Friday, December 30, 2016

Not-Very-Deep Thoughts: The September 7 Edition (HERE BE SPOILERS!)

Batman #6:  At the end of the last issue, it retroactively seemed like this first arc was about introducing Gotham Girl as a major player.  The focus was initially on Gotham and shifting it to Gotham Girl was clever.  It was a send-up of the traditionally male-oriented focus of comics (where men's pain is the only pain that matters à la "Women in Refrigerators") as well as a re-interpretation of Bruce's origin story itself (with Claire having a more direct role in her parents' murder than Bruce did).  However, I got a little worried when King implied this next arc was essentially going to be "Gotham Girl:  Year One," with the end result being Bruce dying...again.

But, it feels like King must've read all the outraged blog posts about that prospect, because in this issue he appears to be telling us he was just kidding.  Instead, it seems the narrative that closed issue #5 was really just part of Claire's delusional state, caused by Psycho-Pirate's attack on her as well as the trauma of losing her entire family.  Bruce reveals his identity and story at the end of this issue to save her, since her one-woman war on crime means she's rapidly draining her life energy.  Although emotional, it's a weirdly anti-climactic epilogue.

King seems almost to apologize for this misdirection by setting up an even better arc:  Amanda Waller reveals the entire ordeal was Bane's fault, since he just wanted to get his hands on Psycho-Pirate.  Now, I'm not saying it makes much sense.  Waller says Strange created the disasters in Gotham to attract Psycho-Pirate without explaining why they would attract him.  (For his part, Strange apparently received a lot of venom from Bane in exchange for Psycho-Pirate.)  It's been a while since I read issue #5, but it seems King is saying Gotham and Gotham Girl just happened to become superheroes at the wrong time; Strange and Psycho-Pirate's actions never really had anything to do with them.  Unfortunately, King doesn't elaborate on why Bane needed Strange to get Psycho-Pirate.  After all, it seems like he could've been captured without Strange's elaborate plan to destroy part of Gotham to attract him.  But, regardless of how convoluted it is, it does set up Bruce's upcoming invasion of Santa Prisca, so I'm not complaining.  (Well, too much).

Justice League #4:  I have no fucking idea what's happening here.  We're got the Kindred who seem to want to end the world to save it and the Purge who want to convert humanity into cyborgs.  Maybe?  It's also unclear if the three bombs in the Earth's crust were planted by the Kindred, the Purge, or someone else.  Possibly?  Again, I really have no idea.  All anyone does is talk in riddles, like it's a Jonathan Hickman comic.

Also Read:  All-New, All-Different Avengers #14; Moon Knight #6; Nightwing #4; Spidey #10; Star Wars:  Poe Dameron #6

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