Monday, May 3, 2010

JLA: Act of God Part 3

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The finale to the deus ex massive piece of crap that is this Elseworlds Tale.



226 comments:

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Penelope said...

Great review, as always. I can't believe that anybody would be completely idiotic enough to forget that Wonder Woman was CREATED BY THE GREEK GODS. Why on Earth would she suddenly convert to Catholicism?

And the ending... oh good Lord, Dr Linksano isn't... he couldn't... not... the Ultimate Warrior? D8 The horror!

Dodger Of Zion said...

Wow, Lewis. THAT is the way to top off the Fail Ex Machina that you had to review.

(looks at bitten nails)

Great, now I'm going to nom on these a little more in anticipation of the 2nd Anniversary crossovers.

(rewatches, bites nails some more)

And damn, I haven't seen you this angered over something in a dog's age. Hope your blood pressure's okay.

Alex Stritar said...

Wow. How many characters could one person get wrong? I mean, I figured the whole Cassandra Cain One Year Later thing was just a fluck, that most writes, praticularly writers of characters with long established contnuities. But hey, oversestimating people's compatince and good judgment seems to be a reocuring mistake in my life, well that and general lazyness.

Also, does it seem strange to anyone but me that the super-wonder baby apperently had telechenesis, an ability neither Superman nor Wonder Woman had? It's not even like they had the metahuman gene or vastly diffrent power sets or anything. But hey, look at the comic I'm trying to bring logic into.

Wait a minute, warrior? Dr Linksano is going to enlist the aid of the Ultamite Warrior!? He's More evil than I imagined!

Anonymous said...

Um. Didn't the Christian god already, you know, kill everyone on earth to teach humanity a "lesson."

Come to think of it, the god of the old testament IS the most "vindictive, dickish and self-righteous asshole that ever existed."

~Brine

Grant said...

Oh. Dear. Lord. It's finally over, and now I wish it had never started. My GOD this was dreadful, absolutely the worst.

What I find most damning is that this same scenario happened in-canon! During Grant Morrison's run on JLA, he wrote a "secret origin" issue where the spawn of Starro, the Star Conquerors, take over a major city and the Flash, leaving the other members called together to figure out how to deal with the situation. Before they can proceed, the Spectre arrives telling them they cannot move forward with their plan, revealing an image of the future in which they themselves are taken over and help to lead the Starros' conquest of the universe. When they learn that the aliens are mainly targeting super-powered beings because they can spread faster with their power, the Leaguers have the Spectre strip them of their powers so they can infiltrate the aliens' base and defeat them. And you know what, aside from natural concerns, they were all perfectly fine with making that sacrifice!

So, yeah, haven't read anything else of Doug's but after this, I could care not to. I commend you, Mr.Lovhaug for lasting as long as you did. I would have put the first issue through the shredder by this point. Looking forward to your continued work, especially to see what Linksano's cooking up. Warrior indeed...

- Grant

PS - "You said ten seconds." "Well nobody's perfect, professor." Hee hee. Oh, that made my day.

Mags said...

Oh my gawd... I need my happy pills. That comic... is just... gah... *pops a few pills*

Yay, got my Linksano fix- OH GAWD NO, NOT WARRIOR!!! That is something even Poyo can't stop! I can't wait to see how that pans out. Linksano, dude, what happened to your sexy gloves? Guess he can't puss buttons with them. XD

And I breifly saw his lower half, so next time I draw Linksano fanart I won't mess it up like last time, lol.

*Looks at your twitter* Huh... it is rare to see you squee at something cute like that. XD

Ringadon said...

I think what you'd call "Justice's" weapon is mace-chucks.

Great review Lewis!

tlegg said...

you know what would have made a good twist ending. if the god who did all this crap was Darkseid

at least there would be a reason for such a god to be an ass

raykelley said...

I actually like some of Doug Moench's stuff, but man, this was awful. I've been watching AT4W for a while now, but seeing Linkara rip into this one was truly a thing of beauty.

Oh, and thanks for sticking up for Booster Gold's honor. As a major BG fan, I hate it when writer's miss the point with him, which is that he is flawed but basically decent. That's how he destroyed his NFL career, because he risked being caught betting on football so he could take care of his mother. Not because he was greedy.

Green Ninja said...

Great Review Lewis. An unforgingly terible comic, but a great review. ;)

And I love the Dr. Linksano character. I hope we get a supervillian team-up soon.

Anonymous said...

Oh wow, I personally am Roman Catholic, and even I thought that religious crisis of Wonder Woman's was incredibly stupid.

Batman's honestly always been my favorite superhero, but even he's not perfect. That's one of the reasons why he's such an iconic hero in the first place, despite all his cool gadgets, martial arts, and detective skills and knowledge, Batman is still very human and prone to the same flaws that we all face. By putting him on a pedestal in this comic, the author fundametally derails his character just as badly as the rest of the cast.

This comic deserves every bit of vitriol that you threw at it, Linkara. Hoping the next one is a bit less taxing on your sanity.

SynjoDeonecros said...

...Okay, the series is horrifically bad on its own merits, but I find the concept of Diana praying to the Christian God for answers to be particularly insulting, especially when God fails to answer, and she decides to commit suicide, as a result. That is just one of the worst character derailment moments I have ever seen, and feels like something from a Chick Tract than something DC would ever publish.

And the constant kissing up to Batman's ass is just moronic; I swear, if they press their lips harder against his buttcheeks, they'd be able to taste what he had for breakfast and critique his dining choice. Seriously, Batman is alongside Wolverine and Tommy Oliver on the scale of overrated superheroes, in my opinion (not saying that they aren't good, just that their near-godhood in the eyes of the fans isn't warranted), but this is strictly textbook God Mode Sue in action.

Emi said...

1) Booster isn't that dumb! D:<

2) The little belt of skulls on Martian Manhunter's outfit looks like a belt made of tiny mushrooms.

3) Admittedly, I don't know much about weapons, but a doubled-ended mace like Supergirl's got seems really impractical--like it would be hard to control or even swing right without crushing your own eye socket or something.

4) In fact, the double-ended mace DOES remind me of a kind of toy--Himeno plays with a similar-looking thing in Pretear (one of my favorite anime series); it's sort of a variation on the ball-in-a-cup game, with two ends to toss the ball around in. I don't know if it has a proper name, but that's exactly what it reminds me of!

5) "The Hand"? *giggle*

6) Oh, yeah, I can see MM's "detective skills" working out overtime here.

7) I've been reading comics since I was 14 or 15 and not once do I ever remember Supes or Batman or WW parading around going "I'M SO SUPERIOR TO YOU LITTLE NORMAL FOLKS! BOW BEFORE ME, PEONS!" Where the hell did "lording our superiority over normal folks" come from? Hell, if anything, superheroes are a more humble lot than you'd think. They do horribly dangerous work fighting crazy-ass villains and rescuing people from train wrecks and stuff for no pay, all while wearing colorful stretchy undies, and while they may be famous, not a lot of them seem to really -revel- in it. Like it, perhaps, but not -revel.- Reveling-in-power-and-lording-superiority-over-mundanes is largely a villain thing. It'd be like saying a cop is smug and snotty because some folks like cops and give them lots of respect.

8) Not to mention the shitty pacing in this story. "Stuff happened"--BOOM--"Three months later, more stuff happened, and probably stuff happened in the intervening period of time, but we're not gonna let you know about that, even though it might be important."

9) Haha! The Superbitch-Prime voice returns! XD

10) Kyle Rayner took his shirt off! But he’s still wearing the Lantern pants. Ewwww. I can’t even imagine what they smell like… or what stains they must be covered in by now.

11) Heheheh, Seven! I loved the Seventh Doctor. X3 And Ace is probably my second- or third-favorite companion, after Donna and Sarah Jane.

12) Maybe that awkward/impossible body-twist position is the only way she can swing the double-ended mace. Which just makes it even MORE stupid and impractical.

13) Jeez, I thought Johns’ aching man-crush on Hal was bad. XD

14) Wonder Woman is NOT suicidal! Does not compute! AAAAAAAAAAAAGH D:<

15) What, Kyle didn’t think of just dumping a bucket of water on Sonar before?

16) This comic makes no goddamn sense. D:< Like, AT ALL.

17) Linkara, darling, we love you to pieces, but the crazy at the end of the review was kind of creepy. Just a wee bit. And kind of awesome. Creepy-awesome!

18) Linksano! And Pollo!

19) Go, Pollo, go! <3 <3 <3 <3

20) I can’t snap my fingers, either. I also can’t whistle. …There’s no reason to share this. I just thought I’d note that.

Anyway, great work! :D

P.S. Out of curiosity, how did the Walk for Animals go? Did you guys reach your goal?

SpectralTime said...

I've been looking for what looked like a better (not-retarded) version of this same premise that I had heard about on Wikipedia. It was called Distant Fires, and involved a nuclear war (which makes both more and less sense in comparison).

I've never read it and can't find it short of using them newfangled internets (I try to support my local comic shop), but with your devoted fanbase and unlimited knowledge, I was wondering if you could tell me if it was anything like this load of sludge.

My e-mail is tbpritchett@comcast.net. Sorry.

Anyhoo, yeah. Though I too am Christian, that whole Wonder Woman in a Catholic church bit reeked of fail. Wonder why he didn't even show Batman in volume one, given how this whole series is a love letter to him.

Nice review. Mostly funny, though the sheer fail of the comic prevented me from enjoying much of it.

If you'd like to read a good comic to wash the taste of this out of your mouth, try some of the Atomic Robo books from Red5. They have a nice blend of history, adventure, and humor. The art in the first issue starts out kinda shaky, but quickly solidifies by the end of the first volume.

Sorry for rambling so much. Happy trails.

MadDogBV said...

The final issue even admits that JLA: Act Of God is essentially an author's wet dreams over Batman. A bad independent comic can be partially excused. A bad franchise comic calls into question the company's professionalism, which makes the flaws all the more glaring.

TheGoose said...

Off-topic, but I was wondering if there were any other people review bad comics on the 'net?

Javan Nelums said...

the carpy weapon that Linda danvers had as Justice is a double mace, but at both end. But it's still a crappy weapon

Anonymous said...

need help from a warrior?......Oh no NO!! Ultimate warrior pops in: LOAD THE SPACESHIP WITH THE ROCKET FUEL LOAD IT INTO SPACE!!!!

David said...

Grant: Yeah, it's not like this is a bizarre idea that's never been done before! What came to my mind was Bill Willingham's current arc on JSA. I'm not the guy's biggest fan, but his "Superman loses his powers" scene is a pretty nice piece of work, and the story about future heroes struggling to do what they can is okay too. Certainly leagues beyond this crap.

Also, CATHOLIC?! What the bloody hell, comic? Almost ANYBODY else, I could buy getting religion after something like this. Even if they didn't have powers to lose, it's still a huge, unexplained, supernatural event. That's enough for a crisis of faith. But not the woman who was a freaking lump of inert clay before the Greek gods breathed life into her!

lilmaibe said...

Oh gods, that was....it physically hurts...

And you know what's pretty amazing?
How is comic utterly, utterly fails at telling the reader WHO or WHAT was responsible.
The whole writing was bad already, but at least THAT should have been in.
Gods. I really feel sorry for you.
I just hope the next few comics you review are at least semi-decent.

On a side-note:
I feel weird looking back at my bookshelf spotting 'Leauge of extraordinary Gentlemen' after seeing this review.
Seeing this came in 2000 and the (horrible) movie of LoeG (or LXG) came in 2003...I feel like someone at the writing department for the loeG movie felt like the 'let us sell superhumans' superpowers'-subplot was superior and well written compared to the original....But I'm getting sidetracked...

Melanee Wood said...

Can't say too much than what's already been said, but I will say this though--even me who hasn't read any of Booster Gold's series, save for his involvement in 52 and some info that I do know about him, knows he would never do anything THAT stupid.

Other than that, this comic should be the prime proof that research is always important. Otherwise... this happens.

techgirl3 said...

Great review.
Yay Doctor Linksano...hmm I wonder what would happen if he combined his black light event generator with Doctor Insaneo's anti-magic field generator....
Next, well this comic was stupid and I it is beyond cruel that you had trouble destroying it.

Mags said...

@TheGoose: There are quite a few comic book reviewers out there these days (thanks to Linkara for setting that trend). Though I feel bad for not remembering certian names, there are some hit a miss ones out there.

Night said...

Yes, I'm responding from work. Ohcrap.

I can buy Flash's new getup. I actually like Supergirl's. Aquaman and Martian Manhunter, however, must die in a fire.

Minature atomics is possible. We just can't do it right. However, if that's a mininuke, they should all be dead. Atom's big enough to at least trigger a building killer.

Hey, you can do all kinds of stuff with grenades. Flashbangs, smoke, gas.

...ohfrakyou Doug. Frak you with many forks. And WHAT THE FUCK IS UP WITH DIANA'S PALE FACE. She looks like she's auditioning for a freaking twilight movie.

Hey, Epicurus called. God's got a bit of a history of being a dick what with the whole eternal punishment angle and Old Testament craziness. (I mean really, can you think of something so bad as to warrant infinite punishment?) I vote we blow him up, if he does turn out to exist.

Why will the authorities respond with force? They'll sue Lex into the ground instead, destroy his patents, and take his stuff and classify it to hell and gone.

No I'm pretty sure Batman's the most neurotic. Very badass, true, but not terribly well-adjusted either.

Poyo is here to screw you up. That was awesome, sir. I daresay it's almost as awesome as the power rangers morph from MMPR #1 show (though admittedly not as good as the following fight scene).

A Warrior. Oh man, this is gonna be good.

Kerstin said...

Wow UHF and my one of my favourite Doctor/companion pairings plus Linksano - This alone makes the review a classic.
Beside the fact, that it's great as always.

And "A WARRIOR" ?! I'm afraid, I'm very afraid.

Mountain King said...

For the love of holy god in heaven all the way own to the deepest sphincter of Satan's unholy arsehole what he hell was this this comic, some curse upon geek-kind to forever curse our enjoyment of the heroes involved?

Alright my first problem; GIVE US A FUCKING REASON FOR THE EVENT ! Sorry for the swearing but ... just Aaagg! I hope the writer suffers from disfiguring boils on a regular basis.

So on to your review. Brilliant. Just the right about of apocalyptic rage and analysis to keep it interesting and informative. I personally think that of all the heroes in the JLA Batman is the most awesome, Even without his money and influence he would be the Batman. With it he just has the gadgets and resources. (in fact that would be a good elseworlds tale, Batman without money)

Deliberately hamstringing other DC heroes to make Batman the best is beyond wrong. Each hero has their own strengths and weaknesses. This is what makes them interesting and that makes the JLA a good idea. Making each a Batman copy or helpless is beyond wrong, it's a criminal insult to all those involved in the character's creation.

An awful comic and fantastic review. Good job and lin-sano will have to find a more horrendous weapon. Although I, for one, don't want to read it without your perspective to cushion the blow!

Thomas
AKA Mountain King

PS as a Fan fic author I have to sat that Batman Wonder Woman romances work best, if only because Batman would never act on it...

Anachron said...

Wow. Watching this whole epic of fail has been quite the learning experience of how to misrepresent characters. Kyle moping, Diana praying, Clark drinking- it's all just terrible. When Clark said the line about how "Batman is the best of us", I had to stop myself banging my head on the desk. Terrible, just absolutely, painfully, atrociously terrible.

BTW, imagine if this was someone's introduction to the DCU and it's characters? *shudder*

Loved the review, Linkara. Keep the flame burning.

LördFarkwad said...

lol this comic's emphasis on poetic religious..umm what ever it wants to be called, is about as stupid as the 45 minute sermon in Neon Genesis evangelion about how the characters are selfish assholes.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure what I despise more

Biased Batman fanboys or self-righteous Christians.

Akimi said...

I said word-for-word the same thing about Wonder Woman's "conversion" - she's met her gods! Just because she's depowered doesn't complete erase her origin. (I was also pretty sure that would be the rage point of this review; I don't know if I'm glad to have been right or not.)

The Barenaked Ladies, Scrubs, and Doctor Who (Ace! <3) references had me in gleefits, as well. :D

Jer Alford said...

What I didn't get about this is why isn't Wonder Woman still out fighting crime? She still has her bulletproof braclets, plus she still has HUNDREDS of years of fighting experience, even more than Batman has!

Also, why do all these supervillains wanna take on Linkara? I'm not sure how defeating an internet critic = universal domination.

Anonymous said...

Funny review as always. how in the world could anyone not know about Wonder Woman "believing" (if you can call it that since she has met them) in the greek gods. And Doug Moench you need to get your mouth away from Batman's crotch; in the first two books I didn't find it that bad but in this one WOW!
wait...
Linksano wants to take over the world by anoying linkara to the point of insanity...
Well I guess there is reason his name contains Insano.
God help us all is there another issue of warrior and preferably not the one from these comics.

WhiteVader said...

Wow. I'm not even a Comic reader and I can see just how massively out of character Moech has made all these guys. It's only made worse by the fangasming in the characters dialogue about the friggen Batman.

I was loving the epic freakout at the end. I'm suprised you managed to get all the way to the end without going that crazy. I was hoping to see another Comic burn, but alas, I go on.

Great review Lewis, as always.

Andrew said...

Ah, that was a great conclusion Linkara, to a good review of a truly heinous comic. I too am a Christian and I'm pretty appalled at how badly mistreated God's Will was in this thing, to say nothing of the mis-characterizations, bad writing and just plain bad attitude towards any hero who isn't Batman. And even he was done a disservice by being treated like an unbeatable paragon of virtue. A really great review overall and I'm most definitely looking forward to the next crossover event you have!

Strangest thing, I bought a prop tricorder for my show that's exactly like yours, from the 2009 Trek movie. Stranger still, I'd gotten the idea to maybe put together a skit with my friends The Scriptdoctors for a previously on skit like you used to do. But in the end, I didn't have time with finals coming up to do it and you probably didn't need extra pressure, especially from guys you don't know. Great work again!

Mutt2000 said...

The end makes me want to say that the Warrior will team up with Linksano, but I really would like to see Mechakara and Linksano team up. Maybe not now, but sometime.

In a word, EPIC!

Turkish Proverb said...

Hehehe. Ace and explosions. Always fun.

So, Why do I fear this is going to bring Warrior #2 upon us?

Anonymous said...

"Fire frightens me. It's time my enemies shared my dread."

I mean, even without his powers, wouldn't the Martian Manhunter still be a pyrophobe? Explosive grenades would be the absolute last thing he ought to use. That would be like Aquaman dressing up as the Gorton's Fisherman.

ShadowWing Tronix said...

Is it really a bad idea when even the Christians can't believe Wonder Woman converts or even celebrate it? Yes, yes it is, and I also happen to be one. (Christian, not Wonder Woman.)

Not to mention that was a time in canon when Diana lost her powers. A rather stupid time, but she just went and became Mrs. Peel. Not that big a problem.


Can I also ask why Kyle has to get dumped on with this thing? We already have Bat-Worship, so why not another vote for the Church of Hal Jordan?

Finally, yay Doctor Who clip!

Yogurt said...

Ugh. Let us see....

Superman, a man raised to always, always, ALWAYS put others before himself buries himself in booze and turns his back on his loved ones.

Wonder Woman doesn't even to bother considering that it may not be G-d that was behind this. Wondie has made a career out of pissing off Ares, why not suspect him?

Batwank if I've ever seen it (and this is coming from a dyed in the wool Bat-fan).

But most of my ire is saved up for the sheer Theological illiteracy on display in this comic. Speaking from my faith, G-d doesn't do subtle and he doesn't lash out at random. In the Torah, there is action and reaction. Law and consequence. A covenant is made, and if it is broken, trouble comes down.

Bearing this in mind, it begs the question: what deal was broken? What crime was committed? Furthermore, if it was so grave a sin, why not simply come down and unleash the hurt on the offenders?

But no...this isn't an act of G-d. Heck, we don't even know what the source was, really. This my friends is an act of a loose cannon writer who could not refrain from kissing Bruce Wayne's ass.

underthepale said...

Am I the only one who thinks that the Red Devil looks like Char Aznable?

Ben said...

Actually, that's not a mace. It's a morning star. The big round whacking part of a mace is attached to the pole, but on a morning star they're swung. Fun fact! They're called "morgensterns" in German, and that's the name of Stana Katic's character in the 2008 crapfest "The Spirit."

Erin Gormley said...

Am I the only one who found it funny(in a sad way) how Kyle's story ended? So pointless and stupid, like every moment with him in this comic? Poor guy, they really messed up his character.

Though some comments here have been a tad upsetting...It feels like people think it's okay to make fun of those who believe in God by mocking said God.
Jeez, I agree the whole Wonder Woman becoming Catholic is stupid, because there's NO reason for it and her past is all about the greek gods, but the comments here make me sad.
I won’t go further than that about it.

doris said...

may the bat bless you and keep you

amen

Frankie Addiego said...

This is just sad. I mean, I liked Doug Moloch's (I'm guessing on the spelling there) Batman stuff, but whee-oooh, this comic sucked mega pee pees.

And you're right: what is it with writers and wanting to bring Superman and Wonder Woman together. I wouldn't say they're all bad writers--John Byrne and Mark Waid did so too and they're mostly good, though overrated by some--but is it really that cute or whatever? But hey: at-least they were married this time.

Furthermore: how the Hell did he get powers? Zeesh! The comic doesn't even understand ITSELF!

Oh, and this takes place in a universe similar to but distinguishable from the post-Crisis universe right? Hadn't Superman lost his powers, like, three times? And I'm just talking about major events!

It's sad to think that this writer was recently a Special Guest at Comic-Con.

BAD!!!

Alex Stritar said...

"Can I also ask why Kyle has to get dumped on with this thing? We already have Bat-Worship, so why not another vote for the Church of Hal Jordan?"

Simple, Hal Jordan was evil/dead at this point in continuity. In fact, if I'm not mistaken, I think he was host of the Spectre, whom was also one of the magic based heroes who stupidly disapeared during this "act of God"

areoborg said...

Warrior? WARRIOR?!?!?


AAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!

*dives out the window*

Anonymous said...

I submit that Superboy-Prime somehow become the reigning deity of that Elseworld universe and willed everyone to be as whiny and obsessive as he is.

Or, if nothing else, this is the world that should have spawned Superboy-Prime. Good grief.

Frankie Addiego said...

Alex: that's a good point, and furthermore: I think DC was trying to position Kyle as their Spider-Man by making him have to go through a metric ton of crap.

Besides, she might be a little... *ahem*... Jaded?

Oh, but this comic still sucks.

Chris said...

I can't snap fingers either. XD

TBH, I honestly thought you'd be angrier about Wonder Woman's sudden conversion. Not to say you weren't angry as is, I just kind of expected Relax-O-Vision or something.

Randomly, it would have actually been interesting to delve into what became of the depowered villains. How do you think guys like Bizarro and Sinestro reacted to suddenly losing their powers?

Also, I think I just realized why Moench treated Boostle like crap in this comic. Obviously he thinks heroes with natural powers are arrogant dicks who look down their noses at us mere mortals, while people who had to fight and train to get that level (read: Batman and the Batman Family) are the salt of the Earth. Taken from that perspective, Moench probably considers tech-based heroes to be "cheaters" just like powered heroes, just of a different stripe. Booster and Beetle didn't "earn" their heroic abilities, they built or stole them. He probably thinks that's just as unnatural as alien physiology or random lab accidents. And of course, as you mentioned, there's the irony of him claiming that powered heroes were arrogant, then completely derailing Michael and Ted into being EXTREMELY arrogant pricks who pretty much DID lord their ability to fight crime over the depowered heroes.

Pardon me if I rant, but the big problem I have with this comic is Moench's horribly misaimed populist attitude. There's absolutely nothing wrong with earning your place in the world by hard work; in fact, such people should be honored for their dedication. However, Moench seems to assume that everybody who came by their heroics "easy" is an asshole, which is kind of like assuming that everybody who's rich is a smug jerk who stole and/or cheated in order to get where he is and thinks he's better than "the plebes". The attitude is bad enough normally, but it's even worse when it's applied to DC standards like Superman and Wonder Woman, who are arguably some of the most selfless and dedicated people in their fictional universe. Saying "Maybe we were struck down for being arrogant" doesn't flipping work when the people struck down aren't arrogant by any definition of the word, you two-bit, half-assed, half-blind, not-worthy-to-write-for-the-National-Enquirer hack.

Celey said...

Somehow, that gun shot just wasn't satisfying enough, Linkara. I wanted to see ripping to shreds.... And the burning the pieces... like... bonfire-style. That would've been a little more satisfying, I think.

Man, nothing irritates me more than out-of-character characters... and blatant character worship (although, this more often leads to derailing parts of the character as well... I gotta say I am not happy with the portrayal of Batman in this comic, and I'm a major Batman fan)...

At any rate... excellent review, Linkara. I think you might have set yourself up for religious debate with that whole comment about "God being vindictive" and whatnot (I've already seen some comments indicating such..)... The Bible, unfortunately, does not always portray God in a positive light... *Hence why I do not rely heavily on the Bible when it comes to my faith*

Other than that, though... everything was awesome! Especially that Dr. Linksano scene... A lot of people are guessing an Ultimate Warrior appearance (by Spoony, perhaps? He was hilarious as the ultimate warrior scissors61!!)

But... I have a different guess.. That whole blacklight thingie can transfer people or thingies from alternate dimensions and such, right?

Perhaps the warrior is... Link! Dressed all in green... frequently accompanied by a fairy... expert swordsman and ocarina-player... //>.>\\'...

Yeah, okay, probably not... //^_^\\'...

Mistwraith said...

This whole comic was pointless and disappointing. A story should at least consist ... nah, makes no sense to speak about that.

Oh, Linkara. I, personally, think you should scream less in your reviews.

Paul S. said...

I think this may eclipse "Fortunate Son" as the worst Elseworld ever.

Also what happened to Elseworld stories? It's like they completely scrapped the brand after Infinite Crisis.

Carmen said...

Warrior... Warrior... Warrior! You don't mean... THAT Warrior!? Alright, I take back anything I've ever said about the Linksano series, this is beginning to get awesome! (Although, it was an epic win before.) :)

Ah man, I'm glad to see you "burned" this! (Eh, in my opinion, it wasn't quite as epic as the burning of Superman at Earth's End, but hell, it was a cool special effect.) I can't say that I didn't enjoy the comic when I originally read it on my own, because it was good for laughs. Although, I don't read many comic books, and even I was saying, "Hey, this isn't right. You know, Linkara would have some fun with this one!" (I find myself saying that about nearly every comic I read nowadays.)


In my opinion, that ending sequence could battle the Mechakara Fight in terms of the most badass things that have ever come out of your show.

I do have one question though, feel free not to answer it; when you originally started this whole AT4W thing, did you ever at all invision that it would become something of this magnitude? I mean, What started as a simple review show somehow mutated into an epic with robots, parrell dimentions, mad scientists, and multiple characters. Was this the intention all along, or did it just sort of fall that way? Either way, I love the show, and keep on ripping up comics, Lewis.

VeteranFootman said...

Linksano teaming up with the Ultimate Warrior? Looks like you may need to enlist the help of Hulk Hogan!

dakato72 said...

reaction to dr. linksano line "i need the help of a warrior." O.O AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. NOT WARRIOR ANYTHING BUT THAT. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

Matthew said...

As if a switch had been turned, as if an eye had been blinked, as if some Phantom Stranger in the universe had made a move eons beyond our comprehension, suddenly, there was no reason! There was no Superman, no Warrior, no woman called Diana to be followed. There was nothing in the heroes but the phoenix men of rising, who suddenly found themselves alone with tech and skull bomb! With the message, one cloud lifts, and another descends. Child born with superpowers that make no sense.Then who, or what, caused this escapade into madness? Was there even a reason? Or has the cosmic switch been pulled? Case in point: The line between good comic and bad comic is microscopically thin! You have witnessed the line being shaved even thinner by constant Batman worship! But will Doug Moench ever learn the difference between over reliance on superpowers and actually doing good? Who knows?

But poor Kyle Rayner, he just died without remorse or hope. He probably stank too for staying in his costume for an entire year. You'd thought that Ganthlet would have check in on him. Even Jade might have check in to see if he was still alive or something.

But the world is cruel when Batman is the ultimate hero. So does that mean that the Red Bee is also doing fine? Who know? Maybe Douglas who is as normal as Green Man? I don't know.

But Warrior knows? He knows destrucity.

Chelsea said...

POLLO TO THE RESCUE! I would find it amusing if his battles against Linksano eventually led to him wearing a Linksano-skin suit, Mechakara style. Well, amusing and gross.

Jeez, this comic is just fail upon fail upon fail. So, what, was Batman the only superhero on Earth vulnerable to bullets or something? Why the heck are his actions so much "nobler"? Dude, if the Flash gets shot in the head, he's going to die too. And I love the implication that Superman never risked his life. You know, besides the time HE DIED.

Gotta say, though, I have and always will find a drunken Superman hilarious for some reason.

Queen Anthai said...

I read this Elseworlds a couple of years ago and I knew, I KNEW, that if one thing was going to spark off your fanboy rage it was going to be Wonder Woman praying to Jesus.

Seriously, before you did this episode, I re-read this issue and every objection I had in my head was in your angry voice.

You can, uh, get out of my brain now. I know it's roomy and all, but a girl needs some privacy.

:)

Blake Parker said...

hahahaha! Linkara, you're crazy! That ending was great with you shooting the comics with your gun!

I like the little bit of theology you threw in there.

I love your videos. I Can tell you really have fun.

Jessica Cain said...

If you think about it, this comic didn't even get BATMAN right! Instead of actually giving him a character, this comic converts him into the ultimate Gary Stu by making him the most "perfect" character out of all of them. Sure the personality and backgrounds were more researched, but this guy still knew nothing of how to write his character.

The Vigilante said...

Absolutely priceless review, Lewis! I was really hoping for a breakdown a la Amazons Attack at the HORRIBIFUCKUS writing on Wonder Women, but the epic rant was just as good! Amazing ending to a fantastic review/decimation of this piece of crap miniseries!

Let us now prepare for the return of....WARRIOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Can't wait for next week!

Peteman said...

I was hoping you would have broken out the Justice League Unlimited Finale where Superman goes all out on Darkseid, someone who had thrown Batman like a ragdoll earlier in that scene, to highlight that Batman may be a great fighter and all, he's not really a match for natural disasters and superpowered aliens that don't fight fair.

sirkenz17 said...

Ok, I know this has probably been asked already, but was it ever revealed just who caused the whole black light thing in the beginning? Most everyone in the story just kind of assumes that it was an "Act of God," and those who don't just roll with it.

If it wasn't, then the black light has to be one of the most blatant deus ex machinas in comic history. It also happens to be one of the first and biggest FAILs of the story.

But, all said and done, it's still not quite as bad as Chuck Austen's "Nightcrawler as the Pope" snafu plot in the X-Men books.

Bryan C. said...

Isn't a double mace called a flail? And there is no way to swing what Linda had with out hurting herself and possible everyone around her.

Tsumetai said...

As usual, I love how you grasp all the logistical and consistency errors within these comics.

However,

I'm finding it rather difficult not to comment on your critique of the god of Abraham. Addressing your comment: "If this were true, God would have to be the most vindictive, dickish, and self-righteous asshole that has ever existed. Innocent people have died because of this…" Honestly, man, have you never read the Bible, especially the old testament? This is God's average weekend. The Bible describes God doing vindictive, dickish, and self-righteous things regularly, and capriciously engages in acts that lead to the death of people who are, by any reasonable standards at all, innocent. Taking away superhero's powers as some kind of stupid test to arrogantly display his own superiority, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of innocents, is right on par with God's character described in the Bible. He's even the kind of incongruous ass who'd take away Martian Manhunter's powers, despite the logical inconsistency of that.

Wow. Sorry, I have a hard time holding back when it comes to religion. Of course, I'd expect you to have known this is a sensitive subject when you started these reviews.

So, yeah, that's my message. Read the Bible. And actually read it; comprehend what it's actually saying. Nothing will lead you to atheism faster.

Katie said...

The issue with Batman being "the best of [them] all" is that he, as a non-powered hero, can't do quite a few of the things powered heroes can. That's why the worked so well as a team. Raising him above everyone else - or rather, flattening everyone else in order to make him look good - is just really a dumb move and misses the point.

So basically, I'm preaching to the choir over here.

Fantastic review. I can't wait to see what you do next, and I'm marking time until you hit the Anita Blake comics.

Also, needing the help of a "warrior..." Mechakara revival. Calling it now.

日本文化のマニアック said...

So we have YET ANOTHER comic that assumes your only religious option is Catholicism? Let's say Wonder Woman concludes that the Greek gods have abandoned her; why does it have to be Catholicism? Why not go to an Episcopalian, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, Baptist, or Adventist Church? And why does it have have to be Christianity? Why couldn't she pray at a synagogue or a mosque? Why not pray to Vishnu? He's got a committed track record of incarnations that kick ass, plus the Hindu pantheon would have to be more appealing to a polytheist like Diana.

And so what, the big reason God did this (assuming it was God and not some race of aliens swinging by) was to hook Superman and Wonder Woman up so that they could have a superbaby? I see, so God wasn't punishing them, he was just playing BREEDER.

GAH!!! THIS! HURTS! MY! BRAIN!

Lewis Lovhaug said...

I'll let the theological scholars in my audience cover it better, but I don't need to be reminded of how the Old Testament God was kind of an asshole. There's a reason why "Christianity" as we know it started with the NEW Testament.

Shanya Almafeta said...

You know what's worse? There was a possible in-world description. The Spear Of Destiny. It was an artifact that disabled all sorts of metahuman abilities, regardless of origin, leaving only mundane human technology working. AND it had a Christian origin - so while it would have been a mortal abuse of divine powers, it would have been a "divine act."

Hitler used it to prevent a superhuman incursion in World War II anywhere in his "sphere of influence." It's one of the scariest artifacts in the DC universe, and a story about its abuse would have explained everything about the "black light event" and being an artifact that must be wielded, it would have provided an actual antagonist for a story.

And yet, instead we got...

Infinitehope said...

hey Lewis, there was a short clip where someone said "I award you no points." What is this from?
I loved the UHF referance, I'm a weirdal fan.
For the theological there is a ton to cover, but the short version is that Christ makes sence of the old laws by replacing them with laws about love. Perhaps too simple of an explaition, but a talk about that is not possible on the internets. (there is a ton in books one could reserch themself)
anyway, lol'ed hard at this. Also on a tangent, more powerranger stuff more! MORE!

Ryan said...

Hey, cool! You mentioned my comment about Guy's own particular brand of OOC-ness! I'm flattered. Well, as flattered as I can be for pointing out one particular fail-apple in the cornucopia of turd that is JLA: Act of God.

But, as usual, it's always nice to see you go off like a chummed shark on horrible comics. I half expect you to start puking acid blood ala the Red Lantern Corps.

Also, while I'm normally neutral or slightly positive towards Batman, this series makes me wanna read a series where he gets owned on every possible level. Something that makes him a psycho that has no business doing what he's doing, where he's not actually doing any good and getting in the way of anyone who might...

*All Star Batman and Robin starts to wander into Griff's field of vision*

Where it's intentional! INTENTIONAL!

Lizard-Man said...

Okay I think I get what the whole fireman scene was about, Superman says he saved a child when he had powers and now he watches a man without powers risk his life to save a child.

Fine, I get the idea, normal regular people without powers risk their lives everyday even though they aren't invulnerable or have super awesome gadgets like superman.

However, regardless, Superman still saved a child. From the looks of it the kid was on the top floor and out of reach of the regular firemen. It doesn't matter if he has powers or not, he still saved a life and he's saved billions of lives time and time again. Besides, even with this knowledge he still doesn't go back to super heroing. He doesn't even become a fire fighter he returns to the Daily Planet.

And what about Diana? As mentioned she doesn't even try to help people despite this speech, she works on wall street then starts praying to the Christian God for some reason. (I'll get to that by the way)

Both Supes and Diana still regularly saved folks without asking for anything in return, that's heroic powers or none. And because Superman knew he couldn't get hurt he could go into dangerous situations regular firemen never could've reached. Hell he could put out the fire with one blow of his massive super lungs. Thus, ending the fire, saving others who would've died others, the fire doesn't risk spreading and no water is wasted trying to put it out. How can this comci claim this is bad, arrogant or in anyway negative?

Even superheroes like Booster, who have a bit of a monetary notion behind their actions are inherently heroic. Why? Because even though he likes to try and sell himself a bit, he didn't have to do this. He didn't have to use use his future tech to save the world, he didn't even have to travel back in time. He chose to become a superhero and save lives when he didn't have to. And in 52 he saved the friggin Multiverse from a giant spacebug! He's not a greedy person, he's awesome as others have pointed out.

The point is these people were given powers and they chose to use them to help people. They can't be everywhere sure, but they can try their best to take down the bad guys and resolve situtations that normal people couldn't on their own. They didn't become heroes to flaunt their powers and act superior to others, they became heroes because they saw bad things happening that regular law enforcement couldn't handle on their own. Thats what makes them heroes, regardless of their powers.

These people, these people aren't heroic at all. They're all whinning and stupid and horribly out of character and the message that they keep trying to sell us that when they had powers they offended God somehow is bull.

Diana praying to the Christian God... dear lord. You know this would've worked if she had like flown to Greece and started praying at say... and ruined Temple for Hera, but nope, she's converted now. Even though she's met the very gods that gave her life, something a billion evangelicals would happily trade all their possessions for even if it was only a few minutes. Come on, its like a Jewish character suddenly praying to Jesus! Or a Muslim walking into a Buddhist Temple and asking for guidance. Doesn't make sense.

Lizard-Man said...

Man, one really could go all day about this couldn't they? So many horrible mischaracterizations, bad writing, flawed biology, the works. I really hate that no one is trying to fix the Blacklight event. I mean, what aboutt he Chinese? They have the Great Ten right? they saw them as an answer to Foreign Aggression of all kinds. Super or otherwise, I don't think they'd be happy about losing their greatest defence against the West. Or hell, Batman himself, he wouldn't be like this. He'd be greatly concerned about his friends losing their powers. Particularly Clark cause of how close they are. He would've gone straight to Clark, seen how he was doing, offered to get his science teams working on a way to keep him fighting and once that was done get them working on fixing the Blacklight event. Hell, if Kyle wasn't being so stupid and just talked to the others from the beginning about his ring, if they like scanned the Martain Manhunter or Supes for what changed in their genetic code, or maybe even tried to dupilicate the Metagene somehow, whatever, point is there were so many ways they could've solved this but the plot only works because, like Linkara says, its an idiot plot.

Okay, done for now, man this comic blows. I'm happy I'm gonna be getting Crisis on Infinite Earths soon, that will probably wash this bad taste out of my head.

Great review linkara, and if you need any help with the TMNT/Archie review I can send you some links to sites that could probably have them. I tried getting them myself, but there were some issues. You proably wouldn't mind them but I didn't wanna risk it. I really wanna see you do a TMNT related work so, yeah, if I can help in anyway I'd be happy to.

looking2dastars said...

Great threesome of reviews! Brought back a lot of bad but funny memories from back when this series originally came out and I reviewed it for Fanzing.

http://www.fanzing.com/mag/fanzingzero/themount.shtml

http://www.fanzing.com/mag/fanzing31/themount.shtml

At the time, most of the mail regarding this criticism was negative. Yes, ten years ago most people - or at least all the ones writing me - actually thought this was a GOOD JLA story and that I should ignore the horrible continuity and characterization since it was an Elseworlds.

I feel vindicated nearly ten years later now that one of the funniest critics out there is now making many of the same points I was then. Thanks for making an old critic feel good, Linkara.

"Starman" Matt Morrison
http://looking2dastars.livejournal.com

rdfox said...

To Night: Actually, miniature nukes aren't that viable. Tests have shown that the practical limit for the smallest possible yield for a nuclear fission *explosion* is about 20 tons--anything less than that and you aren't able to get the supercritical mass needed to have the reaction run away, and just get a hot lump of radioactive material cooking away (or, in an implosion bomb, scattered all over the neighborhood by the trigger blast). Considering that four-ton conventional bombs were known as "blockbusters" in World War Two, for their ability to level an entire city block with a single bomb, it'd be a lot bigger than a building-flattener no matter how small a detonation it was.

(And if we're supposed to accept that all of Ray's body fissioned, as insane a concept as that might be, then doing the math, and assuming the theoretical maximum yield of 6 megatons per metric ton and a weight of one kilogram for Ray at that size, I get a net yield of roughly 6 kilotons, or about a third of the yield of the bomb dropped on Nagasaki. (At the far end of the scale, 0.4 kilotons per metric ton, you're still looking at an equivalent of about 1000 pounds of TNT, which'll flatten the lab *building* quite effectively.)

Yeah, that's not gonna just wreck the room...

ns-kumiho said...

Great Review! Although I'm surprised that you didn't showcase the panel where the Phoenix heroes literally beg Batman not to go with them as they would be useless in comparison to the greatness that is the Batman.

Also Infinitehope:

Jesus never intended to replace the Torah (and says so explicitly in Matthew 5:18) instead he seems to have seen his mission as clarifying it and holding to the spirit of the law instead of the literal word which is something he continually preaches throughout the Gospels. It's St. Paul who says Jesus' crucifixion has removed the need to follow the (Jewish) law bot this seems to be primarily directed to gentiles and it seems he did want gentiles to follow what seems to be the Noahide Laws (compare them to Acts 15:28-29).

Personally, I think that Yahweh gets a bum rap when he's primarily a god of the poor and oppressed - true he's also a martial god and quick to anger but he shows great heart for the oppressed (and when one looks at the current archaeological evidence that seems to show the Israelites developing as a motley crew of people who split off from the Canaanites through internal revolt against their Egyptian back nobles the Old Testament makes a good deal more sense as a Epic origin story - as a side not I really recommend watching this from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/bible/program.html ).

For disclaimer purposes: I'm a Pagan but I've spent a good deal of time on religious studies (both in college and for personal interest).

Also yay! ULTIMATE WARRIOR!

Tsumetai said...

Lewis Lovhaug said … "I'll let the theological scholars in my audience cover it better, but I don't need to be reminded of how the Old Testament God was kind of an asshole. There's a reason why "Christianity" as we know it started with the NEW Testament."

The god of the old testament is still the god of the new testament, and nothing in the new testament redeems god, in fact, it makes him worse. At least in the old testament, he wasn't condemning innocent (by logical standards) people to an eternity of torture. I don't believe in the existence of a god, therefore, if the bible is to be believed, he will send me to suffer the most gruesome of tortures for the rest of eternity. I defy anyone to think of an act more evil than that.

Didn't really want to get into a religious discussion, with you least of all, as religion is one of the most divisive inventions of all man-kind, but when I see a fallacious statement, I can't help myself.

Anonymous said...

Hey Linkara, first time commentor here!

Does the comic say when Clark and Diana's child was conceived or give a rough estimation? You see...with the attempted suicide and all...well, you know where I'm going with this.

Was wonder woman pregnant when she thought about killing herself with the glass shard?

If so...wow, I really don't think Gail Simone would approve.

Oh, and Lewis just to offer a resource to you (and those who would be interested).

http://www.chabad.org

There seems to be alot of discussion concerning the belief that G-d was cruel or vengeful, and I wanted to offer some insight to that and since that involves explaining the laws of Moses, the rabbinical traditions, the history of the Jewish people, their view of their covenant with G-d, and so on, I thought it would be easier to direct you guys to the experts (summarized of course). I just thought you might be interested in hearing the Jewish side of it (since I'm probably the only girl here for whom the term "old testament" doesn't really clink with me, since, you know, it's not old or forgotten for my people. ;) )

Ruiner said...

It may sound a bit redundant due to all the other comments with solidly justified praise, but great work as usual Linkara. I'm looking forward to the Power Rangers Turbo breakdown. I Seriously still can't believe how much I am enjoying those videos as a 28 year old guy, but as a testament to your hard work you have really managed to keep a retrospective of a show made for kids feel mature. However, I hope I do not sound pressing since I think you deserve a bit of a break after this $#!+ storm mini series. You obviously exerted a lot of energy into these most recent AT4W episodes. Anyways all the best to you, and keep up the great work!

Infinitehope said...

thanks ns-kumiho, but that didnt answer my inporant question: what was that clip from?!
also agree with the annon Jewish girl, the Jewish people would be the ones to ask about such questions.
Ns-Kumiho I've not seen that one, its huge (will watch it)
Also, again , the inpraont point is WHERE IS THE CLIP FROM?

its not from anything he lists at the end, I dont think, it looks like from some gameshow or something.
O_o??

Anonymous said...

If you ask me, God isn't particularly cruel but ruthlessly just by the standards of whoever wrote him at the time. Even when he killed someone innocent, they went straight to heaven by the merit of being you know, innocent. He is an asshole by TODAY person's standards. He isn't a person that was raised in the same society as you that you can apply your logic to as a equal. Trying to apply your own rules upon a being that by definition is always right on the merit of being a god is just silly. He made the world, he made the rules - what he says is just. We have the same ground to call him an asshole for killing people as a cannibal calling us asshole for thinking that people shouldn't eat people - today's "logical standards" aren't any more "right" than those from a 100 or 1000 years ago because they're only logical from today society standpoint - today, cannibalism is bad while a 100 years it might turn out to be the only way in a face of a global hunger and overpopulation. Human point of view on what's is right and what is not will always be flawed because he will always build it on what's the basis of what's most comfortable for him and shaped by the society and no society can truly claim to be morally superior to another one because there aren't any "true" rules to outline which one was right. On the other hand, from the believer standpoint, God is different - he was the first, he made the world and is above our petty strife so what he decides isn't influenced by anything but love and justice. From the Bible/Torah standpoint he is the ultimate judge of what is right and what is wrong and arguing with that is just pointless. Whether you go to heaven or hell you deserve it and saying otherwise is just making up excuses for yourself on why you didn't follow a handful of simple rules. Your lifetime is a test and if you screw up you're the only one to blame.

If somebody told me, an atheist, that he thinks God was a dick I could agree with them that whoever was writing him at the point was from my standpoint a dick, because I have different standards than a believer. But asking a christian to read a bible and expect him to stop believing is just silly considering that by his standard, God might have been harsh, but ultimately right in the long run.

As for the question why WW would convert to christianity of all the available religions then well, it's the first one when most western people think about religion doesn't it ? A big, majestic church, your stereotypical wise and loving priest etc - it's just the most mainstream and "hollywood"'y. Not to say that it isn't silly for her to do that. I'd imagine her moving back to Greece to look for any signs of her own pantheon.

Mr_Monopoly said...

This has been the best review for a while I was laughing so much. It would seem that the suckier a comic is the funnier your anger and commentary is. God really shouldn't be mentioned in superhero comics but I guess it could if in the hands of a capable writer. Nice to see you're a Christian, there seem to be too many athiests out there not that they aren't free to do so and they shouldn't be forced to do other wise but to me it seems illogical to have no beliefs about the afterlife. Anyway you're at the top of your game and see why you haven't reviewed the worst comic ever as it would be the funniest review ever.
P.S. Can't wait for Linksano and Spoony Warrior to team up :)

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

Oh dear. Oh dear oh dear.

So our friend Doug Moench is so in love with Batman, that he has basically poisoned these beloved characters, and make them out to be useless wrecks. I can't even describe how insulting that is.

And now let me sum up Wonder Woman's praying and Kyle Rainer's story with this sound from my throat:

GLAAHHHHAHAHJDDJJJHSHHSHSHSHSHSHHSHS

And would I be correct in thinking that Linksano will be making a visit during the anniversary?

Lewis Lovhaug said...

"At the time, most of the mail regarding this criticism was negative. Yes, ten years ago most people - or at least all the ones writing me - actually thought this was a GOOD JLA story and that I should ignore the horrible continuity and characterization since it was an Elseworlds.

I feel vindicated nearly ten years later now that one of the funniest critics out there is now making many of the same points I was then. Thanks for making an old critic feel good, Linkara."

I can't believe that there were people at one time who liked it! I admit I read Act of God when I was a kid and enjoyed it... but the difference is that I was a pretty dumb kid. XD

Tsumetai said...

Anonymous said …
"Even when he killed someone innocent, they went straight to heaven by the merit of being you know, innocent."

Such as? God commanded Moses and his armies to slaughter entire villages of non-believers and keep the virgin women for themselves. God commanded the death of gays... just for the crime of existing (and they go to hell too). God killed every living thing on Earth plant and animal (save for a boat-load of critters) just because he was mad at a few people. What bible are you reading?

"He is an asshole by TODAY person's standards. He isn't a person that was raised in the same society as you that you can apply your logic to as a equal."
God was raised? And anyway, isn't he supposed to be some kind of omnibenevolent, divine being? Exactly what about living in 2000 BC makes the slaughter of a village of non-believers okay? Why couldn't God tell them "Slaughtering a village of people just because they don't believe the same baseless nonsense as you is wrong" rather than "keep the virgin women for yourselves"? If my morals, as a mere mortal, are superior to the god of the bronze age, then that god sucks. Plain and simple.

"Trying to apply your own rules upon a being that by definition is always right on the merit of being a god is just silly. He made the world, he made the rules"
Bullshit! Just because your parents made you, that doesn't mean they get to kill you. While you're entitled to do what you want with your creations, even destroy them, when your creations develop sentience of their own, then they are entitled to their own rights. Murder isn't illegal just because the murder did not create the victim, if that were the case, it would be legal for parents to kill their children. Things like murder and slavery is illegal because humans are self-aware, they have a sentience, a consciousness, the ability to say "I am". Even IF a god created us, that does not give him the right to do with us as he pleases because we are sentient beings ourselves.

"what he says is just."
Bullshit! "Justice" is not what a dictator decides; "justice" is defined as balance, fair punishments that fit the crime. That's why it's represented by a set of scales. "Justice" has a fixed meaning and application, and even if everyone could agree that a god should have the right to do with us as he pleases, that still doesn't make his actions just.

"[subjectivist nonsense about murder and cannibalism]"
Are you mad? I don't derive my morals from societal norms; I derive my morals from logic and reason. I don't consider murder to be wrong because that’s what today’s society dictates; I deem murder to be wrong because of the repercussions it has on conscious, sentient beings. I deem murder to be wrong for reasons that transcend society and time. So unless you want to argue that human beings 3000 years ago were not self-aware, I absolutely CAN hold them and God to my moral standards.

Tsumetai said...

”On the other hand, from the believer standpoint, God is different - he was the first, he made the world and is above our petty strife so what he decides isn't influenced by anything but love and justice.”
Bullshit! Thinking that the actions God has taken in the bible come from “love” and “justices” is just sick when you consider how much cruelty and malice he has committed. People who think killing every living thing on Earth or sending gays to eternal torture just for being gay is an act of “justice” or “love,” seriously scare me.

”From the Bible/Torah standpoint he is the ultimate judge of what is right and what is wrong and arguing with that is just pointless.”
Stop making me say: “Bullshit!” I already addressed this but to say again, just because he created us doesn’t mean he can do with us as he pleases because we are conscious, sentient beings.

”Whether you go to heaven or hell you deserve it and saying otherwise is just making up excuses for yourself on why you didn't follow a handful of simple rules. Your lifetime is a test and if you screw up you're the only one to blame.”
I deserve ETERNAL TORTURE for simply being incapable of believing in a petty deity who refuses to objectively demonstrate his own existence? Fuck you. Seriously, dude. Fuck. You. No one deserves eternal torture. Hell, even Hitler doesn’t deserve eternal torture. It might take a few hundred million years, but in accordance with justice, even his crimes would eventually be paid for. Like I said, there is nothing more malevolent, cruel, or unjust than eternal torture. My challenge remains unheeded, can you think of anything more evil? Justice is balance and nothing finite balances infinity. There’s nothing you can do in a finite amount of time that would warrant eternal punishment. And to think one could deserve eternal torture for such petty and harmless things like not believing in the invisible sky daddy or being gay, that’s just sick, and the sign of a warped, brainwashed mind. This is why I CAN hold God to my moral standards, this is why I CAN say my morals are better than God’s.

”But asking a christian to read a bible and expect him to stop believing is just silly considering that by his standard, God might have been harsh, but ultimately right in the long run.”
I ask Christians to read the bible because most never really have. They may have read the words on the pages, which go in through their eyes and immediately fly out their ears, but most’ve never really taken the time comprehended what it was saying. What’s worse is that people have developed a sort of “idea” about the bible, which they may have gotten from society or their pastors, that isn’t really true. Many think the bible says things that it doesn’t, or think that god wouldn’t do things that he clearly does (like act in a capriciously malevolent manner). Not to mention the contradictions and the demonstrably false scientific and historical claims. And I don’t blame them for not really reading it. Much of the bible is really quite boring and contains a lot of filler, plus even with modern translations it can be hard to understand.

Elzarynn said...

Grrrr! Supes and Wondy do NOT belong together! Sorry, I just had to get that out of my system. They are not SuperFriends with benefits, they are certainly not a One True Pair, and their hypothetical child is blatant Instant Origin, just add water. (And if that's not a Trope, I'm going to add it.) Who, honestly, has ever been interested in a character who's entire origin is "I'm so-and-so's kid" like that freakin' explains everything?

Grrrr!#2 Diana on Wall Street was vomit-worthy mischaracterization, but I let it go because it suggested intelligence, rather than the Wonder Woman who can't use credit cards or pump gas. But that scene of her in the church was just nauseating. I'm a Roman Catholic, baptized, confirmed, the works, so maybe it'd be the first thing I would think to do... but Diana's first inclination should be to go get into contact with gods she's already met and whose power she's already witnessed firsthand. You know, like she does when Gail Simone writes her! Furthermore, what the hell happened to Wondy's supporting cast during all this? If Doug Moench had managed to spend 2 minutes on Wikipedia, he'd realize that Wonder Woman would never have gotten the chance to sink to the emotional low of committing suicide, because freakin' ETTA CANDY would never let her! HELLO! Hey, Moench, ever hear of Wonder Woman's BEST FRIEND? Etta would have gotten Wondy back on her feet and on track to finding the Amazons/the Greek Pantheon/any logical course of action in, like, two minutes flat. Because Etta is awesome.

Then again, if Moench had sullied Etta Candy's character with his stupidity, I'd want to kill him with a spoon. A dirty spoon. Used by someone with acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis.

Grrrr!#3 What, exactly, was the point of ending every single issue with a lame-ass shock death? I don't think I even need to go through all the ways those deaths were stupid, not to mention completely unworthy of the characters. Steel gets stepped on, Ray Palmer gets a sploded, and Kyle becomes "Green-Lantern-on-a-steeeek". Granted, by issue #3, Kyle had become so annoying that maybe some of us wanted to see him die horribly, but it's still an unconscionably depressing end to his story-arc. Also, it's stupid. And Steel and Atom's respective deaths just leave me depressed and angry.

*sigh*

Well, great review as always. You've got a real talent for writing, as well as performing. Look at you, getting me emotionally involved in something I will never read. ;) I've been going over your older multi-parters, and I'm impressed at how your writing has improved in such short time. I like your work in 3-parters especially; I think the 3-act structure agrees with you. I'm looking forward to a good, long, Dr. Linksano build-up. Although, seeing as Pollo has already kicked his ass, you could do with something to show that he's a legitimate threat. (Yeah, you threaten us with that talk about "a warrior" but all I can picture is Spoony in the muscle suit in front of a green screen, yelling "I need scissors! 61!" I'm not so much scared as ROFLMAO.) But, hey, I'm not worried. I'm talking to an expert. You'll scare the pants off me if I wait long enough.

MFlorian said...

Infinite Hope: The "I award you no points" line is from Billy Madison.

日本文化のマニアック said...

"I can't believe that there were people at one time who liked it! I admit I read Act of God when I was a kid and enjoyed it... but the difference is that I was a pretty dumb kid. XD"

How familiar were you with the DC canon at that point, though? I mean, it's an interesting concept, until you realize how appallingly OOC everyone is acting.

And I guess while we're talking about how much a dick God may or may not be (and personally I think much of the dickishness of God comes from dickish followers)... again, it was strange to me that in the end it sort of concluded this wasn't divine punishment, but divine matchmaking. Is the superbaby going to save the multiverse in the future or something? But even so, there had to be an easier way of hooking these two up. Why not take only their powers? It would have had the same effect. Or are all the superheroes going to get together and have children?

Ugh... THINK THINGS THROUGH, COMIC!!

MetFanMac said...

Wow, this is one of the absolute worst comics you've ever reviewed--and that's saying a lot! Naturally, this made for a really funny review... and the ending made me cackle with anticipation! (You do a really good Dr. Insano voice, you know that?)

Triple Seven said...

Kudos to you for still being somewhat sane after reading that horrible series. Loved the review. Reading a few other comments, specifically the ones complaining that the reason for the disaster was never stated, my first thought was "Well, that's kind of missing the point" but then my second thought reminded me that this story was completely devoid of a point...in addition to pacing, characterization, sense, and competent writing. I guess what makes the story all the more disappointing is that the idea itself could've worked. The premise of there suddenly being no more powers with no explanation and the resulting fallout could've made for a wonderful character-driven story in the hands of someone who actually knew their characters. But what we got was something that, unlike Crazy Frank Miller's work (not to be confused with the Frank Miller responsible for Batman Year One, Dark Knight Returns, and an awesome run on Daredevil), isn't even comically bad; it's just bad. Regardless, your clever, masochistic reviews can almost justify the existence of such horrible books. Almost.

JeanJacket said...

LOL. Your actual review was good/funny enough to keep me watching. Otherwise I would have shut my browser down rather than look at that comic. Jeeeeeez. Wonder Woman in a Christian church, Superman the drunk, Wally West being a whining idiot... Owww.

The Doctor Who clip was a great surprise. :D (Was that Seven? I'm still a bit new to the older show...*fails*)

ns-kumiho said...

Infinitehope:

The 'I award you no points' scene is from Billy Madison.

lilmaibe said...

Meh, I just realized 'Justice's' weapon might be suppossed to be Justitia's scale...
Another thing to add to the list of things the author didn't know:
Justitia also carries a sword.
A much more effective weapon >_>

Anonymous said...

MIght've been smarter to leave out that "vindictive" rant in your video, it just starts up the minefield of religious debates in the comments.

Not that I have a problem with religious debates in and of themselves, I just don't like them here, and a large chunk of the comments related to it show a lot of ignorance.

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear Alcohol quoted and then played. I always enjoy the music selection.

Also, I can't believe all those people died just so that Super Man could have a Super Baby...

Melanie said...

Ok, I'm sorry but I laughed hysterically when Green Lantern stole a firetruck. How does somebody do that?!

seiberwing said...

I actually had to take a break when you got to the part with Wonder Woman praying, my brain was just raging so badly at the concept. I don't even read DC comics that much and I knew that was horribly wrong.

"I just need the help of...a warrior!"

Oh shi-! And here I thought his plan would be to create an adorable pinky bouncy fluffball using cyboplasm. I would like that plan.

q99 said...

I mean, what aboutt he Chinese? They have the Great Ten right? they saw them as an answer to Foreign Aggression of all kinds.

The Great Ten weren't around yet. Not many foreign teams at this point.

Hm... I wonder how Russia was doing with the Rocket Reds. They weren't really active at this point, but suddenly they are the premier supers on the planet. An entire team of Steel-level suits!


I can't believe that there were people at one time who liked it! I admit I read Act of God when I was a kid and enjoyed it... but the difference is that I was a pretty dumb kid. XD


I did too, but in my defense I didn't know most of the characters that well yet! And missed part one. So I thought, "Cool, this Kyle guy beat a villain despite having no powers," and similar. But... hindsight. This comic really does suck.

It had good art and a cool concept, so I can see why people thought it was good at first.

Green Ninja said...

I wonder who's gonna be the villian for the next "season". Maybe Bizzaro Linkara. Or would he be too much like 90s Kid, liking Liefeld and all that. xD

TheGoose said...

Why are people against Wonder Woman and Superman being together? They seem to fit as couple more than Batman and Wonder Woman.

日本文化のマニアック said...

Tsumetai:
First of all, I agree that the arguments to which you are replying were all quite stupid.

But unfortunately your angry tirade makes a big mistake as well.

Most people who read the Bible don't take it all literally. They may claim they do, but they don't. Just for starters, the Talmud in particular tones down almost all the death penalties of the Old Testament. Many Christians and Jews accept that most of Genesis is allegory, and things like the flood never happened. There are even people who read eventual universalism in the Bible rather than eternal damnation.

Why? Because as you point out, the Bible itself presents multiple views on almost everything. The Bible is a dialogue and debate between different writers over a span of a thousand years. That dialogue and debate continues today among believers.

In short, your post makes the common fallacy of many anti-theists that all believers have to take every word of their scripture as literally true. You're saying Jerry Falwell's position is the only valid one. As someone who has studied religions from all over the world, I say "No they don't and no it's not!" Humans are sentient and (if one believes in God) given rational functions by the creator, so we are free to think and rethink our understanding of God, knowing that we will always see only God's back and not his face, and through a glass dimly.

Anonymous said...

*a handful of Tsumatai's "bullshits" and calling belief in a god "nonsense"*

*clap clap clap*

Nice work keeping this civilized. Want to bomb my house as well for a different opinion ?

Now, I'll be honest, I don't have a bible on me and I don't remember which book was the Moses "take the pure women and keep them for yourselves" bit (although I recall it from somewhere, not necessarily the bible itself), so I can't rebuff you on that one.

But other than that ? Pardon me, but as you put it, "bullshit". An example ?

"God commanded the death of gays... just for the crime of existing..."

I believe that you're referring to Sodom and Gomorrah, the cities that were destroyed because they we're full of criminals, murders, sinners and sexual deviants, that including rapists, zoophiles, and among them, those who indulged in anal sex. And if you think there aren't guys that enjoy anal sex without being gay, you need a reality check. Not that I have anything against them, but the city wasn't destroyed for being "homo" so cut the drama. Bible mentions punishing sexual deviants that indulge recklessly in their lust, not for being gay.

BTW, sodomy doesn't refer only to anal sex, but also to bestiality and other non-vaginal intercourses that are considered a sin since they don't serve procreation. And seriously, you talk about reading a bible, and then you jump out with "...(and they go to hell too)." ? I think you were watching too many televangelists or choleric priests.

Next issue is that you obviously hold yourself morally superior, able to judge everyone else, past societies and people based on your own standards, not even for a second questioning whether or not you have the right, despite accusing others of not having it - pretty much like I don't know, a god ?

And it's up to you how you interpret "hell" - eternal flames are mentioned in the new testament, but so is simple eternal separation from God, which the flames can simply symbolize - as you yourself noticed, the current version of the bible if filled with translation errors etc, so you're building your own accusation on a flawed base.

And why yes, I think Hitler deserves a eternal punishment, just like I believe that a serial psychotic killer deserves a life time imprisonment sentence. Where would be the justice in releasing them ? Would their victims come back to life as well ? No, they would be still dead and their butchers would be free. Is that justice ? Sorry, but no. You can pay back for a stolen bread, but you can't bring someone back to life. They did something "infinite" that can't be repaired. If they lost their remaining life because of you, so you should spent yours repenting. Now, you said that a person can't do anything in to deserve infinite punishment in finite time. But, let's see, did the people Hitler killed came after finite time ? No, actually, they won't be back for infinite time. What about those who survived his camps ? Well, as some of them say, "noone survived those camps" - they were doomed to spent rest of their lifetime in a state between life and death, an eternal torture that you yourself mentioned. Because while a person might only live a finite amount of time, from that person's own perspective, his life time IS infinity and eternity - all the time he can ever witness, whom beginning and ending goes beyond his perception.

As for something worse than eternal torture ? Simple - eternal nothingness. In more mundane terms, the first one is like loosing both of your legs while the second one is like loosing all your senses and limbs.

So, mister "I'm morally superior to God", please keep your self-righteous... "bullshit" to yourself, because you most certainly don't have more right to judge others than a god or anyone else. Also get some manners.

This discussion is over.

Patch O'Black said...

Ah, if only there was a black light event to remove these comics from our memories...

When it comes to taking down a bad comic, I humbly bow to the master.

Yes, I thought the whole "Diana turns to Christianity" was a bit too much of a stretch. Then again, this whole series, in retrospect, stretches more than Patrick "Eel" O'Brian on a gingo extract overdose.

I wasn't particular bothered by the new heroic identities of the former super-powered heroes. Well, except for "The Green Man" and "The Hand". I mean, come on....

Well, perhaps I'll get off my keester and get more of my own web-series out. Thanks for the inspiration, Mr. Lovhaug.

Celey said...

I happen to agree with the dude with the interesting characters in his name... (Japanese? Korean? Chinese? ... I dunno....) I'll call you Language Person! :D

As I said earlier, I'm Christian, but I do not rely heavily on the Bible (due in part to the fact that I did read the Bible front to back when I was about 13... *And the initial reading did actually put me on the path of atheism, which is a valid path... but after about four years I converted back in an attempt to push forward my spiritual growth)...

There are some things of note that aren't so horrible, make sense, and have a good message in the Bible, though. Most of Jesus's teachings, for example.

Also, I believe that as long as religion is used to spread love and peace, it is just and true. If someone uses religion to do the opposite of that, then they are practicing "bad religion."

In my belief, God is love. In my belief, I think all paths, including atheism (once again, as long as a person has full intention of being loving and peaceful in life), lead to love.

There is some reading I would like to recommend: The Sacredness of Questioning Everything

and

Life of Pi. The former is a serious but interesting read. The latter is fiction, but the main character really digs his way into your heart. He is a Hindu-Muslim-Christian.

"I just want to love God!" is a line in the book that will always stick out to me.

Carrie said...

The comic is just a sad attempt at being philosophical and profound. The sad thing is that he had to destroy what was established to get that message across. Besides, when you have to sacrifice characterization, have huge multi-page lectures or create over-the-top strawmen to make your point it's ruined.

I'm not sure if I'd go populist with the story, but I saw it as "all those other heroes needed help from fancy machines/magical items or powers that many of them didn't earn so they're losers". Batman is the only good one because he doesn't need either one and did it all by himself (that and the author is a major fanboy). I have to wonder if the author himself doesn't like superheroes other than Batman as a whole.

Maybe he was also trying to make a point about the value of ordinary people and how they can be of value in the heroics department, but went at it the wrong way. Besides, Dial H for Hero did a better job when one of the users realized he could be just as useful as a suicide hotline answerer then as a superhero (which he wasn't cut out for.)

thehivemind33 said...

Uh oh, I think I know where this whole thing is going! 0_0 I soooo can't wait for the 2nd Anniversery! This is going to be epic!

An awesome review, Lewis! As we all know a horrid comic ends up with a great review by you. ^^ So I guess SOME good comes out of them.

Tsumetai said...

"Nice work keeping this civilized."
You dropped all pretense of civility by even suggesting I’d deserve eternal torture. I have no reason to be civil to you. I could threaten you with bombing your house or something, yet nothing I could do would compare to the eternal torture you threaten me with, because there just isn’t anything more evil then that.

"But other than that?"
"Other than that"? You really going to use that argument? "Sure Hitler slaughtered millions and started the biggest war ever, ‘but other than that,’ what’d he do that was so wrong?"

"[homosexuality]"
No, I’m referring to the laws handed down to Moses from god: Lev 18:22 which condemns homosexuality, and Lev 20:13, which sentences homosexuals to death. The new testament also mentions homosexuals as being among those who will be set to hell. You’d know this if you had actually read the bible, but like I said, most people never really do.

"you obviously hold yourself morally superior… "
You’re being rather arrogant in assuming I never second guess my morals. I happily question everything I believe, including my morals, always, and at any given time. I welcome questioning and criticism, and will change my stances if I can be proven wrong. So, yes, I absolutely CAN hold the people of the past, and god, to my moral standards, which I’m more than willing to question and second guess. How hard is it to understand? Murder is wrong and for very good reasons, why should murder be okay in 2000 BC?

["hell"]
Ah, yes, the big book of multiple choice. The mere fact that the bible is open to such wide interpretations (although on the subject of hell, the bible is fairly clear that hell is a lake of fire and brimstone and separation from god) means there’s no good justification for believing any of it.

And what is "separation from god" supposed to be? I don’t believe there even is a god, so already I feel quite separated from him. Is "separation from god" supposed to be painful? If so then it would still be eternal torment, so what’s your point? If not, then how’s it any different from now?

"I think Hitler deserves a eternal punishment"
Technically, murder isn’t worth a life time sentence, and some people who’ve murdered have served their time and gone free. Murder is only an infinite crime if the person murdered was going to live forever. However, human lives are precious but finite, thus murder is only deemed a finite crime. This is why a person who’s only killed once (and generally not pre-meditatively) may live long enough to see the end of their prison sentence, whereas some serial killers have been awarded more than four hundred years for their crimes. Nobody actually expects them to live long enough to serve even a fraction of their time, but the time is awarded to them none-the-less for their crime. It's just not possible to commit an infinite crime in a finite amount of time. Even if I destroyed the universe, my punishment would be limited to the amount of time between now and when the universe was going to experience heat-death anyway (which could mesure in the trillions of years, but even ridiculously big numbers are still finite).

"eternal torture = loosing both of your legs"
Are you kidding? Losing your legs = eternal torture? Have you any idea what ‘torture’ even is? Trust me when I say: you would rather have ‘nothingness’ than with every waking moment having your senses bombarded with excruciating pain for the rest of eternity. How could you even think that eternal torture would be a better way to spend your existence? Again, this is the sign of a very warped mind.

"Also get some manners."
I afford manners and respect to those who deserve it; people who threaten me with eternal torture (or "separation from god") most certainly do not deserve it.

This discussion is over.

Lewis Lovhaug said...

"The new testament also mentions homosexuals as being among those who will be set to hell."

Where?

"Ah, yes, the big book of multiple choice. The mere fact that the bible is open to such wide interpretations (although on the subject of hell, the bible is fairly clear that hell is a lake of fire and brimstone and separation from god) means there’s no good justification for believing any of it."

You don't really quite grasp the concept of "faith," do you?

"And what is "separation from god" supposed to be? I don’t believe there even is a god, so already I feel quite separated from him. Is "separation from god" supposed to be painful? If so then it would still be eternal torment, so what’s your point? If not, then how’s it any different from now?"

As the belief goes, we are in the presence of God at all times, whether we believe in him or not. The separation from God would mean that we were completely spiritually cut off, like if a spouse or other loved one had died and we were now cut off from them, but it would be something we couldn't recover from.

Tsumetai said...

To JP Maniac …

First of all, as the malice and immorality of these peoples' religions have hit me personally, I have every right to be very angry and express myself in the form of a lovely diatribe.

I'm fully aware that many Christians do not take the bible literally, and don't get me wrong, I'm appreciative of the more liberal Christians, like Linkara, who retain a more rational moral stance in spite of their religious doctrines (you wont find a more anit-feminist book than the bible [old and new testament]). But such people also present a couple problems.

One, by picking and choosing from the big book of multiple choice, they've lost any justification they had for believing in any of it. At least the Christians who take it literally can fall back on "it's the word of God" [which isn't really a justified reason for believing it, but you can see the rationality there], but when you're choosing what you you want to believe from it, then you're already applying your own sense of morality and judgment on the bible and what it says. At which point, you're under further obligation justify why you accept some things, but not others. How are you justified in believing Jesus was the son of a god, but not that he said gays would "not inherit the kingdom of god"? How are you justified in believing there exists a god, but not that the god killed every living thing on Earth save for a party boat full of critters? And how are you justified in saying you know anything about how this god will judge anyone, ESPECIALLY if you don't even have a "holy text" to back up your claim? Like I said, I do appreciate the people who don't think I'm going to hell for profoundly stupid reasons, these people who are half rational and half irrational tend to be held to more scrutiny then the people who are wholly irrational.

Problem number two with the liberal Christian is that they still take on the label of "Christian". They're taking on the exact same label that Fred Phelps and Jerry Falwell use to justify their positions, so how can they not get caught in the cross fire?

Anonymous said...

God is good. That does not mean God is nice. That means that if you're and oppressor, or a rapist, God will get you. In this life, or the next. God's not a Care Bear, He's God.

Yogurt said...

Tsumetai:

Where to begin?

"Exactly what about living in 2000 BC makes the slaughter of a village of non-believers okay?"

Nothing. Except for the fact that every single time there was a "slaughter", you'll notice that these were all aggressive enemy civilizations who were actively trying to eradicate the Jewish people. The Amelekites, the Hittites, the Philistines..and so on and so on. These guys were not friendly neighbors. They were conquerors and destroyers. The Israelites had no choice but to fight back to defend themselves.

"Why couldn't God tell them "Slaughtering a village of people just because they don't believe the same baseless nonsense as you is wrong"

He did. The Sixth Commandment. "You shall not murder (retzach)". Retzach refers to taking lives unjustly, and taking revenge for petty slights. As such the Isrealites were able to live in peace with their neighbors for quite some time...until their neighbors decided that the Isrealite's bread would look better on THEIR tables instead. At which point, we get a war.

--rather than "keep the virgin women for yourselves"? "

As opposed to leaving them to die in the desert? You do realize that in Hebrew, the word "virgin" being used refers to innocence of deed, right? As in, these women were not responsible for a crime against the Isrealites and thus did not deserve to be treated as enemy combatants, right? Any other of the neighboring cultures would have enslaved or butchered them out of spite. G-D forbid his people from such an action

"If my morals, as a mere mortal, are superior to the god of the bronze age, then that god sucks. Plain and simple."

Let me ask you question: are you in the Ancient Near East (no doubt speaking to us from a time distortion)? Were you surrounded by predatory nations? No? Then you are attempting to put values from your culture and time onto a place where those values mean nothing. This is a basic rule of understanding history, bubby.

"People who think killing every living thing on Earth or sending gays to eternal torture just for being gay is an act of “justice” or “love,” seriously scare me. "

1. Noah's ark is an allegorical story told in parabolic format for the purpose of teaching about familial loyalty and how it relates to loyalty to G-d. Claiming that it "proves" that G-d is cruel, is like looking at the Christian parable about seed sowing as advocating the wasting of food.

2. 'Hell' in Judaism doesn't work that way. It's a place of judgment, where people who have sinned in life must atone and face their crimes. It is not a place of FINAL judgment. If a person is able to confront the evils they did in life and be genuine about seeking forgiveness, then they will rise up to heaven, pure of soul and deed. The same that is offered to Jew and Gentile alike. The Virgin Soul.

3. Being Gay is not a sin in the Torah. The passage some people use to justify this stance in Leviticus actually refers to a prohibition on cultic prostitution (a act that was the stock and trade of other religious groups). A simple reading of the passage in Hebrew would clarify this.

"I deserve ETERNAL TORTURE for simply being incapable of believing in a petty deity who refuses to objectively demonstrate his own existence?"

Not. Eternal. Not. Torture.

Incapable of believing, or not willing to give him a hearing?

"Fuck you. Seriously, dude. Fuck. You."

Ha. "Superior Morals", huh? You may want to start with getting some manners and a sense of perspective. Start slow, bubby.

Anonymous said...

Tsumetai, the punishment for sin, which is opposition to God, is separation from God. That's a fair punishment, as far as I'm concerned.

Yogurt said...

Tsumetai (cont):


"Like I said, there is nothing more malevolent, cruel, or unjust than eternal torture. My challenge remains unheeded, can you think of anything more evil?"

Your challenge has been answered and the answer is that your accusations don't hold water.


"--that’s just sick, and the sign of a warped, brainwashed mind. This is why I CAN hold God to my moral standards, this is why I CAN say my morals are better than God’s."

I hope you can see the irony in your statement by now.


You are angry. I get that. You have precious little knowledge about the Torah and Judaism. I get that.

Might I recommend something? Before you pontificate again, and make the same mistakes (AGAIN), take a deep breath, calm down, open your mind and actually study the religion you so despise. You may find that while you may not agree with us, you might LEARN something.

As you are now, you are performing a grave disservice to Atheists everywhere by making a mockery of that legacy.

Russell, Nietzsche, Stubaker...all of these great Atheist philosophers STUDIED their opponents before they argued.

I suggest you do the same.

Tsumetai said...

Lewis Lovhaug said …
"'The new testament also mentions homosexuals as being among those who will be set to hell.'

Where?"

Where to start:
Romans 1:26-28 (as an aside, this is also the only clear reference to lesbians in the bible)
Romans 1:31-32
1 Corinthians 6:9-10
1 Timothy 1:10
Revelation 22:15

On a side note, Jude 7 and 8 state that homosexuality and sex outside of marriage were the primary crimes of Sodom and Gomorrah. That's not totally relevant to the conversation, I just thought that interesting (although the stated sins of Sodom and Gomorrah throughout the bible are contradictory).

"You don't really quite grasp the concept of "faith," do you?"
"Faith" is the belief in something without evidence. "Faith" is the admission that you have no reason to believe it.

Tell me, why is "faith" a good thing? How do you justify your "faith"? Why should I, or anyone else including you, have faith in your religion instead of any others? What separates your "faith" from the "faith" of a Muslim extremist? Faith supports any and all beliefs equally, which is to say faith doesn't support any belief at all.

People are raised to believe faith is a virtue, but never explain why. You're just expected to have faith in "faith", which is a tautology.

"As the belief goes, we are in the presence of God at all times, whether we believe in him or not. The separation from God would mean that we were completely spiritually cut off, like if a spouse or other loved one had died and we were now cut off from them, but it would be something we couldn't recover from."
While I'd like some kind of justification for this, my point still stands, it's meant to be a form of eternal torture; merely exchanging a physical agony for an emotional one.

Anonymous said...

"I deserve ETERNAL TORTURE for simply being incapable of believing in a petty deity who refuses to objectively demonstrate his own existence? "
Everyone, including you, believes in things that can't be demonstrated. There's not one atom of justice in the universe, yet you persist that God acts unjustly. You're a liar, a hypocrite, and quite frankly, a moron.

Anonymous said...

""Faith" is the belief in something without evidence. "Faith" is the admission that you have no reason to believe it. "
You have faith in justice. You have faith in mercy. You have faith in the existence of right and wrong. They can't be measured, there's not such thing as Justicium, yet you believe in them.

Anonymous said...

"While I'd like some kind of justification for this, my point still stands, it's meant to be a form of eternal torture; merely exchanging a physical agony for an emotional one. "
Sin is opposition to God. You choose to be against God, God lets you do it.

Tsumetai said...

To Yogurt,

First of all, I don't have the time or resources to deal with everyone ganging up on poor little ol' me. So I fear I must leave your invalid arguments to stand.

I do know a thing or two about the Torah, but I wasn't talking about Judaism or the Tanakh, was I? I was debating from a Christian stand point and referencing the old testament of the Christian bible, which ironically enough, is very different from the Hebrew Tanakh.

Judaism is a remarkably different religion with remarkably different beliefs than Christianity, and your attempts to refute my arguments by responding as though I was making those arguments from a Jewish point of view is disingenuous at best. Injecting a Jewish point of view is not helping.

Tezzle said...

And entire comic where the writer does nothing but praise Batman's awesomeness? But...it sounds so awesome in theory! How dare he screw that up!

Celey said...

Tsumetai... Faith is something all people possess. Even you.

For instance, when I go to college and sit down in class... I have faith that the quiet person in the back isn't going to whip out a gun and shoot me in the back of the head.

To a certain extent, we need faith to keep us sane. Not necessarily faith in religion... but faith, in general. Otherwise, we would drive ourselves crazy being hyper-alert all the time and trying to cover for every detail of our lives.

In fact, faith is part of what helps us stay on moral ground. Again, not necessarily faith in religion... But... Consider this. This is a line from a book by Terry Pratchett called the Hogfather.

"Tell me where in the universe you will find one grain of truth, one molecule of justice, one atom of love. You can't. These things only exist because humans believe they exist."

It is important to note that Mr. Pratchett has a degree in philosophy (but he writes fiction books) and has claimed to be an atheist.

As for my "picking and choosing," I converted back to Christianity on the condition (something I set for myself) that I would not be overly reliant on the Bible. I do not need the Bible to tell me that God exists. I do not need the Bible to tell me that my spirit exists.

If the Bible itself did not exist, I would still worship God in some form or another. This is part of what faith is all about.

I concede that it is not rational. It's not supposed to be. We make irrational decisions all the time. Humans are not perfect. So, what's one more to the pile?

Further, just because there is one aspect of my life that is irrational, does not mean that I am completely irrational or even half-irrational. I'm in college right now studying to be a biochemist. Scientists have to approach things rationally (I am quite firm about keeping science and religion separate as neither are compatible with each other.)

I'm not sure why you are attempting to invalidate religion (Christianity, in particular). It's a fruitless effort since you will not succeed. I'd like to suggest some tolerance and acceptance that there will be people who won't be atheists. This does not automatically make them stupid, irrational, hateful, or inferior to atheists.

People are going to be different from each other.

(On another note, I suspect the Anonymous poster is a troll.)

Alex Stritar said...

*looks at the "debate" going on*

Yeah, isn't this supposed to be about a comic?

tsumetai said...

"You have faith in justice."
"Justice" is an action, not a "thing". It is something I like to see enacted fairly for logical reasons, it's not something one can have "faith" in.

"You have faith in mercy."
"Mercy" is also an action, and this sentence doesn't make sense.

"You have faith in the existence of right and wrong."
My ideas of right and wrong are based on logic and reason. I don't have "faith" in them.

"For instance, when I go to college and sit down in class... I have faith that the quiet person in the back isn't going to whip out a gun and shoot me in the back of the head."
Faith has many definitions, and you're conflating two of them here.
I don't have "faith" that the person in the back of the class wont pull out a gun and shoot me, I have a reasonable expectation that the person in the back of the class wont pull out a gun and shoot me. It's never happened to me before, I've never seen it happen to anyone else, I know statistically speaking, despite media hype that surrounds them, I know school shootings are few and far between. There's a difference between accepting something on no evidence, and accepting that something will continue to be true based on reasonable evidence.

"To a certain extent, we need faith to keep us sane."
I disagree. I try to make ALL my beliefs based on some sort of evidence, and I believe questioning everything and maintaining a level of alertness is a good thing.

"In fact, faith is part of what helps us stay on moral ground. Again, not necessarily faith in religion... But... Consider this

'Tell me where in the universe you will find one grain of truth, one molecule of justice, one atom of love. You can't. These things only exist because humans believe they exist.'"

Like I said above, "justice" is an action, not a thing. "Love" is a biological function of the brain that has been demonstrated to exist. "Truth" is a more complicated discussion. "Truth" is whatever actually exists, regardless of whether or not we can know it, and we know there must be some form of reality or else we wouldn't exist to have this discussion. And it's not a good idea to quote from fiction. Even from an atheist philosopher. I have no indication of the context of the passage, or any way of knowing if this is really the way the author feels, or the way a character described by the author feels.

tsumetai said...

"I do not need the Bible to tell me that God exists. I do not need the Bible to tell me that my spirit exists."
But you ARE going to need some kind of empirical evidence to prove to anyone else that god and your spirit exists. If you can't prove it to others, how can you really know yourself? I can believe 100% that the leprechaun on my shoulder really exists, but if I can't prove it to others, how can I really know for myself?

"This is part of what faith is all about."
Yes. You openly admit to believing in god regardless of the presence of evidence. I've already agreed with you that that is what faith is. But it still doesn't justify having faith.

"I concede that it is not rational. It's not supposed to be. We make irrational decisions all the time. Humans are not perfect. So, what's one more to the pile?"
Seriously? Humans aren't perfect, so let's just go ahead and be crappy? Really? Aside from the horrible things people do because irrational decisions like faith in things they can't demonstrate, just because we know we can't reach perfection doesn't mean we shouldn't try to be as good as possible.

"just because there is one aspect of my life that is irrational, does not mean that I am completely irrational"
I agree.

"I'm not sure why you are attempting to invalidate religion (Christianity, in particular). It's a fruitless effort since you will not succeed."
Not by myself. And while religion is dwindling in western and far eastern countries, I agree it may never die completely. That doesn't mean I should just concede to other people's irrational actions taken on account of religion, especially when those actions effect others, including myself.

And the only reason Christianity is "targeted" in this thread is because it was the subject of the comic this blog post reviewed.

Tsumetai said...

"*looks at the "debate" going on*

Yeah, isn't this supposed to be about a comic?"

Funny things happen when you mention religion…

Me! said...

Romans 1:26-28 (as an aside, this is also the only clear reference to lesbians in the bible)
Romans 1:31-32


Nothing there says "homosexuals go to hell". It doesn't even mention hell. You're also ignoring the argument that it is referring to "unnatural" lusts towards the same gender...that is, straight men having gay sex. (whether that argument is valid is another matter, but at any rate, it says nothing about hell that I saw)

1 Corinthians 6:9-10

Again, no reference to hell. Furthermore, the word translated as "homosexuals" in that portion is actually a bit of a conflicting subject, as there's very little usage of it in any other texts we know of (and those usages have had other implications), making Paul's meaning a bit ambiguous. One of these days I really have to learn Greek so I can read these for myself...

1 Timothy 1:10

Nothing about hell still. What I said about the above Corinthians quote applies here also, I believe.

Revelation 22:15

No homosexuality reference here, and I've checked multiple translations. Could you possibly share which translation you're using? The closest thing I've seen is that some translations write things like "sexually immoral" (and some just write "immoral"). 



On a side note, Jude 7 and 8 state that homosexuality and sex outside of marriage were the primary crimes of Sodom and Gomorrah.

I'm not seeing the references to homosexuality. I've seen "going after strange flesh" in the translations I've checked but I'm not sure how that automatically translates to homosexuality. That seems more like bestiality to me.

That's not totally relevant to the conversation, I just thought that interesting (although the stated sins of Sodom and Gomorrah throughout the bible are contradictory).

Or, maybe, y'know, they were guilty of multiple sins?

*looks at the "debate" going on*

Yeah, isn't this supposed to be about a comic?


Yes. Yes it is.

MadDogBV said...

This is like watching Spock and Bones bicker. Except it's not funny. Nor is it in the least bit thoughtful.

Alex Stritar said...

"Funny things happen when you mention religion… "

Yeah, I guess you have a point there and... Whoa, your still up? Does Atheism give you stay awake powers? Talk about the power of belief.

Lewis Lovhaug said...

"Where to start:
Romans 1:26-28 (as an aside, this is also the only clear reference to lesbians in the bible)
Romans 1:31-32
1 Corinthians 6:9-10
1 Timothy 1:10
Revelation 22:15

On a side note, Jude 7 and 8 state that homosexuality and sex outside of marriage were the primary crimes of Sodom and Gomorrah. That's not totally relevant to the conversation, I just thought that interesting (although the stated sins of Sodom and Gomorrah throughout the bible are contradictory)."

http://whosoever.org/bible/

"My ideas of right and wrong are based on logic and reason. I don't have "faith" in them."

Erm, I'd like to see your logical chain there. The thing is, ethics and morality have no place in "logic" and "reason" as I understand them.

For example, logic would suggest that the sick and infirm should be sterilized because they are a drain on resources and time. This is of course assuming we're approaching from the purportedly "logical" position that "the needs of the many outweight the needs of the few," which while a great quote and can probably be interpreted to mean that the needs of society are more important than the needs of a single individual, but the ethics of being raised as an American and the life that I have followed tells me that individual rights should still be honored regardless of the needs of the many - i.e. the free speech of a racist, homophobic, bigoted jackass to speak his mind is more important than the fact that society suffers with their continued existence and is annoyed by their rhetoric.

However, the logic of "the needs of the many" does not have any statement of morality or ethics within it - it is simply a statement of logic. Now I'm not arguing about the phrase itself, I'm simply saying "deriving morality from reason and logic" does not make much sense, since concepts of right and wrong are metaphysical ideas that we attribute importance to.

Or, to use another Spock quote, "Logic is the beginning of wisdom, not the end."

Lewis Lovhaug said...

""Faith" is the belief in something without evidence. "Faith" is the admission that you have no reason to believe it."

Yes, but you didn't really get my point, did you? I am fully aware of the contradictions within the Bible and the questionable ethics presented... but I also recognize that the Bible was not some divine document that descended from on high in every language on the planet and contains the literal truth.

I don't believe that God would grant me a brain capable of reason and not expecting me to use it. I recognize that the Bible was written by imperfect beings with their own biases and beliefs loooong ago in entirely different cultural concepts and later the books that made up the Bible were brought together and canonized by a founding society of other imperfect beings with their own biases and beliefs and then translated by imperfect beings with their own biases and beliefs. Subsequently, a lot of the little details got lost along the way or were outright changed.

However, ultimately my faith is that despite all of that, that once upon a time a carpenter, who was the son of God, gave his life for the sins of humankind and that ultimately, despite the pain and suffering that we as imperfect beings with our own biases and beliefs inflict upon one another, that ultimately we are heading towards a greater good, either in the next life or perhaps someday in our own lifetimes.

You're an atheist - you have decided what you believe to be truth. I'm a Christian - I have decided what I believe to be truth. Along the way, we may change what we believe to be truth. I would simply appreciate not being yelled at because my truth doesn't coincide with your truth, especially since I was never arguing about your truth.

"And the only reason Christianity is "targeted" in this thread is because it was the subject of the comic this blog post reviewed."

Christianity has as much to do with "JLA: Act of God" as it does with reasonable character motivation: ergo NOTHING.

This argument began because the conception of God in this comic is one that does not coincide with how I and millions of others view the being I worship, and this comic would have me believe that it DOES match up with that conception, telling ME what I should be thinking and that pisses me off beyond belief.

ns-kumiho said...

*looks at the "debate" going on*

Yeah, isn't this supposed to be about a comic?


Yeah probably, but even mentioning religion on the internet is like yelling fire in a crowded theater.

Although back on the subject of Wonder Woman worshiping Jesus: Technically, as a follower of Greco-Roman classical religion she could have been justified in worshiping Jesus a few of the late Greco-Roman oracles endorsed him as a Hero who had attained godhood which puts him on much the same level as Heracles:

As confirmation, Porphyry cites an oracle of Hecate: "To those who asked whether Christ was God, Hecate replied, 'you know that the immortal soul goes on its way after it leaves the body; whereas when it is cut off from wisdom it wanders forever. That soul belong to a man of outstanding piety [i.e. Jesus]; this they worship because truth is a stranger to them." ... "Thus Hecate said that he (Jesus) was a most devout man, and that his soul, like the souls of other devout men, was endowed after death with the immortality it deserved; and that Christians in their ignorance worship this soul (as the highest god)"

Wilken, Robert L. The Christians as the Romans Saw Them. 1984. New Haven: Yale University Press. p. 152-153

The stuff in (parentheses) are my additions for clarification - I have a few more quotes from this work here: ( http://ns-kumiho.livejournal.com/124140.html ).

So if Wonder Woman's religion is a continuation of Greco-Roman religion it could have absorbed Jesus as much as Hinduism absorbed the Buddha in India (where he is seen as an Avatar of Vishnu among other explanations). So she could have been justified in praying to Jesus for help as a follower of Greco-Roman classical religion and his holy places are rather more common in the US... but then all this assumes Doug Moench did a lot of research and thought that he clearly didn't do from looking at everything else.

Truce Weston said...

The scene of Wonder Woman is even worse that the twin hitler clones, the church of humanity's plan, amazon's attack, snowflame, warrior, and countdown combined!

A comic that must be eliminated from existance , across the multiverse!

so until Ms. Marvel loses her powers and becomes a Jehovah's Witness, after dating The Sentry, MAKE MINE LINKARA!

ns-kumiho said...

However, the logic of "the needs of the many" does not have any statement of morality or ethics within it - it is simply a statement of logic.

Ummm... Sorry Linkara, but I'm going to have to call you out on that bit. That's statement is based on an entire school of ethics - Utilitarianism - in which actions are judged ethical or not by their utility in aid the happiness/pleasure/safety of the greatest number of sentient beings.

There are many problems with it as with many theories of ethics when they hit the real world but saying that it is without ethics is a bit far and wildly inaccurate.

And also isn't "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few or the one" rather at the core of the Jesus story? I mean he probably could have scampered off down the road and escaped but he chose to sacrifice himself for the sake of others.

tsumetai said...

Lewis Lovhaug said …
[whosoever.org]

A: That is contradictory to typical biblical interpretations.
B: A group of homosexual Christians who are predisposed to wanting to believe that the bible doesn't condemn them are probably not the best source for finding out whether or not the bible condemns them.

"I'd like to see your logical chain there. The thing is, ethics and morality have no place in 'logic' and 'reason' as I understand them."
Then perhaps you don't understand them too well. Or rather, you're not fully informed on the logic of morality. Look at my previous posts for short explanations on why murder is wrong from a logical point of view (there's more to it then just what I posted previously, however).

"For example, logic would suggest that the sick and infirm should be sterilized because they are a drain on resources and time."
I find that highly illogical. Mainly because you're not taking into account certainly variables; such as whether the person in question is a sentient being (like a human), and there's logic to empathy as well, how would you feel if you were in that sick person's position? There's logical value to putting yourself in others' shoes, as both beneficial for individuals and society as a whole.

"the needs of the many outweight the needs of the few," which while a great quote and can probably be interpreted to mean that the needs of society are more important than the needs of a single individual"
And you should use logic when "interpreting" that quote. The quote has merit but is not some kind of all encompassing dogma, rather it is applicable in certain situations.

[Free speech]
Sure, I agree with free speech, and for logical reasons. Again it goes back to the logic in empathy, but it also has to do with the logical benefit of a free exchange of ideas, no matter how stupid.

"However, the logic of 'the needs of the many' does not have any statement of morality or ethics within it"
So? It's a quote from Spock, not the bible of the humanists. That doesn't mean I can't derive my morals from logical reasons rather than just assuming it comes from some grand authority. It comes down to asking "Why?". Why should something be wrong? Why should murder be wrong? I can think of logical reasons that murder is wrong - several, in fact - therefore I find murder to be logically, morally wrong. Why should homosexuality be wrong? I can't think of any reason; I've heard arguments that are easily rebutted, and some would be just plain stupid even if they were valid, but no logical reason homosexuality should be wrong, therefore I don't deem it to be morally wrong.

Tsumetai said...

Lewis Lovhaug said...
[faith]

The absurdity of the Jesus story aside, I think you'rethe one who missed my point. I'm aware that you believe all that stuff you said. I'm aware that you believe all that in spite of a lack of evidence. The question is: Why? Why is faith a good thing? Why should I or anyone else accept your claims if all you have is faith? What separates your faith from the faith of extremist Muslims or fundie Christians? Why believe in something without sufficient evidence that it is real, and why is that good thing?

"I would simply appreciate not being yelled at because my truth doesn't coincide with your truth, especially since I was never arguing about your truth."
I'm not yelling at you, and I wouldn't yell at you, unless you started yelling first or started threatening me with hell fire. The only person here I internet-yelled at was the jerk who was fine with me being eternally tortured.

Scott said...

One of your best reviews you've ever made. Honestly.

Also, I can't wait to see you actually burn another comic again, literally. With fire. :x Will you burn something soon?

Lewis Lovhaug said...

"The question is: Why? Why is faith a good thing?"

Well, my faith in Jesus and God for me at least helps me make peace with the fact that despite all the terrible things that happen in the world, eventually good people and bad people will get what they truly deserve for who they are as people, that ultimately even if this life sucked, there's a better one after this one has ended.

It's comforting to think that there is a true order to the universe and that ultimately, even the most lonely, depressed, and sad person still has someone or something out there that loves them and cares about what happens to them, that there is ultimately a source that is all good and perfect and pure. It makes me smile to think that someday, there will be no such thing as evil or hatred or cruelty or pain.

"Why should I or anyone else accept your claims if all you have is faith?"

I don't expect them to. Having faith is a personal decision that one has to either come to based on their own feelings and beliefs or reject. All I can offer is my perspective and why it works for me.

"What separates your faith from the faith of extremist Muslims or fundie Christians?"

I don't try to hurt people who don't agree with me, nor wish them harm, nor revel in their bad fortune. Having faith itself is not the problem. Believing that other people should die if they don't have that faith IS a problem.

"Why believe in something without sufficient evidence that it is real, and why is that good thing?"

The idea of faith is to be unknowable, to trust something bigger than ourselves despite the lack of evidence. Frankly from a logical standpoint I don't understand the universe WITHOUT God. Sure, it's entirely possible that the universe is without a divine creator, that we simply began as a random accident, a few amino acid chains just HAPPENED to form, and that everything we have ever done, every human being in the countless eons that has ever been has simply ceased to be and their consciousnesses and their minds and their deeds and misdeeds are nothing more than chemical reactions that affected other chemical reactions and in the end their effects have no more bearing on the universe than a harmless microbe has on a single human. It's entirely possible that's the case.

I simply prefer to think otherwise.

Maybe believing something without evidence isn't a good thing, but I don't see it as a bad thing, either.

Lewis Lovhaug said...

"I'm not yelling at you, and I wouldn't yell at you, unless you started yelling first or started threatening me with hell fire. The only person here I internet-yelled at was the jerk who was fine with me being eternally tortured."

My apologies there.

"A: That is contradictory to typical biblical interpretations."

We're not allowed to have alternate interpretations?

"B: A group of homosexual Christians who are predisposed to wanting to believe that the bible doesn't condemn them are probably not the best source for finding out whether or not the bible condemns them."

Why not? They back up their claims with historical context and language and explain why the evidence usually used against them is, in fact, not good evidence.

Lewis Lovhaug said...

Plus I remind you all that this whole debate is centered around a single comment I made about behavior that doesn't match up to MY beliefs about how God is supposed to act in a craptastic story that's trying to be deep and meaningful.

Frankly, despite the grumbling I've had at comments from both sides, I've found this discussion to be deeper and more interesting than every one of Doug Moench's moronic, stilted phrases lines about the superheroes being fallen gods or some dumb metaphor like that.

Telyra said...

Great review ^^

But I can't help myself, for some reason I was always expecting JLU's Question to suddenly star running through the panels, screaming "it's all the fault of the aglets! Why can't you see the evil that are aglets and fluoric toothpaste?" or just something like this.

Katie said...

To Tsumetai: I have no indication of the context of the passage, or any way of knowing if this is really the way the author feels, or the way a character described by the author feels.

As Celey already said, the quote was from Sir Terry Pratchett's Hogfather. The character speaking the line is the anthropomorphic personification of Death, who lacks emotion but has gained an interest in human affairs and functions. The passage itself is a conversation between Death and his granddaughter Susan about faith in general and its purpose to humans specifically. The book itself is about an Assassin who has figured out a way to kill the Hogfather (Discworld's representation of Father Christmas).

[SPOILERS] The assassin exerts minimal magical control over mass amounts of children, removing their faith in the Hogfather. Without faith, the personification of Hogswatch (Christmas) cannot exist. The novel focuses on Death as the Hogfather's somewhat less-than-apt stand-in and Susan's journey to discover the Assassin's plan and reverse it. [/SPOILERS]

I recommend reading it: the novel makes some very poignant points about faith in a non-religious manner, and, in the manner of all Discworld novels, is incredibly witty and a fantastic read.

I offer this literary tangent because the English major in me couldn't let it go and because I've discovered becoming embroiled in a religious debate after midnight generally begets disastrous consequences. That said, it has been interesting to read; it's nice to see an online debate over such a touchy subject in which the arguments consist of more than, "I hate you and I hate the bands you like!" I can't say I agree with everyone's point of view, but I have enjoyed reading the arguments.

David said...

"so until Ms. Marvel loses her powers and becomes a Jehovah's Witness, after dating The Sentry, MAKE MINE LINKARA!"

Fun fact: Ms. Marvel did date the Sentry. At least if you take Jeff Parker's "Age of the Sentry" miniseries to be canon in defiance of all logic and continuity, and by gum that's EXACTLY what I do.

Celey said...

Thank you, Katie... :)... *I love the Discworld novels, and I'm apt to quoting more than a few lines from them because there are a lot of deep and meaningful lines in those books*

I concur with Linkara about what separates our faith from the faith of someone who wishes to harm or hate other people (for not believing in their faith)...

Tsumetai, you seem to be equating faith with something that is bad. You keep asking why is faith a good thing? And I want to ask you why is it a bad thing? Because there have been (and still are) people who have done horrible things in the name of faith? That sounds highly illogical to me. That's like condemning everyone named Nick simply because someone named Nick stole your lunch money in the fourth grade.

Faith in and of itself is neither bad nor good. It all depends on the person that has faith. This is the way it is with most things in life. Even logic.

A person can still be logical and do bad things, you know.

Also, I wasn't trying to argue that you need religion in order to have morals and ethics. That is simply not true (as I've said before, I was an atheist myself once).

I was trying to argue that you need to have faith in certain principles (truth and love and all that) in order to have morals and ethics.

Also, I'm failing to see why it would matter, from a logical standpoint, if a highly sick person is a sentient being or not when judging whether or not to get rid of them in order to conserve resources. But I'll concede that empathy does have logical value.

Also... My point about humans being imperfect was not to say that gives them allowance to be crappy. I was trying to say that it allows them to have faith. Faith and hope.

My faith in one particular God is as Linkara said... It's a personal decision. I am not using my faith to hurt anybody or hate anybody. Quite the opposite, in fact.

So, tell me... Why is this a bad thing? Because I lack evidence?

Do you have cold-hard evidence for everything in your life?

Let me give you this scenario. I have a condition called Crohn's disease. There is a 75% chance that I will have to have gastrointestinal surgery at some point in my life. Despite these unfavorable odds, I hope that I will not have to have surgery.

Does this make me bad? Is it bad to have hope, to have faith?

Craig said...

An Asshole God killing people to prove his not to be f___ed with status?

JLA: Act of God is Shin Megami Tensei canon, confirmed!

Noel said...

Maybe we should look at this horrible murder of nearly every DC heros’ personality from a psychological standpoint. Though it is clear that the only characters the writer understands are those from Gotham, the heroes he doesn't know very well still have some sort of personality. (Whether or not it was whiney and childish) So, if that's not their own personalities then whose personality do they have? The writer! That's what I think!

If put in an empowered situation (like for example being given the blessing of writing a comic using the entire DC universe) he would feel like an egotistical God (much like the heroes in the story did with powers, whether or not they didn't use to act that way when not possessed by Doug Moench)

Also, if having something great taken from him, Doug may become severely pessimistic and form severe depression disorders. Things like divorce and criminal acts will come naturally without much thought.

But let’s look at the positive. It seems like through all of this, Doug looks up to the people who can make it through rough times in life without support and “power”. He probably wishes to one day be reborn (like a phoenix, which I’d say is his favorite piece of symbolism) and become a better man who can get past big losses and self-doubt. He wants no support or empowerment.

Lastly, the super-baby ending should be mentioned. Well, Doug must figure that if he lives life with this new, not optimistic more like independent, perspective then in the future his children will have empowered lives.

Oh, did I forget his religious views? Well, maybe it’s safe that I did…

English said...

Great reviews Linkara, I do love yoyr work so very dearly.

And I think Aquaman (the REAL! Aquaman, not "The Hand") phrased a good point for this flame war:

"It's faith, Hawkgirl. You're not supposed to understand it. You just have it."

Tsumetai said...

Celey said...
"you seem to be equating faith with something that is bad. You keep asking why is faith a good thing"

First of all, I assume things are neutral until I have reason to believe they're good or bad. Second, people assert that faith is good, so I ask them to justify that statement.

"And I want to ask you why is it a bad thing?"
What you believe informs your actions, even if you make a conscious decision not to let your beliefs directly harm others, you may still indirectly harm others, or even yourself (such as not treating an illness because you have faith that a god, or an 'alternative medicine' will cure you). This is why I want to believe as many true things and as few false things as possible.

However, 'faith' doesn't make any progress towards separating true from false. "Faith" allows anything to be true, from the simple belief there is a god, to the most radical Muslim doctrines. Muslim extremists flew planes into the WTC towers because they sincerely believed that we deserved it; they believed they'd get rewarded for it, and they believed these things because they had faith.

And while I disapprove of faith for several reasons stated above, I can include the bad things people do because of faith as one of those reasons because "faith" is how they justified their actions. If someone named "Nick" stole my lunch money, I wouldn't hate all people named "Nick" because the guy who stole my lunch money didn't do it because his name was "Nick", he did it because of malice and greed, thus I'd be justified in disapproving of malice and greed.

"I was an atheist myself once"
Please forgive me, but I must doubt that. Though I'd love to know why you became an atheist in the first place, and further hear the argument and evidence you received to convince you there was a god.

"I was trying to argue that you need to have faith in certain principles (truth and love and all that) in order to have morals and ethics."
And I disagree. I don't need faith to have morals or ethics. That doesn't even make sense. Truth and love demonstrably exist, as well, thus I don't need faith in them either (though as I said before, truth is more complicated, but there's still a reasonable, and practical expectation of truth).

"I'm failing to see why it would matter if a sick person is a sentient being"
Because sentience means the creature's intelligences has reached a point where they are aware of their own existence (namely humans as we don't know any other creatures that have reached this point). This is also why it is important to understand the logic in empathy. When a creature can be aware of their own existence, they can break out of their instinctual programming to understand what life means to them, and make they're own decision on whether or not they want their precious life to end (something that a non-sentient creature cannot do). Because they are capable of consciously putting a value on their own life, other sentient beings (namely other humans) can understand this value, and thus place value upon the lives of all similar e.g. self-aware creatures.

"Do you have cold-hard evidence for everything in your life?"
Yes. As much as I can. And the things I can't; I doubt.

"Is it bad to have hope, to have faith?"
'Hope' and 'faith' are NOT the same thing. "Faith" is believing something is true without sufficient evidence; "hope" is wanting something to be true, regardless of probability. I hope people will embrace logic and evidence in the near future, although I don't have faith that it will as I don't believe it will happen.

I 'hope' you wont require surgery, but I 'believe' based on the evidence presented, that you probably will.

Anonymous said...

"And I disagree. I don't need faith to have morals or ethics. That doesn't even make sense. Truth and love demonstrably exist, as well, thus I don't need faith in them either (though as I said before, truth is more complicated, but there's still a reasonable, and practical expectation of truth)."
So there are love waves or truth atoms in the universe? Are there justice atoms to? Oh wait, there aren't.

Anonymous said...

"But you ARE going to need some kind of empirical evidence to prove to anyone else that god and your spirit exists. If you can't prove it to others, how can you really know yourself? I can believe 100% that the leprechaun on my shoulder really exists, but if I can't prove it to others, how can I really know for myself?".
You know that logic exists. Ever seen it? Heard from it? Felt it? Then why do you believe in it?

Siv-Su said...

"If someone named "Nick" stole my lunch money, I wouldn't hate all people named "Nick" because the guy who stole my lunch money didn't do it because his name was "Nick", he did it because of malice and greed, thus I'd be justified in disapproving of malice and greed."

So when you blamed Extremist Muslim terrorist attacks you were sure to mention very real political grievances, a history of oppression by Euro-American interests, and the continued machinations of powerful arms trafficking cartels?

It's never as simple as "his/her faith made them do it".

Che Guevara and Fidel Castro did not murder my grandparents in Cuba just because they were Atheists and my grandparents were Jehovah's Witnesses. My abuela and abuelo were killed because men who desired power (real, tangible power) felt that crushing a people's faith would limit the people's resistance to their political ideology and thus increase their power.

Osama Bin Laden did help facilitate the WTC because his faith told him so. He did it to increase his power base and to fuel hate. The kind of hate which spawns retaliation. The same kind of retaliation which creates more hate and makes the people of the Middle East turn to him and his slimy allies for leadership.

"..religion is not innocent. But it does not ordinarily lead to violence. That happens only with the coalescence of a peculiar set of circumstances - political, social, and ideological - when religion becomes fused with violent expressions of social aspirations, personal pride, and movements for political change."

-Mark Juergensmeyer

"A number of terrorist groups have portrayed their causes in religious and cultural terms. This is often a transparent tactic designed to conceal political goals, generate popular support and silence opposition."

-Michael Sheehan


There's always more to it than that.

Organized religion is not my thing either, but I am also aware that lumping in a group of hateful jerks driven forward by a very earthly agenda with kind, rational theists (like Lewis) is also not a wise course of action.

Celey said...

What about the good things people do because of faith? You say you assume neutrality... but it really does seem like your thinking is pointing to faith=bad, which simply isn't true (it depends on how it is utilized).

While what I believe does have some basis in forming my actions, I am not incapable of reason. And for me, reason always comes first. I figure God (in my view) wouldn't have allowed reason to exist if He didn't want me to use it.

And yes, I'm all too well aware of people who believe God will cure them or who put too much stake in alternative medicine that has no scientific basis for why it would work. I do not have these illusions (which as you said are harmful). I don't allow myself to be confined by my faith. Faith is only one aspect of myself... Not the whole picture.

As for faith separating true from false... Well, in regards to religion, in particular... Yes. It does. Philosophers, theologians... These people all work to try and understand some of the "big questions" out there.

And with my whole "Nick" scenario... You have hit one of my points. People who have faith aren't bad because they have faith. They're bad when they use faith to justify bad things (like hurting themselves or others).

As for doubting my being an atheist, I don't blame you. If I were in your position, I would be skeptical as well. Especially considering when I was an atheist, I used to have debates with Christians, and some would bring that up when they clearly had never been an atheist or had even considered it. I will address that in a later comment (it's a long story).

You bring up a good point about sentience (You're incorrect about humans being the only ones. Apes, some whales and dolphins, and I think elephants, have shown to be self-aware). Now, how about for creatures who are non-sentient? Are we justified in wiping them out? I don't mean just cats and dogs (we already do kind of do that, for sake of population control and because idiots can't spay and neuter their pets). There is a certain level of logic in saving non-sentient creatures that are keystones (vital to the ecosystem). But what about creatures that are not? Why try to save creatures that are already in such a decline that they no longer have much impact on the ecosystem? Why save them?

Faith and hope aren't the same thing, but they are closely related. Hope is still illogical (wanting something to be true, despite probability). Because hope has no place with logic, would you suggest that it is a bad thing, too?

Celey said...

I became an atheist when I was 13 years old... (hmm... I said I was an atheist for four years; it was actually five; I have trouble keeping track of things sometimes). For several reasons... One (the big one), I couldn't understand how a loving and just God would allow someone who is young to suffer (I was going through some bad times in my life, but I was also considering things like... kids with cancer, for instance). Two, I was being pressured to be Christian because my family was Christian and because everyone around me, for the most part, was Christian.

Such a thing is not a good reason to be involved with religion. Three, I had finished reading the Bible... and I was not pleased with what I had read. Four, being an atheist made much more sense to me than being a Christian.

As to why I converted back... It's kind of complicated. At some point when I entered college, I had become dissatisfied. I wasn't asking enough questions. Questions about the universe, about humanity... Early on, when I was an atheist, I had asked these questions all the time. But at this point in my life, I was getting stuck.

Furthermore, I was starting to feel isolated. Being an atheist, I didn't fit in with all the Christians around me. But also, I had trouble joining atheist groups online. Too many of them believed that religion was a bad thing, that Christians, Muslims, Hindus, etc. are stupid for believing what they do.

This sort of attitude upset me because, in general, I am a very peaceful person. I believed in tolerating all people, so long as they are good and kind. And thinking myself superior to others because of what I believe or don't believe just felt horribly uncomfortable to me. It was also one of the many reasons why I had separated myself from religion in the first place.

I also found that a lot of Christians who would engage in debate (more like massacre) with atheists were either dismissive or really couldn't hold their own in an argument. I have often in my life played "devil's advocate" and I pride myself on being able to play "both sides of the fence." I wanted to see what I could come up with.

So, I considered going back to religion. I felt like I hadn't given it a good chance the first time around (because I had been pressured into it by family and I had not accepted religion on my own terms). So, I did research. I couldn't really find any one religion that truly fit me...

I thought perhaps going back to what I know would be best, but I couldn't do it without some kind of... confirmation. Some kind of sign... or possibility. Otherwise, there'd simply be no way I could take God seriously. It'd be a... fruitless experiment, in other words.

It had to be personal. So, I did something that felt downright ridiculous to me at the time. I prayed. I asked for a sign that God exists. It didn't have to be anything really major. I told him I would allow myself to believe He existed, even if He just presented something that's a coincidence. I set a time limit (short, too... 1 school day). I got my circumstantial evidence. I had opened a book (full of narratives from philosophers and such... It was for a class, and I'm an avid reader) and, as it turned out, I was reading an argument for God's existence. (I believe it was by Dante).

And there you have it. It wasn't a logical thing to do. It was simply something I did... like if I were to dye my hair or choose a puppy. I have had a difficult time with Christianity, much more than I did with atheism. But I kind of prefer it that way.

Jack F said...

I usually avoid religious debates, but tsumetai seems to be making the fallacy of disqualifying the positive. Yes faith has been used to justify violence and hate (as has politics and philosophical positions), but what about all the religious charitable organizations? The Salvation Army is a Christian sect.
What about the churches that supported the abolitionist movement and civil rights for blacks? You could argue that the motives weren't really religious but you'd have to do the same thing for violent extremists.
Buddhist missionaries have stressed peace and social activism in several Asian countries. Christianity was considered radical when it first began in Rome because it stressed that all men were equal in the sight of God.
I suggest you read Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart. It rather poignantly portrays both the positive and negative effects that Christian missionaries have on a small African village.

KHoyt said...

May I ask what empirical evidence exists for a lack of existance in God or gods? May I also point out that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

And it being an Elseworlds story would normally be sufficient reason to say that you can't attack characters for being out of character, except when they are stemming directly from canon...

David said...

As much as I'm trying to stay out of this whole religion debate nonsense, "absence of evidence is not evidence of absence," while true, is a pretty damn low standard for something as huge as the existence of the divine. For instance, it is also the main proof used for the Invisible Pink Unicorn.

Anonymous said...

Basically yeah; the greater your claim, the greater the proof has to be.

And God(s) are the greatest claim of all.

Hope in and of itself isn't a logical thing, really it just comes down to setting goals and preferring certain potential futures over others.

Logic is more than just "science" its how you do things. If you want to make a lot of money, then going to college etc....is a good start but buying a rubber chicken, going out to the desert and hitting yourself with it would probably be illogical as a way of attaining that goal.

Is religion logical? As a basic idea; not really but can it be effective in emotionally manipulating yourself to feel better? Yes, can it motivate societies, yes....so inregards to what it can accomplish religion is a logical tool to use at times.

The "genius" of the comic here is; I'm not sure where the author's coming from. At first I thought he was basically in support of the MM/WW view point, then he has the superman thing go on and the "feel" of the comics seems to be against people who need support, whether that be god, the GLC, super powers or whatever.

Which means; perhaps people should be even more offended by the WW/Catholic thing because I don't think its meant to be portrayed as a "good" thing that WW found faith.

Now people keep saying similiar things have happened in canon but not full on, it was individuals or a team and they knew why on occasion at least.

This is every super period, even tech. briefly, all other dimensions are cut off, magic is blocked etc...it seems to be on a level far beyond any presented here before and no explaination is forth coming. Now that doesn't really mean the characters as usually depicted would act like they did in this series but its still a little higher level than whats previously been said.

Anonymous said...

The problem with believing in God and that everything will be okay is that; that at the end it will be all good in the hood, instead of doing anything about it.

And don't forget the sunday sinners, who just go to church get forgiveness and then start the cycle all over again.

Anonymous said...

I think we Atheists and you Christians can agree on one thing after all this:

Tsumetai doesn't know crap.

Pity he was one of those who started this discussion.

Celey said...

Invisible Pink Unicorn? Huh... Haven't heard of that one... *I've heard of the Flying Spaghetti Monster... but Invisible Pink Unicorn?*

Is there actually a group of people who seriously believe in the Invisible Pink Unicorn? If they don't seriously believe it exists, it can't really be called a faith, can it?

Another thing that makes a difference is whether its just one person or a group of people... If its just one person, they might need to be looked at for psychiatric help... (particularly, if, in conjunction with belief in an Invisible Pink Unicorn, they believe in various other things with no apparent organized pattern of thinking)...

Frankie Addiego said...

I'm a Catholic and don't believe everything will be okay. For as Matt 5:45 says,

"that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous."

Anonymous said...

"The problem with believing in God and that everything will be okay is that; that at the end it will be all good in the hood, instead of doing anything about it."

I don't know about that, friend. I'm Episcopalian and the main message I keep getting from my church is to actively become the change we want to see in the world. We have to do the legwork, but we turn to God to give us the strength and insight to see it through.

"And don't forget the sunday sinners, who just go to church get forgiveness and then start the cycle all over again."

Yeah, trust me I know all about that! =)

But seriously, no one of ANY faith is perfect, so obviously you are going to get the occasional hypocrite who uses their faith to hide behind. The old "God will forgive me, so its okay!" kind-of-church-goer.


Anyhoo...just wanted to tip my hat to you, Linkara. That was a fine review.

Though I have to say, the fall of Kyle R. was especially annoying to me. All that hubub at he just ends up as a Kyle-Kabob! Kinda anti-climatic..

Tsumetai said...

Celey, I honestly don't mean to be rude when I say this, and I mean it in the nicest possible way, but I believe you became an atheist for all the wrong reasons, and likewise converted back for even more wrong reasons. The truth of something isn't decided based on whether or not you like other believers in it, or whether all your friends are doing it, or how cool it sounds (if it was, I'd probably believe in one of the various pantheons out there. Those Shinto gods are just awesome). The best reason to believe a religion is if it can provide evidence of it's veracity. Or if none of them can, decline them all. The foundation of logic and evidence tends to be the strongest foundation of them all. It's the only foundation allowed in science because as science has learned throughout the years, no other foundation for believing in something works.

Tsumetai said...

Jack F, you need faith in religious texts to kill the people your religious texts tell you to kill. But you don't need faith to do good things. There are plenty of secular charities out there. Secular charities to help the poor, secular charities to help starving children, and secular charities to help Africans.

"Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion. " -Steven Weinberg

Patch O'Black said...

Whew! You can feel the heat from some of these comments. Guess I'll throw out my two cents worth:

First, ridiculing someone for their beliefs is, for the most part, not good manners. Atheists, Agnostics, Christians, Jews, or even Pastafranians, it doesn't matter. Best to keep an open mind about such things, I think.

I personally don't believe the belief in a "divine being" is any more at fault for causing troubles among people any more than being "godless" leads to moral decay. I think it is more along the lines that extreme views of a belief (religious, political, or otherwise) is what causes such problems.

That being said, what say we leave this trivial matters of spiritual truths behind us, and get back to the important thing: burning bad comics!

lost@sand said...

hmm, an act of god that makes god look like a prick and has cost the lives of thousands of innocent human beings? NOW THAT IS JUST PLAIN RIDICULOUS AND HIGHLY UNLIKELY. GOD HAS NEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEVER DONE SUCH THINGS IN OTHER STORIES, EVER!

MadDogBV said...

"The best reason to believe a religion is if it can provide evidence of it's veracity."

Why not simply because you agree with (most of) the messages it puts forth? Believing in religion is not a black-or-white matter, you know. You can believe in a religion without believing the Creationist theories, yet at the same time, you can still be cynical.

"Jack F, you need faith in religious texts to kill the people your religious texts tell you to kill. But you don't need faith to do good things. There are plenty of secular charities out there. Secular charities to help the poor, secular charities to help starving children, and secular charities to help Africans.

"Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion. " -Steven Weinberg""

Oh, wow. Did Kerry King suddenly join the discussion? I realize this is a response to a previous statement, but by this comparison, religion is apparently as evil as Nazism.

The vast majority of Christians (actually, the vast majority of people in ALL religious faiths), be they pious or not, use their religions as moral codes and as spiritual guidance. They are not necessarily holy book-thumping creationists. And they sure as hell aren't Nazis.

You can argue that the greatest conflict occurs with a theocratic government, or a political system that embodies religion to the point of excommunicating or persecuting non-believers, but I think society has evolved to a point where those who conform to a religion - apart from extremists - do not support this ideology.

But I respect Tsumetai's opinion, and I can't stop him if he wants to continue his ongoing intellectual war against religion. If he feels like the world would be a better place without religion, wonderful. Great idealistic viewpoint. Great way to unify differing ideologies. Only tell me how we can go about doing this, because I can't visualize how such a task can be accomplished.

Tsumetai said...

MadDogBV said...
"Why not simply because you agree with (most of) the messages it puts forth?"


Why follow a religion if you just want its message? Why not just take the positive aspects of the message and leave the unsubstantiated, nonsensical baggage at the door?

Anonymous said...

"Why not just take the positive aspects of the message and leave the unsubstantiated, nonsensical baggage at the door?"

That's a question you should ask yourself, Megatron.

Celey said...

//O_o\\'... I can't think of a single religion that has empirical evidence to back it up, Tsumetai. Religion isn't based on evidence or logic... It's based on faith. People don't choose to follow religion because of evidence.

Second, I fail to see why my converting away from Christianity in the first place was for all the wrong reasons. I was being pressured. I did not agree with some of the messages in the Bible. Atheism made more sense on a logical level (and is a lot easier to cope with). Those all sound like very good reasons to me...

Third, I also fail to see how my converting back to Christianity was for all the wrong reasons. I will admit that my attitude about changing religions (or philosophies) is far too casual for some people's taste. But I think a lot of people take themselves way too seriously. And it wasn't just because there were too many atheists that were playing hypocrite... It did play a role, but it wasn't a main factor.

Also, you don't need to preach to me the virtues of science. I'm going into science (biochemistry) as a major field of study. Science is made of awesome. And as I've said before, I keep science and religion separate from one another. You can't measure God nor can you insert God into a science classroom (via intelligent design; it might be interesting as a religious study, but as a scientific study, it has no place).

Science isn't everything, though. There's nothing wrong with opening up your mind to.... fanciful things.... Ghosts, fairies, God, Bigfoot... There's no evidence (no empirical evidence, anyway) for these things. But why do you need evidence?

Do you have a problem with kids who believe in Santa Claus? I know there's a big difference between kids and adults...

But I don't see why kids have to have all the fun...

Anonymous said...

Not to say it's evidence, but weren't there miracles that even science couldn't rebuke ?

Anonymous said...

@Celey:


C.S. Lewis would disagree with you (since his conversion was on a logical level as well as a spiritual one). He wrote about this in "Surprised by Joy"

Also, Atheism and Theism both have equivalent rational arguments for and against. Technically speaking, to dismiss either side as illogical or to see the other as purely logical would be folly as the only position that is rock solid would be Agnosticism (and though I am an Agnostic, please know that I am NOT trying to pour water on anyone's viewpoint) since it lacks the positive statements made by the other two positions (vis "There is/There is not a God").

But seriously, why we all still on this? Can't we all just get along?
Why is it that Non-Theists and Theists can be just fine with each other, and then someone with an axe to grind shows up for no other reason than to spoil the party?

Celey said...

I don't have any problems with atheism or any other form of religion...

What I do have problems with is when people try to invalidate other people's faiths or act as though their philosophy is superior to others.

As someone said, "it's not very good manners." Although, I would've went with... "It's just not very nice."

I do want people to get along... and I think everyone can get along as long as they accept that there are people who are going to be different than they are but who are otherwise good, kind, decent people.

Also, I have to say it's difficult to defend Christianity on a logical basis.... As I said, Christianity (as well as many other religions) don't rely on evidence or logic. They rely on faith. Which is a completely different concept... which suits a completely different purpose than logic.

Alex Stritar said...

Yeah, anonymous is right. We will never really know till the end of the journey, so we shouldn't spend life hating each other. We should come together to hate on other things, like this comic, or Turbo. After all, no mater what our race, religion, or sexuality is, we all have one thing in comon, we all like Linkara and want to watch him burn bad comics atop the fourth wall!

Celey said...

Also... It's part of the reason why I winced when Linkara brought up the religious comment in his review... I mean, I believe his point was valid... But I knew someone would show up and be like... "Hey!" Because of the Bible.

There were Christians before the Bible was written, I don't see why there can't be Christians (dunno about the nature of Linkara's beliefs exactly, but I know mine) who don't follow the Bible to the letter... *The Bible's writers should have had more sense and made the Bible a document that could be amended*

C.S. Lewis wasn't the only one... Flannery O'Connor, I've heard, was reported as saying that her faith helped to keep her skeptical...

jjflash said...

"I do want people to get along... and I think everyone can get along as long as they accept that there are people who are going to be different than they are but who are otherwise good, kind, decent people."

Well said!

"Despite everything, I believe that people are really good at heart."

-Anne Frank

Matt said...

Great review Linkara.

I didn't read through the comments, but I'm sure this has been addressed;

What the hell was the initial source of the black light?

I mean, the only explanation that this comic provides is that it actually was an act of God, which is stupid. Mostly because, as you said, Wonder Woman has had encounters with the Greek pantheon of gods, which would thus prove not only Christianity and all its branching religions wrong, but also Judaism, Buddhism, Taoism, Atheism, and effectively every other religions wrong, and she should know that. Therefore, it wouldn't make sense that she would even THINK to pray to a god that she should know doesn't exist. But hey, I'm willing to give the benefit of the doubt and say that the conflicting stories between religions don't amount to nothing and every religion is right. Then why on Earth would Diana, the Wonder Woman who was created and given her powers from the Greek gods, not pray to them. It seems that if they had the power to give her powers in the first place, could they not have, I dunno... DONE IT AGAIN?!

Maybe my grasp on the DC universe is limited, as I am mostly a Batman fanatic. However, a basic Wikipedia search and everything I have learned from watching ATFW has made a lot of inconsistencies clear. But, again, it may be limited, so forgive me if my analysis is off the mark.

Me! said...

Religion isn't based on evidence or logic... It's based on faith. People don't choose to follow religion because of evidence.

The entire genre of apologetics says otherwise.

Mostly because, as you said, Wonder Woman has had encounters with the Greek pantheon of gods, which would thus prove not only Christianity and all its branching religions wrong, but also Judaism, Buddhism, Taoism, Atheism, and effectively every other religions wrong, and she should know that.

Actually this is a point I've been wondering about. In the DC Universe, the Greek gods exist, and it's not exactly a secret (heck, Athena--or someone posing as Athena--pops up at the end of Amazons Attack, for example, and plenty of people see her and the things she does). Has this had any effect on the shape of religion in the DC Universe? You'd think it would...I suppose, granted, people could try to explain it away with something like "well sure, Zeus and the others exist, but they're not really gods. They're powerful, but they're still below the true level of godhood." But even so, you'd think it would have quite the impact on religion...

Alex Stritar said...

Yeah, abut that Mark. The Christian god does exist in the DC universe. The whole mythology thing gets kinda confusing in superhero books. Christianity, Hindu, Greek mythology, and a whole lot of others actially have made their existance known. And that's not counting the completely made up gods, spirits, personifications, and other sourses of mysticisms. So yeah.

Undeadpool said...

Are you really telling me that a few depowered gadget heroes are enough to take down one of the godheads of the Sinestro Corps, the man who's repeatedly gone toe-to-toe with Big Blue himself without Kryptonite...the Cyborg Superman...taken down by some crappy double sided morning star?? Can't believe Linkara's head didn't explode from that panel...

ns-kumiho said...

@Matt

I mean, the only explanation that this comic provides is that it actually was an act of God, which is stupid. Mostly because, as you said, Wonder Woman has had encounters with the Greek pantheon of gods, which would thus prove not only Christianity and all its branching religions wrong, but also Judaism, Buddhism, Taoism, Atheism, and effectively every other religions wrong, and she should know that. Therefore, it wouldn't make sense that she would even THINK to pray to a god that she should know doesn't exist.

Why would the the existence of the Greek Pantheon prove Judaism, Buddhism, Taoism, and other religions wrong?

The Romans during the Imperial era got were quite happy to accept that all the different gods existed ether as separate beings or different cultural manifestations of the beings they worshiped or other explanations depending on who you talked to. The Romans even added Iao, their name for the Hebrew god, to the official Pantheon.

Sure official theologies may have some issues but in the long run most religions wouldn't really be affected by it - especially Buddhism and Daoism. Buddhism views the gods as a class of being among other types like Humans, Animals, Hell Dwellers, and Hungry Ghosts. Many forms of Daoism also has the gods as a class of being.

Christianity is an odd religion - most religions are primarily Orthopaxic an practice takes precedence over beliefs or theology. Christianity (and to a lesser degree Islam) are very Orthodoxic to the point that accent and belief to a specific creed is the only thing required in some of the more radical forms of Christianity. The other religions can adapt (even Judaism would - take for example this essay on the issue of belief in Judaism http://www.myjewishlearning.com/beliefs/Theology/God/About_God/Must_I_Believe.shtml ).

Heck, early Christianity accepted the existence of the gods although they reclassified them as Daimons - a class of lesser spiritual beings who were roughly somewhere between the gods and humans (and could be good or evil) - and viewed these 'false god' daimons as evil fallen beings actively leading people astray.

So in the end, how does their existence negate other religions?

Anonymous said...

IIRC, they were actually said to be fallen angels (demons) that took forms of false divine figures to lead people astray from the teaching of Christ by their own false promises and were universaly evil.

As for why it's hard for them to work in one universe, I guess it's all the difference in creation mythos, and while a pantheistic religion like the Greek could be used along with lets say, Nordic mythology because it already has multiple gods at the same it, Christian mythos suggest there to be only one god with control over everything, including creating beings with higher powers.

shikome kido mi said...

You know what's really weird about this story? Everyone with non-tech powers lost them, right? So... Why is no one making a big deal about all the SUPERVILLIANS that turned normal? There are quite a few of them, right?
Is the world safer with those guys off the streets even without superheroes or still more in danger because of heroes also help with natural disasters? Why don't we see depressed super-villains freaking out (most of them are already more unstable than the heroes) and so on.

It's just another plot hole but it's a big one.

Justin said...

Well the one good thing that came out of this was the reccomendation of the Booster Gold Showcase Graphic Novel. I bought that because of this and I'm loving it. Thanks.

taichara said...

Granted I may have missed this very observation somewhere in the sea of comments, but I'll toss it out anyway.

Over and above the absolutely STUNNING amounts of stupidity in this miniseries, one thing stood out and made it all the more painful to suffer through:

Most of the themes it seems to have tried to hit -- and failed utterly -- are already knocked out of the park by Kingdom Come.

Grady Gratt said...

You know, you could say that Booster is in character if he was playing the fool so that he made sure that the villains were busy cloning his and Ted's tech so that they wouldn't think about checking out the Black Light. Meanwhile Rip and Michelle were out correcting whatever caused the Black Light Event to happen in the first place, thus deleting this entire story line from existence!

Of course that would have meant the writers actually had creativity and understood Booster Gold's character...

Screw it I like my version better.

BobCat said...

What I "love" here is that I could conceivably see Wonder Woman doing that conversion... if she'd run into depowered Greek Gods. You worship things because they are somehow beyond you, and encountering something unexplained that could humble what she saw as beyond herself could, conceivably, make the conversion thing work. Of course, you'd have to actually SHOW IT ON PANEL. It's still a stretch, and possibly OOC (I'll admit to not being the biggest Wonder Woman expert), but better than what we're given.

What got my goat more than that was the way the Green Lantern story played out. Getting beyond the dumbassery of him obsessing the way he did, it went NOWHERE. He tried to be normal and died instantly. So what, because he tried to be a costumed hero WITHOUT being on Batman's cheer-leading squad, he's doomed to failure? How about using those pages to explain Wonder Woman's derailment, or more Billy Batson or SOMETHING.

Yeah, I'm getting to the party late on this one, but these thoughts have been swirling in my head since I first saw this and I was curious what folks thought of them.

Anonymous said...

Wait a second: isn't Steel's suit made of modified Kryptonian tech? Shouldn't he be able to handle getting stepped on by a robot?

...and why is the Cyborg Superman taking orders from the Joker? He used to be able to go toe to toe with the man of steel himself! Why is a total wuss?

...and for that matter, why did--oh screw it.

It's obvious we all have thought about this comic alot more than it's writers did (which is always a bad sign).

Oh well. Great Job Lewis!


PS: Wow, that troll really got his ass handed to him. Yogurt and Linkara just steamrolled him. I guess the take home message is don't start an argument if you don't have the intellectual chops to measure up.

Anonymous said...

Why are the Rouges and Cyborg Superman even in this a group of villains I highly respect and The REAL Superman terminator are to badass to be in this crap

Rushing Beat said...

Woah. Good stuff, Linkara!

I have to be honest I didn't think much of your show at first. But you've really grown on me.

Count me in on the bandwagon!

Oh...and I couldn't resist this:



@Tsumetai:

"Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion. " -Steven Weinberg"

How's this?:

"Weinberg's statement is true as far as it goes, but it is not the whole truth. To make it the whole truth, we must add an additional clause: 'And for bad people to do good things—that [also] takes religion.' Only a small fraction of sinners repent and do good things but only a small fraction of good people are led by their religion to do bad things."
-Freeman Dyson

Yeah. 9 times out of 10 religion is a good thing. In fact, the only times religion really does harm historically is when it gets mixed up with political objectives. Even then,there are always a large amount of people of that same faith who oppose the wrongs.

-The Roman Catholic Church and opposing condoms in Africa? The Presbyterian Church in Africa (which is growing much, much larger and is more influential on the continent) is one of the largest distributors of not only condoms, but also sex ed, maternal care, and medicine for those suffering from HIV and AIDS.

-Muslim terrorists? Actively opposed by Muslim groups.

and so on and so on.

I'm an Agnostic. I don't buy into organized religion. But I even I have to say, that condemning entire groups for the crimes of a few (especially when so many are actively opposing them) is remarkably short sighted and illogical.

In fact, "illogical" is how I can best describe your entire time in the comments section, Tsumetai.

You hand waved away or ignored legitimate challenges to your thinking.

You made appeals to logic and science (when in fact, all these appeals were left unsubstantiated).

The fact is, you proved nothing. You ranted and screamed and laughed at people's beliefs...and in the end you were the big joke.

Sorry for the tirade linkara. I just hate it when some half-cocked nitwit gives all irreligious folk a bad name.

KRodd said...

[quote]So I fear I must leave your invalid arguments to stand.[/quote]

oooh, nice dodge. /sarcasm

[quote]I do know a thing or two about the Torah, but I wasn't talking about Judaism or the Tanakh, was I? I was debating from a Christian stand point and referencing the old testament of the Christian bible, which ironically enough, is very different from the Hebrew Tanakh.[/quote]

you were referencing the torah and basing your criticism on the god of abraham. you were focused on taking hebrew scripture out of context. at no time did you differentiate between the two faiths. you got called on your crap, and then you tried to weasel your way out of it.

also for someone who "knows a thing or two" about judaism, you sure didn't demonstrate it one iota.

[quote]Judaism is a remarkably different religion with remarkably different beliefs than Christianity, and your attempts to refute my arguments by responding as though I was making those arguments from a Jewish point of view is disingenuous at best. Injecting a Jewish point of view is not helping.[/quote]

i repeat: you made no differentiation between the faiths and you directed your attack on the torah itself. yogurt was well within his/her/its rights and reason to call you out on it. the only thing disingenuous here is your attempt to weasel your way out of this, tsumetai.

your argument was refuted, and you refused to engage it, preferring instead to try to move the goal posts. you didn't fool anybody.

Case said...

BNL reference for the win. And the game.

Anonymous said...

Tsumetai said...

"Why should I or anyone else accept your claims if all you have is faith?"

Good question. Why should we accept yours, Tsumetai?

Not a single time. Not once. Did you even bother establishing how your atheism was more believable than any given religion.

The fact is, you have about as much faith in the unseen and hoped for as a theist does.

Your claims are unsubstantiated. Where's the beef? Where's the evidence you promised, showing the superiority of your view?

Furthermore, I found your statement comparing Lewis's faith to that of terrorists to be both disingenuous AND incorrect.

Could one not say the same of Stalin or Pol Pot? How would you feel if I claimed that your faith in the unseen promise of atheism was no different than the kind that went through the mind of millions of killers throughout history? Unlike Lewis, you certainly seem to have demonstrated the kind of hateful behavior that actually connects with extremists: your anti-theism is the kind that led many to the guillotine.

Lewis's faith (at least in his case) is one practiced for its own sake, outside of the quest for power or revenge which characterizes a political terrorist. It seems to have done wonders for him and for his moral character.

As Hattersly says here:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2005/sep/12/religion.uk

"The only possible conclusion is that faith comes with a packet of moral imperatives that, while they do not condition the attitude of all believers, influence enough of them to make them morally superior to atheists like me. "

As for your own "moral superiority"? If this comment section is any proof, you, my dear Tsumetai, have the moral fiber of a Brooklyn Cockroach.

In short: Tsumetai? You. Fail.

I can't believe that I have to share a bracket as a non-religious person (I'm a Deist)with a twit like you.

Anonymous said...

Reviews on these miniseries are ones of your greatest, man!

"Obviously he thinks heroes with natural powers are arrogant dicks who look down their noses at us mere mortals, while people who had to fight and train to get that level (read: Batman and the Batman Family) are the salt of the Earth. Taken from that perspective, Moench probably considers tech-based heroes to be "cheaters" just like powered heroes, just of a different stripe."

It's worse than that due to unconsistency. It's one thing to bring down to normal guys who just "got lucky" to be born with powers or be in right place in right moment or who were given their tech, like Booster Gold or Green Lantern, although it's in no way justifies turning them into whiners and pricks. But the guys like Steel or Ray Palmer? They built their powered armors and shrinking devices THEMSELVES! They didn't "get it easy" they worked REALLY hard to become scientists just like Batman did. Science is in no way an easy thing. And correct me if I'm wrong but wasn't Ted Kord a 'Batman with a sense of humor'? If you want to go into 'fairness' thing, Batman was really lucky that his parents were so rich because travelling the world, studying from the best teachers and purchasing advanced cars and jets - it all costs money!

As was mentioned elsewhere, "Heroes lose their powers" isn't exactly the fresh idea. It already happened with many of them at least once in canon. Aside from 52, Superman lost his powers in "Krisis on Krymson Kryptonite" and he didn't sit on his ass drinking and watching TV but continued to fight crime in powered armor. The idea of all superheroes stimultaneously losing their powers is new, but it should have made them even more motivated to solve the problem than usually.

Wonder Woman going to the church could make some sense. If her prays to all other gods went unanswered, she could decide to try as well a christian one. But here it's just bullshit.

While I personally like Clark/Diana paring, here they are so completely out of character, that it's rather off-puting.

And that's the problem I have with What If and Elseworld stories in general: the personalities of characters are twisted so that the plot could go as writer wants.

Ming said...

Great review, or should I say epic beatdown, on JLA Act of God, the ultimate WORST WHAT IF COMIC EVER!!!

There are so many ways about JLA Act of God that I can say WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT! You have Wonder Woman praying to the Christian God (despite being created by the Greek Gods), Superman becoming depressed and drunk after both losing powers and his wife, Kyle Rayner becoming obsessed with beating Sonar to the point that he neglects his personal life, and everyone else kissing the feet of Batman. There is no way that all the heroes could have acted that stupid even if they suddenly lost their powers.

I know better stories that deal with superheroes losing powers -- like House of M and Decimation. Hell, Superman actually lost his powers after Infinite Crisis, and he actually dealt with it pretty well. (I can't help but wonder if Clark Kent actually missed being Superman even when he focused more on journalism during that period.)

Anyway, this is an epic fail among epic fails, ten times worse than Superman at Earth's End. Not only does it insult the superhero community and the comic book fandom with its accursed story, but it is an abomination, a blasphemy against God Himself. May the Lord have mercy on Doug Moench and everyone else who worked on one of the most hated comics ever.

BTW, the scene where Pollo disables Linksano's black light event generator and sends the idiot running in fear -- EPIC WIN!

TimeTravelerJessica said...

OK, as a devout Christian I sympathize with the desire to have more characters who are explicitly Christian in established universes. But with established characters who have been explicity shown to be another religion (particuarly those who have been shown meeting their gods, as Diana has) it's just not appropriate. It only gets eye rolling and is more likely to get a negative response than anything else.

Thibaud said...

In the real world, there has been extremely unlikely converts to Catholicism (saint Paul, Oscar Wilde, Gramsci, Paul Claudel, Edith Stein, etc). The problem, IMO, is not Wonder Woman's conversion to Catholicism (though that is a strange thing to type) but the fact that it happens out of nowhere, with no explanation of how this came to be.

enigmus20 said...

So between this and the Sci Spy series, Moench is not exactly endearing himself to you is he?

Lewis Lovhaug said...

"So between this and the Sci Spy series, Moench is not exactly endearing himself to you is he?"

I'm sure he's written good stuff, but he really dropped the ball with this and SCI-Spy.

DarkSeraphim said...

Wow...this was incredibly painful. A wonderful review but dear goddess, how do you do this? I admit my knowledge of these heroes isn't as broad and most likely only comes from movies and tv shows, but dear goddess even I was cringing at this!

The thing that really got me angry was the religious aspect. Not in the fact that there was religion mind you. I'm very open minded about this subject and I have no problems reading about conversion, religious introspect and etc as long as it is done well. But this...this made no sense! Diana, Wonder Woman, praying to the Christian God, when she was created by the Greek Pantheon? Why would she convert, and if she did why didn't they show it? That could probably make for a very interesting story if it was well done. But this...ugh. Makes my brain hurt. And the rest-no, just no.

But kudos to you, Linkara for being able to stomach this crap. Keep up the great work!

Falcos said...

Okay, I understand that I'm really behind the times on this, but I do feel an urge to comment.

Firstly: Excellent review, Lewis. Very amusing and very true.

Secondly, I have an open question, for anyone reading this.

Yes, it's about religion. Sorry if you're sick of that.

I am an Athiest, former Christian, and I guess you could say that I'm seeking faith. I would love to believe in a higher power, I would love to be able to give something the benefit of the doubt. I can make that leap, but my problem is thus: I found the concept of any being, divine or non, who is omnipotent, omniscient and benevolent to be completely incompatible with what I view in the world.

Benevolence would imply that said being would want to take steps in counter, for a lack of a better way to put it, bad events occuring.

Omniscience would imply both the knowledge of said events and the knowledge of how to stop or prevent them to the best degree. An omniscient being is all-knowing, and therefore would know how to create essentially a bloodless utopia.

Omnipotence would imply they have the means to act upon this knowledge.

I'm sure some of you can see my dilemma, but I shall outline regardless:

The Christian God, as a benevolent, omniscient, omnipotent being, would want to, know how to, and be able to, abolish all forms of misery, hardship and sadness.

That He has not done so would imply that either A, He has an ulterior motive to caring for his "beloved children", B, He isn't so benevolent after all, or C, He doesn't exist, or at least doesn't exist in the form that today's Christians describe him in.

If any of you can offer your views on this, I would much appreciate it. I'm sorry to be debating religion and theology on a review of a comic on the internet, much less one that I'm more than a year late commenting on, but this seems like it holds the most intelligent religious discussion I've ever witnessed.

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