Or However Many I Feel Like, And They Might Not All Be Facts
Welcome back to By The Numbers, the column where I count things in this week’s new comics from DC! This column will contain spoilers, but I’ll keep them as vague as possible while still amusing myself.
Due to difficulties with WWAC splitting into separate blogs for its separate content areas, my October Week One column has been unavoidably delayed. Last time something like this happened, I put the following week at the end. I’m trying something different this time: I’m just putting it all in one list. Let me know which format you prefer, though of course we hope nothing will ever delay the column again! (But shit happens.)
The books! Mostly garden-variety disappointment. The reliably good ones continue to be reliably good. Batman: White Knight seems like it’s maybe shaping up, but I’m still giving it a lot of side-eye. In the new Hannah-Barbera series The Jetsons, Jimmy Palmiotti blows our minds with a dark, edgy take on the world of the classic cartoon… a take that’s been banging around the internet since at least 2011. Look out for a new tie-in Flintstones series that reveals… wait for it… that they’re set in the same world! Which, y’know, has been established since the 1987 film about precisely that. I’m not mad DC is paying people to make bad comic takes on some of my beloved childhood cartoons. Well, a little. Mostly, I’m just disappointed.
The books of week two! Much of the same. Fewer of these are the good ones. I’ll touch on this more in this month’s Wildstorm Roundtable, but I am just flabbergasted by how… inconsistent? unpolished? bad. by how bad N. Steven Harris’s art is on Michael Cray. He’s been in comics for like 25 years, and he doesn’t suck. Except at this book, for some reason. Noted Transphobe James Robinson continues to fuck up Wonder Woman. Dan Abnett makes the bold decision to continue the decades-long trend of making Donna Troy’s history incomprehensible, thanks Dan. Robert Venditti gives the daddy issues a break, finally, in Hal Jordan.
Number of weeks I’ve been doing this column: 14, I think. Crazy.
Main Ongoing Titles
Action Comics #990
Number of questions I have about this cover: What is going on with his chest? And face? And…
Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #16
Number of pages into this “war of the sexes” storyline the Benson sisters managed to get before bringing up chromosomes: 42, which is way LESS transphobic than every other such storyline I can think of.
Number of issues Tom King has been building this Bruce/Selina thing… in order to set up a catfight with Talia: 14
Number of panels with speech bubbles in this issue: 0
Number of epistolary-style past-tense wrap-up captions in this issue: 122, which entirely defeats the purpose of silent panels/pages/issues
Number of “captions” that aren’t even captions, they’re actually speech bubbles drawn to look like captions, further defeating the purpose: 21
Number of freshman philosophy texts I’ve read with more engaging discussions of the nature of evil: 6, at least
Detective Comics #968
Number of two-page spreads with overlay panels in this issue: 7, for a total of 14 pages, which is 2/3 of the issue and maybe a little excessive even if it is the conclusion of an arc that’s named after a historic storyline
The Flash #34
Number of subtle racially-charged images in the book where the white guy has the black lightning and the Black kid has the yellow lightning, and then the dark-skinned lady has the black lightning and the white guy has the yellow lightning: Like, the whole book, basically?
Green Arrow #34
Number of elements in this issue seemingly lifted from the CW show: All, basically?
Green Lanterns #34
Number of Earth Green Lanterns I’ll feel bad for when they have a tough time with jobs and relationships back home while gallivanting around being space cops: 3, and they’re all in this issue
Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #32
Number of Power Puff Girls that Joker Batman could make out of Cyborg’s core: 3, easily
Harley Quinn #31
Number of people I want to see fridged and/or Killing Joked in any issue of anything ever: 0
Justice League #32
Number of Evil Speed Force Batmobiles: 5
Justice League of America #18
Number of fucks I gave when Prometheus took out the A-list JLA 20 years ago: 0
New Super-Man #17
Number of trigrams Kenan unlocked without cheating and unleashing doom upon the world: 7 out of 8, which isn’t bad
Number of titular heroes in main ongoing DC titles currently fighting villains with sketchy connections to their past and family who are trying to “prove” to them how awful people are by forcing people to be awful: 2
Red Hood and the Outlaws #16
Number of issues the Suicide Squad is going to show up in this month: about 9 at this rate
Suicide Squad #29
Number of the flesh hell landscape ruled by the great Bat-Queen: 7, Narbosa-Nath
Number of queer ladies in this issue: at least 1, which is something, I guess
Number of super boys Lois is going to have to save: 2, plus probably Luthor, who’s been wearing the S long enough to count for this purpose, so 3
Number of letters you can spell with a 3-digit binary code: 0
Number of Titans who apparently die in vague but horrible ways: 5
Wonder Woman #34
Number of issues we still have to put up with Robinson’s crap: 8
Bane: Conquest #7
Number of anti-hero terrorist-hunting Manly Men thwarted by the duplicitous Lady Assassin and her Wiles: 4
(Someone please stop Dixon.)
Batman: Lost #1
Number of facts revealed, plots advanced, and character development beats hit in this issue: 0
Batman: The Devastator #1
Number of weeks ago the main Metal book spoiled the ending of this tie-in special: 3
Batman: White Knight #2
Number of potshots at Palmiotti and Conner in this issue: 1, but it’s a doozy
Black Lightning: Cold Dead Hands #1
Number of characters insufficiently established in this issue: 2 (It doesn’t always pay to go to great lengths to avoid exposition. Too little establishment is way worse than too much exposition.)
Bombshells United #5
Number of different times this issue made me cry: 3
Number of panels/scenes given room to breathe without over-explanation in captions and dialogue: 0
Number of story elements that would’ve made even this much “sense” without enormous over-explanation: 0
Gotham City Garage #3
Number of implications that AU!Harley has the hots for AU!Babs: 1, which is enough for me to consider it canon
Harley & Ivy Meet Betty & Veronica #2
Number of things I have to ignore in this comic just to enjoy Sabrina the Teenage Witch flirting with Zatanna: 64
Injustice 2 #13
Number of times this issue made me squee about Kara: 9
The Jetsons #1
Number of years since the Cracked article about this premise: 6
The Wild Storm: Michael Cray #2
Number of years N. Steven Harris has been drawing comics professionally: 24, so why is he so bad at drawing faces?
Mister Miracle #4
Number of times this issue made me wish I was just reading a Barda comic (written by someone else): 4
Number of characters in this issue who could’ve just stepped out of a Spawn comic: 3
Scooby Apocalypse #19
Number of pages in advance I knew the thing with the girl was going to end the way it did: Oh look, Morocco Mole is in this one. He’s cute.
Scooby-Doo! Where Are You? #87
Why did he say “Rark”? Like, why would he say “bark” instead of barking? And why did the non-talking cat SAY “Meow”?