Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Cerebus #38 (1982)

This is the High Society movie poster.

If this cover were actually a movie poster, it would need Astoria standing backwards next to Cerebus, her taut ass in full frame as she twists around to look at the camera so that you could also get a glimpse of her tits.

It's time for Petuniacon Day Two! And what better way to start the second day then having Astoria scream at Cerebus to wake up and get dressed. As if she were his mother. Which, seen that way, will really make me uncomfortable in a future issue of Church & State. I don't mean to suggest the scene where Cerebus rapes Astoria didn't make me uncomfortable before. But now I'm going to have to work out a whole bunch of other issues pinging around inside my brain when I get to that point.

On the way to wherever Astoria is leading him, he runs into the two characters whom I've never seen referred to by any kind of nickname. The Frat Friends? The Posh Pals? The Crypto Bros? Cerebus discovers they've both been beaten silly by Elrod in a display of swordsmanship. One claims to have been the top swordsman in his class in a suggestion that Elrod knows his way around a big rusty sword. Cerebus could probably prove that Cerebus is even better but Astoria might scold him to death.

Pretty sure drawing this frog's egg carpet over and over again is what finally forced Dave to hire Gerhard.

Cerebus is late for a Petuniacon panel called, "Us and Them: Eradicating Them." That's one of the favorite panels at CPAC each year. On the panel with him are Lord Julius from Palnu, Elrod from Melvinbone, and K'cor from Imesh. Pretty sure K'cor already eradicated "them" so he'll probably have some pertinent wisdom to lay down. All of the representatives in attendance seem to be in favor of Elrod, along with Lord Julius (of course) and King K'cor.

Cerebus, arriving late to the panel, only manages to sit in on the question and answer section. A scribe for the current Pope records the final question to the panel.

Elrod probably should have chosen an answer that Cerebus can't prove untrue simply by beating him half to death with the sword Jaka brought back.

Later when Cerebus is back at his table drawing sketches of rocks and potato salad for the representatives, he discovers they've all suddenly begun speaking like Elrod. Foghorn Leghorn, that is.

Cerebus was Jim from The Office while Jim was still in diapers.

Cerebus's next panel is called, "Graft—Boon or Blessing?" It's the exact same people who were on the first panel. I don't think there are any other "celebrities" to see at this Petuniacon. It's practically like Comicon in the years before the first X-men film!

Oh man. I'd forgotten this line by K'cor. So good!

I'd forgotten how often I'd use K'cor's hitting the squeaky wheel with a hammer line. I'm pretty sure it was overwritten in my brain by the later line of Elrod's in the "trapped in a closet" issue: "Squeak, I say, squeak!"

The transcripts for this panel are by a scribe taking notes for both Cirin and Astoria. You know. The Mothers and the Daughters.

Cerebus finally gets sick and tired of Astoria's "be calm and collected" political attitude. He's had it up to his pointy bunny ears with Elrod and his "I'm the greatest sword fighter in the world" attitude. He decides, once and for all, to make Elrod prove it in front of all of Elrod's new hangers-on and supporters.

Cerebus could have learned that he's better off doing things his own way at this moment. But he doesn't learn that yet. If ever.

Elrod breathes a sigh of relief when Astoria interrupts his murder and calls Cerebus to heel. She does this by telling him all the perks he'll get as Prime Minister, a position he's got a real chance of winning if he avoids murdering Elrod. Cerebus eventually relents although he still needs to murder somebody so he heads down to the Ram's Lord's Tavern to slaughter some poor people and drunks. See? He's already taking his future position of Prime Minister seriously!

A bunch of letters this month from people who couldn't get enough of soppy Cerebus weeping over a girl. What a bunch of losers!

Cerebus #38 Rating: A. This issue has some really solid jokes and Dave's artistic portrayal of Cerebus somehow keeps getting better and better. I keep thinking Dave's perfected his style and Dave keeps improving. Although Astoria never appears in a bikini which is why I couldn't give this issue an A+.

Saturday, February 19, 2022

Bonus Book! #7 (Justice League International #18) (1988)

"Don't anger the wife" was the top plot point of every sitcom until Seinfeld.

Booster Gold's butt looks super weird on this "cover." That's probably because it was drawn by an amateur artist who has never seen an actual butt before.

The issue begins with a quote from the autobiography of the original Mister Miracle, Thaddeus Brown: "A stable home life is essential for escape artists. It's very hard to concentrate on death-defying feats while you're wondering where you'll hang your hat that evening."

What a fucking stupid quote. It's pure bullshit! I'm not an escape artist myself but I like to think I'm capable of reasoning and simple thought! This is so obviously a crutch by the writer of this story, Mark Askwith, to wedge his theme into the reader's mind immediately. Not that anybody needed this trite short cut! We already knew from that terrible cover, especially since we were reading it in 1988! "Oh ho ho," my sixteen year old self probably chortled when getting to the Bonus Book! cover, "Looks like they made the wife angry! That's sure to cause some hilarious conflict full of nagging and impromptu mothering of the child-like husband!"

Where the hell does this idiot think Barda was raised?! If she could learn to iron since leaving the Female Furies, he can fucking learn too!

Immediately after asking Barda if she'll do the ironing simply because she's a woman, Scott Free makes a joke about Oberon's height. I guess the character portfolio DC gave Mark Askwith on Mister Miracle just read, "He's a royal douchebag."

While Barda and Scott discuss who should be doing what chores, Oberon is goofing around downstairs accidentally arming strange machines left by Thaddeus Brown. The device blows up and completely destroys Scott and Barda's house in a huge display of fireworks that light up the neighborhood with the glowing words, "Mister Miracle." A picture of it makes the front page of the Daily Post which means somebody must have been walking by with their camera as soon as it happened. That might not seem ludicrous now but this was 1988!

Barda, Scott, and Oberon are forced to move into the JLI Embassy until their house can be rebuilt. I think all of the other members of the team already live there because they're bachelors. Also they're not escape artists so they don't have to worry about a stable home life interfering with their day job.

Barda tries to fit in by helping out around the place. She cleans and buys groceries and cooks. But instead of thanking her, everybody just gets annoyed because I guess she should just sit around in filth doing nothing while eating junk food? Damn Barda! Always trying to keep everybody alive and clean! Although, she did eat J'onn's Oreos. On one hand, I get it. Oreo's are delicious! I would eat J'onn's Oreos too! On the other hand, if they were my Oreo's, Barda is a fucking asshole who needs to be stopped!

Batman's solution to get the person actually doing chores and cooking and buying food (meaning Oreo's) out of the house? Rebuild Scott and Barda's house! That'll solve the huge problem of having somebody who actually lifts the slightest finger out of all the lazy assholes' hair!

Things do not progress swiftly with Barda gone because the rest of the JLI are huge fuckups.

I think the joke is supposed to be that even though Barda tries to help, she's a big klutz or is always in the way or something. Like she vacuums but nobody says, "Oh, she's incompetent at vacuuming!" Instead, it's "Oh the vacuum is making the television staticky!" (That's a thing that actually used to happen back before technology got good.) And it's not like, "Oh, thanks for buying all of the groceries, Barda!" because she drops one egg on Beetle's head and it's all, "Why doesn't she stop being helpful, dammit?!" And then she cooks "Beef Flambé" but it's on fire, as per the name, which causes Martian Manhunter to freak the fuck out. It's not like she throws it at him?! Calm down, you pussy! The only real complaint any of them should have is J'onn because she does eat his Oreos.

But see, the joke doesn't work because Barda is actually being quite helpful in all of these situations and it's the guys who just aren't grateful and, actually, are huge assholes about her living with them. So when they're all, "We should be able to build a house without Barda fucking it up," it's not funny at all! I was thinking, "Wait. She would be a big help, wouldn't she?!" But then I went back to scrutinize all the ways in which the story tried to prove she was a klutz and I was left thinking, "This story is terrible at proving she's a klutz!" Anyway, Guy Gardner uses his ring to make the nails and then his ring runs out of charge and the house collapses. I'm pretty sure Barda would have been happy to purchase actual nails and nail them into actual lumber. Fucking assholes.

Bonus Book! #7 Rating: F-. The only good thing about this Bonus Book! is that it gave Mark Pennington his start, I guess? His job before this was thinking up new G.I. Joe's like "Razor Clam" and "Billy Hoodinks." Hmm, I wonder if I could get a job thinking up new G.I. Joes?

Justice League International #18 (1988)

Early Lobo did nothing for my penis.

Just look at how flaccid ensuring early Lobo's look was! Some bro-dude with spiky hair and thick mascara in a cheap faux-leather jacket with a high collar. Where's the big rippling muscled chest? The strong jaw covered in stubble? The tight leather pants with the skull belt buckle? The massive chain wrapped about his arm because you know what they say about a guy with a massive chain? Whew. I'm sweating just describing him! Instead, we've got this normal looking blue dude?! At least this isn't his first appearance where he's wearing a purple and orange leotard.

How the fuck did Lobo ever become so cool?!

I'm sad that I don't have Lobo's first appearance. I didn't read The Omega Men back in the day because it was one of those DC books that proclaimed, "We know this book is super extra expensive but look at our cool innovation we call Baxter paper! So nice! Pay up, dweebs!" Also it was The Omega Men. Who the fuck were they and why should I care about them?!

Comic book fans don't know how tough we had it back in the day. Imagine living in a world where Lobo didn't give you a boner? Terrible times!

Reading the first page, I'm reminded that Scott Free was kidnapped by Lord Manga Khan and taken into deep space which means I absolutely read the Annual at the wrong time. Except that any time you read an Annual, you're reading it at the wrong time because Annuals are simply never worth reading.

Calm down, DeMatteis. This isn't a Vertigo title.

Martian Manhunter, G'nort, Big Barda, and Rocket Red have travelled millions of light years across the universe in pursuit of Scott Free. Which seems like a waste of time, actually. Scott Free is Mister Miracle and the one super power he has is escaping shit. Shouldn't they just be sitting at home enjoying a good book while waiting for him to return? If I were Mister Miracle, I'd be offended and a little bit hurt that they didn't trust me to do the one thing I'm known for.

Barda's lips scream, "Kevin Maguire drew this!"

As a Grandmaster Comic Book Reader, I can analyze art and see the tell-tale signs of the artist who drew it. If it's full lips in this precise shape, it's Kevin Maguire. If it's a woman who looks thirteen years old and is wearing a towel after just getting out of the shower and all the men have fish lips, it's David Finch. If the women have clear skin and the men are covered in hundreds of lines and cross-hatching, it's Jim Lee. If all the characters look vaguely the same but seem to be wearing different wigs, it's Steve Dillon. I can probably recognize more artists than that but I can't give all of my secrets away for free! I could probably charge for a Master Class of this shit!

The Justice League catch up to Lord Manga Khan and The Cluster before The Cluster even arrive at the place which the Justice League catch up to them. There's probably a better way to say that but I'm just trying to get through all of the Mister Miracle was kidnapped stuff so I can get to the Guy Gardner battles Lobo stuff!

Here we are introduced to Lobo being (mostly) pleasant for the last time ever.

In his free time, Lobo hangs out in his space junkyard shirtless admiring his space dolphins. Later he'll also hang out with his space dog and some penguins he picks up on his trip to kill Santa Claus. You might be wondering how he would have gotten penguins from the North Pole, but just remember that most writers at DC (even Scott Snyder whom I thought was competent) constantly get the Arctic and the Antarctic mixed up. But feeling serene and chill can only last so long when you're the greatest intergalactic assassin in the world. Pretty soon you get a call from a potential client and it's back to splattering some weird alien's brains all over the inside of their cockpit.

That bit about being the greatest intergalactic assassin in the "world" was a fucking joke. I felt the need to clarify because some of you Internet nerds were probably really starting to feel smarter than me for a second! Not that you aren't almost certainly smarter than me. But I can't have you feeling that way for all the wrong reasons, like taking a joke literally!

I guess this is as cool as things could be in the 80s without destroying reality.

As you can see, Lobo was suffering a bit of an identity crisis in that he was basically Beetlejuice on a space bike. A pretty lame space bike. Luckily, one of the greatest features of the universe is that things get cooler as they move forward in time. Just imagine how cool teenagers will be in 2100! You teenagers today are such squares!

Lobo accepts the job to kill the Justice League. That means this will be the first job of many which he completely fails at. "Of many" because this story begins a fond tradition over the next few years where writers bring in Lobo to battle the main character of their series to prove that their character can defeat, through brains or brawn, the deadliest threat in the DC Universe. Which means after a few years of Lobo failing to murder anybody, he went from deadliest threat to most incompetent intergalactic assassin. Such a shame!

How did I miss this advert when I was sixteen?! My life could have been so different!

Giffen's layout for the next scene is four clever split screen panels where we see the Justice League saying and doing the exact same thing Lord Manga Khan and L-ron are doing. So J'onn and Lord Manga both say, "They're just sitting there!" And then in the next panel, Barda and L-ron both say, "We should make the first move!" Then in the third panel, J'onn and Manga both say, "No. We wait." And then in the fourth panel, apparently the layout was too clever by far because the letterer puts the quotes on the wrong sides of the panel.

I mean, J'onn is psychic so maybe he read Lord Manga's mind and is all, "See? That Lobo guy is definitely coming!" But then I guess Lord Manga forgot that he just hired Lobo in that scenario?

Lobo lands on the Justice League ship and announces himself with a cheeky little "Greetings from Lobo!" This causes Big Barda to shit her costume because she's the only one who has ever heard of Lobo before. You can't count Lobo's arrival as causing G'nort to shit his pants because he'd already shitted them for other, more varied reasons.

Now I'm wondering what a Martian turd looks like. Probably not too healthy looking judging by all the Oreos and Eskimo Pies he eats.

Okay, so G'nort knows who he is as well. So I guess G'nort shit his pants twice.

If Lobo is Czarnian, why would G'nort tell J'onn what his name means in a Khundian dialect? What does "Lobo" mean in Czarnian?! Probably "wolf."

This is the final paragraph in the Khund entry on the DCfandom wiki:

Khunds have two sexes, and live approximately 70 years, although the reds sometimes live up to 140 years and have an average lifespan of 95 years. They reach sexual maturity between 14 and 16 years of age, and can usually reproduce up to age 50 or so for women and 75 for men. Unlike humans, the males also cease to be capable of reproduction, though at a later age then women.

Why do we need this level of detail on Khund sex, lifespan, and how they reproduce?! Especially when it's basically, "They're sort of like humans, mostly." Does every entry on this fandom end in these kinds of details? Are the DCfandom stans obsessed with how many dicks all the aliens in the DC Universe have and where they put them and up until what age?! Maybe I should join.

Barda decides to let Lobo in through the airlock so that he doesn't smash a hole in the ship. Once he's inside, Lord Manga Khan and the Cluster zip off toward Apokolips to sell Mister Miracle to Darkseid, opening up a whole new world of trade in instruments of torture, fire spewing holes in the ground, and, presumably, body bags.

Lobo dismantles Rocket Red's armor in one off-pane "KRUNCH!" meaning that Rocket Red is now just Dmitri and probably soon to be DOA. But J'onn, the greatest member of the Justice League ever, is there to stop Lobo!

The whole "every drop of blood turns into a new Lobo," while pretty fucking bad ass, would actually be a huge pain in the neck for Lobo himself, I'd wager.

Imagine taking a shit that tears a hemorrhoid and then every single drop of butt blood turns into another you! Fucking hell. And how quickly does it happen? Do they turn into new yous while flushing through the pipes?! And then do your clones' drops of blood turn into more clones?! It seems like a giant headache, having to be careful not to accidentally cut yourself chopping vegetables or else you're suddenly going to have to chop more vegetables to serve the other fifteen people now suddenly living with you.

While J'onn stalls Lobo without drawing any blood, Barda begins tampering with her Mega Rod to make another Boom Tube to randomly teleport Lobo away from them across all time and space. Unluckily for Guy Gardner, that completely random place is going to be Justice League Headquarters, Earth.

Barda's plan works although, if she knows who Lobo is, then she also knows he doesn't give up on a contract. So teleporting him away is just a delaying tactic. Unless she purposefully teleported him to Guy Gardner's location?! I mean, she says that the settings she used teleported him randomly. But given everybody's hatred for Guy Gardner, and given that Barda knows all about Lobo, she must have done it on purpose to make sure he stays out of their hair. Because the only way Lobo doesn't immediately come back to kill them to fulfill his contract is if he finds more Justice League members to kill. That Big Barda is pretty crafty!

Dammit, Oberon! Move your fat head! I'm pretty sure Fire's labia is hanging out!

Fire decides everybody should just chill out for a bit and not worry about League business while the grown-ups are away (J'onn and Barda). She points to Guy Gardner as an example because she and Ice have only known his "One Punch" personality.

Yikes, Oberon. Ixnay on the rainbay amageday!

Guy Gardner isn't brain dead. That's just a clever little joke by Oberon to point out that Guy is actually suffering from some pretty serious brain trauma after Batman punched him and nobody fucking cares because it made Guy nicer. And don't forget that even before Batman's punch, Guy was suffering brain damage from his early career hanging out with Hal Jordan. Which Batman, who knows everything, must have known when he punched Guy in the face. Am I suggesting that Batman knew exactly where to punch Guy to cause more brain damage which would make him nice and polite? Of course I am! Batman is a motherfucking dick.

Just at the moment where Ice is all, "Guy is the sweetest person I've ever known," Lobo teleports into the back of Guy's head, knocking his old regular brain-damaged personality back into him. That means next issue will be the fight of my century! My two favorite characters go toe-to-toe and, if I'm remembering correctly and not mixing up my sixteen year old masturbation fantasies, mouth-to-mouth!

Justice League International #18 Rating: A+. Obviously this issue gets the highest rating because Lobo is in it. No way am I going to disrespect The Main Man! There was also, as you saw on the cover scan, a sixteen-page bonus book by new up-and-coming artists. But what am I?! DC's head of recruitment? I'm going to do their thirty-year old work for them by reviewing some newbies?! Bah. Fuck. I guess I am! Stay tuned for the Bonus Book Review in another blog post!

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Cerebus #37 (1982)

Oh shit. This is the issue where Elrod draws little bunnies, isn't it?!

Not for the first or last time, Dave Sim turns Cerebus into a satirical memoir this issue. It's time for Petuniacon, Iest's political equivalent of Comic-Con. At least how I remember it. Here I go again! Trying to comment on the story by relying on my terrible memory of the previous several times I've read it! I suppose I could have started this review by reviewing Deni's "A Note from the Publisher" but I've grown bored of bashing her editorial for no reason. I'm sure she was doing the best she could with the little time afforded her after all the Cerebus publishing work she had to do. For regular readers, I should probably make clear that that wasn't sarcastic. I'm sure Deni did at least as much as Dave did to make Cerebus an independent comic book sensation. And knowing enough artists myself, I have to believe she did a hell of a lot more than Dave on the business side. Deni was almost certainly the Richard Pini of early Cerebus except without ever getting much of the credit. At least historically. Maybe at the time, it was well known.

I don't know what Astoria is mad about this time.

There are two ways to think about Astoria being mad all of the time and which one you believe it is probably says something about you as a person. You either think she's a bitter nag trying to manipulate and control Cerebus. Or you think she's a frustrated woman in a world where women can't gain any real power so they have to play puppeteer to some aggravating man. And also she's dealing with fucking Cerebus. That jerk's a handful.

Either way though, why's she always so fucking mad?! Oh wait, sorry. I didn't mean to expose myself as the first type of jerk!

Hmm. Maybe both ways of thinking about Astoria are correct. She's a complicated woman! While Cerebus is pretty simple. Astoria nails his entire character here and he can't argue with it. Especially after how he just treated Jaka.

The next morning, Astoria and Cerebus arrive at Petuniacon where everybody is in a tizzy to meet Elrod (and maybe get one of his bunny sketches). Nobody wants to see Cerebus. Probably because they heard how often Cerebus beats the shit out of people who look at him funny or refuse to look at him funny or try to both not look at him funny and look at him funny at the same time so as not to get the shit beaten out of them. Discovering that nobody seems to know where Cerebus is doing his sketches, Astoria storms off to verbally berate the shit out of some of the hotel staff. Is this how Deni and Dave acted at conventions?! Probably. I'm a dim-witted reader so I can't separate the author from the main character and the author's wife from the unbearable shrew.

I don't know why I just called Astoria an unbearable shrew. She's one of my favorite characters! That must have been the character me I was writing saying that and not the actual me.

Bran Mak Mufin stops by to pretend he's a strong advisor who won't kill himself at the slightest hint of the Earth-Pig Born losing all of his power. He plants the seed of running for Prime Minister in Cerebus's fertile power hungry synapse. It's Cerebus's third largest part of his brain after the part that wants to drink alcohol and the part that wants to kill Elrod. Astoria enters the room and Cerebus kicks out Bran because Cerebus is afraid of being scolded by Astoria for having a weird friend.

I'm a little bit disappointed in Astoria for not realizing this before the aardvark-obsessed rube named after a fast food breakfast sandwich.

Astoria was probably too blinded by her need to destroy her ex-husband Lord Julius in political battle to realize Cerebus should have higher aspirations than Ranking Diplomatic Representative of Palnu. But now that her hot little tush is focused on a higher goal . . . I mean her smart and elegant and savvy tush, she's going to make Cerebus a God. Sort of. Eventually.

Cerebus makes a joke about potato salad and then makes a joke about signing his autograph and suddenly he's the hit of Petuniacon! Everybody wants a Cerebus signature. But that's because Elrod hasn't begun sketching his cute little bunnies yet. Bunnies are way better than trees.

Oh whoops! I guess I wasn't supposed to know Astoria had been married to Lord Julius until just now!

Lord Julius hired the artist who painted pornographic pictures of apocalypse beasts fucking to sell sketches with subliminal "Vote for Elrod" messages in them. But it turns out nobody wants to pay for his non-pornographic propaganda when they can get an Elrod bunny for free. Somehow it's Cerebus's fault for sketching that stupid tree when his quill broke.

And that's how it ends. We don't even get to see an appearance by Elrod. I guess it doesn't matter if Cerebus put on a better performance than Elrod with all the political representatives because Astoria is steering their campaign in a new direction.

Cerebus #37 Rating: B. The original Cerebus #37 came with a bunny Elrod rub-on tattoo. Or it should have. Anyway, this was a terrible review/commentary/memoir. Please disregard it. I'm still posting it though or else anybody interested will wonder, "What happened to the review of Cerebus #37?!" And while the obvious answer is "I'm an idiot and a terrible writer is what happened," I'd rather pretend that nobody has come to that conclusion on their own and needed it explained to them.

Saturday, February 12, 2022

Justice League International Annual #2 (1988)

The line Batman won't cross is about to get some more people killed.

That was just a joke! I'm not one of those pseudo-alpha comic book reading cucks who believe Batman would be a better character if he killed people! Although I am one of those knows-I'm-beta-and-not-upset-by-it-at-all alphas who believe Superman should never throw a punch. Why should he?! He's fucking Superman! Didn't his parents teach him to never punch a human because he will not just kill that human but pulverize them into unrecognizability?! Shouldn't that have been a scene in the Chris Reeves' movie? "Son, just remember that if you punch the school bully, your fist will go straight through his face and Ma will be washing brains out of your overalls for the next three weeks. Just let the bully punch you until he's tired and all his fingers are broken and maybe give set the seeds for Leukemia in twenty years by overdosing him with your X-ray vision. What I'm saying, son, is maybe be a bit more subtle?"

I understand why Batman punches bullies nearly to death. Because his father never had a chance to deliver that lesson. He was just all, "Hey, son! This bit where this guy is robbing us at gunpoint reminds me of a lesson I've yet to teach you about systemic bias and generational poverty and violence born out of desperate need. I'll teach you when we get home!" And then Batman spent eight years sitting in an armchair trying to figure out what that lesson might have been when a bat smashed through the window, scared the shit out of him, and he came up with his own lesson: "Criminals are a superstitious lot!" I don't know how he got that message out of the bat. Maybe it was carrying a religious pamphlet.

What I'm trying to say is that The Joker is still alive because too many people believe in the power of redemption. Why else would they just lock him away? If he can't be redeemed and he constantly breaks free from Arkham and his body count is in the six, maybe seven, digits, wouldn't any rational person believe euthanasia was in order? I'm anti-death penalty but, I mean, come on! If Jesus and his disciples had stumbled upon a bunch of Gothamites stoning the fuck out of The Joker, I'm pretty sure he wouldn't have been all, "Hey, you've all been given second and third chances and, hopefully, come out better people, redeemed and more Godly. Maybe stop trying to kill this person and let them have a chance at redemption too?" He probably would have just looked the other way and been all, "No white-faced asshole in a purple suit being murdered by the general populace to see here, guys. Let's go see if I can raise the dead!"

Our Annual begins, as not all annuals do, with Colonel Rumaan (unless it's Rumann? I'm too lazy to turn the page back over) Harjarvti (unless that's also spelled differently. Remember: lazy) is rummaging through what I suspect is Maxwell Lord's exploded office (How? Why? I don't know if I should remember. I really don't where in time this Annual takes place) as The Joker walks in on him.

Oof. In my head, I can hear Michael Kors tearing The Joker a new asshole for this get-up. He'd definitely mention the moose-knuckle.

Luckily all the pseudo-alpha cucks stopped reading this review when I called them pseudo-alpha cucks or else they'd be thinking, "Who the fuck is Michael Kors?!" Okay, so maybe even some of you regular cucks are also thinking that. It can't be helped! Sometimes writers know about things the readers don't (and, quite often, they just pretend to!). Do you think I understood everything I read in Gravity's Rainbow? Oh, you do? Well thank you! That's very flattering!

Rumaan asks The Joker how he knows Bialyan (the language they're speaking! It's entirely made up. Um, like most languages? I meant this language doesn't actually exist) and The Joker replies that it was from night classes in Arkham. His name is The Joker so you can probably assume he's joking and that they don't actually have night classes at the most hardcore insane asylum in the DC Universe. Although now that I say that, I've developed a nagging image of Killer Croc doing pottery. Is that something I once read or am I having a stroke? Is that a symptom of a stroke? Imagining comic book panels? Judging by all of my knowledge of medicine gained by watching House, I have to believe it is.

Rumaan was after Lord's rolodex to discover the people he is close to so that he might learn more about the Justice League. The Joker wants the rolodex to maybe learn Batman's secret identity.

What makes The Joker think he can kill Batman when Batman isn't being Batman?! He's still Batman! He's still going to kick The Joker's ass!

As we have now learned, The Joker is not smart at all. First off, he thinks by catching Batman out of uniform, he'll be able to kill him. I mean, I sort of get this because The Joker must think all of Batman's tricks are in his utility belt and what good will he be in a fight without it? And it's not like Batman would be wearing it secretly under his casual attire, right?! Second off, The Joker doesn't believe in God? In the DC Universe where Gods interfere all the time?! He really is crazy!

Meanwhile, the Justice League is having a barbecue at Scott Free and Barda's place. I think it might just be an excuse to look at Barda's ass.

What is it about Ben-Day dots that make me so horny? Probably because they (and the dark hair (and the ass)) remind me of Veronica from Archie Comics.

Fire and Ice (currently still Green Flame and Ice Maiden) skip the barbecue to audition to be models. On the way out of the JLI door, Fire kisses Oberon on the head and he comes in his pants and passes out.

Bill Willingham doesn't depict the stain on his pants but everything else he depicts point to there being one.

As you can see from the image above, I'm only on page 5. I should probably stop getting distracted by all the moose-knuckle, ass, and orgasms.

Booster Gold and Blue Beetle are checking out the JLI embassy in Paris. I don't Justice League Europe officially begins for another six months or so which means this might be the first mention of it? Again, who knows since I haven't done any research to figure out exactly when the first annual came out. I'm probably reading it a bit late, actually.

Apparently Booster and Beetle have gone broke. I don't think I ever read the standalone Blue Beetle comic book so I don't know what happened with him and his abundance of riches. And while I did read some of Booster Gold's comic book (re-read it fairly recently, even!), I don't remember much of it. But Booster Gold is kind of a dimwit so he probably lost it in a bad investment which he talked Blue Beetle into joining with him. But since they're low on cash, they take up a new job repossessing vehicles from people who have gotten behind in their loan payments. That sounds like a perfect opportunity for Giffen and DeMatteis to drop Repo Man quotes!

There's a scene to remind the reader that Martian Manhunter and Rocket Red are in the League. And then it's back to the best barbecue ever!

Oh yeah! Just look at those thick Ben-Day dots!

Don't get too excited. That "FWOOOP" sound effect wasn't Barda farting. It was Guy Gardner blowing his face off helping Mister Miracle build the grill. The Green Lantern Ring's passive protection ability keeps him from dying while it rebuilds the skin on his head.

I just glanced at the cover again in a moment of total boredom and realized I didn't discuss the whole "Private Lines" thing! Maybe because I don't know much about it. But I think it was DC dipping their toe in the idea of themed Annual events. This one doesn't have all the Annuals tie in with any of the other Annuals but I think more than just Justice League International had a "Private Lives" Annual. Like maybe there was one about Bruce Wayne getting laid on a nightly basis while Alfred lays out condoms for him at breakfast. Or maybe one of Clark Kent trying to perfect his trip and fall move so that nobody would suspect he could be Superman even though he looks exactly like him and is way more muscular than anybody would rightly expect of a huge nerd. This one just shows Fire and Ice trying to model, Booster and Beetle trying to make a little money by moonlighting shit jobs, Guy and Scott doing something around Barda's sweet ass, and J'onn and Dmitri going on a shopping trip in Little Odessa. Obviously none of that is exciting enough for a comic (other than Barda's ass) so while they're all doing these things, The Joker is trying to kill them. Unless it's not The Joker. I mean, he's not really acting like The Joker. He hasn't killed a single henchman in twenty pages! He seems like he might be Batman in disguise trying to pretend he's crazy so that he can catch Rumaan Harjarvti doing some illegal shit on American soil.

But even The Joker isn't enough drama to spice up this Annual. So Booster discovers one of his arch-enemies, The 1000, are behind stealing a Star Labs tank that they're trying to repossess for them.

Ha ha! "Nortorious!" The Letterer fucked up! *sigh* It would be way more fun pointing it out if I bothered to learn the names of any DC letterers.

The riskiest part of Booster and Beetle's repo job is when Beetle uses the word "FLICKS" in comic book dialogue! After managing to not have the ink on the "L" and the "I" bleed together, Beetle and Booster also evade The 1000's guards and The Joker's car bomb.

The Joker finally kills a henchman. That means he either really is The Joker or Batman's lost himself in the disguise.

That's two people who have jizzed their pants this issue.

The Joker kills a second of Harjarvti's men after he fails to shoot Fire in the head while she sucks on a hot dog. Dammit! Now three people have jizzed in their pants!

Luckily I wear plastic underwear since I never know when a kink is going to overwhelm me. Mmm, Brazilians eating hot dogs just before they get shot in the head! Dammit! I should change before continuing.

Okay, where were we? Barda's asshole, I think? Oh no. The Joker was killing people. I think 95% of the time you're interrupted while reading a DC Comic and then go back to it and think, "Where was I?", the answer is "Oh yeah. The Joker was killing people."

The Joker learns about Scott Free and Barda's asshole's picnic so I'm already imagining all the crazy shenanigans that are going to take place! Explosions! Poison gas! Death and mayhem! Ha ha! This comic book is so funny!

Finally, everybody arrives at the barbecue and it's a hoot!

I'm fairly certain Guy Gardner was some kind of all-state quarterback so he definitely meant to hit Oberon in the head. He might be faking nice by this point.

In a few panels, Guy apologizes to Oberon (by name even! He doesn't call him "shorty" or any other insulting thing which half the League wind up doing without thinking anything of it, the bastards!) but Oberon, like me, isn't fooled! Guy did it on purpose!

The Joker shows up, steals the Star Labs tank to blow up the League, and finds himself attack by The 1000. It's the kind of comedy of errors that coined the term "comedy of errors." Unless Shakespeare's play didn't involve a barbecue, a tank, The Joker, and a league of criminal miscreants. I think maybe Shakespeare only had two out four of those in his play.

Barda gets pissed that her sanctuary has been breached by Justice League nonsense and takes things into her own hands the way any self-respecting New God would. Thank goodness! Because that means another shot of her bum!

I'm not worried that all of this obsessing over Barda's ass will paint me as a typical horny comic book loser because how can anybody admit to not appreciating that butt?

Before Barda ends the battle and The Joker surrenders, Beetle puts out an emergency call to Batman on the Justice League beeper. Batman comes driving up, sees The Joker, and says, "I'm not dealing with this today!", and drives off! What the fuck, Batman?! Your team needed your help! Against your most deadly foe! And you just drive off rather than helping?! What a fucking piece of shit. No wonder a large section of "serious-minded" comic book fans hated this run of the Justice League. I'm starting to suspect stupid sixteen year old me was stupid! Although this is an Annual. Who reads Annuals?! If Giffen and DeMatteis want to play The Joker for slapstick laughs, it's not like many people probably even noticed. Which is why DC Comics, the year after "Personal Lives," decided to tie all the Annuals into a larger story. To get more people to actually buy the stupid things!

There's a meme of the animated Joker seemingly wearing kitten-heeled pumps. Well, here's more proof that he loves them high-heeled shoes! And terrible 80s pants. And awful color combinations. And shoulder pads (on a trench?!). Where is Michael Kors when you need him?!

Justice League Annual #2 Rating: Um, I don't rate Annuals! It's a long-standing policy to not rate Annuals! Hell, most of the time, I don't even read the fucking things!

I just checked to see if I rated the first Annual to see if anybody could call me a hypocrite and was pleasantly surprised to see that I basically rated the first one the same way I rated this one. Also I laughed at my caption on the final picture. What a pervert I've always been!

Thursday, February 10, 2022

Cerebus #36 (1982)

The most romantic scene ever filmed through a glory hole.

At the time this issue hit the shelves, readers didn't know a lot about Cerebus's sex life (which, judging by some of his Most Holy choices, was probably a good thing for most of them). We knew that one time he fell in love with a stripper but only while he was drunk on Apricot Brandy. Did they fuck? I don't know! I was too busy thinking about his penis to remember what actually happened. But whatever it was, it was memorable enough for Jaka (probably the penis). Because she's now returned to see what he's up to and admit that she was just pretending to be a Borelean whore to get back at her uncle (maybe she doesn't admit that here (or even know that's what she was doing!)). She uses the pretense of returning some of Cerebus's belongings that he left with her.

Wait. I'm getting ahead of myself because I haven't re-read it yet! Let's do that now, shall we? You are reading along, aren't you?! Did I forget to mention this was one of those read along things? You did get the cassette tape of me reading all the lines in various voices, didn't you?!

Astoria has been causing Cerebus some serious stress lately when all he wants to do is make money and drink alcohol. And right when everything is coming to a head and he's about to face off against Lord Julius in their struggle to maintain influence with the leaders of Iest, Jaka shows up. It's like she knows the exact time to create peak drama! Maybe she's got all of Lord Julius's sensibilities but pulls off her disruptive social tricks via drama instead of whimsy.

I know this is basically the same shot as the cover but I just wanted to write, "Run, Jaka! Run! Get out of this narcissist's life before he uses you as an example of how women manipulate men and ruin their lives when Cerebus actually just proves the opposite! Don't be Dave Sim's pawn! I mean Cerebus's pawn!"

Jaka tells Cerebus he looks wonderful because she's smitten by him and thinks he's a handsome and charming devil. But Cerebus thinks Jaka is complimenting his expensive clothes. Because he sees Jaka as a stereotype rather than an individual. And, like all the other greedy people he's met so far in Iest, he simply believes she's after his money now. And he's prepared to treat her badly because of his assumptions.

Instead of asking about Jaka and her life or why she's here, Cerebus simply tells her what she's going to do because it's what Cerebus wants. He tells her she's going to move in with him. And Astoria.

In the sketch notes, Dave Sim says this issue only has one joke and it's not this part that made me laugh a lot. Am I a sociopath?

Cerebus first makes Jaka sad when he suggests she come live with him and Astoria, implying (rather than inferring which we'll get to!) that she'll be little more than a maid. Cerebus hurts her feelings a second time when he implies dancers are whores. Cerebus hurts Jaka's feelings a third time when he smarmily calls her out on using "inferred" when she meant "implied." Cerebus hurts her feelings a fourth time when he calls her broke. What Dave Sim is showing us is either Cerebus is a huge dick or women are too emotional. I mean, I know which one I inferred but it's hard to not think he was implying the other, after all his back-of-the-comics essays about relationships which will appear much later.

Jaka has recently spent all of her money purchasing, from a salvage merchant, Cerebus's sword which he lost robbing The Cockroach. Cerebus doesn't learn that until she leaves because he's being such a jerk, leaving the package for him to open.

I know what swords often represent so that liquid must represent pre-cum.

Dammit! Now I'm thinking about Cerebus's penis again!

I wonder how many Cerebus fans hate this fucking page that shows Cerebus weeping like a fucking emotional wreck. They probably refer to this panel with the same snide condescension as they refer to the Kevin Smith Batman panel where Batman admits to having peed himself a little bit the first time he used bat-explosives. Other than this moment, does Cerebus ever show any sort of emotion that emanates from something other than pitying himself?! Even this tear, I suppose, could be because Jaka made Cerebus sad and not because Cerebus realizes the emotional weigh of this gift.

Cerebus #36 Rating: A. It's a seminal issue! That's a joke about the pre-cum line!