Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Comic Book Wednesday - June Update


I left my thumb drive at home, so I can’t work on the fifteen different posts I have in progress right now. Thankfully, I do have my backup drive, so I can use one of my old comic book posts and work on a Comic Book Update.
I’d love to do this monthly, but it doesn’t ever seem to happen. I guess that’s fine since I’d really like more than a single issue of a comic to have gone by before I start talking about it. I haven’t taken an inventory lately, so I might very well forget about a title I’m reading. If I do, I’m going to drop it because it obviously isn’t all that great.

            Speaking of dropping things, there are several crossovers that need to be addressed and I am a little surprised at how I feel about them. As of now I am following “Night of the Owls”, “Avengers Versus X-Men”, and “Exiled”; as well as the unofficial crossover running through Animal Man, Swamp Thing, Justice League Dark, and Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E.
All in all this is still a pretty good time to be a comic book fan.
All-STAR WESTERN
This title has truly found it’s pace and become one that I put near the top of my stack. Jonah Hex and Amadeus Arkham continue to have a fun and interesting relationship and their adventures only promise to become crazier as the series goes on. I hope that the main storyline continues to revolve around these two. The backups have been very hit-or-miss, though the current story featuring Nighthawk and Cinnamon is very good. We’ll see how next month’s Bat Lash is.
Side Note: I actually have a little pipe dream about Hex and Arkham. If you read any of the Arkham City Stories from Batman: Arkham City then you know they delved even further into the history of Gotham City than the game itself did. This is something that has been a central plot point of Scott Snyder’s Batman comics for some time now. I would love it if the next Batman game featured flashback gameplay of Jonah Hex similar to Arkham City’s Catwoman stories. It stands to reason that the next game will involve Gotham City itself, seeing as we had more than enough glimpses of the thriving, bustling city in the background of this last game. You could stand on top of a building and watch the rest of Gotham from behind the prison walls.
But anyway, it would be very cool if the next game followed along with the ongoing narrative of the history of Gotham City. I’d love to play as Hex or even Arkham in a wild West Gotham setting.
ANGEL & FAITH
Faith is now on board with Angel trying to resurrect Giles. I thoroughly enjoyed the storyline with a newly-sane Drusilla using a demon to extract people’s feelings. To me it felt like a bit of a statement on the proliferation of mind-altering prescription drugs in today’s society – something I have a bit of a problem with. I think people – doctors and patients – are abusing the shit out of prescription drugs in order to not feel things that we as humans were meant to feel and cope with. I think it is making individuals and society in general weaker and less capable of dealing with day-to-day life. “I don’t want to deal with stress and the consequences of my decisions, so I’m just going to take this little pill/let this demon suck the feelings out of me.”
Of course, Christos Gage may never have intended that, but it’s certainly what I got out of it.
Also, I’m a little disappointed that Juliet Landau’s Drusilla miniseries got indefinitely postponed. I don’t know what happened, but I was curious to read it. Mrs. Troublemaker said that Landau had written one before and it wasn’t very good, though.
I just read the latest issue after I wrote all of that and it’s great. Christos Gage put together another great story – this one a sort of one-off about Giles’ aunts – and Chris Samnee subbed in for Rebekah Isaacs on pencils. It’s a fun read and a good jumping-on point if you aren’t reading this one.
ANIMAL MAN
This book very much has the feel of an ongoing television series. From time to time there is a certain amount of resolution, but the bigger picture is an ongoing narrative. The parallels with this title and Swamp Thing are very well done and I can’t help but feel that once the Rot has been dealt with (however temporarily that may be) the Green and the Red are going to come into conflict and that is going to be some crazy shit.
BATMAN INCORPORATED
Finally, Batman, Inc. has returned to comic book shops. After the excellent Leviathan Strikes!, the first issue of the post-New 52 reboot opens with the most ridiculously bloody opening a mainstream comic book has ever featured, to the point where it is clearly farcical. Batman and Robin are chasing some sort of wacky cult-looking guys and they end up in a slaughterhouse. By the end of the sequence there are hundreds of gallons of blood all over everything and Robin has dubbed a new member of the Bat Family – Batcow. It is another amazing cinematic opening from Grant Morrison and Chris Burnham and it’s followed by a pretty good story that sets up the closing portion of Morrison’s massive story arc. I love Grant Morrison’s Batman.
BATWOMAN
So after whatever happened with Amy Reeder, Trevor McCarthy took over art duties on this title. I was familiar with McCarthy from his work on the excellent Batman: Gates of Gotham and couldn’t wait to see what he did on Batwoman. It’s great. I’m amazed at how different the styles of JH Williams III, Amy Reeder, and Trevor McCarthy are; and yet how well they mesh together and manage to not interrupt the ongoing narrative.
BATMAN: THE BRAVE & THE BOLD
I think the shop might have forgotten they are supposed to be pulling this one.
BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER SEASON 9
I’m feeling a little bewildered again. I wasn’t too sure how I felt about the storyline of Buffy’s consciousness being transferred into the Buffybot. It was funny and it allowed a way out of the storyline of Buffy being pregnant, but it’s starting to feel like it might be another case of the comic overreaching the show’s boundaries, the same way much of Season 8 did. I still feel like the characterizations are good and the overall story of the world being cut off from magic isn’t bad, but we really need to get back to the things that I was enjoying so much at the beginning of Season 9 – demons after Buffy for her college loan, roommate issues; regular things done with a supernatural slant. This robot business is a bit much.
Speaking of a bit much, judging from the cover of the newest Previews we have a Spike miniseries coming soon. Now, I haven’t read the blurb yet but I’m guessing it might be the story of just how the heck he ended up in charge of a spaceship full of alien bugs. While I’m curious about how exactly that happened, I’d almost rather they left it alone. The less said about some of the more sci-fi elements of the Buffy comics, the better.
DANGER GIRL
I thought this was going to be an ongoing series, but it just wrapped up with issue 5. I guess maybe IDW is simply going to continue on with Danger Girl in a miniseries format, which is just fine with me. If they restrict it to times when they have good talent with good ideas rather than trying to force out a monthly series that means the quality should remain as high as it was with this mini – “Revolver”. If you are a fan of the idea of a bunch of characters that look like Disney Princesses shooting stuff and blowing things up you should buy this when they collect it. The story was fun and the art was just beautiful.
DANGER GIRL VS. ARMY OF DARKNESS
Last time I mentioned this one I wrongfully accused my comic shop of not pulling it. Turns out the thing is just terribly irregular, like my Uncle Bob. I’ve enjoyed it thus far, but I’d suggest just waiting for the trade if you’re interested. At this rate they should have the final issue out by 2014, so keep an eye out.
DEMON KNIGHTS
A new story arc starts with the next issue. I’ve been enjoying this one, though I can’t say it’s essential. Even though Madame Xanadu is in this title and Justice League Dark, there has been no crossover or referencing between the books.
FRANKENSTEIN: AGENT OF S.H.A.D.E.
The last issue tied directly into the events of Animal Man. Frank and company traveled to where Buddy’s wife and son were confronted by an infected agent of the Rot. I don’t want to spoil anything, but the shit really hit the fan. I am very excited at the prospect of these Vertigo-esque titles sharing a close continuity and it was so cool to see the events of this issue unfold and to know the history.
GI JOE
The aftermath of the world-changing events of “COBRA Civil War” and “COBRA Command” – the storylines that ran through all of IDW’s GI Joe titles – continue to be explored in the various titles. It looks like they are going to be diverging into their own separate but related narratives once again rather than being chapters of a single story. COBRA and GI Joe appear to be continuing on unchanged, but Snake Eyes is now Snake Eyes & Storm Shadow, due to the pair teaming up to take down COBRA High Command. I like the way this situation came to be and this was probably the smoothest and most logical turning of both ninjas we have ever seen. No Brain Wave Scanners or hypnosis involved – just good, old-fashioned revenge as a motivation for the team-up. Kudos to IDW and the various creative teams on these titles for reinvigorating a franchise and telling stories that are familiar and yet entirely fresh with characters that are the same.
GI JOE: A REAL AMERICAN HERO
I dropped this title. For one issue. I didn’t care for the whole Blue Ninja thing. But then I read the Annual and it was pretty awesome. I thought about all of the ridiculous concepts that GI Joe has presented over the years and decided that cyborg ninjas wasn’t that bad. Also, I really missed reading the book. It’s fun, it’s innocent, and once a month it gives me a thrill to read something that I know eleven-year-old me would be loving.
GREEN LANTERN
The pacing is starting to slow down here a bit. I believe the last five or so issues have been promising “The Secret of the Indigo Tribe REVEALED!”. Granted, they did finally reveal the secret, but it was almost kind of a let-down. I won’t spoil it here.
HINT: It has to do with the Green Lantern Corps. Because fucking everything in Geoff Johns’ GL world does. There’s no such thing as an alien threat anymore. Everything goes back to the Guardians.
HACK/SLASH
There has been an arc going on pretty much since Image relaunched this as a monthly series. I like the arc for the most part, but the Samhain stuff got old for me. That’s done now and I think we can move on to finding out what the heck is up with Vlad. I’m still enjoying the book and I love Daniel Leister’s art.
INVINCIBLE IRON MAN
(I was going to put Marvel's trailer for the series up there, but there was an ad in front of the video. I will not post something that is an ad before an ad)
I like this extremely slow-moving story an awful lot, but if the thing on the last panel of the last issue I read is for-real the new Iron Man suit I hate it.
JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK
This book has been a struggle for me. I like all of the characters involved and there have been moments of brilliance, but overall Peter Milligan’s writing has been just a bit too weird and non-linear for me. Or something. I don’t know quite how to describe it, but every issue of this comic has left me feeling like I was missing something. I hung in there, constantly hoping the day would come where I could go, “OH! I get it,” and it never did. But as of next month (I think), Jeff Lemire is taking over writing duties and I am very excited about that. I think he will be able to maintain the book’s weird tone while giving it a cohesiveness that Milligan never could.
Okay, so now I have read LeMire’s first issue and it is, indeed, fantastic and weird and cohesive. I don’t want to shit on Milligan’s work because it had value, but LeMire’s Justice League Dark is just a much better book. The title has essentially reset without discounting any of what we have already seen. I strongly recommend you pick up issue 9 and see what you think.
PUNISHER
So very good. The Punisher actually took on a protégé of sorts, only to have her turn on him. Can’t wait to see how this turns out.
SAGA
All around brilliance. And the last issue featured a panel which reminded me so very much of Berke Breathed’s work it was almost painful:
I guess because his art form is mostly lost now. Yeah, there are webcomics, but those aren’t special and surprising in the way that the newspaper strips could be when they were at their best. The internet is quite literally unlimited – finding quirky, clever things there is nothing. But finding something like Bloom County or Outland in something as pedestrian as a newspaper showed you that there was a certain amount of magic in the real world. That special things could still have their own place amongst the stock market reports, the ads for sales on electronics, and the stories of rampant crime.
I guess that one panel by Ms. Staples reminded me that we are losing more of that magic and that innocent wonder every day; largely thanks to said internet.
Sorry – you should really read Saga. I think most people won’t be bummed out that it is so wonderful.
SHADE
As the twelfth and final installment approaches I find myself getting more bummed out with every issue. Yes, all of my comics make me sad. Maybe I should try some Abilify.
Kidding. Anyway, Shade is one of those series that makes you feel like a fancy pants for reading it. The art is so beautiful (currently by Jill Thompson) and the story is so fascinating. It’s complex and easy to understand at the same time. I can’t wait to read more of James Robinson’s work if it is all like this. Very much like Neil Gaiman’s Sandman, this is classy, intelligent stuff that even an ignoramus like me can understand.
STAR WARS: BOBA FETT IS DEAD
Well of course he’s not really dead (I think). But it’s going to be an interesting ride to find out the hows and whys. Also, this continues the story from Blood Ties, in case you read that one. If you didn’t you should because it was very good.
SUICIDE SQUAD
Good stuff. I feel like Deadshot is being characterized well and Adam Glass is successfully developing the other characters that I was previously unfamiliar with. I still think Amanda Waller should be fat, though.
SUPERMAN FAMILY
I picked this up for Lil’ Troublemaker because I always heard so many good things about Art Baltazar’s Tiny Titans. We read it together the other night and I have to say I didn’t like it at all. And it’s not because it’s a kid’s comic. We read Spongebob (which I find much more tolerable than the show) and Brave & The Bold and those read fine. We read children’s books all the time. This comic just didn’t work for either of us. The writing was not clever or cute in any way and the art was just kind of poor. I’ll be dropping this one.
SWAMP THING
Swamp Thing is still my favorite book out of the New 52. 
UNCANNY X-FORCE
So Psylocke has left, Fantomex is gone, and the whole team is pretty disillusioned. Except for Deadpool, who is just deranged, but who has also lost his healing factor. If you don’t buy any of the other titles I recommend you should buy this one. Uncanny X-Force is the very best comic I read by a long shot.
VENOM
Flash is in deep shit. I am loving this book in a way that I do not usually enjoy the type of books where horrible things keep happening to the main character.
WALKING DEAD
No spoilers here, but holy shit The Walking Dead #98 – you are a jerk. This is a great comic and everybody should be reading it. If you have watched the show and don’t like it, don’t let that put you off the comic. The comic is much better.
WONDER WOMAN
I can’t wait to see what Diana has in store for Hades. The last issue really left me feeling that she is not the helpless victim that the last couple of issues have painted her to be. I’m not very happy that Cliff Chiang is apparently done with the book. The new artist is just not at the same level, though he seems to be trying to ape Chiang’s style.
X-FACTOR
The dynamic with Havok and Polaris and Madrox is great. I’m really enjoying seeing the new team operate. Peter David is a master of keeping things fresh and providing just enough slow, permanent change.


CROSSOVER O-RAMA!


AVENGERS VERSUS X-MEN
I am loving this crossover for the most part. It feels like Marvel’s Mutants are truly being considered a major portion of the Marvel Universe. Another impressive thing is how well defined every character’s role is. They have managed to make Wolverine the most sensible character in the entire story and further reinforce his role in Wolverine and the X-Men.
Granted, I still don’t understand exactly why Cyclops thinks the Phoenix Force is going to save all of mutantkind when all it has ever done is destroy; but I’ll go with it.
Main Title – This one is great. I was annoyed at all of the Bendis-esque dialogue in #1, but subsequent issues have been written by Jason Aaron, Ed Brubaker, and Matt Fraction, much to my enjoyment. This covers all of the central events of the story. If you just want to know what’s going on, this will do it, but I do heartily endorse some of the tie-ins.
Also, the use of the Marvel-Vision app (or whatever it is called) is brilliant.
AVX – Okay, this is not for everybody. It’s big, stupid fun that’s all about two comic book characters beating the snot out of each other, Marvel vs. Capcom style. Each issue features two match-ups of punching, smack-talking action. I personally love it and appreciate that it brings a bit of levity to the goings-on of the overall story.
Avengers – This is the title that covers the main portion of the Avengers’ side of the conflict. It’s pretty good at showing the interactions of the teams and the members and Bendis seems to be trying to not make everybody talk like Spider-Man. This one is pretty much essential.
Avengers Academy – I hadn’t read this title before AvX, but I was able to pick up the gist easily enough. There is a group of young, powered individuals that are under the supervision and instruction of the Avengers. They obviously have no place in the middle of the conflict, so they are taken to the Jean Grey School of Higher Learning since that is under Wolverine’s supervision and is neutral to the conflict. Or at least, that was the idea. When the school’s mutants come into contact with the Avengers’ young charges things naturally get complicated. This book isn’t essential, but it is great.
New Avengers – This one is really weird and out there, but is well worth reading. It deals with the fact that one of the old Iron Fists (I didn’t even know that Iron Fist was a legacy character) had been specially groomed to host the Phoenix Force. It also ties in a bit with Jonathan Hickman’s amazing but way-over-my-head S.H.I.E.L.D. miniseries.
Secret Avengers – The first issue that tied in with the story was cool – dealing with a team of Avengers being sent out into space to confront the Phoenix Force head-on before it got to Earth. Thor, Beast, Captain Britain, Valkyrie, Noh-Varr (I think – I don’t know who the heck this guy is) and some others do their best to slow down the cosmic entity. But now they’re dealing with some story on the Kree homeworld that I don’t get at all. Captain Mar-Vell is back from the dead and doing something-or-other. I’m so lost I feel like I missed an issue, but I didn’t. I would say go ahead and skip this one if you’re not already buying it.
Uncanny X-Men – This book features the X-Men’s side of the story. It is excellent and even though I don’t quite get Cyclops’ point of view, I empathize with what he is trying to accomplish and what his team is up against. This is a must-read.
Wolverine and the X-Men – This one deals with how the mutants at the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning are dealing with the conflict. Being young, they want to be involved with what their elders are dealing with, but Wolverine and the staff have decreed that they must not. At least, until a Death Squad is sent looking for Hope and the Avengers show up to make trouble… This is a great book that I was already reading, but it is not essential for your enjoyment of the main storyline.
X-Men: Legacy – This is my favorite book of the entire crossover and a lot of it has to do with Rogue. She’s long been my favorite X-Men character and is the focal point of this title. She has been left in charge of the Jean Grey School when a team of Avengers show up to “make sure they stay out of the action”. As you might guess things get hot and the shit hits the fan. Rogue does what she has to do. Again, this is not essential, but it is great.

Overall I am enjoying “Avengers Versus X-Men” and I’m glad I told the shop to pull all of the involved titles. They aren’t all winners, but there are a couple like X-Men: Legacy that I wouldn’t have bought on my own.

NIGHT OF THE OWLS
Man, I was so excited about the payoff to Scott Snyder’s master plan for Gotham City. I expected intrigue, dark secrets, and a classic moment where the Dark Knight would turn the tables on his seemingly unbeatable foes – the Council of Owls. I thought we would be getting a narrative with twists, turns, and surprises that would be remembered for years to come.
Instead, we’ve gotten a massive, multi-title crossover that basically amounts to the same thing as AVX, except the fights take twenty pages and everybody is fighting basically the same bad guy.
Batgirl – I stopped buying Batgirl a few issues ago because I could not stand the way Gail Simone was writing Barbara Gordon. I picked this one up just because and I’m actually glad I did. It’s not a bad read and I enjoyed seeing a more competent and confident Batgirl fighting one of the Talons. The Talon backstory in this one is pretty neat and the resolution is interesting. I’ll stick around and give the title another chance when this Owl business is done.
Batman – Herein lies the main portion of the story – Bruce Wayne dealing with the Talons and developing a plan of attack against the Court of Owls. This is the best of the books, and I actually recommend you read it. It has the most consistency with what I perceive to be the tenets of the storyline. Nothing in this book will make you think, “This is stupid and doesn’t make any sense.”
Batman Annual – I read this a few days ago and I still don’t know how I feel about it. They have either revolutionized or ruined the character of Mr. Freeze, who until this issue was one of my favorite of Batman’s villains. The story itself is actually very good and the way that Freeze is tied in with Night of the Owls is cool (HA), but the effect it has on the character of Victor Fries has yet to be determined. I think they have reduced him to being just another Gotham City nutjob, but some Facebook folks feel that I am wrong:
And yeah, his new costume and haircut are retarded.
Batman: The Dark Knight – Skip it. This just rehashes Talon backstory already covered in other books. It’s a complete waste of time. It’s almost like they just spliced material from other books together and called it an issue. I hadn’t planned on buying this, but the shop stuck it in my box so I did. I wish I hadn’t.
Batman and Robin – This book continues to be great. The last issue features Robin versus a Talon and it’s pretty great. Seeing Damian take control of an Army unit was hilarious.
Catwoman – This was actually a pretty good story, but to me it totally undermined the seriousness of the threat that the Talons are supposed to represent. Honestly, all of the books have been doing that; this was just the one that made me realize it.
Here’s my problem – the Talons are so dangerous, so deadly, that just one of them not only almost kills Batman; but almost succeeds in driving him totally insane. This last was demonstrated by Greg Capullo doing his best Sam Keith impersonation.
But now all of Batman’s buddies are just kicking the Talons’ asses all over Gotham. Even Catwoman, her new electric boy toy, and fucking Penguin manage to defeat one. Penguin. Somebody defended that by saying that it took all three of them. Did you see the names I just mentioned? Come on. And then you start to think about the fact that Batgirl survived one. Robin beat one. Nightwing beat one. I bet Alfred took a couple out after he escaped from the Batcave Panic Room. Think about this – Talons infiltrated the Batcave, forcing Batman to retreat and hide in a Panic Room. Then he had to put on this gigantic Bat-mech suit just to survive long enough for Alfred to drop the temperature in the Batcave to eighty below zero or something and freeze the solution in the Talon’s blood that makes them so darn hard to beat. Batman not only did not defeat those Talons, he almost didn’t live.
And now Penguin’s shooting one dead. This is my problem, and one that is common across all forms of media – a threat is presented as nigh-unbeatable and then is just sort of de-powered for the sake of the story.
Nightwing – I think I might kind of hate what’s going on I here. I’m not sure. It turns out Haly’s Circus – where Dick Grayson was raised – has been the training ground for the Talons for decades. They train these kids and if they’re good enough they get recruited by the Council of Owls to be their assassins. Dick was next in line, but Bruce Wayne’s presence at his parents’ death screwed that up so another kid from Haly’s was recruited. But Dick never really seemed to be fit the Talon profile anyway, hence he was referred to as the “Gray Son”. Groan.

I really do not want to criticize Scott Snyder’s masterpiece, but it just isn’t really working for me. There are parts that are really cool, and there are parts that feel like they are trying too hard to explain things that do not need explaining. And the Council of Owls itself seems like too vague and removed a threat. We need some more characterization of these people. I understand that they are anonymous, but that actually makes the stakes seem a little bit less real. I’m sticking with this and am very curious to see how it wraps up, but I think involving so many of the Bat books was a bad move. It has diluted what otherwise might have been a very strong story.

EXILED
This one kind of snuck up on me. New Mutants has already covered a lot of theological/mythological ground, but I wasn’t ready for a direct crossover with any Asgardian books.
The deal is that the New Mutants’ neighbor across the street is actually a lost Asgardian hero in disguise, hiding from some particularly nasty evil beings. Of course said beings are unleashed upon the world and the Asgardian in hiding uses a spell to change everything.
The story starts with Exiled #1 and runs through New Mutants and Journey Into Mystery in five chapters. The narrative goes straight through each title, so there’s not really any skipping anything. I am thoroughly enjoying this. You might as well, depending on how much you like Mutants and mythology and seeing the two intersect. I recommend it.



OTHER COMIC BOOK STUFF
GAY GREEN LANTERN
Let me be absolutely clear here and say that I do not care what anybody else likes doing with their genitals. If you are a lady who likes other ladies, that is fine. If you are a dude who likes dudes, that’s fine. If you are a dude who claims to like both I think you’re lying to yourself, but whatever. Good for you.
Also, DC Comics released that picture of flaming Alan Scott to accompany their blog post about his sexual orientation. That was not my choice. Though I did find it fucking hilarious. 
I also do not care that Alan Scott is gay now. Whatever. Gay comic book characters are not new or particularly newsworthy, despite what DC Comics and the mainstream media would have you believe. Batwoman has been around for years and Northstar came out of the closet long before that. And what about Midnighter and Apollo? DC Comics is not rewriting the character of Alan Scott for narrative purposes, or to promote awareness, or even just to be interesting. They are doing it to cash in on the current mood of the nation – the President Obama-approved “Everybody Has To Love The Gays” movement.
If you think that sounds bigoted of me or prejudiced or whatever, then you can just fuck off because you are part of the problem. This whole media phenomenon is objectifying homosexuals in the worst way possible. Rather than treating these folks just like everybody else, they are being treated like some sort of freakish occurrence that has to be coddled and supported like a mentally disabled child. Some people don’t like homosexuals. Whatever. Nothing the media and the President do is going to change anything about how bigots feel except to make them feel more justified about their feelings. And quite frankly, the general attitude of “You must accept these people” puts me off. I have known gay people all of my life. I had a friend in Middle School that was gay and he had a rough time. But he never wanted any kind of special acknowledgement or attention. Most of the homosexuals I’ve known in my life just want to do their thing. They don’t want anybody fighting for their right to fuck in public or whatever the next step in this ultra-pro-gay campaign is going to be. People are born homosexual. But this atmosphere makes it seem like these folks have made some kind of huge choice or sacrifice that we should all applaud them for. That’s absurd.
This guy I worked with at a music store once told me he was so fucking sick of having to talk about how gay he was all the time. There was this pressure to be the gayest gay he could be. He didn’t want to lisp or wear flashy shit or any of that. He just loved dudes. It was his inclination. He’d never felt any other way. But there was this forced pageantry to it that made it even harder than it should have been.
Think about this – wouldn’t it be nice to live in a world where nobody gave a shit if anybody was gay? Shouldn’t that be the goal?
Sorry, I didn’t mean to get up on a soapbox but I am just sick and tired of the fucking circus that has been created around people’s sexual inclinations. I don’t even think that’s really appropriate for public discussion, so you can tell what an old fogey I am.
Anyway, Alan Scott can be gay all he wants. I don’t give a shit and neither should you.

Batman: Arkham City – Harley’s Revenge
Arkham City is one of the best video games I have ever played in my life. It drove me to complete every (in-game) objective. Even after I beat Riddler I felt compelled to go back and find every single one of that green bastard’s trophies (now they’re even releasing prop replicas of those damned things and you had better believe I want one). I am now in the process of trying to complete the irritatingly difficult VR Challenges and Physical feats (or whatever). I managed to glide 150 meters without using the Grapnel Boost the other night, but I can’t seem to glide 30 meters 5 meters above the water at all.
And just so you know, I don’t give a crap about the other Riddler Challenge stuff – the ones where enemies swarm you. Being swarmed in combat is the least fun part of Arkham City and I am certainly not going to do it when I don’t have to. I did do the Batcave Challenge just to do it, though.
Back to my main point, the first real expansion (aside from the Catwoman stuff that was available upon release) for the game came out the other day and I downloaded it immediately. I hadn’t followed it too closely and had no real idea what was in it other than Harley in a different outfit.
It turns out there are a few cool, new things in this expansion. First, you actually get to play as Robin. That’s pretty great, because quite frankly I saw the Robin and Nightwing downloads as a waste of money. If I can’t play them in the actual game I don’t give shit. So now you can play as Robin and he’s pretty fun. And there is an actual new story. It’s good, so I won’t spoil it; and it also implies that future chapters will be coming. Hopefully more Nightwing.
I totally felt this was worth my ten bucks, though I did complete the story in under a couple of hours. I do need to go back and pop some more Harley balloons, though.

P.S. - Every time I do one of these updates it gets harder to navigate the various publishers' sites. I go there for pictures because I figure they're not going to protest somebody using their images to promote their products. But their sites are ridiculously cluttered and difficult. It's hard to browse past issues and some sites - like IDW and Image - almost seem like they haven't been updated in the past 15 years. It's depressing. DC's is typically the easiest, but it has been updated and is no longer quite as simple to navigate.

-Phantom

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