Faster, speedster! Will! Will!

Welcome back to your regularly scheduled programming. It’s the last week of July, everyone! And more than that, it’s the fifth week of July. Also, I totally didn’t review last week’s comics. So what does that mean? It means you best hold onto your pants, as five comic reviews are coming your way!

Gonna start off with the one that made me the most angry. For the past two weeks or so, the internet has been blowing up because of Morrison’s interviews of him saying that he’s destroyed Batman, that Batman can’t come back from this. I have but one thing to say:
Fuck you.
Because Batman? Batman will always endure. In the long run, more people will pay attention to things like Snyder’s Death of the Family and Court of Owls storylines than they ever did to Batman Inc. Batman Inc was a vehicle. A death vehicle. Over the course of the last 13 issues, we’ve lost Knight and Robin, and now we’ve lost Talia al Ghul. One can argue that we’ve regained Kathy Kane, but bullshit. “Don’t try to find me.” She says. “I don’t exist.” It’s practically a warning for other writers: do not use this character ever again. As for the reaction to Talia’s death in the other Bat-books? Maybe we’ll see something in Red Hood and the Outlaws, those of you who still read it should give me the heads-up if a mention occurs. As for Batman and-, and the main Batman book? Bruce is still reeling from Damian’s death, too broken up over that to really give a shit that his mother died right in front of him. And the main Batman book is waist deep in something called Zero Year. I don’t know, I stopped reading it after Death of the Family.
Ladies and gentlemen, I am not a Batman fan. For a long time, I could have considered myself a Grant Morrison fan and really, I still am. Just…not when he writes Batman. And with the end of Batman Inc, he’s officially done. The endgame has been played. The Morrison era of Batman is over. You can all go about your lives. We’re free.

If you went into the second Animal Man annual thinking you were going to get an awesome fight and not have your heart broken, haha, have I got news for you, buddy! The story itself is half present-tense, half-memory. Buddy, still in mourning for Cliff, goes to a convenience store to buy beer. He sees a gossip rag that poses the question: “Was Animal Man’s son’s death a hoax?” and loses his shit entirely. We are then taken back four years. To the day of Maxine’s birth, actually. Buddy and Cliff are waylaid by Anansa, the Spider Mother, who has been kidnapping people to feed on their dreams. Buddy doesn’t actually have to fight her, as she’s peaceful in nature, and he actually later returns to help her move to an unpopulated area, where she and her children can eat all the animal dreams they want. He finds her again, all these years later, in order to retrieve the dream she’d been given by Cliff, and my heart tapdanced out of my chest, leaving me sitting here.

There’s this little game I like to play with the new Young Avengers series called ‘Loki, no’. In it, I count how many times I tell Loki not to do something in an issue. I think I may have said it twelve times over the course of two pages in the middle, help. Anyway, the Young Avengers are on the hunt for Tommy and his…kidnapper? Vaporizer? The not-Patriot, anyway. So they run through countless dimensions searching, picking up his trail but not finding him. And so, so many of those non-616 dimensions have various members of the team going evil. Though, there is a dimension where no one goes evil! Mother’s home dimension, where they end up finding not-Patriot. Two guesses as to who said oh shit out loud. And then they end up leaving Teddy and David behind accidentally in order to fall into a land where…oh shit. I call this book Journey into Misery 2: Electric Boogaloo for a reason, y’all. Leah, whom Hela banished at the end of Loki’s run on Journey into Mystery, has made a reappearance. I am going to die a painful death. Oh, speaking of dying a painful death, I have this little feeling that Billy is going to turn David inside-out if he ever finds out about…well, see for yourselves:

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Though, I do have a theory. A few pages earlier, David reminded himself that, yes, magic existed. And for those playing the home game, Teddy is currently stressing himself out because he believes, ding ding ding, that his entire relationship with Billy is fueled by Billy’s powers. Perhaps, because he and Billy are dimensions apart, any possible sway Billy’s powers could have held over him are gone. If Teddy pushed David away and protests that it wasn’t right for him to do such a thing, their relationship is real. If not…well, I’ve had my heart broken before by a queer Marvel relationship, when Xavin had to leave Karolina to go with the Majesdanians (and I can’t believe I remembered how to spell that). Broken hearts heal.

So, level with me here, DC. You want us to legitimately ship Barry/Patty, but then you dangle Barry/Iris in front of us. The marriage that stood the test of time 1000 years into the future. The matriarch and patriarch of the Flash family. Good to know your own characters shut you down, though. If even she wasn’t directly meaning to, Iris attempted to stir the paranoia pot in regards to Patty and Barry living together…and Patty was basically, “Nope, it’s all pretty natural. Nothing scary about it.” For observant readers, Iris works on Broome street, named after John Broome, co-creator of the Barry Allen Flash and a prominent part of the Silver Age as a whole.
Then again, there is one definite “Barry, you asshole” moment this issue:

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What a beautiful bit of misdirection, Barry. Ah, but the interactions with the womenfolk are the potatoes of this issue. The real meat lies in the mystery of our big bad, the Reverse Flash. One thing we know for sure: it’s not Dr. Elias. Also, if I may take a moment to gush, the fact that he uses the plates of his Speed Force suit as projectiles is awesome. There’s an application Barry never thought of, tell you what.

And now, for our grand finale before my brain fails on me, the Brave and the Boyfriends. Bold, I meant to say bold. But really, Hal, when you refer to your first team-up as your first date, after you’re pulled from your actual man-date to the planet of the fight clubs, people tend to talk. In any case, the main story in this annual is about the first time Flash and Green Lantern worked a case together…as well as the consequences of that first team-up. Someone is snatching children from group homes, and police scientist Barry Allen is on the case! Of course, he had to choose to be on the case in Coast City, California, home of Green Lantern. There’s a moment of wacky misunderstandings, and then the two must jump into action! Though, Barry can’t just go as himself, he has to do a quick costume-change, first. As it turns out, the children are being kidnapped by space aliens from the planet of fight clubs, in order to be strapped in EVAs and sent to fight in an arena to the death. Hal makes a deal with the team leader that if they stop kidnapping children, their team will be padded with a pair of superheroes. A pity he never mentions that to Barry. It’s a good, solid story, probably my favorite Flash story since Barry came back to life. Sami Basri really kills it on the art, too. All the things that made me hate him on Power Girl have me swooning here. He’s really improved in the last couple of years!
The back-up story is also quite good, about all the little ways the Flash has touched the lives of people in Central City. Some are good, some are bad, but the one the story is based around is terrible. A woman dies before the Flash can save her, and her husband takes it hard. Years later, he attempts to take revenge. Cully Hamner’s art is a little distracting in places, but it doesn’t detract from Nicole Dubuc’s wonderful story in the least.

That was this, and last, week in comics! I’m so tired, I may decide to not wake up tomorrow. Hope to see you again, in August!

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