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Category: Comics

Crossed Six: Geoff's Big Surprise

Two Issues in a row and we haven’t heard from Horsecock again.  All setup no follow through I guess. For Now.

This (like the tepid issue 5) is an other “Humanity” issue; where we get to see the survivors getting along anddealing with one another (as well as the horrors in their past).

Geoff has a big secret
Geoff has a big secret

Geoff, the weepy older man in the group sidelines the team to tell them about growing up gay in a small town where he just wasn’t accepted.  He also tells the people about how he met the crossed for the first time.  I have omitted his big secret.  The mind reels now, doesn’t it?  Is he a cannibal, is he a secret Unitarian?  I’ll give you a hint, it rhymes with Sea Org.

Not really.

No really, he was a Psilon.

Not Really.

I’d like to say that this moved the plot along, but simple travel and stories of kids being killed (off screen) isn’t really movement.  Two issues of walking, this is turning in to Lord of the rapist and cannibalizing Rings.  But with less hair on the feet I guess.

Amazing Spider-Man 591: Unthinkable!

This is how the comic opens:

headlessspidey

ARG!

The Headless Spider-Man!

If you didn’t catch Issue 590; Spider-Man was given a blank checque, made out to Cash to join the FF on a journey to the “MacroVerse” in response to a summons from the (formerly) grass hut living primitives there.

Johnny got it up his nose to see what was under the mask of the mysterious Spider-Man and THIS is what he found.  Eeeeeww.

Without giving away too much, time is compressed while they are in the Macroverse and about 13 and 1/3 days go by (about two weeks, sheesh).  This is a nice way to move time forward in the Spidey-Verse so that things can go down.

Something goes down that makes Spider-Man react like this:

Oh, No!  Aunt May is Dating Dr. Octopus AGAIN!?!?!
Oh, No! Aunt May is Dating Dr. Octopus AGAIN!?!?!

Actually; no.  It’s not Aunt May.  It’s something much more horrifying to Spider-Man (even worse that Osborn as President!?!?!?) you’ll have to check out the issue to find out,  I promise you’ll enjoy it.

Dark Reign Fantastic Four #2: Uh Oh

Reed Richards Determines that had he acted alone, the Civil War would not have been "so bad"
Reed Richards Determines that had he acted alone, the Civil War would not have been "so bad"

I’ve been enjoying the “Dark Reign” crossover storyline; so much so that I look forward to what I get to read of it from time to time.  In Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #2, Reed is scanning the Marvel Multiverse looking for answers to where he went wrong and it looks like he’s coming to “I’m so smart, I can’t fail” as the answer.  Look for “Evil Reed” to show up soon.

Crossed 4: Now with more Phallus related Visual Gags

Iff his press is to be believed, this man is known as Horsecock
If his press is to be believed, this man is known as Horsecock

Jacen Burrows and Garth Ennis set things up for us so well, Global Disaster, murderously horny Rednecks and a rag-tag group of people trying (I guess) to get to Alaska ( if they don’t believe that Alaskans wouldn’t gleefully join in on the Crossed-in-Blood rape and killing spree, they haven’t see Levi’s myspace page).  Our survivors have murdered children (as punishment for cannibalism) and apparently killed any number of psycho rednecks.  They have survived fallout from nuclear explosions and let’s face it the exploding poulations of aggrsive, meat hungry carnivores that have no-doubt set to reproducing in Noahesque numbers.

The Crossed appear to be cannibals, so they’re not hunting.

Anyway, at least issue four has our heroes moving in a direction rather than sort of just hanging around shooting kindergartners.

They have come to this:

Fun in a post Cross-ed World
Fun in a post Cross-ed World

The Crossed are using their victims for sport.

They get entertainment from the following, Rape, killing, dismemberment and apparently survivor style closed-room brawls.    The crossed are MMA fans of a particularly cruel stripe it appears.

This issue filled me with two emotions, dread (because it appears that the Crossed have among them the gleeful sadists that appear in all post-apocalyptic ficiton) and dread because this sets up a plot line that feels unnecessary.   The whole world is out to get our heroes (who I remind you will survive as this is being told in past tense) why set up Horsecock like this?

One point, at least the male lead isn’t bedding random women throughout, please applaud Mr. Ennis for skipping this pointless trope of PA fiction!

The Dark Reign begins drowned in Internet Memes

Black Widow Makes Fap
Hey Guys! What do you think of the black latex battlesuit I'm wearing?

While I’m sure that Marvel folks are aware how the sound effect FAP is received on the Internets; I’m thinking they were trying to illustrate the sound of those guns landing.

Or are they?

Is this a subtle message from the Marvel art department?  PREPARE FOR A MASTURBATORY CONTINUITY WANK FEST DURING DARK REIGN?  No?  I wish it was.

The Dark Reign Concept is a good idea; but it would have been better had it started before the whole Skrull invasion; the Skrull invasion was just kind of pointless and directionless.  It set up some nice tension points, but it would have been just as easy to limit it to the major characters who had been replaced; without the need for the whole crossover.

Dark Reign has gotten off to a fairly good start, with Normon Osborne making nice in front of President Obama… yup, he’s there in Thunderbolts 128 talking to Doc Sampson and looking to get to work fixing the economy (after the Skrulls and not the former President or Tony Stary wrecked it)

With Norman Osborne running roughshod over the Marvel Big Titles and making it a crime to be a superhero at all (TAKE THAT PRO-REGISTRATION FORCES!) I’ll be reading all of these titles; but I’m looking forward tothe collected volumes with more anticipation than I did the Skrull Invasion.  This feels like a real follow-up to Civil War and I’m looking forward to Steve Rogers return.

Blasphemy: Clark Kent is not a Costume

Clark Kent is a persona Superman puts on to hide his real identity”

I’ve seen this in various forms over the years, mostly from “Comic Fans”  that is to say skinny legged hipsters and dudes with soul-patches with no double-chin to hide.  It’s the dissembling of Supermand versus Batman that places them as opposite ends of the Heroic Spectrum; where Superman is the Natural State of Clark Kent and Bruce Wayne is the natural State of Batman.

This is so far from correct that it would take a series of GPS Units to Lead you back to almost correct.

While Superman may be naturally super-powered and simply taking advantage of his extraterrestrial birth; he isn’t “Superman” because of his powers.  Superman is Superman because he was Clark Kent first.  That’s why Clark Kent is so convincing to the people around him; that is the natual state of Superman.  He may be the premier superhuman of the DC universe, but Superman relaxes by doing crosswords with Lois Lane in bed, not tossing Meteors at passing Comets (just in case).

Batman, or “The Batman” relaxes by pulling on his cowl and beating up muggers.  An Ideal night for Bruce Wayne, going 12 hours without being called Bruce or Master Wayne once.  Batman is the Natural State of Bruce Wayne, Bruce Wayne is a costume “The Batman” wears when he wants to get things done.  He also moves around disguised as criminals.

Writers come and go for these two Characters; but the fundamentals have been fairly solid since the mid-eighties.  Superman is a powerful homebody named Clark Kent who loves his mommy and goes home to his wife at every opportunity.  Bruce Wayne is the farcical personality that the Batman has adopted to allow his activities to be funded and provide the means for his crusade to continue; The Batman barely tolerates Bruce Wayne and would NEVER go home if he could hack it.

I should keep comics on hand for these rants.  Oh Well.

This is not how Batman Died
This is not how Batman Died


Review: The Mighty (From DC, not the Awesome Movie)

Okay, I get it.  Alpha is the Killer
Okay, I get it. Alpha is the Killer

Sorry to throw that spoiler up front, but why bother?  Unless there is some kind of amazing twist, the superhero as killer story is kind of stupid (and already being played out in another Mainstream Continuity that I still hold is being used as some king of editoral reset button to be used when the stink of pointless crossovers get too out of control and run on sentences rule the world dontchaknow?)  So why bother?  The Art is good. Really good.  It’s going to be (at least) entertaining to read this (pile of) shit.

Somwhere in DC, an assistant editor is saying “Aw C’mon, not every reader is over 12.  There must be a bunch of under-twelves who can fall for this crap”  I have news for you; my 11 year old daughter saw JUST THIS PANEL and figured it out.  One Page of images gave it away.

Too Bad.

Crossed 3: All that baking for nothing

It just needed doing.
It just needed doing.

Crossed 3 came out a while ago; it is kind of like a breather after the last two issues sort of dropped us into Wiry Meth-Head Rapist Armageddon.  Mr. Ennis gives us a (somewhat cliche) “Man’s Inhumanity to Man” story with issue 3; which is hardly the issue to lose the momentum that was set up in Issues 1 and 2.  One would have imagined that the story would reach a lull by issue 10, but this early break in the headlong run from the Crossed is kind of a letdown.

I’m not committed to the Characters yet, seeing them instead as a vehicle for us to ride on rather than actual “people in the story” if you understand.  They don’t really exist as people yet, you see.  They are brethless story ponys that we are riding with for now.

This is kind of where Crossed really drifts from what made “The Walking Dead” so good initially and so unsettling now;  I cared about Rick and his family right away.  I don’t care about any of the people in Crossed yet.  That lack of empathy for the characters puts Crossed at Risk of being just a one-off Violent comic instead of a promising story about survival (or death) in the face of Skinny Redneck Violence Rapists.

Just Saying.

Review: Crossed Issue 2; now with more Soggy Cookies

Garth Ennis and Jacen Burrows set the Rape and Murder by crazed Rednecks bar really high in Crossed #1.  I can safely state that issue two doesn’t add to the horror, instead it shows the keen, steely and purposeful levels of evil the “Crossed” can reach.  Speaking of the Crossed, here’s the birth of one:

Crossed 2 preview

Our uninfected are telling this story in anecdotal form, which means at least one of them is alive “in the future” I’m guessing either as one of the Crossed or it is the kid that has been tagging along all this time.   Giving a hopeful narrator with such bleak and (really) dark subject matter strikes me as an odd choice.  The Crossed tear one of their own apart and rape the severed foot/calf, with that kind of determined horror, it’s hard to imagine some form of hopeful anything save a quick death.

As for the crossed themselves. when they aren’t mutilating each other and raping men, women and children (and animals I’m sure) to death, they are “spreading the love” in an inventive and evil fashion, through the use of a variant Soggy Biscuit game.

I’ll leave that there for you to puzzle out on your own.

Overall verdict; read it if you are a fan of post-apocalyptic stories as well as “zombie” fiction, as the Crossed are the implacable but intelligent foe that Zombie fiction sometimes wants for.