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.
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!