HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!
Join four of the Fangirls as they discuss the pairings they love, and the ones they love to hate. Covering Harry Potter, various DC and Marvel pairings, and a couple of TV and movie couples, spend you Valentine’s Day listening to banter about the fandoms you love!
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We ❤ the absolute fuck out of all of you!
OR, “Some of This Shit Just Ain’t Worth It”
So, this isn’t a review, per se.
Rather, it’s a list of books which I’m dropping, and subsequently will no longer be reviewing, and why.
Some of you may have noticed that I haven’t been reviewing certain books for the past couple of weeks. There are a multitude of reasons for that.
So, let’s just get this shitstorm started.
Harley Quinn –
This book started off extremely poorly with issue number 0. It was awful. Every attempt at breaking the fourth wall was an exercise in Mary-Sue-ness, which is never okay in the world of The Fangirl Perspective.
But, really, I’ve sat down with the next two issues, intent of reading and reviewing each of them on this website, but… I just can’t get through them. They’re not funny. They’re not entertaining. They’re not even interesting. And, probably the worst of all, Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti are insipid as the writers.
Issue number 2 featured Poison Ivy helping HQ out, and I’ve always loved the Harly & Ivy moments in every medium, but this just fell flat. Like everything else in this series so far.
The charm of the Harley & Ivy relationship was that it was more subtly. This gets almost explicit, which I don’t inherently mind, but this comic is just full of shit being thrown in your face. There’s no nuance. There’s no subtlety. There’s no cleverness. It’s brash and blunt, and that may be part of Harley Quinn’s character, but it’s not good writing in and of itself, and certainly not if there’s never a break from that style.
I feel like every moment of this comic is “THIS IS A JOKE. HAHA, FUNNY, NOW YOU LAUGH.” That’s not humour. That’s your drunk uncle yelling in your face when you refuse to respond to his latest racist joke about black folks, while your black friends are sitting with you at Thanksgiving dinner. I’m not saying that this comic is racist, but I am saying that it’s about the same delivery from two sets of people who clearly think that they’re hilarious… And they’re not.
Also, there are so many elements to the budding story that just don’t make any kind of sense…
I just can’t.
Batman – Joker’s Daughter –
So far, I just really hate this character. Every time I see her, I want to barf.
In fact, although I read the first issue, I don’t think that I can stomach posting any kind of preview image here and sully this blog thusly.
Per the first issue: She’s a junkie who found the Joker’s severed face in the sewer and took it as a sign that this was her calling, to be his heir. She’s obsessed with the Joker. With proving herself to him. But her brand of crazy is just… Gross. It’s mass murder, it’s rambling inner monologue which does little to instill ay sort of emotion in the reader, it’s obsessive, yes, but it’s not the Joker. The Joker, no matter how evil he is, no matter how much you may hate him, there is something about him that is lovable as a character. Just ask Doctor Harleen Quinzel of Arkham Asylum. He’s clever and spontaneous.
So, that’s a big part of why I hate this character, aside from the sheer ick factor. It’s an attempt by DC to capitalize on the popularity of it’s most famous villain, but it’s neither a good execution nor an admirable idea in the first place. So, even before it’s really started, and unless something truly remarkable happens with this character, I’m done. I’ll keep an eye on things, but I’ll spare you, dear readers.
Birds of Prey –
Y’know… I think that the new Batgirl series is alright. I miss the shit out of Stephanie Brown, and I do think that they made a mistake in retconning out Oracle, one of the most amazing characters ever created in the history of comics. “Birds of Prey” is kind of the case is point for that. Without Oracle, the cast feels unbalanced. And since it started out as such a departure from the pre New 52 series, and left so many of those plotlines hanging, this series just feels like a monthly slap in the face. Couple that with the fact that I have no attachment to these characters, and it’s pretty fucking problematic.
Earth 2 –
Although the read had been fairly interesting until the recent revelation of Earth 2’s identity (I’m not gonna post a spoiler here, just know that I thought it was pretty lame), I feel like Red Tornado Lois Lane and Aquawoman are pretty weak reasons to keep reviewing this book here.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I love Lois Lane. She’s one of my all time favourite characters in comics. It’s nice to see her featured in a book, since she’s not getting any love in any of the Superman books (pun kind of intended… with malice). BUT, she’s not the Lois that I love. The Lois that I love is not super-powered. She’s just scrappy as fuck, and that’s what was so remarkable about her character. Give a normal human character remarkable abilities in a universe where super powers are a dime a dozen, and I feel like you’ve actually taken away what was so special about her in the first place.
Aquawoman, I really have no ties to as a character. I just don’t feel compelled by these characters.
HOWEVER. I’m not dropping Earth 2 completely. Rather, I’ll be adding it to a list of comics for which I’ll be doing bullet reviews. I want to at least wait until a Lois/Clark reunion and see how that plays out, what with her not really being Lois Lane but rather her consciousness downloaded into an android and him being super mind-controlled by Darkseid and currently an agent of Apokolips.
I’m not dropping this one, either. It’s just gonna get a monthly bullet review along with Earth 2. I’m just not that much of a fan, since I never really got into her character, and a lot of stuff in this series doesn’t make sense, particularly in BW’s private, civilian life. In fact, we’re going to briefly address this in our next podcast, so be on the lookout for that around Valentine’s Day.
Sigh… Okay. I was really torn on this one. My first instinct was to drop the series completely, but I felt a marked improvement in the Zero Year issue. That said, I’m hoping that this series will improve, and so I’ll be doing bullet reviews of this one as well, at least for the next few months.
As DC continues to cancel some series and greenlight other, new titles, I’ll be checking back in to let you nerds know where I stand on them, if they pertain to a strong female character. For now, let’s get on those bullet reviews for issues I haven’t reviewed yet; check back for those tomorrow or the next day.
I don’t know what “Gothtopia” is. I’m going to figure it out by the end of this review, but for now, dear readers, realize that I’m going into this issue with zero idea of what in the world is going on in here. As always, I review the comic as I read through it on the first time, then summarize shit once I’ve taken a sec to gather my thoughts and form my oh, so many opinions.
Let’s explore my ignorance together, shall we? Let’s begin.
The comic opens with Babs narrating the morning routine of Angela Ramirez, a woman with family and a good job, managing the Joker Brand Ice Cream Company.
Apparently, Gotham City is the safest, the nicest, the friendliest city in ‘Murica, and even the weather is a balmy 90 degrees and sunny in February! Everyone is happy in Gotham. Everyone smiles. But Ms. Ramirez has started having nightmares. And she’s not smiling any more.
Cut to the Gordon household, where a cheerful Barbara wakes to her dad making breakfast, and the promise of bacon as she scrambles for clean pants.
She muses on the love she has for her family. Her mother is still around. Her dad is carefree. Her brother, James Jr., is a volunteer at a soup kitchen. And her cat is fat as fuck. There’s your first, second, and third warning bells right there.
And in this perfect, crime-free Gotham? She’s still Batgirl for some reason.
…Okay. I’mma wait.
And her partner is crime-stopping is… Charise Carnes. Fucking Knightfall. But here, she’s “Daybreak.”
Back at the Ice Cream factory, Ms. Ramirez tells
Steve Urkel an underling named Leo that she’s started scheduling surprise inspections of the flavouring vats. Anybody else’s ears perk up at the mention of “vats” at the “Joker” Ice Cream factory?
On the roof above the ice cream truck, Babs, who has only been referred to so far as “Bluebell” (and isn’t that an ice cream brand itself and WHY is there still a bat on her chest, then?) refuses to buy ice cream. This appears to be due to the fear of clowns. HA!
Right after that little meeting, a bus full of children from Gotham Elementary (How can there be only the one elementary school?!) arrives, making me really nervous all of a sudden.
And then this happens.
The trucks can’t be called back because all of the radios are down. Somehow, even the cellular phones aren’t working. So, Barbara tells Daybreak to “make the call” and steals one of the poisoned people’s motorcycles, tailing an ice cream truck that’s just made its way into a public park. She slaps a dude’s ice cream out of his hand, and he, naturally, takes a swing at her head.
Urkell is telling Ramirez about the poisoned ice cream, saying that they can’t give any of it to the kids, of course. Ramirez responds by donning a clown mask, hoisting a pistol, and assuring him that nothing bad could ever happen in Gotham.
Naturally, she shoots Steve Urkell (Did I do that?). However, she promptly reassures the children, saying that they’ll be together forever, unlike the little girl she once had, and unlike her former husband. She tells them to call her Mother Mercy.
Awesome. That’s not creepy at all.
Babs and Charise arrive on the scene and the GCPD is there ahead of her. Detective McKenna wants her to go in on the DL and take the aggressor out, but Detective Bullock is also there, belittling her and saying that Mayor Cobblepot has given the order to use a sniper on the way.
Inside, Ramirez is traumatizing the children further by telling them her very tragic story wherein she was called in by the police to identify the smiling corpses of her husband and daughter. Despite their deaths, she says she was still happy, still smiling, just like all of Gotham. She questions this fact. She says that she wants to forget, but she can’t with the city plastered with the smiling Joker face logo. So, she’s gonna go all Heaven’s Gate on these kids and she and the kids will all eat ice cream and stay together, smiling forever.
Outside, Daybreak offers Babs a distraction in the form of blowing up Bullock’s car.
The sniper is still on the roof. It’s not much of a distraction as Barbara sails over ALL of the police, who are all looking directly at her, some even pointing in case you inexplicably missed her.
Right before Ramirez forces the first kid to eat, Barbara bursts in, elbowing this woman who put so much thought into her plan but apparently never learned how to use that fucking gun in the FACE.
The “very bad day” making her a raving, mass-murdering psychopath reminds me of “The Killing Joke.”
…And then it reminds Barbara, too. And Ramirez sees that she’s not the only person who remembers another life, another truth.
While the Barbara has a mini panic attack, the sniper makes his move. Ramirez is struck in the solar plexus, not the heart or the head so this sniper should be FIRED, but it gives her enough time to give us some last words about her family and some other such bullshit… Trying to make me feel feelings, DC?!?!?! Better publishers than you have tried.
Barbara clings to the fact that the kids are safe. She wants to forget this day. She plans to. She even says, that if this is her waking up…
How very un-Barbara-like. To dismiss reality. To delude herself.
So, as if we didn’t know that it would be already, this “Gothtopia” is a problem. And, as I mentioned “Emperor Joker” earlier and DC is really out of ideas, I’m willing to wager that the whole thing is some kind of illusion-y thing. The Joker is probably behind it all, but that might be a red herring because DC likes to pretend that they’re clever. And while I do like Gail Simone on Batgirl (and I liked her Wonder Woman run, too, but that’s a whole other story), I also read “Leaving Megalopolis,” her recent independently published trade, and it fell really flat. So… Obviously, I’m going to give it a try. I’ll try to pick up the Detective Comics and other Bat-books tie-ins (DAMMIT.) and I’ll summarize shit you the rest of you nerds.
The issue, overall, was entertaining. But one thing is still bothering me, and is completely unconscionable even before the rest of the story unfolds…
See you next time, kids! And remember: Don’t drink the Kool-Aid!
Happy New Year, Ladies and Gents! Hope yours was swellllll….
Now, on to the review:
I’ve got to admit, it took me a little bit of time to actually get into reading this issue because, well… THIS.
I can’t get into this Joker’s Daughter character. First of all, does she even have a name of her own? But second, and way the fuck more importantly, she is still wearing the rotting flesh of the Joker’s face (which I still don’t understand as far as his cutting his own face off goes) over all of the olfactory sensors! Luckily for everyone else and their noses, though, the book opens on JD trapped, encased in wax by Tinderbox, probably specifically to nullify her stank.
Meanwhile, at Rock Bottom (because DC needs to stop thinking that they’re so clever), Catwoman gets slimed down into a temporarily cooled lava pit full of diamonds… Which she can’t take because she realizes that she’s going to have to save the day instead.
Catwoman name-drops her tech designer, Alice Tesla (because Tesla has become real popular and DC is nothing if not a whore totally bereft of original ideas), and we cut to above-ground Gotham City, where said nerd is currently clawing her way through the rubble and bemoaning the tattered remains of her favourite Lolita outfit.
The dialogue is kind of killing me in this book, as first Catwoman and now Alice both speak completely in expository phrases, out loud and alone or in public. Plus add that to earlier, when we see the attempt at a glimpse into a crazy person’s mind with JD’s inner monologue and it just reads like this bitch is trying too hard to appear insane when, really, all she has to do is show up up wearing someone else’s face and that ought to convince most people.
Alice uses her radio to send Catwoman a frequency which causes gems to explode. Although this is problematic because Selina is currently surrounded by diamonds, she quickly realises that she can use this tone to rig up the diamonds like dynamite and collapse the mine and bury the lava pit. Her buddy Rat-Tail shows up and she tells him that they’ve got to get to work.
Tinderbox, who is female and insert-vagina-joke-here, argues with her dad in Charneltown over her botching an intertribal marriage agreement meant to tie rival gangs together and the two conspire to explode the dude’s gem-bombs and destroy the underground and set Gotham on fire… And, meanwhile, Catwoman is also going to blow up the gems…. But in a good way?
As Catwoman and Rat-Tail rig up their explosives and their getaway (and he finds a cat in the slime), she passes by Warhog and his crew. She tells them of her plan and advises them to get either to their bunker or to higher ground, handing Warhog a vial of his “bio-agent” and heading off to set a timer to flood the underground again. Warhog ignores her warning and heads off to stall Doctor Phosphorous.
In the Nethers (insert private-parts-related joke here), Catwoman finds the Joker’s Daughter still encased in wax. Here she calls her by name, “Duela,” and I find this confirmation that this is New 52 Duela Dent extremely disappointing.
Selina makes a deal with JD, that she’ll set the correct floodgates to open when Catwoman needs them to, and waxes (pun!) on how it’s probably a bad idea to trust a Joker as she busts her out of her waxy cocoon.
JD assaults Catwoman (surprise!) with her hot cane, which starts to burn through her mask (which should mean that it’s already hot enough to burn her cheek but, hey, comics) and tells her that she’s either going to rule the Gotham Undergound with her or never. But Selina is able to get the upper hand because that cat that her homie found..? It’s Duela’s.
While Warhog is chatting it up with Doctor Phosphorous, looking like a sausage stuffed way too tight into its casing, Catwoman and JD arrive to find the cat covered in wax a la Tinderbox. This, like so many other things, set’s JD off, and the crazy bitch heads off to fight. Selina tries to get Warhog to get himself up to higher ground, and Doctor Phosphorous sets off some of his gembombs to explode all over the behemoth man’s back.
Unfortunately for Doctor Phosphorous and Tinderbox, the frequency sets off the diamonds in the ceiling and the place begins to topple overhead. Phosphorous is confident that they’ll live on as the world burns, but then…
And the floodgates open.
Tinderbox dies. Warhog dies. The folks in the bunker realise that they’ve trapped themselves with precisely ZERO women and will have to resort to homosexuality. And JD’s fucking cat is struck by a falling stone which frees it instead of crushing it!
Selina did swipe some gembombs (atta girl!) and she meets up with Alice, promising to help her rebuild her place once she has the funds available.
The issue closes with Selina questioning the other remaining and unexploded gem bombs. Alice assures her that the frequency could NEVER be accientally found, and that all is subsequently safe.
In all, the story was pretty convoluted, the writing not so great, the dialogue insipid, and the writer obviously thinks she’s a fucking genius. I’m not really here for New 52 Catwoman, but this is, sadly, not the worst book the publisher is releasing. Either way, I plan to keep reviewing.
See you next time for hopefully better writing!