled that at me at least once growing up if I were one.

Zip-Kid heard the mummy was back and figured the Young Heroes would be back too so she thought she'd appear and try to be recruited. She's pretty hot so that means she probably automatically makes the team. Unless she still has to declare which two other members with which she'll become entangled in a romantic triangle and she'll only then be a full-fledged member.

Last issue, Bonfire read a hidden message in Frostbite's ice sculpture so she confronts him about it now.

Pretty sure the filthy message was for Off-ramp and the guest artist wasn't told Frostbite shouldn't look so happy about Bonfire wanting to sit on his dick.

Hard Drive hears Bonfire's lustful words to Frostbite and once again uses his mind powers to get her to forget him. Frostbite doesn't notice and I don't know why. I think when Bonfire said she wanted to dip his icicle in her foundry, he grimaced, awkwardly adjusted his neck tie, and excused himself stage left.

Junior makes a pass at Zip-Girl only to find she not only has huge tits and a gigantic zipper but also a boyfriend. A mouse, watching from under the sofa, tightens its sphincter, squeaks, and runs away.

Frostbite seems upset that Bonfire suddenly wants to fuck Thunderhead again which seems weird because I'm fairly certain he's gay. I suppose I should trust the story I'm reading rather than my memory since the me that made that memory probably hadn't put as much thought into bisexuality as the me that's currently writing this. Although that probably isn't a whole lot more. Me back then probably would have been, "Is that a thing?" And me now is more like, "Oh yeah. That guy fucks chicks and guys. Cool beans." Although by 1997, I'd already been propositioned by my friend Doom Bunny's friend Michael when we were both sleeping in Doom Bunny's living room after a party. Michael climb up from the floor so we were chest to chest and leaned in close and asked, "Have you ever been with a guy?" I said, "No." And then he said, "Do you want to be?" And I said, "No-o-o-o?" Then he said, "Oh, sorry!" Then as I lay there in the dark feeling horny, I thought, "Why aren't I bisexual? I sure wouldn't mind being jerked off right now!" So I totally would have thought about bisexuality by the time I read this!

At some point, Zip-Girl returns to normal size and everybody becomes annoyed with Junior because he doesn't. He then has to confide that he's incapable of changing size. It's so emasculating that I can hardly feel enjoyment in this next scan.

Va-va-va—oh, poor Junior—voom!

Junior almost quits but then he and Frostbite walk in on Thunderhead and Bonfire boning and the intense drama pulls him back into the team. Plus, you know, maybe he still has a chance with Zip-Girl.

Young Heroes in Love #4 Rating: B+. The Teen Titans was never this good. How could it run for 120 or more issues and this comic book only went for 18? Oh wait. I know how. Because comic book fans are idiots who will read any comic book, no matter how shitty, as long as it has a character they love. This comic book only had new characters so it already lost a good portion of its potential audience right out of the gate. Comic books with new heroes are like going to a concert and hearing the band play songs off the new album. Nobody wants that shit! Give us Batman and Free Bird!

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Young Heroes in Love #3

Who is "Symbol of Hope"uperman?

I can't get over my astonishment that this title exists. Not that I don't see the market for a a group of superheroes who look hot and love to fuck each other. Look at Legion of Super-heroes. What I find perplexing was that the higher-ups at DC thought naming a comic book Young Heroes in Love was a marketable idea. It ran for 18 issues (plus a Year One Million issue) so somebody at DC sort of knew what they were doing. Eighteen issues isn't setting the world on fire but it's not nothing. I think the font used for the title probably helped sell the idea. It says, "This isn't actually romance, you stupid nerds. It's going to be a lot of fun with loads of sexy bodies doing loads of sexy things!" Plus all the letters look like they're involved in an orgy. Look at how those "O"s are asking for it!

I might be in a weird place tonight where I can't help but see letters having sex with each other. Look at the unabashed portrayal of gay anal sex taking place in the XFL LA Wildcats logo:

Too bad the "L" doesn't have an extra line to provide a reach around for the "A". I fully support these two gay letter lovers. Go Gay Wildcats!

I seriously might get back into football based on this logo alone. Oh, not real football of course! Just the XFL. Their slogan should be, "Are you ready for some sort-of football?" Or what about, "Are you ready for some football but football won't start again for six months? Try us!" Or maybe just the simple yet effective, "The XFL: close enough!"

I wish I could remember why I purchased this comic book back in 1997. My guess is that I loved the look of the animation-like art. Plus I was always looking for more comic books that looked fun rather than grim and serious. It almost certainly had nothing to do with all of the skimpy and tight fitting costumes. I've never really been into spandex outfits like the kind Booster Gold wears. You know the kind! The kind that shows every outline of muscle and hugs both butt cheeks right up the crack but shows nary a hint of cock. I mean, how does that even work?! You know how many tiny flaccid dongs and bulging ball bags I've had to look at during Comic-con because we can't get comic book spandex technology in the real world?! I hate when people use terms like schizophrenia and OCD and PTSD casually but fuck it. I have PTSD from the several San Diego Comic-cons I've been to! You can't tell me my PTSD is any less severe than the PTSD suffered from a soldier blown to shit in Iraq due to an illegal war perpetrated by old white cronies of big oil! So they had to go through years and years of physical therapy and reconstructive surgery! I HAD TO LOOK AT OTHER MENS' TINY BOBBLELOOGS UNDER STRANGELY SHAPED FATTY UPPER PELVIC AREAS!

Now that everybody is on my side with my entirely rational and well-thought out defense of my trauma, let's discuss the sexiness of page one of this issue.

If you didn't consider, even for just a nanosecond, masturbating to this image, you're a monster. Or you're asexual. Did that save me from seeming to think asexuals are monsters or did it just make it worse?

Here's a thought I just had and since I have nowhere else to put it, it gets into the comic book review: Frankenstein's monster was just trying to save Frankenstein from marrying his sister/first cousin. Oh sure, to do that, he kills her. But that's a whole other philosophical debate whether incest is worse than murder. I mean, who can really know which is worse?!

One thing I love to point out is that Victor Frankenstein wanted to fuck his sister. Because somebody inevitably points out that Elizabeth was his step-sister and then I know exactly where the incest line is drawn with those weirdos.

How did I start talking about Frankenstein? Oh yeah! It was when I said asexuals were monsters! I mean, I didn't say that! Why would I say that?! I don't care if somebody doesn't feel the need to have sex. I've had crushes on women like that my whole life! The real monsters are the undead parodies of life which blaspheme the holy word of God created by asexuals in their filthy college dorm rooms.

It's been awhile since I read Frankenstein but Victor does create the monster in his dorm room at college and not in a lab, right? I think I'm remembering that correctly!

This is what's wrong with the Internet (and yet, also, so absolutely right with it. It allows me to digress to my heart's content!): you have to constantly over-explain everything or else somebody is going to get angry at you when they misunderstand something you've written! I mean, sure, plenty of people looked at that first page of Issue #3 and didn't think, "I'm going to touch myself until I explode in sexual pleasure!" They don't even have to be asexual to not have thought that! But I decided to call all of those people who didn't think like I did monsters. It's just the way the world works! But after doing that, I thought, "Well shit. I don't mind calling people who wouldn't jerk off to this image monsters because that's funny and actually satire about how we 'other' people who think differently than us." But then I also thought, "But couldn't this be interpreted as me calling people with no sex drive monsters? That's not fair to them even if it's funny when it's about people with sex drives and rational minds who don't have blood rush to their genitals when they look at cartoon bodies! I should make sure nobody misunderstands that that's what I meant!" But then there's the part of me that decides to make a joke of it all so that it seems like I'm denying that I called asexuals monsters while also keeping it entirely plausible that maybe that's what I was doing!

Anyway, look at Thunderhead's hot ass and Bonfire's perfect boobs and the way Bonfire's legs are crossed and the way the guys are touching the mummy's phallic symbol. This confirms that every mission they go on is a metaphor for sex because why else would they be hanging the mummy's two-handed sword — a huge penis metaphor — in their trophy room?

Fucking hell. I'm only on page one of this stupid comic book and I've already written a short novella! I mean a short novella for the Internet age. Obviously if this were 1971, I'd have to add about 25,000 more words and probably add a few characters who were actually cybernetic creatures.

Wow. Page Two just looked up "subtlety" in the dictionary and tore it out, pissed on it, ate it, shit it out, and burned it.

Was the joke that once they removed subtlety from the dictionary that they couldn't have destroyed it in a subtle way too subtle? Just asking so I can point aggressively at my mom and scream, "See?! They understood the joke, you shrew!"

Back to the smart comic book stuff that is my signature content, is it okay for the Young Heroes to murder a rampaging mummy and then steal his magic sword as a trophy? Monstergirl can turn into a monster so would it be okay for Superman to kill her while in monster form? With all the heroes and villains and sentient beings from other dimensions, why are heroes allowed to kill certain adversaries?! The mummy was speaking like any other person obsessed with Egyptology and weird dialects. Should I have been allowed to kill my opponent at the Magic the Gathering tournament because he kept saying "thy turn" and "your go, my lord" and also he looked like a troglodyte? And nobody would have cared if I just scooped up his Magic collection and went home to hang it on my wall?! If I were part of the press witnessing the Young Heroes' first adventure, I would definitely be asking a lot more questions than the idiots who covered the event in this comic book.

Everybody writes about how this was one of the first DC comic books to depict a gay relationship but nobody ever mentions Bonfire's Adam's apple. Maybe this comic book was even more progressive than we realized!

Junior begins questioning the team's encounter with the mummy. Like how the mummy's name was TotenJaeger the Relentless. Knowing as much German as I do, that name means "Dead from alcohol." Unless it means "Dead Hunter the Relentless" or "The Relentless Hunter of the Dead." I don't know all the German! Just a few things like Ziege and Waschbär and Meerschweinchen. If the mummy had been called "Ziegentasche the Unfillable," I would have totally nailed the translation.

Junior also begins wondering where this mummy came from or if he has a villainous history. Off-ramp thinks the mummy was looking for a woman which aligns with what I thought. That means Off-ramp is the smartest member of the group.

How does nobody start referring to Thunderhead as the "Man of Steal" after this?

I wish I hadn't packed away the Galactic Hero Corps figures I made about two decades ago. The Galactic Hero Corps is the first 'zine I ever published with some friends. One of the characters was named Greased Lightning and I made a figure of him out of an old Wonder Man action figure. Basically I just painted him black and white. He looked a lot like Thunderhead. But I didn't steal the idea because we already had art for Greased Lightning a few years before Young Heroes in Love was published.

In what's visible, you can sort of see how his costume differs. Also we had a mummy on the team. Super Mummy aka Pharaoh Nanotoknonnen. And, yes, I did the art for this issue because our artist flaked. Later we had a couple of new artists work on the 'zine. One of them was Dan Santat, the creator of Disney's The Replacements. His art was the best.

Looking at various pics of Greased Lightning, it's less like Thunderhead than I remembered. I guess I feel better about that?

The Young Heroes sit around talking about the costumes of other heroes for a bit. Then there's a Kool-Aid advertisement that shows Kool-Aid Man in hiking shorts and shoes. So does that mean that every time he broke through some kid's wall, he was fucking naked?! Hopefully that monster is currently in a cell next to Subway's Jared Fogle.

While the team is distracted by the revelation that Kool-Aid Man's penis was apparently visible in all of those old Kool-Aid commercials, the mummy steals back his sword. Hard Drive informs everybody that the mummy and th sword are made from ecotplasm so that explains everything. He's back rampaging on the base though, probably because he's still looking for the Queen Mummy that cucked him into beta status.

The team arrives at the base to find Superman battling the mummy. This causes them to all narrate other people they think of as heroes. It's nice shorthand to realize which characters are total assholes.

We already knew Hard Drive was a slimy turd who forces himself on others with his mind powers so his liking Reagan isn't a surprise. But Dennis Miller, Monstergirl?! Ugh. Now I have to reconsider how much I like that ass. Even in 1997, Dennis Miller was pretty shit. But I think in 1997, Mel Gibson had yet to reveal just how terrible he was. Bonfire gets a pass.

Also, one of Frostbite's heroes is Paul Bunyan? How old is Frostbite? Eight? Other possibly problematic heroes in this list, depending on what you choose to believe: Elvis. Pete Townsend. John Lennon. Mahatma Gandhi. Martin Luther King, Jr. Red Cloud. Michael Jordan. Cesar Chavez. George Patton. William S. Burroughs. Jerry Lee Lewis. Albert Einstein. Arnold Schwarzenegger. JFK. Alexander the Great. King Arthur. So pretty much everybody but Wayne Gretzky. Unless Frostbite was being literal when his thought of his hero as "Wayne Gretsky." I don't know who that is but I'm sure he once scooted too closely to a woman on the subway while putting his hand on her hip and leaning in for a sniff.

I don't want to argue whether or not some of the people listed were not problematic at all! That misses the entire point of me declaring that only Wayne Gretzky is fit to be a hero in this day and age. Also, don't send me articles of terrible things Gretzky has done! I don't want to know!

Frostbite stops the mummy by freezing him and then Hard Drive asks Superman to join the Young Heroes.

Exactly what I'd expect from a Reagan fan!

After this confontation, Hard Drive runs off crying while Monstergirl revels in his misery.

Young Heroes in Love #3 Rating: A. No, seriously. I think this comic book really works well. It's fun and nice to look at (in a non-sexual way! I'm not always a pervert). It has a large group of characters but is able to give them all equal time and space. There's a lot of down time talking which I love because I want to know the characters and their relationship dynamics. The fighting is never that important to me. And when they do get to the battle, they fight a mummy that just looks cool. It's got everything I need in a comic book and I'm already sad that I only have 7 of the 18 issues.

Friday, February 14, 2020

Young Heroes in Love #2

I wonder who's going to fuck the mummy?

My theory is that all of the adventures the Young Heroes will go on will be metaphors for sex. First up, a mummy. Mummy's are obviously phallic symbols because everything is a phallic symbol. Unless it's whatever you call the symbol for a vagina that nobody but Gillian Anderson actually knows. Sure, we could all immediately ask Siri and Siri will be all, "What's your sudden interest in vaginas, virgin?" And then when she gets tired of listening to me...I mean us cry, she'll say, "It's yonic, you stupid baby wanker." So maybe a mummy is a yonic symbol. Mummy is close to mommy and yonis are symbols of motherhood, right? Yonis are used for motherhood and perpetuating the species while phalluses are used to swing in the face of the next guy (as long as the next guy has a tiny phallus. You don't want it to backfire and wind up getting a huge one swung at you!).

Maybe I just can't know what a mummy represents since most mummies come from cultures different than mine and what are the chances I know anything about those cultures?! I can't ask Siri because she always sounds disgusted with me. Stupid judgmental technology. If it doesn't want to hear me jerk off, maybe shut its dumb hearing sensors off some time!

What I'm trying to say is that I don't actually own a Siri. Why would I let that eavesdropping asshole into the privacy of my home?! I already reveal too much willingly on this stupid blog that I was probably cursed by a mummy to write. There has to be an ancient curse of a reason as to why I'm still writing it.

No wait. What I was really trying to say is that maybe I shouldn't jump to any conclusions about what the mummy represents. I should probably read the story first.

This issue begins with Thunderhead blaming his own character flaw on all women.

Just because Thunderhead was too dumb and horny to not jump off of a roof because a beautiful woman asked him to doesn't mean he should blame all women for it.

I understand that people will do stupid things to impress a person they want to fuck. But any time anybody decides to do that stupid thing in the hopes of getting a hand down their pants, they need to understand that the consequences are all theirs. Not the person they're trying to impress. And certainly not everybody who just happens to be the same gender as that person. Thunderhead might as well fall to the ground lamenting, "People named Bonfire." It's still his big dumb thick head and possibly his penis with the same adjectives that are to blame for this stupid decision.

The giant bandaged genitalia monster doesn't attack in the first half of the comic book because this comic book is about young heroes trying to get laid. So a lot of the plot has one character asking another character, "So? Are you two going to fuck?" And then the other character is all, "Ha ha! Um, well, I mean...." And then Hard Drive uses his psychic ability to stop somebody from doing something he doesn't want them to do. It's all about intrigue and young people in tight and skimpy costumes. It might be the best comic book I've ever read!

I feel like this is the kind of comic book a younger me would have been embarrassed to purchase. And yet it was younger me who definitely purchased it and kept purchasing it for nearly a year. And I don't think I stopped reading it based on anything about the comic book. I think I just stopped because I was taking a road trip across the United States and probably forgot about it when scanning the new book racks of strange, new comic book stores.

After all the drama reaches all the right climactic tension points to be resolved at a later date, the Young Heroes head out to fight a mummy attacking an army base.

The mummy is an omen which none of the Young Heroes will probably heed! It's representative of unfaithful love! And maybe a big dick!

The team easily defeats the mummy but give no thought to whatever the mummy was rambling about. I'm pretty sure he was after a queen mummy which we all know from mummy chess is the most powerful mummy. Instead of investigating the army warehouse where the mummy was headed, they give interviews to some reporters who just happened to be at the army base, probably hoping for a big mummy attack to help their careers.

The issue ends with Monstergirl looking at the reader in a way that says, "I'm also hiding some secrets and boy oh boy is Hard Drive going to be sorry! But not until after he fucks me good!"

Young Heroes in Love #2 Rating: A+! This is probably the best comic book I've ever read. I'm not lying. I never lie. I create hyperbolic fictions that somehow speak an innate truth and thus can never be categorized as a lie.

Young Heroes in Love #1

Simon Bisley was busted for drawing a penis in Lobo's musculature but it's okay for Dev Madan to draw this filth?!

Obviously I picked up this comic book because the first word on the cover was sex. Also the drippy post-sex penis bottle. I'm not the only one who sees that and immediately thinks, "Oh yeah. That's a penis going flaccid after sex and leaking the last of its cum shot," right? And the wine glass full of jizz is, well, I've gotten too graphic already! Kids read this blog! Nasty, dirty pervert kids.

What if I really did care about kids reading this blog? What kind of pressure do people put on themselves when they're constantly thinking of the children? Or do people only consider the children when they see somebody else doing something they don't approve of? That feels more like the society I know.

Out in Portland, we currently have billboards for Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Being an adult person without kids and never thinking of children at all in any way (my home is probably the least child safe space on the inner three planets), I never would have thought twice about the title of that musical. But apparently my 11 year old niece asked her mother, "What's an angry inch?" I didn't find out how she explained it but I would have said, "It's a sideways grimace on an eyeless face. Just a little bulge, honey. Now shut up." My point is that it's a complicated, adult world out there and anybody who ever uses the argument, "What about the children?", can go fuck themselves. Besides, you can't hide stuff that you think is inappropriate from kids. The simple act of trying to hide something or expressing disapproval of something to kids will cause the kids to suss out the thing you're keeping from them. Back in 2nd Grade, my class was in the yard flying paper airplanes. Mine was terrible and when it crashed instantly, I yelled, "Mine sucks the big one!" I had no idea that was somehow a dirty phrase until my teacher yelled at me for having said it and punished me by sitting on the bench for the rest of the activity. Sitting on that bench confused, I had plenty of time to work out in my head what could have been so filthy about the thing I said. I had no knowledge of oral sex or sexual pleasure, for that matter, but I'm pretty sure I worked out that "the big one" was probably a penis. Especially since I couldn't imagine why somebody would suck on a penis which must have been why the phrase was used for something terrible. Who would want to suck on a penis? Especially a big one!

It's entirely possible that I didn't completely work that out back then and my memory of the moment has changed through the lens of adult knowledge. But I definitely know that I didn't know what I was saying was wrong until I was punished for saying it. It probably wasn't long after that that I wrote on the sidewalk in front of Peter Martin's house, in pencil, "Fuck Peter Martin." Why? Who the fuck knows?! Do you need a reason to do anything as a kid? Kids are fucking chaotic, man.

If I had to rate this comic book after reading just the first page, I'd give it an A+.

The three characters being introduced on this page are Off-Ramp, Thunderhead, and Monstergirl's ass. I'm super into one of those characters.

These young heroes not yet in love are waiting for more heroes to arrive so that maybe they can fall in love. Also, "fall in love" is probably a euphemism because DC wouldn't let Dan Raspler call this comic book "Young Heroes Sucking Each Other Off and Fingering Buttholes."

The next three members of the team are Hard Drive, Bonfire, and Junior. Hard Drive has telekinetic powers which doesn't match his name so I'm assuming "Hard Drive" has to do with his sexual potency. Bonfire is a woman with fire powers and a skimpy suit. Junior is a teeny tiny guy who maybe has no powers? He's just the size of a mouse. He calls himself "The man of several inches" which is probably a sex joke but not a very good one?

Off-Ramp is a teleporter, Thunderhead has super strength, and Monstergirl turns into a monster. So she's even sexier than I first thought! I'd bang the Loch Ness Monster if it had an ass like that.

Bonfire and Monstergirl rush off to the side to talk about the boys the way all female characters do because that's what females do in real life. At least I think it must be because that's what all female characters do and why would female characters be so different than actual females? That would be incredibly damaging! Just imagine boys growing up reading women written by men if men weren't trying to accurately portray women! Do you realize how that could cause them to objectify women and treat them as lesser beings without any personal agency? I mean if they had any! Obviously they don't because I've been reading women characters written by men my whole life and all they do is talk about what boys they want to smooch. They're so adorable!

The final member of the team: Pierced Erect Nipple Boy!

Frostbite is so gay that Off-Ramp just teleported his dick straight up Frostbite's asshole. Oh yeah, Off-Ramp is gay too, if I remember correctly. I have a terrible memory for comic books but I have a great memory for gay characters due to my letter writing campaigns telling DC Comics they were going to Hell for publishing this filth. "Dear DC," I would say politely before becoming a raving bigot, "I am perplexed as to why you think us macho straight readers would want to read about two gay men doing things to each other that no woman has yet allowed me to do to them. It's terribly upsetting and makes me think being straight is a mistake and a huge waste of my time. Imagine how many times I would have been laid by now if I were gay! Probably a lot because other men are probably a lot like me and want to have sex too with whoever will let them. The trouble is that no women are letting me! Especially the ones I want to let me! And now I have to see Frostbite and Off-Ramp jerking each other off and licking each other's balls and putting things in each other's butts and kissing passionately and falling in love and having a real, intimate connection with another human being. How unfair is that to me, a virgin heterosexual?! Please do not do anymore gay things in your comic book until I have had sex. Although I would not mind seeing Nightwing fuck Deathstork because that would not be gay at all. If it's super hot gay sex, it transcends being gay or straight and becomes gayterosexual. Is that a thing or am I just gay? Please respond!"

After they pick up Frostbite, Monstergirl and Bonfire rush off to prove that they're individuals by engaging in a conversation that doesn't involve which hoobaloo they're going to stick up their thingablob.

Oh wait. Maybe I was thinking of a later scene.

To be fair to whomever it seems I'm not being fair to, Thunderhead and Junior rush off to discuss in which thingablob they're going to stick their hoobaloo.

Hard Drive gets Bonfire alone and uses his psychic powers on her to make her attracted to Thunderhead. It seems ominous, especially since he keeps saying, "For the good of the team," but maybe he's just trying to save her feelings so she doesn't fall for the gay guy. Or maybe he's just afraid if the fire powered woman and the ice powered man have sex, something other than sexual organs is going to explode.

After Hard Drive gives his big speech to rally the troops, he rushes off to fuck Monstergirl.

"Dear DC," my letter began, "I am perplexed as to why you think us virginal comic book readers would want to see two heterosexuals doing things that no woman has yet allowed me to do to them. It's terribly upsetting...".

Young Heroes in Love #1 Rating: A+! Happy Valentines Day!

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Aquaman #2

"To the bone!" might not be the best cover copy on a story entitled "Single Wet Female."

In the letter column of last issue, it was mentioned that this issue was going to have a shocking ending. Hopefully it's something other than "Aquaman loses his hand" because I don't think I can find something I know is coming "shocking." Thanks, cover spoiler!

Anybody else remember Caitlin Ryan? If yes, get her out of your head, you stupid prick! She's my eternal crush!

The big shock ending also isn't that Charybdis's girlfriend is named Scylla because that isn't revealed at the end of the comic book nor is it shocking. That's discovered on page two (page one if you're a twelve year old nerd who has read every book on mythology in their elementary school library so when you saw Charybdis's unnamed girlfriend (or sister? (dammit! Now I'm horny!)) on page one, you think, "Oh yeah. That's totally Scylla." Then you start humming The Police's "Ring Around Your Finger").

The death of Garth isn't the shocking ending either because he's saved from the circling sharks by the hottest silhouette I've ever seen.

The silhouette of the nurse on Seinfeld when George's mother is in the hospital is a close second.

Charybdis has captured Aquaman and Dolphin so he can siphon their psychic powers and grow powerful enough to enact his evil master plan.

He's going to fuck the world!

The shocking ending isn't when Charybdis blows Scylla's brains out because he upset that she left him when she died previous to getting her brains blown out. That's shocking but it happens on page 5 and unless I'm willing to stop reading, that's not the shock ending I was promised and which had better not be Aquaman losing his hand. Also, if you didn't follow the initial sentence, it's because I left out the detail that this current Scylla was an actress being paid to play the part of Charybdis's dead girlfriend (and maybe still sister?).

Meanwhile, the sexy silhouette who Garth idiotically thinks might be Tula because Garth apparently forgot how small Tula's breasts are sends Garth off to Charybdis's headquarters. But then she leaves the story because this is a Comics Code Authority comic book and you can only have so many panels of naked women before a bunch of old prudes start frowning your way. Weirdly enough, you can have as many brains blown out as you can draw and everything will be fine.

If the Comics Code Authority knew I want to have sex with that hole, they'd realize their terrible error in judgment.

Charybdis introduces Aquaman to his new pets, a few piranha. Aquaman, not having seen the cover, doesn't realize what's in store for him. Hopefully what's in store for him isn't on the last page because I'm still relying on a really satisfying shocking ending that hasn't been ruined by the cover.

Garth arrives to steal Charybdis's biggest gun and blow Charybdis's undersea headquarters to smithereens. Everybody escapes the destruction and Aquaman chases Charybdis onto land, through the jungle, and at the edge of a river where Aquaman says the absolutely wrong thing.

Dammit! This would be so much more dramatic if the cover hadn't ruined it! Now it's just lousy dramatic irony!

Anyway, the big shock ending is Aquaman's hand being eaten down to the bone by piranhas. It also might be that the piranhas ate Charybdis as well. But since nobody ever cared about that guy, that can't be the shocking ending. Maybe the shocking part is that Dolphin actually says something.

Aquaman #2 Rating: B. Zero Hour happens after this issue so it's basically a coin flip whether or not these first two issues even matter anymore! I suppose I just decided to believe that Aquaman ceased to exist after Zero Hour and I stopped buying the comic.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Aquaman #1

In 1994, Aquaman was reduced to playing at State Fairs with only 1/3 of his original band.

It's as if the cover artist was only told that Aquaman would have long hair in this series three minutes before the cover was due. Or maybe Aquaman's insane hair is simply there to distract from whatever the fuck is going on with his legs. I know he loses a hand in this series but I didn't know he started off missing his left leg below the terribly misshapen thigh.

Don't look so shocked that I own an Aquaman comic book! Think of it more as owning a Peter David comic book. And even Peter David couldn't keep me reading Aquaman because I only have two issues of this series. Cue King Beauregard linking to Ookla the Mok's song, "Arthur Curry," in the Disqus comment section.

It's seems crazy to me that Aquaman has the worst costume of any major DC hero and yet he doesn't wear his underwear on the outside. Think about how unappealing the 1986 camouflage Aquaman suit must have been if editorial decided to go back to this orange and green eyesore?

If I had been editing this comic book in 1994, I would have put this copy on the cover: "This isn't your father's Aquaman! This Aquaman is your father!" How did "long hair on an old guy with a full beard" translate into "Aquaman is super cool now, kids!"?

I probably should just put this comic book back in its protective casing rather than read it since it's one of the few comic books I own that might be worth something. It's definitely in mint condition (or near mint since, you know, I breathed on it), probably because I never actually read it. I don't know for sure that I read it but it is an Aquaman comic book so Vegas is giving pretty shitty odds on my having read it. Unless I mean good odds? Which odds are good and which odds are bad? I would say shitty odds are things like winning one dollar for every five dollars bet. But that just means the odds of winning are good so that probably means they're good odds, right? So maybe read the opposite of what I wrote in that Vegas odds sentence.

"They" have never had a wet dream, apparently.

That previous caption might sound like I've eaten my own semen while having a wet dream but I totally didn't.

That previous sentence might sound like I'm protesting too much but I don't know what that means and, anyway, you tasted your semen during your wet dream!

Aquaman hopes he's dreaming but he can feel and taste and smell and remember and read, so he's pretty sure he's about to die. The way I know I'm dreaming is that when a dream becomes increasingly uncomfortable or horrific, I often think, "You know what? I bet this is just a dream!" And then I wake up. Which is totally a mistake! I need to train my brain to stop waking up once I realize I'm dreaming and start taking control of the dream. Although I'm not sure how enjoyable a dream would be if I were consciously in control of it. Then it's not a realy dream anymore and it just becomes an IMAX daydream. The great thing about dreams is that they're surprising. It's the only way a person can truly surprise themselves. Hallucinogenics help a bit but you're still in some kind of control. I once thought I invented comic books and that Jupiter was following me around a strip club parking lot while on mushrooms but I've never fucked a vampire as the sun rose and turned her to dust while I orgasmed like I've done in my dreams!

Hey, some of my dreams might be problematic or completely gross but I didn't approve them! Like the one where I murdered the old lady so I could live in her house but I didn't want things to seem too suspicious by covering it up so I just propped her corpse up in the corner of the living room. Or the time a friend made me a personalized flavor of Moon Pie called "Murdered Baby's Soul." Dreams are like presidential campaign ads that don't have the candidate saying, "I approve this ad!", at the end of it.

Aquaman was dreaming. Also, he sleeps in a regular bed with sheets and blankets in a cave under the ocean. I would have had him sleeping in a giant clam shell with a manta ray comforter.

Garth visits Aquaman in his cave which isn't full of water so I guess the bed is forgivable. But it doesn't explain why Aquaman was floating over the bed tangled in his sheets. Maybe that will be explained in the post-Zero Hour continuity.

Aquaman hasn't been seen in weeks and hasn't been answering his JL pager (Ha ha! Old technology! So funny!) so Aqualad has gone looking for him. He finds Aquaman sitting in his own filth and coral. He probably heard one too many jokes about speaking with fish and he's had it with topsiders.

Aquacave?! Guess who has Bat-Penis envy!

Garth was worried about Arthur and has come to help him which is why he begins screaming at him and pushing him around. I know being berated and treated like shit is the only way I've ever gotten any kind of breakthroughs in therapy.

Garth and Arthur get in a fight and the art confirms that the cave is definitely filled with water. So that bed really doesn't make any fucking sense at all. At least it confirms that Aquaman isn't possessed by the devil.

After Garth gets his ass kicked, Aquaman begins to feel better and is ready to go on an adventure with Aqualad. Oh, so that was Aqualad's plan! Smart kid whose willing to take a severe beating from a friend just to put a smile on their face. I never would have thought of that. I would have thought, "My friend is really feeling down! I should be empathetic and compassionate while listening to them vent their problems!" But now Peter David has taught me another way. Punch my depressed friends in the face so that they can have a good time fighting back! This is a game changer!

Aqualad is on a military mission for the United States Government. A nuclear submarine has been sunk and it's lying too low on the ocean's bottom for the military to deal with it. For some reason, they think Aquaman, being the water guy, can handle a submarine leaking radioactive material. I'm just going to assume Superman was still dead at this point and Batman's back was still broken. I don't know why Wonder Woman wouldn't have been tasked for this mission unless it's just because the U.S. military is full of sexist jerks.

Aquaman and Aqualad begin to investigate the ship when they're attacked by Lupo the Butcher.

Does Garth die?! That would make this Aquaman series cool!

Murder Chef was the one who requested Aquaman be sent on this mission. If the military didn't acquiesce, he was going to blow the nuclear submarine apart. I knew it was fucking suspicious that the military asked Aquaman for help! Even Aquaman should have known better!

Aquaman is captured by Murder Chef who introduces himself as Charybdis. He wants Aquaman for his life force or something. Previous to capturing Aquaman, he's been draining Dolphin of her life force. I don't know anything about Dolphin except that she had nice nipples in her Who's Who entry. Let me dig it out and show you.

That diver just came in his scuba suit.

Don't be surprised or creeped out that this fact was lurking in my memory. I grew up in the pre-Internet era! You had to find sexually stimulating material wherever you could! And you were fucking grateful for it! This was as great a find as the succubus or the Type V demon in the D&D Monster Manual. Hell, I even jerked off to the Caryatid Columns in Fiend Folio!

Aquaman #1 Rating: B. I might have given this issue an A+ but Dolphin lacked the visible nipples I'm used to her character exhibiting. But this issue still gets a worthy B because Garth was left bleeding in the ocean while the sharks circled. He's totally going to die, right? Although I never purchased Issue #3 so I'm guessing I was disappointed that Garth didn't die. Still, you'd think Aquaman losing his hand (spoiler for next issue!) would have kept me intrigued. I bet in 1994, I read this series and was all, "Fucking Aquaman! Like anybody actually cares about the environment! Fucking virtue signaler! [Sorry I Coined the Term "Manic Pixie Dream Virtue Signaler" in 1994 by Me] His excess of caring makes me love oil and corporations now! It's his fault I'm such a selfish asshole!" Man, I was pretty cool in 1994. Now I'm almost 100% pure virtue signaler! Oh, Aquaman! I judged thee by my youth alone and could not see past your idiotic power to speak with fish to lay my sight upon the wisdom of your passionate defense of our only world!