Thursday, April 27, 2017

JT Review: Superman's Girlfriend Lois Lane #8

Hey Todd Squad, It's that time once again for another JT Review! (A JT review with an added bonus, a side helping of X!  That's right, I'm crashing this party, and making this review palatable for you poor, poor readers!  Suck it, JT!!  Also, stop saying "Todd Squad"!!!)This time we're checking in with Superman's Girlfriend, Lois Lane. After my last review featured Jimmy Olsen in the wrestling ring, I thought, what could possibly follow that?(More wrestling?) Well more wrestling of course!(Yep) So let's checkout a story from issue 8, entitled "The Ugly Superman".(This series went more than 6 issues?!?!?  How?????)

 Superman's Girlfriend Lois Lane #8
Plug-ugly. Well damn, what happened to those Smallville manners?

Summary:  This issue starts with.... just straight up racism!(Huzzah!!!) Okay, so Lois gets assigned to cover the wrestling show because women are becoming interested in the sport, according to Perry White.(Who'd know about the composition of a wrestling crowd better then Perry White?) Lois goes to the show and watches a match between Hairy Sam and... Injun Ike.(Ah the 50's/60's and it's casual racism...  Where would we be without you?) Yep... it's gonna be one of those, ladies and gents!

I'm just glad there's no one with an "N" name...(Jesus is that dude hairy!  He's more ape than man!!)

Lois watches the show and dissects it all like your typical Smark (smart mark wrestling fan), she quickly deduces that it's entertainment where people want to see the hero win and the villain lose.(Lois seems like the kind of person who'd also tell kids the Tooth Fairy is fake and that there is no Santa Claus) She states that wrestling, unlike boxing, has become a colorful comedy designed strictly for laughs. Well fuck you too, Lois. The main event features The Dutch Devil (sigh.) vs. the undefeated Ugly Superman. Ugly Superman seems to actually have super strength as he destroys the dastardly Dutch Devil and puts him through the ring! Lois is shocked to see the crowd is booing Ugly Superman because he's SO DAMN UGLY!(You've never jeered an uggo on the street, JT?  How are we even friends?)

He tried to enter an Ugly contest and the judge said "Sorry, no professionals!"(Oh TAG!)

Lois goes backstage and interviews Ugly (I'm calling him that to save time and also because it's funnier.) in hopes she can make the crowd like him with a nice write up. Lois literally pats this poor bastard on the head and compares giving him praise to being like kindness for dumb animals. Man, Lois really comes off unlikable in this story, even when she's trying to be nice. She even calls "restoring this poor creature's confidence" her deed of the day.(He's ugly and therefore sub-human, and as such is worthy of disdain.  What's so hard to understand?)

There, there, ugly.

Lois' plan backfires the next morning when Ugly becomes her newest admirer. He brings her chocolate and flowers, and has even gotten a tattoo of a heart that says "Lois Lane loves The Ugly Superman" on his arm! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! He even calls HIMSELF the Ugly Superman!(HA!!!  That legit made me laugh...)  Lois tries to straighten this out by explaining to Ugly that she's not interested, but Ugly isn't hearing it.  Lois ropes Clark into this and says they have plans, but Ugly pushes Clark down like a bitch.

That's how I push X around, Top hat and all.(He's an asshole...  It's true...)

Clark pretends to let Ugly beat him up so his cover isn't blown. Lois agrees to go out with Ugly if he'll stop beating the shit out of Clark, so they head out for a night on the town! Clark follows from a distance to keep an eye on Lois. Ugly takes Lois out to dinner and he says how excited he is to show Lois off to his friends at the wrestling show. Ugly then takes Lois to the theater to see an Opera... damn Ugly, you know how to treat a lady!

He's eating Rice Crispies before they added that Pop character.(HA!!  Superman's an ass here!  She only went out with him so he'd stop beating Supes up!)

Clark decides to dress up like an old man named Methuselah... HA! He heads down to the gym to embarrass Ugly in a test of strength. Ugly is at the gym bending horse shoes with his teeth, lifting two ton weighs and snapping chains with his chest when Superman arrives in disguise. "Methuselah" eats the horse shoe and says it's actually licorice, the two ton weight is papier-mache and has Lois break the chains while he actually melts them with his X-Ray vision. Ugly may be ugly, but he ain't stupid.(He tattooed "Ugly Superman" on himself...  I'd say he's both ugly AND stupid) Obviously this old man is a magician, so Ugly charges at him and reveals it's actually Superman. Ugly tries to attack Superman but Supes throws embarrasses him even further.

THAT'S what they mean when people say "That shot was ugly!"(HA!!  Goddamnit, I laughed at that line...)

Ugly tries some more but he's outclassed and outmatched by big blue. Ugly realizes if he's not the strongest than he doesn't deserve Lois Lane. Two months later, Clark takes Lois to a wrestling show and they discover that The Ugly Superman is now working as The Gorgeous Superman(As opposed to the... Regular Superman, I guess?), because he's gotten plastic surgery. Sure, why the fuck not. Gorgeous asks Lois out on a date now that he doesn't look like he was beaten to death with an ugly tree, but Lois turns him down. She's saving her heart for the true Superman, while Clark whistles nonchalantly because he's secretly dating Lana Lang... probably.

Clark: Keep waiting, toots!

Thoughts: So... I enjoyed this as crazy as it sounds. Sure, it was weird, we got a sweet ugly idiot becoming a crazed, possessive, monster and then he was humiliated in front of all of his peers by the literal strongest man on the planet... so he got plastic surgery and now he's hot.(That sounds oddly like my bio...) Why he didn't do that from the very beginning, I have no idea. That said, this was a goofy, fun read. It was nice seeing that Lois wasn't superficial in the sense that she'd just happily be with Ugly once he was no longer Ugly.(Condescending?  Yes.  Superficial?  No.) It was also nice watching Superman destroy a man's livelihood by using his powers instead of just talking some sense into a crazy guy who just wanted some attention. Well.. not so much fun as tragic, but whatever. Tomato, Tomasso Ciampa.

# of pages: 9
# of panels Ugly beat up Clark for: 8
# of times the word Ugly was said: 13(Huh, I'd have expected more...  JT used the word like 50 times!)

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Maximum Carnage part 9: Spectacular Spider-Man #202

Hey, we are rapidly motoring towards the end of this storyline! After I get through this next issue, I only have 5 left. That definitely deserves a huzzah!! Let's see how Spidey, Venom and the rest of the good guys do now that Carnage has shown them that he can keep respawning his symbiote whenever he bleeds.

Maximum Carnage part 9: Spectacular Spider-Man #202:

Summary: With Carnage back to full strength, Venom attacks him again along with Cloak and Morbius. Spider-Man and Firestar stand around pondering how they could work with somebody as blood-thirsty as Venom...
We get it!  You guys hate Venom!!  Either pitch in or move on!

Sheesh, this again? Black Cat yells at them for debating when they should be working on defeating Carnage, which shames the two into action. Shriek defeats Cloak and sends him running away by telling him that if he hadn't driven her insane to begin with, Dagger would still be alive. Shriek then reveals that she was the cause of all of the riots and madness in Manhattan since the whole Maximum Carnage thing began, since she could amplify Carnage's crazy and make others feel it. Or something like that... That whole thing really came out of left field... A mob of crazed people wander into the fight, causing Morbius to get fried by Demogoblin. Firestar discovers that sonics may not harm Carnage much anymore, but that flame is still a large weakness. Venom tells her to burn Carnage until there was nothing left,
I've said this a lot during this event, but once again, Venom is the voice of reason.

but Firestar bucks at the thought of murdering somebody. However, Spidey tells her that it was the only way(?!!?), which leads to her attacking Carnage with all of her power.
Man, Carnage can be quite the bitch at times...

At the last second though, Spidey realizes that wasn't who he was, and tells Firestar to stop. She does, which infuriates Venom, who goes to kill Firestar. Spidey tries to intervene, but is knocked a few blocks away by the furious Venom. By this point, Carnage and Shriek have regrouped and attack Venom, soundly defeating(heh heh, because she uses sound!) him thanks to Shriek's sonic abilities. Shriek tries to finish Venom off, but is stopped by Carnage(?!?), who wants to slowly torture Venom to death instead. With that, Carnage and Shriek escape with Venom. This issue ends with Captain America(!) arriving to help Spidey to his feet.
Oh snap, business just picked WAY up!


Thoughts: Well, this was a really good issue! There's a lot of stuff I enjoyed about this one, so I'll get my little quibbles out of the way first. The reveal that Shriek was somehow amplifying Carnage's madness and driving regular people crazy seemed really out of the blue and unnecessary. I'm not really sure what it adds to the story overall... Like, would things be any different if Shriek wasn't doing that? I guess it's to show that Spidey is more on edge than usual, but with all the evil shit Carnage is doing, wouldn't that be enough to push him to the brink? Also, Carnage stopping Shriek from killing Venom made no sense... His whole thing is chaos and murder... Why would Carnage suddenly decide to waste time torturing Venom when he could kill him, and then a few dozen others? On the plus side? Everything else! The legendary Sal Buscema did the artwork, which was really strong. I loved the scene where Spidey finally gave in and told Firestar to kill Carnage, before he realized what the hell he had done/said. Venom's reaction to that situation was perfect, especially since that was the second time in as many issues that Spidey has stopped somebody from killing Carnage.
For the record?  This is my favorite scene from this entire 14 part event.

And then it ends with frigging Captain America popping up to (literally) lend a hand. Cap showing up is a real game changer, due to the leadership he'll bring to Spidey and his crew. Let's face it, Spidey was a terribly ineffective leader. Venom is too crazy to lead, and the rest of the group is filled with lifetime followers. So Cap showing up really felt like a huge moment. Yeah, this was a great issue that has me eager to pick up the next one!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Teen Titans #14

It's time to continue our trek through the Teen Titans comics with a Beast Boy story... You know, the same Beast Boy who is completely unnecessary to this series... With Kid Flash on the team serving as the comedy relief, he's completely redundant, with his lame powers adding nothing to the team. So yeah, I'm not exactly a fan of him... With that said, I'm going to cross my fingers that this is a quickie two part storyline and after that we can move on to stories revolving around the more important Titans, ie: not Raven or Beast Boy...

Teen Titans #14(Oct. 2004)

Summary: It turns out that every child under 13 in San Francisco has been infected with the virus that lets Beast Boy do Beast Boy things. On top of that, the kids all seem stuck in the first form they took, so they are just stampeding around San Fran mindlessly. Oh, and in 48 hours they'll all die from the virus. So yeah, good times. Beast Boy learns that he's been completely cured of the virus, and is just a regular dude now. The rest of the Titans(with the exception of Superboy and Robin) are rounding up the infected kids and... putting them in cages, I guess? As for the aforementioned Superboy and Robin, they're in Gotham City where Superboy learns that Tim Drake has quit being Robin after his father (FINALLY) found out about his secret double life.
Superboy on his knees in Robin's bedroom...  Big shock there.

Superboy is bummed about that since that means their secret nighttime trysts will no longer be occurring. Back to San Fran, a doctor who had worked with Beast Boy's parents back in the day comes to San Fran to work with Beast Boy to try to discover a cure for the infected kids. However, SWERVE!!, the doctor turns out to be a bad guy and only wants to experiment on Beast Boy for his own evil-tastic reasons. And he seems to be a purple skinned Beast Boy who was responsible for infecting the children.

Thoughts: God help me, I actually liked this comic... A Beast Boy-centric comic and I liked it... Now, with that out of the way, I have to say, the reveal that Dr. Register was evil and behind infecting the kids was painfully obvious...
Why is Beast Boy dressed like he just came back from an African safari?

I mean, like the second his name came up, anybody who DIDN'T see his heel turn coming should just turn in all of their comic books. It was that obvious. Besides that, the virus seemed weirdly specific in that it infected every under 13 year old in San Fran... Like, how does THAT work? Why only people 13 and under? How does the virus know NOT to infect any 14 year olds? I mean I get storywise why it happened, but that's an awfully convenient virus, if you ask me... We also had a quick scene between Cassie and Ares that I'd be remiss for not mentioning here because it was so incredibly stupid... I mean, she calls Ares a pedophile! The God of War Ares!
Ares has done nothing but help Cassie and the Titans...  That's definitely grounds to insult him.

She... She's not even a child! Ugh, sometimes I just don't know with Geoff Johns...

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Maximum Carnage part 8: Spider-Man #36

Yay, we're on the backside of the Maximum Carnage event! And since I've been enjoying it so much, I'm already thinking about what I can review next! I'm leaning heavily towards a certain Dark Knight, and am narrowing the choices of stories down. But that's down the road, right now let's see what Spidey and company are going to do against the awesome might of Carnage!

Maximum Carnage part 8: Spider-Man #36:

Summary: Spidey and company head to the Daily Bugle and have Jameson print a headline telling Carnage to return to his home...
Good ol' helpful Jameson.

That home being the Brooklyn orphanage. Carnage heads there with his crew, unable to resist the chance to kill Spidey and Venom. Meanwhile, Iron Fist pops up to assist the firemen who were trying to cut Deathlok down from the marque Carnage hung him from. Back to the orphanage, Spidey and his team attack Carnage's group and we have another brawl on our hands. This time though, the heroes are firmly in control, probably due to the fight spilling outside, meaning Carnage can't use his trump card, collapsing the roof on Spidey and escaping. Venom, with the sonic blaster, along with Firestar, blast away at Carnage, destroying his symbiote and leaving him vulnerable.
I don't know what "face meat" is, nor do I want to know...

Venom moves in for the kill, but wouldn't you know it, Spidey pulls Venom away... Ah Spider-Man... Shriek slashes Carnage with her nails, drawing blood, and causing another symbiote to grow out of Carnage, much to the surprise of the heroes. This issue ends with Carnage renewed and ready to fight again.
My plan B is always, "Fall down and pretend to cry" but that doesn't help here.


Thoughts: I know Spidey doesn't kill... And I knew that he'd, of course, stop Venom from killing Carnage, but I couldn't help but shake my head a little bit when he did step in to halt Venom from finishing off Carnage... It would have been so easy for him to just turn his head, or punch Demogoblin or something. I mean, I totally get it, I know how Spidey operates, but jeez, if anybody deserves the Venom, “eat your brains!!” treatment, it's definitely Carnage. Moving on, I really liked Iron Fist showing up to help Deathlok, as that helps to negate some of my complaints about no other New York heroes appearing in this crossover. I also liked the touch with Carnage being able to just continuously respawn his symbiote. It means that, unlike Venom, you can never separate it from him, which makes him that much tougher to defeat.

Friday, April 21, 2017

JT Review: Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #82

Hey Todd Squad, JT here once again with another review! Now I know what you're thinking... Why do you keep reviewing these Jimmy Olsen comics? Well the answer is, I have no earthly idea. While they are dreadful, they're sometimes so asinine that they're fun. And we should be in for a fun one tonight! Something you all may not know, is that X and I are HUGE fans of pro-wrestling. So after seeing this cover, I HAD to review this baby.

 Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #82
Superman tapping out? John Cena would be ashamed.

Summary:  Things start off when Jimmy visits his pal, Professor Potter. Old Potsy tells Jimbo that he has a formula that can make whoever takes it stronger than Superman. It's called Crack. I'm kidding... partially. Jimmy puts the formula in his pocket then heads to work. Perry remarks that Superman is wrestling for charity at a Daily Planet event tonight but he needs an opponent... seems like something you should've set up before the day of the event. Jimmy vows to beat Superman without using Kryptonite, so Perry takes him up on his bet and raises to stakes to a hundred bucks!

Why... why can't Jimmy call him Chief?

Jimmy stops at the pharmacy to buy a bottle of water to take with the formula, then heads to the big match. As Jimmy heads to the ring, Perry scans him with a Kryptonite detection device that Superman once gave him, ensuring that Jimmy is clean. Once Olsen gets to the ring, our introductions get underway!

Red-Headed Demon? Well shit...

Superman tells Jimmy it would be unethical to throw the match, but he'll take it easy on him. Jimmy tells Supes to bring everything he has and the match begins! Jimmy beats Superman in TWO panels and makes him tap out as the crowd watches in disbelief. Jimmy and Superman shake hands to show there's no hard feelings and Muscles Olsen heads to the back. Backstage, Jimmy overhears some street toughs (I wrote that for you, X) telling Lionel the Lion Man to take a dive in his next match. You stupid marks... Jimmy gets involved and tells them he's going to kick their ass, but in a PG way. Jimmy attacks but they don't budge... oh God, this is going to be one of those Superman let Jimmy win and now Jimmy gets his ass kicked stories, isn't it?

Yup...

Jimmy gets knocked the fuck out, then heads to his car. Lucy Lane hops in and is ready to go "celebrate", but Jimmy would rather go see Prof. Pothead. Oh Jimmy, you're such a moron. Jimmy gets more of the super ser- oops, I think that's a Marvel thing. Super... powered... drink from Potter, and luckily Superman is there doing experiments for some reason, so Jimmy has someone to test it on. Jimmy goes into the other room and beats up Superman like a dick-ish older brother. Jimmy hears Lucy screaming so he runs outside and sees she's being accosted. He leaps into action and gets knocked out once again!

At a certain point, this is just Superman's fault for being an asshole.

Jimmy questions big Potta, why can he beat up Superman but no one else? Potter tells him not to doubt the serum, so the next day Jimmy waits for Superman to show up at the planet then takes a swig of the drink. Jimmy runs over and punches Superman in the gut and damn near breaks his own hand. Jimmy's confused, because the night before he made Superman his bitch in the squared circle. Superman explains that he was on a space mission the night before. Superman and Jimmy decide to go spy on old man Potter.

I can honestly say, I did NOT see this coming.

It turns out... Potter was dressing up like Superman somehow and faking all these interactions with Jimmy, so Jimmy wouldn't lose faith in him when yet another one of his experiments was a flop. Dude... you need a woman or a hobby or something because that shit is sad and depressing. Superman waits for Potter to put away his Superman disguise then he and Jimmy enter Potter's home. Instead of calling Potter's old crazy ass on his shit, Jimmy and Superman pretend to wrestle and Superman "wins" thanks to Potter's miracle drug!

Am I fucking going over?

Somehow, this charade allows Potter to come to his senses and become normal again. Pot-Pot thanks Superman and Jimmy for restoring his sanity. Yep, he actually said that. The issue ends with Supes and Jimmy going to get Hero sandwiches.

Thoughts: Okay... So ignoring the whole old man dresses up like Superman and fools hundreds of people thing, and the whole, Jimmy doesn't ACTUALLY have superpowers, he's just beating up some crazy old dude... there are ACTUAL criminals that just get away with shit! Like, those dudes told the Lion dude to take a dive and then they beat up Jimmy and left! So they actually bullied that dude into taking a dive. And some creep tries to get handsy or worse with Lucy Lane and he just GETS AWAY! Meanwhile, Superman is putting on wrestling shows for an audience of one! What if something happened where Jimmy tried to use that strength and got himself killed because of this damn old man? "Ah well, Jimmy's dead, back to my experiments!"

# of pages: 8
# of criminals that got away: 3
# of times Jimmy attacked "Superman": 5

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Teen Titans #13

Well, we've made it through two story arcs and 12 issues of this series. I have to say, so far this series hasn't lived up to my memory of it. I remember really liking these early issues, while souring on the later issues. But these first 12 issues really haven't been very impressive at all... If these were supposed to be the good issues, I'm literally terrified by how bad the later issues are going to get! As for this issue, from the looks of the cover this will probably be a one and done comic, which is a nice change of pace. Well, let's get to it.

Teen Titans #13(Sept. 2004)

Summary: The Titans get some bloodwork to make sure they haven't been diseased by Brother Blood before getting some R&R.
What time is it?  It's time for the gun show!!!

Or at least most of them do, as Superboy refuses to get his blood checked, while Robin is a no-show. Also, Beast Boy seems to be sick, which I only add in case that turns out to be important to the story later on. From there we head to Gotham City, where Superboy is looking for his little buddy Robin, but instead finds Spoiler back when she was Robin. Or as known sexist pig Dan Didio would call her, NOT Robin EVER!!!!! Superboy asks for information on Robin's whereabouts(the boy Robin that is... This is going to get confusing fast...), but Robin(the girl one...) refuses to tell him anything. And then, of course, Batman pops up and tells Superboy to leave Robin(the girl one...) alone and to figure out a way to find Robin(GAH!!!!) with his super-powers. From there we head back to the other Titans, who are shocked to see a bunch of green animals charge out of an elementary school. While they wrangle the animal children, Beast Boy loses his green pigmentation and seems to be powerless.

Thoughts: Ugh, now we get a Beast Boy story?! What the hell, Geoff Johns? What the hell??? Actually, now that I think about it, this series has been really heavily focused on the older Titans, at the expense of the younger ones. Robin has no storyline at all going, Superboy has the stupid Lex Luthor storyline, which is on the back burners right now, Wonder Girl has something going with Ares, but it's barely been explored at all, and Kid Flash had a costume change. The villains have been Deathstroke, Jericho and Brother Blood, and the story lately has been all about Raven.
Why is the bird flying into the ground/Raven's ass crack?

All of those people are connected to the older Titans. That honestly makes me wonder why DC even bothered to cancel Young Justice and fold the YJ characters into the Titans book in the first place... Clearly Johns has more interest in the older characters(Geoff Johns only interested in old characters?! Perish the thought!), so why not just make this series about them? But then, I don't understand anything DC does(New 52 anybody?), so why try to figure this out? All in all, this was an inoffensive comic book with some legit funny moments. I just wish it revolved around anybody besides Beast Boy...
Man, Wonder Girl is another character who is just super bitchy for no good reason in this series.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Maximum Carnage part 7: Amazing Spider-Man #379

We've finally made it to official halfway point of this here Maximum Carnage event. So far it's been like a roller coaster, we started on a high, dropped down a bit, but started to pull back up with the last part. The cover of this issue promises that “Things get even wilder!” I think that means I should get to reading!

Maximum Carnage part 7: Amazing Spider-Man #379:

Summary: We open with a strategy session between the good guys.
Aww, that Venom is a good guy.

They decide to recruit Firestar to help against Carnage due to fire being a weakness of the symbiote he wears. They also decide to break into the Fantastic Four's headquarters to swipe the Mr. Fantastic's sonic gun in order to exploit the other weakness of Carnage. Also, we learn that the Avengers and the Fantastic Four(as well as all of the New Warriors save one) are out of town at a super hero convention or something... On top of that, an unnatural wave a violence is starting to move through the normal people of Manhattan. Carnage's crew is joined by Carrion, who just randomly starts to kill people along with them without saying a word...
Hey look, it's Carrion!

Okay then... Deathlok steps in to attack Carnage and his gang, but winds up getting overwhelmed by the numbers game and strung up on a billboard. On the other side of the fence, Spidey and company are successful in stealing the sonic blaster from Four Freedoms Plaza, while Cloak manages to locate Firestar, who is eager to help out.
Wait, does the sonic blaster have it's own room?  Shouldn't it be in an armory or something?

And that about wraps this one up.


Thoughts: This issue was more about setting up the pieces on the game board more than anything else. The good guys added Firestar and Mr. Fantastic's sonic gun, while Carnage recruited Carrion in order to bolster his side. Demogoblin is still teetering on the edge of turning on Carnage due to Carnage's stubborn refusal to put any type of a plan into effect. I'll also add that I really liked the fact that Deathlok stepped up and tried to halt Carnage, because that's an aspect to this story that hasn't really been touched upon at all. We have Spidey and the good guys, and we have Carnage and the bad guys. But that's it. I mean, in the Marvel Universe there's like a zillion super types living in Manhattan, but none of them thought it would be helpful to try to stop Carnage? Yeah, the FF and Avengers are conveniently out of town, as are the New Warriors, except for Firestar(once again, convenient), but what about the Darkhawks,Luke Cages or Sleepwalkers of the world? Or even a guy like Iron Man, who wasn't an Avenger at this time, why couldn't he fly in to help? Or hell, the frigging X-Men live right upstate, they could lend a hand. Shit, even Firestar should have been out there doing something before being asked by Cloak! She said she was at the New Warriors headquarters, and that her teammates weren't around. Shouldn't SHE have been out and about trying to assist people? Instead of just ignoring the c-list heroes, why not have Carnage tear through a few of them like he did to Deathlok here? That was definitely a step in the right direction, but also served to shine a light on the fact that nobody else is bothering to do anything...