Friday, April 08, 2016

Green Arrow; Forgotten Man in an Increasingly Stupid JLA story

Meanwhile, in the shuttered planetarium where they've been sent by a disreputable Liverpudlian goon (Livergoon?), Barry decides the best thing to do is run around in total darkness at 1000 mph.

What could possibly go wrong?

See, this is how you can tell Barry is a superhero and you are not.  Because when you enter a pitch-black unfamiliar environment, your first instinct is not "must...break..sound barrier!"

Naturally, there's an electrified booby-trap that brrzzaps the Flash unconscious.  Batman, fully aware that it's a trap now, rushes right into to save Barry, and is attacked by a squad of Livergoons
complaining about how Batman's NOT making jokes while beating the crap out of them.

Even worse, they make BATMAN start doing it.

If there were a potion to make me forget the English language in front of me while I read this, 
I would have not only drunk it, 
sed etiam magis poti requaererem.

Why is this happening? Remember, how in yesterday's post, the narration box was trying to be 'meta' and 'cool'?  [As if anything could ever been cooler or more meta than the very concept of narration boxes!]  Well, remember, this is 1969  DC (and Denny O'Neil in particular) is trying to drag its characters out of the goofy conventions of the Silver Age and into the Bronze Age, where everyone is 'hip'.  In this story, they are trying to have their cake and eat it, too: they are retaining the goofy conventions of the Silver Age (needlessly expository narration boxes, identically dressed goons, a terrible terrible villain who I won't spoil for you, pun-based battle-chatter, obviously traps, etc.) while being hip by 'lampshading' them to acknowledge they are stupid  And it fails fantastically.

Anyway, the unmentioned villain shows up and shoots Batman with a tranq dart from the shadows and an ominous "SOON MY REVENGE WILL BE COMPLETE!"

Later (earlier? simultaneous? it's completely unclear, actually), Atom and Superman are showing the police why they are wrong about Green Arrow because...the murder arrow is made of wood and not titanium, like GA's actual arrows are.  And then they are interrupted by...

Well, it's too ridiculous to type. I'll just show you:

It's Two-Face, isn't it? I mean, who else would think of that?

I agree completely with Superman and O'Neil: this is truly ridiculous.  Pointing that out, however, does not make is less so.

As Superman leaves the earth (where on earth does he go?  I mean "off ea--" oh, never mind), he uses those super-peepers of his to notice the Tattooed Man's corpse (at just that moment!) arising from the morgue and scaring the beejeezus out of poor Chuck Lumley:

Of course, Superman can't TELL anyone this because he's got to leave Earth and it's 1969 so he has no cellphone. In a real Superman story, he'd just burn a message into a sidewalk somewhere with his telescopic and heat vision.  I remember one time in the Silver Age, Superboy had to get a message to the Legion quickly, but he was stuck in class as Clark Kent, so he used his microscopic and heat vision together to burn a message into a penny and then threw it out the window fast enough to break the time barrier and land in the future.  Killing Rao alone knows how many people in its way.

Though proper use, there is very little heat vision cannot accomplish.

But this is a Justice League story and the only thing that makes JLA stories work is rendering all its god-like members incompetent. If you are a Marvel fan who likes imperfect heroes and hates DC's stupid godlike heroes for being too perfect and powerful...then "Justice League" is the comic book for you.

"Frustrated"? Hm, I think the word you are looking for is "moronic".

Next, the (pathetic) identity of our master villain revealed!


Bryan L said...

So did Batman turn on the lights before the Livergoons attacked? Or did the Livergoons bring up the house lights before attacking? And if so, why would Batman need to listen for the sound of a rhino in hobnailed boots? Because frankly the lights coming on would be a pretty big clue that something was up.

Scipio said...

That's a good question. I think Batman turned on the lights when he came in. Like Flash should have.

Anonymous said...

Because everyone knows what a creature of darkness the Flash is, compared to the Batman. Maybe Batman was worried the Livergoons wouldn't be able to appreciate his dance routine?

-- Jack of Spades

Bryan L said...

"Like Flash should have."

Maybe he was afraid it would take too long. Because when you're moving at 1.5 times the speed of sound, you really can't spare a nanosecond.

Sr. Favo said...

I am the joule! I am the ever-encroaching darkness! I am dark, for I run faster than the light! Silent Speedy Stalker of the Shadows! Swiftest Shadow Alive! Whirlwind of the Wicked, I am... THE FLASH!

You know, did we ever see a stealthy speedster? Might be hard due to these sonic booms. Through if you just go at lower speeds, you might to run mostly silently, and by staying in the darkness and shadow, archieve stealth. I think I just created a new character concept.

My good christ, are these goons annoying. Btw, is this Stupid Bronze Age Batman already?

Also, SPEEDS SLOWLY. Next up: Silent Bombs.

1000 mph inside a building might seem snail pace to The Flash, but its almost as fast as a bullet. 100 mph inside a building (even a large one) would already be fast. He's lucky the trap was there, or he would splatter on a wall.

Sr. Favo said...

Also, I don't think a Executive Order from the American President can tell Superman to bug off the planet. Maybe the "Superman is off the planet" part is blatant lies and he's actually in the Soviet Union drinking vodka and dancing the polka and getting constant offers to join the Party in order to become Comrade Superman and bring Super-Communist to the world.

Bryan L said...

"he's actually in the Soviet Union drinking vodka and dancing the polka"

That's where I'd be.

John said...

Ha! I was right, these jerks did get lost on their way to a Spidey comic.

Anyway, I bet O'Neil is really ticked at whoever decided to turn all of Earth's kryptonite into lead, right about at the point where he needed to imagine that a court order could exile someone from anywhere. Who was that, again? Oh, right...

But really, the obvious solution would be for Superman to give his fellow Justice Leaguers concussions in Morse code, spelling out the solution for them. It's really the only sensible thing to do that doesn't involve spinning.