Monday, April 26, 2010

JLA: Act of God Part 2

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Our heroes - a bunch of whiney, self-centered jerks who prefer to philosophize pretentiously instead of doing something.



89 comments:

Mountain King said...

Alright lets deal with what made me spit my tea all over the keyboard. Twat (pronounced T-W-AT) means three things. First is "vagina", second is to beat mercilessly (guess the link there...) and third is "useless". Given you're opinion on women, which I agree with by the way,, that is not the sort of thing I expected. The word, I think, you wanted was "twit" (T-W-IT) meaning "brainless".

For that I agree whole heartily. Who ever wrote this Elseworlds should be locked up in a box with a court injunction not to be allowed within five miles of a word processor. It is remarkable that the DC editors let this through. Then again if the concept of quality control was to be applied to comics we would save a rain forest worth of paper a year!

This is the most idiotic, mindless, ignorant, pig headed waste of established comic book characters since Frank Miller's film The Spirit.

The only good thing to come from this is your review. Which, as ever, is funny, creative and informative in equal measure. I've already read a synopsis of this story online and after smashing my head against my desk, repeatedly, I can happily say I've erased it from my mind. so I look forward to the surprises in store. The same way I look forward to having my face smashed in one day by a drug crazed loon. Other wise known as, not so much.

The only thing that could make it bearable is you're commentary so thanks for that, otherwise I might have to kill someone... Anyone know the writers (and I use that term loosely) address?

Thomas
AKA Mountain King

PS, Hope your still watching Doctor Who, we're a couple of weeks ahead of you for a change and now that it's found it's pace things are beginning to get interesting!

Sean D. said...

What. No. NO.

There were parts of this comic where I literally could not believe it. This is not some elaborate ruse, is it? This thing REALLY exists?

You are a brave man, Linkara. A brave, brave man.

Mags said...

Lol, you kinda mispronounced "twat" there. Then again for all I know, that might of been done on purpose. XD

And great, now I have that song stuck in my head. I'm gonna be humming and dancing to it for some time...

The Vigilante said...

Absolutely hilarious, Lewis! The Continuity Alarm jumping ship was a particularly good touch. I imagine you'll get some flack from people about the Kill Bill bit being crap, but hey, what are you gonna do? Looking forward to part 3!

(Also, FYI, the song is just called "Crawling". The "in my skin" bit isn't part of the title. Still, though, good use of the song.)

bojak90 said...

Despite the numerous acts of stupididty and discontinuity, I only have one thing to say:

"TAKE OFF YOUR COSTUME AND WASH IT KYLE!" (thing must be adhered to his skin by now and the smell must be something awful).

Also, your forcefield comment is spot on, I mean, Booster would sometimes even taunt opponents with the thing (Suicide Squad vs. JLI had a great moment with this). Also, selling tech at a high price to your friends so they still keep the world safe is amazingly evil of Booster and Ted.

Dodger Of Zion said...

I was expecting a "We should do something!" "Should we do something?" to pop up at any time, but obviously you weren't in a well-visiting mood, which is okay by me.

Linkin Park...wow, my high school days are coming back to me with a WHACK!

I think my brain BSoDed on me when you used the T word...had to rewind and hear it again to be sure.

I always thought Batman was virtually Mary Sueification proof...but this promoted fanboy is starting to chisel away at that theory.

This is just what I needed before heading off to my father's for dinner, thank you Lewis. By the by, him and I are watching some MST3K together tonight for the first time as father and daughter. Thanks to you, sir, a new MSTie is born!

*gets ready for part III*

Emi said...

1) Superman going all emo-whiny--DOES NOT COMPUTE. Who does he think he is, Superbitch-Prime? XD

2) I still wish that someone had thought to use the frickin' Spectre in this. Why not just bust him out and say "LOOK, THE SPECTRE DID IT, WRATH OF GOD," or whatever. It still wouldn't have made a whole lot of sense, but at least there would've been an explanation of some sort, and I could think of ways for the heroes to react and resume their heroic acts instead of going about being emo and whiny. If I had written this, there would've been Crowning Moments of Awesome all around, powers or no powers. And you know, I just cobbled that idea together in under two minutes. I could just picture a ton of different ways that this could have actually been an interesting story, and I'm not even a professional writer.

3) Ha! Even the Continuity Alarm can't take it. That's pretty bad. XD

4) Billy Batson's always been awesome, though. XP That's why he's coping so well--he's a fun little kid, but he's hardcore, too. (I love the Marvel Family.)

5) I would love to go to a Superman poetry slam. XD Or--oh, god, could you imagine the poetry that Batman probably comes up with?

6) I wondered who the dude with the paint on his face was. I suppose I've got some catching up to do in terms of Guy Gardner's history.

7) I like Booster, and I'm always kind of sad when people just go "Oh, he's just a money/glory-hound." He's so much cooler than that. D:<

8) Okay, maybe if I squint really hard and tilt my head so the picture's all sideways and weird, I could see Booster wanting to profit off of this... but TED?!

9) This comic skips all around. It's annoying. PACING!! LET STUFF HAPPEN! Jeez, and I thought I was bad with pacing stories right…

10) *facepalms @ all this babble about “arrogance”* I’m with Inigo Montoya on this one.

11) Doctor Who! He’s got the cure for what ails ya. XD

12) …What the hell is up with the Watchtower meeting? The dialogue is weird as hell and doesn’t make a hell of a lot of sense. And that alcoholism metaphor/simile/analogy/whatever-the-hell-they-were-going-for is just… bizarre.

13) Boy, it’d be nice if we knew what happened in the intervening six months. …no, wait, I take that back. I don’t think they’d be able to make it interesting. Maybe these time-skips are for the best, as it hurries this crap along.

14) The Flash always struck me as the type who wouldn’t bitch and moan like this if he lost his powers. I could picture him being a bit miffed at first, but I imagine he’d at least try to press on and cheer people up a little.

15) Um, what the hell is J’onn wearing? Is that a dashiki? XD

16) Kyle’s costume has got to be awful smelly by now.

17) Remember kids, running around beating the shit out of criminals is okay, as long as you don’t use superstrength or laser vision to do it. BATMAN SEZ.

18) Does Ray Palmer ever, like, DO anything? Besides endlessly get into trouble?

19) If Wonder Woman had to lose her powers and get a normal job, I would’ve liked to see her become a Peace Corps volunteer or a nurse or something like that. Never a frickin’ STOCK TRADER.

20) Oh god. This week was bad--and next week will be worse--I can’t even picture it. @_@

Great job as usual! Keep up the good work! :D

(P.S. My verification text was "For Nella." I thought this was hilarious. FOR NELLA! AND HER PONIES!)

OMFG BEES said...

Awesome review as always, Mr. Linkara. One thing though, the song at the end is just called 'Crawling'. Keep up the good work! Can't wait for part three~

Alex Stritar said...

Wow, so that's what this is, a love letter to Batman. I mean we all do know he's awesome, but do you really have to make every an entire elseworld tale just to prove that?

So that's the problem, he doesn't understand most of these characters. That does tend to be problematic. For an elseworld tale like this, you'd probably have to have an understanding of nearly every hero in the DC universe, especially the big ones like Superman or Wonder Woman.

Wow, I can't believe how much of an a-hole they made Booster. I know he isn't the apidentney of altruism, but I don't think he's that monney hungry.

Also, he's from the future, how come he didn't warn anyone about this. He was a history major before being kicked out of Gotham U and worked as a security gaurd at a musium with an entire wing for the superheroes (which defently have at the very least newspaper clippings about the blacklight event and probably what the future scientist's most likly theory for what caused it). Was there any explenation of wether he was aware of this coming or not?

Assmaster 3000 said...

=( No "previously on" segment with a bunch of random madness, I love those =D
Anywho, the episode was still great, and good GOD did that guy not know how to write Superman... This coming from a guy who's never actually read a DC comic book (Due to the fact that they're mostly unavailable in Sweden)or even seen the movie, I still seem to know more about the character based on what I've read on Wikipedia. Anyways, awesome review, keep up the good work and I'm looking forward to the next part =D

Matthew said...

So, you are telling me that Ray "The Atom" Palmer is not tech based, but Cyborg Superman is a tech based Supervillian.

No! No! No! No! And to add insult to injury, the Cyborg Superman didn't even have little jets of fire coming from his feet. Honestly, he is part Kryptonian: ergo, he shouldn't be able to fly without some sort of boosters unless he still has the Superman powers. Otherwise, all he can do is basically upload viruses to the internet and take over any technology for his own needs. Then again, that would be a power, and it shouldn't work. Okay, he should just be a stiff then.

Anyhow, Doug Moench was an okay Batman writer. I have some of his Batman books, but for the life of me, all that I recall that he ever did was the issues after Zero Hero where Batman was a myth and Joe Chill was not the killer of the Waynes. As I recall that was an editorial decision, but still he isn't in my favorite pile of writers.

And honestly considering that he wrote Arion Lord of Atlantis for a couple of issues, you'd think that he would talk about the place considering Aquaman is there. Even a shout out from Power Girl who at this point was till probably in the Atlantian origin.

And the travesty that is Superman continues. If only he asked Cyborg Superman the secret to keeping Kryptonian Superpower instead of watching television and poetry slams. Oh well at least Superboy Prime is no longer the whiniest Kryptonian across the multiverse.

Anonymous said...

Waaaaaaaaaahhhhhhttttttt. Batman hates guns???. well i dint know that (sarcasm). Great review linkara can't wait for next week!!

Grant said...

Oy, the awefulness continues, and with it, the inconsistencies. I count Doctor Light and Doctor Polaris among the group of villains, and while they originally made use of advance technology in their first appearances, weren't their powers internalized over time? Or made supernatural by Neron? Maybe it's not the biggest here, but still.

Also, yeah, I want to punch both this comic and Doug in the face for the break-up between Superman and Lois, and the later Superman/Wonder Woman pairing in the story. Yes, it's been done before in stories like Kingdom Come, and has been entertained in previous story lines in-canon, but the difference is, THOSE DIDN'T SUCK!

And the "implied" social commentary; good freakin' GOD, my ears feel like they've been cleaned out with acidic quip-tips. The only joy I got out of that scene on the Watchtower was the unintentionally-hilarious image of Aquaman shouting. This comic would've been worth the money spent to buy it if it had that image plastered on every panel, because that's only bit of fun I got out of this.

I salute you Linkara, for having the gumption to tackle this fail of a story and tear it a new one. Carry on, good sir!

One last note; first actual appropriate use of "Crawling in My Skin", if only to mock.

Snapper Carr said...

The moral of the story is:

BATMAN IS THE BEST HERO EVER, LOL.

Claire said...

Nice shirt there, Kal-El. Saucy.

JeanJacket said...

This comic makes my brain hurt. D:

Jeez, I've hardly read any Booster Gold yet, and I think I understand him better than this writer.

Also, I doubt that the loss of powers would still be a regular topic in the media after six months, even for televangelists. At least fifty scandals and celebrity affairs would have gone on in the meantime that they'd rather talk about.

(That Doctor Who line - now I have to ask, sorry. What do you think of the new season so far? Yea or nay?)

Steve said...

Man, i was really hoping for a better "Previously On" segment.

Dreammirror said...

Not bad; my comic book knowledge covers more of marvel than D.C. but this entire series does seem to focus on how empty super heroes with powers are if they lose em. Not to do a comparison with the movie Kick Ass, but it did bring up a good point that -A. you dont need powers to be a hero, just the desire to do good, and B. there are plenty of "heros" in the world now without powers-think police, firemen, truma centers-etc etc. Batman seems the only interesting spark of intelligence thus far in this series, which otherwise is otherwise very poorly concepted/written.

Frankie Addiego said...

This is right up there with "Superman: Doomsday" and "Superman Returns" for mischaracterizing Superman (not to mention Lois Lane). I guess as long as he holds the standard "I do not kill" tenet, then he's still the vanguard of all heroism or whatever.

Oh, and I'm glad you said that about that stupid speech from the movie. Even though Clark was more the disguise in the pre-Crisis years and they seem to want to bring that back; by the time this was released, they had done away with it.

I actually like some of Menoch's writing as he writes Batman more heroically than some writers, but you're right: he doesn't seem to get the rest of the DC Universe.

Shame, shame, shame!

Erik said...

Thumbs up. A very thoughtful review.

What struck me as odd though is that for all the talk of how their power made them arrogant, Batman, the guy without powers, is the one who has become the most arrogant based on your description of him waiting for the others to crawl to him for help.

Wonder Woman worked at a Taco Bell? Sounds interesting. I'd like to read that story. What issue is it in?

greenjeans said...

"I always thought Batman was virtually Mary Sueification proof...but this promoted fanboy is starting to chisel away at that theory."

Batman's been a hardcore Stu beginning with Miller. The whole "prep time" thing alone cements him as a Stu because it rigs the outcome of any encounter in his favor no matter who the opposition is. That, and the DCU's major heroines seem to be his personal harem: both Zatanna and Wonder Woman have been shown to be pining for him, and he's actually bagged Black Canary in the Millerverse. And don't get me started on DC and the fans' fetish for seeing him abuse and beat up Superman....

Speaking of Superman, Lois wouldn't leave him because he lost his powers. She's left him or attempted to several times in the post-Crisis era BECAUSE he's Superman! It was the whole crux of the "Lois Lane: Superbitch" period of the comics that ran on and off for about a decade. Losing his powers wouldn't bother her in the least. She'd be GLAD he lost them because it would mean no more running off without warning or spending time with heroes she personally despises.

Also, if Superman was fresh from a break-up with Lois, no matter what the reason, he's not going to shack up with Wonder Woman right away. The whole idea that he would or should is skeezy in the extreme.

Not much more to say about the other characters, other than they're utterly unrecognizable.

To be totally honest, the way DC is now, I wouldn't be the tiniest bit shocked to see a story like this actually published in regular canon. It's not much worse than the junk they already pass off as regular continuity.

Anonymous said...

The arrogant superpowered person angle could've worked with a new character or a different universe. Cause none of those characters really showed that kind of behavior.

ShadowWing Tronix said...

There isn't a single moment of this comic that doesn't make my head hurt.

Did the writer do a good job on those Batman stories he wrote? Because he's doing a lousy job here. Some writers are better suited for the "street level" heroes, and some on the "high flying" heroes. That's why Bendis' work in Ultimate Spider-Man can receive such praise and his Avengers-related stuff is met with such scorn.

(I would have used J. Michael Strazsomething (sp?) as a counter example, until I found out what he's planing with Superman. Think Smallville.)

By the way, I have some more bad news for you, Linkara. They're completing Crazy Steve's story under the title Dark Knight: Boy Wonder. That won't end well.

Apple Pie Filling said...

I don't understand why the heroes just don't put on new costumes and fight without powers. They didn't even have to go through Batman's training because on nearly on any superheroes bio on Wikipedia the words "trained by Batman or trained by Captain America appear" I get that they might not be fantastic fighters or anything but they should be able to take out street punks and even a few criminals.

yanipheonu said...

Wow, the writing in that comic is so bad, he's telling, not showing. He keeps just spouting out unnatural dialogue for the sake of making a "message".

It comes off like the writer is trying to be "edgy" and philosophical, and just coming off as an idiot.

Linkage said...

Thank you for pointing out the Kill Bill absurdity!

I was introduced to both Batman and Superman through their respective 90s animated series, but even those clash completely with Bill's little metaphor.

And really, you're trying to compare Superman to an assassin?

Anonymous said...

@ 8:07-8:11
"Were we to arrogant, Clark?"
"No, you weren't. Shut up."

I laughed my ass off at that part.

Melanee Wood said...

Out of curiosity last week, I look up the synopsis of this comic and I couldn't help but feel wowed by what I've read and in a bad way. I certainly can't wait to see what you have to say about the ending next week.

Okay, my two cents: while I wouldn't have minded the Clark/Diana relationship if it was presented in a way that worked and that there was a significant build up to it, whether out of regular canon or not. But here, it's presented badly and the break-up between Clark and Lois is shallow and crappy at best. But that's getting ahead here as I know full it's not about relationships (romantic and otherwise), but the entire story. So far, it's all downhill from here and from what I've read from that summary, it's something in my book.

One other thing that's occurred to me, and feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, I would think that Booster Gold would at least be worried when his technology was stolen, his primarily from the future and all, but hey, that's to say that anyone in this comic actually has a brain.

Lastly, LOL at the stinger. XD

Anonymous said...

Uh, yeah. "Twat" is a term for female genitalia, and thus it's as unfortunate a choice of word to use to mean "weakling" as "pussy" is.

Anyway, v. funny review.

Chris said...

You know what this comic reminds me of? "The Happening", that horrendous M. Night Shama-lama movie about plants killing people. In that movie, they also completely discarded logic and rational thought in favor of running around like complete morons and declaring the whole thing an act of nature which "we may never fully understand". They stopped short of declaring that the protagonist survived due to the Power of Love, but only barely.

I'm a little sad that you didn't do a "Previously On" segment like with your past multi-part reviews, but I'm sure they're very time-consuming and difficult to pull off because they require coordination with the other members of Team TGWTG. So I do understand, but I still miss it.

I notice that a lot of these Elseworlds pair up Supes and Wondy. Maybe the DC writers are a bunch of shippers who're angry that they can't get their way in canon and resort to fanfiction to get their "better than what the stupid creators wrote" ideas out...then again, as a fervent fan of LuluCC, I guess it's kinda hypocritical for me to say that.

And really, I like Batman as much as the next guy, but I'm really getting sick of this insanely worshipful "Bat-God" attitude that's been floating around. Maybe it's just because I'm no big fan of memes in general, but it's one of those character exaggerations that just got really old really fast.

Also, it seems kind of silly that Bats would have to remind the other Leaguers that he hates guns. They all know he's Bruce Wayne, and anyone with two brain cells to rub together could guess that he doesn't care for guns because a gunman killed his parents.

(PS, theory for your consideration: the Black Light was a wave of cosmic radiation that gave the entirety of DC-Earth cancer, causing brain damage and explaining why everyone in this comic is an empty-headed, angsty dumbass with no real resemblance to their actual selves.)

Lotus prince said...

I actually laughed out loud at "Your metaphor is dumb, and so are you."

This review is brilliant! It really is astounding that so many stupid plots and so much bad dialogue is not only written, but also green-lit as well. Way to take 'em down a peg, Linkara!

mark said...

THIS COMIC IS THE WORST THING EVER MADE BY HUMAN HANDS.

Good thing we had Geoff Johns writing Wally West during this time.

P.S. If you thought Snowflame was a WTF, read Doom Patrol#70. That issue's villain makes Snowflame seem like Lex Luthor.

Peteman said...

I could understand if Lois left Superman because he was a being a whiny bitch.

rhanlav said...

Please tell me we're going to see thic comic put to the torch. Or sealed away in a nuclear waste capsule and buried far underground.

I can't even begin to form words on how bad this comic is from just what you've said. I think the only thing that I can really state coherently is that some folks really should never, ever, EVAR write comics. Obviously the guy knows Batman, but his lack of knowledge on EVERYTHING ELSE is a bit... distracting.

Tim said...

I have a real quick question that maybe someone can answer. This was in the lst comic too but why are there two Flashes? There was one Flash holding the other. One of them is Wally and the other has the Golden Age helmet so why is he in this universe?

Lewis Lovhaug said...

"I have a real quick question that maybe someone can answer. This was in the lst comic too but why are there two Flashes? There was one Flash holding the other. One of them is Wally and the other has the Golden Age helmet so why is he in this universe?"

The golden age Flash has been a part of the regular continutiy of the DC Universe since Crisis on Infinite Earths.

Celey said...

Oh man... The stupidity in the comic knows no bounds. If this is suppose to be a love letter to Batman... why are they making him so out-of-character? Like you said, he wouldn't have been waiting for the other characters to grovel at his feet...

In fact, he probably would've been the first to try and slap some sense into them... Starting with Superman since... whether Batman wants to admit it or not... They are best friends.

And then that whole 'gun' thing was idiotic... Of course, Batman should know that the other heroes would object to the use of guns... He's Batman, for crying out loud! He knows everything about every superhero! He has files on all of them!

This isn't Batman! This is Crazy Steve's stupid and egotistical cousin!

And Lois leaving Superman?! Looks like its just an excuse to get him to hook up with Wonder Woman! THAT'S STUPID!!!

And why are they making the Flash so whiny? He's usually the League's resident optimist! He'd be finding a way to get past all of this...

Heck, all of them would... Optimistic or no...... Gaaaaaaaahhhh...

The only thing I'm happy about with this comic is that they're not giving Nightwing any lines... so, he can't open his mouth and look like an idiot like everybody else... *But still... no beefcake... :(*

GAH! THIS COMIC SUCKS!!! PUNCH IT HARDER, LINKARA! You didn't punch it hard enough! BURN IT! BURN IT! BURN IT!!

J. J. Ramsey said...

One of the many things that doesn't make sense about Clark Kent moping around and not getting a regular job is that he has a regular job--as a reporter! Why the heck would he quit that, especially since it's a job where he can readily make a difference, even as a mortal man?

Lizard-Man said...

Booster Gold saved Reagan? Cool! Hey afterwards did say "Hey Boost, thanks for rescuing me, let's go for a burger." Cause that would've been awesome.

Oh man, I need to pick up some older issues and comics, I've been thinking about getting Crisis on Infinite Earth for one thing.

rdfox said...

OK, all I'm going to say is... if Linda Danvers was that violently opposed to guns and deadly force, she'd have never made it through the academy, because, as a friend of mine who's attending one has explained, there's a *lot* of time spent on the firing range *and* on policies regarding the use of lethal force.

(Then again, I've always felt the whole "heroes never kill!" trope was idiotic; if an individual hero chooses a no-kill rule for character reasons, like Batman's, then that's fine, but when it comes to lethal force, heroes shouldn't be held to any higher standard than cops.)

Anonymous said...

I just realized something.

1. Batman, the man who prides himself on being prepared for everything (insert preptime joke here), has just met a situation that nobody could have prepared for. He isn't the most well adjusted of the big-name superheroes, so you would think that HE would be shaken at least a little, but instead he's the perfect and just hero of our story.

2. Superman really is just a big boyscout. He KNOWS that it isn't about the powers, but about standing up for what you believe. But this paragon of goodness in the DCU... goes emo because he lost his powers.

Of course, the man who prepares for everything suddenly being unprepared isn't interest. Bat-God is where it's at. And Superman losing his powers but still being able to stand up for truth, justice, and the American way? That's just silly.

Chris said...

"Booster Gold saved Reagan? Cool! Hey afterwards did say "Hey Boost, thanks for rescuing me, let's go for a burger." Cause that would've been awesome."

Reagan is actually the one who named Booster...after a fashion. Ronnie asked Michael his name, and he mixed up his high school football nickname "Booster" with his intended hero name "Goldstar", which lead to Reagan introducing him to the world as "Booster Gold".

David said...

I can't wait to see the review of the third issue. Not only does Moench's Batman-worship get cranked up to a zillion, but the crap he pulls with Wonder Woman's character....I don't even have words. The "This comic SUCKS!" rant is going to be incredible.

SMAXZO said...

The last part when Kyle Rayner was screaming and someone asked him to shut up was hilarious and like you said this comic sucked hard.

mexicanwaluigi said...

actually going back batman used guns in the golden age. He was a regular bat costume wearing death wish. oh and wonder woman has fought crime with out her super powers too, cause they thought it would help real girls identify with her, but it was stupid and people complained it made her weaker so there was a retcon and they gave her back her powers. so now she's weak and incompetent cause she has no powers? and where is batgirl? I think this guy was sexist, seriously no female non-super power heroines? Also why is it that there are no females heros that use technology other than batgirl and batwoman. and where the crap is chuck noris when you need him?

Maxine said...

First off, Lewis, I'm pretty sure you meant to say "Twit" there. But everyone else seems to be pointing that out, and I don't really think it's THAT big of a deal, all things consitered. Let's put the focus where it needs to be: the review and the stupidity of the comic.


Alright, all together now, the review was hilarious, I can't wait for part 2, and so on so fourth. Sorry to say it, but I have to agree with the praise you're getting. I've got absolutly nothing to add that somebody hasn't pointed out already.

Along the lines of constrictive critism, I'd have to say that you did seem a little stiff in this episode. Oh, not your voice, that's fine as always, But (especially in the beginning) you didn't move that comic farther than six inches away from yourself, and the arm holding the comic barley seemed to move. You losened up towards the end, but for the first 10 minutes or so, that arm barley moved. It seemed like a very awkward sitting position. It's not to big of a problem and it didn't take away anything from the episode. That's just a little something I've noticed, and maybe something you should consiter fixing.

Then agian, I really shouldn't be complaining about quality free entertainment, now should I? XD

NGT said...

I was okay with Superman going all PTSD last issue. 52 and Trinity and All-Star Superman are big about his empathy and it's a major part of the character. Occasional bouts with PTSD are a reasonable consequence.

I am no longer okay with this PTSD stuff because it has drifted into bullshit. Though he probably has a point about it being impossible to really understand what it's like to be Superman, this is a reporter, a man whose job is to describe things to the general public! He could tell Lois what it's like, and considering this is Superman and he's a stand-up guy, this is something he's probably done more than once.

Which ties into a pet peeve of mine. As a writer, I firmly believe that anything can be explained, anything can be described, if only one can find the right words. There is but one defense against description, and that is complexity beyond a scale to be found in a system like Earth. No endeavour of humanity achieves it, so Superman by dint of being a fictional character also doesn't get a pass on this. He could explain. He just doesn't want to because he's morally and possibly creatively bankrupt considering his job.

Lois-rant is awesome.

Brain. Tiara. Must be.

Superheros as addiction. They do have an awful lot of power, and they would fit right in alongside a Norse or Greek pantheon. Just as there is a rush to any combat, to fight as a god fights is more of a rush than most. And because they're DCU superheros, they don't have the downsides of combat like a more ordinary soldier would. They don't have to struggle with kill or be killed, with the deaths of their enemies and usually not with the deaths of their friends and comrades either. It's all of the things that make soldiers better than normal people, the teamwork and the comraderie and the ability to think tactically and take orders and the power of life and death in your hands to enforce as you will, but none of the things that make soldiers worse because they never USE that power. I can buy in to the desperate desire for their powers. The alternative is that they'll all end up like Batman, which most of them known isn't really a great place to be most of the time.

Which they do. Oh dear.

Hey, I'll buy Wondy as stockbroker. She's a sharp lady and most comics take care to paint her as sophisticated. She is, after all, the spirit of Truth. If you want mercy, I suggest Superman instead.

I hate to say it, but I still listen to Linkin Park for inspiration when dealing with some of my more screwed-up characters. Though usually not that particular one.

Ryan said...

Honestly, when I first read this series, I thought it was good, but the Fridge Logic totally ruined it. And, quite honestly, the idea that this is caused by an act of God in a world where people frequently talk to God, and SEVERAL gods for that matter, is just idiotic.

Here's one thing that does not jive with me, since I'm a card-carrying Green Lantern fanboy: Kyle Rayner can't accept the loss of his powers, and Guy Gardner can. Guy Gardner's entire career as a superhero is defined by him not accepting his lack of superpowers. Abin Sur chose Hal Jordan over Guy simply because Hal was closer. Once Guy found out about this, he basically forced his way into the Corps (oversimplifying here, but that's the basic gist of it). When he was kicked out of the GLC, he stole Sinestro's old yellow ring. When that ring got destroyed, he pulled the shapeshifting Warrior powers OUT OF HIS ASS.

OK, he technically drank some water that activated some long-buried alien DNA, but, really, it was the 90s, they gave him guns for arms, and it was an epic Ass Pull that fans quickly forgot the minute Geoff Johns mercifully ended it.

The idea that Guy would be behind the bar washing beer mugs and profiting off an autobiography is ludicrous. I mean, in this scenario, the first, and possibly ONLY character I'd be able to see pissing and moaning about losing his powers is Guy Gardner. And he wouldn't do it for six months, either. He'd get drunk, then go to his buddies Beetle and Booster and start putting tech together and go bust some heads.

Kyle, on the other hand, would go a different route. I can see him going insane and holing himself up in his house, but for entirely different reasons. Kyle is a hero, but he is first and foremost an artist. While the Green Lantern Ring may be a great weapon, for Kyle, it's also the ultimate means of artistic expression. Mark Waid's awesome story arc "JLA: Divided We Fall" took this to it's logical conclusion. Kyle Rayner and Green Lantern became separate personas. Without the ring, Kyle was unable to duplicate the immensely detailed light constructs and was going nuts trying to draw/paint/sculpt in a way that would be similar to it. If Kyle became that mad artist, it would be in character for him. He might mope about Sonar for a little bit, but if anything, he'd... I dunno, make a painting of Sonar getting his ass kicked and it becomes a new modern masterpiece as he becomes a new artistic genius, although he's not satisfied with any of his works and keeps going crazier and crazier...

Actually, really, after this, you should reread "JLA: Divided We Fall". It's like this story, only there's an explanation for the craziness. And the characters act like they're supposed to. And Mark Waid is actually a talented writer. OK, I guess it's not like this story at all.

Elzarynn said...

Just... just... GAHHH!! I admit, I wasn't too upset with the idiocy of the first issue. Don't get me wrong; it sucked on ice, but I thought Superman at Earth's End was much, much worse. But THIS... the mischaracterizations present are mind-reeling, and in some cases downright offensive. I'd love to list them all one by one, but it's nearly 1 A.M. and I have a therapy session in the morning. Unrelated. I will say that the whole Lois-splitting-with-Clark thing nearly trumps One More Day for sheer brain-liquefying rage, at least for me. I'm a much bigger Superman fan than a Spiderman fan, and if this were in-canon, my hatred for it would utterly consume me and I would feel the need to hunt down and destroy Doug Moench even as Darth Vader hunted and destroyed the Jedi Knights. And all my therapy sessions would just be money down the tube.

So... I guess next week has the "Wonder Woman praying to the Christian God" from the 2010 trailer. That was a good tag-line for this series. Got me looking forward to it right away. Although, I'm already convinced of the existence of Satan.

May the power protect you. Say hi to Pollo and C.A. for me.

Dreammirror said...

Ok, I dont pretend to know that much about the DC universe aside from some batman and superman, but wow. This comic is aweful. I keep expecting a policeman or fireman or even a teacher to walk up to any of these heroes and slap them! It doesnt take powers to make a super hero! (omg did I just quote Kick Ass? ><) These guys need to seriously get over their angt, learn basic martial arts and get a job in law enforcement, etc if they still want to help people so bad. This is like listening to children mope and whine if their parents take away the xbox for a week. Not as bad as Warrior, but still my one word review-- Meh!

Sarah said...

Wonder Woman worked at Taco Bell?

On an actual note, right on about Superman (I CANNOT BELIEVE WHAT HAPPENS NEXT). I appreciated your nod to Up, Up and Away in your last review, since it deals precisely with the complex feelings Clark has about being powerless. Being human affects his marriage, it affects his work, it affects how other superheroes operate throughout the world and in Metropolis. But being powerless doesn't stop him from trying to be a good citizen and active in helping others in his community. Because he is in touch with others. (And if you believe for a SECOND Lois would leave Clark for losing his powers, you know zilch about women and the character. She'd just smack him around a little if he ever got that despondent, and then push him out the door to go do some good.)

In short, Superman is Clark. It's the Clark in him that allows Wonder Woman to once say this about Superman: "He never gives up."

Erin said...

The whole thing was one big WAH-fest and it feels like nothing actually happened except the rampant character assassination. Even Ray Palmer blowing up seemed anticlimatic.

Just how sharp is that ring to make Clark bleed like that?

Sean Whitmore said...

If 260+ issues of Hellblazer has taught me anything, "twat" is used as slang for "inept" a lot more than it is for "vagina".

The C-word too, for that matter, but only actual Brits can get away with that one.

MintWhelp said...

OK, first of all, I must say the level of dumbassness... dumbassitude? Of idiocy in the comic didn't become bigger. Rather it became thicker, so thick I could actually feel it hitting my face like a brick every time a new level of duh was revealed.

SO THEY FREAKING TOLD SUPERMAN TO GET A "NORMAL JOB"!? His job was being a reporter! Something that, while powers probably does make it easier, it can still be done 100% perfectly without powers! Heck, if he was unwilling to do some sort of excersize he could have gone into interviewing people, maybe his fellow former heroes, ANYTHING except going, "I got no powers, I'm just going to lay down and gather mold."

When was he being paid to be Superman? Did he pay taxes for working as Superman? Got tax discounts because he put "red underwear" as an item he needs to do his job?

Damn, I bet those guys cry and spout pretentious lamery when their cereal gets soggy.

...Hey, maybe being intelligent was a superpower for them? That would make perfect sense!

The House of C.R.P said...

I can completely understand your pain. This is taking all these great characters, pissing all over them, ripping them apart, and making them spew Bull**** instead of talking.

"Oh, without their powers, your favorite heroes are useless, whiney, crybabies!"

Good lord. That's just a kick in the nads.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! This comic has managed to do what I thought was impossible:

This comic sells absolutely NOTHING!

Think about it:

-It's a superhero comic about the superheroes losing their powers. No superpowers in this book!

-There is no story, no explanation on how the powers were stolen and no character development.

-The villians are cardboard cut-outs doing absolutely nothing.

-BATMAN does nothing.

-SUPERMAN does nothing.

-THE GREEN LANTERN does nothing.

It has absolutely NOTHING. If anything does happen; some of the characters end up dying!

What a pathetic comic.

espanolbot said...

To be fair to the writer, his Batman stories are generally very good, for example some of the ones in the Cataclysm trade.

Awesome reviews so far Lewis. :) I was kind of suprised to see Jack Knight, aka James Robinson's Starman, appearing in the first issue talking to Arsenal, but he's a superscience based hero so I guess that makes sense.

And another thing from the first issue that I think they should have focused on,

If superscience-empowered superheroes temporarily shut down, does that mean that the heroes and villains that rely on science to stay alive were killed when it suddenly stopped working?

People like Cyborg from Teen Titans (for those who don't know, he was injured in an explosion I think and his parents installed tons of gizmos to keep him alive), or Robotman from Doom Patrol (injured in a car crash, is now a brain installed in a robot body)?

Metallo would be here or there, as although he's an evil version of Robotman he also gained some magical technology absorbing/shapeshifting powers during the Underworld Unleashed event. So he might not technically need the machinery to stay alive.

I'd have thought that members of the Teen Titans etc. suddenly all died there'd be a lot more concern.

日本文化のマニアック said...

You're quite right about Bill's interp of Superman being messed up and wrong. But in defense of Tarantino, I want to make two quick points:
1) Tarantino being who and what he is, his main exposure to Superman was likely through the movies, which unfortunately do portray Clark Kent as a bumbling incompetent, a persona he took on after spending time in the Fortress of Solitude. They also have Lois Lane as in love with Superman, not Clark.

2) As your videos have made me depressingly aware, there are as many interpretations of any given superhero as there are writers writing for them. Is it surprising that Bill would latch on to the most cynical and warped interpretation he came across? He's a cynical and warped man. He disparages Superman because he disparages truth, justice, etc. etc. In the end, the speech tells you more about Bill than it does about Superman.

Now, if you'd been there with the tranquilizer in your leg, the conversation would likely have gone differently as you pointed out the BS he was spewing. But that would have ruined much of the crazy finale. Take this as a lesson to never trust what a villain says, folks.

Anonymous said...

Seriously the story remember me of House of M repercussion for Marvel... when they made many of the the Mutants loosed theyr powers because of the Scarlet Wich... It was vastly critised because they killed or depowered most of the mutants for just causing some tension... But damn they done it way better than in Way of Gods... The depowered Mutants reacted way more intelligentelly than thouse

PWBOT said...

You are just a bad comic, but I AM A MAN! *punch*

It would have been great if you pulled out your "I am a man" punch there since it would be one of the few objects that did not hurt you when you did that punch. (Your track record isn't that good, but then you usually use it on actual android, so it makes sense.)

Looking up on your Superman tags, I realized that you only did three video that was primarily Superman while Batman has five. I don't believe that Superman has alway had such a great team of writers and Elseworld stories. So is it just coincidence that you haven't dived into badly written Superman or is it saved for something really special?

Anonymous said...

Poor Kyle Rayner. I swear, there's only be a few writers at DC that respect him as a character.

And thankls for calling BS on the Kill Bill speach. Never before, had I more wanted to jump into a movie and tell a person how wrong he was.

Patch O'Black said...

Now you've done it. When you do the last part of this series next Monday, I'm going to be hearing all the characters speaking in the "EmoBoy Prime" voice.

They say hindsight is 20/20, and this appears to be the case here. I find myself nodding as you tick off the long list of ludicrous premises and outlandish misrepresentations of the characters. A clear case of good concept, bad execution.

Anonymous said...

I actually think the Kill Bill speech was awesome
It perfectly characterised Bill's character and his outlook on the world.

On top of that, his description perfectly fits the Silver Age characterisation which is still the most wide-spread one in pop-culture
Not to mention the glory-days of Superdickery


This writer seems to hate Superheroes more than Garth Ennis.
And while Mr. Ennis openly admits his hatred towards superheroes and likes to depict them as a bunch of morons, he still depicts them as well-meaning morons who never give-up.


I actually loved the little scene with Aquaman.



oh, and I have to agree with what one poster said before me
-Then again, I've always felt the whole "heroes never kill!" trope was idiotic; if an individual hero chooses a no-kill rule for character reasons, like Batman's, then that's fine, but when it comes to lethal force, heroes shouldn't be held to any higher standard than cops.-

chasftw2010 said...

I was wondering what Linkara's thoughts are of Dick Grayson becoming Batman and Bruce Wayne's son Damien becoming Robin

Anonymous said...

I don't know if its been posted, but just like Guy Guardner's Warrior Costume, Kyle's GL Costume is also made by his powers. He cannot have his costume on if his powers don't work.

mightysamurai said...

The Kill Bill metaphor works better when you consider how old Bill is supposed to be. If he's as old as David Carradine, then his first exposure to Superman was probably at the tail end of the Golden Age and the majority of the Silver Age, and back then Superman was very much a Kryptonian first and an Earthling second. Go back to the Fleicher Superman cartoons and listen to the opening narration. It goes "Superman fights a never-ending battle for truth, justice, and the American way disguised as mild-mannered newspaper reporter Clark Kent."

It makes sense that Bill would pose that metaphor because that's probably the Superman he grew up with. And he was only using the metaphor to make a point so as long as the point comes across it doesn't really matter if the metaphor itself isn't perfect.

Here, though, it really...doesn't work. Superman hasn't been a Kryptonian first and an Earthling second for a very, very, very long time, long before this comic came out. I can't see any reason why they would change it back except to make Superman look useless and ineffectual.

ThatAtheistChick said...

Is it me or is the writer of this comic blowing Batman or something?

Anna said...

First off, Lewis, I think you meant to say "Twit". But everyone else has hammered that in enough, so lets move on.

Please tell me that you intend to burn these comics at the end of part three. Lord knows this comic deserves it. I'm sure about 99% of your fans would pitch in for the gasoline, just please, BURN IT!

*ahem* Sorry. anyway, loved the review.

rosewolf449 said...

I totally agree with you Linkara, only watching Doctor Who totally solves all the problems there are. There are a bunch of problems with the Doctor Who universe but besides that, its one of the best shows ever (well besides Buffy, Star Trek, Torchwood, and a few others).
By the way, where is Batman during all of this? It seems like he would be the most useful person during this crisis. Maybe since the guy who wrote this mostly worked on Batman before than maybe it would have been a good idea for him to include Batman in the storyline instead of excluding him for no apparent reason.

Patrick said...

Well, that was a small-souled, dream-destroying chapter. Hey kids, Superman isn't a hero, he's just a junkie who gets a funky high from a yellow sun! Let's gather 'round and watch the withdrawal symptoms.

(Apologies to Matchbox 20)

Double slam on this book for completely mishandling what could have been a really cool reveal. Lose powers, train up, get back in the game, make the occasional ref to 'easier in the old days'. Instead, it's a whinefest in the finest 'poor little me' tradition.

Excellent review, sir.

Reepicheep-chan said...

"Then again, I've always felt the whole "heroes never kill!" trope was idiotic; if an individual hero chooses a no-kill rule for character reasons, like Batman's, then that's fine, but when it comes to lethal force, heroes shouldn't be held to any higher standard than cops."

So what, you think they should be held to a lower standard? Cops have to account for the people they kill, you know, incidents that end in death are investigated and if s police officer is deemed to have used violent force in excess they can be fired or even jailed. Superheros, on the other hand, are rarely held accountable by anyone. A government-owned type hero like Captain America can get away with it maybe, but someone like Superman cannot just go around killing whoever he deems it necessary to kill and still be a hero. Jeez, you can handwave a superpowered entity being 'judge and jury' if it is for the better good, but judge, jury AND executioner? You really think that is OK?

Anonymous said...

Having read this triology once, I must say you have throughly hit upon every point i can remember.

Damn shame the continuity alarm gave up. With this one it could go off more than with Spiderman's retcon galore.

Anonymous said...

@Reepicheep-chan

Killing in self-defence is still considered acceptable by the law even if you are a civilian

mightysamurai said...

"Killing in self-defence is still considered acceptable by the law even if you are a civilian"

Killing an attacker in self-defense is quite a bit different from what superheroes do. Superheroes actively seek out crimes to punish or prevent. They are, by definition, vigilantes. Let's suppose we were to allow superheroes to kill in "self-defense". How long do you think it'll be before we have heroes killing whatever villains they please on the flimsiest pretext and then claiming it was self-defense?

I've always felt the iron-clad no-killing rule is the only way any government would tolerate their actions. Most superheroes have no accountability whatsoever to any higher authority. They have to be bound by some sort of limits.

Truce Weston said...

Thanks for punching this comic! I think this has passed Superman At Earth's End, Amazon's Attack, and Countdown for stupidty and mischaracterization!

Funny as hell video, especially pointing out Billy Batson's reaction being more adult than the others, on this matter.

So until the last issue reveals that it was all a deal with the devil by Mary Marvel, MAKE MINE LINKARA!

Ruesch said...

"Killing in self-defense is still considered acceptable by the law even if you are a civilian."

Yes, but that usually has to be proven in a court of law, or other form of investigation, and superheros don't usually act in self-defense, they defend other people

David said...

Man, I didn't realize until this morning that Doug Moench is the same Doug who created Moon Knight. That character makes a whole lot more sense now.

Jon said...

Great review and can't wait for the final part next week. LOL'd at the "being arrogant" part.

Why do comic book writers take an interesting idea and turn it into a complete mess?

Anonymous said...

Joining the discussion down here, the anime movie series Kara no Kyoukai had some interesting thoughts about the issue whether heroes should or should not kill

Especially in the last movie

Reepicheep-chan said...

"Killing in self-defence is still considered acceptable by the law even if you are a civilian"

But a regular civilian will still be investigated and often go to trial to determine if it was, in fact, in self defense. What makes a vigilante a vigilante is that he avoids being held accountable by the law for any reason.

Detour said...

Oh, man, Doug Moench... That guy wrote the horrible, horrible Batman Vampire trilogy (in which Dracula is little more than a thug).
He also wrote SCI-Spy... which I believe you've reviewed...

How'd that guy write so many comics if he's so bad at it???

Detour said...

And oh yeah... I just remembered Superman: The Wedding Album. In it, Superman is de-powered as well... BUT HE STILL MANAGED TO GO TO WORK AND DO HIS JOB, STILL MANAGED TO BE WITH LOIS AND HE EVEN PUT ON HIS SUPERMAN COSTUME AND CHASED DOWN A CROOK!

As I said earlier... Doug Moench sucks. I have no idea why he's been in the biz for so long.

Anonymous said...

Isn't vigilantism itself illegal to begin with?
No matter whether someone does or does no die in the process?

Hound_bound said...

Oh man, I think this is one of my favorite of your reviews so far. Really funny and really clear and in-depth on character and motivation at the same time.

The sad thing about Kyle's ring not working is that with a little thought they could have made it work. I mean, the guy seems to have some inferiority issues from what I've read and given that the ring works on willpower, I could see him taking that loss and the defeat at the hands of a bad guy to heart, being shaken enough *for a while* that he can't get the ring to respond. That might have been interesting actually. But whatever, even that would only have lasted six months if Kyle was being a complete idiot.

As for Booster, THANK YOU! Every time I see someone posit that he's just a money hound, I want to scream. I mean, Jergens laid it out for even the most obtuse to understand in that first series during the art theft arc, iirc. Didn't the guy come to Booster and offer to pay him big bucks to track the paintings down, and Booster flat out refused the offer then went to get the paintings back on his own, without recompence? He's a hero first, darn it, and in the hands of competent writers he always has been.

Thankfully, that trend on his character seems to have at least mostly gone away recently

Undeadpool said...

Actually...he pronounced "twat" correctly, and I'm pretty sure it's the word he meant to use. It's British slang, they've got a lot of their cusses the flipside of America. Like "twat" and even "cunt" (sorry to offend, but if I don't have to censor, I don't) aren't big deals over there, but "fanny" is. And yeah, the pronunciation he used is just the Americanized version.

TimeTravelerJessica said...

You know, the really bad thing is that this comic could have been great if 1. The ridiculous assumption that this is a genuine "Act of God" meant to "humble" the heroes was gotten rid of and 2. The characters actually acted like something vaguely resembling their mainstream characterization. Shouldn't Supes at least consult an expert or two and/or ask one of the tech heroes to borrow their suit before dissolving into a giant puddle of wangst? Shouldn't Diana be ladling soup in a soup kitchen or joining the peace corps or something? I mean even the Wall Street thing might make sense if it was only to finance humanitarian trips to Bosnia or something. I'm with you, Doug here had no idea how these characters work.

Alex Stritar said...

Hey Linkara, I just noticed something. It looks like your copy of Showcase Presents Booster Gold looks like it has someone's ohn Hancock on it. Based on my own fairly resently purchased copy of the same book, I know it isn't a standerd feature. So I was wondering, who's autograph is that?

Lewis Lovhaug said...

"Hey Linkara, I just noticed something. It looks like your copy of Showcase Presents Booster Gold looks like it has someone's ohn Hancock on it. Based on my own fairly resently purchased copy of the same book, I know it isn't a standerd feature. So I was wondering, who's autograph is that? "

That would be the signature of Dan Jurgens, the guy who created, drew, and wrote Booster Gold. ^_^

enigmus20 said...

Linkara, random question: how many comics do you have in your possession that have been signed by a big name in the industry?