Juan Jose Ryp, I am not your fan.
Instead of getting snarky with no pants wearing male demons and doing drugs and cursing like a man quickly using up the final reserves of his Vitamin C, John Constantine is playing Indiana Jones and trying to save the world. He’s running about the world collecting magical antiquities to store in his pet store basement apartment. I think one of the rules of The New 52 was that the title character had to be heroic in some way (not counting comics with rotating leads). So instead of using magic to find a way to clear up his anal warts, John Constantine is using magic to prevent a future mystic apocalypse. Not a specific one! He’s just trying to stop any and all of them from accidentally cropping up. I think that’s the main difference between this comic and Hellblazer. In Hellblazer, John would sacrifice his mother to cure a painful cavity. In Constantine, John would simply go to the dentist and send the bill to mom.
Although I really haven’t lost faith that this comic book can be as bad-assed as Hellblazer was. Lemire made sure that John sacrificed
Chris in the very first issue to let the fans know John was still going to be a douchebag. It’s just John is probably saving his most selfish and horrible acts for matters important to the Many instead of matters important to John. I’m not going to trash this book simply because it doesn’t star demon penises anymore.
Not that I know if Hellblazer ever did. But it should have!
John, dear, that isn’t just magic people. That’s everybody. Everyone reading this commentary thinks they’re smarter than me and I know I’m smarter than they are. Um, wait a second. I think I just called myself stupid.
I would rather see The Return of Chicken Thief!
Because Buddy Baker’s life is too sad and pathetic at the moment, the Animal Man comic book will now be preempted by the less sad but still sad in it’s own right documentary, “Tights”. At least it stars Buddy Baker acting as Chaz, the secret identity of Red Thunder! At least I won’t have to do much commentary on it since it’s not really about Animal Man! Right?
Red Thunder is down and out. His wife has left him and his kid has ambivalent feelings toward him. But his life looks like it’s rounding a corner (a good corner into a good neighborhood and not a bad corner leading him into a shadowy back alley. But who knows? That would make for a better documentary!) when an agent approaches him to try and market The Red Thunder after a video of Red Thunder getting his ass beaten goes viral.
The likeness isn’t right but that must be Jay Leno with the horrible “was green already taken” joke that I can see him saying in an attempt to be funny while his brain-dead audience of mutant cows laughs uproariously at it.
Goddammit, Komodo! Tell us your stupid secrets already!
Last issue, Green Arrow was hurt really badly in Seattle while also dying of dehydration in Arizona. Komodo and his daughter were trying to kill him in Seattle and Magus was fucking with him in Arizona. Everybody has a bunch of secrets about Green Arrow’s father and the island and what happened to Green Arrow. I suppose the lie was that Green Arrow was partying on an oil rig that was attacked and then exploded and Green Arrow ended up stranded on an island. The truth will have Green Arrow’s dad planning the whole thing to make his son a strong, independent man who would finally be capable of helping him search the world for hidden treasures.
Or things could be entirely different because this comic book is really hard to get back into after the gigantic shit Ann Nocenti took on it. Although to be extremely fair to Ann Nocenti, I thought she did a masterful job when compared to J.T. Krul.
This issue begins with Green Arrow, once again, teasing the fuck out of me.
This would actually be a good way to Reboot Green Arrow. Have him lie down to die in the sun and be wracked with death hallucinations. He would dream he was saved and go on to have a crazy new life battling demons and space aliens and the ghost of his father. And then sometime around Issue #135, his eyes would snap open as he stares up into the glaring Arizona sun and dies.
Both halves of this cover make no sense! Why is The Flash hanging out with Constantine? Why did The Swamp Thing become a house?! What kid wouldn’t want to drop a dime on this story at his local drugstore?
Last issue, Faerie was saved from destruction by The Hunter Family and Justice League Dark. Mostly by the Hunter Family. What happened after that, I don’t know. I guess the science people and the irrational nutso-wacko magic people suddenly began getting along? Did the science people stop condescending to and patronizing the mystic yahoos? Did the magic people stop feeling superior because they could turn lead into gold while the scientists staunchly proclaimed it impossible? I have a feeling war isn’t going anywhere over there in Epoch City and Faerie.
But that world doesn’t matter anymore. It’s not even an important world since it isn’t labeled with a 1-51 (or a Prime!). I guess Faerie is one of those unique dimensions like Gemworld and the Apokolips dimension. Back on Earth, let’s see what horrible, dangerous, and taboo magic Constantine is up to!
Oh. He’s using his magic to convince everyone that he’s not smoking. I wonder what the fucking backlash is going to be for that? Diarrhea?
Instead of his winnings, the cashier hands Constantine a note that says, “The Cold Flame burns” and then the entire race track blows up. That magic backlash seems a little bit harsh simply for convincing people you’re not smoking when you actually are. I guess Constantine was telling the truth in his first solo issue. Magic is dangerous.
Meanwhile at ARGUS, Steve Trevor is trying to recruit Deadman to spy on Justice League Dark for him. In return, he’ll hire Deadman to be a member of the Justice League of America. Well that sounds like a shitty deal. That comic book can’t even come out on time. Besides, Deadman can be a member of the Justice League of America whenever he wants by simply possessing Hawkman or Vibe or Catwoman. Before Deadman can agree, he feels a disturbance in the force and flies off, leaving the person he had been in possession of to come back to his senses. The poor guy will probably be immediately thrown the ARGUS dungeon to prevent security leaks, his only crime enjoying a delicious triple cheeseburger.
Come on, DC. You couldn’t splurge on some glow-in-the-dark faerie paste?
Last issue, Constantine was on a quest to find the three pieces of Angus Croydon’s Compass. Angus Croydon is a nod to Aleister Crowley. Also one of my sources (you’re all my sources now! But if anybody threatens me to give you up, I’m giving! Immediately! No journalistic integrity here!) reminded me of the name of John’s buddy that I can never, ever remember: Chaz. So I’m pretty sure Lemire and Fawkes were throwing a shout out to Chaz by naming John’s first
friend, Chris. But now John has to travel the world on his own to find the last two pieces of the compass because he allowed Sorceress Stradenko to kill Chris. The reason John could give up Chris so easily is that the compass does Chris’s job. So Chris was an idiot to help John out on this one. You never give an inanimate object the chance to steal your shit.
Is a compass actually an inanimate object? Can I call it partially-animate? Or mystically-animate since it uses some kind of hoodoo to tell direction?
This issue begins with John preparing to tell the reader a funny thing about magic. Oh boy!
Hmm. It wasn’t that funny. Here’s his joke, reinterpreted a bit through somebody else’s voice (possibly mine but I can’t always be sure about that):
How does a great wizard become truly powerful? Give up everything!
People might interrupt you after you say the “give up” part with a “yes”. If they do, shoot them a really hurt look for interrupting your joke and maybe even slap them in the face for being rude.
That joke wasn’t very good AND it didn’t quite get John’s message across. Maybe I should try again!
How does a powerful wizard become truly great? By losing everyone you’ve ever loved and everything you’ve ever valued and turning bitter and twisted and rotten and hurt and shameful.
That joke wasn’t very good either. I suspect John didn’t mean the first definition of funny but the definition of funny that isn’t really funny at all!
This cover is a dick.
Animal Man, a recap:
Issues #1-17: Foreshadow Cliff’s Death.
Issue #18: Cliff Dies.
Issue #19: I haven’t fucking read it yet. Hold on to your horses!
For the first year and a half of DC Comics Reboot, The Suicide Squad has successfully managed to kill one person. In the last two months, people have been dropping all over the place! Damian Wayne. Matu Ba. Cliff Baker. Umm. Okay, maybe not ALL over the place. But that’s a whole lot more than Suicide Squad and none of these other comic books have “suicide” in the title! Adam Glass, you are a failure! Get with the keeping people dead already! I’m tired of your plot revolving around Amanda Waller creating a resurrection serum so that she never has to deal with a dead teammate ever again. The whole point of the Suicide Squad is to kill people and thus keep an entertaining, ever-shifting group of B Grade Super Villains! You have failed at Suicide Squad 101. I guess it is a reboot though and you decided to take it in a different direction. Well, whatever direction you headed in, all it did was get you lost.
Animal Man begins with six depressing panels. I imagine the rest of the panels are also going to be depressing. I think I’ve had enough funerals and graveside chats in my comic books the last couple of months.
I don’t even know what the shocking lie about his death was!
Green Arrow is somehow still alive and somehow not cancelled. I think Jeff Lemire is doing a much better job than the previous four writers did with him but too slowly. Stop building a long, convoluted story and just make Green Arrow interesting already! Isn’t there a magic short cut to erase the previous horrible issues and then make Green Arrow fun and interesting in a single issue? Use Jim Starlin’s fire-headed, reality-bending aliens if you want! Anything goes now in the New 52 thanks to good old Jim! Every book has been freed from the editorial yoke! They can all exist in their own precious timeline within Earth Prime’s dimension! So make Green Arrow interesting already, dammit!
Or you could do the Palmiotti and Gray Batwing thing and just start over with a new Green Arrow! I would accept that as well.
Once again, Lemire begins an issue with Ollie wandering through the desert of Black Mesa, Arizona. But now he’s not nearly dead from dehydration and fatigue because he had a memory that allowed him to forget about the physical limitations of his body and carry on as if nothing were wrong. And now he’s made it to some sheltering rocks where he begins following a trail of green arrows. And he suspects he knows who left them for him.
I wonder if the Baton Twirling Stalker followed him to Arizona? Maybe she’ll save him.
I always like how Deadman has to be shown running into battle as well. He might as well just float above everyone cracking wise.
Constantine and his army have escaped from Epoch City, the new science capital of Faerie. Tim, Zatanna, and their army of mythological creatures are storming the city. And Tim’s father is still trying to enter the Portal so that he can get Tim the solution to stopping the magic storm ripping all of the worlds apart.
A number of pages pass with people fighting and words being said before Tim and his Dragon finally destroy the shielding on the city allowing the Chaos Magic Storm to begin destroying the city.
And then Zatanna gets all touchy feely on everyone and decides that nobody should die in this war.
If this comic book fell through a time warp and landed in the suburbs in the early eighties, it would cause a Twilight Zone necrosis of the neighborhood as everyone began accusing everybody else of being devil worshipers.
I’ve got a whole stack of Hellblazer Trade Paperbacks to catch up on and here I am about to read Hellblazer Issue #301. I’m going to be real quick about this because I’ve got my alternate self from another dimension disrobing in the adjacent room where we’re going to, umm, read poetry and junk. He’s so sexy, guys! You wouldn’t believe it. Actually, I should go check in on him instead of reading this comic book.
Oh. Never mind. It was just the full length mirror.
Right from Page One, Fawkes and Lemire begin establishing the perfect mood for this comic book. Constantine puts it all out there right at the beginning for any readers that just popped out of their mother’s vaginas and are unfamiliar with this character.
He’s a cheat. He’s a thief. He’s dangerous. And some thing about magic. I think that’s new to his character.
Did he lose his wallet?
Now that I know Animal Man #18 is going to be 20 pages of Buddy Baker frantically searching for his wallet because he doesn’t have a stupid pocket in that skin-tight outfit, I can relax and write about other things!
Hmm. I like cupcakes. Did you know that? I liked cupcakes when they were just something your mom could bake in the oven and slather crappy frosting on. Remember when cupcakes cost less than $5 a pop? Our society has created so many empty shells of people that they have no idea who or what they are without their likes and material possessions. So instead of simply liking cupcakes, they have to SUPER DUPER LIKE CUPCAKES AND GO TO CUPCAKE SHOPS AND BE SEEN WITH CUPCAKE SWAG AND OH MY GOD!!! CUPCAKES!!!!
I bet Ralph Waldo Emerson used to run around town bitching about how fancy and trendy scones had suddenly become!
Yes, I’m comparing myself to Ralph Waldo Emerson. “Cupcakes are in the saddle and fuck mankind raw. RAW!”
You know what I just realized? Animal Man might not be about losing his wallet! One of his family members might die! Shit! I should probably read this now!
Remember how Rotworld ended? Swamp Thing and Buddy Baker were granted a do-over by the Parliament of Rot and sent back in time to fix their idiotic choices.
Really? Whatever it takes? I’m pretty sure you don’t shout that in the face of fate, you morons! Next thing you know, you’ll be frantically fucking each other in the eye sockets to save the world. Or maybe killing your loved ones. That’s nearly as horrible a possibility.